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Babaji's Tree at Dunagiri
Down a few steps from the temple, a sign written in Hindi indicates this tree to be where Babaji Maharaj used to sit and meditate, and where he and Lahiri Mahasaya would meet.

Down a few steps from the temple, a sign written in Hindi indicates this tree to be where Babaji Maharaj used to sit and meditate, and where he and Lahiri Mahasaya would meet.

Babaji's Tree Shrine
Babaji's tree is honored as a shrine, the two stones signifying Babaji and Lahiri Mahasaya's memory. This sacred space is charged with high spiritual energy.

Babaji's tree is honored as a shrine, the two stones signifying Babaji and Lahiri Mahasaya's memory. This sacred space is charged with high spiritual energy.

Ron at Babaji's Shrine
Sitting at this shrine we experienced it as a powerful point of contact with their enlightened consciousness. This temple is one of the most holy places in India, dedicated to Divine Mother, and its sacred spiritual vibrations may be what attracted Babaji to reside in the area, and what led Sri Lahiriji to be exploring this part of the mountains when the two met.

Sitting at this shrine we experienced it as a powerful point of contact with their enlightened consciousness. This temple is one of the most holy places in India, dedicated to Divine Mother, and its sacred spiritual vibrations may be what attracted Babaji to reside in the area, and what led Sri Lahiriji to be exploring this part of the mountains when the two met.

Misty and Sacred Dunagiri
The haze surrounding Dunagiri mountain can be perceived as a soft mystic veil on Divine Mother's face. The great power of this sacred place resonates deeply in one's soul and being. At times, surrounded by clouds above and below, it feels like an island floating in the sea of eternity.

The haze surrounding Dunagiri mountain can be perceived as a soft mystic veil on Divine Mother's face. The great power of this sacred place resonates deeply in one's soul and being. At times, surrounded by clouds above and below, it feels like an island floating in the sea of eternity.

Banks of Varanasi on the Ganges
Varanasi, or Benares, formerly known as Kashi, is one of the oldest living cities in the world. Built on the banks of the sacred Ganges, steeped in a rich and ancient culture, Varanasi is considered as the spiritual capital and holiest city of India and has been home to countless great saints and sages. It is from this spiritual center that the ancient science of spiritual awakening, Kriya Yoga, was reintroduced to the world in the 1860's by Sri Lahiri Mahasaya.

Varanasi, or Benares, formerly known as Kashi, is one of the oldest living cities in the world. Built on the banks of the sacred Ganges, steeped in a rich and ancient culture, Varanasi is considered as the spiritual capital and holiest city of India and has been home to countless great saints and sages. It is from this spiritual center that the ancient science of spiritual awakening, Kriya Yoga, was reintroduced to the world in the 1860's by Sri Lahiri Mahasaya.

Madan Pura Lane
The narrow Madan Pura Lane in the Bengali section of Varanasi, where Lahiri Mahasaya was living. The door of his house is seen on the left. This side of the lane leads to the Muslim market area.

Shyama Charan Lahiri, a great saint of the 19th century known as Lahiri Mahasaya or Kashi Baba, disseminated the Kriya Yoga teachings from his home in the holy Benares. This eminent "secret yogi" was spiritual guide and teacher of Paramahansa Yogananda's parents, his high school tutor, and his own guru Swami Sri Yukteswar.
Here the narrow Madan Pura Lane in the Bengali section of Varanasi, where Lahiri Mahasaya was living. The door of his house is seen on the left. This side of the lane leads to the Muslim market area.

Door of Lahiri Mahasaya's House
Where he lived with his wife and five children from 1864 until his death in 1895. After retirement he dedicated himself completely to his mission as a Kriya Yoga teacher and guru. More than 5000 spiritual seekers discovered this "secret yogi" and many who passed in this door eventually came out as saints because of Lahiri Mahasaya's divine assistance.

Where he lived with his wife and five children from 1864 until his death in 1895. After retirement he dedicated himself completely to his mission as a Kriya Yoga teacher and guru. More than 5000 spiritual seekers discovered this "secret yogi" and many who passed in this door eventually came out as saints because of Lahiri Mahasaya's divine assistance.

