Gurus & Saints of India

Swami Yukteswar (1855 - 1936)

Swami Yukteswar

Swami Yukteswar, the great sage was the guru of Yogananda, and the disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya. His penetrating mind and the depths of his spiritual perceptions earned him the title of “gyanavatar” (incarnation of wisdom).

Sri Yukteswar was born in Serampore in May 1855. After finishing college he was blessed by meeting his guru, and he made frequent pilgrimages to Lahiri’s home in Varanasi. During one of these visits he encountered his guru’s guru, the great Babaji — who at one point requested that Yukteswar pen a comparison of Hindu scriptures with the Bible. Yukteswar complied, and his work was published as “The Holy Science”.
Included in this slim but enlightening volume is a theory revolutionary to most of India. Sri Yukteswar maintained that the world has emerged from the lowest matter-bound age of Kali Yuga and, in a rising cycle of time, had entered the higher energy-oriented age of Dwapara Yuga.

Yukteswar trained Yogananda for his mission to the West. He had a number of spiritual students, mostly youths, who studied with him in his ashrams in Serampore and Puri. The “gyanavatar” also had a heart open to the public at large: during spiritual festivals, he regularly hosted banquets that fed many people.

The great master left his body in 1936, but later physically appeared to his disciple Yogananda — a powerful event described in the chapter of Yogananda’s autobiography titled “The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar.” Returning from death, the guru shared many profound spiritual truths, and information about the various subtle astral planes.