(partial, informal notes on the talk CD KRIYA YOGA, Portal to the Infinite—Bro. Anandamoy)
(This talk was given on the occasion of the dedication of a temple and Brother begins by reading a short letter from Daya Ma. Included is the part that most ties in with Brother’s talk.)
“…And now through your meditative efforts it will become a spiritual hive, full of the nectar of God’s presence. My deep and earnest prayer is that all who enter these portals seeking God’s peace may find their spiritual search quenched in the limitless fountain of his love. Gurudeva has given you his blessing in these beautiful words, which are as true and meaningful today as they were on the day he first spoke them: ‘I shall pray for you and give you my deepest love, nothing greater can I give to you. True love, divine love, you cannot give unless you are unselfish and unless you know God. The more you know God, the more you will love all equally. Live peace, live God and be harmonious wherever you are.’ God love and bless you all. Daya Mata”
BROTHER ANANDAMOY: When Daya Mata mentioned that this is a spiritual hive with the divine nectar, she was referring to an illustration that the Master used to give. He used to compare churches and temples with a beehive. And there it is–where the devotee bees gather and bring the honey and fill that hive with the honey. And he used to say no matter how beautiful that hive or temple or a church is, how magnificent or how many people it will hold, if there is no honey it’s not of much value. And so he has said, CHURCH IS THE HIVE, GOD IS THE HONEY. But he didn’t stop there. He told us how to fill that hive with honey. He said kriya yoga will bring the honey for you.
And so, let us not think that the work is over after establishing and dedicating this beautiful temple… many of you have worked very hard and contributed in order to make this dedication possible. But now the work, believe it or not, now the work begins. And that means now we have the obligation to fill this hive with the honey of God-realization.
Even though we usually talk in the services about the various aspects of philosophy, we talk about the various aspects of God, the various aspects of creation; we talk about man and his relationship with creation and with God. We talk about the different laws of karma and reincarnation and about the gunas, and so on. And we talk about the various facets of the spiritual life, spiritual striving, and we talk about devotion, we talk about introspection and right attitudes and chanting, you know all those things. They’re all good. But we also talk about, and I think we should never forget this—the very core, the very essence of this teaching is kriya yoga.
This is the mission, the main mission of Self-realization Fellowship, to teach and to practice kriya yoga. The other things, the other aspects which I have mentioned, these are important, too—right attitude, devotion, all those things. But, these things people knew before the Master came, more or less, but they did not know kriya yoga. The highest science of man, the highest science of religion, the highest technique of God-realization.
So let us never forget, as we dedicate this temple I want to very much stress this point. The essence of this teaching is kriya yoga, and that’s why the Master said, kriya yoga will bring the honey for you, the honey of God-realization.
“Practice your kriya yoga and see what it does to your life.”
The Master said, of all the prophets in the world Lahiri Mahasaya gave each individual the key to the kingdom of God. As you know from reading the Autobiography of a Yogi, Babaji and the great Masters in the Himalayas gave kriya again in this new age to the great devotee and Master Lahiri Mahasaya who was the first one to spread again the teachings of kriya yoga.
Before in the dark ages people could not understand because they had no idea of the subtle forces of electricity, of energy. It is due to the new age, the scientific age, that people can understand–as a whole in general–can understand again the principle of kriya yoga, which is based on energy. And where the energy is, there is our consciousness.
And so he said, ” Of all the prophets in the world, Lahiri Mahasaya gave each the key to the kingdom of God. I want you to realize that. I did not come to preach a doctrine, I came to teach a living truth. I know God can be realized.” And then he said, “When others are wating their time with foolishness, you practice your kriya yoga and see what it does to your life.”
“Kriya means worship of God, true worship”
Kriya means worship of God, true worship. Now I want to elaborate on this because I think many devotees do not quite understand. The process of sadhana or spiritual discipline is based on pranayam. Now, pranayam, I think most of you know, pranayam does not mean breathing exercise, even though many of the yoga books interpret it as breathing exercise. Prana means energy, yama means control. There is as we breathe a corresponding flow of energy, with each breath. But that energy does not flow in, shall I say, in the right place in the right channel. It flows only in superficial (?) channel. Kriya yoga means to bring that energy into the innermost channel.
The Guru teaches the process of channelizing this prana or life energy through the sushuma which is the innermost channel in the spine, the very delicate passage through the spinal cord where the spiritual centers are and where the seat is of our divine consciousness of God within.