Lahiriji's Shrine Pujari Priest
Lahiri Mahasaya's descendants have a priest come to the house twice a day to perform a puja, hindu ritual with offerings symbolizing a reverent connection with the Divine, and reverence for the blessing bestowed upon the world through the presence of this great saint. The house is now kept as a shrine. Visitors are allowed entrance only once a year on Guru Purnima day.

Lahiri Mahasaya's descendants have a priest come to the house twice a day to perform a puja, hindu ritual with offerings symbolizing a reverent connection with the Divine, and reverence for the blessing bestowed upon the world through the presence of this great saint.
The house is now kept as a shrine. Visitors are allowed entrance only once a year on Guru Purnima day.

Devotional Offerings
Every single person passing by this door makes a stop and either touches his heart or presses his forehead on the door as a mark of reverence and devotion. The greatness and spiritual attainment of this saint has transformed the lives of countless numbers of his contemporaries and continues blessing Truth-seekers in our present era, and generations to come, as his teachings continue to be passed along to millions of sincere seekers of Self- and God-realization.

Candle and flowers laid by devotees at Lahiri Mahasaya's doorstep.
Every single person passing by this door makes a stop and either touches his heart or presses his forehead on the door as a mark of reverence and devotion.
The greatness and spiritual attainment of this saint has transformed the lives of countless numbers of his contemporaries and continues blessing Truth-seekers in our present era, and generations to come, as his teachings continue to be passed along to millions of sincere seekers of Self- and God-realization.

Hélène at Lahiri Mahasaya's Doorway
The doorway to Sri Lahiriji's home is a sacred reminder of his powerful presence in our lives. It is honored as a shrine by all who pass. Sitting here one is transported by a tangible spiritual force, as if this were a portal to higher conscious awareness opened and maintained by the great yogi's enlightened being. We visited here several times and each time our meditation was deep and profound.

The doorway to Sri Lahiriji's home is a sacred reminder of his powerful presence in our lives. It is honored as a shrine by all who pass. Sitting here one is transported by a tangible spiritual force, as if this were a portal to higher conscious awareness opened and maintained by the great yogi's enlightened being. We visited here several times and each time our meditation was deep and profound.

Lahiri Mahasaya's House
Lahiri Mahasaya was a householder and lived with his wife and their 5 children. We can imagine him looking through this window or standing on the balcony. While the family lived upstairs, Lahiriji would meet with disciples downstairs after work and his evening meal, for spiritual discussion, teaching and to meditate, often until late in the evening.

Lahiri Mahasaya was a householder and lived with his wife and their 5 children. We can imagine him looking through this window or standing on the balcony. While the family lived upstairs, Lahiriji would meet with disciples downstairs after work and his evening meal, for spiritual discussion, teaching and to meditate, often until late in the evening.

Portal to Chausatti Ghat
At the end of the lane where Lahiri Mahasaya used to come daily for his morning ablutions in the sacred river. Ghats are riverfront steps leading to the banks of the River Ganges.

At the end of the lane where Lahiri Mahasaya used to come daily for his morning ablutions in the sacred river.
Ghats are riverfront steps leading to the banks of the River Ganges.

Lahiri Mahasaya's Bathing Ghat
Riverside view of Chausatti ghat where Lahiri Mahasaya used to take his sacred bath in the Ganges. The arch, entrance to the lane to his home, is seen at the top of the steps toward the left of the picture.

Riverside view of Chausatti ghat where Lahiri Mahasaya used to take his sacred bath in the Ganges. The arch, entrance to the lane to his home, is seen at the top of the steps toward the left of the picture.

Purification Rituals in Ganges
In his boyhood the athletic Shyamacharan Lahiri used to swim to a distant ghat and back again against the strong current of the rainy season. On this picture a devotee of God is seen doing his ablutions and prayer offerings in the holy river. Varanasi has always attracted a large number of pilgrims and worshippers from time immemorial. The number of temples in the city is estimated at 23,000.

In his boyhood the athletic Shyamacharan Lahiri used to swim to a distant ghat and back again against the strong current of the rainy season.
On this picture a devotee of God is seen doing his ablutions and prayer offerings in the holy river.
Varanasi has always attracted a large number of pilgrims and worshippers from time immemorial. The number of temples in the city is estimated at 23,000.

