Mahavatar Babaji

Average: 3.9 (548 votes)
Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Sanatana Dharma, Kriya Yoga
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
November 30th, 203 A.D.
Place of Birth: 
a place near where nowadays Parangipettai, Tamil Nadu, India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Ancestor Gurus: 
Other Related Gurus: 
His teachers: Boganathar and Agastyar. Believed to be influenced by him: Madam Blavatsky, Kabir


Mahavatar Babaji is the name given to an Indian saint by Lahiri Mahasaya and several of his disciples who met Mahavatar Babaji between 1861 and 1935. Some of these meetings were described by Paramahansa Yogananda in his book Autobiography of a Yogi, including a first hand telling of Yogananda’s own meeting with Mahavatar Babaji. Another first hand account was given by Sri Yukteswar Giri in his book The Holy Science. All of these accounts, along with additional meetings with Mahavatar Babaji, are described in various biographies of those mentioned by Yogananda.

Mahavatar Babaji’s real name and date of birth are not sure, those who met him during that period all called him by the title first given to him by Lahiri Mahasaya. ‘Mahavatar’ means ‘great avatar’, and ‘Babaji’ simply means ‘revered father’. Some of the encounters included two or more witnesses — discussions between those who met Mahavatar Babaji indicate that they all met the same person.

A Version of His Early Life

Babaji was believed to be born on the 30th day of November 203 A.D., in a small coastal village now known as Parangipettai, in Tamil Nadu, India, near where the Cauvery River flows into the Indian Ocean. He was given the name "Nagaraj," which means "serpent king," referring to "kundalini," our great divine potential power and consciousness. His birth coincided with the ascendancy (Nakshatra) of the star of Rohini, under which Krishna was also born. The birth took place during the celebration of Kartikai Deepam, the Festival of Lights, the night before the new moon during the Tamil month of Kartikai.

At the age of 5, he was kidnapped by a trader and taken as a slave to the area of today's Calcutta. A rich merchant purchased him, only to give him his freedom. He joined a small band of wandering monks, and with them became learned in the sacred religious and philosophical literature of India. However, he was not satisfied. Hearing of the existence of a great siddha, or perfected master, named Agastyar, in the south, he made a pilgrimage to the sacred temple of Katirgama, near the southern most tip of Ceylon, the large island just south of peninsular India. There he met a disciple of Agastyar, whose name was Boganathar. He studied "dhyana," or meditation, intensively and "Siddhantham," the philosophy of the Siddhas, with Boganathar for four years. He experienced "sarvihelpa samadhi," or cognitive absorption, and had the vision of Lord Muruga, the deity of the Katirgama temple.

At the age of 15, Boganathar sent him to his own guru, the legendary Agastyar, who was know to be living near to Courtrallam, in Tamil Nadu. After performing intensive yogic practices at Courtrallam for 48 days, Agastyar revealed himself, and initiated him into Kriya Kundalini Pranayama, a powerful breathing technique. He directed the boy to go to Badrinath, high in the Himalayas, and to practice all that he had learned, intensively, to become a "siddha." Over the next 18 months, Babji lived alone in a cave practicing the yogic techniques which Boganathar and Agastyar has taught him. In so doing, he surrendered his ego, all the way down to the level of the cells in his body, to the Divine, which descended into him. He became a siddha, one who has surrendered to the power and consciousness of the Divine! His body was no longer subject to the ravages of disease and death. Transformed, as a Mah or great siddha, he dedicated himself to the uplift-ment of suffering humanity.

Babaji's Longevity

Since that time, over the centuries, Babaji has continued to guide and inspire some of history`s greatest saints and many spiritual teachers, in the fulfillment of their mission. These include Adi Shankaracharya, the great 9th century A.D. reformer of Hinduism, and Kabir, the 15th century saint beloved by both the Hindus and Muslims. Both are said to have been personally initiated by Babaji, and refer to him in their writings. He has maintained the remarkable appearance of a youth of about 16 years of age. During the 19th century Madame Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society, identified him as the Matreiya, the living Buddha, or World Teacher for the coming era, described in C.W. Leadbetter's "Masters and the Path."

