Man today is beset by problems and worries. He is restless and is hankering for peace all the time. He is dazzled by the glitter of the material world and has lost his moorings and his sense of purpose. He is dogged by multiple sorrows, griefs and pains. Perhaps life stories of those great men who have struggled against such problems and overcome them can still inspire men and infuse in them the courage to break the shackles which chain them.
It was with this object in view that the Publications Division of the Government of India gave me the responsibility to write a brief biography of the Late Hanuman Prasad Poddar (Bhaiji), the mainstay of the Gita Press, Gorakhpur and editor of Kalyan, under the ‘Builders of Modern India’ series, for which I am sincerely grateful.
The material used in this book is entirely authentic. It consists of the various writings of Bhaiji and the large collection of the reminiscences of him gathered in Pawan Smaran, which has been edited by the Late Pandit Gopinath Kaviraj, a great scholar and devotee. The problem before me was that of selecting and including in the small sized biography material that was so vast and voluminous. I can say that I have not left any essential detail about Bhaiji in this book nor have I transgressed the limits laid down.
Every bit of my existence has been full of the limitless love and respect and kindness of Brahmarishi Radha Baba (Swami Chakradharji Maharaj) who is a great spiritual soul, and it is due to his blessings that this book could be taken up and completed. I shall pray to him to accept my Pranams but shall not express my gratitude to him. Saintly souls are kind to all living beings and he was kind to me too. He could not help it and it was this gesture that enable me to succeed in my effort although I feel I was not equal to the task.
I am grateful to Shri Parmeshwar Prasad Phogla and his family as also to Shri Vishnu Hari Dalmia for their co-operation and assistance.
The collaboration of my friend and a Sanskrit scholar, Dr. Mithilesh Kumar Misra, was very useful in preparing this book. I express my sincere thanks to him.
In the middle of Gita Press, Gorakhpur, on one side is situated that room in which Bhaiji used to sit day in and day out and sent out words of spirituality to the world from his constantly active pen, and at a short distance from this room is holy Samadhi of Bhaiji in which lie the remnants of his physical body. This gleam of creation and cremation, lying side by side, this living story of birth, sustenance and merger in the divinity of a saintly soul is most inspiring and revelatory. The book is in your hands. Your expectations and my faith have met and merged with each other. My numerous Pranams to Radha Baba. My repeated prostrations to the divine memories of the saintly soul of Bhaiji.
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