Develop Willpower through Kriya Yoga

Faculty Development Programs have been a regular feature at my school. I have attended several workshops and seminars on various aspects of professional growth. Once, all faculty members of my institution were eagerly listening to a speaker at a workshop on “Professional Development” to

learn how one could groom oneself for professional growth. Sadly, all the craned necks and straight spines slumped when the speaker boiled everything down to “use of willpower.”

Everyone wants to grow personally and professionally. Everyone wants success, fame and power but are caught up in self-destructive habits. Every year, people prepare a long list of new-year resolutions, but as the days pass, these are dropped for lack of willpower. Most of us plan to wake early to follow an exercise regimen but find it hard to get up in the morning. Willpower is the greatest instrument of change but sadly we lack it. Many who are addicted to intoxicants find it difficult to quit these habits and court health hazards and early death for lack of willpower.

I had a similar experience while reading books on self-growth. These books inspire us momentarily and we feel like following their instructions but our efforts go up in smoke for lack of willpower. Moreover, many readers stagger under

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the weight of the positive affirmations and visualizations suggested in chapter after chapter. Even their practice often seems ridiculous. Visualizing the happy moments of life when one is going through pain or repeating “I am calm and confident” when one is tense and nervous does not produce desired results.

One of my friends asked, “How can those who have weak willpower can develop or strengthen it?” The Resource Person of the workshop failed to give a satisfactory answer.

Recounting the blessings of the science of kriya yoga, I would like to share here how our willpower develops naturally when we practice kriya yoga.

“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride” is an oft-quoted proverb. It shows the difference between wish-power and willpower. Everyone has wish-power but not many are gifted with willpower. A wish is a weak desire unaccompanied by physical and mental strength; when it acquires momentum to initiate actions, it becomes willpower. Willpower can be classified into the following categories:

1.    Involuntary

2.    Voluntary

3.    Destructive

4.    Constructive

5.    Human

6.    Divine

A newborn involuntarily uses its willpower when it cries to activate its respiratory system. It uses its willpower voluntarily for the first time when it protests its mother taking away its milk bottle or toy.

Willpower which is not guided by discrimination becomes destructive. Obstinacy over the wrong things, unwillingness

Develop Willpower through Kriya Yoga

to go school and reluctance to complete homework denote children’s destructive use of willpower. When children understand the need for good actions, set noble goals and persevere to achieve them, they use willpower constructively. The fight against animal passions, baser instincts and evil tendencies, to improve life, is initiated by exercising constructive willpower.

Human willpower has limited potency. Often, people encounter failure despite having discrimination and sufficient willpower. Except among a few exceptional men, human willpower often gives in to obstacles until it has evolved into divine willpower. Divine willpower is all-powerful. It can materialize or acquire anything. Some examples of divine willpower are given below.

Jesus said to a dead man, “Lazarus, come forth” and the man was alive.

Lord Krishna said, “Stand up straight” and the lady who was completely crooked stood up.

Great yogis perform various miracles using divine willpower. Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Maharishi Raman, Paramhansa Yogananda, Yukteshwar Gir and his Guru Lahiri Mahasaya, Saint Francis of Assisi and Sai Baba of Sirdi treated countless people of incurable diseases by using

divine willpower. My guru-maa too has blessed many lives by using her divine healing powers.

One can develop divine willpower by the regular practice of kriya yoga. The ajna chakra is the seat of intuition and willpower in human beings. The regular practice of kriya yoga awakens this center, developing immense willpower and intuition.