Leo Gura

Kriya Yoga Mega-Thread

1,692 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, Pernani said:

For real i can relate to that last bit for a bit, even though i love yoga, ever since i started doing it it's like I've been healthier and more energized, but not as aware or insightful as when I was solely doing 1hr meditation daily. Almost feels like a step back which is confusing, bec I can still feel benefits from yoga: the physical and emotional body heals up, and I get calm during the sessions but not a transcendental kind of calm, as in the calm is still very much centered and grounded in the body... Whereas in meditation I could I used to be able to merge with naked awareness at times and got better and better at it. 

So I'm kinda confused how to go on abt it now lol, been alternating between meditation and yoga on a day to day basis, just to get that connection with awareness back. 

This is not surprising coming from what is taught in the books. Like I mentioned, the books are energizing, where as proper Kriya is calming. Proper Kriya leads to incredibly deep meditations. Proper Kriya guides consciousness out of the body. The techniques taught in the books are indeed "very much centered and grounded in the body". I've said quite a few times that by energizing the chakras, you are strengthening your ties to the body and the world. This is a fundamental aspect of the chakras that is true in all cases. Energizing the chakras was originally an occult practice to try to achieve Siddhi's (supernatural powers). This is not the path to self-realization, it's a detour. Lahiri's techniques lead to the "stillness of Prana" as quoted from Lahiri Baba himself. With the proper techniques the state of paravastha is very easy and natural to attain. This is where you get that "transcendental kind of calm" through attaining full Pratyahara, and then easily drifting into Dharana, Dhyana, and finally Samadhi. With proper Kriya you don't need to practice meditation separately, because deep meditation is a natural byproduct of the practice. After proper Kriya I don't want to get up. I want to sit there and just easily let myself blissfully melt away into the non-dual. It's not unusual for a 2-3 hour long Kriya session to feel like 15 minutes...

Edited by MountainCactus

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@MountainCactus Hi and welcome to the forums. Glad to have you onboard and to that you share your accumilated knowledge. You make very interesting points and I can relate to what you write about energizing the chakras. I did Gamana's "KP" where you chant in the spiritual eye only. Though the technique was extremely potent for me and it helped me feel the central channel, it was also often uncomfortable in the sense that it felt like too much energy and alot of anxiety boiled up. I have taken a break from Kriya practices since (or whatever you wanna call what I did) and taken up other energy practices that feels way more soothing, balanced and stronger. If I will return to kriya I will make sure to do the KP that follows the chakras in the body, nadi sodhana, om japa in the chakras and navi kriya (though not in that order obviously) 

My questions for you are:

When you say that you don't want to energize your chakras or calm the prana, can you be more specific? When you do Om Japa and KP, what makes the difference of calming vs energizing them when placing the OM's?

Why would energizing the chakras create more ego? For me I can penetrate more deeply inwards when my body is energized. And if you develop siddhis it doesn't mean you have to flaunt them or feel special, that is the seduction and trick you have to pass, but a sincere seeker will want to find truth and who/what you truly are.

I have always wondered about Lahiri's statement that not placing OM's is tamasic. If I get this right, if you do Pranayamas without placing OM's, move the the prana up and down, this would not be benificial, but actually destructive. Can you give an explanation to why this would be the case?

Edited by Esoteric
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Excellent questions @Esoteric!

1 hour ago, Esoteric said:

When you say that you don't want to energize your chakras or calm the prana, can you be more specific? When you do Om Japa and KP, what makes the difference of calming vs energizing them when placing the OM's?

Om Japa itself is calming to the chakras. Om Japa is not energizing. It's the other things added to the practice that create it energizing. Specifically, the attempt to control and force energy through the channel. I cannot be too specific or risk giving away the techniques, but I do think that most people should be able to figure out what I mean here without me coming out and saying it. Gamana's, or should I say Mukerjee's, technique of chanting just at the Ajna shouldn't be overly stimulative, but it can create some imbalance and does not fight the battle of Kurukshetra in the important lower centers. Also, some of the added techniques Gamana invented are strong kundalini stimulators that would work against you instead of for you in silencing the prana.

1 hour ago, Esoteric said:

Why would energizing the chakras create more ego? For me I can penetrate more deeply inwards when my body is energized. And if you develop siddhis it doesn't mean you have to flaunt them or feel special, that is the seduction and trick you have to pass, but a sincere seeker will want to find truth and who/what you truly are.

