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Jog Prasad Pandey: Bridging Worlds with Devotion and Service

Sanket Koirala

December 9, 2023

8 MIN READ

Jog Prasad Pandey: Bridging Worlds with Devotion and Service

In the quiet village of Birgha, nestled within the Kaligandaki Rural Municipality of Syangja, resides a man whose life echoes a profound commitment to service and spirituality.

Jog Prasad Pandey, often referred to as the priest of Dhyanganga, embodies a unique blend of tradition and modernity, seamlessly intertwining the ancient practices of a Jogi (hermit) with active involvement in technology and community affairs.

Jog Prasad’s day begins with a ritualistic dedication to karma, a daily routine that extends from the traditional duties of a shepherd and farmer to the harmonious tunes of hymns sung on his harmonium.

His unwavering commitment to the Matribhoomi Library, from its very foundation to the construction of its towering walls, exemplifies his dedication to the pursuit of knowledge and community development.

Unlike the ascetic Sanyasis who orchestrate devotional events, Jog Prasad stands out as a beacon of simplicity and humility.

Aged over 65, he chooses not to wear shoes and partakes in a modest meal known as “Chokho Prasad,” devoid of spicy ingredients like salt, onion, and garlic.

For him, the biting cold of winter and the fluctuations of life hold an equilibrium, much like the unwavering commitment he brings to his daily chores.

In a world captivated by the allure of social media and fleeting fame, Jog Prasad remains untouched, his connection between the celestial and earthly realms illuminated not by digital platforms but by the genuine impact of his actions.

He serves as a reminder that life is not just a journey between birth and death but a legacy shaped by the deeds we leave behind.

His story is not just about what he did but, more importantly, what he chose not to do—succumbing to the lure of personal gain and instead channeling his energy into a legacy that transcends generations.

His involvement in every social and religious event in his community is unparalleled.

Whether tending to the needs of the local temple or connecting with the younger generation through technological pursuits, he exemplifies a life built on the principles of karma.

His story is a testament to the enduring power of service and devotion, a legacy that continues to inspire in the land of his birth.

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In a world where some seek loopholes with mustard in their hands, Jog Prasad’s pursuit transcends such trivialities.

Instead of delving into the complexities of government affairs, corruption scandals, or political power shifts, he finds purpose within the intricate layers of karma.

Jog Prasad, a beacon of selflessness, has established a private university not for personal gain but as a testament to his commitment to giving without expecting in return.

Unfazed by political turmoil, he remains focused on his vision for a Nepal where stoves are affordable for all, and health and education are easily accessible.

While many navigate the conventional layers of human existence—family, society, and personal responsibilities—he chose a path less traveled.

His decision to embrace a life of celibacy and dedicate himself to social and religious endeavors was not driven by societal norms but by a profound realization during his time in India.

The pursuit of joy through service became his guiding principle, leading him to the creation and nurturing of the library.

For him, the library is not just a collection of books but the fulfillment of a spiritual journey.

His three-decade-long commitment to the library began in a small room, evolving into a comprehensive facility.

In an era where crises seem to shadow every endeavor, his determination to green the library involved a daily three-hour journey to Mirmi Bazar, carrying newspapers on his shoulders.

He spent sleepless nights arranging books and traversed challenging terrains to ensure the library’s sustenance.

Jog Prasad’s devotion to the library extends beyond the physical realm.

In the 1950s, he operated a public phone to generate funds, hiking for hours daily to address technical issues and charge batteries.

His dedication to serving without financial gain reflects a rare commitment to self-peace.

As he reflects on his life’s purpose, Jog Prasad emphasizes that his remaining years will be dedicated to elevating the library.

His story is not just about what he did but, more importantly, what he chose not to do—succumbing to the lure of personal gain and instead channeling his energy into a legacy that transcends generations.

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In the tranquil village of Birgha, Pandey, the custodian of the Matribhoomi library, is not just a keeper of books but a beacon of hope and resilience.

His commitment to the library goes beyond the written word, encompassing the daily, weekly, and monthly newspapers that breathe life into its shelves.

In an era where crises seem to shadow every endeavor, his determination to green the library involved a daily three-hour journey to Mirmi Bazar, carrying newspapers on his shoulders.

This seemingly arduous task, now etched in his memory like a vivid movie reel, epitomizes his unwavering dedication to enriching the library with diverse reading materials.

As he tends to this sacred seed, the responsibility lies with others to nurture and elevate it, ensuring that these glimpses of hope remain ablaze.

The library faced its share of challenges, from the aftermath of the 2072 earthquake to the disruptions caused by the Covid pandemic.

Undeterred, Jog Prasad not only worked to attract readers but also spearheaded the establishment of Akshay Kosh (provident fund), turning crisis moments into blessings and weaving a cultural tapestry that resonates with the spirit of his village.

Jog Prasad’s philosophy transcends the mundane; he advocates for a life that is light and attractive, akin to a flower.

Rejecting the forced colors of compulsion, he encourages living authentically, laughing genuinely, and embracing the richness of every experience.

His personal conduct reflects a life untouched by envy or the need for material wealth. Jog Prasad sees equality in everyone, embodying the spirit of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world is one family), considering the world as one family.

His scales of measuring life emphasize the journey from untruth to truth, darkness to light, failure to success, part to perfection, and death to immortality—a journey fueled by regular practice, positive thinking, full faith, hard work, and struggle.

In a world yearning for hope, Pandey emerges as a character of inspiration and resilience.

He stands as the oxygen of society, a source of strength for those in slumber and a beacon for those rising.

Like the revered Shaligram in the sea of human welfare, he practices his own form of religion in the flowing waters of Kaligandaki.

As he tends to this sacred seed, the responsibility lies with others to nurture and elevate it, ensuring that these glimpses of hope remain ablaze.

For in not extinguishing this fire, the legacy of truth endures.

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