Pandit Brahm Sankar Misra known as Maharaj Saheb, the third Guru in the parent line of the succession was born on March 28, 1861, in a respectable Brahmin family of Varanasi.
He came of a family of "Intellectuals". His father was a professor of Sanskrit in the Queen's College, Varanasi, and he himself was the youngest of the four brothers who took the degree of M.A. of the Calcutta University.
He obtained this degree in February 1884. That a deep religious vein and a broad and independent outlook for spiritual advancement were not lacking in his family will be apparent from the fact that his father, although belonging to a strictly conservative and orthodox family of Brahmins who migrated from Jaunput to Varanasi, had, with bold courage and total absence of hesitancy, accepted the spiritual guidance of a prominent religious adept of a Mohammedan family in Patna, whose members were always respected and welcome guests of his father.
Shortly after the termination of his academic career in 1884, Maharaj Saheb commenced the study of law, but soon discovered that the profession was uncongenial to him, and definitely abandoned the study. For a short time, he took to the teaching line and worked as a teacher in the Bareilly College. About this time he came across, through a friend and co-student of his, a copy of Sar Bachan Radhasoami (Prose), whose author was Soamiji Maharaj, the August Founder of the sublime Radhasoami Faith, and which had been printed and published about the same time. The very first perusal of this book produced a phenomenal effect upon him, known little to others except to his close associates, although the ordinary trend of his life prior to this gave little indication of his extraordinary spiritual aptitude. The Truth at once dawned upon him and thenceforward nothing but a deep and fervent desire for coming in contact with his future Guru dominated his mind. This desire of his was soon fulfilled.
In November 1885, he met at Varanasi his future Guru, Rai Saligram Saheb Bahadur known as Huzur Maharaj, who had come there in the course of his official tour as Post Master General, North Western Provinces. The Stay of Huzur Maharaj at places of inspection was usually limited to two or three days, but on this occasion Huzur Maharaj developed opthalmia which, coupled with the extraordinary spiritual avidity of Maharaj Saheb, resulted in the stay of Huzur Maharaj being prolonged to ten days ; and during this period Maharaj Saheb was initiated by Huzur Maharaj. The phenomenal transformation of a once powerful athlete into a meek submissive attendant upon his Guru, and the love-charged recitations of the holy hymns in deep, sorrowful and plaintive tones of separation from the Beloved Once, and at times, in tones of engrossing blissful ecstasy where sights for 'spirituals' to see.
After meeting his Guru, a deep, cyclical change came over him which separated him altogether from the world and its surroundings and ties, making them total strangers to him except for brief outward intercourse ; and from the ruins of his previous relations with this world emerged the love for the Beloved One as the sole beacon of light for his guidance on his onward path.
After his initiation, Maharaj Saheb denied himself all luxuries and the company of his previous friends and associates in a perfectly natural manner devoid of all ostentation ; and his rainment and fare consisted of the simplest kind and his diet was very greatly reduced.
In 1886, he took up regular Government service and joined the Accountant General's office at Allahabad, as a clerk in one of the senior grades, on April 26 of that year. At this time it was not difficult for an M.A. to secure a higher appointment with better emoluments and prospects of advancement, but he particularly elected to take up his appointment on a comparatively small pay because of the facilities which this appointment afforded him for meeting his Guru at Agra or Allahabad. So ardent was his desire to be in the company of his Guru that he seldom missed any holidays to pass them at Agra where his Guru resided for the most part. Even Sundays were often availed of, for this purpose.
In February 1887, Huzur Maharaj decided to retire from service and came to Allahabad for making over the charge of his office to his successor. On this occasion he had to stay longer than usual at Allahabad which gave an opportunity to Maharaj Saheb to remain in attendance upon Huzur Maharaj for over ten days in succession. This gave a fresh impetus to Maharaj Saheb's desire to remain in company of Huzur Maharaj but he could not carry out his desire owing to service in an office located at Allahabad. Not long after, however, Maharaj Saheb contracted a very severe form of dysentery which necessitated his proceeding on leave to his native place at Varanasi for treatment and rest. The disease was eventually cured after some time but it left him so weak that he had to be away from office for about a year. The greater portion of this time was passed by Maharaj Saheb in attendance upon Huzur Maharaj at Agra, with visits, at intervals, to Varanasi on account of the very serious illness of Maharaj Saheb's mother, which eventually terminated in her passing away.