The chakras are where your limbic brain projects into the body. By energizing the chakras you are energizing this connection to the body. An example of this is that a common side effect of Kundalini Yoga is increased sexual urges. This is obviously binding you to the body, through an energized second chakra. Each chakra has it's own unique side effects. The chakras are a part of the dual world, they are dual in nature, and isn't the true goal to reach non-duality? The real goal of Kriya is for the energy and projections to silence in the chakras, as this promotes freedom from the body, world, mind, and duality. It is only from this freed state that a yogi can fully enter a state of Samadhi. In energizing the chakras you are moving away not towards Samadhi. Samadhi is the goal of Kriya, so why would anyone practice something that would be a roadblock to that end?

1 hour ago, Esoteric said:

I have always wondered about Lahiri's statement that not placing OM's is tamasic. If I get this right, if you do Pranayamas without placing OM's, move the the prana up and down, this would not be benificial, but actually destructive. Can you give an explanation to why this would be the case?

See my answer to the second question. Anything that is stimulative to the energy system and/or the chakras is a roadblock to Samadhi. It is moving towards the body, not towards the non-dual. The goal of Kriya is not to have crazy experiences. It's a proven path for a householder to follow to union with the non-dual.

Edited by MountainCactus

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Actually @Esoteric I'm going to take a small step back here as I think by backing up a little bit I can paint a bit more context that will help you and everyone else connect the dots. The ultimate goal of Kriya, as I mentioned, is to unite your consciousness permanently with the non-dual. Kriya is an Advaita Vedanta technique at its core. Self-Inquiry is easy to get some initial experience, but it's hard to make that experience permanent. Kriya is an easy and natural way to make that non-dual state permanent into what is called a state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. In this way I see both Kriya and Self-Inquiry as natural complimentary practices, but that's a tangent for another day.

Advaita Vedanta teaches that to reach Nirvikalpa Samadhi you have to go through all 3 bodies, that are comprised of 5 total sheaths (or the 5 Koshas if you want to research more into this).

  1. The physical body 
    1. Annamaya Kosha or physical sheath.
  2. The subtle body
    1. Pranamaya Kosha or energy sheath.
    2. Manomaya Kosha or the mind sheath.
    3. Vijnanamaya Kosha or the subconscious/intuitive sheath.
  3. The causal body
    1. Anandamaya Kosha or the emptiness/bliss sheath.

And finally when you move beyond all of those bodies/sheaths you reach the non-dual state. Each of those sheaths is an illusion, hence the word "Maya" used in each name. Even emptiness/bliss is an illusion. Far too many people reach this point and think they've reached the end, but the truth is there is still another layer below that. If one can observe emptiness, there is obviously still something lower and more subtle than emptiness that is observing it.

So what are the chakras and how do they fit into this model? Like I mentioned above, the chakras are where the limbic brain projects into the physical body. So what sheath is the limbic brain in? It is in the Vijnanamaya Kosha. It leverages the Pranamaya Kosha to manifest the physical body. In other words, the chakras are where the subtle body becomes the physical body. So by energizing these connection points, you are strengthening the bond between the body and the subtle body. This is the opposite of what we want. The goal of the first Kriya is to do the Battle of Kurukshetra that Krishna described in the Bhagavad Gita. For those not familiar with the Gita I highly recommend Yogananda's "God Talks With Arjuna" for a very western friendly and Kriya specific version. His teachings in that book came from Sriyukteswar's writings, which were edited and approved by Lahiri. So through Kriya, we perform the battle of Kurukshetra and go beyond the body and the consciousness settles into the subtle body. Then from there, through Paravastha, Yoni Mundra, and the higher Kriyas we completely win this battle, and we are able to release from the subtle body into the Kutastha which is the causal body. It is at this point where you finally are at a full state of Pratyahara. Then through continued practice, and much time spent in the Paravastha state, you can go from Dharana, to Dhyana, and finally Samadhi where you ultimately merge your consciousness with the non-dual. Then, by reaching Samadhi over and over and over again, you slowly start bringing it with you outside meditation until Samadhi is a permanent state. This is the goal of Kriya; Nirvikalpa Samadhi. To get here, one must sever the link between the chakras and the body. This is the first major battle that needs to be fought. By strengthening these bonds, you prevent yourself from going any further in the process I described.

Edited by MountainCactus

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@MountainCactus Wow. This is very interesting stuff and I have got some researching to do. I will buy Yogananda's book on the Gita.

Though speaking of Yogananda. For me personally, he is one of the greatest masters we've had. Yet he seemed to have no problem with energization practices. On the contrary. He reached so far that he willingly left the body. So what is your view on that? It is paradoxical to what wrote, is it not?