Worship Rituals at Chausatti Ghat
It is easy to imagine Lahiri Mahasaya pouring some Ganges water on the Shiva lingams at Chausatti ghat on his way back home.

After completing his purification rituals in the river a devotee is pouring some Ganges water on the Shiva lingams at Chausatti ghat. It is easy to imagine Lahiri Mahasaya doing the same on his way back home.
Shiva lingams are abstract representations of the Infinite as Its governing principles of Shiva and Shakti. Ever present monkeys watch as the woman in purple makes an offering at a shrine to Divine Mother. Knowing of his love for Her it is easy to envision Lahiriji taking a few moments to honor Her at this shrine as he passed daily on his way home.

Madan Pura Lane
Madan Pura Lane leading from Lahiri Mahasaya's home on the right to Chausatti ghat through the narrow lanes of the ancient city's Bengali section.

Madan Pura Lane leading from Lahiri Mahasaya's home on the right to Chausatti ghat through the narrow lanes of the ancient city's Bengali section.

Illumined Varanasi
View of the banks of the magnificent, ancient, holy Varanasi on the sacred Ganges, looking upstream to the south. It is little known that Yogananda's guru, Sri Yukteswar, also lived for several months each year in Varanasi where he rented rooms. Here he created his Pranab Ashram hermitage and is where his mother lived.

View of the banks of the magnificent, ancient, holy Varanasi on the sacred Ganges, looking upstream to the south.
It is little known that Yogananda's guru, Sri Yukteswar, also lived for several months each year in Varanasi where he rented rooms. Here he created his Pranab Ashram hermitage and is where his mother lived.

Durga Ma
Lahiri Mahasaya chose the most auspicious day and time of Durga Puja (mahashtami, the 8th day of shardiya navaratri festival) for his mahasamadhi (conscious final exit of the body).  After his guru left this world, Sri Yukteswar came every year to Varanasi during Durga Puja to honor Lahiri Mahasaya and commemorate his mahasamadhi.

The Hindu Goddess Durga Ma (Divine Mother) in a temporary "pandal," or temple scene where she defeats the evil buffalo demon, signifying the victory of good over evil. Hundreds of these "Pandals" are erected in cities all across northern India during the 9 day festival of Navaratri or Durga Puja in honor and worship of the feminine, creative, nurturing, aspect of God.
Lahiri Mahasaya chose the most auspicious day and time of Durga Puja (mahashtami, the 8th day of shardiya navaratri festival) for his mahasamadhi (conscious final exit of the body).

Ranamahal and Chausatti Ghats
The Ranamahal palace with its three porches facing the Ganges, attached to the northern part of Chausatti Ghat, is where Sri Yukteswar rented rooms and where his mother lived. The Chausatti ghat (red and white steps on the left of the picture) is close to Lahiri Mahasaya's house, where he would come daily for his ablutions in the sacred river.

The Ranamahal palace with its three porches facing the Ganges, attached to the northern part of Chausatti Ghat, is where Sri Yukteswar rented rooms and where his mother lived. The Chausatti ghat (red and white steps on the left of the picture) is close to Lahiri Mahasaya's house, where he would come daily for his ablutions in the sacred river.

Ranamahal Palace from Chausatti Ghat
View of Ranamahal ghat from Chausatti ghat. Sri Yukteswarji chose this beautiful place close to his guru's house to be his home when he would stay in Varanasi for three months every year. He created a hermitage here, Pranab Ashram.  While visiting he would conduct spiritual and astrological discussions and conferences, and visit his aging mother who had moved, like many elderly folks, to live out her final days in this sacred city. She too lived in the rented rooms he kept in Rana Mahal.

View of Ranamahal ghat from Chausatti ghat. Sri Yukteswarji chose this beautiful place close to his guru's house to be his home when he would stay in Varanasi for three months every year. He created a hermitage here, Pranab Ashram.
While visiting he would conduct spiritual and astrological discussions and conferences, and visit his aging mother who had moved, like many elderly folks, to live out her final days in this sacred city. She too lived in the rented rooms he kept in Rana Mahal.

