As described earlier, there are eight steps common to Kriya Yoga and Raja
They are controlling of senses (Yama), strict discipline (Niyama),
correct posture (Asana), control of Life-force (Pranayam),
withdrawing from outer senses (Pratyahar), fixing mind to a
particular object or thought (Dharana), diving deep inside
to almost merge into the Eternal Truth (Dhyana) and then the Sadhaka and
the Eternal Truth become the one (Samadhi).
The first five steps i.e Yama, Niyama, Asana,
are included in Karma Yoga (Yoga of work).
And Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are Kriyas done in the field of
intellect (Buddhi) and divinity (Paramakhetra). So, they are the
Kriyas of devotion and knowledge or Kriyas done in Sahasrar.
YAMA: First important thing is food.
If the food eaten by Sadhaka is not sattvic in nature,
then there is no chance of spiritual improvement.
Because, if the body becomes restless,
mind will also become restless.
The following are the examples of sattvic food (for the
benefit of English readers, it is worth mentioning here that
English translations of some of the vegetables are not available):
Pointed gourd (Parwal in Hindi or Patal in Bengali),
saak (leafy vegetables), Chana dal, green gram dal (moong dal),
split red gram (Tuvar dal/Arhar dal),
carbohydrates (Sarkara), milk, dense milk (Kheer), ghee,
fruits etc. [Note for English Readers: Fruits and Vegetables are
considered to be the sattvic Food].
Those who are accustomed to eating non-vegetarian food can eat
small fishes. Following are the examples of rajasic foods:
egg, chicken/mutton, onion, garlic, mustard, asafoetida (Hing), etc.
These foods create restlessness in the body and mind and destroy
the calmness so they should be avoided. If these foods are consumed,
it will drop a curtain over the spiritual eye (abaran)
or diversion/deflection (bikshep). [These terms are discussed
in more detail in the "PRANAYAM" Section.]
Examples of tamasic food (which creates tamas guna in the body):
stored foods prepared earlier, too sour food, too hot food, or too cold food.
Tamas guna creates laziness, sleepiness and lack of enthusiasm in the body.
Besides these, reading spiritual books, keeping the wompany of spiritual
people, spiritual discussion, and honest behaviour should also be practiced.
One should read a portion of the Gita every day.
Participating in discussion about others and criticising others should
be strictly avoided. One should not be too dependent on others.
Gossiping or involving oneself in debate is not desired. One should
not do excessive hard work (to become fully exhausted). Watching
television or movie is to be avoided.
On the whole one should be blind, deaf, and dumb. (This means that one
should not see anything wrong, should not speak anything wrong, or
hear anything wrong). It may be difficult, but it is possible.
Besides folliwing these things, celibacy (Brahmacharya) is
also important. Otherwise, one will not be able to perceive the subtle
spiritual feelings of the inner world.
One should not eat food with a full stomach. In other words, one
should eat up to the point when there is still some empty space
left in the stomach. (One should stop taking food when some hunger
is still left). Pranayam will not manifest to those eating
One should not practice Kriya within 5-6 hours of taking meal.
If one follows these disciplines, he can rapidly progress on the spiritual path.
At the beginning one may feel depressed (this state of the Sadhaka
is described in the first chapter of the Sri Bhagavad Gita:
"Arjuna Vishada Yoga"), but when one starts feeling the spiritual bliss,
the worldly joy will become insignificant.
NIYAM (DISCIPLINE): Everyday Kriya should be practiced in the
same time and for same duration: "If one day, I get some joy in doing
that day I will do more Kriya." or "On another day I am not getting
any joy out of Kriya, so I will do less Kriya."
Practising Kriya in this
inconsistent way will be of no help.
Everyday Kriya should be practiced following strict discipline.
But as the time passes, the duration of Kriya practice will
Kriya should be practiced without any worries in the mind. This will
help one make rapid progress on the Kriya path.
Every day Kriya should be practiced at least twice a day. If
one practices Kriya in the same time every day, he will notice
that during that time of the day, mind will become calm
automatically. At advanced stage one can practice Kriya whenever he
likes, and for any duration, because at this stage the mind and Prana
are under the control of the Sadhaka. The biggest enemy of Kriya
practice is noise. One should practice Kriya in a calm and quiet atmosphere.
ASANA: Now let us discuss about asana
(Posture for sitting in Sadhana). There are many varieties.
But for Kriya practice Siddhasana or Swastikasana is the
best and easy.
After sitting in asana, one should inhale fully and sit with expanded chest.
Hands should be straight. Posture or asana should be in the state
of Samakaya Siragriba: sama means in the same
straight line, kaya means body, sira means head and griba
means shoulders. It means the spine and the head should be placed in
the same straight line. Chin should be placed slightly down towards throat.
Now it should be practiced to make the body totally still because
unless the body becomes totally still, it is not possible to
practice Pranayam correctly. The
sitting cushion should be like this: first cushion should be made out of
Kusha grass, above that, a blanket should be placed, and on the top of
that, a silk cloth should be placed.
[Nowadays getting Kushasan may be difficult, alternatively one can make
the sitting cushion with pure white or plain coloured woollen blanket
and a good quality silk cloth may be placed above that].
