“Desire for material things is endless; man is never satisfied completely, and pursues one goal after another. The ‘something else’ he seeks is the Lord, who alone can grant lasting joy… Outward longings drive us from the Eden within; they offer false pleasures which only impersonate soul-happiness. The lost paradise is quickly regained through divine meditation.”Swami Sri Yukteswar ji

His Early Life

Swami Sri Yukteswar ji was the Guru of Paramhansa Yogananda. His given name was Priya Nath Karar. Upon leaving college, he married and had a daughter, and in 1884 he became a disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya. After the death of his wife, Priya Nath Karar became a Swami and received the name Sri Yukteswar Giri.
Sri Yukteswar ji founded two hermitages, one in Serampore near Kolkata, and one in Puri, Orissa. They formed the backdrop for Paramhansa Yogananda’s training and his many experiences narrated in the Autobiography of a Yogi.

Babaji’s commission to Sri Yukteswar ji

At Babaji’s behest Sri Yukteswar ji trained Paramhansa Yogananda for his spiritual mission in the West. Babaji also commissioned Sri Yukteswar ji to write a treatise on the basic underlying unity between the Christian and Hindu Scriptures. This book became ‘The Holy Science’, wherein Sri Yukteswar ji also proclaimed that the Earth has ascended into the Dwapara Yuga, the Age of Energy.

“I felt the pangs of your heart, broad enough for all men, whether Oriental or Occidental. East and West must establish a golden middle path of activity and spirituality combined… You, Swamiji, have a part to play in the coming harmonious exchange between Orient and Occident. Some years hence I shall send you a disciple whom you can train for yoga dissemination in the West.”Mahavatar Babaji to Swami Sri Yukteswar ji

His Legacy

Sri Yukteswar ji entered Mahasamadhi on May 9, 1936 at the age of 81. Soon after, he appeared to Yogananda in his physical form to proclaim the immortality of the soul and to give insights into the nature of the afterlife. Paramhansa Yogananda lovingly bestowed on his guru the epithet of “Gyanavatar” – Incarnation of Wisdom.

“His every utterance was measured and chiseled by wisdom… I was conscious always that I was in the presence of a living manifestation of God.”Paramhansa Yogananda