terça-feira, 29 de março de 2011


Hariharananda  Gurukulam International  Center of Kriya Yoga 

The advaita tradition can be described in terms of two aspects - the textual/philosophical tradition of commentaries and sub-commentaries to the vedAnta works, and the religious tradition of renunciation (sam.nyAsa), which is emphasized to a great deal in SankarAcArya's works. The two aspects are quite intimately related to each other - most of the notable authors in the advaita tradition were members of the sam.nyAsa tradition, and both sides of the tradition share the same values, attitudes and metaphysics. The philosophical tradition is described in other pages at this site. This page is devoted to the sam.nyAsa tradition which continues to the present day. Sankara is traditionally said to have organized the daSanAmI sampradAya and established four maThas (monasteries) at Sringeri (in Karnataka),Puri (in Orissa), Dvaraka (in Gujarat) and Jyotirmath (in Uttar Pradesh). These maThas are representative of the geography of India, with one monastery each in the eastern, southern, western and northern regions. The successive heads of these and other advaita maThas are also called SankarAcAryas, after the original founder. In fact, Sankara is often called Adi SankarAcArya, or the first SankarAcArya, in order to distinguish him from his successors.
The daSanAmI sampradAya: The daSanAmI order is so called because of the ten (daSa) name (nAma) suffixes which these sannyAsIs adopt. These names are - bhAratI, sarasvatI, sAgara, tIrtha, purI, ASrama, giri, parvata, araNya and vana. These ten names are supposed to be distributed among the four maThas. However, the affiliation is nominal at best. The daSanAmI sannyAsIs do not have to be ordained at one of the maThas, nor do they have to reside at a maTha for any period of time. On the other hand, they are supposed to be peripatetic (parivrAjaka - monks who constantly keep traveling), with no fixed home, except for the period of cAturmAsya in the rainy season, when they stay put at one place. The heads of the maThas are also supposed to travel around the country for the better part of the year.
In northern India, the daSanAmI sannyAsIs are organized into a number of akhADas - jUnA, niranjanI, mahAnirvANI, aTal, AvAhan, Ananda and agni. Except for the agni akhADa, which is is for brahmacAri initiates, the membership of all other akhADas is made up of daSanAmI monks. These akhADas have leaders known as mahAmaNDaleSvaras, who are usually elected during a kumbha mela [12,3]. The kumbha mela also offers an opportunity for akhADas to initiate large numbers of new sannyAsIs. The daSanAmI sannyAsIs tend to have only a nominal affiliation with their maThas, but most maintain a closer relationship with their akhADas. Among the ten names, araNya, ASrama, parvata, vana and sAgara are quite rarely seen nowadays. All daSanAmI monks belong to the tradition of ekadaNDI sam.nyAsa. They carry a staff consisting of a single wooden stick, symbolizing the essential identity of brahman and Atman.
It is important to remember that the advaita sampradAya is not a Saiva sect. The fact that both the prominent non-advaita schools of vedAnta are vaishNava leads to a confusion among many modern researchers, who uncritically talk of all daSanAmI sannyAsIs as being Saiva ascetics. In reality, advaitins are non-sectarian, and they advocate worship of Siva and vishNu equally with that of the other deities of Hinduism, like Sakti, gaNapati and others. Modern neo-vedAntins, who are most strongly influenced by advaita vedAnta, have no trouble accepting Moses, Christ and Muhammad also. Philosophically, classical advaita would disagree as much with the Saiva siddhAnta and the Saiva vedAnta schools, as with the vaishNava schools of vedAnta. On the other hand, the God Siva is the archetype of the ascetic, and advaita vedAnta lays great emphasis on sam.nyAsa. Saiva schools also tend to be more non-dualistic in outlook than vaishNava schools, and SankarAcArya himself is venerated as an incarnation of Siva. Hence, the contemporary SankarAcAryas do wield a larger degree of influence among Saiva communities than among vaishNava communities, but that does not necessarily make them exclusively Saiva ascetics. The famous madhusUdana sarasvatI was an ardent devotee of kRshNa, while prakASAnanda was a Sakti-worshipper.
The major following of the gurus of the advaita tradition has been mostly among the smArtas, who integrate the domestic Vedic ritual with devotional aspects of Hinduism. The traditional pancAyatana pUjA scheme of smArta worship is offered to Siva, vishNu, Sakti, gaNeSa and sUrya, as aspects of saguNa brahman. skanda is sometimes added as the sixth important deity who is worshipped, especially in the south. The smArtas also regard themselves as followers of SankarAcArya and his successors at the various maThas, but there is a lot of regional variation in this regard.
The AmnAya maThas: The four maThas established by Sankara are known in the tradition as the AmnAya maThas. Sankara is said to have assigned one of the four vedas to each of these maThas, and the AcAryas and paNDitas of these four maThas continue the tradition to this day. Accordingly, the Puri maTha is associated with the Rg veda, Sringeri with yajurveda, Dvaraka with sAma veda and Jyotirmath with atharva veda. The ten daSanAmI suffixes are distributed among these four maThas - according to most traditions, purI, bhAratI and sarasvatI with Sringeri; tIrtha and ASrama with Dvaraka; sAgara, parvata and giri with Jyotirmath, and vana and araNya with Puri. Many notable post-Sankaran authors, including sureSvara, jnAnaghana, jnAnottama, Anandagiri, bhAratI tIrtha, vidyAraNya and others, can be found among the heads of these maThas. Of these four, Sringeri is the only institution that has had an unbroken line of succession from Sankara. Among the other three maThas, the succession has been interrupted at one time or the other, for a variety of historical reasons. The longest hiatus in the line of succession was in the case of Jyotirmath, where the seat lay vacant for around 165 years. In the recent past, the Sringeri maTha has been involved, directly or indirectly, in stabilizing the line of succession in the other three maThas.

