Your Questions on Kriya Yoga Answered

Here are some of the most common questions asked by students about Kriya Yoga. They are likely to be ones that you yourself might have as well.

Table of Contents
Your Questions on Kriya Yoga Answered ................................................................................................ 1 Why hasn’t kriya been published in book form, so that all might learn it? ....................................... 1 Is there more than one kind of Kriya? ................................................................................................. 2 Which is the best Kriya? ...................................................................................................................... 3 Which guru is best? ............................................................................................................................. 3 How can I know which guru has been chosen for me? ....................................................................... 3 Can I practice Kriya if Jesus is my guru? .............................................................................................. 4 Do I need to renounce my religion to receive Kriya initiation? ........................................................... 4 Do I need to become a disciple to receive Kriya initiation?................................................................. 4 I already have a guru, but he doesn’t teach Kriya. Can I get it through Ananda? .............................. 5 I have received Kriya initiation from another teacher. Can I come to your initiations and receive support from your teachers?............................................................................................................... 5 If I take Kriya initiation, what am I committing myself to?................................................................. 5 Is there some way of trying out the Kriya path before I make a discipleship commitment? .............. 5 How long must I wait before I can receive Kriya initiation? ............................................................... 5 Why is so much preparation necessary? Can’t I just learn the technique now? ................................. 6 How many levels of Kriya are there and when are they taken? ......................................................... 6 Do I have to come to Ananda Sangha in person to be initiated? ........................................................ 6 Once I receive Kriya, can I return for the initiation ceremony when my friends are receiving it for the first time? ...................................................................................................................................... 6

Why hasn’t kriya been published in book form, so that all might learn it?
Swami Kriyananda responds to this important question: A reasonable question, certainly. The masters themselves, however, have said it should not be published precisely because it is a teaching that transcends reason itself. Right understanding of it depends on the unfolding intuition. Kriya Yoga, in order to be wholly effective, must be received not only intellectually (in written or spoken form), but vibrationally, in the form of initiation. A magnet is created either by electrical

however. even mountain climbing can be fatal – though death. Any yoga initiation. and especially into the ancient science of Kriya Yoga. and as a yogavatar. and much more difficult to master. We are dealing here with a reality subtler. he called these practices by the name Kriya Yoga. should be looked upon as a very sacred step in one’s life. and should certainly be treated as a lifetime commitment. Lahiri Mahasaya initiated thousands of students into these practices. Guidance from the guru is not only helpful: It is essential. than mere metallic molecules. . This science includes a significant number of techniques that his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya focalised into a progression of preparatory excercises and initiations known as “the Kriya Yoga of Lahiri Mahasaya of Benares”. Spiritual mistakes can be costlier in terms of long-range suffering. Because of this great contribution. The same Sanskrit root verb kri (to act) is also found in the word Karma. Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda. Thus from the tree of the Kriya of Lahiri Mahasaya many branches have grown. This does not mean that Kriya Yoga is dangerous. In the science of Hatha Yoga there are many Kriyas that have the purpose of purifying the body and nervous system – for example. Many of these initiates have in turn initiated others.realignment of the molecules. Thus they prevent future karma and also neutralize the “seeds” or traces of past karma from the consciousness. the term Kriya refers to practices that purify at the higher level of the ego. Lahiri Mahasaya is known as the father of Kriya Yoga in modern times. and to some of them he gave authority to initiate others. the stomach. or by close proximity to another magnet.Swami Kriyananda The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita. cleansing the nose. the intestines. Kriya is understood to mean “actions that purify”. the nerve channels. Whereas karma is generally understood as “actions that stem from egoic desire”. The Sanskrit word literally means action. But to take up Kriya Yoga signifies entering seriously onto the path to God. As Remembered by His Disciple Swami Kriyananda Is there more than one kind of Kriya? Kriya is a deceptively simple term that refers to a wide variety of practices. only ends a single incarnation. Attunement with a Godawakened guru influences the samskaras (comparable to the material molecules) to flow upward to the brain. Various lines of Kriya have developed through succeeding generations. Without an experienced guide. In the science of Raja Yoga. in this case. All the Kriya lines that come from Lahiri Mahasaya essentially teach the same techniques with some variations. . It is not a game. Far from it. When Babaji revived the ancient techniques for God-realisation that had been part of Raja Yoga in the higher ages. and so forth.

