In 1861, an elusive and mysterious master, Mahavatar Babaji, (far left of lineage photo below) re-introduced the ancient Kriya technique of self-realisation to the general public through his able disciple Lahiri Mahasaya, a pious householder. When Babaji initiated him he said: “The Kriya Yoga I am giving to the world through you in this nineteenth century, is a revival of the same science Krishna gave millenniums ago to Arjuna, and was later known to Patanjali, and to Christ, St. John, St. Paul and other disciples”
Lahiri Mahasaya, as he was popularly known, had many realised disciples. Foremost among them was Swami Shriyukteshwar Giri who was well versed in the scriptures of both the East and West and who attained the highest state of self-realisation. Swami Shriyukteshwar founded the renowned Karar ashram in Puri, Odisha in 1903. Another realised disciple was Shrimat Bhupendranath Sanyal Mahasaya, a householder yogi noted for his metaphorical interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita in the light of Kriya Yoga.
Among the many disciples of Swami Shriyukteshwar were Paramahamsa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, and his childhood friend Swami Satyananda Giri, who was the president of Karar Ashram until 1971. Another direct disciple was Paramahamsa Hariharananda, who succeeded Swami Satyananda as president of Karar Ashram and the Kriya Yoga international organizations which he founded. Both Paramahamsa Yogananda and Paramahamsa Hariharananda were Self-realised masters and instrumental in spreading the teachings of Kriya Yoga around the world.
Until the time of his mortal transition into spirit on December 3, 2002, at the age of 95, Paramahamsa Hariharananda oversaw each student’s spiritual development. Lovingly called “Baba” by thousands of disciples and students around the world, his divine love and compassion remain unparalleled. Today, Paramahamsa Prajnanananda, (right of lineage photo) the realized disciple and successor of Paramahamsa Hariharananda, travels the world. He is a powerful spiritual master, loving teacher, prolific author, and speaker. Under his loving direction, the Kriya Yoga international organisations, supported by its monks, teachers and devotees, continue to thrive.
Kriya Yoga is a scientific technique and a shortcut to experiencing God consciousness
By practising Kriya Yoga, we become established in God consciousness. It is very simple, easy to perform, and produces tangible results. With the help of Kriya Yoga, aspirants can perceive the triple divine qualities of the soul; divine light, divine sound, and divine vibration. Kriya practice balances and purifies the spiritual centres (chakras) of the human body and restores equilibrium. It enables us to dispel delusion and ignorance and discover the divinity within.
Kriya Yoga is not a sectarian discipline, but a universal one. Its chief merit is that it is a scientific spiritual practice, free from dogma and pre-suppositions and with each step based upon experimental realization. Like the truths developed through research in the physical sciences, the truths propounded in the scriptures can be experienced when Kriya Yoga is practiced with regularity and sincerity.