KRIYA YOGA AND SELF-DEVELOPMENT
The author of the article Mrs. Svetlana Dubyanskaya
Kriya (Kryya) Yoga is an ancient meditation system, significantly accelerating human evolution, leading to Divine self-realization. In ancient times, Kriya Yoga was transmitted by the immortal Maha Yogi Mahavatar Babaji.
In fact, Kriya Yoga has long been known among the Himalayan yogis. In the 19th century, Lahiri Mahasaya, a direct student of Mahavatar Babaji, began to teach his students these techniques openly. At the beginning of the 20th century Paramahansa Yogananda brought this unique knowledge from India to Western countries.
In order to be prepared for the practices of Kriya Yoga meditation correctly, a careful and serious preparation is required. Such detailed preparation and further initiation into the practice of Kriya Yoga is possible in various spiritual schools around the world. This article is for those who want to learn more about the history and philosophy of Kriya Yoga.
According to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, the tradition and the system of practices of Kriya Yoga was well known many centuries ago in India, but much later the system was partially lost. Yogananda believed that the sage Patanjali had in mind primarily the Kriya Yoga system when he described the Ashtanga Yoga tradition in detail.
Bejoy Dasgupta, one of the students of Sri Yukteswar, wrote about Kriya Yoga, that the tradition initially includes all the knowledge that was described in the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras, and numerous Tantras. In Paramahansa Yogananda's famous book “Autobiography of a Yogi”, he described how in 1861 the Great Yogi Lahiri Mahasaya met Mahavatar Babaji directly.
Babaji said that Kriya Yoga, which he taught the whole world through Lahiri in the 19th century, is in fact a revival of ancient teachings, which Krishna gave to his closest disciple and friend Arjuna thousand of years ago, and it was well-known to the sage Patanjali much later and also to Jesus Christ and His main disciples.
Yogananda wrote that Mahavatar Babaji is in absolute and constant communion with Jesus Christ. Together, these Masters send people vibrations of self-improvement; they also plan spiritual methods and techniques for the salvation and transformation of humanity in our era.
Owing to Lahiri Mahasaya, the knowledge of Kriya Yoga meditation was initially known throughout India. At the beginning of the 20th century, Swami Yogananda went to the USA. He played a fundamental role in preaching, teaching, and disseminating basic knowledge of Kriya Yoga in the West. Today, the worldwide fame and dissemination of the Kriya Yoga tradition of meditation continues successfully in various ashrams and centers of Kriya Yoga.
Kriya Yoga Meditation
Kriya Yoga is the highest level of the spiritual system of Yoga, for which a practicing disciple needs to prepare. For serious study and deep practice, you need to go through basic levels and build your life on a solid foundation of morality and ethics.
The Absolute Divine Consciousness is the integrity and unity of opposites, since each person is a manifestation of the Absolute Consciousness, we carry this great potential within us.
A practitioner of Kriya Yoga meditation should live based on morality, because if a person practices mystical techniques for opening the chakras, but does not live righteously, he risks becoming a demon. The yogi performs his actions consciously, because they help to find spiritual fruits, achieve unity with God. A genuine yogi is kept from actions and deeds that can create obstacles in spiritual self-development.
In fact, Kriya Yoga is not a philosophical system, it is a system of methods and techniques of meditation. These techniques are dedicated to the process of mystical cognition of the source of your Consciousness.
A person belonging to any religious tradition, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism can practice Kriya Yoga meditation. All religions claim their right to recognize them as the ultimate truth and a universal system. Upon careful study of each of the religions known to us, we realize that no religion contains the fullness of the Truth, but expresses only a certain part of the Eternal Reality.
Just as the sun is reflected in many lakes, so the Supreme Truth is reflected in many Traditions and Religions. Sometimes people mistakenly accept only the reflection for reality and the final system of answers to all questions. Only by attaining ordinary mental and intellectual knowledge, a person will not be able to understand the true meaning of the essence of all things. The path of knowing the truth is carried out by the methods of meditation, with the help of which it is possible to come to a deep experience of inner divinity.
Kriya Yoga and Raja Yoga
In ancient times, this system of meditation was called differently. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna calls this meditative system Raja Yoga, in the Yoga Sutra, the sage Patanjali refers to it as Kriya Yoga. In Kashmir Shaivism, these techniques are called Tantra Yoga. Kriya Yoga is a great branch in the tradition of yoga, primarily based on concentration, pranayama techniques, visualization and opening of the chakras. The founder of this ancient yoga movement is Mahavatar Babaji. Lahiri Mahasaya, who lived in the ancient city of Varanasi in the 19th century, received these methods from Mahavatar Babaji, who for many ages has lived in the immortal body of eternal youth.
In the 20th century, the most famous bright representative of the tradition was Paramahansa Yogananda. In ancient times, it was Mahavatar Babaji who introduced the term Kriya Yoga, later Patanjali used this term in his Aphorisms. According to Yogananda, Mahavatar Babaji personally taught Lahiri Mahasaya the ancient techniques of meditation and yoga, which were beautifully described in the Bhagavad Gita, as well as in the text of the Yoga Sutras.
