A Scientific approach to Kriya Yoga

A Scientific approach to Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga is a scientific technique, non-sectarian and free from dogmatic view. If you practice it 10 to 15 minutes a day, it gives simultaneous benefits to body, mind, intellect, and Soul. Kriya yoga is meant for all of us. The discussion will be based on the following aspects:

  • What we are?
  • What are we are composed of?

Types of Bodies

Let us analyze the constituents of the human body. Until and unless you know that, you can’t understand how Kriya Yoga is going to benefit us. The other portion of the discussion shall highlight the scientific aspects of Kriya Yoga.

  • How is it based on human anatomy?
  • How is it a method of Neuro-hormonal and Neuro-psychological system, utilizing the biological as well as a psychological force?
  • How along with the breathing technique, does it improve our well-being?
  • How does it improve our 3 bodies?

The 3 Bodies

Please don’t be surprised when I say we have 3 bodies when we can see only one. In Yogic literature, it is mentioned that we have,

  • The Gross Body– made up of blood, flesh, fat, bone, skin, etc. It is the Visible Form.
  • The Subtle Body is the Invisible Form
  • The Causal body– You may ask, whose body is this

These 3 bodies belong to the Soul. The Soul is the Master. For better understanding, I will mention one verse from the Upanishads. The author has given a beautiful example,

आत्मानं रथिनं विद्धि शरीरं रथमेव तु। बुद्धिं तु सारथिं विद्धि मनः प्रगहमेव च॥
इन्द्रियाणि हयानाहुíवषयांस्तेषु गोचरान्‌। आत्मेन्द्रियमनोयुक्तं भोक्तेत्याहुर्मनीषिणःatmãnam rathinam vidhi shariram rathameva tu buddhim tu sarathim viddhi manaha pragahameva cha॥
Indriyãni hayãnãhurvishayãnsteshu gocharãn atmendriyamanoyuktam bhoktetyãhurmaneeshinaha


English Translation:

The meaning is very significant. This one stanza explains the human body and the system

  • atmãnam rathinam vidhi :  The horse carriage, we call it as Chariot, war chariot. The Invisible Soul is the Master, the Rider.
  • shariram rathameva tu : The Chariot of the Carriage is the Body
  • buddhim tu sarathim viddhi : Who is the Charioteer? It is the Intellect

The Gross Body

The 5 Sense Organs are the Horses and Mind is the horse’s rein. All the objects of senses, various enjoyments are the different paths through which the horses run. If you have good control over the senses, then you can drive fast in the shortest possible path and can reach your destination quickly, without any delay or obstacles. If your horses are beyond your control, then there will be an accident, injury, delay and suffering. this example is stated to understand the Gross Body

The Subtle Body

What is the Subtle Body? Mind, Intellect, and Ego. When I say Mind, it is the Ego Principle. The soul is beyond it. Mind, Intellect, and Ego constitute the Subtle Body

The Causal Body

Causal Body is that which has caused us to be born, pleasant and unpleasant experiences, sorrow, misery, premature old age, dangers, etc. These are our own earnings, as per The Law of Action of Karma. Whatever we think and do, gets deposited as subconscious in the Brain (Pons and mid – Brain), and that works out.

The Science of the Brain

You know from your knowledge of physics that, energy is never destroyed. It gets transformed. So, what we are undergoing, is our own action on our part in this very life itself. The behavioral scientists, the psychologists, and the para-psychologists say that we get the experience right from the mother’s womb. Previously, they were not believing this fact. Now scientists have evidence to believe that the infants start getting the experience right from the mother’s womb and after it is born, it continues to learn. The heredity and the environment are always with him. Now, it is up to him to cultivate, to culture, and to channel his life. What do you want to be in your life, a doctor, an engineer, a politician, an architect, a businessman….? It is up to you to decide.

This shows that our destiny is in our hands. You can control it if you know the process. Kriya Yoga is the easiest and the quickest technique by which we can control our own lives can control our surroundings and environment. These are briefly some facts about the 3 bodies. The owner of the 3 bodies is residing there; unknown and unmanifest. He has got Infinite power and friends inside all of you. If you take a moment and think silently, everything you observe around is nothing but the activities of your brain. You are sitting here, the gravity is pulling you. When you are writing, your hands are so nicely controlled. Beautiful letters get written. If one part of the brain is damaged, i.e, Cerebellar Degeneration, then he can’t walk in a straight line, he will fall down. This shows that everything is happening in the brain. In Kriya Yoga, we say, there are 3 vital things,

  • The Soul
  • The Brain
  • The Spinal Cord
scientific image of the brain

You are talking; it is your brain that is talking for you. You are listening, it is your brain. You are hearing a lecture, it is your brain that is hearing the lecture. You are remembering your friends and relatives, it is your brain again which is remembering them. You want to see Swamiji and to practice Kriya Yoga to improve your life, it is your brain which wants to do so. When you respond to your friends, when you love your wife, your husband, your children, your parents, when you entertain your friends, when you talk to your boss or your subordinates, it is the brain which is doing so.

