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Kriya Yoga:

Synthesis of a Personal Experience

Ennio Nimis
Illustrations by Lorenzo Pentassuglia



First part
1. Yoga selftaug!t
". #riya Yoga from organizations
$. T!e pra%ti%e of &apa !elps to a%!ie'e t!e breat!less state
(. Follo)ing some tea%!ers outsi*e t!e main organization
+. , !ar* *e%ision

Se%on* part
-. T!e basi% te%!ni.ues of #riya Yoga First Step
/. T!e Se%on* Step of #riya Yoga
0. T!e T!ir* Step an* t!e Fourt! Step of #riya Yoga
1. 2ariations of t!e #riya pro%e*ures )it! Trib!angamurari tea%!ings
T!ir* part

13. T!e breat!less state
11. T!e Prayer of t!e 4eart
1". Pranayama )it! internal breat!

Appendix 16 Some material to stu*y
Appendix 26 7emar8s on t!e Trib!angamurari tea%!ings
Appendix 36 ,bout t!e Ne),gepollute* #riya Yoga
Appendix 46 Premature #un*alini a)a8ening
Appendix 56 Information for 8riyabans )!o utilize only P.Y.9s te%!ni.ues

C4,PTE7 1
:y spiritual sear%! began at age 1+ after I boug!t an intro*u%tory boo8 on
%lassi%al Yoga. I *on9t remember t!e title of t!at first boo8; but boo8s of <.#.S.
Iyengar follo)e* an* t!en finally t!e autobiograp!y of an In*ian saint; )!ere I
foun* t!e term Kriya Yoga. :y interest in Yoga !a* been fuele* by a %ertain
e=pe%tation of t!e effe%ti'eness of t!e oriental forms of me*itation t!at !a*
slo)ly %oales%e* *uring my %!il*!oo* an* early a*oles%en%e. <ut first t!ings
In primary s%!ool; unli8e my peers I borro)e* esoteri% boo8s from my
parents9 frien*s an* I lo'e* t!ose boo8s. I remember t!at t!e first one I rea* from
en* to en* )as on o%%ultism. #no)ing t!e boo8 )as %onsi*ere* unsuitable for
my age; I )as prou* to be able to rea* an* un*erstan* it. I turne* a *eaf ear to
any persuasi'e a*'i%e to *e*i%ate myself to more formati'e rea*ings. I %ontinue*
t!ese rea*ings until I )as about 11. I )aste* a lot of time on )ort!less boo8s an*
sta%8s of spe%ialize* esoteri% magazines )it! tantalizing titles an* i*le fan%ies
*esigne* essentially to impress; an* )!i%! )ere impossible to *istinguis! in
a*'an%e bet)een fa%t an* fi%tion. I also %ame into %onta%t )it! t!e main t!emes
of o%%i*ental esoteri%ism )it! s!ort *igressions into p!enomena li8e !ypnosis
an* spiritualism. In t!e en*; I felt I !a* tra'ele* t!roug! an in*istin%t %!aos an*
t!oug!t t!at per!aps t!e most pre%ious se%rets )ere !i**en in ot!er boo8s )!i%!
I !a* not been fortunate enoug! to fin*.
5uring t!is perio*; )!en I )as per!aps 13 or 11; I sa) t!e )or* >Yoga>
for t!e first time in a postal %atalog of esoteri% boo8s among my fat!er9s
%orrespon*en%e. I )as entran%e* an* ine=pli%ably spellboun* by t!e person
pi%ture* on t!e %o'er sitting in t!e >lotus position.> 4o)e'er; I %oul*n9t persua*e
my fat!er to buy t!e boo8 for me.
?!en I )as 1+ an* in !ig! s%!ool; t!e esoteri% flame )as re8in*le* for a
)!ile in a parti%ular )ay6 a frien* tol* me !e !a* a *etaile* te=tboo8 %ontaining
*ifferent Pranayama te%!ni.ues; an* a**e*6 >T!ese e=er%ise are use* to obtain
inner transformation....>
I )as *eeply intrigue* by !is )or*s6 )!at internal transformation )as !e
tal8ing about@ Surely my frien* *i*n9t mean t!e attainment of a parti%ular state of
rela=ation or %on%entration; or !o) to integrate t!e oriental 'ision of e=isten%e
)it! our lifestyle. 4e must be referring to some intense e=perien%e t!at left a
lasting psy%!ologi%al mar8. Pranayama )as somet!ing I !a* to learn as soon as
possible. <ut my frien* )oul* not len* me t!e boo8.
, fe) *ays later at t!e train station ne)sstan*; I spotte* a simple Hatha
Yoga manual an* boug!t it fort!)it! an* rea* it in its entirety. ,lt!oug! I
t!oug!t I )as sear%!ing for p!ysi%al an* mental %ontrol; my spiritual sear%! !a*
in fa%t begun.
Anfortunately; t!is boo8 )as more of a p!ilosop!i%al intro*u%tion an* *i*
not stir up anyt!ing spiritual. It )as neit!er impressi'e nor t!oug!t pro'o8ing
B&i'a; Pra8riti; Purus!a...C. T!e aut!orDs goal seeme* to be solely to gi'e t!e
rea*er t!e impression of serious aut!ority. E'en %on%epts li8e 7ein%arnation;
Karma; harma! an* "aya! t!e un*erstan*ing of )!i%! in t!e future )oul*
be%ome so important in my life; remaine* unfat!omable; !i**en in a tangle of
Sans8rit terms. Pranayama )as only !inte* at by e=plaining !o) to *o a
%omplete breat! E *ilating t!e ab*omen; *iap!ragm; an* upper %!est *uring
in!alation an* %ontra%ting t!e same in re'erse or*er for a %alm e=!alation. T!at
)as %learly an intro*u%tion; not!ing else.
I )as sure t!at t!e an%ient art of Pranayama )as not inten*e* simply to
train t!e %!est mus%les; strengt!en t!e *iap!ragm or %reate pe%uliar %on*itions of
bloo* o=ygenation; but )as also meant to a%t on t!e energy present in our
psy%!op!ysi%al system. It )as %ommon 8no)le*ge t!at t!e in!armonious state
of t!at energy %oul* be relate* to %onfli%ts an* *is!armonies )it!in. I )as
frustrate* about t!e la%8 of in*ept! information about Pranayama. T!e aut!or
%on%lu*e* by saying t!at Pranayama s!oul* be learne* from an e=perien%e*
tea%!er but instea* of a**ing a pre%ise in*i%ation Bt!e title of a boo8; t!e name of
a s%!ool...C; !e remaine* 'ague about e=a%tly !o) to fin* !im; maintaining t!at
)e fin* t!e Tea%!er )!en )e are rea*y to learn.
T!e se%on* Hatha Yoga boo8 I a%.uire* )as not a me*io%re one. It
e=plaine* t!e name of ea%! posture BAsanaC; ga'e a brief note on t!e best mental
attitu*e for pra%ti%ing it; an* e=plaine* !o) ea%! e=er%ise stimulate* %ertain
p!ysiologi%al fun%tions Bimportant en*o%rine glan*s; et%.C. It )as ta8en for
grante* t!at t!ese positions )ere not to be seen as simple >stret%!ing )or8outs>F
but )ere a means of pro'i*ing a global stimulus to all t!e p!ysi%al organs to
in%rease t!eir 'itality. T!e satisfa%tion I felt at t!e en* of a session spo8e to t!eir
I began *oing yoga postures BAsanasC in a %orner of our s%!ool
gymnasium *uring p!ysi%al e*u%ation %lasses. I )asn9t 'ery goo* in sports
any)ay *espite being )ell%on*itione* by long )al8s. :oreo'er; being able to
*o somet!ing signifi%ant )it!out !a'ing to mo'e 'ery far an* )it!out t!e
in!erent ris8s of s%!ool sports attra%te* me.
,fter t!e preliminary group )armup e=er%ises; )!en t!e tea%!er ga'e me
permission to )or8 out on my o)n; I *e'ote* myself to mastering Yoga positions
or mo'ing t!e ab*ominal mus%les )it! t!e #a$li te%!ni.ue. To my amazement
one *ay t!e tea%!er B)!om I !a* assume* !a* an opinion of me %lose to zeroC
%ame o'er an* in.uire* as to t!e se%ret of su%%ee*ing in mo'ing t!e ab*ominal
mus%les in su%! %urious )ay.
T!ere )as an entire %!apter *e'ote* to t!e >Corpse Pose> B%a&asanaC; t!e last
one to be pra%ti%e* in t!e *aily Asana routine. T!e instru%tion )as 'ery %learly
gi'en an* t!e aut!or *i* not lose !is fo%us in useless p!ilosop!i%al
embellis!ments. 4e e=plaine* t!at t!e purpose of t!e e=er%ise )as to .uiet t!e
mental fa%ulties in or*er to re%!arge t!e )!ole psy%!o p!ysi%al system )it! fres!
energy. I )as attra%te* by t!e gran*iose promise t!at by stopping all mental
fun%tions E )it!out falling into a state of sleep E an* remaining for some time in
a state of pure a)areness; one %oul* obtain )it!in one !our t!e e.ui'alent of fi'e
!ours sleep. I regret not !a'ing t!e boo8 anymore; but I )ill *es%ribe t!e
e=er%ise base* upon )!at I remember6
>Lie in t!e supine position )it! arms e=ten*e* alongsi*e t!e bo*y an* )it! eyes
%o'ere* to 8eep t!e lig!t out. ,fter staying still for t)o or t!ree minutes;
mentally repeat E GI am rela=e*; I am %alm; I am not t!in8ing of anyt!ing.D T!en;
to enter t!e state of mental &oid 'isualize your t!oug!ts in%lu*ing t!ose )it!
abstra%t .ualities an* pus! t!em a)ay one by one as if an internal !an* )ere
mo'ing t!em gently from t!e %enter of a mental s%reen to)ar* its outer e*ge. ,ll
t!oug!ts; )it!out e=%eption; must be put asi*eF e'en t!e t!oug!t itself of
pra%ti%ing a te%!ni.ue. You s!oul* ne'er be%ome annoye* by %ontinuous ne)
t!oug!ts but pi%ture t!em as obHe%ts an* s!ift t!em asi*eF in t!is )ay; ne)
%!ains of t!oug!t are pre'ente* from %oming out. ,fter pus!ing a t!oug!t a)ay;
return your a)areness to t!e small spot bet)een t!e eyebro)s BK$tasthaC )!i%!
resembles a pon* of pea%e; an* rela= t!erein. T!e ability to %ontinuously pus!
a)ay t!oug!ts t!at 8no%8 at t!e *oor of your attention )ill be%ome almost
?!en; on some o%%asions E su%! as pra%ti%ing imme*iately after a strong
emotional in%i*ent E t!e me%!anism *oes not seem to )or8; %on'ert your
%on%entration into a small needle )!i%! %onstantly tou%!es t!e area bet)een t!e
eyebro)s E Hust tou%!ing; )it!out )orrying about s!ifting t!oug!ts asi*e. You
)ill noti%e t!at at a %ertain point t!ere is no more effort; an* any remaining
restless emotion subsi*es. T!e t!oug!t see*s manifesting as in*efinite images
.ui'ering at t!e e*ge of a)areness %annot *isturb your mental rest. ?!i%!e'er
of t!e t)o met!o*s you %!oose; t!e e=er%ise )or8s perfe%tly an* after (3
minutes you get up )ellreste* an* re%!arge* )it! ne) fres! energy.>
In my e=perien%e; in spite of t!e (3 minutes promise* by t!e boo8; t!e final state
of rela=ation laste* no more t!an 1+ minutes an* t!e e=er%ise itself ne'er more
t!an "+$3 minutes altoget!er. T!e te%!ni.ue ine'itably en*e* in a pe%uliar )ayF
t!e state of *eep %almness )as interrupte* by t!e t!oug!t t!at t!e e=er%ise !a*
not yet begunF my rea%tion )as al)ays a )in%e an* a faster !eartbeat. ,fter a
fe) se%on*s !o)e'er; %onfi*en%e t!at t!e e=er%ise !a* been perfe%tly e=e%ute*
appeare*. T!an8s to t!is te%!ni.ue; )!i%! be%ame a *aily !abit; I realize* on%e
an* for all t!e *ifferen%e bet)een >min*> an* >a)areness>.
?!en t!e mental pro%ess is ease* off into perfe%t silen%e; pure a)areness
)it!out %ontent arises. Li8e a luminous point *upli%ating itself an unlimite*
amount of times; it remains un%!ange* for some minutes. You 8no) you e=ist
an* t!at your e=isten%e is in*estru%tible E t!is !appens )it!out t!in8ing. You
!a'e t!e in*isputable e=perien%e t!at t!oug!ts are in essen%e ep!emeral; an*
instea* of re'ealing t!e final trut! t!ey %lou* it. T!e Cartesian *e*u%tion6 >I
t!in8; t!erefore I am> is in*efensible. It )oul* be more %orre%t to affirm6 >Only
in t!e silen%e of no t!oug!t lies t!e proof an* t!e intimate %ertainty of e=isting.>
<esi*es t!e *imension of esoteri% oriental me*itati'e pra%ti%es; I also !a* a
passion for poetry an* literature as )ell as a !abit of *aily see8ing t!e
%ontemplation of beauty in Nature' T!is interest began )!en I )as 1. I borro)e*
a boo8 of poetry from t!e s%!ool library an* %opie* *ifferent s!ort poems )it!
naturalisti% t!emes into a noteboo8. <y rea*ing t!em fre.uently; I soon 8ne)
t!em all by !eart. <y re%alling t!em )!ile %ontemplating t!e !illy surroun*ings
beyon* t!e outs8irts of my 'illage; I %oul* intensify my emotions.
,s my !ig! s%!ool years )ere *ra)ing to a %lose; I *e'elope* a passion for
%lassi%al musi% an* <eet!o'en be%ame my i*ol. 5espite t!e trage*y of !is
*eafness at !is %reati'e pea8; !e rea%te* in a most !onorable manner an* %arrie*
on %reating )or8s !e !a* alrea*y %ompose* in !is !eart. T!e 4eiligensta*t
Testament; )!ere !e re'eals !is %riti%al %on*ition an* states !is *e%ision )it!
%alm an* total resolution; ma*e !im almost a !ero an* a saint in my eyes.
4e )rote to a frien*6 >I !a'e not a single frien*F I must li'e alone. <ut
)ell I 8no) t!at Io* is nearer to me t!an to ot!er artistsF I asso%iate )it! 4im
)it!out fearF I !a'e al)ays re%ognize* an* un*erstoo* !im an* !a'e no fear for
my musi% E it %an meet no e'il fate. T!ose )!o un*erstan* it must be free* by it
from all t!e miseries )!i%! t!e ot!ers *rag about )it! t!emsel'es.> 4o) %oul* I
remain in*ifferent@ 4e )as *ra)ing in%omparable musi% out of t!e *ept!s of !is
being; an* offering it to !umanity. T!e triump! of t!is frail !uman %reature o'er
a nonsensi%al fate !a* a tremen*ous impa%t on me. T!e *aily rite of retiring to
my room to listen to t!at musi% %onsoli*ate* my %onse%ration to t!e I*eal E
merging )it! ,bsolute <eauty.
Ea%! *ay for t!e first t!ree mont!s after !ig! s%!ool gra*uation; )!en I
e=perien%e* a strong romanti% %rus! )!ose fulfillment seeme* impossible; I
listene* to <eet!o'en9s "issa %olemnis. T!e more my emotionalism prompte*
me to a%t ras!ly; )!i%! pro'e* to be *estru%ti'e to my lo'e affair; t!e more my
*esperate !eart foun* refuge in t!e massD pure beauty. 5uring a )al8 in t!e
%ountry; sitting on a !ill %ontemplating a far lan*s%ape bat!e* in t!e )armt! of
t!e summer e'ening; !is musi% rang out again in my memory. ?!at my !eart
%ra'e* )as before me; perfe%t an* untarnis!e* neit!er by fears nor by a sense of
guilt. T!at )as my first religious e=perien%e.
I %!ose to stu*y mat! at uni'ersity. ?!ile atten*ing t!e first %lasses; I un*erstoo*
t!at a !appy %!apter of my life )as %on%lu*e* an* t!ere )oul* be no time for
*istra%tions li8e enHoying %lassi% literature. ,ll my attention )as fo%use* on
fin*ing an effe%ti'e met!o* of stu*y an* a )ay to a'oi* )asting my energies.
T!is meant fo%using in a *is%ipline* )ay bot! *uring stu*y time an* *uring my
i*le moments. For t!is purpose; I *e%i*e* to utilize t!e *ynami% of t!e yogi%
99mental 'oi*99 te%!ni.ue.
One ba* !abit I !a* to %on.uer )as a ten*en%y to *ay*ream an* Hump
from one memory to anot!er to e=tra%t moments of pleasure. I !a* forme* t!e
uns!a8eable %on'i%tion t!at )!en t!oug!t be%omes an un%ontrollable 'i%e E for
many it is an utter a**i%tion E it %onstitutes not only a )aste of energy but is t!e
main %ause of almost all failures in our life. T!e frenzie* )!irl of t!e t!oug!t
pro%ess; a%%ompanie* by alternating moo*s an* strong emotions; %reates at times
unreasonable fears t!at !in*er t!e *e%isi'e a%tion t!at life re.uires. On ot!er
o%%asions it fosters an optimisti% imagination t!at unfortunately pus!es t!e
person to)ar* inappropriate a%tions.
I )as %on'in%e* t!at *is%ipline* t!oug!t )as t!e most 'aluable trait I
%oul* *e'elop; an* )oul* open t!e *oors to fruitful a%!ie'ements. :y *e%ision
fille* me )it! eup!ori% ent!usiasm. 4o)e'er; after breat!ing t!e limpi*;
spar8ling; %elestial state of t!oug!t restraint for a fe) !ours I en%ountere* a
signifi%ant mental resistan%e. In t!e mirror of my introspe%tion; I sa) !o) ot!er
!abits )ere )asting my mental energy. One of t!ese; )rappe* an* une=pe%te*ly
*ignifie* by t!e %on%ept of so%ialization; )as t!at of falling *aily into ner'e
)ra%8ing *is%ussions )it! frien*s. It )as time to renoun%e it. I abruptly a'oi*e*
t!eir %ompany. Certainly mine )as not an impossible sa%rifi%e E t!eirs )as not
my )orl*.
One *ay *uring a s!ort afternoon )al8; I sa) t!em from afar sitting lazily
an* %!atting in t!e usual bar. :y !eart ga'e a lur%!. T!ey )ere my frien*s an* I
lo'e* ea%! of t!em; yet seeing t!em toget!er t!at *ay t!ey appeare* to me li8e
%!i%8ens %oope* up in a narro) spa%e. :er%ilessly I assume* t!ey )ere
%ompletely go'erne* by t!e instin%ts of eating; partying; se=; an* generally
o'erin*ulging. ?!ate'er trage*y !appene* to t!eir frien* *i*n9t %on%ern t!em;
t!ey )oul* !a'e 8ept on sipping t!e *aily pleasure of *a)*ling until misfortune
!it t!em personally. I foun* it 'ery sa* an* *istressing. T!e in%i*ent put me in a
gloomy moo*; but a senten%e from <eet!o'en9s 4eiligensta*t testament %ame
spontaneously to min* an* e'o8e* t!e bliss I !a* enHoye* *uring my !ig! s%!ool
O Pro'i*en%e grant me at least but one day o( p$re )oy it !as been so long
sin%e real Hoy e%!oe* in my !eart O )!en O )!en; O 5i'ine One s!all I
fin* it again in t!e temple of nature an* of men@ Ne'er@ No O t!at )oul* be
too !ar*.
,t t!at moment I again resol'e* to %on%entrate on my stu*ies; an* passing my
e=ams be%ame my sole fo%us. I per%ei'e* t!at perio* of my life as a *es%ent into
an unfat!omable nig!t but I 8ne) t!at in or*er to s!ape my future t!e )ay I
*esire*; toug! sa%rifi%es )ere ne%essary. To see t!e *a)n of a >*ay of pure Hoy>;
I )oul* !a'e to en*ure momentarily a *ar8 emptiness6 I )oul* sa'or it )it!out
lament an* )it!out being tempte* to turn on a lig!t for momentary sola%e.
* +ill ie %o * Can ,i&e-
,n e'ent illuminate* my life6 a frien* intro*u%e* me to Iusta' :a!ler9s
Symp!ony No." >.es$rre/tion> an* in'ite* me to a li'e %on%ert of t!is )or8. I
rea* t!e information leaflet. Ea%! part of t!e symp!ony !a* a pre%ise meaning
)!i%! :a!ler !imself !a* e=plaine* in a letter to t!e %on*u%tor; <runo ?alter. It
)as :a!ler9s intention to treat *eat! as t!e ine'itable en* to all !uman
T!e musi% itself %on'eye* a sense of *esolation )!i%! )as s)eet; as if
*eat! meant *rifting off into a pea%eful sleep. In a sorro)ful 'oi%e of en*less
*ignity; t!e )or*s of t!e %ontralto %ommuni%ate* a %!il*li8e inno%ent 'ision6
0 .1s/hen roth-
er "ens/h liegt in gr12ter #oth-
er "ens/h liegt in gr12ter Pein-
3e lieber m1/ht i/h im Himmel sein'
O re* roseJ
:an lies in *irest nee*J
:an lies in *eepest painJ
O!; !o) I )oul* rat!er be in !ea'en.
?!ile listening; I fan%ie* I )as in t!e %ountrysi*e *uring a lig!t rain. <ut it )as
spring an* a ray of sun pier%e* t!e %lou*s. ,mi* t!e 'egetation t!ere )as a
beautiful re* rose. T!at simple 'ision broug!t sola%e to my !eart9s inner a%!e an*
)arme* me to a !ig! pit%! of ent!usiasm )it! t!e t!oug!t t!at <eauty )oul* be
)it! me fore'er; in all t!e pla%es of my solitary )an*erings.
T!en t!e %!oir sang some 'erses from #lopsto%89s !ymn6
A$(ersteh4n! )a a$(ersteh4n
+irst d$! "ein %ta$b!
#a/h 5$r6er .$h4-
7nsterbli/h ,eben- 7nsterbli/h ,eben
8ird der di/h rie( dir geben-
7ise again; yes; rise again;
?ill you; my *ust;
,fter a brief restJ
Immortal lifeJ Immortal life
?ill 4e )!o %alle* you; gi'e you.
Ne=t :a!ler9s o)n 'erses )ere %!ante*. T!ese en*e* )it!6
"it 9l:geln! die i/h mir err$ngen!
*n hei2em ,iebesstreben!
+erd4i/h ents/h8eben
;$m ,i/ht! 6$ dem 5ein A$g4gedr$ngen-
%terben 8erd4i/h! $m 6$ leben-
A$(ersteh4n! )a a$(ersteh4n
8irst d$! mein Her6! in einem #$-
+as d$ ges/hlagen
6$ Gott 8ird es di/h tragen-
?it! )ings I !a'e gaine*;
in lo'e9s fier%e stri'ing;
I s!all soar aloft
To t!e lig!t no eye !as pier%e*J
I )ill *ie so I %an li'eJ
7ise again; yes; rise again;
?ill you; my !eart; in an instantJ
?!at you !a'e earne* yourself;
S!all lea* you to Io*J
In t!e follo)ing *ays; I trie* to penetrate t!e meaning by rea*ing e'eryt!ing I
%oul* on t!e symp!ony an* listening to it entran%e* in t!e .uietu*e of my o)n
room. ,fter many integral an* ent!usiasti% listening sessions; t!e )or*s6
>Sterben )er*e i%!; um zu lebenJ> B>I )ill *ie so I %an li'eJ>C resoun*e* all *ay
long in my min* li8e a t!rea* aroun* )!i%! my t!oug!ts %rystallize*. ?oul* I
e'er; before ol* age; be able to die to mysel( E namely to die to my egoism@ ?as
it possible to %ross t!e foggy %urtain of t!oug!ts; superfi%ial emotions; sensations
an* instin%t; an* emerge into t!at pure 5imension for )!i%! I !a* yearne* many
years an* )!i%! I felt )as my 4ig!est Ioo*@
T!ere )as no *oubt I )as )illing to perfe%t my selfimpose* *is%ipline to
t!e e=treme; but by no means *i* I )ant to spen* t!e rest of my life staring at t!e
)all of my silen%e* min* an* )aiting for somet!ing to !appen. >I )ill seize Fate
by t!e throat>; sai* <eet!o'en6 so I too )as prepare* to a%t in a strong an*
*e%isi'e )ay.
?!at I misse* )as t!e art of Pranayama E t!at Pranayama )!i%! I !a* *reame*
so mu%! about but !a* ne'er a%tually pra%ti%e*. , fe) )ee8s before; I !a*
pur%!ase* <.#.S. Iyengar9s <he *ll$strated ,ight on Yoga! an* !is *es%ription of
Pranayama !a* a)a8ene* in me an uns!a8eable *esire to pra%ti%e it intensi'ely.
In t!e last part of t!e boo8 t!ere )as a pru*ent )arning6
>Pneumati% tools %an %ut t!roug! t!e !ar*est ro%8. In Pranayama! t!e yogi uses
!is lungs as pneumati% tools. If t!ey are not use* properly; t!ey *estroy bot! t!e
tool an* t!e person using it. Faulty pra%ti%e puts un*ue stress on t!e lungs an*
*iap!ragm. T!e respiratory system suffers an* t!e ner'ous system is a*'ersely
affe%te*. T!e 'ery foun*ation of a !ealt!y bo*y an* a soun* min* is s!a8en by a
faulty pra%ti%e of Pranayama'>
T!is senten%e ignite* my immo*erate )ill to e=perien%e all its po)er; to t!e
point of >*ying> in it; figurati'ely spea8ing. ?!at )oul* !a'e frig!tene* ot!ers
embol*ene* me. If it pro'o8e* an aut!enti% psy%!ologi%al eart!.ua8e; I )as on
t!e rig!t tra%8. Yes; some pru*en%e )as ne%essaryF an intensi'e pra%ti%e !a* to
be rea%!e* gra*ually an* ea%! session !a* to be %arrie* out )it! e=treme %are.
T!e Pranayama referre* to )as #adi %odhana an* 7))ayi Bbreat!ing
e=er%isesC )it! Bandha Bmus%le %ontra%tionC an* K$mbha5a Bbreat! retention.C
5ay after *ay; I %oul* per%ei'e Pranayama4s potential a%ting on my psy%!e. I
)as %ertain my ol* s%!ool frien* !a* tol* t!e trut! E >t!ese e=er%ises %an %!ange
a person insi*e>. It !a* to be trueJ
Pranayama appeare* to me t!e most perfe%t of all arts; )it! no intrinsi%
limits. To *e'ote myself to it )oul* %ost not!ing. I )oul* not be oblige* to spen*
money on t!e pur%!ase of a musi%al instrument; %an'as an* %olors; or )!ate'er.
T!e instrument )as al)ays )it! me. I %oul*n9t un*erstan* !o) I !a* )aste* so
mu%! time not ta8ing on t!is %ommitment seriously.
To abi*e by it )as T!e 5e%ision of :y Life. I pra%ti%e* morning an*
e'ening in an >absolute> )ay; )it! fero%ious %on%entration; as if t!ere )ere no
tomorro). I )oul* start )it! stret%!ing e=er%ises E an* some simple Asanas
)!en I !a* more time.

I pra%ti%e* in t!e !alflotus position; sitting on t!e e*ge of a pillo) )it! my ba%8
straig!t. I fo%use* )it! zeal on applying t!e instru%tions fla)lessly but )it! a
%reati'e spirit. I %on%entrate* 8eenly on t!e alternate feelings of %oolness an*
)armt! pro*u%e* by t!e air on t!e fingers an* on t!e palm of t!e rig!t !an* use*
to open an* %lose t!e nostrils. T!e pressure; t!e smoot! flo)ing of t!e breat!...
e'ery *etail )as pleasant. <e%oming a)are of ea%! pe%uliarity of t!e e=er%ise
!elpe* me maintain 'igilant attention )it!out be%oming stresse*.
5uring t!e *ay; I foun* my per%eption of t!ings !a* %!ange*. :y eyes sear%!e*
for t!e most intense %olors; fas%inate* by t!em as if t!ey )ere %lose to re'ealing
an un8no)n reality lying beyon* t!e material. Sometimes in t!e first sunny *ays
T!is routine BNa*i So*!anaF AHHayiF <an*!a an* final %on%entration in #utast!aC is *es%ribe* in t!e
se%on* part of C!apter -.
after )inter; )!en t!e s8ies )ere %rystalline an* as blue as t!ey !a* e'er been; I
)oul* sit in t!e open air an* %ontemplate my surroun*ings. In a bus!y *it%!
%o'ere* )it! i'y t!e sun s!e* its lig!t upon flo)ers t!at a fe) )ee8s before
)ere blooming *uring t!e %ol* an* no); !ee*less of t!e mil*est *ays; still
lingere* in t!eir spellbin*ing glory. I )as *eeply inspire*. I )oul* %lose my
eyes an* rely on an inner ra*ian%e a%%ompanie* by a sensation of pressure on my
,t t!at time; my internal life )as still split bet)een t)o interests )!i%! I
per%ei'e* as t)o *imensions !a'ing not!ing in %ommon. On one si*e )ere
esoteri% matters )!i%! !a* gui*e* my sear%! to)ar* Yoga *is%ipline; )!i%! I
%on%ei'e* to be an e((i/a/io$s tool for purifying an* /ontrolling the mind. On t!e
ot!er si*e )as t!e aspiration to)ar* t!e i*eal )orl* of <eauty )!i%! I trie* to
e'o8e t!roug! t!e stu*y of literary )or8s; an* listening to %lassi%al musi%. I
ne'er imagine* t!at t!e first *imension %oul* lea* me to t!e se%on*J It )as
reasonable to !ope t!at Pranayama %oul* gi'e me a permanent base of mental
%larity; !elping me to not spoil t!e fragile mira%le of an en%ounter )it! <eauty
)it! a Humble of t!oug!ts; but I %oul* ne'er !a'e imagine* t!at Pranayama !a*
t!e po)er of multiplying t!e e=perien%e of t!e Sublime or e'en ma8e it spring up
from not!ingJ I often repeate* insi*e myself an* sometimes .uote* to my frien*s
t!is 'erse from t!e Bhaga&ad Gita6
>BT!e yogiC 8no)s t!e Hoy eternal beyon* t!e pale of t!e senses )!i%! !is reason
%annot grasp. 4e abi*es in t!is reality an* mo'es not t!en%e. 4e !as foun* t!e
treasure abo'e all ot!ers. T!ere is not!ing !ig!er t!an t!is. 4e t!at !as
a%!ie'e* it s!all not be mo'e* by t!e greatest sorro). T!is is t!e real meaning
of Yoga E a *eli'eran%e from %onta%t )it! pain an* sorro)>.
?!ile repeating it; I )as a%tually sa'oring t!at &oy.
On a .uiet afternoon )al8 among trees Hust before sunset; I .ui%8ly glan%e* no)
an* t!en at te=t from one of t!e 7panishads Kan%ient Sans8rit sa%re* te=tsL t!at I
!a* )it! me. One parti%ular senten%e a)a8ene* an instantaneous realization6
>T!ou art T!at>J
I %lose* t!e boo8 an* repeate* t!e )or*s as if in a tran%e. :y rational
min* )as able to grasp but not fully a%%ept t!e in%ommensurable impli%ation of
t!e statement. It meant t!at it )as I t!at )as t!e unbelie'ably *eli%ate green lig!t
filtering t!roug! t!e lea'es; bearing )itness to t!e spring t!at broug!t ne) life.
<a%8 !ome; I *i* not e'en try to put *o)n on paper t!e numerous >moments of
gra%e> I e=perien%e* from t!is realization; nor %oul* I !a'e. :y only )is! )as to
*el'e furt!er an* furt!er into t!is ne) inner sour%e of un*erstan*ing an*
K$ndalini experien/e
,fter !a'ing boug!t t!e )or8s of 7ama8ris!na; 2i'e8anan*a; Iopi #ris!na an*
PatanHali9s Yoga %$tras Ba big 'olume )it! %omments by I.#. TaimniC; I finally
*e%i*e* to buy t!e autobiograp!y of an In*ian saint; )!om I )ill in*i%ate by P.Y.
. It )as a boo8 I !a* seen some years before but !a* not boug!t be%ause it
*i*n9t %ontain pra%ti%al instru%tions. :y !ope no) )as t!at I )oul* be able to
fin* useful information su%! as t!e a**resses of some goo* Yoga s%!ools. T!is
autobiograp!y ent!ralle* me an* %reate* a strong aspiration to)ar* t!e mysti%al
pat!. In %ertain moments I foun* myself almost burning from an internal fe'er.