Yogananda wrote that Kriya Yoga is the fastest and the most effective way of self-realization and gaining Absolute Consciousness and for leaving the circle of reincarnation. At the same time, Yogananda noted that only the most advanced yoga practitioners were able to significantly shorten the spiritual path through Kriya Yoga meditation.
Under the guidance of an experienced guru, the students first prepare their bodies, energy and consciousness to receive the purest Divine energies that are awakened and generated as a result of deep meditation practice.
Kriya Yoga Self-Development
The knowledge and practice of the Kriya Yoga tradition is transmitted directly from an experienced guru to a serious student. Lahiri Mahasaya wrote that after receiving initiation from Mahavatar Babaji, Babaji taught him the deep, harsh and ancient primordial rules that regulate the transmission and teaching of the art of meditation from guru to a real disciple.
Yogananda accurately described the Kriya Yoga tradition: “The Kriya Yogi constantly mentally directs the concentrated movement of the subtle vital energy, first up and then down the spine, around the seven chakras (fontanelle, brain, neck, chest, lower back, sacrum, and tailbone)”.
Each chakra has two "poles", and there are twelve energy points. These are astral signs of the zodiac, it looks symbolic as a Cosmic Man. A minute of the circulation of vital divine energy around the spine, the spinal cord, causes a subtle and intense spiritual progress in the gradual evolution of consciousness. A minute of proper meditation in Kriya Yoga tradition is equal to a whole year of natural deep spiritual development in more ordinary conditions.
Swami Satyananda Giri wrote that Kriya Yoga meditation is the practice of blissful and joyful abiding in the Atman. Kriya yoga is one of the most complex systems, although some schools are trying to simplify the technique. As soon as the techniques become more adaptable, but effective and powerful, people considering various directions of yoga tend to use them in their practice.
Kriya Yoga is based primarily on breathing yoga techniques and concentration, and this leads to the opening of all chakras. Through the practice of Kriya Yoga, union with the original spiritual principle of the soul is achieved, a person is freed from karmic restrictions.
Kriya yoga can be successfully practiced by everyone, regardless of nationality, age, religion and physical condition. All the techniques are based on the capabilities of consciousness, they are not simple, but are very deep and strong. If you regularly and daily devote your time to the practice of Kriya Yoga meditation, your inner awareness will increase significantly, there will be complete harmony within yourself, the inner world will find a deep balance.
The Effect of Kriya Yoga, Transformation of Consciousness and Energy
Translated from Sanskrit, Kriya means action or movement, in this case we have in mind primarily the movement of vital energy. The ancient teaching of yoga allows you to understand and realize the meaning of your being, to clarify and change the perception of yourself and the world around you, as well as receive spiritual self-realization.
The practices of Kriya Yoga lead to the release of psychological pressure, open up opportunities for spiritual development, free from negativity, give good physical health, open all the chakras, establish circulation of vital energy, free from depression and phobias, treat mental and psychological diseases and problems. The practice of Kriya Yoga meditation helps to realize and unleash the powerful energy of Kundalini in the human body, to launch the deep processes of cell renewal.
Kriya Hatha Yoga
Kriya Hatha Yoga, physical exercises and postures, postures (asanas) for improving and strengthening health, spiritual and mental balance, flexibility of joints, awakening and developing of energy centers, increasing the vitality of the body and psyche.
Kriya Kundalini Pranayama
Kriya Kundalini Pranayama, a technique of yogic breathing and concentration to increase circulation and strengthen energy between the energy channels and all the chakras. Using the technique of pranayama, visualization, concentration, you can significantly saturate the body with vital energy.
Meditation, Kriya Dhyana Yoga
Kriya Dhyana, meditation for stopping internal dialogue, mastering and controlling the flow of mind, transforming and purifying the depths of the subconsciousness, increasing attention, and for clarity of thoughts and concentration.
S. Dubyansky, Kriya Yoga Master
S. Dubyansky, Master of various meditation traditions, primarily Kriya Yoga. Disciple of Yogi Ramayah, one in ten received the full Sampurna Kriya complex. And only three in this line received the right and blessing to teach these techniques, one of them was S. Dubyansky. One of the main directions that he teaches is the ancient system of Bija Mantra Yoga practices.
S. Dubyansky is a member of two creative unions - the Union of Writers of Russia and the Creative Union of Artists of Russia. For many years he lived in different ashrams of India, underwent intensive training in a number of areas of Eastern philosophy, as well as meditation techniques in the tradition of Kriya Yoga.
S. Dubyansky is a connoisseur of esoteric and spiritual traditions, the author of a number of books devoted to the wisdom of the Vedic and Tantric philosophy, spiritual practices, self-realization, self-development, meditation.
The main teacher of S. Dubyansky on the practices of meditation and mantra was Yogi Ramaiah (1923 - 2006). S. Dubyansky lived in the ashram of the teacher for more than ten years, which he later described in his books.
