Mahamuni Babaji commissioned Swami Satyeswarananda to "re-establish" the original Kriya at Dunagiri Hill, Himalayas in 1981. Accordingly, he wrote "The Original Kriya" and "The Holy Bible: In the Light of Kriya or Breath". Then in 1982, Babaji sent him to the U.S.A. to fulfill his providence.
Reluctantly, having arrived in the U.S.A., he tried to publish the manuscripts, but two publishers wanted to edit them (as they were written by an Indian gentleman in their opinion). Swamiji understood the publishers' intention was to make them in polished and popular English so that they could sell more books and make their profits. Swamiji realized that he could not publish the books through the publishers because they would not be able to understand the true message from the "vibration" point of view.
The big difference between the intellectuals (publishers) and the Yogis, is that the intellectuals tread the path of concept, word, and meanings, while the Yogis and spiritual persons follow the path of vibrations of inner Light and inner Sound from those Letters (Aksaras). As a result, they bypass the intellectual's limitations of concept and meaning (free of playing semantics). The intellectuals on one side and the Yogi and spiritual person on the other side, DEPART in their ways. In fact, they live in two different worlds: the intellectuals are in the sense-world and the Yogis are in the spiritual world, beyond the senses including the four inner senses: the mind (manasa), the intellect (buddhi), the heart (chitta) and the ego (ahangkar). See details in the "About the Sanskrit Classics" file.
Hence, "the self-publication". The Sanskrit Classics was founded in 1984 to present the message with the "vibrations of Inner Light and inner Sound" in the "original, authentic, and pure form".
NOTES and EXPLANATION :
It is not the rule (bidhi) to practice any form of sadhana (meditation) "without the wife"; because, during the practice many obstructions, physical and mental, are produced; and it is not within the capacity of the individual (Jiva) to overcome them without the help of the wife. As the bird flies in the sky with the help of the two wings, similarly, the Jiva like the bird (the man and the woman are the two wings) the husband and the wife together are able to practice sadhana (meditation) and to perform it to be successful.
That is why when Lord Rama had to make Jagya according to the Vedic rules and his wife, Sita, was not there (at that time, she was sent to the forest in exile), he had to make a golden Sita and put her on his left side to complete the Jagya to be fruitful.
The primary purpose of marriage in the Vedic culture of the Aryya civilization was to make a successful spiritual life together and not for sensual pleasure. That is why in the Vedic culture, the wife is called dharmangini (the partner in dharma, religion or righteousness); and accordingly, all the ancient Risis (sages) used to accept a wife/wives; for example, Astabakra, Bharadwaj, Goutam, Yagyabalka, Kasyap, Kapil, Narada, Vasistha, Vyasa and Sukdev etc., all accepted wives. They produced children, and yet, practicing the Atma Kriya Pranayam, they attained the realization of the Self.
Lahiri Mahasay practiced the same way like the ancient Risis (sages), and he attained the eternal Tranquility (Sthirattva), realization of the Self (Atmajnan).
According to the teaching of Lahiri Mahasay, Kriya is for the householders. There is NO place for the order of Swami (sannyas) in it.
Lahiri Mahasay was a Swami disciple of Babaji in his previous incarnation; so were Mahabir Swami, Brahmananda and Swami Satyeswarananda. As Panchanan Bhattacharya made progress more than his Guru in his previous incarnation (referred below), similarly, Satyananda did more perfection and excelled himself in sannyas than his Guru, Sriyukteswar, in this incarnation. As a result, Mahamuni Babaji asked Swami Satyananda to train in sannyas one of his former Swami disciples, in current incarnation young Satyeswarananda.
It seems that personally Babaji had lack of confidence that Kriya could be handled in practicing by the householders; as he mentioned it to Lahiri Mahasay at Dunagiri Hill, when Lahiri Mahasay sought permission from him.
Therefore, it was the unique caliber of Lahiri Mahasay to establish the Kriya for the householders like the ancient Risis, which even his Guru, Divine Himalayan Yogi, had doubts about. We have to remember in this connection that an entry was found in Lahiri Mahasay's diary that he was born in all four yugas (satya, treta, dwapara and kali) respectively, as Satyakrita, Munindra, Karunamay, Kabir and Shyama Charan in the kali.
In his effort to keep Kriya for the householders Lahiri Mahasay consistently sent two Bengali brahmanas (Asutosh Chattopadhyaya or Chatterjee and Manmathanath Mukhopadhyaya or Mukherjee) back to Bengal to get married to be householders.
