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Paramahansa Hariharananda lore comments ushered in by Gerrit van Honthorst. The Dentist. 1622
After duly considering that "The onlooker may not get potent benefits". [See all]

Hariharananda writes, "This technique can be practiced without any restriction of religion, race, creed, or sex. Any boy or girl above 13 years of age can practice Kriya Yoga; even an elderly person of 75 years or more can derive a good deal of benefit from it. This Kriya Yoga will enable one to develop a healthy brain, keen mind, and prompt understanding." [Kriya Yoga: The Benefits of Practicing Kriya Yoga]

Hariharananda Biography

Hariharananda was born on 27 May 1907 at Habibpur in Nadia, West Bengal and passed away on 3 December 2002. He was in the line of Babaji, Lahiri, Yukteswar and Yogananda.

He was initiated into the second kriya by Yogananda in 1935. He learnt other kriyas from other swamis and teachers in the Lahiri Baba line too. In 1945 he received the fifth and sixth kriyas from Bhupendranath Sannyal. Maybe it should be pointed out here that Yogananda's fellowship SRF teaches just four graded kriyas while claiming to teach all the kriyas Yogananda knew.

In 1950 Hariharananda became teacher or head (acarya) of a certain ashram (centre) at the request of Yogananda. In 1951 he was authorised by Yogananda to initiate people into kriya yoga.

By the advice and instructions of two of his masters he came to Switzerland in 1974, and later visited many other countries, including the USA. He established several ashrams (centres) in different parts of India and outside it, and published books on yoga and kriya.

Many of the brief tenets below tie in with his teachings. The gist depends on Hariharananda sources, now outdated, at bottom of the page.

Some Hariharananda Tenets

By the following selections and extracts from "Hariharananda Kriya Yoga" you might get an inkling of the orientation that is involved in it.


"The simple and easy breath control prescribed in Kriya Yoga technique restores lost equilibrium." ["Paramhamsa Hariharananda on Kriya Yoga"]

Kriya yoga is a set of practical yoga methods. For example, one finds several of them in Hatha-yoga - both poses, a way of breathing, mudras and bandhas. The pivotal pranayama method called core kriya yoga is ujjayi pranayama in Hatha-yoga (see Hewitt 1992). Ujjayi is free (public knowledge), but even so, the basic kriya yoga method is kept secret in the Yogananda line - but not in Satyananda Yoga.

In chapter 12 of The Deeper Dimensions of Yoga: Theory and Practice (2011), Georg Feuerstein lists up forty facets of yoga. Some combine, and some are on their own. The kriya yoga of Babaji is classified as Kundalini-yoga by Swami Satyananda (1981; 2001). Others say it is a form of Raja-yoga. It has much of Hatha-yoga in it too. It can be seen as expressing all three. Dr Feuerstein understands it as combining ascetism, study and worship of the Lord, as the word "kriya" is generally taken to mean in the Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali. Yet there is the snag that Babaji's kriya yoga system was made publicly known after 1861, and the word "kriya" in Patanjali refers to 'kriya' as action and similar.

Some good reserve in these waters may be called being polite to yourself. At any rate, establish the facts before getting induced into beliefs that serve to make you formidable a sheep on the way to the slaughter-house or something else to compare with . . . to resist being made an "animal" might be much good for you and your dear ones after all.

Effects of Love and Marriage

"A wife is a person who helps you through all the troubles you wouldn't have had if you hadn't got married." [Ole, in Stangland 1993; Ole and Lena Online]

There may be fit ways to love, markedly unfit ways, hanky-pankies in the love market too. There is so much pep talk of love and devotion in some circles.

There are many forms of yoga today. Passages on love and bhakti, devotion, are not absent in ancient sources, but in some cases the 'devotion' that is talked of, could be taken to be piousness, directed inwards, as Shankara tells of.

Two yoga sources blend. For the ascetics of the Vedic tradition, the aim of [yoga] austerities was usually to win a boon – often a protection or a special power – from the gods. And in the traditions of religious mendicants, the foremost aims were to still the mind or blot out past karma.

The first mentions of dhyanayoga [meditative yoga] appear in the Mahabharata at the end of the twelfth book, and a systematisation of yoga practice is there too. The Bhagavadgita, a slender part of the Mahabharata, likewise contains many teachings on the practice of yoga. (Ibid., "Yoga in Vedic-era sources;" "Sramanas;" "Teachings on Yoga in the Mahabharata, including the Bhagavadgita")

"You can't live with them, you can't live without them"

The phrase is often used to express frustration with someone or something one hardly can give up altogether.