For many years, S. Dubyansky personally has held regular retreats and seminars, individual consultations and on-line classes on Kriya Yoga and Bija Mantra meditation, he teaches ancient methods and techniques for building a positive intention and deep transformation of human destiny, opening the chakras, maintaining full awareness and embodiment of human destiny.
Kriya Mantra Yoga
Kriya Mantra, the practice of repeating special sounds that actively awaken the subtle layers of intuition, intelligence and energy potential.
Kriya Bhakti Yoga, a set of thoughts and feelings, activities in the service of God for the awakening of pure and selfless active love, service. Kriya Bhakti includes chanting of spiritual songs, special traditional rituals, pilgrimage and service to God through service to people around. In fact, Bhakti (devotion) is not so much a system of practices, it is more a worldview and perception.
Kriya Yoga Techniques for Beginners
The basic techniques of Pranayama in the tradition of Kriya Yoga are available to almost everyone, regardless of the level of preparation, age, religious and mystical views and worldviews.
Pranayama techniques allow a person to significantly increase the level of internal energy, develop concentration and receptivity, increase the power of intuition, and of course strengthen activity and physical health. Pranayama practice strengthens willpower and discipline.
Sampurna Kriya Yoga is an advanced meditation technique, a method of spiritual evolution, the study of which begins with Pranayama, a system of breathing exercises. Meditation is the main method of progressing to higher levels of spiritual enlightenment. This ancient spiritual system was called differently, including Raja Yoga. As we have already mentioned, Kriya Yoga is mentioned by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, and also by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. Its deep purpose and essence are beautifully described in the chapters of the Yogananda's Autobiography, as well as in the books of his disciple Swami Kriyananda.
The knowledge of Kriya Yoga is preserved in the Himalayas, for a wide circle of practitioners this system was lost until recently, this was due to the advent of the era known in the Vedic tradition as the era of Kali Yuga.
The tradition was rediscovered and revived at the initiative of the immortal Mahavatar Babaji. In 1861, it was he who taught this unique meditation technique to Lahiri Mahasaya, who was also called Shiyama Charan Lahiri, who later developed these principles into a special step-by-step system of meditation and pranayama practices.
Lahiri Mahasaya taught this spiritual science to many disciples, in fact, most of them were family people, but among his advanced disciples there were some who accepted the vow of renunciation. In one of the most significant chapters in “Autobiography of a Yogi”, Mahavatar Babaji speaks to his great disciple, Lahiri Mahasaya.
The deep meaning lies in the fact that Lahiri Mahasaya did not meet Babaji until he became a family man. Lahiri had to set aside all thoughts of joining a secret and secluded Himalayan group. The life of Lahiri Mahasaya should continue in the midst of human life. Thus, he could become a perfect example of an ideal family man yogi.
Then Mahavatar Babaji continued and said that the prayers of many people living a family life did not remain unheard of by the Almighty, you were chosen. Lahiri Mahasaya gave spiritual instructions and comfort with the help of Kriya Yoga to many serious spiritual seekers. Millions of family people with social responsibilities, finally got a new chance for spiritual self-development.
Giving instructions to Lahiri Mahasaya, Babaji first indictated that he should preach a harmonious path of meditation and active participation in social life, as well as in family development. Lahiri Mahasaya led his students to the understanding that successful achievement of the highest level in yoga does not mean estrangement from family life. Even being in the world, a true yogi who conscientiously and righteously performs his daily duties in the family and at work, without personal selfish motives and unnecessary attachments, can go through the path to enlightenment.
Discussing the prospects of spreading the Kriya Yoga tradition, he asked Mahavatar Babaji’s permission to transfer the Kriya Yoga techniques to all the afflicted, even if at the beginning they could not fully accept all the vows of complete and full renunciation.
“May it be so,” said Babaji to his distinguished disciple, the Divine Will was beautifully expressed through you.” With these simple and inspirational words, the merciful supreme guru eliminated the ancient harsh customs and restrictions that guarded Kriya Yoga techniques from the world for many eras. Mahavatar Babaji gave permission to Lahiri Mahasaya to give Kriya Yoga freely to anyone who asked for it.
In the 20th century, the most significant disciple of Mahavatar Babaji was Yogi Ramayah, who also taught his disciples the unique techniques of meditation and mantra.
Kriya Yoga, the Development of Tradition in the West
Numerous techniques of Kriya Yoga are transmitted directly from an experienced master to a worthy disciple, the same sacred tradition of initiation - a ceremony that Mahavatar Babaji himself constantly used to initiate Lahiri Mahasaya. This tradition has spread through many disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya, and their new disciples to the future generations of teachers.
Paramahansa Yogananda became the most famous teacher of Kriya Yoga in the Lahiri Mahasaya lineage. In 1920, Yogananda was blessed to bring the unique knowledge and practices of Kriya Yoga to the Western world, primarily to the United States. From then until he passed away in the spring of 1952, Yogananda lived and worked in the United States. There, he initiated thousands and tens of thousands of sincere spiritual seekers in the technique of Kriya Yoga meditation. Yogananda inspired people to devote their lives to meditation and the attainment of Divine self-realization.