Also if you look at Vajrayana and Tummo practice, it focuses on building up so much energy that it "melts" the upper centres into the belly which creates more and more bliss. Non-dual bliss as they call it. An extremely energetic technique that obviously has created a lot of masters if you look at the Tibetan tradition. So isn't it more fair to say that it depends on the individual more than anything? For some people, like Yogananda, an increase in energy was to their benefit. Whereas for other people it will cause suffering and there is not enough courage to resist the temptations it creates.

Also, I would be interested in hearing your opinion about our center. You write that the limbic brain projects out the chakras in the body. And the term spiritual heart gets used alot, where our home and true seed is. Gamana writes about this too. But the spiritual heart still gets projected out to the heart from the brain. Or "brain". So is it fair to say that our true core and center is in the brain and this is where the eyeball (as Leo put it) projects out all of creation? And that it only feels like it's in the spiritual heart?

 

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@MountainCactus I just wanna thank you and @kerk for creating so much value on this forum.

I didn't read all of the posts yet, I'm waiting to give em my full focus cause I got so many questions lol. But for now just one question, what can one do if one doesn't have access to a guru? I mean I'm still suspicious that the lack of progress (compared to when I used to meditate regularly) is due to my inexperience and that I still haven't nailed down the techniques correctly, but if what you're saying is true @MountainCactus - and I'd like for the other forum members to the discuss their progress doing the techniques from the books and whether that contradicts with my experience and what you said - then what can one do about it? To get the real benefits of transcending the ego and realising samadhi from kriya? 

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1 hour ago, Pernani said:

@MountainCactus I just wanna thank you and @kerk for creating so much value on this forum.

I didn't read all of the posts yet, I'm waiting to give em my full focus cause I got so many questions lol. But for now just one question, what can one do if one doesn't have access to a guru? I mean I'm still suspicious that the lack of progress (compared to when I used to meditate regularly) is due to my inexperience and that I still haven't nailed down the techniques correctly, but if what you're saying is true @MountainCactus - and I'd like for the other forum members to the discuss their progress doing the techniques from the books and whether that contradicts with my experience and what you said - then what can one do about it? To get the real benefits of transcending the ego and realising samadhi from kriya? 

Well I think everyone can have access to a guru. But one should not be impatient and should wait to find the right guru. Most spiritual mistakes are born out of impatience. As Christ said, judge the tree by the quality of its fruit. So you must interact with your guru a bit, see and interact with some of his students, and make sure he/she is a right fit for you. Be careful of the "Big Baba's" that care more about your money than your soul. So for those without a guru this is my recommendation:

  • Take the SRF Lessons. This is done by mail, and anyone can do this. It's also fairly cheap.
    • Practice the Hong-Sau and AUM techniques daily. When doing Hong-Sau practice breathing like describe in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEc6RLixpVs. These two techniques will teach you two of the most important things. First, how to properly breath in Kriya through practicing Hong-Sau w/ Clinical Mindfulness. Second, it will teach you to become absorbed in AUM. The astral sounds are a very important part of Kriya, so learning to hear them and become absorbed in them early on will greatly help your Paravastha, as it's in Paravastha where the magic really happens.
    • The energization exercises you can take them or leave them. You can also substitute in any Hatha Yoga routine in their place if you so choose.

This is really all a beginner needs. When I decided I wanted to get initiated I stopped practicing all the techniques in the book and went back to these techniques until I was initiated. I reasoned that the guru's would not want me to practice their techniques without initiation so once I had decided I wanted to commit to their path that it was best to wait and go through the proper channels. Hong-Sau and AUM have the ability to take you all the way to Samadhi if you practice them with enough dedication, time, and consistency.

Edited by MountainCactus

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3 hours ago, Esoteric said:

@MountainCactus Wow. This is very interesting stuff and I have got some researching to do. I will buy Yogananda's book on the Gita.

Though speaking of Yogananda. For me personally, he is one of the greatest masters we've had. Yet he seemed to have no problem with energization practices. On the contrary. He reached so far that he willingly left the body. So what is your view on that? It is paradoxical to what wrote, is it not?

Also if you look at Vajrayana and Tummo practice, it focuses on building up so much energy that it "melts" the upper centres into the belly which creates more and more bliss. Non-dual bliss as they call it. An extremely energetic technique that obviously has created a lot of masters if you look at the Tibetan tradition. So isn't it more fair to say that it depends on the individual more than anything? For some people, like Yogananda, an increase in energy was to their benefit. Whereas for other people it will cause suffering and there is not enough courage to resist the temptations it creates.

