What Kriya Yoga Is Like, as Told by Kriya Yogis
The single most important event of my life was taking my first Kriya Yoga Initiation at Ananda in the summer of 1975. I have regularly and faithfully practiced Kriya since that time and I can say, without reservation, that all the promises that our Gurus make regarding Kriya Yoga and what it can do for your spiritual progress are very, very true — they are actually even more so than they say!
I have kept a spiritual diary over many years. Several times I have reviewed entries from six or eight years before and been amazed at how my consciousness had changed! Master said Kriya Yoga can change our lives, but here was tangible proof for me!
I have been experiencing such wonderful results. Many have been physical experiences. For example, the past thirty years I have had horrible habit of biting or tearing of my nails. Since Kriya Initiation this stopped. It may seem silly to someone else, but it has great meaning to me. I have also had such wonderful energy flows in my body. This was something I experienced once I started meditation, but the intensity and frequency has increased. I DELIGHT in the sensation that I know is inspired by my increasing love for God and attunement with the Masters. … There has not been a day that I have not felt God’s and Yogananda’s presence with me since I took my Kriya Initiation. WHAT A JOY!
I was searching all my life for a spiritual path. I tried different meditation techniques. I visited many different churches. The first time I came to Ananda Village I took a yoga workshop. I could see the inner joy of those who worked there. They have what I’m looking for, I thought. I went on to take Kriya. Many of my friends have noticed a change in me. I am still going deeper in my meditations. I truly have found the joy within!
Having grown up around hundreds of Kriyabans at Ananda Village, I always thought that becoming an adult meant that you were to be an honest, respectable, trustworthy and generally joyful person. After attending the local public high school and meeting my friends’ parents, I realized that this is not necessarily the case! While some of the adults that I met were good happy people, many were unhappy, jaded, disillusioned, and angry with the world. They seemed to have no depth in their lives. After seeing this again and again, I had to step back and ask myself “what is the difference between Ananda adults and the parents of my friends at school?”
Swami Kriyananda has mentioned that with such a quality collection of people drawn together, you have to assume that it is not so much the people that are amazing, but more what the people are doing. Naturally, the next question I had to ask myself was “What is it that these Ananda adults are doing that sets them apart?” As I had learned growing up, Ananda practices the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, at the core of which is Kriya Yoga. In my heart I knew this was what I wanted. While the world so often offers bitterness and frustration, here right in front of my nose, I had the tools to fill my heart with love, peace, happiness and joy! What a divine blessing to simply be given that choice. With these tools I knew I could grow to become the person I want to be.
As my Kriya practice deepens, I know in my heart I am on my way to becoming who I want to become and achieving the ultimate goal of Self-realization.
Kriya has often been described as a liberating technique, which frees us from our karmic burdens. What fully resonates in me, instead, is when Yogananda writes that Kriya is a bliss technique. It brings us to our heaven: the spine, the “altar of God.” I know that the rising of energy is blissful. I know Kriya done with love is heavenly. I know, at least for a tiny little bit, how Brinda, the little postman from Benares (described by Yogananda in his Autobiography) must have felt, who was so Kriya-intoxicated that he couldn’t deliver his letters anymore. That is what, for me, Kriya stands for. “I will sing Thy name, I will drink Thy name, and get all drunk, oh with Thy name!” In Kriya-friendship,
The blessings of our Gurus have stayed with me. This Kriya weekend was so special. 17 years ago I read A.Y. and knew that was my way. But life sometimes is not easy and I walked away. This weekend I felt blessed and chosen to receive this sacred teaching. The results of increased peace were immediate. I believe they are true sensations – not psychological.
… Becoming a kriyaban has continued the blessing. Instead of nervousness and stress, I feel centered, calm, and peaceful. I am able to feel Divine Mother’s love even through recent shocking family tragedy, and it’s helped me to cope and stay sane and even joyful. Kriya focuses the energy on the divine Self, and makes you realize you’re part of God’s creation, even able to channel divine healing and love to others just through your own aura and magnetism. It is a humbling experience, but a supremely powerful one, to know you can be an instrument of Divine Mother’s blessings.
Know that in small ways and large, Kriya can help you on your path. Through daily practice, without even realizing it, you are becoming closer to self-realization with every breath.
Kriya has been helping me by making me see things in the right perspective. I feel like my feelings are more balanced, my ideas more clearly organized, my devotion has increased and my attachments decreased. I no longer feel the need to eat as often as before, and my words have a stronger effect on other people and events.
I use Kriya to focus deeply, even on one thought, concept, or dilemma. In this practice I find Kriya wonderful for problem-solving, as it creates a center of peace and calmness in a very busy, disorganized, and demanding world.
Don’t hesitate! Don’t doubt yourself. You are a child of God and worthy in every way to become a kriyaban. Take it a step at a time and know that you have a FORCE backing you up, all the time. All you need to do is ask for help and guidance from Master, as often as you can remember to do so. Then quietly tune in to that guidance, which will flood into your life, turning it from a life of dissatisfaction and sorrow to a heaven of bliss.
Kriya, and this path have given my life purpose and direction. No matter what “storm” is swirling around the boat of life, there’s always a clear light and a calm harbor! Thank you Master, Swamiji, and all the true, dedicated, joyful souls of Ananda. I can’t imagine any better way of life.
What has Kriya Yoga done for me? It has kept my spiritual life and spiritual practice intact. I use the term “intact,” because without Kriya, I honestly don’t think I would have a spiritual life. I came to Ananda over ten years ago as a “seeking skeptic” to learn how to meditate. It was not until I was initiated into Kriya that things really changed for me. I have my ups and downs. But I stay connected with Ananda, and eventually I sit in meditation again and practice Kriya and it brings me back to what’s important — seeking and actually feeling the presence of the Divine in my life. Kriya always brings me back on the path to God. For me, Kriya Yoga has been the difference between having a deep, meaningful spiritual life and still being our there reading books, seeking, dabbling and not finding anything fulfilling. Kriya works. It brings me joy, peace and a connection with God that I never thought possible in my life.
Kriya Yoga will subtly but perceptibly pull you upstream towards your highest potential. It will strengthen your willpower and power of concentration, change your perceptions, and banish forever any anger, resentment, fear, doubt, or low self-esteem that may be lurking deep within you. Finally, it will dissolve your ego in a burst of light and bliss; you will then have come home and truly be in tune with the Infinite.