Kriya Yoga. VEDAS AND THE ORIGINS OF TRADITION
By Svetlana Dubyanskaya
Mahavatar Babaji, the Story of the Immortal Guru
Many amazing, talented books can tell the reader in great detail the many secrets of the life and philosophy of the Himalayan teacher, who is respectfully called Mahavatar Babaji. Nowadays, many are trying to thoroughly understand and reveal the deep meaning of his comprehensive teachings and his magnificent global mission on the Earth.
Yet the right of primacy rightfully belongs to Paramahamsa Yogananda, for in 1946 he was the one who published the book “Autobiography of a Yogi”. Its pages opened to the world, to all mankind, the highest immortal guru and prophet, and also openly told the sacraments of science and the art of meditation, and self-knowledge, which is called Kriya Yoga.
The immortal guru is the source of Kriya Yoga meditation techniques, he leads a rather secret lifestyle, living on the peaks of the snowy Himalayas. With ease he can materialize anywhere in the world to meet with the closest students and followers.
It is amazing that his body is unchanged, he spent several eras on the Earth, being at an amazing level of higher self-realization and enlightenment. The Himalayan guru sometimes transfers his knowledge and experience to a narrow circle of yogis who strive for knowledge of the highest truth.
Babaji and Kriya Yoga, Information about the Supreme Teacher
Many yogis, authors of books and researchers of the East tried to open the veil of the great mystery associated with the personality of Mahavatar Babaji, expressing numerous imaginary and incredible theories and hypotheses. One point of view is based on the fact that perhaps Mahavatar Babaji is not a name at all, but a title, a polite form of respectful address to a great spiritual teacher.
Absolutely any yogi practicing Kriya Yoga meditation can be addressed as Babaji, for this it is enough to be a practitioner. There are many assumptions about the origin of the name of the great guru, and the fact that he lives secretly and does not reveal himself to people, gives rise to many judgements.
He sends his most prepared close disciples to the world. The mysterious life of Mahavatar Babaji gives rise to many speculations, conjectures, fictions and legends about him. The lack of generally available reliable information and data on the life of the Himalayan immortal yogi, whom we call Mahavatar Babaji, leads to great confusion. For example, a lot of confusion arises in the stories of three famous Himalayan immortal gurus: Gorakhnath Babaji, Nagaraj Babaji and Mahavatar Babaji, note that all three are designated as Babaji’s.
This leads to the fact that spiritual seekers who are interested in the practices of Kriya Yoga may begin to mistakenly consider them ultimately to be one person. Also a common misconception leads to the identification with Haidakhan Babaji, who is sometimes mistaken for the incarnation of Mahavatar Babaji.
The most reliable information is given in the books of S.Dubyansky, who introduces us to the doctrine directly received from his teacher Yogi Ramaiah. In the middle of the 20th century Yogi Ramaiah spent more than ten years in the Himalayas, where he studied directly with Mahavatar Babaji, hence in our times it is precisely the Yogi Ramaiah who can be considered as one of the most reliable sources of information about Babaji.
Eternal Youth in an Immortal Body
Various stories tell us about the life and spiritual mission of Mahavatar Babaji, a sage, a saint, a teacher who, in a wonderful way may appear at any place and in any part of the world to meet and give instructions to his close devotees and students practicing Kriya Yoga.
It is good if at a subtle energy level you are fully prepared for this unique meeting. If it is so, then Babaji may well materialize and manifest himself right in front of you. The physical eternal body of the Himalayan guru is also called the body of absolute youth. Millions of years, many epochs, life on the Earth have not affected Babaji’s appearance. According to his immediate students, Mahavatar Babaji looks like a 20-year-old young man.
There is a widespread belief that the spiritual path of self-development and self-knowledge takes place at several large stages. The highest and transcendental level of divine realization leads to a complete and perfect transformation of matter, including the physical shell.
Most people, even those familiar with esotericism, are practically unable to fully grasp the obvious fact of the possibility of bodily immortality. These mental limitations ultimately lead to the complete inability of accepting and understanding the full depth of the philosophical worldview of Babaji and his close disciples.
The golden immortal physical body of a guru cannot cast a shadow under any circumstances, because in fact it is a real source of bright light. His body does not need ordinary food, it is far from the need for rest, and it even does not need air.
People tend to believe that the most important process - breathing, is the main life of every person. The very first moments or the seconds of existence of a child always begins with the first important big breath of life-giving air. Life ends with the last exhalation, the end of breathing is perceived as the end of life. Each human inhalation physically marks the beginning of life, each exhalation becomes a symbol of an end. Throughout the day, you constantly experience numerous small births and constant small completions.