From L to R: SrI svarUpAnanda sarasvatI (Jyotirmath), SrI abhinava vidyA tIrtha (Sringeri), SrI niranjana deva tIrtha (Puri), SrI abhinava saccidAnanda tIrtha (Dvaraka) - Meeting at Sringeri in 1979.

The successor to the title in a maTha is usually nominated by the presiding SankarAcArya of that maTha. It is quite normal to see SankarAcAryas who have become sannyAsIs directly from the student life, without ever having been gRhasthas. This is especially the norm in the Sringeri lineage. Thus, a SankarAcArya can be a very young man, sometimes barely out of his teens, when he takes charge at his maTha. On the other hand, the Puri lineage has seen many heads who have become sannyAsins quite late in their lives, after passing through the gRhastha stage. In cases where a SankarAcArya passes away without nominating a successor, or if there is a dispute about the succession, the head of one of the other maThas is consulted to resolve the issue. Within this century itself, there have been instances where the SankarAcAryas of Sringeri, Dvaraka, and Puri have been called upon to resolve succession issues in one of the other maThas. The Sringeri lineage names thirty-six successors to the SankarAcArya title, while Dvaraka has about seventy. The Puri list of SankarAcAryas has more than 140 names to date. The larger number of names in these two lists is probably because many of the presiding SankarAcAryas have been former gRhasthas, who took charge at a comparatively older age and consequently held charge for shorter periods. The line of the Jyotirmath has many gaps in it, an unfortunate circumstance of history.
The position of the SankarAcAryas in modern Hinduism has often (quite wrongly) been compared to that of the Pope in Roman Catholicism. The four SankarAcAryas do not issue catechisms for all Hindus, nor do they claim sole right to decide on doctrinal issues. SrImukham.s issued by the maThas are very different in nature from papal bulls or encyclicals, and unlike the Vatican City, the four maThas do not enjoy sovereign status. Rather, they are governed by the federal and state laws on religious and charitable trusts and endowments in independent India, and are often answerable to governmental bodies.
However, this should not be construed to mean that the SankarAcAryas are insignificant or that their importance is overrated. They are held in high respect by almost all sections of Hindus, but they also tend to get blamed by the modern media, somewhat unfairly, for everything that goes wrong in Hindu society! For all that, however, the SankarAcAryas generally lead quiet, secluded lives, as befits monks, and tend to avoid media attention. There are, of course, exceptions to this norm, and recent developments in India, especially the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue, have forced all of them to take more active roles in public life.
Recent history of the four AmnAya maThas: 
  • SringeriSrI "ugra" narasimha bhAratI (1817 - 1878) was well-known throughout India as a very saintly personality. He travelled far and wide, and had disciples all over India and even in Sri Lanka. He was succeeded by SrI saccidAnanda SivAbhinava narasimha bhAratI (1878 - 1912), who rediscovered kAlaDi, Adi SankarAcArya's birth-place, and instituted Sankara JayantI celebrations all over India. He also arranged for the publication of a comprehensive collection of Sankara's works, and initiated the practice of having the various SankarAcAryas meet for informal discussion and decision making. Following his lead, meetings took place at Kaladi, Hardwar, Prayag etc. His successor, SrI candraSekhara bhAratI (1912 to 1954), was an acclaimed jIvanmukta. He wrote a commentary to Sankara's vivekacUDAmaNi. The first meeting of all four SankarAcAryas (caturAmnAya sammelanam) in the 1200 year old tradition of post-Sankaran advaita, took place at Sringeri, in 1979, under the leadership of SrI abhinava vidyA tIrtha (1954 - 1989). SrI bhAratI tIrtha, the presiding SankarAcArya of Sringeri, succeeded to the title in 1989. The SankarAcAryas of the four AmnAya maThas and the head of the Kanci maTha held another conference at Sringeri in 1993, following the events of December 1992 at ayodhyA, to express their concern at the politicization of religious issues, and resolved to lead a non-political effort to solve the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue amicably.Contact Address: Swami Bharati Tirtha, Jagadguru Sankaracharya, (or Sri V. R. Gowrishankar, Adminstrator), Sri Sringeri Math, Sri Sringeri Sarada Peetham, Sringeri, Karnataka 577 139, INDIA.
  • DvarakaSrI trivikrama tIrtha was the head of the Dvaraka maTha till the year 1921. He was succeeded by SrI bhAratI kRshNa tIrtha, who had a very interesting career. Beginning as a student of vedAnta at Sringeri, he became a sannyAsin under SrI trivikrama tIrtha of Dvaraka, and succeeded to the SankarAcArya post at Dvaraka, in 1921. Soon after the first world war, he wasprosecuted along with the Ali brothers and other Muslim leaders, by the colonial British government for treason, in connection with his involvement in the Indian Independence movement, and his support of the Khilafat movement. He is also said to have discovered some ancient sUtras of basic arithmetic, which have been published as a book, under the title "Vedic mathematics". He was asked to take over the Puri maTha in 1925, when that seat fell vacant. Accordingly, SrI svarUpAnanda tIrtha and SrI yogeSvarAnanda tIrtha followed at the Dvaraka seat. In the year 1945, SrI abhinava saccidAnanda tIrtha was nominated as the SankarAcArya of Dvaraka, with SrI bhAratI kRshNa tIrtha performing the installation ceremonies. Before taking over at Dvaraka, SrI abhinava saccidAnanda tIrtha was the head of the Mulabagal maTha in Karnataka. This was an old branch of the Dvaraka maTha, established in the 17th century, and with his appointment to the Dvaraka seat, the collateral lineage of Mulabagal maTha was merged with that of Dvaraka. In later years, he was called upon to mediate the succession issues at both Puri and Jyotirmath. He also renovated the samAdhi site of Adi Sankara at Kedarnath with assistance from the government of Uttar Pradesh. He passed away in 1982, following which SrI svarUpAnanda sarasvatI of Jyotirmath assumed charge at Dvaraka. SrI abhinava vidyA tIrtha of Sringeri consecrated his appointment, and SrI svarUpAnanda has held dual charge at both Dvaraka and Jyotirmath since then.Contact Address: Swami Swaroopananda Saraswati, Dvaraka Peeth, Dvaraka, Gujarat 361 335, INDIA.
    (or) Sri Rajarajeswari Mandir, Paramhansi Ganga, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh 482 002, INDIA.

