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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kriya Yoga - An Ancient Spiritual Experience

By Ashwini Karthik

Kriya Yoga one of the ancient yoga practice which rapidly accelerate spirituality and helps to achieve a profound state of tranquility with God. It was revived in 19th century by a yogi named Mahavatar Babaji to his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya around the year1816.

Kriya Yoga was taught by Lahiri Mahasaya in traditional Guru-disciple relationship and it is still being continued as their family tradition. It consists of number of Pranayama techniques, asanas and meditation methods which are based on Kundalini yoga. It includes effective 18 postures of asanas, bandahs and mudras, taught in pairs and stages to awaken principal energy centers the 'chakras'.

Kriya Yoga literally means action with integration or awareness, which is one, gets a self-knowledge and the truth of his being. It is said that Kriya yoga frees the one self from past karma. It is taught in five phases, Kriya Hatha Yoga, Kriya Kundalini Pranayama, Kriya Dhyana Yoga, Kriya mantra Yoga and Kriya Bhakti Yoga. The basic objective of Kriya Yoga is deep mental and physical relaxation of the body. To learn Kriya yoga sincerely one should know one's self, and concentrate whole consciousness towards their soul.

According to Paramahansa Yogananda's book Autobiography of a yogi, he describes a Kriya yogi as one who can mentally directs his life energy to revolve upward and downward, and around six spinal centers, viz. medullar, cervical, dorsal, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal plexuses. These six Spinal centers correspond to the twelve zodiac signs of a man. And according to Yogananda a just half a minute of Kriya equals one year of natural spiritual energizer.

Swami Satyananda says, "Kriya sadhana may be thought of as the sadhana of the "practice of being in Atman".

Yogananda states that Kriya-yoga is a very ancient Indian technique, but lost in middle centuries due to secrecy and indifference between men. He also quotes in his book that Krishna refers to Kriya-Yoga in the Bhagavad-Gita as "Offering inhaling breath into the outgoing breath, and offering the outgoing breath into the inhaling breath, the yogi neutralizes both these breaths; he thus releases the life force from the heart and brings it under his control". According to Yogananda, Pathanjali also refers to Kriya-yoga as "Kriya Yoga is made up of mid control, discipline of body and Aum meditation".

Kriya-yoga is a spiritual experience designed to awake one self and makes them realize that they were just dreaming before with their eyes wide open. It leads one self on the path of self-realization and meeting with divine soul.