Kriya Yoga meditation is often called the art of breathing, therefore the Kriya Yoga meditation system is based on the special work with the breathing process, combining this process with the circulation of vital energy through the channels and Chakras.
The breath ultimately represents a new opportunity and a new life. The matter of Mahavatar’s body cannot get sick, grow old or die, it exists on the other side of the illusory duality of the manifested universe. This is the primary reason why Babaji's forever young ideal body that does not breathe at all.
Kriya Yoga Tradition
There are several major versions of Mahavatar Babaji’s biography. The exact place of his appearance is not known to most authors. The exact date of Babaji's appearance in this world remains a mystery for many reasons. The common version that Babaji appeared in the South of the Indian Peninsula is considered erroneous. The attempt to determine the date of birth of the great guru is also false, presumably it was in 203.
A refutation of this doubtful fact is the ancient information, according to which among the closest disciples of the Mahavatar Babaji were Jesus Christ, and Buddha in earlier times. By all the rules and laws of human logic, being born in 203 as indicated, the great Babaji simply could not spiritually lead and teach Jesus and the Buddha Shakyamuni.
Where, then, did such strange assumptions about his birth come from? The fact is that in 203 the outstanding Mahatma, whose name was Nagaraj Babaji, incarnated on the Earth, Yogi Ramaiah mentioned about him in his memoirs many times.
Nagaraj was a very interesting personality, and was one of the few students of Agastya Muni and Boganater. All the mentioned teachers are important masters in the Kriya Yoga tradition, they have also reached the highest self-realization and are now in immortal golden bodies, thus, being direct messengers of Mahavatar Babaji. The name of the wonderful saint Haidakhan Babaji also may be basis for confusion and uncertainty in the perception of information about Mahavatar Babaji. Presumably irrespective of his will, he became the personification of the original Mahavatar Babaji. This hypothesis was most likely put forward by two students of Haidakhan after his death.
This is ridiculous, you need to remember that the great Babaji is physically immortal, and he cannot reincarnate as someone else. Of course, no one disputes the great significance of the philosophy and spiritual instructions of Haidakhan. You should remember that he never, under any circumstances, tried to impersonate Mahavatar. Many eras, perhaps millions of years ago Mahavatar Babaji miraculously appeared from a flash of light at the very foot of the sacred mountain Kailash, which is located on the Tibetan plateau. Is it possible for the human mind to even imagine such an unreal occurrence? If we are talking about the birth of a higher teacher, a divine guru, we may say that everything is possible.
Babaji has been living on this wonderful Earth for many millions of years, the science of meditation given to mankind by him is called Kriya Yoga. It has been practiced by numerous yoga practitioners for many centuries in order to achieve samadhi, to achieve the highest experiences of self-realization and ultimately the golden body.
Modern human civilization takes its roots from the past civilizations, this is a relatively new culture. Before modern humanity, there were many other diverse cultures. All these historical facts were beautifully and in detail described by Elena Blavatsky. Her books “The Secret Doctrine” and “Isis Unveiled” Blavatsky provides abound theories and information on the mentioned.
Immortal Body, Kriya Yoga, Absolute Consciousness
Enlightened consciousness is the state of absolute divine self-realization. This is the true goal of Kriya Yoga meditation practices. The ancient scriptures describe and explain in completely different ways, but in the oral tradition of initiation and transmission of Vedanta, Kriya Yoga and Tantra, this highest state is called Shiva Swarupa Samadhi, the highest level of Samadhi.
This experience is mainly described and characterized by being at the highest, absolute, transcendental level of self-realization, in a state of awakening of the Divine Consciousness. Any person who has achieved absolute total harmony with God is awarded the highest Divine Blessing. A practitioner gains the Grace of the Higher World in all spheres of life including the divine blessing. Such a practicing yogi ceases to be ordinary and common, acquiring special features of a Superman, a God-man, he becomes a real supreme absolute yogi.
Only a small number of the greatest yogis who have attained the highest self-realization, such as Gorakhnath, Matsyendranath, Nagaraj Babaji, Boganatar Muni, Agastya Muni, Mahatma Moriya, Patanjali, Mahatma Kuthumi, Sundar Nath, revealed their names and details of their biographies.
These unique higher divine personalities are living examples and evidence of the truth that being in perfect harmony of spirit and the manifested world becomes quite possible when a practicing person tries to comprehend the secret spaces of consciousness.
Four Vedas, Kriya Yoga Philosophy
Kriya Yoga meditation and the philosophy set forth in the Vedas, in fact, have one source - the Absolute Consciousness of the highest Mahatmas. According to the traditional canonical division of the texts, all the Vedas are classified into four main parts - the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda.