T!is pro'i*e* fertile groun* for t!e %oming of an e'ent )!i%! )as ra*i%ally
*ifferent from any I !a* e=perien%e* before. It )as a 8in* of >intimate>
e=perien%e. Nonet!eless; sin%e I !a'e listene* to similar *es%riptions from Yoga
pra%titioners; I !a'e *e%i*e* to s!are it.
One nig!t )!ile rea*ing P.Y.9s autobiograp!y; I felt a s!i'er similar to an ele%tri%
%urrent sprea* itself t!roug!out my )!ole bo*y. , 99s!i'er99 )as insignifi%ant in
itself; but it frig!tene* me. :y rea%tion )as rat!er strange sin%e I !a* al)ays
belie'e* I )as immune from fear of all t!ings relate* to trans%en*en%e. T!e
t!oug!t flas!e* t!roug! my min* t!at a *eeper e'ent )as going to !appen soonF
t!at it )as going to be strong; 'ery strong an* I )oul* not be able to stop it in
any )ay. It )as as if my memory !a* some ine=pli%able familiarity )it! it an*
my instin%t 8ne) its ines%apable po)er. I ma*e up my min* to let t!ings !appen
unimpe*e* an* go a!ea* )it! t!e rea*ing. :inutes passe* an* I )as not able to
%ontinue rea*ingF my restlessness turne* into an=iety. T!en it again be%ame fear;
an intense fear of somet!ing un8no)n )!i%! )as t!reatening my e=isten%e. I
!a* %ertainly ne'er e=perien%e* a similar state. In past moments of *anger; I use*
to remain paralyze*; unable to t!in8. No) my t!oug!ts )ere stirring franti%ally;
pi%turing t!e )orst results6 loss of psy%!ologi%al balan%e; en%ounter )it! an e'il
entity; per!aps e'en *eat!.
I felt t!e urgen%y to *o somet!ing; e'en t!oug! I *i* not 8no) )!at. I set
myself into position for me*itation an* )aite*. T!e anguis! in%rease*. , part of
me; maybe t!e totality of t!at entity I %all >myself>; seeme* at t!e point of
melting a)ay. T!e )orst t!oug!ts !ung o'er me )it!out a %lear reason.
I !a* Hust finis!e* rea*ing Iopi #ris!na9s K$ndalini= Path to Higher
Cons/io$sness in )!i%! t!e aut!or *es%ribe* t!e splen*i* a)a8ening e=perien%e
T!e rea*er )ill un*erstan* )!y I am not mentioning t!e full name of P.Y. E it is not *iffi%ult !o)e'er
to figure out !is i*entity. T!ere are many s%!ools of Yoga sprea*ing !is tea%!ings a%%or*ing to a
Gspe%ifi% legitima%y9. One of t!ese; t!roug! its representati'es; ma*e me realize t!at not only )on9t
t!ey tolerate t!e smallest of t!e Copyrig!t 'iolations; but t!ey )on9t e'en appre%iate t!eir belo'e*
Tea%!er9s name being mi=e* into *is%ussions about Kriya on t!e Internet. T!e reason is t!at in t!e past
some people use* 4is name to mislea* a !ig! number of pra%titioners )!o )ere trying to re%ei'e 4is
original tea%!ings. :oreo'er; my *esire is to inform t!e rea*er t!at in t!e follo)ing pages I )ill only
summarily linger upon my un*erstan*ing of 4is lega%y; )it!out any pretension of gi'ing an obHe%ti'e
a%%ount of it. ,n intereste* rea*er s!oul* not renoun%e t!e pri'ilege of turning to t!e original te=tsJ
!e !a* follo)ing an intense pra%ti%e of %on%entration on t!e se'ent! Cha5ra.
4o)e'er E be%ause !is bo*y )as probably unprepare* E !e later met serious
p!ysi%al an*; as a refle=; psy%!i% problems as )ell. ,%%or*ing to !is *es%ription;
insi*e !is bo*y t!e energy )as for%e* into %onstant motion from t!e base of t!e
ba%8bone to)ar* t!e brain. So strong )as t!e energy t!at !e )as be*ri**en an*
%oul* not a%%omplis! normal bo*ily fun%tions. 4e literally felt as if !e )as being
burne* by an inner fire )!i%! !e %oul* not put out.
?ee8s later; !e intuiti'ely *is%o'ere* t!e )ay to %ontrol t!e p!enomenon
E t!e up)ar* flo) of energy t!roug! t!e spine be%ame a persistent e=perien%e of
internal realization. I )as afrai* I too !a* %ome to t!e t!res!ol* of t!at same
e=perien%e but; sin%e I *i* not li'e in In*ia; per!aps people aroun* me mig!t not
un*erstan*. T!e e=perien%e )oul* !a'e been terribleJ No one %oul* !elp insure
t!at my e=perien%e )oul* be %!annele* to)ar* a positi'e %on%lusion li8e it )as
for Iopi #ris!na.
T!e spiritual )orl* appeare* to me to be a sorro)ful an* !orrible
nig!tmare; able to anni!ilate an* *estroy )!oe'er )oul* impru*ently approa%!
it. Or*inary life; on t!e %ontrary; seeme* t!e *earest an* !ealt!iest reality. I )as
afrai* I mig!t not be able to get ba%8 to t!at %on*ition again. I )as %on'in%e* I
!a* opene* a *oor I )as not suppose* to open; so I *e%i*e* to stop t!e
e=perien%e an* put off t!e fatal moment.
I stoo* up an* left t!e room; out to t!e open air. It )as nig!t an* t!ere )as
nobo*y to )!om I %oul* %ommuni%ate my pani%J ,t t!e %enter of t!e yar* I )as
bur*ene*; %!o8e*; almost %rus!e* by a feeling of *esperation; en'ying all t!ose
people )!o !a* ne'er pra%ti%e* Yoga' I su**enly felt guilty an* as!ame* of t!e
!ars! )or*s I !a* use* against a frien* )!o !a* been in'ol'e* in part of my
sear%!. Li8e so many ot!ers; !e !a* s!unne* any pra%ti%e; ignore* lofty rea*ings;
an* *e%i*e* instea* to enHoy life. E.uippe* )it! a Hu'enile bol*ness; I !a*
a**resse* !im )it! a tone far from affe%tionate; )!i%! no) starte* to t!un*er
insi*e my !ea*. I )as sorry I !a* t!ro)n unHustifie* %ruelty at !im )it!out really
8no)ing )!at )as in !is min* an* soul. I )oul* !a'e li8e* to tell !im !o) sorry
I )as to !a'e brutally 'iolate* !is rig!t to li'e t!e )ay !e t!oug!t )as best.
Per!aps !e !a* preferre* to prote%t !is mental !ealt! rat!er t!an be%ome unstable
or insane t!roug! pra%ti%es !e )as unsure of.
<e%ause of my great passion for %lassi%al musi%; I !ope* t!at listening to
it mig!t yiel* t!e positi'e effe%t of prote%ting me from anguis! an* !elp me get
ba%8 my usual moo*. It )as <eet!o'en9s Con/ert (or >iolin and 0r/hestra!
)!i%! I listene* to in my room )it! !ea*p!ones; t!at soot!e* my soul an* after
!alf an !our ease* my sleep. <ut t!e follo)ing morning I a)o8e )it! t!e same
fear. Strange as it may seem; t!e t)o pi'otal fa%ts t!at to*ay stir my most intense
emotions E t!at 5i'ine Intelligen%e is t!e 'ery basis of e'eryt!ing t!at e=ists; an*
t!at man %an pra%ti%e a *efinite *is%ipline in or*er to attune to it E %on'eye* to
me a feeling of !orrorJ
Sunlig!t poure* into t!e room t!roug! t!e gaps in t!e s!utters. I !a* a
)!ole *ay before me. I )ent out to try an* amuse myself by being )it! ot!er
people. I met some frien*s an* spent t!e afternoon %ra%8ing Ho8es an* be!a'ing
li8e t!e people I !a* al)ays %onsi*ere* lazy an* *ull. In t!is )ay; I su%%ee*e* in
!i*ing my anguis!. T!e first *ay )ent byF my min* )as totally )orn out. ,fter
t)o *ays; t!e fear !a* *iminis!e* an* I finally felt safe. Somet!ing felt %!ange*
any)ayF I !a*nDt t!oug!t about Yoga! I only t!oug!t aroun* it.
One )ee8 later I began; %almly an* *eta%!e*ly; to pon*er t!e meaning of
)!at !a* !appene*. I un*erstoo* t!e nature of my rea%tion to t!at episo*e6 I !a*
%o)ar*ly run a)ay from t!e e=perien%e I !a* pursue* for su%! a long timeJ In
t!e *ept! of my soul my *ignity urge* me to %ontinue )it! my sear%! e=a%tly
from t!e point )!ere I !a* .uit. I )as rea*y to a%%ept all t!at )as to !appen an*
let t!ings follo) t!eir %ourse; e'en if t!is pro%ess implie* t!e loss of my
)!olesomeness. I began t!e pra%ti%e of Pranayama again; as intensely as before.
, fe) *ays )ent by )it!out *ete%ting any form of fear. T!en; I e=perien%e*
somet!ing 'ery beautiful.
It )as nig!t. I )as lying in a rela=e* >%orpse pose>; )!en I !a* a pleasant
sensation; as if an ele%tri% )in* )as blo)ing in t!e e=ternal part of my bo*y;
propagating itself .ui%8ly an* )it! a )a'y motion from my feet up to my !ea*.
:y bo*y )as so tire* I %oul* not mo'e E e'en if my min* !a* or*ere* it to. I
felt t!e familiar sensation but !a* no fear. :y %omposure )as serene. T!en t!e
ele%tri% )in* )as repla%e* by anot!er feeling; %omparable to an enormous po)er
pouring into t!e ba%8bone an* .ui%8ly %limbing up to t!e brain. T!e e=perien%e
)as a%%ompanie* by an in*es%ribable; an* so far un8no)n; sense of bliss. T!e
per%eption of an intense brig!tness a%%ompanie* e'eryt!ing. :y memory of t!at
moment is %on*ense* into a single e=pression; >a %lear an* eup!ori% %ertainty of
e=isting; li8e an unlimite* o%ean of a)areness an* bliss>. T!e strangest t!ing )as
t!at in t!e 'ery instant I !a* it; I foun* it familiar.
In God ?xists= * Ha&e "et Him; ,. Frossar* tries to gi'e an i*ea of !is spiritual
e=perien%e. To t!at en*; !e %reates t!e %on%ept of an >in'erse a'alan%!e>. ,n
a'alan%!e %ollapses; runs *o)n!ill; first slo)ly t!en faster an* 'iolently at t!e
same time. Frossar* suggests )e s!oul* imagine an >upsi*e*o)n a'alan%!e>
)!i%! begins strengt!ening at t!e foot of t!e mountain an* %limbs up pus!e* by
an in%reasing po)erF t!en su**enly it leaps up to)ar* t!e s8y. I *o not 8no)
!o) long t!is e=perien%e laste*. It *efinitely pea8e* out at only a fe) se%on*s.
?!en it en*e*; I turne* on my si*e an* fell into a %alm; uninterrupte* sleep.
T!e follo)ing *ay )!en I a)o8e I !a* forgotten it. It only %ame up some
!ours later; *uring a )al8. Leaning against t!e trun8 of a tree; I remaine*
immobile for a %ouple minutes; ent!ralle* by t!e re'erberation of t!e memory. I
)as floo*e* )it! great Hoy. It )as as if I !a* )o8en up after a tormente* *reamF
!ea'y limitations !a* been )eig!ing my !eart *o)n for a long time an* no)
t!ey !a* *issol'e*. ,n elate* %on*ition stret%!ing out far past t!e limits of my
a)areness E a sort of memory !i*ing in t!e re%esses of my sub%ons%ious E began
to be re'eale*; as if a ne) area of my brain !a* been stirre* to a full a)a8ening.
I foun* myself %ontemplating a *reamli8e reality; still obHe%ti'ely in*isputableF it
!a* arisen in me )it! t!e naturalness of a primor*ial instin%t alt!oug! it !a*
not!ing to *o )it! t!e )orl* surroun*ing me in )!i%! I li'e*.
C4,PTE7 "
An*erta8ing t!e pra%ti%e of Pranayama )as li8e planting t!e see* of a mig!ty
tree in t!e fe'eris! season of my yout! an* %ontemplating its safe gro)t! at ot!er
times of my life. Pranayama be%ame my safe refuge )!en t!e trials of life
%onspire* to )ear a)ay t!e basi% Hoy )!i%! )as my in!erent nature. <y
s!arpening aest!eti% enHoyment; it fille* my *ays )it! t!e fruition of i*eal
<eauty; reinfor%ing my *etermination to see8 only insi*e it t!e tra%es of t!e
ineffable >Prime&al Ca$se@ of all t!ings.
I !a* no *oubts t!at t!e 7eality to)ar*s )!i%! I )as *ire%ting my life )as
t!e 99Self99 as %on%ei'e* by C.I. &ung. I belie'e* t!at Pranayama )oul* initiate a
%leansing of t!e sub%ons%ious part of my psy%!e; gui*ing me along t!e
>*ndi&id$ation Pro/ess> *es%ribe* by &ung. In my *reamerDs !eart; I fan%ie* I
)oul* fa%e t!e ar%!etypes of t!e Colle%ti'e An%ons%ious.... I 8ne) t!at no man
s!oul* un*erta8e su%! a perilous 'enture )it!out t!e gui*e of a traine*
psy%!ologist but I !a* no fear as I relie* upon my o)n ent!usiasm; 'igilan%e;
an* in*omitable )ill to perfe%t my Pranayama' ,not!er t!ing !a* be%ome
a*amantly %lear6 I )oul* !a'e to %!oose a profession t!at )oul* not o%%upy my
entire *ay nor all my energy. I !a* to li'e a life t!at *i* not betray my inner SelfJ
T!e K$ndalini e=perien%e !appene* se'eral times but ne'er be%ame
%onstant. It too8 pla%e espe%ially )!en I *e'ote* myself to stu*y late at nig!t an*
t!en lay e=!auste* on my be*. ?!ene'er it appeare* my !eart bubble* )it!
infinite gratefulness to somet!ing !ig!er; beyon* my %apabilities of
un*erstan*ing an* 'isualizing.
I belie'e* Pranayama %oul* !elp anyone to li'e in a better )ay. In my beginner9s
zeal; I %oul* not refrain from trying to %on'in%e ot!er people of its benefits.
Sin%e my frien*s *i* not s!are my ent!usiasm but )ere polite )!ile listening; I
insiste* on emp!asizing some aspe%ts of t!eir be!a'ior )!i%! I *e%i*e* nee*e*
impro'ement. In my opinion t!ey )ere e=%essi'e in t!eir *esire to al)ays appear
%!eerful an* )illing to !elp out. :y point )as t!at t!e great amount of energy
t!ey s.uan*ere* in t!is *ebilitating pra%ti%e )as %ounterbalan%e* by perio*s in
)!i%! t!ey ga'e t!e impression of >implo*ing>. T!ey )oul* in*i'i*ually
*isappear for some time an*; strange in*ee*; t!ey %oul* no longer put up )it!
In s!ort; I )as telling t!em t!at t!eir so%ial life )as a far%e; )!ile t!ey !a*
labele* me antiso%ial. I *e%lare* t!at Pranayama )oul* !arness t!eir energies
to)ar*s a more balan%e* psy%!e. T!is generate* a 'iolent rea%tion. T!ey replie*
t!at my )or*s )ere *epri'e* of a genuine sense of respe%t an* lo'e an* t!at I
)as unable to s!o) sympat!y to)ar* ot!ers. T!e essen%e of )!at I !a* foun* in
Pranayama; )!i%! I )ent on e=tolling unflin%!ingly; appeare* to t!em as t!e
pinna%le of egoism; lea*ing to insulation an* un!ealt!y *eta%!ment from reality.
Iuiltri**en; I sa) I !a* pro'o8e* only bitterness. Furt!ermore; I !a*
been terribly %ruel; !a'ing; for purposes of my *is.uisition; ta8en a*'antage of
my frien*9s past %onfi*ential a*missions.
Only one frien*; a >4ippie>; un*erstoo* perfe%tly )!at I )as saying an*
s!o)e* me some empat!yF to !im; t!e only real problem )as my e=%essi'e
ent!usiasm about t!e automati% benefits of Pranayama. 4e !a* no *oubts t!at
my su%%ess in t!is pra%ti%e *epen*e* )!olly on me. In !is opinion; Pranayama
)as not an art bringing its o)n re)ar*; but an >amplifier> of )!at you !a'e
insi*e; en!an%ing )!at you !a'e alrea*y a%!ie'e*. Pranayama; !e sai*; %oul*
not %reate anyt!ing ne). ,t t!is point I agree* t!at Pranayama %oul* also be
regar*e* as an internal %leaning pro%ess but I argue* it )as also an a%tion of
99%limbing99 to)ar* a lofty state of %ons%iousness )!ereby you a%!ie'e*
somet!ing ra*i%ally ne). ,t t!at moment I felt *isoriente*F I )asn9t able to see
t!at t!e t)o 'isions %oul* %oe=ist E I )as young an* I %ategorize* e'eryt!ing as
bla%8 or )!ite.
T!e imme*iate problem )as to fin* ot!er te=ts; nay; all t!e e=isting te=ts about
Pranayama. In !is autobiograp!y P.Y. !ints at Kriya Yoga! a type of
Pranayama! )!i%! )as first taug!t by La!iri :a!asaya an* !a* to be mastere*
t!roug! (o$r le&els. La!iri :a!asaya !imself )as *epi%te* as t!e embo*iment of
Yoga A surely t!ere must !a'e been somet!ing uni.ue in !is >)ay>J I lo'e*
Pranayama; an* t!e i*ea of impro'ing it t!roug! *ifferent steps soun*e*
)on*erful. If t!e breat!ing e=er%ises I !a* alrea*y pra%ti%e* !a* gi'en me su%!
in%omparable results; it )as ob'ious t!at t!e Kriya fourstage system )oul*
ma8e t!em greater an* greaterJ :y imagination ran )il* an* my fer'or gre).
I )ent on rea*ing boo8s by P.Y. I )as amaze* by !is personality; )it!
une.uale* )ill an* an une=pe%te* pra%ti%al spirit. 4e *i* not e=%ite me )!en !e
spo8e on a purely *e'otional tone; but *i* )!ene'er !e assume* a more
te%!ni%al one; ma8ing it possible for me to fantasize about t!e glory of Kriya.
?!at I %oul* surmise )as t!at Kriya Yoga %onsiste* of slo) an* *eep breat!ing
)it! t!e a)areness fo%use* on t!e spine; ma8ing t!e inner energy rotate aroun*
t!e Cha5ras. P.Y. !ig!lig!te* t!e e'olutionary 'alue of Pranayama. 4e
e=plaine* t!at if )e %ompare t!e !uman spinal %olumn to a ferromagneti%
substan%e %onstitute* of elementary magnets t!at turn to)ar*s t!e same *ire%tion
)!en t!ey are o'erlappe* by a magneti% fiel*; as taug!t by p!ysi%s; t!en t!e
a%tion of Pranayama is a8in to t!is pro%ess of magnetization. <y uniformly
re*ire%ting all t!e >subtle> parts of our spinal %or*9s p!ysi%al an* astral essen%e;
t!e Kriya Pranayama burns off t!e so%alle* >ba* see*s> of Karma.
No) my .uestion )as )!et!er or not I !a* to go to In*ia to loo8 for a
?e allu*e to Karma )!ene'er )e sti%8 to t!e %ommon belief t!at a person in!erits a baggage of
latent ten*en%ies from !is pre'ious li'es an* t!at; sooner or later; t!ese ten*en%ies )ill %ome out in
a%tual life. Of %ourse Kriya is a pra%ti%e )!i%! one %an e=perimentally use )it!out ne%essarily !a'ing
to a%%ept any %ree*s. 4o)e'er; sin%e t!e %on%ept of Karma lies at t!e basis of In*ian t!oug!t; it is
)ort!)!ile to un*erstan* an* spea8 freely of it. ,%%or*ing to t!is belief; Pranayama burns out t!e
effe%ts of t!e >ba* see*s> Hust before t!ey manifest in our li'es. It is furt!er e=plaine* t!at t!ose
people )!o are instin%ti'ely attra%te* by met!o*s of spiritual *e'elopment su%! as Kriya; !a'e
alrea*y pra%ti%e* somet!ing similar in a >pre%e*ent in%arnation>. T!is is be%ause su%! an a%tion is
ne'er in 'ain an* in a%tual life t!ey get ba%8 to it e=a%tly )!ere; in a remote past; t!ey !a* .uit it.
tea%!er to gui*e me. Sin%e I planne* to get t!roug! my uni'ersity stu*ies as
.ui%8ly as possible; I reHe%te* t!e i*ea of a Hourney to In*ia for t!e near future.
One *ay )!ile again rea*ing a te=t of P.Y.; I realize* t!at !e !a* )ritten a )!ole
set of lessons on Kriya; an* t!at t!ese %oul* be re%ei'e* by %orrespon*en%e.
?it! great Hoy; I .ui%8ly applie* for t!e %ourse.
T!e )ritten material tra'ele* by s!ip an* t!e *elay times )ere enormous.
?!en after four mont!s I re%ei'e* t!e first lesson; I %ame to 8no) t!at t!e
/orresponden/e %ourse !a* to be %ontinue* for at least one year before applying
for t!e Kriya lessons.
:ean)!ile I *e%i*e* to impro'e t!e e=er%ises I alrea*y pra%ti%e*; using
all t!e boo8s I %oul* fin* E regar*less of t!e language in )!i%! t!ey )ere
)ritten. ,t least no) I 8ne) )!at to sear%! for E no more t!e %lassi% e=er%ises
BKapalabhati! Bhastri5a...C but a 8in* of Pranayama in )!i%! t!e energy !a* to
be 'isualize* rotating; in some )ay; aroun* t!e Cha5ras' If t!is is E as state* by
P.Y. E a uni'ersal pro%ess; I !a* a goo* %!an%e of tra%ing it t!roug! ot!er sour%es
an* tra*itions.
Somet!ing *ormant in t!e %orner of my memory a)a8ene*. I 'aguely
remembere* !a'ing seen some *ra)ings in a boo8 about o%%ultism )!i%!
s8et%!e* out t!e *ifferent %ir%uits of energy t!roug!out t!e !uman bo*y. T!e
i*ea %ame to me to see8 t!e essential information in esoteri/ boo8s rat!er t!an in
t!e %lassi% boo8s on Yoga.
I starte* going to a use* boo8s store )!i%! )as 'ery )ell sto%8e*;
probably be%ause it !a* on%e been t!e T!eosop!i%al So%iety9s referen%e
boo8store. I turne* *o)n t!ose te=ts )!i%! *ealt only )it! p!ilosop!i%al topi%s;
)!ile; in e%stasy an* not %on%erne* by time; I 8ept on s8imming t!roug! t!ose
)!i%! illustrate* pra%ti%al e=er%ises )it! %larity. <efore pur%!asing a boo8 I
ma*e sure it !inte* at t!e possibility of %!anneling t!e energy along %ertain
internal passages; t!us %reating t!e prere.uisite for a)a8ening t!e K$ndalini.
?!ile rea*ing t!e in*e= of a te=t )!i%! )as in t!ree 'olumes; intro*u%ing t!e
esoteri% t!oug!t of t!e 7osi%ru%ian <rot!er!oo*; I )as attra%te* by t!e entry;
99Breathing exer/ise (or the a8a5ening o( K$ndalini.99 It )as a 'ariation of #adi
%odhana' Some notes )arne* not to e=aggerate t!e e=er%ise be%ause of t!e ris8
of a premature K$ndalini a)a8ening; )!i%! )as to be a'oi*e* by all means.
T!is )as *efinitely not P.Y.9s Kriya be%ause; a%%or*ing to se'eral %lues; Kriya
)as not to be *one )it! alternatenostril breat!ing.
So I )ent on !aunting t!e boo8store. T!e o)ner )as 'ery ni%e an* I
almost felt oblige*; %onsi*ering t!e %!eap pri%e an* t!e perfe%t %on*itions of
t!ose se%on*!an* boo8s; to buy at least one boo8 per ea%! 'isit. Often a lot of
spa%e )as *e*i%ate* to t!eories alien to %on%rete life; )!i%! trie* to *es%ribe
)!at %annot be seen or be e=perien%e* E su%! as t!e astral )orl*s an* t!e subtle
%o'erings of energy )rapping our bo*y.
One *ay; after bro)sing t!roug! a tiresome sele%tion of boo8s; I )ent to
t!e store8eeper )it! a boo8 )it! )!i%! !e must !a'e realize* I )as not satisfie*.
?!ile *e%i*ing t!e pri%e; !e t!oug!t of somet!ing t!at mig!t interest me. 4e le*
I %an still %onsi*er myself as fortunate. I li'e* in Nort! East Italy not far from t!e bor*er )it! t!e
former Yugosla'ia. T!ose people )!o li'e* beyon* t!e Iron Curtain %oul* not re%ei'e su%! material.
me to t!e ba%8 of t!e store an* in'ite* me to rummage t!roug! a %ar*boar* bo=
fille* )it! a messy !eap of papers. ,mong a .uantity of mis%ellaneous material
B%omplete series of t!e t!eosop!i%al magazine issues; s%attere* notes from ol*
%ourse on !ypnosis et%.C; I %ame upon a boo8let )ritten in Ierman by a %ertain
#. Spiesberger )!i%! %ontaine* 'arious esoteri% te%!ni.ues; among t!em
K$ndaliniBbreathing. I *i* not !a'e mu%! familiarity )it! t!e Ierman language;
but I imme*iately realize* t!e e=traor*inary importan%e of t!at te%!ni.ue. I
)oul* *oubtlessly be able to *e%ip!er all of it at !ome )it! t!e !elp of a
T!e *es%ription of t!is te%!ni.ue still amazes me. 5uring a *eep
breat!; t!e air )as to be imagine* flo)ing insi*e t!e spinal %olumn. ?!ile
in!aling; t!e air )as risingF )!en e=!aling; t!e air )as flo)ing *o)n. T!ere )as
also t!e *es%ription of t)o parti%ular soun*s %reate* by air originating in t!e
In anot!er boo8 )ritten in Englis! t!ere )as an e=!austi'e *es%ription of
t!e "agi/ breath E )!i%! %onsiste* of 'isualizing t!e energy flo)ing aro$nd t!e
ba%8bone; not inside it. T!roug! t!e in!alation; t!e energy !a* to go up be!in*
t!e spinal %olumn; to t!e %enter of t!e !ea*F e=!aling; it !a* to go *o)n along
t!e front part of t!e bo*y. I %ompletely forgot about t!e ot!er material. T!e
smir8 of satisfa%tion I )ore before t!e store8eeper !ol*ing t!e t)o boo8s; as if I
!a* foun* a treasure of unfat!omable 'alue; *efinitely %ause* an in%rease in t!eir
pri%e. ?al8ing !ome; I %oul* not !elp s8imming t!roug! t!e pages. I )as %urious
about some roug! *ra)ings illustrating te%!ni.ues )!i%! )ere base* on t!e
mo'ement of energy.
I rea* t!at t!e "agi/ breath )as one of t!e most 'aluable se%rets of all
times; an* if pra%ti%e* %onstantly; a%%ompanie* by t!e strengt! of 'isualization;
it )oul* open t!e spiritual eye. I %on'in%e* myself t!at t!is te%!ni.ue !a* to be
La!iri :a!asaya9s Kriya an* in%orporate* it into my *aily routine; repla%ing t!e
pra%ti%e of 7))ayi Pranayama'
* meet other 5riyabans
, letter from t!e organization sen*ing me P.Y.Ds lessons informe* me about ot!er
people li'ing not far from my area; )!o )ere also pra%ti%ing Kriya Yoga. T!ey
!a* forme* a group in or*er to pra%ti%e t!at *is%ipline toget!er. I )as
ent!usiasti% an* .ui'ere* )it! %!eerful anti%ipation to meet t!em. T!at nig!t I
%oul* !ar*ly fall asleep.
>Too brig!t )ere our !ea'ens; too far a)ay; too frail t!eir et!ereal stuff>;
)rote %ri A$robindo. I )oul* ne'er !a'e t!oug!t t!at t!ose )or*s %oul* be
applie* to my meeting t!ose peopleJ ?it! a sort of sour irony; I )oul* *are say
t!at t!at p!ase of my life %!ara%terize* by e=treme ent!usiasm for Pranayama
I %annot !elp smiling )!en some !alf!earte* people insist t!at t!ey are fon* of Kriya; yet t!ey )ill
not stu*y some %ru%ial te=ts in Englis! be%ause t!ey are afrai* to misinterpret t!em. I am %on'in%e*
t!at t!eir interests are superfi%ial an* rat!er emoti'e. Su%! )as my ent!usiasm t!at I )oul* !a'e
stu*ie* Sans8rit or C!inese or any ot!er language; if t!at !a* gi'en me t!e %!an%e to un*erstan* an
essential te=t on PranayamaJ

!a* been too !appy for it to last mu%! longer. I no) e=perien%e* first!an* t!e
problems; limitations an* *istortions %ause* by t!e !uman min* )!en it !as lost
t!e !abit of rational t!in8ing. :any times in t!e future I )oul* !a'e to
e=perien%e !o) life is ma*e of s!ort moments of inspiration an* serenity;
alternating )it! times )!en all seems lost an* t!e *istortions of t!e ego reign
supreme. ?!ile approa%!ing t!e man in %!arge of t!at group )it! total sin%erity;
I %oul* not !a'e imagine* )!at 8in* of a !ar* s!o%8 I )as about to re%ei'e.
4e )el%ome* me )it! 'isible ent!usiasm; sin%erely eager to meet a
person )it! )!om !e %oul* s!are t!e fire of !is passion. Sin%e t!e 'ery first
moment of our meeting; stan*ing on !is *oorstep; I tol* !im !o) fas%inate* I
)as by t!e pra%ti%e of Kriya. 4e as8e* me rig!t a)ay )!en I !a* been initiate*
in t!is pra%ti%e; ta8ing for grante* t!at I !a* re%ei'e* t!e tea%!ing from t!e same
organization !e )as a member of. ?!en !e figure* out t!at I !a* pi%8e* out a
breat!ing te%!ni.ue in a boo8 an* foole* myself it )as Kriya Pranayama; !e
)as !orrifie* an* s!o)e* a bitter smile of *isappointment. 4e t!oug!t I
%onsi*ere* Kriya Yoga a %!il*9s play an* !a* no i*ea !o) serious it )as. 2isibly
%onfuse* I babble* somet!ing about %urrents an* soun* of t!e breat!; but !e
*i*n9t )ant to !ear any more an* us!ere* me to !is stu*y. 4e emp!asize* t!at
Kriya %annot be learne* t!roug! boo8s. 4e began t!e tale E )!i%!; later on; I !a*
t!e opportunity to !ear plenty of times E of t!e Tibetan yogi :ilarepa )!o;
getting no positi'e results from t!e painsta8ing pra%ti%e of !is frau*ulently
learne* te%!ni.ues; re%ei'e* t!e 'ery same instru%tions 8neeling at t!e feet of
an* )it! t!e bene*i%tion of !is G$r$ E so t!at t!is time t!e results %ame out
?e all 8no) !o) t!e !uman min* is more %on*itione* by an ane%*ote
t!an by a logi%al referen%eJ ,n ane%*ote; e'en if it is totally fan%iful )it!
fi%tional purpose; is en*o)e* )it! a sort of internal >brig!tness> t!at %on*itions
a person9s %ommon sense. Stimulating emotions an* feelings; it is able to %lou*
people9s Hu*gment in or*er for t!em to easily a%%ept %on%lusions t!at are absur*.
T!is story left me spee%!lessF I Hust *i* not 8no) )!at to reply.
T!ere )as only one )ay; a%%or*ing to !im; to learn Kriya6 be initiate* by
a >:inister> aut!orize* by P.Y.9s organizationJ 4e tol* me t!at no other person
)as allo)e* to tea%! t!e te%!ni.ue. 4e; an* all t!e ot!er *e'otees of !is group;
!a* re%ei'e* t!e te%!ni.ue; s)earing a stri%t an* solemn promise of se%re%y.
