Monday, February 16, 2009

Lahiri Mahasaya

Lahiri Mahasaya also know as Yogiraj, Lahiri Baba, Kashi Baba (1828 – 1898) was one of India’s foremost Spiritual Masters. His family name was Shyama Lahiri. Mahasaya is an honorary Sanskrit prefix meaning “magnanimous one”.

Till the age of 33 Lahiri Mahasaya lived an ordinary householder life. Certain, circumstances tookhis job to the foothills of the Himalayas. It was here that he had a remarkable meeting with Mahavatar Babaji. Babaji was able to rekindle Lahiri Mahasaya’s spiritual realisations. Realisations he had attained in previous lifetimes.After experiencing the bliss of samadhi in the Himalayan Mountains. His Guru directed Lahiri Mahasaya to return to his worldly life and teach the ancient art of Kriya Yoga as a householder. During his life time, Lahiri Mahasaya initiated more than 5000 seekers from different faiths into the ancient Indian art of Kriya Yoga. He broke the rigid caste barriers that were present at the time. Lahiri Mahasaya saw God everywhere and was unencumbered by social status. Towards the end of his life his aura of spirituality and peace attracted many sincere seekers who would come to meditate in his presence at Benaras house.

Lahiri Mahasaya only became well known through Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Autobiography of a Yogi”. Paramahansa Yogananda was a disciple of Swami Yukteswar, Giri Maharaj ,who was a direct disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya. Kriya Yoga tradition that has spread around the world in the early part of 19th century,including the West can be traced back to Lahiri Mahasaya and Mahavatar Babaji.

Siva was the household deity of the Lahiri family. A Sivalingam was adjacent to the house.One day, Muktakeshi Devi , the mother of little Lahiri, was absorbed in deep meditation on Siva, with little Lahiri seated besides her emulating his mother. Suddenly, a handsome Monk with matted hair appeared before the temple and addressed Muktakeshi Devi. The Monk said, Mother your son is not an ordinary human child, it is i who have sent Him to this earth, to show the esoteric path of sahana to the countless people, distressed with the worries and woes of material life. Your child will maintain a family existence and attract others to practice yoga sadhana. Mother, you have nothing to fear. I shall constantly keep a watch upon him like a shadow.

"My worship is of a very strange kind. In this Ganga water is not required. No special utensils are necessary.Even flowers are redundant.In this puja all gods have disappeared. And emptiness has emerged with euphoria."

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