The year 2011 marked the 150th anniversary of the reintroduction of the ancient science of Kriya Yoga into the modern world. It was in 1861 that Lahiri Mahasaya met the deathless guru Mahavatar Babaji in the Himalayas and received initiation into the sacred soul-science. As Paramahansa Yogananda has written: “This auspicious event did not happen to Lahiri Mahasaya alone; it was a fortunate moment for all the human race. The lost, or long-vanished, highest art of yoga was again being brought to light.”
Numerous events were conducted by Yogoda Satsanga Society of India in 2011 to honour this anniversary and to help in further spreading the soul-liberating Kriya technique to truth seekers throughout the world:
- An entire issue of Yogoda Satsanga magazine was dedicated to the science of Kriya Yoga.
- A new section was added to the YSS Website highlighting the history and benefits of this sacred technique of soul liberation.
- YSS Centres and Mandalis conducted programs based on Paramahansa Yogananda’s writings on Kriya Yoga, during which a special message from YSS/SRF President Sri Mrinalini Mata was shared with devotees.
- During the 2011 Sharad Sangam, all classes included a special focus on the many vital facets of the Kriya science.
- Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS) featured special events as well as special content in their magazine and on their website. Among the special events were pada yatras, or walking pilgrimages, reenacting the 1861 journey of Lahiri Mahasaya from Ranikhet to Babaji’s Cave — the site near which Lahiri Mahasaya received initiation into Kriya Yoga from his guru, Babaji. Two groups of YSS members and YSS monks on different occasions participated in the eleven-hour trek through the Himalayan foothills. One participating devotee wrote:
“Our journey started bright and early at 6:00 a.m. It was a beautiful crisp morning and the pleasant weather encouraged our endeavor. An added bonus, Swami Nirvanananda, Brahmacharis Sadananda and Achyutananda, and Pravesharthi Divyanshu inspired us and offered pearls of wisdom along the way. As we passed small towns and villages, we were greeted and cheered by the locals. Within six hours we reached a small town, Binta. Here we had our simple lunch. The majestic mountains, soul soothing sceneries, endless sky, cheerful sun, and floating clouds were so refreshing, we did not feel the difficulty of trekking. We passed beautiful streams and lovely forests, enjoying the peace of Mother Nature and feeling God and Guru’s love.
“When we reached Babaji’s Cave after five hours of trekking from Binta, we could not imagine we had trekked for eleven hours from Ranikhet. Definitely Babaji’s blessings must be behind this experience. While meditating in the cave we felt the love of Babaji showering upon us, the world ceased in our consciousness, and we were consumed by ever new, pure joy. It was an enriching experience and each of us carried back unforgettable memories.”
The Kriya anniversary was also featured in numerous print and online publications, including: