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Plumbing Hariharananda's Kriya Yoga Teachings

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]

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 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 The gist depends on Hariharananda sources, now outdated, at bottom of the page.

To be broad-minded is like being large inside.

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"]

It is a trend of markedly devotional groups that they become sectarian in the course of time.

In certain kriya circles there seems to be much abuse of many scriptures,: there is hardly any clear-cut evidence that any scriptures in Hinduism really refer to Babaji's system of kriya yoga by the word 'kriya' in them. Some good reserve in these waters may be called being polite to yourself. At any rate, establish the facts before getting induced into sectarianism; this could be good for you and your dear ones after all.

Which Hindu faith and which Vedanta?

Predominant yoga outlooks have changed very much over time.

It shows up that very many outlooks of gurus of old have been somewhat discarded nowadays due to the fact that most modern gurus think according to Vedanta philosophy, which is one of several Hindu philosophies. The other five orthodox schools are Mimamsa, Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, and Vaisesika. Also, there are many schools (cults) of Vedanta itself. Historically they competed among themselves and with many others. [Chatterjee and Datta 1968]

In earlier times still (Vedic times), conditions and teachings were different. In early Sanskrit writings, 'Vedanta' referred to the Upanishads, which are speculative and philosophical Vedic texts. Only in medieval times the word Vedanta came to mean the school of philosophy that interprets the Upanishads.

Vedantic ideas were systematised as the Vedanta Sutra of cryptic ideas around 200 BCE. The formulations were open to many different interpretations, and as a result many Vedanta schools arose. Their common central points are: an individual's quest for truth through meditation assisted by a loving morality, and a proposition that bliss is for the skilled meditator.

All forms of Vedanta are drawn primarily from the Upanishads, which are considered the essence of all the Vedas.

There are sub-schools of Vedanta:

  1. Advaita Vedanta (non-dualism vedanta) is the best known Vedanta form nowadays. Historically, it started with the thinker Gaudapada of the 600s AD. He built on Mahayana Buddhist philosophy to argue that there is no duality. The Indian guru and thinker Shankara buildt further on Gaudapada's foundation in his Advaita Vedanta teachings ... Fundamental for Shankara is the tenet that Brahman [Being that is beyond time, space, and causality] is real and the known world is unreal. Advaita influence is still felt in modern Hindu thought. [Source: EB "Advaita" and "Vedanta"].

    Thus, Advaita Vedanta is an interpretation of Vedic scriptures, propounded by Adi [the first] Shankara and his grand-guru Gaudapada. Adi Shankara is held to be the first to consolidate explicitly the principles of Advaita Vedanta. The key source texts for all schools of Vedanta are the Prasthanatrayi: the canonical texts consisting of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras. According to this school, Brahman is the only reality, and the world, as it appears, is illusory. An illusionary power of Brahman called maya causes the world to arise. There is no difference between the individual soul and Brahman. Liberation lies in experiencing this non-difference at depth.

  2. Vishishtadvaita was propounded by Ramanuja and says that the jivatman [individual soul] is a part of Brahman. This school propounds bhakti or devotion to God, and sees maya as the creative power of God.

  3. Dvaita (dualism) was propounded by Madhwacharya. It identifies God with Brahman. It regards Brahman, all individual souls (jivatmans) and matter as eternal and mutually separate entities. This school also advocates bhakti.

  4. Dvaitadvaita ("dualistic nondualism") was propounded by Nimbarka, based on an earlier school called Bhedabheda ("Difference-nondifference"), which was taught by Bhaskara. According to this school, the individual soul is at once the same as and yet different from Brahman. In this school, God is visualised as Krishna.

  5. Shuddhadvaita (pure mind non-duality) was propounded by Vallabha. This system also identifies bhakti as the only means of liberation. The world is said to be the sport (ila) of Krishna, who is Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being, Consciousness, Great Joy).

  6. Achintya Bhedabheda ("paradoxically (achintya) dualistic (bheda) and monistic (abheda)") was propounded by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1534), and teaches "inconceivable oneness and difference." It appears a bit confused. Mahaprabhu was a follower of the Dvaita vedanta of Madhwacharya. Loving devotion (bhakti) is advocated. This philosophy of is followed by ISKCON.

