Made for the Modern Age
In The Art and Science of Raja Yoga, Swami Kriyananda states that the science of yoga was born in an age when mankind as a whole was more enlightened, and could easily grasp truths for which our most advanced thinkers are still only groping. (I refer here to ordinary, worldly, men, whose sole means of achieving understanding are the clumsy tools of logic, and not to those great saints and yogis who in any age are fully enlightened from within.) It is because the groping for these truths has begun again that great yogis have reintroduced this ancient science to humanity at large, and that people in growing numbers are becoming so receptive to it.
The other reason for looking back to ancient traditions for a true insight into the yoga science is that the perception of truth is not something to be built up from generation to generation, like money in a bank. It is not dependent on an acquisition of outward knowledge.
Truth is eternal. Man can perceive it; he cannot create it. Once his perception is keen enough to behold Absolute Truth, he will partake of a reality that all share who attain the same vision. The great religions have come to man from those regions. The greatest spiritual teachers in all times have spoken from that vision. It is worldly people who, because they see the world through a filter of their own ideas and emotions, distort everything, including religion, with their personal prejudices. The endeavor of great teachers always is to bring man back to central, eternal realities. If man strays too far south, they tell him to go north. If then he makes a dogma of moving northward, straying too far in that direction, they tell him he must go south. Those who were told to go south will quarrel with the others who were told to go north, but only because both groups are blind to the fact that all their teachers wanted them to do was find the spiritual “equator,” the center of their own being. It is this teaching which constitutes the true tradition of religion; it is for this reason alone that great teachers uphold the old traditions.
Yogananda taught a series of meditation and yoga techniques which are combined into a daily practice. The first two of these, taught in Lessons in Meditation, are the Hong-Sau technique and the Energization Exercises. Hong-Sau helps the student develop the concentration needed for deep meditation—that concentration can also be applied to daily life in many ways.