During his stay at Agra after the severe attack of dysentery, his diet consisted merely of a few morsels given to him by Huzur Maharaj at meal times. In 1888, he rejoined his service at Allahabad on the expiry of his leave, and his diet then consisted usually of a cup of tea in the morning and a small quantity of 'khichri' (rice cooked with pulse). In spite of the very small quantity of food that he took he showed no great signs of weakness and carried out his duties with great efficiency and ability.
At this period his duties were not of such a character as to attract the special attention of his superior officers and for several years he served with perfect contentment in a comparatively low-paid post. Thereafter, his unusual abilities came to the notice of the authorities and obtained recognition in the shape of promotion which came to him apace. He was specially selected for the performance of responsible duties outside, such as the supervision and audit of famine accounts, regularization of Treasury accounts at Ballia, etc.. By sheer dint of his abilities he ultimately rose to be the Chief Superintendent of the Accountant General's office.
All his spare time during the periods he had to be at Allahabad away from his Guru was devoted to holding divine services and to private devotion. During divine services there he very often delivered discourses to enlighten his fellow disciples on religious matters ; and his discourses bore unmistakable marks of profound spiritual inspiration. His audiences were struck by their deep spiritual character and the elucidation of hidden spiritual truths ; and he was during the life-time of his Guru marked out as His eventual successor.
After the departure of his Guru from the world in 1898, people flocked to him to receive spiritual instructions, and from 1900 onwards, the influx of visitors to Allahabad for this object began to increase from day to day. Divine services began to be held twice a day at his house and often thrice a day, at which the audience consisting of both males and females numbered from three to seven or eight hundred on special occassions. Discourses were almost invariably delivered at each divine service and their fame spread far and wide. Abstruse spiritual truths were elucidated on strictly scientific lines. The supernatural flow and eloquence combined with the irresistible logic of his discourses held the audiences consisting mostly of educated men spell-bound. They all listened with rapt attention and a feeling of deep veneration for him, and thousands of persons were newly initiated by him into the principles of Radhasoami Faith.
While continuing in indifferent health, he, shortly after his removal to Varanasi, commenced dictating the book "Discourses on Radhasoami Faith". The portions, faired out, were read to him and he often made revisions -- sometimes, though sparingly, in his own handwriting.
This went on with frequent interruptions owing to his failing health till about the beginning of September, when owing to aggravation in his illness, the dictation of the book though yet incomplete, and its revision which had already been taken in hand, had to be stopped altogether. The contents of the book, as they are, have however a value of their own for the Satsangis, and are looked upon by them as an inestimable treasure. To the great disappointment and regret of his followers, he left this world on the 12th of October 1907.
There are two events relating to the regime of Maharaj Saheb, which deserve special mention. During Huzur Maharaj's time, signs had begun to make themselves visible of a desire on the part of certain sections of Satsangis to form themselves into separate groups and of the assertion by certain persons of the right of interest in properties which had by that time come into the possession of the Satsang.
In order to check this disruptive tendency as also to obviate the difficulties which might arise during the periods intervening between the succession of Gurus and to maintain the undisturbed continuity of the management, Huzur Maharaj wanted to create a body to administer for all time the property of the Satsang under the guidance of the Sant Sat Guru. In fact, a rough scheme had been drawn out for the purpose.
But, before it could take a concrete form Huzur Maharaj departed from this world. This work was taken up in earnest by Maharaj Saheb in 1902 resulting in the creation of an ever-functioning body called the Central Administrative Council and its adjunt, the Radhasoami Trust, whose headquarters are located at Soami Bagh, Agra.
With the assemblage of a large number of persons with varied spiritual outlook and ambitions, schisms are inevitable ; but the organic unity of the parent stock, which is the custodian of and maintains the original priciples and teachings of the Founder in their pristine purity, remains unaffected under the aegis of the Sant Sat Guru established by Maharj Saheb.
The parent stock consists of persons whose ideals are to engage themselves in spiritual pursuits uncontaminated, as far as possible, with the ambitions of the world.
Their aim is to reduce their worldly engagements to a minimum, more or less confined to such as are needed to maintain themselves and their families in decency and to help the needy and the poor when occasion arises.
The second notable event of the time of Marharj Saheb was the commencement of the construction of the Samadh of the August Founder of the Faith at Soami Bagh, Agra, in place of a small building already existing as such. This work originated by Maharj Saheb has assumed very large dimensions, and a stupendous and magnificent building is in the course of construction at Soami Bagh, Agra. The entire expenditure upon the building is met by the parent Satsang which is, as stated above, under the administration of the Central Administrative Council, Soami Bagh, Agra.