Also Lahiri Mahasay denied the two requests of two brahmana disciples (Manamathanath Mukhopadhyaya and Sri Banerjee, that is, Brahmachari Kesavananda of Howrah, Bengal) to enter into the order of Swami to maintain the character of the Kriya path for the householders only.
In case of Swami Pranabanada, following document would prove that he was denied the permission by Lahiri Mahasay.
[The Bengali document says, "After the son and the daughter were born in his mind generated a sentiment to enter into the order of Swami. However, his Gurudev (Lahiri Mahasay) warning him (Manmatha Mukherjee) said, 'Do not become so eager, it is not necessary to adopt the lifestyle of a sannyasi (swami).'" Pranab Gita. P. chautrish (34) by Jnanedranath Mukherjee, an attorney, disciple of Swami Pranabananda.
[The reason for saying "it is not necessary to adopt the lifestyle of a sannyasi" was by that time Manmatha Mukherjee was advanced in inner realization, as a result, it was not necessary to change the lifestyle. However, it was in his system, so intense he entered into the order anyway without the permission and approval of Lahiri Mahasay].
In the case of Lahiri Mahasay's chief disciple there was an interesting story. He was a householder advanced disciple in his previous life, in fact, even more advanced than his own Guru. As a result, he had to wait in the disembodied state for a long time to let Lahiri Mahasay incarnate, so that he could follow him to learn Kriya and complete his journey on the path of realizing the Self.
In the present incarnation, he was born as the only surviving son after the parents lost many children one after another. So his parents died when he was young. He became free and entered into the order of Swami in the young days. Therefore, the young Swami of twenty years old in 1872 entered the room of Lahiri Mahasay for the first time, and Lahiri Mahasay uttered, "Oh Bhattacharya has come?" On the part of Lahiri Mahasay, it was intentional to ignore the identity of a Swami; because, he expected to see his previous life's disciple either as a regular single man or young married couple but Not as a sannyasi or renunciate. Any way, he was initiated and surprisingly, within ten years he realized and received permission to initiate others into Kriya in 1883.
Thereafter, one day, the young Swami's mind was caught in Lahiri Mahasay's comment of the first day meeting, "Oh Bhattacharya has come." He began to think that to realize Guru Baba, one has to be like him. So the young Swami decided to become Bhattacharya again. He went to the Ganges and threw away the orange cloth into the Ganges, prayed to Divine Mother, and became Panchanan Bhattacharya again. Then he got married. One day with his wife he arrived to Lahiri Mahasay.
It must be mentioned that Lahiri Mahasay did not ask him to change the lifestyle. The subtle hint was enough. He did it voluntarily of his own will. Not having son by his first wife, he had to marry second time as he had the obligation and responsibility being the only son to produce a son for the continuation of the lineage according to the Vedic culture.
Seeing his chief disciple, Panchanan Bhattacharya married, Lahiri Mahasay apparently did not show anything but was glad to see him like an ancient Risi (seer) as a householder. He considered that now he would do the responsible works. Although he prohibited his disciples to start organization, but asked Panchanan Bhattacharya to start an institution to publish his 26 books and distribute them including some herbal medicines. Accordingly, Panchanan Bhattacharya started, "Aryya Mission Institution," and published Lahiri Mahasay's books.
Thus, Lahiri Mahasay did not permit any of his disciples to enter into the order of Swami.
Another Interesting Event
It would be relevant to mention here an event illustrating that Panchanan Bhattacharya was by nature punctiliously upright, uncompromisingly strict and unyielding in principle. Among his disciples was Dr. Nagendranath Choudhuri who had been guided to Panchanan Bhattacharya in a most unusual way. Formerly, Nagendranath was a renunciate swami who had meditated sincerely for many years. Still he was unable to control his mind. One night as he sat in solitary meditation in a Siva temple in the state of Rajasthan, he heard an incorporeal voice that said, "Go to Baidyanath Deoghar and find Panchanan Bhattacharya."
After arriving at Deoghar and finding Panchanan Bhattacharya, when he approached him requesting shelter at his holy feet through initiation, Bhattacharya Mahasay denied him. The swami told Panchanan Baba about the voice. Not to be deterred, the swami again tried to invoke Panchanan Baba's grace by making a humble but firm request to receive Kriya initiation. Nevertheless, Panchanan Baba would not budge. Still remembering the voice, the swami persisted.
Finally, Bhattacharya Mahasay told the swami that he could give him Kriya on one condition: that he cut his long hair, renounce his Swami lifestyle, and return to his family. Panchanan Baba explained that this would only be fair and honest since he himself had done the same.
