Some light on Kriya Yoga



I had a discussion with a fellow yogi this afternoon about Kriya yoga. My understanding has always been that you need initiation into Kriya yoga. You can do the asanas and pranayama, but they won’t be as effective as when you had an initiation. According to her this is not necessary and that the Kriya yoga she does is so powerful that you don’t need initiation. She at lenght explained to me some of the asanans and pranayama etc.

Can somebody shed some light on this please.



I have always had a tendency to be free from any conditioning and any limiting mind-structure. So I do not care much for traditional rules, not even the yoga ones, for they are limiting and contradicting the essence of freedom in some levels.

If you have been taught that you need initiation in order for any form of yoga to work, [I]your experience will match your belief[/I]. Your friend’s belief is that she doesn’t need initiation and that her way of doing kriya yoga is very powerful, hence: that will be her experience.

So there is no yes or no answer for this question. I cannot say yes you need initiation or no you don’t need initiation in order for Kriya Yoga to work. If you belief you need initiation, then yes you will need initiation. If you belief you don’t need initiation, than the answer will be no, you don’t need it in order for Kriya Yoga to work perfectly for you. There is no rule, no solid answer for anything. It all depends on your mind mate.


Hi Pandara, I noticed that there is a list of forums and message boards for devotees of kriya yoga on this web page: Message Boards |

Maybe they can tell you more about how much kirya yoga one can practice without initiation. In autobiography of a yogi, i think yogananda talks about the solo seeker/practioner, but i read his book so long ago, hard to remember


I’d wager you probably don’t need initiation. You could still obtain liberation without it.

But my question is, why would you want to?

Why wouldn’t you want to receive initiation into Kriya from a master who has already obtained the goal using this tool. One who can help, guide and bless you (even if they aren’t physical present)?

25% our effort. 25% effort of the Guru. 50% God’s grace… That’s the formula I like.



I myself received my Kriya Yoga initiation in 2004 from Sri Shibendu Lahiri (he is a direct descendant of Lahiri Mahashay refer here to [I]Autobiography of a Yogi[/I] and for more info to Kriya Yoga Lahiri family tradition - Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Tincori, Satyacharan, Shibendu) and it is difficult for me to say if you need initiation or not. In my own classes I teach some of the Kriya and incorporate it with the rest of my students’ yoga programme, who hasn’t received initiation. Does it benefit me more because I had the initiation and they not, I cannot say yet, it is too early.

Benthinho definitely made me think about my preconceived perceptions about certain aspects of yoga and I appreciate his input here tremendously. Yoga is about freedom and ultimately we must have the freedom to allow people to set themselves free in an appropriate way and which they deem to be suitable to them.

Most importantly is that I can accept that some may need initaition and others may not, depend if it is available or not. To me it was and I took it, it might not be so readily available to others and I accept that they are on a path which is appropriate for them, like my friend who challenged me on this and my humble and most sincere appreciation and gratitude to her for bringing me to this lesson and insight.


So long as you practice kriya or anything correctly, from a teacher or book or DVD, you do not need initiation. This is logical, because it is how you practice that matters. However, if it is an initiation of passing some spirits or energy to you directly, this would be reasonable. If you know you have the right lecture, please go ahead and practice. I practice yoga and meditation without any initiation, and it works.


May I quote from the late Kanchi Paramacharyal, Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati:
"Guru is always depicted by shAstras as an anubhavi (one who has seen the Truth directly): ?brahma-nishhTha? in Upanishads, ?tatva-darshinaH? in the Gita. Such a person, who has truly realised Brahman ? would such a person be available in modern times? Don?t worry about it. If you are crying in true anguish with sincere mumukshhutA (longing for Release) the Lord will not fail to show you such a one. Whether he is a brahma-nishhTa or not all the time, you will be shown the best available one and the Lord Himself will enter into him at the time when you are being givn the mahAvAkya-upadesha. That is how it happens. That is how. No doubt about it.
[Note by the Collator Shri R. Ganapathy:
Here the Mahaswamigal speaks with great conviction,
emotion and emphasis that he is passing on a great truth]
Just as the disciple is feeling the anguish whether an anubhavi guru will be available even these days, the Lord is also looking for, with the same anguish (!) whether a proper mumukshhu is going to come; so such a person would not be missed by Him. Maybe He will not appear in concrete form in the body of a human Guru, but it is possible that He manifests as a subtle guru in the very antar-AtmA of the disciple and grace him. But if I say it this way, it may turn out in this independent age where humility is wanting, people might go with the impression: ?Even the Shankaracharya of the mutt has said so. A separate individual as a Guru is not necessary. The Lord will come into us directly and grace us from the inside?. It is really very rare for such a thing ?without an external human guru, for the Lord Himself to come as an internal guru – to happen. Rare top-ranking mumukshus will have that privilege. Or if there is an enormous amount of pUrva-samskAra from the earlier lives, even if one is not a mumukshhu but just an ordinary person, the Lord Himself on His own pulls him out and blesses him with all grace. To make this the general rule is totally wrong.


