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Is There a Connection Between Kriya Yoga and the Teachings of Ramakrishna?

snehasis chatterjee
india(kolkata)

Question

Sir,

please enlighten whether there is any relation or connection of Kriya yoga with the teachings of Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa.

with regards & pranam

Dr Snehasis Chatterjee.

Nayaswami Devarshi

Nayaswami Devarshi

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Friend,

There isn't a formal connection between the two teachings, but of course they are related, in two significant ways.

The first is that Paramhansa Yogananda and Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa were both from Kolkata. Even though they never met, Yogananda had a deep love and fondness for Ramakrishna, often visiting the temple at Dakshineswar, and meditating there for many hours at a time.

Yogananda also had a great friendship with Mahendranath Gupta (called "Master Mahashaya" in Autobiography of a Yogi), who wrote the beautiful Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita) as "M."

I've personally enjoyed that book tremendously over the years, and have always seen the Ramakrishna lineage as our spiritual cousins, in a way.

The other deep connection is that the devotional aspect of the Kriya teachings is rooted in the same love for God that Ramakrishna taught - devotion to God in all forms, and also notably to God as the Divine Mother. It isn't very well understood by many people, but this deep devotion is an integral part of the path of Kriya Yoga.

Kriya Yoga also works with a very specific set of techniques, with the actual Kriya technique being just one of them. Ramakrishna didn't commonly teach techniques, even though he did practice them at various times in some of the different sadhanas (spiritual practices) he performed.

So yes, there is both a relation and connection in what is perhaps the most important way: a common and deep bhakti (devotion) for God, and the understanding that the goal of all life is to seek God and final union with the Divine.

Joy and blessings to you,
Devarshi

 

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