“Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires and satisfactions. Divine love is without condition, without boundary, without change. The flux of the human heart is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love.”
Swami Shriyukteshwar Giri was born to a disciplined, punctilious, and diligent wealthy father, Kshetranath Karar, and a pious mother, Kadambini Devi, on the tenth of May, 1855 in Serampore on the banks of the holy river Ganga. Originally named Priyanath Karar, he was brilliant, inquisitive, fearless, bold, highly spiritual, reasonable, and logical from his very childhood. His innate, deep-rooted tendency to quest inwardly and his unquenchable thirst for knowledge helped him pass all his school examinations successfully and then attend college and medical school.
After the death of his father, under the guidance of his God-conscious mother, he married according to his mother’s wish. Despite his many achievements, his family life, his medical knowledge, his mastery of astronomy and astrology, and his knowledge of many languages, including English, French, Hindi, Bengali, and Sanskrit, he still thirsted for deep spiritual knowledge. An intense desire for God-realization drove him to visit many sages and saints. His quest remained unfulfilled until he met his Shri Shyamacharana Lahiri Mahasaya and got initiated to sacred yogic technique of Kriya Yoga. From the auspicious day of his initiation into Kriya Yoga, Priyanath devoted himself sincerely to meditation and Kriya practice in close correspondence and company with Lahiri Mahasaya.
Upon returning to Serampore from the Kumbha Mela, he started the holy project, as directed by Babaji Maharaj, of writing a synthesis between Western philosophy and Eastern mysticism. He soon completed the work titled Kaivalya Darshana(The Holy Science), and Babaji Maharaj, as promised, privileged Priyanath with his darshan when he was coming out from his bath in the river Ganga after meditating the whole night.
On March 22, 1903, the day of Vernal Equinox according to Priyanath’s cosmic astrology, not the conventional April 13 or 14, he established a hermitage named Karar Ashram in Puri, Orissa, India. It was a milestone in the history of Kriya Yoga. Brought from the labyrinthine caverns of the Himalayas to the plains by his master, Yogiraj Shyamacharana Lahiri Mahasaya, Kriya Yoga was spread by his worthy disciple Shriyukteshwarji to mingle with the infinite ocean.
As revealed beforehand to his disciple Narayan, Swami Shriyukteshwar entered into mahasamadhi on the 9th of March, 1936, in Puri Karar Ashram. A worthy disciple can be a worthy master. He produced many worthy God-realized and world-renowned disciples such as Paramahamsa Yogananda and Paramahamsa Hariharananda, who successfully fructified their master’s dream by spreading Kriya Yoga to every nook and corner of the world.
Swami Shriyukteshwar advised all spiritual seekers to practice self-control, steadiness in spiritual practice, deep scriptural insight, self-surrender, and strict discipline.