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Author: Ennio Nimis
PART I HISTORY OF MY PASSION FOR KRIYA YOGA 1. Yoga Self-Taught 2. I Learn Kriya Yoga 3. The Breathless State 4. In Search of the Original Kriya 5. A Clean Mystical Path PART II SHARING THE KRIYA YOGA TECHNIQUES 6. The Basic Techniques of Kriya Yoga 7. Further Information about the First Kriya 8. Higher Kriyas PART III GRADUAL LEARNING OF KRIYA YOGA 9. Preliminary Remarks on the Potential Dangers of Meditation and Kriya 10. Building the Best Foundation for the Kriya Yoga Path 11. A Turning point: the Breathless State 12. Kriya of the Cells Appendix: Remarks upon Kriya Yoga as Taught by the Organizations Glossary Bibliography 155 167 185 192 202 217 233 90 106 126 6 19 37 54 78
PART I: HISTORY OF MY PASSION FOR KRIYA YOGA The first part contains the story of the different phases of my spiritual search: self teaching of Yoga; Kriya Yoga received from an organization; Kriya Yoga received from traveling gurus; final decision of putting in a book all what I knew about Kriya Yoga techniques and go ahead alone. Chapter 1 Yoga Self-Taught My spiritual search began early, after I bought an introductory book on classical Yoga. I considered Yoga a discipline capable to produce an internal change in my personality. I began with an exercise, to be done in Savasana, where the thinking process was disciplined to create a state of "mental void". I decided also to extend the mechanism of this technique to my student life. I decided to reinforce my discipline through the art of Pranayama. The first result was the experience of a vast joy springing from the fundamentals of my being, not provoked by any external cause. After three months of practice, I experienced what Yoga books call : " Kundalini awakening." This experience was preceded by a couple of days characterized by fear and anguish, Chapter 2 I Learn Kriya Yoga Enthusiast of Pranayama, I decided to devote my life to perfect it. I became to know of the existence of Kriya Yoga: a four-phased Pranayama path taught in our age by the great Lahiri Mahasaya. I would have done whatever to learn it immediately but this clashed with the rules of the organization spreading it: it was necessary to follow a correspondence course. Meekly, I accepted to put aside my already consolidated practice of classic Pranayama and abide only by the written teachings of my correspondence course. A year and a half later, I received the First Kriya set of techniques. I was blissfully happy but unable to conceive a working routine -- the one I followed was neither functional nor rational Chapter 3 The Breathless State When I learned the so called Higher Kriyas, this problem became more and more critic, also because they were not completely explained. Later, when one of the organization's representatives refused to clarify my doubts, reluctantly, I decided to address my search toward other sources. I had no concrete results but, thanks to some good readings, the practice of Japa entered my life; with it, the experience of the breathless state became part of my life Chapter 4 In Search of the Original Kriya Possessed by an eager desire to learn the so-called "original Kriya", I made the great mistake of neglecting that state for many years. I followed three different teachers. Among many not very important details, I learned something valuable: 1. the importance of listening to the internal sounds during Kriya Pranayama; 2. the frenulum-stretching technique (Talabya Kriya) leading to mastery of Kechari Mudra; 3. the mysterious Tribhangamurari movement and, at last: 4. the concept of Incremental Routine.
Chapter 5 A Clean Mystical Path After the break off with my third teacher, I decided to avoid seeking others. An uncertain idea came also to put all what I knew about Kriya in a book. In this project I was hampered by the deep conditioning I had received from my first Kriya organization: the promise of keeping any technical detail of Kriya secret. Years went by with very long session of meditation outdoors, looking for inspiration from my privileged source: the Beauty of Nature. The mental clarity and stamina produced by the incremental routines helped me to erase all conditionings. I began the work of writing the book and posted it on the Web. PART II: SHARING THE KRIYA YOGA TECHNIQUES The second part is devoted to sharing what I know about theory and practice of Kriya Yoga. Chapter 6 The Basic Techniques of Kriya Yoga In this chapter the essence of First Kriya is given through eight techniques -- Talabya Kriya, Om Japa (in the Chakras), Kriya Pranayama (often called simply Pranayama), Navi Kriya, Maha Mudra, Kriya Pranayama with short breath, mental Pranayama and Yoni Mudra. In the technique of Kriya Pranayama we shall distinguish three phases. Chapter 7 Further Information about the First Kriya After a theoretical digression on the four knots that prevent the spiritual experience (tongue, heart, navel and coccyx) some variations of the basic First Kriya techniques are described. We improve the discussion of Kechari Mudra. Chapter 8 Higher Kriyas The Higher Kriyas are here described as a six steps system. Some variations are discussed too. PART III: GRADUAL LEARNING OF KRIYA YOGA The third part dwells with the practical aspects of teaching Kriya Yoga. The main theme is how to assist students to coordinate and harness their efforts in a meaningful way, making them able to withstand the transformative process that leads to the mastery of the different steps of Kriya Yoga. Chapter 9 Preliminary Remarks on the Potential Dangers of Meditation and Kriya The alleged danger of "premature Kundalini awakening" is not so real as it is described. For sure, there are some norms to follow in order to avoid strong mood oscillations caused by the practice of Kriya. Chapter 10 Building the Best Foundation for the Kriya Yoga Path After considering how to introduce the First Kriya in a gradual way, some practical examples clarify how to utilize the formidable instrument of the Incremental Routine. Chapter 11 A Turning Point: the Breathless State The breathless state is a decisive result marking a turning point in one's life: it is the 4
A parallel is given with the Macrocosmic orbit of internal taoist Alchemy. Through this action. It is achieved by adding to a correct routine containing the essence of Kriya the practice of Japa during the day. The intriguing effects of this practice are here taken into account. Chapter 12 Kriya of Descent The discussion is about what could be considered the final improvement of Kriya Pranayama.true Initiation. 5 . one enters the dimension of Unceasing Prayer (Prayer of the Heart) and lives the Kriya path with the right attitude.
I had no doubts that Pranayama was something I had to learn as soon as possible... and where it was impossible to distinguish in advance between fact and fiction. Books of B.. a few days later at the train station newsstand.. I saw the word " Yoga" for the first time in a postal catalog of esoteric books among my father's correspondence. I borrowed esoteric books from my parents' friends and I loved those books. In primary school. But my friend would not lend me the book. I turned a deaf ear to any persuasive advice to dedicate myself to more formative readings. I wasted a lot of time on worthless books and stacks of specialized esoteric magazines with tantalizing titles and impossible chimeras designed essentially to impress. I don't remember the title of the first book. But first things first. I remember the first one I read from end to end was on occultism. I continued these readings until I was about 11. Iyengar followed.. I was proud to be able to read and understand it.S. Knowing the book was considered unsuitable for my age. In the end. and added: "these exercises can change a person inside. when I was perhaps 10 or 11. I came into contact with the main themes of occidental esotericism with short digressions into phenomena like hypnosis and spiritualism. beyond the point of no return. I was entranced and inexplicably spellbound by the person pictured on the cover sitting in the "lotus position. I couldn't persuade my father to buy the book for me.. During this period." I was deeply allured by his words: what internal change was he talking about? Surely my friend didn't mean the attainment of a particular state of relaxation or concentration or how to integrate the oriental vision of existence with our lifestyle.PART I: HISTORY OF MY PASSION FOR KRIYA YOGA CHAPTER 1 YOGA SELF-TAUGHT My spiritual search began at age 15 after I bought an introductory book on classical Yoga. Perhaps. that had slowly consolidated during my childhood and early adolescence. He was surely referring to obtaining some intense experiences that left a psychological mark. I spotted Yoga in 20 lessons and bought it forthwith and read it in its 6 . My interest in Yoga had been fueled by a certain expectation of the effectiveness of the oriental forms of meditation. I felt I had traveled through an indistinct chaos.not to read or to fantasize about. and then finally the autobiography of an Indian saint where I found the term Kriya Yoga.. the most precious secrets were hidden in other books I had not been fortunate enough to find. unlike my peers.K. the esoteric flame was rekindled for a while in a particular way: Yoga as a discipline to practice -. A friend told me he had a detailed textbook containing different Pranayama techniques." However. When I was 15 and in high school. However.
and Maya. at least for me. diaphragm. The satisfaction I felt at the end of a session spoke for their effectiveness. It was clear. It was no difficult task to guess that the ancient art of Pranayama was not intended to train the chest muscles. and upper chest during inhalation and contracting the same in reverse order for a calm exhalation. one could obtain within an hour.without falling into a state of sleep -. It was there just to give the reader the impression of serious authenticity. but to act on the energy present in our psychophysical system. the equivalent of five hours sleep. the philosophical introduction did not stir up anything spiritual. Karma.. the understanding of which in the future would become so important in my life. I was frustrated about the lack of information about Pranayama -. I regret not having the book anymore.. For me. The introduction to Yoga philosophy was neither impressive or thought provoking (Jiva. being able to do something significant without having to move very far and without the inherent risks of school sports attracted me. That was clearly just an introduction. So. Dharma. Unfortunately.and remaining for some time in a state of pure awareness. Prakriti. Pranayama was only hinted at by explaining how to do a complete breath -. He explained the purpose of the exercise was to put to rest the mental faculties in order to recharge the whole psychophysical system with fresh energy. gave a brief note on the best mental attitude for practicing it and how each exercise stimulated certain physiological functions (important endocrine glands. that such energy was related to disharmony and conflicts inside our disposition. It was taken for granted that these positions were not to be seen as simple "stretching work-outs". but I will describe the exercise based on what I remember: 7 . the last one to be practiced in the daily Asana routine. that Yoga text was not a mediocre one: it explained the name of each posture (Asana). Even concepts like Reincarnation. There was an entire chapter devoted to the "Corpse Pose" (Savasana). The instructions were structured with great care in typical western style but the author did not lose his focus in useless philosophical embellishments. I was attracted by the over-exaggerated promise that by stopping all mental functions -.to the amazement of my teacher who inquired about the secret of obtaining such interesting effects.). etc. Nevertheless. strengthening the diaphragm or creating some peculiar conditions of blood oxygenation.). Objectively speaking. I began trying out yoga postures (Asanas) in a corner of our school gymnasium during physical education classes after the teacher gave me permission to work out on my own after the preliminary group warm-up exercises. I devoted myself to mastering yoga positions or moving the abdominal muscles with the Nauli technique -. it seemed more an exercise of mental control. Moreover. nothing else.dilating the abdomen. they were a means of providing a global stimulus to all the physical organs to increase their vitality.entirety. I wasn't very good anyway in sports despite being well-conditioned by long walks.I knew it could bring about a transformation in my personality. while my schoolmates would amuse themselves with team games. My spiritual search had begun but I was not aware of it. remained unfathomable. hidden in a tangle of Sanskrit terms. Purusha.
"Lie in the supine position with arms extended alongside the body and with eyes covered to keep the light out. lies the proof and the intimate certainty of existing." Besides the dimensions of esoteric. which became a daily habit. it remains unchanged for some minutes. After a few seconds however. You should never become annoyed about continuous new thoughts but picture them as objects and shift them aside. 8 . they cloud it. my reaction was always a wince and a faster heartbeat. mentally repeat -. thoughts are in essence ephemeral and instead of revealing the final truth. When.such as practicing immediately after a strong emotional incident -. Thanks to this technique. Like a luminous point duplicating itself an unlimited amount of times. without worrying about shifting thoughts aside. to enter the state of mental void. the confidence that the exercise had been perfectly executed appeared. the exercise works perfectly and after 40 minutes you get up well-rested and recharged with new fresh energy. must be put aside.just touching. When the mental process is eased off into perfect silence. It would be more correct to affirm: "Only in the ability of obtaining the silence of thoughts." In my experience. The thought seeds manifesting as indefinite images quivering at the edge of awareness cannot disturb your mental rest. even the thought itself of practicing a technique. Then. After staying still for two or three minutes. there was also the passion for poetry and literature accompanied by habit of daily seeking the contemplation of Beauty in Nature. At a certain point. The focus of consciousness is absorbed in Kutastha. return your awareness to the small spot between the eyebrows (Kutastha) which resembles a lake of peace. without exception. convert your concentration into a small needle which constantly touches the area between the eyebrows -. I am not thinking of anything. oriental meditative practices. Pure logical thinking cannot yield you that certitude. and relax therein. The Cartesian deduction: "I think. the final state of relaxation lasted no more than 15 minutes and the exercise itself never more than 25-30 minutes altogether. I am calm. the state of deep calmness was interrupted by the thought that the exercise had not yet begun. pure awareness without content arises. The ability to continuously push away thoughts that knock at the door of your attention will become easier and almost automatic. therefore I am" is indefensible. All thoughts. At the end you know that you exist and that your existence is indestructible. After pushing a thought away.the mechanism does not seem to work. I realized once and for all the difference between "mind" and "awareness". Whichever of the two methods you choose. on some occasions -.I am relaxed. in this way. there is no more effort and any remaining restless emotion subsides. The technique inevitably ended in a peculiar way. in spite of the 40 minutes promised by the book. visualize your thoughts including those with abstract qualities and push them away one by one as if an internal hand were moving them gently from the center of a mental screen toward its outer edge. ulterior chains of thought are prevented from coming out.
remaining undisturbed by distractions. I had molded the unshakeable conviction that when thought becomes an uncontrollable vice -. Neither am I anxious about my music. One bad habit I had to conquer was the tendency to day-dream and jump from one memory to another to extract moments of pleasure. I majored in Mathematics at university and during the first months. I continued this exercise until I was 18. I took out a book of poetry from the school library and began copying different short poems with naturalistic themes in my notebook.My interest in poetry began when I was 9. The more my rash emotionalism prompted me to take steps which proved to be destructive to my affective relationships. The Heiligenstadt Testament. What my heart craved was before me. By recalling them. the more my desperate heart found refuge in its pure beauty.like studying humanities. I could intensify the pleasure I felt while contemplating the hilly surroundings beyond the outskirts of our village. where he reveals his critical condition and states his decision with pacific and total resolution made him almost a hero and a saint in my eyes. perfect and untarnished neither by fears nor a sense of guilt. create at times unreasonable fears that hinder the decisive action that life requires. As years in the high school were drawing to a close. and which will free him who understands it from the misery which afflicts others. and offering it to his brothers and to humanity. The triumph of this frail human creature over a nonsensical fate had a tremendous impact on me. I have always known him. he reacted in a most honorable manner and carried on creating works he had already composed in his heart. Despite the tragedy of his deafness at his creative peak. accompanied by alternating moods and strong emotions. which no adverse fate can overtake. By reading them frequently I soon knew them all by heart. I understood that a happy chapter of my life was concluded and there would be no time for distractions -. I planned to think in a disciplined way during my idle moments.for many it is an utter addiction -. The daily rite of retiring to my room to listen to that music consolidated my consecration to the Ideal -. That was my first religious experience. All my attention was focused on reasoning clearly. I listened to Beethoven's Missa Solemnis." How could I remain indifferent? He was drawing incomparable music out of the depths of his being. I developed a passion for classical music and studying Beethoven.it constitutes not only a waste of energy but is the primary cause of misery. During a walk in the country. it excessively fosters an optimistic imagination that unfortunately 9 . and finding an effective method of study. when I experienced a strong sentimental tie whose fulfillment seemed impossible. that music rang out again in my memory. sitting on a hill contemplating a far landscape basking in the warmth of the summer evening. Each day for the first 3 months after high school graduation. He wrote to a friend: "God is nearer to me than to others. On other occasions.Self inquiry. I decided to use the technique of mental void while resting in the afternoon as well as to extend its dynamic to studying. I approach Him without fear. The frenzied whirl of the thought process. To further save my energy. He became my idol.
Bruno Walter. I assumed they were completely governed by their instincts: eating. In the mirror of my introspection. The words of the contralto communicated a childlike innocent vision in a sorrowful voice of endless dignity: 10 . celestial state of thought restraint. I read the information leaflet. It was time to renounce it. At that moment. sparkling. I perceived that period of my life as a descent into an unfathomable night but I knew in order to shape my future the way I desired. My decision filled me with euphoric enthusiasm. I encountered a significant resistance. it didn't concern them. O Divine One . A sentence from Beethoven's Heiligenstadt testament came spontaneously to mind as an invocation to retrieve the lofty dimension I enjoyed during my high school years: O Providence . My heart gave a lurch. They were my friends and I loved each one of them. was that of daily falling into nerve-wracking discussions with friends. during a short afternoon walk. yet seeing them together on that day. partying.O that would be too hard.O when . But after breathing for some hours the limpid. and overindulging.grant me at least but one day of pure joy .O when. Certainly. I saw them from afar sitting lazily and chatting in the usual bar. they appeared to me like chickens cooped up in a narrow space.Never? No . they would have kept on sipping the daily pleasure of dawdling until misfortune hit them. The music conveyed a sense of desolation which was sweet as if death meant drifting off into a pacific sleep. One of these. One day. To see the dawn of a "day of pure joy".it has been so long since real joy echoed in my heart . tough sacrifices were necessary. I would have to endure momentarily a dark emptiness: I would savor it without a lament and without being tempted to turn on a light for momentary solace.2 "Resurrection" and invited me to a live concert of this work.pushes the person toward wretched actions. mine was not an impossible sacrifice: theirs was not my world. I was convinced disciplined thought was the most valuable trait I could develop and that it would open the doors to fruitful achievements. I Will Die So I Can Live! An event illuminated my life: a friend introduced me to Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. having sex. I abruptly avoided their company. It was Mahler's intention to treat death as the inevitable end of all human enterprise. I resolved to concentrate on my studies and passing my exams became my sole reason for living. Each part of the symphony had a precise meaning which Mahler himself had explained in a letter to the conductor. Whatever tragedy happened to their mate. The incident put me in a gloomy mood. wrapped and unexpectedly dignified by the idea of socialization.shall I find it again in the temple of nature and of men? . I saw how other habits were wasting my mental energy. It was very sad and distressing. Mercilessly.
said Beethoven: so I too was prepared to act in a strong and decisive way. in einem Nu! Was du geschlagen zu Gott wird es dich tragen! With wings I have gained. Amid the vegetation. Then Mahler's own verses were chanted: these ended with: Mit Flügeln. I tried to penetrate its meaning by reading everything I could on it and listening to it entranced and in the quietude of my room. die ich mir errungen. but by no means did I want to spend the rest of my life staring at the wall of my silenced mind and waiting for something to happen. It was like being in the countryside during a light rain. Then the choir sang some verses from Klopstock's hymn: Aufersteh'n. my dust. ja aufersteh'n Wirst du. in love's fierce striving. yes.that Pranayama which I had dreamed 11 . O red rose! Man lies in direst need! Man lies in deepest pain! Oh how I would rather be in heaven. The music conveyed the biblical suggestion of universal judgment. mein Herz. sensations and instinct. I shall soar aloft to the light no eye has pierced! I will die so I can live! Rise again. will you. there was a beautiful red rose that filled my heart with its beauty. The song then dealt with the theme of eternal life. Would have I ever be able. Mein Staub. before barren old age. after a brief rest! Immortal life! Immortal life will He who called you. In heißem Liebesstreben. zu dem kein Aug'gedrungen! Sterben werd'ich. the words: "Sterben werde ich. After many integral and enthusiastic listening sessions. to "die in myself"? Was it possible to cross the foggy curtain of thoughts.O Röschen roth! Der Mensch liegt in größter Noth! Der Mensch liegt in größter Pein! Je lieber möcht ich im Himmel sein. Werd'ich entschweben Zum Licht. in an instant! What you have earned yourself. yes. rise again. um zu leben! Aufersteh'n. and emerge in that pure Dimension I had yearned for for many years and what I felt was my sovereign good? There was no doubt I would have perfected my self imposed discipline to extremes. "I will seize Fate by the throat". But it was spring and a ray of sun pierced the clouds. What I missed was the art of Pranayama -. shall lead you to God! In the following days. give you. superficial emotions. Will you. my heart. rise again. ja aufersteh'n wirst du. um zu leben!" ("I will die so I can live!") resounded all day long in my mind like a thread around which my thought crystallized. Nach kurzer Ruh'! Unsterblich Leben! Unsterblich Leben wird der dich rief dir geben! Rise again.
some prudence was necessary: an intensive practice had to be reached gradually and each session had to be carried out with extreme care. What would have frightened others. heedless of the mildest days. turned on my immoderate will to experience all its power.K. I practiced morning and evening in an "absolute" way. particularly the hint at the danger of compromising our mental health. 12 . the smooth flowing of the breath. with no intrinsic limits. 1 I practiced in the half-lotus position. in the first sunny days after winter. sitting on the edge of a pillow with my back straight. I concentrated keenly on the alternate feelings of coolness and warmth produced by the air on the fingers and on the palm of the right hand used to open and close the nostrils. B. figuratively speaking. as if there were no tomorrow. It had to be true! Pranayama appeared to me as the most perfect of all arts. with ferocious concentration. the sun shed its light upon flowers that a few weeks before were blooming during the cold and now. still lingered in their spell-binding glory. I did not have to spend money on a piano or a violin or a canvas and color. I couldn't understand how I had wasted so much time before taking on this commitment seriously. To abide by it was "the decision" of my life. In Pranayama. I focused with zeal on applying the instructions flawlessly and with a creative spirit. I would sit in the open air and contemplate the environs. I searched for the most intense colors. every detail was pleasant. If it provoked an authentic psychological earthquake. Faulty practice puts undue stress on the lungs and diaphragm." This sentence.so much about but had never actually practiced. when the skies were crystalline and as blue as they had ever been. had awakened in me an unshakeable desire to practice it intensively. I would start with stretching exercises -. then I was on the right track. encouraged me.such a practice would be a whole new experience because these exercises were not described in my first Yoga manual.."these exercises can change a person inside". I would close my eyes and rely 1 A detailed description of this routine (Nadi Sodhana. Yes.. The very foundation of a healthy body and a sound mind is shaken by a faulty practice of Pranayama. they destroy both the tool and the person using it. The pressure. I felt my perception of things had changed. which I had purchased a few weeks before. The instrument was already with me and within me. Bandha and final concentration in Kutastha) is given in chapter 10. To devote myself to it. Iyengar's description in his The Illustrated Light on Yoga. I could verify Pranayama's potentiality acting on my psyche. I was certain my old school friend had told the truth -. Day after day. I was deeply inspired. If they are not used properly.and some simple Asanas when I had more time. to the point of "dying" in it. In a bushy ditch covered with ivy. The respiratory system suffers and the nervous system is adversely affected. The Pranayama referred to was Nadi Sodhana and Ujjayi with Bandha and Kumbhaka -. Becoming aware of each peculiarity of the exercise helped me maintain a vigilant attention without becoming stressed. the yogi uses his lungs as pneumatic tools. Sometimes. fascinated by them as if they were close to reveal an unknown reality under and beyond material reality. In the last part of the book there was a prudent warning: "Pneumatic tools can cut through the hardest rock.S. Ujjayi.
this verse from the Bhagavad Gita: "(The yogi) knows the joy eternal beyond the pale of the senses which his reason cannot grasp. 2. to figure out his identity.a deliverance from contact with pain and sorrow". I did not even try to put down on paper the numerous "moments of grace" I experienced. There are many schools of Yoga spreading his teachings according to a ‘specific legitimacy'. . in the past. I often repeated inside me and sometimes quoted to my friends. This is the real meaning of Yoga . made me realize that not only won't they tolerate the smallest of the Copyright violations. It was a book I had already seen some years before without buying it 2 The reader will understand why I am not mentioning the full name of P.it is not difficult. now and then. radically separated one from another. The reason is that. Taimni). but they won't even appreciate their beloved Teacher's name to be mixed into discussions about Kriya on the Internet. Was my rational mind able to grasp the incommensurable implication of the statement? Yes. listening to classic music. One particular sentence awakened an instantaneous realization: "Thou art that"! I closed the book and repeated the words as if in a trance. through its representatives. rather I was actually holding onto it. whom I will indicate by P. Kundalini Experience After having bought the works of Ramakrishna. some 13 . While I was repeating it. Vivekananda. nor could I have.on an inner radiance.Y. Gopi Krishna and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras (a big volume with comments by I. There is nothing higher than this. I finally decided to buy also the autobiography of an Indian saint. At that time. Back home. I quickly glanced.K. my internal life was still split between two interests which stand before my inner judgment like ideal dimensions. at a comment from one of the Upanishads [ancient Sanskrit sacred texts] that I had with me. I realized I had actually experimented that joy.Y. On the other side there was the aspiration toward the ideal world of Beauty which I tried to evoke through the study of literary work. But I never could have imagined that Pranayama had the power of multiplying the experience of the Sublime. Beauty was now a sensation of pressure on my heart. rousing them almost from nothing. He abides in this reality and moves not thence. One of these. I could never have imagined that the first dimension could possibly lead me toward the second! It was reasonable to hope that Pranayama could give me a permanent base of mental clarity. He has found the treasure above all others. My only wish was to go further and further into this new inner source of understanding and enlightenment.it was conceived as an efficacious tool for purifying and controlling the mind. He that has achieved it shall not be moved by the greatest sorrow. it was: I was that unbelievably delicate green light filtering through the leaves which was bearing witness to the spring that brought new life. On a quiet afternoon walk among trees just before sunset. however. helping me not to spoil by a mess of thoughts the fragile miracle of the encounter with Beauty. On one side there was the interest in esoteric matters which had guided my search toward Yoga discipline -.
Minutes passed by and I was not able to continue reading. seemed at the point of melting away. He literally felt as if he was burned by an inner fire. my restlessness turned into anxiety. In moments of danger I would remain paralyzed.even though I did not know what. The anguish increased. which became a people used His name to mislead the search of a high number of practitioners who were trying to receive His original teachings. So strong was that energy to force him in bed and to prevent the accomplishment of the normal bodily functions. skimming through its pages. an intense fear of something unknown which was threatening my existence. The worst thoughts hung over me without a clear reason. Here the author described the splendid awakening experience he had following an intense practice of concentration on the seventh Chakra. The thought had flashed upon my mind that a deeper event was going to happen soon. My reaction was rather strange since I had always believed I was immune from fear of all things related to transcendence. It was as if my memory had an inexplicable familiarity with it and my instinct knew its inescapable power. Now my thoughts were stirring frantically picturing the worst exits: loss of the psychological balance or the encounter with an evil entity. Weeks later. This situation provided a fertile ground for the coming of an event which was radically different than what I had experienced before. The experience was insignificant in itself. My hope now was that I would be able to find useful information such as the addresses of some good schools of Yoga. Nonetheless. he intuitively discovered the way to check out the phenomenon. that it was going to be strong. I was sure I was close to madness – or death.Y. I set myself in the position of meditation and waited. which he could not put out. I felt the urgency of doing something -. Then it became fear. In those days I had finished reading Gopi Krishna's Kundalini: Path to Higher Consciousness. I had observed that it didn't contain practical instructions. I found myself almost burning from an internal fever. maybe the totality of that entity I call "myself". A part of me. It was a kind of "intimate" and spiritual experience. as a reflex. immersed in the reading of P. I made up my mind to let things happen unimpeded and go ahead with the reading. Reading this autobiography enthralled me and originated a strong aspiration toward the mystical path: in certain moments. without any pretension to give an objective account of it. I had a shiver similar to an electric current that spread itself throughout my whole body. psychic problems as well. my desire is to inform the reader that in the following pages I will only summarily linger upon my understanding of His legacy. According to his description. since I have listened to the description of similar events from the lips of many researchers I have decided to share it. An interested reader should not renounce the privilege of turning to the original texts! 14 .since. but the point is that it frightened me a lot. whereas – because his body was probably unprepared – he later met serious physical and. inside of his body energy was put in constant motion from the base of the backbone toward the brain.'s autobiography. very strong and I would not be able to stop it in any way. Moreover. The premises to that experience happened when one night. I had certainly never experienced a similar state. unable to think.
