One of the books that rocked the world and changed millions of lives is Autobiography of a Yogi. The author of the book, Sri Paramahansa Yogananda was a disciple of Sri Yukteswar Giri, whose guru was Lahiri Mahasaya, who in turn was a disciple of Babaji.
Babaji, a realized master, is said to have been alive since two thousand years. His abode is in the Himalayan region of Tehri Garhwal. Even to this day he appears to a fortunate few. He is beyond time and space. He can appear anywhere in the form of a light body.
As the yoga taught by Lord Krishna to the Sun god began to decline with time, the great soul Babaji revived it in the modern times. This practice is known as ‘Kriya Yoga’, which is to be learnt from a Guru. Twelve years of virtuous practice of Kriya Yoga makes the body fit to have the vision of God.
The important part of Kriya Yoga is Kriya Kundalini Pranayama. Through this practice, the nerves and chakras in the spine are activated and sadhaka hears the sound of Om and sees light in the eyebrow center. All vital energy centers in his body are activated.
In Kriya Yoga there are five steps. Most of the practice is done with the first Kriya initiation itself. According to the progress of the sadhaka higher initiations are given. A few will have visions of Parama Gurus, through whom higher initiations may be given.
The important aspects of the first initiation include Talavya Kriya, Khechari Mudra, Chakra Japa, Kriya Kundalini Pranayama, Nabhi Kriya and Shanmukhi Mudra. For these, the recitation of Soham and meditation on Ajna Chakra become helpers. Maha Mudra and Shambhavi Mudra are important techniques.
With good practice of the above kriyas, a person develops bright aura in his face. His eyes become very bright. His nature becomes pleasant. He can hear the sound of Om in his sadhana. Between his eyebrows (Bhrumadhya), he will see a bright star with a white dot in the middle. With the aid of this star, he can travel to many worlds beyond.
This practice, through being completely absorbed in the sound of Om, takes the sadhaka into the states of Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Many yogic powers such as having visions of seers, knowing past lives, clairvoyance, clairaudience etc, are gained by this practice without necessarily desiring for them.
But this practice has a few dangers. One of them being, the rise of egotism. I have seen many Kriya Yoga practitioners with inflated egos. They do not display any signs of refinement in their behavior. The reason for their state is that they do not practice Kriya Sadhana till the end. Many stop the sadhana after obtaining a limited depth in their practice. Due to this reason, their causal body is not purified. There are many similar dangers in the path.
Any yogic path has its dangers. Hence, there is always a need for a competent guru at every step of the path. To practice this sadhana without the help of an able guru or without proper caution, is like playing with poisonous snakes without knowing the art of taming them. This is the secret behind comparing Kundalini Sakti to a serpent. If a sadhaka practices this yoga with negligence and egotism, he will be badly bitten by the snake and he might not realize this fact until after a long time. There are many such dangers and this is just a small example.
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Padmaja A, which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on April 12, 2009. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.