Original Kriya Yoga
Kriya Yoga in the WestKriya Yoga reached the West in the 1920s with the publication of Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. As a result, Lahiri Mahasaya soon became a household name in yoga circles as the 'father of Kriya Yoga', whilst organisations and ashrams, societies and self-elected gurus sprang up world-wide, all purporting to teach the original method.
However, Lahiri Mahasaya's grandson Satya Charan Lahiri observed as early as the 1950s that Kriya Yoga had been altered beyond recognition in the West. The source of the practice, Lahiri Mahasaya, had become a secondary figure, and the principles he deemed inseparable from Kriya Yoga had been forgotten. Many of the books on Kriya Yoga contained fabricated accounts and exaggerations.
Authorised MastersSince Satya Charan Lahiri passed the authority to initiate the meditation technique out of the family to his most advanced disciple Yogi Prakash Shankar Vyas (Guruji) in 1985, Kriya Yoga practitioners visiting Varanasi from the West have heightened Guruji's own awareness of changes and omissions to Kriya Yoga. "Unfortunately", he says, "these people have received an incomplete technique: despite sincere efforts; they are trying to unlock a door without having the right key."
Writing the BookDue to this continuing crisis facing the authentic and scientific Kriya Yoga, Guruji entrusted Wyder with the task of writing Kriya Yoga: Four Spiritual Masters and a Beginner. He wanted there to be a book on the market whereby spiritual seekers would be able to recognise the much sought-after meditation technique in its original form as given by Lahiri Mahasaya. It reminds seekers of the importance of having a living spiritual master on this path. Wyder says, "It is Guruji's experience, wisdom and knowledge which lend this book irrefutable authority. And without his collaboration and inside knowledge about the Lahiri family, Kriya Yoga could never have been written."
In Kriya Yoga: Four Spiritual Masters and a Beginner, the original Kriya Yoga may be found and recognised.
An entire chapter is dedicated to the yogic method in which questions are answered such as:
- What is Kriya Yoga?
- What are the benefits of Kriya Yoga?
- What are the secrets behind levitation and walking on water?
- What is the connection between respiration and mind?
- Why is Kriya Yoga referred to as a 'scientific' technique?
- How exactly has Kriya Yoga been altered since it arrived in the West?
- How can I recognise the original method and principles of Kriya Yoga?
- Why can Kriya Yoga not be learned from a book alone?
- PRANA AND PRANAYAMA (Cosmic Energy and how we can tap into it ourselves)
- THE CHAKRAS (the seven energy centres in the human body located at points along the spine)
- KUNDALINI (the dormant, latent power in man which lies coiled up at the root chakra)
- KUTASTHA (also referred to as 'the Third Eye' or 'the Spiritual Eye')
- SUSHUMNA (for yogis, the key to rendering external breathing unnecessary - victory over death itself)
- SAMADHI (otherwise referred to as 'super-consciousness'): "Samadhi is beyond reason, beyond the intellect and beyond the workings of mind. It is a question of practice, not theory, and therefore it is impossible to philosophise on the subject. However, the reality and existence of this state, which is scientifically attainable through Kriya Yoga, has produced spiritual masters, saints and prophets throughout every age: and their experiences of super-consciousness formed the foundations upon which the major religions of the world were built." (extract from Kriya Yoga: Four Spiritual Masters and a Beginner, Chapter Five, Kriya Yoga).