A Himalayan Yogi known as Babaji Maharaj taught Kriya Yoga to Lahiri Mahasaya in 1861. Babaji is said to incarnate whenever it is necessary to renew the Kriya Yoga flame. The story of Lahiri Mahasaya’s meeting with Kriya is related in Paramahansa Yogananda’s book, “Autobiography of a Yogi” Lahiri Mahasaya had numerous disciples. Although he was a working man and father of a family, he had obtained the highest state of realization in a previous life, through the practice of Kriya Yoga. He soon became famous and many disciples came to him. He taught Kriya Yoga to monks as well as to householders. Amongst his most advanced disciples was Priyanath Karar, also known as Karar Swami. Although a married man, he joined the monastic order and became known as Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri. He was a great astrologer and formulated a form of astrology, which he called Cosmic Astrology. Sri Yukteswarjee had numerous advanced disciples, including Paramahansa Yogananda, the author of “Autobiography of a Yogi”. Paramahansa Yogananda was one of the first Indian Yogis to teach in the West. Residing in the United States, he played a key role in spreading Kriya Yoga around the world. Some of Sri Yukteswarjee’s other highly realized disciples were Swami Satyananda Giri and his closest disciple, Swami Narayana Giri. Kriya Yoga is well known in India. Its reputation started to spread to the West in 1920 when Paramahansa
Yogananda arrived in the United States and taught Kriya Yoga there in accordance with his master’s wishes. Since then, transmission of this teaching has continued without interruption. Numerous masters have appeared and continue to come to impart the knowledge of Kriya Yoga so that it is available to everyone regardless of country or religion.