Consider how up to 11 of the 14 most stressing experiences of Americans tie in with love and love-making, and what you can do about it - to get less bad and more good out of it than the statistical average. The average Joe's and Jane's love can be quite a killer, and normal aging brings about death.

Here are averaged life events on the much used Holmes-Rahes scale, where 100 points is allotted to the worst single event:

  1. Death of spouse *     100
  2. Divorce *     75
  3. Marital separation *     65
  4. Jail term (in US prisons)     63
  5. Death of a close family member +     63
  6. Personal injury or illness *     53
  7. Marriage *     50
  8. Dismissal from work     47
  9. Marital reconciliation *     45
  10. Retirement     45
  11. Change in health of family member +     44
  12. Pregnancy +     40
  13. Sex difficulties +     39
  14. Gain of new family member *     39
The signs explained:
*: Very likely to tie in with wedding someone.
+: Quite likely to tie in with wedding somebody.
The list is the top of Holmes and Rahe stress scale. See more: [WP "Holmes and Rahe stress scale"]

Socrates summed up some male experiences thus: "If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher."

What about women? "Women are always unhappy in their thoughts, both before and after Marriage; for, before Marriage they think themselves unhappy for want of a Husband; and after they are Married, they think themselves unhappy for having a Husband." - Margaret Cavendish (1623–73), The Convent of Pleasure, Act II, Sc. 1. from ca. 1662.

The list above shows many ills that result from having a husband. And yet, wellbeing may be helped by good yoga-meditation or good, Buddhist living.

Detachment from words on detachment and the like

Where does detachment from words on detachment leave us?
God, a Person
"God remains detached," says Hariharananda [C] That may call for modifications. Hindu teachings have it that Personalised Spirit, Bhagavan, the Lord, actually cares a lot. For example, in the Bhagavad Gita the archer Arjuna says to Bhagavan Krishna such as:
Sri Krishna You are . . . the primeval person . . . the entire universe was composed by you. . . . Praise to you . . . the All! . . . you are everything. For whatever I uttered rashly, imagining . . . ignorant of your greatness . . . And if as a joke I treated you improperly when it came to . . . eating, I ask you, the Immeasurable, forgiveness. You are the father of the world . . . Nothing can be compared to you. . . . Therefore . . . I ask forgiveness of you . . . have patience - if it pleases you. (Bhagavad Gita 11:38-44, in Johnson 2008)

After that, the Lord said he had showed favour to Arjuna, but abandoning attachment is good for "beanstalk-climbers" (meditators). (Bhagavad Gita 11:47, 55 - see Johnson 2008)

Can we learn from this? F. Max Müller

noted that the hymns of the Rigveda, the oldest scripture of Hinduism, mention many deities, but praises them successively as the "one ultimate, supreme God", alternatively as "one supreme Goddess", thereby asserting that the essence of the deities was unitary (ekam). (Wikipedia, "Henotheism")

If many gods are regarded as so many icicles from a roof, it sort of makes sense, but just figuratively. Also note that many scholars prefer the term monolatry to henotheism, to describe how a single god is central (to the ones directly beneath it), but other gods - other icicles - are not denied.

A little more on helpful detachment from terms also

Detachment, vairagya, is spoken well of for yoga training, but not detachment of yoga training. There are limits to many things. "Measure in all things" can be good. The Avadhut Gita contains a heart-warming piece of advice about renouncing well. "Renounce, renounce the world, and also renounce renunciation, and even give up the absence of renunciation." (4:21).

Renounce both attachment and detachment, and you may end up married or normal-looking for quite a while . . .

It is possible to renounce attachment to the Bhagavad Gita and other words of advice words - possible, but maybe not great. Still, speaking for detachment is the Gita's own teaching. (6:35: 13:8; 18:6, 52). The Gita recommends it as a key means to still a restless mind. A necessary finding: attachment to the Gita is attachment, and "yogis act without attachment", says Shankara [in Nikhilananda 1952, 54]. Attachment brings confusion, says Swami Nikhilananda further [Ibid].

A practical stand in the matter: There can be gains in giving up at least unwholesome attachments - maybe. The proper saying to adhere to might be a "newcomer": "Yogis act without undue attachment."

