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Kriya Yoga:

Synthesis of a Personal Experience


Ennio Nimis
Illustrations by Lorenzo Pentassuglia

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CONTENTS

Contents

First part
MY SEARCH OF THE ORIGINAL KRIYA
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
METHODOLOGY AND TECHNIQUES OF KRIYA YOGA
-. 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
AVOIDING FAILURE ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH OF KRIYA YOGA
THREE FUNDAMENTAL ACHIEVEMENTS WITHIN YOUR
REACH

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

,PPEN5ICES
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
Glossary
Bibliography
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PART I: MY SEARCH OF THE ORIGINAL KRIYA
C4,PTE7 1
YOGA SELF-TAUGHT
: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
first...
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
effe%ti'eness.
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
automati%.
?!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
years6
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$rre/tion> an* in'ite* me to a li'e %on%ert of t!is )or8. I
rea* t!e information leaflet. Ea%! part of t!e symp!ony !a* a pre%ise meaning
)!i%! :a!ler !imself !a* e=plaine* in a letter to t!e %on*u%tor; <runo ?alter. It
)as :a!ler9s intention to treat *eat! as t!e ine'itable en* to all !uman
enterprise.
T!e musi% itself %on'eye* a sense of *esolation )!i%! )as s)eet; as if
*eat! meant *rifting off into a pea%eful sleep. In a sorro)ful 'oi%e of en*less
/
*ignity; t!e )or*s of t!e %ontralto %ommuni%ate* a %!il*li8e inno%ent 'ision6
0 .1s/hen roth-
er "ens/h liegt in gr12ter #oth-
er "ens/h liegt in gr12ter Pein-
3e lieber m1/ht i/h im Himmel sein'
O re* roseJ
:an lies in *irest nee*J
:an lies in *eepest painJ
O!; !o) I )oul* rat!er be in !ea'en.
?!ile listening; I fan%ie* I )as in t!e %ountrysi*e *uring a lig!t rain. <ut it )as
spring an* a ray of sun pier%e* t!e %lou*s. ,mi* t!e 'egetation t!ere )as a
beautiful re* rose. T!at simple 'ision broug!t sola%e to my !eart9s inner a%!e an*
)arme* me to a !ig! pit%! of ent!usiasm )it! t!e t!oug!t t!at <eauty )oul* be
)it! me fore'er; in all t!e pla%es of my solitary )an*erings.
T!en t!e %!oir sang some 'erses from #lopsto%89s !ymn6
A$(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.
0
?!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.
1

