In the course of time the ancient knowledge of Kriya Yoga was largely forgotten. It is said that Kriya Yoga in the 19th century was revitalized by an Himalayan Yogi known as Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj. Almost nothing is known about Babaji. There are no records of his birth or of any normal human life. Lahiri Mahasaya (1828-1895), his chief disciple, has described how he met Babaji and how he was taught Kriya Yoga in 1861.
The story of Lahiri Mahasaya’s meeting with Babaji is related in Paramahansa Yogananda’s book "Autobiography of a Yogi". Lahiri Mahasaya obtained the ultimate state of realization through practicing Kriya Yoga. Lahiri was a married householder with sons and daughters. He worked as an accountant in the Indian British Civil Service until retirement. In parallel he taught Kriya Yoga to many people from all walks of life. He made no distinction between prince and pauper, between a Hindu or a non-Hindu.
One of his best disciples was Shri Yukteswar (1855-1936), also a married householder. Sri Yukteswar came from a wealthy land owning family. He was a great yogi and astrologer. He met his master, Lahiri in 1884 and like him, taught Kriya Yoga to anyone who showed motivation and had the discipline to practice. Amongst his brightest disciples, was Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the book "Autobiography of a Yogi".
Paramahansa Yogananda (1893 - 1952) moved to the United States in 1920 and became famous, teaching thousands of Westerners, Kriya Yoga. He established the first centers of Kriya Yoga meditation outside India. His autobiography has been in translated into atleast 34 languages and continues to sell. The original 1946 edition is considered by many to be the most authentic and is available online for free download.
Whereas most of Sri Yukteswar's most advanced students moved away and set up ashrams and centers of learning in India and elsewhere, Prabhujee alone, stayed back. He remained with Sri Yukteswar and looked after him in his old age. He taught relatively few people, prefering to lead a quiet, innocous and meditative existence. His chief student was Swami Shankarananda Giri (Swamiji). Prabhujee passed away in 1985. Prabhujee English Medium School with 3000 students and founded by Swamiji is named in honour of Prabhujee.
The transmission of this Kriya Yoga teaching has been continued without interruption ever since.
Today, Swami Shankarananda Giri transmits these teachings in the same way that he received them from his masters. Kriya Yoga meditation is avialable to any person who desires to receive instructions in this path as a means for spiritual evolution.