  • Puri: This maTha is historically connected with the famous jagannAtha temple in Puri. It is also called the govardhana maTha, and has an important branch in Puri itself, called the SankarAnanda maTha. In the beginning of the century, the head was SrI Sankara madhusUdana tIrthaSrI bhAratI kRshNa tIrtha, who was then at Dvaraka, took over as the SankarAcArya of Puri in 1925. SrI bhAratI kRshNa tIrtha visited the USA in the 1950's, at the invitation of the Self-Realization Fellowship. During this time, SrI Sankara purushottama tIrtha supervised the Puri maTha on his behalf. After SrI bhAratI kRshNa tIrtha passed away in 1960, he was succeeded by SrI yogeSvarAnanda tIrtha, whose period was quite short, as he passed away in 1961. This lead to a brief period of uncertainty during which the succession at the maTha was being litigated. In 1964, SrI niranjana deva tIrtha, who was one of the nominees named in SrI bhAratI kRshNa tIrtha's will, was consecrated at the Puri seat by SrI abhinava saccidAnanda tIrtha of Dvaraka. SrI niranjana deva tIrtha is known for his unpopular political views on volatile issues affecting Hindu people, like sati and cow protection. In 1992, he stepped down after nominating SrI niScalAnanda sarasvatI as his successor, who is currently in charge at Puri.Contact Address: Swami Niscalananda Sarasvati, Puri Govardhan Math, Puri, Orissa 752 001, INDIA.
  • Jyotirmath: Also known as Joshimath, it is located near Badrinath in the Himalayas, because of which it is also known as the Badrinath maTha. After a long hiatus of 165 years, this maTha was revived in the year 1941, under SrI brahmAnanda sarasvatI, a disciple of SrI kRshNAnanda sarasvatI, who was originally from Sringeri. The appointment was made by a committee of pundits from Varanasi, and SrI brahmAnanda's accomplishments helped re-establish the Jyotirmath as an important center of traditional advaita teaching in northern India. When he passed away in 1953, SrI SAntAnanda sarasvatI succeeded him at this seat, according to the terms of a will. However, there was a dispute regarding the capacity of SrI SAntAnanda for the title and also about the validity of this will. This resulted in a major controversy that remains unresolved.
    karapAtrI swAmi (hariharAnanda sarasvatI), a well-known disciple of SrI brahmAnanda, was asked to take over the Jyotirmath title, but he declined. To resolve the dispute, another committee of pundits from Varanasi was formed, under the guidance of karapAtrI swAmi and SrI abhinava saccidAnanda tIrtha of Dvaraka. SrI kRshNabodhASramawas appointed as the new head of the maTha. When he passed away in the early 1970's, he nominated SrI svarUpAnanda sarasvatI, another disciple of SrI brahmAnanda, as his successor. SrI svarUpAnanda continues as the SankarAcArya of Jyotirmath, and has also been in charge of Dvaraka since 1982.Some people consider the rightful succession of the Jyotirmath title to be along the disciple line of SrI SAntAnanda sarasvatI. He is said to have retired in 1980, in favor of his disciple, SrI vishNudevAnanda sarasvatI, who has since passed away. SrI SAntAnanda also passed away in December 1997, and has been succeeded by SrI vAsudevAnanda sarasvatI. Thus, there are at least two separate lineages at Jyotirmath currently, although it is SrI svarUpAnanda sarasvatI who is endorsed by the other AmnAya maThas.
    There is a third ascetic, named SrI mAdhavASrama, who is another claimant to the Jyotirmath title, who contests both the claims of SrI svarUpAnanda and SrI vAsudevAnanda. SrI mAdhavASrama is a disciple of SrI kRshNabodhASrama, who was nominated to the Jyotirmath title in the 1960's. His contention is that SrI svarUpAnanda cannot be accepted as the head of two different AmnAya maThas (Dvaraka and Jyotirmath), so that the Jyotirmath title has to revert to another disciple of SrI kRshNabodhASrama. According to publications supporting his claim, he was anointed in 1993 or 1994, under the guidance of SrI niranjana deva tIrtha, the former SankarAcArya of Puri. Thus, the dispute between two parties for the title of Jyotirmath SankarAcArya has now become a dispute among three different parties.
Contact Addresses: Sri Sankaracharya Math, Joshimath, Badrinath, Uttar Pradesh 246 443, INDIA.
Swami Swaroopananda Saraswati: Sri Rajarajeswari Mandir, Paramhansi Ganga, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh 482 002, INDIA.
Swami Vasudevananda Saraswati: Shankar Math, Allope Bagh, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh 211 001, INDIA.
Swami Madhavashrama: Sri Keshav Ashram, Haridwar, Uttar Pradesh 249 401, INDIA

