PURPOSE OF KRIYA YOGA
Kriya yoga bestows tremendous power to the followers. It provides the power for improving the digestive system. It also cures all kinds of chronic diseases including tuberculosis, leprosy, fistula, indigestion, tumor and cancer. In addition, it takes human mind in the dimension of subconscious and unconscious domains by unveiling the layers of ignorance and rigidity.
The boon bestows the power for evolving the hidden capability in personality and professional ability development. The purpose and principles of Kriya yoga shows its tremendous boons; at the same time, the mistakes committed during steps indicate the cropping of defects in the fields of digestive system, excretory system and reproductive system. The books namely “Power and Limitation of Kriya Yoga” and “Boons and Banes of Kriya Yoga” bring mile stone or yard stick to the seeker by cropping its results in terms of benefits. The concept described in Kriya Yoga works like an alarming bell against its caution or warning provided in MN -70 of Yoga Chudamani Upanishad.
Human emergence exists as a drop (Bindu) consisting energy (Prana), space (Akasha Tattva) and power or consciousness (Atma Shakti). These forces are responsible to manifest and hence Bindu (drop) resembles with primordial seed of the Absolute (God or Parmatma). While manifestation, they are responsible for formation of matter (object) including human being. Out of three, two forces namely energy (prana) and space (mind) are responsible for degradation or upliftment of human personality. The space (mind) and energy (prana) are brought by nature (Prakriti) for the purpose of creation of the objects. The space (mind) works as lower mind which emerges from higher mind (Power or Atma Shakti). Unless, the lower mind is brought to the primordial state of mind or knowledge, the human being will not be evolved. Then question arises how to evolve?
There are three ways to uplift our consciousness (the nucleus resulting because of two forces namely Prana or energy and mind or Akasha Tattva or Space). One method could be balancing the two forces (force related to prana and mind flowing in Pingla and Ida path respectively) and get the nuclei (resultant) uplifted at higher center. Second method could be worked upon either of the two forces (which are inter linked) and then to obtain the nucleus (consciousness) uplifted. These two methods can be practiced with the help of Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara steps of Astang Yoga.
1.1 How Kriya Yoga is different from Bahirang yoga?
Bahirang yoga consists of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, and Pratyahara. These processes will be helpful to evolve the human being as described above. The third method is little different than the above two. In this method the Bindu (Nuclei) as a consciousness which normally take the path of Sushumna. If the nucleus, is moved by any means in upward direction and kept controlled there for longer time; that kind of method defines the purpose of Kriya yoga. That is why, Kriya yoga is taken as a different subject compared to normal Astang yoga; though, the steps (like Asana, Pranayama, Bandha and Mudra) followed in Kriya yoga are the part of Astang yoga. In brief, the purpose of Kriya yoga is to apply a special technique for uplifting the lower mind (lower consciousness) and to merge the same with higher mind (consciousness) so that corresponding energy (prana) and space (mind) are also uplifted in the realm of psychic channel.
1.2 Why Kriya Yoga is taken as corrective measures for progressive life?
Kriya yoga is a corrective tool to achieve dynamic life in general and spiritual life in particular for evolution. Atheist and Theist do believe that there is a great role of nature (Prakriti) to create individual’s life or existence. While creation, all essential aspects of life comes in a Nuclei (Bindu) form, Nuclei (Bindu) consists of higher mind (space) and also lower mind (energy). The higher mind is full of Antahkarna with least possible energy stays at top back of the head; whereas lower mind consists of maximum energy and stays randomly at lower chakra (mostly at Swadisthana chakra) for common man. The Kriya yoga is a methodology to raise the lower mind (energy) from lower chakra to higher chakra (distributor of energy for the specific region) so as to achieve the dynamic personality and also to achieve the divinity for the individual.
The diagram shows energy level at different chakras. This is bound to happen in day to day life depending on individual’s nature, family and social atmosphere, financial condition and educational level.
