Swami Bhaskarananda Saraswati (1833–1899) was a noted 19th-century sannyasin and saint of Varanasi, India. He wandered over India for thirteen years before settling in Anandabag near the Durga Mandir, in 1868. A Sanskrit and Vedic scholar turned ascetic of Shaivaite Dandi sannyasi order, many kings visited him to seek advise, and he also reported be an advisor counsel to Kashi Naresh(Maharaja of Kingdom of Kashi), today his samadhi shrine is situated at Durga Kunda, adjacent to the historic Durga Mandir in Varanasi.
Swamiji's real name was Matiram Misra. Born into a Brahmin family in maitha marag Kanpur district, Uttar Pradesh, was invested with the sacred thread at the age of eight and was married at the age of twelve. From age eight to seventeen, he was a diligent and most successful student of Sanskrit. A son was born to him at the age of eighteen. By this event he was, in his own opinion, freed from any further social obligations. So one day he disappeared from his father's house and went on foot to Ujjain, where he put up a temple of Siva. He continued his Vedantic studies and also started practicing yoga. He then traveled to all the parts of India and devoted to study Vedanta philosophy from noted masters including Pandit Anant Ram of Patna, who was at Haridwar at the time. At about age 27, he was initiated into the holy order of Sannyas by Paramahamsa Swami Purnananda Saraswati of Ujjain, and christened SwamiBhaskarananda Saraswati, a name by which he was known afterwards.
For thirty-five years Swami traveled around India, always practicing Tapas (Sanskrit). From his long ineffable knowledge he had desired, he settled down for the remainder of his life in the sacred city of Varanasi and miracles of healing were attributed to him.
Bhaskarananda was also reputed for his austerity and saintly character. Getting deeply interested in spiritual life when he was only eighteen, he travelled all over India as a wandering monk for many years. But, ‘even though he practiced such austerities, He gained very little; ignorance and sorrow were as deep as ever. Finally sat down in garden Anandabag, near Durga Mandir and resolved, “May God be realized or may this body die.” Now, you see, I get a little abiding bliss.’ He too was reputed to have yogic powers, and had foreseen his own death. Though his influence spanned all sections of society, the transformation of character of several notorious pandas wrought by his influence is especially worth mentioning.
Alexandra David-Néel, she studied yoga with the great Swami Bhaskarananda (of Varanasi), who lived the whole year in a rose garden. He too was reputed to have yogic powers, and had foreseen his own death. Though his influence spanned all sections of society, the transformation of character of several notorious pandas wrought by his influence is especially worth mentioning.