Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas

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Fast Facts
Shaktipat, Kundalini Maha Yoga
Main Countries of Activity: 
India, USA
Date of Birth: 
Place of Birth: 
Bihar, India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Date Left His/Her Body: 
1994 Janmashtami (Krishna's birthday)
Descendant Gurus: 


Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas was a great saint, whose search for spiritual enlightenment took place during another era, in an India that no longer exists. He walked barefoot across India in the 1890's and early 1900's, through what were then jungles but are now cleared and settled lands, meeting saints who lived in seclusion, completely detached from the mundane world.

Born in Bihar, India, Shri Dhyanyogi was a very spiritual child. Prior to his birth, his mother had had a vision of Lord Krishna indicating the coming of a great being. His spiritual quest began in earnest at age 7, when he left home in search of God. Although he was quickly found by his parents, he left home again for good at age 13.

The next 30 years were spent traveling all over India learning whatever the saints and yogis would teach him. He mastered Mantra, Yantra, Hatha, Raja and Jnana Yogas, and became adept at yogic philosophies and scriptures. Yet after 30 years of austerities and intense searching, he still had not attained his highest goal, the ultimate encounter with God. Finally, in 1921, on Mt. Abu, he came into the presence of his final teacher, a great master named Shri Yogiraj Parameshwardas, who gave him Shaktipat initiation. He immediately went into the highest state of samadhi and attained the ultimate goal of God realization. He remained in that condition for three days.

Shri Dhyanyogi was a unique being. As a result of his own search, and more specifically, through the grace and guidance of Shri Parameshwardas, he became a master of Kundalini Maha Yoga, with the power to awaken the dormant Kundalini in spiritual aspirants.

For many years, he lived in a small ashram in Bandhwad, in the Indian state of Gujarat, where he carried on his work and teachings. In 1960, he was inspired to begin public instruction in Kundalini Maha Yoga and to conduct group meditation programs throughout India. In doing so, Shri Dhyanyogi became the first teacher in the entire history of this multi-thousand year lineage to come out into the open and work at a mass level to raise humanity's consciousness.

In 1976, Shri Dhyanyogi came to America as part of his worldwide mission to help spiritual seekers. During his four years here, he established local groups from coast to coast and initiated thousands into the path of Kundalini Maha Yoga. He returned to India in 1980 and spent his remaining years in residence in Ahmedabad, India. To his students' great sorrow, Shri Dhyanyogi consciously left his physical body after 116 years, entering Maha-samadhi on August 29, 1994, the anniversary of Lord Krishna's birth.

Shri Dhyanyogi's simple, pure love and devotion to the welfare of mankind changed the hearts and the lives of the thousands of people he touched. Today, his energy continues to work at the subtle level and through his spiritual heir, Shri Anandi Ma.



The Path of Kundalini Maha Yoga
By Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas

For the past several decades, yoga, which is a spiritual discipline from India, has been a subject of interest to the people of America. I would like to introduce a form of yoga known as Kundalini Maha Yoga. Kundalini Maha Yoga is an ancient universal science, perfected over thousands of years. It is not a religion, but a spiritual practice that brings the experience of lasting inner peace and happiness to individuals of any belief or religious affiliation.

Kundalini Maha Yoga is based on a very simple principle: in every human being there is a source of divine energy. The Sanskrit word for this source of energy is Kundalini. Kundalini is in two states: the dormant state, and the active, aroused, or awakened state. When this source is dormant, a person leads an incomplete, unfulfilled life. One's understanding of the universe is restricted, and everything is perceived and interpreted according to a limited capacity.

On the other hand, when the source is active, progress is rapid on the path of spiritual evolution. One realizes the full potential of body and mind, attains inner peace, harmony and integration, and ultimately experiences the sublime truth of unity in diversity -- the fact that all life is one and is bound by that divine power called love. The purpose of Kundalini Maha Yoga is to awaken this source of energy if it is dormant, or to intensify the activity if it is already awakened. Thus, Kundalini Maha Yoga is a direct method for spiritual evolution.

A powerful yogi awakens the aspirant's Kundalini by a transfer of his or her energy to the aspirant. This process, known as Shaktipat, activates the dormant Kundalini and is like lighting a candle with one that is already lit and glowing. Shakti means power or energy in Sanskrit, and pat means transfer. Thus, Shaktipat is transfer of energy.

Some people may have fears about working with the Kundalini, but it is absolutely safe to practice Kundalini Maha Yoga under the guidance of a realized teacher. By the grace and advice of my Guru, I have given Shaktipat to thousands of people who have derived immense benefits.

