|Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas|
|Died||29 August 1994 (age 116)
|Guru||Shri Yogiraj Parameshawardasji|
|Philosophy||Kundalini Maha Yoga|
|Quotation||All those who came to me for Shaktipat are worthy, and all of them are my spiritual heirs. For my energy works through them.|
Born in winter of 1878* (Footnote 1) in Durgadi, a village in Bihar, India, to Sampatti Devi Mishra and Ramdahin Mishra, he was named Kashinath after Lord Shiva. Prior to his birth, his mother had a vision of Lord Krishna, regarded in India as an auspicious sign indicating the coming of a great being.
Kashinath was spiritually precocious from childhood. His family was pious and he learned to worship from a very young age. Often while the other children played, Kashinath meditated. By age seven, constantly haunted by the questions "Who am I?" and "What is death?" and inspired by a deep inner longing, he ran away from home in search of the meaning of death. He was quickly found by his parents and sent to school. But at the age of thirteen, he again ran away from home for good to search for spiritual enlightenment.
Spiritual quest and meeting his Satguru
Thereafter, for thirty years he travelled across India, often walking in remote and unsettled areas, where he sought and met saints and yogis living in seclusion, and learned whatever they would teach him. Thus, with his longing for spiritual knowledge he became adept at Mantra, Yantra, Hatha, Raja and Jnana yogic practices and philosophies. At the age of 27, Kashinath was given the spiritual name of Madhusudandas, upon taking vows of renunciation (sannyasa).
Although he had mastered many yogic paths and practised intense austerities, he was unable to attain his ultimate goal of self-realization until he found his Satguru. Finally, that happened after thirty years of austerities and intense searching. In 1921, while he was practising stringent austerities in a cave on Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, his Guru Shri Yogiraj Parameshwardas, a master of Kundalini yoga, came to him.
Thereupon, Shri Parameshwardas bestowed Shaktipat initiation on Madhusudandas. Immediately he attained the highest state of samadhi and the ultimate goal of self-realization the exalted state for which he had yearned since childhood.
He recounts that when he opened his eyes three days later, he beheld his guru seated before him in the form of Lord Hanuman. Lord Hanuman, was the quintessential devotee of Shri Rama embodying the highest level of bhakti (devotional love), jnana (knowledge of Reality), vairagya (renunciation or detachment) and seva (selfless service). And these Divine qualities of Lord Hanuman became the hallmarks of Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas.
Through the guidance of Shri Parameshwardas, Shri Madhusudandas became a master of Kundalini Maha Yoga, with the power to awaken the dormant Kundalini in spiritual aspirants, and to then guide their spiritual evolution from subtle levels. In recognition of this attainment, Shri Parameshwardas conferred on Shri Madhusudandas the honorary title "Dhyanyogi." *(footnote 2)
Thereafter, for many years Shri Dhyanyogi lived and carried on his work and teachings in a small ashram which he established in Bandhavad, in the Indian state of Gujarat.
In 1960, he began widespread public instruction in Kundalini Maha Yoga, conducting group meditations throughout India. For millennia Shaktipat had been an esoteric path to self-realization, not openly bestowed, or explicitly discussed in ancient Vedic scriptures like the Bhagavad Gita. Shri Dhyanyogi became one of the first teachers of this ancient tradition to openly work at a mass level by bestowing Shaktipat initiation on all who sought it from him. He said: “All those who came to me for Shaktipat are worthy, and all of them are my spiritual heirs. For my energy works through them.”
During a protracted drought and famine in Gujarat, in late 1960s and early 1970s, he collected charitable funds and tirelessly helped the suffering people of Gujarat, disregarding his own health and concerns of his devotees.
On 7 December 1971, exhausted by his unceasing efforts for famine victims, he had a dramatic near-death experience (NDE) which he recounted in a pamphlet entitled "Death, Dying and Beyond". He reported being taken to a heavenly abode of Lord Rama, his principal devotional deity. But then being sent back by Rama to his "dead" body to fulfill his desire to help many people, whose faces were shown to him from that subtle dimension beyond our Earthly "reality". After the NDE, he established a secondary school in Bandhwad, a hospital in a backward area of Bihar to help the needy, and a temple on his small Bandhwad ashram.
Introduction of Kundalini Maha Yoga to America
In 1976, Dhanyogi left India for the first time to expand his worldwide mission to help spiritual seekers and raise humanity's consciousness. Following prior requests from American devotees, Dhyanyogi came to the United States where he travelled all over the country teaching meditation and offering Shaktipat. His love, humility and simplicity captured the hearts of many Americans.