Extreme love for money

Sri Krishna Arjuna, four kinds of good men share in me: the oppressed, the man who desires knowledge, the man whose object is prosperity, and the one who knows . . . Of these, the continuously disciplined knower, whose devotion is exclusive, is outstanding, for I am extraordinarily dear to the man who knows, and he is dear to me. (Bhagavad Gita, 7:16-17, in Johnson 2008:34)
It could pay to sort out what the man who knows knows - Srila Prabhupada has "is in full knowledge" instead of "knows". That might need a little explaining. The Sanskrit word used is jnana. It means knowledge, but not any sort of knowledge. It is higher knowledge, otherworldly knowledge, like the Greek gnosis. Jnana is knowledge of Reality, intuitively experienced.

Swami Nikhilananda is of a tradition where it is thought that he who knows is wise. Knows what? Knows the Lord is [in part] his very Self. The Lord is thus very dear to him - And Nikhilananda understands the two verses according to Adi Shankara's commentary on them. (Nikhilananda 1944:190-91). The fourth and best type of good souls enters into higher states and the higher knowledge, which Shankara terms Self-knowledge (awakening to the Self), Atmabodhi or Atmajnana (Atman-realisation and so on).

As for the second type of good souls, they are "inquisitive", says Prabhupada, or "seekers of knowledge", they desire knowledge (Johnson) or seek knowledge (Nikhilananda and Sivananda). In short, they are not as accomplished yet, but there is hope for them - and besides there are different nuances and shades of meaning among translations too.

The third stylised type: Swami Sivananda has "the seeker of wealth", Srila Prabhupada has "the desirer of wealth" and W. Johnson "the man whose object is prosperity". The key term used derives from artha, wealth, property, opulence, advantage, profit and sense (meaning), but also skills, health, career, means of a fulfilling life, activity to make a living, prosperity, according to Sanskrit-English dictionaries, as the SDSS. It may not easily be taken to mean "enjoyment". (Nikhilananda 1944:190)

Thus, translators have different understandings of how the Sanskrit verses are to be translated. It should be wise to take that into account. One more example: Prabhupada reads devotional service into the two verses, while the other three translators above do not. The devotional orientation of Srila Prabhupada shines through and manifests in translation of terms too.

Rounding this up: The Bhagavad Gita does not look down on the seeker of wealth and opulence, and hardly on the fair money-lover either. The mentality of the money-hungry guy is in fact that of a big Mammon worshipper, but is he or she mirthful too? There is no need to look down on the Mammon-worshipper according to the Gita teaching; just help him or her to search higher than shining gold and the things it may buy. What could be needed is to worship cleverly enough. There are many fields and forms and levels of wealth. The highest is best. Abraham Maslow's pyramid of needs illustrate many aspects of this point. [Maslow's Pyramid may be read as a pyramid of wealth also]

Earn good money, breathe calmly and stick to the most precious wealth. Could it be health, mind/consciousness and joy?

Detachment from some yogi sayings could help you

There is no difference between life and death. – Hariharananda [D]


Oh well, differences exist among cousins too. And "The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live." [Norman Cousins].


Breath mastery is ... deathlessness. – Hariharananda [C] ◊

We have different definitions of things. It is a part of the human lot. Deathless through the art of breath is an ancient teaching. Good results may not be gained in a few nights or days. On the other hand, sound breathing methods with proficiency may feel uplifting.

"Is that so" and "Where is the evidence?" are neat questions to ask.

Try to stay tuned to realism also. There are many statistically had findings that document that Transcendental Meditation rejuvenates practitioners, improves health, prolongs life and the quality of life by and large. Such claims are substantiated by research. You can see for yourself: [◦Link]

Beyond the space-and-time continuum

"God is infinite", says Hariharananda. [D]

Could there be a snag here? What appears infinite is something you do not fathom. As long as you have not fathomed what you call infinite – God and mind – you do not know it really is so. And if you can measure it, it is not infinite either. Thus, infinity looks different from what people think.

"Many roads lead in time to Rome, but which is the fastest among the safe roads?" It could be wise yoga-meditation. [WP, "Murti"].

Accurate, and by degrees

Life drags you by a rope over rocks and stones and one day you . . . see you've been used to cut a path. - Bob Thurber

Lo Cutting down plants immaturely mars and estranges a lot.

What come naturally, on the other hand, may be refined and put to good use.

