Sunday, September 2, 2007


This is Paramahamsa Hariharananda. A fully God-realized and highly respected disciple of Shriyukteshwar. One of the great Kriya Yoga masters and world teachers, he had attained the pulseless, breathless state of meditation known as nirvikalpa samadhi -- the highest attainment of a dedicated Yogi.
Born: 27th May 1907,Monday(Baisakh Purnima) Childhood Name: Rabindranath
Father: Haripada Bhattacharya
Mother : Nabinkali Devi
Initiated by Sri Yukteswar Giri in the year 1932
Left the World: 3rd. December 2002 in Miami, U S A.
Bhusamadhi : 15th Dec. 2002 at Balighai Hariharananda Gurukulam in Puri, State - Orissa, Country - India.

Paramahamsa Hariharananda known affectionately as "BABA" (Father) to his students, was widely known as a God-realized Kriya Yogi in the lineage of Babaji Maharaj, Shri Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahasaya, Swami Shriyukteshwar Giri and Paramahamsa Yogananda .

But who was Baba? A divine mystery, A Fountain of Chaotic Beauty & Immortal Bliss and An Ocean of Infinite Compassion & Humility. As Baba himself once said, "If anyone tried to know who is Baba, he would go mad"...

He spent his life studying, teaching and fulfilling his mission to share the philosophy and technique of Kriya Yoga with the people of the world. He was much revered as a fountain of love, strength, and wisdom for the thousands of students he personally taught all over the world.

Baba was born as Robindranath Bhattacharya, into a family that strongly emphasized spiritual practice and education,in the hamlet of Habibpur, on the bank of the sacred river Ganga, in the district of Nadia, West Bengal, 65 Km from Kolkata. Nadia is considered one of the holiest places in India as many great saints and sages were born there.

Nadia is well known for the birthplace of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1485-1533). Deemed to be a reincarnation of Shri Krishna, he was instrumental in reviving the bhakti(devotional) movement in India.
Baba's father Haripada Bhattacharya was an affluent community landlord. He was a Brahmin, known for his integrity and self-discipline. He was as scholar of Sanskrit, well versed in the scriptures of Hinduism and had a thorough knowledge of Ayurveda, homeopathy, some modern medicine as well as an interest in legal matters. He led a strict life with a deep love for God and had high ethical and moral standards.He was a respected priest, astrologer, and healer. He had divined the special destiny of his tenth child, and used to call him affectionately "Sannyasi Thakur" (Lord monk).

Baba's mother, Nabin Kali, was a pious and devoted woman from the village of Birnagar, Nadia and came from a Brahmin family. Nabin Kali literally means Eternal Mother Divine. She had a compassionate heart and charitable nature helping the poor and needy in the community. She was a virtuous and tender-hearted woman, who imbued her son with qualities of extraordinary compassion and tenderness.

Nabin Kali and Haripada had eleven children, five sons and six daughters. Rabindranath was the youngest son and later came to be known as Paramahamsa Hariharananda.

At four and a half, Hariharananda had already memorized all the puja mantras of Hinduism by simply hearing his father, recite them a few times. By the age of twelve, he took initiation in the path of Jnana Yoga from the renowned realized master Shri Bijoy Krishna Chattopadhyay after visiting him a couple of times in the company of his brother Pareshnath and brother-in-law, both disciples of his. A disciple of Trailinga Swami of Benares, Bijoy Krishna Chattopadhyaya was known as "Howrah Thakur" because he lived in the Howrah suburb of Kolkata.

In 1932, he went to meet the great Kriya master, Swami Shriyukteshwar Giri. Pleased by the divine propensities of young Rabindranath, Shriyukteshwarji initiated him into Kriya Yoga, in his Serampore ashram, West Bengal, also taught him cosmic astrology, and entreated him to come and live in his Karar Ashram in Puri, Orissa. Due to Professional and family obligations, Robi was not able to fulfill his master's wishes until six years later.

In 1935, he met Paramahamsa Yogananda, and received the second Kriya initiation from him. In 1938, he renounced the material life and entered his Master's Ashram in Puri, Orissa, starting the life of an ascetic monk as Brahmachari Rabinarayan.

