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|Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas|
|Philosophy||Kundalini Maha Yoga|
|Died||29 August 1994 (age 116)
|Guru||Shri Yogiraj Parameshawardasji|
Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, also known as Kashinath and Madhusudandas, was an Indian saint born in Bihar, India. His disciples included Shri Anandi Ma and Omdasji Maharaj. He was a master of Kundalini Maha Yoga who was responsible for popularizing it in the United States..
Kashinath was born in winter of 1878* (Footnote 1) in Durgadi, a village in Bihar, India, to Sampatti Devi Mishra and Ramdahin Mishra. His parents named him Kashinath after Lord Shiva. Prior to his birth, his mother reported having a vision of Lord Krishna. Devotees in India regard such visions as auspicious signs indicating the coming of a great being.
Kashinath grew up in a devout Hindu family. While other children were playing, he was reportedly meditating. By age seven, Kashinath was consumed by questions about identity and mortality. At one point, he reportedly ran away in search of the meaning of death, but was retrieved by his parents and sent to a school. At age 13, Kashinath left home for good to reportedly search for spiritual enlightenment.
Spiritual quest and meeting his Satguru
For the next 30 years, Kashinath travelled across India. He ofter visited remote and unsettled areas, seeking saints and yogis living in seclusion to teach him. He would eventually become adept at Mantra, Yantra, Hatha, Raja and Jnana yogic practices and philosophies. At age 27, Kashinath took his vows of renunciation (sannyasa) and received the spiritual name of Madhusudandas.
Although he had mastered many yogic paths and practised intense austerities, Kashinath believed that he had failed to attain his ultimate goal of self-realization. In 1921, while practising stringent austerities in a cave on Mount Abu in Rajasthan, Kashinath met his Satguru. Shri Yogiraj Parameshwardas, a master of Kundalini yoga. Shri Parameshwardas bestowed Shaktipat initiation on Kashinath. According to Kashinath, he immediately he attained the highest state of samadhi and his ultimate goal of self-realization.
Kashinath recounts that when he opened his eyes three days later, Shri Parameshwardas was sitting 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). According to And these Divine qualities of Lord Hanuman became the hallmarks of Shri Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas.
Through the guidance of Shri Parameshwardas, Kashinath became a master of Kundalini Maha Yoga. This would give him 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 Kashinath the honorary title "Dhyanyogi." *(footnote 2)
In 1960, Kashinath 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. Kashinath 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.”
In late 1960s and early 1970s, During a protracted drought and famine in Gujarat, Kashinath collected charitable funds for relief there.
On 7 December 1971, exhausted by his unceasing efforts for famine victims, Kashinath suffered 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, Kashinath 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, Kashinath left India for the first time to expand his worldwide mission, described as helping spiritual seekers and raising humanity's consciousness. Following prior requests from American devotees, Kashinath came to the United States. He traveled around the country teaching meditation and offering Shaktipat. .
During Kashinath's four years in the US, he established many local groups and initiated thousands into 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, Kashinath 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
In 1980, at age 102, Kashinath returned to India where he spent his remaining years in or near Ahmedabad, in Gujarat.
On 29 August 1994, the anniversary of Lord Krishna's birth, Kashinath died. To his devotees, it meant that he left his physical. Many of his devotees report that they continue to experience his transformative shakti energy at subtle levels of awareness.
According to his devotees, Kashinath displayed extraordinary physical prowess, emanated exceptional spiritual energy, and sometimes demonstrated what Westerners call “miracles”. People 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, Kashinath reportedly emanated an intense shakti energy field. People (and even objects) touched by or near him were long imbued with this transformative energy. In "Death, Dying and Beyond" Kashinath 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.
Kashinath occasionally demonstrated "miracles" to foster faith in the Divine. Many of those "miracles" were anecdotally reported by his devotees. In his writings and lectures, Kashinath 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:
Kashinath 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. Kashinath reportedly demonstrated that he could at will increase or decrease his own blood pressure by his yogic powers.
- 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 portmanteau of the Sanskrit words Dhyana (meditation) and yogi.