Actual source of Bindu is the higher centers of the Brain, in the region of Bindu Visarga (top back of the head). Due to influence of Desire and Passion, the Bindu falls down the lower region. The falling depends on the intensity of desire and passions. For example, in the young age desire and passions are very high. That is why the nuclei (Bindu) during youth hood stay at lower centers.
At higher level, Bindu exists as a drop of Amrita or Nectar of Immortality. This happens whenever the Bindu (the controller) of lower mind gets merged with the Bindu of higher mind at Bindu Visarga. As long as union of two Bindu (lower and higher) exists, there will be the formation of Amrit (Nectar).
At intermediate level, it exists at Anahata chakra as Prana and further maintains the digestive & metabolic processes. The Anahata center is the source of main Prana. At the center, the prana (inherent vital force) comes along with air and gets distributed in two parts. The upper part of the Prana works for Vishuddhi chakra and also for central nervous system. The lower part of Prana passes through digestive system (like Samana Prana) and moves lower region of the body like Apana Prana.
At lower centre, Bindu gets burnt up by the fire of gastric and metabolic imbalance, at Manipura. However, the center is also responsible for good digestion when Samana prana is sufficient. This is possible when Apana prana is weak or having Urdhvagati (upward direction) to assist Samana prana.
Nucleus (Bindu) also falls to the reproductive centre, where it is transformed into Sperm and Ova. This is a natural process and to overcome this, Kriya yoga is very helpful or effective. If correct method of Kriya yoga is not followed, there is likelihood of harm in place of benefit. At lower level, it exists as a drop of Sexual fluid or Seed at reproductive orgasm.
1.3 Benefits of Kriya yoga
The practice of Kriya yoga provides many benefits like retention of healthy cells, reduction of ageing, keeping proper digestive system and elimination of diseases. In brief the image describes the main features of the benefit.
Retention of Bindu is prescribed for three reasons to have its benefits. i) Bindu is the source of creation and of individual manifestation & maintenance of life. This means, the retention of Bindu leads to Immortal life but the loss leads to degeneration of cells (body) & death. This is because, when retention of Bindu at higher points or chakra is not maintained, then the cells are not getting rejuvenated and more cells die compared to new number of cells generating in the body.
ii) At higher level of Bindu, the spiritual experiences manifests & human nature becomes Divine. At that point, the divinity is experienced when lower Bindu (Rajas or sun or prana) is merged with white Bindu (mind, moon, and shiva) at Bindu Visarga.
iii) The process of regeneration can be carried out by retention of the Bindu. The degeneration or disease will be eliminated. This is the main principle of Kriya yoga. This indicates that at any stage or any age of human life, the Kriya yoga can be practiced perfectly to raise the lower Bindu at higher chakra and also to unite the Rajas (lower Bindu) with Shukla (higher Bindu) at Bindu Visarga.
1.4 Proper stability of consciousness (nuclei) makes dynamic personality
It is interesting to note that the preservation of Bindu at different chakra yields different skills and special characteristics of the personality. This is because; the vital fluid (which normally remains at two lower chakras) works as energy drainer. When vital force along with Apana prana is raised and retained at higher chakra, the inner potentiality of the individual blossom up.
For example, the individual develops the Ability to take decision when Bindu is raised and retained at Agna chakra. At this point, the lower mental state (represented by Rajas) becomes fully balanced and the consciousness at this moment becomes capable to move in the psychic channel.
The practitioner of Kriya Yoga (Maha Mudra) becomes brilliant as they can focus on the single subject at a time by developing the art of concentration. This is also achieved whenever the lower mind is raised up to frontal portion of the brain. This is achieved by adopting the principle of Dharana (concentration) of Astang yoga.
