Paramhansa Yogananda brought Kriya Yoga into wide public awareness for the first time with his Autobiography of a Yogi, published in 1946. Today there are many different Kriya Yoga paths and techniques being taught. For a new seeker, having so many choices can be confusing.
The decision as to which path to follow is perhaps the most important one a spiritual seeker will make. It is not a matter of one being better then another, but more about which path resonates with the individual as their very own. In the beginning of the spiritual search, exploring the different paths is a natural way to differentiate which one is truly ours. Once that clarity comes, it is important to focus on that one chosen path.
Since ancient times, Kriya Yoga is given as an initiation. As described in Autobiography of a Yogi, that initiation is not just into the Kriya technique. It includes the even more important commitment of the disciple to the guru(s) of that Kriya path, to their teachings, to the way of life that they teach, and a commitment to a set of practices that often involve more than just the single Kriya technique. Because initiation is such a serious and sacred commitment, that decision should be an informed one.
With initiation into Kriya Yoga, it is important to understand that taking initiation into one path of Kriya does not constitute initiation into another, because of the nature of initiation with a guru and a spiritual path. This is true even when the different paths share some of the Masters in common as a part of their spiritual lineage.
Receiving Kriya Initiation Through Ananda Sangha
Paramhansa Yogananda taught Kriya Yoga as part of a comprehensive spiritual path that includes three other techniques (Energization Exercises, Hong-Sau, AUM Meditation), along with discipleship to the Kriya line of Gurus.
Ananda teaches and initiates people into Kriya Yoga just as Paramhansa Yogananda did. Kriya is part of the spiritual lineage of Jesus Christ, Babaji Krishna, Lahiri Mahasaya, Swami Sri Yukteswar, and Paramhansa Yogananda.
Yogananda authorized Swami Kriyananda, the founder of Ananda, to initiate disciples into Kriya Yoga on his guru’s behalf. Over the years, Kriyananda authorized other Ananda teachers to act as Kriyacharyas (those who initiate people into Kriya). The spiritual directors of Ananda Sangha continue that practice to this day.