The original authentic Kriya Yoga of Babaji, Yogiraj Lahiri Baba, and Shriyukteshwarji was brought to the West in this century by Paramahamsa Hariharananda. In ancient times, Kriya Yoga was revealed by God to Vivaswan, the first King of the solar dynasty in ancient India. Vivaswan taught it to Manu, and Manu in turn taught it to Ikshwaku, and the teaching continued to be passed down through the ages. Later it was taught by Lord Krishna to Arjuna and many others… then many centuries later Babaji taught Yogiraj Lahiri Baba who passed it on to his disciples.
In modern times, in 1861, an elusive and mysterious master, Mahavatar Babaji, re-introduced the ancient Kriya technique to the general public through his able disciple, Shri Shyamacharan Lahiri, a pious householder. Lahiri Mahasaya, as he was popularly known, had many realized disciples. Foremost among them were Swami Shriyukteshwar Giri, who was well versed in the scriptures of both the East and West, and who attained the highest state of realization, and Shrimat Bhupendranath Sanyal Mahasaya, a householder yogi most noted for his metaphorical interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita in the light of Kriya Yoga. Among the many disciples of Swami Shriyukteshwar were Paramahamsa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, and Swami Satyananda Giri, who was the president of Karar Ashram until 1971, which had been founded by Swami Shriyukteshwar in 1903. Paramahamsa Hariharananda, who was president of Karar Ashram from 1971 as well as the president of the Kriya Yoga international organizations he founded, was also a direct disciple of Swami Shriyukteshwar. Both Paramahamsa Yogananda and Paramahamsa Hariharananda were Self-realized and instrumental in spreading the teachings of Kriya Yoga around the world.
Until the time of his mortal transition into spirit, December 3, 2002, at the age of 95 (1907-2002), Paramahamsa Hariharananda oversaw each student’s spiritual development. Lovingly called “Baba” by thousands of disciples and students around the world, his divine love and compassion remain unparalleled.
Today, Paramahamsa Prajnanananda, the realized disciple and successor of Paramahamsa Hariharananda, travels the world as a powerful spiritual master, loving teacher, prolific author, and speaker. Under his loving direction, the Kriya Yoga international organizations, supported by its monks, yogacharyas, and devotees, continue to thrive.