>%e/re/y-> 4o) o** t!is )or* soun*e*; )!at a strange appeal; )!at a
mysterious fas%ination it e=erte* upon my beingJ Antil t!en; I !a* al)ays
belie'e* it *i* not matter at all !o) a %ertain tea%!ing )as re%ei'e*; or )!at
boo8 !a* been rea* or stu*ie* in or*er to learn it. I t!oug!t t!at t!e only
important t!ing )as to pra%ti%e it %orre%tly; a%%ompanie* by t!e *esire to go
*eeper an* *eeper into it. T!e i*ea began to enter my min* t!at it )as in fa%t
o8ay to prote%t pre%ious lore from in*is%reet eyes.
Staring into my eyes; )it! an enormous emotional impa%t; !e )ent on to
say t!at a pra%ti%e learne* from any ot!er sour%e )as >)ort! not!ing; it )ill not
be effe%ti'e in matters of spiritual purpose>; an* a possible effe%t; only
apparently en%ouraging; mig!t be >a *angerous illusion in )!i%! t!e ego remains
trappe* for a long time>.
Inflame* by an absolute fait!; !e laun%!e* !imself into a )i*e *is%ourse
on t!e 'alue of t!e >G$r$> Bspiritual Tea%!erC; a puzzling %on%ept to me be%ause
it )as attribute* to a person t!at !e !a* not 8no)n *ire%tly. 4a'ing been initiate*
into Kriya t!roug! t!e legitimate* %!annels of P.Y.9s organization; P.Y. )as; to
!im; real an* present in !is life; an* 99!is99 G$r$. T!e same t!ing )as true for t!e
ot!er people belonging to t!at group. T!eir G$r$ )as a spe%ial ai* sent by Io*
4imself; t!erefore su%! an e'ent )as >t!e greatest lu%8 a !uman being %an e'er
!a'e.> T!e logi%al %onse.uen%e E un*erline* )it! o'erflo)ing emp!asis E )as
t!at; aban*oning su%! form of ai* or loo8ing for a *ifferent spiritual pat!
amounte* to >a !ateful reHe%tion of t!e 5i'ine !an*; stret%!e* out in
4e as8e* me to *emonstrate for !im my boo8learne* Kriya te%!ni.ue.
4e e=pe%te*; I suppose; to 'erify a )ellroote* preHu*i%e t!at t!e te%!ni.ue;
re%ei'e* t!roug! illegitimate %!annels; %oul* not E be%ause of a parti%ular
spiritual la) E be anyt!ing but %orrupte*. 4e smile* )!en !e sa) me breat!ing
t!roug! t!e nose. T!en !e as8e* me to e=plain if t!ere )as somet!ing upon
)!i%! I )as fo%using my attention *uring my breat!ing. ,%%or*ing to t!e boo8s I
!a* rea*; t!e energy %oul* be 'isualize* bot! flo)ing insi*e t!e spine an*
aroun* t!e spine. Sin%e P.Y. )rote t!at a 5riyaban >mentally *ire%ts !is life
energy to re'ol'e; up)ar* an* *o)n)ar*; aroun* t!e si= spinal %enters>; I %!ose
t!e se%on* of t!e t)o possibilities an* t!is )as t!e 'ersion I e=plaine*. 4a'ing
also rea* in anot!er boo8 t!at *uring Kriya Pranayama t!e pra%titioner )as
suppose* to %!ant 990m99 mentally into ea%! Cha5ra; I a**e* t!is *etail as )ell. I
*i* not realize t!at P.Y. !a* *e%i*e* to simplify t!e instru%tions taug!t in t!e
)est; using t!e ot!er 'ariation )it! no mental %!anting of 0m.
?!ile telling !im t!ese *etails; I sa) an inner satisfa%tion sprea*ing o'er
!is fa%e. Clearly !e *i*n9t i*entify my pra%ti%e )it! t!e te%!ni.ue of Kriya
Pranayama !e !a* learne*. T!e >se%ret> !e )as boun* to !a* not been bro8en by
t!e aut!or of my esoteri% boo8J Preten*ing to feel sorry for my %onse.uent
*isappointment; !e informe* me in an offi%ial tone t!at my te%!ni.ue !a*
>not!ing to *o )it! Kriya Pranayama>J
, really bizarre situation )as ta8ing pla%e6 I )as *es%ribing for !im a
te%!ni.ue 'ery similar to Kriya Pranayama taug!t by La!iri :a!asaya )!ile t!is
gentlemen )as one !un*re* per %ent sure t!at I )as tal8ing nonsenseJ 4o)e'er;
sin%e my position )as totally in%ompatible )it! !is basi% tenets; !e
re%ommen*e* t!at I sen* a )ritten a%%ount to t!e !ea*.uarters of P.Y.9s
organization; *es%ribing t!e *etails of my 'i%issitu*es; !oping t!at t!ey )oul*
a%%ept me as a *is%iple an*; in *ue time; grant me t!e sa%re* Initiation to Kriya
I )as some)!at stunne* by t!e tone in )!i%! our *ialog )as progressing.
In or*er to reestablis! t!e initial agreeability of our meeting; I trie* to reassure
!im about t!e positi'e effe%ts I !a* gaine* from my pra%ti%e. :y statement
a%tually !a* t!e effe%t of )orsening t!e )!ole matter; gi'ing !im t!e %!an%e to
s%ol* me a se%on* time; )!i%! )as not totally unfair but un*oubte*ly out of
pla%e. 4e ma*e it %lear I s!oul* ne'er loo8 for any tangible effe%ts in t!e pra%ti%e
of Kriya mu%! less s!oul* I *isplay t!em; be%ause in t!is )ay I )oul* >lose
t!em.> T!at %le'er guy !a* tal8e* !imself straig!t into an ob'ious %ontra*i%tion
)it!out e'en realizing itF !e )as saying t!at t!e results )ere too important to ris8
losing t!em by telling ot!ers; )!ile a fe) se%on*s before !e !a* stresse* t!at
t!ey )ere of no 'alue )!atsoe'er.
7ealizing !e !a* gi'en too mu%! of !is time to me; a strange
metamorp!osis too8 pla%e in !is *emeanor. It )as as if all of a su**en !e !a*
been in'este* )it! a sa%re* role6 !e promise* !e )oul* pray for meJ On t!at
*ay; I !a* lost t!e >fig!t.> I tol* !im I )oul* follo) !is a*'i%e. ,s a matter of
fa%t; from t!at moment I aban*one* Pranayama entirely an* restri%te* my
pra%ti%e to simply %entering my attention bet)een t!e eyebro)s BK$tasthaC E Hust
as !e !a* suggeste* to me.
A/ting the part o( a de&otee
T!e group pra%ti%ing Kriya met t)i%e a )ee8 to pra%ti%e t!e te%!ni.ues toget!er.
T!e room *e'ote* to me*itation )as bare but pleasant. Ea%! member pai* part of
t!e rental; so t!at %ontinuan%e )oul* not *epen* on t!e o)ner9s )!ims an* %oul*
be *e*i%ate* to an e=%lusi'ely spiritual use. I began atten*ing t!ese meetings an*
I remember it nostalgi%ally E listening to In*ian songs translate* an* !armonize*
for )esterners an*; abo'e all; me*itating toget!er )as a true HoyJ E'eryt!ing
seeme* !ea'enly to me; e'en t!oug! little time )as gi'en to t!e pra%ti%e of
me*itation E no more t!an "3 minutes; often barely 1+ minutes. , parti%ularly
inspiring session of %olle%ti'e pra%ti%e too8 pla%e on C!ristmas E'e; enri%!e* by
*e'otional songs an* lasting many !ours. ,t t!e en* of ea%! me*itation )e )ere
re.uire* to *epart in silen%e; t!us I began to 8no) my ne) frien*s more %losely
only *uring t!e mont!ly >so%ial> lun%!.
It )as a beautiful %!an%e to spen* some !ours tal8ing an* enHoying ea%!
ot!er9s %ompany. Sin%e many of us *i* not !a'e t!eir familyDs appro'al; mu%!
less support; in t!e pra%ti%e of Yoga; t!e only o%%asion )e !a* to spen* time
among people )it! t!e same i*eas an* interests )as an e=perien%e of serenity
an* rela=ation. Anfortunately; t!e pleasantry of our meetings )as partly spoile*
be%ause t!e *ire%tors of P.Y.9s organization !a* re.ueste* us not to tal8 about
ot!er spiritual pat!s or *eal )it! spe%ifi% *etails of Kriya Yoga te%!ni.ues' Only
aut!orize* people %oul* %o'er su%! a roleF no one in our group %oul*.
5uring our gat!erings; sin%e our %on'ersations )ere stri%tly 8ept on )ell
*efine* tra%8s; )e )ere not able to fin* a topi% )!i%! )oul* be interesting an* at
t!e same time respe%te* t!e gi'en rules. It )as not t!e rig!t pla%e for gossip;
unsuitable for a spiritual group *is%ussion. So only one topi% )as left6 t!e beauty
of our spiritual pat! an* our great fortune in !a'ing *is%o'ere* itJ No )on*er
t!at; after some meetings of mutual >e=altation>; an almost frig!tening bore*om
starte* to reign. ,s a last resort; some ris8e* telling some Ho8es. T!ey )ere not
mean or insulting Ho8es; but a lig!t an* inno%ent use of !umor. Anfortunately t!is
also !a* to li'e up to t!e *e'otional attitu*e 8ept by many of t!e members an*
e'entually su%%umbe* to t!eir %ol* attitu*e; unable to s!o) a single in%! of true
Ho'iality. I %annot say t!at people )ere *epresse*; rat!er t!ey seeme* *i'inely
!appy; but )!en you trie* to be agreeable you got a loo8 an* a !int of a smile
t!at left you frozen for t!e rest of t!e *ay. ,s a matter of %ourse; t!e group
un*er)ent a great re%y%ling pro%essF many members )!o !a* Hoine* )it!
ent!usiasm .uit after a fe) mont!s an* t!en; o**ly an* )it!out *eep reasons;
s%rape* t!e )!ole e=perien%e off t!eir %ons%iousness.
:y open temperament allo)e* me to be%ome %lose to one person an*
establis! a bon* )!i%! later be%ame true frien*s!ip. 4o)e'er; it )as not so easy
to fin* )!at %oul* be %alle* a free spiritual see8er. :any ma*e a *isplay of
emotionally%!arge* *e'otion; ot!ers; per!aps en'isaging t!e prospe%t of
e=pan*ing our group; seeme* to !a'e t!e sole aim of raising enoug! fun*s to
pro'i*e our rente* room )it! impressi'e signs of its sa%re* %onse%rationF ot!ers
seeme* only so%ial misfits.
Some of t!em %oul* not belie'e t!at I !a* no *oubts or un%ertainties about
t!e Kriya pat! an* rea%te* to my ent!usiasm )it! annoyan%e. T!ey %onsi*ere*
my eup!oria t!e typi%al attitu*e of an immature beginner. E'en )!ile *oing my
best to %on'in%e myself t!at I )as among in*i'i*uals )it! t!e same passions; I
!a* to a%8no)le*ge t!at t!e reality of it )as altoget!er *ifferentJ
?it! a barely %on%eale* impatien%e; I trie* on *ifferent o%%asions to
re%ei'e some elu%i*ation on t!e te%!ni.ue of Kriya by *is%ussing )!at !a* been
my boo8learne* pra%ti%e of it. I !ope* t!at someone; ma8ing some obli.ue
remar8 about it; )oul* !elp me *is%o'er t!e e=a%t Kriya Pranayama te%!ni.ue.
No >%ourting> %oul* e=tra%t e'en a %rumb of information from t!em. Ea%! one
repeate* t!at !e )as >not aut!orize* to gi'e out any e=planations>; an* t!is rule
)as stri%tly respe%te*.
,n ol* 5riyaban tol* me6 >?!en you re%ei'e Kriya! you )ill be
*isappointe*.99 E'en to*ay I still *on9t 8no) )!at !e meant. ?!ile I )as
%ontinuously re%ei'ing unas8e*for lessons of *e'otion; !umility; an* loyalty;
my interest for Kriya be%ame a real %ra'ing; a burning fe'er. I %oul* not
un*erstan* )!y I !a* to )ait su%! a long time; an* my great anti%ipation turne*
into a fruitless anguis! at times. , 5riyaban! ma8ing fun of me )it! un%on%eale*
%ruelty; tol* me6 >T!ey )on9t gi'e you t!e Kriya at allF a *e'otee s!oul* not
*esire a te%!ni.ue )it! su%! intensity. Io* is to be mostly foun* t!roug!
*e'otion an* surren*er.> I trie* to be!a'e li8e a pious *is%iple but *eep *o)n I
a)aite* my initiation )it! unimagine* eagerness.
Preliminary te/hniC$es to Kriya
<y stu*ying t!e %orrespon*en%e %ourse; I learne* *ifferent )ays of %reating
!ealt!y !abits in or*er not to *isturb but rat!er foster t!e blossoming of my
spiritual e=perien%es. I trie* my utmost to embra%e t!e s%!ool9s pe%uliar 4in*u
C!ristian religious premise. It )as easy for me to a*mire an* %!eris! t!e figure
of Krishna; imagining 4im as t!e .uintessen%e of e'ery beautyF later I be%ame
a%.uainte* )it! t!e figure of t!e 5i'ine :ot!er; )!o )as not t!e :a*onna; but
a s)eetening of t!e i*ea of t!e go**ess #ali. :y affe%tion for P.Y.9s )ritings )as
genuine. Sometimes I %onsi*ere* a parti%ular t!oug!t of P.Y. so appealing an*
perfe%t t!at I )oul* )rite it *o)n on a s!eet of paper an* 8eep it on my *es8.
I t!en re%ei'e* t!e t)o te%!ni.ues HongB%a$ an* 0m. T!e first one
B%alle* HongB%a$ be%ause of t!e employe* "antra B)!i%! translates as 99I am
4e99C slo)s *o)n t!e breat! an* t!e )!ole psy%!op!ysi%al systemF t!e se%on*
one %on%erns itself )it! listening to internal BastralC soun*s melting into t!e 0m
soun*. I *i*n9t re%ei'e t!ese instru%tions at t!e same time but )it! an inter'al of
t)o mont!s bet)een. T!is ga'e me t!e splen*i* opportunity to %on%entrate on
t!e first te%!ni.ue for many )ee8sF only t!en )oul* t!e %ombination of t!e t)o
te%!ni.ues %ome; t!e first in t!e morning an* a total immersion in t!e se%on* at
nig!t. T!us; I %oul* e=periment )it! t!e meaning an* beauty of ea%!.
Our group re%ei'e* t!e 'isit of an el*erly la*y )!o !a* personally
%orrespon*e* )it! P.Y. T!an8s to !er earnestness; sin%erity; an* longtime loyal
*is%iples!ip s!e !a* been aut!orize* to !elp us )it! me*itation. 4er
temperament )as 'ery s)eet an* more in%line* to un*erstan*ing rat!er t!an to
%ensors!ip. S!e *emonstrate* t!e so%alle* >.e/harging ?xer/ises> BI !a*
alrea*y learne* t!em from t!e )ritten lessonsC. T!ese e=er%ises )ere similar to
isometri% stret%!es an* )ere pra%ti%e* )!ile stan*ingF pe%uliar to t!em; !o)e'er;
)as t!at t!e Prana )as *ire%te* to all t!e parts of t!e bo*y t!roug!
T!en s!e re'ie)e* t!e HongB%a$ te%!ni.ue. S!e )ent on to %larify t!at
t!e HongB%a$ te%!ni.ue )as not easy at all; in spite of its apparent simpli%ityF
but en%ouraging us )it! a smile; s!e %on%lu*e*6 >T!e te%!ni.ue %ontains all you
nee* to %ome into %onta%t )it! t!e 5i'ine Essen%e>.
T!en s!e *)elt on t!e 0m te%!ni.ue.
S!e e=plaine* t!at P.Y. !a* trie*
to e=plain t!e tea%!ing of t!e Trinity in a ne) )ay. 0m is t!e >Amen> of t!e
<ible E t!e >Holy Gho!>; t!e >)itness>; a soun*F a proof of t!e 'ibration of
energy sustaining t!e uni'erse. T!e 0m te%!ni.ue; *is%o'ere* by t!e mysti%s
long ago; ma8es it possible to *ete%t t!is 'ibration. T!an8s to t!is te%!ni.ue it is
also possible to be gui*e* to)ar* t!e e=perien%e of t!e >So"> E t!e 5i'ine
a)areness t!at is present insi*e t!e abo'ementione* energeti% 'ibration. ,t t!e
en* of one9s spiritual Hourney; one %an rea%! t!e !ig!est reality; t!e >F#!h$%> E
t!e 5i'ine a)areness beyon* e'ery e=isting t!ing in t!e uni'erse.
In t!at !appy perio* of my life I trie* tra%8ing *o)n in spiritual literature any
mo'ement or eminent figure )!o !a* a lin8 )it! >Om.> T!ere is no *oubt t!at
Saint &o!n of t!e Cross !ear* t!e typi%al rus!ing )ater soun* of t!e 0m
'ibration. 4e ga'e a splen*i* *es%ription of !is meeting )it! t!e >resoun*ing
ri'ers>; t!e >silent musi%>; t!e >soun*ing solitu*e>. Teresa of ,'ila in !er boo8
Later on; t!is te%!ni.ue )as *estine* to gi'e me e=%ellent results by i*eally establis!ing a
%onne%tion bet)een ea%! breat! an* a *ifferent Cha5ra E but I )rite about t!is in ,ppen*i= ( to t!e
t!ir* part of t!e boo8.
T!is te%!ni.ue *oes not belong to t!ose in%lu*e* in t!e original Kriya Yoga; )!erein t!e internal
soun* per%eption !appens )it!out %losing t!e ears. It is not an in'ention by P.Y. It !a* been plainly
*es%ribe* in t!e boo8s of %lassi%al Yoga; %alle* #ada Yoga E >t!e Yoga of t!e soun*.> It is a goo*
preparation for Kriya sin%e instea* of putting t!e a%%ent on >*oing>; it tea%!es t!e attitu*e of
>T!e Interior Castle> )rote6 >It roars li8e many big ri'ers )it! )aterfalls; t!ere
are flutes; an* a !ost of little bir*s seem to be )!istling; not in t!e ears; but in t!e
upper part of t!e !ea*; )!ere t!e soul is sai* to !a'e its spe%ial seat.> >See8 t!e
Soun* t!at ne'er %eases; see8 t!e sun t!at ne'er sets>; )rote t!e great mysti%
7umi. >T!e uni'erse )as manifeste* out of t!e 5i'ine Soun*F from It %ame into
being t!e Lig!t.> BS!amsi TabrizMC.
T!e la*y9s e=planation )as %!ara%terize* by su%! a sa%re* fla'or t!at it staye*
)it! me for se'eral mont!s; !elping me to o'er%ome t!e beginning p!ase of t!e
pra%ti%e; )!en it seems unli8ely t!at t!e soun*s )ill manifest. T!e results
obtaine* t!roug! t!e intensi'e pra%ti%e of t!e 0m te%!ni.ue )ere 'ery %on%rete.
I remember no) t!e time spent in t!at slig!tly illuminate* room )!ere I le* a
%loistere* e=isten%e. T!e rainy *ays an* earlyonset e'enings of ?inter !elpe*
my se%lusion an* strengt!ene* my *etermination to turn on; t!roug! me*itation;
an internal sun. Some )ee8s of zealous pra%ti%e passe* )it!out any result; but
one *ay I be%ame a)are of a %lear inner soun*. It !appene* after ten minutes of
%alm effort; Hust upon returning to my state of full a)areness; after !a'ing been
lost in some s)eet re'erie. T!is soun* %ontinue* *uring my mental roaming but
no) only )as I realizing its nature. It )as li8e t!e !umming of a mos.uito. <y
listening intently to it; it be%ame t!e feeble soun* of a musi%al instrument
playing far a)ay. ?!en my breat! almost *isappeare*; it seeme* li8e t!e tolling
of a bell e%!oing at *us8 from t!e *eep green of )oo*y !ills. Lig!t; soft as
falling petals; it 8no%8e* gently on t!e *oors of my !eart; gi'ing total
%ontentment an* ease; as if t!e spiritual pat! !a* %ome to its fulfillment.
7e%olle%tions of my infan%y )ere 'ibrating at t!e perip!ery of my a)areness
)it!out *isturbing my intro'erte* moo*. In times of misfortune; t!ere )as
al)ays a feeling of prote%tion li8e a 'ast; %omforting smile surroun*ing me. T!e
soun* I )as listening to; en%!ante* an* t!rille*; broug!t me no) t!e same s)eet
feeling of relief. It !a* in itself all t!e <eauty e'er e=perien%e*. It )as t!e gil*e*
t!rea* aroun* )!i%! t!e e=perien%es of lo'e; t!e most in'ol'ing; t!e most
e=alte* ones gre) li8e splen*i* %rystals. T!e !ealing of ol* )oun*s )as attaine*
by real un*erstan*ing' ,n azure; limitless immobility s)eetly %laspe* my !eart
)it! fingers of bliss. ?!at I t!oug!t impossible to a%%omplis!; )!ose absen%e
)as so %ruel to a%%ept; materialize* real an* true before me.
One *ay I belie'e* I )as listening to t!e a%tual 0m soun*. I %annot *efine
it but I %an9t imagine anyt!ing being able to ma8e a person feel so blissful. For
t!e first time in my life t!e %on%ept of >*e'otion> !a* a meaning. T!e *aily
%onta%t )it! 0m )as my 4ea'en on eart! for many )ee8s.
Anfortunately; I learne* the hard 8ay t!at you s!oul* ne'er *eta%!
yourself 'oluntarily from t!at state of gra%e. T!ere )as a time in my life )!en I
)ante* to rela= an* enHoy life; an* I *e%i*e* to interrupt t!is %onta%t; as if it )ere
a *ra)ba%8 to being fully so%iable. I *i*n9t realize t!at t!is seemingly inno%uous
an* instin%ti'e >betrayal> )oul* ma8e me unable to tune )it! t!e 0m5ar reality
for a 'ery long time. In%re*ibly; in a fe) *ays I felt !opelessly %ut off from t!at
s)eet reality. I )as li8e one )!o !a* lan*e* in anot!er %ontinent an* !a* to li'e
in surroun*ings t!at mean not!ing to !im. I struggle* to retrie'e t!e lost *eep
emotions. T!is )ent on for mont!s until my soul )as again remin*e* of t!e
moti'ations t!at !a* le* me to t!e spiritual pat! an* I sa) %learly t!at my stupi*
*e%ision !a* been a monumental mista5e.
.e/olle/tions o( the Kriya initiation /eremony
E'entually; t!e moment %ame to file t!e appli%ation form to re%ei'e t!e Kriya
instru%tions by mail. ,bout four mont!s passe* as e'ery *ay I !ope* to re%ei'e
t!e %o'ete* material. Finally; an en'elope arri'e*. I opene* it )it! !eig!tene*
e=pe%tation; but )as *eeply *isappointe* be%ause it %ontaine* not!ing but more
intro*u%tory material. From rea*ing t!e in*e= page I un*erstoo* t!at t!e a%tual
te%!ni.ue )oul* be sent after four )ee8s. So for anot!er mont! I )oul* !a'e to
stu*y Hust t!e usual nursery r!ymes I alrea*y 8ne) by !eart.
In t!e meantime; a :inister of P.Y.9s organization 'isite* our %ountry an* I too8
part in t!e initiation %eremony. ,fter )aiting for mont!s; it )as !ig! time >to
ma8e an eternal pa%t )it! t!e G$r$ an* to be taug!t t!e Kriya te%!ni.ues in t!e
only legitimate )ay; an* re%ei'e !is bene*i%tion.>
T!ere )ere about 133 of us )!o )ere to be initiate*. , beautiful room !a* been
rente* for t!e %eremony at a 'ery !ig! pri%e an* embellis!e* for t!e o%%asion
)it! lots of flo)ers; su%! as I !a'e ne'er seen e'en at t!e most e=tra'agant
)e**ingsJ T!e intro*u%tion to t!e %eremony )as magnifi%ent. ,bout $3 people
)earing somber uniforms entere* t!e room; an* line* up )it! a solemn attitu*e
an* Hoine* t!eir !an*s in prayer. It )as e=plaine* to me t!at t!ese people
belonge* to t!e lo%al group )!ose lea*er )as a fas!ion *esigner an* !a*
%!oreograp!e* t!at triump!ant entran%e. T!e t)o :inisters )!o !a* Hust arri'e*
from abroa* )al8e* mee8ly an* be)il*ere* be!in* t!em. T!en t!e %eremony
began. I a%%epte* )it!out obHe%tions t!eir *eman* t!at I s)ear e'erlasting
*e'otion not only to t!e G$r$ P.Y. but also to a si=master %!ain of )!om La!iri
:a!asaya )as an interme*iary lin8. P.Y. )as t!e so%alle* G$r$Bpre/eptor;
namely t!e one )!o )oul* partially bear t!e bur*en of our Karma.
It )oul* !a'e been strange if no one !a* !a* *oubts about t!is. I
remember a la*y )on*ering if P.Y. E *efinitely unable to gi'e any %onfirmation;
no) being a longtime resi*ent in t!e astral )orl* E !a* really a%%epte* !er as a
>*is%iple> an*; %onse.uently; to be la*en )it! !er Karma. In or*er to a'oi* t!at
)it! su%! t!oug!ts s!e )ea8ene* t!e enHoyment of t!e enti%ing %eremony; I
reassure* !er t!at s!e )as a%%epte* )it!out fail.
T!ey e=plaine* us t!at C!rist )as also part of t!is %!ain be%ause 4e !a*
appeare* to <abaHi BLa!iri :a!asaya9s G$r$C as8ing 4im to sen* emissaries to
t!e ?est to sprea* Kriya. T!is story %ause* me no perple=ity at all. Per!aps I !a*
no *esire to t!in8 about it. To %onsi*er t!e )!ole mission of Kriya *iffusion as
originating from C!rist 4imself )as a pleasant i*ea. On t!e ot!er !an*; I )as
too an=ious to !ear t!e e=planation of t!e te%!ni.ue )!i%! )as soon to ta8e
pla%e to listen to anyt!ing else.
T!e Kriya te%!ni.ue embo*ie* Io*9s most effe%ti'e blessing to)ar* 4is
pri'ilege* %reatures; !umans; )!i%! e=%lusi'ely possesse* an inner bo*y )it!
se'en Cha5ras. T!e mysti% se'enstep la**er of t!e Cha5ras )as t!e real
!ig!)ay to sal'ation; t!e fastest an* safest. :y min* )as in great e=pe%tation
for somet!ing I !a* so strongly *esire* an* for )!i%! I !a* seriously been
preparing for mont!s. It )as not )!at mig!t be %alle* a >sa%rament> t!at I )as
submitting to in or*er to safeguar* a family tra*itionF it )as t!e %ro)ning of a
*efiniti'e %!oi%eJ :y !eart )as immensely !appy at t!e t!oug!t of t!e inner Hoy
t!at I )oul* gain t!roug! t!e pra%ti%e of Kriya.
Finally; after being taug!t t!e Kriya Pranayama; I realize* I alrea*y 8ne)
itJ It )as t!e same K$ndaliniBbreathing te%!ni.ue )!i%! I !a* foun* a long time
ago in my esoteri% rea*ings an* )!i%! pres%ribes t!at t!e energeti% %urrent flo)s
all t!e )ay insi*e t!e spinal %olumn. I !a'e alrea*y e=plaine* t!at I !a* not
ta8en t!at pro%e*ure into serious %onsi*eration; o)ing to t!e fa%t t!at in P.Y.9s
)ritings )!ere I !a* my first glimpses of t!e me%!anism of Kriya Pranayama; it
)as )ritten t!at t!e energy !a* to be rotate* >aroun* t!e Cha5ras; along an
ellipti%al %ir%uit.>
I )as not *isappointe* as someone !a* prop!esie*F rat!er; t!e te%!ni.ue
appeare* perfe%t to me. T!e e=planation of t!e te%!ni.ues "aha "$dra an*
3yoti "$dra Bt!ey ne'er use* t!e more %ommon term YoniC %on%lu*e* t!e
te%!ni%al instru%tions. Ea%! te%!ni.ue9s *etail )as e=plaine* in su%! a )ay t!at it
)oul* not allo) for t!e smallest 'ariation an*; in a**ition; a spe%ifi% routine )as
)armly re%ommen*e*. If t!e least amount of *oubt on t!e %orre%tness of a
%ertain *etail !a* arisen *uring t!e pra%ti%e; nobo*y )as en%ourage* E e'en
'aguely E to %on*u%t an e=periment an* %ome to a %on%lusion by !imself. T!e
only >%orre%t> a%tion )as to %onta%t t!e !ea*.uarters of our Kriya organization;
tell t!em t!e problem; an* re%ei'e furt!er gui*elines. T!is; in effe%t; )as )!at I
al)ays *i*. I learne* to intera%t only )it! t!em. I )oul* instin%ti'ely loo8 for
t!eir a*'i%e as if it )ere gi'en by perfe%t beings t!at %oul* ne'er be )rong. I
belie'e* t!ey )ere >%!annels> t!roug! )!i%! t!e blessings of t!e G$r$ flo)e*.
<esi*es; I )as .uite %onfi*ent t!at E e'en if t!ey )oul* not a*mit it out of
!umility E t!ey !a* alrea*y rea%!e* t!e !ig!est le'el of spiritual realization.
Problems 8ith my .o$tine
I am unable to e=press t!e emotion an* feeling of sa%re*ness )!i%! %!ara%terize*
my pra%ti%e of Kriya Pranayama. 5uring t!e *ay or before sitting *o)n to
pra%ti%e it; I often repeate* to myself t!e senten%e B.uote* in ,OYC by Lalla
>?!at a%i* of sorro) !a'e I not *run8@ Countless my roun*s of birt! an*
*eat!. LoJ naug!t but ne%tar in my %up .uaffe* by t!e art of breat!.>
T!is intensifie* my ent!usiasm; strengt!ening my *etermination to un%easingly
perfe%t my Kriya pat!. Yet loo8ing ba%8; !a'ing al)ays 8ept ali'e t!at ar*ent
belief; I must obHe%ti'ely a*mit t!at t!e results )ere not *ifferent from t!ose
obtaine* t!roug! t!e pra%ti%e of t!e simpler te%!ni.ue of 7))ayi Pranayama.

I !a* some problems )!i%! I )ill no) *is%uss. BI !a'e no *oubt t!at t!ese
problems %oul* !a'e been easily resol'e* if I !a* use* %ommon sense.C
T!e first e=er%ise to be pra%ti%e* )as t!e HongBB%a$ te%!ni.ue E t!is !a* to last
13 to 1+ minutes. T!e breat!ing )as suppose* to be%ome more rela=e* an*
%reate a goo* state of %on%entration. T!en; after putting t!e forearms on a
support; )e )ere to listen to t!e internal Soun*s; re.uiring about t!e same
amount of time. T!en t!ere )oul* follo) anot!er interruption be%ause of t!e
"aha "$dra. E'entually; setting ba%8 in a still an* stiff position to restore t!e
feeling of sa%re*ness; t!e Kriya Pranayama began )it! rigorous respe%t to all
t!e instru%tions. ,fter 3yoti "$dra! t!e Kriya routine )oul* be %on%lu*e* )it! a
full tenminute %on%entration on t!e K$tastha; to absorb t!e results of t!e )!ole
In my e=perien%e t!e t)o preliminary te%!ni.ues *i* not re%ei'e t!e
attention t!ey *eser'e*; an* t!e time *e'ote* to t!e final %on%entration )as too
s!ort. 5uring t!e HongB%a$ te%!ni.ue; t!e t!oug!t t!at I s!oul* interrupt it to
start t!e 0m te%!ni.ue broug!t about a *isturbing feeling; !ampering my )!ole
surren*er to its beauty. T!e same !appene* )it! t!e pro%e*ure of t!e 0m
te%!ni.ue; interrupting it in or*er to pra%ti%e "aha "$dra'
T!e te%!ni.ue of listening to 0m )as a %omplete >uni'erse> in itself an* le* to
t!e mysti% e=perien%e; )!i%! is )!y its interruption )as somet!ing )orse t!an a
simple *isturban%e. It )as illogi%al; as if; re%ognizing a frien* )it! Hoyous
surprise among a %ro)* one begins tal8ing )it! !im; t!en su**enly goes a)ay
!oping to meet; .uite by %!an%e; t!at same frien* again an* get ba%8 to )!ere
t!e %on'ersation !a* pre'iously en*e*.
