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by Swami Satyeswarananda Giri

Extremely Important Contributions of Lahiri Mahasay to the Scriptural Interpretations From the Inner Realization (Antarlakshya) Point of View

Lahiri Mahasay wrote the following comment about the interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita in Bengali:

Lahiri Mahasay's comment about interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita in Bengali


"Almost all have written interpretations [on the Bhagavad Gita] as famous commentators like Sridhar Swami and Sankaracharya. They have written [commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita] with the 'external viewpoint' [outward attention - the intellectual way].

Respecting others he said, "How could there be inward attention (Antarlakshya) if, 'at first', there was no outward attention (Bahirlakshya)?

"From outward attention (Bahirlakshya), gradually and automatically inward attention (Antarlakshya) develops [eventually, if the seekers continue to practice sincerely and seriously].

"But inward attention is unmanifested (aprakashita). Inward attention is attained when one receives initiation [personally from the Guru].

[The scriptural revelations are the vibration of the Apta Vakyas, the Authoritative maxim, unalterable vibration of the ancient Yogis and the Sages and the Risis and the seers].

"Whatever is possible is written on the subject [which is a matter of inner Realization through actual Kriya practice]".

Respecting the others' interpretations, this was what Lahiri Mahasay had written about his interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita. The interpretations were from the "inner realization", and as such, what is possible, a bit were written on the subject.

This is a tremendous contribution.

Also his interpretation of Manu Sanghita in the light of inner Realization, is unique and rare; no one had interpreted Manu Sanghita as Lahiri Mahasay did.

The following definitions from the Bhagavad Gita of Lahiri Mahasay are unique; these will give an idea of the uniqueness of his interpretations.

The Ordinary Contexts The Spiritual Meaning
Dharmakshetra (Field of Dharma) The practice of Kriya Pranayam, abandoning the expectation of results
Kurukshetra (Field of Action) Field of practicing Kriya Pranayam
Kauravas - 100 sons of blind King Dhritarastra Kauravas - Practice of Kriya Pranayam, with expectation
Pandavas - Five sons of King Pandu Pandavas - Practicing Kriya Pranayam, abandoning the expectation of the results
The Five Pandavas :
Yudhisthira - The first Pandava The ether element (byoma tattwa)
Bhima - The second Pandava The air element (marut tattwa)
Arjuna - The third Pandava The fire element (teja tattwa)
Nakula - The fourth Pandava The water element (apa tattwa)
Sahadev - The fifth Pandava The earth element (prithvi tattwa)
The Four Yugas :
Satya Yuga - Golden Age To hold onto the Inner Self (Kutastha)
Treta Yuga - Silver Age To see the Inner Self (Kutastha)
Dwapara Yuga - Copper Age To receive the bliss through the Kriya practice
Kali Yuga - Iron Age To initiate into Kriya
The Four Classes (Varnas) :
Brahmana - The priest class One who is in Oneness with the Supreme Self
Kshatriya - The military class One who practices Kriya Pranayam
Vaisya - The trade and agricultural class One who practices Kriya Pranayam with expectation of results
Sudra - The servant class One who serves the three classes

Lahiri Mahasay's Complete Works (26 books)

Translated and edited from the original Bengali and Sanskrit into English for the first time by Swami Satyeswarananda Giri and set in 4 volumes in hard cover. Available in set, US$250.00 + postage and handling $14.00, CA residents please add tax 8%.

The Gitas and Sanghitas (Volume 1), 2006, ISBN 10: 1-877854-36-0

  1. The Bhagavad Gita,
  2. The Guru Gita,
  3. The Omkar Gita,
  4. The Abadhut Gita,
  5. The Kabir Gita,
  6. The Manu Sanghita,
  7. The Astabakra Sanghita, and
  8. The Charaka Sanghita.

The Chandi and the Others (Volume 2), 2006, ISBN 10: 1-877854-37-9

  1. The Chandi,
  2. The Yantrasar,
  3. The Tantrasar,
  4. The Linga Purana,
  5. Ancient Yogi Panini on Education,
  6. The Kabir Doha (Couplets), and
  7. The Japaji (The First Book of Guru Nanak).

