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Demystifying Babaji
August 11, 2014 bhole baba, bogus, fake, fraud, Haidakhan Wale Baba, Mahavatar Babaji, scam artist, Sidhoji Rao
Shitole, theosophical society, theosophists, theosophy, true identity, yogiraj gurunath siddhanath, yogiraj gurunath
siddhanath scam

Mahavatar Babaji is the name given by Paramahansa Yogananda to the anonymous guru of his
gurus guru, Lahiri Mahasaya. Lahiri Mahasaya, however, referred to him simply as Babaji or
respected father, a generic appellation for gurus and elderly men. Yogananda had a penchant for
assigning an avataric title to everyone in his direct lineage: Mahavatar or great divine incarnation
for Babaji, Yogavatar or divine incarnation of yoga for Lahiri Mahasaya, and Jnanavatar or
divine incarnation of true knowledge for his own guru Swami Sri Yukteswar. And so that he wont
be left out, taking into consideration that he did claim to be an avatar privately to close disciples,
his successor James J. Lynne a.k.a. Rajarsi Janakananda posthumously conferred upon
Yogananda the title Premavatar (divine incarnation of unconditional love).
Traditionally, avatars are material forms assumed by mythological gods like Vishnu and Shiva to
personally impose righteousness and balance on earth. But according to Yoganandas nontraditional and, admittedly, more tolerable explanation, any liberated soul who chose to still return
on earth to help others in their enlightenment quest is an avatar. According to Yogananda, the
degrees of self-realized humans on earth fall under the category of jivanmukta, paramukta or
siddha, and avatar. And it is due to this belief and teaching that Lahiri Mahasayas anonymous
Baba came down to us as Mahavatar Babaji via the ever-popular Autobiography of a Yogi. One
will notice that other legitimate Kriya Yoga lineages (meaning to say, those that descended from
the Master Lahiri) do not refer to Babaji as Mahavatar.

Most of the stories in the Autobiography about Babaji are anecdotal, the most spectacular of which
came from Ram Gopal Muzumdar, where the myth of his supposed immortality originated: I will
never leave my physical body. It will always remain visible to at least a small number of people on
this earth (chapter 33). It is not uncommon for religious fanatics along the lines of Muzumdar to
exaggerate or confuse their subjective experiences with objective reality, and such experiences
are not rare to a mind that is willing to believe anything, especially that of one who lacks sleep to a
pathological extent (Yogananda referred to Muzumdar as The Sleepless Saint).
Lahiri Mahasaya never claimed that his Guru was immortal. While Lahiri did write in his personal
journal Ohi baba ka (my Baba is Krishna), he also said in the same paragraph that he himself
was Krishna. It is therefore obvious that he was not being literal there, but what he really meant
was that they both share the consciousness attributed to Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, as the
purpose of Lahiris journal was not to discuss Babajis personality but to record his experiences
with the various kriyas given to him by Babaji.
Babaji was a wondering ascetic who, though passionate about imparting techniques of meditation
that has been kept secret for millennia to those who are worthy, also wanted to keep his privacy.
He found a way to do this through Lahiri, an educated man whom he believed was his student in a
past life. Babaji was not in any way interested in popularity or having a large followingall that he
ever wanted was for the kriyas to be within the reach of the ordinary man.
The escalating mystification of Babaji is a product of the airtight protection of privacy accorded to
him by Lahiri to fulfill his own request. Students of Lahiri were placed in a situation wherein they
were compelled to accept and adore someone whom they have not seen and knew nothing about
[or, otherwise, reject Lahiris claims and teachings altogether], which provided the perfect breeding
ground for all kinds of fantasies and speculations. It did not help that Yogananda, the person who
introduced Babaji to the rest of the world, also threw his own large chunk of nonsense into the mix,
elevating Babaji in a position at par with the Lord Jesus Christ and commissioning a supposed
portrait of Babaji that looked more like himself when he was young instead of a young Lahiri
This dangerous combination of mass fascination with and utter ignorance of Babaji was taken
advantage of by a number of Babaji pretenders like the late Nainital Babaji and Haidakhan Wale
Babaji (a.k.a. Bhole Baba), as well as bogus Babaji direct disciples like Yogi S.A.A. Ramaiah,
Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath (Sidhoji Rao Shitole), Louix dor Dempriey (Louie Bonnano), Swami
Nithyananda (Thiru Rajasekaran), and Swami Vishwananda (Visham Komalram). These are
professional scam artists that exploit the spiritual gullibility of well-meaning people and any