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
1
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 -.
1
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
!eart.
,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$s tool for purifying an* /ontrolling the mind. On t!e
ot!er si*e )as t!e aspiration to)ar* t!e i*eal )orl* of <eauty )!i%! I trie* to
e'o8e t!roug! t!e stu*y of literary )or8s; an* listening to %lassi%al musi%. I
ne'er imagine* t!at t!e first *imension %oul* lea* me to t!e se%on*J It )as
reasonable to !ope t!at Pranayama %oul* gi'e me a permanent base of mental
%larity; !elping me to not spoil t!e fragile mira%le of an en%ounter )it! <eauty
)it! a Humble of t!oug!ts; but I %oul* ne'er !a'e imagine* t!at Pranayama !a*
t!e po)er of multiplying t!e e=perien%e of t!e Sublime or e'en ma8e it spring up
from not!ingJ I often repeate* insi*e myself an* sometimes .uote* to my frien*s
t!is 'erse from t!e Bhaga&ad Gita6
>BT!e yogiC 8no)s t!e Hoy eternal beyon* t!e pale of t!e senses )!i%! !is reason
%annot grasp. 4e abi*es in t!is reality an* mo'es not t!en%e. 4e !as foun* t!e
treasure abo'e all ot!ers. T!ere is not!ing !ig!er t!an t!is. 4e t!at !as
a%!ie'e* it s!all not be mo'e* by t!e greatest sorro). T!is is t!e real meaning
of Yoga E a *eli'eran%e from %onta%t )it! pain an* sorro)>.
?!ile repeating it; I )as a%tually sa'oring t!at &oy.
On a .uiet afternoon )al8 among trees Hust before sunset; I .ui%8ly glan%e* no)
an* t!en at te=t from one of t!e 7panishads Kan%ient Sans8rit sa%re* te=tsL t!at I
!a* )it! me. One parti%ular senten%e a)a8ene* an instantaneous realization6
>T!ou art T!at>J
I %lose* t!e boo8 an* repeate* t!e )or*s as if in a tran%e. :y rational
min* )as able to grasp but not fully a%%ept t!e in%ommensurable impli%ation of
t!e statement. It meant t!at it )as I t!at )as t!e unbelie'ably *eli%ate green lig!t
filtering t!roug! t!e lea'es; bearing )itness to t!e spring t!at broug!t ne) life.
<a%8 !ome; I *i* not e'en try to put *o)n on paper t!e numerous >moments of
gra%e> I e=perien%e* from t!is realization; nor %oul* I !a'e. :y only )is! )as to
*el'e furt!er an* furt!er into t!is ne) inner sour%e of un*erstan*ing an*
enlig!tenment.
13
K$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
11
!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
1"
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*.
1$
C4,PTE7 "
KRIYA YOGA FROM ORGANIZATIONS
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!
anyone.
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*
1(
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.
1+
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$ndalini a)a8ening; )!i%! )as to be a'oi*e* by all means.
T!is )as *efinitely not P.Y.9s Kriya be%ause; a%%or*ing to se'eral %lues; Kriya
)as not to be *one )it! alternatenostril breat!ing.
So I )ent on !aunting t!e boo8store. T!e o)ner )as 'ery ni%e an* I
almost felt oblige*; %onsi*ering t!e %!eap pri%e an* t!e perfe%t %on*itions of
t!ose se%on*!an* boo8s; to buy at least one boo8 per ea%! 'isit. Often a lot of
spa%e )as *e*i%ate* to t!eories alien to %on%rete life; )!i%! trie* to *es%ribe
)!at %annot be seen or be e=perien%e* E su%! as t!e astral )orl*s an* t!e subtle
%o'erings of energy )rapping our bo*y.
One *ay; after bro)sing t!roug! a tiresome sele%tion of boo8s; I )ent to
t!e store8eeper )it! a boo8 )it! )!i%! !e must !a'e realize* I )as not satisfie*.
?!ile *e%i*ing t!e pri%e; !e t!oug!t of somet!ing t!at mig!t interest me. 4e le*
(
I %an still %onsi*er myself as fortunate. I li'e* in Nort! East Italy not far from t!e bor*er )it! t!e
former Yugosla'ia. T!ose people )!o li'e* beyon* t!e Iron Curtain %oul* not re%ei'e su%! material.
1-
me to t!e ba%8 of t!e store an* in'ite* me to rummage t!roug! a %ar*boar* bo=
fille* )it! a messy !eap of papers. ,mong a .uantity of mis%ellaneous material
B%omplete series of t!e t!eosop!i%al magazine issues; s%attere* notes from ol*
%ourse on !ypnosis et%.C; I %ame upon a boo8let )ritten in Ierman by a %ertain
#. Spiesberger )!i%! %ontaine* 'arious esoteri% te%!ni.ues; among t!em
K$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
*i%tionary.
+
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
t!roat.
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

1/
!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
easily.
?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>.
10
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
bene*i%tion.>
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
Yoga.
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
11
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
"3
!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*
"1
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!
%on%entration.
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
>per%ei'ing.>
""
>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
Yogis)ari6
>?!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.
0

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$tastha; to absorb t!e results of t!e )!ole
en*ea'or.
In my e=perien%e t!e t)o preliminary te%!ni.ues *i* not re%ei'e t!e
attention t!ey *eser'e*; an* t!e time *e'ote* to t!e final %on%entration )as too
s!ort. 5uring t!e HongB%a$ 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.
0
,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
it>@
"-
?!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 $
THE PRACTICE OF &APA HELPS TO ACHIEVE THE 'REATHLESS STATE

