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; 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 Chatterjee and Manmathanath Mukhopadhyaya) back to Bengal to get married to be householders, and also he denied the two requests of two brahmana disciples (Manamathanath Mukhopadhyaya and Sri Banerjee, Brahmachari Kesavananda) to enter into the order of Swami to maintain the character of the Kriya path for the householders. Thus, Lahiri Mahasay did not permit any of his disciples to enter into the order of Swami.
Lahiri Mahasay had no confidence in Priyanath (Sriyukteswar) for the following gross violations.
Unfortunately, in 1893, while Lahiri Mahasay was still alive, one of his disciples, non-brahmana Priyanath Karar (later, Sriyukteswar) without his Guru’s permission and blessing wrote his name “Priyanath Karar Swami”.
(Another example for lack of confidence in Sriyukteswar, once, he observed Lahiri Mahasay’s preparation of the herbal medicine. To test him, actually Lahiri Mahasay intentionally had let Sriyukteswar see the preparation step by step. Later, Sriyukteswar 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, Sriyukteswar 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. Sriyukteswar 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 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 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”, “You tube 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.
Copyright © 1994 - 2016, Updated 4/2016