Welcome, dear friends, to the website of the yoga monk Swami Gyaneshwarpuri.
I was born as Marek Šenkyřík (7 May 1968) into a traditional Christian family where everyone went to church on Sundays as far back as memory goes. I attained the sacrament of Christian adulthood, Confirmation, in the Catholic Church in 1986. On 23 July 2021, I was ordained a monk, although no longer as a Christian, but as a Hindu. I have become the first ever Hindu monk – swami ordained in the Czech Republic. This text also describes something about my experience as a speleologist in the Moravian Karst. I have discovered a total of four small but very interesting caves. I consider my most important contribution to be the now almost legendary exploration of the historical underground of the Church of the Name of the Virgin Mary in Křtiny, during which a crypt with so-called painted skulls was discovered, being one of the most important speleological discoveries in the Czech Republic in the 20th century. I would also like to point out my spiritual biography up to now, including the orange Hindu monk’s robe. Thank you for visiting my site. What lucky karma has brought you here? I am currently a hermit in the Moravian Karst. I use many of the caves there for meditation purposes. However, I have also meditated at the source of the Ganges and above Rishikesh in the Indian Himalayan Region, in the Chey Pass in the Romanian Carpathians, in Monte Subasio above Assisi, on Stará hora in the Giant Mountains and in the Slovak Paradise. I kept looking for a place where I could be alone and meditate undisturbed, until I finally found it, it seems, in no other place than in the Moravian Karst, thanks to the empathy and understanding of the Administration of the Moravian Karst Protected Landscape Area, who knows about my extraordinary and unusual spiritual needs… I am therefore spiritual and I am trying to positively inspire you. But only my Enlightened Spiritual Master, His Holiness Vishvaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Sri Swami Maheswarananda of India, understands me properly. If you perhaps need someone like that in your life, someone who understands your soul well, try enrolling in a local Yoga in Daily Life course. I bless you from the bottom of my heart. Will you write me what you have on your mind? I will try to answer you… I will delve into my meditation at the altar and see… I have spent thousands of days and nights in the solitude of meditation caves and mountain hermitages. So I know something for sure. That is my qualification. I act primarily through Love and Knowledge (bhakti and jnana). The power of Love – that is what I believe in. I am a hermit, not a spiritual teacher! That is my mysticism. I have the heart of Devpuriji. Enlightened Master of Yoga endowed with miraculous powers, the hermit Sri Devpuriji lived in the Himalayas at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and then settled in Rajasthan in central India. By the force of his will, he demolished the ashram and expelled the bhaktas, his disciples, and sent snakes against them. People thought that the saint had gone mad. The motives for his actions were beyond human comprehension. From then on, he spoke only to those who were deeply and seriously interested in Knowledge. In this Kali Yuga, he preferred the company of animals to the company of people (Vairagya). On the Path of Yoga, I consider myself a follower of this saint. In some ways, he reminds me of our Saint Francis of Assisi, my former mountain companion. Thank You, God, for guiding me on this Path. For I have known that God has guided me from my birth. My God is Shiva, the eternal Master of all yogis, ascetics and prayers. He is the most compassionate and kindest God in the entire Hindu pantheon. A devotee who meditates upon Shiva will quickly attain final Liberation (moksha). So being a yogi and a Hindu, I know for a fact that I am not of Christian birth, though I have been close to Jesus in my heart since childhood. I will not be a Christian monk in this lifetime (or ever again) because they usually do not uphold the important rule of vegetarianism, which I consider a very serious transgression of the Catholic faith. They shouldn’t be mad at me for criticizing them. I am very clear on this and I am a vegetarian in accordance with my conscience. So I am going back home to India. My current incarnation in the Czech Republic and Europe was only temporary. It’s not just meat, I don’t consume alcohol, tobacco or drugs. I am against them, including the now very popular and supposedly “harmless” marijuana. Unfortunately, some sadhus are setting a very bad example to the world by foolishly using marijuana – contrary to the original yogic teachings – to meditate in altered states of consciousness, for example, which can indeed convey very beautiful, harmonious and even incredible experiences. But I consider these sadhus basically unconscious (maya). Who can know for sure, though? Some people need to wake up from the slumber of mundane illusion somehow. But the price to pay here is impaired health. That’s why I say that drugs, meaning only natural ones, are dangerous and unpredictable. I had to mention this topical issue at length, because it imprisons many people, and as a result they never truly embark on the