Stories of LAHIRI MAHASAYA from Sri Sanyal, his great disciple ~ Daya Mata


Bhupendra Nath Sanyal, a great householder disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya

Paramahansa Yogananda: “Sri Bhupendra Nath Sanyal,  an eminent disciple of the great guru, stated that, as a youth in 1892, unable to go to Banaras, he prayed to the master for spiritual instruction.  Lahiri Mahasaya appeared before Bhupendra in a dream and gave him diksha (initiation).  Later the boy went to Banaras and asked the guru for diksha. ‘I have already initiated you, in a dream,’ Lahiri Mahasaya replied.”  Autobiography of a Yogi

Two Visits With Sri Sanyal, Disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya, May 25th [1959]

We call on Sri Bhupendra Nath Sanyal Mahasaya, whose ashram is a short distance from the Gowardhan Math of the Jagadguru’s.  Sri Sanyal is in his middle eighties. But what sparkling eyes he has, and what a gentle mien! One of the main reasons for our return to Puri was to meet this renowned disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya; for he was away when we made our first visit to Puri.

Mataji [Daya Mata] has written in her diary about our two visits Sanyal Mahasaya, and I will use her notes here:

“We enter a large, bare room, and seat ourselves in front of a small colorful rug. Within a few moments we hear a movement on the stairway and soon a man of slight form walks in. Seating himself on the rug, he looks curiously at each of us as we are introduced and pronam to him. … He is very reticent to talk about himself and when questions are put to him we see that he turns the conversation to Lahiri Mahasaya. His eyes light up with love as he reminisces about those glorious days at feet of his guru; a pleasant gentle laugh bursts forth at times. His eyes remain aloof and one feels in his presence a deep serenity and peace. ….


Sri Sanyal:  I had it in mind at the age of 14 to study the Vedas.  I had never thought of going for instruction to Lahiri Mahasaya; but when I found him, he asked me to study the Vedas with him.

On the first visit I had no idea of initiation but only an ordinary visit; but when I saw him, he began to smile for no reason at all, and kept smiling and smiling.  And intuition came to me that his smile meant that he was my guru and that I would have to come to him for initiation.  I was initiated by him at the age of 15; and when I was 16 he asked me to give kriya yoga initiation to seekers.  I have now given initiation to about 5000 persons.

When I was 15 or 16 I had malaria. My eldest sister wrote to Lahiri Mahasaya in Benares asking if I would be cured.  He replied that there was no danger, that I would not die young, for I had much work ahead of me.  He wrote this message in his own hand.

After Death Lahiri Mahasaya Appeared in the Flesh

When I was 19, Lahiri Mahasaya died.  For a time I was inconsolable.  I slept but seldom and I wept all the time.  One night I was weeping and fell asleep while doing so.  Suddenly I woke up to find Lahiri Mahasaya in front of me, looking just as he had done while he was in the flesh.  He asked, “Why are you weeping?  You live not only in this world; you are  also with me.”   Lahiri Mahasaya smiled and added, “Why have you imagined I was not here? I am always with you. I am here now with you. You need not be afraid.”  I touched his body and he then disappeared. This miracle happened in Deoghar.

A similar incident took place in Santiniketan when I was there as a superintendent.  I was very ill and given up for lost.  One night when I was sleeping, Lahiri Mahasaya appeared in a dream and asked me what was the matter.  I said, “Now that I’m going to die, I regret that I have not been able to do more in this life.”  Lahiri Mahasaya touched me and said, “You’re not going to die. You have something more to achieve in this life.”  The doctors who were treating me were greatly surprised to see me better the next morning and talking with the people around me.


“Dayamata says, ‘We learned this from our Guru—that you can judge a disciple by his feeling toward his own Guru. To see your love and devotion for Lahiri Mahasaya is deeply touching to our hearts.’

Sanyal Mahsaya replies, ‘My Guru is my father, my God. I like to see him as my God. Never have I met another so great as he. Meeting him once one could never forget him.’

Dayamata asks Sanya Mahasaya whether Lahiri Mahasaya manifested more of bhakti or of jnana. The saint replies, he was all-sided. He was the most loving person I have ever met, yet he expressed himself in terms of sublimest wisdom.’ ….


Lahiri Mahasaya’s Prediction about Spread of Kriya Yoga

On this occasion Sanyal Mahasaya expresses delight on hearing of the vast extent of the SRF work in the West. He tells us, “Lahiri Mahasaya said that Kriya Yoga would spread throughout the world.” ….

While we are seated at his feet, Mataji takes motion pictures and still photos.  Bidding him good-bye, we go over to the Mandir of Lahiri Mahasaya to meditate for a short time before a marble murti (figure) of our Paramaguru. As we turn to leave the ashram grounds, we see that Sanyal Mahasaya has seated himself on the upper balcony, waiting for us. He says in English, “I am really very happy to meet you all.  I hope you come again, as often as you can.’

We assure him we will do so. What peace one feels in the presence of great souls whose minds have pierced the veil of maya!

After visiting the Guru Mandir of Lahiri Mahasaya for the last time, we turn again to see the gentle countenance of Sanyal Mahasaya looking down at us from the upper balcony with so much love and peace flowing from his eyes. We pronam to him and walk on through the gates of the ashram and down the road toward Yogoda Ashram. Now and then we look back toward Sri Sanyal, waving our scarves in farewell, while this gentle soul responds with a wave of his hand.

Here in Sanyal Mahasaya we have seen the perfect attitude of a disciple toward his guru. For him the guru is everything; he himself is nothing. For him, the guru is the shining Light, he is but the bulb reflecting that light. For him, the guru is all wisdom; he is merely the conveyor of that wisdom, merely the spokesman for his guru. For him the guru is Love and Bliss Divine—his eyes reflect that divinity that is his guru. His interest is not in extolling himself, the disciple, but rather in turning the spotlight of his love, understanding, and wisdom upon the inspiration of his life, that all may behold only the guru, not the disciple. How admirable are such devotees!

from Daya Mataji’s Travel Diary [excerpts, see more below]

Self Realization Magazine, Nov-Dec 1959










See also~

Revival of Kriya Yoga Through the Lineage of SRF/YSS Gurus

Yogananda’s Remarkable Encounter With LAHIRI MAHASAYA ~ Sananda Lal Ghosh, Mejda

LAHIRI MAHASAYA, ‘Banat banat ban jai!’ ~ Sw. Smaranananda

Lahiri Mahasaya ~ Original Photo and Two Paintings


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