Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri

Guru of Paramhansa Yogananda

Incarnation of Wisdom


His Life and Mission

yukteswar-bioSri Yukteswar was born to a wealthy business man and his wife on May 10, 1855, in Serampore, India. He was given the name Priya Nath Karar.

Upon leaving college, he married and had a daughter, and in 1884 he became a disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya. After the death of his wife, Priya Nath Karar became a Swami and received the name Sri Yukteswar Giri.

He met Babaji, the guru of Lahiri Mahasaya, in 1894.  Babaji told him that one day he would send Sri Yukteswar a disciple who would share the teachings of yoga in the West. This disciple turned out to be Paramhansa Yogananda, who is best known for his book, Autobiography of a Yogi. Babaji also asked Sri Yukteswar to write a book on the essential unity of the Bible and Bhagavad Gita, the most well-known scripture in India. Sri Yukteswar titled this book The Holy Science.

Sri Yukteswar founded two hermitages, one of which was his family home given to him by his father as his inheritance. In the last year of his life, Sri Yukteswar turned over all his properties to Paramhansa Yogananda, asking him to find someone to maintain them.

Sri Yukteswar left his body on March 9, 1936. Soon after, he appeared to Yogananda and described to him the nature of the afterlife. This description can be found in Autobiography of a Yogi.

It is the Spirit of God that actively sustains every form and force in the universe. The Lord has created all men from the limitless joy of His being.
— Sri Yukteswar


The Holy Science

By Sri Yukteswar, written at the request of Babaji

“The purpose of this book is to show as clearly as possible that there is an essential unity in all religions; that there is no difference in the truths inculcated by the various faiths; that there is but one method by which the world, both external and internal, has evolved; and that there is but one Goal admitted by all scriptures.” — The Holy Science by Sri Yukteswar

In this book Sri Yukteswar also describes a recurring cycle of human development, called the cycle of the yugas, or ages, which are mentioned in Hindu scriptures.

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Blessed Lanfranc: The Past Life of Swami Sri Yukteswar, Guru of Paramhansa Yogananda

By Richard Salva

Paramhansa Yogananda said that his guru Sri Yukteswar had been William the Conqueror’s great counselor and ally, Archbishop Lanfranc.

In Blessed Lanfranc, Richard Salva highlights scores of fascinating similarities between these two famous incarnations of a great spiritual master. Through historical evidence and personal experiences at Lanfranc’s sites, this book resurrects Sri Yukteswar’s image from one that can be daunting, to another much more kindly to every seeker.

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 Softer than the flower, where kindness is concerned; stronger than the thunder, where principles are at stake.
— Paramhansa Yogananda, describing Sri Yukteswar

Spiritual Lineage

Jesus Christ Appeared to Babaji

Jesus appeared to the great master Babaji, giving him the task of sending an emissary to the West to teach his followers how to commune inwardly with him in meditation.

Mahavatar Babaji Guru of Lahiri Mahasaya

Babaji appeared to Sri Yukteswar and asked him to send his disciple Paramhansa Yogananda to the West. Though Babaji has no known birth or death date, he is occasionally seen wandering the Himalayas with a small band of followers.

Lahiri Mahasaya Guru of Sri Yukteswar

Lahiri Mahasaya is known for bringing back the ancient science of Kriya Yoga. Lahiri also had a family and worked as an accountant, but would spend most nights teaching his disciples.

Paramhansa Yogananda Disciple of Sri Yukteswar

Paramhansa Yogananda is best known for his book, Autobiography of a Yogi. To fulfill the mission set to him by Jesus Christ and Babaji, in 1920 he left to make his permanent home in the United States of America.

Forget the past. The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until anchored in the Divine. Everything in future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now.
— Sri Yukteswar

Photos of Sri Yukteswar

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Learn More

To learn more about Sri Yukteswar and his teachings, visit these resources.

Autobiography of a Yogi

A spiritual classic by Paramhansa Yogananda that has sold over 4 million copies. Yogananda tells of meeting his guru Sri Yukteswar and many stories of his time with this great spiritual master, including an in-depth description of the “astral world” where people go when they leave the body.

Kriya Yoga

A technique of energy control which speeds up the process of spiritual growth. The great sage Babaji passed this technique down to Lahiri Mahasaya, who in turn passed it down to his disciple Sri Yukteswar, who also taught it to his disciples. Now this technique is available to any sincere spiritual teacher.

The Yugas

Many are wondering what the future holds for mankind. Sri Yukteswar declared that we are now in a time of great social and spiritual change. In The Yugas, the authors present substantial and intriguing evidence from the findings of historians and scientists that demonstrate the truth of Yukteswar’s revelations.

Ask a Question

Have a spiritual question? Many of our teachers have been sharing Sri Yukteswar’s and Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings for more than 40 years, giving lectures worldwide and instructing students in ancient meditation and yoga techniques.