Other maThas: Other than the four AmnAya maThas, there are a number of well-known maThas owing allegiance to advaita and the SankarAcArya lineage. Many of them were originally branches of one of the four AmnAya maThas, established officially by the parent maTha, and which grew into more or less independent institutions over time. Notable among these are the branch maThas at Kumbhakonam (now based in Kancipuram, Contact Address: No. 1, Salai Street, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu 631 502, INDIA), Sankhesvar, Kudali, Virupaksha (Hampi), Kolhapur (Karavir pITham), Sivaganga, Sakatapuram etc. In recent times, the maTha at Kancipuram has been very active. Sometimes, notable sannyAsIs of the daSanAmI order start their own maThas, to cater to the spiritual needs of their followers. An example is the famous upanishad brahmendra maTha at Kancipuram, which was founded in the 18th century by rAmacandrendra sarasvatI. Sometimes, succession controversies (as in the present Jyotirmath) also leads to the establishment of separate maThas. A few maThas of the nambUdiri community in Kerala also trace their foundation to Sankara himself, as do the sumeru and pAdukA maThas in Varanasi. However, the Kavale maTha of the gauDa sArasvata community in Goa traces its origin in 740 CE not to SankarAcArya, but through another disciple of govinda bhagavatpAda.
In general, the various maThas in India operate quite independent of one another. The SankarAcAryas of the four original maThas do not normally interfere with one another, nor do they seek to exercise any control, administrative or spiritual, on any of the other advaita maThas in India, unless specifically requested to do so. Although their heads are sannyAsIs who lead completely detached lives, the advaita maThas are not immune to contemporary social and political pressures. Some maThas deal with these pressures better than others. Manifestations of these pressures can be seen in the sometimes acrimonious rivalries between followers of two different maThas, as also in the recurrent succession disputes in some of them. Such succession disputes sometimes lead to protracted litigation and the establishment of independent maThas elsewhere.
Modern Institutions: In addition to the more traditional advaita maThas and akhADas, various sannyAsIs of the daSanAmI order have established some of the more well-known modern institutions, like the Ramakrishna Math and Mission (swAmI vivekAnanda), the Self-Realization Fellowship (paramahamsa yogAnanda), the Divine Life Society (swAmI SivAnanda), Yoga Vedanta Center (swAmI vishNudevAnanda), the Chinmaya Mission (swAmI cinmayAnanda), and others. Among these, the founders of the Ramakrishna Mission, the Divine Life Society and the Chinmaya Mission trace their spiritual descent through the Sringeri paramparA. The Self-Realization Fellowship has links to the Puri paramparA. These organizations usually teach some variant or the other of advaita vedAnta, generally combined with yoga practice, or an acceptance of the prophets of the Semitic religions, and/or an emphasis on social service. These modern institutions tend to have as much a presence in the West as in India, and their ideologies have come to be called by the generic name of neo-vedAnta. It remains to be seen whether these institutions will be the catalysts for the growth of a truly universal philosophy/religion that has been a dream of most of their founders.
There have been countless other nameless, realized masters over the centuries, who have realized the non-dual brahman. As a living tradition of philosophy and religion, advaita is not always restricted to daSanAmI sannyAsIs in the lineage of SankarAcArya. For example, within the 20th century CE, one has the example of the famous mystic SrI ramaNa mahaRshi (1879 - 1950), who did not formally take sam.nyAsa, but was nevertheless a jIvanmukta, who taught pure advaita.


  1. Read an article at the Indology website, on the Jyotirmath succession.
  2. Sir Jadunath Sarkar, A history of Dasnami Naga Sanyasis, Mahanirvani, Allahabad, 1946.
    LC Call No.: n.a.
  3. G. S. Ghurye (with L. N. Chapekar), Indian Sadhus, Popular Prakashan, Bombay, 1st ed., 1953, 2nd ed., 1964.
    LC Call No.: Microfilm BUL-ENG-111 (B)
  4. Haripada Chakraborti, Asceticism in ancient India in Brahmanical, Buddhist, Jaina, and Ajivika societies, from the earliest times to the period of Sankaracharya, Punthi Pustak, Calcutta, 1973.
    LC Call No.: BL2015.A8 C47
  5. Swami Sadananda Giri, Society and sannyasin - a history of the Dasnami sannyasins, Kriyayoga Asrama, Rishikesh, 1976.
    LC Call No.: BL1245.D27 S2
  6. William Cenkner, A tradition of teachers: Sankara and The Jagadgurus Today, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1983.
    LC Call No.: B133.S5 C44 1983
  7. Yoshitsugu Sawai, The faith of ascetics and lay smartas: a study of the Sankaran tradition of Srngeri, Sammlung de Nobili, Institüt für Indologie der Universität Wien (Institute of Indology, University of Vienna), 1992.
    LC Call No.: acquisition in progress (as of September 9, 1997)
  8. Maulana Mohammed AliThe historic trial of Ali brothers, Dr. Kitchlew, Shri Shankaracharya, Maulana Hussain Ahmed, Pir Ghulam Mujaddid and Maulana Nisar Ahmed, "New Times" Office, Karachi, 1921, with a foreword by Mahatma Gandhi.
  9. Wade Dazey, Tradition and Modernization in the Organization of the Dasanami Sannyasins, in Monastic life in the Christian and Hindu traditions - a comparative study, Austin Creel and Vasudha Narayanan (eds.), Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston (NY),1990.
    LC Call No.: BL631 .M65 1990
  10. Wade Dazey, The Dasanami Order and Monastic Life, Ph. D. dissertation, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, 1987.