  7. Purnadvaita or Integral Advaita (purna = full, complete). According to his followers, Sri Aurobindo, in his The Life Divine, synthesised all the exant schools of Vedanta and gave a comprehensive resolution, integrating cues from the Western metaphysics and modern science. He is said to have restored the umbilical cord of the Vedantic exegesis with the Vedas.

  8. Modern Vedanta. This term is at times used to describe the interpretation of Advaita Vedanta by Swami Vivekananda. It holds that the world has a relative reality and should therefore not be completely ignored; sectarian bickering should be abandoned. In the swami's interpretation of Advaita, there is still room for bhakti (devotion), as it was in Shankara's. (See Wikipedia for more on the entries, and/or Chatterjee and Datta, 1968)

To recap, yoga has been around for a long time, but Vedanta as we know it today, arose only after the illustrious Shankara and his gurudev. Vedanta takes for its basis that human nature is divine, and that the aim of human life is to realise that human nature is divine. In modern days most gurus preach Vedanta, says the Encyclopedia Britannica (s.v. "guru")

This goes a long way to suggest that quite a lot of outlooks from guru dynasties and ranks from a variety of schools with a blend of similar and different claims, have not been upheld throughout the centuries and millenniums, no matter how sacred they have been held to be by rigorous adherents.

A suspect notion does not deserve to be set in motion and crampedly, rigidly, upheld through a faith. Better refrain.

One more word

In chapter 12 of The Deeper Dimensions of Yoga: Theory and Practice (2011), Georg Feuerstein lists up "forty ways of yoga", or rather, 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, but 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. There is a snag: Babaji's kriya yoga system was made publicly known after 1861, and the word "kriya" in Patanjali refers to 'kriya' as work. Backdating a recently coined term brings no valid proof here.

Kriya yoga is a set of practical yoga methods. One finds several of them in Hatha-yoga already. In fact, the pivotal pranayama method called basic 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.

On Love and Marriage and Kriya Love

"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]

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: [Wikipedia, s.v. "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. Such parts of life are combined in fine ways by Transcendental Meditation and main Buddhist living.

Wealth and happiness

No one has attained happiness from acquiring wealth, and it will never happen. – Shyama Lahiri Mahasaya, Garland of Letters (2005, No. 73)

What is meant by 'happiness' and what is meant by 'wealth'? Lots of happiness from within is dear, and wealth can be good too. It is not exactly any either-or in this. Wealth, artha is one of the four main life goals of Hinduism. Besides, wealth are of many kinds, and is found on many levels. To be rich in spirit is far from bad.

Do not get deprived of the boons of wealth by sayings of others. Shyama Lahiri also teaches it is a boon to gain both dharma (righteousness), artha (meaningful wealth here and beyond), kama (lust, joy), and moksha (freedom). [See Satyeswarananda 1992, v. 92]

So neither Shyama Lahiri, Buddha and Hinduism teach against getting wealth. In fact, the Sanskrit term artha, wealth, opulence etc. is one of four noble life goals in Hinduism, and Buddha tells how to get a balanced living that has room for fairly gained wealth too. [More]

Buddha teaches that it is fit for a householder to go for righteously gained wealth – among other things to fund a family, business, and a future fit for meditation. Good friends supply needs, rejoice in wise prosperity, and protect the wealth of the heedless. That seems fit to me. Bad friends, on the other hand, bring ruin, he says.

Buddha sorts out many forms of wealth too. [Mangala]

From this we learn: Don't take separate sayings for truth - get a good view of the terrain first.

Detachment from words on detachment and the like

God, a Person

"God remains detached," says Hariharananda [C] That may call for modifications. The Spirit of all may be that, but not Personalised Spirit, Bhagavan, the Lord. 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)

What can we learn from this? God is not detached, and shows particular favours as well. It may well be a both-and scenario on the divine side, and a henotheistic perspective too. The word 'henotheism' was coined by Friedrich Schelling (1775–1854), and F. Max Müller (1823–1900) used the term more broadly. He saw that Hindu scriptures mention and praise numerous deities as if they are one ultimate unitary divine essence. 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 makes sense. 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

In a main yoga work, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, detachment, vairagya, is spoken well of for yoga training. But there are limits to many things. Make sure that you avoid going to extremes. "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 long while . . .