For many eras the basic principles of spiritual science were widespread and well-known in India. In the USA Yogananda was supposed to start teaching disciples from the very basics, a proper diet, the proper relationship with a guru, a balanced family life. Yogananda taught the harmonization of body, mind and soul.
Yogananda highlighted the major role of the development of willpower, concentration, and self-discipline. These first lessons of spiritual life became a very essential basis for the Kriya Yoga path for Western students, it was important and necessary in the study of the techniques of authentic Kriya Yoga meditation.
Yogananda's lessons generally outline the basic and fundamental techniques of Kriya Yoga in the broader underlying context of a spiritual lifestyle. He founded Kriya Yoga training centers and entire communities in the United States, Europe and India. Spiritual Masters usually directly authorize several of the closest followers and disciples to carry on and transmit the ancient tradition.
Paramahansa Yogananda blessed several close advanced disciples to perform initiation on his behalf, as well as teach meditation techniques. Some of these most prominent students were an essential part of the monastic community, the order, while some others were family men.
After Yogananda left his physical body, Swami Kriyananda traveled a lot to different countries of the world with lectures, seminars and lessons on Self-realization, conducting spiritual initiations into Kriya Yoga, teaching thousands of disciples. After establishing the Ananda Center in 1968, Swami Kriyananda continued to teach disciples and followers the meditation, helping people to prepare and receive more advanced levels of meditation.
Kriya Yoga and Modern Life
In the current age of intense information flows, it is possible to learn a lot about a wide variety of esoteric directions and spiritual paths. A curious person will easily find more than enough to fully satisfy his intellectual curiosity.
After the first step, the next is a serious study of all these traditions and directions of esotericism. Spiritual systems differ by the fact that they require not just theoretical knowledge, but personal spiritual experience. If someone wants to learn about Ayurveda, he goes to the Ayurvedic center and tries to undergo treatment.
If you want to learn more about meditation in the Kriya Yoga tradition, you will, of course, want to try the techniques themselves and only then evaluate their real effectiveness for yourself. Then it will be possible to say that techniques have a transforming effect on your consciousness, energy and everyday life.
Kriya Yoga and Sanathana Dharma
Kriya Yoga is a direction of teachings that was called Sanathana Dharma in ancient India; in our era, Masters of tradition call this path the "path of self-realization."
Sanathana Dharma, as understood truly and correctly, takes its roots in the foundations of Consciousness. As a teaching and philosophy, it also includes meditation practices that are intended for self-knowledge and spiritual transformation of consciousness, intellect and mind. These techniques awaken the spiritual heart to the vibration of love. Meditation is a method of inspired striving to cognize the truth, dissolving ignorance and selfishness, deepening awareness in the present moment.
The goal of the Sanathan Dharma is two-sided, spiritual transformation, the rise of human consciousness, and the expansion of divine self-identification. Many meditation practices that inspire people towards self-exploration belong to the spiritual space of the Sanathan Dharma.
Kriya Yoga, the Benefits of Pranayama
The basic techniques of pranayama and yoga taught in the tradition of Kriya Yoga can be used in daily practice by anyone, even if you are a beginner.
In the Kriya Yoga tradition of Yogi Ramaiah’s lineage, there are three main complexes of Pranayama that should be practiced before moving on to the study of meditation. However, in our time, most often all aspects of tradition are studied in parallel.
When S. Dubyansky teaches Pranayama and Kriya Yoga techniques individually or in groups at seminars, he chooses the sequence of training in accordance with the readiness and characteristics of students. These techniques of pranayama and meditation allow each practitioner to significantly accelerate spiritual progress, increase the ability of the mind and body to perceive different types of energies and increase the level of concentration.
By practicing advanced techniques, people increase the flow of vital energy, develop the sensitivity and concentration, spiritual intuition necessary for the practice of Kriya Yoga, and acquire a high level of attunement with the Higher Teachers. Pranayama is also highly recommended as a significant help in improving a number of mental, physical, mental, intellectual and emotional conditions.
The tremendous benefits of pranayamas are to significantly strengthen the willpower, which is the basis of Raja Yoga and Kriya Yoga. The physical benefits of these techniques and exercises are great enough for strengthening and maintaining the body temple in excellent condition.
It is helpful to keep in touch with the teacher and other practicing students. After completing the basic course of pranayama, you can successfully continue and deepen learning the basic course of Kriya Yoga techniques.
Willpower is, first of all, what makes a person the master of himself. If you constantly and correctly use willpower, regardless of circumstances, difficulties and failures, this will gradually lead you to success, health, self-realization and to unity with God.
Kriya Yoga, Yantra and Darshan (pilgrimages)
In India, many people travel quite long distances, visiting all kinds of saints and places of pilgrimage. To see a living saint means to touch the transforming divine vibrations. Many yoga practitioners who are able to postpone their family affairs, try to visit saints and sages, as well as ancient temples, to perceive the divine magnetic energies that have a positive effect on people. Undoubtedly, a weekly satsang, communication with other practitioners, is a reliable way to keep oneself in the stream of practice and rapid spiritual growth.