T!e soun* of 0m )as t!e mysti% e=perien%e itself; t!e Ioal I soug!t. ?!y
s!oul* I interrupt t!at sublime attunement to regain it t!roug! anot!er te%!ni.ue@
Per!aps be%ause Kriya Pranayama )as a !ig!er pro%e*ure@ Higher@ ?!at on
eart! *oes t!at mean@
I for%e* myself into su%! absur*ity for an e=tremely long perio*. I !ope*
for future %larifi%ation of su%! an un%lear situation. ,t t!at time; t!e i*ea of using
my brain an* ra*i%ally %!anging t!e routine seeme* to me an a%t of stupi*
arrogan%e. Su%! )as t!e po)er of t!at insanity )!i%! in our group )as %alle*
>loyalty>J I must a%8no)le*ge t!at unfortunately I !a* be%ome li8e one of t!ose
animals t!at; fe* by man; ten* to forget !o) to be selfsuffi%ient.
,fter mu%! e=perimenting )!i%! !appene* in t!e follo)ing years an* %onsi*ering also t!e reports of
some sin%ere frien*s )!o trie* out *ifferent forms of Kriya Pranayama! I am sure t!at if I !a*
pra%ti%e* Kriya in t!e )ay P.Y. taug!t *uring t!e t!irties I )oul* !a'e obtaine* better results. T!at
te%!ni.ue )asNis in*ee* a masterpie%e; far more beautiful t!an )!at %ertain s%!ools no) offer as
>original Kriya'> If I !a* re%ei'e* it instea* of t!e simplifie* 'ersion; I %oul* !a'e tou%!e* t!e s8y
)it! one finger. Sometimes I bitterly as8 myself6 >?!y *i* P.Y. yiel* to t!e temptation of simplifying
?!en I trie* to *is%uss t!is problem )it! ot!er 5riyabans; I noti%e* an enormous
an* unreasonable resistan%e. T!ere )ere t!ose )!o )ere not satisfie* )it! t!eir
pra%ti%e but planne* to try it again in t!e future; )!ile ot!ers )ere not able to
e'en un*erstan* )!at I )as saying.
Tal8ing )it! a la*y )!o )as a longtime frien* of our family; s!e
preten*e* to listen attenti'ely; but in t!e en* bluntly *e%lare* s!e alrea*y !a* a
G$r$ an* *i* not nee* anot!er. 4er remar8 %ut me *eeply sin%e my intention )as
only to !a'e a rational tal8 )!i%! %oul* be inspiring for us bot!. ,part from t!is;
)!at sort of frien*s!ip %an e=ist bet)een t)o people )!en one is so %urt@
To en%ounter su%! episo*es one after t!e ot!er %onfirme* my i*ea t!at; not
being en%ourage* to trust t!e 'ali*ity of selfobser'ation; many frien*s )ent on
me%!ani%ally performing )!at !a* often be%ome an empty ritual simply to
appease t!eir %ons%ien%e. ?it! t!e e=%eption of one person B)!o !arbore* really
strange i*eas about t!e spiritual pat! )!i%! ma*e me entertain t!e t!oug!t t!at
!e mig!t be mentally unstableC; t!ese ne) 5riyaban frien*s seeme* to %ensor my
.uestioning of te%!ni.ues; %laiming t!at *e'otion )as mu%! more important.
Often t!ey referre* to %on%epts I %oul* !ar*ly lin8 to t!e pra%ti%e of Yoga! i.e. t!e
paramount importan%e )as loyalty to)ar* P.Y. an* !is organization.
?!ile t!eir effort in pra%ti%ing t!e me*itation te%!ni.ues in a *eep )ay
)as not remar8able; t!ey trie* by e=ternal means Brea*ings; *e'otional %!anting;
%on'o%ations...C to e=tra%t from t!e *ept!s of t!eir psy%!e any tra%e of religious
attitu*e; any s%rap of spiritual aspiration. T!ey impregnate* it )it! t!e natural
!eart9s affe%tion for t!eir G$r$ A e'en if t!ey !a* 8no)n !im only from p!otos E
t!us obtaining t!e resolution of a lifelong %ommitment. Loo8ing ba%8 at t!ose
times; I )on*er )!at t!eir opinion )as about my impatient attitu*e in %ontrast to
t!eir passi'eness. In my reasoning; I %oul* not %on%ei'e of t!e i*ea of leaning
passi'ely un*er t!e prote%tion of a saint )!o sol'e* all our problems. T!is
%on%ept; toget!er )it! ot!ers I !a* e=perien%e* in t!at s%!ool; )as a %ause of
real %onfli%t. :y approa%! to t!e spiritual pat! )as so *ifferent from t!eirs t!at
t!ere )as no !ope of rea%!ing a point of %onta%t or %ommon groun*.
C4,PTE7 $

P.Y. )rote t!at %e/ond Kriya Yoga enables t!e yogi to lea'e !is bo*y %ons%iously
at )ill. To be instru%te* in su%! a )on*rous te%!ni.ue )as no) my primary goal.
I )as sure t!at e'en a *esultory pra%ti%e of su%! a pro%e*ure )oul* !a'e a strong
effe%t on my spiritual e'olution. ,fter re%ei'ing t!e last lesson of t!e
%orrespon*en%e %ourse; I finally applie* to re%ei'e t!is furt!er instru%tion.
I )as 'ery !appy to stu*y t!e longe*for lessons of %e/ond Kriya. 5espite
my serious an* %ons%ientious pra%ti%e; no promise* results su%! as per%ei'ing t!e
%olor of ea%! Cha5ra on t!e s%reen of K$tastha; too8 pla%e. I forge* a!ea*;
utilizing all t!e en*uran%e an* stamina I !a* built up )it! t!e 0m te/hniC$e; an*
some 99strong99 e=perien%es began to o%%ur in t!e spine. T!ey appeare* !ours later
or )!en lying *o)n imme*iately after t!e pra%ti%e. T!is broug!t su%! intensity
of *e'otion t!at I )as surprise* to *is%o'er it insi*e myself.
Anfortunately; t!e )ritten lessons %ontaine* some ambiguous parts. &ust to
gi'e an e=ample; P.Y. )rote t!at in or*er to a)a8en K$ndalini it )as important to
regularly pra%ti%e Ke/hari "$dra! but t!e instru%tion on !o) to perform it )ere
no)!ere to be foun*.
I %onta%te* t!e el*erly la*y )!o )as offi%ially in'este* as a >:e*itation
Counselor> in or*er to *is%uss )it! !er t!e te%!ni%al *etails %ontaine* in t!e
%e/ond Kriya lessons. S!e %oul* not !elp me. &ust li8e e'eryone else; s!e !a*
learne* all t!e Higher Kriyas only in )ritten form be%ause; unfortunately; after
P.Y.9s "ahasamadhi no *ire%t initiations )ere e'er gi'en. ,%8no)le*ging !er
un%ertainties about t!eir %orre%t e=e%ution; s!e a*mitte* t!at s!e regrette* not
!a'ing !a* !er Higher Kriyas %!e%8e* by :inisters )!o )ere *ire%t *is%iples of
P.Y.; *espite !a'ing !a* plenty of opportunities to *o so.
,mong t!e 5riyabans in t!e me*itation group; t!ere )as a )oman )!o
!a* re%ei'e* Kriya initiation years ago an* !a* on%e li'e* near our s%!ool9s
general offi%es. I as8e* if s!e !a* re%ei'e* t!e %e/ond Kriya. S!e *i*n9t seem to
un*erstan* t!e .uestion. So; )it! astonis!ment; I remin*e* !er t!at La!iri
:a!asaya9s *is%iple; S)ami Pranabanan*a; !a* a%%ompanie* t!e moment of !is
*eat! )it! t!e pra%ti%e of t!e %e/ond Kriya. S!e be%ame 'isibly ner'ous; saying
t!at t!e .uotation %learly referre* to t!e te%!ni.ue of Kriya Pranayama6 one
breat!; t!en a se%on* one. T!is !a* to be; in !er opinion; t!e >%e/ond KriyaJ> I
loo8e* at !er )it! a mee8 but pier%ing loo8F I felt my legs gi'e )ay. I !a* t!e
impression t!at t!e i*ea of a furt!er te%!ni.ue to be a**e* to t!e too many
alrea*y re%ei'e* an* pra%ti%e* *aily upset !er. It )as as if s!e felt s!e !a* ma*e
so great an effort to form t!e !abit of *aily pra%ti%e of t!e 9irst Kriya t!at s!e
%oul* not muster up e'en more *e*i%ation. I belie'e t!at; up to t!is *ay; s!e !as
remaine* fi=e* in !er %on'i%tion.
I !a* still not re%o'ere* from t!is s!o%8 )!en an aristo%rati%loo8ing la*y
*is%lose* to me s!e !a* re%ei'e* initiation in t!e so%alle* Higher Kriyas years
before. Full of ent!usiasm; my eyes opene* )i*e. S!e sai* s!e !a* felt so
un)ort!y t!at s!e !a* put t!em asi*e an*; after some time; s!e !a* forgotten
t!em entirely. 99ForgottenJ9 I %oul*n9t belie'e my ears. T!is last abomination )as
in%on%ei'able to me. 4er selfsatisfie* ignoran%e; passe* off as !umility an* )!o
8no)s )!at 8in* of o'erabun*ant *e'otion; %rosse* t!e boun*s of *e%en%y.
?!en I e=presse* my obHe%tion t!at !er be!a'ior seeme* an e=!ibition of
in*ifferen%e to)ar* t!e !ig!er tea%!ings taug!t by !er G$r$; s!e loo8e* at me in
be)il*erment as if my impertinen%e !a* 'iolate* an impli%it la)6 *o not
impu*ently enter t!e intimate arena of !er %adhana. S!e replie* t!at )!at s!e
!a* )as enoug!; an* t!en bris8ly %ut off any furt!er *is%ussion.

i((i/$lties 8ith the printed material related to the Higher Kriyas
,fter anot!er year; I re%ei'e* t!e lessons on t!e <hird an* 9o$rth Kriya. I )as
startle* rea*ing t!at t!ese te%!ni.ues lea* to t!e e=perien%e of Astral %amadhi. I
attenti'ely stu*ie* t!e instru%tions an*; still; t!ere remaine* some *oubts )!i%! I
*i*n9t 8no) !o) to fin* an ans)er for. , furt!er *iffi%ulty )as to un*erstan*
)!i%! )ere t!e most opportune moments to intro*u%e t!is instru%tions in t!e
routine. 4o)e'er; my ent!usiasm )as strong. ,fter an attenti'e %onsi*eration of
)!at )as )ritten; I assume* t!at pra%ti%ing t!e <hird an* 9o$rth Kriya at t!e
en* of my Kriya routine )as t!e rig!t t!ing to *o. Anfortunately; t!at *i*n9t
)or8; an* I got stu%8 in t!at )rong !abit. :y pra%ti%e; inse%ure be%ause of
un%larifie* *oubts; la%8e* a substantial p!ase of me*itation an* absorption after
t!e e=e%ution of t!e ne) te%!ni.ues. Only in t!is )ay *oes Prana subsi*e in t!e
bo*y )!ile gro)ing parti%ular per%eptions originating from t!e !eart Cha5ra!
*ra); )it! t!eir strong 'ibration; your attention insi*e; lea*ing you straig!t to t!e
e%stati% state. T!e best results are a%!ie'e* )!en you are able to fulfill t!e subtle
meaning of t!e pro%e*ure; fo%using on its essen%e an* going in t!e *ept!s
)it!out !elp from p!ysi%al mo'ements B*ifferently from )!at !appens in t!e
formal e=e%ution of t!e te%!ni.ue.C In or*er to a%!ie'e t!is; t!oug!; it is
ne%essary eit!er to !a'e t!e gift of an a)a8ene* intuition or to re%ei'e *etaile*
instru%tions from an e=pert. ,t t!at time; no gui*e )as t!ere to s!e* lig!t an*
en%ouragement upon me E I )as not able to tune )it! a !ypot!eti%al G$r$
resi*ing in t!e astral 8ing*oms. I %an9t image )!at gra%e )oul* !a'e been born
in my life if; at t!at moment; someone !a* gui*e* me to *e'ise a %orre%t routineJ
:ont!s )ent by an* my *issatisfa%tion gre). I *i*n9t *are *o anyt!ing t!at
o'ersteppe* t!e s%anty instru%tions I !a* re%ei'e*. I )as near *esperation. I 8ept
on as8ing myself !o) t!e lessons %oul* possibly promise t!e state of %amadhi
)!ile; at t!at moment; *espite my efforts; I *i*n9t re%ei'e anyt!ing else t!an
nausea. It )as improper to try an* %larify my *oubts by .uestioning el*er
5riyabans' ,s I !a'e pre'iously !inte*; )e )ere all in t!e same boat. I *i* )!at
)as re%ommen*e* to me se'eral times6 I )rote to t!e management of my Kriya
s%!ool in or*er to s%!e*ule an appointment )it! one of its representati'e
:inisters )!o )oul* soon %ome to our %ountry to impart initiation to Kriya
I as8e* for t!is inter'ie) be%ause I really nee*e* it. It is not in my
temperament to *isturb anyone on tri'ialities. I am sure t!at; in or*er to ans)er
my .uestions; it )oul* !a'e ta8en t!e :inister Hust a %ouple of minutes. I
loo8e* for)ar* to t!at *ate )it! great anti%ipation.
?!en t!e :inister arri'e*; my :e*itation Counselor intro*u%e* me to !im. 4e
sai* !e )oul* %larify my *oubts as soon as possible. In t!e follo)ing *ays I
be%ame *ismaye* )!en I realize* t!at t!e :inister 8ept postponing our meeting
)it!out 'ali* reasons. Sin%e I !a* *e%i*e* not to gi'e up; at last )e met.
Anfortunately I foun* t!is meeting to be truly *isturbing.
I )as %on'in%e* t!at !ypo%risy; bureau%ra%y; formality; an* *e%eption
)ere totally alien to one )!o *e'ote* !is life to pra%ti%ing an* tea%!ing Kriya;
yet t!e sensation I !a* meeting !im )as a8in to meeting a business man )!o !a*
more important affairs in min* an* )!o )as 'ery irritable. 4e )as emp!ati% t!at
)e not tal8 about Ke/hari "$dra! an* )it! regar* to t!e <hird an* 9o$rth Kriya
te%!ni.ues! !e a*'ise* me brus.uely to restri%t my pra%ti%e to t!e 9irst Kriya. 4e
*e%lare* I )as o'ere=%ite* an* t!at t!is )as not a goo* sign for a 5riyaban' I
replie* I )oul* surely ta8e !is a*'i%e into %onsi*erationF ne'ert!eless; I )ante*
to see !o) to mo'e my !ea* %orre%tly in or*er to pra%ti%e t!ose te%!ni.ues in t!e
,nnoye* E ta8ing my remar8 as insolen%e E !e re%ommen*e* t!at I sen*
my .uestions to t!e s%!ool9s !ea* an* stoo* up to lea'e as !e sai* t!is. In 'ain I
replie* t!at t!e mo'ements of t!e !ea* Bre.uire* for <hird an* 9o$rth Kriya
te%!ni.uesC %oul* not be s!o)n in a letter. I )as spea8ing to a >)all> an* t!e
refusal )as absolute.
I !a* al)ays truste* an* respe%te* P.Y.9s organization an* !a* stu*ie* t!e
referen%e literature as if preparing for a uni'ersity e=am. ,fter my inter'ie) )it!
t!at ill*ispose* figure; I )as in an atro%ious mental an* emotional state. I
)on*ere* )!at role a s%!ool playe* t!at )as not *oing its 'ery best to %larify
ea%! gi'en tea%!ing. For )!at purpose )ere our ministers tra'eling aroun* t!e
)orl*; if not to *ire%tly s!o) stu*ents !o) to pra%ti%e )!at t!ey !a'e learne*
t!roug! t!e %orrespon*en%e %ourse@ ?!y s!oul* I feel guilty an* unsuitable for
t!e Kriya pat!; only be%ause I !a* *are* to as8 Bfirmly but politelyC for a
pra%ti%al *emonstration@ I )as not able to *rop t!e )!ole matter an* )as .uite
agitate*. T!ose )!o sa) me imme*iately after t!e meeting sai* I )as
unre%ognizable. ,mong t!em; a la*y )it! a !oneye* 'oi%e suggeste* t!at I !a*
gotten an important earful from our G$r$de&a E in !er opinion; up to t!at time; I
!a* !a* too selfassure* an attitu*e.
,fter some time; t!e feeling of !a'ing )itnesse* t!e senseless )!ims of a
man in po)er yiel*e* to a *ifferent %onsi*eration. 2ery probably t!at :inister
!a* gi'en me t!e same *is%ipline !e re%ei'e* *uring !is postulant years. ,
)oman )!o !a* 8no)n !im at t!at time *epi%te* !im as a 'ery %urious 5riyaban
)!o usually put many te%!ni%al .uestions to el*er :inisters. #no)ing t!e rules
of monasti% *is%ipline; I )as sure t!at !is .ueries )eren9t al)ays ans)ere*
T!is ma*e me more %alm an* %!eerful. 4o)e'er; t!ere are often %!il*is!
t!oug!ts t!at emerge )!en )e are in an un%ertain situation. I )as afrai* t!at t!is
man; %ommuni%ating ba%8 to t!e !ea*.uarters of P.Y.9s organization; mig!t spea8
unfa'orably of me; saying somet!ing t!at mig!t !a'e re*u%e* t!e probability of
my obtaining t!at %o'ete* information in t!e future. I feare* t!at my i*ylli%
relations!ip )it! my Kriya organization E a bon* t!at for so many years !a*
represente* my !orizon E %oul* be *eteriorate*.
Strange as it mig!t seem; a part of me )as relis!ing t!e )!ole situation. I
8ne) for %ertain t!at t!is *estru%ti'e e=perien%e )oul* some!o) be turne* into
somet!ing positi'e; %ru%ial for my pat!. I )as too mu%! in lo'e )it! t!e Kriya
pat! to be *aunte* by any *iffi%ulty.
T!e la*y :e*itation Counselor; )!o )as not present on t!at o%%asion but
!a* met t!e :inister in anot!er to)n; blame* me for !a'ing turne* t!e inter'ie)
)it! !im into a troublesome e'ent. I )rote !er a bitter letter; insulting !er
in*ire%tly. S!e replie* 'ery firmly; implying t!at my letter en*e* our frien*s!ip.
Later s!e tone* *o)n !er attitu*e an* in'ite* me to !er !ouse to tal8
about t!e e'ent.
First of all I e=presse* to !er my irre'o%able *etermination to e=plore all
possible sour%es in or*er to %larify my .uestions. I mentione* my i*ea of lea'ing
for In*ia! an* s!e mumble* somet!ing about In*ia not ne%essarily being any
guarantee of aut!enti%ity. S!e tol* me t!at re%ently some 5riyabans !a* foun* Bin
a )ell8no)n Ashram stri%tly tie* to P.Y.Ds life storyC a %8ami )!o ga'e t!em
>pseu*o Kriya> te%!ni.ues t!at )ere; in !er opinion; some meaningless; ot!ers
*angerous. S!e sai* t!at t!ere )as not!ing unusual about itF t!ere )ere many
unaut!orize* tea%!ers intro*u%ing t!emsel'es as loyal *is%iples of P.Y. ?it! a
'i'i* imagination; s!e %ompare* t!em to spi*ers using t!e !oney of t!e G$r$9s
lo'e to attra%t *e'otees )!o t!en be%ame t!eir prey. S!e spo8e about a *is%iple
of P.Y. )!o !a* formerly been one of t!e *ire%tors of t!e organization but t!en
!a* bran%!e* out on !is o)n; opening anot!er Kriya s%!ool. T!is man )as a
>traitor> in !er opinion.
T!is )oman !a* enoug! material to go on )it! !er stories in*efinitely; but
it )as t!en t!at a 'ery for%eful senten%e slippe* out of my mout! )!i%! surprise*
me an* froze !er6 >S!oul* I re%ei'e Kriya tea%!ing from t!e )orst %riminal in t!e
)orl*; I )oul* still be able to turn it into gol*. If it )ere pollute*; I )oul* !a'e
t!e intuition to re%onstru%t it to its original integrity.> S!e replie* )it! a sig! t!at
I )as mo'ing *angerously %lose to losing t!e gra%e of my G$r$B*is%iple
In or*er to ma8e me un*erstan* t!e 'alue of re%ei'ing t!e instru%tions
from a true G$r$; s!e tol* me )!at !appene* )!en one 5riyaban *e%i*e* to
lea'e t!e Ashram of !is G$r$! P.Y.; an* see8 anot!er tea%!er. T!e G$r$; a)are
of t!is; got in t!e *is%iple9s )ay to stop !im )!en !e !ear* an inner 'oi%e E >t!e
'oi%e of Io*>; s!e spe%ifie* E or*ering !im not to interfere )it! t!e *is%iple9s
free*om. P.Y. obeye* an* in a flas! of intuition foresa) all t!e *is%iple9s future
in%arnations; t!ose in )!i%! !e )oul* be lost; in )!i%! !e )oul* 8eep on
see8ing E ami* innumerable sufferings; Humping from one error to anot!er E t!e
pat! !e )as t!en relin.uis!ing. T!en; in t!e en*; t!e *is%iple )oul* return to t!e
same pat!. T!e la*y sai* t!at P.Y. !a* been .uite spe%ifi% as to t!e number of
in%arnations t!at )!ole *is%ouraging trip )oul* ta8e E about t!irtyJ T!e moral of
t!is story )as %lear; somet!ing from )!i%! one %oul* not es%ape6 I !a* to a'oi*
loo8ing else)!ere or I )oul* lose myself in a labyrint! of enormous sufferings
an* )!o 8no)s )!en I )oul* be able to get ba%8 on t!e %orre%t pat!.
I s!ifte* my attention to !er p!otograp! of P.Y.; ta8en on t!e *ay of !is
*eat!. It )as ni%ely frame*; an* some flo)ers an* pa%8ets of in%ense )ere
before it. In t!ose moments of silen%e I !a* t!e sensation t!at tears )ere going to
form in !is blissful eyes Bit )as not a bizarre feelingF ot!er people tol* me t!ey
!a* !a* t!e same e=perien%e.C I relate* my impression to !er; in response to
)!i%! s!e be%ame 'ery serious an*; )it! !er eyes pointe* far off to)ar* an
in*efinite spot; soberly uttere*6 >You !a'e to %onsi*er it a )arning6 t!e G$r$ is
not %ontent )it! you>J T!ere )as not t!e least *oubt t!at s!e )as not Ho8ing at
In t!at moment; I realize* !o) mu%! P.Y. )as a >presen%e> in !er life;
alt!oug! s!e !a* ne'er met !imJ I let my gaze rest on t!e bou.uet of :ay lilies
)!i%! )e !a* pur%!ase* at t!e train station imme*iately after my arri'al in to)n
gra%iously arrange* in a small 'ase before t!e p!oto of P.Y. S!e !a* t!en
e=plaine* t!at s!e ne'er s8impe* on fres! flo)ers for !er >Iuru.> I realize* !o)
full of s)eet %omfort must be !er lifeJ I 8ne) t!at if I )ante* to feel *e'otion
)it! su%! intensity I !a* a lot of )or8 to *o; namely *e'elop stable internal
tran.uility; bo) to my fa'orite form of t!e 5i'ine; an* repeat t!is a%tion of
surren*er )it! total sin%erity e'ery *ay of my life.
,lt!oug! s!e a*mire* t!e earnestness )it! )!i%! I )as ma8ing progress E
unli8e so many ot!er tepi* an* !alf!earte* people )!o )oul* go to !er only to
be reignite* )it! t!e moti'ation t!ey %oul* not fin* in t!emsel'es E s!e )as
*ismaye* t!at !er *e'otion to)ar* t!e G$r$ )as totally alien to me. S!e %oul*
not relie'e my immense t!irst for 8no)le*ge of t!e art of Kriya. Loo8ing into
!er beautiful eyes; I !a* t!e %lear impression t!at s!e )as permanently e=pe%ting
me to a%t in a some)!at >*isloyal> )ay eit!er to)ar* t!e G$r$ or to)ar* t!e
T!e :inister of my organization )as at least rig!t about one point6 I )as
not %alm at all. :y sear%! for te%!ni%al e=planations !a* ma*e me as tense as a
%oile* spring. ,lt!oug! remaining fait!ful to my Kriya organization; I *i*n9t
a%%ept 'etoes an* t!erefore I *i*n9t ta8e !er a*'i%e. I )as *etermine* to 8no)
Kriya insi*e out an* no one %oul* stop me )it! any argument.
:y sear%! too8 a parti%ular route. I 8ne) t!ree names of *ire%t *is%iples of P.Y.
)!o !a* !a* a %las! )it! t!e s%!ool9s boar* of *ire%tors an* set out on t!eir o)n.
I !ope* to fin* %lues in some boo8 )!i%! %oul* !elp me %lear my *oubts. I
pur%!ase* all t!eir publis!e* material; tape* le%tures an* all. I )as e=pe%ting t!at
in or*er to s!o) !o) profi%ient t!ey !a* be%ome )it! Kriya; t!ey )oul* publis!
information *eeper t!an t!e material pro'i*e* by t!e main organization. I !ope*
t!ey )oul* gi'e t!e rea*er B)!o )as negle%ting t!e original sour%e to listen to
t!eir 'oi%e of *issentC a more a%%urate *i*a%ti% material.
T!e first *is%iple seeme* to be an e=pert in i*le %!atter an* )as relu%tant
to gi'e pra%ti%al instru%tions. T!e se%on* one )as un*oubte*ly more
professional; pe*agogi%ally gifte*; but out of all of !is literature an* tapes only
one of !is senten%es s!e* a faint lig!t upon one of t!e Higher Kriyas. T!e
literature of t!e t!ir* *is%iple E surprising an* 'aluable sin%e; !a'ing suffere* t!e
trage*y of mental illness )!i%! !e re%ounte* e=!austi'elyE I foun* Bsa'e for an
illumining senten%e upon t!e role of Ke/hari "$draC only a *e'astating
emptiness. T!e se%rets; if t!ey !a* any; )ere )ell guar*e*J
:ont!s later t!e :e*itation Counselor foun* out t!at I !a* rea* t!e
>forbi**en> boo8s. Not only t!at; I !a* ma*e a present of one of t!em to a
%ouple of frien*sJ , frien* of mine s!o)e* me a letter in )!i%! t!e Counselor
!a* %alle* me >a man )!o stabs !is G$r$9s ba%8; !an*ing out *aggers to ot!er
people as )ell; so t!ey %an *o t!e same>J S!e %on%lu*e* by )riting t!at
99intelligen%e is a *oublee*ge* )eapon6 it %an be use* to eliminate t!e s)elling
of ignoran%e an* also to abruptly %ut off t!e lifebloo* t!at sustains t!e spiritual
4er rea%tion )as so e=aggerate* t!at I )asn9t !urt at all. 4er a%tions )ere
ob'iously *ri'en by )a'es of unabas!e* emotion; *e%a*es of stea*fast
%on*itioning; irretrie'ably affe%ting !er %ommon sense. I felt a sort of ten*erness
to)ar* !er an* I smile*; pi%turing t!e moment in )!i%! s!e !a* )ritten t!at
letter E seeing !er o)n e=pe%tations regar*ing my be!a'ior %oming true. I am
sure t!at !er %ountenan%e )as at last tran.uil an* serene as if tasting a *eli%ious;
intimate satisfa%tion.
O'er%oming %ertain relu%tan%e; I began rea*ing some boo8s )ritten by La!iri
:a!asaya9s *is%iples rat!er t!an t!ose of P.Y. :y !esitation in *ropping t!e
literature lin8e* )it! P.Y. )as *ue to t!e fa%t t!at; in my opinion; it )as %learer
t!an most.
T!ese fe) boo8s Bat t!at time boo8s li8e P$ran P$r$sh by Yoga%!arya
5r. ,s!o8e #umar C!atterHee !a* not yet been publis!e*C *isappointe* me. T!ey
)ere not!ing but blan* meaningless )or*s endlessly repeated; toget!er )it!
%ontinuous %!anges in topi%; )!i%! I %onsi*ere* unbearable. T!e pra%ti%al notes;
presente* as essential; )ere only s%attere* bits %opie* from %lassi%al boo8s on
Yoga' T!e la%8 of %are in t!eir presentation ma*e me suppose t!at t!e aut!or !a*
not bot!ere* %!e%8ing t!e original te=ts !e !a* .uote* but !a* most li8ely ta8en
t!ose .uotations from ot!er boo8s )!i%! )ere also .uoting from ot!er referen%e
boo8s; %ontinuing a %!ain )!erein ea%! aut!or )oul* a** a little somet!ing Hust
to mar8 !is personal %ontribution.
I *e%i*e* to again stu*y all t!e material furnis!e* by my organization an*
try to *el'e *eeper into it. I )oul* meet some 5riyaban frien*s on Sun*ays; an*
toget!er rea* %ru%ial passages from t!e %orrespon*en%e %ourse an* *is%uss t!em
*uring a )al8. Our main interest )as !o) to perfe%t t!e pra%ti%e of Kriya; but
our efforts )ere futile E li8e trying to *ra) bloo* from a stone.
I *e%i*e* to li'e ea%! aspe%t of my life a%%or*ing to P.Y.9s tea%!ings. T!e
%orrespon*en%e %ourse %ontaine* esoteri% tea%!ings t!at %oul* not be %onsi*ere*
an integral part of Kriya Yoga but %oul* !elp stu*ents to *e'elop t!eir intuition
of t!e subtle la)s go'erning !uman li'es.
,t t!at time I )as espe%ially intereste* in mastering t)o s8ills in
parti%ular6 !o) to re%ognize frien*s from pre'ious li'es an* !o) to proHe%t
energy for prani% !ealing. T!e tea%!ings )ere %learly gi'en )it! all t!e
ne%essary %autionary remar8s; but my approa%! )as *e'oi* of %aution an*
*is%rimination. I a%te* as if I )ere supporte* from >abo'e>; imagining t!at t!e
bene*i%tions an* t!e strengt! of t!e G$r$ )ere )it! me. I pai* attention to only
some aspe%ts of t!e tea%!ings; %!oosing t!ose parti%ular patterns of be!a'ior t!at
appeale* to my emotions.
T!en my illusory *ream began to *isintegrate; slo)ly but ine=orably.
Failure %ame; an* I felt *esolate. ,t first I %oul* not a%%ept it. I refuse* to
belie'e I !a* a%te* )rongly. I belie'e* t!at mine )as only an apparent failure;
but as time )ent by; all e'i*en%e suggeste* t!at I !a* neit!er %ure* nor !elpe*
any person in any )ay. T!is )as t!e greatest blo) to me be%ause I !a* ma*e a
fool of myself an*; furt!ermore I !a* *isturbe* t!e pea%e an* pri'a%y of ot!er
,s for 99pre'ious li'es99; I a%8no)le*ge t!at in t!is unpro'able territory
e'eryt!ing is possibleF !o)e'er at t!at time it seeme* so selfe'i*ent an*
sensible to me t!at instea* of using my me*itationborn intuition B)!i%! t!e
re%ei'e* instru%tion aime* at *e'elopingC I simply too8 figments of my
imagination to %reate 'arious min* films; %on'in%ing myself I !a* li'e* t!em in
a far *istant past. In fa%t t!ese *ay*reams )ere a%tually )is! fulfillments an*
easytorea* in*i%ators of my li8ings an* preferen%es.
Slipping into a state )!erein I *oubte* e'en t!e metap!ysi%al basis upon
)!i%! t!e e*ifi%e of Kriya Yoga is built; I )as unable to t!in8 a single %o!erent
t!oug!t for some mont!s.
