The great yogi and spiritual master Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri lived in the nineteenth century. He was the teacher of Paramahansa Yogananda and Swami Satyanand Giri, both students of Lahiri Mahasaya. Yogananda referred to him as the "Incarnation of Wisdom," or "Jananavatar."
Vedanta, Mimamsa, Yoga, Vaiseshik, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Bible are all interpreted in depth and in full by ri Yukteswar Giri. He had a deep understanding of astrology, and he practised it with great intensity. In his autobiography, Paramahamsa Yogananda discusses the stories and writings of his guru, Yukteshwar Giri.
The Holy Science (Kaivalya Darsanam) is a treatise on the fundamental unity of Christian and Hindu scriptures that Lahiri Mahasaya wrote at the urging of his teacher, Mahavatar Babaji. He recognised the common ground between the Bible and the Hindu scriptures (Sanatan Dharma). He laid the texts of the scriptures out on the sterile operating table of his mind and examined them with the scalpel of superior intuition. That's how he was able to peel back the layers of interpretation added by later disciples, followers, and scribes in order to get to the bare bones of the truths originally formulated by the aforementioned prophets.
Identity of Sri Yukteshwar
Sri Yukteshwar, whose birth name was Priya Nath Kandar, was born on May 10, 1855 in Serampore, West Bengal, India to affluent parents. After his father's untimely passing, he was thrust into the role of overseeing the family's assets (mostly land ownership). A gifted student, he breezed through Srirampur Christian Missionary College's rigorous entrance examinations. He first became interested in the Bible while attending the college in Srirampur or Serampore, which prepared future Christian missionaries connected to the University of Calcutta. Two years later, he enrolled in the University of Calcutta's medical school.
He got married and had a daughter right after he graduated from college, but then he lost his wife and decided to devote himself to a monastic lifestyle. Sri Yukteshwar Giri was his adopted moniker. As a result, Sri is not a separate title, but rather an integral part of his given name.
The Enlightening Travels of Sri Yukteshwar Giri
The large family home Sri Yukteshwar had built over the years became an Ashram. On March 22, 1903, he established what he named Karar Ashram in the city of Puri in the Indian state of Odisha. Among the many significant events in the development of Kriya Yoga was the establishment of the ashram.
Kriya Yoga, taught by Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahasaya in the Himalayas, was brought down to the plains by his deserving disciple Sri Yukteshwar ji so that it could blend in with the ocean of infinity. The guru established two separate ashrams, called Sadhu Sabhas, and split his time between them so that he could better instruct his students.
Sri Yukteshwar cared deeply about education and insisted that his disciple Yogananda complete his degree. In response, Sri Yukteshwar developed a curriculum for his school that included the study of physics, physiology, geography, astronomy, and astrology. In addition to his astrological primer, he penned a book titled First Book for Bengalis, which taught the language's native speakers the fundamentals of English and Hindi. Later on, he started caring about the education of girls and women, which was unusual in Bengal at the time.
He was an expert in astronomy, Jyotiha (Vedic Astrology), and other branches of science. He would advise his pupils to wear astrological bracelets and gemstones for this purpose.
Even though Sri Yukteshwar never had many students, the young Mukunda Lal Ghosh, later known as Paramhansa Yogananda in the West, became the master's most famous student in 1910.
The great severity of Yogananda's teacher led to him having few students, as Yogananda later explained. The mission of Sri Yukteshwar and Yogananda was to introduce Westerners to Eastern ideas so that Westerners could benefit from and understand them.
Through the four Hindu epochs, he embodied the teachings of the ancient sages and saints as recorded in the scriptures. Following the four virtuous paths of brahmacharya (celibacy), grihastha (father of a family), vanaprastha (life of solitude), and sannyasa (renunciation), and attaining the four purusarthas (dharma, artha, kama, and moksha), his life was complete and perfect.
He was responsible for the initiation of many globally renowned spiritual masters, including Paramahamsa Yogananda and Paramahamsa Hariharananda. By introducing Kriya Yoga to people all over the world, they fulfilled the wish of their Master.
Sri Yukteshwar Giri's Discourses
The pursuit of material success is as old as humanity itself, and it will never be sated. Man's ultimate goal is God, because he alone can bring true happiness. When we focus on satisfying our desires for the outside world rather than tending to our true happiness and our personal heaven, we find that we are happier. Spiritual recollection of the inner heaven can be restored rapidly.
The significance of a guru or teacher in one's development is a topic that Sri Yukteshwar Giri has addressed. No matter how Paramahansa Yogananda felt mentally at the time, he promised to be his friend regardless. He said, even if you screw up, we can still be friends. That's when our friendship will mean the most to you. We are never without our sages (not physically but mentally and spiritually). The Masters are always willing to lend a hand. By encouraging them to seek clarification, he helps his students make meaningful progress.