Way of God. But I have come to know that the spiritual Path is the purification of all evil inclinations to attain only pure (sattvic) qualities. So I seek the company of spiritual and wise people (satsang), for example in our ashram in Střílky. In addition, it is with joy and equanimity that I am already practicing monastic celibacy (brahmacharya) and recommend it to everyone ready for greater well-being, harmony and inner understanding and insight into the mystical science of the saints (anubhava). I relate most closely to the teachings of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, Paramhansa Yogananda, Shri Mahaprabhuji and of course my Master Paramhans Swami Maheswarananda, but I have drawn heavily from all mystical authors of all religions and each of them has enriched my Path and my heart in some way. I eventually found everything I was ever looking for in a comprehensive form as concentrated knowledge in Yoga in Daily Life. It is undoubtedly one of the world’s purest teachings. No wonder, for this is the teaching of one of the greatest living saints on Earth, whose spiritual titles indicate that he is a fully Enlightened Soul and Master of the entire Universe. This yoga teaching best suits my inner knowing from the mountain caves. I am therefore a devoted disciple (bhakta) of Swamiji. I would like to pass on this teaching, which liberates from all suffering, but so far, I am doing so only in a meditative way, following the example of the Himalayan Masters, because my knowledge is still insufficient despite all my efforts. I still consider myself basically a beginner in inner yoga. May I be forgiven by all those who are already beginning to turn to me. I want to uphold the vow of silence (mauna), Silence and solitude outdoors. Therefore, I will live alone in the seclusion of the hermitage. I believe that this will give me the inner gifts that I can then be able to give out in public. And that’s what God demands. That is why Jesus was in the desert – to clarify his spiritual calling. I want to fulfil it following the example of the old Masters in a romantic way. “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” say the elders of Mount Athos who refuse to come out into the open (Matthew 16:26). In solitude, I become whole. “Contemplate your roots in nature and you will find yourself.” (Anthony de Mello). I believe in the mysterious power of God’s name, my mantra, Silence and solitude with God. But it all depends on whether conservationists and foresters are sympathetic. So far, I have mostly faced misunderstandings. Who will let a hermit live in the forest? Please let me know! Will you offer me your forest with a spring of fresh water? A place where I could build my little hermitage and be alone and isolated? Just as St. Francis of Assisi was given the abandoned Mount Alverna by a generous donor for his prayer and meditation… I rely on and believe in this Universal Principle. “LORD… who may live on your holy mountain?” (Psalm 15:1).
I hope I have answered some of your important questions in the introduction to this website.
Naham karta. Prabhu Dip karta. Maharabhu Dip karta hi kevalam.
“Let one not neglect one’s own welfare for the sake of another, however great. Clearly understanding one’s own welfare, let one be intent upon the good.”
Dhammapada Verse 166
Where I live.
“Becoming a swami means dedicating one’s life to spiritual quest.
To seek the origin of the universe, to seek the only Reality, to return home, to the spiritual home, from whence we have come. We belong to eternity and our stay in this world is only a temporary residence. Swami devotes his life to the journey to the inside, where the Divine Self, omniscient and omnipresent, is hidden. Swami ceases to be tied to his family, to a material house, to property, to secular living, because his place of residence is the Universe.”
Paramhans Swami Madhavananda
Lila Amrit. The Divine Life of Sri Mahaprabhuji
Who I am.
Swami Gyaneshwarpuri is an ordained monk - a hermit of the Hindu religion. He received his sannyasa diksha by the grace of His Holiness the Master of Yoga Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwarananda at the Mahaprabhudip ashram in Střílky in southern Moravia on 23 July, 2021, aged 53. He has the right to use the spiritual title of a swami (master of himself) and to wear orange robes, the clothes of Indian yogis and sadhus. In this way, he has gained the highest Swamiji’s initiation. Formally, he belongs to the sannyasa order of Shri Panchayati Mahanirvani Akhara with the affiliation to OM Sri Alakhpuriji Siddha Peeth Parampara. As a lonely, silent hermit, he is not a Yoga teacher and does not preach Hinduism. He holds cosmopolitan supra-religious beliefs. He recognizes all religions of the world, not only Hinduism, but also Christianity, Taoism and Buddhism, as well as all other religious systems. Islam should not be ignored either. He is a Czech sadhu who has renounced his family life in order to devote himself to the service of God and the spiritual path. He is the first Hindu monk initiated in the Czech Republic (and in Europe). The life of Sannyasa describes well his true inner nature. With the Master’s knowledge, he will continue to live as a hermit here in the Czech Republic.
The path of my soul to the orange robe.