Also, I would be interested in hearing your opinion about our center. You write that the limbic brain projects out the chakras in the body. And the term spiritual heart gets used alot, where our home and true seed is. Gamana writes about this too. But the spiritual heart still gets projected out to the heart from the brain. Or "brain". So is it fair to say that our true core and center is in the brain and this is where the eyeball (as Leo put it) projects out all of creation? And that it only feels like it's in the spiritual heart?

 

Haha, yes the hours upon hours of research is a fun journey. You will learn a lot if you go through all the different books I've recommended.

Yes I believe Yogananda was a great master. I love Yogananda, I owe him a debt of gratitude. Yoga, and Kriya Yoga specifically, may never have gotten a foothold in the West if not for him. I also love his general teachings. Like I said the SRF lessons and his books on the Gita and Bible are wonderful. I think he exaggerated some in Autobiography, and I wish he never would have changed the Kriya techniques. However, one does have to look at the context of his entire system to pass judgment. He taught an "energized" form of Kriya, but he strictly limited the number of Kriyas each student could do daily, and made them get permission from a monastic to increase. He started people off at 14, and it was not easy to get permission to add more. For context, my teacher has placed no limits on me for first Kriya, he has only limited me on the number of reps for the higher Kriyas. I can practice first Kriya all day long if I want with no negative effects, because it's not the energized version. Yogananda also added Hong-Sau and AUM into his system which are more calming techniques which do add some balance to the energized Kriya. He also encouraged renunciation, so optimally if one wants to truly follow Yogananda's path they would join his monastic order where they would not only have easy access to advanced teachers, but live with them on a day to day basis. He also added a strong devotional and karma yoga aspect, which I think helps balance and ground some of the potential negative effects of the energized version of Kriya out. In his version of the second Kriya he also did incorporate OM Japa back into the technique, though he did also leave in the parts he added to the first Kriya as well. So, for someone that was devoted to Yogananda and wanted to join his monastic order and follow all his techniques, I think they could make it all the way home. I'm not sure why he changed the techniques but I can speculate that it had a lot to do with struggling to find a way to mass teach a very subtle system of yoga, as well as to alter or leave some things out that would be considered offensive to 1920's America. I think (or at least like to believe) that he made most of the changes out of necessary concession, not by choice. Maybe he also felt pressured after making such bold claims like those presented in Autobiography that he needed to juice up the energy of the techniques to sate the American craving for experience? I don't know, all I can do is speculate. But either way, I still think that Lahiri's original techniques are better.

As for the Tibetan tradition and the like, one must remember that most other paths other than Lahiri's original Kriya were meant for monastics; people that would be living and interacting with masters every day; people that did not have families, jobs, or a life that could be impeded by negative side effects; people that had the space and time to work through it. A lot of these schools also have their root in martial arts. For someone that is training for battle, gaining physical power from the chakras, especially that powerful 3rd chakra in the navel, is extremely important for practical reasons. I cannot say whether or not these practices can lead to Samadhi or not as I've never practiced them myself, but there obviously are enlightened beings on these paths. However, I can say that I always like to lean on scripture in spiritual matters. Kriya is the practical application of the Bhagavad Gita. If you read that book you will start to understand. Since I trust the Gita and what Krishna says in it, I can trust Kriya. I'm not as well versed in the Buddhist side of things, though I do think it is obviously a valid path. But, this thread is specific to Kriya, and in Kriya the goal is "stillness of Prana". Lahiri's path is the only meditation path I'm aware of that was meant specifically for householders and asked for no external sacrifice or renunciation of any kind.

As for the question on the spiritual heart, that's a bit more nuanced. Ramana Maharshi said that the heart was the seat of the Self. Lahiri never specifically said anything like that, but he did place a heavy emphasis on the heart in the higher Kriyas. So I kind of have to go off of my own opinion and intuition here to bring those two facts into one, so take it as that. My thinking is that the heart is one of our greatest bonds to the world. Love is the most powerful emotion we have. Love is the only emotion that every human being would voluntarily give their life for. Have you ever seen the Avatar: The Last Air Bender episode where he is unlocking his chakras with his guru? When it came time to the crown the guru told him that he had to let everything go, but Aang refused because of his love for Kitara. This is something that is common in the path of enlightenment. Our love for our families, friends, and the world in general is our biggest road block to true union with the "Self". But this is something we have to move beyond as well. Like I mentioned above, the causal body is the Kutastha, which is "the eyeball" as you termed it (I'm not super familiar with Leo's teachings, I'm mainly just here for the Kriya discussion, lol). I believe that the non-dual Atman takes causal form in the Kutastha, and that through the Kutastha and some part in the brain (right brain? right hippocampus? Ajna? Crown? Pineal gland? I'm not exactly sure, but these are the common ideas I've heard) the causal body is bound to the subtle body just like the subtle body takes physical form in the chakras. I hope that makes sense, lol!

