What is Kriya Yoga?
Kriya Yoga has a long tradition and is a very valuable meditation technique that has long been kept secret. It was only through Mahavatar Babaji in 1861 this technique was passed on to his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya in the Himalayas. Lahiri Mahasaya was commissioned to make it accessible to the people of today’s world. Starting from Lahiri Mahasaya, the line of Kriya Master continues to this day.
Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), author of “Autobiography of a Yogi”, made this meditation technique known in the West as well.
“Kri” means doing or acting, “Ya” is the Soul (in Sanskrit called Atma). “Yoga” means unity. Kriya yoga means that every action is made in unity with Atma. This is the implementation in everyday life, the spiritual exercise of feeling a permanent connection with the Soul, the divine spark within oneself.
What does that actually mean? Every bodily function depends on the breath that keeps the body alive. Breath, on the other hand, is not controlled by the human will, but by the inner divine power. The awareness of this fact shows that, in truth, our actions are the actions of Atma.
In the Kriya Yoga tradition, every action (karma) is given to the Divine Self (Atma). He is the real agent. Out of this attitude, Atma gives people deeper understanding and knowledge (jnana) of all things in this world, of everyday worldly things and the spiritual aspects of life. This deeper understanding, in turn, leads to more gratitude, love, and devotion (bhakti) to the Creator and His creation.
The Kriya Yoga technique is the tool to connect human consciousness more and more with the divine and to keep this awareness in everyday life. This technique cannot be learned from books. Only experienced teachers who have received at least the 4th Kriya (there are six levels) and have been authorized explicitly, may pass on this technique.
Kriya yoga is not a religion, but it is an aid to experiencing the truth in one’s own religion. This personal experience is the central element that makes Kriya Yoga devoid of fanaticism and dogmatism.
Continue reading about the Guru Parampara (lineage of teachers) by Paramapadma Dhiranandaji.