“Always remember that you belong to no one, and no one belongs to you. Reflect that some day you will suddenly have to leave everything in this world—so make the acquaintanceship of God now”
Shri Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahasaya(1828-1895) was born on September 30 in the district of Nadia of West Bengal, an eastern province of India. The auspicious day was the seventh day worship of Mother Durga. In his childhood Shri Lahiri Mahasaya would often sit and immerse in deep meditation in front of family Shiva temple. He grew up under the tender care of his father, Shri Gourmohan Lahiri, and mother, Muktakesi Devi. As a boy and later as a young man, he was extremely strong both physically and mentally. He kept of his physical strength with regular exercise but never stopped his spiritual practice of prayers and meditations.
In 1846, after completion of his formal education he married to Kashimoni Devi and started working in an office in the public works department of military engineering. However, his meager salary was not sufficient to maintain the family. So he started a private tuition in his spare time to earn some extra money. Shri Lahiri Mahasaya often passed through acute financial hardships which he endured with his faith and believe on all mighty Lord Vishawanatha.
Shri Lahiri Mahasaya’s spiritual quest reached its peak when he was transferred to the Himalayas. It was there, in Ranikhet, that he met his deathless guru, Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj. Materializing a magnificent golden palace studded with countless dazzling jewels and gems of all varieties, Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj initiated Shri Lahiri Mahasaya into all the sacred and secret techniques of Kriya Yoga. Shri Lahiri Mahasaya was highly gratified to attain such an inconceivable stage of God-realization. As instructed by Babaji Maharaj, he returned home to perform the worldly duties of an ideal householder. He became a perfectly realized yogi, able to show the path of liberation to householders, brahmacharis, and yogis alike.
Shri Lahiri Mahasaya advised disciples on sincere, regular practice of meditation with love and devotion. He avoided unnecessary arguments and outward show of spirituality. His humbleness and love drew people from all aspects of life to learn sacred yogic techniques from him. Occasionally he would say “I have found a nice path. If anyone wants, I can tell them about the path.”
The great Guru led a simple unassuming householder life while always being immersed in the state of deep meditation. He was anchored in the state of sthita prajna and well established in the state of divine vision. His life is an epitome of the scriptures and spiritual truth. Those who came in contact with him were elevated by his wisdom, love, compassion, and spiritual attainment.
Lahiri Mahasaya’s mahasamadhi took place on September 26, 1895, the day of mahaastami worship of Mother Durga. As he entered into the eternal abode of God, he said: “Those who practice this immortal Kriya Yoga shall never perish and become orphans. Obtaining this great and immortal Kriya Yoga from Babaji Maharaj, I resuscitated it in this world. In the future, it will spread to every house, and man will gradually move ahead on this path to the ultimate liberation. The path of salvation shall always remain open to mankind. The time has come for my departure. Even this gross body is destroyed and the ever-existent guru is always with you.” Lahiri Mahasaya’s diaries, interpretations, discourses, and exemplary life remain as testimony to his fathomless state of wisdom and spiritual attainment.