Edited by MountainCactus

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42 minutes ago, MountainCactus said:

(right brain? right hippocampus? Ajna? Crown? Pineal gland? I'm not exactly sure, but these are the common ideas I've heard)

Ah the synchronicity, just saw that this was posted today on YouTube for any that want to dig deeper down that rabbit hole quoted above: 

 

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@MountainCactusThanks for your answers and stuff to look into. I've gotten a lot of new perspectives and stuff to reflect on. I never really put much attention on that Lahiri's Kriya was for householders specifically, even though I always knew it. It does make sense now.

Never seen or heard of Avatar: The Last Airbender but it looks interesting, might give an episode a go :) And I will watch that video you posted, I like that guy from what I've seen.

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59 minutes ago, Esoteric said:

Never seen or heard of Avatar: The Last Airbender but it looks interesting, might give an episode a go

 

It truly is a great show, especially for us yogis.

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I was initiated into shambhavi mahamudra kriya yoga, I want to continue, there was a time were I saw great benefits. My body felt delicious, great mood, and life was more vivid. 

But nowadays my kundalini symptoms flare up when I sit in the asana, I feel energy rising into my brain. The heart on the left and right heat up, tremble, and once it even felt like it burnt me a little bit. 

Interestingly it's only when I do a short loving kindness meditation and chant at the beginning of the practice that this flare up happens, throughout the actual kriya everything feels okay, it's just a bit frightening. 

 

I don't really want to part with it, but if it is detrimenting me then perhaps I should look for other practices. 

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Just now, Mada_ said:

I was initiated into shambhavi mahamudra kriya yoga, I want to continue, there was a time were I saw great benefits. My body felt delicious, great mood, and life was more vivid. 

But nowadays my kundalini symptoms flare up when I sit in the asana, I feel energy rising into my brain. The heart on the left and right heat up, tremble, and once it even felt like it burnt me a little bit. 

Interestingly it's only when I do a short loving kindness meditation and chant at the beginning of the practice that this flare up happens, throughout the actual kriya everything feels okay, it's just a bit frightening. 

 

I don't really want to part with it, but if it is detrimenting me then perhaps I should look for other practices. 

My question is, do I have to care about intense energy welling up, or can I just let it consume me. Tara Wells says in her book 'enlightened through the path of kundalini', that energy overload means slowing down energy practises. Sasdghuru also says that kundalini can ruin the whole system, and must be risen under special guidance.

So could this perhaps be detrimenting my system by continuing? 

 

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6 hours ago, Mada_ said:

I was initiated into shambhavi mahamudra kriya yoga, I want to continue, there was a time were I saw great benefits. My body felt delicious, great mood, and life was more vivid. 

But nowadays my kundalini symptoms flare up when I sit in the asana, I feel energy rising into my brain. The heart on the left and right heat up, tremble, and once it even felt like it burnt me a little bit. 

Interestingly it's only when I do a short loving kindness meditation and chant at the beginning of the practice that this flare up happens, throughout the actual kriya everything feels okay, it's just a bit frightening. 

 

I don't really want to part with it, but if it is detrimenting me then perhaps I should look for other practices. 

Ok, there's a big misconception here generally speaking that I want to clear up. What Sadhguru teaches is not "Kriya Yoga", what he teaches and defines as "Kriya" is any internal action. It is indeed confusing because the word Kriya is used twice in a different manner. However "Kriya Yoga" is referring to a complete system of yoga that was spread to through Lahiri Mahasaya that fits all 8 branches of Patanjanli's Yoga Sutras, whereas what Sadhguru is referring to as "Kriya" is referring to any inwardly looking action, so in Sadhguru's terms some techniques are "Kriya's" and other's are not. In Lahiri's system, it's not so much the techniques that are Kriya's, as the whole system as a whole is Kriya. Technically speaking, by the definition of the word Kriya, Sadhguru is not wrong... but at the same time he did kind of leveraging the popularity of Kriya Yoga to his advantage. These are two completely different systems that sit on opposite ends of the spectrum. Both are tantric in origin, but Sadhguru's techniques are more rooted in the Hatha Yoga side of things. All of the individual components he uses can be found in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. So for all intents and purposes, Sadhguru really is a Hatha Yoga system, not a Kriya Yoga system. The semantics are confusing, but important.