Although Babaji prefers to remain obscure and invisible to others, he does on occasion gradually reveals himself to his devotees and disciples, capturing their hearts in various types of personal devotional relationships in which he guides them in their development.

The Legendary Powers of Mahavatar Babaji

Legendary powers and age have been attributed to Mahavatar Babaji mainly by the disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya.

Paramahansa Yogananda, in his autobiography, described Mahavatar Babaji’s role on earth:

The Mahavatar is in constant communion with Christ; together they send out vibrations of redemption, and have planned the spiritual technique of salvation for this age. The work of these two fully-illumined masters–one with the body, and one without it–is to inspire the nations to forsake suicidal wars, race hatreds, religious sectarianism, and the boomerang-evils of materialism. Babaji is well aware of the trend of modern times, especially of the influence and complexities of Western civilization, and realizes the necessity of spreading the self-liberations of yoga equally in the West and in the East.

In addition, Babaji is reputed to be ageless, according to some accounts, and about 500 years old around the late 1800’s, according to Swami Pranabananda. Yogananda reports that, according to the disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya, nobody knows Babaji’s age, family, place of birth, true name, or other details “dear to the annalist’s heart.”

The grandson of Lahiri Mahasaya called Shibendu Lahiri, a teacher of Kriya Yoga by himself, who lives and teaches in the temple of the family in Varanasi, usually refuses to speak about Babaji except of one time when reportedly he told students that Babji visited the family temple a few years ago.


Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga is an ancient Yoga system revived in modern times by Mahavatar Babaji through his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya and brought into widespread public awareness through Paramhansa Yogananda's book "Autobiography of a Yogi". The system consists of a number of levels of Pranayama based techniques that are intended to rapidly accelerate spiritual development and engender a profound state of tranquility and God-communion.

Kriya Yoga is traditionally learned from a guru. In Autobiography of a Yogi, Lahiri Mahasaya describes that after his initiation into Kriya Yoga, "Babaji instructed me in the ancient rigid rules which govern the transmission of the yogic art from Guru to disciple."

Yogananda describes Kriya Pranayama as following:

The Kriya Yogi mentally directs his life energy to revolve, upward and downward, around the six spinal centers (medullary, cervical, dorsal, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal plexuses) which correspond to the twelve astral signs of the zodiac, the symbolic Cosmic Man. One-half minute of revolution of energy around the sensitive spinal cord of man effects subtle progress in his evolution; that half-minute of Kriya equals one year of natural spiritual unfoldment."



Babji is residing somewhere in the mountains of the Himalaya or in the valleys of your heart. No exact address is available. Search for him in both locations and beware not to compromise on followers.

View Video

Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

Babaji and the 18 Siddha Kriya Yoga Tradition

by Marshall Govindan


The first authoritative biography of Babaji, the immortal master made famous by Yogananda\'s Autobiography of a Yogi, an all-time best-seller. Babaji lives today near Badrinath, in the upper Himalayan mountains. His body has not aged since the age of sixteen, when centuries ago he attained the supreme state of enlightenment and divine transformation. This followed his initiation into scientific art of Kriya Yoga by two deathless masters, the siddhas Agastyar and Boganathar, who belonged to the \"18 Siddha Tradition\", famous among the Tamil speaking people of southern India. This rare account, by a long time disciple, reveals their little known stories, ancient culture and present mission, as well as how their Kriya Yoga can be used to bring about the integration of the material and spiritual dimensions of life. Clear explanations of the psychophysiological effects of Kriya Yoga and guidelines for its practice are given. It includes verses from the Siddhas\' writings with commentary. A book which will inspire you.

Cover image

Babaji's Kriya Hatha Yoga: 18 Postures of Relaxation & Rejuvenation

by Marshall Govindan


This guide is designed as a hand book, wherein each stage in each posture is individually illustrated, and explained with easy to follow instructions. The numerous benefits of each posture in the healing and prevention of various disorders are also indicated. Rejuvenate yourself.

