Kriya Yoga: Simple and Suitable for All Spiritual Aspirants

Once, I attended a workshop on “Classroom Management and Inclusive Education” conducted as per a directive of the Honorable Supreme Court of India which wanted to ensure

a few seats in public schools for economically weaker sections of society. The workshop aimed at equipping teachers with the skills to manage a classroom of children from multiple cultural and linguistic backgrounds. A renowned child psychologist conducted the workshop and suggested various methods to handle problematic children in the classroom. When he suggested the “one-point program” to handle such students, he was greeted with loud applause. This approach had a one-word formula: “exertion, exertion, exertion.” However restless a child or a man is, if he is tired, he will demand rest. The human mind is similar to this mischievous child.

Let me narrate another story before I bring these stories together for our spiritual purpose.

Once a man approached a saint and requested him to initiate him in a mantra (mystical words supposed to produce supernatural powers) that would help him tame a ghost. The saint taught him the mantra. The man chanted it night and day and soon achieved control over the ghost with supernatural powers. Any task the man assigned the

Kriya Yoga: Simple and Suitable for All Spiritual Aspirants

ghost was completed in a trice. Now, the man’s life became easygoing and comfortable.

One day, the ghost terrified the man by telling him that if he was not kept occupied in some work or other, he would destroy the man forever. The bewildered man approached the saint again and shared his woeful tale. The saint suggested a clever plan to keep the ghost engaged for all time. The man returned home happily, satisfied with the solution to his problem.

When the chore assigned to the ghost was over, the man asked him to climb up and down a bamboo planted in his courtyard. Now, the man was overjoyed as his ghost was well-employed.

Maharishi Patanjali, one of the foremost exponents of yoga, says, “yogaschita vriti nirodah.” This means yoga or union is complete cessation of mental fluctuations. However, most meditation techniques taught by immature yogis employ unscientific and unnatural means to control the mind. Kriya yoga controls the mind, taking into account the nature of the mind.

During the practice of kriya yoga, the mind is first made to run up and down the spine and then on the invisible threads of breath. This practice tires the mind and a tired mind naturally falls back in consciousness for rest. Thus ends the ceaseless dance of thoughts and feelings on the lake of consciousness. The human mind is like a mischievous child or the ghost. The practice of kriya yoga profitably exploits the restless nature of the mind for a spiritual advantage. This is how kriya yoga has the upper hand over other techniques of meditation.