The Science of Kriya Yoga

A sincere spiritual seeker who follows the path of Kriya Yoga with love and devotion and a desire for spiritual growth can attain Self-realization — even within one lifetime. This powerful yoga is a manifestation of the many yogas described in the Bhagavad Gita, but primarily it derives from:

  • Karma Yoga — detachment from the fruits of actions in the world, and more importantly, from the inner activity of the mind
  • Jnana Yoga — a disciplined intellect acquires spiritual knowledge, and this wisdom creates freedom through detachment from the fruits of actions
  • Bhakti Yoga — unconditional love is awakened by gratitude and by the joy arising from the oneness with all creation, which is cosmic consciousness

A Simple, Non-Sectarian Technique

Kriya Yoga is non-sectarian. Its simple technique causes no hardship, requires no austerities, and suits aspiring householders as well as monks. From the principles of Karma Yoga, Kriya Yoga teaches that all action, kri, is done by the indwelling soul, ya. Continuous awareness of the power of the indwelling soul can transform all activity into worship. Awareness that the soul must inhale every breath leads to mind control and liberation.

The Scientific Process of Soul Culture and the Royal Path to Self-Realization ...


The Kriya technique emphasizes the relationship between breath and mind. The breath influences the mind and vice-versa. This reciprocal relationship reveals the secret of controlling the mind: "Breath control is self-control. Breath mastery is self-mastery. Breathlessness is deathlessness." The breathless state of samadhi is the realization of the Absolute.

Direct Transmission From Teacher to Student

Kriya Yoga is a golden opportunity to reach higher states of consciousness and change your life, by developing the body, mind, intellect, and awareness of the soul. It is a quick and easy path. Kriya Yoga techniques are passed down from master to disciple, master to aspirant, teacher to student.

No written document records when the ancient tradition of Kriya Yoga began. This spiritual technique has been practiced by saints, seers, and sages from time immemorial. The rishis (seers) of the Upanishads, Shri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, Maharshi Patanjali in his Yoga Sutra, and many other masters of yoga practiced and taught this scientific method through the ages. Kriya Yoga is a powerful tool to be used by seekers of all religions in order to hasten spiritual development. Adi Shankara in the Viveka Chudamani described three things that are very rare in this world: to have a human birth, to have desire for liberation, and to have the company of a great soul and realized master.

Technique Origins

In modern times, in 1861, an elusive and mysterious master, Mahavatar Babaji, re-introduced the ancient Kriya technique to the general public through his able disciple, Shri Shyamacharan Lahiri, a pious householder. Lahiri Mahasaya, as he was popularly known, had many realized disciples. Foremost among them were Swami Shriyukteshwar Giri, who was well versed in the scriptures of both the East and West, and who attained the highest state of realization, and Shrimat Bhupendranath Sanyal Mahasaya, a householder yogi most 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 Swami Satyananda Giri, who was the president of Karar Ashram until 1971, which had been founded by Swami Shriyukteshwar in 1903. Paramahamsa Hariharananda, who was president of Karar Ashram from 1971 as well as the president of the Kriya Yoga international organizations he founded, was also a direct disciple of Swami Shriyukteshwar. Both Paramahamsa Yogananda and Paramahamsa Hariharananda were Self-realized and instrumental in spreading the teachings of Kriya Yoga around the world.

Until the time of his mortal transition into spirit, December 3, 2002, at the age of 95 (1907-2002), 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, the realized disciple and successor of Paramahamsa Hariharananda, travels the world as a powerful spiritual master, loving teacher, prolific author, and speaker. Under his loving direction, the Kriya Yoga international organizations, supported by its monks, yogacharyas, and devotees, continue to thrive.

How To Get Started

At Kriya Yoga ashrams and centers throughout the world, guided meditations are open to those initiated by authorized teachers. Introductory programs and initiations are offered regularly.

We are happy for the opportunity to help you in any way we can with your Kriya practice. To learn more about Kriya Yoga, please see the listing of the ashram or center nearest you and call the contact person directly.