Kriya Yoga - FAQs
What is Kriya Yoga?
Kriya Yoga is an ancient technique of Self-Realization. Kriya
Yoga consists of several physical and mental techniques that awaken
the sleeping Kundalini and Chakras (or lotuses).
What is Kundalini?
Kundalini is the sleeping dormant energy in human beings situated at the
base of the spinal column. In most of us Kundalini resides as a static or
potential energy. However, using various yogic techniques, it can be made
dynamic or kinetic. The word Kundalini literally means “the one who is
coiled”. Another meaning of the word Kundalini refers to “the
one who sleeps in a pit or cavity”.
In most of us the Kundalini is sleeping at the base of spine in a region
called Mooladhara Chakra. Through Kriya Yoga techniques the Kundalini is
made to ascend through Sushumna nadi piercing all the six chakras. When the
Kundalini reaches Sahasrara, Samadhi is attained. Thus for practitioner of
Kriya yoga taking the Kundalini in the Sahasrara is the key goal.
What are Chakras?
The Sushumna nadi runs through the spinal column. Along the way it has
six energy centers often called as Chakras or lotuses. The six chakras are
named as Mooladhara, Swadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddhi and Ajna.
There is one more important area that lies in the brain. It is called as
Sahasrara. Sahasrara is not actually a Chakra by itself but rather the final
The following table gives details about each chakra:
Who invented Kriya Yoga?
Though the exact origin of Kriya Yoga is lost in the pre-history
it remains a fact that ancient Indian Yogis invented this science of
God realization. There are several ancient Yogic texts that speak of
the Kriya Yoga techniques in detail. In his Yoga Sutras the
sage Patanjali terms Kriya Yoga as a threefold path of
Self-study, Austerities and surrendering everything to God. A more
direct and clear reference to Kriya Yoga is found in Shiva
Samhita in which Lord Shiva says - "By the practice of
Kriya success is attained. Without Kriya how could one attain
success? Hence, Yogis should practice Kriya as per guidelines."
What is the difference between Hatha Yoga and
Hatha Yoga and Kriya Yoga both work towards the same goal.
However, Hatha Yoga gives more emphasis on Shatkarmas, Asanas and
various Pranayamas. On the other hand Kriya Yoga stresses more on Kundalini, Chakras and meditative practices. It can be seen from
ancient texts that Hatha Yoga actually adopts Kriya Yoga at many
places. Many practices are common to both of these paths.
What is the difference between Kundalini Yoga
and Kriya Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga is an umbrella term given to any path that awakens
the sleeping Kundalini. Ancient texts talk about four kinds of Yoga
paths namely Mantra Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Laya Yoga and Raja Yoga. All
of these paths work towards awakening of the Kundalini and when you
say Kundalini Yoga it can refer to any of them. Kriya Yoga uses best
of all the worlds. Often the words Kundalini Yoga and Kriya Yoga are used
What is the difference between Raja Yoga
and Kriya Yoga?
Raja Yoga is the highest form of Yoga that deals with mind and
meditation. For most of the people directly attaining meditative
state is too difficult. After practicing Kriya Yoga, the prana and
mind is tuned for higher spiritual awakening. Kriya Yoga includes
techniques that lead you to the final destination in step by step
Who can teach me Kriya Yoga or Kundalini Yoga?
A person can teach you something if he himself has thorough
understanding and experience of the subject. Ideally speaking a
Self-realized person is the best guide. However, not everyone can
find such a person. So at least a Yogi who himself has awakened Kundalini
through this path can be chosen as a guide. In the absence of these
conditions it might be a venture where one blind is guiding
I heard that Kriya Yoga can be taught only by
authorized lineages of spiritual masters. Is it true?
This is not true. Nobody can authorize any specific person,
organization or lineage to teach Kriya Yoga. An able Guru
irrespective of his lineage can impart this teachings to his
I heard that Kriya Yoga belongs to Babaji and
Lahiri Mahashaya. Can you tell me more on that?
Neither Babaji nor Lahiri Mahashaya is known to have claimed that
Kriya Yoga is their invention. However, credit goes to them for
re-introducing the techniques in recent times. Kriya Yoga is a very
old system whose roots can be found in ancient Tantrik and Yogic traditions.
Is a Guru must for learning Kriya Yoga?
Yes. However, your Guru can come in any form - human, book or
even internet. Learning under the guidance of a Guru in human form
is of course the best and recommended way. It is observed that in
modern age getting a right Guru has become very difficult. If your
desire for spiritual progress is real and honest, then the God will
send you a Guru in appropriate form. Rather than debating and
worrying too much on this issue it is best to check what works for
Can Kriya Yoga be learnt online?
Traditionally the sacred knowledge of Kriya Yoga is transmitted from a Guru
to his disciples. Even today this remains the best way of learning Kriya Yoga.
However, it is observed that there are many aspirants in present world who
cannot learn this ancient science directly under a Guru because of variety of reasons. Some of the
- Lack of competent Guru
- Inability to spare time in a specific, rigid time slot
- Geographical distance between aspirant and Guru making it difficult to
get direct guidance
- Other personal reasons
Considering this we feel that such an online course will benefit many
interested individuals. The techniques on this web site are written in simple
and lucid language so that even a beginner can understand them easily. If you
follow the instructions and listen to your mind-body equipment at each stage
then you can certainly practice these techniques. Rather than debating
about whether such a mode of learning is good or bad we suggest that you see
what works for you.
Is Kriya Yoga for any specific religion or caste?
Not at all. The Kundalini is present in every human being and
since Kriya Yoga deals with this universal energy, it is equally
applicable to all religions and castes.
How many techniques are involved in Kriya Yoga?
Ancient Yogic texts speak of dozens of techniques for Kundalini
awakening. However, one can see a clear overlap of techniques among
these texts. Especially, many Mudras, Pranayamas and meditative
techniques are common to many ancient texts.
On what basis you have selected your set of techniques?
There are many levels of practitioners with varying degrees of
suitability in terms of body and mind. Not all kriyas can be
practiced by all. For example, most of the people will find Khechari
Mudra too difficult to attain. Also, considering time factor not all
the kriyas can be practiced by individuals. The kriyas presented on
this site are highly effective in nature. They can be practiced even
by an average Yoga aspirant who is sincere and regular. These kriyas are time honored and
one can easily see their effectiveness after starting the practice.
I heard that Khechari Mudra is a mandatory part
of Kriya Yoga. If so, why don't you recommend it?
No doubt Khechari Mudra is said to be one of
the best Mudras in ancient texts. However, not all can practice it.
The practice of Khechari Mudra involves cutting and lengthening of
tongue. This can be dangerous if not done properly. Some kriya
teachers ask their students to fold the tongue and place it such
that its lower part touches the palate. They call this practice as
Khechari Mudra. This is not true. This practice is a preliminary
practice called Nabho Mudra. Hatha Yoga Pradipika mentions that
though different in terms of technique, Khechari Mudra and Shambhavi
Mudra give the same results.
Can Kriya Yoga be practiced along with other
Absolutely. If you have time, energy and desire to do so you can
certainly combine Kriya Yoga with other paths. However, you may
realize that this path alone can lead you to the goal.