Comprehensive Path of Spiritual Evolution
Kriya Yoga: Philosophy and Practice
What is Kriya Yoga?
Kriya Yoga is a comprehensive path of spiritual evolution that enables the devoted practitioner to realize their self as being one with God. When most westerners think of yoga they think of the asanas associated with Hatha Yoga. However, yoga is more than simple postures. It is a sophisticated science of consciousness that has been practiced in India for thousands of years.
Kriya Yoga is an ancient system of yoga founded in the modern age by Lahiri Mahasaya in 1861. Lahiri Mahasaya received Kriya Yoga from his legendary ascended guru Mahavatar Babaji, who chose Lahiri to revitalize Kriya Yoga in the modern age.
“Kriya” means “action” and “yoga” means conscious union of mind, body, and soul with the infinite indwelling, omnipresent, and transcendent intelligence that permeates the universe. Therefore, Kriya Yoga is simply the action of coming into union with the infinite.
Kriya Yoga was popularized in the west by Paramahansa Yogananda, who came to the United States in 1920 to spread the liberating teachings of Kriya Yoga in the west. His spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946, has introduced millions to the wisdom of Vedic teachings.
In previous higher ages Kriya Yoga was widely practiced and known to the masses. However, due to priestly secrecy and public apathy it became lost during the Kali Yuga (dark age). As we transition into a new age Kriya Yoga has once more emerged as a means for the householder to achieve the pentacle of self and god realization.
Components of the Practice
Kriya Yoga consists of lifestyle recommendations, meditation techniques, breathing exercises, and mantras that work together to methodically liberate the practitioner from the bonds of maya, karma, and ego.
The Kriya Yogi engages in effective meditation in order to gain direct experience of the infinite intelligence that pervades all things. From this enlightened perspective, the Kriya Yogi inquires into the nature of reality, lives in the world with wisdom and compassion, and listens deeply to the inner guru’s urging towards ever greater self and god realization.
The path of enlightenment is without end. The direct perception of reality experienced in deep meditation is just the beginning of the Kriya Yoga path. Over time the “enlightenment experiences” obtained through deep meditation transform the mind, body, and soul into an expression of the infinite intelligence of the universe.
Kriya Yoga begins as lifestyle and practice, but culminates in a shift of being that pervades every aspect of our lives.
How Do You Practice Kriya Yoga?
Kriya Yoga is a living tradition based on the traditional texts of the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. However, Kriya Yoga is not a dogmatic path or primarily of the analytical mind. It is a mystical path of self exploration and transformation.
Kriya Yoga brings together the most effective elements of all systems of yoga, including:
- Step-by-step meditation methodologies and life force control techniques of Raja Yoga with its eight limbs of practice;
- Surrendered devotion to the divine of Bhakti Yoga;
- Focused self-inquiry and study of Janana Yoga;
- Selfless service to others of Karma Yoga.
The Kriya Yoga tradition places an emphasis on healthy, purposeful, conscious living, supported by the transformative power of deep meditation. This facilitates radical transformation in a graceful and constructive manner.
At its core all Kriya Yoga practices aim to assist the practitioner with purifying the gross and subtle bodies so that the god self may shine through. Enlightenment is not a state of consciousness that one attains. It is our natural state of being that is remembered when we let go of that which is not true.
I have made a series of videos that share Kriya Yoga philosophy and techniques that can be viewed by following this link.
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