He was born as Marek Šenkyřík into a Christian family in Brno, South Moravia in the Czech Republic, on 7 May 1968. All his ancestors used to go to church on Sunday. However, their faith was not particularly evident in them. All of their lives, they would manage with a few certainly minor sins, which they recited during the holy confession, and that was pretty much it. Catholicism is not a demanding faith. But it is a faith. They were God-fearing, but they were living their worldly lives. As such, they followed the way of the cross, which he could not understand at first. They would bear diseases, or just everything that happened to them, as their cross in the name of Christ. This is what life is like in the country. Without deeper wisdom, consuming meat and alcohol. And no one saw anything wrong with it. It is what he was like, too. When he was a child, he ate meat under their influence. Forrest Carter wrote it well in “The Education of Little Tree”. He grew up in a small village called Bosonohy. His attention was drawn only to the prehistoric settlement from the Stone Age in the woods outside the village. His first spiritual experience is linked to his early childhood. He believed that he had a vision of Virgin Mary with Jesus in the God’s tomb of the church in Troubsko. He thought long and hard about this experience and was unable to explain it. The second mystical experience that has remained permanently in his consciousness was when he found a dusty book by the ancient philosopher Epictetus on the attic of the house of his great-grandmother Anna, renowned for her piety and altruism. He was about 10 years old and at that age he was strongly impressed by the book, as he was amazed by the fact that someone was cultivating wisdom. The third memory of his childhood is associated with regular Saturday trips to the woods, which his father - an old tramp - took him to. These romantic trips, however, soon ended when his father bought his first car. But the seed of love for hiking and nature was planted and waited to flourish. When he was a child, he had a small collection of butterflies and beetles. Later, however, his compassion prevented him from collecting them, and today he does not even kill ticks. He has a secret agreement with the ticks that if they do not infect him, he will not kill them. And he keeps good to his promise. He also caught a few fish under the deep impression of E. T. Seton’s “The Book of Woodcraft”. Thus, in the ignorance of his childhood, he sinned with a karma which he then had to mercifully dissolve in meditation. At the age of 18, he decided to expand his Catholic worldview and consciously began to attend biblical lectures and services of some Protestant churches, namely the Seventh Day Adventists and Baptists. During his stay in Germany, he also had the opportunity to become acquainted with the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He was in the novitiate at the Capuchin monastery in Uničov. However, the Capuchin brothers did not convince him of their journey, because they ate meat. Therefore, he recognized that he could not be a Capuchin, despite the fact that otherwise he would find sympathy for them. In 1986, a mysterious call of an unknown religion of old India penetrated his consciousness for the first time. His fate would later be connected with it, as described below. He once went to a Zen retreat of the South African Zen Master, Heila Downey. Still, he would not recommend the experience to anyone. Meeting a Zen Master brings along karmic shocks. Since meeting Heila Downey, he has never felt the need to seek out a Zen Master. What is the point of getting hit internally with a zen stick? Why get hurt by the energies of a Zen Master when solving koans? There is no guarantee at all that the “master” has in fact attained the highest state of consciousness, moksha. According to it, a truly enlightened Master teaches Love and does not attack the weaknesses of his disciples. He is tolerant. At the age of 18, partly due to unrequited love, he began to minister at the altar in the church of St. James in Brno and considered priesthood. However, he also paid attention to girls and longed for living in the woods, and therefore everything remained only a pious thought. Not a priest seminary. At that time, he began to study the Bible independently and found answers to his questions, which could not be answered by his father, mother, or other Christian relatives, who had probably never even read the Bible. For a long time, he could not imagine having a holy book other than the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, on his nightstand. At the age of fifteen, you would find him at the prehistoric hillfort by Bosonohy, carrying out his boy’s archaeological surveys, in which he found a pile of Neolithic ceramics, some spindles, a stone crusher, and a beautifully worked flint. At the age of 15, he went with his friend to his first independent hike to Moravian Karst and this area of limestone rocks and caves enchanted him for good. In 1982, he founded a tramp settlement called Doupě (Lair) here, in an almost unknown cave, and began a speleological survey as a cave explorer. Thus a passion for discovering caves and mysterious underground was born, to which he devoted his whole next life as a speleologist of the Czech Speleological Society. In the Moravian Karst, he discovered several smaller, but very interesting caves (Ponorný hrádek, Soví komín, Milarepova propast in Závrt u Habrůveckých smrků and especially the hermit’s cave Děravka). However, the most important discovery took place in the historical underground of the Church of the Name of the Virgin Mary in Křtiny. The crypt of the famous Christian ossuary was discovered here. The ossuary holds twelve mysteriously painted skulls, a unique discovery in the Czech Republic! He also discovered the tomb of the Premonstrate abbot Kryštof Jiří Matuška, the author of the ingenious Marian shrine in Křtiny. With difficulty he completed his grammar school studies and then began to study his beloved archaeology at the Masaryk University in Brno. However, he soon interrupted this university studies and never finished them. In 1992, he wrote and published the history of the famous Marian pilgrimage site in Křtiny, in Moravia, as an independent publication, probably the most important one of his literary and historical achievements, by which he inscribed himself in the history of the knowledge of the Moravian Karst. In addition, he wrote dozens of articles on speleological topics. In 1993-1995, following the American philosopher David Thoreau and his memorial book “Walden