The request to go back to his family stunned him. Many years had passed since he had adopted the renunciate lifestyle and his reputation as a swami was well established. He pondered in bewilderment how he should respond to Panchanan Baba's comment.
Meanwhile, a seeker arrived to have Panchanan Baba's darsan (meeting). Since he had never met Panchanan Baba before, he mistook the swami to be the master. He touched the swami's feet making pranam and took his seat.
After he took his seat, Panchanan Bhattacharya turned to the swami and said, "You see, you are the only master here. Is that why you hesitate to cut your long hair and throw away your renunciate garb? Do you like receiving alms and the respect of others?"
The newcomer was quite confused, but when he realized his mistake, he made pranam to Panchanan Bhattacharya, and was fortunate afterwards to receive Kriya.
In this way, Nagendranath Choudhuri came to oblige Bhattacharya and receive Kriya initiation. Afterwards, he stayed in the town for some months to get training in the Kriya discipline, and returned to his native town of Chittagong in East Bengal (currently Bangladesh). He gave up his renunciate lifestyle and joined his family. He made his house "Panchanan Dham" (which means the House of Panchanan).
Lahiri Mahasay had no confidence in Priyanath (later, Sriyukteswar) for the following gross violations.
In spite of all these efforts, unfortunately, one of Lahiri Mahasay's disciples, non-brahmana Priyanath Karar (later, Sriyukteswar), unwisely and immaturely became eager to be Swami and he added the word "Swami" in an imperfect and untraditional way at the end of his last name in 1893 without formally seeking the permission of his Guru while Lahiri Mahasay was still alive. For that reason alone it was very strange. Why was it very strange? There were several reasons.
Before going into the several reasons, let us see first what sannyas (renunciation) is in the Vedic tradition.
It requires that the man who is an aspirant to be a sannyasi (swami) observe rituals then must take vows to renounce all (sarba) during the ceremony. At least, the basic or minimum are the following three desires:
Returning to our several reasons:
First, as a background, it should be mentioned again here that in 1882 Lahiri Mahasay's chief disciple completing realization received permission in 1883 to initiate others. In the same year (1883), Priyanath was simply initiated. Thereafter, Lahiri Mahasay's chief disciple reversed his lifestyle from a young Swami to Panchanan Bhattacharya and he became a householder.
When Lahiri Mahasay became busy interpreting scriptures, to make him free a bit for doing the work, he sent new people, the aspirants of Kriya, as well as the recently initiated people like Priyanath and Bhupendranath Sannyal to Panchanan Bhattacharya respectively for initiation and further help. Priyanath did not like this arrangement by his Gurudev.
It should be mentioned here that Bhattacharya Mahasay had two places: Calcutta and Deoghar. Calcutta was about 35 miles from Priyanath's home town, Serampore, and Deoghar was about 200 miles. These places were nearer than Lahiri Mahasay's place, Benares, about 700 miles away. Priyanath rather would see his Gurudev far away at Benares than nearby a brother disciple who was newly married and was starting a new family. Priyanath had no idea that Panchanan Bhattacharya who was two years older than him would be a realized person. To recognize a realized person one has to be fortunate and advanced.
Under the circumstances, it seemed, Priyanath Karar became tempted to enter into the order of Swami at the age of thirty-eight (38) to get attention and recognition ahead of the other brother disciples, as the image of a Swami has tremendous importance in the Vedic society.
He did not leave home and the family as per the fundamental Vedic Rules.
Lahiri Mahasay knew Priyanath Karar as his disciple, and never knew Sriyukteswar as his disciple, because it was only after Lahiri Mahasay left body in 1895, that Priyanath "formally" entered into the order of Swami according to Vedic tradition and changed his name to Swami Sriyukteswar Giri (not Sri Yukteswar), and he began to wear orange cloths (dhoti) like a Bengali gentleman style (not the traditional style of a Swami).
However, for his independent personality, even entering formally into the order of Swami "second time", he did not leave home and family and he used the parental home and the properties for the rest of his life which were supposed to be renounced.
What kind of sannyas or renunciation was this?
How could Lahiri Mahasay have confidence in Priyanath?
Yogananda Followed the Example Set by Sriyukteswar
Guru Sriyukteswar set an example of the "imperfect sannyas (swami order)" for his dear disciple (Chela) Yogananda.
Example - in 1915, formally Mukundalal Ghosh entered into the order of swami and became Swami Yogananda Giri and left for Benares. Then he returned to Calcutta only after six months and stayed temporarily with the former family and former father, Bhagavati Charan Ghosh, violating the several rules of sannyas, and asked him for a motorbike, and later, a sidecar to attach to it to carry someone, and he received them.