Sri Yukteswar's Rooms at Rana Mahal
Sri Yukteswar's rented rooms where his mother lived and where he had his Pranab Ashram hermitage. We can just imagine him standing here on his balcony overlooking the Ganges.   It is also here that he had the young Yogananda come, right after they first met at the Bengalitola market of Varanasi, when he told him to go back to his family home in Kolkata and resume his studies.

Sri Yukteswar's rented rooms where his mother lived and where he had his Pranab Ashram hermitage. We can just imagine him standing here on his balcony overlooking the Ganges.
It is also here that he had the young Yogananda come, right after they first met at the Bengalitola market of Varanasi, when he told him to go back to his family home in Kolkata and resume his studies.

Bengalitola Market
This is probably the narrow lane at the Bengalitola market where Yogananda met his guru Sri Yukteswar for the first time in 1910. At that time Yogananda (still Mukunda - he had not yet become a Swami) had moved here right after high school and was living in an ashram nearby.

This is probably the narrow lane at the Bengalitola market where Yogananda met his guru Sri Yukteswar for the first time in 1910.
At that time Yogananda (still Mukunda - he had not yet become a Swami) had moved here right after high school and was living in an ashram nearby.

Bangalitola Kali Temple
The entrance of a very ancient Kali Temple in the lane opening into the Bengali market, from where Sri Yukteswar and Lahiri Mahasaya were living. We can easily imagine that this is the spot where Sri Yukteswar was standing when Yogananda saw him, both of them attracted and enchanted by the vision of Divine Mother orchestrating and supervising it all.

The entrance of a very ancient Kali Temple in the lane opening into the Bengali market, from where Sri Yukteswar and Lahiri Mahasaya were living.
We can easily imagine that this is the spot where Sri Yukteswar was standing when Yogananda saw him, both of them attracted and enchanted by the vision of Divine Mother orchestrating and supervising it all.

Trailanga Swami's Home behind the Alamgir Mosque
Trailanga Swami was a great saint of Varanasi who lived to be 280 years old according to some accounts. He was a contemporary of Lahiri Mahasaya and they knew and had great respect for each other.  Sri Yukteswar also used to visit him regularly. Trailanga Swami's residence was right behind the 17th century Alamgir Mosque.

Trailanga Swami was a great saint of Varanasi who lived to be 280 years old according to some accounts. He was a contemporary of Lahiri Mahasaya and they knew and had great respect for each other.
Sri Yukteswar also used to visit him regularly.
Trailanga Swami's residence was right behind the 17th century Alamgir Mosque, built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, on the site where he demolished the Kashi Vishwanath temple. The magnificent original temple dated back to 490A.D. and was considered one of the holiest places in all of India.

Trailanga Swami's House
Before meeting Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar used to visit this great highly revered saint, and practiced his personal spiritual instructions for sadhana. Even after receiving initiation from his guru Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar continued to often visit Trailanga Swami. Trailanga Swami had a voluminous body. When he was a slender young boy, Yoganandaji used to keep a photo of this saint next to his photo of Lahiri Mahasaya, he would visualize himself having a full-bodied constitution like them.

Before meeting Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar used to visit this great highly revered saint, and practiced his personal spiritual instructions for sadhana. Even after receiving initiation from his guru Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar continued to often visit Trailanga Swami.
Trailanga Swami had a voluminous body, weighing nearly 300 pounds. When he was a slender young boy, Yoganandaji used to keep a photo of this saint next to his photo of Lahiri Mahasaya, he would visualize himself having a full-bodied constitution like them.

Ron with Children at Swami Trailanga's Doorway
At the doorway to the great spiritual giant that was Trailanga Swami we were met by delightful, curious children. It was as if we were being reminded of the playful, childlike demeanor of so many great saints. Trailanga Swami was a friend and mentor to Sri Yukteswarji, and a friend of Lahiri Mahasaya.

At the doorway to the great spiritual giant that was Trailanga Swami we were met by delightful, curious children. It was as if we were being reminded of the playful, childlike demeanor of so many great saints. Trailanga Swami was a friend and mentor to Sri Yukteswarji, and a friend of Lahiri Mahasaya.