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
"0
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
Yoga.
"1
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
future.
,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*
promptly.
$3
T!is ma*e me more %alm an* %!eerful. 4o)e'er; t!ere are often %!il*is!
t!oug!ts t!at emerge )!en )e are in an un%ertain situation. I )as afrai* t!at t!is
man; %ommuni%ating ba%8 to t!e !ea*.uarters of P.Y.9s organization; mig!t spea8
unfa'orably of me; saying somet!ing t!at mig!t !a'e re*u%e* t!e probability of
my obtaining t!at %o'ete* information in t!e future. I feare* t!at my i*ylli%
relations!ip )it! my Kriya organization E a bon* t!at for so many years !a*
represente* my !orizon E %oul* be *eteriorate*.
Strange as it mig!t seem; a part of me )as relis!ing t!e )!ole situation. I
8ne) for %ertain t!at t!is *estru%ti'e e=perien%e )oul* some!o) be turne* into
somet!ing positi'e; %ru%ial for my pat!. I )as too mu%! in lo'e )it! t!e Kriya
pat! to be *aunte* by any *iffi%ulty.
T!e la*y :e*itation Counselor; )!o )as not present on t!at o%%asion but
!a* met t!e :inister in anot!er to)n; blame* me for !a'ing turne* t!e inter'ie)
)it! !im into a troublesome e'ent. I )rote !er a bitter letter; insulting !er
in*ire%tly. S!e replie* 'ery firmly; implying t!at my letter en*e* our frien*s!ip.
Later s!e tone* *o)n !er attitu*e an* in'ite* me to !er !ouse to tal8
about t!e e'ent.
First of all I e=presse* to !er my irre'o%able *etermination to e=plore all
possible sour%es in or*er to %larify my .uestions. I mentione* my i*ea of lea'ing
for In*ia! an* s!e mumble* somet!ing about In*ia not ne%essarily being any
guarantee of aut!enti%ity. S!e tol* me t!at re%ently some 5riyabans !a* foun* Bin
a )ell8no)n Ashram stri%tly tie* to P.Y.Ds life storyC a %8ami )!o ga'e t!em
>pseu*o Kriya> te%!ni.ues t!at )ere; in !er opinion; some meaningless; ot!ers
*angerous. S!e sai* t!at t!ere )as not!ing unusual about itF t!ere )ere many
unaut!orize* tea%!ers intro*u%ing t!emsel'es as loyal *is%iples of P.Y. ?it! a
'i'i* imagination; s!e %ompare* t!em to spi*ers using t!e !oney of t!e G$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$B*is%iple
relations!ip.
In or*er to ma8e me un*erstan* t!e 'alue of re%ei'ing t!e instru%tions
from a true G$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
$1
pat! !e )as t!en relin.uis!ing. T!en; in t!e en*; t!e *is%iple )oul* return to t!e
same pat!. T!e la*y sai* t!at P.Y. !a* been .uite spe%ifi% as to t!e number of
in%arnations t!at )!ole *is%ouraging trip )oul* ta8e E about t!irtyJ T!e moral of
t!is story )as %lear; somet!ing from )!i%! one %oul* not es%ape6 I !a* to a'oi*
loo8ing else)!ere or I )oul* lose myself in a labyrint! of enormous sufferings
an* )!o 8no)s )!en I )oul* be able to get ba%8 on t!e %orre%t pat!.
I s!ifte* my attention to !er p!otograp! of P.Y.; ta8en on t!e *ay of !is
*eat!. It )as ni%ely frame*; an* some flo)ers an* pa%8ets of in%ense )ere
before it. In t!ose moments of silen%e I !a* t!e sensation t!at tears )ere going to
form in !is blissful eyes Bit )as not a bizarre feelingF ot!er people tol* me t!ey
!a* !a* t!e same e=perien%e.C I relate* my impression to !er; in response to
)!i%! s!e be%ame 'ery serious an*; )it! !er eyes pointe* far off to)ar* an
in*efinite spot; soberly uttere*6 >You !a'e to %onsi*er it a )arning6 t!e G$r$ is
not %ontent )it! you>J T!ere )as not t!e least *oubt t!at s!e )as not Ho8ing at
all.
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
organization.
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$9s ba%8; !an*ing out *aggers to ot!er
people as )ell; so t!ey %an *o t!e same>J S!e %on%lu*e* by )riting t!at
99intelligen%e is a *oublee*ge* )eapon6 it %an be use* to eliminate t!e s)elling
of ignoran%e an* also to abruptly %ut off t!e lifebloo* t!at sustains t!e spiritual
pat!.99
4er rea%tion )as so e=aggerate* t!at I )asn9t !urt at all. 4er a%tions )ere
ob'iously *ri'en by )a'es of unabas!e* emotion; *e%a*es of stea*fast
%on*itioning; irretrie'ably affe%ting !er %ommon sense. I felt a sort of ten*erness
to)ar* !er an* I smile*; pi%turing t!e moment in )!i%! s!e !a* )ritten t!at
letter E seeing !er o)n e=pe%tations regar*ing my be!a'ior %oming true. I am
sure t!at !er %ountenan%e )as at last tran.uil an* serene as if tasting a *eli%ious;
intimate satisfa%tion.
O'er%oming %ertain relu%tan%e; I began rea*ing some boo8s )ritten by La!iri
:a!asaya9s *is%iples rat!er t!an t!ose of P.Y. :y !esitation in *ropping t!e
literature lin8e* )it! P.Y. )as *ue to t!e fa%t t!at; in my opinion; it )as %learer
t!an most.
T!ese fe) boo8s Bat t!at time boo8s li8e P$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
people.
,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.
1
*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
1
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
failure.
$(
for%e be!in* e'eryt!ing in e=isten%eE %oul* perfe%tly manifest on t!is planetJ
>T!e )orl* is not an unfortunate a%%i*ent6 it is a mira%le mo'ing to)ar* its full
e=pression99; s!e *e%lare*. >In matter; t!e 5i'ine be%omes perfe%tP> s!e )rote.
From 11+0 until !er *eat! in 11/$; 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
Agenda'L
,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
matter.
: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
5i'ine.
$. 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
$0
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
spontaneously.
3) E"-*". $#2h %o+!*"$ ,y +%%$"-$%*". !o o"$0 Ih!# D$4#!#
