Kriya Yoga Teachings and Gurus
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Kriya yoga is also called kriya. The word 'kriya' stems from the Sanskrit verb 'do'. It has the same root as 'create'. 'Kriya' is understood as "action, deed, effort", and is used with such wide meanings in Sanskrit works. And such works may not at all refer to the method of gentle pranayama (breathing) called ujjayi, which is public, and the kriya yoga system with ujjaji as its core method, and with additions to it.
Types of kriya may vary widely between different schools of yoga. There are very many kriya yoga practices around. One form of kriya yoga is taken to be given out by Lahiri Mahasaya (1828-95). A page at Sanskrit Classics shows many recensions and teachers/gurus [◦More]
The kriya yoga of the Lahiri line was popularised, aborted, and simplified later by Yogananda (1893-1952). His kriya yoga too is intended to bring about a deep calm and claimed to bring about spiritual development. The latter claim is not proved by research.
Yogananda's kriya is hedged by a drastic oath of loyality that goes way beyond what is common in yoga. It has been put in the path of eager ones along with other output by a guru who hailed dictatorship, one of a rather implausible kriya hype, and a fellowship that tells, "we do not find fault with Paramahansa Yogananda's guidelines . . . we believe that . . . his wisdom is flawless." Guess what: it is not. Also worth noting in passing: One of the hallmarks of a cult is deep boss submission.
Kriya yoga also refers to yoga practices taught in Satyananda Yoga. Kriya yoga is laid bare in detail in two of Satyananda's (1923-2009) books - thus, you may learn kriya yoga without binding yourself to any guru at all, no inconsistent guru-given doctrines with very many should's and should-not's, and preserve your freedom and democratic hold. [Cy; Kta;]
Core kriya yoga is freely taught on this site. It is easy to do it too. Try it out for free if you care.
In Tibetan Buddhism, there is 'kriya' too. It refers to a practice in the Nyingma tradition, which is the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, dating back to the 700s AD. The Nyingma tradition is traced back to Padma-Sambhava. Nyingma transmits tantric teachings called Vajrayana.
Good parts of the kriya system are taught by Prem Rawat.
Bodily sides to kriya yoga may be seen in hatha-yoga of body postures and the like.
Cy: Satyananda Saraswati, Swami. A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya. Munger: Yoga Publications Trust, 1981.
Kta: Satyananda Saraswati, Swami. Kundalini Tantra. 8th ed. Munger: Yoga Publications Trust, 2001.
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