"Mahavatar" means "great avatar", and "Babaji" simply means "revered father". Mahavatar Babaji is the name given to an Indian saint by Lahiri Mahasaya and several of his disciples who met Mahavatar Babaji between 1861 and 1935. Some of these meetings were described by Paramhansa Yogananda in his book Autobiography of a Yogi (1946), including a first hand telling of Yogananda’s own meeting with Mahavatar Babaji. Another first hand account was given by Sri Yukteswar Giri in his book The Holy Science. All of these accounts, along with additional meetings with Mahavatar Babaji, are described in various biographies of those mentioned by Yogananda. Gautama Buddha, near the end of his life, in the 5th century, B.C., predicted that his teachings would be distorted and lost within 500 years following his leaving the mortal body. He also said that his teachings would be rediscovered in 800 years and preserved by one whose name would be associated with the term "naga". The term "naga" has been commonly associated with the great Buddhist reformer "Nagarjuna" who did appear 800 years later. It has become evident, however, that Gautama Buddha, for reasons related to his next advent as the Maitreya or world teacher, may have in fact foretold the birth of a child named Nagaraj, who subsequently blossomed into the great Siddha Yogi known today as "Babaji" In the year 203 A.D., on the 30th day of November, in a small village now known as Parangipettai , in Tamil Nadu, India, near where the Cauvery River flows into the Indian Ocean, a child was born. The name Nagaraj was given to this child by his parents. Nagaraj means "King of the serpents", to honor the great primordial force "Kundalini Shakti". Stone images of such serpents arising are worshipped in every village, typically under spreading banyan trees throughout Tamil Nadu.The child's birth coincided with the ascendancy (Nakshatra) of the star Rohini, and was in the Wadala Gotra (blood group). It is the same star under which Lord Krishna, the Avatar or incarnation of God had been born on July 20, 3228 B.C. The birth or the child took place during the celebration of Kartikai Deepam, the Festival of Lights. This festival occurs on the night before the new moon during the Tamil month of Kartikai. The Festival of Lights celebrates the triumph of the forces of Light over the forces of Darkness. The Tamils celebrate the victory of their popular deity, Murugan, over the demons who threatened to overrun the world. Lord Murugan, son of Lord Shiva, is the favorite deity of the Tamil Siddhas. In northern India the festival is celebrated on the anniversary of the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya and the triumph of the forces of good over evil is remembered as well. The auspicious time for the child's birth could not have been chosen more wisely by the one who, subsequently, was to progressively manifest the greatness of both Lord Krishna and Lord Murugan. The father and mother of this child were descendants of families of Nambudri Brahmins who had immigrated to this seacoast village and trading center hundreds of years earlier from the Malabar coast, now in the state of Kerala. Nambudri Brahmins have been renowned for their dedication to priestly duty and scholarship. The priests of the famous Himalayan temple, Badrinath, have come from this same Nambudri Brahmin caste, since the temple's establishment by the Adi Shankaracharya 788 to 820 A.D. (Fonia, 1987, pg. 115 117). Near this temple, the child Nagaraj blossomed into a great siddha, now known as Babaji.