into every word of which Yoganandaji said he had infused his vibrations. “The law of Kriya Yoga is eternal. and that is also being taught today in the East by his disciple Swami Kriyananda. It is true like mathematics. Its proper practice. It is not the technique in itself that automatically leads to liberation. The ways are as many and varied as the disciples:  By seeing the master in person.” Autobiography of a Yogi. being a generic term that refers to many practices of Raja and Hatha Yoga. the one to whom you belong. the law of Kriya can never be destroyed. like the simple rules of addition and subtraction. The word Kriya. a ceremony during which the power and the blessings of the guru are transferred to the disciple to enable him to properly practice the technique. Which is the best Kriya? When this question was posed to an advanced Kriya yogini in India. Among Self-realised masters. although its proper practice brings beneficial results to those who use it. who uses the technique as an instrument of liberation for his disciples. nor the disciple who chooses his guru. the Kriya which stems from Babaji is given as an “initiation”. the logically-minded will always rediscover such truths. or through reading his written words. This is the true “marriage made in heaven”. such as the Autobiography of a Yogi.The Kriya that has come to the western world through Paramhansa Yogananda. however. she replied. Each of them has been given by God certain souls to guide. Thus it is neither the guru who chooses his disciples. Which guru is best? The one who is yours. Searching the internet will bring up thousands of references. How can I know which guru has been chosen for me? The guru will make himself known to his disciples at that moment in their lives when they are ready to perceive and receive him. there is no competition. two souls whom God has joined together until death (of the ego of the disciple) parts them and the disciple merges back into the cosmic ocean of consciousness. is one of the branches that comes through Lahiri Mahasaya’s disciple Swami Sri Yukteswar. 1946 Original Edition Because of the necessity of the Guru’s blessings. its fundamental laws will come out whenever there appears a true yogi who comprises within himself pure devotion and consequently pure knowledge. is used today by many teachers to refer to practices similar but distinct from those taught by Lahiri Mahasaya. Burn to ashes all the books on mathematics. “Kriya plus devotion works like mathematics”. In one way or another they draw their disciples. destroy all the sacred books on yoga. is possible only through the blessings of the guru. “The one your guru gives you”.  . As Yoganandaji used to say. Through the spiritual practices that the master teaches.

[He] encouraged his various students to adhere to the good traditional discipline of their own faith. Many spiritually ignorant people. were impartially received and instructed by the universal guru. those of all faiths or of no established faith. openness. or by seeing his photograph. even in India. or sat. saying that no one need give up his religion in order to follow his path. Lahiri Mahasaya initiated people from all faiths as well as no faith into Kriya Yoga. the guru is able to give more than to one who is merely curious about the teachings. The ancient tradition in India. A significant feature of Lahiri Mahasaya’s life was his gift of Kriya initiation to those of every faith.Paramhansa Yogananda. Truly. In dreams or visions of the master. Autobiography of a Yogi. or sacred moment during which the transforming power of a guru is transferred to the disciple. The response can manifest as deep love. where spirituality has been studied for thousands of years – not as a religion. With these attitudes of willingness. haphazard. And it was Jesus who personally requested Babaji to send someone to the West to bring to his disciples the practices through which they could commune inwardly with his Christ Consciousness. Not Hindus only. one suitable for that age. or the simple awareness that you have found your home. and sometimes dangerous. then feeling inwardly for a response in your heart. and humility on the disciple’s part. enabling him to fully understand and deeply practice the liberating technique. Swami Kriyananda explains: Spiritual progress without the help of a true.   Through the magnetism of the fellowship of the master’s disciples. joy. which attracts those who are in tune with him. This is why Yoganandaji included Jesus Christ as one of the line of Kriya masters. Such an advanced technique is not offered to those who wish to follow the teachings in their own way but to those who are willing and prepared to practice them as the guru instructs. Lahiri Mahasaya then gave his chelas liberty to express their lives in conformance with environment and upbringing. Stressing the all-inclusive nature of Kriya as a practical technique of liberation. Do I need to renounce my religion to receive Kriya initiation? No. 1946 Original Edition Do I need to become a disciple to receive Kriya initiation? Yes. Jesus himself taught his close disciples a technique very similar to Kriya. Monists and dualists. Kriya is given as an initiation in a ceremonial setting to emphasize its significance as a sacrament. spiritual teachings are accessible to virtually everyone and a guru is no longer needed. Through the master’s spiritual work. using all means available to you. The important thing for you as an aspiring disciple is to put yourself in tune with the vibrations of a master. and with books so easily available. Can I practice Kriya if Jesus is my guru? According to Paramhansa Yogananda. guru cannot but be slow. . or at least those who carry their vibrations and message to others. insist that with literacy as widespread as it is now. by hearing his voice. but Moslems and Christians were among his foremost disciples. . but as a practical science (“practical” in the sense of results actually accomplished) – has always insisted that a true guru is the sine qua non for success on the spiritual path. uncertain.