It is believed that the first three sections of the Vedas constituted the first and original Vedic textual canon, called the Veda Trai, which means triple text, triple spiritual science. Repetition of Sanskrit mantras constitutes the main text of the Rig Vedas. The performance of rituals of worship on the Gods and the sacrifice of gifts, is the text of the Yajur Veda. The ritual chanting of the ancient mantras is the essence of the text of the Sama Veda.
A similar threefold division of texts is also present in the Brahmanas, especially in the Shatapatha Brahman, the Aitareya Brahman and some others. The three texts of the Vedas are also called Mana Smriti, calling them the Trayam Brahma Sanatana, the threefold primordial and eternal philosophy of the Vedas. However, the Rig Veda is seen primarily as the first among all texts. In fact, the other three Vedas actively borrowed mantras from this original text.
There are three main types of Sanskrit texts and hymns. Rig, which means metrically composed hymns intended to be repeated aloud. Yajur, these are mantras written in prose, intended primarily for chanting in a rather quiet voice during rituals and ceremonies of sacrifice. Sama, these are metric hymns and mantras intended for use in chanting on the rituals and sacrifices of Soma.
The Yajur Veda, the Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda together represent separate collections of mantras and hymns, which serve as a structural guide for Hindu clerics. The Atharva Veda, the fourth Vedic text, is a collection of hymns, spells and mantras that are used in rituals for healing. For many centuries, some hymns and mantras of the Vedas have been used in the process of initiation into the secret practices of Kriya Yoga.
The Rig Veda, Samhita, is most often considered to be the very first and the most ancient one, a Vedic text that has been preserved to this day. The Rig Veda as a whole consists of more than a thousand verses in Sanskrit, mantras and hymns, which are written in the ancient Indian version of Sanskrit. The hymns of the Rig Vedas are dedicated to the ancient Vedic gods, who are mainly archetypes symbolizing aspects of human consciousness. Kriya Yoga uses not only methods of meditation, but also mantras, especially the Bija Mantras. Each Bija Mantra, which is an element of Kriya Yoga, carries a corresponding archetype, a deity.
Indologists about the Vedas
Scientists and researchers believe that the collections of the Rig Vedas were compiled by sages, poets and mystics from a wide variety of traditions, priests and clergymen. The Rig Veda was probably recorded approximately within five hundred years, although the period for the formation of the text could probably be several millennia. According to Max Muller, who bases his opinion on philological, historical and linguistic analytical studies, as well as the philosophical and conceptual basis of the text.
The Rig Veda
The Rig Veda was most likely written and composed between the second millennium and the first millennium BC, some of these texts were written in the Punjab area. Many scholars and indologists mention much later or slightly earlier writing dates. There are experts who believe that the period of writing and compiling the Rig Veda was not so long, perhaps it could take about a hundred years.
Despite the variety of interpretations, it is clear that the Rig Veda was written at least within a couple of millennia BC. Of course, it should be borne in mind that this is a scientific point of view and diverges from the esoteric one, which indicates a fundamentally more significant antiquity of the text. There are great stylistic, linguistic, symbolic and cultural similarities between the Indian Rig Veda and the early Persian Iranian Avesta. This deep relationship has its roots in the ancient Indo-Iranian era.
The Yajur Veda
The Yajur Veda, the Veda of sacrificial formulas, consists of texts, mantras, partially borrowed, and then qualitatively adapted from the Rig Veda and uniquely presented in prose, in contrast to the poetic texts of the Rig Veda. The mantras and hymns of the Yajur Veda have a deeply practical purpose. Each special mantra is intended to be used during the period of a special part of mystical rituals and offerings to the gods. The mantras and hymns of this Vedic text were originally composed for all kinds of Hindu rituals and ceremonies, not just for the Soma ritual as in the Soma Veda.
It is worth highlighting that there are two main editions of this Veda, namely Shukla Yajur Veda and Krishna Yajur Veda. The precise origin and creation of the versions of the text is not known. The Shukla Yajur Veda contains mainly texts, mantras and mystical formulas necessary for the regular performance of traditional Hindu rituals and various offerings to the Gods.
Clarifications, comments on them, as well as philosophical explanations and interpretations are highlighted in a completely separate text called Satapatha Brahman. By this, it significantly differs from Krishna Yajur Veda, which explains in detail the interpretation of hymns, mantras, which are integrated into the main body of the text.
At present, four main revisions of Krishna Yajur Veda are preserved, this suggests that in fact there were much more. Their names are Maitrayani, Katha, Kapishthala Katha, Taittiriya.