Equipped with a juvenile boldness. I hoped that listening to it might yield the positive effect of protecting me from the anguish and help me to get back to my usual mood.conveyed to me a feeling of horror! The sunlight poured into the room through the chinks in the shutters. I had a whole day before me. out to the open air. able to annihilate and destroy whoever would imprudently approach it. eased my sleep. to ponder on the meaning of what had happened. After two days. my experience would be channeled toward a positive conclusion. I felt sorry that I had thrown unjustified cruelty at him without really knowing what was in his mind and soul. I succeeded in hiding my anguish. I went out to try and amuse myself joining other people. The spiritual world appeared to me as a sorrowful and horrible nightmare. I was afraid to have come to the threshold of the same experience but. the fear diminished and I finally felt safe. The first day went by. In this way. As far as I am concerned. choked. I was convinced that I had opened a door that I was not supposed to open. Why not try. It was night and there was nobody to whom I could communicate my panic! At the center of the yard I was burdened. seemed the dearest and healthiest reality. The afternoon was spent cracking all sorts of jokes and behaving like the people I had always considered lazy and dull. I had addressed him with a tone far from being affectionate. since I actually did not succeed in thinking about Yoga: I went around that idea! One week later I began. Strange as it may seem. the two pivotal facts that today stir the most intense emotions of my life -. I was ready to accept all that was to happen and 15 .stout experience of internal realization. he had shunned any practice. almost crushed by a feeling of desperation. The experience would have been terrible! Nobody could make sure that. Because of my great passion for classical music. which then started to thunder inside of my head. I decided to stop the experience and put off the fatal moment. envying all those people who had never practiced Yoga. I understood the nature of my reaction to that episode: I had cowardly run away from the experience I had pursued for such a long time! In the depth of my soul my dignity led me to continue with my search exactly from the point where I had quit. on the contrary. then? It was Beethoven's Concert for Violin and Orchestra I listened to with a pair of headphones in my room that soothed my soul and. I was scared the people around me might not understand. I would have liked to tell him how sorry I was to have brutally violated his right to live the way that was best to him. I stood up and left the room. I felt guilty and ashamed for hurting through harsh words a friend who had been involved in a part of my search. calmly and detachedly. forgot lofty readings and engaged in enjoying life. I was afraid I might not be able to get back to that condition anymore. Like so many others. my mind was totally worn out. He had preferred to protect his mental health rather than become unstable or insane through practices he was not sure about. I met some friends but did not talk about what I was experiencing. after half an hour. Ordinary life.that there is a Divine Intelligence at the very basis of everything existing and that man can practice a definite discipline in order to attune to it -. like for Gopi Krishna. The following morning I woke up with the same fear in my mind. Something had changed anyway. since I did not live in India.
The strangest thing is that in the very instant I had it. as if an electric wind was blowing in the external part of my body. I found it familiar. When it ended. I was lying on my back in a relaxed "corpse pose".let things follow their course. as if a new area of my brain had been stirred to a full awakening. suddenly. runs downhill. I felt the sensation familiar and had no fear.) It was night. heavy limitations had been weighing my heart down for a long time. as intensely as before. their similar experience. when I had a pleasant sensation. when I woke up. My body was so tired that I could not move -. Then. although it had nothing to do with the life surrounding me and in which I liked to live. It was as if I had just woken up after a tormented dream. 16 . My memory of that moment is condensed into one expression. That experience was characterized by an indescribable. first slowly. Frossard tries to give an idea of his spiritual experience. (Many readers will recognize. It only came up some hours later. enthralled by the reverberation of this memory. My composure was serene. An elated condition stretching out way over the limits of my awareness . The following day. "a clear and euphoric certainty of existing. then faster and violently at the same time. it leaps up toward the sky. now they had dissolved. I do not know how long this experience lasted.even if my mind imparted the order to move. An avalanche collapses. comparable to an enormous strength filling into the backbone and quickly climbing up to the brain.began to be revealed. The electric wind was replaced by another feeling. Its peak definitely held out only a few seconds. during a walk. sense of bliss. I found myself contemplating a dreamlike reality. I turned on my side and fell into a calm. Frossard suggests that we should imagine an "upsidedown avalanche" which begins strengthening at the foot of the mountain and climbs up pushed by an increasing power. Leaning against the trunk of a tree. propagating itself quickly and with a wavy motion from my feet up to my head. A. A few days went by without detecting any form of fear.a sort of memory hiding in the recesses of my awareness . For that purpose he creates the concept of the "inverse avalanche". I began the practice of Pranayama again. I was flooded with great mirth. uninterrupted sleep. and so far unknown. In his God Exists: I Have Met Him. even if this process implied the loss of my wholesomeness. I remained immobile for a couple minutes. in the following description. like an unlimited ocean of awareness and bliss". I experienced something awfully beautiful. it had arisen in me with the naturalness of a primordial instinct. then. still objectively indisputable. The perception of an intense brightness accompanied everything. I didn't think of it.
uniform and deep rhythm. later. Nadi Sodhana Pranayama. It does good to focus not only on the process itself. the perineum muscles -. the attention is intensely focused on the point between the eyebrows. during the ensuing short pause the three Bandhas are applied simultaneously. the right nostril must be kept closed by the right thumb and air is slowly. 3. but on the comfort and the induced calmness as well. Let us define the Bandhas: when the neck and the throat are slightly contracted. The nostrils can be closed with the fingers in different ways. Practicing with 17 . The short pause follows. uniformly and deeply inhaled through the right nostril. six cycles can be made. After an initial period of practice. the noise is not as loud as during the inhalation. in the spinal column is intensified.of the same hand. During Mula Bandha. Now. This corresponds to one cycle. 2. To begin this exercise. If the obstruction is caused by a severe cold. in general. In the beginning. the Bandhas are added during Nadi Sodhana Pranayama. uniformly and deeply. after having inhaled (either through the left or through the right nostril) the yogi closes both nostrils. once again slowly. The inhalation lasts from six to ten seconds. During the exhalation. that is a problem of medical solution. the nostrils exchange their role. It is important to clean the nostrils before beginning the exercise. It is important not to overdo it to the point of discomfort. producing a sound/noise in the throat. and the chin tilts down toward the breast. Ujjayi Pranayama. air is slowly. the mouth must be closed. A yogi can use a mental count to make sure the time is the same for both the inhalation and the exhalation. The yogi remains now perfectly immobile and relaxed for at least five minutes. The technique consists of breathing in and out deeply through both the nostrils. amounting to a mental count of three. This exercise is normally practiced twelve times. After having inhaled through the left nostril. Uddiyana Bandha (in a simplified form useful for this exercise) consists in slightly contracting the abdominal muscles -. the exhalation is made through the left nostril.Short appendix to chapter 1: description of my first Pranayama routine Here are the practical instructions about Pranayama that I found in a couple of books acquired in those years. Then one exhales through the right nostril with the same slow. A mental count makes sure that the inhalation and the exhalation have the same duration. At this point. happens after each inhalation. closing the right nostril with the thumb.the perception of energy inside the abdominal region and. while pressing back the inferior part of the abdomen. In some cases. this allows the concentration to become deeper. After a few days practice. twelve of them. The breath is natural and calm. the yogi closes the left nostril with the right little finger and the ring finger . 1. A short pause. no Pranayama exercise should be practiced. They are followed by some considerations upon the importance of Nadi Sodhana Pranayama. Concentration exercise. during Nadi Sodhana Pranayama. Then.are contracted in an attempt to lift the abdominal muscles in a vertical way. This can be commonly done using water or inhaling eucalyptus essence and blowing the nose. so that the breath can flow smoothly. uniformly and deeply inhaled through the left nostril. Keeping the left nostril closed.between the anus and the genital organs -. there are complaints that one of the nostrils is permanently obstructed. the choice depends on the preference of the practitioner only. the respiratory action is lengthened without effort. this is Jalandhara Bandha.
They are mostly to be found when the person has closed eyes. if it is comfortable. the alpha waves are weakened. Ida (feminine in nature.). We know that there are moments of the day when we feel more externalized. this alternation is characterized by a balance between a life of positive relationships and a serene contact with one's own depths. The brain waves that interest us the most are the alpha waves (8-13 oscillations per sec. 18 . while Pingala (masculine in nature. others when we are more internalized. and in a dozy the theta waves (4-8 oscillations per sec. Unbalance between Ida and Pingala is be blamed for the lack of introversion-extroversion harmony in many people.intensity and strength of concentration. The excessively extroverted person betrays frailty in dealing with what comes up from their unconscious and might face unexpected distressing moments. In a healthy person. you'll feel a sensation of energetic current sliding up along the spinal column -. The exhalation should last twice the time necessary for the inhalation and the pause after the inhalation should be four times as long. tied to extroversion and to the state of physical activity) flows parallel to Ida on the right side. Sushumna flows in the middle and represents the experience halfway between the two: the ideal state to be achieved right before beginning the practice of meditation. is mentally relaxed.an almost ecstatic internal shiver. As we know. Hold the breath for a count of 12 Om. in due time. the more they tend to become equal. During deep sleep delta waves are predominant (1-4 oscillations per second). When the eyes are opened.). The amount of alpha waves therefore shows to what degree the brain is in a state of relaxed awareness. Remarks upon Nadi Sodhana Pranayama One book explained that Nadi Sodhana Pranayama should be practiced first because it balanced Ida and Pingala currents. but still awake and able to experience.) dominate. there are four types of brain waves. Later. or the person is distracted in some other way. Over functioning of the Ida channel results in introversion. while predominance of the Pingala leads to a state of extroversion. Nadi Sodhana creates that perfect balance which is the best condition to enter the meditation state. We can measure separately the amount of alpha waves in each part of the brain and discover that the more we practice Nadi Sodhana. Time can be measured through mental chanting of Om. tied to introversion and to the state of rest) flows vertically along the left side of the spinal column. The consequence is that the ups and downs of life seem to gang up against them in order to undermine their peaceful composure. EEG measurements have shown that the amount of alpha waves increases during meditation. retention (Kumbhaka) and exhalation. On the contrary. the excessively introverted persons tend to lose contact with the external reality. Some books quoted scientific research invigorating the good of this technique. During the long pause. between the tendency to introversion and the opposite tendency to extroversion. the three Bandhas are applied simultaneously. This scheme will be denoted as 1:4:2. and there is an increase of the faster beta waves (13-40 oscillations per sec. Exhale for a count of 6 Om. We are interested that a greater balance of alpha waves between the brain halves after Nadi Sodhana is proved. The author concluded that this exercise fosters an equilibrium between Ida and Pingala and thus. But this is well-known. one can vary the time ratio of inhalation. Inhale for a slowly count of 3 Om.
it was obvious that the Kriya four-stage system would make them greater and greater! My imagination played freely and my fervor grew. This discipline combined with a constant effort in self observation helped me in easing disharmonies and conflicts inside my disposition. This technique had to be mastered through four levels. which was first taught by Lahiri Mahasaya. By refining the ability for aesthetic enjoyment. Jung. The immediate problem was to find other texts. didn't become ever constant. guiding me along the "Individuation Process" as described by C. a kind of Pranayama. and the idea of improving it through different steps sounded amazingly wondrous: if the breathing exercises I had already practiced had given me such incomparable results. The Kundalini experience. In my dreamer heart. 19 . One thing was always clear to me: I had to choose a profession that wouldn't occupy all my day and energies. nay. It took place especially when I devoted myself to study late and then I laid exhausted on my bed. on the other hand. The simple exercise of creating a controlled flow of breath changed the course of my life. I fancied I would face the archetypes of the Collective Unconscious. I relied upon my enthusiasm. reinforcing my determination to seek only inside it the traces of the ineffable "Primeval Cause" of all things.. it filled my days with the fruition of ideal Beauty. P. my heart bubbled with infinite gratefulness to Something higher. beyond my ability of understanding and of visualizing.G. I had no doubts that the Reality I was directing my life towards was the Self as conceived by Jung. I believed that Pranayama would initiate a cleansing process of the subconscious part of my psyche. When it appeared. Lahiri Mahasaya was depicted as the incarnation of Yoga: surely there must have been something unique in his "way"! I loved Pranayama. I had no fear. and indomitable will to perfect my performance of Pranayama. How beautiful could have been living without ever betraying the truest part of ourselves! I had read that no man can undertake such a perilous venture without the guide of a trained psychologist.CHAPTER 2 I LEARN KRIYA YOGA Undertaking the practice of Pranayama was like planting a seed in the desolation of my soul: it grew into a limitless joy and matchless internal freedom.. in his autobiography hints at Kriya Yoga.. all the existing texts upon Pranayama. vigilance.Y.
seeing that I frequented their company as little as possible. What I could guess was that Kriya Yoga consisted in a way of slow and deep breathing. with unequaled will and an unexpected practical spirit. I claimed that Pranayama would harness their energies towards a balanced condition. Since they replied with politeness but didn't share my enthusiasm. The point was that the great amount of energy they squandered in this debilitating hysteria.Y. its own reward -as I was arguing -. was counterbalanced by periods in which they gave the impression of "imploding".I considered it an art in continuous refinement. I saw I had provoked only bitterness. the Kriya Pranayama burns the so20 . I was replying that their social life as a farce. lately. My words were deprived of a genuine sense of respect and love. I had actually taken advantage of my friend's past confidential admissions. They were imbued with obsessive effort of appearing always cheerful and always willing to help out. They disappeared for some time and. strange indeed. could not create anything new. as taught by physics. while the awareness was focused on the spine. They claimed that I was unable to respect and show human sympathy toward others. making it possible for me to get at some aspects of the subtle art of Kriya -. an amplifier was confusing. the only inappropriate thing to him was my excessive enthusiasm in the automatic effects of Pranayama. I had no arguments to retaliate. Guilt-ridden. in short. they could no longer put up with anyone. they had depicted me as an anti-social -. He had no doubts that my success in this practice depended wholly on me.In my beginner's boldness. in his opinion. I believed that Pranayama could help anyone to live in a better way. By uniformly redirecting all the "subtle" parts of our spinal cord's physical and astral essence. The fact that Pranayama could be an art and. which I went on extolling unflinchingly. a "Hippie". then. appeared to them as the pinnacle of egoism leading to insulation and unhealthy detachment from reality. Pranayama was not an art bringing in itself. at the same time. Only one friend. but it did whenever he assumed a more technical one. The essence of what I had found in Pranayama. I was amazed by his personality..but an "amplifier" of what you already are. Now. the action of Pranayama is akin to this process of magnetization. I insisted emphasizing in simple terms some criticizable aspects of their behavior. I felt totally disoriented. if well practiced. This generated a violent reaction. I dared to speak frankly because. of elementary magnets that turn toward the same direction when they are overlapped by a magnetic field. I was young and I categorized everything as black or white. I could not abstain from trying to convince my friends of the utility of the constant use of Pranayama. The author highlighted the evolutionary value of Pranayama. for my analysis. He explained that if we compare the human spinal column to a ferromagnetic substance constituted. not a religious engagement. He would not excite me when he spoke on a purely devotional tone. Somehow the inner energy was made to rotate around the Chakras. Furthermore. I went on reading the books by P. understood perfectly what I was saying and showed me some empathy. In his opinion. Pranayama.
I excluded a journey to India for the near future. This is because such an action is never in vain and in actual life they get back to it exactly where. since the concept of Karma lies at the basis of Indian thought. Pranayama burns out the effects of the "bad seeds" just before they manifest in our lives.) but a kind of Pranayama in which the energy had to be visualized rotating. 3 My problem was whether I had to leave or not for India to look for a teacher who would give me all the necessary clarifications.. it was very well furnished. I came to know that the correspondence course had to be continued for at least one year before applying for the Kriya lessons.Y. while. I decided to improve the exercises I had already practiced. The idea came to seek only the essential information in the esoteric books rather than in the classic books on Yoga. it is worthwhile to understand and speak freely of it. a trip to India. they quit it. without necessarily having to accept any creeds. There laid something dormant in the corner of my memory which became alive again. I came to know.Y. This would have saved me. One day. using all the books I could find -. -. Of course Kriya is a practice which one can experiment. I received the first lesson. in a book about occultism. in ecstasy and not concerned by time. that he had written a whole set of lessons on Kriya.regardless of what language in which they were written. Since I had planned to get through my university studies quickly. creating thus the prerequisite for awakening the Kundalini. It is further explained that those people who are instinctively attracted by methods of spiritual development such as Kriya. probably because it had once been the Theosophical Society's reference bookstore. in a remote past. after four months. introducing the esoteric thought of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood. I was attracted by the entry: Breathing 3 We allude to Karma whenever we stick to the common belief that a person inherits a baggage of latent tendencies from his previous lives and that.as stated by P. some drawings sketching out the profile of a person and different circuits of energy all the way throughout the body. However. 4 I can still consider myself as fortunate. in some way. around the Chakras. I quickly applied for this course. When.called "bad seeds" of Karma. now I knew what to search for: no more the classic exercises (Kapalabhati. I started going to a used books store. have already practiced something similar in a "precedent incarnation". with my great amazement.a universal process. sooner or later. 4 Meanwhile. I had good chances of tracing it through other sources and traditions. I vaguely remembered having seen. The written material traveled by ship and the delay times were enormous. I kept on skimming through those which illustrated practical exercises with clarity. 21 . While reading the index of a text which was in three volumes. and that these could be received by correspondence. According to this belief. If this had to be -. Those people who lived beyond the Iron Curtain (the nearby Yugoslavia for example) could not receive such material.. at least for some years. I turned down those texts which dealt only with philosophical topics.. while again reading a text of P. At least. Bhastrika. these tendencies are to come out in actual life. Before purchasing a book I made sure it hinted at the possibility of channeling the energy along certain internal passages.
So. Among a consistent quantity of miscellaneous material (complete series of the theosophical magazine issues. it had to go down along the front part of the body. Kriya was not to be done through the alternate-nostril breathing. I read that the Magic breath was one of the most valuable secrets of all times: if practiced constantly.Y. he must have realized that I was not satisfied of my findings. because of the risk of a premature Kundalini awakening. In another book. During a deep breath. While inhaling. I am convinced that their interests are superficial and rather emotive. that I would have studied Sanskrit or Chinese or any other language. 5 The description of this technique still amazes me. exhaling. the owner was very nice to me and I almost felt obliged (considering the cheap price and the perfect conditions of those second-hand books) to buy at least a book per each visit. This was definitely not P. The smirk of satisfaction I wore before the storekeeper holding the two books. with the help of a good dictionary. the energy had to go up behind the spinal column. a lot of space was usually reserved to theories alien from concrete life. which contained various esoteric techniques. the subtle coverings of energy wrapping our body.which consisted in visualizing the energy flowing around the backbone. when exhaling. There was also the description of two particular sounds that the air originated in the throat. the air was flowing down. if that had given me the chance to understand an essential text on Pranayama! 22 . to the center of the head. This was to be avoided by all means. according to several clues. after browsing a tiresome selection of books. I was curious about some rough drawings illustrating techniques which were based on the movement of energy.). not inside it. accompanied by the strength of 5 I cannot help smiling when some half-hearted people insist that they are fond of Kriya. among which included the Kundalini-breathing. Such was my enthusiasm. scattered notes from old course on hypnosis etc. I would undoubtedly decipher all of it at home. I did not have much familiarity with the German language. I completely forgot about the other material. there was an exhaustive description of the Magic breath -. while deciding the price. definitely caused an increase in their price. It was a variation of Nadi Sodhana.'s Kriya because. yet they will not study some crucial texts in English because they are afraid to misinterpret them. but I immediately realized the extraordinary importance of that technique. But sometimes I was very disappointed. Some notes warned not to exaggerate with the exercise.exercise for the awakening of Kundalini. Through the inhalation. he remembered something that might interest me. He led me to the rear. One day. I went on haunting the bookstore. the air was rising. I could not help skimming through the pages. I went to the storekeeper holding a book in my hand. the air was to be imagined flowing inside the spinal column. as if I had found a treasure of unfathomable value. Spiesberger. Walking home. written in German by a certain K. so. inviting me to rummage in a messy heap of papers within a carton box. which tried to describe what cannot be seen and what cannot be experienced – such as the astral worlds. I came upon a booklet. written in English.
We all know how the human mind is more conditioned by an anecdote than by a logical inference! An anecdote . I was enthusiastic about this and quivered with cheerful anticipation to meet them.it replaced the practice of Ujjayi Pranayama. sincerely eager to meet a person with whom he could share the fire of his passion. I incorporated it in my daily routine -. That night I hardly succeeded in falling asleep. no 23 . getting no positive results from the painstaking practice of his fraudulently-learned techniques. This story made me speechless. he was petrified. too frail their ethereal stuff". There was only one way of learning Kriya: being initiated by a "Minister" authorized by the direction of his own organization! According to his words. I had the opportunity to hear plenty of times . I approached him with great enthusiasm.of the Tibetan yogi Milarepa who. wrote Sri Aurobindo: I would never have thought that those words could be applied to the consequences of that meeting of mine! With a sort of sour irony. hoping. Life is made of short moments of inspiration and serenity. When he figured out how I got busy picking out a breathing technique in a book and fooling myself it was Kriya Pranayama. He emphasized that Kriya cannot be learned through books. I meet other Kriyabans A letter from the organization informed me about the existence of other people. I convinced myself that this technique had to be Lahiri Mahasaya's Kriya. I told him how fascinated I was by the practice of Kriya! He asked me right away when I had been initiated in this practice. in an alternation of vicissitudes. He welcomed me with visible enthusiasm. standing on his house's doorstep. He thought I considered Kriya Yoga a child's play and had no idea of what seriousness was. to receive more details about the Kriya technique. Visibly confused I babbled something about currents. during them.is endowed with a sort of internal "brightness" that conditions a person's common sense. showing a bitter smile of disappointment. "Too bright were our heavens. stimulating emotions and feelings.even if it is totally fanciful with fictional purpose . living not far from my place. sound of the breath.visualization. among other things. I would dare say that up to that moment. When I met the person in charge of that group. Since the very first moment of our meeting. I just did not know what to reply. Approaching this guy with a total sincerity. taking for granted that I had received the teaching from the same organization he was a member of. people experience problems. it is able to cloud people's judgment in order for them to easily accept conclusions that are absurd. my existence had been too happy for it to last that long. later on. I could not have imagined what kind of a hard shock I was about to receive. received the very same instructions kneeling at the feet of and with the benediction of his Guru .so that this time the results came out easily. it would produce a sort of internal substance allowing for the spiritual eye's vision. but he didn't want to hear anymore and ushered me in his study. He began the tale which. limitations and deformations caused by the human mind. who were practicing Kriya and had formed a meditation group. too far away.
other person was allowed to teach that technique. He, and all the other devotees of his group, had received the technique, submitting a precise and solemn promise of "secrecy". Secrecy! How odd this word sounded to me, what a strange appeal, what a mysterious fascination it exerted upon my being! Until then, I had always believed that it did not matter at all how a certain teaching was received, or what book had been read or studied in order to learn it; I thought that the only important thing was to practice it correctly, accompanied by the desire to go deeper and deeper into it. The idea began to enter my mind that it was fine to protect a precious lore from indiscreet eyes. 6 Staring into my eyes, with an enormous emotive impact, he went on saying that a practice learned from any other source was "worth nothing, it will not be effective in matters of spiritual purpose", and a possible effect might be "a dangerous illusion in which the ego remains trapped for a long time". Inflamed by an absolute faith, he launched himself into a wide digression upon the value of the "Guru" - spiritual Teacher - a puzzling concept to me because it was attributed to a person that he had not known directly. In his opinion, having been initiated to Kriya through the legitimated channels, P.Y. was real and present in his life: was his Guru. The same thing was true for the people who belonged to that group. Their Guru was a special aid sent by God Himself, therefore such an event was "the greatest luck a human being can ever have". The logical consequence - underlined with overflowing emphasis - was that, abandoning such form of aid or looking for a different spiritual path amounted to "a hateful rejection of the Divine hand, stretched out in benediction". He asked me to demonstrate for him my book-learned Kriya technique. He was naturally intrigued by curiosity and, I suppose, by the expectation to verify a well-rooted prejudice that the technique, received through illegitimate channels, could not - because of a particular spiritual law - be anything but corrupted. He smiled when he saw me breathing through the nose. Then he asked me to explain if there was something upon which I was focusing my attention during my breathing. According to the books I had read, the energy could be visualized both flowing inside the spine and around the spine. Since P.Y. wrote that a kriyaban "mentally directs his life energy to revolve, upward and downward, around the six spinal centers", I chose the second of the two possibilities and this was the version I explained. Besides, having read in another book that during Kriya Pranayama the practitioner was supposed to sing Om mentally in each Chakras, I added this detail as well. I could not imagine that P.Y. had decided to simplify the instructions and taught in the west the other variation with no mental chanting of Om. While I was telling these details to him, I saw an inner satisfaction spreading all over his face. Clearly he didn't identify my practice with the technique of Kriya
Later, during an arc of many years, I changed my opinion because I witnessed an innumerable series of absurdities originating from this behest; dramatically, I had the evidence that it brought miserable repercussions into the lives of thousands of people. 24
Pranayama he had learned. The "secret" he was bound to had not been broken by the author of my esoteric book! Pretending to feel sorry for my consequent disappointment, he informed me in an official tone that my technique had "nothing to do with Kriya Pranayama"! A really bizarre situation was taking place: I was describing for him a technique very similar to Kriya Pranayama taught by Lahiri Mahasaya while he was sarcastically simpering, one hundred per cent sure that I was talking nonsense! However, since my position was totally incompatible with his basic tenets, he recommended for me to send a written account to the direction of the organization, describing the details of my vicissitudes, hoping that they would accept me as a disciple and, in due time, grant me the sacred Initiation to Kriya Yoga. I was somewhat stunned by the tones to which our dialog was progressing. In order to re-establish the initial agreeability of our meeting, I tried to reassure him about the positive effects that I had gained from my practice. My statement actually had the effect of worsening the whole matter, giving him the chance of a second scolding, which was not totally unfair but, undoubtedly, out of place. He made clear that I should never look for any tangible effects in the practice of Kriya; much less should I display them, because in this way I would "lose them". That clever guy had gotten straight into an obvious contradiction without even realizing it; he was saying that the results were too important to risk losing them by telling others, and a few seconds before he had underlined that they were of no value whatsoever. Realizing he had given too much of his time to me, a strange metamorphosis took place in his demeanor. It was as if all of a sudden he had been invested with a sacred role: he promised that he would pray for me! For that day, at least, I had lost the "fight". I told my friend that I would follow his advice. In effects, from that moment I abandoned Pranayama entirely. My practice was restricted to simply centering my attention between the eyebrows (Kutastha) -- just as he suggested to me. Acting the Part of a Devotee As a habit, the group practicing Kriya would meet twice a week to practice the techniques together. The room devoted to meditation was bare but pleasant. Each member paid part of the rental, so that its fruition would not depend on the owner's whims and it was consecrated to an exclusively spiritual use. My attendance began in a period that I remember nostalgically; listening to Indian songs translated and harmonized for westerners and, above all, meditating together was a true joy! Everything seemed paradisiac to me, even though little time was given to the practice - no more than 20 minutes - often, scantly 15 minutes. A particularly inspiring session of collective practice took place on Christmas Eve; it was enriched by devotional songs and it lasted many hours. At the end of each meditation we were required to depart in silence, thus I began to know my new friends more closely only during the monthly "social" lunch.
