Lahiri Mahasaya: Tracing The Journey Of The Great Saint In Varanasi
The city of Varanasi is not only one of the oldest and most sacred cities in India, but also it encompasses wisdom that can go on for eternity. Great saints like Adi Shankaracharya, Mahavatar Babaji, and Gautama Buddha, Tailang Swami, Kabir Ji all lived in this holy city.
You will find their shrines and ashrams located in serene locales in Varanasi. Another great saint who once lives in Varanasi was Lahiri Mahasaya. Lahiriji used to live here with his family and even went to work as an engineer in Varanasi itself.
His radiating aura can be still found in the narrow lanes of this city. His house is located in one of those iconic little lanes in Varanasi, and you can pay a visit to learn more about this great Saint. The house is now run by his great-grandson and is filled with stories, photos, anecdotes, and sculptures of Lahiri Mahasaya.
Who Was Lahiri Mahasaya?
Lahiriji was born in a small Brahmin family in Bengal. His penance for enlightenment starts quite early, as he was found meditating a the age of three or four. He moved to Varanasi when his family home was destroyed in a flood. Thus, Varanasi became the city where he spent his entire life.
He married and had two sons and three daughters. He was working as an engineer when he met the great Mahavatar Babaji. Babaji found something special in Lahiriji and started teaching him the techniques of Kriya Yoga. After an extensive lesson from Babaji, Lahiri decided to spread the message of Kriya Yoga around the world.
Since then, his house in Varanasi started being filled with sincere and dedicated practitioners of Kriya Yoga, He also organized study groups, wherein the Gita was discussed. The discussions used to be highly philosophical, spiritual, and inclusive. The ambiance itself was culturally rich and extremely positive. The unique thing about Lahiri was, that he was one of the few saints who were not only supporting his family but also teaching Kriya Yoga. It was like he was leading a dual life.
The House of Lahiri Mahasaya
The humble house of Lahiri Mahasaya is now inhabited by his great-grandson. It was in this hose then that great Swami Shri Yukteshwar received his teachings. This little house has witnessed several such meetings, discussions and many other great saints had come here to learn or just meet Lahiriji.
The house is only open for one day at a particular time in the entire year. This is the time when devotees can visit the house, and take a deep dive into the world of Lahiriji. The house is only open for two hours in July.
Once you enter the house, you will be able to visualize how life must have been when Lahiriji was still alive. The walls of the house still have several photographs and paintings of eminent personalities like Einstein, Mahavatar Babaji, Shri Yukteshwar Giri, and many more. There are several motivating and pleasant quotes also that are put on the wall. There is an aura that swirls around the house, and you can feel it almost instantly when you enter.
There is also a small marble shrine that houses the ashes of Lahiri Mahasaya. Two daily pujas take place at the shrine- one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. A family priest comes to the house twice a day to perform the puja complete with rituals.
While you can only go inside the house in July for only two hours on the day of Guru Poornima, you can still certainly walk past the house and try to engulf all the spiritual aura that comes out of it.
On the outside, you will always find candles and flowers kept by the devotees at Lahiriji’s doorstep. Many people who pass the house, would either touch their forehead to the door or just chant a little prayer before moving on with their day. It is their way of paying respect.
If you walk a little to the end of the lane, you will find the sacred river where Lahiriji used to come every day to take a bath and perform his morning routine. The holy river of Ganga, itself is extremely pious and tranquil, and you can just sit there for some time. Just close your eyes, and try to imagine the time when this great saint was alive. You will immediately feel calm, and the noise in the background will fade away.