Recommended DVD & Video: 
Cover image

Babaji's Kriya Hatha Yoga Self-realization through Action with Awareness

by Marshall Govindan", Marshall Govindan


Learn the 18 postures developed by Babaji Nagaraj and become aware of what is aware! Become the Seer, not the Seen! Bliss arises! This unique comprehensive instructional video provides careful detailed instructions in not only the technical performance and alignment of each posture, but also in the higher states of consciousness, which they awaken. It includes an introduction into the philosophy of yoga, the nature of consciousness and the cultivation of Self-awareness.
Make your practice of yoga deeply meditative. In this beautiful DVD, the postures are taught in progressive stages, with preparatory variations making them accessible to the beginner and challenging for the experienced student of yoga. These postures, selected by Babaji, will rejuvenate and energize you! The instructions emphasize the energetic and relaxation effects. They may assist in the healing and purification of the physical and subtle bodies, thus helping to eliminate some of the most common sources of misery: poor health and mental confusion.
In the DVD you may select and view any posture with your remote control.
\"This is an earnest, unique and inspiring presentation, suitable for experienced beginners and intermediates.\" - Yoga Journal January 2002

Pro Opinions

The inspring guru of yogic world

santthosh kumaar's picture

Babaji is the greatest inspiration to the yogi world introduced by Parmahansa Yogananada. In yoga, inspiration is very much necessary to achieve and attain the yogic goal.

swaraj sishya of vivekananda's picture

about babaji

swaraj sishya of vivekananda
i want to know more about babaji pls reply me na pls.

swaraj sishya o... | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 06:28
shond's picture

more about Babji

added more information and content about Babaji.

If you are from India, you can find more info about him and about Kriya Yoga in almost any Kriya Yoga book found in any spiritual book shop...

shond | Thu, 12/04/2008 - 09:24
santthosh kumaar's picture


Hi Swaraj,
You want more information about Babaji is autentic Kirya yoga. contact :Dr S.S Chand or prof,S, Sahu at Kriya yoga Dhyana Kendra Rourkela. they got ashram you can get diksa and full information from then Dr Chand and prof Sahu are direct disciple of Sri. Hariharanandji ,the direct disciple of Swami Yukteswarji and was initiated by Parmhnsa Yoganada himself.

The address.
Kriya yoga Dhyana Kendra Rourkela


santthosh kumaar | Tue, 04/07/2009 - 10:59

My Great Param Guru

madan_gautam's picture

It is the constant guidance and presence of my great param GURU "SH.SH. Mahaavtar Babaji",'SHIVA BABA" to me.
I bow to the lotus feet of HIM.

Nothing can be compared to my Shri Guru's Grace

archana.anchal's picture

Babaji has been and is the source of divine grace, guidance and love for almost all the great masters, all the great siddhas......

My Humble Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Mulguru Mahavatar Babaji

sacredcatalog's picture

My Humble Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Mulguru Mahavatar Babaji.

wonder the revealed


He is the true living of our genuine spirituality of vedas & mysterious divinity which is ageless and blessed the revered Yogananda Pramahansa. Yoganananda who was the guru of Mahatma Gandhi.

Nathyogi's picture

Guru Of Gandhi How?

How can you say that Yogananda was Guru of Mahatma Gandhi?
Yogananda himself went to him and Gandhi did not even speak to him (refer Autobiogrphy Of A Yogi) in the beginning and it is reported by Yoganada that Gandhi was with his disciples. He had assumed the post of a Guru by making disciples before Yogananda met him. Yogananda knelt at Gandhi's feet (from the same book).
How can a Guru kneel at disciple's feet? Do not spread your blind beliefs and superstitions as truth.

Nathyogi | Tue, 09/02/2014 - 10:48

Parama Guru Pranaam

mrkotians's picture

Parama Guru Sri Sri Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj Pranaam.
I am living on your spiritual guidance, babaji.
Babaji Bless All...

GHRAO's picture

Could you tell and Guide me how i can do Kriya Yoga?


Could you tell and Guide me how i can do Kriya Yoga?

GHRAO | Thu, 02/09/2012 - 07:39

Smaran Matra Santushtaya

Devdatta's picture

The Great Guru is Instantly besides you,if you Intensely pray & seek him.