Once upon a time, I myself also was initiated into Shambhavi Mahamundra. It does not surprise me that there is energy overload. The hyperventilated breathing and the heavy use of bandhas can definitely cause that, especially to someone who is sensitive to K energy. Like I mentioned above, true Kriya Yoga of Lahiri Mahasaya is about "silencing the Prana". In Lahiri's Kriya there is no need for gross bandhas, as the techniques practiced properly automatically leads to subtle bandhas. You want to lock the energy in the subtle body, not the physical body. The idea is for the energy to travel through the Sushumna, which is in the subtle body. You do not want the energy to travel through the spine, which is in the physical body. You want all of this energy to stay in the subtle body if possible. It is when this energy is taken out of the subtle body into the physical body through force that the negative kundalini effects really start to run wind; and this was my experience exactly. I know in SMM initiation in one of the videos Sadhguru mentions that the point of doing the gross bandhas in SMM is to learn how to apply a subtle bandha... but he unfortunately never offers any advice for a path forward to that end. There is also no hyperventilated breathing in Lahiri's Kriya, only slow, gentle, deep breathing.

I do think that learning true Lahiri Kriya would help. Aside from that, you can try to reach out to Isha for advice, but I doubt you'll actually be able to get to speak to anyone really knowledgeable on the manner, likely just one of the volunteer acharyas. Their acharyas are trained specifically to stick to the script, they even go so far as to teach them to pronounce the words the same way Sadhguru does, so if there's no script for this you may not be able to get help. This is one problem I have with Big Baba gurus, as I believe that if you cannot phone your "guru" up or go visit him to ask advice, and if he has no clue who you are, then he isn't really your guru. Sadhguru specifically goes to great lengths to hide from his followers, the only way to actually see him in person is to pay to go to an event that he is a part of, and these events all have thousands of people at them so you never really can get any real one on one time with him. If you're experiencing negative kundalini energy you really should be working with a knowledgeable guru one on one in some form. There are ways to work around it, but I think everyone is a little different so you kind of best to work with someone that has worked with a lot of people and been through the process themselves. What worked for me may not work for you. Aside from that, the typical grounding recommendations definitely help. If you find yourself super committed to Sadhguru, you could always go back down to Isha Kriya, which should not overly stimulate the energy, at least anymore than any basic meditation will.

 

6 hours ago, Mada_ said:

My question is, do I have to care about intense energy welling up, or can I just let it consume me. Tara Wells says in her book 'enlightened through the path of kundalini', that energy overload means slowing down energy practises. Sasdghuru also says that kundalini can ruin the whole system, and must be risen under special guidance.

So could this perhaps be detrimenting my system by continuing? 

 

Once again, this is guru territory as everyone is different . You can definitely cause physical harm, and it can be difficult to go to work and function in the external world if you're really slamming the kundalini gas pedal. It is possible to awaken K with a gentle and not forced approach. Though there are some people that are super sensitive, the rare types that basically randomly trip and fall into a full scale K awakening one day. This was not me. For me it has been a slow process that has come on like waves in a rising tide; two steps forward, one step back. I try to keep as much energy in the subtle body as possible, where it belongs. When I personally practiced SMM it was before I had experienced my first K rising, so that didn't negatively react in me at the time. I had my first K rising when practicing Kriya through books, and it was very uncomfortable at first. In the spinal breathing I felt massive sexual energy, almost too much to bear, going all the way up my spine to the crown, and I could feel it arcing out into my body the whole way like how lightening arcs as it shoots through the air. After this I was pretty much dead to the world for 2-3 days after. It took a long time to recover from that massive energy overload. Let's just say, I was a skeptic until that day, and that experience made a believer out of me. After that time I've had to be a bit more careful about my practices, especially avoiding bandhas and forced breathing as those really force the energy to arc out into the physical body in my personal experience. But Lahiri's Kriya never overloads me. These days it's not the rising of the tide that bothers me, it's just the lowering of the tide, when I start to feel even a slight separation from God it creates this great desperation and longing for God; my guru calls this the "true internal Bhakti". So yes this should determine what you practice going forward, imo. Your first step, since you mentioned you want to stay loyal to Sadhguru, is to try to reach out to Isha to see if they may be of help. If they are not able to help you, I would recommend seeking a guru that is willing and able to help you, and that would mean ditching Isha. Your heath is more important than your sense of loyalty to an organization, imo. I would not recommend experimenting on yourself, taking advice from the internet, and hoping that you can make it through it on your own. As the words that the original Legend of Zelda made famous: "It is dangerous to go alone". That's my .02 at least.

Edited by MountainCactus

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@MountainCactus  OMG thank you for your replies, so much good information!

