This site is dedicated Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, one of the greatest saints of our times. It has been a blessing for my life to be in touch with a great line of spiritual masters. I have always felt a great attunement with Swami Maharaji (Whom I consider as my paramguru), and this is the reason why this page exists.
Sri Yukteswar, (whose real and correct monastic name was -
according to his indian disciples Sriyukteshwar
) was born in 1855 and, at that time, had been given the secular name of Priya Nath Karar. Mainly remembered thanks to his uncommon understanding of the nature of consciousness, Swami Maharaji may be considered as an "Jnanavatar" i.e. an incarnation of wisdom. His monastic name, Yukteshwar, means: union with Ishwara
(the aspect of God controlling nature). He was born from wealthy parents and, during his early adulthood, he got married and invested his heritage in properties. He was not a rich man, but the properties gave him the possibility to have a modest regular income. He entered the Swami order after the death of his wife, and from that time on he dedicated his life to studying, learning and teaching. He divided his time between two ashrams: one in Puri and one in Serampore. Sri Yukteswar did not meet his guru Chyama Charan Lahiri early in his life. He was initiated by him in the practice of kriya yoga in his adulthood, and, later, authorized to give the holy initiation as well.
Amongst his disciples, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, Sri Satyananda and Paramahansa Hariharananda are the most famous ones. Paramahansa Yogananda, a few days before his mahasamadhi
(conscious exit from the body - 1952), was standing in front of Sri Yukteswarji's picture along with a disciple of his. The latter said: He must have been a great man ! Yogananda replied: He was not a man, he was a God !! Swami Maharaji consciously left his body when he was 81 y.o., while meditating in the lotus posture. His body is still buried in his Ashram where a shrine has been built. His grave may be visited still today. Yogananda said once that if Yukteswarji's words had not been so sincere, he would have been the most followed Guru of all India. Yogananda was aware anyway that great masters (of whom he was one) look for quality rather than quantity. The enormous love that Yogananda felt toward his Guru may be felt by reading his masterpiece "Autobiography of a Yogi" - Published by Self-Realization Fellowhip. This book, originally written in 1946 has been considered as one of the most beautiful books about yoga for years.
Swami Maharaji did not write a lot during his passage on earth. Only two books written by him are known: The holy Science
- written in 1894 and a commentary upon the first chapters of the Bhagavad-Gita.
The "holy science" was written after Babaji himself had asked Yukteswarji to complete a work showing the eternal truths and similarities hidden both in Christian and Hindu religions. This task was performed perfectly, and, still today, this book is published by Self-Realization Fellowship in many languages amongst which English, French, Italian and Japanese. The same books contains a wide astrological interpretation about the unfolding of the universe's evolution.
Sri Yukteswar, after many researches discovered a mistake in the Hindu almanac. He said that there is an equinotial cycle of 24.000 years through which universe's evolution unfolds. each sub-cycle is called "Yuga
". Evolution unfolds from era to era like a circle. "Kali Yuga" is the period of ignorance, lasting 1.200 years
( more or less from 500 a.c. to 1.700 a.c. ). Dwapara Yuga is the electrical age, lasting 2.400 years ( more or less from 1.700 to 4.100 a.c. ). Treta Yuga in the mental age, lasting 3.600 years ( more or less from 4.100 to 7.700 a.c. ). Satya Yuga will be the most evoluted age, lasting 4.800 years ( from 7.700 a.c. to 12.500 a.c. ). At this point, the involution starts, and takes place in a reverse order. ( Satya yuga from 12.500 a.c. to 17.300, Treta Yuga from 17.300 a.c. to 20.900 a.c., Dwapara Yuga from 20.900 a.c. to 23.300 a.c., kali Yuga from 23.300 a.c. to 25.500 a.c. ). This process is practically endless. The more evolute the era, the easier is for people to get liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth..
I humbly beg your pardon because my understanding of these matters is not high enough to grasp all the hidden meanings beyond Master's words and I am aware that my explanation may be a bit inadequate. On the other hand, I can't help encouraging you to read Sri Yukteswarji's main book ( the Holy science ) which, I think, is the most beautiful one about universal religion that you can find all over the world.