During four years in the US, he established local groups from coast to coast and initiated thousands into the path of Kundalini Maha Yoga. In his US lectures, he revealed that during his 1971 NDE he had seen and identified many of the same people who came to him in the West. He said: “Many of those faces that I saw in the courtyard of Lord Rama, I have seen here, since I came to America. All of the people I saw are my family, and I have to help them.” In introducing Kundalini Maha Yoga to Americans, Dhyanyogi said that it was not a religion but a spiritual practice bringing “lasting inner peace and happiness to individuals of any belief or religious affiliation.” He describes this path in the book “Shakti: An Introduction to Kundalini Maha Yoga.”
Final years and death
After four years of tireless efforts in the US, Shri Dhyanyogi became extremely debilitated. In 1980, at age 102, he returned to India where he spent his remaining years in or near Ahmedabad, in Gujarat state.
On 29 August 1994, the anniversary of Lord Krishna's birth, Shri Dhyanyogi left his physical body at age 116. Since then many of his devotees (including the writer of this article) report that they continue profoundly to experience his transformative shakti energy at subtle levels of awareness.
Dhyanyogi displayed extraordinary physical prowess, emanated exceptional spiritual energy, and sometimes demonstrated what Westerners call “miracles”.
His physical prowess was observed by countless devotees (including the author of this article) who witnessed him as a centenarian demonstrating difficult yogic postures – like head stands – and walking so fast that young people had to jog to keep up with his extraordinary pace.
Even after he became physically debilitated, he emanated an amazingly intense and extraordinary shakti energy field. People (and even objects) touched by or near him were long imbued with this transformative energy. In "Death, Dying and Beyond" he told how three or four different people who attempted to help him during his NDE experience immediately fell unconscious into deep meditative states when they touched his body. Only after he returned to his body to help them were they able to awaken from these states.
On observing noteworthy phenomena which we can't yet explain by known natural or scientific laws, we sometimes call them "miracles" and often attribute them to a Divine power. Like other rare saints and mystics Dhyanyogi occasionally demonstrated "miracles" to foster faith in the Divine. Many of those "miracles" were anecdotally reported by his devotees. In his writings and lectures Dhyanyogi explained that yogic powers (siddhis) might be attained via control of life-force energies, but that they were seldom displayed; that such powers are used "sparingly and on occasion for humanitarian and other discretionary ends," but not "for self-aggrandizement." ~ Light on Meditation, Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, page 71:
Dhyanyogi was especially interested in scientifically demonstrating yogic powers of mantra and of mind. Accordingly, he presided over scientific demonstrations of how pulse and blood pressure readings of meditators could be influenced by his chanting of powerful Bija (seed) Mantras. Also, he demonstrated that he could at will increase or decrease his own blood pressure by his yogic powers. He was amongst the Indian yogis who first demonstrated to Westerners the power of yoga and meditation on the physical body.
- Madhusudandas, Dhyanyogi (1968). Message To Disciples. Bombay: Shri Dhyanyogi Mandal.
- Dhyanyogi, Shri (1978). Light on Meditation: a Definitive Work on Kundalini and Raja Yoga. Dhyanyoga Centers, Incorporated. ISBN 9781883879006.
- Madhusudandas, Dhyanyogi (1979). Brahmanada: Sound, Mantra and Power. Dhyanyoga Centers, Incorporated.
- Madhusudandasji, Shri Dhyanyogi (1979). Death, Dying and Beyond Yoga. Dhyanyoga Centers, Incorporated. ISBN 1-883879-03-5.
- Madhusudandasji, Shri Dhyanyogi (1979). Yoga Dipika: Lamp of Yoga. NY: Dhyanyoga Centers, Incorporated. ISBN 1-883879-04-3.
- Madhusudandasji, Shri Dhyanyogi (2000). Shakti: An Introduction to Kundalini Maha Yoga. Antioch: Dhyanyoga Centers, Incorporated. ISBN 1-883879-08-6.
- See e.g. his biography "This House Is on Fire: The Life of Shri Dhyanyogi” by Shri Anandi Ma. and spiritual Memoirs of Ron Rattner 
- Shri Anandi Ma, "This House Is on Fire: The Life of Shri Dhyanyogi,” Dhyanyoga Centers (28 September 2005), ISBN 1-883879-52-3.
- Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, “Shakti: An Introduction to Kundalini Maha Yoga”
- No written records are available to confirm his birthdate, which was ascertained by conversations with family and villagers where he was born.
- “Dhyanyogi” is a neologism combining the Sanskrit word “Dhyana” (meditation) with “yogi”.