Among the most important pilgrimage sites for Kriya Yoga practitioners is Varanasi, the city where the house where Lahiri Mahasaya lived was preserved. In Haridwar, in the foothills of the Himalayas, there is a tomb with the relics of Lahiri Mahasaya. The city of Raniket is the place where Lahiri Mahasaya first met Mahavatar Babaji. Another important place of power is in the city of Chennai in the very South of India, where Yogi Ramayah first met Mahavatar Babaji in 1952.
We are quite fortunate in this new era that we can bring and ensure the presence of spiritually developed and advanced people almost directly to our homes through audio, Internet and video, public speaking, as well as through articles, their written works, books and music. There are many video materials about the Kriya Yoga Masters, including the memoirs of S.Dubyansky about the years spent in the ashram of his outstanding teacher Yogi Ramaiah.
Before getting more advanced meditation techniques, you need to establish yourself in a real and regular practice devoted to the basic techniques of Kriya Yoga pranayama twice a day, practice them deeper and more efficiently and extend the time of intensive meditation practice to at least forty minutes or an hour.
Kriya Yoga is not given too easily until the practitioner reaches a new level of self-awareness and willingness to receive other, high-tech meditation techniques, preparing his mind, intellect and energy for a greater blessing directly through these ancient techniques.
Experience has shown the need for this traditional rule. It is very good and extremely important to have pure devotion. Devotion to God within oneself, as well as decisive serious attempts in the right spiritual direction, cannot but lead a person to the most important desired goal.
Kriya Yoga and Christianity
One of the greatest books in the Kriya Yoga tradition is the commentary on the Gospel by Paramahansa Yogananda. In this book, the fundamental unity of the Vedic and Biblical traditions is described in detail, as well as an analysis of the significance of the Gospel teachings from the point of view of the practices of Kriya yoga.
Yogananda’s book is not so simple therefore requires additional clarifications, you can get them in the numerous videos of S. Dubyansky, which are freely available on the Internet. Many details and complex symbolism are easily explained in these videos.
In ancient India they said: "When the disciple is ready, the Guru appears himself." The Christian Bible also says: “As far as people accepted Jesus, he gave them the power to become sons of God.”
The great Masters of Kriya Yoga have divine magnetism, which is attractive, however only some students can receive the fullness of the teachings and great blessings. A disciple of Kriya Yoga is one who is quite ready to consciously follow not only the external instructions of the teachers, but also follow the internal discipline, metaphysical and philosophical advice. They take responsibility, take on the serious spiritual work that needs to be done to achieve a high level of excellence in meditation.
Kriya Yoga and Diksha (Initiation)
After you have gained sufficient experience in the knowledge of philosophy and teachings, as well as in meditation practices of the basic and advanced techniques of Kriya Yoga, you feel a subtle inner spiritual connection with the Masters of tradition. Initiation into practice heralds the next stage of the spiritual path.
As a rule, S. Dubyansky gives Initiation to the Kriya Yoga tradition at seminars that are held online today. At this stage of your practice, additional theoretical details and meditative practices, energy techniques of yoga that increase energy and awareness, purify the astral and causal bodies are studied.
The emphasis should be on deepening internal contact with Mahavatar Babaji, the supreme teacher of tradition. Masters of Kriya Yoga pay special attention to breathing practices, pranayama, which help to increase energy, to develop the ability to breathe correctly, properly preparing for the main practices of Kriya Yoga meditation. At the same time, it is the deep mystical connection with Mahavatar Babaji that makes it possible to receive the highest blessings.
At the beginning of the spiritual path of yoga, you can try different paths and traditions, but over time, you need to concentrate on the practice of meditation in a particular tradition in order to take roots and gain a high experience.
If a practicing seeker strives to achieve divine self-realization and enlightenment, a choice should be made. Some spiritual practicing seekers come to a personal path and to their gurus, spiritual teachers. Someone requires much more effort and time to figure it out and understand everything. Each individual seeker has his own individual past, his own karma and the seeds of spiritual esoteric aspiration, these seeds germinate in each person at their right time. It is the serious zeal and considerable receptivity of the disciple that attracts the grace of a genuine Guru; these blessings are necessary for gaining initiation in the highest techniques and practices on the spiritual path of higher Kriya Yoga.
Kriya Yoga and Vedic Astrology
The Kriya Yoga tradition is closely related to Astrology, as the practice of Kriya Yoga meditation is able to transform many aspects of human life, including the influence of a personal horoscope on human life. By practicing Kriya Yoga meditation it is possible to go beyond the influence of even planets.
Navagraha, in Sanskrit, means "nine celestial bodies" or "nine planets." Ancient Vedic astronomy and astrology are great systems. The word graha is translated from Sanskrit as the planet, five of Navagraha are the planets: Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn. Several more celestial bodies also belong to Navagraham: the Sun, the Moon, Rahu, the northern lunar node, and Ketu, the southern lunar node.
Rahu and Ketu are not celestial bodies in the literal sense of the word, but celestial lunar nodes. Rahu is the northern or ascending node. At this node, the Moon, crossing its ecliptic, heads upward towards the North Pole of the Earth.