During the past decades, scientific developments have taken place at a staggering rate. It is both a joy and surprise to watch the progress of science. However, the storehouse of nature is limitless, and the more we know, the more remains to be known. It is obvious that no one can understand nature fully. We clearly feel the need to increase the power of the intellect, the capacity to comprehend, and generally to develop the potential of the mind to such an extent that capabilities previously unknown become active.

It is also clear that much remains to be accomplished in the area of physical health, and the necessity for sound mental health must not be overlooked. Many serious diseases threaten mankind today, and a strong body and mind by themselves do not provide adequate protection.

In spite of our developments, scientific and otherwise, there is much fear, hatred, disharmony, distrust and discrimination among individuals, communities and nations. This has led to the build-up of destructive weapons and the grave possibility of war. The peace we all desire so much has not yet been attained. The basic cause of these problems is that the general level of conscience, consciousness and other spiritual qualities has not evolved to the extent that science has.

We are in a state of unbalanced development, lacking on the spiritual side. Therefore, to attain what is missing -- peace, harmony and brotherhood -- it is necessary to realize that the entire universe is the creation of God, that all life is one, and that all are children of love. This realization is spiritual; it is not intellectual comprehension of an ideal.

Spiritual realization and evolution are the only solution to all the problems facing us. Kundalini Maha Yoga is a path for spiritual evolution and a significant tool to help mankind develop on the spiritual plane. It is a way to peace, prosperity, brotherhood and love.

Kundalini is the divine energy. She manifests both in the cosmic form, encompassing all of creation, and in the personal form. God creates the universe by producing subtle energies in an act of divine will. This can be compared to the process wherein sparks are generated from a single source of fire. The individual manifestation of Kundalini is like a spark of cosmic Kundalini.

This personal form of Kundalini is responsible for the creation of the individual. In the physiological process of development of the fetus in the mother's womb, the head and brain are formed first. Next, the spinal cord is formed from the nerves that branch from the brain, and at the same time, the trunk is formed. Then the extremities, the hands, and the feet are formed. The totality of the nerve centers in the brain is referred to as the sahasrar chakra. This is the root of the process of creation.

There are six different chakras (nerve centers) in the spinal column. The first center, located at the base of the brain, is the ajna chakra or the spiritual eye. This center is formed immediately after the sahasrara. Then five different centers which represent five different elements, or tatvas, are formed. The last center formed, the mooladhara chakra, is the furthest from the brain, located near the lower end of the spinal column. The Kundalini thus starts creation at the brain center, progresses downward along the spinal column, and completes Her work near the lower end of the spine. After the completion of Her work, She lies dormant there.

Spiritual evolution is the result of the awakening of the Kundalini and Her upward travel from the bottom of the spinal column to the brain center. As She travels upward, the individual develops deeper and deeper spiritual insight and life becomes more fulfilling. When the Kundalini completes Her travel to the brain, the individual attains liberation, understands his or her true identity, and is established in eternal happiness. Thus, an individual's spiritual knowledge is directly dependent on the upward progress of the Kundalini.

Many religions accept the concept of a cycle of the universe. Each cycle consists of the creation, preservation and destruction of the universe. When one cycle of the universe is completed, the individual attains liberation. However, with the awakening of the Kundalini, the individual does not have to wait until the end of the cycle to attain liberation. This fact alone underscores the importance of Kundalini Maha Yoga. Spiritual evolution cannot take place unless the Kundalini is awakened.

There are many spiritual disciplines and techniques which do not directly aim at awakening the Kundalini. However, the Kundalini must be aroused if there is to be any degree of spiritual progress. Therefore, if a spiritual discipline is successful, it means the Kundalini has been awakened in at least an indirect way. The practitioner may not be aware that the progress and experiences are the result of the active Kundalini unless, of course, the discipline aims directly at awakening the Kundalini. However, the Kundalini does keep working and is the source of enlightenment.

Once the Kundalini is awakened through Shaktipat initiation, She does not become dormant except in some very special circumstances. The Kundalini will always try to make Her upward passage. She will try to keep the aspirant on the spiritual path by providing the necessary encouragement and protection.

Kundalini can be awakened by attaining perfection of certain hatha yoga postures called asanas, by certain breathing exercises aimed at controlling the breath called pranayama, by God's grace, by meditation or by intense devotion. Another technique of great importance is Shaktipat, the transmission of energy. A powerful yogi can transmit energy to an aspirant and awaken the Kundalini. This is accomplished in one of four ways: by touch, gaze, sound or thought. The yogi may touch the disciple and transmit energy through physical contact, or gaze at the disciple and energy flows from the yogi's eyes. The yogi may utter words which carry energy or, more subtly, energy can be transferred directly by the yogi's thought or will. The process of Shaktipat can be performed only by those yogis who have gained complete control over the life force, which in Sanskrit is called prana.

