Kriya Yoga was reintroduced into the world in the 19th Century through Sri Lahiri Mahasaya. In Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogananda reveals how the timeless avatar Babaji taught Lahiri Mahasayathe ancient art of Kriya yoga.
Lahiri Mahasaya lived a quiet unassuming life in the Indian holy city of Benares. However his radiant spirituality attracted many disciples who learnt the art of Kriya Yoga from him. One of Lahiri Mahasaya’s foremost disciples was Sri Yukteswar. In turn Sri Yukteswar became the Guru of Paramahansa Yogananda. It was Yoganandawho spread Kirya Yoga to the West by travelling to America in the 1920s.
Kriya Yoga is a form of meditation and yogic techniques that help to bring about a profound state of tranquility and god-communion within one’s own self.
Paramahansa Yogananda says of Kriya Yoga:
“The Sanskrit root of Kriya is kri, to do, to act and react; the same root is found in the word karma, the natural principle of cause and effect. Kriya Yoga is thus “union (yoga) with the Infinite through a certain action or rite.” A yogi who faithfully follows its technique is gradually freed from karma or the universal chain of causation. “
From: Autobiography of a Yogi Chapter 26
Kriya Yoga was practised in ancient Indian times. Yogananda also says that:
“Kriya Yoga is referred to by Krishna, India’s greatest prophet, in a stanza of the Bhagavad Gita: “Offering inhaling breath into the outgoing breath, and offering the outgoing breath into the inhaling breath, the yogi neutralizes both these breaths; he thus releases the life force from the heart and brings it under his control.”
Kriya.org Kriya Yoga institue