I’d like to see your friend deeply believe she is a master carpenter and then set her loose with some power tools in her home to see what the byproduct is.


:slight_smile: IA, indeed that would be interesting. But, then she is gay and quite handy with power tools, has taught me a few things about using power tools and some carpentry.


What is a guru, by the way:
A guru can be

  1. A personal teacher
  2. Many personal teachers
  3. The dosumented teachings of the above gurus plus your sound intellect. This third one depends on belief, discernment, high IQ.
  4. Life’s mischief itself. This requires no IQ at all, just an innocent heart who trusts in some almighty and surrenders in all its sorrows. Then a light might shine within.
    Unfortunately, gurus are making a lot of money by denying this, nowadays. The best example to show is get a regular job, even part-time, which is nothing spiritual, even if you have reached enlightenment. There is no need to quote, we should not repeat things, people are of various intellectual abilities. I have never had a yoga, meditation, mathematics of programming teacher. But I am doing okay.


I’d like to think the purpose of yoga would have an end result that would exceed “okay”.


Yes, and then when one do get a teacher one day you suddenly realise there are many more ways to calculate 1+1. The value of a teacher, no matter who or what, is important and one should never down play that importance. Remember the teacher comes in many forms, of which the human form is but a fraction.


if he is doing ok with doing okay, what more could you wish for? buhda said it is better to travel well then to arrive,


Indeed he has the freedom to voice his opinion. However he must therefore be prepared to accept comment on that opinion. The user has stated quite clearly that you DO NOT NEED A GURU . If we are talking about carpentry or some other profession then this may indeed be true. We are talking here however of the height of human evolution, attaining the Almighty Himself. The Upanishads do not call it the razor’s edge for nothing. It is the thing most worth attaining and as such it is the most difficult of tasks. In this kaliyug where humility is indeed wanting it seems that every second person is self realized. Of all these that claim, perhaps 1 - 2 % have really attained That. Surely we are all the blind leading the blind. Surely only those who Know should be giving advise. Are we not just a bunch of ignorant egos voicing are various opinions. What the use? There will just be a counter and counter to that. I quit:-)


One would not deny that Kriya or any other meditation without a guru/initiation works to some extent. Some peace of mind can be obtained. The question is whether it is correct for souls like us, trapped in the illusion of samsara to state like wise jnanis “you do not need initiation”. You do not need initation to PRACTICE, but are you seriously seeking God?
To reach the Ultimate is decribed in upanishads as “the razor’s edge”. Those who have reached this state advise us it is the only worthwhile pursuit in this life, and being such is also the most DIFFICULT. THis is not carpentry we are talking about, not even brain surgery, but snubbing out the ego, the “I”. A little like biting ones own teeth - I seeking to destry I. Rare sages like Sri Ramana Maharshi or Ramakrishna Paramahamsa may have obtained this state without a human guru (although even Ramakrishna had mentors) due to their efforts in previous births, but even they tell us for the majority of humanity a human guru is required. Us ignorant fools are like the blind leading the blind -each one putting forth his/her limited viewpoint based on his/her experience.
BTW regarding the quote of Buddhas" this saying is ‘attributed’ to Shakyamuni but can you give me the sutra wherein it is contained?
Light to all - no matter how many lives it may take us!


Proof that God exists. If He is there and is so kind, why should his children even seek Him. He should seek us. So many people suffering, where is He?
Also, one guru says Kriya has nothing to do with spirituality. It is for the health.


In realising your own Divinity you realise God within and there is no need to question neither to proof That.


guru brahma
guru vishnu
guru devo maheswara
guru sakhal parabrahma
thasmye sri guruve namah

the creation is your guru
the operation is your guru
and destruction is your guru
Guru is the creator…operator…and destructor of Ego
he is the pure consciousness itself.


Yes…we are a bunch of egos.And …someone who attains realisation.:)For what can ego do for him by claiming ot not claiming it.


Just putting my 2 cents in: I’d say you definitely need initiation. It is of utmost importance to have genuine contact with the kriya lineage. Anything else would be a sham. peeesh!