Kriya Yoga: An Alchemy of Inner Transformation

There is a huge variety of people on earth. Their physical and mental characteristics differ from one another.

Some are intelligent and intuitive, while others are ignorant and have cluttered or messy mental states. Some overeat and indulge in sensual activities whereas others are more moderate. Physiologically, some of us have a healthy heart and digestive system, while others suffer from high or low blood pressure and problems of indigestion. Some people are always anxious and reactive, while others are calm and careful in their responses.

Nature makes all human beings alike and equally potent, but man acquires deficiencies through wrong habits and faulty lifestyles. Man’s psycho-physical powers and limitations are regulated by energy centers or chakras in the spine. Unfortunately, even highly qualified medical practitioners do not know much about the astral anatomy of the human body. The seven systems—endocrine, nervous, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, excretory and reproductive—are controlled and energized by their astral counterparts. The misuse of these chakras or centers causes abnormalities and imperfections in the human body and mind. For example, when a man consistently overeats, the solar plexus which

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activates the digestive system is over-stimulated. This initially causes more hunger and resultant overeating, but gradually, the flow of energy from this center to the digestive system is impaired, resulting in a weak digestive system.

The constricted flow of energy from these centers affects both the body and the mind. The solar plexus (also known as the manipur chakra in yogic terms) is the center of the fire element in the body. It regulates the degree of determination and willpower in a man. An abnormal, diseased, or unhealthy chakra reduces the quality of determination, which is crucial for material and spiritual success.

Similarly, all chakras have physical and mental functions and the impaired, smooth, or over-stimulated flow of energy determines our physical and mental traits. By healing these chakras, physical diseases and mental maladies or unfavorable attitudes can be transformed into fruitful attitudes and abilities.

Alchemy is the branch of science that explores how base metals can be converted into costly metals like gold. Here, we are looking for a way to change the brass of baser qualities into the gold of beautiful qualities.

This chapter highlights how practicing kriya yoga heals, harmonizes, purifies and awakens all the chakras and yields highly desirable physical and mental personality traits, conducive to material, mental and spiritual growth. Although each chakra governs more than one mental trait or emotion, here I focus on the most prominent positive and negative trait of each chakra. The practice of each kriya has an evolutionary effect on all seven chakras. It touches and positively transforms them. Read the facts below to understand the process of transformation.

1.From inertia to initiative: Our reproductive system is activated by its astral friend known as the muladhar
Kriya Yoga: An Alchemy of Inner Transformation

chakra or the coccygeal center. Unless this chakra is purified, it feeds sensual impulses and man is caught in gross materialism and inertia. He suffers from mental laziness and lack of willpower to initiate any action. With purification and awakening, inertia is replaced by initiative, the ability and attitude to initiate any great, productive, or evolutionary act and persevere till the desired goal is achieved.

2.From imitation to creation: Our excretory system is energized by the swadhisthan chakra or the sacral center. Many people depend on the ideas and thoughts of others. They are more imitative than creative. The awakening of this chakra leads to resourcefulness. It develops the ability to create new ideas and implement them.

3.From wish-power to willpower: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride” is a famous proverb.
Many people dream of a successful and fulfilling life but their dreams never turn into reality, because they fail to put in the required amount of hard work. The awakening of this chakra leads to the development of immense determination and self-control. This chakra empowers our digestive system and is known as the manipur chakra.

4.From impulse to emotional maturity: Our circulatory system is regulated by the anahat chakra or dorsal center. It’s the seat of feelings and intuitive perception.
Many people lack balance between impulse and inhibition. They are more reactive than responsive.

They follow the SRT (Stimulus, Response, Thinking) approach instead of STR (Stimulus, Thinking, Response) in their personal and professional lives and consequently suffer due to their rash responses and

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actions. Their reactive thinking manifests as strong feelings of like and dislike, love and hatred and they cannot enjoy peace of mind and the beauty of God’s varied creation. They want everything according to their choice. Anything contrary creates uneasiness and discomfort in them. Such people are very judgmental and lose sight of the beauty and essential goodness in everything. The practice of kriya yoga diminishes reactive processes and helps see individuals and objects as they are, not as we think they should be. With purification of this center, man becomes a channel of divine love. The man who has awakened this chakra can heal the wounds of worldly men by a mere glance. Such is the greatness of this chakra.

5.From individual to collective consciousness: Our respiratory system is activated, energized and controlled by the cervical center, known as visuddhi chakra in yoga. The more this chakra is evolved by the practice of kriya yoga, the more man’s consciousness expands and his narrow individuality falls away. A feeling of inclusiveness emerges. Man is no more able to think in terms of “I, me, myself.” His circle of concern expands to encompass everyone as his larger self. Unconsciously, true leaders like Buddha,

Mahavira, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela are born within him; his joy rests in the joy of others.

These qualities transform an ordinary man into an extraordinary leader, to be looked upon by others as their savior.

6.From ignorance to enlightenment: Our nervous system is governed by the ajna chakra or the center of command. This is the seat of the spiritual eye, willpower and superconscious experiences. Meditation on this

Kriya Yoga: An Alchemy of Inner Transformation

chakra develops immense willpower, knowledge and the ability to control the nervous system. It replaces darkness with spiritual light, which guides us in every endeavor. The awakening of this chakra leads to inner illumination and enlightenment and will help understand the real meaning of the following Biblical lines: “The light of the body is the eye, if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of

light.”

7.From the earth to infinite sky: The seventh chakra is known as crown center and it controls our endocrine system. With the awakening of this chakra, man gains complete victory over all natural forces and limitations.

I am reminded of Dr A P J Abdul Kalam’s popularly quoted lines: “All birds find shelter during the rain, but the eagle avoids the rain by flying above the clouds.” A great spiritual realization, “I am God,” dawns on man when this chakra is awakened. The lowest chakra, that is, muladhar, is also known as earth chakra because it represents earth, one of the five elements and the seventh chakra represents the sky of infinite consciousness, beyond the five elements.