Biography of Paramahamsa Madhavdas-Founder of the Yoga Institute, Mumbai

Paramahamsa Madhabda’s early days

Paramahamsa Madhabdas Maharaj (1798 – 1921) was born in Bengal to the Mukhopadhyaya family. He came from the lineage of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu from Bengal. He has had a keen interest in yoga, especially devotional faith towards yoga, since his young years. He was a clerk in judicial departments for a few years but left home at 23 to explore the field of yoga further. During his 123 years of life, the yogi worked hard to revive the yogic practices, which were quickly losing their base at that time. 

Biography of Paramahamsa Madhavdas-Founder of the Yoga Institute, Mumbai
Paramahamsa Madhavdas


Favour Modern Yoga

He spent about 50 years in the Himalayas practising Yoga. He was a follower of Vaishnavism and was initiated as a monk worldwide. His primary expertise was ‘Hatha Yoga,’ and he spent his life imparting knowledge and helping ordinary people. Besides Hatha Yoga, he also mastered many other Yoga traditions. If we want to maintain the smooth progress of Yoga and its upliftment, it needs to be presented from a modern perspective, said Madhabdas ji.   


Madhavdas joined a large Sadhu community in 1869, and in 1881, they chose him to be their leader in Vrindavan. He finally made his home in Gujarat’s Malsar village, close to Baroda, on the banks of the Narmada River. 

Brihat Sadhu Samaj

He was the Chief of the Brihat Sadhu Samaj. He was well-versed in religious traditions, but the spiritual upliftment of the general public was his top priority. He organised an All-India Sadhu assembly 1909 to reform the hermit order through Sadhus. His extraordinary contribution to Yoga is still felt today. 

Founder of the Yoga Institute, Mumbai

He founded The Yoga Institute, which is more than 100 years old now, and even today, it imparts the knowledge of Yoga, passing on the message of peace, humanity, and goodwill. 

The last phase of life 

He spent the last days teaching the secrets of yoga to his few selected students on the banks of the Narmada River. The great yogi took voluntary Samadhi in 1921, living an extraordinary life of 123 years.


His famous disciples are: 

  • Swami Kuvalayananda of Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla. He owed his training in Yoga and to serve the same to humanity on scientific lines; the credit went to Paramahamsa Madhavadasa Maharaj. 
  • Shri Yogendra of the Yoga Institute Santa Cruz, Mumbai. Paramhamsa Madhavdas Ji noticed a special spark in Shri Yogendra Ji and told him I have waited for him for all the 118 years of my life. And now you spread the yoga torch around the world. 


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