Mahavatar Babaji, Mahavatar Kriya Babaji, Shiva Baba, call him whatever you like, is a Himalayan Yogi named by Lahiri Mahasaya and several of his disciples met Mahavatar Babaji from 1861 to 1935. Maha from Sanskrit is translated as great, avatar – divine incarnation, and Babaji as a respected father. Mahavatar is translated as a great avatar and Babaji as a holy father.
Some of the descriptions of the meetings with Mahavatar Babaji are described by Paramahansa Yogananda in his book “Autobiography of a Yogi.” There he also talks about his meeting with Mahavatar Babaji. Another first-hand account can be found in Sri Yukteswar Giri’s Holy Science.
In the 19th century, Mahavatar Babaji passed the knowledge of Kriya Yoga on to Lahiri Mahasaya, who spread it in India.
The birth of the Mysterious Teacher
It is often reported that Babaji was born on November 30, 203 C.E.; however, this version is said to be false. The real place of birth of the Guru is unknown; his birth date remains a mystery. The lack of reliable data on the existence of the Indian immortal yogi leads to confusion in the famous publications.
The legendary Himalayan Guru, Haidakhan Babaji, is mistakenly identified as Mahavatar Babaji. Mahavatar Babaji appeared thousands of years ago from a flash of light at the foot of the sacred Mount Kailash in Tibet.
Physical Appearance of Babaji
The physical body of the Himalayan Teacher is called the body of eternal youth. Thousands of years of earthly life did not affect the appearance of the Indian practitioner – he looked like a twenty-year-old young man. The immortal body of the Teacher cannot cast a shadow because it is the source of light; it does not need food, rest, and even air.
Due to social humility towards the devotees, he sometimes accepted fruit or rice and boiled rice in ghee. Babaji’s beautiful and powerful body is white, medium stature, and structure exude a clear aura. His eyes are black, calm, and tender; His long shiny hair is copper-colored.
His description is also found in Yuteshwar Giri’s book The Holy Science. There is evidence of his being seen by many people from 1861 to 1935. Those who have seen him always stated his age as 25 to 30 years. When Yogananda met him, he seemed to be just 19 years old. With the help of a painter, Yogananda had also made a portrait of Mahavatar Baba; the same picture is prevalent everywhere. Paramhansa Yogananda met Babaji on July 25, 1920; hence this date is celebrated as Babaji’s Memorial Day.
On a recent day, Gurunath of Poona has also met Mahavatar Babaji. He has also written a book on Babaji titled The Lighting Standing Steel. Sri M. V. of South India has also met Mahavatar Babaji many times. In 1954, in his ashram at Badrinath, for six months, Babaji initiated the whole 144 Kriyas to one of his great devotees, SAA Ramaiya.
According to Shri Shailendra Sharma, a realized Kriya yogi whose lineage dates back to Mahavatar Babaji, he met Babaji twice: in 1988 and 1995. In 1988, Mahavatar Babaji taught Shailendra special techniques of Kriya Yoga that were not previously known.
Shailendra described Mahavatar Babaji as follows: Babaji has a very slender figure. Babaji was of average height, 5 feet 9 inches. But he looks very strong physically. He was dressed in a Bengali fashion: a white dhoti and a light cream shirt. And seven years later, on the night of December 21, rather even on the morning of December 22, he came here again. He was wearing only white cloth wrapped around his hips. He had no hair on his body – his chest and legs were completely hairless.
Babaji – Incarnation of Lord Krishna
Many theories have emerged, quoting Babaji to be the incarnation of Lord Krishna. Lahiri Mahasaya wrote in his diary that Mahavatar Babaji was Lord Krishna himself. Yogananda also often prayed loudly, saying, Babaji Krishna. Two disciples of Paramahansa Yogananda wrote that Paramhansa also believed Babaji to be Krishna in his former life.
Mahavatar Babaji Cave
There is also a cave of Mahavatar Babaji. The Cave of Mahavatar Baba is still located in Doonagiri, 13 km from Kukuchhina in the Almora district of Uttarakhand. This Cave has been the meditation place of all the saints and great men. Film actors Rajinikanth and Juhi Chawla also visit Baba’s Cave. It is believed that Mahavatar Babaji lives in these hills of Shivalik, and he also gave darshan to many yogis here.
Jesus Christ and Buddha Shakyamuni
Buddha and Jesus Christ are considered to be some of the outstanding followers of Mahavatar Babaji. The canonical writings of the Gospel narrate only a small segment of the earthly journey of God’s son. The official texts are silent about how the life of the prophet went between 12 and 29 years.
Today we can talk about rare and very strong evidence that this period of his life Jesus spent in India, comprehending the great science of the immortal yogi. In fact, Indian spiritual traditions have never refuted this fact. This was stated by the most famous educators of the twentieth century: Nicholas Roerich, Swami Abhedananda, Yogananda Paramahansa, Sathya Sai Baba, and Yogi Ramayah.