Con Opinions

An urban legend

abra's picture

First, there is the issue of Babji and the issue of Kriya Yoga - which are two different ones. My criticism is about the legendary image of Babji and the ones who follow it.


> An urban legend

This was the Guru Mahavatar of olden times, APPROXIMATELY 2500 years old, who appeared before Yogananda Paramahansa as having been stated in the book--'AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI'. Jesus the Christ might also have such quality of aging but under the mission being assigned to Him by The Almighty, after fulfilling the mission Jesus went from this earth to His Father the Almighty.
There are more such divine personalities who are stated more older even than Maha Avtatar Babaji. These are Parshuram, Hanuman, Ashwat-thaamaa, Karipaachaaryaa etc. Parshuram and Hanuman belong to Tretayuga when the God Sri Ram was available on this planet. Other two also pertained to the period of dwaapar yuga who were the fighters during the great war of Mahaabhaarat, at the times of Lord Krishna.
There is need to reveal such turth through science but it is doubted whether the Modern Science has developed so much higher stature that such truth can be testify.

NIDHI PARKASH | Mon, 11/02/2009 - 14:35
Asanga's picture

you miss the point totally...

By saying all you said, you displayed exactly what was being talked of as ignorance in the post... Why do you have to comment on each and everything posted in this site as if you are an expert on the subject, and display your ignorance...?
What the poster said was that many 'ignorant' people get so excited and intrigued by someone (like Babaji) being a 'chiranjeevi'(Immortal/ Very long lived in a physical) that they lose sight of their own goals of realising their self... The foolish quest of immortality (Mentioned in Hindu Myths and Scriptures ad nauseum- Read the story of Yayati, Dambhodbhava, Hayagreeva et al... every Asura worth his salt asks for the boon of immortality or a very very long life!!!)
Ask yourself, whether knowing of Mahavtar Babaji's remaining youthful for thousands of years can really make you realise your self and/or whether Yogananda's Kriya Yoga practice has made anyone self realised...
Most people get dazzled by listening of Jesus's miracles like turning water to wine, walking on water, or rising from the dead... They do not even begin to recognise the true import of his teachings, his understanding and his wisdom...

I am, yet I am not...

Asanga | Mon, 11/02/2009 - 18:23

> reg. you miss the point totally

Your missing point is not found graspable in view of your contradictory phrases 'I AM, YET I AM NOT'. No problem to anyone must be if someone believes either ancestral mysticism or scientific temperament as being referred myself in last para of my previous day comment on our revered Maha Avatar Babaji or there may be many other devotees who trust the both just like you believe your faithful phrase 'I AM, YET I AM NOT'. Not talking of one but there are thousands and thousands devotees who had been certainly helped by the Babaji for the matters of divine unfolding as well as on the path of self-realization, which might have not become part of media because most of such matters had been beyond media; known only to some particular persons the blessed devotees. Without the blessings of the Almighty no one may be capable to get 'DARSHANA and GUIDANCE' from such kinds of divine apostles. If you are not of the temperament to believe such Babaji; certainly, I have to say nothing to you except you at least must believe in modern science in respect to which I have already quoted in last para for scientific testifying.

NIDHI PARKASH | Tue, 11/03/2009 - 14:33
Asanga's picture

Communication in Queen's English

It would be a good idea to stay with the topic here. Do read my earlier answer once again. I have in no way condemned Babaji or Jesus. Look at the last line there. I have said that people tend to look at the miracles and illusions rather than the wise teachings of masters.
How about looking at the fact that you became upset and reacted? It will be good for you to take some time before you react- and recognise that you have a limitation in communicating in Queen's English.
Be well...

I am, yet I am not...

Asanga | Wed, 11/04/2009 - 07:05
doo's picture

I agree, good point! The

I agree, good point!

The immediate reaction is automatic based on our conditioning machine. Taking some time while being aware of the urge to react is actually introducing presence and breaking the automatic machine.

It is also ok to condemn Babaji and Jesus. Nothing can be sacred if it is dependent on the goodwill of people. What kind of sacredness it is?

doo | Wed, 11/04/2009 - 08:44


On the matter of to react I disagree to you.