or Life in the Woods”, he lived as a hermit-speleologist in the Ponor logcabin on the Skalka plateau in the Moravian Karst. During the day he wandered through the woods looking for hidden sinkholes and caves and at night he meditated by the light of a candle or a carbide lamp over speleological articles and poems. He lived as a truck driver, delivering eggs around Brno and the surrounding settlements, and spent the money he earned on his two-year lone and independent life in the forests of Moravian Karst. It was then that he started to practice his first meditations according to Osho. According to this author, he walked with a teapot of lukewarm salt water into the woods, where he drank it all at once and then vomited... Osho promised that with this practice our laughter would be heard far and wide. He also worked as a charity caregiver taking care of sick and disabled fellow citizens at the Czech Charity and as a children’s teacher of environmental education at the Rýchory Centre of Environmental Education and Ethics in Horní Maršov in the Krkonoše mountains. In 1995, he became closer friends with the Moravian Indian Havran (Raven), who introduced him to the mystery of a warrior according to the Indian seer Don Juan in the books of Carlos Castaneda. Unfortunately, his teaching also took place using natural psychotropic plants. They smoked cannabis (marijuana) and ate psilocybes, this way reaching a changed state of consciousness close to the magical reality of the world. Today, however, he sincerely regrets this experience and considers it a mistake on the spiritual path. It should be noted that these experiments took place for the last time in 1995, i.e., before he approached yoga. Anyway, it was an uplifting time in which both of them lived with love and free mind in a log cabin and in a tepee in the woods in the midst of beautiful nature. Here, those who are really interested in the spiritual journey are strongly warned not to take this psychedelic path under any circumstances, not mess with their health and thus do not stray on the path to God. It would be best to immediately embark on a cleansing journey of yoga and seek out satsang of a real Master. After about a year of experience, therefore, he left this path himself, without giving any reason, and became an opponent to using any drugs on the spiritual path. In any case, then he gained a deep personal experience that the realization of God is not only possible, but also necessary. Still, this comforting and very happy period ended in a magical sobriety, thanks to which, based on his own mystical experience, he recognized that Love is the supreme Power that holds the Universe together. That God is Love. His heart was filled with the mystical inner fire of Love and immediately after he set out to seek his unknown Master. He embarked on the path of purification from every addiction - for example, according to the Bible, he fasted for 20 days! This painful internal transformation towards yoga was mediated by the books of Ram Dass, who, as a professor at Harvard University, also engaged in the research and use of psychedelic substances extending and changing consciousness, wrote a number of books on yoga, was suspected of schizophrenia and was therefore fired from the University, and eventually completely sobered up in the Himalayan mountains, after which he set out on the path of intense renunciation yoga meditations, such as Baba Ram Dass. Before embracing yoga, he continued to smoke tobacco extensively, especially an Indian sacred pipe called Black Elk, according to the book written by the Sioux holy man of the same name. Of course, he quit this custom as he started to eagerly repeat the name of God, his guru mantra. According to the book by Black Elk, he also learned the spiritual ceremony of the inipi sweat lodge and the crying for a vision associated with several days of fasting on the hill, hanblecheyapi. All of his life he had a marginal and platonic interest in martial arts. But something prevented him from excelling in this area. In childhood and youth, he actively practiced judo and karate at the pupil level. He also briefly practiced kung fu and qigong. Not long ago, he still had a dream of joining an aikido squad. In meditation, however, he recognized that in reality he was not a Kshatriya (a caste of warriors), but a Yogi. Still, Aikido is an art based on Love and is somewhat of special kind of yoga, as the enlightened Master Morihei Ueshiba said, and therefore it is still possible that he will still start with it later on. Here, we should mention sifu Pavel Kala, the master of kung fu from Brno, who led the hermit to the Master, for which he has undying merit. The satsangs at Pavel’s basement apartment in Židenice were simply overwhelming with a scent of mysticism. Pavel Kala transferred to us, his students, the mystical spiritual energy obtained through years of disciplined training, which fills, ignites and heals the heart (heart chakra); this is simply called Love. With this transfer of spiritual energy, he helped the hermit greatly. He and his Master indeed finally met under mystical circumstances at the Mahaprabhudip ashram in Střílky in 1996. I was a paradox, however, that he was not a Christian saint, as one would expect based on the hermit’s personal spiritual profile, but Hindu saint Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda. Yet, he immediately and without hesitation recognized his Teacher, Master, and soul friend. From him, in 1996, he received the initiation into the mantra, and in the autumn of the same year, he received spiritual initiation into the kriya and was given the spiritual name of Gyaneshwarpuri, “The One Who Has Learned”. This way, he connected his further faith with Swami Maheshwarananda. Swamiji became his great support, spiritual strength and authority. And 25 years of spiritual sadhana passed in an instant. He regularly participated in the Master’s yoga seminars in Střílky, most often as a mere voluntary karma yogi, washing dishes in the kitchen, assisting in cleaning up as well as cleaning toilets, taking out garbage, working in the garden or as a guard - guarding the ashram. Often, it was really a demanding seva. He even knew the love of a woman, even on the tantric basis. But when he was about to marry, he accepted the fate of solitude and adventure of the spiritual Path instead of the attractions of physical love and the worldly life of a farmer. He has never married and remained free for God. Subconsciously, after everything he saw with his parents, he did not trust the sacrament of marriage. For such an individual, only monk’s