They differ significantly from each other in the understanding and interpretation of Hindu rituals, as well as in phonetics, grammatical structure of the text, syntax, application and selection of images, terms and words.
The Sama Veda
This Veda is also called the Veda of melodies or the science of melodies and rhythms. The name of this text comes from the word Sama, which is primarily used to explain the type of rhythm and to indicate the melody of one of the metric hymns. This Veda consists of one and a half thousand verses, some of which were originally borrowed from the earlier text of the Rig Veda. Just like in case of the borrowings from the Rig Veda, which are used in the Yajur Veda, hymns have been slightly modified and greatly adapted for chanting on a regular basis. Some of the hymns and texts of the Rig Veda are repeated several times.
The two most basic editions of the Sama Veda have survived; this also suggests that there were initially a much larger number of editions. These texts are called Kauthuma (Early Remorse) and Jaiminia. The main goals of writing the Sama Veda were practical, ritual, service as the main collection of mantras, hymns for priests, clergymen who performed chants and took part in rituals. The priests who sang hymns from the Sama Veda during the ancient Vedic rituals were often called Udgatri. This word comes from the Sanskrit root ud-gai, which means to sing, praise or chant.
In the use of all these hymns in rituals, the unique style of pronunciation and chanting played the most important key role. Each individual hymn had to be sung in accordance with a strictly defined rhythm, melody, hence the name of this unique Veda.
The Atharva Veda
The Atharva Veda is a scripture related to the so-called Atharvanas and Angirasas. The etymology of the word Atharvan is not entirely clear. Some experts and researchers interpret the meaning of this term - a clergyman performing a fiery ritual. While another group of researchers rejects any deep relation of this term to priests and clergymen and prefers to indicate the relationship of this term with the Avestan language.
The oldest mention of this term Atharvan is also found in the Rig Veda, where it is used several times in relation to several sages, rishis. While in later Vedic literature the term is used, and applied in relation to priests.
The Samhita Atharva Veda consists of seven hundred mantras and hymns, among them about two hundred are common with the earlier text of the Rig Veda. Most of the texts in this Vedic text are metric, only a few chapters, sections are written in a prosaic style.
According to the majority of scholars and researchers, the Atharva Veda was written and composed about 10 centuries BC, although this strongly diverges from the traditional opinions of representatives of the mystical tradition, who tend to consider this text to be much more ancient.
We can say that some parts of the text date back to the era of writing the Rig Vedas, and some parts of the text can even be much older than the Rig Vedas. The Atharva Veda has been preserved in at least two editions, Payppalada and Shaunaka. According to experts and researchers, it has nine parts. The text of Payppalad itself, which primarily exists in the "Kashmir" and "Oris" versions, is longer than the text of Shaunak. Both versions were previously only partially openly published. It is known that a significant part of the texts remains untranslated from Sanskrit.
Linguistically, the hymns and mantras of this Veda are among the most ancient examples of the Vedic Sanskrit. Unlike the other three Vedas, the mantras of the Atharva Veda are not directly related to rituals and “pujas,” with the exception of some special practices in which priests, clergymen, and brahmanas use the anthems and mantras of Atharva.
The Vedas help in transforming life, neutralizing obstacles and adverse effects of karma and horoscope. During the rituals and sacrifices, however, some inaccuracies and errors were committed. The first part of this Veda consists of the strongest magic formulas, mantras and ancient spells, which are mainly devoted to cleansing, protection from negative forces, demons, natural disasters, healing from all kinds of diseases.
All these mantras and hymns are pledged to increase the natural duration of human life, to fulfill and achieve good desires, to achieve goals in various aspects of life. The second part of this Veda contains primarily philosophical texts and hymns.
The third part of the Atharva Veda primarily contains hymns and mantras, mainly intended for regular use during wedding ceremonies, as well as rituals during funerals.
The texts of the four Vedas have a very deep connection with the practices of Kriya Yoga, at least because for many eras yogis practicing Kriya Yoga also built their education and daily life on the basis of these Vedic texts. To a large extent, the meditative system of Kriya Yoga is based on the teachings set forth in the Upanishads. It is the Upanishads that are the philosophical foundation of meditation.
Kriya Yoga and Religion
Is Kriya Yoga a part of religion? What is religion? Let's look at what the concept of religion is and how it relates to Kriya Yoga meditation. Religion comes from the Latin word “connect” and “unite” a certain philosophical system of knowledge and views, due to prophecies, faith, mysticism in the supernatural.
Any religion that includes a large set of ethical, moral norms, principles and types of behavior, mystical rites, cult and traditional lifestyles. In the world there are many traditional religions and organizations, churches, sanghas, ashrams, and communities.
