By Swami Ramananda
His Holiness Avadhuta Sri Ramakrishnananda Babaji Maharaja, who is respectfully and lovingly called “Prabhuji” by his disciples, devotees, followers and friends, is a religious philosopher, a tantric master, a mystic, a yogi and a realized spiritual master in several of the main yogic paths, especially, hatha, raja, bhakti and jñana. Prabhuji is also an internationally recognized humanitarian leader, who brings together volunteers from different countries through his projects to society. Prabhuji was born in Santiago, Republic of Chile, on March 21st, 1958. At the age of eight, he had a mystical experience that impelled him to search for the Truth and set the course of his life.
Prabhuji dedicated most of his youth to the exploration, study and practice of different religions and spiritual paths. After years of study, he realized that his childhood experience was a mysterious initiation given by Existence itself; he knew that what he received was only the seed of this wisdom, which he had to continue revealing through spiritual practice and meditation.
His spiritual interest led him to travel to many countries in search of association with religious or spiritual personalities who could offer him some information and guidance about his early transcendental experience. He journeyed throughout his homeland for two years; during this period, he came into contact with the Mapuche culture, discovering the nobility of the huaso, people in the countryside and the goodness of the peasant. At the age of twenty-one, he expanded his horizons to other South American countries, going as far as Brazil. It was during this time that he came into contact with the Aymara culture and various shamans. Later on, he traveled to places and cultures so distant for him, such as Europe, the Middle East, India, Canada, and finally the United States, where he has settled until this day.
Throughout his thirty years of searching, he studied and practiced different spiritual paths. He learned Shamanism and Santeria from his paternal grandmother in his early childhood. Later on, he devoted himself to the Umbanda religion.
During his adolescence, he delved into Christianity (Catholicism, Seventh-day Adventism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Christian mysticism). During those years, he dedicated most of his time to studying and carefully exploring Christian theology. His biblical studies culminated in the official ordinance as pastor. His studies of the Old Testament aroused his curiosity for the Semitic roots of the Christian faith. This path led him to the Middle East where he learned Hebrew and Aramaic, the original languages of the Bible. In Israel, he had the opportunity to delve deep into the theoretical and practical aspects of Judaism for several years, as well as study the Bible, the Talmud, the Shulchan Aruch, Hassidism, and Kabbalah under the guidance of important rabbis. His insight into Judaism was expressed in three Hebrew books published in Israel: The Short and Long Path from Here to Here, Ayeka, or “Where are you?” and Hineni or “Here I am”.
In 1976, he took his first steps on the path of Hinduism in a Vaishnava Gaudiya temple in Puente Alto, Chile, under the guidance of H.H. Sripad Atulananda Acharya. In those years, Prabhuji learned to live as a strict Vaishnava under the rules and regulations stated by the Hari Bhakti Vilasa scripture. Later on, this code of conduct comprised an integral part of Prabhuji’s life.
During 1983, Prabhuji maintained a frequent exchange of correspondence with Mother Krishnabai, disciple of Swami Ramdas. Finally, the great master gave him her blessings through a letter. He studied and practiced kriya-yoga of Yogananda Paramahamsa, being initiated as a Kriyaban in 1988 within the "Self Realization Fellowship".
Furthermore, he dedicated long periods of his life to the study of Bhuddhism (Thera-vada, Mahayana, and Tantric), Taoism, Sikhism, tantra (Dakshinachara and Vamachara), Neotantra, Western philosophy, Sufism, yoga, (karma, bhakti, hatha, raja, kundalini, mantra, and jñana), Hinduism (Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism), among others.
His great interest for martial arts, especially for Karate Do, lead him to delve into Zen Buddhism according to the Soto and Rinzai traditions. In India, he learned meditation with the venerable Medhananda, a monk from Sri Lanka who follows Theravada Buddhism.
Prabhuji devoted several years of his life to the study of hatha yoga, and he was certified as an instructor, teacher and master in the discipline. His intense studies were accredited with various titles by renowned organizations, such as the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta, Yoga Research Foundation, Integral Yoga, Ananda Ashram, World Yoga University, Swami Sivananda Yogasana Research Center, Rishikesh Yoga Peeth, Ma Yoga Shakti International Mission, Prana Yoga Ashram, and Aham Brahmasmi Yoga Mandir.