clothing is liberation. Thus, worldly pleasure was not for him, and therefore, with considerable difficulty, he finally became based in celibacy (brahmacharya). He longed for spiritual knowledge (atmagyan), the union of his soul (atman) with the Cosmic Soul (paramatman), or with the Divine Self, God. Thus, in 1997, he became a forest and mountain hermit, and from a strip of a brown cloth he made his first clothing in the style of a Franciscan robe with his own hands. He drew a lot of inspiration on his spiritual path from the gospels about Jesus Christ, or from the book of Nikos Kazantzakis “God’s Pauper: Saint Francis of Assisi”. Later, he read the works of the Himalayan Master of Yoga Sri Swami Shivananda, who was very clear to him. Of course, he could not leave out Paramhansa Yogananda and his popular “Autobiography of a Yogi”. He read Bhagavadgita several times, from various translators, then Upanishads, Ramayana, etc. At the age of 18, he read and became strongly interested in the book “New Foundations of Experimental Psychology” by the Christian psychotronist, parapsychologist and hypnologist Břetislav Kafka and was amazed that even nowadays someone could possess such powers of Christ. When he was a child, he liked books by Jaroslav Foglar and Ernest Thompson Seton. He read the whole Bible and often turned to it again and again for inspiration. He greatly appreciated and liked the stigmatized priest, Capuchin Padre Pio, as well as Francis of Assisi, whom he tried to imitate and pursue. Many times he visited Francis’s birthplace and the site of the sacred town of Assisi under the mountains of Monte Subasio with his hermitage Eremo Delle Carceri. Saint Francis then accompanied him on his way to the mountains. From the heart, he would have liked to wear a real Capuchin robe (the design of which he also liked) and become a true follower of the journey of St. Francis of Assisi, but the absence of a vegetarian diet among Christian monks warned him. As we know today, his destiny led him to a different path, he was to become a Hindu swami. He also liked the philosophy of non-violence of the founder of aikido Morihei Ueshiba, the Chinese hermit Hanshan, who in his “Cold Mountain Poems” confessed his love for being a hermit on the mountaintops, and he was also impressed by the biography of St. Anthony the Hermit by Athanasius, with his idea of ascetic life in the desert, or the book of an anonymous Pilgrim in Russian Orthodoxy, discussing Jesus’s intense, ardent prayer of the heart. He also read the four books The Imitation of Christ by Kempis, and with interest he also engaged in the books by the Czech mystic Eduard Tomáš. That is, the hermit reads mainly mystical authors and all these books have somehow enriched his inner life on his path to God. In 2000, he visited India for the first time. He travelled there completely alone, despite not speaking English well, following the legendary journey of the seekers of enlightenment, stretching from Istanbul, Turkey, through Iran and Pakistan, to its home in India. However, the Indian lowlands with civilization did not attract his attention and he immediately headed for the sacred mountains, the Himalayas. All by himself, he made a pilgrimage 300 km deep into the hinterland of the high mountains, up to Gomukh, the source of the Ganges, where he found himself only 20 km from the Tibetan border. Here, by the village of Lanka, near Gangotri, in a corrugated tin shed, he was received to the fire by a kind bhakti sadhu, who took care of the hermit from the Czech Republic like a mother. His mistake, however, was that he smoked marijuana excessively and did not let anyone to talk him out of it. He founded his first Himalayan hermitage on a high mountain with a spring of water over the city of Uttarkashi, halfway between Gangotri and Rishikesh. Here, however, he was confronted with the unpleasant winter weather. He could not resist the onset of snow and frost, protected only with canvas at the smoking fire of dazing oleander wood, and therefore he decided to descend to the very foothills of the Himalayas near the city of Rishikesh, the gate of all seekers of enlightenment, where butterflies were still flying in the air - in January. Here, above Lakshman Jhula, there is a limestone mountain range with a meditation cave in which authentic Himalayan yogis live their traditional life. The hermit learned about them from a clairvoyant swami, who unexpectedly approached him on the street of Rishikesh and enlightened him with an answer to an unspoken question about where to look for his meditation cave. Telepathy simply works. These yogis gave him permission to settle under a small rock overhang below their cave and wanted nothing more than 50 rupees as a dakshina. Under this rock, he practiced his yoga sadhana for about 5 months. In the meantime, he regularly descended to Rishikesh, where he got to know better the clairvoyant swami, leader of the Kriya ashram in Rishikesh. He offered him to live nearby his ashram for free. However, the hermit, knowing that he already had the Master, did not accept this opportunity of a lifetime. He has only beautiful and mystical memories of India and its people. He also settled in a cave in the Romanian Carpathians in the Chei mountain pass. Wrapped in blankets, without fire, in a twenty-degree below zero, when the frost was deadly, he performed his two-month sadhana (mainly mantra yoga) in the winter snowy landscape and then, based on a local citizen’s report, he was discovered by the Romanian police. He was deported by plane from Romania back to Prague. In his dreams, he also had the inner invitation of the elders, monks and hermits of the Holy Mount of Athos in Greece, for he was still looking for a place where he could live freely and meditate undisturbed. On Athos? So, he went there, but he did not reach the monks, because he did not want to disturb them in prayer and he did not have official permission. Still, it is said that there are hermits living there who can perform miracles, thanks to the constantly repeated prayer of the heart “Lord Jesus, Have Mercy On Me.” At that time, he found a job as a mountain road keeper at the company Veselý výlet, run by Pavel Klimeš and his brother Miloslav Klimeš from Horní Maršov in the Krkonoše, and stayed in a friendly environment in the highest Czech mountains performing hard stonework during the reconstruction of historical roads to the Sněžka mountain and other places of the local mountain nature for a total of five years (1997-2001). At the same time, with the consent of the Roman Catholic parish office, he lived as a hermit in a mountain