“Kriya Yoga saved me, just not in the way I thought it would.” These intriguing words are from a letter we recently received from a friend. With her permission, we’re sharing her experiences with you, because her insights are potentially life changing and something from which everyone can benefit.
We recently went on a pilgrimage to Babaji’s cave. There were forty-five pilgrims on the trip, with most of us seeing this sacred spot for the first time. It was here, in this little secluded cave in the middle of nowhere and of everywhere, that our lineage took birth. From this tiny cave, the science of Kriya Yoga has spread around the globe. It was here that Lahiri Mahasaya received not only Kriya initiation, but also the charge to take it back to the masses of spiritually thirsty souls. Autobiography of a Yogi relates that Babaji told him, “A deep purpose underlay the fact that you did not meet me this time until you were already a married man, with modest business responsibilities. You must put aside your thoughts of joining our secret band in the Himalayas; your life lies in the crowded marts, serving as an example of the ideal yogi-householder.”
Recently at a satsang someone asked us, “How much free will do we have, and how much is predetermined by our past karma?” This question has troubled people down through the ages. Now in Dwapara Yuga our line of gurus have given us new understanding of how to find freedom from karmic bondage.
Wherever we teach, one of the first questions we are asked is, “How can I control restless thoughts?” This universal problem was even addressed over 2,000 years ago in the Bhagavad Gita, when Arjuna lamented, “Owing to my restlessness, I’ve achieved no lasting results in the attempts You’ve taught me to steady the mind. Verily the mind is restless, tumultuous, madly stubborn! O Krishna, I consider it to be as difficult to master as the wind.” (Chapter 6:33,34)
We recently held a Kriya Yoga Initiation in the boyhood home of Paramhansa Yogananda at 4 Gurpar Road in Kolkata. This site is made holy, not only by the many years that Master lived here, but also because of uniquely sacred events that took place at this spot. It was here that Babaji appeared and blessed Yoganandaji before his mission to America.
My first Kriya Initiation was on December 22, 1967. It was a Friday evening, and Swami Kriyananda felt that those of us who would be attending the all-day Christmas meditation the next day could benefit from having this sacred technique. The ceremony took place in Swamiji’s small San Francisco apartment and was attended by about a dozen people.