After that my brother said that we can go to Sri Lahiri Mahashay’s house in Varanasi. His actual name is Shyamacharan Lahiri. Born in Ghurni (a place near Krishnanagar) in the Nadia district of state of West Bengal in India in the year 1828, Shyamacharan spent his boyhood days in the pious surroundings of the holy city of Varanasi. The chime of temple bells, the rhyme of the Vedic slokas, the proximity of saints and sages and, above all, the somber ambience of the holy city left a profound impression upon his adolescent mind. At the age of eighteen, he married Kashimoni Devi who proved to be his ideal consort throughout the divine life he pursued later on. Having joined the Public Works Division of the Royal Indian Army at Danapur at the age of 23, he had to assume full responsibility of his family after the demise of his father, Sri Gourmohan Lahiri, in the year 1853. The year 1861 was the miraculous turning point in his life when divine grace dawned upon him that transformed his life and catapulted him from a serviceman to one of the greatest yogis who have illuminated India’s spiritual firmament. In that year, he was transferred from Danapur to Ranikhet on a project. The idyllic magnificence of the Himalayas, steeped in tranquility, with its abode of great saints and shrouded in the mystery of religious folklores, held him in awe. Once, while wandering through the woods, he was astonished when he heard a gentle voice beckoning him. Gathering courage, he walked up to the cave where he was met by an extraordinary saint who introduced himself as “Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj”. Shyamacharan was led inside wherein he was shown a piece of tiger skin, a stick and a pitcher (“kamandalu”) traditionally used by a hermit. As the divine grace of Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj descended upon him, he could immediately recognize the former as his immortal Guru and the belongings as his own from the previous birth!! Over the next few months, during his stay at Ranikhet, he was re-initiated into “yoga sadhana” by the great Babaji Maharaj. As the invaluable wealth of yoga gradually unfurled before him, he wanted to renounce his family and society and dedicate himself at the lotus feet of his Guru. He was, however, instructed by Sri Babaji Maharaj to return to the society to spread the doctrine of “Kriya Yoga”, particularly amongst the commoners who seek salvation, but are tied up in the shackles of family bondage. The remaining years of his life saw the gracious activity of a spiritual luminary who initiated countless followers and disciples, both family men and denouncers, into the joy and bliss of self-realization through the path of “Kriya Yoga”. Magnanimous and compassionate to the pure-hearted, he bestowed his divine grace time and again to deliver them from the troubles and tribulations of human life. One can write volumes about the miracles that many people close to him had the privilege to witness. At the same time, he was extremely strict towards irreverent and malicious people who opposed divine intentions. He was a yogi who revolutionized the spiritual outlook in India by embracing pious-minded common people from all walks of life and facilitating their self-realization pursuits through the practice of “Kriya Yoga”. Pious people, in search of truth and emancipation, came in touch with him at different points of time and he lighted the spark of supreme knowledge in them by initiating them in the process of unification of Self with the Supreme Consciousness. Some of his disciples later became renowned themselves by virtue of the wisdom and extraordinary yogic powers they achieved through his blessings and their sadhana.
We asked for the route and someone said that it’s near the Chousatti Devi temple.
After the darshan we found the house of Shibendu Lahiri, the great grand son of Lahiri Mahashaya. There we met Mamaji who showed us the whole place. There were paintings of Lahiri Mahashay and Mahavatar Babaji. You might not understand what it feels like to be at that place. To know more, I would recommend you to read a book Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramhansa Yogananda. It is one of the best books I have ever read.