Lahiri Mahasaya: Yogi and Kriya Yoga Master


Lahiri Mahasaya, born as Shyama Charan Lahiri, was a renowned yogi and spiritual master from India. He is widely recognized for popularizing the ancient practice of Kriya Yoga in the modern era. Lahiri Mahasaya’s teachings and influence had a profound impact on the spiritual development of many seekers, including his disciple Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri and the great yogi Paramahansa Yogananda.

1. Early Life and Spiritual Awakening:

Lahiri Mahasaya was born on September 30, 1828, in the village of Ghurni, Bengal Presidency, British India. He led a humble life working as an accountant in the railways, but his spiritual quest led him to seek higher truths beyond the mundane world. In 1861, Lahiri Mahasaya experienced a powerful spiritual awakening that transformed his life and set him on the path of self-realization.

2. Initiation into Kriya Yoga:

One of the significant milestones in Lahiri Mahasaya’s spiritual journey was his initiation into Kriya Yoga by his guru, Mahavatar Babaji. Kriya Yoga is an ancient meditation technique that facilitates the direct experience of divine consciousness. Under the guidance of Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya became a Kriya Yoga master and dedicated his life to sharing this sacred knowledge with sincere seekers.

3. Dissemination of Kriya Yoga:

Lahiri Mahasaya played a crucial role in reviving and disseminating the practice of Kriya Yoga in the modern era. He taught Kriya Yoga to numerous disciples, who, in turn, spread this transformative technique throughout India and beyond. Lahiri Mahasaya’s teachings emphasized the importance of regular meditation, breath control, and inner spiritual practices to attain union with the divine.

4. Yogiraj Title and Spiritual Community:

Due to his profound spiritual attainment and ability to guide others on the path of self-realization, Lahiri Mahasaya was honored with the title “Yogiraj,” meaning “king of yogis.” He established a spiritual community known as the Lahiri Mahasaya Sangha, where like-minded individuals gathered to practice Kriya Yoga and deepen their spiritual understanding.

5. Influence on Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri:

One of Lahiri Mahasaya’s notable disciples was Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, who later became the guru of Paramahansa Yogananda. Lahiri Mahasaya’s guidance and wisdom had a profound impact on Sri Yukteswar, shaping his spiritual development and providing him with profound insights into the integration of science and spirituality.

6. Paramahansa Yogananda and Self-Realization Fellowship:

Lahiri Mahasaya’s teachings and the practice of Kriya Yoga reached its pinnacle of worldwide recognition through his disciple Paramahansa Yogananda. Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi,” established the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) to disseminate Lahiri Mahasaya’s teachings and provide spiritual guidance to seekers worldwide.

7. Legacy and Continued Influence:

Lahiri Mahasaya’s teachings continue to inspire and guide spiritual seekers globally. His emphasis on the practice of Kriya Yoga as a direct path to self-realization has resonated with countless individuals seeking inner awakening and spiritual growth. Through his disciples and the spiritual organizations they established, Lahiri Mahasaya’s profound wisdom and teachings remain accessible to those on the spiritual path.


Lahiri Mahasaya, the great yogi and Kriya Yoga master, played a significant role in the revival and dissemination of Kriya Yoga teachings. His spiritual realization and dedication to sharing the path of self-realization continue to inspire and guide seekers on their quest for inner awakening. Lahiri Mahasaya’s legacy stands as a testament to the transformative power of yoga and the potential for spiritual evolution within every individual.

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