What is Kriya Yoga?
“Kri” means action and “Ya” means Soul – Action guided by the Soul.
The word KRIYA means activity/movement of awareness/consciousness. It also means practical or preliminary action. In contrast to other forms of Yoga, Kriya Yoga does not ask you to curb your mental fluctuations, but asks you to create activity in your consciousness with a purpose.
– His Holiness Sadguru Yogiraj Sri Sri Mangeshda
Kriya Yoga is the essence of 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita.
Five fold Techniques taught at the workshop after initiation
•Kriya Hatha Yoga (postures); •Kriya Kundalini Pranayam (scientific breathing techniques); •Kriya Dhyana yoga (Meditation and beyond); •Kriya Bhakti Yoga (Devotion); •Kriya Mantra Yoga. Techniques will be personally taught by Sadguru.
Kriya Yoga lecture by Sadguru Mangeshda in Los Angeles, CA, USA on May 3rd 2013
Om, Amen, Amin – this is the first sound of this Universe. There is a significance why we meet only certain people. We cannot meet everybody in this world. Out of billions of people on this planet, we meet only those with whom we have an incomplete relationship. Mahavatar Babaji explains this relationship by saying that we are all one. Millions of years ago, we were all living together peacefully and lovingly in this united world. Then came the Big Bang – and everything shattered. After millions of years, planet Earth evolved gradually, and along with it, millions of living beings, ultimately leading to our form of Human being. This led to a number of questions like “Why are we all here? Why am I staying in USA? Why is somebody in India?” The answer is Global Oneness.
There is a lot of research today on the Big Bang. Scientists found the answer and discovered that there is a GOD particle. When I was in Portugal last year, I was talking about Big Bang and spirituality, I met two scientists. They said “Yes – spirituality found the answers, and we are climbing the mountain from the other side”. The point is the same – we are all one. But then, what is that GOD particle?
Kriya Yoga and Bhagavat Gita:
As mentioned in the Bhagavat Gita, 5300 years ago, in the battlefield of Kurukshetra Lord Krishna mentioned the word “Kriya Yoga” for the first time. Kri means action, and Ya means soul. Lord Krishna explained to Arjuna, in the 18 adhyayas (chapters) “What you think of as a war – is not the war. It is a transformation. It is a transformation of one’s reaching towards the supreme self”. Now for reaching towards the self, what we require is “awakening”. And this awakening happens, when we contemplate and understand what is happening.
Five elements and their connection with the Human body
Nature teaches us valuable lessons through the five fundamental elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether. Each of these has gunas (characteristic of the element). For example, when there is a flood, it is the “tamasik guna (destructive)” of water, whereas when water satisfies your thirst, it projects the “sattvik guna (pious, pure). Today there was a forest fire – nobody likes the destructive nature of the fire. This is that tamasik guna of fire. When we use the fire to light a lamp to remove the darkness, we see the sattvik guna of the fire.
Similarly, the human body is also made up of these 5 elements. These 5 elements are what nature is at the elemental level. The union of the gross visible body that we see and the invisible body is Yoga. Physical body says “I am the owner”. But the reality is “invisible body” around the human is leading and owning the physical body. When we see someone’s face, we love or hate the face but in reality the soul is everything.
Kriya Yoga – Origin
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva taught Mata Parvati 84,000 yoga asanas. Rishi Patanjali condensed these into 84 siddha asanas and in Kriya Yoga, Babaji condensed it into 18 siddha hatha asanas.
Mahavatar Babaji revived Kriya Yoga. In 1892.in Ranikhet, India, he initiated Lahiri Mahasaya – and told him that he is re-incarnated for a purpose. Babaji instructed him to “Explain the simplicity of Kriya Yoga. In future there will be lot of negativity. But individuals should connect with unconditional love and unconditional forgiveness”. Later in 1922, Yoganandaji explained Kriya Yoga to the west.
