Homage to Swami Purnanand Ji – 8 June 1926 – 22 July 2016

Swami Purnanand Ji Mauritius

Brief Life History

June 8th. Born in village Khirasa, Taluk Lalpur, District Jamnagar, Gujarat.

He along with family members shifted to Kenya to join his father who worked as a Gujarati teacher in Thika 40 kms away from Nairobi.

Whilst travelling in sail-driven boat from Jamnagar to Mombassa, Purnanand ji accidentally fell in the Sea but was providentially saved by the boatman. It was in those fleeting moments, struggling for life from the clutches of death, the grihastha vowed to relinquish his family and offer his life in service of the Almighty, spiritual upliftment and spread of bhakti and devotion among the masses.

Got married in Bharat.

1950 – 1958
Pursued family business in textiles and also served as a pujari in Thika Mandir.

1959 – 1962
Travelled widely in mainland African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia to perform Bhagwat Kathas in Gujarati.

20th October. Arrived in Mauritius from Nairobi on the invitation of Hindu Maha Sabha to perform Bhagwat Katha, bhajan. kirtan and satsang.

But he was at a great loss not able to speak a word of Hindi or Bhojpuri.

12 to 21 December. He observed Kaastha Maun at Ganga Talao and performed 1.25 lakh Gayatri Mantra jaap.

Miraculously, at the end of this penance, he could speak Hindi fluently.

January12 – 20. Performed the first Bhagwat Katha in Vishnu Kshetra Mandir, Post Louis which was attended by 8000 devotees.

Founded the Sanatan Sarvodaya Sabha with 100 devotees and offered initial seed capital Rs 5001/-, the entire money received in the first Bhagwat Katha. The money was handed over to Dr. SSR who later bacame the First PM of Mauritius. Bank account was opened in Bank of Baroda.

Purchased for Rs 8000/- a plot of land at Shivala Road, Triolet for construction of Sanatan Sarvodaya Ashram.

Foundation stone for Ashram laid by PM Dr. SSR.

Established Shantiniketan Veedoushi Sabha for ladies at Le Hochet near Port Louis.

1 – 30 June. Amrit Mahotsav organised at 10 places by a National Committee for completion of 75 years and 40 years in Spiritual Service of Mauritius. Stone – laying ceremony of Bharat Mata Mandir at Vacoas by Mahamandaleshwar Vishweshwaranand ji.

6 – 16 June. Felicitation by National Committee Golden Jubilee of Spiritual Service to Mauritius. Ram Katha by Acharya Atul Krishna Bharadwaj and team from Bharat.

July 22. Left for heavenly Abode.

The Indian community in Mauritius, indentured labourers, rose up against the colonial British Empire and ultimately achieved independence from the tyrannical regime in 1968.

Over the years, many torch bearers from Bharat have gone there to spread the message of Vedic Dharma amongst the Indian population. They stayed for variable lengths of time, and set up or helped to set up associations or formal institutions to carry on their work.

Many Hindu sects and missions have established themselves in Mauritius. Ramakrishna Mission, Chinmaya Mission, Divine Life Society are a few of them which were set up by the visit of religious preachers or Swamis. They are all actively contributing in strengthening and promoting our culture and religion here.

Unique contribution to Mauritius
But the work and mission of Swami Purnanand ji is unique. He created an indigenous mission in Mauritius. He arrived in Mauritius in the pre-independence period in 1962 from Kenya. He had a clear vision about the mission ahead.

He adopted the till then unpopular katha and bhajans to arouse the Hindu society. As expected, the bhajans and kathas soon mesmerized the Hindu community in Mauritius. In fact, it is common knowledge that bhajan and kjrtan singing groups have increased and are present in all localities, and are very active. Swami ji has performed hundreds of such kathas in so many remote villages apart from the bigger ones and towns in Mauritius

He established the Sarvodaya Ashram to begin with. Instead of going back to Kenya in 1968, from where he arrived, he decided to personally continue the work in his own style of bhajan singing. This was no doubt the most appropriate method at a given period in our social and religious evolution.

His several ashrams in Mauritius have guest-houses where numerous religious and socio-cultural workers have stayed from periods ranging from days to years.

He was a well-wisher and strong supporter of Sangh. Veteren Sangh Pracharaks Lakshmanroa Bhide, Madhavroa Banhatti, Dr. Yashwant ji Pathak, Dr. Shankarrao Tatwawadi and several others have stayed at Sarvodaya Ashram, Triolet over the last 4 decades.

In recognition of the service of Swamiji the Mauritian government granted him Mauritian nationality.

Swamiji was born in Bharat, grew up in Kenya, acquired British citizenship but worked all his life for the well being of the Hindu community in Mauritius. Mauritian Hindus are honoured that he belonged to them.

Swami ji served Mauritius for fifty four long years. Swami Purnanand ji was just not an individual He was an institution.

He is among the foremost religious preachers who have left an indelible imprint in the life of thousands of Hindus in Mauritius. He was a living legend.

He has traveled to the nook and corner of the island to spread the great values and virtues of Hinduism.

He toiled tirelessly and selflessly for the last fifty four years to make the Hindu society here firmly rooted in their culture and tradition.

This is work that has to be sustained and supported by all who want to leave a legacy of true culture to our children. ‘They are battered on all sides by superficial values which are presented in a very attractive, commercialised form whether in matters of dress, food habits, behaviour amongst themselves and with respect to their families and others.

In such an environment, the efforts of elders and dedicated messengers such as Swami Purnanand ji must be multiplied at all levels of society so as to give the present and coming generations a sense of direction for their survival with heads held high in this jungle that we call modern civilization.

To mark his 75th birth anniversary and completion of 40 years of yeomen service to the Hindu community of Mauritius, a Dharma Jagaran Abhiyan was held at more than 10 places. Stone – laying ceremony of Bharat Mata Mandir at Vacoas was done at the hands of by Mahamandaleshwar Vishweshwaranand ji.
Golden Jubilee of spiritual service celebrated in 2012th

A National Committee was formed to mark his 86 birth anniversary and completion of 50 years of yeomen service to the Hindu community of Mauritius. A 10-day Ram Katha was performed by Pujya Sant Atul Krishna Bharadwaj ji of Brindavan, Mathura, Bharat.

He left for Heavenly Abode in the early hours of 22 July 2016 at Triolet Ashram.

Humble prostrations to this karma yogi.

May his Soul Rest in Peace.

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