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Primary outlines. Vatican-endorsed knowledge

Panchanon Bhattacharya, the first publisher of Shyama Lahiri's books

There are so many people who represent themselves falsely in the name of Kriya Yoga. They want to portray themselves as true Masters but verily, they have nothing to offer. - Panchanon Bhattacharya
Panchanon (Panchanan) Bhattacharya (1853-1919), a follower of Shyama Lahiri, compares such people to crocodiles in the Ganges river. Some such crocodiles are 6-7 metres long.

Panchanon Bhattacharya taught followers to spend time on the pranayama techniques of kriya yoga. Bhattacharya helped to spread Lahiri Mahasaya's teachings through the Arya Mission Institution that was set up around 1885. This was after Lahiri Mahasaya had agreed to initiate him in Kriya if he renounced his sannyas vows and returned to his wife and a householder's life. Bhattacharya did, was initiated, and then worked as a flower seller. Many disciples initiated by Sri Lahiri Mahasaya were sent by him to Panchanon for instruction on advanced kriyas.

"It is possible to live even when ... one practices Yoga."
 - Panchanon Bhattacharya. [in Satyeswarananda 1987, 130]

The Aryya Mission Institution as founded by Panchanon Bhattacharya closed, but has been revived again in recent years. It seeks to translate the original Kriya Yoga literature as written and explained by Lahiri Mahasaya in the Bengali language and first published by The Aryya Mission Institution between 1885 and 1910.

Lahiri Thoughts Linked to the Chandi ☼

The page references that follow are to Inner Victory as translated by Swami Satyeswarananda (1987), and gist and paraphrases too.

1. The path of the spinal cord leads into Great Bliss, we are told

The naughty and very childish and egotistic are in for being routed. [cf. 123]

The spinal chord is The Dame, and Great Bliss is The Dame. [cf. 124, 127] (2)

The kutastha [third eye] has four sides: an entrance of creativity and eternity are among them. [cf. 135-26]

2. By seeing the third eye, kutastha, one soon develops powers, it is said

Inner wisdom is Self, hence all-pervading. [cf. 127]

Pretty much well-being can be had through kriya. [cf. 126]

If women do kriya, they can soon achieve siddhi. ⚶ The inscrutable Maya is the kutastha and Mahamaya is the cause of this world. [126, 121]

Be freed from trouble by kriya. [cf. 126] (4)

Through kriya practice is well-being won, and a tender heart too. [cf. 124]

All the gods are in your own body [so don't worry . . .] [122]

By holding onto the kutastha desires should be transcended [120, 119].

3. To calm down counteracts much gross stupidity; it is often like that

Kriya practice calms down the heart. [119]

"It seems I have become a fool," said a king. "What is this stupidity?" [121]


Sound bulwarking may be needed too.


The Chandi

The Lahiri thoughts that are rendered abouve, are said to tie in with the Chandi part of the ancient Markandeya Purana (Pargiter 1969)] of India. The Chandi is also called Devi Mahatmya (Jagadiswarananda 1953). It tells how gods of old were defeated by asuras in a great battle and shooed from heaven. Then the gods sent forth their combined energies and formed the goddess Chandika. They gave her weapons, and she fought with and destroyed the asuras. After the victory, the gods offered a hymn of praise to the goddess and were reinstated (Pargiter 1969:473-532).

In Inner Victory (Satyeswarananda 1987), Lahiri reads kriya yoga into the ancient work, and treats main personages there as allegorical forms. For example, Chandi is taken to be Maya; Madhu too is taken to be Maya, Durga to be the Self; and so on. [Iv 117]

Lahiri also says "Mahamaya is the cause of this world [Iv 121]." If all is Maya, why not let all the figures represent Maya? A simple reason could be that Lahiri lets personages of the work represent characteristics in an overall commentary adapted to and promoting his kriya yoga outlooks.

Allegories are approximations in that they represent things they are not.


Shyama Lahiri study, Lahiri Mahasaya rendered teachings, Literature  

Jagadiswarananda, Swami, tr: Devi Mahatmyam. Ramakrishna. Madras, 1953.

Pargiter, F. tr. Markandeya Purana. Indiological Book House. Delhi, 1969.

Satyeswarananda, Swami, tr: Inner Victory: With Lahiri Mahasay's Commentaries. The Sanskrit Classics. San Diego, 1987.

Harvesting the hay

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

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