Category: Kriya Yoga
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How Do We Know That Jesus Practiced Kriya Yoga?
July 31, 2015
I was wondering how do we really know that Jesus and his disciples practiced Kriya Yoga?
What we know is that an avatar who lived in the 20th century, Paramhansa Yogananda, said that Jesus probably practiced either Kriya yoga or “a technique very similar to it.” In Autobiography of a Yogi, he wrote:
St. Paul knew Kriya Yoga, or a technique very similar to it, by which he could switch life currents to and from the senses. He was therefore able to say: “Verily, I protest by our rejoicing which I have in Christ, I die daily.”
The statement of a great master is a fairly strong indicator that this was true.
In addition, Swami Kriyananda said he had been told about a tradition in Spain which stated that at the time of his death on the cross, Jesus made certain movements with his head that are very similar to those taught in the higher Kriya initiations.
Both the statement of Yogananda, as well as this tradition in Spain, link Jesus Christ to Kriya Yoga or “a technique very similar to it.”
In divine friendship,
Namaste! I have recently started doing Kriya Yoga, been mediating for over 2yrs which has helped me overcome fear largely. In my situation my task at hand is not my natural inclination. I am pushing myself to shift my focus for long, but lately it seems I am not able to find my way, and I am longing for God and Guru’s presence by my side. I am also doing Navi Kriya and want to know about improving Will Power and need some inspiration and direction. Jai Guru!
Well the good thing is that you want to know God! Yogananda said that it takes very, very, very good karma even to want to know God! The way to improve your situation is to begin and maintain a regular, and daily, Kriya Yoga practice. As Lahiri Mahasaya said of Kriya yoga, it works like mathematics, it cannot fail. But only if practiced daily and regularly.
And the way to improve your will power is by using it. Will power is like a muscle, which builds over time as it is used in the right way. Use it now to determine your daily practice of Kriya Yoga. Don’t make this practice an option in your mind, but make it something you simply do every day, no matter what. You wake up in the morning and meditate. Again in the evening, either right before bedtime or earlier in the evening, you practice Kriya Yoga again. Be steadfast, be regular, and be joyful and loving in your practice. Kriya Yoga is the greatest gift we have ever received, and it will, if practiced regularly and faithfully, take us all the way to oneness in God.
To deepen your practice, also seek out other Kriyabans (those initiated into Kriya) and practice with them. Attend any kriyaban meditations in your area, and always refer back to the basics of the technique, so you know you are practicing correctly. In addition, have your Kriya practice reviewed regularly by an Ananda kriyacharya (Kriya Yoga teacher).
I gain inspiration both from the inspiration in the writings of Yogananda and Kriyananda, as well as from my gurubais. For inspiration I read the Autobiography of a Yogi, The New Path, and The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita in particular. Also recently, I have been re-reading the book Paramhansa Yogananda, A Biography. In addition, another favorite of mine is Awaken to Superconsciousness by Swami Kriyananda. All these books provide wonderful inspiration as well as deepening spiritual insights.
As you engage in this regular practice, and seek out satsang with other Kriyabans, you will feel yourself growing steadily in calmness, peace, joy, and divine love. The company you keep will make a big difference in how fast all of this develops. You will also, over time, have an increasing awareness of who you are (a soul and spark of the divine light) and what your purpose in this world is (to remember your oneness as part of the divine).
I hope this will be helpful to you.
How Can I Be an Actor While Staying Spiritual?
February 13, 2015
Hello, I have just begun Kriya Yoga meditation. I am finding some conflicts with my worldly activities in terms of how to approach them as a person with spiritual focus. In particular I have just begun an acting course (monologues) to improve my communicative ability and explore a desire to participate in transformative entertainment in the future. How can I approach this with no attatchment and stay true, amidst materialist people? What should I have in mind? What attitude should I maintain?