Again, in 1920, when Yogananda was heading to the U.S.A., he received a large check from Bhagavati C. Ghosh for expenses and continued to receive financial help regularly from him, and also from his cousin, Pravas Chandra Ghosh, while he was living at Boston, U. S. A.
Habit never dies so easily, still again, in 1935, Yogananda received rupees 10,000 (ten thousand) which was 1/3 (one third) of the total rupees 30,000 (thirty thousand) of the purchase price of the Ranchi Property (where the hermitage was situated).
All these were gross violations of the Vedic Rules of sannyas (renunciation). What kind of renunciation was this?
If the vows taken during the ceremony were not observed both by Guru and disciple, then a strict reasonable Vedic person would have to conclude that vows were simply eye-saving (chokdekhano); and were not sincere rather fake.
It seemed that the effect of this was that Chela Yogananda learned imperfect sannyas from his Guru, Sriyukteswar.
Sriyukteswar's birthday traditionally is observed on the last Friday of the Bengali first month, Baiskha, which generally falls on the 10th May of the year; also it became a custom to observe it at Ejmalichak (where Sriyukteswar founded a high school and a separate girls school), a very interior village of Midnapore district where a lady disciple of Sriyukteswar claimed herself as his daughter and used to feed him 100 items preparing nicely. In the year 1963, Young Satyeswarananda accompanied Satyananda there for the celebration. So, we had chance to eat one hundred items.
After the evening prayer, a discussion on Sriyukteswar started among the Kriya followers and lasted until nine o'clock inside the hall. Thereafter, all had dinner [Khichuri] and retired.
Satyeswarananda had a private talk with Dharanidhar Pakhira, a local household advanced disciple of Sriyukteswar, at night. Dharani Babu narrated many stories of Sriyukteswar, especially about when he visited Ejmalichak. One of them was as follows:
One year Ananda Mohan Lahiri, the bachelor grandson of Lahiri Mahasay and teacher at Ranchi School, attended an Ejmalichak conference. Everything had been arranged beforehand for Ananda M. Lahiri to enter into the order of Swami with Sriyukteswar performing the ceremony.
Sriyukteswar had been thinking of killing two birds with one stone, that is, to make at least one Swami from the Brahmana class and one Swami from his Guru's family.
Dharani Babu continued to relate how the next morning when Sriyukteswar sent a devotee to bring Ananda M. Lahiri, the devotee returned only to report to Sriyukteswar that unfortunately Ananda M. Lahiri had been attacked by diarrhea. Sriyukteswar immediately visited Ananda M. Lahiri and said to him, "Ananda! You just shit on my plan."
The Lord of Providence had a different plan since entering into the order of Swami had nothing to do with the Kriya path, and Lahiri Mahasay had prevented all his disciples to enter into the order of Swami. Furthermore, a realized person saves seven generations of ancestors and seven generations of descendants. Therefore, Lahiri Mahasay saved the situation and did not allow his grandson and the family to be polluted by an imperfect sannyasi with a strange motive. Scriptural Reference:
Punati pangting bangsyangscha sapta sapta parabaran.
Prithibimapi chaibemang kritasnamekoyapi soyarhati.
The Manusanghita 1:105
The verse says, "Through the practice of this Kriya by the Kriyanwit, seven generations of ancestors and seven generations of descendants are rescued or saved." Lahiri Mahasay.
Another example for lack of confidence in Priyanath, once, he observed Lahiri Mahasay's preparation of the herbal medicine. To test him, actually Lahiri Mahasay intentionally had let Priyanath see the preparation step by step. Later, Priyanath tried to prepare the herbal medicine for a sick friend three times but failed; considering he might have missed something, he made it the second time. Having failed twice, he was determined to be successful, so he made third time. Each time at the end of the preparation, it reduced to an amount worth not doing. Finally, Priyanath realized there was something wrong and missing (that was Guru's verbal permission and blessing), and so he needed his Guru's help; he went about 700 miles to Benares for help. The moment he entered the room, Lahiri Mahasay said, "What? Cannot make it?" He fell down at the feet of Lahiri Mahasay and prayed to save his friend's life by giving him the medicine. Lahiri Mahasay gave him the medicine and advised to apply it to his friend, but Lahiri Mahasay did not trust him with permission, as Lahiri Mahasay had no confidence in his accomplished astrologer disciple. Priyanath realized without verbal permission and blessing of the Guru it did not work.
