Lahiri Mahasaya:


At the age of 33 he met his Guru Babaji near Ranikhet in the Himalayas, who revealed to him the ancient missing form of Kriya-Yoga and instructed him to initiate any sincere seekers who may be so interested. Thus a prosperity of Kriya Yoga began in the year 1861.

Apart from his spiritual obligations and his responsible activity in his occupation and family he still took over functions in the area of the youth education, founded study groups and actively took part in building a large high school in the Bengalitola district of Benares. He initiated thousands of persons of all religions and faith directions into Kriya Yoga, thereby undertaking a bold attack against the caste system of his epoch.

On one occasion in Benares, the great Indian sage Trailanga Swami, who was known to be nearly 300 years old, forsook his usual silence in order to pay public honor to Lahiri Mahasaya. One of Trailanga's disciples objected.


"Sir", he said, "why do you, a Swami and a renunciant, show such respect to a mere householder?".

Trailanga replied, "My son, Lahiri Mahasaya is like a divine kitten, remaining wherever the Cosmic Mother has placed him. While dutifully playing the part of a worldly man, he has received that perfect Self-realization which I have sought by renouncing everything - even my loincloth!".

Lahiri was the surname of Schyama Tscharan Lahiri, who lived from 1828 to 1898. Mahasaya is a religious Sanskrit title and means "magnanimous". Lahiri Mahasaya was a contemporary of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and a direct disciple of Mahavatar Babaji. He was the Guru of Swami Sri Yukteswar who was the Guru of Paramhansa Yogananda. Always soft and humble in contact with others, as a Christ-like spiritual teacher he was provided with great miraculous powers and took worldly responsibility as a familiy man as well.


In the only photo of Lahiri known to exist, he is shown with half opened and half closed eyes. This shows his attitude to be at the same time in the everyday outside world of normal life and in the internal world of spirit. Through his exemplary life he taught the people an age-old and nevertheless modern form of Yoga, which shows the correct balance between meditation and the fulfilment of wordly obligations.

In the year 1886, 25 years after his initiation through Babaji, he retired and from then on spent most of his time in the overconscious status of silent meditation. On September 26th, 1895 he left his physical body, but not without appearring to some of his disciples on the following day in a very alive, just younger and more radiating form, and spoke with them.

The following quote is written by British author and playwright W. Somerset Maugham and appears in his published work A Writer's Notebook:

"In India a Yogi wanted to go somewhere by train, but having no money, asked the station-master if he could go for nothing; the station-master refused, so the Yogi sat down on the platform. When it was time for the train to go it would not start.


It was supposed that something was wrong with the engine, so mechanics were sent for and they did all they knew, but still the train could not go. At last the station-master told the officials of the Yogi. He was asked to get in the train and it immediately started."


Lahiri Mahasaya has been recorded to be responsible for a similar Siddhi in connection with a woman disciple named Abhoya, and might possibly be the original source for Maugham's quote.

Abhoya and her husband, a Calcutta lawyer, started out one day for Benares to visit the guru. Their carriage was delayed by heavy traffic; they reached the Howrah main station only to hear the Benares train whistling for departure.

Abhoya, near the ticket office, stood quietly and silently prayed, "Lahiri Mahasaya, I beseech thee to stop the train! I cannot suffer the pangs of delay in waiting another day to see thee."


The wheels of the snorting locomotive continued to move round and round, but there was no onward progress. The engineer and passengers descended to the platform to view the phenomenon. An English railroad guard approached Abhoya and her husband. Contrary to all precedent, he volunteered his services.

"Babu," he said, "give me the money. I will buy your tickets while you get aboard."
As soon as the couple was seated and had received the tickets, the train slowly moved forward. In panic, the engineer and passengers clambered again to their places, knowing neither how the train started, nor why it had stopped in the first place.

It should be noted that Lahiri Mahasaya's guru, Mahavatar Babaji, although recorded as being born November 30, 203 AD, is said to be still alive, making him 1800 years old. Reports continue to surface of sightings and meetings with Babaji. It is said that in 1954, at his ashram near Badrinath, in the Garwhal Himalayas, Babaji initiated S.A.A.


Ramaiah into a complete system of 144 Kriyas, or practical techniques, involving postures, breathing, meditation, mantras and devotional techniques. Others have reported seeing him as late as October 1999.


Said to be associated with the mysterious Gyanganj (Jnanaganj) hermitage somewhere in Tibet -- a secret place of great masters. Gyanganj is also known as Shambhala and sometimes Shangri-La.