HH Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji & Kriya Yoga -3
Kriya Yoga - helps aspirants to learn to activate and control their senses and to control their thought processes.Kriya Yoga involves learning breath control (Pranayama) to effectively channel the flow of prana (life force) which traverses the 72,000 nadis or astral nerves in the human body. By doing so the aspirant learns to direct mental power to open the three ganthis, (important knots in the nervous system) which obstruct the rhythmic flow of prana. By undoing these knots a kriya yogi opens the path for Kundalini energy to flow. According to Markandeya Purana, Kriya Yoga was revealed by Lord Dattatreya to great saints and yogis of ancient India. Sri Swamiji has made it part of His mission to revive this ancient knowledge and bring it to the West.
Pranayama - What is this?
"Inhaling and Exhaling. It sounds very easy but as you begin to practice, it is not as easy as it sounds. The practice of Kriya Yoga is good for Health, Knowledge and Meditation. Kriya Yoga helps us ease our tension on our day to day living." Swamiji further says that those who are equipped with this knowledge who puts it to practice are really gifted as this is a very rare and unique science of ancient yogic practice. He further reiterates that the word Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Kriya Yoga are common names that many people would have already heard of before. Some people have now found it as a tool to make money and to commercialise this ancient art, as though it is a very cheap commodity. There are people who are now giving lectures, producing beautiful books and teaching. But, sadly many are only touching the surface and not going beyond that. There are so many theories & lectures on radio, television and various seminars. "They are talking, talking and talking. That's all they do, but not much knowledge imparted. That is not all there is to know. We can advance further, only if we practice daily. Life is short. So, don't waste it by not inculcating this practice daily.
Kriya Yoga is not religion.
Do not think of Kriya Yoga as a form of religion. It may sound funny as so many mantras are chanted during the pranayama. These are actually the names of Indian Gods. This is so because each deity, god or angel is a master of a particular pranayama. That is why certain pranayama has a certain names to chant. In actual, we are merely praising the masters of the pranayamas and not worshipping the Hindu deities. Shivaya is Hindu and therefore one might regard it as a Hindu religion matter. However, a Muslim saint is also a master of a pranayama. Christ is also a master of one kriya pranayama. Because Christ is doing miracles, there is one pranayama that he knows. Lord Buddha also practiced one pranayama and a master of it. As you can see, Christ, Buddha, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam or Hindu can all equip with this knowledge, practice it and become a master in it. It is not a matter like a religion in a very narrow context.
We can't escape by not doing prana...
"Prana" (vital energy) is very important in Yoga. Prana is our soul. Prana is already within us as we are breathing. When one goes into a coma, he is still doing pranayama (breathing). You may be in any state, whether out-of-body, conscious, unconscious, hypnotised, chanting Omkara or So hum but your breathing never stops no matter what your activity is so long as you are alive.
Short Breaths and Long Breaths - Which is better?
Some people breathe short. That's why they have such a short life. When pain afflicts your body, try taking long, slow breaths. Inhale long and exhale long (slowly). Those masters of this art of breathing (Yogis) have lived 120 yrs, 200 yrs or 300 yrs. When Yogis control their intake of food, control their breath, control the senses & controls all sorts of actions they exceed normal human lifespan.
Our Attitude and Our Actions.
Our attitude and our actions have to be monitored closely. If someone says something to upset your feelings, you might feel upset, angry, disappointed, afraid, or hungry. One can sometimes be so uptight that one may not sleep, eat, talk & feel so sad and miserable. When we give in to these negative feelings, our energy is automatically used. The result is that you might just get disappointed with life itself. The energy lost can be likened to one year of life wasted. Whenever we get angry, our energy is lost again. Three or four days worth of energy is lost when we fail to control our emotions. One moment of tension when we might say,"Arrrghh!! The tension! I want to Kill!! (Tension moments) is equal to 3 or 4 days of our life is wasted. Our nervous system is working so hard and pumping our system, our heart is rapidly pounding and that results in our nervous system becoming weak. That is why we must learn to take things calmly. Be calm.
When our nervous system becomes weak, we begin to lose interest in everything. Such people might find food tasteless and unable to sleep. That's why some people are after some yogis, healing classes and so forth. Kriya Yoga may be able to alleviate you from all this mundane problems.
(Adapted from Swamiji's speech delivered during a Kriya Yoga class in 1986 that took place in "The Centre of the Light, Massachusetts, USA)
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