Acharya Mahatir Babaji or Mahavatar Babaji

 Mahavatar BabajiBabaji is a great master of yoga living today in the Himalayas who is sometimes called Kriya Babaji
Nagaraj, Mahavatar Babaji or Shiva Baba. His body has not aged since the age of sixteen when he conquered death and attained a supreme state of enlightenment. Adi Shankaracharya (788 A.D. - 820 A.D.), in a famous poem describes Babaji, his guru: "Behold, under the Banyan tree are seated the aged disciples around their youthful teacher! This is strange indeed! The teacher instructs them only through silence, which in itself is sufficient to solve all their doubts (Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1969, p. 25-26).

More than sixty-five years ago the Theosophists, the Reverend C.W. Leadbeater and Dr. Annie Besant, also described an extraordinary being who may be none other than Babaji:

"There he stood, 'the Youth of sixteen summers, Sanata Kumara, the 'Eternal- Virgin-Youth, the new ruler of earth, come to his kingdom, his Pupils, the three Kumaras, with him, his Helpers around him; thirty mighty Beings there, great beyond Earth's reckoning, though in graded order, clothed in the glorious bodies they had created by Kriyashakti, the first occult hierarchy, branches of the one spreading Banyan tree, the nursery of future Adepts, the center of all occult life". (Leadbeater, 1969, p. 299)

During the past forty years, several books, beginning with the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, written in 1946, have referred to the great spiritual master, Babaji, who for centuries has lived in the Himalayan mountains, appearing occasionally to a fortunate few. Sri Yukteswar, Yogananda's guru, said that Babaji's attainment was so great that it could not even be conceived of (Yogananda, 1969, p.305). Yogananda has stated that Babaji is a "Maha avatara", or great avatara (Yogananda, 1969, p. 305-306). "Avatara" is a Sanskrit word which means "descent" or incarnation of the Godhead in human form. He also characterized "siddhars" as having attained mastery over death. He referred to Agastyaras being an avatar of South India, a miracle worker who has lived from the pro-Christianera right up to the present time, and for whom a considerable Tamil language literature exists (op cit. p. 305­306). Agastya belongs to the "Eighteen Siddha tradition", which is famous among Tamil speaking people of southern India.

Some writers have indicated that Babaji has taken different forms. Baba Hari Dass identified him with Llarlakhan Baba who appeared in Ranikhet, Uttar Pradesh, India, in the latter part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century A.D. (Hari Dass, 1975). Leonard Orr (1980 and 1983) identified him with a youth who appeared near Ranikhet in about 1970. He was visited by many Westerners up until his sudden death in 1984. Swami Satyeswarananda (1984) has written about his incredible encounters with Babaji. All of these books have described fantastic experiences involving Babaji and the authors or others. The reader is often left feeling incredulous upon reading of such experiences. At their best these books have inspired many to take up the practice of yoga. Unfortunately, without understanding the ancient tradition and context from which Babaji brought his Kriya Yoga nor the rigors of the discipline, most seekers have put it aside after some time when their own experiences failed to measure up to the fantastic experiences related by such authors.

These authors have not furnished any details regarding the life of Babaji nor about how Babaji attained enlightenment and immortality. More importantly, none of these authors have been able to adequately express the purpose for which Babaji has remained in an immortal state and its relevance for our own lives.

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