The Self-Realization Fellowship meditation technique of Kriya Yoga bases itself on intuition. The more earnest we are about it, the wider and surer will be our vision of Reality—God. It is through intuition that humanity reaches Divinity.
The ancient yogic technique convert the breath into mind-stuff. By spiritual advancement one is able to cognize the breath as a mental concept, an act of mind: a dream breath.
The science of Kriya Yoga is eternal. It is true like mathematics, like the simple rules of addition and substraction, the law of Kriya can never be destroyed. Burn to ashes all books on mathematics; the logically minded will always rediscover such truths. Suppress all books on yoga; its fundamentals will be re-revealed whenever there appears a sage with pure devotion and consequently pure knowledge.
Kriya is an ancient science. Lahiri Mahasaya received it from his great guru, Mahavatar Babaji, who rediscovered and clarified the technique after it had been lost in the Dark Ages. Babaji renamed it, simply, Kriya Yoga.
"The Kriya Yoga that I am giving to the world through you in this nineteenth century," Babaji told Lahiri Mahasaya, "is a revival of the same science that Lord Krishna gave millenniums ago to Arjuna; and that was later known to Patanjali and Christ, and to St. John, St. Paul, and other disciples.”
The interpretation is: “The yogi arrests decay in the body by securing an additional supply of prana (life force) through quieting the action of the lungs and heart; he also arrests mutations of growth in the body by control of apana (eliminating current). Thus neutralizing decay and growth, the yogi learns life-force control."
The Kriya Yogi mentally directs his life energy to revolve, upward and downward, around the six spinal centers (medullary, cervical, dorsal, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal plexuses), which correspond to the twelve astral signs of the zodiac, the symbolic Cosmic Man. One-half minute of revolution of energy around the sensitive spinal cord of man effects subtle progress in his evolution; that half-minute of Kriya equals one year of natural spiritual unfoldment.
Referring to the sure and methodical efficacy of yoga, Lord Krishna praises the technological yogi in the following words:
"The yogi is greater than body-disciplining ascetics, greater even than the followers of the path of wisdom (Jnana Yoga), or of the path of action (Karma Yoga); be thou, O disciple Arjuna, a yogi!"
—Srimad Bhagavad Gita VI:46
The Bhagavad Gita clearly mentions in this stanza the theory of Kriya Yoga, the technique of God-communion that Lahiri Mahasaya gave to the world in the nineteenth century. Kriya Yoga pranayama or life control teaches man to untie the cord of breath that binds the soul to the body, thus scientifically empowering the soul to fly from the bodily cage into the sides of omnipresent Spirit, and come back, at will, into its little cage. No flight of fancy, this is rather the singular experience of Reality: the knowing of one's true nature and the recognition of its source in the bliss of Spirit. By Kriya Yoga pranayama or life control as described in this 29th stanza, the soul can be released from identification with the body and united to Spirit.
Universal prana came into being in the following way:
At the beginning, One Great Spirit wished to create. Being One, He wished to be many. This desire of His, being omnipotent, had a creative force to go outward, to project the universe. It split the One into many, Unity into diversity. But the One did not want to lose His wholeness into many. So simultaneously He wished to draw the many back into Singularity. A kind of tug-of-war thus broke out between the wish to be many from One, and the wish to draw many into One—between projective force and indrawing force, between attraction and repulsion, between centripetal force and centrifugal force. The result of the pull between the two almighty opposing forces is universal vibration, the evident sign of the first disturbance of spiritual equilibrium before creation. In this vibration is blended the creative wish of the Spirit to be many, and the attracting wish of the Spirit to be One from many. Spirit, instead of becoming absolutely Many, or absolutely One, became One in many.
The universal prana underlying all combinations in creation is the basis of unity that has prevented the One Spirit from being irrevocably split into many. It pervades all atoms of the universe and every place in the cosmos. It is the primal, direct, subtle link between matter and Spirit—less spiritual than the Great Spirit, but more spiritual than the material atoms. This universal prana is the father of all so-called forces, which Spirit (in Its immanent form) utilizes to create and sustain the universe.
When different atoms coordinate into an organism—a tree, an animal, a human being—then the universal prana embedded in each atom becomes coordinated in a particular way, and we then call it specific prana, vital force or life. Though each cell—nay, each atom—of a man's body has a unit of prana in it, still, all the units of all the atoms and cells are ruled over by one coordinating prana, which is called specific prana, or life force.
Life force withdrawn from the senses becomes concentrated into a steady inner light in which Spirit and Its Cosmic Light are revealed.
"The aspirant who can perform Kevali Kumbhaka, he only is the true knower of Yoga."—Gheranda Samhita, V:95.