During Kriya practice one should be careful that no part of
the body should touch the ground. Otherwise the ground will suck the
spiritual energy generated from the Kriya practice. During Kriya
practice one should be careful that the mastak granthi (Knot
in the head: it is physically located in medulla oblongata) and Ajna
chakra is placed in the same line and parallel to ground. If during
Kriya practice it is noticed that medulla oblongata has come down
and Ajna chakra has gone up, it indicates that mind is not there in
Ajna chakra, but roaming in worldly thoughts. During Kriya
practice one should be careful about this.
PRANAYAM: Now let us discuss about the principle
part of Sadhana that is Pranayam.
There are two main hindrances in Sadhana: one
is abaran (curtain on spiritual eye) and the
other is diversion or deflection (bikshep). Abaran
covers God in a similar fashion to that of a cloud covering the sun.
The sun is always there, but when a cloud covers the sun, it looks
like there is no sun.
Similarly God is always there in the Kutastha, but due to
effect of abaran, we are not always able to perceive Him.
Under the effect of bikshep, if one tries to keep his mind on the
place where God is present, it gets deflected from there.
By practicing Pranayam and by following strict discipline of
Yama and Niyama, this abaran (curtain on
spiritual eye) slowly vanishes and bikshep gets removed.
Because of this abaran, when we close our eyes,
we see total darkness. The inner sky will glow with more and more
lights, as the curtail of abaran vanishes, and we will
reach more nearer to God.
Defeating this abaran and bikshep is the most important
stage of Sadhana.
Though there are many varieties of pranayam,
the natural pranayam which one gets from
birth (Sahaja Pranayam) is the best.
This Pranayam was given by Lord Sri Krishna to his
dearest disciple Arjuna. In this Pranayam at the
beginning, Pranab mantra (OM) should be remembered
at every chakra with natural inhalation and exhalation.
During the practice of Pranayam, the mind
should be fixed at Kutastha. This means at the
center point of the Ajna chakra. The
Ajna chakra is located at the point between
At the beginning, it is very difficult to locate the center point
of Ajna chakra or Kutastha,
That is why the focus should be kept at the center of eye-brows
and attention should be kept at the center of any figures/shapes
which appear there.
This should be practiced without straining the eyes,
then vision will be automatically fixed at the center point.
Mind should not get diverted from this point.
Tendency of mind will be there to get diverted, but again and again
it should be pulled back and fixed at the point between the
eye-brows with the practice of Pranayam.
With this, mind and Prana will move together at the point
between the eyebrows. This is described by my Revered Gurudeb as
keeping the mind with Prana or
Life-force (prane mon deoa in Bengali).
This is the Kriya of Six Chakras. In the beginning,
no force should be applied on breathing.
At the beginning, nadis in the body remains blocked.
If force is applied in this condition, it may create many
diseases. It will hamper the spiritual advancement, too.
Like this, Pranayam should be practiced day after day,
month after month, year after year.
One should not lose patience. That is why Thakur (Literally, Thakur
means God. The word is used in Bengali to mean a Godly person.)
Ramakrishna said, "the one who keeps patience survives,
but the one who loses patience gets destroyed." Like this,
after practicing Pranayam for long time, Pranayam
becomes subtle, and then extreme subtle.
One day the mind will surely become fixed at the point between eyebrows,
but until that time, one should go on practicing Kriya in this way.
When the mind becomes stable at the point between eyebrows, the breathing
will be extreme subtle. Under this condition, force should be applied on
the breathing during Kriya Pranayam.
At that time, an overwhelming joy will fill the mind and the feeling
will come such that I have never experienced such joy earlier.
Kriya should be practiced till the lower part of Kutastha
is crossed. Once the mind goes above Ajna chakra,
the Kriya of Six Chakras ends.
Then, mind and Life-force become stable, and by an unknown force
(the force of God), the Kutastha is pierced and the mind and
the Life-force rise to the Sahasrar.
The same is being hinted in the Bible by Jesus Christ, "Ask and
it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you." [Matthew 7.7].
Here Jesus has not indicated at any wooden door.
This is the door of Kutastha. With Kriya Pranayam,
the Sadhaka knocks everyday at the center of the
doors of the six chakras, and opens them one by one,
and reaches the center of Ajna chakra. The center
of Ajna chakra or Kutastha can be opened
with the Kripa (blessings) of God only. He sees
that Sadhaka has reached near to him, so He opens the door
of Ajna Chakra and brings the Sadhaka
to Sahasrar. Before piercing the Kutastha, the Sadhaka
keeps his focus on the east side of the body, and after piercing
the same, he keeps his focus on the west side of the body.
[Front of the body is east, the back is west.]
One thing should be remembered that after
practicing Kriya Pranayams and mudras, one should
not immediately get up. One should sit for some time focusing at
the Kutastha fixing the mind there.
This is called the Kriya of Pratyahar or Kriya for
withdrawing from outer senses. When one feels the divine intoxication or
ecstasy, no Kriya should be practiced. Mind will be fixed
at Kutastha. He will be filled with Divine intoxication.
One forgets himself in this condition. He feels that he was
in a state of total bliss, but is not able to remember that state
exactly. He will not feel like opening the eyes, will feel difficulty
in talking, or feel not want to hear anything. He does not
feel hungry or thirsty. While walking too, his steps will not be
proper due to this state of Divine intoxication.
After this Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi Kriya
can be perceived automatically at Sahasrar.