*nspiration (rom the 8or5s o( %ri A$robindo and the "other
Su%! )as my situation )!en I starte* rea*ing "other! or the i&ine "aterialism;
a boo8 about T!e :ot!er B:OreC )ritten by !er belo'e* *is%iple; Satprem. T)o
years before I !a* been intro*u%e* to t!e t!oug!ts of Sri ,urobin*o. 4is
Aphorisms an* !is epi% poem %a&itri !a* *eeply impresse* me. ,fter Sri
,urobin*o9s *eat!; in 11+1; T!e :ot!er %ontinue* !is resear%! an* ga'e
substan%e to !is belief t!at t!e 5i'ine E t!e basi% intelligent an* e'olutionary
T!e tea%!ings of T!e :ot!er !elpe* me realize )!y I faile* so miserably in applying P.Y.9s esoteri%
tea%!ings regar*ing prani% !ealing. T!e basi% mista8e )as t!at I !a* let a tea%!ing e=traneous to
Kriya Breinfor%e* by egotisti% moti'ations an* to be fulfille* impatiently at any meansC be%ome my
first interest. T!e tea%!ing of T!e :ot!er )as to first %reate t!e state of "ental %ilen/e )iping out all
t!e egoborn i*eas; plans an* *istra%tions. T!roug! "ental %ilen/e t!e 5i'ine )oul* *es%en* into my
life; %ross all t!e layers of my being6 t!oug!ts; emotions; sensations.... <y surren*ering to Io*9s )ill;
I )oul* fin* !armony an* o'erall balan%e affe%ting all aspe%ts of my life. Only t!en %oul* my lofty
i*eal be pursue*. T!e rig!t attitu*e is not t!at of a stu*ent of o%%ult s%ien%e testing one among many
esoteri% tea%!ings re%ei'e* from t!eir %onfraternity; but t!at of a mysti% )!o surren*ers to t!e 5i'ine
La) an* in t!is a%t *is%o'ers t!at t!eir intention %omes from t!e 5i'ineF not only t!at E it presi*e*
o'er; an* *etermine*; !is birt! on t!e eart! plane. T!ere is no *oubt t!at in t!is %on*ition t!ere is no
for%e be!in* e'eryt!ing in e=isten%eE %oul* perfe%tly manifest on t!is planetJ
>T!e )orl* is not an unfortunate a%%i*ent6 it is a mira%le mo'ing to)ar* its full
e=pression99; s!e *e%lare*. >In matter; t!e 5i'ine be%omes perfe%tP> s!e )rote.
From 11+0 until !er *eat! in 11/$; T!e :ot!er re%ounte* !er e=traor*inary
e=ploration to Satprem. T!eir tal8s are )ritten out in "other4s Agenda. T!is !uge
*o%ument Q -333 pages in 1$ 'olumes Q is t!e a%%ount of t)entyt)o years of
:ot!er9s *is%o'eries.
In analyzing :ot!er9s %omments on Sri ,urobin*o9s ap!orisms; I )as
prepare* to rea* t!e usual elementary e=planations of In*ian p!ilosop!y. <ut
:ot!er9s t!oug!t !a* not!ing to *o )it! p!ilosop!y. It )as ne); somet!ing
ne'er !ear*; *issol'ing any myt!. I felt an e=plosion of Hoy rea*ing !er %omment
to ap!orism No. /36 >E=amine t!yself )it!out pity; t!en t!ou )ilt be more
%!aritable an* pitying to ot!ers.> ,nnotating it; s!e )rote6
>T!e nee* to be 'irtuous is t!e great obsta%le to true selfgi'ing. T!is is t!e
origin of False!oo* an* e'en more t!e 'ery sour%e of !ypo%risy t!e refusal to
a%%ept to ta8e upon oneself one9s o)n s!are of t!e bur*en of *iffi%ulties. 5o not
try to appear 'irtuous. See !o) mu%! you are unite*; one )it! e'eryt!ing; t!at is
anti*i'ine. Ta8e your s!are of t!e bur*en; a%%ept yoursel'es to be impure an*
false an* in t!at )ay you )ill be able to ta8e up t!e S!a*o) an* offer it. ,n* in
so far as you are %apable of ta8ing it an* offering it; t!en t!ings )ill %!ange. 5o
not try to be among t!e pure. ,%%ept to be )it! t!ose )!o are in *ar8ness an*
gi'e it all )it! total lo'e.>
<y saying on anot!er o%%asion; >:orality is t!e great obsta%le on t!e spiritual
pat!>; s!e stresse* t!e 'alue of not trying to appear pure in ot!er people9s eyes;
but instea* be!a'ing a%%or*ing to t!e trut! of one9s being. S!e belie'e* one
s!oul* a%8no)le*ge one9s *ar8 si*eF it e=ists in t!e *ept!s of our being an* in a
fe) it !as *e'elope* into a )ay of li'ing s!unne* by so%iety. ,%%or*ing to !er
tea%!ing; people be%ome true in*i'i*uals only )!en in %onstant pursuit of a
greater beauty; !armony; po)er an* 8no)le*ge; t!ey are perfe%tly an* %ompa%tly
integrate* )it! t!eir *i'ine %enter. T!e :ot!er *i* not be!a'e li8e a tra*itional
G$r$; alt!oug! s!e *i* try to e=tra%t t!e !i**en potential from all *is%iples
loo8ing for inspiration.
I )as 'ery impresse* )it! !o) s!e *ealt )it! t!e t!eme of 3apa. S!e
re%ounte* !o) *uring t!e s%reening of a film s!e !ear* t!e Sans8rit "antra6 O:
N,:O <4,I,2,TE4. S!e )on*ere* )!at )oul* !appen if s!e repeate* t!at
"antra *uring !er *aily me*itation. S!e *i*; an* t!e result )as e=traor*inary.
S!e reporte* t!at6 >It Bt!e "antraC %oagulates somet!ing6 all t!e %ellular life
be%omes one soli*; %ompa%t mass; in a tremen*ous %on%entration E )it! a single
'ibration. Instea* of all t!e usual 'ibrations of t!e bo*y; t!ere is no) only one
single 'ibration. It be%omes as !ar* as a *iamon*; a single massi'e
%on%entration; as if all t!e %ells of t!e bo*y !a* ... I be%ame stiff from it. I )as
so stiff t!at I )as one single mass.> KT!is .uotation is *ra)n from "other4s
,n* yet in t!at perio* 3apa *i* not truly be%ome part of my pra%ti%e. I
e=perimente* )it! :ot!er9s >0m #amo Bhaga&ate> but it *i* not )or8 for me. I
trie* to li'e in a more %ons%ious )ay; %ontinuously attenti'e to any in)ar* an*
out)ar* per%eptions. I trie* to %arry out t!e )ell8no)n instru%tion to resolutely
maintain an impartial attitu*e to)ar* bot! pleasant an* unpleasant e'ents; being
li8e a *eta%!e* >)itness>. BT!is *is%ipline is re%ommen*e* in almost all boo8s
*ealing )it! oriental me*itati'e pra%ti%es.C ,fter t!ree *ays of t!at; I felt myself
un*er unbearable stress as if it all )as a pretense; an illusion. I %ease* to pra%ti%e
3apa or t!e *is%ipline of being a *eta%!e* >)itness> an* *roppe* t!e )!ole
:ean)!ile; my min* )as obsesse* )it! t!e %ra'ing to a*opt more
a*'an%e* tools of >e'olution>. :ont!s )ent by; )it! useless attempts to
ameliorate my Kriya routine. One year later; resuming t!e rea*ing of <he i&ine
"aterialism! I )as astonis!e* t!at T!e :ot!er )as able to e=press; in a
eup!ori%ally 'i'i* )ay; my o)n innermost %on'i%tions )!i%! I !a* been unable
to %larify e'en to myself.
S!e reasone* li8e a )esterner an* treate* t!e t!emes of In*ia9s spirituality
)it! a )estern languaging )!i%! )as bot! lyri%al an* rational; an* at t!e !ig!est
*egree of e=%ellen%e. In !er )ritings t!ere )as a re'olution; a re'ersal of 'alues.
Contemplation of <eauty in nature an* in some forms of art li8e musi% )as not
to be %onsi*ere* a fleeting emotion fee*ing a lazy longing for an in*efinable
spiritual e=perien%e. It !a* to be li'e* )it! an in*omitable stri'ing to)ar* a
*i'inization of life. Spellboun*; I %ontemplate* t!e s!immering splen*or of a full
manifestation of t!e 5i'ine in t!e atoms of inert matter. T!ere )as a fragran%e in
t!is ne'erbeforemet i*ea )!i%! e=%ite* an* mo'e* me. T!ere )ere moments in
)!i%! my !ea* felt !ot as if I )ere fe'eris!.
I gra*ually began to e=amine my )ay of pra%ti%ing Kriya Yoga an*
realize* t!e %omple=ity of my self*e%eption. Entering a KriyaBfoun*e*
organization !a* resulte* in being ensnare* an* be)il*ere* by many fairy tales
an* spe%ulati'e i*eas )!olly unsupporte* by fa%ts.
:y approa%! an* attitu*e to)ar*s t!e spiritual pat! )as improper. I )as
%on'in%e* t!at fin*ing Kriya )as a stro8e of lu%8; a gift from t!e 5i'ine; *ue to
a %ertain merit on my part of )!i%! I )as una)are. :y personal %ommitment
itself !a* been unimpressi'e. I also realize* t!at t!e *esire to abi*e by t!e 'alues
instille* in me by my %ulture !a* been gra*ually t)iste*. It )as as if a large
portion of my brain )it!*re); )!ile anot!er portion; )!i%! *i* its utmost to
belie'e )!at )as %on'enient to belie'e; trie* to usurp its fun%tion. People began
to loo8 at me as a man )!o %!ose a simple life style mar8e* by lofty prin%iples;
not seeing !o) my Hu*gment )as impaire* an* pra%ti%ally none=istent.
?!ile my first efforts in e=ploring my boo8learne* Pranayama )ere
a%%ompanie* by %onstant intelle%tual stri'ing for perfe%tion BI %oul* rely only on
my intuitionF )!ile pra%ti%ing; I anti%ipate* its ine'itable progression an* )as
.uietly e=%ite* *uring ea%! moment of itC; after)ar*; !a'ing re%ei'e* Kriya! t!e
i*ea of pra%ti%ing >t!e fastest te%!ni.ue in t!e fiel* of spiritual e'olution> ma*e
t!e intensity of my effort lose its e*ge. :y Kriya Pranayama; pra%ti%e* )it!
ent!usiasm for some mont!s; be%ame a tran.uil goo* !abit.
,part from ot!er foolis! t!oug!ts; I !a* s)allo)e* t!e %!il*is! i*ea t!at
ea%! Kriya breat! %oul* pro*u%e >t!e e.ui'alent of a solar year of spiritual
e'olution> an* t!at t!roug! a million of t!ese breat!s I )oul* infallibly rea%!
Cosmi% Cons%iousness. I trie* to perform t!e greatest possible number of
Pranayama in or*er to .ui%8ly %omplete t!at million. I *i*n9t realize t!at I !a*
slippe* into a min*less !abit; an* t!erefore felt no s!ame nor remorse.
:y iron)ille* *is%ipline )as softene* by t!e !ypnoti% promise of t!e
>G$r$9s <lessings>. >,ren9t you gla* to !a'e foun* a true G$r$@> For years I
!ear* t!is refrain from my Kriya organization; >,ren9t you ent!usiasti% t!at 4e
!as been %!osen for you by Io* 4imself@> >O! yes )e are !appy> )e replie*
)it! tears of Hoy. T!is i*ea; more t!an any ot!er fa%tor; !a* let!al effe%ts on meF
it )as t!e %ra*le in )!i%! my ego )as fe* an* strengt!ene*.
To remin* myself t!at I !a* entere* t!e Kriya organization only to perfe%t
my alrea*y goo* pra%ti%e of Pranayama paine* me. It )as imperati'e to re%reate
t!e spirit of my original sear%!.
<hree important de/isions
?!at I am about to *es%ribe )as t!e most re)ar*ing perio* of my life. I loo8
upon it as t!e *a)n of t!e true un*erstan*ing; an* I !ope to ne'er forget t!e
lesson it %ontains.
,fter rea*ing Sri ,urobin*o an* T!e :ot!er; I foun* t!e %ourage to again
be a selftaug!t person. 5uring t!e first season of my interest in esoteri% matters
an* oriental pra%ti%e of me*itation; I !a* foun* easytofollo) instru%tions in an
unassuming boo8. T!e instru%tions )ere simple but I put all my passion in t!em;
espe%ially t!e )is! to pursue my %on%ept of <eauty t!roug! Yoga. 5ay after *ay;
)!en ot!er *istra%tions an* *oubts %ame; )!en t!e initial ent!usiasm
*iminis!e*; I tena%iously %arrie* on )it! my i*eals an* my *is%ipline. T!e result
)as t!e K$ndalini e=perien%e. No); about 1" years later; I foun* myself ba%8 at
t!e beginning. I )as rea*y to %arry on persistently; *espite %riti%isms an* *oubts;
t!ree basi% resolutions6
1. T!e Kriya routine I pra%ti%e* !a* to be re%onsi*ere* an* restru%ture*;
applying Patan)ali9s prin%iples.
". ,t t!e en* of ea%! Kriya session; I !a* to %all to min* my o)n %on%eption of
t!e ultimate goal of t!e spiritual pat!; e=perien%ing intense aspiration for t!e
$. I !a* t!e moral *uty to pra%ti%e Kriya 'ia t!e state of "ental %ilen/e a%!ie'e*
by using 3apa *uring my *aily life.
?!at resulte* from t!is *e%ision an* still remains in my !eart as a pea8
e=perien%e )as6 t!e <reat!less state. T!ese resolutions are elu%i*ate* belo).
() K%*y# Ro+!*"$ #,*-*". ,y P#!#"/#l*0 1%*"2*1l$
PatanHali )as a pioneer in t!e art of rationally !an*ling t!e mysti%al pat!; aiming
at in*i'i*ualizing a uni'ersal; p!ysiologi%al *ire%tion of inner e'ents t!at
e=plaine* )!y a %ertain p!enomenon; in!erent to t!e spiritual pat!; s!oul* be
pre%e*e* an* ne%essarily follo)e* by ot!er ones. 4is e=treme synt!esis may be
%riti%ize* or; be%ause of its temporal *istan%e; may be !ar* to un*erstan*F
!o)e'er; !is )or8 is of e=traor*inary importan%e. :any aut!ors of Kriya Yoga
say t!at t!e t!eory e=presse* by PatanHali is t!e same as Kriya YogaD t!at
PatanHali an* La!iri :a!asaya substantially *ealt )it! t!e same pra%ti%e. I
belie'e t!at t!is is partly true. PatanHali is far from %larifying all t!e aspe%ts of
Kriya an* t!ere is a remar8able *ifferen%e bet)een t!e final steps of !is Yoga
Bespe%ially harana an* hyanaC an* t!e relate* p!ases of Kriya Yoga.
T!ere are *ifferent )ays of translating t!e Sans8rit terms summarizing
PatanHali9s eig!t steps of Yoga6 Yama! #iyama! Asana! Pranayama! Pratyahara!
harana! hyana! %amadhi.
Yama6 self%ontrol Bnon'iolen%e; a'oi* lies; a'oi* stealing; a'oi* being
lustful an* see8 nonatta%!mentCF #iyama6 religious obser'an%es B%leanliness;
%ontentment; *is%ipline; stu*y of t!e Self an* surren*er to t!e Supreme Io*C. ,s
for Asana Bposition of t!e bo*yC; PatanHali e=plains it must be stable an*
%omfortable. T!ere is no !int of preliminary e=er%ises of %on%entration; mu%!
less of me*itation. T!e first interesting %on%ept of PatanHali is Pranayama!
*efine* as regulation of t!e Prana by repetition of parti%ular breat!ing patterns.
T!roug! Pranayama a state of %almness an* poise is to be %reate* )!i%!
be%omes t!e foun*ation for t!e subse.uent step; Pratyahara! in )!i%! t!e
a)areness is *is%onne%te* from e=ternal reality. ,ll our fi'e senses !a'e t!us
been turne* in)ar*. You are le* to un*erstan* t!at t!e te%!ni.ues )!i%! re.uire
mo'ement s!oul* be %omplete* before t!is p!aseF t!e breat! an* t!e !eart s!oul*
!a'e t!e time ne%essary to slo) *o)n.
,fter Pratyahara %omes harana. PatanHali e=plains t!at after t!e breat!9s
*isappearan%e; a yogi s!oul* loo8 for a p!ysi%al or abstra%t obHe%t onto )!i%! !e
mig!t turn !is %on%entration an* pra%ti%e a sort of %ontemplati'e me*itation in
su%! a )ay as to lose !imself in it. harana is %on%entration Bfo%using t!e
min*.C Furt!er; hyana is t!e persisten%e of t!at fo%using as a stea*y
uninterrupte* flo) of a)areness )!i%! fully e=plores all aspe%ts of t!e %!osen
obHe%t. %amadhi is t!e furt!er step of perfe%t spiritual absorption B*eep
%ontemplation in )!i%! t!e obHe%t of me*itation be%omes inseparable from t!e
me*itator !imself.C
,s for my Kriya pra%ti%e; my basi% un*erstan*ing in t!ose *ays )as t!at
t!e so%alle* Higher Kriyas Bea%! re.uiring mo'ementC !a* to be pra%ti%e*
*uring t!e Pranayama p!ase. , long p!ase of internalization of %ons%iousness
an* energy in perfe%t immobility s!oul* follo). In my opinion; harana! t!e a%t
of fo%using attention; implie* %on%entration on t!e Cha5ras. You begin to
%on%entrate on ea%! Cha5ra an* forget yourselfF in t!is )ay harana
spontaneously be%omes hyana! t!e bor*ers bet)een t!e t)o being
in*istinguis!able in pra%ti%e. %amadhi is t!e su**en burning )it! a limitless Hoy
t!at; sooner or later; you e=perien%e.
From t!at moment on)ar*s; I began to en* my routine )it! a pro%e*ure
t!at I %all >mental Pranayama'> I pause my a)areness on ea%! Cha5ra about 13
se%on*s E as a bee *ra)n to t!e ne%tar in flo)ers !o'ers o'er ea%! in great
*elig!t E slig!tly >tou%!ing> t!eir nu%leus along an %ounter%lo%8)ise Bas 'ie)e*
from abo'eC pat!. T!e %on%entration on t!e t!ir* eye E t!at >in)ar* eye> )!i%!
?or*s)ort! appropriately *efines as >t!e bliss of solitu*e> E !appens
3) E"-*". $#2h %o+!*"$ ,y +%%$"-$%*". !o o"$0 Ih!# D$4#!#
?e 8no) t!at *shta e&ata *enotes one9s fa'orite form of %on%ei'ing or
'isualizing t!e 5i'ine. Pre*ominantly; t!at form *epen*s upon t!e religious
tra*ition in )!i%! a *e'otee is born. T!ere is no *oubt t!at; on a spiritual pat!; it
is 'ital to buil* an internal relations!ip )it! one9s *shta e&ata.
So; I %ame to t!e %on%lusion t!at <eauty in Nature is my *shta e&ata' In
my yout!; my pro%li'ity to)ar*s nature be%ame soon pollute* by t!e *esire to
ta8e refuge into its pea%e. I )ante* to *eta%! from t!e e'ents of t!e *ay an* fin*
%omfort in an ent!usiasti% outpouring of poeti% emotions. Later; I a%8no)le*ge*
t!at I al)ays utilize* t!e re%olle%tion of <eauty in Nature to %reate in me a
glimpse of t!e 5i'ine; t!e 7eality beyon* t!e eart!ly one. ?!en; for e=ample; I
trie* to re%all my first %onta%t )it! t!e 0m soun*; it al)ays appeare* as t!e
tolling of a bell be%ause it )as t!e only aspe%t of it t!at I %oul* lo%ate in an
imaginary %ountrysi*e. ?oo*s; *eep green; per!aps a summer9s sunset sustaine*
my re'erie. No); ea%! session of my Kriya routine !a* to en* )it! a
'isualization of a )on*erful lan*s%ape; resus%itating my *shta e&ata; in'iting
me to let go of any resistan%e an* be seize* again by t!e real e=perien%e of t!e
5) P%#2!*2$ K%*y# *" !h$ !#!$ o6 7$"!#l *l$"2$ #2h*$4$- !h%o+.h &#1#
In t!ose *ays I rea* t!e autobiograp!y of S)ami 7am*as; t!e saint t!at mo'e*
far an* )i*e all o'er In*ia un%easingly repeating t!e "antra6 99%ri .am 3ai .am
3ai 3ai .am 0m.99 5is%o'ering t!e simpli%ity of !is life an* t!e greatness of !is
e=perien%e )as 'ery inspiringF !is p!oto an* t!e %!il*li8e simpli%ity of !is smile
8in*le* my *e'otion an* inspire* me to 99a*opt99 !is "antra.
4e )as born in 100( in 4os*rug; #erala; In*ia; an* name* 2ittal 7ao. 4e
li'e* a normal life an* e=perien%e* t!e usual ups an* *o)ns of a !ouse!ol*er9s
life. Often !e in.uire* about t!e true meaning of life an* felt t!e *esire to pursue
t!e spiritual pat! in or*er to feel genuine >Pea%e.> ,t t!e rig!t moment !is fat!er
initiate* !im into t!e .am "antra! assuring !im t!at by repeating it un%easingly
!e )oul*; in *ue time; a%!ie'e t!e *i'ine !appiness !e *esire*. It )as t!en t!at
7am*as renoun%e* t!e se%ular life an* )ent fort! in .uest of Io* as a men*i%ant
%adh$. T!e "antra >0m %ri .am 3ai .am 3ai 3ai .am> )as e'er on !is lips.
<esi*es t!e pra%ti%e of 3apa; !e a*opte* t!e *is%ipline of loo8ing upon all ot!er
people as forms of .am BIo*C! an* of a%%epting e'ery !appening as %oming
from t!e )ill of Io*. In a s!ort time t!e "antra *isappeare* from !is lips an*
entere* !is !eart. 4e be!el* a small %ir%ular lig!t in t!e spot bet)een !is
eyebro)s; )!i%! yiel*e* !im t!rills of *elig!t. T!en t!e *azzling lig!t permeate*
an* absorbe* !im. Lost in t!is ine=pressible bliss !e )oul* sit for !ours. T!e
)orl* appeare* to !im as a *im s!a*o). , stage )as soon rea%!e* )!en t!is
*)elling in t!e spirit be%ame a permanent an* un'arying e=perien%e.
4is tea%!ing )as e=tremely simple6
497epeat t!e one name G7amD at all times of t!e *ay an* at nig!ts )!en you are
a)a8e. You may be sure t!at you )ill not feel lonely or miserable as long as you
are uttering t!at glorious name. ?!ere t!is name is soun*e*; or me*itate* upon;
t!ere resi*es no sorro); no an=iety E nay; not e'en *eat!.99
99Atter 7ama9s name B0m %ri .am 3ai .am 3ai 3ai .amC any time; ami* all of
life9s *istra%tions; )!ene'er t!ere is a momentary return of your %ons%iousness
to Selfa)areness. ?!en t!is !appens you feel t!e ensuing Hoy an* you
%on%entrate on it as long as possible B)!ile repeating your Prayer.C In t!is )ay
you perfe%t your surren*er to Io*. T!is is to be pra%ti%e* )!en fa%ing e'ery
e'ent; e'ery *ay; an* in e'ery %ir%umstan%e. ,t Nig!t; )!en free from )orl*ly
*uties; you *e'ote yourself to intense pra%ti%e of 3apa.
S)ami 7am*as stu%8 to t!at pra%ti%e an* )as a%tually rolling in a sea of
in*es%ribable !appiness. 4e attaine* "ahasamadhi in 11-$.
4elpe* by a mala Brosary bea*sC; I starte* to pra%ti%e re%iting 3apa alou* 130
times Bt!e number of bea*s in a malaC *uring a )al8; an* mentally *uring t!e
remaining of t!e )al8. E'en t!oug! t!e oriental tra*itions re%ommen* *oing
3apa mentally; I 8ne) for %ertain t!at it s!oul* be *one alou* E at least for about
a !un*re* times.
T!e soun* of t!at "antra; )!i%! I !a* alrea*y !ear* in *ifferent
re%or*ings; )as 'ery pleasant. I lo'e* to prolong its 'ibration; ma8e it 'ibrate in
my %!est an* in'est it )it! my !eart9s aspiration. :y attitu*e )as not t!at of a
suppli%ating an* sobbing *e'otee; but t!at of a man )!o reHoi%es; being one step
a)ay from !is goal. Sin%e I obser'e* )!ile *oing it an irresistible impulse to put
e'eryt!ing in or*er; I t!oug!t t!at t!e "antra %oul* )or8 in a similar )ay by
%leaning out my mental stuff an* putting my >psy%!ologi%al furniture> in or*er.
T!erefore; e'en t!oug! sometimes I felt a bit *aze*; I ne'er *is%ar*e* t!is
I )ill no) *es%ribe !o) after an intense pra%ti%e of 3apa; I e=perien%e* t!e
breat!less state. ,t t!e en* of my Kriya session; )!ile rela=ing )it! mental
Pranayama Bpla%ing my a)areness in ea%! Cha5ra for 13"3 se%on*s ea%!C; I
*istin%tly per%ei'e* a fres! energy sustaining my bo*y from insi*e. I realize*
t!at my %ells )ere breat!ing pure energy )!i%! *i*n9t originate from t!e in!ale*
air. T!e more I rela=e*; t!e more I simultaneously be%ame a)are bot! of t!e
Cha5ras an* of t!e bo*y as a )!ole. T!e breat!; )!i%! in t!e meantime !a*
be%ome 'ery s!ort; e'entually rea%!e* immobility; li8e a pen*ulum gently
rea%!ing t!e e.uilibrium point. :y min* settle* *o)n. T!is %on*ition laste* a
fe) minutes )it!out any feeling of uneasinessF t!ere )as neit!er t!e least .ui'er
of surprise nor t!e t!oug!t; >Finally I !a'e itJ> T!e e'ent )as enHoyable beyon*
)or*s6 in a bluepainte* profun*ity; I )as mer%ilessly %rus!e* by t!e beauty of
nature an*; at t!e same time; situate* abo'e t!e )!ole )orl*. ,ll )as in%re*ibly
beautiful; beyon* imaginationJ I )as not breat!ing an* I *i* not feel t!e nee* to.
In t!e follo)ing *ays t!e same e'ent !appene* again *uring mental
Pranayama' <efore starting my Kriya pra%ti%e; I loo8e* at t!e surroun*ing
panorama an* )on*ere* if I )oul* again e=perien%e t!at *i'ine state. I *i*J I
)as astonis!e*F it seeme* impossible t!at 3apa! one of t!e simplest te%!ni.ues in
t!e )orl*; %oul* pro*u%e in(allibly su%! a 'aluable resultJ Compare* to t!e
breat!less state; my past e=perien%es *uring Kriya pra%ti%e seeme* 'anis!ing;
elusi'e; li8e luminous refle%tions on )ater. It )as 99soli*ity99 itself. ?!ere my
best intentions !a* faile*; 3apa !a* pro*u%e* t!e mira%leJ T!ere )as a perfe%t
asso%iation bet)een t!e pra%ti%e of 3apa an* t!e attainment of t!e breat!less
state. E'ery *ay I e=perien%e* it for myself.
T!is reliable result %reate* a moral strengt! in me t!at turne* into a %alm
eup!oria permeating my entire *ay. ?!ile tal8ing to ot!ers I remaine*
effortlessly %entere* on t!e feeling of un%!angeable %almness; )it!out being
in'ol'e* in t!e images arising from t!e )or*s. T!is ne) )ay of li'ing )as li8e
)al8ing out of a *ar8 stuffy room into sunlig!t an* fres! air. T!e magi% of t!is
brig!t; *azzling Prayer )!i%! sprea* into ea%! fa%et of my life %onfirme* in me
t!e belief t!at 3apa )as t!e only tool %apable of e=tra%ting >somet!ing perfe%t
an* sublime> from my life.
I plunge* )it! ent!usiasm into "antra an* Prayer literature in *ifferent
mysti%al pat!s. T!e intrinsi% 'alue of t!is pra%ti%e lies in t!e fa%t t!at it
anni!ilates t!e mental ba%8groun* noise. ?e %an put it in t!is )ay6 at t!e en* of
our Kriya pra%ti%e; )e %an enHoy a state of %almness )!ere almost all t!e
a%ti'ities of t!e min* !a'e subsi*e*. Anfortunately a *iffuse persistent
ba%8groun* noise ma8es it impossible to enter t!e aut!enti% "ental %ilen/e.
No); if )e pra%ti%e a %ertain amount of 3apa *uring t!e *ay Bnot imme*iately
before starting our me*itation routineC t!at noise gi'es pla%e to immobility an*
transparen%y6 t!e e=perien%e is fantasti%; une=pe%te*.
:any boo8s intro*u%ing t!e pra%ti%e of 3apa BPrayerC *o not e=plain t!is
pre%ious %on%ept but insist only upon a !eap of banalities. ?!en I rea* in
oriental boo8s t!at t!e mala BrosaryC for 3apa s!oul* be ma*e of t!is or of t!at
material; or t!at it s!oul* not be seen by ot!ers; or t!at t!e %$mer$ bea* Kan e=tra
bea* as t!e e=tension to t!e ro); )!i%! is t!e point at )!i%! one roun* of
%ounting aroun* t!e mala begins an* en*sL s!oul* ne'er be passe* Kif you *o t!e
mala t)i%e; you s!oul* turn it an* ma8e t!e last bea* be%ome t!e first bea* of
t!e se%on* roun*L ... I 8ne) t!at t!ese are first%lass i*io%ies. S)ami 7am*as9
simple autobiograp!y is )ort! a t!ousan* times more t!an t!ose useless essays
*epri'e* of any intelligen%e or passion.
Li8e)ise )!en I rea* )estern boo8s t!at insist on t!e fa%t t!at t!e po)er
of t!e 3apa BPrayerC lies not in your effort but in t!e 995i'ine Ira%e99 t!at %omes
only )!en you use a parti%ular formula %anonize* by a tra*itional pattern of
)ors!ip; I 8ne) t!at t!is is anot!er false!oo*.
T!e boo8s rarely !int at t!e main obsta%le6 often a *elusion arises in us in
t!e form of a s%ruple6 99 <y repeating my "antra me%!ani%ally all *ay long li8e a
parrot; arenDt I *oing t!e most min*numbing a%ti'ity in t!e )or*@ 5onDt t!e
fa%ulties of my min* get lazy; be%oming *ull tools@99 On t!e %ontraryJ You
*is%o'er t!at t!roug! 3apa t!e min* rests an* be%omes more a%ute.
I trie* to pass on t!is e=perien%e to ot!er persons. I am remin*e* of a frien* )!o
pra%ti%e* Kriya )it!out getting any result. I tal8e* to !im an* suggeste* 3apa
but I )as not able to e=plain myself %learly. One *ay !e s!o)e* me !o) !e !a*
interprete* my e=pli%ations an* I )as )itness to a lifeless pra%ti%e; a tire* plea
for Io*9s mer%y. I !a* t!e impression t!at !e too8 3apa as %erebral a%t. 4is
t!oug!ts )ere on t!e repetitionF its 'ibration )as not %onne%te* in any )ay to !is
bo*y. 4is %!osen "antra )as not!ing more t!an a sig! of selfpity. It )as not
surprising )!en; after some time; !e entirely aban*one* t!e pra%ti%e. ,ll
%!ange* later )!en !e too8 part in a group pilgrimage. Someone began to re%ite
t!e so%alle* rosary Ba set number of repetitions of t!e same prayerC; an* all t!e
pilgrims Hoine* in. E'en if tire* an* almost gasping for breat!; my frien* *i* not
)it!*ra) !imself from t!is pious a%ti'ity. ?!ile )al8ing an* praying softly;
murmuring un*er !is breat!; !e began to taste a state of un8no)n %almness. 4e
loo8e* )it! *ifferent eyes at t!e s!o) of %ontinuously %!anging lan*s%ape an*
!a* t!e impression of li'ing in a para*isia% situation. 4e )ent on repeating t!e
Prayer unremittingly for t!e entire )al8 B)!i%! surpasse* t!e "3 milesC;
%ompletely forgetting !e )as tire* an* sleepy. ?!en t!e group pause* to rest; !e
lu%8ily )as left alone un*isturbe*. 4e slippe* into an introspe%ti'e state an* )as
per'a*e* by somet!ing 'ibrating in !is o)n !eart )!i%! !e *efinitely i*entifie*
)it! Spiritual 7eality. 4is e%stati% state be%ame soli* as a ro%8; be%oming almost
unbearable; o'er)!elming !im.
:y frien* summarize* t!e %orre%t )ay of pra%ti%ing 3apa. 4e sai* t!at t!e
se%ret )as to not only rea%! but also go beyon* t!e state of >e=!austion.> ,fter
some *ays !e %!ose to repeat t!e same "antra I !a* %!osen an*; t!an8s to it; !e
rea%!e* t!e breat!less state.
4o)e'er; as far as I )as %on%erne*; after many )on*erful e=perien%es an* %lear
states of introspe%tion; t!at year .uietly %ame to an en*. T!e follo)ing year )as
not e.ually s!ining be%ause somet!ing !appene* t!at %reate* total %!aos in my
min* an* emotions. 5uring a trip to 2ienna B,ustriaC; I foun* a boo8 )ritten by
t!e In*ian %8ami Hariharananda; %laiming !e )as tea%!ing t!e original La!iri
:a!asaya9s Kriya an* P.Y.9s )as mentione* as a slig!tly mo*ifie* 'ersion of it.
