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Shriram Sharma (20 September 1911 – 2 June 1990) was a social reformer, a prominent philosopher, a visionary of the New Golden Era, and founder of “All World Gayatri Pariwar”, which has its headquarters at Shantikunj, Haridwar, India. He is popularly known as Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya by the members of the Gayatri Pariwar.
He pioneered the revival of spirituality and creative integration of the modern and ancient sciences and religion, relevant in the challenging circumstances of the present times.
Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya was born on 20 September 1911 as the son of Pt. Roopkishore Sharma and Mata Dankunvari Devi in Anwalkhera Dist. Agra, India.
Right from his childhood, he showed the yearning and deep commitment for the welfare of common masses when he took a brave step of nursing an old “Dalit (outcaste) and untouchable woman, suffering from leprosy against the strong disapproval and displeasure of his family. She used to work in their household and was called Chapko. Child Shriram was curious about her prolonged absence, when she did not show up for a few days. So he set out in her search towards the outskirts of the village. Dalit (outcaste) and untouchables’ settlements were usually constructed on the outskirts of the villages. He found her in a terrible condition, screaming out in pain and agony, the screams suppressed due the lack of energy. Being devoid of food for many days,her condition was worse than that of animals stripped of all human dignity. Everybody in that village including her family members had completely ignored her and left her to her fate. This situation of the old lady had shaken child Shriram. He decided to do all that was possible to help this old woman. He immediately called the local physicians and vaidyas (traditional Ayurvedic physicians), procured the medicines, did the dressings of her leprosy wounds. He took out time daily to bathe her, to apply medicine, dress her wounds and feed her. This was particularly remarkable during those days when the untouchability [Chhua-chhut] was very much prevalent and fear of leprosy disease was at its peak in the society. This particular event in his early life was significant as it showed his concerns and unadulterated love and affection for the whole of humanity. It highlights his belief in the “Karma”, or the theory of Right-Action in life.
The Great freedom fighter and founder of Banaras Hindu University, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya solemnized his sacred thread ceremony (Yagyopaveet) and initiated him in Gayatri Mantra.
At the age of fifteen, his Spiritual Guru, a Himalayan Yogi, Sarveshwaranandji had appeared in his vision during the worship in the astral body. As per Sarveshwarandji’s instruction, Shriram performed twenty-four mahapurashcarañas (2.4 million recitation) of Gayatri Mantra each for twenty-four years. He visited Himalayas four times for higher spiritual attainments. At the same time he took active part in Indian freedom movement and was sent to jail thrice.
During 1984–1986, he carried out the unique spiritual experiment of sukshmikaraña, meaning sublimation of vital force and physical, mental and spiritual energies. He authored a special set of 40 books (termed Revolutionary Literature or Krantidharmi Sahitya) highlighting the future of the world and conveying the message of the dawn of the New Era of Truth during the 21st Century.
Acharyaji died on Gayatri Jayanti (2 June) 1990. In 1991 Government of India released a postage stamp in his honour inscribed Sri Ram Sharma Acharya.