New York City was not here before. It took an idea in somebody’s brain and now New York is the greatest metropolis in the world. Everything is the brain. The Yogis realize it. The brain controls the entire system through the spinal cord. The spinal cord is the continuation of the Medulla-oblongata. Medulla-oblongata is the vital center of the brain. If it stops working or is damaged, then the person is dead. The network of nerves goes around the body. You feel a mosquito sitting on your hand. What you really feel is not on the spot, but in the brain through the Thalamus in the sensory cortex and motor cortex. Constantly millions of nerve impulses are going on, action, reaction, interaction, connection, disconnection; known as the ascending reticular activity system.

scientific image of the brain - the ascending reticular activity system

Even during sleep, it is functioning. The entire thing is in the brain and the spinal cord. It is why the brain is known as the Kingdom of God. So, it is our foremost duty to cultivate our brain and spinal cord for spiritual upliftment and material well-being.

Importance of Health & Kriya Yoga

Some conservative people say that materialism is not required. Only Kriya Yoga, the scientific yogic system asserts that you need materialism as well. You need food. Without food, how can you energize your system? How can you do Sadhana – The Spiritual Practice?

शरीर माद्यं
śarīra mādyaṃ

First is the human body. Take care of the body. That is the instrument by which you can achieve everything. The body and the mind are closely connected. The sound body implies the sound mind. Without it, you can’t achieve anything.

The All-Pervading God

God, by definition, is All-Pervading. He also pervades in the Matter. So the material aspect also harbors spirituality. The real meaning of Kriya is KRI and YA. There is no Non-God. There is no negative. It is all God. He is in you, in me, in everyone. He is also pervading the empty space all around, above and below. Such simple truth we are forgetting most of the time. If you remember that the All-Pervading Divine is active in us and is protecting us in every way, is there any real danger?

We are in danger because we forget Him. Whatever activity you are doing, you carry on your duty yourself; to your profession, to your family, to your friends, relatives, your duty to the community, to your country, and to humanity. There is a beautiful saying in The Bhagavad Gita,

suchir daksha


Who is a Yogi?

He who is pure in body and mind, who is an expert in his profession, who is skillful; is a Yogi. This is also said in Kriya Yoga. Kriya means, you do your duty efficiently. Whatever you are doing, do it well but remember the Doer.

  • Who is the Doer?
  • How to know Him?

Who is the Doer ?

The Soul is the Doer. To remain peaceful and to be free from any apprehension, nervousness, we have to focus our attention at the mid-point of our eyebrows, 4 inches deep inside. Why at the mid-point of the eyebrows, 4 inches deep? Because that is the seat of the Soul. This is why Kriya Yoga means always watch the Doer. Some say it is the Power of God which is doing every activity. In India, particularly the Hindus, with devotion they say that it is the Divine Mother, which is the Primordial Energy (Shakti).

They are quite close to the Truth. I will give a practical day-to-day example. Suppose, I don’t take food for seven days, then I will not be able to talk. If I don’t take food for 15 days, can I get up? Not only that, the voice will not come out. If I still abstain from food, my brain will not function. My thoughts will not be there. The brain will go blank, comparable almost to a dead body, Coma Stage. Still, if I don’t take food, I will die. So this life is lost, I will lose a golden opportunity of evolving higher for God-Realization.

Then what is the secret?

If I don’t take food, why can’t I work? The answer is simple. Will your car still run, if you don’t fill it up with fuel? So this body car will not move if you don’t fill fuel inside it in the form of food.

What is food? 

It is the concentrated, solidified energy. How has this energy come to food? From our preliminary knowledge of photosynthesis in Botany; we know from the Sun. From sunlight, plants get energy, transform and store it. Human beings eat, digest, and assimilate them. After assimilation, it is metabolized. After metabolism, the result is energy and waste product. The waste products in the form of liquid, solid, and gas are given out of the body through the excreta. Energy is utilized for the purpose you are destined to. You can use this energy for a constructive purpose, for spiritual upliftment, intellectual development. Both positive and negative are present. Every human being has got infinite potentiality, it depends upon how we use it.

Practical Spirituality

Every person has got special quality, some are administrators and so on. But the common thing in everybody is that there is one force pulling him upwards (Urdhwa Vritti) and another force pulling him downwards (Adaha Vritti). We have to overcome the downward pulling force which is the evil force, we have to give a boost to the Urdhwa Vritti, which is pulling us up. You must have read so many scriptures, heard many lectures, teaching that you should be good, do good, lead a pious life. Don’t be attached to too many things. What is to be done? How is it to achieve these? What is the technique? Kriya Yoga is the technique. It tells you directly, to do it step-by-step and the benefits you get out of it.

There is no other technique except Kriya Yoga which scientifically, quickly, safely gives you the process of how to utilize this. It tells us how one can overcome these animal instincts, rational qualities and can go up to the Supernatural Quality. Only very few other processes can teach it. Kriya Yoga is a practical spirituality that provides spirituality in a material atmosphere. Achievement, success, prosperity, wealth, health, peace, and everything we need, we can get all these only by following this process of Kriya Yoga techniques, sincerely, with love and faith (Sraddha).

May the Almighty, working through Lord Krishna and Arjuna, Bless, Guide, Protect and Inspire you and remove your troubles.

With Love and Blessings to you. Humbly,
Paramahansa Atmananda Ji