"I saw Babaji in Central Park"

paramahamsa hariharananda yogacharya don baba Jan 02, 2024


Original painting of Mahavatar Baba by Sananda Lal Ghosh

Original painting of Mahavatar Babaji by Sananda Lal Ghosh


"I saw Babaji in Central Park." a New York Kriyaban told me excitedly, after entering the Sunday morning meditation class at Chuck's gallery.


"Just before coming to class I saw him in the park"


I asked him, "What are you doing here? 


Why did you come to class? , if you saw Babaji, then why didn't you go to him? 


Is it possible?, certainly it is possible.


The little we can say factually about Mahavatar Babaji, is that he is an "unknown mysterious phenomenon" 


"All things are possible".


However, I hold to the following standards and personal experiences and opinions regarding Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj. 


I am hesitant to say anything at all about Mahavatar Babaji, because there are many highly opinionated experts online and in the spiritual marketplace, who will be happy to fight about their "authentic" Babaji' s teachings and their personal empowerment or experiences of the great immortal yogi.


Before 1945, except for a handful of advanced yogis, the world didn't know about Mahavatar Babaji, until Paramhansa Yogananda wrote about him, in the "Autobiography of a Yogi". 


Yogananda states in the "Autobiography of a Yogi" that limited details are known about Babaji…..


In addition, the few real credible details we know about Babaji, that come from reliable sources, are from highly advanced yogis, who had very brief profound encounters with him, that served a higher purpose of illuminating humanity. 


I don't make that statement lightly and I encourage all who are interested in Babaji, to really think deeply and not just run and follow anyone who claims to be his representative and believe that they are his direct disciples.


There is a story about Lahiri Mahasaya wanting to prove to a group of doubters about real Indian Yoga Masters and he requested his Guru to appear,  to show them that they were wrong. 


Mahavatar Babaji humbly responded to his disciple’s request and appeared,  but told Lahiri Baba,

“In the future he would only respond, if there was a real need." 


There are a few important points that I offer regarding Babaji and again request that seekers don’t just follow blindly anyone who claims to be his representative or incarnation, especially on the internet.


Please consider this deeply.


First, is the fact that Yoganandaji, Sri Yukteswar, Baba Hariharananda, Lahiri Mahasaya and the handful of Indian Kriyabans who experienced Babaji, were very advanced yogis. 


They were highly respected and very credible sources of the truth.



Second, their meeting Babaji was not just an idle curiosity, but each encounter was for profound upliftment of humanity.


Sri Yukteswar was a very advanced Yogi and his meeting Babaji at the Kumbh Mela was for a very profound mission. 


Babaji encouraged Sri Yukteswar to write “The Holy Science”, ("Kaivalya Darsanam") a book showing the unity, and the similarities of the essence of authentic spiritual teachings, found in all religions, particularly Hinduism and Christianity. 


The book is something tangible that a seeker can read, to come to an “authentic” experience of Babaji' s influence. 




Babaji sent the child Mukunda, (Paramhansa Yogananda) to Sri Yukteswar for training, to become a Kriya Yoga master.


Yoganandaji was the first to traveled to the west to spread the message of Kriya Yoga, and the teachings of "The Holy Science"


He represented the Indian "Mystical tradition" at the Parliament of World Religions in 1920. 



Third, in early 1860's, Mahavatar Babaji called Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya to the Himalayas, to reintroduce these “ancient yogic techniques” for the “Modern Age. 


Over time this knowledge and techniques, had become hidden from society, and many were focusing on external forms of worship and religious practices. 


Babaji intuitively knew the time was right, to reintroduce these "ancient yoga techniques", for the benefit of the  "sincere seekers" and chose a “pious householder”, to spread the message of Kriya Yoga. 


Babaji chose Lahiri Baba, to be the example for the "Modern Age", to show that in the midst of family life one can achieve the highest state of consciousness.



The essence of Lahiri Mahasaya's message from the "Autobiography of a Yogi", was to: “Stay in your family, stay in your job, stay in your religion, be highly qualified, but be a Yogi”.


Baba Hariharananda, had the same message and traveled throughout his life, to help people living in the world practicing Kriya Yoga, where they needed it the most, in the family life, in the world. 



It is in the midst of family life, fulfilling our responsibilities to our family, community and profession that we need help with our inner spiritual development.


Just as Krishna taught Arjuna on the Kurutesha battlefield, in the midst of the battle, the practice of Kriya Yoga, is predominantly in the home, in the family life.




These last few points I feel very deeply about and I often encourage seekers to consider.


It is because these two great Yogis, met on a hillside in India, that the world knows about Kriya Yoga. 


When Babaji reintroduced these techniques for the “Modern Age” surely he saw that one day I would be writing this blog post  and you would be reading these words.


It’s a bold statement, but because they met on the Hillside, here we both are with an interest of knowing more about Kriya Yoga.


"We are the Modern Age".


Please let me put forth why I can make such a statement.


Kriya Yoga follows the param-para lineage tradition of empower acharyas. 


Babaji taught Lahiri Mahasaya, who had several realized disciples and family members who he empowered to spread the message of Kriya Yoga. 