This is a great question to which I actually have some insights, thanks to Swami Kriyananda. A number of years ago in Paris, Swamiji was asked by a well-known opera singer a similar question. She found herself, with her low-pitched contralto voice, placed many times in roles that had a dark side to them and were even evil in nature. She wondered how to deal with this situation in a spiritual way, so as not to have her consciousness pulled down by the darkness.
Swami said to her to feel that God was acting through her in these roles. Also to feel that she was an observer, as well as a participant, in the roles she played. I think the attitude to remember and keep before you in doing this, is that God is in everything; that all of creation has been brought about out of Himself. As Swami Kriyananda would say in talks, “What else did God have to bring Creation into being from but Himself!”
These attitudes are not easy to develop, but they are possible. I would think they could even make you a very good actor! Non-attachment will be essential in doing this, and something you will have to work on every day. I would suggest that at the end of each day you offer all that has happened that day back to God, thereby freeing yourself from being attached to and defined by it.
As long as you feel a need to be involved in the very outward and entertaining “entertainment business,” then this will need to be part of your daily spiritual sadhana, along with your morning and evening Kriya Yoga practice.
As Parmahansa Yogananda said about this world of duality that we live in, “This world was made for our education and entertainment, but how very few are either educated or entertained.” May you be one of these few!
Pain and Other Challenges Caused by Meditation
March 18, 2014
Last year I started doing Isha kriya for 15 minutes for 15 days. There was a pain in my forehead between my eyes. I got scared and stopped meditating.
I exercise regularly. I still have the pain in my forehead. Lately I am having shooting pains in head and numbness in my legs when I exercise. I am feeling very tired and scared about facing out of the regular world experiences that meditation might bring. How can I stop my pain in forehead and be healthy? I don‘t want to meditate.
Isha Kriya is different from the Kriya Yoga techniques given to us by Paramhansa Yogananda. If you are interested in preparing yourself for Kriya Yoga through the Ananda Kriya Sangha, please let us know (see below). But because you are practicing a different type of kriya, then you should go to the person or organization who taught or initiated you, to ask a specific questions about any difficulties your are experiencing with your practices.
However, I can suggest a few things to help you with meditation in general. Pain in the forehead is generally caused by tension in your eyes. This tension is often brought on by trying to force your gaze inward and upward (almost like crossing the eyes) at the spiritual eye (point between the eyebrows). Instead, your eyes should be very relaxed and not forced into any awkward positions. Imagine you are looking at a light on top of a distant mountain out in front of you, but keep your eyes very relaxed.
About numbness in your legs, this is probably caused by your sitting improperly for meditation. Sitting on the floor in a cross-legged position is not always best! There are several ways to take care of this challenge, by changing your sitting position to one which works better for you. Please contact us to find out more about this also.
As for feeling tired and scared about facing the regular world with experiences that meditation might bring, one very important purpose of meditation is to bring you more calmness in daily life, to relieve stress, and to offer you deep inner peace under all circumstances. It should also awaken large sources of energy within you, to help you with tiredness. These are wonderful benefits of meditation and certainly nothing to be afraid of — life only gets better when you are meditating in the right way. If you’d like to learn more about Kriya Yoga in the way we teach it, please go to our Kriya Yoga page.
Kriya, karma, drugs
June 3, 2013
I want to know, how do we know when we are burning the seeds of karma?
Is it possible that while doing Kriya, negative experiences can occur because of the liberation of the seeds?
And do you recommend doing Kriya, during a psychedelic trip?
It isn’t always clear when we are burning up seeds of past karma — it is more noticeable over time, as people feel spiritually lighter; more joyful; growth in spiritual qualities such as devotion, kindness, and selflessness; and with less attraction to worldly and sense attachments. Spiritual progress doesn’t always go in a straight line, however, so most kriya yogis can continue to have some ups and downs in the short term. But long term, the effects tend to be more apparent.