quarta-feira, 23 de março de 2011

Foundation Day Celebration Ceremony of Karar Ashram 22nd March, 2011. Puri Orissa India

 Foundation Day Celebration Ceremony of Karar Ashram is going to held 22nd March, 2011
Historical Background

On the south-eastern sea-coast of India, in the state of Orissa, lies the holy land of Puri -— the abode of the Lord of Universe -— Jagannath. One among the 4 ‘Dhams’ or holy centers of pilgrimage of Hindus, Puri has attracted numerous saints, seers and savants from time immemorial. Inestimable is the number of souls that have trod upon its holy sands and have been blessed and felt uplifted in its spiritual ambience. The waves of the majestic Bay of Bengal washing its shores, the numerous monasteries and other holy places located amidst its thousands of by-lanes, the multitude of the divinely intoxicated devotees dancing in spiritual ecstasy in the world famous Car Festival -- the ‘Rath Yatra’, and above all, the glorious and lofty abode of the Lord himself standing tall over all humanity -- all these add unimaginable spirituality to Puri.

To such sacred land was attracted Priyanath Karar -– the famous Karar Swami of Serampore of Bengal and the foremost monastic disciple of Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahasaya, the father of Kriya Yoga. Karar Swami first came to Puri via the sea route in the last part of the 19th Century with the intent of meeting the famous Oriya astronomer, Samanta Chandrasekhar and to discuss certain astronomical points with him but could not meet him. Destiny ruled otherwise as by the time Karar Swami returned to Puri again in 1903, the famous astronomer had already shed his mortal coil.

There was however a higher purpose behind Karar Swami’s visit to Orissa. As he sat in a contemplative mood on a sandy mound facing the sea one day, he was soon lost in deep meditation almost naturally. The highly realized soul that he was, Karar Swami could immediately experience the extremely potent spiritual vibrations emanating from the place. It was indeed a place charged with spirituality. He decided then and there to build an ashram at the very spot. With the help of a few locals, he built a hut over the sandy plot of land and thus was born the now famous KARAR ASHRAM.

Karar Swami chose the day of the Vernal Equinox -— March the 22nd 1903 as the foundation day of the Ashram. In 1906, he obtained permanent lease of the land from the Puri Municipality. Subsequently, Karar Swami having entered the monastic order, was christened, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri. Ever since, Karar Ashram has been one of the most important centers for dissemination of the original Kriya Yoga techniques of Mahavatar Babaji and Shyamacharan Lahiri.
Swami Yukteswar Giri

Known as Priyanath Karar or ‘Karar Swami’ in his pre-monastic days, he was the chief monastic disciple of the pioneer, Shyamacharan Lahiri. For his extraordinary wisdom and erudition, he was also known as ‘Jnanavatar’ or ‘the incarnation of wisdom’. On the directions of Mahavatar Babaji, he wrote ‘Kaivalya Darshan’ or ‘The Holy Science – a treatise’ showing parallels between the ancient Hindu and Christian scriptures. An Astrologer and Astronomer par excellence, he discovered the correct method of calculating the World Ages and the cyclical order of evolution. As a fully realized Kriya Yogi, he established the Karar Ashram at Puri for dissemination of the ancient teachings of which he was the founder, President and Sadhusabhapati. Was instrumental in spreading the message of Kriya across the Globe through his disciple, Paramhansa Yogananda.
Paramhansa Yogananda

Known as Mukunda Lal Ghosh prior to embracing monkhood, he was driven by the spiritual quest right from his childhood. After coming into contact with his mentor and spiritual guide, Swami Sri Yukteswar, his spiritual quest found a new expression and fulfillment. Ultimately, he attained to the coveted super-conscious state of realization. He was divinely chosen to carry India’s priceless techniques to the western world and was widely acknowledged as the most successful yoga teacher in the west. Due to his untiring efforts, the whole world was introduced to the wonderful technique of Kriya Yoga. His extremely loving and endearing qualities earned him the title ‘Premavatar’ or the incarnation of love. His exalted spiritual stature encouraged his Master to confer on him the coveted title of ‘Paramhansa’. Was the second President and Sadhusabhapati of Karar Ashram.
Swami Satyananda Giri

Known as Manomohan Ghosh, he was a close friend of Paramhansa Yogananda and shared similar a spiritual quest. Was extremely rational and practical in his approach that were further shaped by his Guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri. Laying more stress on karma or ‘right action’ along with yogic techniques, he pursued a comprehensive and holistic path in his quest for self realization. A tireless worker and organizer, he single handedly looked after the management and well being of several institutions simultaneously including the Karar Ashram. A gentle and ego-less saint, he was revered as much for his simplicity as for his spiritual attainments. Was the 3rd President and Sadhusabhapati of Karar Ashram.
Paramhansa Hariharananda Giri

