By Nayaswami Narayan
October 1, 2019
Dharmadevi and I were at Ananda Portland this past weekend as part of a kriya retreat. We had a deeply inspiring visit filled with classes, meditations, and a kriya initiation with our friends here. It actually rained (something we rarely see in Los Angeles!). We joked with everyone that we brought the rain from sunny SoCal!
In preparing for one of the satsangs on kriya yoga, I stumbled upon a captivating passage from Autobiography of a Yogi:
The mystery of life and death, whose solution is the only purpose of man’s sojourn on earth, is intimately interwoven with breath. Breathlessness is deathlessness. Realizing this truth, the ancient rishis of India seized on the sole clue of the breath and developed a precise and rational science of breathlessness. Had India no other gift for the world, Kriya Yoga alone would suffice as a kingly offering.
Paramhansa Yogananda is saying if we can learn to change our breath, we change our life. More so, if we can learn to suspend our breath, we gain eternal life. Eternal life is beyond the dual cycles of the breath.
Jesus Christ put it another way:
Whosoever drinketh the water from Jacob’s well shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 4: 10-14
God’s living water is ecstatic joy. Through meditation, you excavate the wellspring of living water within you. Kriya yoga is one of the most effective excavation tools so you can tap into your well of “living water”.
Kriya comes from the Sanskrit root “kri” meaning action. But not just any action, it’s divine action that brings us towards breathlessness. Kriya is an ancient science of breathlessness. It leads you to actual meditation. That is to say, the being stage where you sit and enjoy the fruits of the meditation techniques.
Lahiri Mahasya called this calm after state poise, Parvatasana–the seated mountain pose. You become perfectly still: locked up in the joy of God. As the Bible says, “Be still and know I am God.” But how do you attain stillness of body and breath
Breathlessness is deathlessness (say that 10 times real fast and you might go breathless!). Try kriya yoga and cooperating with grace. Then you can conquer that final fear and ultimate foe: death itself. Your inner realization and heart will sing one immortal beat (with lyrics from Shakespeare’s sonnet that Yogananda quoted in “The Science of Kriya Yoga Chapter” from Autobiography of a Yogi):
So shalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men,
And death once dead, there’s no more dying then.