Is Haidakhan Baba the Same As Mahavatar Babaji?


I have recently come across a small documentary about Haidakhan Babaji, who was discovered in a sacred cave in the Himalayas in 1970 and left his body in 1984. Apparently some people consider him as a reincarnation on Mahavatar Babaji and I am curious to know your opinion on this?

—Sandrine, Bulgaria


Dear Sandrine,

During my pilgrimages to India I have visited the Haidakhan Baba ashram myself, right where he is said to have appeared. I know that his devotees consider him to be Mahavatar Babaji. The visit was definitively a powerful experience — but still, the feeling was far from what I perceive from Mahavatar Babaji at Badrinath (Yogananda says he still lives there today, in a subtle body, visible to only a few).

Their teachings seem quite apart too: Haidakhan Babaji said that karma yoga (service) is the central element of his teachings, plus puja (ritual worship), while Mahavatar Babaji is basically a mystical Raja Yoga teacher, teaching the highest forms of meditation, aiming for cosmic oneness.

In addition, Mahavatar Babaji, so we read in the Autobiography of a Yogi, will not give up his body for ages to come, whereas Haidakhan Babaji has left his body.

So my personal perception is no: he is a great — but different — soul. Since I am not enlightened, I might be wrong, of course. But I know that also Swami Kriyananda, without wanting to offend or discourage anyone, had his own doubts that these two are the same soul.

All the best,