Renounce attachment to the Bhagavad Gita and its words as well. Surely it is its own teaching. (6:35: 13:8; 18:6, 52). The Gita recommends it as a key means to still a restless mind. Mind that attachment to the Gita is attachment, and "yogis act without attachment", says Shankara [Nikhilananda 1952 54]. Attachment gives confusion, says Swami Nikhilananda further [Ibid].

A practical stand in the matter: There can be gains in giving up at least unwholesome attachments as soon and well as you are ready for it. The proper saying to adhere to might be: "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, aking to the Greek gnosis. Jnana is knowledge of Reality, intuitively experienced.

Swami Nikhilananda thinks he who knows is wise and 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)

That was the fourth type of good souls. The best of them. This type 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". Nikhilananda has "the man seeking enjoyment", however. 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. 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 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 money-hungry one is in fact a worshipper, but is he or she mirthful too? There is no need to look down on a Mammon-worshipper, in other words; just help him or her a lot with the knowing. What could be needed is to worship cleverly enough, as there are many fields and forms and levels of wealth. The highest is best.

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

Gentle Dealings

Fairly got wealth and assets may be fit, and wealth, artha, is one of the four main life goals of Hinduism.

Generally, it is good help to look into and see and handle things for yourself, and deal with wealth as classy as you can. It should help to invest money well too. Much in future may be eased that way.

One has to take stock of one's wealth firmly, or some 'them' could take what assets you had to begin with. Wisely used, righteous wealth may lessen sufferings, dhukkha. Buddha warns against dissipating one's wealth, and that a warm-hearted friend "protects the wealth of the heedless", among other things [Link]. Buddha is also pointing out a good way on and up, enriching your life thereby. It is the Eightfold Path.

Buddha also enumerates factors leading to welfare and how to get better fit for great wealth and happiness.

There is much to learn in life. Getting wisdom is good, and developing skills is another good thing in life.

Detachment from yogi sayings should help you

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

Oh well, there are differences on the ordinary levels of life, and many aspects of this. A quotation may do: "Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live." [Norman Cousins].


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

Deathless through the art of breath - it may not be gained in a few nights, and besides, sound breathing methods may not bring bad results either.

"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 neatly substantiated by research. See for yourself: [◦Link]

Beyond the space-and-time continuum


The swami says "God is infinite". [D] 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. In fact, if you can measure it, it is not infinite.

A better yoga teaching to stick to is that Bhagavan (the Lord) is beyond space and our ideas of time as well, and may be kenned inside the heart.

To the degree that fit and good play, lila, is of the divine side, mature yet playful persons may not be foolish at all. Sane playfulness may not be much irreverent.

The old claim that God is all-pervading [E], must mean that you too are included. It is a marked idea not "to jump over the brook for water" (proverbial). It is somehow related to "Many roads lead in time to Rome, but which is the fastest among the safe roads?" It could be wise yoga-meditation. [Wikipedia s.v. "Murti"].

Is God helped by a robust tree?


Some words estrange, but let us be practical. Study the main features first. Oaks and other trees, for example, help us to relax in their safe shadows and feel some relief in the heat of the day. Yogananda's paramguru Babaji is referred to as a Godman - and one who seeks shelter from trees and is thereby helped by trees. It is in chapter 36 of the Autobiography of a Yogi, where a man called Babaji said while sitting under a sheltering banyan tree, 'we are people who like the shelter of trees".

Old oaks and other robust trees were inhaling from the day your forefathers were born. They breathe in beneath the soil, and breathe out above the surface: they exude much oxygen. The bodies of most humans cannot survive without oxygen, and oxygen comes from vegetation at land and sea. Simple food ultimately stems from vegetation too. Without plants the earth would be barren and without food for humans - The earth would then be without human forefathers . . . Buddha teaches much respect for grasses, bushes and trees, saying to monks, "You should not cut down grass or trees." Our task may be to find out why, for there are many who want us to think otherwise and mow the lawn weekly and well too. Nature lovers may resonate with the meaning: [More]

You may glimpse how valuable the plants are. Cutting them down immaturely mars and estranges a lot.

