Gyan Avatar Sri Yukteshwar – An incarnation of Wisdom
Appreciated for his remarkable contribution, as a great yogi, Priya Nath Karar is renowned as an incarnation of wisdom or Gyan Avatar Sri Yukteshwar. He was, born on May 10, 1855 in Serampore, in Maharashtra in India.
His association with Shiva is related to his work in spreading the divine science of Kriya yoga also known as Shiva-Shakti Kriya yoga, which is the lightening path to achieving god realisation or states of ecstasy, described as Samadhis in Indian mythical texts. He learnt this sacred science, at the age of twenty nine from Yogavatar Lahiri Mahasaya, another celebrated sage of spiritual prowess.
A man of eclectic tastes, his life interests scanned a variety of fields including astronomy, music, naturopathy & mathematics. His work with astrology was largely associated with his fascination for comprehending man’s association with the stars. He also believed, that yogic practise could enable him to deal with their negative influences effectively. His theory on the Yugas or ages of human evolution & their effects on civilization gained reasonable accolade & is said to have corrected some earlier miscalculations.
Advocating the middle route between eastern & western philosophies, his prominent work is known as Kaivalya Darshan or the Holy Science. This was written at the behest of his divine guru, Babaji Gorakshanath. Elucidating ideas, that were from the best of both worlds, he lay emphasis on the ideology that while India had much to learn from the west in matters on material development, the west could benefit from the wealth of spiritual & yogic knowledge that India has to offer to validate or “base it religious beliefs” upon.
About his family life it is said, Priyanath’s father was an affluent businessman & so he finally converted his ancestral home at Serampore into a hermitage or Ashram. In his early life he married and had a daughter. Towards the middle of his life, after losing his wife, he went on to lead the life of a renunciate & joined the Swami order. He is also known to have opened another Ashram, at Puri, which is where he took his mahasamadhi, in 1936.
More learned capsules of wisdom, can be gathered from the well known work of his great disciple Paramhansa Yogananda, in an “Autobiography of a Yogi.”
One incident of learning among others from this great soul is when in the course of his tutelage under Yukteswar, Yogananda seeks his permission to go to the Himalayas to seek divine communion in solitude. This plea of course, was made in a fit of impatience after having spent only six months with the wise master.
The master responded saying that many a men roamed the hills without a hint of god realisation & that “wisdom is better sought from a man of realisation than an inert mountain.”
Ignoring these golden words, Yogananda marched on stubbornly only to return to his master after a short while, assailed by a yearning to reunite with him. On his return he sheepishly, went to apologise to his master but was overwhelmed with emotion to find Yukteswar, undisturbed & welcoming as ever. He went on to tell his disciple that his happiness lay in Yogananda finding his own true happiness & he had no interest in utilizing him for his own ends. This made Yogananda, experience deeper cosmic love & admiration for his master, who by demonstration taught a profound lesson.
Many a great tale, of his fine knowledge, are revealed in the book in addition, to some light he throws upon astral spheres & his work with advanced souls in Hiranyaloka, in a magnificifent vision he appears in to Yogananda, where he resurrects himself, after his death.
To the seeker, of Yogic wisdom, the study of his life & tales are firm ground for beginning the sojourn to the challenging yet, immensely rewarding ascetic’s way of life.