It was a beautiful chance to spend some hours talking together and enjoying each other's company. Since many of us did not have their family approval and - much less - support to the practice of Yoga, the only occasion we had to spend time among people with the same ideas and interests had to be an experience of great serenity and relaxation. Unfortunately, a distinct embarrassment in our behavior spoiled the pleasantry of our meetings. The reason was that those who directed the school from a distance, had requested us not to talk about other spiritual paths or deal with specific details about Kriya. Authorized people only, could cover such a role. No one in our group could. During our gatherings, since our conversations were strictly kept on well-defined tracks, we were not able to find a topic for our conversations which would be interesting and, at the same time, respected the given rules. It was not the right place for worldly gossips, unsuitable for a spiritual group discussion. So one single topic was left: the beauty of our spiritual path and our great fortune in having discovered it! No wonder that, after some meetings of mutual "exaltation", an almost frightening boredom started to reign in the group. As a last resort, some risked entering the realm of jokes; they were not mean or insulting jokes, but a light and innocent use of some sense of humor. Unfortunately, this also had to live up to the devotional attitude kept by many of the members and eventually succumbed to their cold attitude, unable to show a single inch of true joviality. I cannot say that people were depressed, rather they seemed divinely happy, but when you tried to be agreeable you got a look and a hint of a smile that left you frozen for the rest of the day. As a matter of course, the group underwent a great recycling process; many members who had joined in with enthusiasm decided to quit after a few months and then, oddly and without deep reasons, scraped the whole experience off their consciousness. My open temperament allowed me to become close to one person and establish a bond which later became true friendship. However, it was not so easy to find what could be called a free spiritual seeker: many made a display of too much emotionally charged devotion, others, dreaming a future of solemn pageantry for our modest group, revealed attraction for religious ceremonial, others seem only social misfits. Some of them could not believe that I had no doubts or uncertainties about the Kriya path and reacted to my enthusiasm with annoyance. They considered my euphoria the typical attitude of an immature beginner. Even trying to do my best in order to convince myself that I was among individuals with the same passions, I had to acknowledge that the reality was different! With a barely concealed impatience of receiving some elucidation about the technique of Kriya, I tried on different occasions to discuss what had been my book-learned practice of it. I hoped that someone, making some oblique remark about it, would help me to guess the exact Kriya Pranayama technique. No "courting" could extract from them even a crumb of information. Each one repeated that he was "not authorized to give out any explanations": this rule was strictly respected. An old kriyaban told me: "When you receive Kriya, you will be
disappointed". Still today I don't know what he meant. While I was continuously receiving unasked lessons of devotion, humility and loyalty, my interest for Kriya became a real craving, a burning fever. I could not understand the reason for which I had to wait for it for such a long time: my great anticipation turned, sometimes, into a fruitless anguish. A kriyaban making fun of me with an unconcealed cruelty, told me: "They won't give you the Kriya at all; a devotee should not desire a technique with such intensity: that's neither good nor wise. God is to be mostly found through devotion and surrender". I tried to behave like a good disciple; deep down, I waited with eagerness and dreamed. By studying the correspondence course, I learned different ways of creating healthy habits in order not to disturb, rather to foster the blossoming of my spiritual experiences. I tried my utmost to embrace the school's peculiar Hindu-Christian religious vision. It was easy for me to admire and cherish the figure of Krishna, imagining Him as the quintessence of every beauty; later I became acquainted with the figure of the Divine Mother, who was not the Madonna, but a sweetening of the idea of the goddess Kali. My affection for P.Y.'s writings was genuine. Sometimes I considered a particular thought of P.Y. so appealing and perfect that I would write it down on a sheet of paper and hold it on my desk. Preliminary Techniques to Kriya I received also the two techniques Hong so and Om. The first one (called HongSo because of the employed Mantra) eases off the breath and the whole psychophysical system; the second one concerns itself with the listening to internal (astral) sounds melting into the Om sound. I didn't receive these instructions at one time, but after an interval -- the latter two months after the first one. In this way I had the unique and splendid opportunity to concentrate on the first technique for many weeks; only then would the combination of the two techniques come, the first in the morning and a total immersion in the second at night. Thus, I could experiment with the meaning and beauty of each one. Our group received the visit of an elderly lady who had corresponded with P.Y. himself. Thanks to her earnestness, sincerity and long-time loyal discipleship, she had been authorized to help us in the practice of meditation. Her temperament was very sweet and more inclined to understanding rather than to censorship. She demonstrated us the so-called "Recharging Exercises" (I had already learned them from the written lessons). These exercises were similar to isometric stretches and were practiced standing; peculiar to them was the fact that the strength of the concentration directed the Prana in all the parts of the body. Then she reviewed the Hong So technique. She went on clarifying that the Hong So technique was not easy at all, in spite of its apparent simplicity; but, encouraging us with a smile, she concluded: "The technique contains all you need to come into contact with the Divine Essence". Then she dwelled on the Om technique. She explained that P.Y. had tried
the results obtained through the intensive practice of the Om technique were very sound. as if it were a drawback to being fully sociable. when I decided to interrupt this state of grace. I cannot define it. the "witness". an internal sun. makes it possible to detect this vibration. this technique was destined to give me good results by ideally establishing a connection between each breath and a different Chakra -. I learned the hard way that you should never detach yourself voluntarily from that contact. When my breath almost disappeared. Unfortunately. one can reach the highest reality. There was a time in my life. just when I returned to my state of full awareness after having been lost into some sweet reverie. It had been plainly described in the books of classical Yoga. where it seems impossible that the sounds will manifest. I cannot imagine something similar making a person feel so fine. where I led a cloistered existence. On the other end." 28 .. Incredulous." It is a good preparation for Kriya since instead of putting the accent on "to do". it seemed like the tolling of a bell echoing at dusk from the deep green of woody hills. in a few days I felt hopelessly 7 This technique does not belong to those included in the original Kriya Yoga. it teaches the attitude of "perceiving. where the internal sounds perception happens without closing the ears. a proof of the vibration of energy sustaining the universe. through meditation. I didn't realize that this seemingly innocuous and instinctive "betrayal" would make me unable to tune with the Omkar reality for a very long time. the evening coming early helped my seclusion and strengthened my determination of turning on. By listening to it. It happened after ten minutes of calm effort. it became the feeble sound of a musical instrument playing far away. called Nada Yoga "the Yoga of the sound. 7 The lady's explanation was characterized by such a sacred flavor that it accompanied me for the following weeks. Later on. It is not an invention by P. This Om technique I was going to learn. a sound. Om is the "Amen" of the Bible .Y. For the first time in my life the concept of "devotion" had a meaning. One day I believe I was listening to the Om internal sound.the Divine awareness beyond every existing thing in the universe. but it was like nearing Beauty itself. the "Father" -.to explain the teaching of the Trinity in a new way. while I was relaxing and enjoying life. Meaningful results didn't appear through the Hong So technique practiced as per the correspondence course. I remember nostalgically my time in that slightly illuminated room. At the end of one's spiritual journey. Thanks to it.the "Holy Ghost". This sound was going on during my mental roaming but only now I was realizing its nature. it is also possible to be guided toward the experience of the "Son" the Divine awareness that is present inside the above-mentioned energetic vibration.but I will write about this in the third part of the book. discovered by the mystics long ago. helping me overcome the beginning of the practice. The rainy days of the last part of the year. One day I became aware of a clear inner sound. It was like the humming of a mosquito. Some weeks of zealous practice passed off without a single result.
the moment came to file the application form to receive the Kriya instructions by mail. even at the most extravagant weddings. On the other end. consequently. whereas the proper complete technique would be sent within five weeks. like me. who had just arrived from abroad. This story caused me no perplexity at all: perhaps I had no time to think about it. lining up with a solemn attitude and their hands joined in prayer. together with his benediction". I remember a lady wondering if P. The introduction to the ceremony happened in a magnificent way: about thirty people wearing a sober uniform entered the room. every day I hoped to receive the coveted material.had really accepted her as a "disciple" and. About four months passed by. A beautiful room had been rented for the ceremony at a very high price and embellished for the occasion with lots of flowers. I understood it was the first of a weekly series.Y. an envelope arrived.definitely unable to give any confirmation. The two teachers. I was anxious to listen to the explanation of the technique that would have happened in a short time.Y. I accepted without objections their demand of swearing everlasting devotion not only to the Guru P.extraneous to that sweet reality. It happened that in the meantime a Minister of that organization visited our country and I could take part in the ceremony of initiation. After waiting for months. Recollections of the Kriya Initiation Ceremony Eventually. it was high time that I came "to make an eternal pact with the Guru. I opened it with an expectation that I would not be able to describe: I remained deeply disappointed because it contained ulterior introduction material.Y. for another month. to be laden with her Karma. finally. to consider the whole mission of Kriya diffusion as originated 29 . It would have been really strange if no one had doubts about this. Those who. . were ready to be initiated were about one hundred in number. to be taught the Kriya techniques in the only legitimate way. I would have to study just the usual nursery rhymes I already knew by heart. So. now being a long-time resident in the astral world . I struggled for the purpose of retrieving the lost deep emotions. From the first index page of the material. walked meekly and bewildered behind them. of this chain Lahiri Mahasaya was an intermediary link while P. such as I have never seen in my life. We had been assured that Christ was part of this chain because He had once appeared to Babaji (Lahiri Mahasaya's Guru) asking Him to send some emissaries to the West to spread the Kriya lore. was the so-called Gurupreceptor. namely the one who would partially bear the burden of our Karma. It was explained to me that those people belonged to the local group whose leader was a stylist who had prepared the choreography of that triumphant entrance. but also to a six-master chain. I was like one who has landed in another continent and has to live in environments that mean nothing to him. Then the ceremony began. This went ahead for months until my soul confronted again with the motivations that led me to the spiritual path and saw clearly that my stupid decision had been a monumental mistake.
I was not disappointed.'s writings. the fastest and safest way. in addition. Finally. The only "correct" action that was fair to do was to contact the management of the school. I believed they were "channels" through which the blessings of the Guru flowed. which exclusively possessed an inner body with seven Chakras. the technique appeared perfect to me. The explanation of the techniques Maha Mudra and Jyoti Mudra (they never used the more common term Yoni) concluded the technical instructions. I often repeated to myself the sentence (quoted in AOY) by Lalla Yogiswari: "What acid of sorrow have I not drunk? Countless my rounds of birth and death. Problems with the Routine I am not able to express the emotion and feeling of sacredness which characterized my practice of Kriya Pranayama. I would instinctively look for their advice as if it were given by perfect beings that could never be wrong. the humans. I have already explained that I had not taken into serious consideration that procedure. Each technique's detail was explained in such a way that it would not allow for the smallest variation and. I found out that I already knew it: it was the Kundalini-breathing technique. It was taken for granted that if the least amount of doubt on the correctness of a certain detail had arisen during the practice. along an elliptical circuit". nobody was encouraged – even vaguely – to conduct an experiment and come to a conclusion by himself. Lo! naught but nectar in my cup quaffed by the art of breath. Besides. it was the crowning of a definitive choice! My heart was immensely happy at the thought of the inner joy that I would gain through the practice of Kriya. in order to safeguard a family tradition. which I had found a long time ago in my esoteric readings and which prescribes that the energetic current flows all the way inside the spinal column. it was written that the energy had to be rotated "around the Chakras. This. owing to the fact that in P.even if they would not admit it out of humility . The Kriya technique embodied God's most effective blessing toward His privileged creature. The mystic seven-step ladder of the Chakras was the real highway to salvation.Y.they had already reached the highest level of spiritual realization." 30 . which were the basis for my first glimpses of the mechanism of Kriya Pranayama. was what I always did. a specific routine was warmly recommended. I was quietly confident that .from Christ himself was a pleasant idea. During the day or before sitting down to practice it. in effect. It was not what might be called a "sacrament" that I was submitting to. My mind was in great expectation for something I had so strongly desired and for which I had seriously been preparing myself for months. being taught the Kriya Pranayama. I learned to interact with the "authorized" individuals only. tell them the problem and receive further guidelines. Rather.
that friend again and get back to where the conversation had previously ended. Sometimes I bitterly ask myself: "Why P. let us say. These problems could have been easily resolved if I had used common sense. which Ujjayi Pranayama cannot give. Yet. The sound of Om was the mystic experience itself. could become a limitation for those who are able to practice a great number of Kriya breaths. the two preliminary techniques did not receive the attention they deserved. I would have touched the sky with one finger.I am referring to being able to listen to astral sounds (and Om sound) without closing the ears. But if you want to go beyond that number. Kriya Pranayama as PY taught it in the years 1930s is indeed a masterpiece. After Jyoti Mudra. I am sure that if I had practiced Kriya in the way P. The breathing was supposed to become more relaxed and create a good state of concentration. Then there would follow another interruption because of the Maha Mudra.This intensified my enthusiasm. as if. taught during the thirties (adding the chanting of Om in the Chakras) I would have obtained better results -. recognizing a friend with joyous surprise among a crowd. it is so fine to add the mental chanting of Om in the Chakras. It was illogical. 31 . after putting the forearms on a support. 14-24 breaths. Eventually. having always kept alive that ardent belief. far more beautiful than what certain schools now offer as "original Kriya. the Kriya Pranayama began with rigorous respect to all the instructions. why should I interrupt that sublime attunement to regain it through another technique? Perhaps because Kriya Pranayama was a higher procedure? Higher? What on earth does that mean? It is complete nonsense! I forced myself into such absurdity for an extremely long period. Then. interrupting it in order to practice the Maha Mudra and Pranayama." If I had received that teaching instead of the simplified version. looking back in time. The same happened with the procedure of the second technique. the listening to the internal sounds began -this would require about the same time. The received technique was very good for. the Kriya routine would be concluded with a full ten-minute concentration on the Kutastha. the thought that I should soon interrupt it to start the Om technique brought about a disturbing feeling. hampering my whole surrender to its beauty. to absorb the results of the whole endeavor. The technique of listening to Om was a complete "universe" in itself and led to the mystic experience: that is why its interruption was something worse than a simple disturbance. while the time devoted to the final concentration was too short. one begins talking with him and suddenly goes away with the hope to meet. yielded to the temptation of simplifying it"? A simpler technique can be a delight for most people but.Y. 8 I had some problems which I am going now to discuss. quite by chance. I am 8 After much experimenting which happened in the following years and considering also the reports of some sincere friends who tried out different forms of Kriya Pranayama. setting back in a still and stiff position to restore the feeling of sacredness. During the Hong-So technique. In my practical experience. The first exercise to be practiced was the observation of the breath (the Hong-So technique) and this had to last ten to fifteen minutes. when it is cruelly and foolishly private of vital points.Y. strengthening my determination to perfect unceasingly my Kriya path. the goal I sought. I must objectively admit that the results were not different from those gotten through the practice of the simpler technique of Ujjayi Pranayama.
Looking back to those times.) to extract from the depths of their psyche any trace of religious attitude. While their effort in practicing the meditation techniques in a deep way was not remarkable. the idea of using my brain seemed to me an act of stupid arrogance. much too different from their quietness. Her remark cut me deeply. convocations. to the point that it crossed my mind that he was mentally unstable). I went on without changing the prescribed routine. was a cause of real conflict.. these new kriyaban friends seemed to censor my excessive interest in techniques.. while others were not able to understand what I was saying. in the end. I wonder what those people's opinion about my impatient attitude might have been. she pretended to listen attentively to me. There were moments in which. I became acquainted with an elderly kriyaban. Sometimes I noticed an enormous and unreasonable resistance toward such a discussion. many of my friends went on mechanically performing what many times had become an empty ritual. Apart from this. I could not conceive the idea of leaning passively upon the protection of a saint who solved all one's problems.even if they had known him only from photos . They called the solidity of their surrender to such ideal: "Bhakti" – devotion. I realized how hard it was for them to talk about such things. Such was the power of that insanity that in our group was called "loyalty". I must acknowledge that unfortunately I had become like one of those animals that. and his organization. claiming that devotion was much more important.Y. since it was not my intention to teach her anything: my purpose was to have a rational talk which could be inspiring for both. We saw each other in the last years of his life. they tried with any external means (readings. At that time. My approach to the spiritual path was really different from theirs and there was no hope of reaching a point of contact. worthy of the maximum respect and admiration. There were those who were not satisfied with their practice but planned to try it again in the future (at that time they would postpone listening to my reasoning). what sort of friendship can exist between two persons when one uses that mode of expression? To pass by such episodes one after the other confirmed the idea that not being encouraged to trust the limpidity of self observation.embarrassed to confess that it lasted no less than three years. Often they referred to a concept that I could hardly link to the practice of Yoga: the paramount importance of loyalty toward P. Talking with a lady who was a friend of our family for many years. together with others I had experienced in that school. They impregnated it with the natural heart's affection for their Guru . which would appease their conscience. With the exception of one person (who harbored really strange ideas about the spiritual path. she brutally declared she already had a Guru and did not feel the need of another one. any scrap of spiritual aspiration. This fact.obtaining thus the resolution of a lifelong commitment. tend to forget how to be self-sufficient. who began the Kriya path many years before. In my sensibility. devotional chanting. a common ground. When I tried to discuss this problems with other kriyabans. fed by man. hoping for a hypothetical future evolution of an unclear situation. knowing 32 .
I felt a giant wave of inexplicable nostalgia which was ready to overwhelm me. this axiom was the frame-work upon which he had been interweaving his thought. The problem was that perhaps this attainment had become more important than meditation. like a religious ritual which had to be performed scrupulously just to give proof of loyalty. How wretched it had been for my friend. their subtle vibration.not because of consanguinity. "Self realized". I always met him for short and transient afternoons. I was witness to an inexorable process that brought him to the point of living only on the warm rays coming from the memory of a glance and a simple nod once received from the person who was head of the Kriya organization and the spiritual successor of P. Now that he lives no more.he had practiced the techniques of meditation. the belief that his supreme good depended on a human loving glance coming from the person he felt as divine! He had made the unfortunate mistake to believe that the eternal spiritual source in the center of his being would dry out when he was far from the blessings of the one person toward 33 . But my companion seemed irremediably spellbound by the idea of "transmission of power". He had given his full approval to the idea that on this planet there were special people. In a dimension of utter authenticity. He was already dreaming of future incarnations in which he could practice with great engagement. I wonder if the intuition of the transforming power of Kriya was not strongly hindered or made even impossible by emphasizing through constant barrage of anecdotes the greatness of certain persons who are "impudently" saintly. He was convinced that spiritual progress cannot happen except through receiving this "power". was undeniable. Nevertheless. but so slow to be practically negligible. His supreme dream was always to create a friendly tie with that divine being. It was normal that he felt the highest respect for that human channel who was officially invested by the mission for transmitting their particular "benediction". as if suspended around us. the Kriya techniques were. He explained that in all great mystical traditions the strength of the great Teachers of the past. into the deification process of this however inspiring figure. achieved through Kriya. whom he felt as the epitome of his ideal of perfection. Unfortunately. For various reasons this was inevitable.Y. To this he was sweetly resigned. as a non-stop chain. walking and quietly speaking. he had no doubts that. one day he vented all of his gloom. and irreparably common people. majestic.so he said -. Strange to say. but it remained curbed. He expressed something that years before he would not have even dared to think: the presumed evolution of the individual.the total loneliness in which he lived. could constitutes the death of his spiritual adventure. in this life. perfect. I tried to convince him that to slip into an uncritical personality cult. he had certainly missed the "target". it broke my heart to remain months without seeing him. is still present in their descendants -. the idea of an automatic evolution determined by iron mathematic laws remained in him as an instinctive reflex and he would continue to repeat it while addressing people inquiring about Kriya. Looking at how superficially -. It was reasonable then that he had tried to achieve a place of importance in their heart.. but through the transmission of their "power". for him.
not made as a result of two or more objects striking one another.1448/1494 Maghar) and Guru Nanak (1469 Nankana Sahib . Rabindranath Tagore. It is invisible. God is not the universe but the universe is part of God.1539 Kartarpur) is very inspiring. "And his feet like unto fine brass." (Guru Nanak). It is. "Seek the Sound that never ceases. There is no doubt that Saint John of the cross heard the typical rushing waters sound of the Om vibration. Islam gave him the absolute monotheism . And the Word was with God and the Word was God" (St. animate or inanimate. since it is the bridge between the physical and the astral world. "The Sound is inside us. rediscovered the reliability of his teachings. "Shabda". In the last century. it is made and sustained by God's vibration. Kabir conceived Islam and Hinduism as two roads converging toward a unique goal: he was always convinced of the possibility of overcoming the barriers that separate these two great religions. Their teachings overlapped perfectly. and a host of little birds seem to be whistling. When I arrived. John's Gospel)." (Shams-i Tabrizī).the strength of fighting all the forms of idolatry and the 34 . "Nada Brahman". not to cultivate any extreme approach to the spiritual discipline. Kabir taught not to renounce to life and become a hermit. P. He did not seem to base his teaching upon the authority of the holy writings. rather. there are flutes. the great mystic poet of Calcutta. Kabir. the "silent music". There were deep similarities with the experiences and thought of Lahiri Mahasaya. Sound plays a vital role in all the mystical traditions. from within. was a great mystic.this beautifully appears in Kabir's saying: "One day my mind flew as a bird in the sky. the form and the formless. the "sounding solitude". wrote the great mystic Rumi." Om sound is the "unstruck" sound (Anahata) . a sound not coming to the human ear from outside of the body but. since He resided in the Saints!" Hinduism gave Kabir the concept of reincarnation and the law of Karma. Muslim of origin. dogmas and ignorance .like a fire fed by continuous care. conceived beyond name and form.whom he had directed the warm aspiration of his heart. and entered the heavens. I saw that there was no God. he shunned the religious rituals. seek the sun that never sets". Short appendix to chapter 2: readings on the experience of Om sound In that happy period of my life I tried tracking down in spiritual literature any movement or eminent figure who had a link with the subject: "Om" -. "Pranava". because it weakens the body and increases pride. "In the beginning was the Word. where the soul is said to have its special seat.Y. and his voice as the sound of many waters" (Revelation 1:15). in fact. Whatever is manifest in the physical. an illiterate weaver. That God has to be recognized inside of one's own soul . Wherever I look I find it. the conscious and the unconscious. an extraordinary singer of the Divine. He gave a splendid description of his meeting with the "resounding rivers". not in the ears.the sound of Om is referred to in literature also as "Omkar". as if they burned in a furnace. Teresa of Avila in her book "The Interior Castle" wrote: "It roars like many big rivers with waterfalls. the power of his poetry and made beautiful translations of his songs into English. burning all the resistances. taught that the Divine essence sustains this universe through the Om vibration. open to the vedantic and yogic influence. "The universe was manifested out of the Divine Sound. The poems and sentences ascribed to him are expressed in a particularly effective language that remains permanently emblazoned in the reader's memory. from It came into being the Light. The literature about Kabir (1398 Benares . astral or causal worlds. but in the upper part of the head.
the confluence of the Ganga and Jamuna. therefore the householder's life was considered an impediment and an entanglement. the Chakras. nor in visiting burial places.caste system. 9 It is also 9 The Sikh religion is founded on the teachings of Guru Nanak and nine successive Gurus. In his teachings there are hints on the possibility of listening to an ineffable internal melody ( Omkar) and to taste the nectar (Amrit). Asceticism is not mere words. in Guru Nanak's teaching." (Kabir). asceticism is to remain pure amidst impurities!" Traditionally. but it is vital to keep it constantly in our consciousness as a living presence. It is interesting that the key 35 . God must be seen through "the inward eye". According to him this Shabda-Om dispels all doubts and difficulties. or in having a walking staff. he says that there is a garden full of flowers in our body. "Asceticism doesn't consist in ascetic robes. His teaching demanded an entirely new approach. While a full understanding of God is beyond human beings. It penetrates the inner and the outer and leads you away from illusion. he described God as not wholly unknowable. Regarding his concept of Shabda." "It is a music without strings which plays in the body. orthodox modes of worship and from the priestly class. Kriya Yoga is the faith of Kabir and Guru Nanak: a monotheistic religion where the ''single God'' is substituted by Omkar! All the other names given to the Last Reality (also used by Lahiri Mahasaya in his diaries) are entirely useless words. at the conclusion of all my readings. born in the silence of introspection. He disapproved ascetic practices and taught instead to remain inwardly detached whilst living as a householder. Omkar is the final goal of Kriya and the unique essence which percolates through all its phases. ephemeral wraps imposed by the human mind. On calm reflection. and an endless beauty can be contemplated if the awareness is established into the ''thousand-petal Lotus''. "Who is there playing upon a flute in the middle of the sky? The flute is being played in trikuti (eyebrows center). they are all hypnotized by the nada. it is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. He made a deliberate attempt to cut off his disciples completely from all the ritualistic practices. the spoken language of northern India. His disregard for Sanskrit suggested that his message was without reference to the existent Holy scriptures. sought in the "heart": he emphasized the revelation of this to be achieved through meditation. is the compass needle. The sound emanates from the north! Cowherd girl. I thought I could relate this to the Omkar teaching. He was bewitched by the beauty of creation and considered the panorama of nature as the loveliest scene for worship of the Divine. I conceived the Kriya path as a process of refining. I found the full meaning of the yogic practice in him. in successive stages. One has the impression he gave a unique meaning to the concept of monotheism. Beloved Guru Nanak gave the same teaching. the divine call present in each man's body. A monotheistic religion having the Omkar Reality as the ''single God'' existed. Kutastha is revealed to us. hear the sound of the flute and lo. considered a derivation of Sikhism. our attunement with Omkar. By following it. which can be translated as "Word" (the word of the Master). He expressed his teachings in Punjabi. the world became the arena of spiritual endeavor. Om. In contrast. release from the bondage of the world was sought as the goal. was well known and was the Radhasoami faith.
resting their elbows on the knees or using an arm prop. had belonged to this movement." (John 1:1) The Sound vibration. the concept of Guru-Parampara is emphasized. Before listening to the sound and seeing the light.teacher) activates this Shabda which becomes the inner Satguru stationed at the third eye of the disciple. and the Word was God. is a dialog between God in the form of Krishna and the warrior prince Arjuna.'s teachings will read with shivers of surprise what is the very foundation of his spiritual life.referred to as Sant Mat (Path of the Saints).Y. molding all things animate and inanimate. In this way.it was exactly the same teaching. This is a practical teaching of how to listen to the inner sound of Omkar -. all his disciples. They practice the couple of techniques Hong So and Om which embody the principles of Radhasoami. they affirmed that this Shabda was the Word referred to in the Bible: "In the beginning was the Word. Every kriyaban who feels a strong tie with P.'s organization. to the extent that one can interpret God as the Universe itself. The spiritual power of a Guru is transmitted after his Mahasamadhi by an uninterrupted series of authorized representatives.Y. If this is true. distinctive feature of Sikhism is a non-anthropomorphic concept of God. first he would pay respect to the Guru. A disciple could never break off the sacred connection with the Guru under any circumstances. the transmission of mystical power (Diksha) happens just like the Guru were physically present. either using the classic squatting position. appears to them at the moment of death in order to introduce them to God.. In some Kriya literature it is written that P. I studied it enthusiastically because everything I read reminded me of the writings of P. students of Kriya Yoga. Radhasoami extols the role of the Guru. a valuable sign of gratitude to his Guru. the living Satguru (Sat . The "word" is the "Sound Current". It was explained that during initiation. some groups move Prana up and down the spine. the dynamic force of creative energy that was continuously being sent out from the Supreme Being at the dawn of the universe's manifestation throughout the ages. the Bhagavad Gita. In Radhasoami thinking this relationship is elaborated in great detail -. then for all intents and purposes. One of the main Hindu texts. This role is so important that there is a saying that if the devotee were presented to the Guru and God. There is no doubt that the concept of Guru has a special place in Indian thought. Guru . could be listened to through Surat Shabda Yoga. Some combine the listening to the inner sounds with the attempt to taste nectar (Amrit) by sticking the tongue to the roof of the mouth.exactly in the same way I heard from my Kriya organization.Y. the "Audible Life Stream" or the "Essence of the Absolute Supreme Being".true. A formal recognition of this fact includes the Gurudakshina.! With the same words of P. Their dialog summarizes the ideal relationship between Guru and disciple.Y. 36 . since the Guru had been instrumental in leading him to God. The Om technique is practiced by Radhasoami groups covering their ears and eyes. with the same words that I received from my Kriya organization! Surat means "soul.. In the Radhasoami literature. A Guru takes on himself part of the karma of the disciple." Shabda means "word". and the Word was with God. Through its inner Light one comes to "know God". are part of Radhasoami fede without being aware of that. which is given to the authorized representative leading the structured initiation ceremony.