?e 8no) t!at *shta e&ata *enotes one9s fa'orite form of %on%ei'ing or
'isualizing t!e 5i'ine. Pre*ominantly; t!at form *epen*s upon t!e religious
tra*ition in )!i%! a *e'otee is born. T!ere is no *oubt t!at; on a spiritual pat!; it
is 'ital to buil* an internal relations!ip )it! one9s *shta e&ata.
So; I %ame to t!e %on%lusion t!at <eauty in Nature is my *shta e&ata' In
my yout!; my pro%li'ity to)ar*s nature be%ame soon pollute* by t!e *esire to
ta8e refuge into its pea%e. I )ante* to *eta%! from t!e e'ents of t!e *ay an* fin*
%omfort in an ent!usiasti% outpouring of poeti% emotions. Later; I a%8no)le*ge*
t!at I al)ays utilize* t!e re%olle%tion of <eauty in Nature to %reate in me a
glimpse of t!e 5i'ine; t!e 7eality beyon* t!e eart!ly one. ?!en; for e=ample; I
trie* to re%all my first %onta%t )it! t!e 0m soun*; it al)ays appeare* as t!e
tolling of a bell be%ause it )as t!e only aspe%t of it t!at I %oul* lo%ate in an
imaginary %ountrysi*e. ?oo*s; *eep green; per!aps a summer9s sunset sustaine*
my re'erie. No); ea%! session of my Kriya routine !a* to en* )it! a
'isualization of a )on*erful lan*s%ape; resus%itating my *shta e&ata; in'iting
me to let go of any resistan%e an* be seize* again by t!e real e=perien%e of t!e
5i'ine.
5) P%#2!*2$ 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
$1
from t!e )ill of Io*. In a s!ort time t!e "antra *isappeare* from !is lips an*
entere* !is !eart. 4e be!el* a small %ir%ular lig!t in t!e spot bet)een !is
eyebro)s; )!i%! yiel*e* !im t!rills of *elig!t. T!en t!e *azzling lig!t permeate*
an* absorbe* !im. Lost in t!is ine=pressible bliss !e )oul* sit for !ours. T!e
)orl* appeare* to !im as a *im s!a*o). , stage )as soon rea%!e* )!en t!is
*)elling in t!e spirit be%ame a permanent an* un'arying e=perien%e.
4is tea%!ing )as e=tremely simple6
497epeat t!e one name G7amD at all times of t!e *ay an* at nig!ts )!en you are
a)a8e. You may be sure t!at you )ill not feel lonely or miserable as long as you
are uttering t!at glorious name. ?!ere t!is name is soun*e*; or me*itate* upon;
t!ere resi*es no sorro); no an=iety E nay; not e'en *eat!.99
99Atter 7ama9s name B0m %ri .am 3ai .am 3ai 3ai .amC any time; ami* all of
life9s *istra%tions; )!ene'er t!ere is a momentary return of your %ons%iousness
to Selfa)areness. ?!en t!is !appens you feel t!e ensuing Hoy an* you
%on%entrate on it as long as possible B)!ile repeating your Prayer.C In t!is )ay
you perfe%t your surren*er to Io*. T!is is to be pra%ti%e* )!en fa%ing e'ery
e'ent; e'ery *ay; an* in e'ery %ir%umstan%e. ,t Nig!t; )!en free from )orl*ly
*uties; you *e'ote yourself to intense pra%ti%e of 3apa.
S)ami 7am*as stu%8 to t!at pra%ti%e an* )as a%tually rolling in a sea of
in*es%ribable !appiness. 4e attaine* "ahasamadhi in 11-$.
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
pra%ti%e.
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*
(3
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
(1
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.
13
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
13
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
time.
("
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$s> )it! all t!eir !ysteri%al %laims an*
innumerable %ontra*i%tions too8 t!e pla%e of )!at I !a* patiently built. Se'eral
years elapse* before t!e !ea'enly %on*ition broug!t to my life by t!e breat!less
state )oul* return to me again.
C4,PTE7 (
FOLLOWING SOME TEACHERS OUTSIDE THE MAIN ORGANIZATION
T!e boo8 )ritten by t!e In*ian Kriya tea%!er %8ami Hariharananda; li8e
innumerable ot!ers I later rea*; )as only bait to %reate interest in t!e Kriya
s%!ool foun*e* by t!e aut!or an* ne'er in%lu*e* pra%ti%al e=planations. T!e
statements it %ontaine* )ere )ort!y of %onsi*erationF t!ey )ere surely from a
'ery *eep pra%ti%e of Pranayama. I !a* no i*ea )!en an* )!ere I )oul* !a'e
t!e opportunity to meet t!is tea%!er; but I foretaste* t!e possibility of *eepening
my Kriya Pranayama an*; per!aps; %larifying my ot!er *oubts %on%erning
Ke/hari "$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;
Kriya.
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
pinna%le.
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.
11
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
11
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 "$dra! #a&i Kriya! 0m5ar Pranayama!
<ho5ar''''
T!e s%!ool offere* t!ree le'els of Kriya! easy to obtain in about t!ree
years if you s!o)e* enoug! %ommitment. T!e first le'el *i*n9t *isappoint me;
but *i* lea'e me a bit perple=e*. T!e tea%!er )as obsesse* )it! t!e pre%ept of
not !ol*ing one9s breat!; t!erefore t!e te%!ni.ue of Yoni "$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
substantial.
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
(0
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*
(1
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
+3
*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 +
A HARD DECISION
?!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
reality.
+1
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*e.ua%ies 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.
1"
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
%omplaints.
<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*
1"
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
faile*.
+$
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
letter.
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
inter'ie).
<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.
1$

