Kriya yoga is the most advanced technique amongst all disciplines of yoga. One can enter into it after about two years of hatha yog which purifies the body and calms the mind, which are the pre-•requisite s for kriya yoga. It is a combination of nearly 20 practices. Since it does not require the control of mind; which follows eventually automatically; it suits all kinds of practitioners- householders or recluse. It is a very effective method of experiencing Kundalini directly.
The basic text, with variations of course, has been dealt with by several writers, all of whom deserve thanks from us, especially Swami Satyanand Saraswati. However, the methods presented in this small book are a result of my personal experiences with Kundalini over the years. Having taught mathematics for more than 30 years in eight countries, I resigned as a professor in 1994, and dedicated myself fully to developing these practices at 'The Academy of Kundalini Yoga and Quantum Soul'. Thanks are due to Jytte Kumar Larsen for computing facilities and related help.
Most of the ways for awakening the Kundalini require strict discipline, austerity, and do’s and dont’s which are not so easy for an average person to observe. For these reasons the yogis thought and designed the kriya yoga practices which are free from most restrictions, but, nevertheless, are extremely effective. Kriya yoga awakens the chakras, purifies the nadis, and finally raises the dormant energy in a slow and safe manner. Abrupt awakening can create situations at times which may be difficult to handle.
Mind is thought, to be an obstacle in the way of spirituality. But this is not so. Mind is the only vehicle which eventually brings higher consciousness on transcendence. Negative emotions like greed, lust, anger, attachment, ego, etc., should not be used against the min for its condemnation. If energy is suppressed, it will explode in another way. What is required is the conversion of negative thinking into positive thinking. This is gradually achieved through kriya yoga practices. In a physical balance, the pan of negativity is lower than that of positivity, due to the gravity of negative thoughts. But the practices of kriya yoga slowly brings the other pan lower down.
The properties of any single gum: (virtue) is not exalted: tamas, rajas or sattva as one of the gum: dominates the other two. Even the most sattvic person shows signs of tamasic and rajasic activities at times. Even so, the most tamasic person shows signs of rajasic and sattvic properties at times. But the importance lies with the dominating virtue, of course. Gradual practise brings the transformation of the mind from inert, to scattered, to vacillating, to one pointed, to a controlled one.
For ages, these teachings have been a secret, but they were not clearly defined. They were passed on from the teacher to the disciple. The ego, etc., should not be used against the mind for its condemnation. If energy is suppressed, it will explode in another way. What is required is the conversion of negative thinking into positive thinking. This is gradually achieved through kriya yoga practices. In a physical balance, the pan of negativity is lower than that of positivity, due to the gravity of negative thoughts. But the practices of kriya yoga slowly brings the other pan lower down.
For ages, these teachings have been a secret, but they were not clearly defined. They were passed on from the teacher to the disciple. The methods are so powerful, that, if the person is not prepared to handle the aggravated situation, it can misfire and the person may have to go into an asylum. That is why a practice of asanas, niudras and pranayam is necessary for some time before commencing the advanced techniques. Kriya means practise or action, hence it is the yog of practise.
Hatha yoga practise is very essential in this regard and is recommended for a period of nearly two years to prepare a practitioner for advanced kriya yoga practices. It controls the vital energy pran which interacts with the mind; consequently, the mind is controlled with the control of prom. One achieves a tranquil and calm mind, even in the midst of disturbing circumstances, because of chemical secretions in the body. It is a permanent achievement, unlike a temporary one through LSD, etc. Through kriya yoga one achieves the state of simultaneous awareness of worldly senses and objects on one hand, and inner tranquillity on the other. There is predominance of alpha waves in the brain which is responsible for stopping the movement of the mind. The aim of tantra is to expand the mind and liberate the energy.
The underlying principle of kriya yoga can be understood in two steps: generate the nectar and reverse its flow. Practices like khechari mudra are meant to stimulate the bindu and thus create nectar. The nectar, on being created normally, goes down to Manipur and is burnt off. Practices like vipareet karni (opposite doing) are meant to reverse the flow of the nectar, so that, it is not wasted and is directed to higher centres for consumption in the body, which can arrest ageing and produce rejuventation, this principle of reversal of flow is highlighted in the famous book Hatha Yog Pradipika and other tantric texts. The mind reaches the state of shoonyata (void or nothingness) and begins to act like a witness to everything happening around.
Back of the Book
After Hatha Yoga has purified the body and mind, advanced techniques of Kriya Yoga are used to awaken kundalini in a short time. Suited to all kinds of practitioners, householders or hermits, the set of nearly 20 exercises is a quick method of arousing dormant energy.
The methods used here are suitable for today’s world where control of the mind is a difficult task. While in other disciplines this has to be worked at, in Kriya Yoga it follows automatically as a by product.
Swami Atmananda (formerly Professor Ravindra Kumar) is a Ph.D. in mathematics from IIT Delhi. He has taught in ten countries. His kundalini is awakened. He is Founder President of Academy of Kundalini Yoga and Quantum Soul (AKYQS), and guides people in yoga/meditation for self-realisation.
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