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Tracing the roots of Sahaj Marg: History
A system of practical training in spirituality, Sahaj Marg emerged in the late 1800s. Through meticulous research, Shri Ram Chandra, also known as Lalaji by his family and peers (masters of Sahaj Marg), rediscovered the long-lost art of transmission of spiritual energy. From the early years of his life, Lalaji followed the promptings of his own inner need for spirituality . He recognized the natural birthright of every individual to develop to the ultimate level of human perfection, and he saw the need for a simple and effective system of spiritual development that could be universally practiced by any person.
Having integrated the art of yogic transmission with the well-known raja yoga (yoga of the mind), Lalaji simplified and remodeled these ancient traditions to suit the needs of the modern day life. In so doing, the dispensed with unnecessary rituals and disciplines while maintaining spiritual essentials of a system that would lead to the desired goal: inner perfection, or God realization.
Through transmission of divine energy or pranahuti, Lalaji trained many aspirants during his lifetime. One of his devotees, coincidentally also named Ram Chandra, later succeeded him in carrying on the work of training and transmitting spiritual energy to several individuals. Babuji, as he was fondly called, further refined and developed the technique, and naming it Sahaj Marg - 'the simple or natural path.' According to Babuji, God is infinite, yet simple and therefore the way to reach Him must be as simple.
In 1945, Babuji founded Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM), a non-profit organization created for the purpose of bringing spiritual upliftment to people all over the world (SRCM Worldwide). Babuji registered the organization in India, naming it after his spiritual Master, Lalaji. He traveled extensively beyond the borders of India, extending the benefits of the Sahaj Marg system of spirituality to one and all. He was accompanied and supported on his journeys by a devoted follower named Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari, affectionately called Chariji. In his last years, Babuji appointed Chariji as his spiritual representative and successor to carry on his work as President of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission, a role Chariji assumed when his Master departed this world in 1983 and to which he devoted every moment of his life up until his mahasamadhi in 2014. Chariji's unceasing work and frequent tours abroad have fostered remarkable expansion of the Mission's activities, which now include the education of youth, scholarship programs, free health care clinics and an association with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations (UN DPI). His spiritual work always embraced all of humanity, addressing current needs as well as those anticipated in the future.
Chariji appointed Shri Kamlesh D. Patel as his successor in October 2011. Kamleshji came to the feet of Babuji in 1976. After the mahasamadhi of Babuji in 1983, Kamlesh ji continued as the devotee of Chariji. During the last twenty years, he has held a number of responsible roles within SRCM, and was announced as Chariji's successor in October 2011, and given the position of vice president of SRCM in August 2012. After the mahasamadhi of Chariji on 20th December 2014, Kamlesh ji is carrying the work as the spiritual representative and President of Shri Ram Chandra Mission.