Jesus mastered the basics of meditation, Vedic, and Buddhist philosophy under the direct guidance of Mahavatar Babaji himself.
Buddha also adopted the experience of self-knowledge from Babaji. This is evidenced by the technique known as Buddhist Vipassana meditation, which is considered a kind of simplification of Kriya Yoga. In Buddhist teachings, the personality of Mahavatar Babaji is honored under the name of Buddha Samantabhadra, and this prototype is mostly represented in Tantric Buddhism.
Madame Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society in the 19th century, recognized Babaji as Buddha’s avatar Maitreya and the future Guru of the world.
The resurgence of Kriya Yoga through Babaji
In the third century, Babaji revived the Kriya Yoga described by Maharishi Patanjali described in the famous book Yoga Sutras. The definition of Kriya Yoga is given in Sutra 2.1 as Continuous practice with aversion, Self-study, and god pranidhan.
Self-study is to see the purpose behind your actions, and God Pranidhan is the devotion and love for God. Babaji also combined the teaching of Tantra Sadhana with Kriya Yoga mentioned by Patanjali. Prominent among them is to develop divine consciousness and great power Kundalini through Pranayama, Mantra, and Bhakti.
Stories of Babaji
Paramahansa Yogananda has mentioned two incidents related to Baba in his book.
- Postponed death of his disciple – Referring to the first incident, Yogananda wrote that Babaji was with his disciples once in the night. A fire was burning nearby. Babaji picked up a burning wood from that fire and hit it on the shoulder of one of his disciples. Babaji’s disciples protested; Babaji then placed his hand on that disciple’s shoulder and said, I have not caused you any trouble, but have avoided your death to happen today.
- Life in death – Similarly, according to the second incident mentioned by Yogananda, once a person came to Babaji, and he insisted on giving him initiation. When Babaji refused, he threatened to jump down the mountain. Babaji said, Go jump, and the person jumped from the mountain. The people there were taken aback. Upon being asked by Babaji, his disciples brought the mutilated body and placed it in front of Babaji. As soon as Babaji laid his hands on the dead body, the person came to life again. After this, Babaji told him that from today you had joined my team. This was your final exam.
- Helping Disciples without giving them knowledge – Babaji helps yoga practitioners by staying away from worldliness in such a way that at times the seekers do not even know about him. Paramahansa Yogananda has also told that Babaji was the one who taught Kriya Yoga to Lahiri Mahashaya in 1861. Later Lahiri Mahashaya initiated Kriya Yoga to many seekers. Nearly 30 years later, he initiated Yogananda’s Guru Sri Yukteswar Giri. Yogananda spent 10 years with his Guru, after which Babaji himself appeared in front of him and instructed him to take this divine knowledge of Kriya Yoga to western countries.
It is told in the Autobiography of a Yogi that Mahavatar Babaji taught yoga to Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya and the famous medieval saint Kabir of the Sannyas Ashram.
How to Identify Mahavatar Babaji?
To get the true identity of Babaji or to get a glimpse of his dignity, it is necessary to know the proven tradition from which Babaji has descended. If you want to know Babaji, you need to identify Brahma in yourself. You need to make every cell of its existence a medium for the manifestation of Brahma. That’s what every saint has done from the ages instead of thinking and imagining Heaven after death.
Quotes and Teachings of Babaji
- For the faults of the many, judge not the whole. Everything on earth is of a mixed characters, like a mingling of sand and sugar. Be like the wise ant which seizes only the sugar, and leaves the sand untouched.
- Remember and realize that you are master of yourself and your own servant. Grow up full, whole, and not in sections (cross or vertical or horizontal) and then join others who have grown up and become whole and full by themselves (purnosmi)…Are you awake?
- Love is the undisturbed balance that binds this universe together.
- Wisdom shines from the temple of pure heart. Wisdom is the crown for the structure of life.
- Truth is for earnest seekers, not for those of idle curiosity. It is easy to believe when one sees; there is nothing then to deny. Supersensual truth is deserved and discovered by those who overcome their natural materialistic skepticism.
- The divine realm extends to the earthly; but the later, illusory in nature, does not contain the essence of Reality.
- Few mortals know that the kingdom of God includes the kingdom of mundane fulfillments. The divine realm extends to the earthly; but the later, illusory in nature, does not contain the essence of Reality.
- Even in the world, the yogi who faithfully discharges his responsibilities, without personal motive or attachment, treads the sure path of enlightenment.
- He who vows to sacrifice all in the quest of the Divine is fit to unravel the final mysteries of life through the science of Meditation.
- Intuition and instinct have more to do with shaping of character and behavior than intelligence or imitation, or impulse. Let the heart, guide you, rather than emotion and intellect.