Naturally, in the right way among others


Things that come naturally, may be refined and put to good use. Precise, accurate, gentle breathing practice is a skill that may be developed stepwise and by degrees over time.

The soul - Teachings

There is no death for the Atman because the Atman Itself is the Eternal. The Always Present One is beyond Time even. – Lahiri Mahasaya, in Garland of Letters (2005, No. 48)

Atman is a Sanskrit word for inner self or soul, the true self and essence of an individual. The meaning of Self-knowledge (atma-jnana) is to wake up in your true self (Atman), that is Brahman too. That is the Vedic teaching.

Beyond time means beyond space as well – transcending the time-space continuum, that is. Fit meditation is formed for going into that realm.

The meaning of life lies in part in coming to bloom and catering to what is really excellent too. Learn to consider well - the Gentle Middle Way contains data for helping yourself into a meaningful, rewarding living.

There is at least a theoretical danger of being misled when invisible phenomena are explained, since many different things are told by different sources. One of them could be right, but which? For example, Lahiri tells Atman (the soul, individualised spirit) is the Eternal, while 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).

Maybe it is not always simple to do, and not as simple as not visiting Jerusalem either, for Gehenna is also a Jewish and Christian analogue of hell in the gospels of forgeries and transmission inaccuracies and errors and later editions, There is at least a small valley to avoid. 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). It is a place where both soul and body could be destroyed (Matthew 10:28) in "unquenchable fire" (Mark 9:43). We may 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. (Wikipedia, "Gehenna")

Fl. During his days of preaching, Jesus of Nazareth addressed only Jews, "the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 10:5; 15:24). His disciples were expressly instructed not to approach gentiles or Samaritans (Matthew 10:5). On the few occasions that Jesus ventured beyond the boundaries of his homeland, he never proclaimed his gospel to pagans, nor did his disciples do so during his lifetime. The mission of the 11 apostles to "all the nations" (Matthew 28:19) is a "post-Resurrection" idea. It appears to be of Pauline inspiration and is nowhere else found in the Gospels (apart from the spurious longer ending of Mark [Mark 16:15], which is missing from all the older manuscripts). Jesus' own perspective was exclusively Jewish; he was concerned only with Jews. (Vermes 2012).

To clarify these matters still further:

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). Jesus further puts his sheep on a path to perdition in that he teaches his sheep what is opposed to sound self-preservation. Thereby eyes, limbs, property, fit living-conditions and life itself soon enough are at risk (Matthew 5: 29-30; 39-42). Finally, marring losses come to those who call him 'Lord, Lord' without doing as he tells. (Luke 6:46)

For Gentile followers, all the disciples and the Holy Spirit dispensed with all but a few laws for Jews. And not a word by Jesus for ill Jews was included in the Apostolic Decree from 50 CE either (Acts 15:19-29; 21:25). The four requirements for all Gentile Christians include no to eating blood sausages (blood food) and wrangled chickens and other poultry (choked animals)

Jungian The healthy man does not torture others. - Carl Gustav Jung

What Jesus said in the old days is for Jews only - he said, according to two gospel passages and the notable bible scholar Geza Vermes.

Solid proof is rooted in evidence, but the realm beyond time-and-space is not material. It can be experienced and then evaluated, even though most concepts fail, according to revived near-dead persons. Analogous terms may still pay, though. [Near-death-experiences]

Many years of contemplation may pay one day


It happened to Buddha, it happened to Albert Einstein, but in different ways.

A danger with teachings on "love your breath [C]" only, is getting cramped. However, some things that may seem overwhelming to the tiny tot, may be easy later in life.

Yogananda of Hariharananda's line tells that "Love is secondary to joy [Yogananda 1993 4-5]." Accordingly, it could be wiser to "rejoice in adequate breaths" if you manage to find out how to breathe happily and soundly for gains. Are there yoga methoda for it, or are there not?