chapel at the Stará Hora mountain above the village of Horní Maršov. These were some of the happiest moments of his spiritual journey. From spring to autumn he worked hard in the Krkonoše mountains and in winter he resorted to his meditation cave in the Slovak Paradise in Slovakia. This cave is located in a very inaccessible and hidden place in the valley of the Biely Potok stream near Klauzy. Between 1993-2002, he spent about 3.5 years altogether in his meditation cave in the Slovak Paradise. He trained in shorter meditation stays at first, but they grew into an 18-month long stay in the mountainside solitude. The hermit ceased to work secularly and decided to live purely on alms, following the example of other wandering monks - hermits. It was received in a bowl from the inhabitants of Spišská Nová Ves, town under the mountains. And it filled him with happiness and a sense of unprecedented personal freedom, as in the case of Ramana Maharshi of Mount Arunachala, spiritually free from the negativity he had been exposed to in his employment. By doing so, he became truly independent of anyone, a pilgrim with an unburdened heart. The people from Spišská Nová Ves liked the hermit who descended to them from the mountains in his brown monk’s robe. During his walk with a bowl in his hands around the town square, they supplied him with everything he needed, so he would always return to the mountains with a backpack full of vegetarian food. And for that, the hermit thanks them sincerely today. Supporting someone on a spiritual path is the best karma. And he realized this and devoted himself fully to his meditations and sacred yoga. He developed various inner forces, such as telepathy, the knowledge of other people’s thoughts, or the power to bless. The hermit’s underground shrine in the Slovak Paradise is actually composed of two meditation caves. One cave consists of a spacious, about 20 metres wide rock portal inhabited in the summer, and below it, on the slope, there is a small, but very sacred meditation cave on its own, it is so tiny that it is not even possible to stand upright in it. He would resort to this small meditation cave with an underground fireplace in the winter months to escape frost. The solitude here is complete and perfect, and it is astonishing that both of these caves have remained officially unknown. Once, however, some Slovak scouts followed his trails in the snow like wolves when he walked down to the spring in the valley for water and ran up the slope to the cave. They probably reported the location of the hermit’s secret cave to the Slovak Paradise National Park Administration in Spišská Nová Ves. And a visit from the conservationists did not take long. One day, right in the middle of a deep meditation, someone suddenly opened a metal hatch closing the entrance to the underground. Two uniformed conservationists with a badge stood outside, one of them was the director of the National Park Ing. Dušan Bevilaque. Immediately, they had a lot of questions, what was a Czech hermit doing there in a strictly protected nature reserve? At the time, the hermit was keeping one special rule of intense sadhana, the mauna (vow of silence), and he did not say a single word for three years. Therefore, he answered the curious questions of the protectors respectfully, but distantly, only writing his answers on paper. He was reproached for cutting down dry trees in the forest for his fire and for writing poems and various pious philosophical inscriptions on the rocks in black. This is what they disliked the most. However, the hermit was so infatuated with God that he did not realize that his Han Shan inscriptions on the rock would somehow damage the karst cave. On the contrary. He considered them a positive visualization of the mystical aura of this mountain cave. The conservationists, however, were not evil at all, they were just doing their job, and he eventually earned their respect. The report about the hermit in the Slovak Paradise, however, contrary to the mutual agreement, was passed to television news and daily press and the hermit suddenly became a media sensation in Slovakia, allegedly more popular than the Slovak president himself! Unfortunately, this disturbed his seclusion seriously. And the director of the National Park Dušan Bevilaqua also informed the hermit, via the journalists, that he would send the police to end his stay in the Slovak Paradise mountains! This did not happen, nevertheless. Then, under the influence of prolonged loneliness and insensitive disturbance during deep meditation, something happened in his subconscious and the hermit began to hear some inner voices. These were scary, bad voices. Overnight, the whole spiritual sadhana of his life was suddenly destroyed. He had a negative vision in the cave, which, in ignorance, he struck with the Divine Name of Devpuriji. The apparition vanished immediately. At the time, an inner Catholic friend was thinking negatively and jealously of the Hindu hermit, who gave himself to Swamiji instead of Jesus. And 24 hours later, during meditation, he heard these terrible voices. That was when he understood the hidden danger of his mountain seclusion. He suffered terrible pain all over his body, as if an invisible astral sword was penetrating it. He suffered hallucinations he had never experienced before. He prayed diligently for them to pass, but to no avail. Terrified to death, therefore, he left the mountains and, in the greatest despair, he naively sought help from the people. However, they only called an ambulance and after an unsuccessful medical examination he was taken to a psychiatric hospital. This was an infamous ending to his hermit life in the Slovak Paradise in 2002! Even the doctors did not know how to deal with his voices, considering them schizophrenia. Unfortunately, psychiatrists do not understand the true mystical background of such a disease, and therefore their diagnosis cannot be fully agreed with. He is not divided internally. That was the last time he was at the Roman Catholic Church for his holy confession. The present priest refused to give him absolution until he left his master Swami Maheshwarananda! Instead, the hermit left the narrow-minded Catholicism once and for all and became a Hindu yogi with his body and soul! He never considered himself a Christian anyway. Christian mystics were only dear and close to him, for example, the stigmatized mystic Therese Neumann, who has not been mentioned here yet. This completed his inner transformation towards Yoga in daily life. He spent the turn of 2007-2008 in India for the second time, invited by his Guru