Strange to say . there was a lady. she lost such written material and never asked a copy of it. who received Kriya initiation many years ago and had once lived by our school's general offices. I could finally apply for receiving that instruction.curious what you're doing) I avoided outdoor practice. wrote that the Second Kriya Yoga enables the yogi to leave his body consciously at will. I wondered what more important matters they had to discuss. When I received the last lesson of the correspondence course. I asked if she had received the Second Kriya. with the danger of being taken aback by someone passing on the nearby -. to be practiced regularly in order to awaken Kundalini).Y.. In plain English. utilizing all my endurance stamina built during the past efforts with the Om technique. in her opinion. I contacted that elderly lady who taught me the preliminary techniques and was officially invested as a "Meditation Counselor".Y.. never took place. wrote that it was an important technique. So. I was sure that practicing with such a procedure would have a strong effect on my spiritual evolution. many written details were ambiguous and no direct initiations were ever given. I went ahead. Having doubts about how perform at the best the technique of Second Kriya and because I was uncertain about how Kechari Mudra had to be obtained (P.) Subsequently. "Strong" doesn't convey the right idea: the love that I then experienced towards the Divine was something amazingly baffling for what I knew was my personality and nature. She didn't seem to understand my question.in my opinion. I had the impression that the idea itself of a further technique to be added in time to the too many already received and practiced daily. Among the kriyabans in the meditation group. having had plenty of opportunities to do so. To be instructed in such a delicate mechanism was one of my dreams. She was unable to clarify my technical doubts. the promised results. just as I did. then a second one. perhaps she knew less than me about that subject.Y. with astonishment.she had never had them checked by direct disciples of P. Swami Pranabananda. like perceiving the color of each Chakra in the screen of Kutastha. typically pertaining to the technique. saying that the quotation clearly referred to the technique of Pranayama: one breath. Apparently. She became visibly nervous.Y. upset her. (Since I knew she had spent much time talking with direct disciples of P. I reminded her that Lahiri Mahasaya's disciple. I felt my legs give way. and this had to be. It was as if she felt she had made so great an effort in setting the habit of a daily practice of the 37 . Unfortunately. accompanied the moment of his death with the practice of the Second Kriya. Some strong experiences began to verify in the spine. the "Second Kriya"! I looked at her with a meek and piercing look.CHAPTER 3 THE BREATHLESS STATE P. Despite this. Because of the dynamics of this technique (employment of an armrest in order to keep the ears comfortably closed with the fingers. She had learned the Higher Kriyas years ago and only in written form. an unforgivable negligence . this technique wasn't producing the expected results.
I had still not recovered from the "shock". dissolving thereafter any restless of the breath in a sweet mental Pranayama. a long time ago. that an aristocratic-looking lady revealed to me that. I know that. who had more important affairs in mind and who was very irritable. The disappointment was bitter. after some time. she looked at me in bewilderment as if my impertinence had violated an implicit law: do not impudently enter the intimate dimension of her Sadhana. she had received the initiation in the socalled Higher Kriyas. in the hope of achieving such state through them.) Since I read that these techniques led to the experience of astral Samadhi. then briskly cut off discussion from that topic.Y. I had to learn a fundamental lesson: never end a Kriya routine with techniques requiring movement! (When. up to this day. I was tranquil and waited. This last abomination was inconceivable to me: unintentionally she had revealed to me the lowest place in which she had pushed what P. had written. Since I decided not to give up. I changed the routine and had these techniques followed by a further practice of Kriya Pranayama. He said he would clarify my doubts as soon as possible. The greatest failure happened when I added them to my routine. formality. a Minister who would soon come to our country. I didn't even attempt to clarify my doubts by addressing to old kriyabans. Her self-satisfied ignorance passed off for humbleness. my eyes opened widely. I wrote to the school management to schedule an appointment with one of its representatives. I was convinced that hypocrisy. He was emphatic not to talk about Kechari Mudra and with regard to the head movements of Thokar. He declared 38 . Difficulties with the Printed Material Related to the Higher Kriyas After one year I received the lessons about the Third and the Fourth Kriya. Yet. I was left in dismay when I figured out that the Minister kept on postponing our meeting without valid reasons at all. I got only restlessness and sense of nausea. I hoped to clarify everything on that occasion and was looking forward to that appointment with great anticipation. the sensation I had was akin to meeting a business man. When I expressed my objection that her behavior seemed an exhibition of indifference toward the higher teachings taught by her Guru. Full of enthusiasm. I went through something truly unpleasant. we finally met.First Kriya. bureaucracy. crossed the bounds of decency. she has remained fixed in her conviction. that she could not bring forth a more engaging dedication. She replied saying that what she had was enough. he advised me brutally to restrict my practice to the First Kriya. When the Minister arrived I was introduced to him. I replied I would surely keep in consideration his advice. in spite of that I wanted to see how to move my head correctly in order to practice that technique in a hypothetical future. hidden falsity and subtle violence to one's honesty were totally alien to one who devoted his life to practicing and teaching Kriya. all started working again in the best of the ways. after a couple of years. She said she had felt so unworthy that she had put them aside and. I put them at the last place. she had forgotten them entirely.
Another part of myself. I had to learn to be content with the basic teachings. about so many people that according to her were disappointed or found just drugs or lost the grace of their Guru-disciple relationship. I had the sensation that some tears were going to form in his blissful eyes (it was not a bizarre feeling. The lady "Meditation Counselor" who was in another city blamed me for having made the interview with the Minister a troublesome event. She finally said firmly.that I was overexcited and this was not a good mark for a kriyaban (. which. I related my impressions to her. I had trusted and respected the school. in response to 39 . some flowers and packets of incense were put before it. I shifted my attention to a particular photograph of P. taken on the day of his death. however in her sweet way. I was in an atrocious mental and emotional state. I tried to reason with her about my right and duty to explore all the possible sources. I could not accept any invitation to calm myself and drop the whole matter. There are childish thoughts that emerge in difficult moments: I was afraid that this man. In those moments of silence. I was now consternated to bear witness to the senseless whims of a man on power.. I didn't understand. saying something that might have reduced the probability for me to obtain that coveted information in the future. might speak unfavorably of me. that the Minister's advice embodied God's will.Y. She was astonished that her many words and scolding proved useless. communicating back to the management of the school. I was only in a desperate and deeply disappointed mood). was intimately relishing the whole situation. annoyed.. for so many years. Should it be polluted. knew that this destructive experience would be turned into something crucial both for me and for other people's spiritual improvement. Those who saw me immediately after this meeting were shocked: they said I was unrecognizable. It slipped out of my mouth a very strong sentence of which I was then surprised: "Should I receive a Kriya teaching from the worse criminal in the world. awakened from too long a sleep by means of a healthy "kick in the butt". When we met. I would be able to turn it into gold. which the group's rules had not been able to stifle entirely. She said with a sigh that my logic was originated from a wounded ego. She mumbled something about India. After the interview with that ill-disposed figure. The selflearned enthusiast of Pranayama. he recommended me to write my questions to the school's head. A devotee with a honeyed voice suggested that I got an important earful from Gurudeva. had represented my horizon. I discussed the project of leaving for India in order to improve my Kriya. other people told me they had the same impression). It was framed nicely. In vain I replied that the movements of the head could not be shown through a letter: I was in front of a "wall" and the refusal was absolute. I had studied the whole reference literature as if preparing for a university exam. I feared I could no longer rely on the heavenly relationship with that Kriya organization. I would have the intuition to separate the wheat from the chaff". She mentioned the fact that some students found in a well known Kriya Ashram a teacher who gave them Kriya initiation without any authorization and who gave techniques that had nothing to do with Kriya.
those in which he would be lost.. She told me what happened when one of his disciples decided to leave P. the disciple would return to the same path.'s life. she soberly uttered: "You have to consider it a warning: the Guru is not content with you"! There was not the least doubt that she was not joking at all. was a "presence" in her life. She went on explaining that the intelligence is a double-edged weapon: it can be used to eliminate the swelling of ignorance and also to cut off abruptly the lifeblood that sustains the spiritual path.. Looking into her beautiful but sad eyes.one was the 40 .which she became so serious and. At that time I realized how P. I didn't accept vetoes. The lady said that her Guru had been really accurate on the number of incarnations that the whole discouraging trip would have taken to be over – about thirty! The moral of this story was clear. Then she lost herself talking about discipline. Although remaining faithful to my Kriya organization.ordering him not to interfere with the disciple's freedom. in which he would keep on seeking – amid innumerable sufferings. loyalty. then had branched out on his own opening another Kriya school: a "traitor" to her. For a long time I hoped to find in some book clues which could help me to clarify my doubts concerning the practice of the Higher Kriyas . with her eyes pointed far off toward an indefinite spot. I am very thankful to her for all her sincere efforts and time spent with me. jumping from one error to another – the path he was then relinquishing. although she never met him in person! She spoke at length. when he heard an inner voice .Y.she was dismayed. By telling me of one or other episodes of P. for about an hour.Y. aware of this. That monk at least on one point was right: I was not calm at all. something from which one could not escape: I just had to follow what I had been advised and not to look elsewhere "because that was God's will". uninterruptedly. she tried to let me share her experiences.. Although she admired the earnestness with which I was making progress – unlike so many other tepid and half-hearted people who would go to her only to be reloaded with the motivation they could not find in themselves . I remember particularly an anecdote that wanted to illustrate that everything the organization through its representatives asked me came directly from God. She compared him to the angel Lucifer. I didn't follow her suggestions. Then she spoke about a disciple of P. in the end. beautiful and intelligent.'s Ashram. who had been formerly part of the direction of the organization. I would lose myself in a labyrinth of enormous sufferings and who knows when I would be able to get back to the correct path. If I had not done so. rather I would never be calm any more. but how could she thwart my inner nature? She did only what was in her power: she could not relieve my immense thirst for knowledge of the art of Kriya. I was determined to know Kriya inside out and nobody could stop me with any motivation. got in the disciple's way to stop him. Then.Y. I had the clear impression that she was permanently expecting me to act in a somewhat "disloyal" way. because her devotion toward the Guru was totally alien to me. The Guru obeyed and in a flash of intuition foresaw all the disciple's future incarnations.Y."the voice of God". The Guru. she specified .
I was expecting that in order to show how they had become proficient with Kriya. I felt a sort of tenderness toward her.'s writing. The practical notes. My hesitation in dropping the literature linked with P.Y.surprising and valuable since. who had a clash with the school's board of directors and set up on their own. The first disciple seemed an expert in idle chatter and was reluctant with giving practical instructions. A faint expectation lingered in me that they gave the reader (who neglected the principal source to listen to their voice of dissent) the present of a more accurate didactic material. was interesting: I made a present of it to some friends. taped lectures and all.Y. the second what were the psychophysical blows with which P. pedagogically gifted. but from of all his literature and tapes only one of his sentences shed a faint light upon one of the Higher Kriyas.. he recounted exhaustively his anguish . I purchased all their published material. one of those books. Seeing her own expectations regarding my behavior coming true.Y. deeper than the material provided by the main school. they would come out with intriguing sentences. handing out daggers to other people as well. although clarifying almost nothing. I had no doubt that in the third millennium a person can read whatever he considers more convenient and so I did. I could sense that her actions were driven by waves of emotions and decades of steadfast conditioning. I am sure that while typewriting that letter and pouring into it lots of other considerations to free all the accumulated tension. who did not have any connection with P. The secrets. resulted from the fact that.I found (save for an illumining sentence upon the role of Kechari Mudra) only a devastating banality. The books written by Lahiri Mahasaya's direct disciples (or by their disciples) were few: mainly commentaries on spiritual classics. if they had some. meaningless words. presented as essential.praxis of Kechari Mudra. in the literature of the third disciple .'s legacy. After some months.) They disappointed me and made me miss the clarity of P. the second one was undoubtedly more professional. Overcoming a certain reluctance. having met the tragedy of mental illness. he was unique and I was confident that I would use only his teaching for the rest of my life. her countenance was at last tranquil and serene as if tasting a delicious. the meditation counselor came to know that I had read the "forbidden" books. in my opinion. Without saying anything to her. so that they can do the same"! Her reaction had been so emphatic that I wasn't hurt at all. (At that time certain interesting books like Puran Purush had not yet been published. a friend of mine showed me a letter in which she had called me "a man who stabs his Guru's back. were but scattered notes copied from classical books on 41 . I used to get annoyed at those people hinting about Kriya secrets to be gained outside P. My search took a particular route: she herself told me three names of some direct disciples of P.Y. intimate satisfaction.Y. assured it was possible to awaken the Chakras. which I considered unbearable. with an endless number of repetitions in addition to continuous changes of topic. affecting irretrievably her common sense.Y. They were but blank. were well guarded! Months later. I began reading some books written by Lahiri Mahasaya's disciples.
Y. In order to cope with the problems arising from a delicate relationship. among all P. "In matter.'s writings. In this way.the intelligent and evolutive force at the base of any existing thing could come to a perfect manifestation on this planet! "The world is not an unfortunate accident: it is a miracle moving toward its full expression". From 1958 to her death in 1973.'s thought but the interpretation that my ego desired. in 1951. I decided that in order to perfect meditation. For two years I had been introduced to the thought of Sri Aurobindo. was like drawing blood from a stone. This huge document — 6000 42 . a book about the Mother (Mère) written by her beloved disciple: Satprem. I could not accept it. Yet it's the way things went for about two years. Then my illusory dream began to disintegrate. continuing a chain where each author would add something to mark his personal contribution. I believed that mine was an apparent failure and that one day my way of acting could appear wise and heroic. a sentence that matched those plans of behavior toward which my emotions drove me.Y. The lack of care in them made me suppose that the author had not bothered checking the original texts he had quoted. the Divine becomes perfect…" she wrote. But our effort to unravel all the subtleties of this art using only the power of rational thinking. I chose. read crucial passages from the correspondence course and dwell on them during a walk. slowly but inexorably. Their talks are written out it Mother's Agenda. or the Divine Materialism. the Mother tried to find the passage to the next species. Actually our main interest was how to perfect the practice of each technique and conceive a flexible. while acting in a way contrary to ordinary common sense. imagining that the benedictions and the strength of the Guru were with me. to discover a new mode of life in matter and narrated her extraordinary exploration to Satprem. He most probably took those quotations from books which were also quoting from other reference books. His Aphorisms and his epic poem Savitri had deeply impressed me. I shudder at the thought of how fruitless our effort was. My approach was devoid of watchfulness and discrimination. I started reading Mother. Once I felt that the experience with the group of study had ended. working routine. The failure came about and it was desolating and shameful. I was convinced that the other person was unable to live up to the standards of my actions. I was acting as supported from "above". I used to meet some kriyaban friends on Sundays. I decided to study again all the material furnished by the organization and to delve deeper into it. After Sri Aurobindo's death. Everyone embarked in a personal study of which those talks represented the peak. each detail of my life should be lived in a yogic way. In a first moment. I didn't apply integrally P.Yoga. then a profound crisis of mine uprooted any previously acquired scheme. I refused to believe that I had acted wrongly. the Mother was the one continuing his research and giving ground to his dream that the Divine . Inspiration from the Works of Mère and Sri Aurobindo For some months I wasn't able to track down the thread of a single coherent thought.
" Annotating it.. then things will change. It becomes as hard as a diamond. a single massive concentration. I was very impressed with how she dealt with the theme of Japa." [This quotation. dissolving any myth. But Mère's thought had nothing to do with philosophy.70: "Examine thyself without pity. even though she tried to extract from those disciples looking for inspiration at her feet all their hidden potential. compact mass.. And in so far as you are capable of taking it and offering it. Mère did not behave like a traditional Guru. I was prepared to read the usual elementary explanations of Indian philosophy. According to her teaching. Actually.] Her practice of Japa consolidated into a life-long habit. she said to 43 . I became stiff from it. When she sat for meditation. By approaching Mère's comment to Sri Aurobindo's aphorisms. She recounted how during the screening of a film she heard the Sanskrit Mantra: OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH. To her. there is now only one single vibration. It is not the place here to dwell upon the subtle phases of her work in the body: she used the Mantra to hasten it. in a constant pursuit of a greater beauty. as well as the next ones. I was so stiff that I was one single mass. she stressed the value of not trying to become pure in other people's eyes. She did this and the result was extraordinary. Do not try to be among the pure. harmony. she wrote: "The need to be virtuous is the great obstacle to true self-giving. power and knowledge. See how much you are united. I felt an explosion of joy reading her comment to aphorism n. accept yourselves to be impure and false and in that way you will be able to take up the Shadow and offer it. one should acknowledge one's dark side: in the depths of our being it stirs the same substance which. in a few. Accept to be with those who are in darkness and give it all with total love. Instead of all the usual vibrations of the body. then thou wilt be more charitable and pitiful to others. are drawn from Mother's Agenda. What was important for me was the fact that she dared to challenge Sri Aurobindo's authority. Do not try to appear virtuous. She reported that: "It (the Mantra) coagulates something: all the cellular life becomes one solid. they are perfectly and in a compact manner unified around their divine center. This is the origin of Falsehood and even more the very source of hypocrisy -. one with everything that is anti-divine.the refusal to accept to take upon oneself one's own share of the burden of difficulties. She wondered what would happen if she repeated that Mantra during her daily meditation. something never heard." By saying on another occasion: "Morality is the great obstacle on the spiritual path". people become true individuals only when. but to behave according to the truth of one's being. It was new.pages in 13 volumes — is the account of twenty-two years of Mother's discoveries. as if all the cells of the body had . in a tremendous concentration – with a single vibration. she always began with the repetition of the Mantra and there was a response in the cells of her body: they all started vibrating as "seized with an intensity of aspiration" and that vibration went on expanding. has developed into a way of living which is shunned by society. Take your share of the burden.
Furthermore: "Mantra has a great action: it can prevent an accident. In Mére there was a revolution. I experimented with Mother's Om Namo Bhagavate . And yet in that period. all the time. because only Japa has a direct action on the body. They become galvanized. my own innermost convictions for which I had no means to express nor clarify even to myself.but it did not worked for me. at the highest degree of excellence. The contemplation of Beauty in nature and in some forms of art like music. I was astonished that Mére was able to express.. to find my Mantra by myself. It was lived with an indomitable aspiration for a divinization 44 . I have done ten years of work in a few months. Japa didn't enter my life. even if they have a strong habit of meditation or concentration. all the words I utter. everything I do. (This discipline is recommended in almost all the books dealing with oriental meditative practices. all. when I am normal). a kind of solidity: an armature. as it were". without calling: it should issue forth from the being spontaneously. he said that one should be able to do all the work without having to resort to external means. I ceased to practice either Japa or the discipline or being a detached "witness" and forgot the matter." A last amazing remark I quote is that she was able to notice the difference between those who have a Mantra and those who don't. She reasoned like a westerner and treated the themes of India's spirituality with a western language which was both lyrical and rational. all the movements of this body.. was not to be considered a fleeting emotion feeding a lazy nostalgia for an indefinite spiritual experience. an illusion. One year later. my mind was devoured by the illusion of adopting more advanced tools of "evolution". Meanwhile.. with this mantra: OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH . are accompanied and upheld by or lined. I felt myself under unbearable stress as if it all was a pretense.) After three days." But the Mantra is also the sweetest of all the things: "On the days when I have no special preoccupations or difficulties (days I could call normal. But now that things are ready. whereas Japa imparts to those who practice it with a kind of precision. "With those who have no Mantra. Months went by with useless attempts to ameliorate my Kriya routine. all of a sudden" but "It has to spring up without thinking. all the time. a reversal of values. all. I tried to live in a more conscious way (continuously attentive of any perception. he would have seen that the purely psychological method is inadequate and that a Japa is necessary. resuming the reading of The Divine Materialism. So I had to find the method all alone. in a euphorically vivid way. It simply springs forth in a flash. exactly like a reflex. being like a detached "witness". Had he reached the point where we are now.Satprem: "Sri Aurobindo gave none [Mantra]. I tried to carry out the well-known instruction to resolutely maintain a impartial attitude toward both pleasant and unpleasant events. something around them remains hazy and vague. inner and outward). like a reflex. all the gestures I make.. all the time. OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH . as it were." In many passages of Mother's Agenda they discussed how the Mantra calms the persons in surrounding areas by creating an atmosphere of such an intensity that disharmonies cease to exist.
and practically inexistent. tried to usurp its function. practiced with enthusiasm for some months. Entering a Kriya-founded organization meant to be ensnared and bewildered by many fairy tales. This idea. Apart from other foolish thoughts. It was imperative to recreate the spirit of an authentic search. hides and sleeps satisfied upon it.of life. Spellbound. This disclosed a real heaven for me! Afterwards. If in the very beginning. My first efforts in exploring my book-learned Pranayama were accompanied by intelligence and constant strive for perfection. the idea of practicing "the fastest technique in the field of spiritual evolution" made the intensity of my effort lose its edge. I could only rely on my intuition. subsequently. marked by lofty principles . I was convinced that finding Kriya was like a stroke of luck. The iron will of my discipline was softened by the hypnotic atmosphere of the "Guru's Blessings". I tried just to perform the greatest possible number of Pranayama in order to complete quickly the abovementioned number."Aren't you enthusiastic that He has been chosen for you by God Himself?" "Oh yeess we are happy" we replied with tears of joy. I also realized that the desire to abide by the values instilled in me by my culture was gradually twisted. while another one. Mére's thought began to open my eyes on the actual situation of my way of practicing Kriya Yoga and revealed the complexity of my self-deception. my "spiritually-oriented" brain didn't know how to answer back to any censure from other persons. thanks to a certain merit of which I was unaware. it became so cunning that I started to behave "normally" in social life. There was a fragrance in this never-met-before idea. which did its utmost in believing what was convenient to believe. a gift from the Divine. "Aren't you glad of having found a true Guru?" -. I contemplated the shimmering splendor of a full manifestation of the Divine in the atoms of inert matter. My personal commitment had been unimpressive.for years I heard this refrain from the organization -. To remind myself that I entered the Kriya organization only to perfect my already good practice of Pranayama created a thorny pain. having received Kriya. which excited and moved me. had lethal effects on me: it was the cradle in which my ego was fed and strengthened. 45 .not revealing how my fairness of judgment was impaired. I didn't realize into what situation I had relentlessly slipped and therefore I felt no shame or remorse. I felt myself a privileged being to whom an unexpected advantage had been granted. became a tranquil good habit. My Kriya Pranayama. people began to look at me as a man who chose a simple life trend. I had to stop behaving like a man who had found a treasure. While practicing. more than any other factor. It was as if a large portion of my brain withdrew. There were moments in which my head felt hot as if I was feverish. I had swallowed the childish idea that each Kriya breath could produce "the equivalent of a solar year of spiritual evolution" and that through a million of these breaths I would infallibly reach Cosmic Consciousness. I dreamt about its unthinkable progression and was quietly excited during each instant of it.