"One who is adept in Kevala Kumbhaka, which has no rechaka and puraka, he has nothing unattainable in the three worlds."—Siva Samhita 111:46-47.]
St. Paul was able by life-force control—through Kriya or a similar technique—to dissolve the consciousness of his dream body into the everlasting rejoicing of the Christ Consciousness.
In this two stanzas and in IV:29, the Gita leaves behind all abstractions and generalizations, and mentions the specific technique of salvation—Kriya Yoga.
By the special technique of Kriya Yoga, the ingoing breath of prana and the outgoing breath of apana are converted into cool and warm currents. In the beginning of the practice of Kriya Yoga, the devotee feels the cool prana current going up the spine and the warm apana current going down the spine, in accompaniment with the ingoing and outgoing breath. The advanced Kriya Yogi finds that the inhaling breath of prana and the exhaling breath of apana have been "evened"—neutralized or extinguished; he feels only the cool current of prana going up through the spine and the warm current of apana going down through the spine.
Man's body of gross matter consists of tissues, constructed of molecules. Molecules are made of atoms; atoms are formed by electrons and protons. Electrons and protons consist of intelligent life force— prana or "lifetrons." Lifetrons can be further resolved into their source, the "thoughtrons" of God.
"In the beginning was the Word (cosmic vibration, the creative life energy or vibratory thoughts of God), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... All things were made by him (the Word); and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:1,3.)
cosmic consciousness, cosmic life, and cosmic matter
are nothing but three different vibrations of God-thought.
— The Bhagavad Gita VI:14
(2) repetitions of Aum in whispers, and
(3) continuous chanting of Aum in one's mind, listening to it mentally.
The Unmanifested, The Infinite, the Changeless Spirit is called Para-Brahman: the One Absolute. But during the cycles of manifestation, the Nameless and Formless is described as Aum-Tat-Sat (or, of Sat-Tat-Aum)—so designated by the ancient sages. In the Christian Bible Sat-Tat-Aum is spoken of as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
"He who knows Aum (Om) knows God."
Therefore the acts of the followers of Brahman—sacrifice, gift-giving, and austerities as enjoined by the scriptures—are always started with the chanting of "Aum.” — Srimad Bhagavad Gita XVII:24
These progressively higher states of realization are attained through deeper and longer meditation as guided by the guru. But from the very beginning, the blessings of contact with Aum become increasingly manifest.
Baptism in the vibration of the Holy Ghost loosens the hold of bad habits and wrong desires, and aids in the establishment of good habits and desires—ultimately transmuting desire itself into a singlehearted attraction to blessed contact with God. To know God is not the negation of desires, but rather complete fulfillment. Just as by feeding somebody else one's own hunger cannot be appeased, so the soul can never be satisfied by catering to the senses. The senses crave indulgence, greed, and temptations to excite and amuse them; the soul feels fulfilled only by the calmness, peace, and bliss bestowed by meditation and the moderate use of the sensory instruments.
Ambition for good things, noble achievements, and spiritual work, serving the many, should be instituted to displace selfishness and greed, and the limiting circumscription of sole consideration for one's self and one's immediate family. When undertaken in the thought of God, there is great enjoyment in all good work and achievements.
By contacting God in the world and in meditation, all desires of the heart are fulfilled; for nothing is more worthwhile, more pleasant or attractive than the all-satisfying, ever-new joy of God.
Hong-Sau is one of those great techniques of yoga for pinpointing the mind. Sri Daya Mata has praised Hong-Sau so much over the years and she says that whenever she has a few moments she practices.
“Hong” and “Sau” are sacred Sanskrit words that have a vibratory connection with the incoming and outgoing breath and they have a calming effect on the breath. Breath and mind are very much interrelated. Calm breath automatically brings about a calm mind. Restless breath creates a restless mind. Just observing the breath will quiet it down. Hong-Sau is a mantra. It is very simple – basics are simple!
Don’t be concerned – the body will breath when it needs to, so don’t fret. And don’t get excited either, thinking, “I did it!!” Just relax and enjoy it. But don’t try to create it. Don’t try to control the breath – that is not practising Hong-Sau. We are trying to be the soul – the silent, conscious witness. Daya Mata says of Hong-Sau: “I didn’t waste my time; I practiced it in spare moments of the day.”
This passage is very important, and little understood. Taken literally, the words "lifted up the serpent" are at best a classic scriptural ambiguity. Every symbol has a hidden meaning that must be rightly interpreted.
The word "serpent" here refers metaphorically to man's consciousness and life force in the subtle coiled passageway at the base of the spine, the matterward flow of which is to be reversed for man to reascend from body attachment to superconscious freedom.
"Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves" (Luke 10:3).