Maheshwarananda for vedic studies in his ashram Jadan in the state of Rajasthan. Swamiji’s invitation was for 5 years, but he stayed only for 5 months. All of the time he devoted himself to hard karma yoga as a stonemason; during his stay, he paved the entire meditation path around the Garden of Eden inside the ashram. As a peculiarity, it can be said that Swamiji had built a straw hermitage for him, which he needed for his solitude at the time, in a desert place in sight of the colossal Om ashram, which was an unprecedented and never heard of action in Jadan. In this way, he was officially introduced by the Master to the hermitage into the company of snakes in the desert of Rajasthan. He then returned to the Czech Republic due to a compulsory visa interruption in India. In India, he recharged his spiritual energy, recovered and returned to his hermitage in the Moravian Karst, full of spiritual strength. At the same time, he started to devote himself to speleology again. He lived as a street musician playing the flute at the Minorite temple and the church of St. Mary Magdalene. This way he remained independent of anyone. He was one of the longest performing street musicians in the city of Brno. His popularity is evidenced by the fact that he could make a living playing flute, just like Francis of Assisi, and his playing had a mystical effect on the fellow citizens passing by. However, his meditations were seriously disturbed by a badly obsessed Satanist, who considered himself to be the incarnation of Satan himself. He poisoned a sacred lime planted by the hermit in the Moravian Karst in honour of the name of Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda. Not only with this evil enemy act, but also in other ways he oppressed the hermit, tried to trample him in all sorts of ways and intimidated him with black magic. Of course, it was unsuccessful. God’s name protects the faithful. Unfortunately, such things also belong to being a hermit in the Moravian Karst. The hermit foretold to the Satanist that he would become a devout Christian and he did not forget to bless him in the name of Jesus Christ! This blessing had the biggest impact on him. Thus, the hermit was under a constant pressure, and therefore, under the self-suggestive influence of voices, he unknowingly committed several minor ill-considered acts. In the way of Devpuriji, he damaged the speleologists’ base, which he had built himself and then was expelled from by fellow speleologists, that is, he had a justified reason. He was imprisoned for four months for this and ended up in a psychiatric hospital in Brno - Černovice for the second time. At that time, all the evil forces in the Moravian Karst were filled with joy and bliss, that they forced the hermit back against the wall! Three long years passed, during which he stopped practicing his sadhana, only kept his faith and gained weight, yet, eventually he returned. Swamiji knows all of this well, and yet he has not condemned him in any way. By his faith, he gave him hope that he was healthy at heart. This is what helped him the most. He owes everything to Swami Maheshwarananda. Swamiji is therefore a very wise, tolerant teacher. I wish millions of seekers of Truth would turn to him. Since then, he can hear voices all the time, but they are more devic (angelic). However, he does not listen to them anyway and prefers to repeat his guru mantra with the almighty Divine Name of Devpuriji. Such a mantra frees from the attachment to powers of unknown subconscious. All mantras have a profound beneficial effect. See the book “Japa Yoga. A Comprehensive Treatise On Mantra Sastra” by Sri Swami Shivananda. Read it. Free again, he returned to the mountains, to the woods, to the hermitages. After his release, he moved in with his mother, who cooks vegetarian food for him, and in return, he helps her with some housework. He considers the service for his old mother to be his karma yoga. At the same time, he regularly practices yoga, repeats the mantra and spends time in the nature and in his hermitages and meditation caves in the Moravian Karst, but also Turzovka, Assisi, Hradisko of st. Kliment, or Oslavek. He likes to drink green tea Che Xanh and also likes to burn Nag Champa incense sticks. He loves seclusion, solitude, silence, and repetition and singing of mantras, in the wild or just at night in the silence of his room as he sits in front of his home altar. He is, of course, a vegetarian, he likes to write about his knowledge on the website, which he considers to be his main service to the public, something he can do as a hermit for others. He forgives his enemies he has among the ignorant cave explorers in the Moravian Karst, who do not like him, because of his free minded walking around their areas of interest, but does not seek their company. He pursues tapas (asceticism) with a view of a certain spiritual goal (sankalpa). He has always followed the conscience, the voice of his heart, and the spiritual cognition received in meditation. This led him over all the obstacles and pitfalls of life up to the sannyasa diksha, ordination as a monk. He likes to listen to the Silence behind thoughts, the gate, the stream and source of his intuition. The Voice of Silence is the highest voice, as Swami Rama writes in his book “Living with the Himalayan Masters”. He considers himself a follower of the Indian Master of Yoga Sri Devpuriji, about whom one can say so much that by the power of his will he tore down his stone ashram, expelled the bhaktas, his disciples, from there and sent snakes against them. People whispered to each other that the saint had gone mad. Since then, he would only speak to those who had a real interest in Knowledge. In this ungodly kaliyuga, therefore, he preferred the company of animals to the company of humans. And that was what happened in sacred India a hundred years ago. What would he do today? Therefore, just like Him, he gladly serves God in secret in order to deepen the Knowledge. He follows the footsteps of this inner friend and the Master and his spiritual heir Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda. He is a hermit, a yogi, a wandering monk, a wanderer, a pilgrim, a mystic and a forester. He is also an occasional poet, for example, he wrote haiku in the past. He has published his poems and spiritual stories for the sangha of his friends - fighters on the Path - on his own with the help of his friend Dayalpuri. He likes to photograph caves, sacred places in the landscape and human faces. For 25 years, he has been a devoted student of Swami Maheswarananda, who guides him on the spiritual Path of Yoga.
