Swami Sri Yukteswar was born on May 10, 1855, at Serampore in Bengal, India.
Sri Yukteswar about his life: “My family name was Priya Nath Karar. I was born here in Serampore, where Father was a wealthy businessman. He left me this ancestral mansion, now my hermitage. My formal schooling was little, I found it slow and shallow. In early manhood, I undertook the responsibilities of a householder, and have one daughter, now married. My middle life was blessed with the guidance of Lahiri Mahasaya. After my wife died, I joined the Swami Order and received the new name of Sri Yukteswar Giri. Such are my simple annals.”
Swami Sri Yukteswar was a disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya and attained the spiritual stature of a Jnanavatar, or incarnation of wisdom. It was to Sri Yukteswar that Paramahansa Yogananda came as a youth. Under Sri Yukteswar’s spiritual training and discipline, Sri Yogananda was prepared to begin his worldwide mission in the West. Sri Yukteswar named Paramahansa Yogananda sole heir to his spiritual mantle and ashram properties.
Of his guru Paramahansa Yogananda said: “His every utterance was chiselled by wisdom. . . . The essence of truth, all-pervasive with even a physiological aspect, came from him like a fragrant exudation of the soul.. . . His feet were firm on the earth, his head in the haven of heaven.” “Sri Yukteswar fitted the Vedic definition of a man of God: ‘Softer than the flower, where kindness is concerned; stronger than the thunder, where principles are at stake.'”