I have said where the energy is, there is our consciousness. And usually in our ordinary waking consciousness that energy flows automatically into our muscles and into our senses and they give us the outer perception of this material world. Our consciousness is attuned to the gross vibration of matter.
And now we begin to start practicing kriya. And when it says that kriya is natural and easy, we have found that it is not easy, it doesn’t seem natural at all, hmm? Why? Because through long years and many lives we have established patterns of habits. And this is what we have to understand, with every action, every thought, every emotion, there is a correspondence of energy in certain nerves, channels. So due to habits of action, habits of thought, habits of emotion, we have drowned out so to speak, certain patterns of the flow of energy. We are not this physical being that you think we are. More important is the underlying happening, the subtle happening of the flow of energy. And so we have created certain magnets so to speak, where that energy is flowing outward toward the external and thus giving us the limited consciousness, mortal consciousness, material consciousness.
Rechannel the energy and gradually build up the magnets in the spine
Now we begin kriya yoga and that means to rechannel that energy, and to gradually build up the magnets in the spine, in the innermost spine, where the seat—particularly in the higher centers—where the seat of the divine consciousness is, and that’s a slow process. In the beginning and for quite some time the devotee does not realize what’s going on, doesn’t feel what’s going on. It is a gradual building up of that magnet which leads the energy and leads with it the consciousness within to gradually make dynamic to our consciousness what we are, that this body is just a shell, this mind is only a superficial instrument. We are not this body, we are not this mind, we are not the ordinary outer human emotion–we are the divine consciousness of God.
And so gradually that magnet is built and becomes strong. And it is in that time when nothing seems to be happening, that’s the test. It is during this time when many devotees perhaps think, oh, there is not much to it after all, perhaps there is nothing to it. And some leave kriya yoga, leave even the spiritual path. Others are reverting back to the more superficial practices, ordinary devotion, ordinary passive meditation. Hours of chanting perhaps–I’m not knocking the chanting, that’s all right. Or reading endlessly spiritual books, reading books won’t do us any good, that will not give us God-realization.
But those that keep on practicing with faith, in the words of the Master, the guru, they will find all of a sudden that magnet has been established, and that current becomes powerful. Then you will know kriya yoga works. Why, because the inner awakening is more blissful, more deeply satisfying than any of the experiences that the senses can give, or the mind can give, or the ordinary human emotions can give. More deeply satisfying, more blissful, through the powerful magnet—you know the stronger a magnet is the more it can attract, it’s scientific.
So more and more current, more and more energy is withdrawn from the external perceptions inward towards the perception of God.
“Kriya Yoga plus devotion, it works like mathematics, it cannot fail”
I remember, 1950, early spring, I was out in the desert with the Master for a few months and every so often he said to me, “Practice kriya with deep concentration.” And I didn’t have it yet at that time, and I said, ‘Sir, when do you give it to me?’ and he said ‘Soon now.’ Next time he said again, “Practice kriya with deep concentration.” And I said ‘Sir! when do you give it to me?!’ And he went on this way, and he said ‘Soon now’. And I thought, oh boy, when I just get that kriya!
And then one day he said to me, ‘ALWAYS REMEMBER, KRIYA YOGA PLUS DEVOTION, IT WORKS LIKE MATHEMATICS. IT CANNOT FAIL.’ And I thought, boy, when do you give it to me? And this is, it’s true, it’s a science, it works like mathematics, it cannot fail. And those of you who are working on it and you seem sometimes not to get much out of it, keep on! keep on! Remember this, it works like mathematics. It’s a gradual process. It’s a gradual building up of that magnet. And then some day you will see, all of a sudden you have so-called like a breakthrough and you realize all of a sudden that magnet is strong, and that current is strong.
I want to give you a quotation by the Master, he said, “Whenever I thought God was gone, as soon as I practiced kriya yoga he was with me right then and there.” And that’s the truth. Of course, there are different degrees of that awareness. But when that magnet is established, right then, the moment that practice is there; that moment the energy is pulling inward, lifts the consciousness it gives the perception of God. And God is no more a myth or just a belief. It is a science, it is a realization.
Sometimes you see a person, so to speak, taking off like a shooting star spiritually. And people ask what has happened, boy, look at him, or look at her. There’s nothing mysterious about it. That person, that devotee simply kept on practicing kriya regularly, faithfully every day. He did the work and this is the result of it.
“The devoted practice of kriya is the cry of the devotee’s soul for being united with God”
You know, some people think they read spiritual books and perhaps crying for God and it’s just an external thing. But the devoted practice of kriya is the cry of the devotee’s soul for being united with God. Words do not mean anything, it is the work of going inward towards God, where God is manifesting within.
