Paramhansa Madhavdasji

The great Master of Yoga from Bengal
Paramahansa Sri Madhavadasji Maharaj (1798 – 1921) was a great Master of Yoga from Bengal, who after 50 years of traveling India by foot and practicing yoga in the solitude of the Himalayas, had settled, at the age of 80, to begin teaching.

Paramahansa Madhavadasji was a major advocate for the revival of yogic practices, which had almost died out in much of India at that time. He encouraged Swamiji to scientifically investigate the effects and benefits of Yoga practices, for the propagation of health, and spiritual inspiration of all humanity.

In response to his Teacher’s request, Swami Kuvalayananda went on to establish the Kaivalyadhama Institute. Established in 1924 it was the first Yoga Institute of its kind in India, and continues to be a premier center for the medical and scientific study of Hatha Yoga, as well as a resource of ancient texts, teachings, training and yoga therapy.

Story about Madhavdasji

Paramhamsa Madhavdasji’s patron had invited a photographer from Mumbai for a group photo of all disciples standing with the Guru. Paramhamsaji was very reluctant but the host was very adamant. The group gathered, Paramhamsaji was in front of them. The photographer arranged the group and finally clicked. He developed the negative. But very strangely Paramhamsa Madhavdasji was missing from the photo. All the other members of the group were there. The tree behind Paramhamsa Madhavdasji was there, the sandals of the Guru were there, the Kamandalu was there in mid air, but he was not there! It is like being in a Jivanmukta state – the Yogi is free from responsibilities, as if free from life! He behaves like a free spectator. The things happen as they should. The Yogi just watches and remains a spectator though performing his duties. Giving up the “I” element may help in causing miracles. In genuine miracles like duringDharmamegha Samadhi of yoga, the Yogi does not want or even does not think of performing a miracle and yet they happen – automatically, naturally, on their own. A good person is suffering and we all feel sad. In Dharmamegha, the Yogi sees the innocent man suffering and just this awareness of the Yogi seems to stop the cruel thing happening!