My Experiments with Kriya Yoga
My spiritual journey began years ago with the regular reading of “Hanuman Chalisa,” a forty-line verse dedicated to glorify the deity. I was inclined towards Lord Hanuman, as he is believed to ward off evil spirits and ghosts. Obviously, he was the first choice for a child who had suffered nagging fears of a ghost believed to live in the pipal tree that
stood on the path to his school.
As I grew, my spiritual horizons expanded and it went
on to incorporate the regular chanting of verses from Durga
Saptsati, a book of 700 verses that portrays the divine sport of Goddess Durga, the motherly aspect of the cosmic consciousness (Brahma chaitanya).
Subsequently, I was initiated by my revered guru-maa, my first spiritual master, into “Navarna Mantra,” chanted to invoke the blessings of Goddess Durga. The goddess embodies the composite powers of Laxmi, the goddess of
wealth; Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom; and Kali, the goddess of creation, preservation, destruction and multiple benedictions. This aspect of the Divine Mother redeems her devotees from cosmic hypnosis or maya.
My Experiments with Kriya Yoga
With faithful and regular practice, I got glimpses of the divine blessings bestowed by mantra or japa yoga. Those who ignorantly compartmentalize yoga into various sub-parts need to bear in mind that the eight-fold path of Maharishi Patanjali, the foremost and most authoritative exponent of yoga, outlined all of them in his yoga sutras. They complement each other and their judicious application speeds up the spiritual journey. With the regular and devoted chanting of a mantra (incantation), one can see one’s favorite deity. This is effectively explained by Maharishi Patanjali in the following aphorism of Astanga Yoga (Eight-Fold Path of Yoga): “By repetition of the mantra comes the realization of the desired deity.” (II, 44)
As far as bhakti yoga (the path of devotion) is concerned, it is the soul and lifeblood of all spiritual practices and yogas, which otherwise turn mechanical and lifeless and produce arrogance and ignorance in place of enlightenment. It is the love or devotion for God that initiates and directs all our spiritual practices and keeps them together for the highest goal of life: attaining God-realization.
I kept experimenting with various techniques of hatha, raja and mantra yoga to assess their benefits and limitations.
All my spiritual endeavors to learn a yogic technique that would satisfy my body, mind and soul and ease my spiritual practice ended with my initiation into kriya yoga.
I learned about kriya yoga for the first time through Autobiography of a Yogi, the spiritual magnum opus of Paramhansa Yoganada, the highly exalted kriya yogi and spiritual master. I was irresistibly drawn to his teachings, particularly kriya yoga. I read Chapter 26, “The Science of Kriya Yoga” hundreds of times. The more I read it, the more
I wanted initiation into kriya yoga.
Awaken the Superman Within …
It was a sunny Sunday morning, and I was flipping through the pages of a national daily with a cup of tea. Abruptly, my attention was seized by an advertisement on a “Kriya Yoga Retreat” by Master Per H. Wibe who hails from the kriya yoga tradition of Mahavatar Babaji. My joy knew no bounds when I saw the fulfillment of my long-standing desire of being initiated into kriya yoga.
It was February 27, 2014. I reached Aurobindo Ashrama near Hauz Khas in Delhi with five kinds of fruits and a bunch of flowers. The fruits, offered at the feet of a spiritual master, symbolize the surrender of the five senses that keep a man tied to the material world. The entry of our master into the meditation hall filled our hearts with joy as we had been eagerly awaiting a glimpse of him. Our first kriya initiation ended with an interactive session with our master on the second day.
The regular practice of kriya yoga, for approximately three hours a day, has blessed my life in a way that no words can describe. I have shared, in detail, my experiences of kriya yoga in Chapter 21 of this book, but I quote a few more here to enlarge the understanding of my readers.
I had long heard and read the value of meditation in self-realization. I also knew that great souls like Lord Mahavira,
Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Nanak Deva, Swami Vivekanada, Paramhansa Yoganada, Confucius and Prophet Mohammad had touched spiritual heights through meditation. The seeds of their spiritual greatness were sown in the fertile soil of meditation. Now my guru-maa and my master, Per H. Wibe, are living examples of this greatness for me.
Before my initiation into kriya yoga, despite persistent efforts, I barely succeeded in meditating because of bodily disturbances, bodily consciousness and rigidity and mental
My Experiments with Kriya Yoga
restlessness. All my efforts to still the rise and fall of thoughts
and feelings met with utter failure, leading to discouragement and spiritual frustration. Although I prayed and practiced various other techniques of yoga, employing my willpower, it was never a joyful experience.
Kriya yoga has materialized my long-cherished dream of regular meditation. The practice of kriya yoga meditation gradually led to the development of an “integrated personality” in me. There was a constant tug-of-war in me, between mind and intelligence, superior and inferior tendencies, spiritual and material inclinations, self-control and self-indulgence. Sadly, I had long been the helpless witness of countless defeats and the surrender of my intelligence to the dictatorial powers of the mind.
Now, my heart fills with joy when I see my intelligence guiding my mind and behavior. The clash between sense-identified mind and intelligence has ended with a peace treaty, a permanent ceasefire. Matter is the ultimate reality for those who fail to walk on the path of spirituality. Fortunately, kriya yoga has revealed the reality of the soul to me. It has permanently established me on the path of spirituality, which was otherwise just a beautiful dream.
To sum up, I can only say: Kriya yoga is the science of God-realization, whereby bodily restlessness and mental distractions are stilled. Freed from psycho-physiological disturbances, man can achieve an ever-increasing union with