Kriya Yoga is a meditation technique to help spiritual seekers attain Self-realization, which means to be in constant communion with God. Through this technique, the seeker or student can perceive the presence of God within, as well as in all of creation. To attain this state requires regular and sincere Kriya meditation and living a life of love and service.
It is the goal of the Kriya Yoga Institute to create a spiritual environment of love, compassion, cooperation, and service for sincere spiritual seekers and all of creation. We are dedicated to the service of humanity through spiritual, charitable, health, and educational activities. We promote integrated growth-spiritual, physical, psychological, emotional, and intellectual-through yoga, meditation, prayer, study, and service.
Kriya Yoga Institute disseminates the teachings of Kriya Yoga as taught by the unbroken lineage of Kriya Yoga masters, starting from Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj through to Paramahamsa Hariharananda and his spiritual successor Paramahamsa Prajnanananda. The goal is to help spiritual seekers learn the technique of Kriya Yoga and to further their spiritual growth. Kriya Yoga initiation programs and retreats are offered worldwide, as are a body of teachings in printed matter and other media. We provide an environment that encourages spiritual development, meditation, and learning how to implement Kriya Yoga in daily life. The sacred spiritual teachings of Kriya Yoga are taught to sincere seekers proceeding on the path of Self-realization and God consciousness, irrespective of race, nationality, gender, and religion.
The Kriya technique emphasizes the relationship between breath and mind. The breath influences the mind and vice-versa. This reciprocal relationship reveals the secret of controlling the mind: “Breath control is self-control. Breath mastery is self-mastery. Breathlessness is deathlessness.” The breathless state of samadhi is the realization of the Absolute.
A sincere spiritual seeker who follows the path of Kriya Yoga with love and devotion and a desire for spiritual growth can attain Self-realization – even within one lifetime. This powerful yoga is a manifestation of the many yogas described in the Bhagavad Gita, but primarily it derives from:
- Karma Yoga – detachment from the fruits of actions in the world, and more importantly, from the inner activity of the mind
- Jnana Yoga – a disciplined intellect acquires spiritual knowledge, and this wisdom creates freedom through detachment from the fruits of actions
- Bhakti Yoga – unconditional love is awakened by gratitude and by the joy arising from the oneness with all creation, which is cosmic consciousness
Kriya Yoga is non-sectarian. Its simple technique causes no hardship, requires no austerities, and suits aspiring householders as well as monks. From the principles of Karma Yoga, Kriya Yoga teaches that all action, kri, is done by the indwelling soul, ya. Continuous awareness of the power of the indwelling soul can transform all activity into worship. Awareness that the soul must inhale every breath leads to mind control and liberation.
Kriya Yoga: The scientific process of soul culture and the royal path to Self-realization
The fundamental thesis of Kriya Yoga is that we are a miniature version of the whole cosmos, a microcosm – an evolving universe within the macrocosmic world. The all-pervading supreme Creator is hiding within us and activating every action through the breath – hence the name “kriya”; any work kri, is being done by the power of the indwelling soul ya. The various cosmic forces controlling ether, air, fire, water, and earth also control the kinds of work, namely, religious activities, relationships, food, progeny, and earning money performed by the human body. Yoga is the means of conjoining this correspondence between microcosm and macrocosm – realizing the truth behind the union of individual self and the supreme Self.
The science of Kriya Yoga has a divine origin and was not created by the human intellect. The modern revival for this ancient meditation method began in 1861 with Mahavatar Babaji and has been handed down to the current Kriya lineage of masters directly through the master-disciple method of teaching.
The royal path of Kriya Yoga consists of a vast array of teachings with varied approaches to it. One angle looks at it as a process beginning with self-introspection through breath control. By cultivating the three divine qualities of light, vibration, and sound during concentration, posture, and breathing techniques, a seeker is able to penetrate the deepest levels of the unconscious mind. Twin processes of purification ensue through diligent practice. Firstly, the mind is calmed and freed from internal chatter by developing the practice of feeble breath. Secondly, the very process of observation of pulsation and vibration in the body enables a seeker to eradicate the bondage of subtle desires. Further cultivation of the triple divine qualities leads to a chiseled concentration, or one-pointedness of mind, thereby preparing the seeker to explore awareness without thoughts and inner truth.