Born in the spiritual land of Nadia (in Bengal), Rabinarayan Bhattacharya chose the spiritual path quite early in life. He was a unique saint being privileged to come in close contact of four fully realized Masters – Swami Sri Yukteswar, Bhupendranath Sanyal, Paramhansa Yogananda and Swami Satyananda Giri. He imbibed the special qualities of each of his Masters. Following the wishes of his Master, he easily scaled the barriers of consciousness to reach the state of ‘Nirvikalpa Samadhi’. He was instrumental in spreading Kriya Yoga in different parts of India and abroad and had innumerable disciples. Till his Mahasamadhi, he worked tirelessly to achieve the aims and objectives of the Karar Ashram as cherished by his Master.
Swami Yogeswarananda Giri

Sudhanshumauli Patra grew up differently than most others. Exhibiting extraordinary spiritual thirst from his childhood, he found little peace in the mundane world. Being obviously blessed, he received initiation from his Gurudev, Paramhansa Hariharananda while still in school. His spiritual progress was so rapid that by the time he joined the Karar Ashramas a permanent inmate, he had already been granted initiation into the third stage of Kriya. Upon joining the Ashram to lead the celibate life, his spiritual progress was further quickened and soon, he attained the highest stage of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. His spiritual attainments were acknowledged by the other great Masters like Swami Paramananda Giri, Swami Bhavananda Giri and Swami Narayan Giri. His efficiency in managing the affairs of the Ashram convinced his Gurudev to declare him as his only successor and to relinquish the post of the President even during his life time. Being the fifth and the current President and Sadhusabhapati of the Karar Ashram, he continues to discharge the duties and obligations cast upon him by the Masters to perfection

Hariharananda Gurukulam

Paramahamsa Hariharananda known as "Baba" (father) to his students, was known as a Kriya Yogi in the lineage of Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar, and Paramahamsa Yogananda.[2]
Hariharananda's father Haripada Bhattacharya, an affluent community landlord was a Brahmin. Hariharananda's mother, Nabin Kali, was a woman from the village of Birnagar, Nadia and came from a Brahmin family. Nabin Kali and Haripada had eleven children, five sons and six daughters. Rabindranath (Rabi in short) was the youngest son and later came to be known as Paramahamsa Hariharananda.[citation needed]
According to his own disciple, Swami Sarveshawarananda, at the age of twelve Hariharananda took initiation in the path of Jnana Yoga from a certain Shri Bijoy Krishna Chattopadhyay, after visiting him a couple of times in the company of his brother Pareshnath and brother-in-law, both disciples of his. A disciple of Trailinga Swami of Benares, Bijoy Krishna Chattopadhyaya was known as "Howrah Thakur" because he lived in the Howrah suburb of Kolkata.[citation needed]
In 1932, Hariharananda went to meet the Kriya master, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri who initiated him into Kriya Yoga, in his Serampore ashram, West Bengal. Hariharananda stated that the Swami taught him cosmic astrology, and entreated him to come and live in his Karar Ashram in Puri, Orissa.[citation needed]
In 1935, he met Paramahansa Yogananda, and received the second Kriya initiation from him. In 1938, he renounced the material life and entered his guru's Ashram in Puri, Orissa, starting the life of an ascetic monk as Brahmachari Rabinarayan.[citation needed]
He received the third Kriya initiation from Swami Satyananda Giri in 1941, then head of the Karar Ashram and childhood friend of Paramahansa Yogananda.[citation needed]
In 1951 he got written permission from Paramahansa Yogananda to initiate and teach Kriya Yoga.
On May 27, 1959 he took formal monastic vows from the Shankaracharya of Puri Srimad Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha and was named Swami Hariharananda Giri.
From 1960 to 1974, Hariharananda toured all over India to spread the message of Kriya Yoga. The year 1974 marked his first journey to the West, where he would return every year. His travels took him all over Europe, South America, the United States, and Canada where he established centers and ashrams.[citation needed]
He started charitable dispensaries, educational projects, and cared for the sick, the poor, old widows, orphans and poor children.[citation needed]
Paramahamsa Hariharananda died in Miami, Florida, United States in 2002[1] and was buried in Balighai, Orissa, India that same month.[3]


Paramahamsa Hariharananda

To keep the luminous light of Kriya Yoga burning, which had been ignited by Swami Shriyukteshwar Giri  and later by Paramahamsa Yogananda, and to spread the message of Kriya Yoga throughout the West, Paramahamsa Hariharananda, who became known affectionately as "Baba" (father) to his spiritual children, traveled to Switzerland for the first time in 1974. Since then he has spread the message of Kriya Yoga throughout the world and has established Kriya Yoga centers in Europe, India, North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Attaining nirvikalpa samadhi at will was a rare hallmark of Paramahamsa Hariharananda's sadhana (spiritual practice).

Highly educated and well versed in many languages, Paramahamsa Hariharananda mastered numerous scriptures such as the Bible, Torah, Quran, Buddhist texts, Vedas, Upanishads, Tantra, Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, Sankar Darshan, Brahmasutra, and more. He illuminated their meaning by providing divine interpretations in a new metaphorical way. His writings include Kriya Yoga: The Scientific Process of Soul-Culture, The Bhagavad Gita In the Light of Kriya Yoga: A Rare Metaphorical Explanation for God-Realization, and numerous other publications. For integrating so many scriptures into Kriya Yoga, he earned high praise from all over the world as vishwa guru (teacher of all beings).

Paramahamsa Hariharananda's life and teachings have been an example for his students and his worthy successor, Paramahamsa Prajnanananda, who continues to spread his master's loving message worldwide. The legacy of this great master lives on through the love and lives of his students.


