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OUR TEACHERS

Sri Yukteswar          Babaji           Meher Baba


SRI YUKTESWAR GIRI

Sri Yukteswar is a major teacher in Babaji’s Kriya lineage and the venerable guru of Paramahansa Yogananda. During his incarnation, he lived and taught the benefits of truth, simplicity and man’s ability to realize unity with God -- the essence of the yogic path. He regarded yoga as part science, part faith and part theory. “For one to know truth,” he discerned, “one must constantly be asking what is true.” Walking with integrity and dedication, his journey became an expression of man’s great potential to realize wisdom.

Born Priya Nath Karar on May 10, 1855 in Serampore, India, he became a student of medicine, astronomy, Christianity and Vedic astrology. Advanced in his study, he developed a science and geography curriculum for young people. He lost his father at a young age and later his wife as well. In 1883, at the age of 28, he met his teacher Lahiri Mahasaya, one of the earliest householder yogis. Priya Nath was initiated into Babaji’s technique of Kriya yoga, designed for a new era of yogis to achieve God awareness through a spiritual practice that was woven into their walk in the world. He would soon become known as Sri Yukteswar Giri.

After ten years of Lahiri Mahasaya’s instruction, Babaji called on Sri Yukteswar to write a text that would reveal the essential unity between the Christian Bible and the eastern scriptures. Babaji then bestowed upon Sri Yukteswar the title of Swami. This text, known as The Holy Science, points out that at their core all scriptures address a common goal, and that the innate desire of man, and indeed all creatures, is an eagerness “to realize three things: Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.” At Babaji’s request, the text also recalculated the correct measure of the Yugas, the planetary cycles which, over thousands of years, influence the seasons of consciousness that impact man’s spiritual awareness. The Holy Science demonstrates “the harmony underlying the various religions,” particularly the similarities between Christianity and the scriptures of the East. These teachings became the foundation of Yogananda’s mission to bridge the traditions of East and West, when he came to America in 1920.

Though not well known or sought out in his time, in part, as Yogananda said, because “his truthful candor was too difficult for most to hear”, Sri Yukteswar was of "unerring spiritual insight" and had merged with the consciousness of the Divine. His relationship with Yogananda exemplifies a God Realized teacher’s ability to guide a student to their own realization of God. It was perhaps the greatest expression of Sri Yukteswar’s incarnation that he was the embodiment of a Sat Guru, a true Guru, able to afford a great deal of grace to his student. As he himself explained …

“Life is a vast river, and there are many ways to be in the river. Many people just swim, or they grab onto a log in the river and make their way down the river. A few people see the grace of being in the boat of a Guru, and they find themselves attaching their self to a boat, so that the boat can take them more easily down the river.”

“But the teacher is also that which grows within you. The teacher is the place you allow yourself to return to each time you close your eyes and say, Thy will be done. Each time you let go of your concept and you help someone else. Each time that you willingly sit to seek the peace within and to breathe consciously, there lies the teacher. Because if no student ever realizes God within, then there can never be a true guru.”

One of the achievements of a God Realized Master is that their death is a conscious exit from the body, usually while teaching, and that is how Sri Yukteswar took his Mahasamadhi in Puri, India on March 9, 1936.

Respectfully submitted by James Baldwin.
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MEHER BABA

