Swami Vishnu Tirth Maharaj, also known as Munilal Swami, was born in Jazzar of the District of Rohtak in Haryana State. He always had a love for spiritualism. While still a young man, he had a divine experience that occurred while living in a hostel as a student. He was resting on his roof at night when he saw a huge circle of fire approaching. Ultimately this circle of fire entered into his person and disappeared. He thereafter experienced a sort of intoxication and trembling in the form of automatic movements and breath control.
After passing his matriculation, Munilal stayed with his uncle who was employed by the Railways at Nagpur, where he obtained his undergraduate degree. After graduation, he married and was employed as a teacher in Bilaspur in Madhya Pradesh. While teaching, he simultaneously obtained a postgraduate degree and passed the L.L.B. from Aligarh University. Thereafter he began practicing as a lawyer in Ghaziabad Tehsil of the District of Meerut.
The seeds of spiritualism were deeply rooted in him from the very beginning. At first, he was not clear about the meaning of his strange experience. He met a number of holy persons and practiced yoga. He devoted himself to deep study of Indian classics and scriptures. His life was very simple and truthful. Naturally the job as a legal practitioner did not suit him well.
There was a judge named Mehra in Ghaziabad. Shri Yogananda Maharaj was his Guru. Learning of this, Munilal wrote a letter to Shri Yoganandaji and very soon afterward received a favorable reply. His wife had expired already and his son and daughter were both married. He was thus free from the burden of his family. All these factors soon led him to decide to renounce the world in search of enlightenment. This decision took him on a path straight to Rishikesh.
Munilal met Shri Yoganandaji in the Swargashram at Rishikesh and received Shaktipat initiation from him. This was in the year 1933. Afterwards he traveled to many religious places around Badrinath and Kedarnath. In 1939, Munilal expressed a desire for initiation into the system of Sanyas, and Yoganandaji directed him to Swami Shankar Purushottan Tirth Maharaj in Benaras. Swami Shankar Pururushottam Tirtha initiated Munilal into the system of Sanyas in the Mohan Ashram of Haridwar near the bank of the holy river Ganges. His name became Swami Vishnu Tirth Maharaj after the initiation. As per the direction of Shri Yoganandaji, Swami Vishnu Tirth Maharaj proceeded toward Indore and finally settled in Dewas where he laid the foundation of Narayan Kuti Sanyas Ashram.
Swami Vishnu Tirth Maharaj initiated many spiritual aspirants into the system of Shaktipat and wrote a number of books including Sadhana Sanket, Shaktipat, Adhyatma Vikas, Atma Prabodh, Prana Tattva, Upanishadvani, Geetatatwamrit, Shiva Sutra Prabodhini, and a commentary on Saundrya Lahiri and Prityabhigyahridyam . He wrote one memorable book in English entitled Devatma Shakti This book is an indepth study of the Divine Power (Devatma Shakti) and the science of Shaktipat. This work is based on traditions recorded in ancient scriptures supplemented by direct experiences of divine revelation. This book is considered a classic in the field of Shaktipat and the awakening of internal consciousness.
Swami Vishnu Tirth Maharaj had a profound love for the Ganges River and he spent around two months a year near the river in Rishikesh. His disciples soon carried out the construction of a center in Rishikesh in 1965 which came to be known as Yoga Shri Pith. Swami Vishnu Tirth Maharaja occupies a prominent place in the galaxy of Shaktipat Gurus. He was highly educated and had a sharp and brilliant mind. He left his mortal body in 1969 dissolving into the Absolute.
Version 1.0, August 1995
Copyright Narayan Prakash and Kurt Keutzer, 1995
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