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Yogi Vishnu Panigrahi

  • Yogi Vishnu Panigrahi
Yogi Vishnu

Yogi Vishnu – Who is He?

A Voyage of Self-Exploration into the Divinity of Supreme Soul – Yogi Vishnu
ॐ अज्ञानतिमिरान्धस्य ज्ञानाञ्जनशलाकया । चक्षुरुन्मीलितं येन तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ॥
Hari Om!

I am bowing my head in from of Shree Guru, by whom the eyes of wisdom has been opened in the darkness of ignorance. – Guru Vandana

A child was born in a Brahmin family in a village not far from a prominent city in the western region of Odisha. Though close proximity with the city, this village is not very much different than any other village, where people look forward to development in terms of electricity, water supply and good quality education. The childhood of this young boy continued through the phases of schooling, playing with other kids and learning new things in this world. However, one thing that was quite uncommon about this child was his grandfather’s guidance for meditation. Exposed to a spiritual atmosphere since birth, this young kid has discovered his interest in meditation since the young days. The Radha-Krishna Temple in the village which was constructed by his Grandfather, this young kid is often seen to serving food and water to wandering sadhus, whoever was passing by to listen to their travel stories and stories of spirituality. No one ever though this young boy will grow up one day and become famous in the spiritual circle as Yogi Vishnu Panigrahi.

As young Vishnu stepped into his adolescent stage, he has to leave his village to pursue his higher education in the nearby city. This is where he started bunking classes to listen to the Satsang (spiritual discourse) of various swamis and sadhus whoever visits the city. He came across renowned saints like Swami Avdheshanand Giri from Haridwar during this phase of life which has greatly influenced his quest in the spirituality and self-enlightenment. During this phase teen Vishnu also found a Kalyan-Mitra (a noble friend), who would come with him in the wee hours of the morning to perform meditation and sadhana with him. Away from the village in a scheduled place, they both would chant ‘Mahamudgaram’ – a hymn by Adi Shankaracharya which is believed to dispel fears and helps to attain Vairagya (renunciation from the material world).

Service to mankind from his earlier days:

During holidays young Vishnu would often visit nearby hospitals and nursing homes to take care of the patients. This intense desire for offering self-less service has come to him as automatically and he would often found serving and washing wounds of impoverished patients with immense dedication. The Doctors and other staff of the hospital also didn’t ever objected to his interest as the hospital in the small city always lacked sufficient nurses and other attendants. Patients usually are on the bare cemented floors due to lack of beds, and young Vishnu would spend his time nursing the patients while they recover from their illness.

A moment of realization with the God!

One day during these years, young Vishnu came across an old man, who was very sick with loathly wounds on the leg infected with worms. Doctors neglected the old man for a long time while Vishnu intervened. With his insistence, Doctors nursed and bandaged the wound and Vishnu took care of this old man for quite a few days helping him in every way possible. The man was so grateful and driven with happiness that he blessed Vishnu profusely. On the following day, when young Vishnu returned to the hospital to see the old man, he did not found him there! When enquired about his whereabouts, no one in the hospital could remember this old man or whether any person like him was under treatment. Vishnu was quite surprised how hospital staff could not remember anything about the old man whom he has served for days in the same hospital. Later, he thought it might be some test of The God, who has disguised himself as the old man and was tasting Vishnu’s dedication and service.

Service to the poor and unattended:

A few years later, young Vishnu came across another such incident, where there was another destitute old man from a lower caste (untouchable) who was suffering with disease. This untouchable was denied treatment by the local doctors for his caste. When Vishnu knew about this he took the matter in his own hands and took the old man to a hidden place for treatment. As an orthodox Brahmin, Vishnu’s close proximity with the low caste people was unacceptable for his society. One day while treating that old man, Vishnu asked himself, “Why should I hide?” On the following day, Vishnu came out of his hiding place and bathed the aged man in public where everyone in his village saw him bathing the diseased person. The village talks could not stop Vishnu from his dedication towards service to the mankind without differentiating caste or creed rather made him more determined to extend his service to the people in need while emerging as a strong leader in his neighborhood.

