Kriya Yoga is an ancient yogic practice based on body, mind, and prana involving Pranayam and subtle visualization. The word Kriya came from its Sanskrit root “Kri” which means “doing” or “action.” Yoga means “union.” Kriya Yoga is a yoga through which the union with the Infinite by performing or doing some specific action or rite. It was discovered by the ancient yogis that through breath control, the life force energy (prana) can be controlled and through this, the spiritual evolutionary process can be shortened by considerable amount of time.
A Kriya Yogi can remain in a breathless state for hours together. In contradiction to forceful holding of breath, a Kriya yogi can hold his breath without any effort. It is his natural state of being and through this breath mastery, he is able to detach himself completely with mind and be in union with Infinite all the time. Such a Kriyaban acts solely based on universal command and hence, is detached with any karmic burden associated with his actions. His spiritual evolution skyrockets in a very little time. The Kriya yogi lives in union with Atman all the time and is freed from egocentric living. He lives in higher spiritual plane and experiences bliss all the time. The process of Kriya Yoga initiation from Guru and the practice are respected with spiritual sacredness and are maintained secret. The initiation given by the Guru is the essence of Kriya Yoga without which the practice is not complete.
Kriya Yoga as taught by Yogiraj Shyama Charan Lahiri followed a strict Guru-Disciple relationship. The practice has to be learnt through an authorized Kriya Yoga Gurus only. A person can become a Guru and initiate other people into Kriya Yoga only after getting consent from his Guru. With regular and ardent practice of Kriya and Guru’s blessings, a Kriya yogi can reach the ultimate goal even in a single lifetime or even within few decades or even lesser.
The Guru Gita from Skanda Purana says, Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu Guru Devo Maheshwara Guru Sakshat Param Brahma Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah The sound Gu means darkness. The sound Ru means, light. Guru is someone who radiates light of wisdom in the hearts filled with the darkness of ignorance. Kriya Yoga practice is not complete without the initiation from Guru. Guru’s role and his guidance in Kriya yoga is indispensable and cannot be neglected. The deeksha / initiation given by Guru is the very essence of Kriya Yoga and it creates a divine link between the Guru and disciple which guides the disciple in each and every step he takes towards his ultimate goal.
Kriya Yoga as taught by Lahiri Mahasaya follows strict Guru-Disciple relationship. As Swami Sivananda said that no person should think he is so great that he does not need the help and guidance of a superior person. Anatha in Sanskrit means “the one without a teacher.” In the Upanishads, five signs of satguru (true guru) are mentioned. In the presence of the satguru; Knowledge flourishes (Gyan raksha); Sorrow diminishes (Dukh kshaya); Joy wells up without any reason (Sukh avirbhava); Abundance dawns (Samriddhi); All talents manifest (Sarva samvardhan). When you find peace and tranquility and joy in the very presence of a person, you can know that he is a satguru.
To the Guru, the disciple should completely surrender to march forward in the spiritual journey. Importance of Guru in Swami Sivanandha’s words, surrender is better than reverence. By practicing Kriya as said by Guru with faith and surrendering the ego to Guru and with Guru’s blessings, one can attain his ultimate goal much faster. The pathway of the disciple is cleared and sped up by Guru’s blessings. As long as one can get the guidance from within oneself, an external Guru is necessary. There after the Guru becomes one with self and the guidance comes from within.
The Master does not give you any information. Information is a process of teaching. Master has nothing like that. The Master communicates just by his presence. If you are in touch with the Master, you receive – may not be through words. Between the lover and the beloved, no words are necessary. Therefore, intimacy is the secret, if you wish to be in tune with your Master. Communication is only possible when it is a transmission, that too a firsthand transmission. The transmission relates to experience but not information. Master is one who is in face-to-face with the reality. The disciple encountering such a master receives the first hand communication from the Master who is his own authority. You can encounter truth only when your ego falls. Master does not claim to be a Master, he has no ego. He has no teaching attitude. HE IS THE LIVING TRUTH Therefore, be careful of those that claim to be Masters.
The relationship between Master and disciple is that of intimate love and reverence. It is automatic. Master does not expect it. One who demands reverence from the disciple is not a Master. The teaching of the Master is nothing but the living presence. Even his silence teaches. The very presence of the Master conveys infinity to the disciple if he can receive it with an open receptive heart. Logic and rationalism have no place in such a transmission. What is needed is only trust; therefore, no dialogue is possible. The intimate trust is the foundation for the transmission and thus communication with the Master. The Master does not expect you to believe in him but without trust, you cannot take even the first step.
The disciple should have complete involvement and commitment. It is not possible without great trust. Master does not demand these qualities from the disciple but disciple shall benefit he willingly takes on these qualities on himself. WILLINGNESS is the key for total transmission of the divine. You cannot attach any conditions with the Master. Master can do anything only if there is total receptivity on the part of the disciple. That is how the Master communicates. The human personality of the disciple is at last free from conflict, suppression, perversion. Ecstasy is born. The Divine presence shows up. Surrender can also be to the infinite force. However, it is easily achieved through the medium of a Divine Master. Master is a stepping-stone.
Personal relationships are helpful in the form of love, respect for realization of truth. You may regard the master as the cosmic being in a personal aspect, say: Father, Mother, God (Shiva Shakti). The divine cannot be expressed in exactly the same way beauty cannot be expressed. SILENCE is the expression. Infinity cannot be described through words. The disciple is in constant communion with the infinite through the Master. When a disciple serves the Master, when he waits and serves, he becomes one with the Master. He can draw the ecstasy of the Master. He can be totally absorbed in the Master. He becomes intimate and one with the Satguru – Receiving his grace! Master’s body. This is the secret. Infinity can be transmitted only when they become one. This is the mystery of expressing what can’t be expressed. Master’s transmission is an indicator to the infinite.
You need an open heart to undergo this subjective experience. You will see so pure and so clear. There is no place for mind to play any role. You have to simply take it in your heart. The understanding is from the heart, which is pure. Pure heart makes the mind quiet and silent. Only awareness is there. The heart is open and receptive. The heart is in contact with the reality- the existence. You have to discard the mind and open up your heart, if you will – feel the ecstasy. Now everything becomes divine. When such a heart comes in touch with the world, the world becomes divine. The heart purified becomes the door to spirituality. To such a heart, the world is just a magic, a dream. Therefore, a disciple must be heart oriented. It is the heart that prays. There is no need for words.
There is no prayer possible with the mind. The moment mind is absent the barrier between you and reality vanishes. You become divine. The heart knows no barrier. Therefore you are everywhere one with the whole of existence. Only solution is to know the existence. To be heart oriented is to be out of mental realms. With such a pure heart, life is meaningful. You can feel LIFE. Life’s mystery is revealed to you through the heart. Understanding of the HEART is the essential part of the GURU-DISCIPLE relationship.