Householder Yogi Sri Shyamacharan Lahiree
‘SRI SHYAMACHARAN LAHIREE MAHASAYA’ who is well known as the cynosure of the spiritual world marked His Divine Advent on 30.9.1828 at village Ghurni, Dist. Nadia, West Bengal, India. The speciality of Him is that He is a Householder yogi.
Yogiraj simplified the rigorous techniques of yoga as introduced by sages for the use of common man and by unfolding the closed doors of yoga made it’s path accessible to ordinary man. That it was impossible for modern man devoid of fortitude to practise the ancient austere yogasadhana was not unknown to Him. Therefore, by eliminating it’s ancient complexities He transformed it into a direct-result oriented, facile, unostentatious and simple yogasadhana for the common man.
He was born to Gour Mohan Lahiree and Muktakeshi Devi, He lost his mother at the tender age of five. After this His father possessing a spiritual bent of mind decided to permanently reside at Kashi, the spiritual seat of India. Moreover a lot of His landed property was washed away by floods. It should be noted here that from a tender age He commenced the ongoing of the trials and tribulations of life.
He pursued His studies till graduation, was well-versed in Bengali, Sanskrit, English, Persian, and Urdu. He married at the age of 18 to Kashimani Devi who was then 9, daughter of Dev Narayan Sanyal Vachaspati Mahasaya. After the demise of his father, He shifted to a rented residence at Bangalitola as He was peace-loving and desired to avoid joint family discord. Later he purchased a house at Garureswar.
He was employed in government service (Military Engineering PWD). He had five children, two sons and three daughters. His job being a transferable one, He would send most of his salary to His wife Kashimani Devi, who judiciously managed the household keeping a part for himself.
Amidst maintaining social, family, official responsibilities He got initiated in Kriyayogasadhana by His Guru Babaji and practised sadhana austerely.
He got His children married. His second son Dukari Lahiri Mahasaya had an attack of insanity; one of His married daughters died of Asiatic Cholera, one daughter was widowed after marriage so she came to reside at her father’s house. After retirement though He drew a handsome pension, since He had many incumbents, He imparted tuitions to Maharajas.
These are few of the innumerable impediments He caused Himself to undergo. Thus we can deduce that He scrupulously remained within the family precincts and practised sadhana. This remarkable unparalled juxtaposition of family life with sadhana cannot be noticed in thousands of years. Amidst all these he reached the pinnacle of sadhana within four years. He disagreed to the life of a celibate or ascetic because this was not normal. All these mental afflictions He caused to plague upon Him, so that common man abides by His example and practises sadhana simultaneously with social, official and family responsibilities. That mankind like him should not be weighed down with sorrow, upheavals and tempests of everyday life which was possible only if this internal sadhana emanating from eternity was regularly practised is His Divine Ideal. He was a firm believer of the adage ‘Practise what you preach’.
Another pertinent point about His Advent should be noted. At the time of His Holy Advent, India was at the height of her political, historical, commercial, literary and spiritual glory. Nature in all her splendour summoned all her aspects to welcome the Divine Descent. The planetary conjunctions were in an extremely favourable juxtaposition with each other.
On 26 September 1895, Thursday, 5.25 pm, Mahashtami, He effected His Sublime Departure in Mahasamadhi at His house at Garureswar, Kashi.
[Books on the essence of Shyamacharan Lahiree Mahasaya ‘Purana Purusha Yogiraj Sri Shyamacharan Lahiree’ and ‘Who is This Shamachurn’ authored by Mahamahopadhyaya Yogacharya Dr. Ashoke Kumar Chatterjee is a must read for all soul seekers. The second book is an inimitable contribution to Indology.]