,gain *e'oure* by t!e obsession of fin*ing t!e original Kriya; tormente* by my
Normally it is not ne%essary to go beyon* t!e frontier of e=!austion. Asually one !as 'ery goo*
effe%ts by %ompleting *aily one "ala Ba rosary of 130 bea*sC alou* t!en letting t!e repetition of one9s
"antra go a!ea* mentally an* automati%ally. 4o)e'er t!e 99la) of e=!austion99 is a 'aluable resour%e
for brea8ing some possible internal resistan%e an* e=perien%e t!us t!e breat!less state for t!e first
suspi%ion t!at P.Y. !a* taug!t a simplifie* form of Kriya in or*er to meet t!e
%onstraints of !is )esterner *is%iples! I stu*ie* !is boo8 !oping to uneart! t!e
original Kriya Pranayama.
In t!e meantime my *aily appli%ation of 3apa *e%rease*. Often I
formulate* t!e t!oug!t; >I must ne'er lose t!e enHoyment of t!e breat!less state;
e'en for a single minute. It is t!e most real t!ing I !a'e e'er e=perien%e*J> <ut
my frenzie* sear%! for t!e original Kriya ma*e me go %razy. I !a* opene* a *oor
t!at %oul*n9t be %lose* easily. T!e most intense feelings of Hoy an* satisfa%tion
%ame from rea*ing an* rerea*ing t!at boo8; un*erlining !ea'ily some senten%es.
I )as e=%ite* to rea* t!at Pranayama s!oul* be %onsi*ere* ina%%urate an* )rong
if; settling *o)n after fair number of breat!s; t!e pra%titioner !a* not !ear* t!e
internal soun* of 0m )it!out %losing !is ears. T!at senten%e )oul*n9t let me
sleep. It left dangero$s *oubts t!at an unimaginably *eep an* ri%! te%!ni.ue of
spiritual realization !a* been ta8en a)ay from me an* all )esterners only
be%ause P.Y. !a* foun* it *iffi%ult to tea%! to !is first ,meri%an *is%iples. ?as
t!is true; )as it false@ T!e issue is %ontro'ersial; but as far as my life )as
%on%erne* t!e )orl* of t!e >tra'eling G$r$s> )it! all t!eir !ysteri%al %laims an*
innumerable %ontra*i%tions too8 t!e pla%e of )!at I !a* patiently built. Se'eral
years elapse* before t!e !ea'enly %on*ition broug!t to my life by t!e breat!less
state )oul* return to me again.
C4,PTE7 (
T!e boo8 )ritten by t!e In*ian Kriya tea%!er %8ami Hariharananda; li8e
innumerable ot!ers I later rea*; )as only bait to %reate interest in t!e Kriya
s%!ool foun*e* by t!e aut!or an* ne'er in%lu*e* pra%ti%al e=planations. T!e
statements it %ontaine* )ere )ort!y of %onsi*erationF t!ey )ere surely from a
'ery *eep pra%ti%e of Pranayama. I !a* no i*ea )!en an* )!ere I )oul* !a'e
t!e opportunity to meet t!is tea%!er; but I foretaste* t!e possibility of *eepening
my Kriya Pranayama an*; per!aps; %larifying my ot!er *oubts %on%erning
Ke/hari "$dra an* t!e Higher Kriyas'
7e%alling a p!rase )!i%! !a* es%ape* t!e lips of t!e la*y me*itation
%ounselor about a 'ariation of Kriya Pranayama taug!t to some *is%iples by P.Y.;
I %on'in%e* myself t!at t!e 8ey te%!ni%al a**ition )as to mentally %!ant 0m in
t!e Cha5ras )!ile *ire%ting all attention possible to t!e internal astral soun*s.
,ny effort to)ar* listening to t!e internal soun*s is 'ery )ell re)ar*e*.
T!e beauty of t!at perio* )!en I !a* pra%ti%e* t!e >0m te%!ni.ue> Bre%ei'e*
from my s%!oolC !a* not been surpasse* by any ot!er e'ent. ItDs !ar* to %on'ey
!o) in%re*ibly %omforting an* liberating t!at e=perien%e )as.
No); by applying t!e abo'e *es%ribe* %onHe%ture; I %oul* listen again to
t!e astral soun*s an* retrie'e t!at <eauty. So I 8ept on listening an* listening
in)ar*ly not only to t!e soun* of t!e breat! but to any ot!er internal soun*
feebly manifesting *uring Kriya Pranayama. I %an9t remember !o) many Kriya
breat!s I pra%ti%e* ea%! *ay; surely ne'er more t!an (0-3. ,fter a fe) *ays t!e
an%ient )ell 8no)n s)eetness again entere* my life an* I gratefully )el%ome* it
)it! open !eart.
T!e strange part )as I !a*nDt e'en met t!e tea%!er yet; I !a* only rea* !is
boo8. It )as t!e intensity of my pra%ti%e t!at )as e=tremeJ I !a* a %lear
per%eption t!at a state of in%on%ei'able s)eetness )as mine; t!at I %oul* taste it
e'ery *ay; *uring t!e pra%ti%e an* in e'ery moment )!en I reste*; free from
)or8. To preser'e t!at 0m5ar per%eption )it! t!e utmost %are be%ame t!e sole
fo%us of my %on%entration.
9irst <ea/her o$tside the 0rgani6ation
<efore un*ergoing surgery in t!e Anite* States; t!e aut!or of t!e boo8; %8ami
Hariharananda! )as stopping o'er in Europe. I )or8e* 'ery !ar* to meet !im
an* re%ei'e !is Kriya initiation on t!at o%%asion. T!at moment %ame at lastJ For
me; !is intro*u%tory %onferen%e )as of great emotional impa%t. 4e !a* a
maHesti% an* noble bearing. 4e )as >!an*somely> )rappe* in !is o%!er %lot!esF
!is ol* age; an* long !air an* bear* mar8e* t!e features of t!e typi%al sage. I
%aug!t glimpses of !im )!ile !e spo8e; !i**en by t!e front ro)sF I felt !e )as
tal8ing about La!iri :a!asaya9s lega%y from *ire%t e=perien%e.
T!e t!eoreti%al %on%epts !e intro*u%e* )ere absolutely ne) to me an*
%reate* a beautiful %onsistent frame)or8 for a Kriya pra=is base* on a uni.ue
progressi'e pro%ess of tuning into t!e 0m5ar reality. Li8e a t!rea* passing
t!roug! all t!e pearls of a ne%8la%e; 0m5ar )as %oursing t!roug! all t!e *ifferent
p!ases of Kriya. Furt!ermore; t!e 0m5ar reality !a* to be per%ei'e* not only in
t!e aspe%ts of soun* an* lig!t but also as a >s)inging sensation> Banot!er time !e
spo8e about a feeling of pressureC. For me; !is stupen*ous; appealing )or*s )ere
a re'elation; but at %ertain moments my fo%us on te%!ni%al *etail ma*e me
unable to gi'e *ue attention to )!at !e )as saying. :y obsession )as6 >?!at
8in* of t!roat soun* is to be pro*u%e* in t!is original KriyaF to )!i%! %enter *oes
t!e energy rise in t!e spine@>
To ma8e %lear t!e proper s)inging aspe%t of 0m5ar; !e tou%!e* some of
t!e stu*ents Bt!eir !ea* an* %!estC ma8ing !is !an* 'ibrate; trying to transmit
t!is .ui'ering to t!eir bo*y. 4e )as lea*ing t!e au*itorium into a )on*rous
*imension; gi'ing !imself %ompletely to us so t!at )e %oul* feel t!e %ore essen%e
of t!e 0m5ar e=perien%e.
T!e initiation into t!e 9irst Kriya t!rille* an* *isappointe* me at t!e same
time. T!e for)ar* ben*ings t!at pre%e*e* t!e "aha "$dra )ere really pre%ious
an* so )as t!e final me*itation %alle* Para&astha Bimproperly; in my opinionC
but t!e Kriya Pranayama seeme* to !a'e *isappeare* an* been re*u%e* to a
pro%ess of raising t!e Cha5ras in A)na or %ahasrara t!roug! a )ay of breat!ing
)!i%! )as less long an* less intense t!an t!e one use* until no) *uring Kriya
Pranayama. 4a'ing )!at !e )rote years ago in !is boo8 fres! in my min*; it
)as a plain fa%t to me t!at t!is tea%!er too; o'er t!e %ourse of t!e years; !a*
simplifie* t!e original te%!ni.ue.
,mong t!e people )!o %onsistently atten*e* !is seminars; t!ere )as no
mystery about t!e many te%!ni%al *etails of Kriya Yoga t!at !e 8ept on %!anging;
year after year. One of !is intimate *is%iples %onfirme* to me t!at in t!e past t!e
%8ami !a* taug!t Kriya Pranayama proper enri%!e* by %!anting 0m in ea%!
Cha5ra. For t!is reason I *e%i*e* to ne'er e=%lu*e my goo* ol* Kriya
Pranayama )it! long breat! from my pra%ti%e. To it I )oul* no) a** )!at !e
)as tea%!ing.
It )as )inter an* I !a* a t!ree )ee8 'a%ation. I spent e'ery morning )rappe* in
t!e )armt! of my !ome; pra%ti%ing as mu%! as possible; applying t!e
fun*amental %on%epts !e emp!asize* so mu%!. 4e !a* e=plaine* t!at to ma8e a
remar8able spiritual progress; you s!oul* engage yoursel'es in be%oming a)are
of at least 1/"0 breat!s a *ay. 4en%e; I ma*e a parti%ular effort to remain a)are
of t!e breat! Ba %alm s!ort breat!; almost imper%eptible an* on t!e 'erge of
*isappearingC for about t!ree !ours; lin8ing ea%! breat! )it! a *ifferent Cha5ra.
I e=perien%e* a total %ontentment an* ease; as if my Kriya pat! !a* %ome
to its fulfillment. , firste'er Bha5ti B*e'otionC arouse* spontaneously; %rosse*
t!e )all of t!e psy%!ologi%al *imension an* ma*e life an* spiritual e=perien%e
in*istinguis!able. <y *ay; e'eryt!ing seeme* surroun*e* by a 99pa**e* %oating99;
re*u%ing all *issonan%es. E'eryt!ing )as as if transfigure*F it )as li8e li'ing in a
perfe%t reality an* all )orries too8 flig!t; gone from my sig!t.
I also spent some *ays in a beautiful lo%ation e.uippe* for )inter sport; )!ere I
%oul* )an*er aimlessly aroun* t!e sno))!ite %ountrysi*e. ?!ile I )as lazily
roaming about; t!e sun set early; painting t!e lan*s%ape )it! breat!ta8ing %olorsF
t!e small 'illage; sun8 in t!e sno); starte* to ra*iate in a fe) se%on*s of glory all
t!e %olors of t!e spe%trum of lig!t. :y memory )ill al)ays !ol* it as t!e
splen*i* symbol of t!is )on*erful perio* in my life.
T!e )inter 'a%ation en*e* an* I returne* to my Hob. 5uring my spare time
I )oul* t!in8 about )!at a pre%ious He)el t!e Kriya te%!ni.ue )as; 'isualizing
t!e possibility of a future *eepening after a similar %ommitment to t!e Higher
Kriyas also.
One *ay )!ile still at )or8; I )as in a room from )!i%! I %oul* see t!e
*istant mountains t!roug! a )in*o) pane; an* %ontemplate t!e pure %elestial s8y
abo'e t!em. I )as in e%stasyJ T!at *istant s8y )as t!e mirror of my future years;
)!olly *e*i%ate* to Kriya Yoga. For t!e first time t!e prospe%t of retiring an*
li'ing on a minimal in%ome; maintaining t!is state for t!e rest of my *ays; starte*
to ta8e real s!ape.
%8ami Hariharananda also taug!t a simplifie* form of %e/ond Kriya; )!i%! I
learne* mont!s later. ,s for re%ei'ing ot!er a*'an%e* te%!ni.ues; !e e=presse*
!imself a*amantly6 t!e re.uest of being initiate* in t!em implie* a la%8 of
engagement in t!e basi% te%!ni.ues. <eing a)are t!at t!e original Kriya spirit
!a* been lost in ot!er s%!ools; !e fo%use* only on passing on its nu%leus. 4e !a*
trie* all La!iri :a!asaya9s te%!ni.ues; %on%lu*ing t!at some of t!em )ere not
essential )!ile ot!ers )ere rat!er too *eli%ate an* *iffi%ult to be learne*.
,ttempts ma*e by ine=perien%e* stu*ents to effe%ti'ely use t!ese te%!ni.ues
often resulte* in a useless *istra%tion for t!e stu*ents an* a )aste of time for !im
as a tea%!er.
?!at !e sai* ma*e *efinite sense; but %ontribute* to !is isolation. 4e *i* not
ta8e into %onsi*eration t!e insatiable %uriosity of t!e maHority of 5riyabans )!o
a%%epte* no interferen%e in t!eir .uest. 4is unfortunate *e%ision to lea'e out
some of La!iri :a!asayaDs te%!ni.ues Bnot only parts of t!e Higher Kriyas; but
also basi% te%!ni.ues su%! as Ke/hari "$dra an* #a&i KriyaC triggere* an
automati% refle= )!i%! pus!e* a)ay t!e people most in*ispensable to !im.
Consume* by a t!irst for t!e %omplete tea%!ings; t!ey began to sear%! for ot!er
tea%!ers. 5isappointe* by t!eir *efe%tion; !e stubbornly fo%use* e'en more
pointe*ly on t!e essen%e of t!e tea%!ing an* t!e furt!er simplifi%ation of t!e
9irst Kriya te%!ni.ues. T!ose )!o trie* to get t!is absur*ity a%ross to !im an*
t!ereby pre'ent it foun* t!emsel'es fa%ing a stone )all.
4e !a* all t!e tools ne%essary to attra%t t!e )estern )orl*. T!e boo8 !e
!a* )ritten !a* been a smart strategi% mo'e )!i%! ma*e !im popular in t!e
?est; sa'ing for !imself a pla%e of %ru%ial importan%e in t!e *omain of Kriya.
:oreo'er; !is In*iansage figure impresse* people. 4un*re*s of s%!olars )ere
rea*y to ba%8 !is mission an* treat !im as a >*i'inity>; an* )ere )illing to s!o)
t!e same respe%t to possible %ollaborators an* su%%essors.
Yet t!e soil !e plo)e* an* )as %ulti'ating starte* to be%ome sterile. I sa)
t!e s%ope of !is isolation )!en one *ay *uring a Kriya re'ie) lesson; !e tol* !is
publi% t!at real Kriya Pranayama %oul* only ta8e pla%e in a state of %alm breat!
an* t!at t!e one mar8e* by a long *eep breat! B)!i%! many 8ne) )as
%!ara%teristi% of La!iri :a!asaya9s lega%yC )as goo*; in !is opinion; only for
998in*ergarten %!il*ren>J 4e %lose* !is nostrils )it! !is fingers an* 8ept t!at
position for some time. In t!is )ay t!at !e implie* t!at !e !a* mastere* t!e
breat!less state an* t!at t!e publi% )as neit!er able to un*erstan*; nor pra%ti%e;
I t!oug!t about !o) many *isappointments !e must !a'e !a* to %on'in%e
!im to ma8e su%! a pe%uliar *emonstration. Per!aps !e !a* only met people )!o
)ere not able to a*opt t!e *is%ipline of a regular me*itation pra%ti%e an*
t!erefore *i* not gain any benefit. Anfortunately; many per%ei'e* !is be!a'ior as
a nasty %omment t!at t!e au*ien%e )as unable to un*erstan* t!e *eep meaning of
)!at !e )as *es%ribing. T!e stu*ents staring at !im )ere at a %omplete lossF !e
must !a'e seeme* bizarre an* pe%uliar to t!em. T!e result )as t!at t!e beginners
sense* only t!at t!ere )as too large a *istan%e to be bri*ge* bet)een t!em an*
t!e :aster. T!ose )!o alrea*y !a* a goo* mastering of Kriya !a* t!e final
%onfirmation t!at )!at !e !a* taug!t up to t!at moment )as a simple
intro*u%tion to Kriya an* *i* not pro'i*e t!e 8ey to obtaining t!e e=periential
It is true t!at a lot of people )ere %ontent )it! !is Kriya! but t!ey )oul*
ne'er organize a seminar for t!eir tea%!er. Fran8ly spea8ing; t!e fait!fulness of
t!e many )as not enoug! to a'oi* t!e )orst. 4is %ommen*able effort; all t!e
mar'elous subtleties by )!i%! !e !a* enri%!e* our Kriya an* ma*e t!is pra%ti%e
far more beautiful; )as not enoug! to pre'ent a s!ip)re%8 of !is mission E at
least !ere in Europe.
Asing t!e same fliers an* %!anging only t!e :aster9s name an* p!oto;
many of t!e people )!o formerly organize* !is seminars in'ite* anot!er tea%!er
from In*ia be%ause t!ey 8ne) !e )as )ell*ispose* to e=plain Kriya in its
%omplete form. T!is in'itation )as per!aps ma*e more out of *esperation t!an of
%on'i%tion be%ause t!ose )!o !a* alrea*y met !im in In*ia 8ne) !is o)n
spiritual realization )as almost none=istent. <e%ause of 'isa problems; it too8
t)o years before !e finally lan*e* in Europe; an* )!en !e arri'e* pra%ti%ally all
t!e before*es%ribe* tea%!er9s *is%iples )ere rea*y to )el%ome t!is ne) guru as
t!eir Io*sent messenger.
T!is ne) tea%!er *i* in fa%t gi'e us t!e 'ery %ra'e* for Ke/hari "$dra;
t!e #a&i Kriya an* ot!ers. <ut let me first *es%ribe t!e most *isappointing
meeting of my life.
%e/ond tea/her
?!ile )aiting for t!e ne) tea%!er from In*ia to obtain a 'isa granting
permission to enter Europe; I %ame in %onta%t )it! a Kriya s%!ool totally separate
from t!e ot!ers. T!e Kriya Yoga t!ey taug!t )as base* upon t!e tea%!ings of an
In*ian personage )!o %laime* !e )as a *ire%t *is%iple of Baba)i. In t!is s%!ool
t!e main te%!ni.ue of Kriya Pranayama )as %ouple* )it! many ot!er tea%!ings
groupe* un*er four main !ea*ings6 Hatha Yoga! hyana Yoga! "antra Yoga an*
Bha5ti Yoga' T!e i*ea of !a'ing foun* a sour%e from )!i%! I %oul* learn
e'eryt!ing about Kriya e=%ite* me tremen*ously. ,t t!at time I %oul* not realize
t!at t!is s%!ool !a* not!ing to *o )it! La!iri :a!asaya9s tea%!ing.
T!e intro*u%tory boo8 to t!is s%!ool )as 'ery strange6 its illustrations
Somet!ing remains in*ee*; but 'ery s%anty %ompare* to )!at !e %oul* !a'e realize* if only !e !a*
been more %on%iliatory.
ga'e t!e impression of a fairytale. In t!is boo8 t!ere )as no mention of
te%!ni.ues li8e <alabya Kriya! Ke/hari "$dra! #a&i Kriya! 0m5ar Pranayama!
T!e s%!ool offere* t!ree le'els of Kriya! easy to obtain in about t!ree
years if you s!o)e* enoug! %ommitment. T!e first le'el *i*n9t *isappoint me;
but *i* lea'e me a bit perple=e*. T!e tea%!er )as obsesse* )it! t!e pre%ept of
not !ol*ing one9s breat!; t!erefore t!e te%!ni.ue of Yoni "$dra; )!i%! is
fun*amental for La!iri :a!asaya; )as %onsi*ere* *angerous an* t!us banne*.
T!eir Kriya Pranayama )as in*ee* beautiful. T!e most annoying t!ing )as t!at
on%e you !a* %omplete* t!e pres%ribe* number breat!s; t!e pro%ess you !a* put
into motion !a* to su**enly be relin.uis!e* an* s)it%!e* to hyana Kriya; a
me*itation )!i%! !a* not!ing to *o )it! spine; Cha5ras et%.
<efore re%ei'ing instru%tion from t!is s%!ool; I !a* mi=e* )!at I !a*
learne* from P.Y.9s organization )it! %8ami 4.9s tea%!ing an* !a* %reate* a 'ery
pleasant routine )!ose final part B%on%entration on t!e Cha5rasC )as pure
*elig!t. Seriously pra%ti%ing t!is ne) routine; t!ere gre) )it!in me a mar8e*
longing for )!at I !a* relin.uis!e*. I !a* t!e !ea'y sensation of gaining not!ing
T!e %entral %ore of t!e %e/ond ,e&el )as initiation into In*ian "antras'
T!is subHe%t )as more appealing to me. T!e *ay of initiation into a "antra )as
pro%ee*e* by a *ay of silen%eF entran%e* )e listene* a splen*i* lesson upon t!e
utility of t!e pra%ti%e of 3apa. T!ere )ere ot!er tea%!ings t!at left me perple=e*.
Sin%e I !a* pla%e* mu%! !ope on t!e up%oming t!ir* le'el; I en*ure* it all.
T!e t!ir* le'el )as an atro%ious *elusion. T!ere )ere no proper Higher
Kriyas but instea* %lassi% Yoga te%!ni.ues; suitable for a preparatory %ourse to
Kriya. T!e si= %amadhi te%!ni.ues; gi'en at t!e %on%lusion of t!at ener'ating
an* boring %ourse; )ere6 a 'ariation of t!e Hong %a$ te%!ni.ue; t!ree fairly
%ommon te%!ni.ues of 'isualization; t!e %lassi% instru%tion of %ontinuous
a)areness *uring t!e *ay an*; at t!e en*; a 'ariation of t!e same 0m me*itation
te%!ni.ue I !a* re%ei'e* from my first Kriya organization. T!e 'ariations of t!e
Hong %a$ te%!ni.ue; as )ell as of t!e 0m te%!ni.ue; seeme* *e'ise* by a lazy
min* )!ose only purpose in mo*ifying t!em )as to a'oi* t!e a%%usation of
!a'ing %opie* from P.Y.9s organization; )it! no %on%ern as to )!et!er t!e
resulting te%!ni.ues )ere *e'oi* of t!eir po)er. For e=ample; in t!e first
te%!ni.ue; t!e 99Hong %a$99 "antra )as repla%e* by >0m Baba)i> forgetting t!at
Hong %a$ is a uni'ersal "antra )!ose syllables )ere spe%ifi%ally %!osen for
t!eir po)er of %alming t!e breat!; )it! )!i%! t!ey !a'e a 'ibratory %onne%tion.
T!e t!ree te%!ni.ues of 'isualization )ere of a genre one %oul* fin* in any boo8
on %on%entration an* me*itation te%!ni.ues. For many of us )!o !a* yearlong
e=perien%e )it! t!e preliminarytoKriya te%!ni.ues offere* by P.Y.9s
organization; being retaug!t t!ose te%!ni.ues; *isguise* an* passe* off as
%amadhi te%!ni.ues; )as a%tually li8e a %ol* s!o)er.
Some of us *are* to as8 t!e tea%!er9s opinion about La!iri :a!asaya9s Kriya. ,t
first !e )as reti%ent an* *i* not seem gla* about our interest; t!en !e too8
%ourage an* s!are* !is 'ie)s. 4e belie'e* t!at La!iri :a!asaya !a* not
pra%ti%e* )it! total %ommitment all t!e tea%!ings !e re%ei'e* from <abaHi;
t!erefore !e ... *ie*. ,stoun*e*; )e realize* t!at sin%e La!iri :a!asaya !a* not
obtaine* immortality Bas; in t!is tea%!er9s opinion; s!oul* !appen to t!ose )!o
gi'e t!eir all to applying Kriya integrallyC; our tea%!er )as *ismissi'e of !im.
<ut let me en* tal8ing about all t!is an* get ba%8 to ot!er %onsi*erations.
*nterme66o= #e8BAgeBPoll$ted Kriya Yoga
T!e min*set I *e'elope* in follo)ing t!is s%!ool le* me to meet people an*
groups in )!i%! Kriya Yoga )as pollute* )it! #e8BAge t!emes. I am remin*e*
of t!ose *ays )!ene'er I listen to t!e tape re%or*ings of *e'otional %!ants )!i%!
I boug!t at t!at time. Asually I fell in lo'e )it! an In*ian bha)an an* sang it
)it!in me all t!roug! t!e *ay. For me it !a* mu%! t!e same nature of foo*F I
really !a* t!e impression of eating t!at musi%.
Coming a%ross *ifferent groups of people )!o pra%ti%e* Kriya! I !a* t!e
feeling of meeting a family more 'ast an* 'arie* t!an my first Kriya group )!o
stri%tly follo)e* P.Y.9s tea%!ings.
<as8ing in my state of elation; I *i*n9t un*erstan* mu%! about t!eir a%tual
*ayto*ay life. T!e only o** trait I noti%e* )as a %lumsy attempt to abi*e by t!e
rules of an oriental lifestyle; )!i%! !a* !ere *eteriorate* to t!e %ulti'ation of a
fe) inno%ent an* sometimes funny fa**iness. I learne* to relate to ea%! person E
for e=ample; to t!ose )!o )oul* !ost me )!ene'er a seminar )as !el* in a
*istant %ity E t!e )ay an e=plorer *eals )it! un8no)n animals; )aiting for any
e%%entri% re'elation. ,t times I )oul* rea%t to t!eir o**ness sar%asti%allyF it )as
somet!ing I Hust %oul* not !elp; it %ame out so spontaneously.
Later on I !a* o%%asion to meet an* approa%! more intimately t!ose )!o
organize* t!e Kriya Yoga initiation seminaries for our tra'eling G$r$s. T!ey
ga'e t!e impression of being !onest resear%!ers an* al)ays guarantee* t!at no
nonsense )oul* e'er slip out of t!eir mout!s. I learne* to listen to t!em
respe%tfully an* silently )!ene'er t!ey %orre%te* some of my fan%y
interpretations of Kriya Yoga. I )as surprise* )!en one of t!em; )it!out being
e=!ibitionisti%; .uote* by !eart a fe) lines from a )or8 by P.Y. E t!e same
prop!eti% lines )!i%! !a* on%e been t!e sour%e of so many un%ertainties for me.
4e rea* an* rerea* t!roug! t!ose te=ts se'eral times trying to *e%o*e t!emF !e
really straine* in stu*ying t!ose te=ts.
:y relations!ip )it! t!ose resear%!ers )as base* on real affe%tion an* it
ne'er %ame to *isagreement; bitterness or formality. T!ey )ere al)ays generous
to)ar* me an* respe%tful of my personality. ?!ile passionately s!aring
e'eryt!ing t!ey !a* learne*; no matter if it %ost t!em a great *eal of time; effort
an* money; ne'er *i* t!ey try to for%e somet!ing on me.
,t t!at epo%! of my life; besi*es t!e t!ree main tea%!ers *es%ribe* in t!is
%!apter; I re%ei'e* a %ouple of initiations by ot!er 99minor99 tea%!ers t!at !a* on%e
been t!e rig!t!an* man one or anot!er illustrious G$r$ but t!en be%ame
in*epen*ent be%ause t!e G$r$ *iso)ne* t!em.
?e agree* our tea%!ers )ere mostly me*io%re; sometimes impolite an*
unet!i%al. Some trifling episo*es %onfirme* our first impressions of
impro'isation an*; in one %ase; of mental instability. T!is )as strongly in
%ontrast )it! t!e %!ara%ter )e e=pe%te* in t!ose )!o %alle* t!emsel'es >spiritual
gui*es>. T!ey 8ne) little about Kriya Yoga an* t!ey taug!t it in a superfi%ial
)ay; but )e belie'e* t!ey )ere aut!orize* to initiate; an* t!is blin*e* us. &ust for
t!is reason )e treate* t!em )it! a *eferential an* tolerant attitu*e; forgi'ing
t!em )!en t!ey betraye* our trust. 99A$thori6ed99J 4o) magi% an* !ypnoti% )as
t!is )or* for us )!o !a* listene* to it re'erently so many times in P.Y.9s s%!ool.
It is strange an* *olorous to t!in8 t!at it )as t!e *eeproote* *ogmati% %on%ept
t!at Kriya %oul* be re%ei'e* only from aut!orize* persons t!at perpetrate* t!e
)orst of our illusions.
I a%%epte* t!e far%e of t!e initiations as an ine'itable *ra)ba%8 to su%%ess
in a%.uiring t!e information I )as sear%!ing for )it! so mu%! passion. Ienerally
spea8ing after atten*ing many *ifferent rituals; t!e e=planations )ere al)ays
.ui%8 an* s!allo)F a *estru%ti'e %riti%ism )as often raise* against information
%oming from ot!er sour%es.
I )oul* finis! e'ery initiation t!in8ing !o) satisfie* I )as an* ma8e up
my min* to aban*on all t!e pre'ious pra%ti%es for t!e one I !a* Hust re%ei'e*. I
ignore* any a)areness t!at t!e ne) initiation !a* only a**e* somet!ing
insignifi%ant to )!at I alrea*y 8ne) or t!at it )as %onfining me to a >%age> from
)!i%! I )oul* sooner or later feel an unbearable suffo%ation an* from )!i%! I
)oul* e'entually !a'e to brea8 loose.
To many among us t!ose initiations )ere a true 'i%e. ?e sto%8e* up on
te%!ni.ues li8e foo* for a famine. &ust to gi'e an e=ample; at almost all initiation
seminars a solemn ple*ge of se%re%y )as t!e pass)or* to be a%%epte*. E'ery one
too8 t!is ple*ge but as soon as t!e meeting )as o'er; some s!are* t!e %o'ete*
ne)s )it! ot!er stu*ents by %ellp!one )!o; in turn; )oul* ta8e part in ot!er
initiations an* re%ipro%ate t!e fa'or.
A longBso$ghtBa(ter /lari(i/ation
<y no) I )as feeling .uite *istant from my initial Kriya organization; but I still
respe%te* it. I too8 part in a re'ie) %lass of Kriya )!en t)o female :inisters of
t!at organization again 'isite* our %ountry. 5uring an inter'al bet)een t)o
%onferen%es; somet!ing )on*erful an* s)eet !appene*. ?!at I !a* !ope* for so
ar*ently in t!e past an* yet !a* negate* in su%! a brutal )ay; materialize* easily.
I !a* a pri'ate tal8 )it! one :inister )!erein all my *oubts )ere %larifie*. S!e
)as intelligent; 8in* an* tal8e* from *ire%t e=perien%e. 7egar*ing Ke/hari
"$dra! s!e sai* t!at it %omes )it! time; espe%ially by persisting in tou%!ing t!e
u'ula )it! t!e tip of t!e tongue. I also in.uire* about one of P.Y.9s remar8s;
namely >T!e Cha5ras %an be a)a8ene* by psy%!op!ysi%al blo)s gi'en at t!eir
*ifferent lo%ations.> T!e :inister %larifie* its meaning by e=plaining it referre*
to t!e use of a "antra %ouple* )it! breat!. No ot!er !ypot!eti%al te%!ni.ue
ot!er t!an t!at )!i%! )as fully *es%ribe* in t!e )ritten material )as being
!inte* at. S!e e=plaine* t!at if a syllable is mentally %!ante* in a Cha5ra9s
lo%ation )it! real intensity; it %reates a >psy%!op!ysi%al blo)>.
T!is %larifi%ation inspire* my pra%ti%e. 7eturning !ome; I !a* t!e
impression of again li'ing t!e best time of my life. I *is%o'ere* a )ay of
perfe%ting t!e final part of my Kriya routine6 mental Pranayama' ?!ile
proHe%ting in ea%! Cha5ra t!e mental %!ant of t!e "antra; I realize* I !a* t!e
po)er to tou%! t!e %ore of ea%! one )it! an almost p!ysi%al intensity. , great
s)eetness sprang from t!is pro%e*ureF my bo*y seeme* to be%ome stiff as a
statue an* t!e breat!less state ma*e my min* transparent as %rystal. I )as
)illing to put an en* to my sear%! an* prolong t!is state for t!e rest of my life
but t!e tea%!er )e !a* in'ite* from In*ia arri'e*.