His profound studies and twenty years of teaching turned him into an authority in the field of hatha yoga. During these two decades, he prepared a large number of hatha yoga instructors and teachers.
As a complementary field, he graduated in 1993 as a professional chiropractor from the prestigious Health Institute for the Back and Limbs of Dr. Sheinerman, Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Prabhuji has earned the recognition of respected Hindu spiritual authorities due to his wisdom and devotion. He has been awarded titles such as Yoga-shiromani, Krishna-bhakta and Yogacarya, personally from His Holiness Swami Vishnu Devananda; Yoga-ratna, granted by His Holiness Swami Jyotirmayananda Sarasvati; Bhaktivedanta and Bhakti-shastri, obtained directly from His Holiness Sri B.A. Paramadvaiti Swami Maharaja; and many other titles, such as Pracarya, Yoga-pravina, Veda-vidyalankara, etc.
His erudition in Hinduism and yoga is certified by diplomas and titles from prestigious organizations such as Jiva Institute for Vedic Studies in Vrindavan, Prana Yoga Ashram, Patanjala Yoga Kendra, Rishikesh Yoga Peeth, Vrindavan Institute of Vaishnava Culture and Studies, among others. In 2013, he was honored with the titles of "Yogi" and "Yoga Acharya", granted by the Institute of Yoga Sciences and Research of Indore, India, in recognition of his dedication and service in the field of yoga.
Within Sanatana Dharma, Prabhuji received personal guidance and instruction from great spiritual masters of their time such as H.H. Swami Vishnu Devananda, H.H. Swami Swaroopananda, H.H. Swami Mahadevananda, H.H. Tamala Krishna Goswami, H.H. Narahari das Babaji,H.H. Swami Swahananda, H.H. Swami Krishnananda, H.H. Krishna das Babaji, Sant Keshava das, H.H. Swami Viditatmananda, H.H. Swami Dayananda, H.H. Swami Satchidananda, H.H. Swami Narayana, His Holiness Krishna Das Babaji H.H. Swami Pratyagbodhananda, H.H. B.A. Paramadvaiti Maharaja, H.H. Sripad Bhakti Srirupa Radhanti Maharaj and others.He met spiritually advanced beings, thinkers, philosophers, pastors, rabbis, priests, monks, roshis, lamas, Kabbalists, yogis, tantrikas, gurus, devotees, mystics, shamans, guides, and masters of different traditions, lines, paths and religions. In India, Her Grace Mataji Reena Sharma, an incarnation of Mahadevi, or the Divine Mother of the Universe, initiated him in the millenarian wisdom of Tantra Shakta.
Pranati Mantra of Prabhuji
nityaṁ niṣkāma-yogī tattvasya vettā ’vadhūtaḥ
sānandāgre sthito yaḥ śrī rāmakṛṣṇābhidhānaḥ
nityaṁ tṛpto na kāmaiḥ saṁsāra-bandhair na yuktaḥ
brahmānanda-prapūrṇas tvāṁ taṁ guro ’haṁ namāmi
“I offer my reverences to you, Avadhuta Shri Ramakrishnananda! Always established in supreme ananda (bliss), you are named for and protected by Sri Rama and Sri Krishna. O Knower of the Truth, you are the ever-satisfied, desireless yogi. Free of all attachments to the material world, you are perpetually overflowing with the bliss of Brahman.”
tantre mantre ca vede yasyāsti pūrṇādhikāraḥ
bhūtātmānau vyatītya prāptaṁ padaṁ yena siddham
bhedān bhittvā hyaśeṣān svasmin sthito yo vareṇyaḥ
īśāvāsyaṁ hi yasmai viśvaṁ guruṁ taṁ namāmi
“O excellent master of all Tantras, mantras and Vedas, you have attained the state of perfection. Having abandoned all sense of partiality, you have transcended matter and spirit and become situated in your own Self. O most beloved and venerated, the one who perceives the Lord everywhere in this world, to you I offer my humble reverences.”