That’s why the different saints, of different religions, like St. Teresa of Avila said, when she wrote her instructions to her nuns, “If you want to find God, my sisters,” she said, “you’ve got to seek him inside. He is within you.” St. Augustine said, I have been looking for God all over, everywhere, and finally I found that he was inside within me, and I had been outside. That’s exactly it. Ordinarily we are outside, in the outer instrument, so to speak, and identified with that body which is nothing but a shell of flesh. Inside is God, and kriya yoga, this is the true crying of the soul for union with God. Kriya yoga, that science that brings that consciousness inside where God is.
That’s why the Master used to say, “Sitting in the silence trying to feel devotion to God may well get you nowhere. That’s why I have given you techniques.” And in the last day, the last evening before the Master left his body, he talked to us monks, and one point particularly he stressed is that you have to cultivate the desire for God. And he said, “Nobody can give it to you. You have to cultivate if yourself.
“The guru FEELS for the disciple”
The guru is the representative of God. He feels for his disciples, and leads them through kriya to the supreme state of consciousness. The guru FEELS for the disciple.
I remember, I think it was the first time we went out to the desert retreat, there was a group of monks, we went out there, we were working at the Master’s place, cleaning up the desert so to speak and the property around the Master’s house, taking away stones and clearing off dead branches and so on. And as I was working I saw just near the path where the Master used to walk a little ugly-looking desert bush. And I thought to myself, that bush has to go. And I remembered of course that the Master would never permit the chopping down of a tree or of a bush, and so I looked very carefully whether the Master was around (laughter).
I knew he was outside, and I knew he was behind the house with another group of monks. And so I thought, after all I am doing it for him so he doesn’t have to look at that ugly desert bush when he walks by. I took my shovel and started to chop that bush off by the roots, and as I was chopping vigorously, I heard the Master’s voice, ‘IS THAT DEAD OR ALIVE?’ I was just paralyzed, I realized then, being omniscient, he had picked up my thoughts as he always did, and knew what was going on in my mind, and he actually came running. And he asked again, is it dead or alive? And I said Sir, it’s…pretty dead. (laughter) It was, you know that poor thing, one or two more strokes of my shovel and it would have completely severed it, and the Master protectively held out his arms, and he said, “YOU HURT IT, YOU HURT IT. AND YOU KNEW YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE DONE IT!”
I felt just terrible, I felt as if I had beaten a little child. But then he said, ‘It will live, it will live now. Just don’t hurt it anymore.” And ever after that, whenever I went out to the desert I made a pilgrimage to that desert bush. It’s still alive, it’s miraculously kept alive through the compassion of the Master. Now, you think if he has such concern about an ugly-looking desert bush, he doesn’t feel for us, his devotees? The guru FEELS for the disciples, and leads them through kriya through the supreme state of consciousness.
Even devotion, devotion alone is not enough, it’s not pure enough. Without kriya, the mind becomes restless at this stage and cannot be concentrated on the divine. Kriya brings true devotion, but we have to practice.
“You will have to practice, then you will see what it does to you”
The Master said just taking kriya yoga, that won’t do any good, you have to practice, you will have to practice, then you will see what it does to you.
A great saint in the 15th century in India, Kabir, the Master mentions him in the AY, he said about the guru, the guru is like the washerman and the disciples the clothes to be washed. So now considering that Babaji in the first place sent kriya yoga again through Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswarji went to the trouble to train the Master for ten years to prepare him for his mission to the west to bring this highest science, and we having been fortunate to be drawn to this path, we should practice, so that the guru can wash our consciousness, meaning change our consciousness from mortal identification to the realization of God through kriya yoga. Then we practice it.
And so, let this dedication of this new temple, not just be a dedication of an outer building no matter how beautiful it is, but let it be an utter dedication, each one, an inner dedication to practice the essence of our guru’s teaching through kriya yoga, through the techniques and the other techniques. And through this we will fill this beautiful hive with the honey of God-realization. And remember this, the Master said, “IT WORKS LIKE MATHEMATICS, IT CAN NOT FAIL.”
(Closes with a prayer for devotees now and those who will come in the future, for God to “inspire them to practice these teachings for their own good, for the good of their loved ones, and all who cross their paths. “May thy love shine forever on the altar of our devotion, and may we be able to awaken thy love in all heart. Om, Peace, Amen. God bless you all.”)
Brother Anandamoy, Ranchi, 1980
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