He received the third Kriya initiation from Swami Satyananda Giri in 1941, the then head of the Karar Ashram and childhood friend of Paramahamsa Yogananda.

Shrimat Bhupendranath Sanyal Mahasaya (1877-1962), youngest disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya, and close friend of Rabindranath Tagore.the last higher Kriya initiations were given by Shrimat Bhupendranath Sanyal, during 1943 to 1945 the pious householder disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya.

During his time in Puri, he had the great fortune of meeting and receiving the blessings of many divine masters such as Sri Anandamoyee Ma. The Holy Mother, who also had an ashram in Puri, used to call him affectionately her "Sahib Baba" as she first met him before his monkhood, when he was still wearing fashionable Western clothes.

BABA also spent some time with Nanga Baba Digambara Paramahamsa, the great "sky-clad" realized master who lived on the far side of Puri near the Lokanath Temple. This mysterious saint is also identified as Totapuri, the guru of Ramakrishna, and is said to have lived over 350 years. A holy hermitage of Nanga Baba known as Girinaribanta Ashram by locals of Puri is there emanating divine serenity and peace in solitude.

Baba also met Shri Sitaram Das Omkarnath, a well-known Vaishnava saint of Varanasi. Omkarnath Baba was cousion our beloved Baba also from Naida the holy land of Sri chaitanya.

In the mid-40's, the most secret technique of samadhi was revealed to him by a young, anonymous and mysterious yogi, who came and appeared in Karar Ashram. During this period he attained six stages of samadhi.

In 1948, after eleven years spent in silence and seclusion in his cell, he attained the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the pulseless and breathless highest spiritual attainment of a dedicated yogi.

A few months later, in 1949, while still in seclusion in his monastic cell, he obtained twice the vision of the deathless yogi Babaji Maharaj, who blessed him and prophesized that his mission would be to spread the original message of the Kriya masters to the whole world.

After following a strict spiritual practice of meditation and maintaining silence for many years, he was empowered by Paramahamsa Yogananda, in 1951, to initiate others into Kriya Yoga. Thus, he started his long missionary work that took him to the length and breadth of his beloved India. In his monastic cell, most nights found him meditating before his presiding deity Mother Kali, a form of formless Divine mother.
On September 27, 1958 the Divine Mother appeared before him and blessed him with Her divine effulgence, confirming his divine mission for the spiritual upliftment of the world.

On May 27, 1959 he took formal monastic vows from the Shankaracharya of Puri Srimad Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha (the Hindu equivalent to the Pope) and was named Swami Hariharananda Giri.

The year 1974 marked his first journey to the West, where he would return every year to spread the message of divine love through conscious awareness of God within. His travels took him all over Europe, South America, the United States, and Canada where he established centers and ashrams. He remained extensively in the West after 1990 and his work continues from headquarters on three continents: Vienna, Austria; Miami, USA; and Jagatpur, Orissa, India.

Kriya Yoga is non-sectarian and is practiced by people of all religions. Paramahamsa Hariharananda was well versed in the holy scriptures of India, the Holy Bible, the Torah, the Quran, as well as Buddhist scriptures and the teachings of all religions. He illuminated their meaning by providing interpretations in a new metaphorical way. His writings include "Kriya Yoga: The Scientific Process of Soul-Culture," "The Bhagavad Gita In the Light of Kriya Yoga: A Rare Metaphorical Explanation for God-Realization," and numerous other publications.

Baba initiated his chosen disciple Brahmachari Triloki into monkhood and named him as Swami Prajnanananda, to carry out his mission in the west. On August 10, 1998, the highest title, Paramahamsa, a designation reserved for monks and saints who have attained the summit of realization was conferred upon Swami Prajnanananda by his Master Paramahamsa Hariharananda. Paramahamsa Prajnananandaji is the president of Kriya organizations started by Baba Hariharanandaji Maharaj and the current head of a great lineage of Kriya Yoga Guru Parampara.

A significant part of Hariharananda's legacy is evident in the charitable works he committed to throughout his lifetime. Through the Hariharananda Charitable Health Centers over 50,000 people receive medical care and supplies each year. As a part of the Charitable Health Centers a variety of outreach and educational programs have been implemented including mobile medical and dental services, livestock vaccinations, the building of library's and schools, and AIDS education/awareness programs.

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