Ketu is the opposite, southern, or descending heavenly node. Then the Moon goes down to the South Pole. Each of Navagrahas has its own personified form of deity, in the form of celestial spirits, higher cosmic beings. The main deity of this pantheon is Surya, at whose court all the other Grahas, planetary spirits are symbolically located.
The energies of each Graha are connected in a special and unique way and affect the human energy and consciousness, transforming the aura at the time of the birth of the child, which forms a personal horoscope. These vibratory energetic connections remain in the human subconscious throughout the whole subsequent life.
Through worship with the help of mantras and traditional rituals representing the spirit or deity of each of these Grahas one can improve many aspects of destiny, for which the respective Grahas are responsible for. This influence is determined by the position of the planet in the natal chart of a person.
There are nine planets in Hinduism, they play an important role in the destiny of an individual. These planets: the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, the list is completed by Rahu and Ketu.
Planetary spirits, deities are known as Navagraha, which means nine planetary spirits that have a certain energetic influence on a person. That is why people living according to the principles of Vedic Astrology worship these nine planets.
Through special practices, it is possible to bring peace, success and prosperity to life and prevent any difficulties and troubles. In Vedic astrology, the position of the planets of the personal horoscope in twelve symbolic houses plays a huge role. Planetary spirits influence the destiny and events of not only a single person, but also the destinies of entire nations.
Navagraha can be neutral, favorable or unfriendly, in relation to the destiny of an individual. If a person’s problems and difficulties are associated with the impact of unfavorable qualities of the planets, then with the help of Bija Mantras it is possible to neutralize their potential negative impact, and a complete correction of destiny and life events take place in the near future.
The Kriya Yoga tradition plays the most active role in the adjustment of the horoscope, this is done with the help of special Bija Mantras, as well as some meditation techniques.
Kriya Yoga and Jotish
The most famous astrologer in the Kriya Yoga tradition was Sri Yukteswar. He gained astrological knowledge from several sources, however, Mahavatar Babaji was his main teacher. This is the great secret of the depth of his knowledge and understanding of the processes of cosmic evolution and the stages of development of human civilization.
“Jyotish” in Sanskrit means "astronomy, astrology." The root of this word comes from the word "joti", translated from Sanskrit “light”, "heavenly luminary." Hinduism astrology is sometimes called ancient Indian astrology or Vedic astrology. The basis of Jyotish dates back to ancient times. This concept is found in the Vedas and carries a deep connection between the human microcosm and the macrocosm of the universe.
Kriya Yoga and Astrology
There are many areas of Astrology, traditionally Kriya Yoga is more associated with Vedic astrology, however, methods for correcting the horoscope with the help of Mantras and Kriya Yoga meditation work in whatever tradition you build a horoscope.
Astrology plays an important role in the life of most Hindus. In the Indian Vedic culture, each newborn is traditionally given a name that is based strictly on an individual horoscope.
The principles of Astrology and the concepts of Jyotish deeply penetrated into the system of numerous calendars, festivals and holidays. For example, Jyotish is often used when making important decisions about moving to another city, getting married, beginning a business, starting construction, and moving to a new home.
Astrology in India still retains its important position among other sciences. Following the famous and controversial decision of the Supreme Court of Andhra Pradesh in 2001, some major Indian universities began to award degrees in Vedic Astrology.
However, the introduction of a new discipline in the education system, at some universities caused a very sharp negative reaction on behalf of the scientific community of India. The documented historical information about Jyotish originates from the unique interaction of Indian and Hellenic cultures, this probably happened during the Indo-Greek period in the history of this region. The oldest surviving texts and treatises on the theme usually date from the 1st centuries of our era.
The oldest preserved Astrological treatise in Sanskrit, is a unique poetic arrangement, written in around the 3rd century. These texts are arrangements and translations of the lst ancient Greek text of the Greek-Indian astrologer Yavaneshvara, who lived in the 2nd century.
The very first known authors who wrote texts on astronomy appeared at the beginning of the 5th century, when the dawn called the classical period of Indian knowledge of astronomy began. The main treatises on which the tradition of Indian astrology is usually based are manuscripts of the early Middle Ages, in particular Brihat Parashara Hora and Saravali. In general, the significant development of astrology in Indian culture was an important factor on the path of development in the Middle Ages.
In fact, Jyotish and Ayurveda are two truly traditional systems of knowledge and disciplines that are probably best preserved in modern Indian culture, although both have been significantly modified and transformed under the strong influence of Western culture.
However, the scientific community in India is not unambiguous about the traditional knowledge of Astrology. Indian scientists, both in India and abroad, believe that the official recognition of Astrology is a leap backward, which undermines the real scientific confidence in rational knowledge that India has earned by the 20th century.
Ancient astronomy in India was closely associated with the Vedic religion and philosophy. Information relating to astronomy and celestial phenomena can be found in different parts of the Vedic texts. They often refer to solar and lunar eclipses, provide a list of moon sites, and Nakshatra. The hymns of the Vedic texts beautifully glorify such deities as the Earth (Prithivi) and the Sun (Surya).
