Swami Pranabananda Giri Maharaj
Srimad Swami Pranabananda Giri Maharaj, a direct disciple of Yogiraj Sri Sri Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahashay, was a Yogi of the highest order. In fact Paramansha Yogananda has rightly referred to him as an ancient rishi. During his life Swami Pranabananda displayed qualities of great spiritual ability, determination and sensitivity for the welfare of his disciples. After initiation into Kriya Yoga, his guru Yogiraj Sri Sri Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahashay sent him to the Malava Mountains for sadhana. There he made rapid progress and soon developed into a self-realized being. Subsequently after a period of married life and serving his father, Swamiji took sannyas from Swami Atmananda Giri of Kailash Math. During this period he was fortunate enough to have been blessed by the great Mahamuni Babaji Maharaj. The story of him being a 'saint with two bodies' is well documented in Paramhansha Yogananda's book "Autobiography of a Yogi".
Swamiji's determination and will power was legendary. From his early youth he was addicted to hashish and opium, which he enjoyed with his music master or Ustad. Usually the Ustad used to prepare the opium. One day the teacher asked Swamiji to "fix it" instead. On hearing this, something stirred the Swamiji and soon he began to hate himself for being an addict. In one swift moment he decided to forgo this habit. In spite of falling seriously ill due to withdrawal symptoms and facing the clutches of near death, Swamiji refused to take opium. After being bedridden for more than a month Swamiji recovered, never to touch hashish and opium in his life again.
Swamiji did not make any of his own disciples his successor. Through his inner realizations, he had located that a great saint, Bhagwan Kishori Mohan Bandopadhyay, was residing incognito in Benaras. Even after his passing away, he resurrected himself before Shri Kishori Mohan and requested him to take over his seat, which the latter did with some initial reluctance. Thus the illustrious lineage passed on.
Some glimpses on the divine life of Bhagwan Kishori Mohan have been written by Mahamahopadhyay Gopinath Kaviraj Mahashay. Our beloved Sree Sree Maa Sharbani was blessed very early in her life by Bhagwan Kishori Mohan, who had made several predictions before and after the birth of Sree Sree Maa. Both Shri Kishori Mohan and Sannyasini Mata had strong spiritual ties with Sree Sree Maa's family from her father's side. Bhagwan Kishori Mohan was in fact the spiritual guide of many members of this family. Sree Sree Maa's grandfather was one of Shir Kisori Bhagwan's closest and most advanced disciples.
Such are the ways of great masters who carry on the torch of our great spiritual lineage.