Some people claim they have the “real” or original kriya — why?

Lahiri Mahasaya had many disciples, and he taught Kriya to them with slight modifications depending on the needs of each individual. The essence of Kriya was taught the same, but you can see that there is no single original kriya, therefore. True spiritual Masters, like Lahiri Mahasaya and Paramhansa Yogananda, have the authority and understanding to teach Kriya in that way. Masters will also never claim to have the “only” true Kriya path, nor will they disparage others. Ananda teaches Kriya Yoga just as Yogananda taught it. He learned it from his Guru, Sri Yukteswar, who was a direct disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya. More on Kriya as taught by Paramhansa Yogananda.

There are other groups that teach different “kriya” yogas — what’s the difference?

“Kriya” is a commonly used word in yoga. It literally means “action,” and is used to describe many different techniques. The Kriya that we teach at Ananda is specifically the Kriya Yoga of Lahiri Mahasaya.

Do You Need a Living Guru to Learn Kriya Yoga?

Paramhansa Yogananda personally authorized Swami Kriyananda to initiate others into Kriya Yoga, acting as Yogananda’s instrument. Swami Kriyananda has also authorized a number of Ananda teachers to initiate people into Kriya, acting as instruments for the Ananda line of Gurus.

Kriya is offered as an initiation because it is more than a technique. At Kriya initiations, the teacher offering the initiation acts as a channel for Yogananda’s magnetism and blessing. Many people have been transformed by the power of Kriya initiation through Ananda.

Can Kriya Yoga be dangerous?

Kriya, when practiced under the guidance of an experienced Kriya teacher, is completely safe.

Do you have to pay to receive Kriya through Ananda?

There is a cost for the Path of  Kriya courses, and/or classes at an Ananda Center, that help one prepare for Kriya Initiation. There are also guest fees if you receive Kriya at Ananda Village. At the initiation itself, there is a monetary offering that is entirely up to the individual.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Kriya?

This process takes about a year, but this also depends on each individual. It is natural to think of any training we receive in terms of outer goals, yet with the Path of Kriya, much more is involved. The Path of Kriya Yoga involves learning and practicing spiritual techniques that promote inner transformation. Each of these techniques needs to be integrated into one’s life before moving forward. How quickly one can move forward with the material depends on personal karma and inner realities. The instructors work with each individual, according to their needs and realities.

Why do I have to learn other techniques before receiving Kriya?

The other techniques (Energization Exercises, Hong-Sau, AUM, and more) are part of the Path of Kriya Yoga. The Kriya Yogi continues to practice those techniques even after receiving the Kriya technique. Second, the Kriya technique is much more effective with the year (or more) of preparation. Finally, practicing Kriya requires a daily commitment to meditation. It can take up to a year (or more) to establish that practice.

Why Is Kriya Yoga Given as an Initiation?

We have seen that when people practice Kriya without proper instruction, they often practice this subtle technique incorrectly and don’t gain the benefits. If people practice without trying to attune to the Guru’s grace, again, they don’t feel the full results and often lose interest in the practice. Learn more.

If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, please email us at kriyayoga@ananda.org.