Kriya Yoga and Depression


My friend has had a severe depression almost 5 years back with some symptoms of schizophrenia. He was in medication for a long time and now almost out of it. He is in a better state now sometimes (normal type of depression though). Can he be initiated into kriya yoga? What would you suggest him please kindly guide. Thank you for your service.

—Dimon, India


Dear Dimon,

The question you raise is very specific and personal to your friend and to answer it generally would be difficult and a bit unfair. What I might offer goes like this:

  1. Is your friend asking for initiation or are you simply curious? The desire for kriya must come from him as a sincere and humble request for deeper attunement and the goal of Self-realization (moksha).
  2. Is your friend interested or already participating in sadhana (spiritual practices like yoga, meditation, chanting, study of the scriptures, satsang and seva [service])?
  3. I would have him engage in the preliminary techniques of yoga on the path of Self-realization: for example, the Energization Exercises, Hong Sau meditation, and study of various texts by Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda.
  4. I would see if regular association with other Ananda members and activities is possible.

Thus based on actions taken by him and observing the results, I think the response to your question would show itself. In any case, one of the Ananda acharyas there in India would be the best person to engage in guiding your friend. Sincerity coupled with effort is the most important thing. One can overcome most other physical and mental obstacles where sincerity and right effort are present.


Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA