Kriya Yoga is a meditation technique that quickly accelerates one’s spiritual growth. It became widely known through Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. According to Yogananda, Kriya is the most effective technique for reaching the goal of Yoga: union with the Divine.
Ananda has initiated thousands of seekers into Kriya Yoga for the last forty years. Its effectiveness has been proven in the lives of people from all walks of life, religions, and nationalities.
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 Pranayama, or control of the life force. Through life force control, the yogi is able to overcome all the obstacles preventing union with the divine.
Paramhansa Yogananda taught Kriya Yoga as part of a spiritual path that includes other yoga practices and discipleship to the Kriya line of spiritual teachers, or gurus.
The Kriya technique itself is given after about one year of study and practice of the other techniques that are part of the path of Kriya Yoga. The Kriya technique is generally given through direct initiation from a qualified Kriya Yoga teacher, or acharya.
Origin of Kriya Yoga
Kriya Yoga is an ancient technique that was hidden in secrecy for many centuries. It was revived in 1861, when the great yogi Mahavatar Babaji taught the technique to his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya during their meeting in the Himalayas.
Kriya has been taught in an unbroken link of spiritual succession to this day. Paramhansa Yogananda personally authorized his disciple, Swami Kriyananda (founder of Ananda) to initiate qualified people into Kriya.
How to Learn Kriya
Self-Realization, as taught by Yogananda and practiced at Ananda, includes meditation techniques; study of the writings of Yogananda and Swami Kriyananda; joyful service; spiritual friendship; and the development of right attitudes in all areas of your life.
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 more advanced meditation practices and the exploration of one’s inner relationship with God and Yogananda. An important step prior to receiving Kriya Initiation (instruction in the advanced Kriya techniques) is that of discipleship to Yogananda. Lessons and courses in discipleship are available. It typically requires a minimum of one year of daily practice of the energization exercises and the Hong Sau technique before one receives Kriya Initiation.
“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