Students of yoga often believe that yoga techniques alone can give one spiritual liberation, or moksha. But Paramhansa Yogananda taught that right attitude, discipleship to a true Guru, and deep devotion are just as important as yoga techniques, if not more so.
Yogananda told a disciple, “Kriya Yoga plus devotion works like mathematics. It cannot fail.” I often tell people that it’s the only mathematical equation the Kriya Yogi needs to know, and it’s as fundamentally true as “one plus one equals two.” Even advanced yogis fall into the delusion that they can achieve liberation through self-effort alone, without the assistance and divine grace that one receives through devotion to the Guru.
In his new book Revelations of Christ, Swami Kriyananda mentions Kriya Yoga several times in the context of Christ’s teachings. I highly recommend this brand new book to all practicing Kriya Yogis, and anyone interested in Kriya.
In one passage, Kriyananda states that it is “universally true that the ‘son of man’—every son of man—must lift his consciousness, through kundalini awakening, in order to know God.” He goes on to explain how this is done:
A vitally important technique for this awakening is Kriya Yoga. A principle effect of Kriya Yoga is the circulation of energy around the spine, magnetizing it. It is also important, however, that Kriya Yoga be practiced with devotion, and with high spiritual aspiration.
Too much has been made in the yoga teachings of the importance of raising the kundalini by merely mechanical methods. Many misguided students have, in consequence, turned an important spiritual teaching into a mere exercise. This, obviously, is wrong. Even without any such method, but with exalted devotion, many have experienced, during meditation, an awakening of their kundalini power.
On the other hand, when kundalini awakening is accomplished by mechanical means alone, and without devotional aspiration, the energy may rise temporarily, but it will soon fall again. Until the heart has been completely cleansed of all worldly attachments and desires, the increased focus of energy in the spinal centers may stimulate any one of those centers in such a way as to flow outward, and to reawaken latent delusive tendencies.
In a book of mine, Conversations with Yogananda, I included an account of one time when our Guru said to us, “When one thinks good thoughts, the Kundalini automatically starts moving upward. When one thinks evil thoughts, it moves downward. When one hates others, or has wrong thoughts about them, it moves down. And when one loves others, or thinks kindly about them, it moves up.
“Kundalini is not awakened by yoga techniques alone.”
Learn more about Revelations of Christ, and the official launch of the book in Los Angeles in July. Swami Kriyananda will be appearing in person to speak about this new “Revelation.”