The one on the right, is Swami Maharaji's picture that Yogananda used to like the most. I remember that I was quite scared the first time I saw it. A friend of mine made me notice anyway that not only love and sweetness come out of a God-realized saint. It may seem difficult to understand, especially for people who tend to see love and compassion as the only attributes of divinity, but God's power creates and destroys worlds, and such tremendous force is clearly visible in Sri Yukteswar's gaze. While looking at this picture Yogananda addressed his guru as "The Lion of Bengala".
Sri Yukteswar's Astrological chart
Swamiji's college experience.:
The episode of abrupt end of Priya Nath's College education, referred
to above, may be of interest, as this would give an insight into the
mental make up of the man destined to be a famous religious and spiritual leader that he became in after life. One day he was listening to a lecture in a class on Physics. The teacher was explaining the functions of the human eye and comparing it with the functions of a simple photographic camera. He explained that rays of external objects after passing through the lens of the eye formed real inverted images on the retina, and that the same were seen by the individual as erect due to 'visual impression.' Priya Nath could not appreciate how the inverted image formed on the retina could not seen erect. He stood up and asked the teacher, who repeated what he had said earlier. But this could not satisfy Priya Nath's curiosity; he repeated his question at which the teacher became irritated and remarked that if his explanations were not understood it was as well that the alumni left his class. A very serious young man as Priya Nath was such rude and unwarranted remark of the teacher was sufficient provocation for leaving the class. He not only left the teachers class but he left as well the College for good.
This, however, did not mean that all the doors of knowledge in modern
science had been blocked against him. He approached the Principal of
the Calcutta Medical College and by persistent requests persuaded him to
give him permission to attend classes on scientific subjects such as
Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Physiology, Anatomy and the like in that College. He was not preparing to become a physician; hence there was no question of appearing for examinations or following the curriculum of the medical college. He attended the classes to acquire knowledge; sometimes he attended classes on the same subject more than once, when he felt he needed to understand a point clearly and thoroughly. He attended various classes in the Medical College for about two years and acquired fair knowledge on the aforementioned subjects.
Courtesy of Kashi
Stories about Sri Yukteswar
It is said that Swami Sri Yukteshvar at one time had written a
spiritual commentary on the Bible which, however, was not published. Once he spoke about it to a French gentleman who was holding some official position in the administration of the French settlement of Chandernagore with whom he had friendship. This Frenchman was very much impressed by what he heard and wanted to read the manuscripts himself. Accordingly the manuscripts were handed over to him.
When the two met next time the Frenchman expressed that he had been overwhelmed by what he had read exclaiming, "You will revolutionize the entire Christendom once these are published." He proposed that he might be permitted to take the manuscripts to Metropolitan France where he would like to show these to the scholars there, during his forthcoming visit on leave, promising to bring them back on return. Sri Yukteshvar agreed; but he did not get back the manuscripts as the Frenchman never came back to India again.
The invaluable manuscripts were thus lost to futurity. Nobody knows what the commentaries were like as Sri Yukteshvar did not discuss the subject with anybody. However, he bequeathed to the grateful world in its place the Holy Science.
Courtesy of Kashi
It is said that Swami Maharaj used to say the following to disciples
"Hear this! You should never think that you will be liberated by this
touch or that a carriage will be ready to just take you up to heaven! YOU SHOULD NEVER ALLOW YOURSELF TO GET THIS BLIND FAITH WAY OF THINKING TOWARDS ACHEIVING TO KAIVALYA!!! The initiating touch of the Guru just helps to encourage to realization. You yourself have to practice with greatest sincerity to achieve the Divine Goal and this will be through your own self efforts."
Courtesy of Kashi
In order to know something more about Kriya Yoga, meditation and Paramahansa Yogananda's work, please visit my main web pages (www.kriyayoga.it - click here !!
- a video of Sri Yukteswar is available on the page)