Unfortunately, this unnecessary and unwanted act of Priyanath opened the "flood gate" of the Order of Swami (sannyas) in Kriya. His dear disciple, Yogananda, followed his Guru's example.
This deviation of Priyanath (later, Sriyukteswar) and his disciple Yogananda, completely destroyed what Lahiri Mahasay had established, that the Kriya discipline was for the householders.
Honestly speaking, now a sort of misgiving crept in the modified Kriya mess.
Intellectually Speaking :
God is an idea, a concept, an imagination; and has no real existence, like an idea or imagining one has a dollar in one's pocket, it does not necessarily bring the real existence of a dollar bill (cash).
The imagining of an idea cannot be actualized (made real). If an attempt is made or is tried to actualize it, it recedes further away, as it is the product of imagination and falls into the illusory spectrum.
Spiritually Speaking :
What is God?
God is a Spirit. John 4:24
What is Spirit?
The English word spirit is derived from the Latin word Spiritus which means "Breath". Therefore, God is "Breath"; more precisely, is "the state of Tranquil Breath". When the state of Tranquil Breath becomes restless, the Creation begins (that is, when one inhales, one sees the creation; and when one exhales, the creation is dissolved. Between the inhaling and exhaling, there is one's life span. There is no guarantee that there will be the next inhaling, until it begins. Life is that uncertain).
What is Spirituality?
Nothing else is called Spirituality; other than tranquilizing the restless breath and thereby removing "motions and vibrations behind the thoughts". Realizing Prana through the breath is beyond the realization of the so called idea of God or the concept of Brahma, or any other religious Godhead. Any endeavor with anything which is not connected with "Breath" or "Spirit" definitely is not Spirituality.
It is the Self (Atma), the expression of which is universal Breath (the truth in Tranquil Breath, that is Peace, Tranquility in Sthirattva, Harmony and Happiness, eternal Realization) blowing before the nose in front of the people and they are wandering round the world here and there looking for the truth.
Conventional religions, philosophy, astrology and anything which is not directly concerned with "Breath," that is, the Spirit, certainly cannot provide "Spirituality" (Atmajnan, or eternal Realization of the Self).
Therefore, Spirituality is to realize the "Tranquil Breath" (Sthir Prana) by the means of practicing the "Kriya Pranayam."
How to attain the Tranquil Breath?
It is by the practice of Yoga or more specifically, the practice of Pranayam.
What is Pranayam or Kriya?
It is based on "Breath":
Prachhardanabidharanabhyaswa Pranasya. 1: 34 Yoga Sutras
Inhaling (prachhardan) is to throw out (vaman) the air of the stomach that is breathing in with the special procedure, and with a special procedure to exhale (bidharan), it is called practicing Pranayam. The special procedure is known only from the living lips of a Guru.
Here is the problem.
Practice of Pranayam cannot be learned from reading books or from written lessons. It is a matter of Guru-param-para (which means Master to disciple or Guru to Sysya, and having the personal relation). Therefore, the disciple must learn it from "the living lips of the Guru" (Guruvraktagamya).
The reason is, in the light of Kriya or Yoga, the prachhardan is defined apparently in contradictory terms: it says prachhardarn (inhaling) is throwing out the air of the stomach, at the same time, it says to breathe in with a special procedure; and bidharan is to exhale with the special procedure. This apparent contradiction of inhaling cannot be solved by intellectual understanding. It needs the direct advice from the Guru to resolve it. The inhaling and exhaling is the Apta Vakya (the Self-axiom Authority).
What is Apta Vakya?
Apta Vakyas are the "utterances" of the realized Yogis, Risis (seers), and sages of the ancient time which formulated the Self-axiom Authority (Atma Vakya). During the personal initiation (diksha) they are carried out from Guru to disciple and that is why learning Yoga or Kriya Pranayam is a matter of Guru-param-para and Guruvraktagamya.
Here is another problem.
The vibration and meaning of the words of the Apta Vakya (which are beyond senses) when being attempted to be understood intellectually (intellect is an inner sense), their vibrations and meanings are altered and changed. The practice with the changed meanings brings unintended bad results which are painful and increase doubts.
Here is the bigger problem.
Intellectually, prachhardan is inhaling and bidharan is exhaling.
How will one practitioner understand this by reading books and written lessons?
Certainly one cannot have the clue. That is the difference between intellectual understanding and learning from a Guru who personally carries the spirit of Apta Vakya of the ancient Yogis, Risis (seers) and Sages.
Is Self-Realization possible?
Speaking in terms of "Self-Realization" is a deception.
