Well Known Kriya Yoga Masters
Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj is both ageless and eternally young. Sometimes he is formless, while at other times, he appears before his disciples in any form he wishes to liberate humanity from its worldly fetters.
Mahavatar means “Divine Incarnation”, a title bestowed on Babaji. This Himalayan yogi is said to incarnate himself each time that it is necessary to relight the Kriya Yoga flame. He is the deathless mahavatar who in 1861 gave Kriya Yoga initiation to Lahiri Mahasaya, and thereby restored to the world the ancient technique of salvation.
Sri Lahiri Mahasaya
Kriya Yoga was taught to Lahiri Mahasaya in the last century by a Himalayan yogi known under the name of Babaji. The story of Lahiri Mahasaya’s meeting with Babaji is related in Paramahansa Yogananda’s book, Autobiography of a Yogi.
Lahiri Mahasaya was a layman householder but he had obtained the highest realization by the means of Kriya Yoga. He soon became famous and many disciples came to him. He taught Kriya Yoga to monks as well as to householders. He has been called a Yogavatar, “an incarnation of Yoga”.
Sri Yukteswar Giri
Among Lahiri Mahasaya’s best disciples was Sri Yukteswar who was also a married man. Later he joined the monastic order and was known as Swami Yukteswar Giri. Sri Yukteswar was also a great astrologer, and created a form of astrology which he called Cosmic Astrology. This system establishes the relation between the planets, the stationary stars, the signs of the zodiac and the energy centres (chakras) situated in the human body. This astrology is therefore in direct relationship with the practice of Kriya Yoga.
Paramahamsa Yogananda (1893–1952) is considered one of the pre-eminent spiritual figures of modern times.
Paramahamsa literally means “supreme swan (soul)”, and this title was bestowed on Yogananda by Swami Sri Yukteswar in 1935. Paramahamsa Yogananda, author of “Autobiography of a Yogi”, was one of the first Indian yogis to come to the West. Residing in the United States until his mahasamadhi (a yogi’s final conscious exit from the body) in 1952, he had an important part in spreading Kriya Yoga around the world.