Yukteswar was born in Serampore, India on May 10, 1855 and had the family name
of Priya Nath Karada. His father was a wealthy businessman who left him
the estate that became his hermitage in Serampore. He had little formal
schooling, married as a young man, and had a daughter. His pursuit of
truth led him to Lahiri Mahasaya of Banaras who passed on to him the spiritual
technique of Kriya Yoga, through which he attained spiritual illumination.
After his wife died, he joined the Swami order and received the name Sri
Yukteswar Giri. Yukteswar means united to Ishwara (a name of God), Giri is
a distinction of one of the ten ancient Swami branches and Sri means holy.
Sri Yukteswar was called Jnanavatar (Incarnation of Wisdom).
Babaji, a Christ-like saint,
an immortal yogi and great siddha is one who has overcome ordinary human
limitations, and who works behind the scenes silently for the spiritual
evolution of all humanity. He has
for centuries lived in the Himalayas guiding many spiritual teachers at a
Babaji was the one who had
taught a powerful series of yogic techniques, know as "Kriya Yoga," to
Lahiri Mahasaya, around 1861, who subsequently initiated many others, including
Sri Yukteswar, some thirty years later. Sri Yukteswar passed on this wisdom to
his disciple Paramahansa Yogananda.
He was born on the 30th day of
November 203 A.D., in a small coastal village now known as Parangipettai, in
Tamil Nadu, India, near where the Cauvery River flows into the Indian Ocean.
Babaji was given the name "Nagaraj" which means "serpent
king" referring to "kundalini" our great divine potential power
Since that time, Babaji has
continued to guide and inspire some of history's greatest saints and many
spiritual teachers in the fulfillment of their mission. These include Adi
Shankaracharya, the great 9th century A.D. reformer of Hinduism, and Kabir, the
15th century saint beloved by both the Hindus and Muslims. Both of them were
personally initiated by Babaji and refer to him in their writings.
He has maintained the remarkable appearance of a youth of about 16 years of age. Babaji's great contribution to the world in modern times has been the revival, beginning in 1861, of Kriya Yoga, whom Patanjali refers to in his famous "Yoga-Sutras."
Meher Baba was born as Merwan in Poona, India on February 25, 1894. At the age of 19 he met Hazrat Babajan, a Perfect Master and after a year of knowing her she kissed him on the forehead between his eyebrows. This caused him to attain an instant state of self-realization. Months later he was drawn to Upasni Maharaj who greeted him with a stone thrown at him that struck him in the exact same place that Babajan had kissed him. This was the stroke of divine knowledge.
Merwan became Meher Baba when one of his disciples started addressing him that way in 1922. Baba is an address of love and respect. The name stayed with him the rest of his life. Three years later Baba announced to his disciples that he would not speak because his spiritual task would be heavy.
Meher Baba had disciples in the east and disciples in the west. In 1953 he announced to the world that he was the Avatar, the ancient one who came before as Zoroaster, Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed. During the last 44 years of his life amidst intense activity and world travel he remained silent. His purpose was to ultimately generate a new humanity based on love and cooperation with the Divine. He died on January 31, 1969 without breaking his vow of silence.