C4,PTE7 +
?!en t!e moment %ame to meet !im; I )as not in t!e best of moo*s. Certain
%lues !a* )arne* me I )oul* !a'e to re%8on )it! a ra*i%ally ne) approa%!. I
)as afrai* t!is %oul* upset t!e simple an* a*e.uately profitable routine into
)!i%! I !a* settle*. T!e magi%al realm of 0m5ar; into )!i%! my first tea%!er
%8ami Hariharananda !a* immerse* me in a passionate )ay; %oul* be neit!er
left asi*e nor forgotten. I *i* not e'en *ream of putting ot!er prin%iples in pla%e
as t!e foun*ation for my spiritual pat!; an* so I approa%!e* my ne) tea%!er )it!
t!e i*ea of reHe%ting !im if; some!o); !e appeare* to *issua*e me from su%! a
I met my t!ir* Kriya tea%!er in a Yoga %enter. T!e essen%e of !is
intro*u%tory spee%! )as t!at Kriya )as not inten*e* to inflate t!e min* an* t!e
ego to)ar* a !ypot!eti%al superior min*; but )as a Hourney beyon* t!e min*;
into un%ontaminate* territory. I realize* t!at Sri #ris!namurti9s %on%ept )as t!e
sour%e from )!i%! my t!ir* tea%!er *re) !is i*eas about t!e *amages %ause* by
t!e 'i%es of t!e !uman min*.
I in*ulgently obser'e* some ina* in !is be!a'ior )!i%! s!o%8e*
ot!er stu*ents. 4e )as !ottempere*. ?!en it %ame to tea%!ing simple an* banal
t!ings t!at e'en 8in*ergarten %!il*ren %oul* un*erstan*; !e flaunte* a great
profusion of )or*s; an* %on%epts )ere repeate* a* nauseam. ?!en anyone in
publi% politely but *etermine*ly as8e* for a pre%ise e=planation of some *iffi%ult
pra%ti%al *etail; !e %ame out of !is !ypnoti% state an*; 'isibly 'e=e*; trie* to
!umiliate an* silen%e t!e unfortunate listener. Sometimes !e e=plo*e* )it! rage
)!ene'er !e sense* t!at un*erneat! legitimate .uestions t!ere )as a 'eile*
opposition or an intention to %!allenge !is aut!ority.
I fo%use* all my attention on learning !is form of Kriya an* ignoring !is
ob'ious faults. 4e %learly %ommuni%ate* to us t!at t!e reason for !is tour to t!e
?est )as to reestablis! t!e original tea%!ings; an* t!is )as enoug! to o'er%ome
my initial )ariness.
In t!e follo)ing initiation seminar t!e te%!ni%al e=planation )as
reasonably %lear; e'en if in some parts )ere unusually synt!eti%. For instan%e; !is
instru%tions on Pranayama A formally %orre%t E %oul* be un*erstoo* only by
t!ose )!o !a* alrea*y been pra%ti%ing Kriya Yoga for a long time.
,fter t!ree mont!s of serious pra%ti%e I a%!ie'e* Ke/hari "$dra an* realize*
t!at my e=!austi'e sear%! for t!e original Kriya !a* %ome to an en*. I follo)e*
t!is tea%!er for si= years. 4ereafter I summarize t!e reasons for my ent!usiasm
an* )!y I later bro8e off )it! !im.
7eturning !ome after t!e seminar of initiation; une=pe%te* internal
%!anges %reate* a 'ery positi'e perio* for me; e'en if it %oul* not be *efine* as
%alm. Ke/hari "$dra broug!t me a feeling of >*izziness> t!at laste* some *aysF
my mental fa%ulties seeme* to be fogge* up; but )!en all t!at %ease*; my Kriya
fle) !ig!.
Inspire* by t!is ne) %on*ition; %omparing it to t!at of t!e mysti%s; I
realize* !o) *iffi%ult it is to li'e; %arrying out *aily )orl*ly *uties; )it!out
being paralyze* by su%! blissJ Some *ays I )as so !appy t!at )!en I )ent out
for a )al8; if I met someone an* stoppe* to listen to !im; no matter )!at !e sai*;
a su**en Hoy )oul* e=pan* in my %!est to t!e point t!at I %oul* barely !ol* ba%8
my tears. Loo8ing at t!e *istant mountains or at ot!er *etails of t!e lan*s%ape; I
)oul* try to *ire%t my feeling to)ar* t!em in or*er to turn my paralyzing Hoy
into aest!eti% raptureF only t!is %oul* 8eep ba%8 t!e Hoy %lut%!ing my being; only
t!is %oul* !i*e it.
I belie'e it is legitimate to as8 )!y *o Kriya organizations not tea%! su%!
a simple te%!ni.ue as <alabya Kriya; preferring to perpetuate en*less politi%al
arguments an* spe%ulations t!at %ontinue up to t!e present *ay@
An $na&oidable brea5
In or*er to e=plain t!e *efiniti'e %ra%8 in our relations!ip; it is ne%essary to refer
again to t!e !aste an* s!allo)ness )it! )!i%! my t!ir* :aster e=plaine* t!e
Kriya te%!ni.ues.
T!e intro*u%tory le%ture to Kriya B)!i%! )as usually !el* t!e e'ening
before initiationC an* a big part of t!e seminar of initiation )as *e'ote* to pure
p!ilosop!i%al tal8 )!i%! *i*n9t tou%! t!e basis of Kriya Yoga but )as a summing
up of #ris!namurti9s strong points; mainly t!e t!eme of nomin*; )!i%! !e
improperly %alle* %8adhyaya. T!ere )as no part of it t!at %oul* be %riti%ize*; all
!e sai* )as %orre%t; but many stu*ents; being un%omfortable sitting on t!e floor;
)it! a%!ing ba%8 an* 8nees; )aite* only for t!e e=planation of t!e te%!ni.ues;
en*uring t!is long tal8 as a giant bummer.
T!e tra*itional offerings B!e also re.uire* a %o%onut; )!i%! )as 'ery
*iffi%ult to fin*; for%ing t!e stu*ents to *esperately loo8 in store after storeC lay
in *isarray before a s%ruffy altar' Sin%e !e usually arri'e* 'ery late; t!ose )!o
%ame from ot!er %ities pi%ture* all t!eir plans for t!e return Hourney falling
t!roug! an* )ere 'ery an=ious.
5espite it being late; people being tire*; an* some alrea*y lea'ing to %at%!
t!eir train; !e lo'e* to linger on PatanHali9s Yama an* #iyama! ta8ing all t!e
ne%essary time to as8 t!e au*ien%e to ta8e a solemn 'o) t!at; from no) on; t!e
male stu*ents )oul* loo8 at )omen Be=%ept t!eir )ifeC as mot!ers an*;
%orrespon*ingly; )omen )oul* loo8 at men Be=%ept t!eir !usban*C as fat!ers.
T!e publi% listene* to !is 'ain )or*s )it! a sig! of ill%on%eale* nuisan%e.
E'eryone ga'e an assent )it! a no*; Hust to stop !is ra'ings.
Only t!en *i* !e
s)it%! to a !urrie* e=planation of t!e basi% te%!ni.ues. One *ay I *e%i*e* to
time !imF t!e e=planation of t!e fun*amental te%!ni.ue of Pranayama )as
offere* in no more t!an t)o minutesJ 4e *emonstrate* Kriya Pranayama by
means of an e=%essi'ely lou* 'ibratory soun*. 4e 8ne) t!is soun* )as not
%orre%t; but !e %ontinue* using it so t!at t!e last ro)s of stu*ents %oul* !ear it;
sparing !imself t!e annoyan%e of getting up an* )al8ing among t!em as Kriya
tea%!ers usually *o. In any %ase; !e *i* not bot!er to say t!e soun* !a* to be
smoot! rat!er t!an 'ibrating. I 8no) t!at many of t!e stu*ents belie'e* t!is )as
t!e >se%ret> !e !a* broug!t from In*ia an* trie* to repro*u%e t!e same noise. 4e
%arrie* on t!at )ay for years; in spite of !is %lose %ollaborators9 polite
<y t!is time I a%%epte* e'eryt!ing an* I )oul* ne'er !a'e *reame* of
%omplaining. Ne'ert!eless one *ay I !a* a 'isit from t!e %ouple )!o organize*
I respe%t of %ourse YamaB#iyama Bt!e )!atis%orre%t an* t!e )!atisnot%orre%tC but; in my opinion;
re.uiring people )!o are an=ious for learning Kriya Yoga te%!ni.ues to ta8e an oat! to obey t!em is
only a far%e an* a )aste of time. :y tea%!er9s re.uest in parti%ular )as impossible; an oat! t!at no
one )oul* e'er respe%t. ?!y not put %onfi*en%e in t!e transforming po)er of Kriya@ ?!y t!in8 t!at
)it!out oat!s; a 5riyaban9s life )oul* be li%entious@ T!e ne%essity of a*opting spe%ifi% )ays of
be!a'ior is somet!ing t!at appears spontaneously after !a'ing taste* t!e !oney of t!e spiritual
e=perien%e. Per!aps in t!e beginning t!e best t!ing is not to %ry s!ame be%ause of a problemati%
stu*ent9s be!a'ior. To put it simply; it !as been seen t!at people li'ing a morally .uestionable life )!o
)ere su%%essful in Kriya spontaneously %ame to t!e so%alle* 'irtuous life; )!ile a lot of %onformists
t!e master9s tours in Iermany. I !a* be%ome a%.uainte* )it! t!ose 8in* frien*s
*uring t!e seminars of my first tea%!er %8ami Hariharananda. ?!ile tal8ing
toget!er; t!ey emp!asize* t!e ne%essity of ma8ing a parti%ular proposal to our
tea%!er6 to organize; at t!e en* of !is Kriya initiation seminars; a gui*e* group
pra%ti%e )!i%! ser'e* as a re'ie) bot! for t!e ne) initiates an* for t!ose )!o
)ere alrea*y pra%ti%ing. I o%%upie* myself )it! !a'ing t!is proposal rea%! t!e
tea%!er t!roug! a frien* )!o )ent to In*ia. I ga'e !im a letter to *eli'er to t!e
tea%!er )it! my regar*s an* a )arm embra%e. I forgot t!e )!ole matter.
:aster9s rea%tion )as ine=pli%able. 4e interprete* my letter as an obli.ue
%riti%ism. ,s a response; !e %rosse* me off !is list of t!ose )!o organize* !is
European tours. 4is *e%ision )as transmitte* to t!e Italian %oor*inator; )!o *i*
not e'en inform me. Some mont!s )ent by. :y e=perien%e )it! t!at tea%!er
probably )oul* !a'e en*e* t!at )ay; !a* I not gone to )el%ome !im ba%8 to
Europe. ?e e=%!ange* !ugs as if not!ing !a* !appene*. 4e apparently
interprete* my presen%e as a mo'e of repentan%e. Some !ours later )!en !e )as
resting; !is %ollaborator; )it! a slig!t in*e%ip!erable !int of embarrassment;
e=plaine* to me )!at !a* !appene* be!in* t!e s%enes. I )as appalle* an*
*isoriente*. :y first impulse )as to aban*on e'eryt!ing an* se'er any
%onne%tion )it! !im; but in or*er not to *isturb t!e pea%e of all t!e persons )!o
)ere my frien*s an* )!o !a* follo)e* me in t!is a*'enture; I *e%i*e* to preten*
not!ing !a* !appene*; 8eep on %ollaborating )it! !im an* *rop t!e t!eme of my
If I !a* gone I )oul* !a'e *isturbe* ne=t *ay9s initiation into t!e Higher
Kriyas. T!at )as a beautiful moment in )!i%! La!iri :a!asaya9s Kriya re'eale*
Bto t!ose )!o !a* t!e sensibility to per%ei'e itC all its !i**en beauty. :y role )as
to ser'e as translator. I 8ne) )ell !o) to perform su%! a fun%tion; reporting
e'ery last *etail; )!ile t!e man )!o )oul* !a'e repla%e* me )as fille* )it! ol*
8no)le*ge an* out of !abit )oul* !a'e negle%te* to translate 03R of t!e tal8.
5uring t!at initiation; :aster *emonstrate* <ho5ar in a )ay 'isibly
*ifferent from t!e pre'ious year. ?!en one of t!e listeners as8e* !im about t!e
reason for t!e %!anges; !e replie* !e !a* not %!ange* anyt!ing an* argue* t!at in
t!e past seminars a problem of translation mig!t !a'e o%%urre*. 4is lie )as
ob'ious. T!e .uestioning 5riyaban remembere* )ell t!e !ea* mo'ements !e !a*
pre'iously been s!o)n.
Confronte* )it! ot!er minor %!anges from one year to t!e ne=t; I !a* t!e
impression I )as %ooperating )it! an ar%!aeologist )!o )as *eliberately altering
%ertain fin*ings to Hustify t!em to t!e publi% )it!in t!e t!eoreti%al frame)or8 to
)!i%! !e )as a%%ustome*.
:ont!s later *uring anot!er tour; )!en )e )ere alone an* !e )as
sear%!ing for somet!ing in a room; I foun* t!e %ourage to *rop a !int about a
te%!ni%al issue )!i%! !a* set one Kriya s%!ool against anot!er. 4e su**enly
turne* to)ar* me )it! !ate in !is eyes; s!outing t!at my pra%ti%e )as not !is
business. T!is; a%%or*ing to )!at I9m able to remember; )as t!e sole te%!ni%al
>*is%ourse> I !a* )it! !im in t!e entire %ourse of my si= years )it! !im.
From t!at moment on)ar* all )as %!ange*. I *eliberately began to %ontrol
myself an* ma*e t!e resolution to al)ays agree )it! !im. I a%te* so )ell t!at one
*ay !e as8e* me to tea%! Kriya to t!ose )!o )ere intereste* an* )!o %oul*n9t
meet !im on !is tours. I reHoi%e* at t!e opportunity be%ause I *reame* I %oul*
finally e=plain Kriya in a %omplete an* %ompre!ensi'e )ay. I )ante* none of my
stu*ents to e'er feel t!e pain of seeing a legitimate .uestion go un%onsi*ere*.
, year passe* by; an* I sense* I )as *oing 'irtually useless )or8. I ga'e Kriya
initiation follo)ing a man*atory fi=e* proto%ol. ,fter intro*u%ing t!e t!eme of
nomin*; I s)it%!e* to t!e e=planation of t!e basi% te%!ni.ues. I too8 lea'e of
t!ose stu*ents; %ounseling a minimal routine but )ell 8no)ing t!at most )oul*
pra%ti%e at ma=imum for ten *ays; an* t!en lea'e e'eryt!ing an* pursue ot!er
esoteri% interests. Asually one or t)o among t!e most tena%ious stu*ents ma*e
up .uestions an* %alle* me Hust to %arry on t!e pretense of %ontinuing; from a
*istan%e; a relations!ip )it! a real person.
?!en :aster %ame to our %ountry I in'ite* all t!e ne) initiates to t!e
seminar )!ere my tea%!er )oul* be present. Anfortunately; many *i*n9t
>sur'i'e> su%! a meeting. ,%%ustome* by me to be able to put fort! any
.uestions an* to al)ays re%ei'e some pre%ise ans)er; t!ey trie* to *o t!e same
)it! t!e tea%!er. :any entere* a *eep %risis after obser'ing !is almost total la%8
of !uman un*erstan*ing )!ile simultaneously being 8i%8e* aroun* by !im.
Too many t!ings )ere not going in t!e rig!t *ire%tion. I felt t!at t!is man;
)!ose e'ery small )!im I trie* to satisfy as if %arrying out a sa%re* *ee*; *i* not
lo'e Kriya. Instea*; !e use* it only to %reate a more beautiful life for !imself in
t!e ?est %ompare* to t!e )ret%!e* one in In*ia !e !a* often *es%ribe* to me.
,not!er year )ent by. On a re.uest from frien*s abroa*; I )ent to tea%!
Kriya Yoga to t!eir group. T!ere I met a 'ery serious stu*ent )!o )as alrea*y
familiar )it! my tea%!er9s be!a'ior an* )as ta8ing part in t!e initiation seminar
only as a refres!er. 4e as8e* me a lot of pertinent .uestions an* I ga'e !im
a%%urate ans)ers. ,t t!at point !e as8e*6 >From )!om !a'e you learne* all t!ese
*etails@> 4e )ell 8ne) t!at my tea%!er )as a total *isaster from a *i*a%ti% point
of 'ie). 4e per%ei'e* t!at I !a* learne* many *etails from ot!er sour%es. 4o)
%oul* I gi'e Kriya initiation using 8no)le*ge t!at *i* not originate from my
tea%!er@ 4e un*erstoo* my pre*i%ament an* )as surprise* t!at sin%e I )as
aut!orize* to tea%! Kriya; I !a* ne'er !a* t!e %!an%e to tal8 freely )it! my
tea%!er about Kriya *etailsJ It )as logi%al an* fitting for me to settle t!e matter
as soon as possible.
#no)ing t!e iras%ible *isposition of my tea%!er; I !esitate* a long time
but t!ere )as no )ay out. T!roug! a frien*; I sent !im a fa= mentioning t!e
matter at !an* an* praye* !im to a*Hust !is s%!e*ule so )e %oul* *is%uss it after
!is arri'al *uring !is ne=t tour. 4e )as in ,ustralia; but )it!in one )ee8 at t!e
latest I )oul* !a'e re%ei'e* an ans)er. :y sub%ons%ious )as rea*y for a
*isaster; anti%ipating an e'ent I intuiti'ely 8ne) )oul* %ome. T!e most probable
situation )as t!at !e )oul* be%ome 'ery angry an* fly into a rage. If t!e )!ole
situation slippe* out of my !an*s an*; as a result of our brea8; !e stoppe*
%oming to our group; t!ose )!o lo'e* !im )oul* suffer. Fe) people; in fa%t;
)oul* be able to %ompre!en* t!e reason for my a%tion. I )oul* be t!e one )!o
!a* *isturbe* a %omfortable t!oug! imperfe%t situation. :y frien*s li8e* !imF
!is annual 'isit )as a po)erful stimulus to t!eir effort an* moti'ate* t!em to
pra%ti%e Kriya intensely.
, !ars! reply %ame a fe) *ays later. In a *is*ainful )ay; !e *i* not
a**ress it *ire%tly to me but preten*e* to ans)er t!e 9persona9 t!at !a* materially
sent my letter 'ia fa=. 4e )rote t!at my e=%essi'e atta%!ment to t!e te%!ni.ues
)oul* ne'er let me out of t!e fen%es of my min* E I )as li8e St. T!omas; too
*esirous to tou%! )it! my !an* an* 'erify t!e goo*ness of !is tea%!ings. 4e
a**e* t!at if !e satisfie* my re.uest; it )oul* only be to gratify my ego.
7ea*ing t!e term >gratifi%ation;> I 8ne) !e !a* un*erstoo* not!ing. ?e
s!oul* !a'e tal8e* to ea%! ot!er long before it %ame to t!isJ I )on*ere* )!y !e
!a* ne'er allo)e* me to e=press my %on%erns. I *i*n9t )ant to %ontest !im; I
*i*n9t )ant to *estroy !imF t!e ne%essity t!at broug!t me to )rite !im )as to
establis! on%e an* for all )!at I )as suppose* to %ommuni%ate an* )!at not to
%ommuni%ate to t!e 5riyabans *uring initiation. ?!y !a* !e al)ays e'a*e* me@
I *e%i*e* to be!a'e %an*i*ly; as if I !a* not per%ei'e* !is tone. I )ante*
to see )!at !e )as %apable of. I neit!er apologize* nor ans)ere* in a resentful
tone. I )rote t!at I taug!t Kriya on !is be!alf an* t!erefore a mutual *is%ussion
about %ertain Kriya *etails )as ne%essary. I a**e* t!at at su%! an e'ent t!e ot!er
t!ree people in Europe aut!orize* by !im to impart Kriya initiation %oul* also be
present. I t!us ma*e !im un*erstan* t!at !e )oul* not !a'e )aste* !is time an*
breat! for only me. I ne'er re%ei'e* an ans)er; neit!er t!en nor e'er. , fe)
)ee8s later I sa) on !is Internet site t!at t!e name of my to)n !a* been ta8en
off t!e list for !is 'isit to Italy. :y se%on* letter !a* broug!t about a *efiniti'e
split. T!e nig!tmare )as o'erJ
I too8 a one*ay 'a%ation an* )ent for a long )al8F I roame* a lot; tensely;
imagining a !ypot!eti%al *is%ussion )it! !im. ,ll of a su**en; I foun* myself
%rying )it! Hoy. It )as too beautiful E I )as free. I !a* been )it! !im too many
years; an* no) all t!at !a* really en*e*J
T!e brea8 in our relations!ip be)il*ere* my 5riyaban frien*s )!o )ere
naturally affe%tionate to)ar* !im. In time t!ey un*erstoo* t!e *eepseate*
reasons for my *e%ision an* s!o)e* t!eir soli*arity. Li8e a *omino effe%t; ot!er
%oor*inators in Europe )!o barely tolerate* !is ba* manners too8 a*'antage of
t!at episo*e to brea8 %onta%t )it! !im. T!ey )ere fe* up )it! t!e *ullness of !is
p!ilosop!i%al *is%ourses follo)e* by s%anty te%!ni%al e=planations )!i%! *i*n9t
.uen%! t!eir *esire for a goo* un*erstan*ing of Kriya.
T!e follo)ing mont!s )ere li'e* in a pea%eful an* rela=e* moo*; not!ing
to %ompare )it! t!e restlessness of my pre'iously *es%ribe* years. 4a'ing
*ismisse* t!at mean in*i'i*ual from my life; an ener'ating situation en*e*. I no
longer !a* to go !ere an* t!ere to organize Kriya seminars for !imF I !a* been
relie'e* of t!e %onstraint of )earing a mas8 of !ypo%risy )!ile respon*ing to
t!ose )!o %alle* me to get information about !im.
T!e .uestion t!at I )oul* as8 myself in t!e years to %ome )as )!y I !a*
follo)e* !im for so long. Surely I !a* not sa%rifi%e* my *ignity for t!e sa8e of
re%ei'ing Kriya informationJ ,%tually; all of !is te%!ni.ues !a* been re'eale* to
me by a frien* )!o )as *is%iple of one of !is fat!er9s *is%iples. T!e reason for
my be!a'ior )as %on%ern for t!e *iffusion of Kriya !ere in Europe. I appre%iate*
t!e fa%t t!at !e tra'ele* e=tensi'ely t!roug!out AS, an* Europe to sprea* !is
Kriya )it!out %!arging a penny for !is Initiations Bsa'e for a free *onation an* a
fair s!are of t!e e=pense for renting t!e seminar roomC. I %o'ere* all t!e
ne%essary e=penses to permanently fit out a room in my !ouse )!ere Kriya
Initiations seminars %oul* be !el* *uring my tea%!er9s 'isits. :y )illingness to
%ooperate )it! !im )as al)ays %onstant in or*er t!at !e %oul* %arry out !is tas8.
?!en I sa) t!at !e %ontinue* to tea%! in !is rus!e*; superfi%ial manner;
ta8ing a*'antage of us as if )e )ere %omplete i*iots; my sub%ons%ious began to
rebel. I 'i'i*ly remember a *ream in )!i%! I )as s)imming in manure. I must
a*mit t!at be!in* my mas8 of fa8e *elig!t !i* a *ry agony. T!ere !a* been
moments in )!i%!; t!in8ing of my mee8 beginning in t!e pra%ti%e of Yoga; my
!eart felt an in*efinite nostalgia for t!e pea%e of t!at initial perio*; a pea%e )!i%!
)as )aiting for not!ing more t!an %onsisten%y an* !onesty on my part to rise
again an* blossom unimpe*e*. On more t!an one o%%asion I !a* t!e impulse to
aban*on e'eryt!ing an* se'er any %onne%tion )it! !im; but I *i*n9t )ant to
*isturb t!e pea%e of all t!e people )!o )ere my frien*s an* )!o !a* follo)e*
me in t!is a*'enture. Only )!en I re%ei'e* !is ru*e an* improper ans)er to my
legitimate re.uest for %larifi%ation an* realize* t!at my internal trut! )as at
sta8e; I sai* to myself E No) or ne'erJ
,fter t!e brea8 )it! t!is tea%!er t!ere )ere reasons to %elebrate but t!e sense of
all t!e time )aste*; of all t!e silly t!ings )!i%! !a* been %arrie* out
t!oug!tlessly; )as )eig!ing me *o)n.
I !a* not e'en a faint i*ea of t!e *estiny of t!e re%ently forme* Kriya
groups; up until t!en regularly 'isite* by t!at Kriya tea%!er.
Some mont!s later t!e )!eel of goo* fortune seeme* to be turning againF
t!ere )as t!e possibility of in'iting a ne) Kriya A/harya to Europe. Sin%e !e
)as )ell .ualifie* in !is role; I )as on t!e 'erge of %ooperating in t!is proHe%t
an* bearing part of its %ost. , *ear frien* )ent to In*ia to meet !im for a pri'ate
<he strength o( a dream
It )as )inter. One *ay I )ent s8iing in t!e nearby mountains )it! a %ouple of
frien*s. ,ll )ent magnifi%ently. 5uring a brea8 in t!e afternoon; I manage* to
fin* time alone. I foun* myself loo8ing at t!e mountains t!at mar8e* t!e
boun*aries of t!e *istant !orizon in all *ire%tions. In less t!an !alf an !our t!e
sun )oul* paint t!em pin8 E )it! an intense !ue on t!eir eastern si*e an* tinge*
)it! blue on t!e )estern si*e. I imagine* In*ia to be rig!t be!in* t!em; t!e
4imalayas being t!eir %ontinuation. :y t!oug!t )ent to all t!e Kriya ent!usiasts
)!o foun*; as I *i*; insurmountable obsta%les to t!e un*erstan*ing of t!at
belo'e* *is%ipline. ,ll t!ose obsta%les seeme* to me an absur*ity t!at )ore t!e
%lot!es of a nig!tmare E I felt an infinite rebellion.
I 'isualize* a boo8 on Kriya e=plaining e'ery te%!ni.ue in great *etail.
4o) often !a* I )on*ere* )!at )oul* !a'e !appene* if La!iri :a!asaya or one
of !is *is%iples !a* )ritten itJ :y imagination le* me to fantasize about its
%o'er; to s8im its fe) pages E sober; yet ri%! in %ontent. If t!is boo8 e=iste*; )e
)oul* !a'e a reliable manual of Kriya t!at restraine* t!e many small or large
'ariations ma*e up by 'arious tea%!ers. Per!aps some annotator )oul* try to
for%e its meaning into !is o)n t!eories. Nay; I )as positi'e t!at some pseu*o
g$r$ )oul* say t!at t!e te%!ni.ues *es%ribe* in it )ere for beginners only; )!ile
t!ere )ere mu%! more %ompli%ate* te%!ni.ues t!at %oul* only be passe* on by
an aut!orize* tea%!er to %!osen *is%iples. Some )oul* s)allo) t!e bait; %onta%t
t!e aut!or; an* pay goo* money to be intro*u%e* to rubbis! t!at !e !a*
assemble* eit!er t!roug! fan%y or borro)e* from some esoteri% boo8...
T!is !appensF itDs part of our !uman nature. 4o)e'er; sin%ere resear%!ers
)oul* surely be able to re%ognize t!e strengt! an* selfsuffi%ient intrinsi%
e'i*en%e of t!e original te=t.
It is a s!ame t!at no one !a* )ritten t!at boo8J For t!e first time I *are* to
let my t!oug!ts stray to)ar* )!at %oul* !appen if I )rote it. It )oul* be !ar*;
yet possible; to summarize t!e totality of my 8no)le*ge of Kriya into a boo8 E
)el*ing toget!er te%!ni.ues an* t!eories t!roug! a %lean; rational 'ision. T!e
intention )as *efinitely not to %elebrate myself or lay t!e foun*ations for yet
anot!er ne) s%!ool of Kriya. If I )ere to *es%ribe my e=perien%es; it )oul* only
be for t!e purpose of %larifying t!eoreti% an* te%!ni%al e=planations. T!ere
)oul* be no more r!etori%al %laims of legitima%y an* ri**leli8e senten%es to
%onfuse rea*ers or !a'e t!em guess at te%!ni%al *etails or %reate furt!er *oubts in
t!emJ 4o) beautiful it )as to *ream of a boo8 )!i%! )oul* pro'e its 'ali*ity by
repro*u%ing La!iri :a!asaya9s t!oug!t in t!e simplest an* most logi%al )ay; in a
%omplete; !armonious set of te%!ni.uesJ
, boo8 *e'ote* to Kriya; unpretentious but %lear; similar for %ertain
aspe%ts to T. <ernar*9s Hatha Yoga= <he .eport o( a Personal ?xperien/e )oul*
be a real blessing for s%!olars an* resear%!ers.

Su%! a boo8 as I imagine* )oul* not be a t!reat to any !onest Kriya
A/harya4s a%ti'ity' Ioo* tea%!ers )ill al)ays be nee*e* in any fiel* )!ere a
s8ill is to be transmitte*. <ut !o) %oul* one !ig!lig!t t!is to t!em; )it!out being
at o**s )it! t!e *eeplyroote* %on*itioning of t!eir >%erebral %!emistry>@ Of
%ourse; some tea%!ers of Kriya E t!ose )!o li'e from *onations for rituals of
initiation an* )!o e=ert po)er o'er people t!an8s to t!e ple*ge of se%re%y E
)oul* %onsi*er my boo8 a real t!reat. :aybe )!at )as 'irtually eternal for t!em
Bli'ing li8e a lor*; surroun*e* by people )!o !a'e to meet all t!eir nee*s )it!
t!e !ope of getting t!e %rumbs of t!eir >se%rets>C mig!t %!ange; an* t!ey )oul*
be fearful of t!at. T!ey )oul* try to *estroy its %re*ibility by means of pitiless
%ensors!ip. I anti%ipate* t!eir s%ornful %omments; uttere* )!ile s8imming its
pages; >It %ontains only stories t!at !a'e not!ing to *o )it! <abaHi9s an* La!iri
T!is e=traor*inary !an*boo8; better t!an all t!e ot!ers; %larifies t!e tea%!ings %ontaine* in t!e t!ree
fun*amental te=ts of Tantrism6 Hatha Yoga Pradipi5a! Gheranda %amhita and %hi&a %amhita. 5espite
!a'ing been publis!e* many years ago an* se'eral te=ts of Hatha Yoga appearing re%ently; t!at boo8
is still one of t!e best. Ol*; 9*usty9 te%!ni.ues on%e again be%ame rele'ant; feasible; %ompre!en*ible
in front of t!e eyes of our intuition.
:a!asaya9s tea%!ings. It sprea*s a false tea%!ingJ> Ot!er people mig!t not li8e
t!e boo8; eit!er be%ause t!ey are ta8en aba%8 by t!e barrenness of *es%riptions of
te%!ni.ues *epri'e* of frills; )!i%! *oesn9t mat%! t!eir e=pe%tations; or be%ause
t!ey *o not manage to get 99goo* 'ibrations99 from it.
Only t!ose )!o lo'e Kriya more t!an t!eir )!ims )oul* feel an
enormous relief in fin*ing it in an esoteri% library. I )as alrea*y sensing t!eir
!appiness. T!an8s to t!em; t!e boo8 )oul* %ontinue to %ir%ulate; an* )!o 8no)s
!o) many times it )oul* e%!o ba%8 to t!e tea%!er )!o !a* *e%ree* its
unforgi'able fla)s. ,t times !e )oul* !a'e to preten* not to noti%e t!at a stu*ent
)as bro)sing t!roug! its pages *uring !is seminars; t!us missing a part of t!e
<y staring into t!e blue of t!e s8y abo'e t!e gil*e* mountain brims; I sa)
t!at bizarre situation as poignantly real. Ea%! part of my *ream !a* *e'elope* in
t!e spa%e of a fe) se%on*s; an* in'a*e* my %ons%iousness as a s)ollen torrent;
as if e'ery part of it !a* alrea*y been re!earse* an* %!eris!e* innumerable
<ut !o) %oul* I fin* t!e %ourage to 'iolate t!e 'o) of se%re%y; %oarsely
%!allenging t!e sa%re*ness of t!e G$r$B*is%iple relations!ip as t!e only )ay to
be instru%te* in Kriya@ For sure; an innumerable amount of times I !a* t!oug!t6
>Su%! a rule is t!e %ause of *isastrous effe%ts; of e=%ru%iating %onfli%ts an*
sufferingsF t!ey say it is sa%re*; but it %annot be E it is a !uman pro*u%t; t!e
out%ome of *eliberate petty %al%ulations.> I !a* no *oubts t!at se%re%y regar*ing
Kriya pro%e*ures )as blin* *ogma; insensiti'e to t!e suffering of many
resear%!ers. I re%alle* )!at !appene* many; many times )!en some frien*s of
mine )!o *i*n9t un*erstan* Englis! as8e* to re%ei'e initiation into t!e Higher
Kriyas Bsu%! instru%tion )as gi'en only in )ritten form to t!ose )!o !a*
%omplete* t!e stu*y of t!e %omplete set of lessons )!i%! e=iste* only in Englis!;
Ierman an* Spanis!CF t!e ans)er )as al)ays an infle=ible no. I !a* al)ays
per%ei'e* t!is as a %ruel form of *is%rimination.