Puri Beach - Bay of Bengal
In the early 1900's Sri Yukteswar Giri (known as Priyanath Karar Swami at that time) founded a small ashram in the holy city of Puri on the Bay of Bengal, Orissa. He bought the land with the intention to establish a residential school specializing in astrology, philosophical and spiritual studies. He resided at his Puri ashram for a few months every year, training young spiritual aspirants. It was there that he made his final transition in 1936. His body is buried in a marble shrine in the ashram's garden.

In the early 1900's Sri Yukteswar Giri (known as Priyanath Karar Swami at that time) founded a small ashram in the holy city of Puri on the Bay of Bengal, Orissa. He bought the land with the intention to establish a residential school specializing in astrology, philosophical and spiritual studies. The ashram soon began to fulfill its mission by receiving the young students of Sri Yukteswar's "Sadhu Sabha", the spiritual organization he founded.

Karar Ashram Gate
When he established this seaside hermitage, not yet a swami, he was known as Priyanath Karar Swami. He named his educational center "Karar Ashram". When he became Swami Sriyukteswar, he instructed his residents that the meaning of 'Karar' was 'servant'. While giving satsang (spiritual discourse) he would advise that each individual be a helper or servant to each other.

When he established this seaside hermitage, not yet a swami, he was known as Priyanath Karar Swami. He named his educational center "Karar Ashram". When he became Swami Sri Yukteswar, he instructed his residents that the meaning of 'Karar' was 'servant'. While giving satsang (spiritual discourse) he would advise that each individual be a helper or servant to each other.

Karar Ashram
The back side of the two-storied ashram faces the Bay of Bengal. This is where the young Mukunda (later Swami Yogananda) spent his summer college vacations. Yukteswarji's room was to the right of the doorway and Yoganadaji's room was to the left. Swami Sriyukteswar's farsighted, innovative vision of education emphasized an all round development of body, mind and soul, beginning in infancy. He aimed at wholistic, personalized, disciplined, and balanced training for his young ashram students.

The back side of the two-storied ashram faces the Bay of Bengal.
This is where the young Mukunda (later Swami Yogananda) spent his summer college vacations. Yukteswarji's room was to the right of the doorway and Yoganadaji's room was to the left.

Sri Yukteswar Samadhi Temple
Paramahansa Yogananda had his younger brother Sananda build this temple over the burial site of Sriyukteswar's body and supervised all the details of the construction through a regular correspondence with his brother. Yoganandaji was highly pleased with his brothers inspired design of the gleaming white marble structure topped with its golden lotus made of polished copper. Construction of the samadhi temple was completed in 1952.

Sri Yukteswar Giri samadhi mandir (burial place temple) in the garden of the Puri ashram.
Paramahansa Yogananda had his younger brother Sananda build this temple over the burial site of Sri Yukteswar's body and supervised all the details of the construction through a regular correspondence with his brother. Yoganandaji was highly pleased with his brothers inspired design of the gleaming white marble structure topped with its golden lotus made of polished copper. Construction of the samadhi temple was completed in 1952.

Samadhi Shrine of Sri Yukteswar
Sri Yukteswar's samadhi (tomb) inside of the temple. Sri Yukteswarji consciously left his physical body in Puri ashram on March 9, 1936, while his dearest disciple, Paramahansa Yogananda was traveling in India. Heartbroken, Yoganandaji conducted the ancient burial rites for his beloved guru. Sriyukteswarji's body, still seated in lotus posture, was lowered into the crypt, facing the holy Jagannath Temple.

Sri Yukteswar's samadhi (tomb) inside of the temple.
Sri Yukteswarji consciously left his physical body in Puri ashram on March 9, 1936, while his dearest disciple, Paramahansa Yogananda was traveling in India.
Heartbroken, Yoganandaji conducted the ancient burial rites for his beloved guru. Sri Yukteswarji's body, still seated in lotus posture, was lowered into the crypt, facing the holy Jagannath Temple.

Entrance Sri Yukteswar's Meditation Room
Entrance to the small room where Swami Sri Yukteswar would meditate. Sriyukteswarji used to sleep only a few hours, get up early before 3 am and meditate till dawn every day. Yoganandaji would also meditate here when he was in residence.

