What is Kriya Yoga?
Kriya yoga is most famously associated with Paramahansa Yogananda who wrote the classic spiritual tome Autobiography of a Yogi. Yogananda tried to spread awareness about kriya yoga through his Self-Realization Fellowship organization in the U.S. Its Indian offshoot is called Yogoda Satsang Society. After Yogananda passed away, Kriya yoga has been disseminated by his disciples like Swami Kriyananda.
Aim of Kriya Yoga
Kriya yoga is a tool with which we can unite with the Ultimate. It is known as atma vidya (science of the soul). Kriya yoga can make a person pure and true. It renounces all emotions, as emotion occurs in the mind. Kriya yoga is eternal and has no distinctions. It is based on equality.
Our Body Hosts the Divine
All religions teach us that the Divine exists within us. Our body contains all knowledge, deities and even God. Only those who are unaware of this truth seek God in pilgrimages and external temples. Kriya yoga teaches us to worship internally.
Role of the Breath in Kriya Yoga
When a baby is in the womb it is in a static, non-breathing state. Kriya yoga takes us back to this state by minimizing inhalation and exhalation. This halts all suffering. The static state induced by kriya yoga is a happy, blissful state in which we can be one with everything. By practising kriya yoga we can lead our lives wisely, even while having a job and family. Kriya yoga involves various breathing techniques to help us realize the original, static state.
Relevance of Kriya Yoga
In today’s materialistic world, the focus is on external knowledge. Most people are content with just living at a superficial level, instead of thinking deeper. Kriya yoga can teach us to introspect and analyze the purpose of our lives. If you want to be truly happy, you need to move beyond the five senses.
Another important aspect of kriya yoga is that it can increase group awareness. As more people starting becoming evolved through kriya yoga, they raise group consciousness to a higher level. This healthy development will automatically impact the less evolved and bring them up as well.