Five-fold path of Kriya Yoga
In the five-fold path of Kriya Yoga, the first is Kriya Hatha Yoga. People misunderstand that only a flexible person can perform Hatha Yoga. In fact, every posture that you do is an asana – sitting, standing, sleeping etc.
What is the use of performing asana?
We are living because of cosmic energy – which is flowing in the body. When there is a block in this energy, there is pain. We don’t listen to the body. We just give it a pill and rush out. The body speaks to us but we ignore it till we are rushed to the ICU. Now however busy you are, there is no schedule, no appointment – you are under doctor’s care – sometimes in artificial ventilation for breath.
Whatever precaution the doctor suggests after the discharge, you follow for some time, but ignore it and start running again.
God has designed our body wonderfully – each and every part beautifully but we don’t have time to maintain it.
Kriya Hatha yoga removes the blocks and facilitates free flow of energy through certain postures. What is that energy? There are two kinds – Cosmic and magnetic. There are 7 major centers called “Chakras” connected to the endocrine system that regulate hormones – and maintain harmony. The endocrine system is connected to every organ in the body. When the chakras get affected, endocrine system is affected and creates hollowness. Doctors fill it with medicines.
You have to always maintain your body. When you really need a doctor, you need one.
A child performs all the asanas in the womb, floating in the water. After birth – after cutting umbilical cord – the doctor turn the baby upside down because oxygen should go to the brain and body temperature should be maintained.
Kundalini energy: The first breath we take till the last birth is life. Slowly child grows up crawling to standing and gradually the energy fluctuates. Initially energy flows in the womb from down to up. The moment the doctor cuts the cord, it reverses and the fontanel, over a period of time becomes hard. That energy is Kundalini energy – Universal energy which is at the base of the spine. Everybody is born with it and it has tremendous capacity.
Kriya Kundalinii Pranayam: The second part of the five-fold path is Kriya Kundalinii Pranayam: There are 49 types of air in our body, out of which 5 are very important. They are Apana, Samana, Prana, Vyana, and Udana. When union of these five pranas occurs, from Muladhar chakra, the same energy crosses through our Sushumna nadi and connects to the Universal Godly energy – the Godly particle. When this energy connects to the Universal Godly energy, at that time, human gets direct experience with the God. This direct experience is considered as Samadhi. This is the experience of “ONESELF”. There are 18 such Kriya Kundalini Pranayams.
Science and Mythology
There are 72,000 meridians in the body. In the life of Lord Krishna, as mentioned in Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna plays the flute and the gopis dance to the tune. Flute has nine holes and similarly our human body has nine openings through which the energy flows. We hear the same sound. The energy centers play the sound. As per mythological story, gopis are girls but subtle meaning is “Gopis” represent 72,000 meridians – the raga, raginis dancing to the musical composition.
The third part is Kriya Mantra Yoga – “Man” means “Mind”. Chanting of some syllables repeatedly is supportive to the Mind (We will do a meditation later based on this). When we repeatedly chant something, that sound remains inside. Savitha was singing “Bhajan” few minutes back. “Bhajan” in Sanskrit means to “pray”. Chanting creates a pious environment. Environment should be clean. We are sitting here quietly and peacefully. There are many people somewhere around the world thinking about and plotting bomb blasts as to how to kill people. Their thinking level is such and we cannot say anything about it. At the same time there are people thinking about Love and Peace. They want Love and harmony. This is a pious temple. Why is it so? Some people move in the positive direction and some the other way.
Oneness with the five elements:‘Sanskar” or the culturing of this Mind starts from the house, from school, and in the society. Now the question is – Is the society giving us something or we are giving something to the society? We need society because every individual is incomplete without second living being.
I lived as a sanyasi (renunciate) in Himalayas. When I left my house, met Babaji and he took me to a place and asked me to stay there. Nobody was around me. In one sudden night everything changed. Suddenly I was in total isolation. I was a very popular student and always in various activities in college. I had lot of friends and I used to talk a lot. I was also a fresh graduate from college. I was craving to see at least one second living being. I waited for days.