The Upanisads (Volume 3), 2006, ISBN 10: 1-877854-44-1

  1. The Tejabindu Upanisad,
  2. The Dhyanabindu Upanisad,
  3. The Amritabindu Upanisad,
  4. The Niralamba Upanisad, and
  5. The Taitiriya Upanisad.

The Six Systems (Volume 4), 2006, ISBN 10: 1-877854-45-X

  1. The Sankhya Sutras,
  2. The Yoga Sutras,
  3. The Nyaya Sutras,
  4. The Vaisesika Sutras,
  5. The Mimangsa Darsan, and
  6. The Vedanta Darsan.

Yogiraj Sri Sri Lahiri Mahasay and His 108 Pieces of Advice

Swami Satyeswarananda Maharaj

Young Sri Shyama Charan Lahiri

Lahiri Mahasay's tenure of biological life was from the 7th day of Apar paksa, or the Other Fortnight, or the Pitri paksa, the Paternal Fortnight of the lunar circle of 1221 Bangabda (Bengali Year) to the 8th day of Matri paksa, the Maternal Fortnight of 1288 Bangabda (Bengali Year).

According to the English calendar, it was from September, 1828, through October, 1895.

He chose specially the exceedingly holy hour of Mahasandhiskan, the great union period to leave the body.

This is how the original Kriya practitioners in India select Lahiri Mahasay's birthdate and the date of his leaving the body.

In his diary, an entry was found which started: "Birthdate not exactly known." In accordance with the family tradition, the long parchment document of his thikuji, the birthdate and life's chart, was destroyed after his leaving the body. As a result, it was difficult to ascertain his birthdate. However, his only bachelor grandson out of eight grandsons, Ananda Mohan Lahiri, after making a thorough research of family documents came to the conclusion that his grandfather's birthdate fell on the seventh day of Apar paksa, the Other Fortnight, or the Pitri Paksa, the Paternal Fortnight of the lunar circle of 1221 Bangabda (Bengali Year). Since then, the Original Kriya practitioners have accepted that day and observed his birthdate accordingly. The date of his leaving the body was certain: the 8th day of Matri paksa, called Mahastami or Birastami day.

It may be mentioned here that some people observed his birthdate according to the English calendar of that year 1828 which fell on September 28 on that particular year. But according to the Vedic Sanskrit calendar, as stated above, the Pitri paksa, Paternal Fortnight, and Matri Paksa, Maternal Fortnight, vary in time. As a result, Lahiri Mahasay's birthdate and the date of his leaving the body into Mahasamadhi also vary.

Then there is the thirteen and a half hours time difference with India, which is ahead of the United States time. In case any Kriyanwit (male) / Kriyanwita (female), practitioner of Kriya should want to observe these in accordance with the time of India, he/she must adjust the time.

Lahiri Mahasay's Divine Gurudev, Mahamuni Babaji, remains enigmatic. No information of his birthdate is possible to ascertain. He does not give out any picture of himself. There is no picture of him at all, although some devotee imagines to have his picture or photo. There is no bar for a devotional person imagining that; however, one must understand that imagination is subjective and is not real in the objective sense and is not for others.

According to information available to Swami Satyeswarananda Giri Babaji Maharaj obtained while he was living with Mahamuni Babaji at Dunagiri Hill, Himalayas, at the request of Lahiri Mahasay, Mahamuni Babaji Maharaj permitted Lahiri Mahasay to give his photo to his disciple, Gangadhar Babu; that is why we have Lahiri Mahasay's photo.

Produced here is the only photo of Lahiri Mahasay in black and white (original).

Sri Samacharan Devsarman

Once, Lahiri Mahasay commented to a devotee about his photo, "If you believe it is Bhagavan (the Lord) then it is, if you don't believe this then it is a mere picture."

The mystery behind this comment was that Babaji gave his permission to Lahiri Mahasay at the latter's request; and through this permission, Babaji also gave his own photo to the world. As Babaji was in Oneness with Lahiri Mahasay, Babaji gave his photo through Lahiri Mahasay. Interestingly enough, Babaji also looked like Lahiri Mahasay except that he has long hair, a beard and looks a bit younger.

