Kriya Yoga is an advanced spiritual system that Paramahansa Yogananda popularized in his iconic ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’. Shomik learned it as Om Kriya Yoga from his master. Here is an excerpt from his upcoming book, ‘Some Whispers From Eternity’.
I was introduced to Kriya Yoga in my childhood days. I met my revered Master, Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Rajivlochanacharya in New York in 1999. He initiated me into OM Kriya Yoga, which he received as an initiation from Mahavatar Kriya Babaji from the Himalayas. Over the years, with practice, I have felt an inner transformation that has taken place within me. The evolution inside me is so apparent that I am keen that whoever wants, should be able to practice and receive the benefit I have received.
The process starts with concentrating on a point between the eyebrows and staying focused. That can awaken the Kundalini, which is a divine latent energy of immense proportions at the base of the spine. The aim is to raise your Kundalini to higher levels of consciousness or chakras (energy plexuses). It is the main energy channel of the subtle body.
OM Kriya Yoga involves some yogic postures and kriyas to advance the practice for everyone. People should only practice these to the extent they can. Progress may be slow but is assured.
The first step to OM Kriya Yoga is the chanting of OM, ‘O’ and ‘M’ chanted in the ratio of 25% and 75% respectively, three or 11 times. The accompanying kriya to be followed is to raise the hands straight above the head. Imagine that you are getting the power of OM from the environment. Next, close your ears with the index fingers and chant OM three or 11 times while imagining that the sound of OM is reverberating inside you. Then, you close your eyes with your palms and chant OM three or 11 times. Visualize the radiant OM inside you. Finally, place your hands on your knees in Gyan mudra (palms up and the index finger touching the thumb in each hand) and chant OM three or 11 times. Imagine that OM is in between your eyebrows in the Ajna Chakra and meditate on OM while chanting OM three or 11 times.
Some kriyas and asanas follow to awaken the power in the chakras and to keep the body fit to be able to do sadhana comfortably.
1) Sukshma Sharir Kriya Sadhana
a) Smaran Shakti Kriya – head roll up, down, sideways
b) Netra Shakti Kriya – roll eyes up, down, sideways. Same with palms covering your eyes.
c) Karan Shakti Kriya – Index finger in ears, suck in air, fill the mouth, head down, pause, release through the nose
d) Kapol Shakti Kriya – Namaskar pose, close nose with thumb
e) Giuva/Riva Shakti Kriya – Hang tongue and stretch. Pull your neck and release. Move the head sideways, anti-clockwise, up and down.
f) Kandha Shakti Kriya – Hold breath, lift shoulders, release the breath, and come back. Keep your fingers on your shoulders and move your hands in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction.
g) Urja Shakti Bikasak – Extend your fingers and close your fist and pull the energy and rub over your body.
h) Bhoja Palli Shakti Kriya – Palms up and down from the wrist after extension. Extend your hands and move your palms up and down. Close the fists and move them in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. Lift your hand with a fist and move the hands around your head in a circular motion. Bring your fists near the chest and forcefully breathe out and forcibly push your hands in front.
i) Bacchastal Shakti Kriya – Fill your lungs with air, hands out in front. Then breathe out, extend your arms to the sides, and lift yourself on your toes. Repeat with hands going up above the head and bring them down while breathing out.
j) Kati Shakti Kriya – Hands stretched in front, turn to the right and then left while breathing out. Then put your hands on your hips and move in a circular motion clockwise and anti-clockwise.
k) Udar Shakti Kriya – Press the stomach repeatedly. Breathe out, hold and press the stomach repeatedly. Then breathe in, and repeat.
l) Kundalini Shakti Kriya – Pull rectum from inside and release repeatedly. Then hit your back with your legs.
m) Jhanu Shakti Kriya – Bring the legs together and hold the knees and move around clockwise and anti-clockwise.
n) Panja Shakti Kriya – Legs together, move the right foot up, down and in a circular motion clockwise and anti-clockwise. Repeat with the left leg.
o) Prandour – Lift your right leg at the back and move your left fist forward. Your right fist should be near your chest. Repeat with the left leg and the right hand. Increase your speed. Breathe out deeply.
2) Chakra Kriya Asanas
e) Supta Matsyendraasana
i) Ustrasana or Camel pose
Astral Travel – While in Shavasana, become aware of your body and let the subtle body come out and travel around the world, the Himalayas, the Kailash mountain, and get Lord Shiva’s blessings. Hear continuous OM chanting and reach the sun to get full energy.
Shat Chakra Kriya or Kundalini Shakti Kriya
a) While inhaling deep, pull in the rectum. Hands straight up in the air
b) Inhaling deep, pull in your genitals. Hands on the sides, facing up, shoulder-high
c) Inhaling deep, pull the stomach in. Palms holding knees
d) Inhale deep and pull the chest in at the same time. Thumb and forefinger of each hand touching, palms one on the other.
e) Inhaling deep, pull the throat in. Palms on each other resting on the folded feet while seated
f) Inhale deep and pull in the third eye. Forefinger and thumb touching each other, hands resting on the knees in Gyan Mudra
g) Inhale deep and pull the middle of the head simultaneously. Hands above the head in pranam posture.
h) Om Nada – Chant OM with hands above the head (3 times), then ears blocked with forefingers (3 times), with eyes closed and the palm of the hand covering the eyes (3 times), with Om Kriya Mudra or Gyan mudra (3 times). Focus on the Ajna Chakra and visualize the light of OM. Take the light of OM to all parts of the body and cleanse them. Immerse in mental OM chant.
i) Guru Dhyana – If you have any Guru, focus on him/her and seek blessings.
j) Guru Mantra – If you have any Guru mantra, chant it.
k) Dhyana Samadhi – Go deep into meditation.
These kriyas and asanas help release the toxins in the body, promote good health, release energy, help in becoming meditative, and uplift our consciousness to a higher level.
This is OM Kriya Yoga in short. Anyone can follow it. But you have to be a sincere and consistent student to see concrete results. The infinite energy is within us, we just have to awaken it.
Editor’s disclaimer: Kriya Yoga, brought to world awareness by Paramahansa Yogananda, is an advanced system of God realization and should only be practiced under the guidance of a competent guru. This article is for information purposes only.