Other definitions of religion exist among researchers. professing and following a system of faith through external symbolic signs. Some experts define the concept of religion as organized and systematic worship of higher divine powers. Religion not only represents and confirms by itself a system of belief in the existence of mystical higher powers.
Kriya Yoga, in fact, is not part of any religion, but is definitely historically associated with some religious traditions. The biggest connection between Kriya Yoga practice and Hindu ashrams is natural. In a broader sense, Kriya Yoga meditation is associated with some other religions.
Starting from 20th century, this tradition of meditation is called exclusively as Kriya Yoga. However, in different eras, in different parts of the East, such techniques were called differently, for example, Raja Yoga, Laya Yoga, Ati Yoga, Tantra Yoga. That is why we can say that in the context of other religions, similar techniques of meditation also existed.
For example, Paramahansa Yogananda said that Jesus and his disciples, the Apostles, also practiced meditation techniques similar to Kriya Yoga. This allows us to say that these meditative systems existed in the context of religions such as Christianity and Judaism.
Some researchers and religious scholars describe the term religion as a spiritual and esoteric formation, a special kind of relationship of an individual to the world around him. Religion is a system of perception, conditioned by spiritual ideas about the subtle worlds, as dominant in worldview to the daily existence of the manifested reality. Religion is a system of moral norms and values, mainly based on a pure faith in some higher, superhuman and divine forces.
The term “religion” as a whole can be understood in the sense of subjective and personal perception, religion as an individual belief system, which is called religiosity. Religiosity is a system of philosophical ideas about the world order, a mystical worldview based on faith, associated with the attitude of an individual person to higher powers, something that can be defined as the spiritual world.
Religion is the study of superhuman reality, about which any person can learn something, in accordance with which he orients his spiritual and intellectual life. Faith can be reinforced by personal mystical experience, observation or theoretical knowledge. Of particular importance and significance for any religion are such fundamental concepts as compassion, good and evil, morality, injustice, the search for the meaning of life.
Kriya Yoga - Meditation
Kriya Yoga is a system of meditation techniques. This system of meditation is based on concentration, conscious breathing. Kriya Yoga is a system of techniques for working with human consciousness and energy. The term meditation comes from the Latin word, which means "contemplation." In a sense, meditation is a structure of mental techniques and exercises that are used as part of spiritual and religious. Meditation is also a wellness practice. Meditation leads to special mental experiences and conditions that arise as a result of regular practices of these exercises.
The meditative methods of Kriya Yoga are based on deep control of the fundamental functions of the mind, psyche, emotional states through concentration and focusing attention. Some share meditation with passive meditation and active meditation in motion. Not only these methods differ, but also the technical features and methods of meditation.
There are many traditions and techniques of meditation, Kriya Yoga, Vipassana, Dza Zen. During the practice of meditation, a practicing yogi usually takes a special posture. The object of concentration is often served by internal sensations, images appearing on the internal screen, less often emotions. Sometimes, the subject of meditation can be a philosophical doctrine. Sometimes the object of contemplation and concentration becomes an external object, such as a candle, a mystical symbol or a statue of a deity. Meditation is most often combined with breathing practices and exercises.
The term meditation comes from the Latin verb, which was used in different ways in different senses, primarily as “reflection”, “mental contemplation”, “development of ideas and concepts”.
Kriya Yoga and Shaivism
Over the centuries Kriya Yoga has developed as part of the Shaivism tradition, at the same time we often recall that Kriya Yoga as a system of meditation is outside of Hinduism. Saivism or Shaivism is one of the most famous and main directions of Vedic Hinduism. This system is a tradition of veneration of the god Shiva as the main deity. Shaivism is actively and widely practiced throughout Asia. In India and beyond, in Southeast Asia, in Nepal and Sri Lanka, the tradition of the god Shiva is practiced. Some Indologists consider Shaivism to be perhaps the oldest of the existing schools and directions, especially in the context of Hinduism.
The term Shaivism is derived from the Sanskrit “shaiva,” which means “descending from the god Shiva,” “directly related to the god Shiva.” The followers of this tradition are called "Shaivites." Prominent Kriya Yoga teachers, such as Lahiri Mahasaya and Yogi Ramaiah, were Shaivites, although, of course, it is difficult to talk about such great yogis belonging to some tradition. Yogi Ramaiah and Lahiri Mahasaya were born in Shaiva families, but their high spiritual level was so significant that their consciousness was far beyond all religions.
