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Life of a Saint

Venerated Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri (vegetarian): Holy Science and Self-Realization, Part 1 of 2

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Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri was born Priya Nath Karar on May 10, 1855, in Serampore, West Bengal, India. His father was a wealthy landowner. Sri Yukteswar was fairly young when He inherited and shouldered the burden of managing His family’s land holdings upon His father’s passing.

It was through a friendship with a local maharaj that Sri Yukteswar met His own Guru, Lahiri Mahasaya, a disciple of Immortal Saint, Mahavatar Babaji. Sri Yukteswar was a frequent guest of Guru Lahiri Mahasaya in Benares, spending long hours in His company. Due to His absolute zeal and devotion to His Guru, His unrelenting practice of discipline (tapas) and self-study (svadhyaya), and His observance of a vegetarian diet, Sri Yukteswar made rapid spiritual progress.

Kriya Yoga is the yogic science by which human evolution can be quickened. The ancient Yogic text “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” describes Kriya Yoga in the second chapter. Kriya Yoga, the origin of God-communion taught by Lord Jesus Christ and Lord Sri Krishna, frees the mind from sensory obstacles for meditation purposes. Mahavatar Babaji is known for manifesting a majestic palace to initiate Lahiri Mahasaya into Kriya Yoga. The three Kriya Lineage Masters to spread this ancient spiritual science are Sri Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar, and Paramahansa Yogananda. Babaji avowed, “The Kriya Yoga that I am giving to the world through you in this 19th century is a revival of the same science that Krishna gave millenniums ago to Arjuna, and that was later known to Patanjali and Christ, and to St. John, St. Paul, and other disciples.”

At the behest of Babaji and with the blessings of Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar Giri busied Himself with research and began writing. Having foreseen that the upcoming century was to be an expedient series of both inner and outer evolutions of change, He knew the timing was ripe for the book. In 1894, He published “The Holy Science,” a guiding light on the pathway to spiritual revelations.

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