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 Yoga
Self-Realization, as taught by Paramhansa 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 Paramhansa 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.
Kriya Yoga was first introduced to the West in 1920 by the renowned Yoga Master Paramhansa Yogananda. Kriya is an ancient yogic technique (described in Yogananda’s spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi) as the airplane route to God. It is a simple yet highly effective meditation practice designed to release negative emotions, habits and a wide variety of inner obstacles paving the way for higher states of consciousness and soul freedom.
Ananda offers Kriya Yoga initiation in Michigan once a year in the fall. In preparation for taking the initiation, one must complete all four levels of classes. These are offered on a regular basis throughout the year at Ananda Village in California, and at various times at Ananda Michigan.
Level One (Lessons in Meditation) is usually a two session course, focusing on learning the subtle art of meditation. It is open to both beginner and advanced students.
In this series the Hong Sau technique of Meditation is taught. Hong Sau is designed to increase powers of concentration and introspection while helping to still the mind and calm the heart. The course also offers many tips on how to meditate effectively, establish a daily meditation routine, and how to integrate the benefits of meditation into daily life.
Level Two (The Art and Science of Raja Yoga), is also offered to beginner and advanced students. This course draws its inspiration from Swami Kriyananda’s excellent book, The Art and Science of Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga dives deep into many aspects of the spiritual path including: meditation; breathing techniques; developing positive magnetism; affirmation; the chakras (spinal centers); the Guru disciple relationship; Yoga postures; diet, and healing techniques.
In addition, Yogananda’s Energization Exercises are taught in either the Meditation series or in the Raja Yoga series. They are an important contribution to the art and science of Yoga and an integral part of the path of Kriya Yoga.
Level Three (Discipleship) The prerequisite for taking this course is to have completed the first two levels. In this course the Guru-Disciple relationship is explored. A Discipleship Ceremony is offered for those who feel inspired by our line of Gurus and wish to become a disciple of this path. When one has become a disciple, the Aum Technique of Meditation is introduced. This technique helps one to listen within and be absorbed by the mystical sounds that emanate from the chakras, awakening divine qualities such as inner calmness, soul expansion, unconditional love and joy.
Level Four (Kriya Preparation) This final level of classes is for those who want to take the Kriya initiation. Hong Sau, Energization and Aum are reviewed and practiced as well as several preparatory techniques for Kriya.
In order to take Kriya Initiation students must have completed these courses, and also have established a daily meditation practice using Energization, Hong Sau and Aum. Once all of these levels have been completed and students have a solid meditation practice, they are welcome to submit an application to take part in the Kriya Initiation.
A Kriya Ceremony is scheduled for October 10, 2020 with Nayaswami Pranaba.
For more information about Kriya Preparation through Ananda Michigan, please contact us.