organization or person associated with them are to be avoided like the plague as there is no limit
to the damage that they are capable of causing.

So, what do we really know about the real Babaji, Guru of Lahiri Mahasaya?
Regarding his physical appearance, on all legitimate firsthand accounts, Babaji was described as
resembling Lahiri Mahasaya, only younger. Like most men, he would at times sport a beard and
mustache and would also shave on occasion. It doesnt say anywhere that he wore his hair long,
though this was assumed due to it being common among yogis and sadhus. Contrary to SRFs
colorized rendition, Babaji did not wear the ochre robe of a renunciant as is clearly expressed in
the account of his conversation with Swami Pranabananda where he poked fun on how Swamis
invite attention and adoration unto themselves by the religious costumes they wear. He used to
carry a bamboo staff or danda. Such staffs would often have a makeshift bag tied at its end
containing the few pieces of fabric that sadhus alternate as their clothing as well as their basic
Babaji led a small band of sadhus, among them were two Caucasians; they dont stay in one place
for more than a few days. Lahiri supported Babajis charitable works through the various donations
from followers and admirers and from the modest prayaschitta or payment he required when
giving diksha (5.00). Panchanon Bhattacarya as well as Lahiris two sons Tinkori and Dukori all
had the privilege of meeting Babaji as they often accompanied Lahiri or were asked to go by

themselves to personally hand over to him whatever money they have managed to collect. The
speculation that Lahiri only made up the Babaji story to legitimize his guruship is misinformed and
unfounded. A good number of people, including Lahiris closest friends, have met Babaji during the
beginning phase of Lahiris mission.
Allow me to answer the most common questions I have received in relation to Babaji, some of
them from as far back as 2002.
Is Babaji still alive? T.R., Norfolk, VA
There is absolutely no reason to believe that Babaji was physically immortal. The Kriya Yoga
techniques of Babaji that Lahiri received and taught most perfectly do not result in physical
immortality. Lahiri Mahasaya, Swami Sri Yukteswar, and Paramahansa Yogananda followed the
Kriya Yoga discipline faithfully from the way they think to the way they speak to the way they live
to what they eat and drink to when and how they practiced the techniques. None of them attained
physical immortality. Lahiri Mahasaya was just 4 days away from his 67th birthday when he died.
Sri Yukteswar was 80 when he died. And Paramahansa Yogananda was only 59 when he died of
heart failure. While it is possible for people who are very disciplined and blessed with good
genetics to live longer than others, physical immortality remains to be a scientific impossibility
because there is just no stopping the cells from losing their power of division and growth as we
advance in age. When a chela refers to his Guru as immortal master it does not necessarily
imply physical immortality. It could mean that the chela is assuming that his Guru was also a Guru
in previous lives and will continue to be a Guru in future lives.
Is Babaji the same as Hairakhan Babaji who appeared in 1860 and died in 1922? S.J., Hialeah,
That is a possibility. The timing of Hairakhan Babajis appearance as well as the way people
described his behavior, way of life, and special abilities appear to be of perfect match with Lahiris
Babaji. One should also notice that though the appellation Babaji was common, other Gurus who
were called Babaji were also known either by their birth name or monastic name or assumed
name (e.g. Babaji Deep Singh, Jagannatha Dasa Babaji, and Babaji Faqir Chand). Hariakhan
Babaji, just like Lahiris Babaji, was, quite peculiarly, not known by any other name except Babaji
(Hariakhan is just the place where he was first found, lit. the Babaji from Hariakhan).
It should be noted, however, that Haidakhan Wale Babaji, who began teaching in 1970 and died in
1984, claimed to be both Hairakhan Babaji and Mahavatar Babajihe was a fake. Marshall
Govindan, a disciple of S.A.A. Ramaiah, did a research on Haidakhan Wale Babaji and found that
he was the illegitimate son of a Sikh maid servant and a retired British civil servant with the