I remembere* a %ouple of %ases in )!i%! t!e rigi* inHun%tion !a* been
bro8en by %ommon sense. People )!o )ere ot!er)ise fait!ful to t!e
organization !a*; un*er e=%eptional %on*itions; bro8en t!at rule. For e=ample;
one 5riyaban e=plaine* t!e *ynami%s of Kriya Pranayama to !is mot!er )!o
)as an in'ali* but )illing an* able to pra%ti%e it. In anot!er %ase t!at ma*e me
uneasy; a Cat!oli% priest sin%erely *esire* to learn Kriya but %oul* not re%ei'e it
from t!e rig!t %!annels be%ause of an issue of %ons%ien%e regar*ing t!e a%t of
signing t!e appli%ation form of t!e lessonsF !e foun* a 5riyaban )!o e=plaine*
t!e te%!ni.ue to !im an* s!are* )it! !im !is lessons Ban a%tion !e )as stri%tly
forbi**en to *oC.
4o)e'er; it )as %lear t!at )riting a boo8 )as anot!er t!ing entirely. T!is
'ery i*ea %reate* a painful grip in my breast along )it! a general sense of
uneasiness an* unreality. I un*erstoo* t!at in or*er to be at pea%e )it! myself; I
!a* to first analyze in *ept! t!e %on%ept of G$r$.
Certainly t!e G$r$ %annot be %onsi*ere* i*enti%al to Io*. La!iri
:a!asaya refuse* to be )ors!ipe* as a Io*. T!is is a point t!at some of !is
follo)ers seem to !a'e forgotten. ,%tually !e sai*6 >I am not t!e G$r$; I *on9t
maintain a barrier bet)een t!e true G$r$ Bt!e 5i'ineC an* t!e *is%iple>. 4e
a**e* !e )ante* to be %onsi*ere* as >a mirror.> In ot!er )or*s; ea%! 5riyaban
s!oul* see !im not as an unrea%!able i*eal but as t!e personifi%ation of all t!e
)is*om an* spiritual realization )!i%!; in *ue time; t!e Kriya pra%ti%e )ill
pro*u%e. ?!en 5riyabans realize t!at t!eir G$r$ is t!e personifi%ation of )!at
resi*es potentially insi*e t!emsel'es; of )!at one *ay t!ey )ill be%ome; t!en
t!at mirror must be >t!ro)n a)ay.>

Some years pre'ious I )as perple=e* )!en representati'es of P.Y.9s
organization suggeste* t!at G$r$ an* Io* )ere one an* t!e same reality. , %!ief
of t!e most important Italian bran%! of my s%!ool !a* on%e instru%te* me6 >4a'e
you not realize* t!at P.Y. is t!e 5i'ine :ot!er 4erself@> Only no) I )as able to
see !o) e=traneous t!is tea%!ing )as to my un*erstan*ing.
From t!e belief t!at G$r$ an* Io* are one an* t!e same reality %omes t!e i*ea
t!at t!e organization foun*e* by t!e G$r$ be not Hust an institution *e'ote* to
sprea*ing !is tea%!ings but be t!e sole interme*iary bet)een Io* an* t!ose )!o
)ant to progress spiritually t!roug! Kriya Yoga. Sin%e Kriya learne* outsi*e t!e
organization !as no 'alue; t!e *ogma of se%re%y ensues ob'iously. T!e myt! of
se%re%y allo)s t!e myt! of t!e irrepla%eable role of t!e organization to be 8ept
ali'e. It is strange to remar8 t!at only in t!e )orl* of initiati/ magi/ is a met!o*
*epri'e* of its 'alue if it is learne* in non%on'entional )ays. T!e t!reat of
possible %alamities t!at )oul* !appen to )!oe'er infringes t!e *ogma of se%re%y
%las!es )it! e'eryt!ing )e rea* in t!e biograp!ies of t!e saintsF it instea*
perfe%tly suits t!ose of t!e esoteri%magi% *imension of %ertain so%ieties E rat!er;
se%re%y is essential to t!eir preser'ation.
Ot!er Hustifi%ations for t!e myt! of se%re%y appear fragile. T!ey %laim t!at
se%re%y !elps >to maintain t!e purity of t!e tea%!ings.> No) t!at I 8ne) t!at
some minor but important alterations in t!e pra%ti%e of Kriya )ere supporte* by
t!ese organizations; it )oul* be better to affirm; >to maintain t!e purity of t!e
mo*ifi%ationsJ> I mig!t be )rong; but I feel t!at t!e uni.ue benefit of se%re%y to
an in*i'i*ual is to !a'e one9s pleasure of possessing somet!ing e=%lusi'e rea%! a
fe'er pit%!.
Some 5riyabans often tell me t!at t!e spiritual 'ibrations re%ei'e* t!roug!
Initiation by aut!orize* Tea%!ers !a'e lifte* t!eir pra%ti%e to a >!ig!er o%ta'e.> I
)on9t *are to %ontra*i%t similar affirmations base*; in my opinion; upon
suggestion. Yet; I )oul* li8e to meet; one *ay; one of t!ose 5riyabans )!o;
after being initiate* t!roug! legitimate %!annels; *ismisse* t!e pra%ti%e. T!ere
are so many; so many t!at you )ill !ar*ly belie'e. T!ey !a'e t!ro)n ba%8 t!e
pra%ti%e of Kriya as if it )ere a nig!tmare from )!i%! t!ey feel relie'e*.
?!et!er one li8es it or not; t!at is e=a%tly )!at 4e )rote6 thro8n a8ay. People )!o !a'e been
raise* )it! t!e usual *ogmas about t!e G$r$*is%iple relations!ip are pre'ente* from fully
un*erstan*ing t!e impa%t of t!ese )or*s; ot!er)ise t!ey )oul* fa%e a strong %onfli%t )it!in
t!emsel'es. To fa%e t!e trut!; it ta8es %ourage an* an intelligent; *is%riminating approa%! to aban*on
one9s o)n illusions; espe%ially t!ose t!at are ni%e an* gratifying. <esi*es %ourage; it ta8es also a goo*
brain %apable of o'er%oming t!e ten*en%y to be easily s)aye*.
Kriya as8s for serious %ommitment an* )ill al)ays remain a matter for fe).
?ell; I )oul* as8 t!em !o) it !appene* t!at t!ey fell from t!at >!ig!er o%ta'e>
*o)n into a lu%i* an* mer%iless *isen%!antment.
Let me no) return to t!e %onfli%tual refle%tions in t!ose *ays. , )eir* t!ing )as
t!at t!e )or* G$r$ )as attribute* to a person )!om t!e *is%iples !a* not 8no)n
*ire%tly. Stu*ents )ere re.uire* to s)ear t!eir e'erlasting *e'otion not only to
one person but also to a %!ain of :asters Bno one *ire%tly a%%essible to
5riyabansC e'en if only one of t!em !a* to be regar*e* as t!e G$r$pre%eptor. 99It
is t!e G$r$pre%eptor t!at intro*u%es you to Io*. T!ere is no ot!er )ay to
a%!ie'e Selfrealization.99 On%e t!e stu*ents )ere initiate* into a spiritual
*is%ipline by t!e >legitimate %!annels> Baut!orize* *is%iplesC; t!e *eparte* G$r$
)as sai* to be real an* present in t!eir life. T!ey )ere taug!t t!at t!eir G$r$
)oul* some!o) burn a part of t!eir Karma an* prote%t t!em e'ermoreF !e )as a
spe%ial ai* %!osen by Io* 4imself e'en before t!ey began to see8 t!e spiritual
:y t!oug!ts began to re'ol'e again aroun* t!e *iffusion of Kriya. It )as 'ery
*iffi%ult to put all t!e %ru%ial points into a logi%al or*er. I trie* to t!in8
se.uentially but eit!er mental an* p!ysi%al fatigue )as impairing my reasoning
ability or %on*itioning %ar'e* into my brain a%te* as an entity )!i%! !a* a life of
its o)n. Ea%! time I trie* to organize my 'ision into a )ellintegrate* an*
%o!erent )!ole; for one reason or anot!er it appeare* to me as a monstrosity.
One e'ening; )!ile I pra%ti%e* Kriya Pranayama )it! my a)areness
totally %entere* in %ahasrara an* t!e tongue in Ke/hari "$dra; I !a* t!e inner
'ision of t!ree beautiful mountains. T!e %entral mountain; t!e !ig!est; )as
bla%8F its form remin*e* me of t!e point of an arro) ma*e of obsi*ian. :y !eart
e=ulte*; I )as ma*ly enamore* of t!at image. I foun* myself %rying for Hoy. I
remaine* as %alm as possible as I felt a parti%ular strengt! an* pressure )!i%!
in%rease* its tig!tening of t!e )!ole region of my %!est )it! its grip of beatitu*e.
T!e image )as strong; tremen*ously 'i'i* in my inner 'ision. T!ere %oul* be
not!ing more beautifulF it ma*e me ma* )it! lo'e. I !a* t!e impression of
!a'ing %ast a glan%e to)ar* t!e misty sour%es from )!i%! my %urrent tren* of
life originate*. It )as as if an inner t!rea* lin8e* all my past a%tions to t!at
image; re%ei'ing meaning an* signifi%an%e from it.
T!at mountain )as t!e symbol of t!e uni'ersal spiritual pat!. It spo8e to
my intuition6 >, G$r$ mig!t be 'ery important to your spiritual *e'elopment;
but your personal effort )!en you remain alone is far more important. In any
G$r$*is%iple relations!ip t!ere %omes a moment )!en you remain alone an*
a)a8en to t!e realization t!at your pat! is a solitary flig!t bet)een you an* your
in*)elling Self. T!e G$r$*is%iple relations!ip is an illusion E useful an*
%omfortable E appearing real until you are not o'er%ome by )!at surpasses your
T!at glaring intuition fa*e* a)ay after a %ouple of *ays. One e'ening after
a long )al8; sub*ue* by a su**en tire*ness I *ragge* myself ba%8 !ome. ?orn
out by t!oug!ts; t!e problem of t!e G$r$*is%iple relations!ip emerge*;
obs%urely; more as a )oun* t!an as a t!eory unfol*ing its myt!s. In my room I
set t!e re%or* player on >repeat>; playing <eet!o'en9s se%on* mo'ement of t!e
?mperor Con/erto... 5i* anyone; after !a'ing !aunte* all t!e possible
%eremonies of Initiation gi'en by t!e >legitimate> %!annels; an* being stuffe*
)it! all t!e possible G$r$4s blessings; e'er pra%ti%e Kriya )it! t!e same *ignity
an* %ourage )it! )!i%! <eet!o'en %!allenge* !is fate@
I turne* *o)n t!e lig!ts an* )at%!e* t!e sun set be!in* t!e trees on t!e
top of a !ill. T!e s!ape of a %ypress %o'ere* a part of t!at great; bloo*re* %ir%le.
T!at )as t!e eternal beautyJ T!at )as t!e mo*el by )!i%! I )oul* be inspire*. I
%lose* my eyes to !a'e a *ispassionate; unemotional assessment of t!e situation.
, strange image %apture* my attention6 t!at of 2i'e8anan*a9s >in'estiture> by !is
G$r$ 7ama8ris!na. I rea* t!at one *ay to)ar* t!e en* of !is life 7ama8ris!na
entere* %amadhi )!ile !is *is%iple 2i'e8anan*a )as near !im. 2i'e8anan*a
starte* to feel a strong %urrent before fainting. 4a'ing returne* to %ons%iousness;
!is G$r$ %rie* an* )!ispere*6 >O my Naren B2i'e8anan*aC; e'eryt!ing I !a* I
ga'e to you; to*ay. I !a'e be%ome a poor fa8ir; I *o not !a'e anyt!ingF )it!
t!ese po)ers you )ill *o t!e )orl* an immense goo*.> Later; 7ama8ris!na
e=plaine* t!at t!e po)ers !e passe* onto !im %oul* not be use* for !is o)n
spiritual fulfillment E one !a* to get to t!at by !imselfF on t!e %ontrary; t!ey
)oul* !elp !im in !is mission as a spiritual tea%!er.
I t!in8 my sub%ons%ious %ame up )it! su%! a flas! as a )arning not to
yiel* to t!e temptation to t!ro) a)ay somet!ing 'ali* an* pre%ious. No); if )e
say t!at 7ama8ris!na )as 2i'e8anan*a9s G$r$; )e are saying something tr$e
and $nC$estionable'
It %ame to me spontaneously to rerea* t!e memorable impressi'e
*is%ourse by 5ostoe's8y about t!e role of el*ers in 7ussian monasteries in !is
<he Brothers Karama6o&6
>?!at )as su%! an el*er@ ,n el*er )as one )!o too8 your soul; your )ill; into
!is soul an* !is )ill. ?!en you %!oose an el*er; you renoun%e your o)n )ill
an* yiel* it to !im in %omplete submission; %omplete selfabnegation. T!is
no'itiate; t!is terrible s%!ool of abnegation; is un*erta8en 'oluntarily; in t!e
!ope of self%on.uest; of selfmastery; in or*er; after a life of obe*ien%e; to attain
perfe%t free*om; t!at is; from selfF to es%ape t!e lot of t!ose )!o !a'e li'e* t!eir
)!ole life )it!out fin*ing t!eir true sel'es in t!emsel'es.> BTranslate* by
Constan%e IarnettC
E'entually t!e a)areness *a)ne* on me t!at 2i'e8anan*a9s story an*
5ostoe's8y9s e=tra%t *epi%te* situations )!i%! )ere intrinsi%ally *ifferent from
mine. T!e organization !a* ma*e me belie'e I !a* a G$r$ A )!ereas in fa%t; I
)as lig!t years a)ay from !a'ing one. ?!ile t!e great e=amples of G$r$B
*is%iple relations!ip )ere base* on a real p!ysi%al meeting bet)een t)o persons;
my relations!ip )as purely i*eal. T!ere )as no ot!er G$r$ by )!i%! I %oul*
mirror myself but t!e mysti% fire burning in my !eart.
S!oul* I a%%ept t!e i*ea of a mar8e* separation of spiritual resear%!ers
into t)o %lasses@ On one si*e; t!ere are t!ose )!o !a'e a G$r$ an* follo) !im
!umblyF on t!e ot!er si*e; t!ose )it!out a G$r$! )!o %an follo) only t!eir o)n
intuition an* reasoning. 4o) many times !a'e I !ear* t!e a%i*i% remar8 t!at
t!ose )!o !a'e no G$r$ !a'e t!eir Ego as t!eir G$r$J Yet; t!ere is not su%! a
s!arp *i'ision; be%ause not a single resear%!er e=ists )!o is really alone.
2isualize a net6 ea%! in*i'i*ual is a Hun%tion from )!i%! a lot of t!rea*s
fan out; li8e t!e net)or8 of our brain9s neurons. ?!en an in*i'i*ual ta8es an
a%tion E a signifi%ant one of %ourse; li8e starting on a mysti% pat! an* ma8ing
goo* progress on it E !isN!er a%tion tou%!es t!e surroun*ing t!rea*s of t!e net.
Serious pra%titioners are ne'er isolate*F t!ey )ill be !elpe* by ot!ers9 positi'e
response an*; 'i%e'ersa; t!ey )ill be slo)e* *o)n by t!eir in*olen%e an*
apat!y. In my opinion t!ose )!o follo) t!e spiritual pat! %arry ot!er people9s
e'olution a!ea* )it! t!em. T!is net %onne%ting e'ery one of us is t!e Colle/ti&e
:y musings arri'e* Hust to t!at point an* t!ere t!ey stoppe* E
for mont!s.
A (r$it($l sho/5
Some frien*s returning from In*ia e=presse* t!eir e=%itement o'er su%! an
e=traor*inary lan*. <ut at t!e en* of t!eir tales; *isappointment in all t!e t!ings
t!ey !a* not been able to learn emerge*. Often t!ey )oul* meet a boaster )!o
assure* t!em !e 8ne) original Kriya Yoga an* %oul* initiate t!em all as long as
t!ey 8ept it a total se%ret )it!out establis!ing any %onta%t )it! ot!er tea%!ers. In
t!is )ay t!e boaster %oul* ensure t!e *is%iples )oul* not re%ognize t!at it )as
not Kriya Yoga t!ey )ere being taug!t. I realize* t!is only )!en; o'er%oming
t!eir !esitation; I %on'in%e* t!em to %onfi*entially gi'e me a roug! *es%ription
of t!at te%!ni.ue. It )as not!ing more t!an t!e mere repetition of a "antraJ
?!at ma*e me feel sa* )as not so mu%! t!e great a*'antage gaine* by t!ose
braggers Bt!e G$r$da5shina K*onationL t!ey re%ei'e* meant a real fortune at my
frien*s9 e=penseC but t!at my frien*s misse* t!e opportunity of learning Kriya
from ot!er sour%es in ot!er pla%es.
Somet!ing *ifferent !appene* to a frien* )!o met <anamali La!iri; one
of t!e master9s greatgran*sons; a man )it! a great a%a*emi% ba%8groun* an*
)it! a *eep 8no)le*ge of Kriya' :y frien* )as not able to learn anyt!ing from
!im. I )as ta8en aba%8 )!en !e tol* me t!at in <enares; an* probably
t!roug!out rest of In*ia; Kriya Yoga )as not pra%ti%e* any longer. I 8ept enoug!
%ontrol not to interrupt or %!allenge !im; but t!en by posing apparently
in%i*ental .uestions; I trie* to un*erstan* )!at !a* !appene*. :y frien* !a*; as
!e usually *i*; began t!e *is%ussion )it! tri'ialities li8e as8ing some
information on In*ian !abits an* about an Ashram9s a**ress )!ere !e planne* to
go. T!en almost at t!e en* of t!e inter'ie) E !e must !a'e su**enly remembere*
!e )as in La!iri :a!asaya9s !ouse E !e as8e* if any of t!e *is%iples of La!iri
To Freu* t!e An%ons%ious )as similar to a *epot full of ol* >remo'e*> t!ings t!at )e %annot re%all to
%ons%iousness refuse* by a nearly automati% a%t of t!e )ill. &ung *is%o'ere* a *eeper le'el of it6 t!e
Colle%ti'e An%ons%ious )!i%! lin8s all !uman beings by t!e *eepest layers of t!eir psy%!e. T!e
Colle%ti'e An%ons%ious is >in!erite* )it! our %erebral stru%ture> an* %onsists of >t!e !uman systems
of rea%ting> to t!e most intense e'ents t!at %an !appen in one9s lifetime6 t!e birt! of a %!il*; marriage;
*eat! of a lo'e* one; serious illness; family %risis; true lo'e; natural *isasters; )ar...
)ere still pra%ti%ing Kriya; an* re%ei'e* a sar%asti%ally sour; negati'e response
of; more or less; >5efinitely notF it is not pra%ti%e* any longer. I *are say it is not
pra%ti%e* t!roug!out t!e )!ole In*ian peninsula. 7at!er; you surely must be t!e
only one still pra%ti%ing itJ>
,t t!e en* of !is narration; my frien* )as loo8ing at me .uestioningly. I
am still not sure )!et!er !e )as !oping to %on'in%e me or )!et!er !e )as Hust
absorbe* in bitter frustration. I *i* not pry. In my opinion; !e *i* not realize !o)
foolis! !is *is%ussion !a* been )it! t!at noble person. , %ertain blo) %ame for
!im one mont! later. 4e !ear* t!at a man from !is same to)n !a* re%ently been
initiate* into Kriya Yoga from t!e 'ery personage !e !a* met in <enaresJ 4e
)as so irritate*; !e planne* to go ba%8 to In*ia to raise a protest to t!at noble
man' Anfortunately; !e *i* not !a'e t!at %!an%e E a serious *isease 8ille* !im. In
spite of our !uge %!ara%ter *ifferen%es; I )ill al)ays be grateful for all t!e t!ings
!e s!are* )it! me %on%erning t!e pat! of Yoga.
,not!er frien* remaine* for some *ays at an Ashram in t!e !ope !e mig!t
re%ei'e initiation into Kriya Yoga. T!e lea*er of t!e Ashram )as a)ay; an* my
frien* re%ei'e* t!e initiation from one of !is *is%iples. ,t t!e %on%lusion !e
a%.uire* a large 'olume summarizing t!e te%!ni.ues; an* at t!e en* of !is trip;
'isibly %ontent; !e s!o)e* me t!e boo8. T!e te%!ni.ues *i* not *iffer mu%!
from t!ose I alrea*y 8ne); but t!ere )ere many more *etails. T!ere )as not!ing
in t!at boo8; !o)e'er; t!at %oul* remo'e all my .uestionsF not a single !int
about !o) to obtain Ke/hari "$dra; not!ing on <ho5ar eit!er. On t!e %ontrary; I
%an remember a 'ery %ompli%ate* te%!ni.ue base* on t!e 'isualization of t!e
Cha5ras as t!ey are *es%ribe* in Tantri% te=ts. Ea%! te%!ni.ue )as pre%e*e* by a
t!eoreti% intro*u%tion )it! .uotations from an%ient boo8s an* an illustration
)!i%! eliminate* any possible *oubt. In t!e last part of t!e boo8 a pre%ise
gra*ual routine )as gi'en. Of %ourse; t!ere )as a note guaranteeing t!at all t!e
mentione* te%!ni.ues %onstitute* Kriya Yoga as taug!t by Baba)i; La!iri
:a!asaya9s myt!i%al G$r$.
T!e material )as 'ery interesting; an* I )oul* !a'e li8e* to yiel* to t!e
illusion t!at my .uest !a* finally en*e* sin%e t!ose notes %ontaine* )!at I )as
sear%!ing for. I simply !a* to %on'in%e myself t!at Baba)i !a* ma*e a synt!esis
of t!e innumerable spiritual pra%ti%es of Tantrism to %reate 4is Kriya Yoga. It
)as impu*ent to t!in8 t!at <ho5ar %oul* be %onsi*ere* no more t!an a 'ariation
of t!e 3alandhara BandhaJ If t!e instru%tions for Ke/hari "$dra )ere not t!ere;
ne'er min*; it probably Hust meant t!at P Ke/hari )as not really so importantJ
?it! a bit of goo* )ill an* appli%ation; I %oul* !a'e %lose* t!e %ir%le. C!an%e
ma*e me listen to t!e re%or*ing of a %onferen%e )it! t!e aut!or S)ami S.S. 4e
*is%usse* !o) !e !a* foun* t!ose te%!ni.ues in some tantri% te=ts )!i%! !e !a*
translate*F !e t!en ma*e an a%%urate sele%tion from t!em to form a %o!erent
system of Kriya. 4o) )as it possible; t!en; to !a'e a note saying t!at t!ose
tea%!ings %ame *ire%tly from Baba)i@ Simple E as is t!e %ase )it! t!e maHority
of In*ian masters; !e !a* !is *is%iples )rite t!e boo8F t!ey !a* t!e brilliant i*ea
of ma8ing it more interesting by !inting t!at t!e te%!ni.ues )ere *eri'e* from
t!e myt!i%al Baba)i. T!e tea%!er; e=!ibiting anot!er %lassi% In*ian !abit; ne'er
%!e%8e* t!e material an* )as ta8en aba%8 later on )!en !e be%ame a)are of
t!ose >supplementary notes>. 4e t!en trie* to *efen* !is *is%iples9 )or8 stating
t!at after all P >Baba)i9s Kriya !a* Tantri% origins.>
T!e 5riyaban frien* )!o !a* gone to In*ia to meet t!e tea%!er )e )ere planning
to in'ite to Europe; returne* !ome an* %alle* me. 4e !a* !a* a pri'ate inter'ie)
)it! !im an* !a* goo* ne)s. Some !ours later; )e )ere sitting in my room. I
)as all ears. 4e )as ent!usiasti%. T!ey !a* tal8e* about t!e *eplorable situation
of t!e *iffusion of Kriya in t!e ?estF t!e tea%!er )as sorry for t!at an*
manifeste* !is )illingness to !elp us. ,t t!e en* of t!at meeting; my frien* !a*
!is Kriya Pranayama %!e%8e* by t!at e=pert.
:u%! to my surprise t!is frien* as8e* me to pra%ti%e Kriya Pranayama in
front of !im; an* t!en remar8e* t!at t!ere )as a fault in my pra%ti%e. I as8e* !im
)!at it )as an* !is reply literally froze me6 !e %oul* not tell me; sin%e !e !a*
promise* t!e tea%!er !e )oul* not re'eal anyt!ing.
4e %larifie* t!at in relation
to our group; !e !a* in*ee* as8e* for !is tea%!er9s permission to %orre%t e'entual
mista8es in our pra%ti%e but t!e ans)er !a* been negati'e an* t!e tea%!er s)ore
!im to se%re%y. ?as t!is tea%!er E )!o !a* manifeste* t!e intention to !elp us E
%on%erne* t!at )e )oul* not fin* any nee* to in'ite !im to Europe; or 'isit !im;
after our mista8e !a* been %orre%te*@ ?as !e really so petty an* un8in*@ I *i*
not put pressure on my frien* to *is%lose ot!er *etails about !is tal8 )it! t!e
tea%!er. I %oul* not an* )oul* not enter t!e pri'a%y of !is e=perien%e; but !o)
%oul* !e Hust let me an* our group go on )it! an in%orre%t pra%ti%e@
T!e s!attering part )as to see a frien* )it! )!om I !a* s!are* e'eryt!ing
along my spiritual pat!; a%%ompanying me in my 'entures )it! all my pre'ious
tea%!ers an* suffering t!e same )oes; satisfie* only )it! !a'ing noti%e* my
mista8e. It )as as if t!is Hustifie* !is trip to In*ia; t!e %ost; an* t!e time !e spent
on t!is 'enture. I *i*n9t start .uarreling; but I rea%te* 'ery ba*ly. I got up an*
left; lea'ing t!e frien* alone.
Some *ays later; %onta%te* by t!e tea%!er9s se%retary; I )as furt!er
*isguste* by !o) s!e !an*le* t!e finan%ial si*e of t!e tour. I *e%line* t!e offer.
,%tually I )as not in t!e moo* to un*erta8e t!e enormous )or8 of organizing.
,s for t!e i*ea of 'isiting !im; not!ing %oul* be fart!er from my min*. I )as
%ertain t!at !e )oul* !a'e re.uire* of me t!e %ustomary oat! of se%re%y. On%e
returne* to my frien*s; )!at )oul* I !a'e !a* to tell t!em@ 995ear frien*s; I %an
tell not!ing; you too must go to In*ia.99 ?e !a* rea%!e* an absur* situation6 if t!e
frien*s in my group )ante* one more %rumb of information regar*ing t!e Kriya
pra%ti%e; t!ey )oul* !a'e to be put on a plane an* pa%8e* off to In*ia.
Ot!er)ise; t!ey )oul* *ie )it!out t!is information.
If t!e e'ents )oul* ta8e pla%e in t!is )ay; ea%! year an innumerable series
of %!arter flig!ts )oul* transport all t!ose intereste* in Kriya E no matter if ol*
or ill E to a remote In*ian 'illage; li8e a pilgrimage to Lour*es or FatimaJ T!e
far%e )as not e'en )ort!y of being %onsi*ere*.
?it! my t!in8ing fa%ulties almost paralyze* by t!is su**en turn of e'ents;
Consi*ering t!e episo*e later; I realize* )!at t!is in%orre%t *etail )as6 I !a* not ma*e an ab*ominal
breat! in a parti%ularly 'isible )ay. I am sure of t!is fa%t be%ause it )as t!e only t!ing my frien* )as
able to see E )e *i* not tal8 about inner *etails of t!e pra%ti%e.
I %leane* up t!e %ompilation of my notes about *ifferent Kriya te%!ni.ues Hotte*
*o)n *uring *ifferent seminars; an* passe* t!em on to frien*s )!o !a* alrea*y
re%ei'e* initiation but not to all le'els of Kriya. I pur%!ase* a %omputer an*; li8e
a 'oluntary prisoner; I re*u%e* my so%ial life to an absolute minimum in or*er to
gi'e my all to )riting t!e boo8. It )as not easy to e=tra%t t!e essential %ore of
Kriya Yoga from t!e !uge piles of notes %olle%te* *uring seminars )it! *ifferent
tea%!ers. T!ere )as t!e feeling of )or8ing on a *iffi%ult puzzle; )it!out a
pre'ie) of )!at )as to be obtaine* in t!e en*.
I o%%asionally %onsulte* a fe) Forums for *e'otees of Kriya Yoga. :y
*esire )as to see if ot!er 5riyabans !a* similar problems. :any )ere see8ing
information about Ke/hari "$dra. If I !a* !a* t!eir email a**resses; I )oul*
!a'e imme*iately sent t!em t!e instru%tions.
I )as stru%8 by t!e pe*anti% an* %on%eite* tone of some Forum users t!at
abuse* genuine an* !onest %uriosity. ?it! fa%etious ten*erness betraying t!eir
lo) form of %on%ern; t!ey labele* t!e see8ers9 *esire to *eepen t!eir Kriya
pra%ti%e as a >*angerous mania.> T!ey !a* t!e au*a%ity to !us! t!e !umble
stu*ent by %ounseling !im to impro'e t!e *ept! of )!at !e !a* alrea*y re%ei'e*.
T!ey spo8e in t!e same tone use* by my ol* >:inisters>. ,lt!oug! I )as myself
feeling aeons *istant from t!at )orl*; obHe%ti'ely spea8ing t!at perio* of my life
)as not so far a)ay. Per!aps it )as be%ause t!ose ol* fogeys *i* not generate
any feeling of *eferen%e in me t!at I felt so great a temporal *istan%e. ,%tually
t!ey )ere my yester*ay9s )orl*.
I )on*ere* !o) t!ose Forum users *are* to enter Bunin'ite*C a person9s
life an* personal spa%e; about )!om t!ey 8ne) not!ing; treating t!em as
in%ompetent an* superfi%ial beginnersJ ?as it so *iffi%ult to simply ans)er
trut!fully6 >I *on9t !a'e t!at information>@
I remember a *is%ussion )it! one )!o %laime* !e !a* a%%ess to t!e
original Kriya. Anfortunately; t!at person )as 'ery se%reti'e an* e=%lusi'e. 4e
sai* t!ere )ere a number of true Kriya tea%!ers aroun* but )as un)illing to
s!are any names or a**resses. I foun* t!is stupi*. In a rus! of anger; I imagine*
t!at t!e petty i*ea of possessing se%ret 8no)le*ge an* not %on'eying it to ot!ers
)as t!e only t!ing 8eeping t!e pie%es of !is s%attere* min* toget!er;
%amouflaging B)it! a semblan%e of spiritual a*'an%ementC t!e not!ingness t!at
!e )as from a !uman point of 'ie). ?!y s!oul* Kriya belong to !im@ Kriya is a
%olle%tion of introspe%ti'e tools ta8en from *ifferent tra*itions. It is absur* to
%laim t!ey belong to one person Bespe%ially su%! a nasty oneC.
T!e time I employe* in )riting t!e boo8 !a* been mu%! longer t!an e=pe%te*.
Frien*s sai* I )oul* ne'er finis! it. I !a* not felt any urgen%y; I enHoye* t!at
.uiet moment of my life; e=perien%ing t!e %almness an* %ontente*ness t!at
%omes to t!ose )!o *e'ote all t!eir efforts to a single purpose. ,t long last; t!e
boo8 )as rea*y an* )as poste* on t!e ?eb.
,fter a %ouple of mont!s t!ere )as a rea%tion from my former t!ir*
tea%!er. 5uring a seminar !e e=plaine* my a%tions as t!ose of one )!o )ants to
ma8e a business of Kriya. 4e *efine* me an >intelle%tual prostitute.> :y rea%tion
)as amusement an* satisfa%tion. <ut t!at nig!t I %oul* not sleep. Only t!en *i* I
begin to realize t!at my longtime intention !a* been a%%omplis!e* an* t!at
finally t!ere )as a Kriya boo8 rea*ily a%%essible to e'eryone.
+as entstanden ist! das m$2
+as &ergangen! a$(erstehen-
H1r a$( 6$ beben-
Bereite di/h 6$ leben-
Iusta' :a!ler B10-31111C
?!at )as %reate*; must peris!J
?!at peris!e*; must rise againJ
Cease from tremblingJ
Prepare yourself to li'eJ