NIDHI PARKASH | Wed, 11/04/2009 - 15:56

> communication in queen's english

For the understanding of the wise teachings of masters someone must have to be the element of wisdom while in general masses in totality cannot be fully capable to understand the masters; so it is natural that masses are attracted towards miracles and illusions are also miracles to them. For the understanding the wise teachings of the masters masses have to get the wisdom but what is source of getting such wisdom when the masses unlike the dry philosophical explanations of wisdom as per the tastes of their mentality.
Enough time already taken to go through your contradictory statements alongwith the same kind of your dictum 'I AM, YET I AM NOT'; hence my reaction was o.key to fit for recognition in view of which you were asked for at least for scientific outlook.
Communication in Queen's English may be limited but what about limitations of the languages if communications should be performed in 'FATHER'S ENGLISH'.

NIDHI PARKASH | Wed, 11/04/2009 - 15:49
bonya basu's picture

You need not to know Queen's

You need not to know Queen's English to communicate your inner thoughts.
Surprisingly it sounds very bad.Better use softer language, at least here.

bonya basu | Thu, 07/01/2010 - 09:36

> You need not to know queen's

Mother Sarada has been the queen and her English was understood by the rare ones as by revered Sharadananda, Vivekananda, Yogananda and Turiyanada etc. but her English (vibration of spiritual flow from her holy feet) is still "BLESSING ALL OF US WITH HER DIVINE LOVE".

Language is very, very soft; inspite of its softness it becomes sometimes from the point of view to give fit answer to a question 'AS TIT FOR TAT', hence it is nothing for except being response to as as questions so so replies.

NIDHI PARKASH | Wed, 07/07/2010 - 16:51
solomon's picture

Skepticism versus religiousness

Babaji may be a real entity and may be a legend. Those who claim categorically that he is a legend are skeptics who cannot believe that there is anything paranormal. Those who claim categorically that he is real are religious.

There are reports that he was seen by some people including the grandson of Lahiri Maasaya who lives and teaches in Varanasi (forgot his name) but all this is of less importance - what I think is more important is that thanks to his image and deeds, more people are drawn to spirituality and to Kriya Yoga which is an excellent approach.

solomon | Mon, 11/02/2009 - 18:54
bonya basu's picture

An Urban Legend

@ original post :
My dear friend,
Accept that vague image that will turn to real image.At one time I use to argue like that but today I have a full faith.
But you have to cover a long accept.
Let BABAJI appears before you........

bonya basu | Thu, 07/01/2010 - 09:26
Nathyogi's picture

Re: An urban legend

You are right. Who wants to live in the body for so many years when Guru has renounced the body?
These devotees and disciples claiming the followers of Mahavatar Babaji cannot bring him before the world to end all speculations and logic against truth and God. Hope their experiences are not hallucinations or dreams.

Nathyogi | Mon, 11/10/2014 - 10:33

They Are The Great

Nathyogi's picture

1. I have come to know about Mahavatar Babaji when I read the book 'Autobiography Of A Yogi' during my search for truth. He aroused curiosity in me who was novice to spirituality.

kaput's picture

You are so full of negativity

You are going one guru profile after another and only posting negative opinions. Moreover, your opinion posts are childish and confused, based on nothing except of your delusions. No wonder you were banned from so many other sites.

I saw your responses to same comments others gave you here and in other places, please do not bother, your incoherent comments are impossible to comprehend.

kaput | Tue, 09/02/2014 - 11:50
Nathyogi's picture

Re: You are so full of negativity

Thanks for your understanding.
You are right the wise are childish.
Yes, common people are confused and deluded to understand higher truths. Truth cannot be understood unless one practices it in thought, word and deed.
It is better if you post your comments against my opinions to prove your positivity. Let it be understood that truth is beyond all dualities.
Let I be banned form Guru'sFeet also. I will be glad if you recommend them.
I was banned by only one forum (joined because of an invitation from a member of this site) where I posted only a poem (not an opinion on any Guru) and they don't have enough courage to give the reason of banning. They only banned truth not me.
Thanks for reading my comments and responses here and at other places and noting that truth is incomprehensible.
From this, whose comments are incoherent is quite clear.

Nathyogi | Tue, 09/02/2014 - 12:32