About Kriya Yoga International Organizations

Our Goal: Spiritual Growth and Service to Humanity

Our goal is to create a spiritual environment of love, compassion, cooperation, and service for sincere spiritual seekers and all of creation. We are dedicated to the service of humanity through spiritual, charitable, health, and educational activities. We promote integrated growth—spiritual, physical, psychological, emotional, and intellectual—through yoga, meditation, prayer, study, and service.

Our Reach: An Organization Without Borders

The Kriya Yoga International Organizations are comprised of the three Kriya Yoga Center headquarters (Mother Centers) in the USA, Europe, and India and their subsidiary centers and groups in North and South America, Europe, India, Australia, and New Zealand. All three Mother Centers have non-profit status in their respective countries, and were founded by Paramahamsa Hariharananda for spiritual, educational, and charitable purposes.

Our Focus: Supporting Spiritual Seekers

We disseminate the teachings of Kriya Yoga as taught by the unbroken lineage of Kriya Yoga masters, starting from Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj through to Paramahamsa Hariharananda and his spiritual successor Paramahamsa Prajnanananda. The goal is to help spiritual seekers learn the technique of Kriya Yoga and to further their spiritual growth. Kriya Yoga initiation programs and retreats are offered worldwide, as are a body of teachings in printed matter and other media. We provide an environment that encourages spiritual development, meditation, and learning how to implement Kriya Yoga in daily life. The sacred spiritual teachings of Kriya Yoga are taught to sincere seekers proceeding on the path of Self-realization and God consciousness, irrespective of race, nationality, gender, and religion.

Our Method: Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga is a meditation technique to help spiritual seekers attain Self-realization, which means to be in constant communion with God. Through this technique, the seeker or student can perceive the presence of God within, as well as in all of creation. To attain this state requires regular and sincere Kriya meditation and living a life of love and service.

Logo: "That is the path which is directed by the realized."

Mission: Meditate and be realized.

Paramahamsa Prajnanananda

Paramahamsa Prajnanananda was born as Triloki Dash in the village of Pattamundai in Orissa, India. Raised in a pious and spiritual atmosphere, he began searching for a spiritual mentor in early childhood. In 1980, while still a student in college, he met his Gurudev Paramahamsa Hariharananda, who initiated him into Kriya Yoga. Unlike his peers, Triloki Dash spent much of his time in prayer, puja, and meditation. He frequently retreated to the solitude of remote Himalayan caves to be in the company of sages and saints seeking ultimate Truth. He kept up a rigorous spiritual practice under the tutelage of his beloved Gurudev while working as a professor of Economics at Ravenshaw College in Cuttack.

In 1995, Brahmachari Triloki Dash was initiated as a sannyasi, monk, by Paramahamsa Hariharananda. Receiving the name Swami Prajnanananda Giri, he was directed by his Gurudev the next day to travel to Europe, the USA, and other countries in order to propagate Kriya Yoga through public lectures, seminars, retreats, and meditation. Long before Triloki Dash became a monk, Paramahamsa Hariharananda predicted, “Whatever is started by me has to be completed by him.”

Three years later, Paramahamsa Prajnanananda was given the title of Paramahamsa, the highest title given to monks and saints who attain the apogee of God-realization, by his Gurudev on August 10, 1998, on his birthday.

Aglow with radiant wisdom, ever joyful, and reveling in the selfless sacrifice of a silent and secluded monk’s life, Prajnananada has ceaselessly traveled around the world to promote the message of Kriya Yoga to all who seek liberation. He has written and translated numerous books on spiritual topics, skillfully interpreting ageless philosophies in the light of modern science and technology. Using a simple, succinct, candid style, he demonstrates a broad scriptural knowledge, profound wisdom, and a delightful way with words. Able to focus on multiple tasks at one time with perfect precision and mastery, Prajnananandaji projects a buoyant, energetic God-intoxication.

In 1999, Prajnananandaji became the third Indian monk, following Swami Vivekananda and Shri Ravi Sankar, to address the Parliament of World Religions. As the president of Prajnana Mission, he has undertaken projects that promote spiritual education, social and health services, and philanthropic works around the world. He established Hariharananda Balashram, a residential school for poor and orphan children in Arua near his own birthplace, Pattamundai. Following his master's vision, Prajnananandaji created a beautiful ashram with international repute at Balighai, in Orissa, called Hariharananda Gurukulum, and its latest addition, a majestic samadhi temple commemorating his Gurudev.

This world-revered master of Kriya Yoga is the epitome of boundless love, wisdom, and action, representing a combination of Swami Vivekananda, Shri Shankara, and Shri Chaitanya. What Swami Vivekananda was to Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Arjuna to Shri Krishna, Prajnananandaji is to his Gurudev Paramahamsa Hariharananda. Paramahamsa Prajnanananda stands distinguished and unique among saints and sages of India.

Master of the Kriya Yoga, President of the Prajnana Mission

Paramahamsa Prajnanananda is the current spiritual leader of the Kriya Yoga International Organization. Kriya Yoga is an ancient system of meditation. Born in the village of Pattamundai, Orissa on the 10th of August, 1960, he was raised in a profound spiritual environment that inspired his search for truth. He received his higher education in Cuttack and became a professor of economics there. In 1980, while still a student, he met his spiritual master, Paramahamsa Hariharananda, who initiated him into Kriya Yoga, then fi fteen years later, into the sacred path of sannyas. After only three years, at the early age of 39, his master conferred upon him the highest title of Paramahamsa, a designation reserved for monks who have attained the summit of realization. A truly powerful and extremely loving teacher, author, and speaker on world religions, well-versed in scriptures of the East and West, he combines a deep compassion for humanity with his love for God and his mastery of complex philosophical thoughts. The power of his teachings lies in their simplicity and direct relevance to our lives. Paramahamsa Prajnanananda teaches only one lesson: the lesson of love. Through not only the study of the scriptures, and the practice of meditation, but through every action and every breath, he urges us to realize our full potential through basic self- discipline and the practice of simple yogic principles. In addition to running the main ashrams in Puri, Cuttack, Vienna, and Miami, he holds seminars and retreats all over the world. The Prajnana Mission provides service to humanity through many charitable and educational activities such as free medical centers and a residential school for poor and underprivileged children.

