Lahiri Mahasaya : A Householder & Kriya Master
Venerated as a repository for the divine science of Kriya Yoga, Lahiri Mahasaya, a householder Yogi, is among the prominent icons of inspiration for the common man ensnared in the cobwebs of the mind-body delusion. His life surmises that the path to liberation is real & available for those who want it & are ready to receive it.
Bestowed with the responsibility, of reviving the glorious science of Kriya Yoga, this man of humble beginnings, was summoned by his Guru, the great divine being, Babaji about whom, the lesser that is said, the better, thirty three years, after he had walked the planet, living like an ordinary man .In 186l, the great lofty being, Babaji, created reasons to propel him in the direction of the weighty mission he was to accomplish.
A little about his early life to satiate the appetite of the interested reader goes like this. Born in a village called Ghurni, in West Bengal, Shyama Charan Lahiri, displayed yogic tendencies from the age of four. At that tender age, he was often found meditating with his body buried under the sand upto his neck.
As a child he studied various languages including Bengali, French, English, Persian & Sanskrit. In 1846, he married Kashi Moni & had five children with her.
Another matter of interest, which maybe noteworthy for the reader, according to some yogis who have oft, told the story in the bard’s tradition, is how his union with Kashi Moni was actually as a result of latent seeds of desire left in their subtle bodies by their guru from a past life. In their past incarnation, apparently, Lahiri was King Bhartari Nath, the last of the kings who ruled the city of Ujjain & Kashi Moni, was his wife Queen Pingala. To put her love for him to test, he sent her a message that he was dead. The news left her in dismay & she decided to prove her fidelity to him by burning in the funeral pyre. This, she did, despite the fact that her holy plant revealed to her otherwise. Grief-stricken, the King was consoled by Babaji, who then showed him twenty five women like her. So, losing his interest in worldly pleasures, the King sought renunciation. However, Babaji left the desire for reunion in both their minds for the larger mission of spreading the Kriya, in another union as Kashi & Lahiri.
And so it was in 1861, after having lived an ordinary householder’s existence with a family, Lahiri was transferred to Ranikhet, a hill station, in Uttarakhand in north India, on work. Laden with the desire for roaming the adjacent hills one day he ventured out for a stroll. As he reached a spot in the caves, a voice called out him. It was none other than the voice of his divine Guru, Babaji. Babaji then went on to touch his forehead, to revive past life memories of his meditative lifestyle.
Thereafter, he explained to him that it is he who created situations to bring Lahiri Mahasaya there & put thoughts to transfer him into his boss’s mind. A realized master is able to perform such magical feats & by the power of his will, he can transmit information through multiple human minds, to create desirable outcomes.
Following this, he also created a palace of gold & savoury delights to fulfil the remaining desires in Lahiri’s mind & goes on to explain to him that these are gods ways of fulfilling his worldly desires so that he is freed of them. After having made him experience the worldly luxuries he then bestowed the secret knowledge of Kriya Yoga to him & urged him to go spread the work.
From, there on guided by his master often in spirit & at times in person Lahiri Mahasaya, went on to spread the knowledge of the Kriya to people from all walks of life. His life became an ideal example of how leading a worldly life could be balanced with spiritual upliftment.
Living thus, he finally took Samadhi in 1895 – a simple householder & a worthy master to many. His life and works, of course were made famous much later through, Paramahansa Yogananda’s, well know book, Autobiography of a Yogi.