Does Kriya Yoga Seem to Magnify Life’s Problems?


Does Kriya yoga initially seem to magnify all the problems you have in your life as you are burning through the backlog of your karma? I’ve heard many people make such claims that they start facing more problems in life or their existing problems magnify initially when they just start but was not sure about this.

—Anish, India


Dear Anish,

Yes, one hears such things: that with the practice of kriya our spiritual evolution and also our karma therefore accelerates. There is some truth to this, but let’s explore it more deeply.

  1. Preparation for kriya takes upwards one year of study, practice, and satsang. If a student, soon-to-be a disciple, takes this preparation seriously, one gains sensitivities to the astral body and spine (wherein lay the vrittis of karma and samskaras), and also a degree of control over the reactive process (impulsively reacting to challenges). Energization exercises, Hong Sau, Aum technique and attunement to the guru are essential steps in preparing to take the “airplane route” of kriya.
  2. Is the person who claims to report accelerated karmic “bombs” one who was already inclined to drama and emotional reactivity? Was the karmic pattern before kriya just as dramatic as after?
  3. When kriya initiation is first given, the disciple is instructed to only practice a few kriyas in the beginning and to gradually increase the number of kriyas over months and even years. Some disciples ignore these instructions and “bite off more than they can chew.”
  4. Kriya is a channel of guru’s grace. To the disciple, the strength to handle tests is given in proportion to those tests. Faith is always the foundation for the spiritual life. Tests and challenges come to all people, not just to devotees and kriyabans. Who can say but that the tests would have come anyway and perhaps have been of even greater intensity were it not for the power and grace of kriya?
  5. Why did we seek kriya? Is it not to advance more quickly towards Self-realization? Are we unwilling to face our own karma? Did we think kriya or the guru’s grace was going to make our life more comfortable?

So, yes, kriya can accelerate our karmic tests but then kriya, properly practiced and with attunement to the guru, gives us strength to handle those tests. There shouldn’t be any reason for one to fear or hold back from taking Kriya initiation or practicing kriya. Kriya yields the joy of the soul and the joy of kriya makes life worth living no matter what twists and turns fate (karma) has in store for us.

Sometimes the guru uses our karma to test the purity of our resolve to seek Self-realization and divine attunement. In facing our tests calmly and with even-mindedness, we may find we have passed those tests and, as suddenly as they arrived, they vanish. (I don’t mean to imply we no longer are tested; there are times in our lives when it seems like the tests come all at once!)

So fear not, for the spiritual path is worth living right now for its own sake, as well as for the sake of our final liberation.

Nayaswami Hriman