Frequently asked questions
Most people think a yogi is a person who has greatly advanced the abilities of his body: he can lie on nails, walk through fire or sit in the lotus position… Yet the spiritual aspect is the core in yoga. The Principle of Unity!
Therefore, people’s misconceptions of yoga must be corrected first.
Yoga is the direct Path to the Higher. I declare this with full awareness and understanding of responsibility. Yoga is a reunion with the Higher! It is the most direct and shortest way to self-realisation. Yoga is not a religion. It is a science which reveals the Highest Knowledge, from which various systems and branches have emerged.
Kriya yoga is a tool that allows a person to accelerate their evolution. Kriya is the ultimate method of comprehending the Law of the Universe, where the true answer comes from the depths of the inner Self. The eternal and invariable Law of the Universe is expressed as Truth, Righteousness, Unconditional Love, Peace, Rest and Non-violence. The Science of Kriya is this Universal Law in action.
Through this practice, intuition is effortlessly awakened, and you can gaze into the face of your Higher Self.
Kriya yoga teaches us how to control the breath, calm the mind and achieve higher states of consciousness.
Fifty minutes of Kriya practice is equivalent to one hundred years of natural human evolution…
Meditation is a state beyond the mind, the personality and the ego. It is a state that allows us to get to know ourselves first, become friends with ourselves, and reach higher levels of self-awareness.
Meditation is a state when you are very close to the Creator, the Supreme. But there is a distance between you and the Higher Self to which you aspire.
An analogy with fire can serve as an example. Meditation is when you are sitting around a fire, but you cannot get close to it because you are not yet ready. You enjoy the warmth and love of this divine radiance, you feel warm, happy and comfortable, you are close to it and have the opportunity to enjoy it.
Enjoying and rejoicing in it is meditation. Moreover, the Creator’s radiance constantly gives you what you so desperately need. In the case of fire, it is warmth, in the case of divinity, it is unconditional love, strength, wisdom, peace and everything that comes with it. This is perfection, this is magic… And it changes you.
Any person who knows nothing about Kriya but truly wants to practise, wants to do something for their life, for themselves and others, can safely start practising.
Your level of preparation is not important. The Science of Kriya transforms the body and makes you more prepared. If we say that a person needs to be prepared, then this knowledge is not universally applicable. Preparation is needed when you take an exam. Right now, we practise and awaken our willpower by working on ourselves.
The Science of Kriya doesn’t teach about the body like Hatha yoga, there is no emphasis on sitting cross-legged, in the lotus or half-lotus position.
Here, it is very important that your spine is straight, and during the Retreat, you can even sit on a chair or a small ottoman, which will allow you to keep your spine straight. This is enough. Remember that all realisation takes place in the spine, the brain and the spinal cord. It does not happen in the legs or arms.
No matter how old you are, even if you are eighty or a hundred years old, if you start practising Kriya and address the Supreme in Spirit with a request for realisation, you will be given additional years for realisation. From the moment a person steps on the Path, a space of time opens up for achieving the High Goal, so this person will grow stronger and be able to carry out their plans!
For me, Kriya is Cosmic knowledge, it is the manifestation of the Creator in knowledge, so even if you first come to this at the age of 80, you will reach realisation much faster.
I met an 85-year-old grandfather at a seminar in Perm, who was much more active than everyone else in the hall. He came up to me during the break and asked, “Can an old man like me achieve liberation?”
I said, “Of course you can, no doubt about it.”
There is a law — everything you come across in this life is for you. So do not doubt. Simply start working on yourself.
Seminar is a fairly social term. In reality, the Kriya Seminar is initiation into the Science of Kriya Yoga.
At the two-day Kriya Seminar, you gain knowledge and food for thought. But the most important thing is that a person receives true knowledge passed from one heart to another, from the Master to the student.
This is the method of direct knowledge transfer…
When you attend a Kriya Seminar, you may be completely unprepared, not ready to sit, not ready internally. You attend to prepare and accelerate your evolution. Evolution accelerates many hundreds of thousands times faster only thanks to this great and high teaching. Naturally, your body changes as well. It changes when you practise. The criterion of truth is practice.
Kriya is the base, the foundation and the crown of all spiritual practices!
When people come to the Retreat, we recommend wearing light-coloured or white clothing, because white colour represents white light. Colour is very important because it affects people’s minds. White colour unites all colours, and white is something consciousness perceives as a symbol, not only by the individual, but also by others as a spiritual colour.
