On Kriya Yoga

By George A. Boyd © 1995

Material in quotes are excerpted from Discoveries on the Path

Kriya Yoga is a transformation technique that initially operates in the Cosmic Sphere to bring about the spiritual evolution of Cosmic Consciousness in the first Cosmic Initiation. This practice goes through five stages with associated techniques.

This leads up through Kaivalyam, the stage of liberation of Cosmic Consciousness. Kaivalyam is also referred to as the state of Jivan Mukta: we will use these terms synonymously. These initial five stages are briefly summarized below.

Name of Kriya Technique Realm of Activity
Kriya Pranayam (1st kriya) Cosmic Physical Realm
Thokkar Kriya (2nd Kriya) Cosmic Astral Realm
Kriya with Mantra [Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudeya] (3rd Kriya. Some assign a 4th Kriya, a variation of the basic technique, to this level) Cosmic Causal Realm
Kriya with mantra [Om Bhu Om Bhuvah Om Swahah Om Manah Om Janah Om Tapah] (4th Kriya, some say this is the 5th Kriya) Cosmic Ideational to Guru Padam (seat of Kriya Yoga preceptor)
Swami Kriya (Root Kriya) Guru Padam to Kaivalyam

Once the Cosmic Consciousness is liberated, the energy of incarnation (Alaya) returns to the Astral Soul. At this stage the kriyaban receives a new order of Kriya techniques. Swami Charan Das refers to these as “Adi Kriya.”

He speaks of Adi Kriya in his article in Discoveries on the Path entitled, “The Role of Kriya Yoga in the Mudrashram® Tradition:”

“Adi Kriya comprises seven steps…[They are] revealed by the Cosmic Master or [Kriya] Guru to [the kriyaban who has achieved] Jivan Mukta. It leads progressively through:”

  1. The four higher initiations of the Cosmic Sphere.
  2. Grants the vision of the Masters of the Cosmic Hierarchy.
  3. Unfolds the [Supracosmic] Soul through the second [path of the] Shiva Plane into the presence of Mahavatar Babaji.
  4. Unfolds the [Supracosmic] soul through the seventh [path of the] Vishnu plane, bringing the vision of Bhagavan Krishna and Lord Vishnu.
  5. Journeys to the stage of liberation from the Supracosmic Sphere [Mahaparinirvana].
  6. [Ascends through the Fourth Transcendental Path, crossing] seven stages of mastery culminating in the Maharaj Stage, which is the origin of [the techniques of] Kriya Yoga [which can be practiced by the kriyaban].
  7. Then, by the Grace of Lord Jesus Christ, the [spirit] and the Soul [e.g., the ensouling entity of the Fourth Transcendental Path] are translated to the stage of spiritual perfection [which is called the Paradise Master].”

Swami Charan Das goes on to say, “The three primal teachers of the Kriya Yoga tradition are Lord Jesus Christ, Bhagavan Krishna, and Mahavatar Babaji, who progressively guide the Soul [e.g., ensouling entity] through the Cosmic, Supracosmic and Transcendental realms. Every Kriya Yoga master who reaches the Guru Padam ultimately stands in the doorway of [the] path to final liberation. Through the Grace of Mahavatar Babaji, this door is opened.”

He goes on to describe the first Adi Kriya. “Adi Kriya cannot be practiced before the Jivan Mukta stage… [The first] Adi Kriya is a breathless, mental Kriya that uses the Divine Light radiated from the Master… The attentional principle directs this Light in a very specific way when the breath is suspended… Receiving the Light and learning how and where to direct it are sacred mysteries that cannot be revealed until the disciple has become prepared by dedicated meditation, purification of the inner vehicles, inculcation of holy virtues, selfless service and devotion to the spiritual Master.”

General information can be given about the Adi Kriya techniques. These are summarized in the table below.

Adi Kriya Number Name(s) of Technique Range of Activity Description of Technique
I Kaivalyam Kriya;

Breathless, Deathless Kriya

Cosmic Sphere to the Light of Liberation (Brahmajyoti) Light is directed to the receptacle of the Astral Soul with mental breathing.
II Soruba Samadhi Kriya Second Path of Shiva Plane in Supracosmic Sphere Mental breathing with mantra [Om Namah Shivaya, Shivaya Namah Om]
III Cosmic Fire Kriya I Through Seventh Path of the Vishnu Plane to Liberation from Supracosmic Sphere (Mahaparinirvana) [Note: this can be practiced on any Path in the Supracosmic where your Supracosmic Soul dwells; the technique is revealed on Vishnu 7, where it is supervised by Lord Krishna] Mental breathing into Cosmic Fire vehicle of the Supracosmic Soul
IV Cosmic Fire Kriya II The 4th Transcendental Path to Maharaj stage Mental breathing into the Atmic vehicle of the ensouling entity of the 4th Transcendental Path
V Bhava Kriya Maharaj stage to Paradise Master stage Reception of the Translating Light by the spirit.

Kriya Yoga is taught by a number of modern teachers. The practice as revealed supplements the core techniques by a variety of adjunct techniques purported to heighten the absorption into the state of meditation.

Some teachers reveal the techniques up to the Cosmic Causal realm, some up to the Cosmic Ideational realm. Writings by Paramahansa Yogananda and other authors who write about Kriya Yoga do not mention the Adi Kriya techniques, or the root Kriya.

It is unclear whether this is a purposeful omission to keep these higher techniques secret, or whether these authors were not aware of these techniques at the time they wrote their exposition on Kriya Yoga.

Swami Prem Dayal and Swami Charan Das have requested that this information be placed on this web site so that kriyaban initiates and persons interested in learning more about Kriya Yoga can “learn of the higher ministry of Mahavatar Babaji, Bhagavan Krishna, and Lord Jesus Christ using Kriya Yoga.”

Swami Charan Das goes on to say, “Yogananda identified these holy Masters as being at the root of his lineage. At this time, it is important that people know of the nature of that higher ministry, so they can realize the profound depths to which Kriya Yoga can elevate the Soul.”