Kriya Yoga in ancient times
The period before the Aryan period, scholars date back to 1500 BC and into the past. The term itself is very strange, although it is accepted by academic science, at least for the moment. It is difficult to say when the Aryans came to India, but already 20,000 years before the new era, Raama Avatar, who was a representative of the Aryan culture and civilization, lived in the North of India.
Many researchers, including Dandekar and Mircea Eliade, explored many artifacts from Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, other archaeological sites and sites in the northwestern region of India, even Pakistan. These studies were evidence of a very early form of worship of the god Shiva and the goddess Shakti.
Many artifacts include stone lingams. All this is described in detail in many scientific works and studies. Indologists believe that the Indian civilization most likely reached its highest peak around 2500 BC. After that, India fell into decay by 1500 BC. Obviously, even in the scientific community there are no unambiguous assessments of historical events of the past.
In the Kriya Yoga tradition, there are numerous information about the ancient yogis, and even the immortal Mahatmas, who for many ages gave spiritual instruction to their disciples. Many of the ancient yogis in the Kriya Yoga tradition were representatives of the Shiva tradition.
Researchers suggest that the art of yoga was created in the pre-Aryan period, which was also associated with the cult of the god Shiva. In contrast to the well-known theory of the pre-Aryan origin of Shaivism as a tradition, there is another theory according to which there was no resettlement of the ancient Aryans to the Northern India, and the Indian civilization was originally Aryan, where the cult of the god Shiva dominated.
The hypothesis of the so-called proto-Indian and pre-Aryan origin of the tradition of the god Shiva, Shaivism, has not received universal and unequivocal recognition among academic scholars.
To a certain extent, the historical aspect of Shaivism is not so important for Kriya Yoga. Shiva for Kriya Yoga and Tantra is primarily a symbol of absolute consciousness. From the point of view of the internal practices of Kriya Yoga meditation, when the name of Shiva is used in most ancient texts, it is the symbol of Absolute Consciousness, the achievement of which is the goal of the spiritual path of a Kriya Yoga practitioner.
In the oldest of the four Vedas, namely in the Rig Veda, worship on the Lingam is mentioned in different contexts. The Rig Veda reverently sings and addresses Shiva in the form of Rudra more than eighty times in various sacred hymns and mantras. Several famous hymns are addressed directly to Shiva.
Kriya Yoga and Rudra
Kriya Yoga is perceived by many as a purely Shaivite phenomenon, which of course is not entirely true. For example, Paramahansa Yogananda primarily perceived the image of Mahavatar Babaji as the embodiment of Krishna. In the Yajur Veda, a significant number of mantras and hymns are addressed to the god Shiva, Rudra. It was there that the famous mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” was first met. During the formation of the Vedic religion, which we now call Hinduism, many elements of Shaivism go into the space of the esoteric part of the tradition, which sometimes implies a kind of parallel line or even opposition to the official brahmanism caste, which is strongly influenced by rituals and sociality. The ritual attribute in some schools and movements of Shaivism is Kapala, the human skull.
In the past eras in some directions of Hinduism, priests could prayerfully ask god Rudra, god Shiva, not to attend worship before the ritual. All this of course sounds rather strange for modern esotericism, especially for practitioners of meditation in the Kriya Yoga tradition.
Kriya Yoga and Upanishads
The Upanishads are one of the most important sources of the philosophy of self-knowledge for the practice of Kriya Yoga meditation. However, for the Kriya Yoga tradition, the Bhagavad Gita and the Patanjali Yoga Sutra are more significant texts. The period of writing the Upanishads dates from 600 BC up to 300 AD by the experts. Naturally, such dates are only speculations. The most famous commentator of the Upanishads even in ancient times was Adi Shankara, who was the disciple of Mahavatar Babaji.
Kriya Yoga and the directions of Shaivism
In traditional Shaivism, there are many directions and schools that have a variety of philosophical foundations. The extensive ancient literature in Shaivism represents a variety of concepts, doctrines and philosophical schools, including the schools of Advaita, Dvaita, Yoga Shastra, Tantra, Shaktism. According to the classification proposed by Subrahmunya Swami, Shaivism is divided into several main directions.
Kriya Yoga Pashupata Shaivism
Pashupata Shaivism, the most ancient of the well-known traditions of Shaiva monks and ascetics, as a rule living in the Himalayas. They always wandered, holding iron tridents, Trisula, or ritual staves in their hands. Their long hair is curled or matted in knots. Many note that the strongest devotion to God Shiva is imprinted in the appearance of these ascetics. Their bodies are wrapped in deer or tiger skin. Pashupata’s have always been devotees of the god Shiva, estranged from the caste system of the Hindu society, in which kings and priests dominated.