There was a river close to the place I was staying. The sound of running river was music to my ears. I made friendship with the river and had a conversation. Believe me, the river talked to me. I felt river is calling me. I used to touch the water, give lots of love. I used to touch the plants; I could see and hear plants singing. I felt oneness with the plants. I used to smell them and felt the oneness with them. Similarly I felt oneness with Mother Earth. One fine day I realized I am not alone. All the five elements are around me and with me.
Guruji used to appear, teach me some lessons and disappear. I understood the value of a human being. I had a question – we all need society and does society need us? When society decides, “Yes, that human being has something special and I need him/her”, I understood the connection to the society.
Unconditional Love is easy to speak of. But we put lots of conditions – only mine, only mine…. Guruji taught me you cannot forget everything. But by giving forgiveness, you can release all your karmas.
What is spirituality? Nobody can teach spirituality. But the truth is spirituality is existence. We are all born with the spirituality. The role of a guru has to be like a good friendship. That is the friendship Lord Krishna told Arjuna – “you are incomplete without me and I am incomplete without you”. This exactly is to understand why we are here.
Kriya Dhyana Yoga is observation without reacting to anything. Let it happen…. It is beautiful. We can meditate while walking. When Savitha was singing, she was one with the song-music. She was doing meditation. Similarly when one is cooking and is fully engrossed in it, that person is in meditation and the food also tastes good. When a person cooks food in bad mood, wrong vibration enters into the food. This is exactly what Babaji taught me. Even if something is not good, or goes wrong, we can make it sweet with the sweetness of the Mind. That is why the unity of Body, Mind and soul is essential.
Body is actually representing the mind. Mind is behind the functioning of the body.
What Kriya Yoga teaches us is to let the soul take the initiative and let the Mind follow the soul. Soul cannot directly control the physical body. Physical body is born with this mind. So in Kriya Yoga, when the Soul takes the initiative, slowly the Mind follows that. See the chariot of Lord Krishna. Chariot represents our physical body. Seven horses represent the Mind. Controlling part is Sri Krishna. Mind is controlled by Lord Krishna – The Soul.
This is the beauty of Kriya Yoga – the five-fold path – Kriya Hatha Yoga, Kriya Mantra Yoga, Kriya Kundalini Pranayam, Kriya Dhyana Yoga and finally Kriya Bhakti Yoga.
Kriya Bhakti Yoga: Unless we have devotion, we cannot learn anything. Normally we have a tendency that Guru has to solve all our problems. When we experience any physical pain or health problems we expect our Guru to provide relief. Someone comes to me ask what is going to happen to him in future? I always say for your medical problems you need a doctor not a Guru, for financial problems you need a financial consultant and for knowing your future you need an astrologer.
What is the role of a Guru and disciple? Kriya Yoga is a bold path. Everybody cannot come into Kriya Yoga and this is the reason. When Babaji said only 5% of the people boldly go ahead with it because you have to put yourself into action. It requires courage. I have a physical body. I believe in myself. I know I only need guidance and encouragement to understand it. Now I have experienced it and I know the difficulty. I never used to believe in those sadhus, babas and bhuas from childhood. I used to fight against these superstitions and that is why I left home. I wanted answers and nobody answered my questions. I used to ask “as per Hindu mythology, who is more powerful? Is it Rama or Hanuman? If Rama is powerful, why do we need Hanuman?” Nobody gave me the answer. I was 8 or 9 years old child and had an inquisitive mind. In India there was a practice – On a particular dark day people used to insert needles into lemon and throw it in the streets. We were told by elders that we are not supposed to touch it because it is a bad omen and can harm us. But I used to pick it up, remove needles, cut it and squeeze the juice and drink it. Nothing happened to me. They used to say it has spirit and it will catch me. My question was, is God more powerful or the Spirit? My inquisitive mind wanted to know the true scientific facts. I believe in God and not superstitious rituals.