Entrance to the small room where Swami Sri Yukteswar would meditate.
Sri Yukteswarji used to sleep only a few hours, get up early before 3 am and meditate till dawn every day. Yoganandaji would also meditate here when he was in residence.

Sri Yukteswar's Meditation Room
Sri Yukteswarji's special place for meditation. It is a 5' X 7' room with a small window on the garden. It also possibly served as his puja (Hindu worship rituals) room. A photo of the Goddess Kali and a photo of Lahiri Mahasaya are presiding on a little altar.

Sri Yukteswarji's special place for meditation. It is a 5' X 7' room with a small window on the garden. It also possibly served as his puja (Hindu worship rituals) room.
A photo of the Goddess Kali and a photo of Lahiri Mahasaya are presiding on a little altar.

Ron Meditating in Sri Yukteswarji's Room
At Sri Yukteswarji's Puri ashram we were shown to his personal meditation room and allowed to sit in silent meditation and contemplation. This was another powerfully charged spiritual atmosphere where meditation flowed easily to thought free awareness and communion with the divine essence of our beloved gurus.

At Sri Yukteswarji's Puri ashram we were shown to his personal meditation room and allowed to sit in silent meditation and contemplation. This was another powerfully charged spiritual atmosphere where meditation flowed easily to thought free awareness and communion with the divine essence of our beloved gurus.

The Famous Back Door
In the rear wall of the ashram grounds is the back door that Yoganandaji had forgotten to lock in the story of The Cauliflower Robbery in his Autobiography of a Yogi.

In the rear wall of the ashram grounds is the back door that Yoganandaji had forgotten to lock in the story of The Cauliflower Robbery in his Autobiography of a Yogi.

Paramahansa Hariharananda Samadhi Mandir
The 70 acre property is well maintained with beautiful gardens, guest facilities, and a home for cows and rescued bulls. In 1950, when Swami Sevananda, the monk in charge of Karar Ashram, became ill, Rabinarayan (later Swami Hariharananda) took charge of the Puri ashram and was authorized by Paramahansa Yogananda to give Kriya Yoga initiation. He later founded the Kriya Yoga Institute which has centers on several continents.

Paramahansa Hariharananda Samadhi Mandir (burial shrine) at his Kriya Yoga ashram in Puri. The 70 acre property is well maintained with beautiful gardens, guest facilities, and a home for cows and rescued bulls.
In 1950, when Swami Sevananda, the monk in charge of Karar Ashram, became ill, Rabinarayan (later Swami Hariharananda) took charge of the Puri ashram and was authorized by Paramahansa Yogananda to give Kriya Yoga initiation.
He later founded the Kriya Yoga Institute which has centers on several continents.

Totapuri Baba Samadhi
He was a wandering naga (naked monk) of the Dasnami order of Adi Shankara and is considered a very great saint. Totapuri Maharaj, also known as Digambar Baba, spent the last 40 years of his life doing sadhana (spiritual practice) at the top of an isolated sand dune in Puri, and gave up his mortal form in 1961. The ashramites of the Advaita Brahma Ashram say that Totapuriji also met Swami Sriyukteswar, which makes sense as they lived in the same city and Sriyukteswarji was always very keen on meeting saints

Samadhi (tomb) of Totapuri Baba at the Advaita Brahma Ashram of Puri.
He was a wandering naga (naked monk) of the Dasnami order of Adi Shankara and is considered a very great saint. He is said to have lived for about 300 years and to have mastered all disciplines of yoga. It is believed that it was he who introduced Sri Ramakrishna to Advaita (non-dual) philosophy and taught him to meditate on the absolute, without form, which enabled him to become fully enlightened. Sri Ramakrishna was one of Yoganandaji's greatest heroes.

Totapuriji's Tercentennial Tree
The magnificent banyan tree, at the rear of the ashram buildings, where Totapuri Baba used to meditate. When visitors would enquire about his age he would point at this tree, meaning that he was as old as the banyan. The ashram was built after Totapuriji's physical demise.