Now, rather than wasting valuable time on earth on speculation, one may function fairly well from day one and make steady progress too. Buddha tells this "make-no-time-waste" benefits in the long haul. How to do it? Buddha advises us in part not to concern ourselves with unproductive speculations. Which are they? They could be speculations that do not yield a good answer in a reasonable amount of time. If they yield results after long years of searching, though, then formerly unproductive speculations may be termed excellent, good, beneficial. Compare Werner von Braun's: "Basic research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing." Some ideas take time too be thought up, refined and nurtured well, but the outcome may be astounding in some cases. Then 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]

To save yourself future embarrassment, think calmly and seek culinary outlooks that fit in, above many other outlooks. Just avail yourself of information and methods that are free, such as this information about how to do basic kriya yoga and deep yogic breathing.


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]

"Better results with far less efforts" sounds good, but is the statement well documented? The fruits of different forms of meditation tend to be different. Study the evidence. [More]

Proper verifications may help against being duped. Solid research is for commendable ends. Hariharananda speaks of Lahiri's kriya. Yogananda also speaks of Lahiri and kriya, but he changed his kriya, unknown to many. Along with the changes he also adjusted the prospects, telling that his simplified, aborted kriya system worked 144 times better than what his own guru Yukteswar stood for. The orator Yogananda is not known for understatements and good documentation. To the contrary.

Some gurus who advocate kriya yoga, do demand restraints on you. Yogananda does, for example, on the sex life of followers. Demands for restraint may in time greatly frustrate gullible, inexperienced and easily duped ones and bring great loss of own control in their wake.

If those who have deep needs for being controlled and the like became sagaciously proud enough, they could avoid much trouble, as many and deep underling adaptations to top-dogs can have a weakening effect.

In real life, the trusting, innocent beginner soon becomes someone who is asked to adjust over and over to guru traditions. One's fit and good ways of living may be endangered or battered thereby. Where you are asked to believe a lot, it may show up in time that rigid beliefs that a cult thrives on, endanger many OK, common adaptations.

Try to exploit kriya knowledge in great and good freedom, for freedom is an old end goal (moksha in Sanskrit) that hardly anyone should give up or minimize in order to get it as a reward after years of repressions of natural desires and things like that. You could do worse than studying Satyananda's kriya yoga. [Satyananda 1981; Satyananda 2001]. – You can profit from taking a good look into these things before committing yourself to what is not much to hanker after.

Better than Conform Religious: Individual and Spiritual

A few points

The old teaching is that deep within yourself is the real teacher – the Self.

Yoga discipline can be tough.

The superior man secures and consolidates his own good fate and goes for good fortune too. "Charity begins at home, but it does not have to end there (American proverb, see Mieder et al., 1996)."

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)]

Adherents of questionable karma beliefs often avoid making a point of that karma (cause-effects relations) also are formed in the here and now and modified later on - maybe abolished. As Buddha is credited with saying, "Man should build a lot of good karma." Further, karma may also be caused incidentally, as in a plane crash. Rudolf Steiner mentions that as an example of how group karma may be created.

Brilliant solutions may have no similar precedents. Accordingly, karmic cause-effect linking fails more or less as for them. Bright-minds may find some ways out too, regardless of some of their karma.

Bottom line: You should not give in to karma, but work to make plenty of good karma, and avoid letting bad karma sprout in your life. It is a life project.



"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? The inner Self. [See Chandogya Upanishad 1.4.5-10]

In an old tale Adi (the first) Shankara was walking on a narrow road when he met an untouchable with a dog. Shankara thought he was too holy to be touched by any of them, but the untouchable would not yield and let him pass on the narrow path. Shankara verbally humiliated the other to make him give way, but it did not help. Instead the man said something like,

"You have not seen God in me and my dog. Thus, your attainments are just bigwig-conformism."

Shankara understood that he lived against his professed creed, was much ashamed, next strengthened, helped by an untouchable and his dog.

Einstein "The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions." [Albert Einstein (in Calaprice 2011:445)]


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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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


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