I was ready to carry on tenaciously. physiological direction of the inner events that explained why a certain phenomenon. my idea of Beauty. Pratyahara. 10 There are different ways of translating these Sanskrit terms. Patanjali explains that it must be stable and comfortable. avoid being lustful and seek non-attachment). After reading Sri Aurobindo and Mère.mastering the breathless state. his work is of extraordinary importance. Kriya Routine Abiding by Patanjali's Principles In the mystical path (Yoga). because of its temporal distance. when the initial enthusiasm diminished. His extreme synthesis may be criticized or. aiming at individualizing a universal. Samadhi. avoid lies. about 12 years later.Two Important Decisions What I am about to describe was the most rewarding period of my life. may be hard to understand. I found myself in the same situation. Pranayama. As for Asana (position of the body). Many authors of Kriya Yoga say that the theory expressed by Patanjali is the same as Kriya Yoga. 46 . Niyama: religious observances (cleanliness. study of the Self and surrender to the Supreme God). especially the wish to pursue. Therefore there is no hint about particular preliminary exercises of concentration and much less of meditation. that Patanjali and Lahiri Mahasaya substantially dealt with the same practice. discipline. Dharana. I found the courage to be again a self-taught person. defined as regulation of the Prana by repetition of particular breathing patterns. Day after day. An event arose from this decision. all 10 Patanjali was a pioneer in the art of rationally handling the mystical path. The instructions were simple: I put my passion in them. however. I believe that this is partly true. Dhyana. two basic ideas: 1. Niyama. Patanjali pinpoints eight steps: Yama. inherent to the spiritual path. despite criticisms and doubts. Patanjali's is far from clarifying all the aspects of Kriya and there is a remarkable difference between the final steps of his Yoga (especially Dharana and Dhyana) and the related phases of Kriya Yoga. contentment. I carried on tenaciously my ideals and my discipline. Yama: self-control (nonviolence. During the season of my first interest in esoteric matters and oriental practice of meditation I found easy-to-follow instructions in an unassuming book. I had to achieve the state of mental silence by using Japa during my daily life. From Pranayama a state of calmness and poise is created which becomes the foundation of the subsequent step: Pratyahara where the awareness is disconnected from external reality. I look at it as a sun and I hope I will never forget its lesson. The first interesting concept is Pranayama. through Yoga. Now. 2. 1. when other distractions and doubts came. which still remains in my heart as a peak experience -. Asana. There is nothing remarkable up to this point. avoid stealing. The result was the Kundalini experience. I had to throw away the Kriya routine recommended by my organization and apply Patanjali's principles. should be preceded and necessarily followed by other ones.
a yogi should look for a physical or abstract object onto which he might turn his concentration and practice in a sort of contemplative meditation in such a way as to lose himself in it.was Pranayama enriched by placing the syllables of the Mantra in the respective Chakras.. Pratyahara began with a procedure that up till today I call "mental Pranayama".. the borders between the two being indistinguishable in practice: you begin to concentrate on each Chakras and forget yourself. with no physical movements -. My awareness paused on each Chakra about ten seconds .as a bee drawn to the nectar in flowers. The so called Higher Kriyas (each one of them required movement) had to be ideally practiced inside the Pranayama phase. I began my routine with Maha Mudra. The concentration on the third eye . which fully explores all aspects of the chosen object). Kriya Pranayama with Mantra Om. From that moment onwards. after an intense practice of Japa. The Third Kriya was the technique with movements of the head that I received from my Kriya school. To them a long phase of internalization of consciousness and energy in perfect immobility should follow. 47 . You understand that the techniques which require movement should be completed before this phase: the breath and the heart should have all the necessary time to slow down. Dhyana is the persistence of a focusing action -meditation or contemplation as a steady. then I moved to the Pranayama phase which consisted of three sub-phases: Kriya Pranayama (12-24). Third Kriya (12) and Kriya Pranayama with the Mantra Om. This was my basic understanding in those days. Na.it had the purpose of preparing the Pratyahara phase. Dharana is concentration (focusing the mind on it). (6-12). What comes after Pratyahara? Patanjali goes on explaining that. Mo. From many years' experience and from some readings.happened spontaneously. Samadhi is perfect spiritual absorption (deep contemplation in which the object of meditation becomes inseparable from the meditator himself). Samadhi is the sudden burning with joy that sometimes appears. Na. Samadhi is not only boundless joy but also the slowing down of the cardiac heartbeat while the body appears like dead.slightly "touching" their nucleus along an anticlockwise (as viewed from above) path. Dharana is the act of focusing our attention. In a few days. Mo. Dharana spontaneously becomes Dhyana... I was absorbed by a great delight where I lost my space and time references. hovering upon each in great delight . after the breath's disappearance.our five senses have thus been turned inward. I would have realized that Dhyana is not only self oblivion but achieving the breathless state as well. uninterrupted flow of awareness. I had no doubt that these suggestions had to be understood as concentration on the Chakras.that "inward eye" which Wordsworth with appropriate words defines as "the bliss of solitude" .
an irresistible impulse to put everything in order. It was then that he renounced the secular life and went forth in quest of God as a mendicant Sadhu. 48 . being one step away from his goal. was very pleasant. One day. Besides the practice of Japa. 11 He moved far and wide all over India unceasingly repeating the Mantra: Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Om. My attitude was not that of a supplicating and sobbing devotee. Ramdas attained Mahasamadhi in 1963. in due time. which yielded him thrills of delight. while relaxing with the mental Pranayama (placing my awareness in each Chakra for 10-20 seconds each). I thought that the Mantra could work in a similar way by cleaning my mental stuff and putting my "psychological furniture" in order. and named Vittal Rao. achieved the divine happiness he was aspiring to.2. India. his father initiated him into the Ram Mantra. the almost childish simplicity of his smile. Mental Silence and Japa I chose the Mantra of Swami Ramdas whose biography I was reading in those days. Kerala. I started to practice Japa aloud during a walk for 108 times and then to continue it mentally during the remaining part of that walk. Often he inquired about the true meaning of life and felt the necessity of pursuing the spiritual path in order to get the real "Peace. during my Kriya session. kindled my intuition and inspired me during my practice. I realized 11 Swami Ramdas was born in 1884 at Hosdrug. while doing it. The sound of that Mantra. He beheld a small circular light in the spot between his eyebrows. Then the dazzling light permeated and absorbed him. make it vibrate in my chest and invest it with my heart's aspiration. I was confident that it should be done aloud -. The Breathless State I practiced Japa every day in the morning and Kriya at noon in the open countryside. To meet the simplicity of his life and the greatness of his experience was very inspiring: his photo. The Mantra "Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram" was ever on his lips. A stage was soon reached when this dwelling in the spirit became a permanent and unvarying experience. The world appeared to him as a dim shadow. I loved to prolong its vibration. Since I observed. he adopted the discipline of looking upon other people as forms of Ram – God . Even if sometimes I felt a bit dazed. The first years of his newly found life are described in his aforesaid autobiography.at least for one hundred repetitions. I maintained the determination never to discard the practice. I distinctly perceived a fresh energy sustaining my body from inside.and of accepting every happening as coming from the will of God. Lost in this inexpressible bliss he would sit for hours. assuring him that by repeating it unceasingly he would. which I had already heard in a spiritual song recording. Even though the oriental traditions recommend to do Japa mentally. He lived a normal life until he was thirty-six and experienced the usual ups and downs of a householder's life. In a short time the Mantra disappeared from his lips and entered his heart." At the right moment. Helped by a mala (rosary beads). but that of a man who rejoices.
I was perfectly at ease. All was incredibly beautiful. The event was enjoyable beyond words: in a blue-painted profundity. When the time is ripe. This condition lasted some minutes. The breathless state will provide kriyabans with the fundamental spiritual experience which will mark the most beautiful and deeply satisfying period of their life. The breath becomes so calm that the practitioner has the factual perception that one is not breathing at all. or the thought: "Finally I have it!". after my daily number of Kriya breaths (which never exceeded the 36 repetitions.) Before starting my Kriya practice. as we are going to discuss in chapter 11. It was so beautiful that it seemed quite impossible for me to have mastered it. when the Prana loses any restlessness. the more I became simultaneously aware both of the Chakras and of the body as a whole. One is carried away. at the same time.that my cells were breathing pure energy which didn't originated from the inhaled air. when the time is ripe. seemed to have the consistency of luminous reflexes upon the water.) It is fantastic! Without any feeling of uneasiness. The mind also settled down. which in the meantime had became very short. far away from any known territory and is aware enough to understand that this is the key experience of one's life. but in a calm. all of a sudden. some technical subtleties conceived for the express purpose of fostering this state but the secret is a mindful and devoted commitment to Japa. There is not the least quiver of surprise. sustaining its life from inside. In the following days the same event happened again -. During mental Pranayama or at the end of one calm breath. I looked at the surrounding panorama wondering if I would experience that state once again. still. compared to the present state. There comes the realization that the body doesn't need to breathe. without the necessity of oxygen. the impression to cross a screen and to emerge in another dimension. One day. I felt I had reached something solid. or the thought: "Finally I have it!". this condition lasts for some minutes. This state embodies the characteristics of the authentic "religious" life. Many kriyabans are not able to conceive such a state. My past experiences during Kriya practice. without any feeling of uneasiness: there was neither the least quiver of surprise. a kriyaban who endeavors to keep the mind always attuned to a state of calmness (which blooms for example by repeating unceasingly his favorite Mantra) discovers that his usual practice of Kriya Yoga ends with a peculiar experience. One does not feel the need to take in any breath at all or one takes in a very short breath but doesn't feel the need to exhale for a very long time. eventually came to immobility. The breath. he has. The more I relaxed. I try here to convey a cleared idea. very detached way. contemplating a celestial state of bliss. beyond imagination! I was not breathing and I didn't felt any necessity of breathing. There are. situated above the whole world. full mastery of the breathless state requires on the average two to three years of regular Kriya practice. one feels a fresh energy in the body. In my opinion.always during mental Pranayama. I was implacably crushed by the beauty of nature and. This does not mean that the person is unaware: he or she is perfectly aware. then the breathless state manifests spontaneously during mental Pranayama. like a pendulum gently reaching the equilibrium point. 49 . a unique elation. Kriyabans should learn how to live in an active but also introverted way. which nothing else in life can give. (Longer than the time which medical science considers possible.
almost banal autobiography. This is won when we practice Japa -. but a diffuse persistent background noise nullifies all our efforts. beyond words themselves -. Some author gave an eloquent example of how it is possible to write a book about nothing. There is no need to clarify that we are referring to a prayer which goes beyond supplication. identify and block. they try to experience quietness and perceive the "Uncreated Light" which is considered the highest of the mystical achievements. one of the simplest techniques in the world. In the writings of Saint Teresa of Avila (and of Saint John of the Cross also) I saw clearly that perfection in the spiritual life can be reached only by expanding the limit in the practice of Internal Oration. was worth a thousand times more than this stupid information.the meaning of a plea to God with the only purpose of obtaining personal favors or blessings on a suffering humanity. The discipline is tough: they watch their thoughts and courageously fight them. arrogance or conceit. After restricting their external activities. could bring such a valuable result! I verified a perfect association between the practice of Japa and the attainment of the breathless state. Where my best intentions failed. a great deal of incomprehension and misunderstanding has arisen relative to the practice of Oration.the mala that you use for Japa should be made or this or that material. it should not be seen by others. The Prayer is said "with the heart" . A soul stirring ardent feeling and sincerity was to be found in the literary material relating to the experience of Saint Teresa of Avila. (Anonymous) The origin of this spiritual 50 . Saint Teresa of Avila described nine levels of prayer. Ramdas' simple. mind and body. namely the rejection of tempting thoughts. it produced a miracle! Japa annihilates the mental background noise that blocks any attempt at concentration when we sit for Kriya. With enthusiasm I plunged into Japa literature and studied the subject of Mantra and prayer in different mystical paths. The concept of Internal Oration risked an almost total eclipse.with rare exceptions . For many devotees prayer had .with meaning. Much of their literature is occupied with the psychological analysis of such tempting thoughts. with intent. to the Hesychasm and to the Sufi mystical path. The Sumeru bead should never be passed: if you will do the mala twice. striving to the best of their abilities to ignore the physical senses. you should turn it and make the last bead become the first bead of the second round. deprived of any passion.I was astonished that Japa. Such Prayer involves the entire human being .a "Prayer of the heart". The essence of this mystical movement is to be found in the book The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way. Hesychasm is a Christian orthodox movement considering inner peace to be a necessity for every human being.at least one hour before our Kriya session. to mean that their first duty is to withdraw inward. Over the centuries. I think that few catholics are aware of this richness. They interpret Christ's injunction in the Gospel of Matthew which says to "go into your closet to pray". Many suggestions about the practice of Japa would amount to a heap of banalities -.soul. They affirm that the first step is that their body is to be held immovable for a long time. A great emphasis is placed on humility: disaster will befall if one proceeds with pride. Then they engage in mental asceticism. How many times we feel desperate! There are some thoughts which you can visualize.
the pilgrim quotes the Gospel passage of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field . The chanting of the Prayer was synchronized with one's breathing. coming back from the Holy Sepulcher. persisting. in order to find a spiritual guide that would reveal to him the secret of praying that way. The pilgrim was resolute about covering an infinite distance across the steppes. a limitless happiness will be reached". and in my breast pocket a Bible." In order to give an idea of what. and then you will know the value of the Hesychia." It is a simple. Then he finds the Prayer at his lips and in his mind every waking hour. Years later. the innermost "secret of the heart. by my actions a great sinner.the way Saint Paul had recommended . it cannot separate him from God. I began reading the Philokalia. the pilgrim is first instructed to repeat the Jesus Prayer 6000 times a day.. I was struck by the fact that many instructions had astonishing similarities with the Kriya Yoga path. Its magic spreads into each facet of life. One day. if he had to." I was stunned by the fact that a Christian tradition. In this wonderful condition he comes to experience the effulgence of the divine light. like walking out of a dark room into fresh air and sunlight. I discovered that the hesychastic practice involved a breathing exercise with a tongue position akin to that of Kechari Mudra..classic is in many ways a mystery. It is a collection of texts on prayer and asceticism written from the 4th to the 15th Centuries [first published in the Greek language in 1782]. and by calling a homeless wanderer of the humblest birth who roams from place to place.in this way it is possible to find a joyless and lightless obscurity but. on the basis of other witnesses. who stopped at Mount Athos and told about his lifelong search for the teaching on how "to pray continually" . obsessed by sin and temptations. having received Lahiri Mahasaya's Navi Kriya. from now onwards. his ardor was awarded. which is often used by the Hesychasts. Some. of universal spiritual appeal. In order to realize the ideal of "praying ceaselessly". then increase to 12000. Like a person enjoying the beauty of a chilly winter near the fireside. his life has become. The story is that of a pilgrim. The main reason for the work's attraction is the presentation of a wandering hermit's life as the model existence for those who would truly lead a spiritual life. as spontaneous and effortless as the breath itself. Here and there.identifying himself with them as completely dependent on God: whatever happens. My worldly goods are a knapsack with some dried bread in it on my back. identify the author as Russian Orthodox monk Archimandrite Mikhail Kozlov. edifying book. I was stricken by the opening words: "By the grace of God I am a Christian man. existed. And that is all. one who practices continuous prayer contemplates either the sad or the joyous spectacle of life having found the infinity of the skies residing in their heart! Prayer is a marvelous gem whose glitter warms up life. similar to Kriya Yoga.to a monk. No one knows for certain if it is a true story about a particular pilgrim or a spiritual fiction created to propagate the mystical side of the Orthodox Christian faith. some pearls are disseminated. In my opinion this is a tedious text showing the attitude of the mind. 51 . I remained astonished by the fact that one is encouraged to be tenacious in praying with the focus of concentration on the navel: ". It is imminently practical in its advice to not dither in starting the Jesus Prayer. Hesychast tradition wrote: "Let the remembrance of Jesus be present with each breath. to complicate the simplest things. he found a spiritual teacher who accepted him as a disciple and gradually clarified to him every detail of the practice of the "continuous prayer". methodical and precise.
" Pseudo-Simeon. and do what I tell you: close the door. It is the most sound and natural state of the mind. when he has been granted such an experience. Later. you will find there a darkness and an impenetrable density. Palmer. The most secret part is what happens in the space within the heart. warm and responsive to the emotions of love! The heart is filled with the most loving and subtle Bliss! In this state one becomes "entirely" luminous. One continues until a great absorption makes it impossible to go on in this way. The Hesychast. where Prayer has a pivotal importance.this unencumbered state is the main attribute of a religious life. then to "open" his eyes there and look at the world from his chest. G. When you study and consider all this.. until the syllables are effaced from the heart and 52 . London: Faber and Faber. Rest your beard on your chest. tr. which prevents the meditation. Sherrard. All these instructions can be a great inspiration for a kriyaban to reconsider the technique of Japa and of Thokar from a new perspective. returns wholly transformed to normal life. One’s consciousness is no longer encumbered by the spontaneous inception of images . in a corner by yourself. "The rust upon the heart is burnt. and K. Ware. upon the center of your belly or your navel. The consciousness slips then into it and contemplates the "Uncreated Light". This descent is quite literally taken and is not at all considered to be a metaphorical expression. so as not to breathe easily. One begins the practice by uttering the Mantra aloud – this is the Dhikr of the tongue. I didn't find a description of the practice of Thokar (as I found later in the Sufi literature) but the description of the prayer entering the heart was unforgettable. is under control: one can live permanently in a state called "the guard of the mind". the darkness turns into day and the candle of the mind is put out by the sun of the divine light (Qur'an)". and focus your physical gaze. For as soon as the intellect attains the place of the heart. The instruction is to feel one’s head moving to the chest and dwelling therein. a whole path unfolds. P. you will find. To start with." in: The Philokalia (5 vols. 1995) 4. what can you answer to those kriyabans who object that none of the Kriya Gurus recommend the practice of Japa? They have missed the point: Kriya Yoga is a particular way of treading the Hesychast path. when you persist and practice this task day and night. leading to the heart center. and search inside yourself with your intellect so as to find the place of the heart.E. The person is led through darkness and "an impenetrable density" to the depth of his heart. In their literature. The comparison with the Navi Kriya technique is impressive. I read also something about the Sufi path where the art of prayer (Dhikr) was developed in an astonishing way. an unceasing joy.72-3. It sees the open space within the heart and it beholds itself entirely luminous and full of discrimination. The world is perceived in a totally different way: not as rough and hostile. "The Three Methods of Prayer. as though miraculously. the greatest effect was obtained by blending the perception of the throbs of the heart with the syllables of the prayer. Symeon writes: "Sit down in a quiet cell. and withdraw your intellect from everything worthless and transient. most inspiring instruction was given to avoid distraction. where all the powers of the soul reside. St. The heart is continually applied to the Dhikr. The "inner dialog". in such a way that the heart is occupied with neither "family" nor "money".H.Once one gets over the obstacle of the navel. One perseveres assiduously. at once it sees things of which it previously knew nothing. but as delicate. Restrain the drawing-in of breath through your nostrils. The illumination comes from inside. This is an advanced stage of the spiritual practice and attempting to accomplish it prematurely can cause very serious emotional harm. together with the whole of your intellect. proceeding from the open space within the heart.
The world of the "traveling Gurus" was getting closer to my life and I could not avoid meeting a couple of them. was I doing the most mind-numbing activity in the word? On the contrary! That was just the right moment to turn a Mantra into a pneumatic hammer. my Mantra like a parrot. into the sunlight. At that point Japa began to go on effortlessly. 53 . I want to have it every day of my life. Only when talking to others I was unaware of it -. I discovered unthinkable ways of perfecting my mental Pranayama. I obstinately clang to the belief that my Mantra was the only tool capable of extracting "something perfect and sublime" from my life. all day long. this is the most real thing that I have ever experienced"! It seemed impossible to lose it. I was inspired by the central idea of starting with a set number of Mantra repetitions and then increasing it until the repetition becomes effortless. It was like walking out of a dark room into the fresh air. then I lost it. dazzling Prayer spread in each facet of my life. Now and then. During my Kriya routine. I tried to remain centered on the feeling of unchangeable calmness. a delusion arouse from my subconscious mind -. The breathless state sprang from this internal action. I realized I had the power to touch with an almost physically intensity the core of each one.only the meaning of the words remains present: a touch of divine recollection drives the mind crazy – the most intoxicating of joys begins to expand within. Many years had to pass before a similar celestial condition could materialize again in my life. While crossing innumerable psychological swamps. It lasted a few months.by repeating mechanically. I thought: "I must not forget this experience ever. with the purpose of tearing asunder once and forever the concrete of the mental restlessness.at that moment. This tireless dedication created a moral strength which turned into a calm euphoria. continuous prayer". automatic. The magic of this bright. without being involved in the images arising from the words. Cohabitation with Continuous Prayer Inspiration from this literature pushed me to achieve the condition of "uninterrupted. I felt a wave of attraction for the wandering hermit's life. the mind was like a laser. While projecting in each Chakra the mental chant of the Mantra.
I had no idea of when and where I could have the opportunity to encounter this teacher. as he requested. Many did not accept creating with him a bond of formal "discipleship".Y. besides what was fully described in the written material. During a "Convocation". Incidentally. had to serve as bait. to make people interested in the Kriya school founded by that Swami and it would never include practical explanations. he pretended not to be able to link it with the Kriya Yoga he had been practicing for some time. I found a book written by an Indian Swami. next to relinquishing his body.without closing his ears had not listened to the internal sound of Om. Those who accepted his conditions received initiation. and the person who hosted him had not received Kriya from him.) leaked out. the practitioner .CHAPTER 4 IN SEARCH OF THE ORIGINAL KRIYA During a trip to Vienna (Austria). but I could almost touch the marvelous possibility of deepening my Pranayama. thus he lost two thirds of the students on the spot. He explained that if a syllable is mentally chanted in a Chakra's location with real intensity. he talked with a Minister and inquired about a sentence by P. never talked with him about techniques. Reading that book.P. the group received part of the 54 . while inhaling or exhaling. I had the sensation that its author knew the whole process of Kriya Yoga far better than many other teachers. clarifying my doubts regarding Kechari Mudra and Higher Kriyas as well. One of those friends to whom I passed on my obsession with finding out all the mechanics of Kriya..Y. it creates a "psycho-physical blow".. especially by insisting in touching the uvula with the tip of the tongue." The Brother reassured him about its meaning: no other hypothetical technique. He heard of another a group of kriyabans in Europe who had invited a person from India to their group. After some months he was there. after skimming through the written material published by our Kriya organization. he said it comes with time.'s was mentioned as a slightly modified form of it. it was surely from a very deep practice of Pranayama. settling down after fair number of breaths. He heard also about a Kriya Ashram in Europe where allegedly lived a Swami who taught original Kriya. I was positively excited when I read that the practice of Pranayama should be considered inaccurate and wrong if. At his arrival. There was no news about the identity of him. from initiation into First Kriya. He advocated the necessity of starting all over again. About Kechari Mudra. the absolute confidentiality was broken and precious information (Talabya Kriya. The statement was worthy to be taken into consideration. especially the Higher Kriyas. only to learn that this Swami was very old. according to which: "The Chakras can be awakened by psycho-physical blows given at their different locations. Obviously that book. brought me important information. claiming he was teaching the original Lahiri Mahasaya's Kriya . like innumerable others which I would read in the future. It referred to the use of a Mantra coupled with breath. Navi Kriya. was hinted at. Later.
With the hope of restoring that very period of my life where I received the deepest satisfaction from the "Om technique" (received from my school) I gave my soul to that practice. I could also talk about how to build a good routine. the author of the book was going to make a stop in Europe. I had just read his book: it was the intensity of my practice that was extreme! I had a clear perception that a state of inconceivable sweetness was mine. returned to the comfortable abode of our organization. All my doubts were clarified: the person seemed intelligent and not dogmatic.H. Omkar became the unique focus of my concentration. Some of those kriyabans followed that Indian master and disappeared as if sucked into a black hole. a "contact" to be preserved with the utmost care during the day. taught a "slightly modified form of Kriya". At that time.Y. We were in perfect tune about everything. I convinced myself that the key technical addition consisted in mentally chanting Om in the Chakras while exerting all the possible attention to the internal sounds. return to the simplicity of the afore described routine. The book written by the Indian Swami. That moment came up at last! The introductory 55 . happened.Y. Recalling a phrase escaped from the lips of the lady meditation counselor about a variation of Kriya Pranayama taught to some disciples by P. wait for Kechari to be obtained in time. this I did. and we even extolled the value of Japa. I worked very hard to meet him and receive his Kriya initiation on that occasion. something wonderful. I lived for some days in the sweetest reality. I decided to go on with my search. tired of a practice characterized by a lot of dissatisfaction. Since from my Kriya school I had learned to practice Kriya Pranayama with open or half closed mouth. probably only the technique of the Second Kriya. and a paradise would have been opened to me. hysteria. But the door that I opened could not be closed.Higher Kriyas.. others. free from work. I can't remember how many of these breaths I used to practice each day: surely. materialized so easily. confusion would have ended forever. After these pleasing breaths I went on listening inwardly. I never went over 48-60 breaths. I was excited like a child receiving the most beautiful of all gifts. stimulated my interest to guess the principle underlying the promised deepening of the Kriya Pranayama technique. chased by my suspicion that P. All chaos. Devoured by the demon of finding the original Kriya. that I could taste it every day. What I hoped so ardently in the past and was brutally refused to me. First Teacher outside the Organization Being about to undergo surgery in the United States. The strange part was that I did not know the teacher yet. While reading and rereading his book. during the practice and in every moment when I rested. The inner sound appeared after just four days of painstaking practice. whom I will refer to as S. It would have sufficed to consider the search concluded.. so sweet. I had a private talk with another Minister of my Kriya school.
