There are very few people in the world whose very being is dedicated to spreading faith. They are the enlightened ones, whose very presence fills our lives with meaning. Bhaishri Rameshbhai Oza is one of them.
Born on 31st August 1957 in Devka, in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat, into a Brahmin family, Bhaishri showed an inclination towards spirituality from an early age. While other children played, Bhaishri spent his time deeply immersed in religious activities. At the age of 13, he held his first discourse on the Shrimad Bhagavad-Gita, and at age 18 he recited his first Bhagavat Purana katha. His faith and beliefs only grew with age.
From such humble beginnings, Bhaishri has gone on to capture the hearts and minds of millions across the world guiding people through life’s trials and enriching their lives with spirituality.
Beginning of Kathas
The Shrimad Bhagavat Purana narrates in depth the 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. In doing so, it comments on various topics social, political and economic. Written by Sage Veda Vyasa, the Bhagavat also comments on day-to-day issues, making it an important guide for the conduct of human beings in all their affairs.
Bhaishri was drawn to the powerful message and pull of this sacred scripture. It dawned on Bhaishri that Bhagavat katha was one true medium that instills faithful devotion towards God among the general public. From that day on, the Bhagavat became a way of life for Bhaishri.
Bhaishri also developed keen interest in Tulasidasaji’s Ramacharitamanasa. He realized the importance of the Ramayana in infusing goodness in people. The Ramayana teaches the way of an ideal social life and the principles of co-existence in society, country and the world.
Bhaishri has deep admiration and love for Lord Krishna and was therefore naturally drawn to the teachings and learnings of the Bhagavad-Gita. A universal scripture, the Gita comprises the essence of all knowledge and wisdom explicated in the Upanishads. The Gita expounds truth and destroys all illusions. Its principles are applicable to everyone and guide one through life’s trials and tribulations.
Relevance of the Scriptures
Bhaishri believes that the combined power of the Bhagavat, the Ramayana and the Bhagavad Gita can sustain a man through the journey of life. While the Bhagavat is devotional, the Ramayana stresses responsibility in conduct and behaviour and the Gita advocates total spiritual knowledge. Hence, one imbibes knowledge from the Gita, the art of living from the Ramayana and devotion from the Bhagavat. Bhaishri thus continues to spread the messages of these great scriptures, adapting them to show their relevance even today.
Teachings of the Kathas
The medium of ‘katha’ is as old as the scriptures themselves. Literally meaning ‘story’, it is a popular way of explaining the Sanskrit verses into popular languages. While ‘kathakars’, recitors of the kathas, translate the verses into Hindi, Gujarati and English, they also add a relevant mix of stories, examples, humour and devotional bhajans.
Bhaishri and the people
Bhaishri’s kathas and discourses have helped and inspired many to lead their lives correctly. People have shown their gratitude in different ways, and have opened their hearts to his various causes by contributing their time, effort and giving donations.
For thousands, Bhaishri is more than just a spiritual leader. His teachings are a way of life for them. He is a source of inspiration. Today, Bhaishri continues to enrich the lives of people the world-over, through his profound wisdom and ever flowing compassion.
One of the causes closest to Bhaishri’s heart is that of spreading knowledge of the Vedic scriptures and upholding the cultural heritage of India. This is the inspiration behind Sandipani Vidyaniketan.
Set up in February 1992 on 85 acres of land near Porbandar, Gujarat, Sandipani Vidyaniketan aims to rekindle humanity through education based on tradition and values for the benefit of society. The Vidyaniketan has today become one of the leading educational institutions in India in the field of Vedic education.
Bhaishri’s vision behind the Vidyaniketan is to produce proficient ‘Brahmins’ who are scholars of Sanskrit, have consummate knowledge of the Vedas and can conduct their lives with discipline and restraint.
The Vidyaniketan is run by ‘Shri Bharatiya Sanskruti Samvardhak Trust’. ‘Sanskruti Foundation’ in UK and USA, both founded by Bhaishri, also support the Vidyaniketan.
The Vidyaniketan runs a Rishikul, a system inspired by ancient Rishis and based on the close relationship between the guru and the students. The Rishikumars are taught the essential values of hard work, restraint and discipline in ‘Tapovan’ style.
The Sandipani Gurukul presents an excellent opportunity to parents from the national and international communities who want their children to have modern day education and grow in a spiritual environment.
Shri Hari Mandir
In February 2006, a majestic temple was officially opened on the grounds of Sandipani Vidyaniketan. Since its opening, tends of thousands of devotees have entered the gates of the temple to have darsana of ‘Shri Lakshmi Narayan’, ‘Shri Ram Darbar’, ‘Shri Radha Krishna’, ‘Shri Shiva Parivar’, ‘Shri Amba Maa’, ‘Shri Ganeshji’ and ‘Shri Hanumanji’.
Measuring 105 feet high with 66 pillars and a 40 feet high dome, the Shri Hari Mandir exudes spiritual serenity along with sheer aesthetic brilliance. An oasis of peace and harmony, the majestic temple stands in all its glory inviting all to come and do darsana.
“Come to gain knowledge, leave to serve Mankind”