- He was the param-guru (guru of his guru) of Paramhansa Yogananda (author of the widely acclaimed AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI). Lahiri Mahasaya exercised a profound influence in the life of Yogananda.
- It was he who was commissioned in 1861 by the incomparable Babaji to spread the practice and teachings of Kriya Yoga.
- Though a Brahmin and a yogi, Lahiri Mahasaya was NOT a Swami; he was married; had children, and was a career accountant during British rule. He, therefore, showed how one could live IN the world even while making definite spiritual progress toward soul liberation.
- Despite rigid caste customs at the time, Lahiri Mahasaya (LM) initiated individuals from all castes and various religions without regard to gender, status, or position.
- He discouraged fruitless theoretical discussion of the scriptures and preferred direct, intuitive realization of their message. "Solve your problems through meditation" he counselled.
- LM performed civic and community service in addition to his spiritual training in kriya yoga and spirituality.
- LM gave inspired interpretations of traditional Indian scriptures that unlocked keys to a broader and universal understanding applicable to everyone.
- LM studied, practised and then reduced to practical simplicity and application the tangle of yogic practices so that anyone could learn their essence and make significant spiritual progress.
- LM gave down-to-earth practical counsel to those who came to him sincerely for help.
- LM guided individual "chelas" (disciples) with words that were "mild and healing."
- Besides, Paramhansa Yogananda, LM initiated many saints and highly advanced disciples, and, others with influential worldly positions.
- In the presence of many disciples, LM casually exhibited yogic powers of breathlessness, sleeplessness, cessation of pulse and heartbeat, unblinking eyes (for hours), and a profound "aura" of peace.
- In accordance with ancient practices, he gave for the cure of various diseases a specially prepared "neem" oil.
- LM transformed the seemingly mysterious practices of yoga into a definite scientific practice.
- LM demonstrated to close disciples all the signature powers of a great saint and avatar, including bi-location, resurrection, healing, levitation, raising the dead and much more.
- Paramhansa Yogananda proclaimed LM a "Yogavatar," or incarnation of Yoga.
- Yogananda wrote of LM: "His uniqueness as a prophet lies in his practical stress on a definite method, Kriya, opening for the first time the doors of yoga freedom to all."
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Lahiri Mahasaya of Benares: Yogavatar (1828-1895)
September 26 (today, as I write), 1895, Lahiri Mahasaya of Benares left this earth plane in a conscious exit in the presence of a group of disciples. His birth, in 1828, was on September 30! Thus we have a convenient few days to give Lahiri focused reflections.
The significance of Lahiri Mahasaya's life can be summarized to include:
Lahiri Mahasaya Maharaja-ki, Jai!
Joy to you,
reference: Chapter 35, The Christlike Life of Lahiri Mahasaya, from AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI, by Paramhansa Yogananda.