Avatar Meher Baba was born February 25, 1894, in Poona, India. He was also called “The Awakener”. His original name was Merwan Sheriar Irani. He was a spiritual master in western India with a sizable following both in that country and abroad. Beginning on July 10, 1925, he observed silence for the last 44 years of his life, communicating with his disciples at first through an alphabet board but increasingly with gestures.
He observed that he had come “not to teach but to awaken”, adding that “things that are real are given and received in silence”. He was born into a Zoroastrian family of Persian descent. He was educated in Poona and attended Deccan College there, where at the age of 19, he met an aged Muslim woman, Hazrat Babajan, the first of five “perfect masters” (spiritually enlightened, or “God-realized”, persons) who over the next seven years helped him find his own spiritual identity. That identity, Meher Baba said, was as the avatar of this age, interpreting that Vedantic term to mean the periodic incarnation of God in human form.
He placed himself among such universal religious figures as Zoroaster, Rama, Krishna, Gautama Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. “I am the same Ancient One come again into your midst,” he told his disciples, declaring that all major religions are revelations of “the One Reality which is God”. Meher Baba’s cosmology may be summarized as follows: the goal of all life is to realize the absolute oneness of God, from whom the universe emanated as a result of the whim of unconscious divinity to know itself as conscious divinity. In pursuit of consciousness, evolution of forms occurs in seven stages: stone or metal, vegetable, worm, fish, bird, animal, and human. Every individualized soul must experience all of these forms in order to gain full consciousness. Once consciousness is attained, the burden of impressions accumulated in these forms prevents the soul from realizing its identity with God.
To gain this realization the individual must traverse an inward spiritual path, eliminating all false impressions of individuality and eventuating in the knowledge of the “real self” as God. Meher Baba saw his work as awakening the world through love to a new consciousness of the oneness of all life. To that end, he lived a life of love and service which included extensive work with the poor, the physically and mentally ill, and many others, performing such tasks as feeding the poor, cleaning the latrines of untouchables, and bathing lepers. He saw a responsibility to give spiritual help to “advanced souls”, and travelled throughout the Indian subcontinent to find such persons. These outward activities Meher Baba saw as indications of the inner transformation of consciousness that he came to give the world. He established and later dismantled many institutions of service, which he compared to scaffolding temporarily erected to construct a building that really was within the human heart.
He said that a “new humanity” would emerge from his life’s work, and that he would bring about an unprecedented release of divine love in the world. Between 1931 and 1958 he made many visits to the United States and Europe, on one such trip in 1952 establishing the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C. A similar centre, Avatar’s Abode, was created at Woomby, Queensland, Australia, in 1958. From the mid-1960s Meher Baba was in seclusion, and during that period several U.S. drug experimenters were drawn to him in a quest for spiritual truth. Through them, his admonitions against the non-medical use of psychedelic and other drugs came to the attention of the news media in the U.S. and the West. He warned young people explicitly that “drugs are harmful mentally, physically, and spiritually,” – trying to draw them away from drugs and toward a spiritual life.
Meher Baba never sought to form a sect or proclaim a dogma; he attracted and welcomed followers of many faiths and every social class with a message emphasizing love and compassion, the elimination of the selfish ego, and the potential of realizing God within themselves. Although his equation of the several manifestations of God was syncretic, he won many followers from sects and denominations that repudiated syncretism, and encouraged those followers to be strong in their original faiths. After his death his followers heeded his wish that they not form an organization, but continued to gather informally and often to discuss and read his works and express through music, poetry, dance, or drama their reflections on his life.
His tomb at Meherabad, near Ahmednagar, has become a place of pilgrimage for his followers throughout the world. His books include Discourses (5 vol., 1938-43; the earliest dictated on an alphabet board, the others by gesture), God Speaks: The Theme of Creation and Its Purposes (1955), and The Everything and the Nothing (1963).
For more information visit Meherana http://www.meherana.org/about-meherana/ Or to personally visit, Meherana located in Mariposa and near Yosemite National Park is a universal center for spiritual renewal dedicated to Avatar Meher Baba and His principles of active love and service to both the Meher Baba community and all humanity. It is intended for the enhancement and strengthening of the spiritual life, without supplanting professed religious convictions or beliefs.

Respectfully submitted by Therese Williams

Reference Books:
Practical Spirituality with Meher Baba by John A. Grant
The Beloved, The Life and Work of Meher Baba by Naosherwan Anzar


BABAJI

God manifests all of creation out of the substance of God. And as we journey toward the realization of our union with that source, we often receive the gift of God’s guidance through the many relatable forms that God takes. On rare occasions, the consciousness of God directly incarnates for the development of those truly seeking God, and to assist the planet through its transitions.

These “God births” have been called avatars. Shiva, Krishna, Buddha, Christ are all examples of avatar incarnations where God walked the Earth in a human form. Each of them brought the light that was needed to address the darkness of the time and place in which they walked. The aspect of God that incarnated as Krishna was the same avatar seed that gave birth to Babaji. Those familiar with the writings of Yogananda will remember that he acknowledged this connection, as he would often address Babaji as Babaji-Krishna.

Mahavatar Babaji resides high in the Himalayan mountains, in the regions near Badrinath. The purpose of his incarnation is to facilitate Earth’s shift to a new age of consciousness, an age where people of all walks can expand beyond the limitations of the self to realize a state of God awareness.

Pure service is the pinnacle of Babaji’s expression. His gifts to humanity and the planet have included guiding the currents of higher thought and consciousness, the advancement of yoga toward its truest alignment, and his dedication to the world’s teachers and true seekers with whom Babaji shares instruction, sometimes directly, and sometimes indirectly.

Perhaps Babaji’s most recognizable expression has been the gift of Kriya yoga, an advanced meditation technique allowing higher states of consciousness to be reached outside of previous disciplines that included isolation and renunciation. As a reflection of Babaji’s dedication, today’s yogis have the potential to carry more light into the world by their participation in it. Using the tool of Kriya Yoga, they can maintain careers and families while developing their awareness and consciousness to states of God-realization. Lahiri Mahasaya and Sri Yukteswar, early students of Babaji, are examples of this outward yogic path.

While some accounts of Babaji’s birth are more recent than others, Babaji arrived shortly after the time of Krishna, and has been in this world ever since. Babaji actively holds the potential for advanced states of consciousness and a higher awareness of our union with God. His expanded state of being is helping to make such consciousness available to all those who thirst for it.

Respectfully submitted by James Baldwin.

 

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