Past experiences in previous births & this birth accumulate impressions (Samskaras) of fear, hatred, dislike, jealousy, complexes etc. in subconscious layers of the mind, which produce several ego-centric or selfish tendencies. Further, in modern lifestyle, the external emergency situations are rampant. The ego-centric tendencies determine actions and reactions in different life situations.
The two systems in brain - sympathetic & parasympathetic nervous systems, mobilise heartbeat, breathing rate, raises body temperature to meet the body needs in response to external events & internal actions. The former speeds up and the latter slows down the processes of life. Speeding up of the body’s processes are the root cause of mental and physical tension. These tensions result into emotional responses. With emotional responses, adrenalin is automatically injected into blood stream from the adrenal glands. The adrenalin causes contraction of muscles, constriction of blood vessels, increases the heart and respiratory rates, speed up thought process and so on. The over-activation of the muscles without the corresponding muscular activity results in a continual drain of energy from the body. This leads to malfunctioning of several organs and many modern ailments – diabetes, sexual sterility, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart diseases etc.
Unless the mental cleaning is done, the ego centric actions will not disappear. Kriya yoga aims at rooting out the pseudo ego which separates individual from self (universal consciousness). It integrates head, heart & hands (thoughts, words and deeds). It balances the body, mind and Prana and brings harmony between positive and negative aspects. Outer events will be clearly perceived, but without the usual negative and adverse repercussions. Due to progressive surrender of their being, their ego, divinity descends. The practice of Kriya yoga realizes that the union already existing.
Kriya yoga needs mental purity, patience, silence (mental quietude & avoidance of unnecessary talks), discipline and transformation (non-violence), truthfulness, equanimity, compassion, non-stealing, self-control and moderation with respect to sex, food and talk.
What is Kriya Yoga:
Kriya Yoga, the words are derived from the Sanskrit language – Kri refers to “action”, Ya refers to “awareness” and Yoga refers to "to attach, join, harness, yoke". Kriya Yoga is scientific techniques of God-realization.
When it originated:
Shree Krishna informed in chapter 4 of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita that he revealed this immortal Yoga to Vivasvan (Sun-god); Vivasvan conveyed it to Manu (his son); and Manu imparted it to (his son) Iksvaku (1) (Like this, it transmitted). Kriya Yoga was well known in ancient times, but was eventually lost. Rishi Patanjali (between the 4th century BC - 2th century AD) compiled this entire science into eight limbs. This lost science was re-introduced by Mahavatar Babaji through Lahiri Mahasaya in the nineteenth century.
Why Kriya Yoga:
Bhagwan Shree Krishna explained Arjuna in chapter 8 of Shrimad Bhagavad Gita that one who with his mind disciplined through Yoga in the form of practice of meditation and thinking of nothing else, is constantly engaged in contemplation of God attains the supremely effulgent Divine Purusa (God) (8/8).
Essentials of Kriya Yoga:
1. Right Attitude – all are human, not much different. Love thy neighbour.
2. Diet - Moderate diet preferably vegetarian
3. Place - Practise kriya in a tidy, peaceful and well-ventilated place
4. Sound health - Body & mind should be healthy
5. Relaxation - In relaxation practices, muscles are relaxed and in turn the sensory nerves (which send messages from the muscles to the brain) & motor nerves (which sends messages of action from brain to the muscles) cease to function. In deeper states of relaxation, mind becomes completely detached from the body and calms.
6. Awareness – Awareness means mere witnessing of ever-arising stream of thoughts, breath, different parts of body, chakras etc. This activates para-sympathetic nervous system which brings down activity level of the body. Acting as a witness cuts the emotional ties. By constant practice of awareness, mind is progressively cleaned and calmed by exhausting inner disturbances.
7. Proficiency in practices – Pranayama, mudras, bandhas, location & familiarity with the psychic passages and chakras and chakra dharna – these stimulate nerve plexuses, endocrine secretions and bio-plasmic energy.
8. Non-expectation & Effortlessness – one should try to practise kriya without purpose and as a form of worship. It should be done with joy.
9. Concentration – Any conscious curb on its wandering tendency of mind, create tension. Concentration is not forced; it spontaneously arises as a consequence of performing the mechanics of the kriyas. To achieve deep state of relaxation, subconscious mind needs to be freed from worries, phobias, fears etc. Concentration occurs spontaneously in a deep relaxed mind.
10. Sequence, regularity, intensity of practices, as well as the state of mind (turmoil or calm) determine the speed of induction of pratyhara.
11. Pratyahara – It disconnects one’s awareness from sense organs and to induce spontaneous internalized awareness. In order to induce pratyahara, one must be firmly fixed on the sushumna path, lost neither in the Ida nor Pingala dimension of being.
12. Detachment & Disidentification – In meditative practices, it is essential that one watch the occurrence with a feeling of total detachment. Meditation practices contribute in removing mental problems in a more positive manner. one must endeavour to free his mind from attachment to intellectual opinions. One should realise that he or she is continually creating false identification. One should consider oneself as an actor performing the roles. A process of disidentification is necessary. It is possible to distinctly watch the activities of the body, emotions and mind as spectator.
How Kriya yoga is done:
kriya yoga is combinations of several techniques.
1. Physical postures (Asanas) - to make the body disciplined, healthy and flexible.
2. External expression of inner attitude (Mudras) – to induce physiological, psychic & mental changes
3. Physio-psychic locks (Bandhas) – to induce control of pranic forces of the body
4. Special sound patterns (Mantras)
5. Manipulation of breath - to control energy or prana (Pranayama) - to induce pratyahara and dharna