by Arun Kumar Suri
The Indian scriptures unequivocally declare that every soul is divine and the ultimate purpose of human life is to experience that state of divinity. They advocate four different paths, which are not mutually exclusive for attaining this goal-the path of devotion (Bhakthi Yoga) the path of selfless service (karma Yoga), the path of intellectual inquiry (Jnana yoga) and the path of meditation (Raja Yoga).
Raja yoga takes us to this goal faster than other methods. This involves stilling the mind and the senses so that we cease to identity ourselves with the body mind complex and experience our true nature. We communicate with the external world through the five senses. The mind interprets the impulses from these senses. Mind is a bundle of thoughts and desires. It is an abstract entity. We cannot catch hold of the mind. How then do we still the mind?
The ancient yogis of India discovered the relation between the mind and breathing. When a person is agitated his breathing becomes faster and when he is very calm it is slower. The yogis revealed that by controlling the breath we could control the mind. Anyone can experience this by breathing deeply and slowly for a few minutes. The mind becomes calmer and the heart rate slower.
But this is not enough to completely still the mind and experience our real nature. In order to achieve this it is necessary to employ more effective methods. Kriya Yoga (a form of Raja yoga) is such a method which prevents the electrical impulses from going out of the brain and spinal cord so that external world ceases to exist as for as the person who is meditating is concerned enabling him to experience a state of conscious sleep. This state is different from natural sleep, which is involuntary. With constant practice a person will be able to withdraw the life force from the senses at will and enjoy that state of bliss.
The actual technique of Kriya Yoga shall not be explained in an article meant for general public. It creates a powerful electromagnetic field around the spinal cord by making the life force move up and down the spinal cord. This field withdraws the electrical impulses from all the senses so that the soul is cut off from the outer world. In the highest state of meditation called Samadhi, the person goes into a state of suspended animation. Heart ceases to beat, there will be no breathing and all the functions of body come to a stand still but the person continues to be alive. This may sound strange for many people but is true.
It is important to remember that one cannot experience the highest state of yoga within a short period. Though the technique of Kriya Yoga is not complicated it takes several years of constant practice to experience the results.
It is equally important to understand that in order to progress spiritually one has to lead a moral and disciplined life. If anyone thinks that he can commit all sorts of crimes and indulge in immoral activities but still benefit from Kriya Yoga he is completely mistaken. Those who are serious about their spiritual progress should eschew alcoholic drinks and smoking not to mention any drug of addiction. It is highly desirable to be a pure vegetarian. Consumption of meat causes certain biochemical changes in the blood making it difficult to control the mind.
Raja yoga is a scientific method of controlling the mind, reversing the flow of life force and experiencing our true nature. It is the greatest gift India has given to the world. It is universal in nature. It does not interfere with the religious faith of anyone, as it is based on psycho-physiological principles. People can have their own concept of god and continue to perform any other rituals of their religion. Kriya yoga will help them to feel the presence of god within irrespective of their concept of god. Then they will also realize that god defies definition and conceptualization.
The knowledge and practice of yoga elevates humanity to a higher level and reduces conflicts in the world. It will help ushering in an era of peace and harmony. Those who are seriously interested in learning Kriya Yoga can contact the Self Realization Fellowship society at Los Angeles in USA or if they are nearer to India contact the sister organization Yogoda Satsanga Society of India situated at Dakshineswar, near Kolkata and a branch at Ranchi in India
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