The reason is, the Self is eternally realized. There is no room to realize it. Freedom is ever present and bondage is ever absent in the Self, and the Self alone eternally exists; there is no second existence. Therefore, who is going to realize whom?
The Solution :
The Self realizes Itself; and so from the individual perspective, the only thing one can do is to practice Pranayam or Kriya through the Breath received personally from the Guru or the Master and under his direct supervision to realize one's own limitations (the sense of egoism) wrongly assumed upon the Formless Pure Self (Nirakar Bisuddha Atma Chaitanya).
Otherwise, everything will be a Farce (bidambana - in the language of Lahiri Mahasay).
One must FIRST read these most important verses from the Prime God, the Great God, Maheswar, the Great God of Yoga (Mahayogeswar) Lord Siva, what he said:
What is initiation (diksha)?
Divyabhabapradanachha kshalananat kalmasasya cha.
Diksheti kathita sardbhibhababandhabimochani. The Kularnava Sastra 17:51
"That which provides the divine sentiments and removes the sins, for this reason, the sages and the Yogis call it an INITIATION (DIKSHA)".
Bina dlkshang na mokshang syattduktang Siva sasane.
Sa cha na syad winacharyamityacharyaparampara. The Kularnava Sastra 14:3
Without initiation (Diksha) there is no liberation (mukti). This is the order of Siva (siva sasane), and without Guru there is no initiation. Therefore, the Acharya-param-para, that is Guru-param-para is prescribed. 14:3
Kritwa samayadikshancha datwa samahapadukam.
Sannidhayatmanasisyangbadenmantrangnachanyatha. The Kularnava Sastra 14:15
Giving initiation and mantra according to the rules the Guru causing the disciple to sit nearby (sanidhye) will utter the mantra, not any other way. 14:15
Mantrarthang mantra chaitinang Yonimudrang na betti ja.
Satakoti japenapi tasya siddhir na jayate. The Kularnava Sastra 15:60
In spite of ten billion (satakoti) times chanting the mantra, the seeker who does not know the following three, cannot become successful. In other words, his mantra does not become siddha.
Om Santi! Santi! Santi!
University of Calcutta
University of Calcutta logo
The Author, Student of philosophy and law at the University of Calcutta
The Author, Attorney (Advocate) and Professor of Law
Swami Satyeswarananda Maharaj sponsored the following endowments in the Philosophy Department of the University of Calcutta (he was an alumni of the University and the Calcutta University College of Law)
Blessed are the Bengalis; for they received the Original Kriya Path. Right from Mahamuni Babaji's principal Kriya disciple, Lahiri Mahasay, to the present day all the Original Kriya Masters (Guru-param-para - lineage of Guru) 99.9% are Bengalis. They used Om (representing Mahamuni) in Bengali Script. That is why the Bengali Script of Om is used traditionally over the Devnagiri Script to represent him. He has not given his photo to the world. Mahamuni's photo cannot be taken by a camera.
Some American artist drawing sketches as per Yogananda's instruction made a portrait. Know it for certain that it is NOT a real photo. It is true that Mahamuni looks like Lahiri Mahasay, but not like a body builder.
A camera failed to take Lahiri Mahasay's photo; it was possible only when his permission was granted. Produced here is the only photo of Lahiri Mahasay in black and white (original).
Since Mahamuni Babaji, the Divine Himalayan Yogi, commissioned this body in the Himalayas to re-establish the ancient Kriya yoga discipline and sent him to the United States, it becomes imperative to highlight a few fundamental features of the ancient Kriya discipline; otherwise, this body could remain silent in the spirit of Atmanyebaatmanatusta(Gita 2:55), "Satisfied in the self by the self within."
The Original Kriya
Like the auspicious 108 number, there are 108 steps of the original Kriya.
Lahiri Mahasay received them from Mahamuni Babaji in Dunagiri Hill, Himalayas in 1861 and grouped (NOT MODIFIED) them into four on the line of the four Vedas (Rik, Sam, Yayur and Atharva), on the four sides of the body (front, back, left and right), and the four directions (east, west, north and south).
Thus whoever practices Original Kriya is practicing the Vedas of the Vedic culture regardless of his or her religious faith.
Attaining ATMA or the SELF (which is the undeniable ONLY self-evident TRUTH, eternally exists, and is all encompassing including skeptics) through the practice of Kriya Pranayam is SPIRITUALITY. Thus Kriya often is called "Atma-Kriya".