108 Pieces of Advice

The essence of Lahiri Mahasay's teachings of the original Kriya Yoga
can be summarized in the following 108 Pieces of Advice

  1. Kriya is Truth, and the rest is false.
  2. Practicing Kriya is the study of the Vedas. Kriya is jagya [performance of Vedic rituals]. All should perform this jagya.
  3. All Devatas, gods, practice these Kriyas. One who practices Kriya is a Devata.
  4. One should practice Pranayam very seriously and sincerely.
  5. Kriya practice opens the Eye of Wisdom.
  6. The Knowledge of Brahma, the ultimate Self, is attained by the practice of Pranayam.
  7. Ignorance is removed automatically when the Kriya practice is perfect.
  8. By the practice of Pranayam, ignorance is dispelled and Knowledge of the Self reveals.
  9. One who does not see Kutastha [the inner Self between the eyebrows] with the help of Guru's advice in this physical body is a blind person.
  10. That which saves one from the mind [restless breath], or manasa, is called Mantra; that which saves one from the attachment of body is called Tantra.
  11. The transcendence of inhaling and exhaling is called Kebala Kumbhaka.
  12. The practice of Khecharimudra brings victory over the senses.
  13. When the tongue is raised, the senses are subdued.
  14. If one attains the stabilized state in Khecharimudra, then he attains the state of samadhi.
  15. One whose Khechari is successful is fortunate.
  16. OM is radiant Light. When this Light is spread throughout the body, all is seen; then, there is no desire to speak and to look.
  17. Air [Breath] is Lord.
  18. When one continues to refine brown sugar, finally it becomes white. Similarly, continued Kriya practice brings Pranayam to perfection.
  19. If one moves the breath [practices Pranayam] always, breath ceases and becomes tranquil, sthira.
  20. The state of Sthirattva, Tranquility, is called Yoga.
  21. Practice Kriya as long as possible sitting in one asana at least once a day.
  22. If one strikes the door with the reverse air then it will open. This is called reverse japam.
    [That is, tranquilizing apana, the restless breath of the lower centers, and bringing up at the dorsal center and then if one strikes (makes thokar) according to the advice, then the inner Door will open].
  23. Having practiced Kriya, one should hold onto the After-effect-poise of Kriya.
  24. You will receive results according to your Kriya practice.
  25. If you feel pain [during the Kriya practice] in the body, then understand that the practice is not going well.
  26. The real work is to tune to meditation in Voidness [on the fifth element, ether] leaving three nerves: ida, pingala, susumna and four elements: khiti. apa, teja, and marut, respectively, earth, water, fire, and air.
  27. When the mind is tranquil, it does not desire unnecessarily. At the state of beyond desire, one does not perform unnecessary works.
  28. When one has attained the tranquil Breath, then, for him, the only work which remains is to hold onto the state of tranquility always.
  29. It is difficult to express the state when the breath becomes tranquil, Sthira.
  30. When the breath is tranquil day and night, then, one realizes the real state of Rama Mantra.
  31. When the breath is tranquil, it is the state of Kumbhaka. When one sees Oneself, it is called Brahmajnana, "the Knowledge of Brahma, the ultimate Self."
  32. There is no need to breath in or out. It is a much happier state; tranquility is there; this is Brahma.
  33. One becomes Brahma when one becomes desireless.
    [Lahiri Mahasay's meditative life with Kriya was from 1861 to 1873. The following dates are found in his notebook:
  34. May 13, 1873 - Whatever one wants to do, he can do.
  35. June 29, 1873 - I entered inside [the Spinal Cord] a little bit.
  36. July 16, 1873 - The senses disturb today. I must renounce all desires and dissolve myself.
  37. The senses are obstructions; Transcending them by the practice of Prayanam and Omkar Kriyas, today, I have to dissolve perfectly. This is the only work for me.
  38. It does not matter, if life departs from the physical body. I must practice Kriya with all my heart.
  39. Kriya practice brings divine wealth, that is, Sthirattva, the state of Tranquility.
  40. Aug 13, 1873 - Now, always remain in Kumbhak. This is the form of Mahadev, Lord Siva; head was always heavy, the eyes were drawn above; this state does not break when inhaling is done; at that time, silence is very beneficial.
