The Shrivastavas family tradition is directly linked to Guru Dev and succession until today
Shri Umesh Shrivastava was the highest member of our Board of Directors until his passing away in Dec 2021 and will be remembered always for his guidance. We are fortunate today to have his entire family carrying on as their duty. Sanjay Shrivastava as the eldest of three sons of Shri Umeshji continues this steadfast devotion to Guru Dev and continues to support our work from his position as a very honourable member of the Board. The entire collection of original materials, including Guru Dev’s words and His artifacts, is being preserved in his safekeeping.
Shri Jugal Kishore Shrivastava (1902-1970)
Jugal was born in 1902 in the village of Khurai in the Sagar District of Madhyapradesh, India. He was the eldest of four brothers and two sisters.
Throughout his life, Jugal had a deep interest in religion, philosophy and the quest for spiritual enlightenment. In 1916, at the age of fourteen years, he was initiated by a Mahatma at Khurai, who unfortunately died two years later.
In 1925 Shri Jugal Kishore Shrivastava married to Shrimati Kalavati Deviji. She was courteous and devoted lady to her husband and also possessed a very cooperative nature.
As the old scriptures and Vedas say that these disciples sometimes get another chance due to the grace of the Guru.
Finally, in 1942, when Jugal was 40 years of age, he saw Guru Dev riding on an elephant in a religious procession in Jabalpur and knew instantly that he had found the teacher he had sought for so long. Soon thereafter he, along with his wife, took spiritual initiation from Guru Dev. Shrimati Kalavati Deviji Shrivastava asked Guru Dev: “I am very busy in household affairs, so when should I sit for meditation and follow your instructions?” Guru Dev blissfully smiled and answered that she go on chanting Gurumantra in the mind and whenever there’s time, to read the Ramayana.”
Guru Dev would often return to Japalpur, sometimes staying for the entirety of the rainy season at a camp established at Baldev Bag. This allowed Jugal to have regular contact with him. Jugal loved to visit Baldev Bag for the darshan (sight) of Guru Dev and to listen to Guru Dev’s discourses. Gurudeva said to read the Ramayana daily. Jugal loved to read the epic Ramayana and did so daily, eventually memorizing the entire text.
After Guru Dev’s passing, Jugal formed a close friendship with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who would frequently seek Jugal’s assistance on various projects. By the end of his life, Jugal found that deep happiness only comes from spiritual awakening and passed away seated comfortably with his mind absorbed in his beloved Lord Rama.
Shri Umesh Kumar Shrivastava (1940-2021)
As a boy, his dear father Jugal took Umeshji to receive Guru Dev’s blessings, instilling a deep reverence for Guru Dev. Shri Umesh Shrivastavaji was personally initiated by Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Brahmanand Saraswatiji of Joshi Math Himalayas.
This instilled a life-long devotion to spiritual knowledge. Umeshji opened up the treasury of Guru Dev’s teaching, including establishing the Shankaracharya Brahmananda Saraswati Seva Sansthan. Among their many achievements is the publication of “Vedanta Incarnate: My Master” written in Hindi by Brahmaleen Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, with translation by Brahmaleen Jugal Kishore Shrivastava.
Shri Umeshji was a great source of inspiration and spiritual guidance. With his daily practice of meditation and the study of scriptures, he was the perfect role model of a true disciple of Guru Dev. Having accomplished all goals of life and living in pure bliss, he radiated contentment and sweetness wherever he went. Through the goodness of his heart he has bestowed a treasury of spiritual knowledge on the world.
It was this connection with Guru Dev that brought the Trust and the Shrivastavas together. For many years the family has collected and preserved a unique treasury of Guru Dev’s teaching. These materials include the Hindi transcripts of many unpublished discourses of Guru Dev. They also include Jugal’s Reminiscences of his personal experiences with Guru Dev, which provide wonderful glimpses into the kind and compassionate way that Guru Dev interacted with his followers.
Shri Umesh Shrivastava was a fellow board member of the Guru Dev Legacy Trust. He inspired us and guided us with unbounded kindness and love. He dedicated his entire life for the welfare of mankind and continued to spread the teachings of Guru Dev around the world.
When Umeshji learned that we had accepted his invitation to visit and travel to India in 2019, he wrote “I strongly believe that there exists an eternal bond between us that has resulted in this memorable confluence of the West and the East.” We feel this eternal bond and are strengthened and enlivened by it.
We were deeply moved by the unexpected passing away of Shri Umeshji in December 4th, 2021. His loss is immeasurable, and we feel only love and deep respect for his wife Shrimati Kiran Shrivastava and the whole family. May we fulfil Umeshji’s wish that the divine wisdom of Guru Dev reach people everywhere, bringing unbounded happiness and fulfilment to all mankind.