In the same way that hunger serves a real purpose but gluttony does not, nature has only created the tendency of sensual passion for the promotion of species and not to arouse lust. If you don't kill off your bad cravings now, they'll be a part of your spirit and mind even after you die. Though it may be challenging, one should make a concerted effort to fight the impulses of their body.
If you find yourself confronted by temptation, strengthen your will until it is impregnable, and then use your will to assess the nature of the temptation. Imagine yourself to be a vast ocean into which all the streams of your senses can flow and then quietly evaporate. As each day passes, the lusts will reawaken with greater intensity, threatening to overwhelm your inner calm. Your life and spirit will be drained into a sensual wasteland if you give in to these desires. The driving force of these desires is the biggest obstacle to your contentment. Learn to calm yourself down by controlling your own willpower.
As early as 1894, Sri Yukteshwar predicted that the 20th century would usher in a new era of groundbreaking discoveries that would lead us to realise that all other factors ultimately stem from energy. About 11 years prior to when Einstein introduced his famous formula E= mc2, this was said. Sri Yukteshwar predicted that the beginning of the Dwapara Yuga would usher in revolutionary shifts in human thought, and that this would be the case because of the energy of the previous Yuga.
Sat, Chit, and Ananda According to Sri Yukteshwar
There must be "something else" out there that will make us truly content, and so we constantly seek it. Sat, Chit, and Ananda are the three essentials that the human heart truly seeks, and all three are contained within the individual's own Self. Ananda, or bliss, is experienced in the heart when one is fortunate enough to win the favour of a Sat-Guru and devotedly adheres to his holy precepts. This state of Sat-Chit-Ananda is what keeps us firmly planted in morality. When one's capacity for ignorance, the root of all evil, is diminished, the problems of the material world, the origin of all suffering, vanish entirely.
Why We Practice, According to Sri Yukteshwar
Artha, the goal of the heart, is the end of all suffering brought about by right conduct; Parmartha, the ultimate goal, is the end of all suffering in such a way that its recurrence is rendered impossible.
Sri Yukteshwar's Recommended Methodology
The five pillars of attaining Sat-Chit-Ananda, or the state of perfect behaviour that destroys suffering permanently, are Tapas (penance), Swadhyaya (self-study), Pranav Dhyana (Aum Meditation), Shraddha (devotion), and Virya(moral courage).
The process reveals your flaws and motivates you to improve; it helps your intuition flourish, opening your eyes to previously hidden opportunities; it teaches you to treat others as you would like to be treated; it trains you to evaluate your own actions before passing judgement on those of others; it teaches you to let go of resentment and forgive, despite the hurts you've suffered. The experience is analogous to a spiritual spa day, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalised. Everything about you seems lighter, and the traumatic events of your past seem like nothing more than a series of fleeting dreams.
Sri Yukteswar defines tapas as patience in the midst of suffering and enjoyment both, and swadhyaya as study with deep attention leading to true conception of the Self: who am I, whence have I come, what have I come for, and where have I come to. Aum Aum is the Holy Word that can be heard in meditation through the cultivation of Shraddha, or natural love from the heart, and Virya, or moral courage. The Master insists that the virtue of love can never be praised highly enough. Nature's heavenly gift of love expiates the germs that cause disease and calms down the nervous system so that the body's vital forces can thrive. Without love, man cannot live in harmony with nature; instead, he is easily swept away by the drama of the moment, failing to recognise it for what it is: Nature's guidance. According to Sri Yukteswar's analysis, then, a life of holiness necessitates nothing but unadulterated love. Those who stir us up, causing confusion and doubt, should be avoided like poison, while those who bring us peace, dispel our doubts through their actions, and relieve our sufferings should be sought out as companions in order to cultivate this love. The Sat-Guru is an effective means by which the heart's innate love can be reawakened.
Sri Yukteshvar's Revelation
Sadhana (practise) begins when one seeks out the advice of a Sat-Guru and begins cultivating the love that already resides in one's heart. He is initiated and becomes a Pravartaka. He attains godhood, hears the Holy Aum sound, and is transformed into a Siddha. Sri Yukteshwar wisely paraphrases Sir Walter Scott to stress the importance of love as the cornerstone of moral behaviour and spiritual growth: -
Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
The men below and saints above;
For love is heaven and heavens love.
It is not just a poetic sentiment, but an eternal truth, enshrined in our scriptures, that Love is God, as Sri Yukteshwar puts it. No matter what our background, beliefs, or social status may be, we can all benefit from carefully tending to this guiding principle that Nature has planted in our hearts.