I counsel to study the movement Radhasoami. he touched some of them (their head and chest) making his hand vibrate. He was leading the auditorium into a wondrous dimension. similar to a voltaic arc.conference was for me of great emotional impact. It is reasonable to believe that some disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya belonged to a Radhasoami group and perhaps. purely mental 12 As a matter of fact. he was "handsomely" wrapped in his ocher clothes. trying to transmit this quivering to their body. To all those kriyabans that go on wondering about the origin of certain variations of Kriya. to which center does the energy rise in the spine?" To make the students understand the proper aspect of the movement of Omkar. without even being fully aware of this. My obsession was: "What kind of throat sounds are to be produced in this original Kriya. added to Kriya some elements of theory and practice which belonged to this movement. The theoretical concepts he introduced were absolutely new for me and created a beautiful consistent frame for a Kriya praxis conceived as a unique progressive process of tuning with the Omkar reality. This process was described as a "mystic union". 56 . he gave Light and Sound initiation. the inquisitiveness in learning the new technical details made me unable to give due attention to what he was saying. An emission of light. I therefore did not grasp at once all the implication of those concepts. hidden by the front rows. He had a majestic and noble aspect. Maha Mudra was not separated from his peculiar form of Pranayama which was not separated from mental Pranayama. Kriya was divided into six levels which were six progressive steps of tuning into the Omkar dimension as Sound. Omkar was coursing through all the different phases of Kriya. The same theory is hinted in some particular Radhasoami literature. the Omkar reality had to be perceived not only in the aspect of sound and light but also in the aspect of a "swinging sensation" (some other time he spoke about a feeling of pressure). he gave himself completely to us so that we could feel the flavor of that experience. Light and Swinging sensation. In the frontal part of this region there is the pituitary gland (hypophysis). These progressive steps happened by becoming aware of some additional Chakras in the brain. In his book. He explained that the erasure of the last trace of our ego would take place in the hollow cavity of the brain called "the cave of Brahma". at certain moments. I took glimpses of him while he spoke. Furthermore. 12 His stupendous. would happen between the two "poles" and shed light in that area. behind it there is the pineal gland. Like a thread passing through all the pearls of a necklace. just as Radhasoami groups do. The climax of this work was to bring energy and awareness into the pineal gland. The initiation into the First Kriya thrilled and disappointed me at the same time: the forward bendings that preceded the Maha Mudra were really precious and so was the final meditation (improperly called Paravastha) but the Kriya Pranayama seemed to have disappeared and reduced to a short. I heard him talk of Lahiri Mahasaya's legacy according to his personal experience. appealing words were for me a revelation but. his old age. long hair and beard marked the features of the typical sage.
maintaining this state for the rest of my days. you should engage yourselves in being aware of at least 1728 breaths a day. I was in a room from which I could glimpse the distant mountains through a window pane. Unfortunately that Swami too. I had the opportunity to realize this. had simplified the original technique. with such a commitment to the Higher Kriyas also. Here I could wander the snow-white countryside aimlessly. The best thing was to remain aware of the breath (a calm short breath. Everything was as if it were transfigured. He didn't teach Kriya Pranayama proper (with long and deep inhalation and exhalation) anymore. The winter vacation ended and I got back to my job. the prospect of retiring and living with a minimal income. My memory will always hold it as the splendid symbol of my contact with the Omkar experience. practicing as much as possible.process. One day. While I was lazily getting about. linking each breath with a different Chakra. started to take real shape. Since in his book it was written that if you want to make remarkable spiritual progress. This swami taught also a simplified form of Second Kriya. during the course of the years. It was winter and I had a three week vacation. reducing all dissonances. During my spare time. there was no mystery about the many technical details of Kriya Yoga he kept on changing. For the first time. he expressed himself adamantly: the request of being initiated in them implied a lack of engagement in the basic techniques. I was in ecstasy! That distant sky was the mirror of my future years. visualizing the possibility of a future deepening. while others were 57 . year after year. I experienced a total contentment and ease. Being aware that the original Kriya spirit had been lost in other schools. the small village. and contemplate the pure celestial sky above them. He had tried all Lahiri Mahasaya's techniques. gone from my sight. the sun set early. I didn't succeed in practicing even one Kriya session exactly in the way he explained. One of his intimate disciples confirmed to me that in past this Swami taught Kriya Pranayama proper enriched by chanting of Om in each Chakra. I would think about what a precious jewel the Kriya technique was. he focused only in passing on its nucleus. I also spent some days in a beautiful location equipped for winter sport. it was like living in a perfect reality and the whole world was smiling ecstatically at me every pain took flight. As for receiving the complete form of it or other advanced techniques. as if my Kriya path had come to its fulfillment. everything seemed surrounded by a 'padded coating'. By day. concluding that some of them were not essential. wholly dedicated to my Kriya Yoga. which I learned months later. Returning home. still at work. painting the landscape with breathtaking colors. Among the people who attended his seminars for a long time. I decided in fact to add to my routine (after Maha Mudra and before his form of Pranayama) "my" Kriya Pranayama with a long breath. started to radiate all the colors of the spectrum of light. sunk in the snow. I spent every morning wrapped in the warmth of my home. almost imperceptible and on the verge of disappearing).
Disappointed by their defection. which could be "good only for kindergarten children"! He closed his nostrils with his fingers and kept that position for some time. Many acknowledged this as a nasty comment to the fact that he was giving his explanations only out of kindness.could result in a useless distraction for the students and a waste of time for him as a teacher. He hinted in this way that he had mastered the breathless state. but they did have the curiosity for 'other secrets' of Kriya. being willing to show the same respect to possible collaborators and successors.rather too delicate and difficult to be learned. he must have been bizarre and peculiar to them. Moreover. It is true that a lot of people were contented with his Kriya. Frankly speaking.in order to effectively use these techniques . He did not take into consideration how the human mind really works. Yet the soil he plowed and was cultivating began to become sterile. but the audience was not able to understand the deep meaning of what he was demonstrating. they were ready to back his mission and treat him like a "divinity". Hundreds of scholars were enthusiastic about him. He really had all the necessary tools to attract the western world. but contributed to his isolation. 58 . they started to turn to the search for other teachers. What he said made definite sense. on a Kriya reviewing lesson. Those who tried to get this absurdity across to him and prevent it. found themselves facing a wall that would never break. through insatiable curiosity and the total rejection of any veto. he told his public that the real Kriya Pranayama could only take place in a state of calm breath -. it seemed he wanted to point out that the public was neither able to understand nor practice Kriya. Perhaps he had only met people who had not been able to adopt the discipline of a regular meditation practice and therefore did not gain any benefit. Literally devoured by the thirst for obtaining the complete teachings.contrary to the one marked by a long deep breath (which many knew was the characteristic of Lahiri Mahasaya's legacy). I thought to myself how many disappointments must have convinced him to make such a peculiar demonstration. Attempts made by inexperienced students . he stubbornly focused even more on the essence of teaching and further simplifying of the First Kriya techniques. but also some of the basic techniques such as Kechari Mudra and Navi Kriya) triggered an inexorable mechanism which pushed away the people who were most indispensable to him. The students staring at him were completely at a loss. Those who already had a good mastering of Kriya had the final confirmation that what he had taught up to that moment was a simple introduction to Kriya and did not provide the key to obtain the experiential acme. The result was that the beginners could only sense too big a distance to be bridged between them and the Master. one day. I saw the sense of his isolation when. saving for him a place of crucial importance in the domain of Kriya. His unlucky decision of leaving out some of the techniques Lahiri Mahasaya had passed on (not only some parts of the Higher Kriyas. but they would never do something like organize a seminar for their teacher. his Indian-sage figure impressed the people. The book he had written had been a smart strategic action which made him popular in the west.
Kriya Mantra Yoga rotated around that breathing technique. mixing what I had learned from the organization with S. It was originated by an Indian personage who claimed he was a direct disciple of Babaji. Using the same fliers and changing only the Master's name and photo. Kriya Kundalini Pranayama seemed a beautiful technique. there grew within me a marked nostalgia for what I had relinquished. many of those people. whose final part (concentration on the Chakras). giving rise to nothing 59 .'s teaching. Changing every day the technique of meditation (there were seven different techniques. I found a strange book on Babaji's Kriya Yoga.the faithfulness of the many was not enough to avoid the worst end. Omkar Pranayama.. a meditation which had nothing to do with spine. making this practice by far more beautiful. Thokar. The idea of having found a source from which I could learn everything about Kriya. Second Teacher outside the Organization During a trip in France. I didn't notice that in the book there was not even a hint to techniques like Talabya Kriya. This school gave three levels of Kriya easy to obtain in about three years. I was confident. In this school the main technique was called Kriya Kundalini Pranayama. I had conceived a very sweet routine. yet left me a bit perplexed. invited another teacher from India because they knew he was well-disposed to explain Kriya in its complete form. This invitation was very strange and was perhaps made more out of desperation than that of conviction. which is fundamental for Lahiri. Navi Kriya.H. His commendable effort. all the marvelous subtleties by which he had enriched our Kriya. excited me tremendously. I came in contact with a Kriya school which was standing totally apart from all the others. Although some illustrations in the book gave me the impression of reading a fairy book for children. Kriya Hatha Yoga. because those who had already met him in India knew that his spiritual realization was almost non-existent. Practicing seriously this new routine.. when he arrived he found practically all the afore described teacher's disciples ready to welcome him as a God-sent messenger. The first level didn't actually disappoint me. was not enough to prevent a shipwreck of his mission – at least here in Europe. who formerly organized his seminars. was considered dangerous and thus banned. Before receiving instruction from this school. was a real delight. The teacher was obsessed by the precept of not holding one's breath: in this way the technique of Yoni Mudra. extending its sphere of action on all the aspects of human life. It took two years before he could succeeded in overcoming the problems with his visa and could finally land in Europe. the process you had put in motion had to be suddenly relinquished and you had to practice Dhyana Kriya. one for each different day of the week) I had the heavy sensation of living a chaotic period of my life. Chakras etc.. if you showed enough commitment. Kechari Mudra. Kriya Dhyana Yoga. The most annoying thing was that once you had completed 16 Kriya breaths.
This subject was more congenial to me than Dhyana Kriya. Intermezzo: New-Age-Polluted Kriya Yoga The mentality developed following such a school led me to meet persons and groups where Kriya Yoga was polluted with "New-Age" themes. somehow disguised and passed off as Samadhi techniques. emotions and money in this course. in his opinion. were a new reading of Hong So technique. I am reminded of this period of my life when I listen to the tape recordings of some devotional chants which I had bought at that time. within a short time. being taught those techniques again.. The Bija Mantras of the Chakras were similar but not exactly identical to the classic ones: Lam. the classic instruction of continuous awareness during the day and a variation of the same Om technique I had once received from my organization. Vam. he was reticent and did not seem glad of our interest in the matter. For 13 Actually more idiotic than Hong So technique since. given at the conclusion of that enervating and boring course. He made a fool of himself by explaining the technique of "dispersing the clouds": fixing a cloud in the sky with the purpose of dissolving it! I endured everything since I put all my hope in the third level. should happen to those who give their all to apply Kriya integrally). Unfortunately we had to repeat this course two or three times in order to receive the complete set of the Chakra Mantras. The Samadhi techniques. it was replaced by: "Om Babaji". In that period I was very happy: I fell in love with an Indian bhajan and I sang it within of me the whole blessed day. Astounded. I think that the reader doesn't need other data to understand how. I abandoned this teacher. died. Ram. 60 . There were no Higher Kriyas but common Yoga. The odd thing was that the teacher gave the impression of being lost in the New Age dimension and didn't realize of how badly his teaching was organized. our teacher was dismissive of him. This third level was an atrocious delusion.substantial.. then he took courage and shared his views.. He gave his wife the role to pontificate about many topics (macrobiotics. of a genre you can find in all books -.. For many of us who had yearlong experience with the preliminary-to-Kriya techniques offered by the organization and who had invested our time. we realized that since Lahiri Mahasaya did not obtain immortality (as. how to see aura. beyond the worse expectations. therefore he . with whom they have a vibratory connection.rather the explanation you find in the books might be far more better laid down. He believed that Lahiri Mahasaya had not practiced with total commitment all the teachings he received from Babaji. The central point of the Second Level was initiation into Mantras. how to make Ayurveda diagnosis and other amenities). while Hong So is a universal Mantra whose syllables were specifically chosen for their power of calming the breath. 13 three fairly common techniques of visualization. Some of us dared to ask the teacher's opinion about Lahiri Mahasaya's Kriya. was actually a cold shower. At first.
Stressing the cathartic potential of oriental meditative practices. Conflicts and polemics exploded whether some teacher who once had been some illustrious Guru's right-hand man. I would finish all those initiations repeating to myself how satisfied I was. above all. they particularly loved an atmosphere. a way of behaving. with innocent frenzies. the coveted news with other students who. by cell-phone. some fruit and a donation was required too -. Just to give an example. Although I felt that atmosphere to be extraneous to me. after attending many different rituals. characterized by specific sensations that they would cultivate with care and.the way an explorer deals with unknown animals. waiting for any eccentric revelation. I accepted it as an inevitable drawback to succeed in acquiring the information I searched for with so much passion. it was something I just could not help. had then become independent by their own choice or because the latter disowned them.me it had much the nature of food. that it was confining myself to what would soon become a "cage" from which I would sooner or later feel an unbearable suffocation . Every one devotionally took this pledge and. I learned to relate to each of them . We had the tendency of stocking up on techniques like food for a famine. those initiations were a true vice. To many among us. Swimming in my state of elation. Bound to a very oriental lifestyle. Coming across different groups of people who practiced Kriya I had the feeling of meeting my vast family. Generally speaking. I received various initiations by different teachers. at almost all those initiation seminars a solemn pledge of secrecy was the password to be accepted. many 61 . in turn. I met a lot of people who were yet "too passionate" for Kriya and anything which had to do with personal development. I didn't understand anything of other people and it seemed to me that they lived a very beautiful life.for example. they shared.from which I would eventually have to break loose. to those who would host me whenever a seminar was held in a distant city . did very beautiful jobs and I dreamed to live like them forever. I met people whose enthusiasm toward Kriya was very moderate. a destructive criticism was often raised against information coming from other sources. At times I would react to their oddness ironically. In this new ambiance. Bringing flowers was recommended. it came out so spontaneously. the explanations were always quick and shallow. making up my mind about abandoning all other practices for the one I had just received. would take part in other initiations and would reciprocate the favor. and it seemed they practiced the few techniques they knew as if making a sacrifice to atone for the "guilt" of existence.usually a precise sum of money was set. rather I really had the impression of eating that music since after some days of singing I realized I had exhausted it and was looking for another song to plunge into as if it were the only one worthy of singing. With regard to Kriya proper. Inside the group tied to my first organization. as soon as the meeting was over. This habit created some conflicts in us. I shunned the awareness that the new initiation had only added something insignificant to that which I already knew.
their past lives in order to revive and then understand the deeper traumas. greater expansion of consciousness than could ever be achieved via other means. assumed the role of the psychotherapist. I began to realize that I was going adrift -. through hypnotic regression. decorations.that this process of removing the internal blocks could help improve the energy flow inside the body during Kriya. They worked for some time. crystals and other objects. which in 20 minutes a day would result in the regeneration of their DNA. seemed to intensify their experience of Kriya. delighted by entranced awareness of the different 62 . color therapy… This harmless distractions aroused great enthusiasm. were expensive distractions to be added to Kriya. from the slightest indispositions to the most serious illnesses. group therapies directed by eccentric individuals devoid of academic formation..losing some essential attainments like the breathless state.. Sitting on the ground in a circle. experiences that they had never told before. but with the new era. overcoming inner resistances. In their meditation room. filled with multicolored posters and cushions. unfortunately some strayed further away from Kriya up to the point of losing it entirely. and were effectively seduced by the temptation of applying faster means. There were also those who tried to find. This process. This colossal waste of time had been like preparing one's house for a distinguished guest. one group of kriyabans was under the influence of a cunning fellow who. man had evolved and should employ faster tools. As for me.focused their attention only on secondary aspects of the mystical path and had lost sight of their goal. they formed work groups and. I was struck by the tendency to spend lots of money on training workshops focused on strange therapeutic methods like aromatherapy. There existed no other reality to be sought. They were all right up to 50 years ago. in accordance with the situation.. afterwards they were forsaken. becoming more intense could give decisive help in the most delicate phases in the process of full-body cleaning. A few were ensnared by the claim that the classical meditative practices the sober methods adopted through the ages by the mystics of various religions were no longer valid for our time. I had forgotten everything. final liberation etc.with a pendulum in his hand -. the listening to the Om sound.. the alternative physician who -. From the legal point of view..was able to diagnose everything. they were satisfied by the established beautiful atmosphere.. the spiritual teacher. The idea to keep this virtuous circle in motion fascinated them without limit. shared. endlessly polishing and decorating it. sometimes with acute suffering. as well as to suggest remedies. It seemed – the idea did not appear so bad . Research on alternative medicines. crystal therapy. These group participants became enthusiastic of "expensive techniques" shared over the weekend. in turn. To clean away their internal conflicts. His methods gave great importance to revealing one's childhood traumas in group discussions. it was like I had been hypnotized. this alternative psychotherapy had to be camouflaged as a cultural or religious activity.
They knew little about Kriya Yoga and they taught it in an even more superficial way. in one case. in no small part because the seminars were not given nearby but abroad. what appears as a long journey will become like a stroll".is practiced with the energy present in the body. in expensive residences. I learned to listen to them respectfully and silently whenever they would correct some of my fancy interpretations of Kriya Yoga. improvisation and. Now. This was strongly contrasting with the personality expected of people who called themselves "spiritual guides".meanwhile. How was it possible that we kept enduring these situations? The 63 . if this energy is recharged by the flow of the Universal Energy. prophetic lines which had once been the source of so many uncertainties. sometimes impolite and unethical. after having repeatedly rung the bell. Some trifling episodes confirmed our first impression of instability. Never did they try to force something into my mind. the guest was sitting neglected on the doormat… I realized also -. even of mental instability.Y. They were always generous toward me and respectful of my personality. bitterness or formality. effort and money. We agreed that our teachers were mostly mediocre persons. rebuked that there was no reason to be perplexed about those practices. he really strained in studying those texts. They gave the impression of being honest researchers and always guaranteed that no nonsense would ever slip out of their mouths. I felt that those researchers were my real family. "We are expected to answer in a positive way. We don't have to stay jammed against this beneficial current -.that my criterion to judge the excellence of a new technique of meditation (or of some confuse mix of new age cathartic methods of self healing) by a vague sense of well-being perceived during the practice itself meant having made my ego the compass needle of my spiritual journey. He read and re-read through those texts several times trying to figure them out. quoted by heart some lines from a work by P.otherwise we could have … to die and be born again just to live those experiences that we are now shunning!" "The Kriya technique -. I had different occasions to meet and to approach more intimately those who organized these meetings. They would comment: "It is our Karma that is giving us the best of all the opportunities to grow in all the planes". without having tried them. We were not able to find even one of them who would prove to possess that mastery of Kriya which is so crucial in such a delicate pedagogic work as they were attempting to do. feeling annoyed. a lady.and perhaps this is the most important thing -. the same. beyond simple exhibitionism. Later on.she added -. All this cost a lot. passionately sharing everything they had learned. When I dared to call into question the validity of the whole thing..comforts their house allows . Our relationship was based on real affection and it never came to disagreement. no matter if it cost them a great deal of time. I was surprised when one of them. It had never entered my mind this dangerous and potentially destructive mania to explore unceasingly the mysteries inherent to the "human potential". Some were lured to invest in expensive seminars where their energy channels would be opened and they would learn the secret of how to make use of the Universal Energy.
I will always be grateful to this friend for all the 64 .'s school that supported our deferential and tolerant attitude toward people whom were actually abusing our trust and confidence. A couple happened to meet a boaster assuring them he knew Kriya Yoga and could initiate them. This could only happen as long as they had kept it a total secret without establishing any contact with other teachers. you surely must be the only one still practicing it!". an Ashram's address where he had planned to go. Unfortunately. this is something he did not have the chance to do. as he usually did. Kriya Yoga was not practiced any longer. He was so irritated by that news that he planned to go back to India to raise a protest to that Kriya Acharya. In spite of our huge character difference. Something different happened to a friend of mine who met a descendant of Lahiri Mahasaya. In this manner. in other places. showed on their face the excitement for having seen such an extraordinary land.fact that they claimed they were authorized to initiate. This was one of the master's nephews. then by posing him apparently incidental questions.. In my opinion. A certain blow came for him one month later: he came to know that a man from his same town had recently been initiated into Kriya Yoga from the very personage he had met in Benares. the boaster made sure that they would not realize that it was not Kriya Yoga they were being taught. I tried to understand what had happened. my friend's eyes were looking at me surprisingly. We were subjugated by the myth that Kriya is to be received from an "authorized" teacher. I kept enough control not to interrupt or to challenge him. I was taken aback when he told me "something bizarre". I dare say it is not practiced throughout the whole Indian peninsula. began their discussion with trivialities like asking some information on Indian habits. a man with a great academic background and with a deep knowledge of Kriya. overcoming their inner opposition.Y. He told me that in Benares. His demeanor must have frozen the eminent listener. I did not pry into it. At the end of his explanations. At the same time. because his answer resulted in a sarcastically sour. it was nothing more than the mere repetition of a Mantra! What made me feel sorry about it was not so much the great advantage gained by those braggers (the Gurudakshina -donation -. but my friend was not able to learn anything from him. in other words: "Definitely not. It is strange to think that it was this deep rooted suggestion received from P. then almost at the end of the interview – he must have suddenly remembered he was in Lahiri Mahasaya's house – he asked if any of the disciples of Lahiri were still practicing Kriya. a serious disease killed him. I am still not sure whether he was hoping to convince me or whether he was just absorbed in bitter frustration. Rather. I had this technique explained to me as well. My friend.they received meant a real fortune at my friends' expense) as for our friends missing the opportunity of learning Kriya from other sources. negative response. it is not practiced any longer. and probably throughout rest of India. Some friends of ours. blinded us. coming back from India. he did not realize how foolish his discussion had been with that noble person. I could realize this only when. their disappointment for all the things they had not been able to learn started to emerge..
I hoped. Lahiri Mahasaya's mythical Guru. How was it possible. From some clues.the one. never checked that material – he was taken aback later on. could be neither left 65 . he acquired a large volume summarizing the techniques. " Babaji's Kriya had Tantric origins". coming to know about those "supplementary notes". he showed me that book. the techniques did not differ that much from those I already knew. to have a note saying that those teachings came directly from Babaji? Simple . I was afraid that this could upset the simple and adequately profitable routine into which I had settled. However. I simply had to convince myself that Babaji had but made a synthesis of Tantrism to obtain His Kriya Yoga. In the last part of the book a precise gradual routine was given. He discussed how he had found those techniques in some tantric texts which he had translated. I can remember a very complicated technique based on the visualization of the Chakras like they are described in Tantric texts. they had the brilliant idea of making it more interesting by hinting that the techniques were derived from the mythical Babaji.as is the case with the majority of Indian masters. Of course. On the contrary.. In the end. At the end of his trip. since those notes contained what I was asking for.things that he shared with me concerning his spiritual path. Chance made me listen to the recording of a conference of the author Swami S. It was impudent to think that Thokar could be considered no more than a variation of the Jalandhara Bandha! If the instructions for Kechari Mudra were not there. S. but there were many more details. visibly content. Another friend of mine remained for some days at an Ashram in the hope he might receive initiation into Kriya Yoga. there was nothing contained in that book that could remove all my doubts. he then made an accurate selection from them to form a coherent system which constituted his system of Kriya.I was not in the best mood. Each technique was preceded by a theoretic introduction with quotations from ancient books and an illustration which eliminated any possible doubt. into which my previous teacher had immersed me in a passionate way. Third Teacher outside the Organization When the moment came to meet the long awaited teacher from India . He then tried to defend his disciples' work stating that after all …. there was a note guaranteeing that all the mentioned techniques constituted Kriya Yoga as taught by Babaji. The teacher. nothing on Thokar either. it probably just meant that … Kechari was not really so important! With a bit of good will and application I could have closed the circle. reflecting another classic Indian habit. not a single hint about how to obtain Kechari Mudra. I knew I was going to reckon with a radically new approach. he had the book written by his disciples. who was going to explain Kriya in its complete form . I would have liked to yield to the illusion that my quest had finally ended. The magical realm of Omkar. never mind. Since that material was very interesting. then. and my friend received the initiation into Kriya Yoga from one of his disciples. The leader of the Ashram was away.
underneath the words. a sudden joy would expand in my chest and rise to my eyes to the point that I could barely hold back my tears. One day. From certain answers to people's questions. This is why I approached my new teacher with the idea of rejecting him if. But I focused all my attention on the learning his form of Kriya and ignore his patent faults. For instance. He was hottempered. a veiled opposition -. only this could hide it. How come my first school didn't teach such a simple technique like Talabya Kriya. 66 . Looking at the distant mountains or at other details of the landscape. his instructions on Pranayama -. During the following initiation seminar.formally correct -. but a journey beyond the mind. I came to know that he knew my former teacher and was aware of his choice not to teach the whole body of the Kriya techniques. For some days I experienced a feeling of "dizziness" and my mental faculties seemed to be fogged up. Kechari Mudra After three months of Talabya Kriya I achieved Kechari. he would always sense. He clearly communicated to us that the reason for his tour to the West was to reestablish the original teachings. using my fingers to push the base of the tongue inward. only this could keep back the joy clutching my being. I did not even dream about putting other principles in place as a foundation for my spiritual path. I would try to direct my feeling toward them in order to turn my paralyzing joy into aesthetic rapture. into an uncontaminated territory. in part. This was enough to overcome my initial wariness. he appeared to be trying to guide me away from such a reality.could be understood only by those who had already been practicing Kriya Yoga for a long time. The synthesis of his introductory speech was that Kriya didn't mean to inflate the mind and the ego moving toward a hypothetical superior mind. When I went out for a walk. unusually synthetic. somehow. if I met somebody and stopped to listen to him. I was overjoyed because I felt I had finally found the First Kriya complete set of techniques. even if they were legitimate. Then all this ceased and my Kriya flew high. its tip remain "trapped" in the nasal pharynx. The technical explanation was reasonably clear but.an intention of challenging his authority.aside nor forgotten. preferring to endure endless polemics and speculations that continue up to our present day? I wrote my reasons to the organization and left it forever. I indulgently observed some inadequacies in his behavior which shocked other students. I had some discomfort owing to an increase in salivation and a sense of irritation. The best thing was to witness an increase of the Omkar experience. no matter what he said. He exploded with rage whenever he was addressed questions. I met him in a Yoga center where he had been invited by some disciples.
