Shantanand was born on July 16, 1913 (Vikrami 1970 Ashadha 13) in the village of Achhati, district of Basti in a Brahmin family. He was the third son of Pandit Lal Bihari Tiwari Tripathi. When young Shantanand was known as "Ram Ji". Ram Ji is said to be the son of Shankaracharya's sister, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati.

At 20 years old he went to Geeta Press, Gorakhpur where he worked from 1933 to 1939 as a book binder keeping his wife and child. Then he began to feel a dispassionate about the life he was carrying so he went to the ashram of Shri Swami Purnanand Tirth Ji Maharaj (Shri Udhiya Baba Ji Maharaj) in Vrindaban where he studied for 14 years. Shri Udhiya Baba was a disciple and initiated as a renunciate (Sannyasin) by His Holiness Swami Shri Brahmanand Saraswati the Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath.

                                                                  In 1951, Shantanand became a direct disciple of Shankaracharya Swami Brahmanand Saraswati beginning as a quitter and following his teachings. After the death of Swami Brahmanand Saraswati, Swami Shantanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj was named the Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath on June 12, 1953 in Brahma Niwas, Sigra, Varanasi.

He kept directing the monastery of Jyotirmath following the teachings of Shri ShankaraCharya for 28 years and voluntarily ceded the lineage to his brother-Guru dandy Swami Vishnudevanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj who was also a resigner (Sannyasin) initiated By His Holiness Swami Shri Brahmanand Saraswati. Swami Vishnudevanand Saraswati was named the 28th of February 1980.

His Holiness Swami Shantanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj after having renounced the position of ShankaraCharya remained teaching the principles and practice of non-dualistic philosophy, based on the direct experience of the Union that underlies the creation, in his ashram of Alopi Bagh in Allahabad, Utttar Pradesh India, and in some countries of the west to which he traveled.

The Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath Swami Shantanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj, entered MahaSamadhi in Allahabad on Friday night December 5 on the night of Dec at his Alopi Bagh Ashram at 90 years of age. The ' Jalsamadhi (water burial) ' of the Shankaracharya was carried out on Sunday in Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati. The body remained in the Ashram to allow the public to pay their respects. Teachers, Saints, leaders of India and disciples of the Shankaracharya participated in the last rite to His Holiness Swami Shantanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj.

Bibliography

 

‘Good Company’ – His Holiness Shantanand Saraswati, Element, 1992
An Anthology of sayings, stories and answers to questions

 

‘The Man Who Wanted to Meet God: Myths and Stories That Explain The Inexplicable’ – His Holiness Shantanand Saraswati, Element, 1996

 

‘The Orange Book: A Method of Self Realisation' – Study Society, 1981
Question and answers with HH Shantanand Saraswati in early 1970′s

 

‘Birth and Death’ – The Study Society, 1993
A compilation of the sayings of His Holiness Shantanand Saraswati

 

‘Prayer’ – The Study Society, 2001
A compilation of the sayings of His Holiness Shantanand Saraswati on prayer

 

‘Who Am I? What is my Soul?’ – Study Society, 2005
Questions and answers taken from talks by His Holiness Shantanand Saraswati

 

‘Hamaare Gurudeva’ – Dandi Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati,1983. Hindi biography of Swami Shantanand Saraswati

 

‘Darshan’ - Frank Papentin
Photobook which contains some shots of Swami Shantanand at Rishikesh in 1961