“Awakening”- “Aham Brahmasmi”
One day while walking with my Guruji, I saw lightning strike a tree and the whole tree caught fire and burnt in front of my eyes. I became breathless for a moment. It would be me instead of the tree if I had taken few more steps ahead. Babaji touched me on the shoulder and said this is life. Every moment is crucial and important. When you are living, learn what is alertness – Alert alert alert…to Awaken, awaken – Super awaken … Myself, Myself, Myself…. The moment we experience “Myself” everywhere that is “Awakening”- “Aham Brahmasmi”. How to understand this is through the simple five-fold path of Kriya Yoga.
How to incorporate and practice Kriya Yoga in daily life
You can practice all the five-fold Kriyas or if you cannot do all of them, you can do any one part and still reach the ultimate Awakening – Aham Brahmasmi. Even if a person is in a wheel chair or physically challenged that person can still do the Kriyas – they can practice at least the Kriya Mantra Yoga – chanting or Kriya Dhyan Yoga. Kriya Yoga teaches you to do at least something according to your capacity. That is why Kriya Yoga is a beautiful and guaranteed path of “Self-realization”.
Now, thanks to the machines which monitor and measure the brain waves, we can see what “Samadhi avastha” is and how one experiences it. Misunderstanding about spirituality is gone now. Only thing that matters is putting it into practice.
Why is Kriya Yoga a secret science?
I used to ask this question too. When it is such a beautiful and scientific path, why is it a secret science? Guruji explained that this is a test of patience. We need more patience. Your mind gets lots of thoughts. When you categorize your thoughts, you would mostly find thoughts related to your survival issues in the first place. Next in line is your thoughts related to responsibility issues, then comes your necessity thoughts and it goes on. In the end we forget what we really like. We do lots of compromises. So that is why in Kriya Yoga path, we have to give some quality time to ourselves. If we cannot spare a minimum of 30 minutes for ourselves, then who is living our life?
Before coming to LA, I was in Brazil to spread Kriya Yoga and then in San Francisco. In San Francisco I was invited and stayed in a businessman’s house. He was a millionaire. But he was constantly on the phone talking, or typing on the laptop and even his body posture was poor. Even while walking he was on the phone. While eating also he was working and so he could not recognize the taste of the food lovingly made by his wife. He had wealth but he had no peace and had to compromise on his health, carried many medicines.
Babaji said – “the time will come when people will understand the path of Kriya Yoga”. Anybody from 12 years of age can learn and practice Kriya Yoga. Nowadays, many youngsters are coming into this path. In Dubai, Muslims are learning Kriya Yoga. They find it is like how they perform namaaz.
Duration of Kriya Practice everyday: Even if you practice for minimum 30 minutes, you get maximum benefit and energy to keep going the whole day.
Its all in how we breathe: People ask me: is my Guruji 1800 years old? I tell them no, he is ageless. Nobody can say how but the Kriya Yoga secret science says now – It is all in the breath. We are supposed to take 8-22 breaths per minute. Unfortunately, we take around 30 breaths due to busy schedule and stress. Imagine how much carbon we retain. On top of it we drink Soda – carbonated beverages. Instead of removing carbon we add more.
If body is healthy, Mind is healthy. Spirituality is not a big deal. It just comes!
Simplicity of Spirituality
The simplest thing is spirituality. If I would like to explain spirituality in one single sentence – I observed in the car – Shambhavi was doing it – she was trying to insert a thread into a needle. In one hand you have the needle, and in another hand you have the thread. You have to go close to the hole and insert it. This is spirituality. If you search for the hole everywhere and anywhere, spirituality will never come. We have to focus and go closer and closer. This is exactly how in the Sushumna Nadi, Kundalini travels. Ida nadi, pingala nadi and all the 72,000 meridians are there. But you need lots of patience to go close to that hole and insert it. Mind should be peaceful and calm. That is why the easiest way I find is through Kriya Yoga.