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Hindu Saints #13

Hariharananda Giri (27 May 1907 – 3 December 2002), was an Indian yogi and guru who taught in India as well as in western countries. He was born as Rabindranath Bhattacharya in the hamlet of Habibpur, on the bank of the river Ganges, in the district of Nadia, West Bengal, 65 km from Kolkata. He was the head of the Kriya Yoga Institute, United States. According to the Times of India, Hariharananda was a direct disciple of Yukteswar Giri. Hariharananda Giri, affectionately known as "Baba" to his students, was known as a Kriya Yogi in the lineage of Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Yukteswar Giri, and Paramahansa Yogananda. In 1932, Rabi went to meet the Kriya master, Yukteshwar Giri, who initiated him into Kriya Yoga, in his Serampore ashram, West Bengal. Yukteshwar Giri taught him cosmic astrology, and entreated him to come and live in his Karar Ashram at Puri, in Odisha. In 1935, he met Paramahansa Yogananda, and received the second Kriya initiation from him. In 1938, he renounced the material life and entered his guru's ashram in Puri, starting the life of an ascetic monk as Brahmachari Rabinarayan. He received the third Kriya initiation from Swami Satyananda Giri in 1941, the head of Karar Ashram and childhood friend of Paramahansa Yogananda. In the period of 1943–1945 he received fourth, fifth and sixth Kriya initiations from Shri Bhupendranath Sanyal Mahasaya, a direct disciple of Shri Lahiri Mahasaya. In 1951 he got written permission from Paramahansa Yogananda to initiate and teach Kriya Yoga. He also was empowered by Shri Bhupendranath Sanyal Mahasaya to give dikshas (Kriya initiations). On 27 May 1959 he took formal monastic vows from the Shankaracharya of Puri Srimad Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha and was named Swami Hariharananda Giri. From 1960 to 1974, Hariharananda toured all over India to spread the message of Kriya Yoga. In 1971 he became the fourth president (sadhusabhapati) of Karar Ashram and succeeded Satyananda Giri. Hariharananda resided at the ashram he founded at Homestead, Florida, for several years prior to his death in Miami in December 2002 and was buried at Balighai, in Orissa, that same month. Notable disciples are Paramahansa Atmananda, Paramahansa Prajnananda, Swami Sarveshwarananda, Swami Premananda Giri, Br. Swarupananda Giri, Sarveshwar Ananda Giri, and Swami Vidyadhishananda Giri.