Swami Guru Purnanandaji Paramahansa
1834-1928

Guru Purnanandaji was born as Basanta on September 14, 1834. He was a tall and impressive young man, who loved music and athletics. He was a brilliant student, and took the first prize in Sanskrit at the University of Faridpur. When he completed his studies, Basanta was married (by his father's arrangement) and worked as a school principal in the town of Raj Shahi.

He was drawn to the Hindu reform movement, Brahma Dharma. While involved with this movement, Guru Purnanandaji met a wandering sadhu who impressed him with his eloquence and wisdom. Guru Purnanandaji begged for initiation, but the sadhu refused and sent Guru Purnanandaji to Swami Brahmanandji of Sunderban, in the wild jungles of Bengal. Swami Brahmanandaji in turn sent him to Siddhashram, high in the Himalayan mountains of Tibet.

On the way to Siddhashram Basanta met Pramod, who was destined to be his companion on the journey. They traveled together to Lama Bazaar, where they waited for the sadhus of Siddhashram to appear at the annual market. When the saints left the bazaar, Basanta and Pramod followed them. The sadhus beat them and knocked them to the ground, but Basanta and Pramod crawled after them, cut, bruised and bleeding, until they collapsed. Then the sadhus healed their wounds and led them to Siddhashram.

After an arduous journey, they arrived at a magnificent tropical paradise. Pramod had to perform a 30-day purification, while Basanta waited for him outside the gates of the ashram. Finally they were allowed to enter, and were given the names Purnananda and Servananda. They were initiated by Brahma Rishi Angira and taught scripture by Matang Rishi. For four years they did intensive sadhana, sometimes staying in samadhi for 15 days at a time, and became all-knowing.

In the fifth year, Guru Purnanandaji thought of the suffering people of India, and wanted to bring the sadhana to them. But thoughts and ideas are kalpana, and not permitted in Siddhashram. Since Guru Purnanandaji had had this kalpana he would have to return to the world and fulfill his mission.

Guru Purnanandaji and Servanandaji left the ashram and wandered for 25 years through India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burma, Afghanistan and Asiatic Russia. Servanandaji often disagreed with Guru Purnanandaji over his charitable work, and finally left him. He was rumored to have gone west, perhaps to Italy.

Guru Purnanandaji's first ashram was established in Bhenodpur, Bangladesh, by the grateful family of a leper he had cured. Guru Purnanandaji's ashram had no latrines, bathing facilities, or mosquito nets. No talking was allowed, and the only foods provided were fruit, water, and one boiled vegetable a day.

At this point, Guru Purnanandaji stopped his wanderings and re-entered the world, so that serious disciples could find him. He again became a school principal, in the town of Dharoda, near his ashram. Guru Purnanandaji's closest disciples, knowing that he wished to establish an orphanage and a home for widows, built Jagatpur Ashram outside of Chittagong, in 1899. The ashram school is still in existence today, and has about 200 students.

Swami Guru Purnanandaji Parmahansa left his material body in 1928 at the age of 94. A more detailed biography of this great saint can be obtained from the Ajapa Yoga Ashram.

Swami Guru Bhumanandaji Paramhansa
1873-1958

Guru Bhumanandaji was born as Panchan Ganguli on Dec. 24, 1873, to devout parents in the state of Bengal.

Later, he was married and had two sons. He lived in the small Bengali town of Raj Shahi and worked as an accountant. He was a a great scholar, but despite reading the Hindu Scriptures over and over, he felt something was missing and was torn by this. Whenever a great sadhu or guru would come to the area, he would question him but was never satisfied.

One day Guru Purnanandaji came to Raj Shahi to visit a disciple there. Panchan came to meet him, and after a long talk with Guru Purnanandaji, he realized that at last he had met a Guru who realized the essence of the Scriptures.

Panchan begged for initiation, but was shocked and brought to tears when Guru Purnanandaji told him he was too immature and not ready. Guru Purnanandaji told him he would return in a year and give initiation.

When three years passed and Guru Purnanandaji had not returned, Panchan became desperate and finally tracked him down. After much persuasion, Guru Purnanandaji agreed to initiate Panchan.

Guru Bhumanandaji practiced Kriya with great force and devotion and achieved great results in a short period of time. According to Guru Purnanandaji's instructions, he remained an accountant and only visited Guru Purnanandaji on vacations.

When Guru Purnanandaji became advanced in age and began the final purification process to prepare for leaving the body, the disciples wondered who would be his successor but were afraid to ask. Guru Purnanandaji looked at them and said, "Bhumanandaji." This was a great surprise because Guru Bhumanandaji was not one of the disciples who lived near or on the Ashram. He lived far away and came only infrequently.

On April 29, 1928, Guru Purnanandaji left the body. Guru Bhumanandaji continued the Ajapa lineage from Kalipur Ashram in Assam Province. In 1931, he initiated Guru Janardanji Paramahansa into the practice of Ajapa Yoga and later gave Guru Janardanji the power to initiate others into the practice.

Upon Guru Bhumanandaji's leaving his material body in 1958, Guru Janardanji became the world-wide master of Ajapa Yoga and began the spread of Ajapa around the world.

Swami Guru Janardanji Pramahansa
1888-1980

Swami Guru Janardanji Paramahansa was born in the province of East Bengal, India, on December 2, 1888. When he was 12 years old his father died, throwing young Janardanji's life into such turmoil that he ran away from home, seeking to understand the meaning of death and life. He wandered all over India, covering the length and breadth of the country more than seven times on foot. After decades of searching, he met Swami Guru Bhumanandaji, who initiated him into Ajapa Yoga. Guru Janardanji practiced this yoga with an attitude of "do or die" and eventually achieved complete self-knowledge.

Swami Guru Prasadji Pramahansa
1966

In January, 1966, based on an experience he had had while meditating, Guru Janardanji told his disciples to search the banks of the Ganges River for a newborn baby boy. The infant was discovered, and named "Guru Prasad" or "Gift of Guru."

Guru Janardanji predicted that the child would one day play an important role in helping to relieve the suffering of humanity. Raised on the ashram, Guru Prasadji was trained in Ajapa from the earliest age. He learned to speak fluent English, and at the age of nine, he traveled to Canada and the United States with Guru Janardanji.

In 1980, shortly before Guru Janardanji decided to give up his material body, he named Guru Prasadji, then only fourteen years old, his successor as Guru. Since that time, Swami Guru Prasadji Paramahansa has been traveling and teaching Ajapa in India, Bangladesh, Europe and North America. He currently maintains five ashrams and several Ajapa centers around the world.