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
1$
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.
+0
: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
%onferen%eP
<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
times.
<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
+1
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.>
1(

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*.
1(
?!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*.
-3
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
pat!.
: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
min*.>
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*;
-1
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
7n/ons/io$s'
1+
:y musings arri'e* Hust to t!at point an* t!ere t!ey stoppe* E
for mont!s.
A (r$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$da5shina K*onationL t!ey re%ei'e* meant a real fortune at my
frien*s9 e=penseC but t!at my frien*s misse* t!e opportunity of learning Kriya
from ot!er sour%es in ot!er pla%es.
Somet!ing *ifferent !appene* to a frien* )!o met <anamali La!iri; one
of t!e master9s greatgran*sons; a man )it! a great a%a*emi% ba%8groun* an*
)it! a *eep 8no)le*ge of Kriya' :y frien* )as not able to learn anyt!ing from
!im. I )as ta8en aba%8 )!en !e tol* me t!at in <enares; an* probably
t!roug!out rest of In*ia; Kriya Yoga )as not pra%ti%e* any longer. I 8ept enoug!
%ontrol not to interrupt or %!allenge !im; but t!en by posing apparently
in%i*ental .uestions; I trie* to un*erstan* )!at !a* !appene*. :y frien* !a*; as
!e usually *i*; began t!e *is%ussion )it! tri'ialities li8e as8ing some
information on In*ian !abits an* about an Ashram9s a**ress )!ere !e planne* to
go. T!en almost at t!e en* of t!e inter'ie) E !e must !a'e su**enly remembere*
!e )as in La!iri :a!asaya9s !ouse E !e as8e* if any of t!e *is%iples of La!iri
1+
To Freu* t!e An%ons%ious )as similar to a *epot full of ol* >remo'e*> t!ings t!at )e %annot re%all to
%ons%iousness refuse* by a nearly automati% a%t of t!e )ill. &ung *is%o'ere* a *eeper le'el of it6 t!e
Colle%ti'e An%ons%ious )!i%! lin8s all !uman beings by t!e *eepest layers of t!eir psy%!e. T!e
Colle%ti'e An%ons%ious is >in!erite* )it! our %erebral stru%ture> an* %onsists of >t!e !uman systems
of rea%ting> to t!e most intense e'ents t!at %an !appen in one9s lifetime6 t!e birt! of a %!il*; marriage;
*eat! of a lo'e* one; serious illness; family %risis; true lo'e; natural *isasters; )ar...
-$
)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.
1-
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;
1-
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$2
&ergehen-
+as &ergangen! a$(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
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