According to Paramhansa Yogananda in his Autobiography of a Yogi, Kriya Yoga is the most effective technique for reaching the goal of Yoga: Self-Realization.
Self-Realization is the knowing in all parts of body, mind, and soul that you are now in possession of the kingdom of God; that you do not have to pray that it come to you; that God’s omnipresence is your omnipresence; and that all you need to do is improve your knowing. — Paramhansa Yogananda
What is Kriya Yoga?
Kriya Yoga is an advanced technique for spiritual evolution that has been taught by enlightened sages for thousands of years. Part of the ancient science of Raja Yoga, it is mentioned by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras and by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.
Kriya works by giving the practitioner control of the life force. Through life force control, the yogi is able to overcome all the obstacles preventing union with the divine.
How to Learn Kriya Yoga
Those wanting to learn the advanced Ananda Kriya meditation techniques need first to develop a regular daily practice of meditation and the Energization Exercises. Further steps include lessons and courses in discipleship that are available. It typically requires a minimum of 9 months to one year of daily practice of the energization exercises and the Hong-Sau technique before one receives Kriya Initiation.
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STEPS TO LEARN KRIYA YOGA MEDITATION
This course will help you learn the basics of meditation. The practice of Kriya Yoga rests upon a foundation of daily meditation, service and devotion.
You will be given tested techniques to still your body, free your mind from restless thoughts and direct your inner awareness upward to subtle spiritual realms within. These practical methods will quickly help you to relax the body and mind, focus your concentration, and expand your consciousness. Learn through direct experience what joy, peace, and deep calmness are really like and discover how quickly, through daily practice, these qualities can be yours in all aspects of your life!
Topics to be covered:
– How to reduce tension and stress at will
– How to concentrate more effectively
– Correct meditative posture
– Introduction to Energisation Exercises
– How to establish a daily routine of meditation (sadhana)
[Text-book for Level 1: Lessons in Meditation by Jyotish Novak]
Some of the topics covered are
– breath, mind, spinal currents,
– chakras, energy, mental and emotional attitudes,
– devotion, will power,
– yoga philosophy, psychology,
– meditation, energisation,
– yoga postures, affirmations,
– healing techniques, and the role of the guru.
Text-book for Level 2: The Art and Science of Raja Yoga by Swami Kriyananda
[Completion of level 1 and a regular practice are pre-requisites.]
This course involves learning the AUM technique and understanding the Guru-disciple relationship.
[Completing Level 2 and a regular practice of techniques previously learnt is a pre-requisite to take up level 3.]
The Kriya Yoga Technique:
Once the student has completed all the levels and upon approval by an Ananda Kriyacharya, one can take initiation. The technique is given in an initiation ceremony.
A Kriya technique review, checking, and question and answer session is held after the initiation for the Kriyabans (one who receives Kriya Initiation). Continued support is provided through individual guidance by phone, e-mail or in person, as well as through guided Kriya meditations and retreats.
“In the divine plan, Jesus Christ was responsible for the evolution of the West, and Krishna (later, Babaji), for that of the East. It was intended that the West specialize in developing objectively, through logic and reason, and that the East specialize in inner, intuitive development. But in the cosmic plan the time has come to combine these two lines into one. East and West must unite”. — Paramhansa Yogananda
The presence of Jesus on the altar is more than just a courtesy to Westerners. Yogananda said it was Jesus himself who appeared to Babaji and asked him to send this teaching of Self-realization to the West. At that meeting, Yogananda tells us, Jesus said, “My followers have forgotten the art of divine inner communion. Outwardly they do good works, but they have lost sight of the most important of my teachings, ‘to seek the kingdom of God first.
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