Panchanan Bhattacharya, Pranabananda, Bhupendranath Sanyal and Swami Sri Yukteswar are some of the more well known. 


Baba Hariharananda, Swami Satyananda and Paramahansa Yogananda were some of the empowered disciples of Sri Yukteswar.


In Baba Hariharananda case, he learned First Kriya from Sri Yukteswar, Second Kriya from Paramhansa Yogananda, Third Kriya from Swami Satyananda, and the higher Kriyas from Bhupendranath Sanyal. 


Baba was also empowered to give kriya initiation to sincere seekers by both Yoganandaji and Bhupendranath Sanyal. 


Baba Hariharananda empowered man and women, monks and householders, Hindus and non-Hindus to initiate and teach kriya yoga in accordance with the param-para tradition of Babaji and Lahiri Mahasaya. 


By Baba Hariharananda grace, I am one of the people empowered by him to teach and initiate others in Kriya Yoga.


There is a living link thru kriya yoga initiation and practicing the kriya techniques, handed down from Babaji to Lahiri continuing thru the lineage of Kriya Yoga masters.


It is important to distinguish between the “Babaji of the Kriya Yoga lineage” of the "param-para tradition” and there is the “Babaji and Kriya Yoga” taught outside the “param-para tradition.


Many people falsely claim to represent Babaji and Kriya Yoga, and are "initiating" outside the "param-para" tradition. 


When we practice inside the "param-para" tradition, there is a living link back to that meeting on the Himalayan hillside in the 1860’s between Mahavatar Babaji and Lahiri Baba.


Many times myself and others experienced Baba Hariharananda “omniscience and omnipresent” ability to see the whole life of his disciples. (past, present and future). 


I personally experienced this many time and I have shared some of these experiences here in these posts.


What I believe is that surely if Baba Hariharananda had this ability, then undoubtedly Babaji Maharaj had this ability and could see all the seekers of kriya yoga in the modern age.


"We are the Modern Age" that Babaji reintroduced these Kriya Yoga Techniques for.


So when we receive Kriya Yoga initiation and practice Kriya Yoga, inside the param-para tradition,

we are traveling "the path tread by the realized" under the watchful eye of Mahavatar Babaji.


This book is interesting because Raghabanandaji compares many of the “popular beliefs” about Babaji Maharaj with historical facts of time and place....don baba

Raghabanandaji compares many of the “popular beliefs” about Babaji Maharaj, with historical facts of time, and place.


In truth, unless you personally were standing on the hillside with Babaji and Lahiri Baba in 1860's, there will always be a some question as to Babaji' s  “original authentic” Kriya Yoga techniques and who is teaching them. 


It is my opinion anyone looking for them, that train left the station a long time ago. 


What I can say is I have a higher degree of trust, that those teachers, within the lineage following the param-para tradition, are more authentic and closer to the truth of what was handed down from the original meeting of Babaji and Lahiri Baba.


In addition, Kriya Yoga is experiential. 


It is in the practice of Kriya Yoga that one gains authenticity. 


Baba Hariharananda is an authentic “samadhi master” who taught that he got that inner transformation by the practice of Kriya Yoga, as taught to him by Sri Yukteswar, Yogananda, Satyananda, & Bhupendranath Sanyal.


The best advice regarding Babaji Maharaj, is to meditate deeply, practice kriya yoga with love, taught within the param-para initiation path and pray deeply to Babaji for an authentic direct experience of him. 


Otherwise it is just someone else’s story. 


Again I want to state that "Mahavatar Babaji is an "unknown mysterious phenomena" and all things are possible"


In the Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda states that Babaji maintains his physical body and his living in the Himalayas mountains.


I personally have talked to several people, who have shared their modern day personal experiences with meeting Babaji and I appreciate hearing about how he touch their hearts and souls. 


It's possible, they had an authentic experience.  


It appears he is still actively working to uplift humanity and helping sincere souls on the path of Self-realization.


Again I say "All things are possible with Babaji, but be careful what you chose to believe."




Baba Hariharananda had a few rare glimpses of this "unknown mysterious Yogi".


Baba rarely talked about his experiences with Babaji. 


However, several times I heard him share two experiences about Babaji, one in Karar Ashram, the other traveling to ”Babaji' s cave” in the mountains.


One day while Baba Hariharananda was meditating in Karar ashram, in Puri, Babaji appeared to him after praying deeply to him night and day for a long time. 


Babaji blessed Baba and told him he was happy with his meditation. 


After Babaji left, Baba ran outside his room to ask if anyone else saw Babaji enter or leave his room, which no one else could confirm. 


Then Baba went back into his meditation room and cried and again prayed to Babaji, because he realized that he didn’t bow and touch the feet of Babaji, to convey his respect and regard. 


Then while he was praying, just the feet of Babaji appeared and Baba bowed and touched his feet, fulfilling his heartfelt prayer.


The second experience Baba Hariharananda had with Mahavatar Babaji, was when he was on the path in the mountains to visit Babaji' s cave.


During his climb up the mountain path, he heard Babaji' s voice, telling him he would not find him when he went to the cave. 


Babaji then blessed Baba, and told him to spread the message of Kriya Yoga in foreign countries and again told him he was happy with him.