I was surprised to see all the stuff about P.
Hariharananda Giri. I'll tell my part, so you have another
H. came to my town in the 80s and I can't even remember how I heard
about his program. Several dozen people came to hear him lecture,
and at the end we were invited to greet him for a second at the front.
He looked at me and immediately said "how can the pot boil when the
pot is so far away?", and went on to say that the mantras I was
practicing were indeed good, but I had zero guidance from any master
(all true, and I said nothing, but stood there shell shocked -- I had
never met the master, but only some teachers of his who initiated).
Because of a large wave of positive energy I felt from H., I went to be
initiated by him. He taught me some yoga asanas, then tapped his
hand over each chakra in my back, then put his hand on my head for a
bit. He then instructed me how to practice the Kriya Yoga
meditation, and told me to come back to some follow-up meetings.
All in all it was a very powerful encounter, filled with, in my opinion,
Grace of God.
I went to a group practice of what I'd been doing for some years the
following evening, and when I was sitting for my regular meditation (not
Kriya meditation), I had the most astounding experience I'd ever had
while meditating: In my forehead, I saw a great light, and in that
light sat my teacher's guru. He was just sitting, peacefully, and
made me "know" somehow, that he was my true Guru. That's
it. Then the image faded. I never before had seen anything
in my third eye. I realized that H. had awakened something in me.
I met Hariharananda Giri several times privately or with one other
friend. On these occasions, he spoke of various things, but each
time, he recalled with tears in his eyes, his Guru, Sri Yukteshwara.
He told a story of how he went with a basket of fruit to meet S. Y. and
how he was welcomed as a son, and how he was surprised, and felt so much
love for S.Y. He told how he met him a few times this way.
He never said he lived with him. He told me he was his first Guru,
and then Yogananda became his Guru when S.Y. died. He spoke of
Yogananda with the same love and tears in his eyes, but with no detail
of his meetings with him. I never sensed anything in him that
critized or disliked Yogananda. He did, however, say that SRF had
changed the Kriya Yoga teaching, and that it was less effective now
because of that. He did not say Yogananda ordered this, but seemed
to imply that it happened after his passing.
I have not seen him since a large gathering in 1999 when we were only
allowed to greet him for a second to get blessings. I always felt
he was a very nice man trying to help people. I didn't like that
he charged money for initiation, but I suppose everyone has to eat.
So that's my side of it, however little. Again, I was surprised at
all the political stuff that went on and goes on around him. I
never detected a hint of it on the occasions when I met him, and they
were not 5 minute meetings, but rather an hour or even two hours of
sitting, sometimes talking. He invited me to be his cook and
travel with him. I declined.