The practitioner of Maha Mudra and Yoni Mudra becomes internally tough to face the time consuming works in day to day life. This can be ensured when the follower of Kriya yoga achieved endurance against tough work or assignment by practicing the technique of withdrawal (Pratyahara) indicated in Kriya yoga. It is interesting to note that withdrawal practice of Astang yoga helps the user to become more confident. This is the theme of the management course and the students of MBA are trained to be more confident in day to day work while dealing with the associates.
Another achievement for being dynamic is to become courageous. Kriya yoga builds sufficient strength in the individual to become resistant for facing the difficult situations. This can be achieved from the Pranayama steps given in Kriya yoga (Maha Mudra and Yoni Mudra) practice.
The procedure of Asana and Pranayama described in Maha Mudra and Yoni Mudra is very important and the same should be followed carefully by providing sufficient time for practice. This in turn, uplifts the Apana prana (lower energy) to activate Jathragni (the fire of digestive organs) and yields sufficient strength for Worldly and Spiritual works. This is also important for providing the good appetite in individual.
The practice of Moola bandha and Uddiyan bandha while performing Maha mudra should be done correctly so as to raise the vital force to achieve the sense of commitment and dedication for day to day work. The practice of these two bandha also helps to overcome procrastination; which is an essential factor for modern work place management.
Kriya yoga helps to achieve the essential strength of prana (energy) so that Sadhaka feels warm enough to maintain the enthusiastic aspects of inspiration while interacting at family, at field of work, with friends and relatives and also while developing the self.
1.5 How to achieve the vibrant mind?
To achieve all round benefits in physical, mental and spiritual domain, the better regular and disciplined life style are the main criteria. Generally, disciplined life style is followed by top scientists, thinkers, writers, poets, musicians and dancers. Regular and disciplined life style will certainly enhance the lower level of mind (the nucleus of Rajas or Shakti or Sun etc) at higher Chakra but the same will not provide the essential and utmost benefits of artificial intelligence. The artificial intelligence can be defined by three dimensions of consciousness like individual, cosmic and absolute consciousness. The dynamic personality in the respective field can achieve any of the three consciousnesses but are likely to descend down.
Yogic practice of Special Pranayama like Chandra Bheda and Surya Bheda Pranayama are very helpful to raise the lower nucleus (lower mind) to upper centers depending on the perfection. Similarly, Moola, Uddiyan, Jalandhar Bandha will help to transform and control the stability of lower nucleus of Mind (energy) at higher level. Next very effective processes to merge the lower nucleus (Bindu) with upper Nucleus (higher mind) are Maha Mudra and Yoni mudra. These two Mudras can be performed easily by discipline Sadhaka and they are the parts of main Kriya Yoga.
However, Khechari Mudra is the best possible way of Kriya Yoga but it is very difficult to practice. Some of the cults of Kriya Yoga provide the emphasis on Khechari Mudra. The image describes the utility of Khechari Mudra for stopping the fall of consciousness or Bindu (nuclei), but the same is very difficult to be performed.
Tantra explains that Suppression of sexual act or abstain from it, does not result in retain of Bindu. Yoga and tantra explains not to have restraints forcibly but to achieve the aim (from Kam to Ram) should be practiced with the help of Asana, Pranayama, Bandha and Mudra.
In order to retain the Bindu, it is important to establish the control at the point of origin and prevent it to fall at lower centre. Khechari Mudra holds the original Bindu at Bindu Visarga. Only being in different to desire and passion can prevent the fall. This is because, desire makes the stability of higher mind weak and passion the lower mind further weak. This means that stability of higher mind (Bindu) and lower mind (Rajas Bindu) becomes weak because of desire and passion respectively.
Khechari Mudra is difficult to perform. Vedic text provides two more mudra namely i) Maha Mudra & ii) Yoni mudra to raise the Bindu at its origin. The benefits of Khechari Mudra can also be obtained with the help of Maha Mudra and Yoni mudra (being easier to practice). That is why, most of the branches of Kriya yoga advocate the practice of these two Mudras by combining Asana, Pranayama, Bandha and mudra (Maha Bheda mudra) together.