The magnificent banyan tree, at the rear of the ashram buildings, where Totapuri Baba used to meditate. When visitors would enquire about his age he would point at this tree, meaning that he was as old as the banyan.
The ashram was built after Totapuriji's physical demise.

Sunset Puri Beach
When in residence at his seaside hermitage Sri Yukteswarji Maharaj used to take a walk on the beach every morning after his meditation, the expansive views on the Bay of Bengal in perfect resonance with his oneness consciousness.

When in residence at his seaside hermitage Sri Yukteswarji Maharaj used to take a walk on the beach every morning after his meditation, the expansive views on the Bay of Bengal in perfect resonance with his oneness consciousness.
Just as the rising sun dispels the darkness of night, so day after day, year after year, Swami Sriyukteswar gave sacred Kriya Yoga initiation to many men and women, illumining their lives, empowering each of them to grow spiritually, to awaken to their true nature, and live to their full potential.

Hélène at Lahiri Mahasaya Shrine
The shrine where a portion of Lahiri Mahasaya's ashes are kept is at Keshabananda's ashram, Haridwar, in the Himalayan foothills.

The shrine where a portion of Lahiri Mahasaya's ashes are kept is at Keshabananda's ashram, Haridwar, in the Himalayan foothills.
Swami Keshabananda was an advanced disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya and was present at his mahasamadhi (conscious departure of the body) and cremation rites. He was one of the disciples to whom Lahiri Mahasaya appeared after his body had been consigned to the flames. When Keshabanandaji returned to his Haridwar hermitage, he carried with him the sacred ashes of his beloved guru.

Ron at Keshavashram Sanctified Tree
At the Keshavashram we were told that this is the tree where Lahiri Mahasaya appeared to Keshabananda a few days before the blessed guru's physical demise. "Come at once to Benares", he said.

At the Keshavashram we were told that this is the tree where Lahiri Mahasaya appeared to Keshabananda a few days before the blessed guru's physical demise. "Come at once to Benares", he said.

Ron in the Ganges at Vashishtha's Cave
A little above Rishikesh in the Himalayan foothills is Vashishtha guha, a sacred cave where many enlightened yogis have lived and done penance for thousands of years. The magnificent scenic location of the cave, on the banks of the Ganges, is across two hundred meters of boulder strewn river bed.

A little above Rishikesh in the Himalayan foothills is Vashishtha guha, a sacred cave where many enlightened yogis have lived and done penance for thousands of years. More recently it was the residence and secluded place of spiritual practice of Swami Purushottamananda, a monk of the Ramakrishna mission who attained the supreme God-realization here.

Hélène at Swami Sivananda's Samadhi
The spiritual giant, Swami Sivananda's samadhi (tomb) at the Divine Life Society's ashram in Rishikesh.

The spiritual giant, Swami Sivananda's samadhi (tomb) at the Divine Life Society's ashram in Rishikesh.
While meditating and relaxing in the holy atmosphere of his God-realized consciousness, we contemplated the tremendous and lasting influence such saints, endowed with a planetary mission, have on the world, and upon the importance of each individual's personal commitment to God-realization.

Hélène at Neem Karoli Baba Kainchi Ashram
The beautiful compound stands in the green and sacred mountains of the Himalayan foothills, in the Kumaon hills.

On our way from Kathgodam train station to the Yogoda Dwarahat ashram, we had our taxi make a stop to pay our respects to another great saint at Neem Karoli Baba Kainchi ashram. The beautiful compound stands in the green and sacred mountains of the Himalayan foothills, in the Kumaon hills. We felt blessed as we reverently sat in meditation in the peace permeated room of the great powerful yogi. The whole ashram is like floating in a realm of higher vibrations that awaken one's divine essence.

Ron at the Kali Temple
It was here that Yoganandaji would often come as a youth, still in high school, to meditate in the grove of trees where his spiritual hero, Sri Ramakrishna, experienced his enlightenment.

Visiting the beautiful Kali Temple in Dakshineswar on the outskirts of Kolkata on the last day of Navratri (festival honoring Divine Mother) we felt a special connection with Yoganandaji. It was here that he would often come as a youth, still in high school, to meditate in the grove of trees where his spiritual hero, Sri Ramakrishna, experienced his enlightenment.

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