The soul - Teachings


There is at least a theoretical danger of being misled when invisible phenomena are explained, since many different things are told by different sources.

Jesus is credited with teaching the soul can be destroyed in a small valley in Jerusalem, Gehenna (Matthew 10:28). Therefore, stay away from that small valley in Jerusalem (Gehenna) if you feel you should . . . on his word, you uncompromising literalist. There is at least a small valley to avoid so long as you can.

The traditional explanation is that a burning rubbish heap in the Valley of Hinnom south of Jerusalem gave rise to the idea of a fiery Gehenna of judgment. It became an image of the place of destruction in Jewish folklore as well. In the three synoptic gospels Jesus uses the word Gehenna eleven times to describe the opposite to life in the Kingdom for Jews only (Geza Vermes 2012; Mark 9:43-48). Gehenna, then is a place where both soul and body could be destroyed (Matthew 10:28) in "unquenchable fire" (Mark 9:43). We might rise to wonder what such a fire could feed on, or we may not.

Now, if the Eternal (as spirit-soul) was destroyed, it was not the Eternal. (WP, "Gehenna")

To clarify parts of these matters:
Hm Jesus reserve his teachings and salvation for Jews (Matthew 15:24; 10:5-8; Vermes 2012), but only depraved Jews: those of sound moral and spirit are not called by him, and the healthy do not need him (Mark 2:17; Matthew 9:12-13; 12.11). They may go for sound self-preservation. Thereby eyes, limbs, property, fit living-conditions and life itself may not get immediately at risk (Matthew 5: 29-30; 39-42). And to call Jesus 'Lord, Lord' without doing as he tells depraved Jews to do, that means heading for hell. (Luke 6:46)

For Gentile followers, though, all the disciples and the Holy Spirit dispensed with all but a few laws for Jews and all commands of Jesus, as you can see: The four requirements for all Gentile Christians include no to eating blood sausages (blood food) and wrangled chickens and other poultry (choked animals) (Acts 15:19-29; 21:25).

Solid proof of a hell is rooted in evidence, but a valley that is used figuratively for it, should not count. Analogous terms may still pay, though. [Near-death-experiences]

Many years of contemplation may pay one day

"Love your breath [C]"


Your breath is a sign of being alive. And "The research is very clear that breathing exercises (e.g. pranayama breathing) can enhance parasympathetic (inhibit neural responses) tone, decrease sympathetic (excitatory) nervous activity, improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, decrease the effects of stress, and improve physical and mental health (Pal, Velkumary, and Madanmohan, 2004)," ◦Sarah Novotny and Len Kravitz tell in "The Science of Breathing".

You may not have heard of it, but a maybe-danger with teachings on "love your breath [C]" might be that of getting old too easily if troubles amount to sustain guys without their knowing, but anyway . . . [More]

Hariharananda learnt kriya yoga from Yogananda and others. He is of that line. Yogananda tells that "Love is secondary to joy [Yogananda 1993, 4-5]." Accordingly, it could be wiser to "rejoice in adequate breaths." Are there yoga methods for it, or are there not?

Kurt Lewin's words may apply: "There is nothing as practical as a good theory," for example. (In Smith and Mackie 2000:11) [Link] [See O'Neil 1980:183 ff]

Making efforts vs relaxing deeply

It is next to impossible for a householder to follow the strict principles of restraint enunciated in the "Astanga Yoga" [Eight-limbed Yoga] of Patanjali ... The processes in the Kriyayoga taught by Lahiri (Baba) make us gradually fit to unfold the Divine within ourselves, with much less effort than is usually necessary. [A]

In real life, the trusting, innocent beginner soon becomes someone who is asked to adjust to a system - more than adjusting features of the system to herself or himself. Study available evidence before anyone makes a believer out of you. [More]

In the yoga of Naropa and in ◦Transcendental Meditation, great efforts are not called for, but wise relaxation. The efforts in kriya yoga are for getting calm and relaxed. Try to drop tedious detours. In Patanjali's system, the pranayama (breathing training) is used to lead into meditation. It is thus a both-and.

Albert Einstein Says

Einstein "We must strive . . . against the poisoning of youth in the schools. These endeavors are important, but not as important as the intellectual and moral enlightenment of the people." [Albert Einstein (in Calaprice 2011:314)]

To do good is a life project or a project into old age. Doing good may benefit from good guys going together too. In the United States, Transcendental Meditation is the hub of the accredited ◦Maharishi University in Iowa.