Autobiography of a spiritual journey of a swami and his search for God.
The presence of the mystic. Monk ordination.
In spring 2020, I wrote an official request for an ordination as a monk (swami) for Vishwagura Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwarananda. At first, however, I did not dare to present my request to the Master, knowing that I had to be more disciplined. Yet, in my consciousness, I heard the voice “You are Swami Gyaneshwarpuri.” That is why I started with tapas - fasting for several day to reach a specific spiritual goal. This goal was to be initiated as a monk as well as reaching greater understanding between Christians and us, yogis. I focused mainly on repeating the mantra, asanas, pranayama, and kriya. This extended sadhana was a success. I gained the necessary self-confidence and decided to present my request to the Master. On 13 July, 2021, at Mahaprabhudip ashram in Střílky, I sent my request for an initiation as a Hindu monk to the Master by the ashram mail. In a few minutes, Swamiji replied that he would like to give me a sannyasa diksha, but that it was necessary to hurry with it. And my heart was filled with gratitude, as if a beggar suddenly finds a treasure. That is why I went to Swamiji for a consultation, and he asked about the real reason why I wanted to be a swami. I answered him resolutely that I wanted to live as a hermit in the Czech Republic and at the same time to be an ordained monk! Then, Swamiji asked where my hermitage would be and what religion it would be dedicated to. I replied that in the Moravian Karst and that it would be consecrated to nothing else but yoga and Hinduism. Swami Maheshwarananda acknowledged that I wanted to be a hermit. The Master was probably pleased with my answers. He had a few more practical questions, such as where I would be getting money for my living. To these words he surprisingly determined that he would initiate me already during this Guru Purnima here, in the Střílky ashram, in just three days, on 23 July, 2021! It means that I did not have to go all the way to faraway India for a sannyasa diksha, as I was afraid of this journey. A record ten days passed between the application and the ordination! However, I had to complete numerous formalities with a notary, such as my affidavit with the stamp that I wanted to voluntarily become a clergyman of the Hindu religion, or a certified consent to ordination as a monk signed by my mother. Then, the solemn initiation followed, watched by many bhaktas, also on the Internet, as the ceremony was transmitted live. It was the first time in the Czech Republic (and in Europe) that a Hindu monk, a swami, was initiated here. Swamiji connected by phone with Pandits in India, who, in parallel with my ordination, performed a ceremony for me, accompanied by loud singing of mantras, which was transmitted by phone. During the sannyasa diksha, I bowed to the Master’s lotus feet, poured water on them from the pot and washed them. Then I sprinkled petals on Swamiji’s feet and head, and made a tilaka and Shiva’s sacred stripes on his forehead from the ashes of a Vedic fireplace. Then, Swamiji was blessing me for a long time, sprinkling white grains of rice on my head. He was drawing my future destiny. He told me that everything would come true. Then he cut a strand of my hair off the Bindu Chakra on the top of my head. “Now you are a swami,” said the Master, and my heart was filled with deep gratitude to the Master, to God, and to fate for this spiritual experience of the dream ordination as a Sannyasin. I was not touched by anything during the ordination itself, but I still perceived everything well in my heart, the whole ancient beautiful Vedic ceremony at the sacred fireplace. I have been granted the noble spiritual title of a swami and the right to wear the monk’s orange robe. Swamiji disregarded the unfavourable medical diagnosis and in free will he initiated me as his monk in my 53 years of age. He made me a master of myself. He just told me to keep taking my medications, and the first job he gave me was to take care of my old mother. During the ceremony, my attachment to my father and mother ended with the Master’s words. Based on Swamiji’s wishes, I should learn English and Hindi. With the sacred act of sannyasa diksha, the Master gave me human dignity and many of his bhaktas came to congratulate me, bring me dakshina and various gifts. From that moment on, I remain in a constant Santosha - contentment and I am permanently committed to God’s will and care. Swamiji has declared that I am satisfied as it is, that is, as a hermit in the Czech Republic. I would also like to live in India, of course. The rest of the world is not of interest to me. To this, let me say that I believe in the forces of Love and Knowledge (Bhakti and Gyan). In this way, the good karma of many thousands of days and nights spent in the forests meditating on mantra japa and sadhanas in abandoned caves and mountain hermitages has been fulfilled. Still, I should not only meditate, but also work hard (karma yoga). That is why I have become involved, as a karma yogi, in the maintenance and enhancement of the Mahaprabhudip ashram in Střílky. So, yoga has beneficial cleansing effects on me overall and leads me to happiness and self-discipline. Currently, I plan to restore my old hermitage in the Moravian Karst, at Děravka, which the foresters had previously dismantled and burned. In doing so, I hold the hope in my heart that my new hermitage will be duly approved by conservationists and foresters so that, as a hermit of the Moravian Karst, I will have my favourite protected place for solitary prayer of the heart, mantra, meditation, and yoga.
NAHAM KARTA PRABHU DIP KARTA
MAHA PRABHU DIP KARTA HI KE VALAM
OM SHANTIH SHANTIH SHANTIH
Translated into English for Swamiji, at his feet.
Mahaprabhudip ashram in Střílky
Written by swami Gyaneshwarpuri