Yogananda and the line of Kriya masters of our path. You also promise never to reveal the Kriya techniques to anyone unless given authorisation to do so. I have received Kriya initiation from another teacher. what am I committing myself to? You are affirming your discipleship to God. and committing yourself to practicing the Kriya techniques faithfully as they are taught to you. once you have established a solid daily routine. . Inner. and your daily life. why not try including them in every aspect of your life and see how it feels? How long must I wait before I can receive Kriya initiation? It is not a matter of letting time pass but of engaging yourself in the daily practice of the basic techniques on the path of Kriya. .widespread literacy has had one unfortunate effect: the dissemination. After practicing those for several months more. Can I get it through Ananda? In some cases this may be possible. you will begin to have your own relationship with the gurus and your own experience of the benefits that the techniques bring to your consciousness. As you use the principles and do the practices. Is there some way of trying out the Kriya path before I make a discipleship commitment? Yoganandaji has given preparatory practices that can be used by everyone in daily life: the Energisation Exercises and the Hong-Sau technique of concentration. but of ignorance! True understanding comes not by intellectual reasoning. As Remembered by His Disciple Swami Kriyananda I already have a guru. Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda. To help you know if the Kriya path and masters are right for you. but he doesn’t teach Kriya. If I take Kriya initiation. You would need to talk with one of our Kriyacharyas. you would be eligible to request initiation into Kriya Yoga. but by intuition. After about six months. You need to dedicate at least forty-five minutes twice a day to your practice. intuitive attunement with the consciousness of the guru is what most surely and directly brings spiritual awakening. Practicing them – along with studying the writings of Yoganandaji and Kriyanandaji and coming whenever possible to an Ananda teaching centre to participate in courses on the path of Kriya – will be greatly beneficial. not only of knowledge. and regularly – at least twice each day. Can I come to your initiations and receive support from your teachers? We would be happy to help you with your practice if possible and would need to speak with you personally to see if Kriya initiation through Ananda Sangha would be appropriate.Swami Kriyananda The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita. you would be eligible for discipleship initiation and advanced techniques to prepare for Kriya Yoga initiation. your inner state of well-being.

the nervous system must be prepared. Bangalore. Pune. can I return for the initiation ceremony when my friends are receiving it for the first time? Come. there are four. you need time to establish a regular. Do I have to come to Ananda Sangha in person to be initiated? Yes. you can request permission to receive higher Kriya preparation and initiation into the advanced Kriyas.Why is so much preparation necessary? Can’t I just learn the technique now? For Kriya Yoga Initiation. And at each initiation. especially those in the first year! The blessings we receive during Kriya ceremonies help us enormously in our spiritual progress. Kriya initiations are given in person several times each year at Ananda Sangha in Gurgaon. Lastly. Once I receive Kriya. we are able to understand the practices more deeply. if you can. to all the initiation ceremonies. When you have been meditating regularly with the basic Kriya technique for several years and feel ready to increase your meditation time. . The initiations are performed by Kriyacharyas who have been authorised by Swami Kriyananda. You also need time to gain understanding of and attunement with the path of Kriya Yoga and the channels through which it comes. Kolkata and elsewhere. consistent meditation routine. How many levels of Kriya are there and when are they taken? On the path of Kriya Yoga as taught in the line of Lahiri Mahasaya. Yoganandaji also recommended that in order to practice Kriya Yoga properly. You are also welcome to attend one of our Kriya Yoga initiations in Mumbai. Hyderabad.