Meditation and Kriya Yoga helped me to find a purpose and fulfillment in my life when I had come to the point where I thought no such thing was possible.
I grew up in San Jose, California during the 60’s and 70’s. Most of my life I was seeking happiness outside myself in things and situations found in the world. What I’d say now, in my more “yogic terms” would be that my energy was flowing outward toward the world, since birth. The “search light of my senses” were always directed outward.
I thought that if I kept expanding my interests and moving outward, eventually I would find something that would permanently satisfy and fulfill me. Therefore I led a life of regularly changing occupations, expanding my bank account, extensive world travel, frequenting innumerable restaurants and other forms of entertainment (including an untold number of rock concerts), constantly acquiring new clothes and other possessions, constantly chattering about life’s ups and downs with family and friends, and pursuing new friendships and relationships. I thought that surely I must eventually discover my “niche” in life and find contentment at last.
At last I began seeking for a church or spiritual organization that would help me feel closer to God and find inner peace. Over a period of 15 years, I went to innumerable classes and seminars, read countless number of books, and eventually understood that I would need to start meditating. Interestingly, although so many groups and organizations were talking about meditation, I could find hardly anyone who was actually doing it.
Luckily, at one point my world travels brought me to India where I observed and understood that one didn’t need to have material wealth to be happy or find inner peace. Then, when I returned back to California, a dear, older relative gave me a copy of Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda.
Soon after that I found Ananda Sangha in Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley. There, I learned to meditate with Paramhansa Yogananda’s scientific, practical techniques and began to experience the peace of my own inner self. I began to comprehend that the peace and inner joy and fulfillment that I’d been looking for my entire life — I was now finding within.
Although most situations in my life looked the same as they always had from the outside, my perception of myself and my life had shifted, and to me, everything was different. I was experiencing life from the Inside Out, and not the other way around. Life became an adventure in increased awareness, gratitude, and opportunities for spiritual growth.
I also soon realized that the Ananda members were an amazing group of people. Almost every one of them were consistently good, honorable, selfless, dedicated in service, and joyful. Swami Kriyananda, the founder of Ananda, said that “If you see one or two people like this, you might think they are special, or just very good people. But when you see this consistently with many, many people, you have to realize it’s what their doing that makes them this way.” (I have since experienced this same phenomena with Ananda devotees in many different countries and cultures, over a span of decades.)
I’ve now been with Ananda Sangha for 25 years, and now currently serving at Ananda’s Ashram in Panchsheel Park, New Delhi. I now experience daily the innumerable blessings of a balanced life that includes a consistent meditation practice, (in my case Kriya Yoga taught by Paramhansa Yogananda), harmonious, joyful fellowship with members of my spiritual family, and the blessing of being able to be of service to others.
As I move along the spiritual path I’ve come to understand that true happiness, fulfillment and peace is not possible without a dedicated, disciplined self-effort at turning the searchlight of my senses inward, and the divine, guiding presence and grace of God and Guru.
Soooo very well stated, dear Daya!
All the way from Dallas, TX, Aum, Peace, Joy, Amen!
Beautiful and inspiring. i personally have been seeking since in my late teens and came across many esoteric books and finally read autobio of a yogi. at which point i decided thats what i wanted, needed in my life as i felt such bliss and love to all things.
unfortunately after meditating, chanting and trying to live my purpose, i decided to join the world and search for money, cars, woman etc etc. jump head 30 yrs after having success etc and lost because recession. now stuck in a caribbean island with no money some days i cant eat etc. i have concluded that the past 30 yrs was a waste as ive achieved nothing. i very much would like to join a ashram and continue my studies. am currently in Jamaica and would like to ask anyone if they know of a teacher or a practising individual in jamaica. OM . Blessings
I have read “Autobiography of a Yogi” and search as far as I can for written explanation of HOW to do or learn the techniques of Kriya Yoga….with NO success…and here you provide no direct training or explanation of the “how to” about Kriya…so I am coming to the conclusion that you all do not want to make the world a happier place but to the very exclusive few who can find the scientific ways of Kriya you all are happy to develop a Private Club of select special people who have crawled over the broken glass to lear this very private technique….If it is the answer to world problems….why not male it more available…you seem to want to hold on to the secret…and not Loveling share…what is the story here ???
I am a kriyaban from this lineage. Your claims on providing kriya openly and giving it to all making the whole a happier place is probably a wrong estimation. Firstly, Kriya comes with many things inclusive such as right attitudes, devotion, and many other factors. If you read the autobiography of a yogi well, even Paramhansa Yoganandaji, meditating for a long time didnt attain the blissful state until he met his Guru, who at some point touched him and gave him that empowerment towards it.
For the whole to be a happy place, there are many tools already. Hong Sau, which Yoganandaji called Baby Kriya and Recharging Exercises, do indefinitely give a goal of inner happiness and to a certain level, ecstatic states. Kriya is on the other hand a very different technique and it’s goal and motive is direct God experience and self realization. Kriya brings about to the essence of our being, and for that, we must first bring about complete surrender to God through the many expectations as set out in Patanjali Yogasutras. It explains the many different levels of God consciousness and elaborates on the practical insights of how to possibly become more yogic in ones approach to everything. If you have been at this level, trust me, from personal experience, my Hong Sau was kriya itself. Why? Not because kriya was powerful but it was absolutely based on the many different understanding of the teachings and the patience to endure and practice it with reverence. So I hope you understand that you need to understand that the Techniques alone won’t bring about the salvation or state your looking for or for the world, but it is within the attitude and the way it is approached.
This is what i am looking for, i want to really learn how to meditate.
This is great thank you.
It’s been such a blessing to experience this spiritual journey with you! You and Keshava have created a magnetism for God and Guru in Delhi and beyond. Bless you!
With love and divine friendship,
I’m wondering where I got off on the wrong path here. My first experience with yogananda and even now I would not trade for anything in the world.I guess my “problems” began when I expected others to act differently. After all I changed, but they didn’t. Someone said you have the power to change yourself, but no power to change others. This solo journey is not always an easy one.
I’ve practice yoga :meditation/pranayama for many years /
Study Ayurveda 25+ yrs
Have looked into Kriya off and on –
But find it overwhelming to do with out more guidance then a book –
I do not live Close to a teaching center
Where are you located in ? Ananda offers online classes that can take you all the way upto kriya. Based on where you are I can point you rightly.
very beautifully explained. Thankyou .
Dear Daya ji,
It’s wonderful to read about how you found these teachings, and how they brought lasting joy in your life… very beautiful…!