Kriya Yoga and Siva Siddhanta
Siva Siddhanta is a very ancient and widely practiced school in southern India. Today, this school of Shaiva Vedic Hinduism has many adherents in the state of Tamil Nadu, thousands of active temples of Shiva and Ganesha, dozens of ashrams. Despite the popularity of the South Indian Siddhanta, its glorious ancient past as an all-Indian religious tradition is little known to modern Indians today. Today's Siva Siddhanta is identified mainly with its Tamil line.
The term Siva Siddhanta means the perfect and final, recognized authoritative conclusions of Shaivism. This is a formulated theology of teachings and divine revelations, contained in twenty-eight Shaiva Agamahs. The first known guru of the Shuddha of the Siva Siddhanta tradition was the sage Nandi Natha from northern Kashmir, who lived 250 BC. From the written sources of the sage Nandi Natha, only twenty-five Sanskrit books have survived to our time. Due to his strictly monistic philosophical approach, experts rank Nadi Nath among representatives of the Advaita Vedanta tradition.
Siva Siddhanta is a tradition in which such Kriya Yoga masters as Agastya and Nagaraj play a major role. Nowadays, practitioners of Kriya Yoga may have different attitudes to the Hindu context of Siddhanta, however, in ancient times it was a tradition in the South of India in which one of the main directions of Kriya Yoga was formed.
Kriya Yoga and Kashmir Shaivism
Kashmiri Shaivism is important for Kriya Yoga due to the fact that it was in this tradition that the most important text for Kriya Yoga was written - Vijnana Bhairav Tantra. Composed in later times by Vasugupta, in about 800, this monistic tradition also became known as the Northern Tantra, explains the creation of the essence of the soul and god Shiva, its source and the dynamic beginning of Shakti. As the “true self” of all living things, the god Shiva is the transcendental source, the only real, impersonal creator and destroyer.
Kashmiri Shaivism, which especially clearly emphasizes the originally existing unity of consciousness with Shiva. According to Indologists, the tradition arose in 19th century in northern India, which at that time represented a large number of small principalities and kingdoms. Maharajas of that time patronized and supported various religious traditions.
For many centuries, Buddhism flourished in Kashmir and Ladakh. Tantric Shaktism has also always been widespread in this region. For Kriya Yoga, the territory of Kashmir, and the tradition of Kashmir Shaivism is significant because the sage Gorakhnath and some other masters have always been involved in the development of this direction. Shaivism has been flourishing since 5th century, while the god Shiva was the most significant Hindu god. Despite the fact that there were many famous teachers, philosophers, and gurus on this territory, due to the geographic remoteness and isolation of the high mountains of the Kashmir Valley, not all texts were able to survive intact to our time.
Kriya Yoga and Siddha Siddhanta
Siddha Siddhanta is significant for Kriya Yoga because this direction comes from the earliest orders of India. Gorakhnath was a student of Matsyendranath, revered not only by Hindus, but also by the esoteric Tantric Buddhist schools of Nepal. Gorakh Nath actively manifested himself in 10th century, he gave the world several tantric texts. Historians most often associate the Gorakshanath tradition with the line of Pashupat Shaivism and their later direct successors. He is also associated with Siddha Yoga and the Agama schools.
The followers and supporters of Gorakhnath say that his guru Matsyendranath received high secret knowledge and practices as well as Shivaite philosophical truths directly from Shiva, that is, from Mahavatar Babaji. In the Tantric tradition, Babaji is called Adi Nath, the First Nath, the original source of the tradition. This esoteric school, tradition systematized the most complicated practices of Hatha Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Kundalini Yoga. Masters of the school have created many yoga systems. The Nava Nath tradition is represented by numerous great masters whose names we have already mentioned in this text.
S.Dubyansky and the Kriya Yoga tradition
S.Dubyansky, Master of Kriya Yoga and Bija Mantra Yoga, with extensive teaching experience. A teacher of self-development and self-knowledge, for many years he studies and explores the religious, spiritual, mystical and esoteric traditions of India, Tibet and the West. Dubyansky is a painter, graphic artist, as well as a professional writer, he writes and publishes books on self-development.
For fourteen years, Dubyansky studied the techniques and practices of meditation in the Ashram with an outstanding teacher of meditation, mantra and yoga, whose name was Yogi Ramaiah (1923 - 2006). Yogi Ramaiah was at the level of Sahaj Samadhi.