Sometimes during Kriya practice it will happen that a particular thought or desire might pass through the conscious mind. Swami Kriyananda has likened that experience to having a particular karma dissolved, and then passing momentarily through the conscious mind on its way out. When Kriya is done correctly, with devotion, attunement to the Guru, and a certain amount of depth and calmness (and without doing psychedelic drugs!), it won’t cause negative experiences. This is one reason why it’s important to sit in the silence for at least fifteen minutes after finishing Kriya practice, as Paramhansa Yogananda suggested.
One definitely should not have a Kriya practice at the same time as a practice of doing psychedelic drugs. It could be especially harmful to do drugs at the same precise time as Kriya, but even if not done at the same precise time it could still be harmful.
Here is a much more lengthy answer to the general question of trying to use psychedelic drugs for spiritual growth.
The Physical Spine and The Astral Spine
September 6, 2012
I would like to know while practicing Kriya, will the link (thread) from Muladhar center to medulla should be a straight line or it has to pass through the Chakras. I am asking this question because if the link (thread) has to pass through the chakras then it would be in standard S shape as our physical spinal cord is in S shape. Awareness will than move from root chakra to swadisthan and then to navel and so on.
You are confusing the PHYSICAL spine (vertebrae, spinal cord, etc) with the ASTRAL (energy) spine, where the chakras are located. They are different and located in different places and dimensions!
The Astral Spine is the place through which you should be "running" prana (life-force) when you are practicing Kriya Yoga. It can be imagined as a hollow tube, about an inch and a half in diameter, running very straight up from the base of the spine (Muladhara or 1st chakra area) going through the middle (central core) of the body (which places it mostly in front of the S-curve of the physical spine).
When it reaches the Medulla Oblongata (receptive pole of the 6th chakra) it curves slightly forward to the Spiritual Eye (point between the eyebrows - the positive pole of the 6th chakra) As you are practicing Kriya Yoga, the prana goes through chakras # 1-6, from to the bottom to top of your Astral Spine, and back down again.
Blessings to you as you practice the sacred technique of Kriya Yoga.
Did Jesus teach a meditation technique to his disciples? How did his close disciples become so purified? Was it just by his grace due to karmic link from previous lives which dissolved their karma or due to them simply praying to God.
Thank you for your question! Paramhansa Yogananda tells us that Jesus did practice and teach his disciples a form of Kriya Yoga. What the differences are (if any), I do not know.
We read in the Bible about how the disciples were purified and blessed sometime soon after Jesus' crucifixion, when the Holy Ghost comes to them. This purification was a direct blessing from the Guru to his disciples.
You asked: "Was it just by his grace due to karmic link from previous lives which dissolved their karma or due to them simply praying to God."
I am prone to think it is both, rather than either or. Grace is a big part of it but they also had to get there through their own devotion and practice of inner communion with God. Yogananda gives a helpful formula for thinking about the spiritual path to union with God. He says it is 25% our own effort, 25% the Guru's effort on our behalf, and 50% the Grace of God.
I hope this is helpful. You might also like to read Swami Kriyananda's book Revelations of Christ for Yogananda's insights into the New Testament.
Kriya Yoga and Devotion
April 17, 2012
I read about Yogananda saying that to practise Kriya without the purification of the hearts feelings could be harmful. I think he meant it in the sense that your energy will rise but then fall again instead of being transferred to the spiritual eye from the agya chakra.
This then it seems is very important to the success of Kriya practise. What is the best way to begin to purify the hearts feelings?
Thanks for your guidance.
Jai Guru Dev
The important emphasis here is that we need to practice Kriya with devotion. Paramhansa Yogananda once told a disciple, "Kriya plus devotion works like mathematics. It cannot fail."
Swami Kriyananda offers this suggestion: "Try to bring your practice of Kriya as quickly as possible to that point where the technique itself is only a vehicle for this sense of offering your whole energy and being to the divine, where it becomes a devotional and joyous practice."
Chanting is also a powerful tool to awaken deepening devotion. Try to tune into a few chants from Paramhansa Yogananda or Swami Kriyananda, taking them deeper and deeper until you are drawn into supercosnsciousness, or at least uplifted in your awareness. In this way your heart will be purified.
In divine friendship,
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