If you do not have any white clothing, other light colours will do, but nothing sad or mournful like black. There is actually no black in nature. Black is an artificial colour. By and large, even coal, which is thought to be black in colour, isn’t black. If you look closely, there is a lot of reflection, that is, the reflection of light. Clothing should be loose, comfortable and not constrain your movements.
If you are a sufficiently aware person and possess a deep understanding, if you can talk about the Science of Kriya, you have enough energy and enough knowledge not to do things that harm your body. This means eating right. You may think it is difficult for you to give up eating meat and smoking cigarettes. By the way, smoking is also eating, but of a slightly differen nature.
If it is difficult for you, start practising Kriya and the practice itself will help you. If a person wants to understand their own world, their inner world, they gradually become a vegetarian.
We recommend that you start by reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. Paramahansa Yogananda, the great Indian yogi and educator, who brought Kriya to America and Europe, wrote in Chapter 26 ‘The Science of Kriya Yoga’:
“Kriya yoga is a simple, psychophysiological method by which the human blood is decarbonized and recharged with oxygen. The atoms of this extra oxygen are transmuted into life current to rejuvenate the brain and spinal centers. By stopping the accumulation of venous blood, the yogi is able to lessen or prevent the decay of tissues”
“Kriya yoga is an instrument through which human evolution can be quickened,” Sri Yukteswar explained to his students. “The ancient yogis discovered that the secret of cosmic consciousness is intimately linked with breath mastery. This is India’s unique and deathless contribution to the world’s treasury of knowledge. The life force, which is ordinarily absorbed in maintaining the heart-pump, must be freed for higher activities by a method of calming and stilling the ceaseless demands of the breath.”
The Kriya yogi mentally directs his life energy to revolve, upward and downward, around the six spinal centers (medullary, cervical, dorsal, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal plexuses) which correspond to the twelve astral signs of the zodiac, the symbolic Cosmic Man. One-half minute of revolution of energy around the sensitive spinal cord of man effects subtle progress in his evolution; that half-minute of Kriya equals one year of natural spiritual unfoldment.
The astral system of a human being, with six (twelve by polarity) inner constellations revolving around the sun of the omniscient spiritual eye, is interrelated with the physical sun and the twelve zodiacal signs. All men are thus affected by an inner and an outer universe. The ancient rishis discovered that man’s earthly and heavenly environment, in twelve-year cycles, push him forward on his natural path. The scriptures aver that man requires a million years of normal, diseaseless evolution to perfect his human brain sufficiently to express cosmic consciousness.
One thousand Kriya practiced in eight hours gives the yogi, in one day, the equivalent of one thousand years of natural evolution: 365,000 years of evolution in one year. In three years, a Kriya Yogi can thus accomplish by intelligent self-effort the same result which nature brings to pass in a million years. The Kriya short cut, of course, can be taken only by deeply developed yogis. With the guidance of a guru, such yogis have carefully prepared their bodies and brains to receive the power created by intensive practice.
The Kriya beginner employs his yogic exercise only fourteen to twenty-eight times, twice daily. A number of yogis achieve emancipation in six or twelve or twenty-four or forty-eight years.
The body of the average man is like a fifty-watt lamp, which cannot accommodate the billion watts of power roused by an excessive practice of Kriya. Through gradual and regular increase of the simple and “foolproof” methods of Kriya, man’s body becomes astrally transformed day by day, and is finally fitted to express the infinite potentials of cosmic energy the first materially active expression of Spirit.
Kriya Yoga has nothing in common with the unscientific breathing exercises taught by a number of misguided zealots. Their attempts to forcibly hold breath in the lungs is not only unnatural but decidedly unpleasant. Kriya, on the other hand, is accompanied from the very beginning by an accession of peace, and by soothing sensations of regenerative effect in the spine.
The ancient yogic technique converts the breath into mind. By spiritual advancement, one is able to cognize the breath as an act of minda dream-breath.
Many illustrations could be given of the mathematical relationship between man’s respiratory rate and the variations in his states of consciousness. A person whose attention is wholly engrossed, as in following some closely knit intellectual argument, or in attempting some delicate or difficult physical feat, automatically breathes very slowly. Fixity of attention depends on slow breathing; quick or uneven breaths are an inevitable accompaniment of harmful emotional states: fear, lust, anger. The restless monkey breathes at the rate of 32 times a minute, in contrast to man’s average of 18 times. The elephant, tortoise, snake and other animals noted for their longevity have a respiratory rate which is less than man’s. The tortoise, for instance, who may attain the age of 300 years, breathes only 4 times per minute.”