We are reposting this article on the pious occasion of the Birth Anniversary of Sri Sri Lahiri Mahasaya Ji, who was second in the lineage of Gurus who spread Kriya Yoga in the modern era, a science which was lost from popular culture after its ancient glory. Kriya Yoga techniques refer to a set of unique yoga practices which were quite popular in the ancient times but were literally forgotten later on, until they were reawakened by the lineage of Saints that belong to the YSS/SRF order, the main front end of them being represented by Sri Paramhansa Yogananda to the whole world.
A Brief History
It is stated that initially the Kriya Yoga technique was discovered by Mahavatar Babaji who taught it to Lahiri Mahasaya, who later taught the art to Swami Yukteshwar Giri. Swami Yukteshwar Giri was the Guru of Sri Paramhansa Ji. The knowledge that Sri Paramhansa Ji got from his Guru consisted of Kriya Yoga too. It was he who popularised the concept all across the world.
We will now discuss a little more about the Kriya Yoga Technique. The names of the above mentioned Saints are quite popular but still if you are not aware of them you are advised to read the popular book – Autobiography Of A Yogi – for further information. It is an inspiring book which has been a bestseller globally and has been even taught at academic curricula of various universities as well.
The Kriya Yoga Technique
Before saying anything we must clarify that yoga is an art and science which takes time to master and anyone doing it in a wrong way could end up doing more harm than good.
The word Kriya Yoga comes from Sanskrit and is a combination of two words namely Kriya meaning action and Yoga meaning union (with the divine). Hence literally speaking Kriya Yoga means attaining divine enlightenment by doing the right action.
There are six spinal centres in our body as listed below.
6. Coccygeal plexuses
All these points have an energy stored in them. When one performs the Kriya Yoga then you can direct the energy in these points in any direction either upward or downward. It is said to bring very positive results and quite fast too, provided it is done with concentration and you feel the bond with the divine power and spiritual benefits. To give an idea about the acceleration it can bring to your routine meditation it has been stated that approximately speaking if the Kriya Yoga is done with full focus and concentration, then it will ensure that you gain a spiritual elevation that otherwise can be attained by a one whole year of normal meditation.
The Actual Technique
It is not allowed to disclose this technique openly mainly because of the reasons that if anyone just practices this powerful technique without any preparation or guidance, he or she would end up doing harm to oneself.
But we can tell you in brief that from the outside it will not look much different from what you would see in any meditation posture. You need to sit in Padmasana as shown in the picture enclosed to practice Kriya yoga. You simply need to breathe in and breathe out and concentrate on your breathing. This will help you to concentrate your energies better and you will feel the difference in your life too. This is a general idea about the Kriya Yoga if you want to know more about it you have to get a Kriya Yoga Guru for yourself.
Yogananda has written very detailed account about it in in famous book the Autobiography of a Yogi. In which he has explained how these can be practiced and how one can ensure that they are doing the yoga correctly although for actual technique you would still need to join the Self-realization Fellowship (SRF) in the United States or the Yogada Satsanga Society (YSS) in India to get a better Idea about the technique. This is because these institutes have individuals who know a lot about the Kriya Yoga and they can train you better.
Kriya Yoga Techniques In the West
Although these techniques have an oriental origin, they are quite popular in the western world and in America as Yogananda spend about three decades there of his life to promote this yoga. The ones who practice Kriya Yoga say that the benefits are immense and when you practice it regularly you will feel the divine presence and love in your life more.
It has been stated that the mention of this form of yoga and similar techniques comes in the Bhagwat Gita as well. This of course should not be surprising as after all knowledge is basically the same and so is the goal. It is mainly the manner of expression that varies in all religions, cultures, sects and faiths.