150TH Anniversary of Kriya Yoga Revival
Exactly 150 years ago, in the autumn of 1861, a significant turning point in the spread of India’s yoga teachings occurred. It was then that Kriya Yoga, the sacred science of soul-realization, was resurrected after centuries of near-dormancy, and made accessible to all earnest seekers – sparking a spiritual renaissance that today shows no signs of waning.
Kriya Yoga – the supreme expression of the science of yoga meditation – includes techniques of pranayama (life-force control), whose correct practice reinforces and revitalizes subtle currents of life energy in the body, eventually leading to inner stillness and superconscious perception of Spirit.
This ancient practice was lost for centuries in the dark ages and taught only to ascetics. But in a remote cave in the Himalayan Mountains in the autumn of 1861, the great yogi householder Lahiri Mahasaya experienced his first encounter with his guru, Mahavatar Babaji, and received Kriya Yoga from him. It was at this seminal meeting – immortalized in the pages of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi – that Babaji instructed Lahiri Mahasaya to teach Kriya openly – for the first time – to all earnest seekers. He later requested Lahiri Mahasaya's disciple, Swami Sri Yukteswar, to train Yogananda and send him to the West to give this soul-revealing technique to the world.
Thus the seed was planted for Paramahansa Yogananda’s mission in the West and the establishment in 1920 of his society, Self-Realization Fellowship, to spread the teaching of Kriya Yoga and its techniques of meditation. And, with the release of Yogananda’s spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi, in the latter part of his life, knowledge of and interest in Kriya Yoga began to sweep the West.
SRF temples, centers and meditation groups in more than 60 countries will mark the 150th anniversary of Kriya Yoga’s revival in a number of ways, including special talks at Sunday services and public lectures around the world. The occasion provides a special opportunity to reflect on the soul-awakening science that to date – 150 years from the historic meeting in the Himalayas – has transformed the lives of millions of those on the pathway to the Divine. For more information, visit www.yogananda-srf.org.