Gurus & Saints of India

Lahiri Mahasaya

Shyamacharan Lahiri, known as Lahiri Mahasaya (1828-1895), used to receive devotees at all hours of the day and night in his Varanasi home. Never sleeping, scarcely breathing, his face radiating light and joy, this great master sat with his legs locked in the lotus posture — a true “yogavatar”, or incarnation of spiritual union.

Lahiri founded no large organization to spread his work. One by one, spiritual seekers found him in his Varanasi nook. He embraced everyone who sought his help, no matter their gender, nationality, caste, or religious beliefs. He was a friend of humanity, and the great Trailanga Swami was one of many who spoke highly of his fixed state of self-realization.

The guru showed by his example how one could lead an ordinary worldly life — he worked as an accountant, was married and had children — and simultaneously achieved the highest spiritual states known to mankind.
Along with a treasury of priceless teachings and a large number of spiritually advanced disciples — which included Swami Pranabananda, Ram Gopal Muzumdar, Panchanon Bhattacharya, and many others — Lahiri Mahasaya blessed India and all the world by requesting that his guru Babaji extend initiation into the sacred science of kriya yoga (an advanced meditation technique) to all sincere spiritual seekers.

As a result of Lahiri’s request — and the instrumentality of Lahiri’s disciples, especially the line of Yukteswar and Yogananda — hundreds of thousands of yogis around the globe have experienced deeper meditations and inner bliss.