.) bring back to our mind. put them in order and glued them on four sheets of paper highlighting the four phases of Taoist Internal Alchemy. These energies are blended.Navi Kriya and Internal Alchemy While trying to explore the meaning of Navi Kriya I discovered the importance of studying the Taoist Internal Alchemy. a. I remember how I photocopied many pages of the book. The idea comes that Kriya Yoga is the Taoist Internal Alchemy. Prana is increased in the thrusting channel. Two to One". My enthusiastic response derived from the intuition that Kriya Yoga and Taoist Internal Alchemy shared a common foundation and by studying the latter. The similarity with Kriya Yoga was really impressive. It consists in activating the Microcosmic Orbit. a split at one's birth. In the second stage the energy stored in the head is conveyed into the Dantian. In the fourth stage the energy reaches the region between the eyebrows and a spontaneous phenomenon of circulation of energy in the body. It is not a weird idea that the mythical Babaji was/is one of the "immortals" of the Taoist tradition. The purpose of this action is "to bring Three to Two. (the Macrocosmic Orbit) happens. This channel runs like a tube from the perineum to the Fontanelle through the center of the body. cut out the most important pieces. The description of this stage exemplify clearly the principle of Navi Kriya. taught within an Indian context.which we have received from different Indian sources. There were two key ideas that excited my interest in particular. in the lower abdomen. The first aim of activating the Microcosmic Orbit is to create harmony among them and thus exert a permanent healing action upon the personality. They were originated by a fracture.. flute with no holes. some weird explanation about Kriya Pranayama and Kriya in general -. In the third stage. The first stage is the basis of the whole process. Various metaphors used to explain its mechanism (bagpipe turned upside-down. Awareness and energy (Qi) are raised during inhalation along the Governor channel at the back of the spine and let flow down along the Functional channel during exhalation. mixed together. Kriya Yoga turns out to be a discipline which can be described through the symbols of two different cultures. This procedure is very similar to Kriya Pranayama. My first reference book was: Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality by Charles Luk& Lu Kuan. behind the navel. The three are Jing (sexual energy). in the front of the spine. Qi (love energy) and Shen (spiritual energy). Let us see what this means. I could understand more clearly the working of some Kriya techniques. I studied every title I could find on the subject (Taoism included). with surprising similarity. Sexual energy is the fuel of the spiritual energy Very interesting to understand the vital action of Kriya Pranayama is what 67 . My attention was considerably stirred up. From the Dantian it ascends spontaneously into the heart region.
in order that this happens. This great energy of love will gradually turn into pure aspiration for the spiritual goal. Some kriyabans. The spiritual energy vibrates during the highest peaks of aesthetic contemplation. noble instincts and ethical laws. Kriya Pranayama sets one person free from all bondages. Now. the energy has to come up to the head and then flow down into the body passing through the tongue. each part of the body.and sexuality is repressed as unholy. on the flow of Prana coming down from the top of the brain. love and spiritual) are mixed harmoniously. They should assume Kechari Mudra. We know that this point is the main cause of nerve-wracking conflicts in spiritually minded people. The energy of love is a deep feeling toward another person. b. especially if they don't practice Kechari Mudra . The energy of love acquires strength.. They will immediately experience how sexual thoughts disappear and become pure love. their division being originated at our birth and reinforced by education and social living.Internal Alchemy explains about the three energies: Jing (sexual energy).!). breath after breath. Qi (love energy) and Shen (spiritual energy). and that which gives us the strength and the determination to fight the battle of life and to achieve all the things we need (unfortunately. The Macrocosmic Orbit embodies the perfection of Kriya Pranayama When the three energies (sexual. the determination not to succumb to any obstacle. it is then raised into the head where it mixes with the energy of the Spirit. It has been explained that these energies derive from one unique realty. healing rain restoring life in the body. It trickles down into the body and feeds every cell. but this is another problem. another reason why we fight is to achieve things which are superfluous to our living. unimpeded toward Spirit. develop sexual thoughts .it is not unusual they become sexually aroused. Through Kriya Pranayama the sexual energy turns into pure love and this in spiritual aspiration: this event implies a permanent healing action upon all one's personality. Many religious paths teach to maintain. and concentrate.during the initial deep breaths of their Kriya Pranayama. life in general and also the joy felt beholding a work of art. Kriya Pranayama creates harmony among them and this is not clearly described in Kriya Yoga books. Any split in our personality will disappear: our many-sided life begins to flow naturally. passing through the tip of the tongue into the throat and into the body. the division between matter and spirit . This happens in a state called "prenatal breathing" which is a movement of internal energy that gives perceptions similar to those obtained through the Microcosmic Orbit but is now experienced in the breathless state 68 . living creatures. This event should not result in disappointment and loss of self-esteem! It is comfortable to be reassured that this is a normal phenomenon. during exhalation. It is the fuel of fair-minded actions born out of inner. where the vast prophetic visions may manifest. they create the elixir of immortality. rather to cultivate as a virtue. the sexual thoughts (which seem to be reinforced) will turn into love thoughts. During Kriya Pranayama.. as a beatific. either proper or a simplified form of it. Sexual energy is not only what this name implies but also the agent that makes us rejoice in the sensory perceptions.
(Kevala Kumbhaka). We just imitate them". in the many years of his own practice. Among the very interesting information that I found in his writings. The author maintains that these are pretexts. But any energy movement upward has to be balanced by a movement downward. He observed that while through Kundalini Yoga one is just trying to climb up to the crown of their head to experience there divine ecstasy. nurture and transform it. in the Taoist Internal Alchemy one utilizes that state to reach the body. passionate talks with people who had studied and followed that path for decades. a path of "ascent".he is confident that somebody will take his refinements and improve on them. One should take the teachings received by the tradition into consideration. a taoist said to him: "We don't know why the ancients kept it so secret. it is substantially a "fire" path. I had long. The spiritual path does not end with a flight out of the body toward the rarefied dimensions of the Spirit. According to him no tradition respects the whole mystery of human nature as deeply as the Taoist Internal Alchemy. Michael Winn was wholly devoted to Taoist Internal Alchemy and Qigong (Chi Kung). try them with a lot of respect and take also the courage to solve the problems that might arise alone. This refined experience makes the spiritual path complete: the Divine is infused into our body. although Kriya Yoga has many parallels with the Taoist Internal Alchemy. This researcher studied Kundalini Yoga in the late 70's and Kriya Yoga afterwards with a renowned teacher. As usual it was claimed that secrecy was meant to protect the purity of the lineage and prevent corruption by selfish people who might abuse the spiritual power gained. he has evolved toward simplicity -. It appears as an experience of perfect Beauty. He reports that. Michael Winn's noble definitive position is that if one feels spiritually attracted to some particular 69 . I was surprised to learn that the annoying problem of secrecy concerns also the Taoist Internal Alchemy. He took the binding appointment of teaching only from direct personal experience. until one settles in the still point of no movement. It was of great help to read some articles and essays written by Michael Winn. Patanjali (Sutra III/29) simply states: "nābhicakre kāyavyūhajñānamḥ" which is translated: "by concentration on the navel. One who wants to follow the spiritual path could avoid a wide range of problems by listening to the practical wisdom it embodies. When I had enough confidence to communicate my discovery to my third teacher. In my own small way. In our body that point is the Dan Tian.. the seeker obtains knowledge about the different organs of the body and their location". he reacted annoyed claiming that Navi Kriya was pure Yoga and was quoted by Patanjali too. oral or written teachings may become traps: only the living experience promotes the true self-inquiry which leads to Self realization. Actually. He noticed that. I saw that this Sutra had nothing to do with Navi Kriya's aim. In his opinion.. The Macrocosmic Orbit discloses undreamed of sceneries. the doorway to reach the prenatal state of blissful breathlessness. not sincere and not sufficiently thought over.
" The more I read Krishnaji. of finding the time to contemplate again Beauty. It was distracting. I felt undoubtedly they expressed a deep truth but my logic suggested peremptorily: "This is a sophism: even Krishnaji acted as a Guru and acts upon me just now through his writings". How difficult it was! But it was not impossible.as Krishnaji would say -. How right was Krishnaji when he said: "life begins where thought ends. The obsession for finding the techniques of the "Original Kriya" didn't emanate from a heightened form of spirituality but was no different to the desire for material things. it was with this poor attitude that. Many mistakes had to be conceived.. partially unaware. to break any dependence toward my third teacher. The effort to create mental silence brought me at the very beginning of my spiritual path. Krishnamurti said what was then difficult to fully agree with: "What is the need of a Guru? [. The time was not mature yet to actualize his words: fear held me back. I was not able to see that Beauty for I was lost -. of returning to simplicity. the more I felt I had recently crossed a hell. preventing me from enjoying what I already had.." While I was reading these lines.teaching and feels worthy to receive it.. No human being should be denied the opportunity of achieving true spiritual independence! The Teaching of Krishnamurti Since the works of Sri Krishnamurti (Krishnaji for those who loved him) were the source from which my third teacher drew to full hands for his discourses about the damages caused by the vices of the human mind." I had a great necessity of recreating silence around me. carry out and digested. after many years of controversial but loyal discipleship. and impoverished me. the concept that entered my mind was that Kriya Yoga (Krishnaji referred in general to "meditation") leads to a territory that cannot be grasped by reasonings. on pseudo spiritual literature which was actually trash. but without a single thought in my mind. Actually. then he has the right to learn it without groveling at anyone's feet. I put my heart and my soul into a systematic study of them.. Walking with this attitude became pure and constant Bliss! During recent years Beauty was always around me but I didn't noticed it because I was lost in my mental constructions based on New Age fantasies. and on that journey you have to be your own teacher and pupil. I was living my hectic search. I walked in the country looking at all things with my senses fully awake. I remember how I decided to conquer the tendency to day-dream 70 . draining me of the flow of genuine aspiration toward the Divine." How true! The odd thing was that Krishnaji's thought contained the crucial and conclusive boost that would assist me.in the "Beauty of my own making. thought is cunning. by the many fantasies of the human mind. The first line I read was: ". For the present moment. I studied many books by this author but I was literally overcome by the beauty of The only revolution. He hinted at something immense: a stream of truth that has no beginning and no end. you have to take the journey alone. with infinite possibilities of self-deception.] You have to walk by yourself.
Although it does not seem to respect a logical order in the topics and contains an endless number of repetitions and rhetorical sentences. Helped by his main disciple Ashoke Kumar Chatterjee. I would raise my eyes to the distant mountaintops and repeat inside of me "At long last…!". I also read the commentaries on some sacred writings attributed to Lahiri Mahasaya. many times. giving moments of pleasure but being the primary cause of many misery. It came out in Bengali (then in French and in English). I looked at the photograph of Lahiri Mahasaya on the front cover. At that time. thanks to one of Lahiri Mahasaya's nephews. yet they were disappointed. It was with my all heart that I gave her the right to swim in her mental swamps and estranged forever myself from her presence. a vice. he is the supreme Brahma". In these commentaries. Puran Purush is based on Lahiri Mahasaya's diaries. In that period I read also Puran Purush by Ashoke Kumar Chatterjee).thus. he decided to make a selection of the main thoughts which might be useful to those who practiced Kriya. hoping to find there some useful information. During those days. his eyebrows raised like in the Shambhavi Mudra. where awareness is set upon the head. his figure. avoiding those people who seemed irremediably lost in it. he explained the meaning of the sacred texts. One feels a thrill of delight by reading sentences which have light in themselves: "Kutastha is God. his disciple P. It shows his skill in communicating complicated abstract concepts when he affirms that the whole course of Kriya is a great adventure beginning with a dynamic Prana and ending with a static Prana. Remarkable is the great importance he gave to Pranayama. A pranotherapeut got into the habit of coming unrequested into my life to rob me of my time and peace -. as they were written in Bengali. They were later translated into English. Since years she was putting stress on me criticizing my rationality and excessive commitment to Kriya Yoga. Later.and jump from one memory to another during my idle moments. Thokar and Yoni Mudra. after reading a part of it. A lot of people studied that material with enthusiasm. I knew perfectly that unbridled thought was a real addiction. During summer I used to have this book with me in the countryside. who had material access to those diaries. the core of Kriya may be reached as fast as an arrow. We are not able to extract anything useful from 71 . I think that studying it can help more than any other books to understand Lahiri Mahasaya's personality -. with that blissful smile. who knows what a state of bliss he was in while being photographed! I saw some horizontal lines on his forehead. Undoubtedly she thought I was cold-hearted. It was to discipline myself that I considered studying the art of Pranayama and discovered Kriya Yoga. he was the symbol of the perfection I yearned after. But I had a compassionate heart suffering of losing my time with her. Satya Charan Lahiri (1902-1978). These books were little known for a long time.she wanted to teach me "to live with the heart". Bhattacharya printed these interpretations. a slight tension of his chin seemed to reveal he was practicing Kechari Mudra. was a sun in my heart. I saw it was time to put a definitive end to my relationship with the New Age world.
changing neither their order of practice nor the number of their repetitions. reading the verses of those texts. often an invincible drowsiness overpowered all my best efforts. During the long sessions of the incremental routines of Navi Kriya and of Kriya Pranayama. whose number of repetitions is gradually increased up to a certain amount that the tradition has handed down as optimal. I couldn't understand how 72 . What he said on that occasion could have been taken as a specific comment to that text.from an exegetic point of view . it would fall away by itself. in order to publish those hard-to-understand notes. When we think of the Kriya practice we imagine the classic unvarying scheme which consists in a daily practice of the same set of techniques. An Incremental Routine is a particular feature of Lahiri Mahasaya's Kriya. Yet I didn't abandon my project and went on increasing the length of my sessions. According to my discernment. It consists in once a week. as if centuries before. Furthermore. it is possible that. it is possible to hypothesize that. From a certain moment onwards.something that could not be but that way. could be received from what seemed to be a voyage into the unconscious world of dreams. especially by adopting Kechari Mudra. the drowsiness changed into an extraordinary condition of relaxation. Lahiri Mahasaya was transported from the force of his insight. definite. practicing Maha Mudra several times. forgot completely the starting point and. These routines soon revealed their great heuristic value. inevitable . If a certain variation of a Kriya technique was redundant or ineffective. Higher Kriyas and Incremental Routines It was in that period that I became familiar with the concept of Incremental Routine which I immediately considered heaven-sent. What remained was just the simplest logical translation of Lahiri Mahasaya's words into practice. deprived of any embellishment. Many times I wondered what benefit. It seems to me almost impossible that they came really from Lahiri Mahasaya: I don't find the same practical wisdom and tremendous realization expressed in his diaries. appeared as something fixed. entranced. I find rather a mind with an almost maniacal tendency to interpret each thing in the light of Kriya. talked extensively and freely about the subtleties of Kriya. I dare not say they are adulterated but I think that their value . the authors of those spiritual works knew exactly one by one all the Kriya techniques.them. Kriya Pranayama and to all the Higher Kriyas. The essential core of each technique. it has also a positive effect on one's personality. No help came from changing the position of the legs. the editor had them completed with parts of his own comprehension. On the inner screen of my awareness was displaying a lot of images like dreamlike visions. if any. in particular to Navi Kriya. This procedure can be applied to each Kriya technique. releasing it from many inner obstacles. for a certain number of weeks (20 – 24 – 36 …). putting the usual routine aside and using only one technique.is almost null. or interrupting for a short pause the practice. This is the most remunerative Kriya praxis because it leads to the mastery (unimaginable with any other scheme of practice) of the techniques which are utilized for such procedure.
it was like a cascade of light! So unexpected was it! A part of my mind went on repeating: "A human being has never been granted so much joy!" All went on in the best of ways. he crossed me off his list of disciples. But I deliberately began to control myself and took the resolution not to give him any unsolicited advice in the future. after 60 repetitions of Kriya Pranayama. a guided group practice which served as a review both for the new initiates and for those who were already practicing. he had interpreted my letter as an oblique criticism. I occupied myself with making this proposal reach the teacher through a friend who went to India. the way the sun warms up the land around. I developed so much nervousness that I couldn't remain sitting. it is necessary to refer again to the haste and shallowness with which he explained the Kriya techniques. His decision was transmitted to the Italian coordinator. where the crisp pure air invited me to practice outside in its beauty. keep on collaborating with him and to drop the theme of my letter. After each syllable. we underlined the necessity of making a particular proposal to our teacher: to organize. it is described as Fifth Kriya . One day I had a visit from the couple that organized the master's tours in Germany. As a reply. I decided to pretend nothing happened. I had become acquainted with those kind friends during the seminars of my previous teacher S.I dwelt now in the most complete tranquility having practiced hundreds of such breaths. a sound of tolling bells came from a distant village . One evening. We exchanged hugs as if nothing had happened. (Actually. I created a short pause. In order to explain the definitive crack in our relationship. enough to perceive the sweet irradiation springing out from each center.third part) was really a magic one: I would lie if I do not affirm that I have an endless nostalgia for those days. Master's reaction was inexplicable. Talking. I gave him a letter to deliver to the teacher with my regards and a warm embrace. at the end of his future Kriya initiation seminars. had I not gone to welcome him back to Europe. The introductory lecture to the Kriya (which was usually held the evening before initiation) and a big part of the seminar of initiation was devoted 73 . The Mantra's syllables. Meeting again and considering the actual situation we rejoiced together.. which I would carefully place into each Chakra. In order not to disturb the peace of all the persons who were with me to receive initiation in the Higher Kriyas. I was more keen on enjoying the vibration of each syllable. would warm me up. who did not even inform me. This amplified the experience of joy . The period in which I plunged head-first into the incremental routine of the technique that he called Thokar (in the second part of the book. I was living a magnificent period. When in the late afternoon the practice neared the end. I started this routine at the beginning of March on a near perfect day under a flawless blue sky. I was appalled and disoriented. Some months went by and probably my experience with that teacher would have ended that way. while once.limitlessly. He probably interpreted my presence there as a move of repentance. explained to me what happened behind the scenes.) When his collaborator.H. with a slight indecipherable hint of embarrassment. I believe I had really overworked it by using too much this incomparable tool.
The public listened to his vain words with a sigh of ill-concealed nuisance. a problem of translation might have occurred. which in our place was very difficult to find. It happened that from one year to another he demonstrated Thokar in a visibly different way. in the past seminars. enduring its length as a giant bummer. correspondingly. is something that appears spontaneously after having tasted the honey of the spiritual experience. waited just for the explanation of the techniques. the male students would look at women (except their wife) as mothers and. sparing himself the annoyance of getting up and walking among them. a kriyaban's life would be licentious? The necessity of accepting definite ways of behavior. but he continued using it in order to be heard by the last rows of students too. 74 .to a pure philosophical talk which didn't touch the bases of Kriya Yoga but was a summing up of Krishnamurti's strong points. In any case. When one among the listeners asked him about the reason for the changes. requiring people who are anxious for learning Kriya Yoga techniques to take an oath to obey them is only a farce and a waste of time. Everyone gave an assent with a nod. When. he argued he had not changed anything and that. which he improperly called Swadhyaya. it has been seen that people living a morally questionable life were successful in Kriya. from now onwards. forcing the students to desperately look for it store after store) laid heaped up disorderly before a scruffy altar. coming spontaneously to the socalled virtuous life. an oath that no one would ever respect. with aching back and knees. despite it being late and people being tired. The traditional offerings (he required also a coconut. There was no part of it that could be criticized. believing that this was the "secret" he had brought from India. just in time to catch the last train. he loved to linger on Patanjali's Yama and Niyama. all he said was correct. He knew that this sound was not correct. mainly the theme of no-mind. tried to reproduce the same noise. My teacher's request in particular was impossible. Since he usually arrived with great delay relative to the agreed time. those who came from other cities saw all their plans for the return journey falling through and were very anxious. women would look at men (except their husband) as fathers. while a lot of conformists failed. taking all the necessary time to ask the audience to take a solemn vow: that. As for Higher Kriyas the situation was the same. someone had already left the room. To put it simply. in spite of his close collaborators' polite complaints. as Kriya teachers usually do. but many students. People remembered very well the head movements they 14 I respect of course Yama-Niyama (the what-is-correct and the what-is-not-correct) but. Perhaps in the beginning the best thing is not to cry shame because of a problematic student's behavior. 14 Only then he switched to a hurried explanation of the basic techniques. being uncomfortable sitting on the floor. in my opinion. he would not bother to say that the sound had to be smooth rather than vibrating. One day I decided to time him: the explanation of the fundamental technique of Pranayama was offered in no more than two minutes! He demonstrated Kriya Pranayama by means of an excessively loud vibratory sound. Why not put confidence in the transforming power of Kriya? Why thinking that without oaths. just to stop his ravings. He carried on that way for years. I know that many of the students.
I sensed I was doing a virtually useless work. then most of them would leave everything and pursue other esoteric interests. Observing in my teacher the 75 . I rejoiced at this opportunity because I dreamed I could finally explain Kriya in a complete and exhaustive way. He used it. After some months -. was the sole technical "discourse" I had with him in the course of my six years with him. Although I spent weeks with him. A blank dark wall. well knowing that they would practice for some weeks. it was not possible that we discussed this technical detail together. superficial manner: behind my mask of fake delight hid a dry agony. One or two among the most tenacious students made up some questions and called me just to have the illusion of carrying on. one day he asked me to teach Kriya to those who were interested and who couldn't meet him in his tours.which he had often described to me. did not love Kriya. I answered kindly but succinctly and invited them to the next seminar where my teacher would be present. a relationship with a real person.had formerly seen: his lie was too evident. I had the impression that I was cooperating with an archaeologist who was deliberately altering certain findings in order to justify them to the public in the theoretical framework to which he was accustomed. He suddenly turned toward me with his eyes showing such a hate as if he was in the act of killing me. This.about a dozen people had received Kriya -. by counseling a minimal routine. I felt that this man. Months later. I helped to organize his tours in a way so that he could spread Kriya in his rushed. only to conduct a more beautiful life here in the West compared to the wretched life in India -. from a distance. There were moments in which. according to what I'm able to remember. and behind it heaven. thinking of my meek beginning in the practice of Yoga. my heart felt an indefinite nostalgia for that period which was waiting for nothing but consistency and honesty on my side to rise again and blossom unimpeded. instead. I can vividly remember a dream in which I was swimming in manure. I wanted no student to feel the pain of seeing a legitimate question unconsidered. during another tour. he shouted that my practice was not his business. I switched to the explanation of the basic techniques. they didn't "survive" such a meeting. I saw that so many things were not going in the right direction. My subconscious mind was beginning to rebel. I found the courage to drop a hint about a technical issue. which set one Kriya school against another. Confronted with other minor changes from one year to another. Turning Point For reasons that I don't want to explore here. Often I repeated like a Mantra these verses from a poem (Journey's End) of Sri Aurobindo: Now the wasteland. whose every small whim I tried to satisfy as if I was doing a sacred deed. I took leave of those students. Usually. now the silence. when we were alone and he was seeking something in a room. After introducing the theme of no-mind. I gave Kriya initiation following the fixed protocol by which he bid me to abide.
We should have talked to each other long before it came to this! I wondered why he had never let me express my concerns. situation. but there was no other way out. Another year went by. My subconscious mind was ready for the cataclysm. That was the point when he asked me: "From whom have you learned all these details?". In a disdainful way. I went on behalf of my teacher to their group to teach them Kriya Yoga. he would stop coming to our group. in fact. I would have been the one who had disturbed an imperfect.most total lack of human understanding. they got themselves up for his visit with an intense practice of Kriya. He was in Australia. they entered a deep crisis. would be able to comprehend the reason for my action. I didn't want to destroy him. he did not address it directly to me but pretended to answer back to the 'persona' that had materially sent my letter via fax. Through a friend.I was like S. They doubted that Kriya worked and that they had made the right choice in receiving initiation in it. the necessity that brought me to write to him was to establish once and for all what I was supposed to communicate and what not to communicate to the kriyabans during initiation. as a result of our break. As an answer to some friends abroad. He asked me a lot of pertinent questions. his annual visit was a powerful stimulus to their effort. Reading the term "gratification. yet comfortable. Knowing how irascible the disposition of my teacher was. since I was authorized to teach Kriya. I neither apologized nor answered in a resentful tone. There I met a very serious student who was already familiar with my teacher's behavior and was taking part in the initiation ceremony only as a revision. but within one week at the latest I would have received his answer. always getting accurate answers. The most probable situation was that my teacher would have become very angry and would have flown into a fury. a 76 ." I saw he had understood nothing. He wrote that my excessive attachment to the techniques would never let me out of the fences of my mind -. in anticipation of an event I intuitively knew would come. I hesitated a lot. A harsh reply from my third teacher came just a few days later. He knew well that my teacher was a total disaster from a didactic point of view. too desirous to touch with my hand and verify the goodness of his teachings. If the whole situation slipped out of my hands and. I didn't want to contest him. My friends liked him. He perceived that I had learned many details from other sources. How could I ever give Kriya initiation using a knowledge that did not originate from my teacher? He could understand my predicament but was surprised that. I wrote that. since I taught Kriya on his behalf. Why did he always evade me? I decided to behave in a candid way as if I had not perceived his tone: I had the desire to see what he was capable of doing. I sent him a fax where I mentioned the matter at hand and prayed him to arrange his schedule in a way that we could discuss it after his arrival in my group during his next tour. Few people. I had never found the chance to talk freely with him about the Kriya details! It was logical and befitting for me to settle the matter as soon as possible. those people who loved him would suffer. Thomas. He added that he would have satisfied my request but only for gratifying my ego.
The nightmare was over! I took a one day vacation and had a long walk. could also be present. I added that at such an event the other three people in Europe. It was too beautiful: I was free. I did not receive. I had been too many years with him. neither then nor later. All of a sudden I found myself crying with joy. Some weeks later I was shown that on his Internet site the plan of his visit to Italy had changed and the name of my town had been taken off. imagining a hypothetical talk with him. tensely. authorized by him to impart the Kriya initiation. I thus made him understand that he would have not wasted his time and breath only for me. my second letter had brought about a definitive split. any answer. I roamed a lot. and now all that really ended! 77 .mutual talk about some Kriya details was necessary.
I accepted to cooperate with this project. which didn't quench their thirst for a thoroughly understanding of Kriya. visibly vexed. My first organization of Kriya and the other teachers that I followed for so many years had disappointed me for one reason. My thought went to all the Kriya enthusiasts who found. All those obstacles seemed to me an absurdity that wore the 78 . During a break in the afternoon. who had hardly been tolerating his bad manners. I had not even a faint idea of what our group was to become without a teacher joining us in the near future. took advantage of that episode to also break any contact with him. An intimate kriyaban friend went to India to meet this teacher for a private interview. the concepts were repeated ad nauseam. I manage to remain alone. other coordinators in Europe. Having dismissed that rascal from my life. They were fed up with the dullness of his philosophical discourses followed by scanty technical explanations. In less than half an hour the sun would paint them pink – of an intense hue on their eastern side and tinged with blue on the western side. In time they understood the deep-seated motives of my breakup and expressed solidarity with me. As he was well qualified for his role. All went magnificently. there was a great profusion of words. Musings upon the Guru-disciple Relationship It was Winter.of all the silly things which had been carried out thoughtlessly -. Some months later the wheel of good fortune seemed to be turning again. This split of my relationship with that teacher was perceived with bewilderment by those friends who felt they were his disciples. while replying to those who called me to ask information about him. Better said: when it came to teach simple and banal things that even kindergarten children could understood. I imagined India to be right behind them. I didn't have to go here and there to organize Kriya seminars. insurmountable obstacles in the understanding of that beloved discipline. they seemed to come out of an hypnotic state and. when they came near the core issues and when among the public there was one who politely but with determination asked a precise explanation.was weighing me down. as I did. there was the possibility of inviting a new Kriya Acharya to Europe. The sense of all the time wasted -. I found myself looking at the mountains marking out the boundaries of the distant horizon in all directions.CHAPTER 5 A CLEAN MYSTICAL PATH The years that followed the break-up with my last teacher were completely different from the previously described years. the Himalayas being their continuation. bearing part of its cost. I was relieved of any constraint of wearing a mask of hypocrisy. tried to humiliate the scrupulous student and silence him. an enervating situation was over. One day I went to the nearby mountains to ski with a couple of friends. None of them taught Kriya in a serious way. Like a domino effect.
