The Lakulish Lineage

Dadaji and Bapuji

Dadaji, the spiritual teacher of Bapuji, first appeared to him as a sadhu or wandering monk when Bapuji was a nineteen years old. Bapuji received initiation from Dadaji after enduring fifteen months of rigorous study and practices including 40 days of seclusion, chanting and fasting. Dadaji reappeared again in 1952 after leaving Bapuji on his own to roam India as wandering Swami, this time instructing him to build a temple in Kayavarohan. When the Shiva temple in Kayavarohan was completed in 1974, Lord Lakulish himself appeared to Swami Kripalu and infused his energy into the statue.

Gurudev Yogi Amrit Desai is recognized as an original pioneer of yoga in the West. The Integrative Amrit Methods are a unique distillation of ancient yogic secrets that were revealed by Swami Kripalu to Gurudev directly. He has since innovated practices that authentically maintain their mystical eastern roots while being accessible and relevant to the western psyche.

Journey to America

In 1977, Bapuji agreed to visit his disciple, Yogi Amrit Desai, in America.

During his residence of over four years in the US, and to the delight of his many American devotees, Bapuji refrained from silence to deliver a rare series of lectures.

In September 1981, Bapuji returned to India where he left his body on December 29.


Urmilaben Purshottamdas Shah, wife to Yogi Amrit Desai and affectionately known as Mataji, was born in Halol, Gujarat, on July 29, 1937. 

Her first exposure to Bapuji began when she was only eight. Although it seemed unlikely at the time, she understood that to serve such a master would be the greatest spiritual practice she could aspire to.

Little did she know, Amrit was equally taken with the swami and that the love they shared would eventually inspire Bapuji to stay with them in America. Through her unwavering self-less service and devotion, Mataji’s humble practice significantly contributed to Bapuji’s work in the west.

On July 31, 2006, dear Mataji left her body. Today, The Mataji Fund serves as a living testament to her legacy.