In 1918 Swami Nirmalandaji called Neelakantan and said to him, "Your God has come. He will give you the diksha mantra."
Obtain the diksha mantra from the spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna Parmahamsa
it was already an eloquent testimony to the spiritual caliber of this future Swami Purushottamanandaji.
He felt he had been initiated by Lord Dakshinamurthy himself.
After taking initiation, he was given the order of Sannyasa
by the then president of the Ramakrishna Mission, Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj (second president) known as Mahapurush Maharaj.
In October 1923 during the Kartika Purnima it was given the monastic name
from Purushottamanda. What an appropriate name!
Immediately after the appointment of sannyasa, although he remained closely associated with the activities of the Ramakrishna Mission as he possessed considerable organizational capacity, Gurudeva (Swami Purushottamananda) resigned from the organization to follow the Divine call of his heart. So he chose to become a renunciate. He left for the Deva Bhoomi (Lands of the Gods) of the Himalayas. All of this had been predicted by Swami Nirmalananda, who had once read the palm of his hand.
In his wandering Gurudeva had to suffer many deprivations, enduring atrocious physical suffering which, at times, even seriously endangered his life.
In his autobiography, Swami mentioned various difficult experiences, which nevertheless never discouraged him. He had also tried to drown himself in the Ganges but, the river decided that his time had not yet come and pushed him back to the banks.
Such incidents convinced him that the Lord wanted him to live, to carry on his work.
One day while in Uttarkashi, Gurudeva developed a bad fever
which turned into a bloody dysentery. He was immediately advised
from a friend of his returning to the south, as the cold Himalayan climate was inhospitable to his physical condition and also because of his previous leg disease, traveling continuously on foot was not easy, but Gurudeva did not listen to him.
After traveling to various pilgrimage centers such as Badri, Kedar, Gangotri, Brindavan etc., Gurudev went to Brahmapuri near Rishikesh.
So one day after meditating in a jungle near the Swarg ashram he saw himself wrapped in light and felt totally sucked in by this brightness.
He confirmed later that this experience was the first sign of self-realization.
Later, he met an official from the Forestry Department who told him about Vasishtha Guha (Vasistha's Cave), extolling all its virtues, also adding that it was the best place for tapas.
Just by hearing the name, Swami Purushottamananda's mind was kidnapped by Vasishtha Guha and anxiously waited for the opportunity to go there.
The precious fortune came in June 1928.
He traveled along the river bank and in some places he had to swim but reached the cave. He was extremely happy to finally see the sacred cave.
There lived a very rich man who was indifferent to the sadhus. Fortunately, however, there was also a Brahmacharia in a small adjacent cave which offered him some meals. Unfortunately, however, a few days later a torrential rain arrived that submerged the entire cave in the water, so Gurudeva had to leave that sacred place.
But the place remained etched in his mind and he was determined to return as soon as possible.
The following year he returned again and reached Guha late in the evening.
The rich man was still there and had a pahadi assistant. Gurudeva asked for some provisions to be able to cook his frugal meal and even offered to pay them any trouble. But the rich man refused, claiming that he had nothing with him. The pahadi clerk, who was a Brahmin, intervened offering to take him to his home where he could offer food and shelter for the night. Shortly afterwards the wealthy man who lived in the main cave left his post, but not before having undergone a change of heart and character.
From then on, Gurudeva remained in Vasishtha Guha forever.
Once, at the insistence of his mentor Swami Nirmalananda, Purushottamananda had to go to Kerala for some work in the Ramakrishna ashram. But he no longer wanted to get involved in trivial business and immediately returned to Guha. He had to periodically go to the nearby village about 5 km away to do his bhiksha. In these periods there was no lack of problems in obtaining matches and food.
In his autobiography, Gurudeva also wrote of small acts of kindness towards him. Once while going to beg in the village, he was given some salt by a boy. Salt in those places was such a precious commodity that the villagers would never separate from it. Touched by this kindness, Swami Purushottamananda asked the boy what he wanted to have. When the boy replied that he wanted to study, Gurudeva began teaching, both to him and to some boys.
Later with the help of the Rajah of Garhwal, Swami managed to open a school in Goolar which still functions as a university today.
Today, during important events such as Gurudeva's birthday, the children of Goolar schools are invited to take part in the party and all students are given sweaters, uniforms, etc.
In fact, Goolar college children are an important part of all ashram holidays.
Gurudev spent many years in Guha in deep meditation. From the Bhakti (Devotion) the Jnana (Knowledge) had blossomed.