surname Wilson. The family of this Mr. Wilson, allegedly, still lives in Ranikhet and those who
know the family still affectionately and knowingly call Haidakhan Wale Babaji Wilson Babaji.
Haidakhan Wale Babajis guru was Nainital Babaji, another bogus Mahavatar Babaji claimant who
has managed to deceive many including Elizabeth Holman a.k.a. Swami Aliyananda
Paramahansa, a highly credulous woman from Cornwall. Haidakhan Wale Babaji obviously
learned his craft from Nainital Babaji and later on, motivated by the various material benefits that
the scam afforded his guru, broke away to be a Mahavatar Babaji claimant on his own.
According to Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath, Babaji is the same as the immortal Gorakshanath. Is
there any truth to that? H.V., Sydney, Australia
No, Babaji was most definitely not Gorakshanath, and Gorakshanath was not immortal. In fact,
Gorakshanaths tomb can be found at the Goraknath Temple in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh; a place
of sacred pilgrimage among members of the various Nath sects. Yogananda himself was born in
Gorakhpur, as well as his younger brother Sananda who earned the nickname Gora for that
reason. If there is even the least trace of connection between Babaji and the Hero of his own
birthplace, Yogananda, being an authentic master of Babajis lineage and an extremely wellresearched biographer of his line of gurus, would have been the first person to pursue and
expound on it.
Shitole is full of nonsense and is the most obvious fake out there. He claims to have received
Kriya Yoga directly from Babaji. It took him 5 years to admit that he actually received Kriya Yoga
from the Hariharananda line, from the first publication of his book Wings to Freedom in 2006,
where he made absolutely no mention of his real guru Hariharananda, to the publication of his
latest book Babaji: The Lightning Standing Still in 2011, where he attempted to patch up a few of
his most obvious lies as people who are familiar with his background are already starting to come
As a point of interest, Shitole also claims to be the Nath Lord successor of Raja Sundernath who,
according to him, is not really dead being also an immortal (this old fart has been rubbing elbows
with a lot of immortals). How could he have succeeded him then if he is not yet dead? If Raja
Sundernath is not dead then he is still the Nath Lord, and this Shitole is just usurping his office
and title. And to top it all, Shitole is not even a real Nath! In fact, he recognizes this fact openly in
his own website by posting a disclaimer in uppercase letters saying that he is not recognized by
the Nath yogis. This person is an idiot, anyone who believes him is a bigger idiot, and they will
both fall into the ditch custom made for idiots.

Is Babaji an ascended master? G.C., Billings, MT

Ascended masters do not exist; this concept offshooted from Blavatskys teachings. Blavatsky was
a notorious atheist scam artist who fabricated invisible masters and styled herself as their
foremost channel so that the most gullible people in the world then, who were collectively called
theosophists, will see her as an authority. Babaji was a highly accomplished ascetic whose main
contribution was Kriya Yoga. He gave us this Kriya Yoga through Lahiri, who experimented on its
many techniques, distilled the most essential of them, arranged them in a sequence, and grouped
them in 4 progressive sets for ordinary people to practice according to their own level without
compromising their worldly responsibilities. That is what Babaji really did, he provided the raw
materials and Lahiri turned them into the product that we can put to use straightaway. Babaji is not
God that we can pray to him as encouraged by Yogananda who, as a Hindu, was at peace with
the idea of praying to anyone and anything, and as taught by theosophist/cult leader Elizabeth
Clare Prophet of Church Universal and Triumphant who, even by her own childrens accounts,
was a mentally-unstable shyster.