Soham Swami, or Tiger Swami, was a guru and yogi of India. He lived before the first quarter of the twentieth century (his last book ′Common Sense′ was published in 1923 after his death. Originally named as Shyamakanta Bandopaddhyaya, he was Advaita Vedantic disciple of Tibbetibaba. Tibbetibaba was a great yogi and guru of India.
Born as Shyamakanta Bandopaddhyaya, he was Tibbetibaba's Advaita Vedantic disciple. Soham Swami had ashram in both in Nainital and Haridwar. He was born at Autsahi in Dhaka district (now in Munshiganj district) in Dhaka Division, Bangladesh and was one of pioneers of physical prowess of modern Bengal. He had so much physical strength that he could wrestle even tigers. Due to this reason came to be known as Tiger Swami. But this tiger bouts took place before he entered into the spiritual path.
Soham Swami had ashram in both in Nainital and Haridwar. It was at the Nainital ashram, Niralamba Swami became his disciple. In his early life Niralamba Swami, also known as Jatindra Nath Banerjee, was a great freedom fighter of India.
Shyamakanta was born at Arial village near Munsigung in modern-day Bangladesh, although their family originally hailed from Fulia, Nadia district, Paschimbanga (West Bengal). His father Shashibhushan Bandyopadhyay was a clerk at a Tripura court. He spent his childhood in Dhaka where he studied at Dhaka Collegiate School. When he was in college, he started bodybuilding at the akhara of Adhar Ghosh at Lakshmibazar, Dhaka. Later he wanted to be a soldier, but he was barred from entering into the British Indian Army.
After that he was appointed the bodyguard of Maharaja Bir Chandra Manikya Bahadur of Tripura. Later he left the job and joined Barishal Zilla School as a gymnasium trainer. Soon he left that job also and started a circus.
In 1899, he left home to become a monk. He was initiated by Nabin Chandra Chakrabarty(Tibbetibaba), a Vedantic monk who renamed Shyamakanta as ″Soham Swami″.
Shyamakanta set up his Ashrama at Bhaowali near Nainital in modern-day Uttarakhand, India. Soham Swami died at Bhaowaliat his Nainital ashram on 5 December 1918. The last book written by him was published after his death. His samadhi(tomb) is located at Palitpur, Burdwan, India.There is also a symbolic samadhi at his Nainital ashram. It is due to the fact that after his mahasamadhi or death at his Nainital ashram, his last remains were brought to the Palitpur ashram of Tibbetibaba and a samadhi(tomb)was built at the Palitpur ashram.
Soham Swami had established two ashrams – one at Nainital and the other at Haridwar. The Haridwar ashram is known as 'Soham Ashram'. It is located at Bhupatwal in Haridwar.
The writings of Soham Swami include books named:Soham Gita: This book contains teachings of Soham Swami.It is a poem on philosophy.
Soham Samhita: This book contains teachings of Soham Swami.
Common Sense: This book attempts to prove that all religions of the world are full of absurdities, inconsistencies, and fallacies. In this book the importance of development of common sense and realisation of divinity in all beings is stressed. This book was first published in 1923.
Truth: This book was the only book written by him in English poetry. It was published in Calcutta, now Kolkata, in 1913.
His other notable works included: Soham Tattwa, Vivekgatha, Bhagavat Gitar Samalochana etc.