You linked the paramahansa lessons, is there anyone here Who has bought the lessons and want to share a review?

after hearing that not chanting AUM in the chakras while doing pranayama is tamasic ive gone back to lahiris teachings.

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1 hour ago, Paan said:

@MountainCactus  OMG thank you for your replies, so much good information!

You linked the paramahansa lessons, is there anyone here Who has bought the lessons and want to share a review?

after hearing that not chanting AUM in the chakras while doing pranayama is tamasic ive gone back to lahiris teachings.

I have taken the lessons, both the old ones, and I'm currently going through the newly redone ones, I'm about 2/3 done with the new ones. The new ones especially are very well done and I think any Kriyaban would benefit from them, even those like me that are not in the Yogananda/Sriyukteswar branch of the lineage. My teacher specifically told me that other than the altered Kriya techniques and some suspected exaggeration in Autobiography (some of the stories he tells in Autobiography are very different and more extreme than how they have been passed down in my branch), that all of the other content that SRF puts out is solid. I also think the new lessons are on discount for half price until the end of the year if I remember correctly. The general information on metaphysics and spiritual matters is wonderful, especially for a westerner, as there's not a lot of good info on this stuff in the west. Also Hong-Sau and AUM are good techniques. I still practice both on occasion, even though they are not in Lahiri's teachings. If my mind is feeling very energized and unsettled on a particular day I will practice Hong-Sau for a few minutes as a warmup to Kriya to center myself. And, if I have a really good Yoni Mundra, which is practiced at the end of my session, and I want to sit longer and absorb myself in the bliss, I will practice AUM for a few minutes while my hands are already up there. I can hear all the astral sounds except the rushing water of the 5th chakra easily without plugged ears, but if I want to absorb myself in the rushing water most of the time I need to plug my ears and formally practice AUM. 

Edited by MountainCactus

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7 hours ago, MountainCactus said:

Ok, there's a big misconception here generally speaking that I want to clear up. What Sadhguru teaches is not "Kriya Yoga", what he teaches and defines as "Kriya" is any internal action. It is indeed confusing because the word Kriya is used twice in a different manner. However "Kriya Yoga" is referring to a complete system of yoga that was spread to through Lahiri Mahasaya that fits all 8 branches of Patanjanli's Yoga Sutras, whereas what Sadhguru is referring to as "Kriya" is referring to any inwardly looking action, so in Sadhguru's terms some techniques are "Kriya's" and other's are not. In Lahiri's system, it's not so much the techniques that are Kriya's, as the whole system as a whole is Kriya. Technically speaking, by the definition of the word Kriya, Sadhguru is not wrong... but at the same time he did kind of leveraging the popularity of Kriya Yoga to his advantage. These are two completely different systems that sit on opposite ends of the spectrum. Both are tantric in origin, but Sadhguru's techniques are more rooted in the Hatha Yoga side of things. All of the individual components he uses can be found in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. So for all intents and purposes, Sadhguru really is a Hatha Yoga system, not a Kriya Yoga system. The semantics are confusing, but important.

Once upon a time, I myself also was initiated into Shambhavi Mahamundra. It does not surprise me that there is energy overload. The hyperventilated breathing and the heavy use of bandhas can definitely cause that, especially to someone who is sensitive to K energy. Like I mentioned above, true Kriya Yoga of Lahiri Mahasaya is about "silencing the Prana". In Lahiri's Kriya there is no need for gross bandhas, as the techniques practiced properly automatically leads to subtle bandhas. You want to lock the energy in the subtle body, not the physical body. The idea is for the energy to travel through the Sushumna, which is in the subtle body. You do not want the energy to travel through the spine, which is in the physical body. You want all of this energy to stay in the subtle body if possible. It is when this energy is taken out of the subtle body into the physical body through force that the negative kundalini effects really start to run wind; and this was my experience exactly. I know in SMM initiation in one of the videos Sadhguru mentions that the point of doing the gross bandhas in SMM is to learn how to apply a subtle bandha... but he unfortunately never offers any advice for a path forward to that end. There is also no hyperventilated breathing in Lahiri's Kriya, only slow, gentle, deep breathing.

