Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath (17 February 1892 – 6 December 1982) was a preeminent Indian Vaishnav Saint, 19th century Bhakti cult spiritual luminary and an unequaled humanitarian from the state of West Bengal, India. Addressed as Sri Sri Thakur Sitaramdas Omkarnath, where "Omkar" signifies the supreme cosmic enlightenment and attaining supreme consciousnes, he was heralded as the Divine Incarnate (Avatar) of Kali Yuga and espoused the doctrines of Sanatan Dharma and Vedic spiritual path to countless devotees from across the world, with central theme and paramount importance on the beneficence of Divine Chanting Naam of Hare Krishna Hare Ram - regarded as the omnipotent "Tarak Brahma Naam" the chant of soul deliverance in Kali Yuga and "Moksha" liberation from cycle of birth and death. As such, his disciples continue to worship him as an incarnation of the Lord himself and is verily regarded as an eternal source of spiritual enlightenment and soul succour to all seekers. because his life had been predicted in a manuscript of Achyutananda Dasa. Sitaramdas Omkarnath wrote more than 150 books to promote the essence of Indian scriptures, built more than 60 temples and ashrams all across India, and founded His spiritual organisation Akhil Bharat Jaiguru Sampradaya, established many groups, temples, mutts, both within and outside the Sampradaya— and was also the initiator of multiple magazines like Pather Alo, Devjan, JaiGuru, Arya Nari, Paramananda, and The Mother.
Sitaramdas Omkarnath was born in an uncle's house at Keota village in Hooghly district, West Bengal, on 6 Falgun 1892. His given name was Probodh Chandra Chattopadhyay, and his parents were Pranhari Chattopadhyay and Mallabati Devi. Pranhari was a pious Brahmin and worked as a village physician in Dumurdaha, Hooghly district. The kuladevata (family deity) was Brajanath (Krishna).
In 1896, his mother Malyavati Devi died. His father then married Giribala Devi, and himself died in 1912.
Omkarnath attended a village school but then determined that Dasarathidev Yogeswar of Digsui village should be his guru.:133Though he was admitted to the Bandel Church School for a quite of time to pursue Western Education, he left that school for is earnest interest in Indian Sankritised Education system. Thereafter he studied at Yogeswar's house, where he undertook daily chores as well as spiritual education. In 1918, Probodh was meditating at about midnight when he visualised the god Shiva along with the Durga, the Divine Mother.
Later, Omkarnath saw his previous birth on the day of Saraswati puja. Through this he came to believe that he was a famous worshipper of the goddess Kali in previous life.
Guru Dasarathidev had named him Sitaram, the name Omkarnath was a divine revelation which was later formally conferred by Swami Dhruvananda Giri. Thus, Probodh came to be known as Sitaramdas Omkarnath. He had heard the Hare Krishna MahaMantra as a Divine Sound during his austere meditation in a cave at Ramashram, Dumurdaha, Hooghly. Later, he heard a divine voice say "O Sage, dive in". Still Sitaram was not ready for giving spiritual initiation to masses, and he waited for direct command. At Puri, Orissa, Sitaram visualised Jagannath in a halo and Jagannath gave the instruction — "Go, Go, Go and give the Name".:134 Thereafter, Sitaram started spreading the Lord's name on a mass scale.:136
After getting what is believed to be the Divine instruction, Omkarnath began to preach Nam all across India. Temples were established and renovated, the poor were fed, clothes were distributed, help was given to the fathers of marriageable daughters, taking on the responsibility of lifetime maintenance of hundreds of poverty-stricken families, establishment of free schools for poor students, setting up 29 Akhanda Naam Kirtan centres across India, establishing temples and ashrams, and several other activities of the kind went on continuously. Though he was a follower of both Ramanuj and Ramanandi sect, he himself developed a unique philosophical school named "Avinava Pranab-vad"
Millions of men and women took spiritual initiation from Sitaram. His reputation spread and people gathered in large numbers wherever he resided. Sitaram was respected by contemporaries such as Anandamayi Ma, Mohanananda Brahmachari, Dalai Lama, Vilayat Inayat Khan, Swami Chidananda, Jain Muni Sushil Kumar and others. He was believed to be an incarnation of Lord Sri Ramachandra, and is one of the most spiritually powerful and sound people that ever existed in human history. He is also one of the purest people who have ever existed.
According to Omkarnath,
Nama meant Nama of God; Rama, Krishna, Shiva, Durga; but Nama had to be repeated constantly. Nama could reach the Sadhaka to Nada and Jyoti (Divine Sounds and Lights); ...and ultimately Name could bring Onkar, the Anahat sound one could hear inside. So what the Rishis of the old days could not gain even after hundred of years of Tapasya in jungles, Nama could achieve even when a person lived his normal life and did his every day work.
Sitaramdas Omkarnath's spiritual philosophy encompassed Bhakti, Jnana, Karma Yoga, Kriya Yoga and all segments of ancient Indian religion, with emphasis on Nam [Lord's Name]. Sitaramdas did not promote conversion, but guided all seekers on the path of their respective religion. He said- 'The paths may differ, but HE is not different.' By holding onto the Holy Name of Lord, and by performing the duties prescribed by religion of oneself, everybody can attain the Supreme Truth.
The teachings of Omkarnath derive from his personal experiences, revealed in the course of a lifelong and continual spiritual practice. His teachings were compiled by Kinkar Omananda (alias Madhav Swamiji), one of his closest monastic disciple.(c.Introduction¶.17)
Many of unexplained incidents associated with Omkarnath have been documented in books and newspapers by prominent personalities. Among these are:
Omkarnath died in the early hours of 6 December 1982. His body was placed at Sri Ramashram, Dumurdaha, so that people could pay their respects. He was cremated on a sandalwood pyre on 8 December.