Studying Kriya does not mean studying like in the schools, colleges, and universities for academic achievements. It is also not like theoretical intellectual exercise and philosophizing. Kriya is a positive science: The Science of Breath (Prana) is like physics and chemistry. The mind or the restless breath (according to Kriya) being the element or substance to be conducted (practiced) in the test tube of U shaped inhaling and exhaling in the body laboratory to become one with the Atma or Self which is the subject within. Thus by dissolving the duality (individual self) or destroying the character of a seer (individual self) and becoming One with the Self within or being Atmastha in the light of Yoga, or Tadatma (being one with That) in the light of Vedanta, the Kriyanwit seeker, the subjective scientist (being one with the Subject - the Self) becomes all pervading and all encompassing supreme Self or the Lord.
As Lahiri Mahasay condensed these 108 steps of the Original Kriyas and grouped (not modified) them into four (stated below), he took the responsibility strictly to maintain the tradition of Parampara, meaning, personally, teaching one on one (Master and disciple).
In today's world of confusion with "the modifications of Kriyas", "YouTube generations" and initiation through video conference, the necessity arises to provide the road map of the Original Kriya.
According to Mahamuni Babaji - Requirements for Kriya Initiation:
According to Lahiri Mahasay - Requirements for Kriya Initiation:
The Road Map of the Original Kriya
It is comprised of the following Mudras and Kriyas:
Mahamudra (the Great Kriya); Navi Kriya (the Grand Center, the seat of the seeker - Kriyanwit or Kriyanwita); Khecharimudra or Talabya Kriya, the Aerial Mode or Inner-Outer-Space Kriya; First Kriya or Pranayam - Sarab (with sound), Nirab (without sound), Manasik (mental); and simple form of Yonimudra (Inner-beatific-Revelation-Kriya - this mudra must not be confused with Jyotimudra of modified Kriya).
Lahiri Mahasay once made a comment: Everything can be achieved by the First Kriya. (What he meant by the First Kriya was the entire group 1 and not a particular Kriya). For example, Vrinda Bhakat, a postal peon (mailman) did not need more Kriyas.
Only after the successful Talabya Kriya or Khecharimudra the second Kriya or Thokar/Thokkar Kriya is introduced in addition to group 1. It is a "Precondition" in the Original Kriya system. This is called sthir bayur Kriya ("Kriya of the tranquil Breath"), in addition to group 1.
At this higher stage, Brahma Yonimudra is introduced, and the greater dimension of Thokar Kriya also is advised, in addition to groups 1 and 2.
This is also a higher stage, when all Kriyas are integrated, all four sides of the body are integrated, and all four Vedas are revealed and integrated into Oneness, eternal Tranquility or Sthirattva (Peace or Brahma Nirvan). This is a state of Chira Mouna (Eternal Silence ... ), in addition to groups 1, 2, and 3.
The Eternal Relationship of Master and Disciple
In conclusion, it would be very appropriate to cite a couple of examples of the eternal relationship of Master and disciple from classical scriptures like Yoga Vasistha Ramayan of Treta Yuga and from the Bhagavad Gita (the Hindu Bible) of Dwapara yuga.
Jatha jatpristabanadya twang mamrinisudan.
Sisyenoiba sata purbamahang pristo Gurustwaya.
Yoga Vasistha Ramayan (YV) 6:213:1 (2)
Purakalpe hi kasingmaschittatwamatmadikatmika.
Asidiyang chitpratibha Gurusisyatmana bane. YV 6:213:2 (2)
Pristabanmang twamagrastha idamudyamadhiradhi. YV 6:213:3 (2)
Yogi Vasistha said, "O dear Rama! Whatever you have asked me this time, You had asked me the same in a previous Ramayan [meaning in the Ramayan of a past Kalpa; a Kalpa consists of the four Yugas - Satya, Treta, Dwapara, and Kali]. At that time I was the Guru and you were the disciple. Also in that previous Kalpa you were Rama and I was Vasistha; again, at that time also, you had developed the spirit of renunciation (Vairagya) and at my arrival in some forest, this discourse of Guru-disciple, the delighted dialogue between you and I took place. O dear Rama! At that time when I was the Guru and you became the great intelligent disciple and you had asked me about this vast subject.”
Imam Vivaswate yogang proktabanahambyayam.
Vibaswanmanabe praha Manurikskhakabeyabrabit. Gita 4:1
Ebang paramparapraptamimang rajarsayo bidu.
Sa kalenaha mahata yogo nasta parangtapa. Gita 4:2
Sa ebayang maya teyadya yoga prokta puratana.