The Vedic knowledge is described (Jyotish Vedanga), which describes in detail the calendar calculations, very important and necessary for the accurate and correct conduct of temple ceremonies. It is widely believed that its final text was written by Lagadha. However, the position of the points of the solstices and equinoxes adopted in this text most likely corresponds to a much earlier era, one and a half millennia BC.
Kriya Yoga, Vedas and Prana
The Kriya Yoga tradition is the most important foundation of the Vedic tradition, which means that Kriya Yoga is philosophically connected with the Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads. The Puranas, most likely written a long time ago, are assumed to be composed in the first centuries of the new era, but this is unlikely. Indologists believe that the Puranas reflect primarily the ideas of Brahminical Hinduism.
Puranas are primarily collections of various legends and traditions of antiquity; these stories are primarily of cosmological significance, Hindu Vedic ideas and worldview about the structure of the universe and the universe.
The most famous Puranas are Vishnu Purana, Matsya Purana, Shiva Purana. Here the narrative is dedicated to stories about people and Gods. There are many symbolic stories about the history of the Earth, in the center of which is the mythological and mysterious Mount Meru. Planets and celestial bodies revolve around Mount Meru. The Puranas tell about seven continents, cosmic global cycles of time measured in gigantic periods of time.
India and Ancient Greek Culture
The acquaintance of the Hindus with Greek astronomy most likely occurred in the Hellenistic era. It is difficult to say who was the source of true knowledge. Western Indology claims that it was the Greeks who gave the Indians deeper knowledge in astronomy.
The presence of the Greeks in India also influenced the formation of Buddhist iconography. The images of Buddha, which are familiar to us, were largely formed under the influence of Greek sculpture. The center of very active trade, as well as cultural interactions and contacts of India with the Hellenistic culture in the first centuries of the new era was primarily the coast of Western India, and some other territories and regions adjacent to it.
In the second century of the new era, a Greek who lived at the palace of the king of the Kshatraps dynasty, translated a treatise on astrology from Greek to Sanskrit. In ancient India, this text came to be called Yavana Jataka, "Greek Jataka." In this text the calculations of the motion of some celestial bodies were based on the application of the principles of zigzag functions, the Babylonian technique, also adopted by Greek astronomers and astrologers. In the 3rd century, Sphujidhvaja put Yavana Jataka on a poetic rhythm, it is this arrangement that has survived to our days.
There are theories that treatises outlining Greek astronomy, based on Babylonian knowledge, began to be called Siddhantas. Naturally, many in India do not really support this theory, as they seek to prove the independence of Vedic knowledge.
Varahamihira, who lived in the 6th or 7th century, in his work entitled “Pancha Siddhantika” lists the five Siddhants that were at his disposal at that time - Paytamaha Siddhanta, Vasishtha Siddhanta, Paulish Siddhanta, Romaka Siddhanta, Surya Siddhanta.
The basis of the first two Siddhant texts is primarily the Babylonian technique of the so-called zigzag functions. In Paytamaha Siddhanta, the phenomenon of time is counted differently. It is possible that the techniques of this text were founded much later. Vasishtha Siddhanta most likely existed at the end of the 3rd century. This text mentions Sphujidhwaja in Yavana Jattaka.
Paulisha Siddhanta is named after a certain person named Paul, who is most often identified with the famous astrologer of that time, Paul of Alexandria, and the text called Romaka Siddhanta derived its name from the word "Roman".
In the other three texts of Siddhanta, trigonometric methods of calculation are used to a greater extent. The treatises use the usual scheme of motion of all the planets developed by the Greeks Apollonius and Hipparchus.
According to some researchers, Surya Siddhanta is the deepest in content and accuracy of Siddhant. This text has been commented on several times and therefore has survived in several versions and editions, which differ markedly from each other. The text consists of fourteen sections, they set out various issues related to the motion and position of all planets, as well as lunar and solar eclipses.
Kriya Yoga and Shankaracharia (Shankara)
According to oral tradition and some written sources, the greatest sage of antiquity, Shankara was the direct student of Mahavatar Babaji. This is also one of the evidences of the antiquity of the Kriya Yoga tradition.
Shankara, who is also known as Adi Shankara, lived in 788-820, although many people are ready to question these dates. To believe that he lived a little more than thirty years is almost impossible. The most realistic version is that Shankara possessed the knowledge of Kayakalpa and extended his life to one and a half thousand years. Most likely he was born in the 3rd or 5th century BC and left his body in the 8th or 9th century AD.
Shankara was an Indian thinker, a leading representative of Vedanta philosophy, he was an outstanding religious reformer, logician and polemicist, a greatest mystic and poet. On the basis of the main Upanishads, he created a deep, consistent Advaitic monistic system of the Vedanta.
In the traditional classical descriptions of the life path of Shankara, many miracles and legendary events of his travels are mainly described. His parents were brahmanas; in the beginning they were childless for many years. They intensively prayed to Lord Shiva in the Vrishadrinath temple, which is located in the mountains of Trichura, to give them a beautiful child. God Shiva ultimately appeared in a dream to both spouses and offered a difficult choice. Many ordinary, stupid and mediocre sons who would live a long life in material wealth and social fortune, or just one son who would not live long on the Earth, but would become a great sage and religious reformer.
