During the 1907 Kumbha Mela at Allahabad, under the auspices of the then
Shankaracharya of Sringery Matha, the Jnaniguru of Nalinikanta Swami Satchidananda
Deva conferred the title of 'paramahansa' on him in the presence of leading sadhus
and renunciates. The uniqueness about Nigamananda's spiritual accomplishment was
that he had explored and perfected tantra, jnana, yoga and prema/bhav, all the four
original ways envisaged in Sanatana Dharma (ever new/eternal, and universal
spiritual method based on Vedic knowledge) for the attainment of the highest
Sadguru Swami Sri Sri Nigamananda Saraswati Deva wished every soul to rise to this
exulted state of consciousness. Hence, he entered into society to wake up a
spiritually inert people.
In the prevailing atmosphere of confusion in ideals and spirituality among his
countrymen, he wanted them to rediscover the merits of sanatana dharma. He wrote
five books - Bramhacharya Sadhana, Yogiguru, Tantrikguru, Jnaniguru and Premikaguru
- which are invaluable for any seeker on the path of spirituality. He edited and
published a path breaking and reformist periodical 'Arya Darpana' (one of the
earliest periodicals of India). It was widely received as a trend-setting journal on
religion and spirituality.
With a view to establishing universal brotherhood he set before himself three
objectives, namely, (i) propagation of 'sanatana dharma', (ii) dissemination of 'sat
siksha' (right type of education that enables development of integrated personality
conducive for spiritual development), and (iii) service to all living beings deeming
it as service rendered to the Supreme Being. In his opinion a person having attained
'self knowledge' is the right one to serve mankind in the right manner.
He enjoined upon His devotees - to walk together on the path of spirituality forming
Sanghas (spiritual associations), to lead Adarsha Grihastha Jeevan (life of an ideal
householder), and to have Bhava Binimaya (commune with each other for mutual
exchange of spiritual ideas and experiences), which would enable them to achieve the
above mentioned objectives and lead a fulfilled life.
He established the tradition of "Vakta Sammilani" (the annual congregation of
devotees and spiritually minded people, for the close interaction between the two
types of seekers - the household devotees and the renunciates. Till date, this
congregation has been proved to be a spiritually beneficial experience for all.
There was a harmonious blending of highest enlightenment (jnana) and universal love
(vakti) in the person of Swamy Nigamananda. Rightly so, his ideological as well as
methodological slogan was - " Shankarer Mata" (the Vedantic doctrine of the 8th
century spiritual reformist Sri Sri Adi Shankaracharya that Bramha - the Supreme
Soul and the individual soul is 'one' and the same, and it is the ultimate truth to
be realized by men), and "Gauranger Patha" (the path of devotion adopted by Sri
Chaitanya Deva, the fourteenth century avatara of devotion, as the royal road to the
spiritual destination i.e. God).
Thakura Sri Sri Nigamananda Deva left his corporal body and attained 'mahasamadhi'
(eternal union with the Supreme Soul) through yoga kriya (yogic techniques) on
November 29, 1935 in Kolkata. But, his holy presence is still felt and his
reassuring voice is still heard in the hour of need by those who have implicit faith
in him, for the 'sadguru' is 'immortal'. Rightly, his followers deified Him as their
revered and beloved 'thakura' and worshiped Him as their 'Guru' (the supreme
preceptor) and 'Ishta' (the personal God) at the same time.