I do think that learning true Lahiri Kriya would help. Aside from that, you can try to reach out to Isha for advice, but I doubt you'll actually be able to get to speak to anyone really knowledgeable on the manner, likely just one of the volunteer acharyas. Their acharyas are trained specifically to stick to the script, they even go so far as to teach them to pronounce the words the same way Sadhguru does, so if there's no script for this you may not be able to get help. This is one problem I have with Big Baba gurus, as I believe that if you cannot phone your "guru" up or go visit him to ask advice, and if he has no clue who you are, then he isn't really your guru. Sadhguru specifically goes to great lengths to hide from his followers, the only way to actually see him in person is to pay to go to an event that he is a part of, and these events all have thousands of people at them so you never really can get any real one on one time with him. If you're experiencing negative kundalini energy you really should be working with a knowledgeable guru one on one in some form. There are ways to work around it, but I think everyone is a little different so you kind of best to work with someone that has worked with a lot of people and been through the process themselves. What worked for me may not work for you. Aside from that, the typical grounding recommendations definitely help. If you find yourself super committed to Sadhguru, you could always go back down to Isha Kriya, which should not overly stimulate the energy, at least anymore than any basic meditation will.

 

Once again, this is guru territory as everyone is different . You can definitely cause physical harm, and it can be difficult to go to work and function in the external world if you're really slamming the kundalini gas pedal. It is possible to awaken K with a gentle and not forced approach. Though there are some people that are super sensitive, the rare types that basically randomly trip and fall into a full scale K awakening one day. This was not me. For me it has been a slow process that has come on like waves in a rising tide; two steps forward, one step back. I try to keep as much energy in the subtle body as possible, where it belongs. When I personally practiced SMM it was before I had experienced my first K rising, so that didn't negatively react in me at the time. I had my first K rising when practicing Kriya through books, and it was very uncomfortable at first. In the spinal breathing I felt massive sexual energy, almost too much to bear, going all the way up my spine to the crown, and I could feel it arcing out into my body the whole way like how lightening arcs as it shoots through the air. After this I was pretty much dead to the world for 2-3 days after. It took a long time to recover from that massive energy overload. Let's just say, I was a skeptic until that day, and that experience made a believer out of me. After that time I've had to be a bit more careful about my practices, especially avoiding bandhas and forced breathing as those really force the energy to arc out into the physical body in my personal experience. But Lahiri's Kriya never overloads me. These days it's not the rising of the tide that bothers me, it's just the lowering of the tide, when I start to feel even a slight separation from God it creates this great desperation and longing for God; my guru calls this the "true internal Bhakti". So yes this should determine what you practice going forward, imo. Your first step, since you mentioned you want to stay loyal to Sadhguru, is to try to reach out to Isha to see if they may be of help. If they are not able to help you, I would recommend seeking a guru that is willing and able to help you, and that would mean ditching Isha. Your heath is more important than your sense of loyalty to an organization, imo. I would not recommend experimenting on yourself, taking advice from the internet, and hoping that you can make it through it on your own. As the words that the original Legend of Zelda made famous: "It is dangerous to go alone". That's my .02 at leas

Thankyou so much for your reply - this has been so helpful!! 

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7 hours ago, Paan said:

@MountainCactus  OMG thank you for your replies, so much good information!

You linked the paramahansa lessons, is there anyone here Who has bought the lessons and want to share a review?

I have been through the old lessons and to the end of the new ones (18). If a person takes Kriya initiation there are an additional 9 lessons.

The new lessons are definitely better than the old ones. Besides the printed lessons there is a lot of material on a member website. Each set of additional material becomes accessible after the printed lesson is sent. So there are videos, audio lectures by Yogananda, study guides and music. There is also an app, but I think the website is much better than the app.

The SRF lessons (YSS in India) are God-oriented. It is Yoga and meditation, but the purpose is 100% God. Pray to God, have experience of God in meditation. So a person who believes in God and prayer would find the lessons beneficial. For a person who doesn't believe, pray or think much about God, SRF might not be as good a choice.

SRF is in most countries. In USA it is legally a church. The US government requires certain things to qualify as a church: It has to have members, beliefs and religious services. So SRF has all those, with several hundred centers and groups. On signing up for lessons you get a card that identifies you as a church member. Those who go on to Kriya get another card that admits them to sessions for Kriyabans.

The old lessons were like a simple newsletter. The new lessons are more like a magazine (30-40 pages) because they are highly detailed explanations of the techniques and principles.

SRF has a large cadre of male and female monastics (monks and nuns) who counsel members by phone, mail and in person at the gatherings. The chief of all this is Chidananda, an American. You can see him in action in the video I will link below.

This is a talk he gave in India today. It starts with a prayer, then he leads the attendees in Om Japa in the Chakras. That is about the first 7-8 minutes of the program.

 

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SInce starting kriya have you found your dreams have become more vivid?

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4 hours ago, herghly said:

SInce starting kriya have you found your dreams have become more vivid?

Incredibly so. I also rarely used to remember my dreams, and now it's a regular occurrence. 

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