The Divine Life of Brahmchari Keshavanandaji Maharaj – Part One

Introduction: This is a wonderful and inspiring story about the life of Shri Keshavanandaji Maharaj, one of the direct disciples of Shri Shri Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahasaya. Shri Keshavanandaji dedicated his life to the practice of Kriya Yoga Vidya of Shri Lahiri Mahasaya.

And he is one of the few ochre robed or renunciant disciples of Shri Lahiri Mahasaya who led the renunciant’s life with the blessings and permission of Lahiri Baba.

— Jayo Jayo Devi! —

The Septuagenarian sadhu was astonished with the beautiful darshan of the Devi. A blinding light made it shine in Kutastha illuminating the beautiful shape of the goddess mounted upon a majestic golden lion. Smiling, she waved her hand in a gesture of blessing.

After long hours of meditation, the holy man stretched his right leg and made some mahamudras. The darshan he had was still vivid in his mind.  Even the insects and animals of the forest could divert their thoughts to that divine vision.

Six weeks prior, the Supreme Goddess appeared in dreams in the form of his sixth Avatar, Sri Katyayani Devi: who ordered him to come to Braja (Vrindavana) and be instructed of his next life mission. He was to discover the exact spot where the Gopis worshiped Goddess Katyayani to obtain Krishna as their husbands, and there establish a shrine to the worship of the Goddess.

” What a responsibility!  Are these dreams real?” he asked himself. For forty years, the sadhu had traveled the farthest landscapes of the Himalaya. He had met many Yogis and Babajis along the way. Occasionally, he descended to the plains crowded with people just to have the darshan of his Guru. Like all Yogis, he considered the fresh air of the mountains, the silence, peace, the stunning beauty of nature, and, certainly, the sacredness of the place—  the abode of Shiva Himself — to be highly conducive to the practice of Kriya Yoga. After all these years, the wanderer kriyavan now finally found a resting place in Haridwar, and had no intention of leaving. However, the goddess again appeared to him in a dream and warned him about torrential rains and floods. She informed him he should move on from there, and warn the villagers, hermits and sadhus who, like him, lived in hermitages near the Ganga. –  “The third eye of Siva is open!”

The darshan that he had that night, while practicing Kriya Yoga, was a sign that the dreams were true. But, now, it was too late. The rains began to thicken and the danger was imminent. The old hermit gathered his small group of disciples and, together, they hurried away, carrying few belongings and utensils. Walking in the heavy rains, their feet plastered in mud, the group traversed along the Bank of the Ganges, alerting all villagers and sadhus to evacuate. Rush and tumult were seen all over the place. A tragedy was happening

From the top of one of the green hills of the region, the holy man could see his humble hermitage be dragged and completely destroyed by torrential waters of the Ganges. In meditative silence, he remembered one of his dreams, in which the Goddess consoled him with the next omen:”In the future, your ashram will be rebuilt”. Sudden inspiration sprang from his lips:

Happy is the soul that welcomes radically its status as Jiva-Tattva and meditates every day of your life in this truth, as taught our lovely Baba, Sri Lahiri Mahasaya. Since in this self-surrender – atma-nivedanan – is the real poverty and real renunciation!

Taken with inspiration and the memory of his Guru, divine Intoxication flooded his spine and brain. He had to lean on the arm of one of his disciples to prevent himself from falling due to the ecstasy. Divine Intoxication!

In his mind, came the sweet memories of when he first met his blessed and divine Kriya Guru in the holy city of Varanasi. For years, the young Keshav thought he could reach the Divine State only through austerities and penances. Soon he noted that, by itself, these efforts were useless to produce the sacred ecstasy. And for this he sought refuge at the feet of Sri Lahiri Mahasaya who, at the time,  had gained the notoriety of a head of family who attained samadhi.

News of this deed aroused the curiosity of the neighbors.  In a short time, the news had spread throughout the region. How much trouble this caused the Shrîmati Kashi Moni and her children! Being forced repeatedly to meet the row of strange people and curious. Daily, strangers would come knocking on the doors! It was not easy for the Guru to convince his wife and family that this was his mission. Fortunately, this news also reached the ears of young Keshav.  Keen intuition told him he should meet that man, without any further delay.

Since he started practicing Kriya Yoga, the young Keshav was a prodigy himself. Endowed with tejas come from your brahmacari, austerities and penances, it only took him 3 or 4 attempts, and the tip of your tongue already crossed  the uvula, sign that jihva-granthi had been pierced. The two rivers Ida and Pingala that holds prisoner the soul to the cycle of birth and death, found a loophole to flow to the Sushumna channel, the Viraj river that leads the soul to Final Liberation (moksha). Then followed a mysterious vision: he saw a small rectangular room, light blue color, and on whose walls some kind of liquid or water trickled. On the roof, there was a small black hole; it was as if the water infiltration had produced that hole. His Ajña cakra had also been pierced! Driven by a mysterious force, his eyes turned upward and remain fixed on that black Bindu. In this way, the young Keshav also reached the domain of Shambhavi Mudra.

Sri Lahiri Mahasaya and his right hand disciple, Sri Panchanan Battacharya, recognized the young man as one of those souls known as nitya siddha — forever liberated —a soul always free of material desires and spontaneously bowed to the realization of the Spirit. For this reason, Lahiri Mahasaya never questioned his vow of brahmacari (celibacy) although several times he has seen the Guru discourage vows of renunciation. Keshav admired the ideals of his Guru and in respect for these ideals, for decades, he refused to accept disciples. The grhastas  (household)  fit the Mission of helping the Guru in the tasks of publicizing the Kriya Yoga and initiating people on this path.

Over the years, the mature age increased the leonine looks of Swami Keshav, whose physical strength did not seem to deteriorate. His eyes shone with youth. With his beard and long braids of hair, and a conch ornamenting the head, he had become the living image of a Vedic rishi. He dominated kevala kumbhaka fully and was one of the 5 or 6 direct disciples of Sri Lahiri Mahasaya who could practice the last and inaccessible stage of Fourth Kriya.

Much blessings, peace and bliss!


Prabhu Yogi2

Author: Yogi Professor Ramdas Prabhuji, Disciple of Shri Maheshwari Prasad Dubeyji in Shri Panchanan Lineage of Lahiri Mahasaya Kriya Yoga.


See the Photo Gallery of Shri Keshavanandaji Ashram at Haridwar, More than 100 Photographs, Also Pictures of Shri Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahasaya’s Samadhi Sthala… Click the Link Below

Shri Keshavanandaji Ashram Haridwar, Photo Gallery

Shri Keshavanandaji Ashram at Haridwar India. Here, Shri Keshavanadaji, direct disciple of Shri Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahasaya did Kriya Yoga Sadhana here for a long time. This is a small and peaceful Ashram with lot of greenery and has rich vibrations for Kriya Yoga practice.
This is on Delhi – Haridwar highway, just after Shankaracharya Chowk in Haridwar, on main highway. You will find Holy Ganga on both side.

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