Paramahamsa Hariharananda

Paramahamsa Hariharananda was a highly God-realized and highly respected disciple of Swami Shriyukteshwar. He was one of the greatest Kriya Yoga Master's and world teacher's.
In the lineage of Kriya philosophy, on the advice and divine guidance of his Guru Paramahamsa Hariharananda, Prajnana Mission was founded by Paramahamsa Prajnanananda, in 1993.
Paramahansaji was 95 years old when he peacefully entered into Mahasamadhi at 6.48 p.m. 3rd December 2002, in Florida, U.S.A. More information is available on the Mahasamadhi. His mind was extremely sharp and alert, his intuition was keen, his heart full of love, and his mind was always broad and open. He wrote several books and had memorized and understood all of the major scriptures including the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Holy Bible, the Koran and the Torah.

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Paramahamsa hariharananda

Paramahamsa Prajnanananda

Paramahamsa Prajnanananda
Paramahamsa Prajnananandaji is the president of Kriya organizations started by Baba Hariharanandaji Maharaj and the current head of a great lineage of Kriya Yoga Guru Parampara.
Paramahamsa Prajnanananda is based in Puri, India, and travels up to 300 days per year, holding seminars and retreats all over the world. He runs the main Kriya Yoga ashrams in Balighai, Cuttack, Vienna, Holland , Miami, and the centers world-wide. He is also the founder of Prajnana Mission, which provides free medical assistance units and centers, residential schools for unserved areas, and many other charitable and educational activities.
Paramahamsa Prajnanananda is known as a powerful and loving teacher, author and speaker on world religion.. On August 10, 1998, the highest title, Paramahamsa, a designation reserved for monks and saints who have attained the summit of realization was conferred upon him by his Master Paramahamsa Hariharananda.

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Hariharananda Gurukulam, India

Balighai, India | +91-6752-246644 | seva@prajnanamission.org

Gurukulam, has serene, secluded, picturesque grounds close to the sea and the holy city of Puri, with hundreds of mango orchards, coconut palms, and several other fruit and flower trees. The efforts of Paramahamsa Prajnanananda have resulted in yet another milestone in the history of Kriya Yoga. A new building complex was inaugurated at Balighai Puri, in January, 2000. The ashram has become a center of great spiritual activity holding International Kriya Yoga Seminars attended by delegates from all over the world.

Kriya Yoga Institute, USA

Homestead, FL, USA | +1-305-247-1960 | institute@kriya.org

Kriya Yoga Zentrum, Europe

Tattendorf Vienna, Austria | +43-2253-81491 | kriya.yoga.centre@aon.at

Prajnana Mission, India

Jagatpur,Cuttack , Orissa, India | +91-671-249-1724 | pmission@sify.com

Cuttack Ashram was founded by Paramahamsa Prajnanananda in 1993 when he was still Brahmachari Triloki Dash. The ashram building has been extended since then. This ashram functions as the mother center in India. Besides having meditation sessions both in the morning and evening, other programs are conducted on special occasions. Located on the outskirts of the town of Cuttack in Jagatpur, the ashram can provide overnight accommodations to guests and has been serving the spiritual needs of both local and foreign disciples. The mission is active in bringing out many publications and many charitable projects. There are well over forty centers in India.

Kriya Yoga Centrum, Holland

Sterksel, The Netherlands | +31-40-226-5576 | kriya.yoga@worldonline.nl

Yuktashram, India

Bhisindipur, Medinipur District, West Bengal, India | +91-322-224-8525

The ashram of Bhisindipur came into existence with the combined efforts of Swami Narayan Giri and Paramahamsa Hariharananda, and was named Yuktashram in memory of their beloved guru. Started in a small house, this ashram has turned into a beautiful hermitage in a very secluded area. A school for children, 'Shriyukteshwar Vidyapith' has also been started.Presently this ashram is managed by Swami Shuddhananda Giri who also travels to Europe to hold Kriya Programs.

Hariharananda Tapovanam, Himalayas

Hariharananda Tapovanam, Uttarakshi, India | +91-137-423-6362

Our Uttarakasi ashram has a panoramic view of the magnificent Himalayas and the sacred Ganges and is ideal for sincere spiritual seekers to penance and medetate in seclusion.

Hariharananda Balashram, India

Hariharananda Balashram, Pattamundai, Orissa, India | +91-672-922-1546

The Residential School for underprivileged, destitue and orphan children who are otherwise deprived of primary education. Started with forty children of ages 4-5 last year and the 3rd batch of 40 students are enrolled for this academic year'06-07. Construction of the separate hostel facility for boys & girls, Library and Classrooms, Playground are under progress.

Hariharananda Dhyanamandir

Hariharananda Dhyanamandir, Kolkatta, West Bengal India have a statue of our beloved Gurudev Paramahamsa Hariharananda.