Once the Kundalini is awakened, the student may have a variety of experiences: seeing flashes of light or colors, hearing internal sounds of bells ringing or bees humming, spontaneous vibrations or movements of the body, and greater mental peace, to name a few. Different individuals will have different experiences -- there is no definite pattern applicable to everyone. Once the Kundalini is awakened, this fact becomes known through the student's own experiences. If at this stage the student persists in spiritual practices like meditation, then the Kundalini will travel upward from the base of the spinal column where She lay dormant before.

During Her upward journey through the spinal column, She pierces all the chakras in succession and ultimately reaches the sahasrara. When this happens, the student attains a state of transcendental consciousness called samadhi, understands one's true identity, and is thereby liberated.

During the student's spiritual efforts, the Guru's help is of immense value. Shaktipat initiation creates a subtle bond between the teacher and student that allows the teacher to give fresh impetus to his or her student's Kundalini and eliminate obstructions that may arise.

By the grace of God and according to the power and instructions given by my Guru, I have given Shaktipat to a large number of people in India, the United States and around the world. Their Kundalini has been awakened. They have attained peace of mind and good health. They have been led on the spiritual path.

Meditation is the practice of turning the attention from outer awareness to inner concentration. In the practice of Kundalini Maha Yoga, meditation is much more than a relaxation technique. It is a way of easing resistance to the ascent of the Kundalini energy by quieting the fluctuations of the mind.

Of all the forms of meditation, meditation through attention on the breath is the simplest and most direct way to Self-realization. The aspirant can coordinate and integrate various energies of the nervous system by performing breathing exercises called pranayama in conjunction with meditation. Once this is accomplished, the student easily gains control over the life supporting vital air, the prana, which in turn leads to control over the mind. When the student gains complete control of the mind, there is an experience of unique peace and joy. The student realizes the entire world is the creation of one God. When this happens on a large scale, the miseries of the world will end and there will be peace and happiness everywhere.

Self-realization is the ultimate and the most desirable state to be attained, and the awakened Kundalini leads to this state. However, even when the Kundalini is aroused and spiritual evolution is substantially hastened, there is no guarantee that Self-realization will be attained in the current lifetime. Therefore, it is encouraging to know many tangible benefits are gained even during the early states of the awakening and upward travel of the Kundalini.

Awakening the Kundalini has a general purifying effect on the body and mind. For example, the aspirant's health often improves; the student often feels light and energetic; the mind becomes restful. Diseases of the body and mind are caused by irregularities in the functioning of the prana, which can be gradually eliminated once the Kundalini is awakened.

At more advanced levels of the Kundalini's progress, the benefits are intensified and encompass more subtle realms. The student can achieve peace and mental control, can become more creative, can develop a profound understanding of nature and experience inner joy. The aspirant becomes a stronger individual, a more complete person who can function in adverse circumstances with great poise, and is able to consciously absorb prana from the universe and direct it for physical and mental well-being. Ultimately, the student encounters total reality, the absolute truth, knowledge of the Self.



Dhyanyoga Centers is based in the Antioch, CA Center. There are also centers on the east coast of the US, and in Nikora, Gujarat State, India. Shri Anandi Ma, the spiritual heir of Shri Dhyanyogi, teaches meditation, workshops, and offers shaktipat initiation through these centers, and all over the United States, Europe, and India. Please see for details.

Dhyanyoga Centers Antioch
Dhyanyoga Centers Antioch
3306 Contra Loma Blvd,
Antioch, CA 94509, United States
(925) 779-9660

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Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

This House Is On Fire: The Life of Shri Dhyanyogi

by Shri Anandi Ma


This biography of Shri Dhyanyogi, the kind of Indian saint who only exists in legend, provides tales of his exploits—at 100 years old he could walk faster than any of his followers—that are intertwined with his spiritual teachings. After 80 years of solitude in rural India, Dhyanyogi came out from seclusion to teach in India and the United States. Tales of the gentle yogi facing down tigers, battling hunger and thirst, and traveling through the treacherous mountains and scorching deserts of India are all told here. In his unending desire to be a resource to followers, Dhyanyogi is known to have said to his followers, \"This house is on fire—loot all you can!\"—referring to the wisdom he had and how little time he had on earth to impart it.

Cover image

Death, Dying and Beyond

by Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandasji


"To know what happens beyond death, you must go deep within yourself. In meditation, the truth will come to you." - Shri Dhyanyogi What happens after death? What is the true nature of the soul? What are the effects of karma? Shri Dhyanyogi answers these questions through a moving account of his own "death experience" in 1972, and the compelling story of a young child engaged in conversation with Yamaraja, the Hindu god of Death. This simple work on the nature of death can help release you from your greatest fear.