Bhatoyasi me sakha cheti rahasyang hyetduttamam. Gita 4:3
Bahuni me byatitai janmani taba charjuna.
Tanmaha veda sarbani na twang betya parantapa. Gita 4:5
Lord Krisna said, "I taught this Yoga to the Sun god [from him developed the Sun dynasty (Surya bangsa)]; he taught to his son, Manu and Manu imparted it to his son, Ikkshaku [the forefather of Rama] and in this way, it transmitted from father to son developing a Guruparampara (tradition of Guru). However, since it disappeared from the earth, today, I imparted to you this ancient Kriya Yoga [the Science of Breath]. You and I have passed through many births. I remembered them all; you do not remember. [The statement indicated the eternal relationship of master and disciple]".
The sage does not consider himself a Guru, nor does he seek any disciple. Instead, the ego-less sage considers himself as "nothing" or a servant of the Lord. He is not in a hurry; as he enjoys eternal tranquility rejoicing completeness within himself.
However, admittedly the seeker has to accept (Guru varan kara), seek, serve, and if they meet, being satisfied by the service rendered to him and being questioned with an open and guileless heart by the seeker, the sage gives advice, and thereby, their eternal relationship as Master and disciple is revived.
"Ye call [accept] me Master [Gurudev] and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am". John 13:13.
Surrendering wholeheartedly without any reservation, the seeker has to accept (Guru varan kara) FIRST; then the rest follows.
"The BASIC and FUNDAMENTAL features of the teaching of yoga discipline is that the yoga practitioner should perform each Karma in life with EQUANIMITY treating success and failure ALIKE. (Samatang yoga uchyate. Bhagavad Gita 2:48) for it is Providence [DAIBA] that gives the result.
"Man expects high, though destiny might have decreed against him, and he receives happiness or sorrow as it might chance. Binding himself into the results through expectation [vasana], he attracts bondage into the cycle of birth and death and cannot release himself.
"Karmanye badhikaraste ma phalesu kadachana. Bhagavad Gita 2:47 'You have the right to practice Kriya, perform Karmas, but don't expect results.'
"Therefore, the smart thing to do is to abandon the expectation of results and continue to practice sincerely and very strictly to the instruction and the order received personally (one on one basis) from the living lips of a Guru (Guruvaktragamya). Learning from the representatives in group of any organization, which are prohibited by Mahamuni Babaji, is false, because they lack the authority of command for a mantra to be effective."
Manipulations of the Monster - the Mysterious Mind
The Self, or the Atma alone exists eternally, and so it does not reincarnate. The popular notion is that the individual self or the jiva reincarnates, which is not correct. It is the mind (the restless breath in the light of Kriya), which is born, reincarnates, migrates to other bodies, and goes to other worlds. The objective world is a materialization of the mind and so in spirituality, renunciation of material things does not matter at all. It is the mind (restless breath or the ego) that needs to be renounced through the actual practice of pranayam or Kriya.
One will realize the Self, the Atma when all desires (vasana) would be renounced. Eternal happiness or contentment (santos) lies in the state of desirelessness (nirvasana). So be tranquil in Oneness within with the Self or the Atma.
Practice! Practice! Practice!
Constant undistracted practice is the real key to attain realization of the absolute Self. Because of wrong thinking for many incarnations, ignorance has firmly established its stronghold and so it appears as external objects (sangsar-adambar - the world-show). It is the monstrous mind that creates the unreal, magical, phenomenal, world-show and stretches it out in front of us through its own imagination to play the game of ensnarement (entrapment). Therefore, the external world, the subjective experiences and assertions are all ignorance.
Ignorance is of two kinds: superior (nivritti) and lower (pravritti). Nivritti or the subjective that draws in the outgoing vritti (modification or wave of the mind) is superior; the ignorance which tends to enjoy life - in the objective world is the lower one (pravritti). So destroy ignorance by superior ignorance (nivritti). To be free from this ensnarement of the mind one must engage to practice at the present moment and not on the thoughts of past and future. Ignorance ends in a similar way when the imagined snake is discovered to be really a piece of rope.
The Self (Atma) is beyond senses. Atma is realized when the mind and the senses subsiding completely in the Atma, are not operative at all.
A Vedantist would say - Knowledge is born of ignorance and destroys ignorance; a man in a dream is chased by a tiger and generates tremendous fear; remembering he has a gun, he shoots the tiger dead and awakes. The illusory gun shoots the illusory tiger and releases the man from fear. Similarly, Knowledge is born of ignorance and destroys ignorance. One who has awakened to spirituality is free from all fear and realizes the Self.
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