"The danger of . . . a belief lies, first, in the fact that it encourages fanatical intolerance on the part of all the "faithfuls" by making . . . a church which brands all those who do not belong to it as traitors or as nasty evildoers." [Albert Einstein (in Calaprice 2011:300)]

Well-night everyone might have thoughts and things we can learn from. It is written in an old Upanishad that one of the famous gurus of old had lots of teachers: they were birds and the like, and "showed" the observant guy many useful lessons for handling his own life and its conditions. Those who serve to teach us lessons, function as teachers, "gurus". Now, "guru" in religious circles carries more significance too.

An ancient tale:

Vaka Dalbhya [Glava Maitreya] went out to repeat the Veda (in a quiet place). A white (dog) appeared before him, and other dogs gathering round him, said to him:

'Sir, sing and get us food, we are hungry.'

The white dog said to them, 'Come to me tomorrow morning.'

Vaka Dalbhya watched. The dogs came on, holding together, each dog keeping the tail of the preceding dog in his mouth, as the priests do when they are going to sing praises." [Chandogya Upanishad]

In the same book, a Satyakama Gabala is instructed by a bull, the fire, a flamingo, a diver-bird, and also his chosen teacher. All the animals are symbolic of things spiritual, Max Müller presumes. If so, what is the chosen teacher symbolic of? It could well be an inner Self. [See Chandogya Upanishad 1.4.5-10]


Kriya yoga and Hariharananda sayings, Literature  

Chatterjee, Satischandra, and Dhirendramohan Datta. An Introduction to Indian Philosophy. 7th ed. Calcutta: University of Calcutta, 1968.

Calaprice, Alice, coll., ed. The Ultimate Quotable Einstein. Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2011.

Hewitt, James. Yoga. 4th ed. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1992.

Johnson, W. J., tr. The Bhagavad Gita. Reissue ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Klinenberg, Eric. 2014. Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone. London: Duckworth Overlook.

Lahiri, Shyama Charan. Garland of Letters: Correspondence between Yogiraj Sri Sri Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya and His Disciples. Tr. Yoganiketan. Portland, Maine: Yoga Niketan, 2005.

Madsen, Børge. 2013. Why Yoga? A Cultural History of Yoga. London: MadZen Press.

Mieder, Wolfgang (main ed.), Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie E. Harder: A Dictionary of American Proverbs. (Paperback) New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Nikhilananda, Swami, tr. The Bhagavad Gita. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1952.

O'Neil, Louis Thomas. Maya in Sankara: Measuring the Immeasurable. Delhi: Banarsidass, 1980.

Partnow, Elaine Bernstein, ed. 2011. The Quotable Woman: The First 5,000 Years. Rev. ed. New York: Facts On File. Satyeswarananda, Swami, tr. Complete Works of Lahiri Mahasay Vol. I: The Gitas: The Vedic Bibles. Guru Gita. Omkar Gita. Abadhuta Gita. Kabir Gita. 2nd rev. ed. San Diego: The Sanskrit Classics, 1992.

Satyeswarananda, Swami, tr. Complete Works of Lahiri Mahasay Vol. III: The Upanisads: The Vedic Bibles. San Diego: The Sanskrit Classics, 1992.

Satyananda Saraswati, Swami. Kundalini Tantra. 8th ed. Munger: Yoga Publications Trust, 2001.

Satyananda Saraswati, Swami. A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya. Munger: Yoga Publications Trust, 1981.

Shrand, Joseph, Leigh Devine. 2012. Manage Your Stress: Overcoming Stress in the Modern World. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Svatmarama, Yoga-swami. Hatha Yoga Pradipika. London: Aquarian Press, 1992.

Smith, Eliot R., and Diane M. Mackie. Social Psychology. 2nd ed. Hove: Psychology Press, 2000.

Stangland, R. C. Red Stangland's Norwegian Home Companion. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993.

Vermes, Geza. From Jewish to Gentile: How the Jesus Movement Became Christianity. Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) 38:06, Nov/Dec 2012.

Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Divine Romance. New ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1993.


Moved pages, as the A-page below, may perhaps be found in the ◦Internet Archive.



C. . . . Breath.html

D. [2017]

E. . . . Dawn.html

F. . . . Newsletter.html

G. . . . Guru.html

A page with much content:

Many books by and on Swami Hariharananda in German and English on Amazon pages.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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