Inclination to a formal system of spirituality:

At the young age of 15 (fifteen), young Vishnu became a disciple of Muni Samaj – the school of Meditation. At the age of 18 he met Vedanta Kashari (the Lion of Vedanta) – Swami Niranjan ji, under whose guidance he studied for next two years. By the age of 20, Vishnu has deeply immersed into a path of devotion and spiritual awakening. He also received his formal Bachelor’s Degree in Arts from Jyoti Vihar University during this time. His days are scheduled with meditation, Jaap (mental recitation of holy mantras), chanting, and kirtan.

The transformation:

It was during this time, that Vishnu was diagnosed with congenital heart defects. The only available treatment is Open Heart Surgery which his family could hardly afford. It was until his awakening that Vishnu suffered from this deadly defect. At this juncture, young Vishnu vowed himself that he would serve the mankind in every way possible till his presence on this mortal world.

Vishnu started his new mission of quite a number of health camps, organizing spiritual discourse and bhajan programs in nearby villages. During this time he also started a grocery business to counter a fraud businessman who was using unscrupulous means to cheat people.

Giridhar Gopal Shastri:

A renowned saint from Vrindavan, Giridhar Gopal Shastri visited Sambalpur to deliver spiritual discourse and conduct satsang. On the concluding day, he invited brahmacharis (celibate novices to be initiated) to accompany him to Vrindavan. Although that was an open invitation for thousands present in the satsang, Vishnu felt as if Gopal Shastri ji was inviting him personally for initiation. He went home that day, packed a small backpack and left for Vrindavan without any money. Upon reaching the holy Vrindvan, he was so excited about this new spiritual adventure that he could hardly sleep for a night. A new journey of life began for Vishnu Panigrahi from the holy sands of Vrindavan.

Member of Hari Katha Yojna:

During his stay in Vrindavan, Vishnu mastered 18000 verses of Srimad Bhagavatam only in a course of four months. He received training in Katha – a lyrical mean of spiritual discourse collecting many examples from spiritual texts and verses. Eventually, he became a member of Hari Katha Yojna – a renowned Katha delivering group in Vrindavan. He became popular Katha Gayak (a single) delivering intensely spiritual messages in inspirational verses and songs.

Journey towards Rishikesh and Himalayas:

Eventually Vishnu made his way towards the sacred caves in Himalayas through Rishikesh. He visited numerous caves and met with many spiritual masters during this phase of wandering. He came across a Sadhu, a Yogi in one such cave who introduced him to the teachings of Swami Rama. It was another inspirational transformation towards attainment of spiritual realization for Vishnu and he learned and experienced a lot under the guidance of sadhu baba (the Yogi).

Transformation towards Yogi Vishnu:

While staying with the Sadhu Baba, one day Vishnu was asked to shun all his possessions into the Ganga in order to experience a complete detachment from the worldly objects. Vishnu was left with only one set of clothes that he was wearing after obliging to the orders of the high-priest. The yogi baba also provided Vishnu a cave to meditate inside. While sitting inside one day in meditation, Vishnu heard some movement and sound behind him. Upon opening his eyes, he saw a fierce Cobra on the upped ledge of the cave. He tried his best to maintain his composure, while reminding him to not to succumb to his fears. He heard a whisper coming from within “I have come here to release your fear; not to increase it.” It was his inner voice!

Swami Rama Institute of Meditation and Inner-Faith Studies:

Eventually Vishnu had to leave yogi and come down to Rishikesh. By this time, he was ready to join Gurukulam – a spiritual school under close guidance of Swami Veda Bharati. Vishnu received and delivered teachings at Swami Rama Institute of Meditation and Inner-Faith Studies for 9 years, where he obtained his Master’s Degree in Yoga and Sanskrit. Yogi Vishnu feels blessed to receive teachings from revered masters such as Swami Hari, Shri Mauni Babaji, Swami Shankarananda ji and a lot others. He has been a dedicated disciple and has received blessings from all his masters in the path of spiritual enlightenment.

Samadhi Yoga Ashram :

Yogi Vishnu has been traveling extensively to various destinations to teach and deliver lecturers on spirituality, yoga, meditation and inner-faith for many years, now. His experiences in life so far, have been quite enchanting, as he says. At present he is deeply dedicated towards guiding disciples at Samadhi Yoga Ashram into a path of spirituality and self-awakening.

Interested persons can reach Yogi Vishnu at Samadhi Yoga Ashram for live interactions.
Hari Om!
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