Who is Sri Yukteswar Giri?

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Sri Yukteswar Giri was an Indian Saint. He was born on 10 May 1855 in Serampore, West Bengal, India. His birth name was Priyanath Karar. He was a disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya. He was a member of the Giri branch of Swami Order.

Paramhansa Yogananda referred to him as India’s Jnanavatar(Incarnation of Wisdom) in his book Autobiography of a Yogi. He also referred to him as Lion of Bengal.

Sri Yukteswar like his Guru was a householder. While fulfilling his worldly duties he also attained high spiritual goals and was awarded the title of Swami. He taught his disciples Kriya Yoga. He also had interest in Astrology. He authored a book named Kaivalya Darsanam (The Holy Science). In this book Sri Yukteswar has compared Hindu Scriptures and the Holy Bible. He wrote this book after he was instructed to do so by Mahavtar Babaji.

Sri Yukteswar Giri had one daughter. His father was a wealthy businessman of Serampore. He converted his father’s ancestral mansion to hermitage and trained his disciples there.

His most popular disciple was Paramhansa Yogananda.

By reading Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda, one can understand that there existed selfless unconditional love between Yogananda and Sri Yuktewsar. This love is beautifully expressed by Yogananda in below lines from his autobiography:
“Guruji, I came to you as a high-school youth; now I am a grown man, even with a gray hair or two. Though you have showered me with silent affection from the first hour to this, do you realize that once only, on the day of meeting, have you ever said, ‘I love you’?” I looked at him pleadingly.

Master lowered his gaze. “Yogananda, must I bring out into the cold realms of speech the warm sentiments best guarded by the wordless heart?”

“Guruji, I know you love me, but my mortal ears ache to hear you say so.”

“Be it as you wish. During my married life I often yearned for a son, to train in the yogic path. But when you came into my life, I was content; in you I have found my son.” Two clear teardrops stood in Sri Yukteswar’s eyes. “Yogananda, I love you always.”

Below is a photograph of Sri Yukteswar Giri:

Sri Yukteswar Giri left his physical abode on 9 March 1936.

To know more about Sri Yukteswar Giri, you can read chapter Years in My Master’s Hermitage from the book Autobiography of a yogi.

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