We are mired in delusion, illusion, and error due to the duality of creation. Those seeking liberation from the phenomenal suffering and misery arising from ignorance, desire, and faulty action should be able to discover their blissful nature, realizing that the supreme almighty Creator is hiding within and is the Self of all beings. Kriya Yoga provides the quickest means to unfold this lurking truth and unravel the deepest mysteries of godhood from within.
Kriya Yoga …
Teaches meditation through techniques
Teaches breath control and peace
Is a process of mental purification
Helps eradicate bondage to desires and ego
Aims for Self-realization well within one lifetime
Is non-sectarian and teaches that work is worship
Teaches about origin, destiny, and evolution of the soul
Provides universal remedies for universal maladies
Believes in direct and immediate spiritual experience
Is only taught through direct contact with the teacher
Effects simultaneous benefit for mind, intellect, and body
Is passed through an unbroken chain of realized masters
Direct Transmission From Teacher to Student
Kriya Yoga is a golden opportunity to reach higher states of consciousness and change your life, by developing the body, mind, intellect, and awareness of the soul. It is a quick and easy path. Kriya Yoga techniques are passed down from master to disciple, master to aspirant, teacher to student.
No written document records when the ancient tradition of Kriya Yoga began. This spiritual technique has been practiced by saints, seers, and sages from time immemorial. The rishis (seers) of the Upanishads, Shri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, Maharshi Patanjali in his Yoga Sutra, and many other masters of yoga practiced and taught this scientific method through the ages. Kriya Yoga is a powerful tool to be used by seekers of all religions in order to hasten spiritual development. Adi Shankara in the Viveka Chudamani described three things that are very rare in this world: to have a human birth, to have desire for liberation, and to have the company of a great soul and realized master.
In modern times, in 1861, an elusive and mysterious master, Mahavatar Babaji, re-introduced the ancient Kriya technique to the general public through his able disciple, Shri Shyamacharan Lahiri, a pious householder. Lahiri Mahasaya, as he was popularly known, had many realized disciples. Foremost among them were Swami Shriyukteshwar Giri, who was well versed in the scriptures of both the East and West, and who attained the highest state of realization, and Shrimat Bhupendranath Sanyal Mahasaya, a householder yogi most noted for his metaphorical interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita in the light of Kriya Yoga. Among the many disciples of Swami Shriyukteshwar were Paramahamsa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, and Swami Satyananda Giri, who was the president of Karar Ashram until 1971, which had been founded by Swami Shriyukteshwar in 1903. Paramahamsa Hariharananda, who was president of Karar Ashram from 1971 as well as the president of the Kriya Yoga international organizations he founded, was also a direct disciple of Swami Shriyukteshwar. Both Paramahamsa Yogananda and Paramahamsa Hariharananda were Self-realized and instrumental in spreading the teachings of Kriya Yoga around the world.
Until the time of his mortal transition into spirit, December 3, 2002, at the age of 95 (1907-2002), Paramahamsa Hariharananda oversaw each student’s spiritual development. Lovingly called “Baba” by thousands of disciples and students around the world, his divine love and compassion remain unparalleled.
Today, Paramahamsa Prajnanananda, the realized disciple and successor of Paramahamsa Hariharananda, travels the world as a powerful spiritual master, loving teacher, prolific author, and speaker. Under his loving direction, the Kriya Yoga international organizations, supported by its monks, yogacharyas, and devotees, continue to thrive.
How To Get Started
Guided meditations are open to those initiated by authorized teachers. Introductory programs and initiations are offered regularly. Check our calendar for upcoming programs and weekly meditation information.