Sri Yukteshwar Giri (1855 — 1936) is the monastic name of Priyanath Karar, the guru of Swami Satyananda Giri and Paramhansa Yogananda. Sri Yukteshwar was an educator, an astronomer, a jyotisha (Vedic astrologer) and a yogi. He believed both in the Bhagavadgīta and in the Bible. Disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya, he was a member of the Giri branch of the swami order.
Yogananda considered him a jnanavatar, an “incarnation of wisdom”.
In 1900, Priyanath Karar founded the Priyadham ashram in Serampore (in the state of Bengali).
In 1903, he also established an ashram in the seaside town of Puri, naming it Kararashram. From these two ashrams, Sri Yukteswar taught students and founded an organization named Sadhu Sabha.
Sri Yukteswar was especially skilled in jyoti (Indian astrology). He also studied astronomy and science, as evidenced in the formulation of his Yuga theory in the mentioned book The Holy Science.
He had only a few long-term disciples but, in 1910, the young Mukunda Lal Ghosh (later known as Paramahansa Yogananda) became his most famous pupil; the popularizer of the teachings of Kriya Yoga throughout the world.
W.Y. Evans-Wentz described his impression of Sri Yukteswar in the preface to Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi:
«Sri Yukteswar was of gentle mien and voice, of pleasing presence, and worthy of the veneration, which his followers spontaneously accorded to him. Every person who knew him, whether of his own community or not, held him in the highest esteem. I vividly recall his tall, straight, ascetic figure, garbed in the saffron-colored garb of one who has renounced worldly quests, as he stood at the entrance of the hermitage to give me welcome. His hair was long and somewhat curly, and his face bearded. His body was muscularly firm, but slender and well-formed, and his step energetic».