Issue :   
December 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.         December 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:Dec' 2017


Sanayasi by choice

R.C. Ganjoo

Swami Maheshwaranandapuri with his sanyasi disciple

There was no looking back for Igor Mrkoci after leaving behind the worldly glittering comforts and choosing to live his life in a way of Sanayasi (saint), at 43. His destiny is not a matter of chance but a matter of choice. Who would know that one day Igor Mrkoci will be known as Swami Gyaneshwar , with the title of Mahamandaleshwar of Mahanirvani Akhara in 2013 and would educate other Sadhus and debate on philosophical and religious matters to reveal the inner meaning of scriptures . His destiny was shaped according to the combination of conditions pre-determined at birth, his own efforts, devotion and sincerity towards V i s h w a g u r u M a h a m a n d a l e s h w a r Paramhans Swami Maheshwaranandapuri ji.
Hailing from Zagreb, capital of Croatia, Igor, now known as Mahamandaleshwar Swami Gyaneshwar, was eager to meet Vishwaguru M a h a m a n d a l e s h w a r Paramhans Swami Maheshwaranandapuri ji when he heard about him from his bother. Eventually, he met Swami Maheshwaranandapuri ji at a public lecture and decided to attend the three-day seminar in Tuheljske Toplice in October 1989.
"I was impressed with simplicity and clarity of the whole lecture. It made me inquisitive to know more. I read many spiritual books, including the Bible, Koran, Tao Te Ching, and some treatise on yoga and Indian philosophies, but only after listening to the Swamiji's lectures, I began to understand the Indian civilisation and Hindu philosophy, for which I was desperately looking for", he

Sannyasa Diksha

told Power Politics. He wanted Sannyasa Diksha at the age of 14, but Swamiji kept him waiting for 22 years until he got himself fully prepared for it. In Kumbha Mela in 2007, he was eventually accepted in a Sanyasi order. To prepare himself for that path, in Ljubljana, Slovenia in February 1990, Swami ji gave him mantra with all instructions about the importance and seriousness of disciplined practice, warning signs and restrictions.
"In Mahamrityunjay mantra it is said: Urvarukamiva Bandhanat – the ripe fruit falls by itself from the vine. In the same way, when I started being with Swamiji everything else dropped off by itself." he stated.

Igor Mrkoci in his new avatar During his studies at the university, he was practising Yoga accordingly, following other restrictions of fasting and Hatha Yoga Kriyas. In 1997, he obtained M.Sc. degree in Physics and came to India for a month to visit ashrams. "At the last moment, Swamiji changed my programme and made a one month journey to six months.
After being in Om Ashram in Jadan, Pali, for most of the time I returned home. Four months later, I came back to India to serve at Sri Devpuriji Ashram, village Kailash in district Sikar". Afterward, Swamiji assigned him the task of direct service of his Gurudev, His Holiness Paramhans Swami Madhawanandaji Maharaj.
In 2000, he passed Yoga in Daily Life teacher examination in Jadan. "In 2001 I moved to Vishwaguru Deep Ashram in Jaipur and took over yoga classes, which have regularly been taught every day since 1990's. I never faced any problem in classes. I have felt "Vasudeva Kutumbakam whole world is family."

Let there be light within In reply to a question how could he renounce the world and live this kind of life, his answer was simple: "The whole process of change is so slow that one does not realise the change till it is already done. I just live and work, and do my best in all aspects."
Sharing his experience as a Sanyasi , he said, "I am not supposed to visit my parent's house. First 12 years of my Sanyasa, I had not visited my home. If I had done that, I would have broken this rule, and if I had not, my friends and relatives would have been offended as in Europe such rule did not exist.
Luckily, for me, Gurudev found a middle way. I visited my parents, but I stayed in the Sri Deep Ashram in Zagreb. Still, it was quite confusing and challenging for all of us due to the clash of cultures. During one and a half months, I visited many places and ashrams and then returned to India .During my stay in Ashram, I realised that I would like to stay in India for the rest of my life. So I applied for the citizenship and got it in 2012".
Swami Gyaneshwar Puri ji's desire to know more about the Indian culture and philosophy got a big boost when he started learning Sanskrit. "I started learning Sanskrit in 2010, and since then I did a two-year course. However, my actual Sanskrit studies started when Prof. Sheela Daga (course from Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan and a spoken Sanskrit course of Sanskrit Bhartiya, retired DU professor) started teaching me. I went through a Sahitya course of Mukta Svadyaya Peetha of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, and a two-year course of Veda Nipun of Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Vedvidyalaya, Ujjain." At present, he is pursuing Vyakarana in Mukta Svadyaya Peetha of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan.
For the last few years, he has also been working on a translation of the Ramcharita Manasa of Goswami Tulsidas.
"This task was given to me by Vishwaguruji, and I have translated it to the Croatian language. At the moment, I am doing final corrections using Manas Piyush of Gita Press as a reference", he said.
During his learning and translating Sanskrit, he had an opportunity to interact with Sanskrit scholars of repute, like Dr Kalanath Shastri, Dr Dayananda Bhargawa, Dr Narayan Shastri Kankar and many others.
"During one of the meetings with Prof. Kankar (87), I asked him if I could be of any help. Seeing my sincere interest in the Sanskrit language, he gave me his new book Sanskrit Sukshma Saptshati for translation in English. I have also translated his Hanuman Chalisa, a Sanskrit rendering of his own, and some of his other works."