Yogiraj Sri Lahiri Mahasaya
The Greatest Yogi & Spiritual Master and who was a full-time householder as well as a job-holder. Yogiraj Sri Shyamacharna Lahiri Mahasaya is one of the Greatest Yogi in general and of Kriya Yoga in particular of all times. He took the human incarnation on 30th September 1828. His father’s name was Goura Mohan Lahiri and his mother’s name was Muktakesi Devi. Both of his parents were highly religious.
The Guru of his previous births was Mahavatar Babaji. Babaji was also the Guru of his present incarnation as well. His dear Gurudeva Mahavatar Babaji was the incarnation of Lord Krishna, the “Poorna Avatar” of God. Lord Krishna is the Adi Gurudeva of Kriya Yoga and practical spirituality, who taught to Arjuna and through him to the whole of mankind. The basic philosophy and methods of Kriya Yoga are the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. The Bhagavad Gita however, did not deal with the details of the techniques. So Lord Krishna took reincarnation in the form of Mahavatar Babaji to teach the details of the techniques of Kriya Yoga. Lahiri Mahasaya as per his birth in a Brahmin family was invested with the sacred thread (Yagnyopavita) in his childhood.
Lahiri Mahasaya meets Babaji Maharaj
As he became an adult he entered the ritualistic life of a householder. Babaji by miraculous method got him to his cave in the Dunagiri Mountains, near Ranikhet, a sub-Himalayan mountain range. There Babaji instilled in him tremendous Spiritual Energy which made in “Trikala Gnyam”, the Knower of 3 Zones of Cosmic Time – the Past, the Present, and the Future. At first, Lahiri Mahasaya could not recognize his Gurudev of past lives. Babaji revived his memory of Kriya Yoga practice in his past lives and re-kindled his memory of his Gurudev, Babaji Himself, of many previous lives.
Babaji recharged him with all groups of Kriya Yoga techniques and helped him to remember his Divinity and Godhood. Having firmly re-established him in the stateless state of Jeevana Mukta and Paraa Mukta (Highest State of God Realization, while still living in the human body), Babaji asked him to go back to the world and his family. And to spread the message of Kriya Yoga and Practical spirituality to all the people.
Initially, Lahiri Mahasaya was unwilling to leave the exalted company of his Divine Gurudev. But Babaji reminded him, of his divine mission in this incarnation. In this incarnation he was to live the life of a householder, among the householders and help them to overcome the obstacles in Yoga practice, teach them, guide them to Self-Realization. In society, the life of a householder is complicated and stressful. Also due to this, Yoga and spiritual practice are difficult for them, so also Self-Realization. The compassionate Babaji realized this and persuaded successfully Lahiri Mahasaya to the world and the worldly life of a householder.
The 3 Greatest Yogis
During these glorious days of India’s Spiritual Movement, 3 greatest Yoga and Spirituality Masters, the three greatest Yogis were gracing the Holy Land of Bharat or India:
- Sri Trailanga Swami
- Sri Lahiri Mahsaya, and
- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa
Sri Sri Lahiri Mahasaya and Swami Trailanga were considered the Living Shiva of Kashi, Varanasi, India. Their daily lives were full of miracles. Lahiri Mahasaya, whenever in the house, sat in the Lotus Posture on a flat hard bed (Takthposh) in meditation or Paraabastha, in his outhouse or outer living room. He joyfully welcomed all visitors with Blessings and Knowledge and a smile. Whenever, at work or outside his house, he conducted himself not as an egoistic biological Self, but as a living and loving power of God. To be in his presence was Sadhana, or Spiritual Practice or Yoga. To be in his presence elevated the divinity and spiritual level of a person.
People from various fields of life came to him, with many questions and problems of life, of health, and doubts about religion and spirituality. Most people got their questions answered, problems solved by silently sitting in his benevolent calm presence. In addition to silent and loving blessings, Lahiri Mahasaya discussed and taught many, many Holy Scriptures, and gave practical, easy, and simple explanations that were easily understood and put into practice in the daily lives of the people. This was highly appreciated by the learned scholars and the general mass of people. We couldn’t find any other Spiritual Masters who did it, before him.
The Definition of Death
This is a real-life miraculous incident during the lifetime of the great Yogi. Yogiraj’s immediate neighbor, an energetic young man, Chandra Mohan, had just returned home after attaining a degree in Medical Science, a full-fledged doctor. One day, Dr. Chandra Mohan came to Yogiraj, to have his Darshan and seek his Blessings. Dr. Chandra Mohan had become a doctor, recently. He was excited and greatly enthusiastic. He tried to explain, the novelty and great scientific healing techniques of modern science. Yogiraj wanted to know from him the definition of death. Suddenly, jokingly, Yogiraj smilingly asked him to examine him and see whether he is dead or alive.
Dr. Chandra Mohan medically examined him in detail and was stunned to silence. He found that there was no sign of life. The heart was silent, so also no pulse. The doctor couldn’t decide what to say. Suddenly. Yogiraj Lahiri Mahasaya smilingly asked the doctor to write him a death certificate. The doctor was in dilemma and was lost for speech.The doctor got back his wits and said, he is willing to write a death certificate, but there is a catch. That is, a dead person can’t talk.
Lahiri Mahasaya laughed and replied,
” You’re right, but remember there are lots of things beyond your so-called modern medicine. Where your science can’t reach. But the Yogis can easily attain this knowledge”.
This incident greatly influenced Dr. Chandra Mohan. Subsequently, he became a great and successful doctor and also became highly advanced in spirituality.
The next part in this series – The messages and teachings of Yogiraj Lahiri Mahsaya shall be continued…