It was hard. Perhaps some annotator would try to force its meaning into his own theories. Old. 15 A similar book on Kriya would be a real blessing for scholars and researchers. contact the author and pay good money to be introduced to the rubbish that. In spite of having been published many years ago and of the several texts of Hatha Yoga appearing recently. especially if they had accepted to teach the entire Kriya properly ..clothes of a nightmare -. This happens. with the required care without keeping anything for themselves. However. while there were much more complicated techniques which could only be passed on by an authorized teacher to chosen disciples. yet possible. without being at odds with the deeply-rooted conditioning of their "cerebral chemistry"? Of course. in any field. If this book existed. Nay. Gheranda Samhita and Shiva Samhita.would consider my book as a real threat. better than all the others. How often have I wondered what would have happened if Lahiri Mahasaya or one of his disciples had written it! My imagination led me to fantasize about its cover. we would have a reliable manual of Kriya that would have restrained the many small or large variations made up by various teachers. some teachers of Kriya . that book is still one of the best. I visualized a book on Kriya explaining every technique in great detail. surrounded by 15 This extraordinary handbook. in a complete. 79 . Maybe what was virtually eternal for them (living like a lord. clarifies the teachings contained in the three fundamental texts of Tantrism: Hatha Yoga Pradipika. I'm sure that some pseudo-guru would say that the techniques described in it were for beginners only. My book could not be a threat to any honest Kriya Acharya's activity. comprehensible in front of the eyes of our intuition. rational vision.those who get by on donations received during rituals of initiation and who exert power over people thanks to the pledge of secrecy . feasible. Some people would swallow that bait. when a skill is to be transmitted. this is part of our human nature. sincere researchers would surely be able to recognize the strength and self-sufficient intrinsic evidence of the original text. to summarize the totality of my knowledge of Kriya into a book -. Good teachers are and will always be needed. harmonious set of techniques! It came to my mind the book: Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience by Theos Bernard.. of course.I felt an infinite rebellion. The intention was definitely not to celebrate myself or lay the foundations for yet another new school of Kriya. But how could one highlight this to them. to skim its few pages – sober. No more rhetorical claims of legitimacy and riddle-like sentences to allow the reader to guess at some technical details and. at the same time. The problem consisted in the fact that mine was only a day dream! I let my thoughts stray toward what could have happened if I had written it. either through fancy or borrowed from some esoteric book. in the simplest and most logical way.welding together techniques and theories through a clean. he had assembled. For the first time I dared to contemplate this prospect.. If I was describing my experiences. creating further doubts! I was day dreaming of a book which would prove its validity by attempting to reproduce Lahiri Mahasaya's thought.gradually. yet very rich in content. 'dusty' techniques once again became relevant. this would only be with the purpose of clarifying theoretic and technical explanations.
they say it is sacred. The answer was always an inflexible no. secrecy was a blind dogma. which hurts their convictions. I saw that bizarre situation as poignantly real. They would try to destroy its credibility by means of a pitiless censorship. A kriyaban explained the dynamics of Kriya Pranayama to his invalid. as if every part of it had already been rehearsed and cherished innumerable times. I perceived this as a cruel form of discrimination.that was an action he was strictly forbidden to do. under exceptional conditions. an innumerable amount of times I had thought: "Such a rule is the cause of disastrous effects. asked to receive initiation into the Higher Kriyas -. But when I returned to my life. a Catholic priest sincerely desired to learn Kriya but could not receive it from the right channels because of an issue of conscience in the act of signing the application form of the lessons. either because they are taken aback by the barrenness of an exposition deprived of frills.people who have to meet all their needs with the hope of getting the crumbs of their "secrets") might change. the book would continue to circulate. thus missing a part of the conference… By staring into the blue of the sky above the gilded mountain brims. Thanks to them. At times he would have to pretend not to notice that a student was browsing through its pages during his seminars.such instruction was given only in written form to those who had completed the study of the complete set of lessons which existed only in English. and who knows how many times it would get back to the teacher who had decreed its unforgivable flaws. the outcome of petty calculations". many times when some friends of mine who didn't understand English. but willing and capable to practice it. I got choked up by my doubts. but it cannot be: it is human. Each part of my dream had developed in the space of a few seconds. invaded my consciousness as a swollen torrent. In another case that really made me uneasy. How could I find the courage to violate the vow of secrecy. I anticipated their scornful comments uttered while skimming its pages: "It contains only stories that have nothing to do with Babaji's and Lahiri Mahasaya's teachings. broken that rule. In my experience. German and Spanish. it was clear that writing a book was all another thing: this very idea created a painful grip in my breast along with a general sense of uneasiness 80 . and they would be fearful of that. or because their refined sensibility does not manage to catch that 'vibration' which should characterize the authenticity of the author's experience. of excruciating conflicts and sufferings. coarsely challenging the sacredness of the Guru-disciple relationship as the unique way to be instructed in Kriya? For sure. he found a kriyaban who explained to him the technique and shared with him his lessons -. People who were otherwise faithful to the organization had. insensitive to the suffering of many researchers. I remembered a couple of cases in which the rigid injunction had been broken by common sense. mother. I recalled what happened many. I was already living in their happiness. It spreads a false teaching!" Other people for different reasons could not like the book. Only those who love Kriya more than their whims would feel an enormous relief in finding it in an esoteric library. However.
it takes also a good brain capable of overcoming the tendency to be easily swayed. Only through the dogma of secrecy could they hope to maintain that a kriyaban cannot approach God. In other words. Besides courage. 17 I am aware that this individual may truly feel that the 16 Whether one likes it or not. the Guru-God would belong to everyone. would inevitably become more "human". the Kriya practice will be able to produce. People who have been raised with the usual dogmas about the Guru-disciple relationship are prevented from fully understanding the impact of these words. it instead perfectly suits those of the esoteric-magic dimension of certain societies – rather. He added that he wanted to be considered like "a mirror". during that long phase of the path in which the illusion appears to us at all effects as reality? Certainly the Guru cannot be considered identical to God.and unreality. it would be better to affirm: "to maintain the purity of the modifications!" I might be wrong. how should it be considered. The organization would become just an institution devoted to publishing the works of the Master. secrecy is essential to their preservation.Y. otherwise they would face a strong conflict within themselves. there comes the idea that the organization is the materialization of God's will. The myth of secrecy allows the myths of the irreplaceable role of the organization to be kept alive. This is a point that some among His followers seem to have forgotten. Lahiri Mahasaya refused to be worshiped as a God. that is exactly what He wrote: thrown away. When kriyabans realize that their Guru is the personification of what resides potentially inside themselves. then that mirror must be "thrown away". If the Guru-disciple relationship is an illusion that one day will dissolve. especially those that are nice and gratifying. 17 It is strange to remark that only in the world of initiatic magic a method is deprived of its value if it is learned in non-conventional ways. A chief of the most important Italian branch of my school had once instructed me: "Don't you understand that P. Actually he said: "I am not the Guru. discriminating approach to abandon one's own illusions. of what one day they will become. I was perplexed when representatives of my first organization suggested that Guru and God were one and the same reality. is the Divine Mother Herself"? Only now I was able to see how extraneous this teaching was from my sensitivity. Other justifications for this myth appear fragile. I had first to analyze in depth the concept of Guru. how should we relate to it. They claim that secrecy helps "to maintain the purity of the teachings". I understood that in order to be at peace with myself. Knowing some minor but however important alterations in the practice of Kriya supported by organizations. To face the truth. but I feel that the unique benefit of secrecy for an individual is to have one's pleasure of possessing something exclusive reach a fever pitch. 81 . 16 Some years before. if there were no request of secrecy. each kriyaban should look at him not as an unreachable ideal. in due time. The threat of possible calamities that would happen to whom infringes the dogma of secrecy clashes with everything we read in the biographies of the saints. but as the personification of all the wisdom and spiritual realization which. I don't maintain a barrier between the true Guru (the Divine) and the disciple". if not through that Guru and that organization. From the idea that Guru and God are the same reality. it takes courage and an intelligent. Now.
A spiritual researcher with a balanced rational-devotional approach has good reason to be baffled by this. It was as if an inner thread linked all my past actions to that image. There is no other way to achieve Self realization. for one reason or another. stretched out to offer benediction". It talked to my intuition: "A Guru might be very important to your spiritual development. the highest. But if one day he will dismiss the practice. Each time I tried to organize my vision in a well-integrated and coherent whole. I tried to think sequentially but either the mental and physical fatigue was impairing my reasoning ability or different conditionings carved in my brain acted as entities which had a life of their own.. its form reminded me of the point of an arrow made of obsidian. I had the impression of having cast a glance toward the misty sources from which my current trend of life originated. appeared to me as a monstrosity. this.spiritual vibrations received through formal Initiation brought his practice to a "higher octave". They were taught that their Guru would burn somehow a part of their Karma and protect them evermore. I won't dare to contradict him. was black. That mountain was the symbol of the universal spiritual path. receiving meaning and significance from it. The weird thing was that the word Guru was attributed to a person whom the disciples had not known directly. The Guru-disciple relationship is an illusion -. My thoughts began to revolve again around the situation of the diffusion of Kriya. That image was strong. the departed Guru was said to be real and present in their life. I was madly enamored of that image. Looking for a different spiritual teaching amounted to "a hateful rejection of the Divine’s hand.appearing real until you are not overcome by what surpasses your 82 . One evening. while I practiced Kriya Pranayama with the awareness totally centered in Sahasrara and the tongue in Kechari Mudra. It was very difficult for me to put all the crucial points in a logic order. Students were required to swear their everlasting devotion not only to one person but also to a chain of Masters. I had the inner vision of three beautiful mountains.useful and comfortable -. It is the Guru-preceptor that introduces you to God. he was a special aid chosen by God Himself even before they began to seek the spiritual path. I found myself crying for joy. but your personal effort when you remain alone is far more important. There could be nothing more beautiful: it made me mad with love. tremendously vivid in my inner vision. I remained as calm as possible to feel that particular strength and pressure that increased tightening the whole region of my chest with its grip of beatitude. My heart exulted. what "octave" is he now attuned to. In any Guru-disciple relationship there comes a moment when you remain alone and you awaken to the realization that your path is a solitary flight between you and your indwelling Self. even if only one of them was to be regarded as the Guru-preceptor. Once the students were initiated into a spiritual discipline by the "legitimate channels" (authorized disciples).. no one will deprive me the pleasure of asking where have all those spiritual vibrations gone and . The central mountain. Again my thought had turned onto a minor point. rejecting all the Kriya matter as an overcome obsession.
my relationship was purely ideal. I think my subconscious came up with such a flash as a warning not to yield to the temptation of throwing something valid and precious away. I read that one day. Having returned to consciousness. if we say that Ramakrishna was Vivekananda's Guru. to escape the lot of those who have lived their whole life without finding their true selves in themselves. being stuffed with all the possible Guru's blessings. Later. playing Beethoven's second movement of the Emperor Concerto. When you choose an elder. they would help him in his mission as a spiritual teacher. you renounce your own will and yield it to him in complete submission. toward the end of his life.that of Vivekananda's "investiture" by his Guru Ramakrishna. impressive discourse by Dostoevsky about the role of elders in Russian monasteries in his The Brothers Karamazov: "What was such an elder? An elder was one who took your soul. in the hope of self-conquest. more as a wound than as a theory unfolding its myths. I dragged myself back home. after a long walk. we are saying something true and unquestionable. Worn-out by my thoughts. that is. into his soul and his will. One evening. after a life of obedience. on the contrary. That was the eternal beauty! That was the norm by which I would be inspired. this terrible school of abnegation. complete self-abnegation. Now.mind. everything I had I gave to you. This novitiate. " (Translated by Constance Garnett) Eventually the awareness dawned upon me that Vivekananda' story and Dostoevsky's extract depicted situations which were intrinsically. I closed my eyes for various minutes and tried to have a dispassionate. with these powers you will do the world an immense good". In my room. Ramakrishna entered Samadhi while his disciple was near him. unemotional discernment of the situation. I do not have anything. crying. The shape of a cypress covered a part of that great. The organization made me believe that I had a Guru -whereas in fact I was light years away from having one. It came to me spontaneously to again read the memorable. whispered: "O my Naren (Vivekananda). from self. one had to get to that by himself. exceedingly different from mine. subdued by a sudden tiredness. the problem of the Guru-disciple relationship emerged. to attain perfect freedom. obscurely. There was no other Guru 83 . Did anybody. A strange image captured my attention . is undertaken voluntarily... today." That glaring intuition faded away after a couple of days. blood-red circle. I have become a poor fakir. of self-mastery. his Guru. in order. Ramakrishna explained that the powers he passed onto him could not be used for his own spiritual fulfillment. Vivekananda started to feel a strong current before fainting. While the great examples of Guru-disciple relationship were based on a real physical meeting between two persons. after having haunted all the possible ceremonies of Initiation given by the "legitimate" channels. ever practice Kriya with the same dignity and courage with which Beethoven challenged his fate? I turned down the lights and watched the sun go down behind some trees on the top of a hill. your will. I set the record player on "repeat".
he had indeed asked for his teacher's permission to correct eventual mistakes in our practice: the answer had been negative and the teacher swore him to secrecy. The Collective Unconscious is "inherited with our cerebral structure" and consists of "the human systems of reacting" to the most intense events that can happen in one's lifetime: the birth of a child.. like the network of our brain's neurons. Some hours later. "removed" things that we cannot recall to consciousness . Should I accept the idea of a marked separation of spiritual researchers into two classes? On one side there are those who have a Guru and follow him humbly. each person is part of this net: there is no division. He was enthusiastic. marriage. I was all ears. I asked him what it was and his reply literally froze me: he could not tell me. that the situation is simple.a significant one of course. I felt that there is not such a sharp division. He remarked that there was a fault in my practice. in front of him. When single individuals take an action -.for months. we were sitting in my room.. Serious practitioners are never isolated: they will be helped by other people's positive response and vice versa they will be slowed down by their indolence and apathy. natural disasters.they touches the surrounding threads of the net. Those who follow the spiritual path carry other people's evolution ahead. true love.refused by a nearly automatic act of the will. 19 Considering the episode later. In my opinion. 18 My musings arrived just to that point and there they stopped -. war. Jung discovered a deeper level of it: the Collective Unconscious which links all human beings by the deepest layers of their psyche. Hence. there are those without a Guru who can follow only their intuition and reasoning. in relation to our group. This net connecting every one of us is the Collective Unconscious. I am sure of this fact because it was the only thing my friend was able to see – we did not talk about inner details of the practice. Visualize a net: each individual is a junction from which a lot of other links fan out. serious illness. A Fruitful Shock That kriyaban friend who went to India for a long vacation to meet the teacher we were planning to invite in Europe called me: he had the opportunity to have a private interview with him and had good news. 84 . 19 He clarified that.in which I could mirror myself but the mystic fire burning in my heart. How many times have I heard the acid remark that those who have no Guru have their Ego as their Guru! Organizations in particular emphasize that. My friend had his Kriya Pranayama reviewed. like starting on a mystic path and making good progress on it -. as I learned it. on the other side. death of a loved one. They had talked about the deplorable situation of the diffusion of Kriya here in the West: the teacher was sorry for that and manifested his willingness to help us. I realized what this incorrect detail was: I had not made the abdominal breath in a particularly visible way. since he promised the teacher he would not reveal anything. Was this teacher – who had manifested the intention to 18 To Freud the Unconscious was similar to a depot full of old. he asked me to practice Kriya Pranayama. family crisis.
One of the first things I was taught was that if Kriya is not received from the right channel it doesn't have any value. Otherwise. they will die without this information. I declined the offer. Now. they had to be put on an airplane and sent to India. he would have required the customary oath secrecy. I improved the compilation of my notes about the different Kriya techniques. I could not. and pass them on to those friends who had already received initiation but not in all the levels of Kriya. as if this justified his travel in India. I didn't retaliate but reacted very badly and refused to see and to talk with that friend again.help us . enter the privacy of his experience . In my opinion the future of Kriya diffusion belongs also to those seekers whose earnestness is so great that they are able to transform the no-matter-howreceived instruction into "gold". I followed their progress: they gave me the evidence they were improving in a way worthy of admiration. satisfied with having noticed our mistake. Actually I was not in the mood of undertaking another work of organization. she handled the financial side of the tour in a coarse way. A few months before I would shake my head that it was not possible to practice Kriya without begging and obtaining it from an organization or from a living Guru. like a pilgrimage to Lourdes or Fatima! This farce could not be even worthy of being considered. The responsibility of choosing a didactic plan was mine: in order to envisage it. or visit him. an innumerable series of charter flights should transport all those interested in Kriya . It is ineffective.but how could he just let me and our group go on with a wrong practice? The shattering fact was to see that friend with whom I had shared everything of my spiritual path. I was sure that the Kriya techniques worked outside the Guru-disciple relationship.concerned that we would not find any need to invite him to Europe. contacted by the teacher's secretary. jotted down during different seminaries. I taught Kriya to a couple of earnest persons who could not receive Kriya after this changing of planes. Each year. As for the idea of my visit to his place. after our mistake had been corrected? Was he really so petty and unkind? I did not put pressure on my friend to disclose any other detail about his talk with that teacher. We had reached this absurd situation: if the friends of my group had to receive one more crumb of information regarding the Kriya practice. I have trust in those who think: "Beyond either reasonable or improbable expectations of finding a Kriya expert at my disposal.to a remote Indian village. let me roll my sleeves up and move on!" 85 . accompanying me in my ventures with both the teachers and suffering the same woes on himself.no matter if old or ill . With my thinking faculties almost paralyzed by this sudden turning of the events. and would not. the money and the time he spent in this venture. I used my past experiences as a starting point. Some days later. the contrary had been proved. added conditions that seemed unacceptable to me.
20 It was perhaps because I lived them more in the open air and more in summer than in any other season that I associate them with long sunsets. There was the feeling of working on a difficult puzzle.called Omkar Kriyas or Kriyas of Sthir (static) Prana. I practiced again the three parts of the advanced technique that I received from my third teacher (described in the second part of this book as Fifth Kriya) that I rectified and perfected through precious informations I received from other sources. Now I could retrieve my initial enthusiasm and bring new life to my Kriya path. fourth and sixth Chakra respectively) to which two secondary knots (tongue. I didn't know if. Vishnu and Shiva located in the first. with evenings that seemed to have no end. without having a preview of what was to be obtained in the end. In fact. like a voluntary prisoner. which seemed to match perfectly the scanty descriptions of that Seventh Kriya. I reduced my social life to an absolute minimum in order to give my all to writing the book. six or more levels of Kriya had to be expected. I wondered if these had to be put in some kind of one-to-one correspondence with the process of unfastening the internal knots mentioned in Yoga tradition (Brahma. showing their intrinsic value in the light of Lahiri Mahasaya's legacy. The period in which I plunged head-first into its three incremental routines was really a magic 20 The accurate details of how different incremental routines are structured is to be found in the third part of the book. I decided to describe the Kriya system as made of First Kriya with eight techniques followed by the six steps of the Higher Kriyas -. It was not easy to extract from my huge heaps of notes. 86 . was fed by a strange fear.The First Draft of the Book I purchased a computer and. but only in case I receive other information corroborating them. In some reliable books there were hints to a further Seventh Kriya. collected during years with different teachers. After having overcome the uncertainties and difficulties of choosing a definite scheme. for some unfathomable reasons. The ardent desire of "squeezing out" anything he could teach me. in the past. years before. four.notifying the reader that mine was just an hypothetical reconstruction. After having received detailed information about a very advanced technique. I wrote all I knew about the Kriya techniques. the major impulse which led me to finish the prescribed number of repetitions of each Higher Kriya as soon as possible was also the anxiety of obtaining the next initiation from my teacher. as if. I would not have been able to contact him in the future. navel) were added by Lahiri Mahasaya. Unfortunately. ready to be added to the book. in the final completed picture. I felt the necessity to dedicate a more constant attention to what. I was not entirely sure how to define these levels. had been embarked on in a superficial manner. At the same time I decided to resume the practice of the so-called Incremental Routines with the maximum amount of conscientiousness. the essential core of Kriya Yoga. There remain some variations in my shorthand notebooks. I added its description to the list of the techniques -.
I perceived that the center of my personality was not in the brain. I had a feeling that even the most egotistical person is able to give his life away for his children. even he can find in himself the power for great and incredible actions. Unfortunately. As the sun rose over our path and the sanctuary appeared over a hill. I was struck with the pedantic and conceited tone of some that abused the genuine and honest curiosity of other people. He 87 . The sentiment of this ineluctable reality was experienced as a painful grip tearing my chest apart. bearing witness to an era which I believed much more distant in time than it was in reality. but in my heart. as a consequence. not with a spirit of devotion and surrender. They talked with the same tone used by my old "ministers". that person was very secretive and exclusive. Walking on. I wondered how could they dare to enter (uninvited) a person's life and personal space. I took part in a pilgrimage with a group of people and walked a full night in order to reach a beautiful sanctuary the following morning. Lahiri Mahasaya wrote that a kriyaban is deeply transformed by it and learns to see "what others cannot or do not actually want to see". Something started to be perceived in my heart.one. then I realized that my mates' lives were wrapped up in love. They had the audacity of hush the humble student by counseling to improve the depth of what they already had received. I would murmur the syllables Om. Noticing how many illusions are propagated by religions and cults. During this Incremental Routine. but with such a beseeching attitude as if they feared even worse calamities. but I could not help it. I would have sent immediately this instruction to them. they go on labeling the seekers' desire for deepening the Kriya praxis as a "dangerous mania". Many were seeking information about Kechari Mudra. Thinking of humanity as a single thing. I felt that a man cannot by instinct avoid loving or taking care of somebody .in the abyss of their tragedy – were not able to voice their sharp loud cry to God facing Him in protest but kept on imploring God.. old fogeys.. Mo . I moved around as if my heart bore a brazier within.like his own children. he cannot avoid painful experiences. But the same person that you admire as noble and fearless. I understood that the reality of love was the most intense force of life. treating that person as an incompetent and superficial beginner! Would it be so difficult to simply answer truthfully: "I don't have that information"? I remember a discussion with one who claimed he have had access to original Kriya. My desire was to see if any other kriyaban had my same problems. now and then I consulted a couple of Forums for devotees of Kriya Yoga. Na. If I had their email. something thawed and it came to such an intensity of love that the same experience turned into a "blissful" pain. With factious tenderness. is not able to maintain that attitude when Religion is concerned. I was perfectly aware that mine was not a commonly established way of practicing. about whom they know nothing. betraying the lowest form of consideration. (which are typical of the Thokar practice) trying to put each one in the correspondent center. I could not avoid that this procedure brought to the surface deeply rooted old wounds. I felt sorry for all those people who . corrupted only by the pollution of mind. a sort of tension of tenderness.
I was lucky that pension age came early in my life. I spent a lot of time in the open. In a rush of anger. I was trying to hide my tears behind the black 88 . I had waited for years and ravenously desired to face the "impossible" doses of the final incremental routine of the micro movement Tribhangamurari (in the second part of this book. pretending to stare at a distant object. and then left again. I imagined that the petty idea of possessing a secret knowledge. It was like dancing from a sitting stance. After many hours of practice. The period in which I was absorbed in this process occurs in my memory as enveloped by a dreamy aura. however. Why should Kriya belong to him? Kriya was a collection of introspective tools taken from different traditions. something to drink and a thirty-sixgrain rosary. not conveyable to others. Often I was caught by a strong. my trunk quivered a little giving such a profusion of bliss! I learned to practice without finding any disturbance in what was around: in this way. but was unwilling to share any names or addresses. I learned not to straighten it with a sudden movement. camouflaging with a semblance of spiritual advancement the nothingness that he was from an human point of view.said there were a number of true Kriya teachers around today. there was no other job for me! I have always loved that technique: even a little practice was always a miracle of sweetness. where a small number of people used to go for a walk and stop for a little rest in the surroundings. from one side of my body to the other to keep track of the approximate number of 36 cycles. accompanying the dance with a subtle form of Thokar. that procedure is described as Sixth Omkar Kriya). It was absurd to claim they belonged to one person. that such did not solve my problem: this sleepiness came back as soon as I resumed the practice. At the end of each cycle. the sky was an indestructible crystal of infinite transparency. After interrupting the practice to get some rest. it is actually very difficult for me to refer to specific details regarding it.. overpowering sleepiness. the waves were continually changing their color. I would move an object. there was nothing else to do but to accept this situation. having in itself an almost unbearable charm. I would sit down. the technique embarked into my life and blended with it. More than once I found my back slightly bent forward. When I thought the last syllable. breathe deeply and proceeded with the Mantra and the consequent Micro movement. I used to carry along a seat made of a plastic and a wool layer. I found this very stupid. I found out. Whenever I pronounced the seventh syllable.. lean my back against a rock and stay there. my trunk swung left. I received the proposal of beginning a new job which was more engaging than the previous one. at dusk I would go to the beach. During daytime I would take shelter from the sun under a tree. at the end of my day. I was caught by such a euphoria that I felt the irresistible instinct to swing the body. was the only thing keeping together the pieces of his scattered mind. I practiced keeping my eyes open. After some months of freedom. because that would interrupt the condition of absorption and quiet. a little stone. thinking of the following one it swung right. especially such a nasty one. occasionally. One day I was in a cliffy place not far from a beach. a lot of rest…) to find some relief from it. There was no way (coffee.
Many psychological fetters -. My friends said that I'll never put the last word to the enterprise. I tried to go inexorably and all the way into any problem. At long last. so other people came into my life to keep the flame of friendship alive. one day the book was ready and I posted it on the Web. something peculiar took place. must perish! What perished. There is no other way to reach liberation but meeting this Great Spirit". but not forgotten the project of the book.started to crumble. das muß vergehen! Was vergangen. My thinking became compact. I cannot describe what I felt. But that night I could not sleep. There is an Indian song (in the final part of the movie Mahabharata) whose lyrics are taken from the Svetasvatara Upanishad . I had disappeared from the world. up to touching the unpolluted truth."I have met this Great Spirit. Nature hates a vacuum. as radiant as the sun. I could not tolerate the least deformation of truth.lenses of my sunglasses. Was entstanden ist. Only then. until I was able to find the truth. which I would enjoy for the rest of my life. unless in poetic form. There was the tendency of going deeper. Only the one who knows Him can transcend the limits of birth and death. experiencing the calmness and contentedness that comes to those who devote all their efforts to one single purpose. After a couple of months there came the reaction of him who had been my third teacher. My reaction was strange: I was amused and satisfied. The time employed in this activity had been much longer than expected. He defined me an "intellectual prostitute". of a solidity that other people's suggestions were not capable to undermine. I began to realize that the Thing was done and the book was really accessible to everyone. But truth is total truth: it touched the reality of life and zeroed my diplomatic mask. must rise again! Cease from trembling! Prepare yourself to live! 89 . transcending any material conception of obscurity. auferstehen! Hör auf zu beben! Bereite dich zu leben! Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) What was created. When I listened to the beautiful voice of the Indian singer repeating "There is no other way". I had not felt any urgency. Nothing would have the power to keep me away from this state and this terrifically beautiful practice.conditioning that seemed immovable -. Concerning the effects. my heart was inflamed. Unfortunately the difficulty in bearing other's superficial behavior became the cause of some break-ups. inexorably. During one seminar he explained my actions as those of one who wants to make a business with Kriya. I enjoyed that quiet moment of my life.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?