Lahiri Mahasaya (Shyamacharan Lahiri)
Shyama Charan Lahiri (Bengali: শ্যামাচরণ লাহিড়ী Bengali: [Shêmā Chôron Lahiṛi]) (30 September 1828 – 26 September 1895), best known as Lahiri Mahasaya, was an Indian yogi and a disciple of Mahavatar Babaji. He was also popularly known as Yogiraj and Kashi Baba. He revived the yogic science of Kriya Yoga when he learned it from Mahavatar Babaji in 1861. Lahiri Mahasaya was also the guru of Yukteswar Giri. Mahasaya is a Sanskrit, spiritual title translated as ‘large-minded’.He was unusual among Indian holy people in that he was a householder — marrying, raising a family, and working as an accountant for the Military Engineering Department of the British Indian government. Lahiri lived with his family in Varanasi rather than in a temple or monastery. He achieved a substantial reputation among 19th century Hindu religionists.
He became known in the West through Paramahansa Yogananda, a disciple of Yukteswar Giri, and through Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. Yogananda wrote that Lahiri was chosen by Mahavatar Babaji to reintroduce the lost practice of Kriya Yoga to the world. Lahiri’s disciples included both of Yogananda’s parents as well as Yogananda’s own guru. Lahiri Mahasaya prophesied that the infant Yogananda would become a yogi, and “As a spiritual engine, he will carry many souls to God’s kingdom.'”
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