Parents, thinking about the last option, named the newborn in honor of the god Shiva, Shankar. His father died early enough when Shankara was only five years old. At this age, the child had already begun to study all the philosophical texts of the Vedanta, showing amazing and astonishing abilities.
Soon, the boy Shankara greatly surpassed the teachings of his own teachers. At the age of about eight the main term given to Shankara for his earthly life expired.
He asked his mother to bless him for receiving initiation into traditional monasticism. The mother sadly refused to bless her son, then, in front of the mother's eyes, a huge crocodile grabbed the boy right in the river, but let him go when the perplexed woman nevertheless agreed that her son became a monk.
Shankara, Vedanta, Tantra
Young Shankara immediately set off on a long journey in search of his true guru to the very North of India, where on the banks of the sacred river of Narmada he met the sage Govinda, who is considered a disciple of the sage of Gaudapada. There is an assumption that in fact it was Mahavatar Babaji, Shankara preferred to call his teacher one of his many names, Govinda.
Sankara learned all the basics of the Advaita philosophical system, wrote a large number of Vedic hymns in Sanskrit, created several philosophical treatises, in particular he became famous for his commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita, Brahma Sutra and Upanishads.
There was a prophecy of the sage Badarayana, according to which the best interpretation of his text will be written by a suppressor of water. The sage Govinda recalled this prophecy when Adi Shankara, uttering a special mantra on the water, instantly pacified the holy river Narmada that overflowed from the banks.
Sankara, having received the great blessing of his guru, after that, in four years he was able to write excellent commentaries on all the major works of the Vedanta, namely the Brahma Sutras, Badarayana, Bhagavad Gita, Vyasa Deva, and the most basic Upanishads.
Sankara made numerous pilgrimages, including the sacred mountain Kailash, where Mahavatar Babaji appeared to him in the form of Shiva. This special form of Lord Shiva is also called the bearer of supreme knowledge and wisdom, Dakshinamurti.
In the ancient city of Casi Benares, after the death of Govinda, who was buried thereafter on one of the sacred islands of the Narmada River, a beautiful temple was subsequently erected. If Govinda was actually none other than Mahavatar Babaji, then it is impossible to talk about his death. This suggests that history has a symbolic rather than literal meaning.
Shankara and Advaita
Shankara, accompanied by numerous disciples, some of whom were also disciples of Govinda, went on a trip to the sacred Prayag, where Shankara held many historical disputes and gained many new adherents. Then Adi Shankara again with his students went to the city of two thousand temples, Kasi-Varanasi and settled in the sanctuary to perform funeral rituals, at the site of cremation on the banks of the sacred river Ganges.
Once, Shankara met a man from the lower caste on the street, and rudely ordered him to immediately give way. In those days, Indian societies were filled with conditioning. Since Shankara was a representative of the upper caste, he feared that he might contaminate himself if he passed alongside a person from the lower caste.
However, the stranger did not make way for him, instead gave a lecture on the teachings of Advaita, according to which there is the original unity and equality of all living beings. Shankara, realizing his mistake, fell at his feet and asked for forgiveness.
Sankara traveled extensively to all parts of India; he built many temples and monasteries, four of which are the most important - Joshi Math, Puri, Shringeri, Kanchi, all of which are still functioning today. According to the official biography, he died at the age of 33, but most likely there was only a symbolic figure.
A number of holy places claim that they have his tomb. However, there is a legend that is most likely the most real about his divine transformation into a rainbow body, dematerialization into a rainbow body on the sacred Mount Kailash.
For the Kriya Yoga tradition, Shankara is an extremely important teacher, a direct disciple of Mahavatar Babaji. This was also mentioned by Paramahansa Yogananda. Sankara was the first to comment on the Bhagavad Gita and compile a list of the main Upanishads.
Almost all the spiritual teachers of modern India are monks of the order system founded by them. Sankara taught his direct disciples the techniques of Kriya Yoga meditation, Bija Mantras, and the methods of Sri Vidya. He was not only the greatest Vedic philosopher, but also an outstanding master of Tantra.
Kriya Yoga and Advaita
Advaita Vedanta is the so-called monistic philosophical system of Hinduism, which preaches the concept of Brahman, the Absolute Consciousness, which is the beginning of all that exists, the only reality, the unity of the whole universe. The diversity of the entire manifested world is explained both by the manifestation of creative Shakti and the energy of Brahman. The manifested universe is perceived as Maya, an illusion.
This philosophical system is extremely important for Kriya Yoga, since it essentially indicates the goal that every practitioner of Kriya Yoga meditation is moving towards. By practicing Kriya Yoga meditation, you go to the realization of the higher truth, which is described in the Vedic philosophy of Advaita.
Avidya, ignorance, perceives the universe as a system of disparate objects. The teachings of Adi Shankara basically proceed from texts traditional for ancient Hinduism, such as the four Vedas, the numerous Upanishads, and of course the Bhagavad Gita and Vedanta Sutras.