  41. One can see all the deities if one withdraws the restless mind and makes inward himself in the Kutastha.
  42. I saw Radhaji [consort of Krisna] at the base of the inner Sound.
  43. The sun is Kali (Goddess Kali), I myself am Kali. Thinking about Kali I become Kali. Now I will be father of Kali, Brahma, the ultimate Self.
  44. The sun is Kali [Goddess Kali], and I am what I am.
  45. Aug 13, 1873 - Today, I became Mahapurusa, "the great man."
  46. Aug 17, 1873 - I am Mahapurusa. In the sun I saw that I myself am Brahma, the ultimate Self.
  47. Aug 18, 1873 - The world is revealed from my form. I myself am the only Purusa, the supreme Being.
  48. Aug 18, 1873 - The world is revealed from my form. I myself am the only Purusa, the Self; there is nobody else.
  49. Aug 22, 1873 - I myself am Adi Purusa Bhagavan, the first Lord.
  50. Aug 23, 1873 - Whatever I say is Veda. Know it for certain.
  51. I saw four Vedas, Brahma, Visnu, and Maheswar (Lord Siva) inside the Yoni [between the eyebrows].
  52. I saw a blue color in the light; in the blue, I saw a white Spot (Bindu); and in the white Spot, I saw a man who manifested himself as a Hindu, English man, etc.
  53. I saw thousands of Krisnas.
  54. I saw the greater Krisna.
  55. Aug 24, 1873 - I myself am Lord Krisna.
  56. Aug 25, 1873 - I myself am the Aksara Purusa, the eternal Being.
    [It may be mentioned here that each rhythm of Consciousness of the seeker in the process of merging with the ultimate Self is a state of deity, or devata till he merges completely in Oneness with Brahma.]
  57. Oct 3, 1873 - I am the sun, the Mahadev, the first cause.
  58. Nov 12, 1873 - I myself am Mahapurusa Purusottam, "the great Self, the supreme Being."
  59. Aug 15, 1874 - It is not possible to achieve Abhaya pada, "the state of fearlessness" without the help of Guru. One must hold onto Oneself at the house of Tranquility, without which, one cannot achieve the Abhaya pada, the eternal Realization of the ultimate Self.
  60. My form is everywhere; there is nobody except me, and that form is in Void. There is no day and night there.
  61. If you take shelter in me with true faith, then, I have to come to you. How can I stay far away?
  62. I remain present near one who practices Kriya.
  63. If you write in reverse order and see it in the mirror, it looks straight. Similarly, if you make reverse the breath of the body, then you will see Swarupa, the form of your self.
  64. Dualism is the root of all suffering.
  65. Restless is manifestation, and Sthirattva, Tranquility, is Lord Siva.
  66. You yourself do not know what will render you good.
  67. If the strain is generated on the lips, throat, and teeth by the practice of Pranayam, then the knowledge is called Bhakti, or devotion.
  68. Whatever one thinks at the time of death, accordingly one becomes that; likewise, if you become Satchidananda at the time of leaving the body, then, you become yourself, the ultimate Self.
  69. Who is Kabir? He is sun, and he is Brahma, myself.
    [These names are found from his notebook].
  70. In Satyayuga Lahiri Mahasay was born as Satyasukrita, in tretayuga he was Munindra; in dwaparayuga Karunamaya; and in kaliyuga he was Kabir. Later, he became Shyama Charan.
  71. If one meditates always on the Lord, all his other works are taken care of by the Lord Himself.
  72. If people want to go away, let them go away; but you should remain firm in your practice. Then, at the end, you will go into the house of Sthirattva, Tranquility.
  73. The movement is called world.
  74. Applying body, mind, and speech in action is called Ahingsa [Non- violence].
  75. Animals are enchanted by music; if man is not attracted by the sound of OM, then he is an ass.
  76. Beyond the five senses there is mind, that is breath; beyond the mind there is buddhi, that is bindu, or spot [in between the eyebrows]; beyond the bindu, Brahma, the ultimate Self, is the Pure Void, and Formless.
  77. Woman is the destroyer of man. Do not look at her, at any cost.
    [The sun of the self, that is, sound, is referred to here as man; and the jyoti, light of the self, is referred to as woman. In other words, do not be interested in the play of jyoti, or develop attachment to the inner visions; after all, visions are secondary and are not inner Realization.
    [It is sound, Om, or Nada, which helps the seeker to go beyond bindu and merge into Oneness with Brahma, the ultimate Self].
  78. I saw a pure Void, that is Brahma, the ultimate Self. The mind must be dissolved in It.
