Shyama Charan Lahiri was the birth name of the great yoga master. His disciples lovingly added “Mahasaya,” which means “great-minded one.” Born in Bengal, India, to a pious brahmin family, Lahiri Mahasaya was the one who made the ancient science of Kriya Yoga available not just to those who had renounced the world, but to all sincere souls.
Lahiri Mahasaya was a married householder with two sons. He held a job as an accountant to support his family. A yoga master of the highest achievement, his entire life served as an example of how to live “in the world, yet not of the world.”
Unknown to society in general, a great spiritual renaissance began to flow from a remote corner of Benares [home of Lahiri Mahasaya]. Just as the fragrance of flowers cannot be suppressed, so Lahiri Mahasaya, quietly living as an ideal householder, could not hide his innate glory. Slowly, from every part of India, the devotee-bees sought the divine nectar of the liberated master.
—Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi
Question from MPG: I read somewhere that lahiri mahasaya was attributed to say, “Man’s greatest duty is to hear the AUM sounds.” Why? He often counseled to do more kriya’s for most problems. I’m not concerned about the apparent contradiction. Why did he stress the AUM technique?