Yogi Ramaiah disciple of Mahavatar Babaji
Ramaiah also received instructions from Gorakh Nath, and other immortal yogis, who are at the level of Shiva Svarupa Samadhi. Dubyansky tells fascinatingly and in detail about the life path of Yoga Ramaiah, how he practiced in the Himalayas under the guidance of the immortal Mahavatar Babaji for many years. You can read these stories in Dubyansky’s books:
⦁ "Babaji is an eternal consciousness in an immortal body"
⦁ "Babaji - the mystery of divine potential"
⦁ "Babaji is a meditation in the world of lucid dreams"
Yogi Ramaiah taught a small group of advanced students from around the world in his ashram, he transmitted the unique ancient wisdom and knowledge of Vedanta and methods of meditation and yoga. Also, Yogi Ramaiah initiated in the techniques of working with positive intention, and building a system of goals.
In the practices of pranayama and Kriya Yoga meditation, the authentic succession of the masters is the most important. Techniques and methods of Kriya Yoga, the Mantra Yoga, Pranayama, were created by Mahavatar Babaji and his outstanding students such as Babaji Nagaraj, Gorakhnath Babaji.
Mahavatar Babaji lives most of the time in the upper reaches of the Himalayan mountains. Sometimes Babaji may appear in different countries and parts of the world to meet with students who practice Kriya Yoga.
Mahavatar Babaji is at the absolute level of self-realization and enlightenment, legends and books are written about him, physically few people can meet with him, he is the source of techniques and practices of Kriya Yoga, a mentor of the highest level.
S.Dubyansky is one of three students who received a blessing from Yogi Ramaiah in the late 90s to start teaching the techniques and practices of Kriya Yoga, Pranayama Yoga and Bija Mantra Yoga. Throughout his entire life Yogi Ramaiah taught the Sampurna Kriya in full only to ten of his disciples, blessed to teach even less, only the three. At the very beginning of teaching, Dubyansky shared his knowledge with a very small group of students seriously seeking knowledge.
Kriya Yoga, training
Currently, S.Dubyansky regularly holds online seminars. Teaching of techniques and theory takes place at two-day online seminars, which comprise several hours of intensive training, theoretical and philosophical lectures, and answers to numerous questions on practices.
The seminar programs are based on the practices of meditation and mantra under the guidance of the master. The program of the online seminar includes Initiation, in Sanskrit this ritual is called Diksha. Initiation is a ritual of personal special blessing for regular practices of meditation, pranayama and mantra.
For the practices of pranayama, mantra and meditation, the Initiation is important, this sowing helps to gain additional strong energy for practicing, transfers and bestows blessings from the ancient line of Kriya Yoga Masters.
Kriya Yoga and the Quest for Truth
The concept of "truth" is extremely complex and multifaceted. The search for the truth can be carried out by various methods, for example, with the help of science. Kriya Yoga is a meditation system dedicated to the search for the truth. What is the truth from the point of view of Kriya Yoga? The truth, this is the contemplation of nature of the soul, this process is called "self-exploration." Methods of Kriya Yoga are concentration techniques, work with breathing, transformation of consciousness and increase of energy level.
The truth, as a term, is an epistemological characteristic of perception and thinking, in relation to the philosophical questions on being. A thought is called “truth” if it corresponds in essence to the subject under consideration. The most famous ancient definition of the concept of truth was expressed by the philosopher Aristotle, it was also formulated by Isaac Israel, there are formulations of Ibn Sina, the description of the concept of “truth” was also expressed by Thomas Aquinas, scholastic philosophy wrote about this as well.
One of the definitions of the concept says that the truth is the agreement of the mind and intellect with the essence of the real nature of questions. In particular, in the philosophical work “The Sum of Theology” written by Thomas Aquinas. In particular, he writes that "the truth is the complete consistency of thinking with the subject of research."
In the history of philosophy, the concept of truth, as a whole, coincides with the polysyllabic complex of basic fundamental concepts, ideas that make it possible to distinguish authenticity. The concept of the truth is the ability to distinguish provable and unreliable knowledge.
For the first time, the philosophical concept of the truth in ancient times was introduced by Parmenides as a profound opposition to personal opinion. The main and the most important criterion for the concept of the truth was recognized as the complete identity of thinking, perception, opinion, understanding and being.
Of course, you can ponder over the scientific point of view on the concept of "the truth” as much as you like. All these formulations may well be relevant when considering the truth of any theory that describes physical reality.
When we talk about understanding the truth in consideration of the works of art and literature, complex social processes, as well as the most subtle spheres of the soul, the very concept of the truth becomes a more personal and individual phenomenon.
In addition, the question arises about the methods of knowing the truth, especially in relation to the study of the nature of the soul. In this case, the methods and technologies of Kriya Yoga are the most important way of spiritual self-study and the quest for the truth in one’s spiritual heart.