  79. Mind should not be made outward. What's the benefit if the mind and the eyes are tranquil and not the body? Today, the breath does not come out, and a lot of addictions are generated.
  80. Merging in pure Voidness is called Samadhi.
  81. Beyond Purusottam, the supreme Being, there is Brahma, the ultimate Self.
  82. Without being niskama, that is, totally detached, there is no possibility to be merged in Brahma.
    [When the seer destroys his character as seer and becomes one with the ultimate Self, then dualism is dissolved].
  83. Voidness which is inside voidness is called great Voidness, Brahma.
  84. Satyayuga is the After-effect-poise of Kriya; tretayuga is the temporary After-effect-poise of Kriya; dwaparayuga is to practice Kriya; and when one does not practice I, it is kaliyuga for him.
  85. When one transcends Basu, desires, he becomes Dev, the Lord; that is, he becomes Basudev, or Lord Krisna.
  86. One becomes Basudev when the basanas, the desires, are transcended. He is the Lord.
  87. A liar who cannot keep his word is not a good man; his father, that is, his Lord is also no good.
  88. The essence of Rama-mantra is to place the tongue into Talabya Kriya and continue to listen the sound of Om.
  89. Inside this body there is another body which is somewhat black.
  90. Knowledge of the ultimate Self is to know Oneself by oneself.
  91. Looking at the middle of the forehead, which is above the nose and eyebrows, is a bit difficult; if one stabilizes on this, he attains the state of Samadhi.
  92. Till Bhisma [grandfather of Kaurava and Pandava], that is, fear [in the light of Kriya Bhisma means fear of practicing Kriya], receives three arrows, that is, ida, pingala and susumna in his head [unite in the Kutastha], never becomes Sthira, tranquil; One should practice Kriya courageously.
  93. Nobody is a sinner; no one is holy either; if the mind is put into the Kutastha, then, there is no sin; otherwise, if the mind is outward, there is sin; in other words, when the mind is not in the Kutastha, it is in sin.
  94. The old father [Babaji] is Lord Krisna.
  95. I saw Saptarsi, seven Yogis (Bhrigu, Atri, Angira, Marichi, Pulastya, Pulaha, and Kratu; and four Manus (Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatan, and Sanat Kumar].
  96. All sins are destroyed at the After-effect-poise of Kriya.
  97. Abidya, ignorance, is the outward state of mind; Bidya, Knowledge, is the After-effect-poise of Kriya.
  98. One who practices Pranayam, truly loves all beings.
  99. Slowly, slowly, all works are being done.
  100. Worldly beautiful things are poisonous. If you see them outwardly, they attract you; but if you see them inwardly, then, they are renounced. This is maya, or restlessness.
  101. Let others go as they please, but you continue to practice Kriya; It will render you good; You will achieve the state of Tranquility, Sthirattva.
  102. One can say everything when the Kriya practice continues spontaneously at the six centers.
  103. Nobody is a sinner; the mind itself is the sinner when it becomes outward away from the Kutastha.
  104. Tranquil Moment beyond breath is Allah, that is, the House of Tranquility.
  105. Brahma is Pure; It has not come out from anything; in other words, Brahma is ever Pure and Brahma is never tasted before by anyone.
    [Tasting something is possible from the the state of dualism. But if one becomes one with Brahma, one becomes Brahma himself. So there is no possibility to taste Brahma. As a result, Brahma remains ever untasted, Pure].
  106. Do not be idle. Practice Kriya. Do not wait for advice to practice Kriya.
  107. Exhaust your breath in practicing Kriya. Eventually breath will be Sthira, Tranquil.
  108. All realization is possible by the practice of the First Kriya. One is required to practice strictly according to the instructions received from one's Guru personally.

The reference of the "First Kriya" in advice number 108 means the First Step or the entire set which includes the following:

  1. Mahamudra
  2. Talabya Kriya or Khecharimudra
  3. Navi Kriya
  4. Kriya number 1 (Some call it Kriya Proper)
  5. Yonimudra (not Jyotimudra as some propagate)

This is the definition of the First Kriya according to Lahiri Mahasay.

The reader will find more information in the Sanskrit Classics 2nd edition of Biography of a Yogi - Swami Satyananda's Complete Works Volume 1 - Chapter 14, Discourse on Kriya, pages 461- 469.