A friends writes and asks:
what is the quickest way to self-realization? is it self inquiry?
- The Kriya technique was given to Lahiri Mahasaya by Babaji in 1861 to be revived from centuries of priestly secrecy and human indifference. Essential to the teachings of this lineage (Babaji/Lahiri Mahasaya/Swami Sri Yukteswar/Paramhansa Yogananda) is that planet Earth and humanity have ascended into the second (of four) ages (called Dwapara).
- Ours is an age of discovery of finer matters and electricities; technology; travel; communication.
- Religious dogmas, rituals, and sectarianism will gradually be replaced by a deeper understanding that each true faith tradition represents a call to go within and to seek and know God within you (and from that experience, therefore, within all creation). Yogananda said that in this age of another at least 2000 years, the concept and motive of Self-realization will be the dominant motivation of spiritual seekers no matter what faith tradition they embrace.
- The essence of God-contact within comes, then, from meditation. Kriya Yoga, more than physical (hatha) yoga, or breathing exercises, works with and towards the subtle, astral body's energies to life our consciousness towards divine states wherein the Self can be realized.
- The practice of Kriya doesn't, itself, require or prevent outward religious affiliation. It is given, however, in the context or relationship of discipleship to the lineage from whom it is received. But this doesn't necessarily prevent continued participation in one's cultural or given religion. The disciple-guru relationship can be seen, in our age (Dwapara), more like one's personal teacher. (Like Jesus, great saints lived centuries after Jesus' physical incarnation. Why? Because an ascended master is not barred by the lack of a physical form.) For Christians, Jesus is considered in this lineage, but for those in other faith traditions, they can continue to honor and practice their faith while having, in private so to speak, their kriya and kriya masters. One with no faith tradition but with sincere dedication to know the Self, Kriya is surely supreme! (There is a sentence in the "Autobiography of a Yogi" that says "Through the use of the Kriya key, persons who cannot bring themselves to believe in the divinity of any man will behold at last the full divinity of their own selves.")