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Date Posted: 07:33
Author: Shivanath-1Sep02
Subject: Re: Kriya at Ananda
In reply to: Anonymous-31Aug02 's message, "Re: Kriya at Ananda" on 07:30

“Why, if it is not an important part of Omkar Kriyas, did Lahiri Mahasaya teach Kechari Mudra and require it for practice of Omkar Kriyas? “

There is no question that kechari is an important technique, and can be a powerful adjunct to any other technique. Of course you know that Lahiri advocated performance of kechari in all kriya sadhana, including the mudras. Not just omkar kriya. Yogananda, in his writings, recognizes the power of kechari mudra.

If you will allow this comparison, it is a “cost/benefit” analysis. Kriya itself, represents a distillation of Yoga sadhana designed to make yoga accessible to the householder. Certainly, there were yoga techniques not included in the “original” Kriya taught by Lahiri which were deemed at the margin to be too “costly” in terms of the time and effort needed to master those techniques, in return for the “benefit” derived for the “general public” of that time. Complete, successful kechari is not common. As you know, it is so difficult, ancient yogic texts suggest that one cut the frenum as an aid to freeing up the tongue (to which of course Lahiri was adamantly opposed).

“…Kechari Mudra is an essential ingredient” and “…the difference in the experience with and without Kechari is light years apart. No intellectual articulation can prove it or explain it. I must state it as a matter of experience.”

I honor your experience. It can only be observed that Yogananda dropped the requirement for successful kechari, so he apparently did not feel it was essential.

“Now does all this mean that Paramhamsa Yogananda broke tradition and his kriyas dont work? I would say NO! He was more than qualified to adjust kriya for the general public. This is my opinion as well as others that i have observed here. I believe he had the blessings of his Guru, and of Babaji.”

You may not intend this, but the kechari discussions always seem to have a club-like aspect. Those who can do - the elect - belong. Others - “the general public” - are not good enough to join. So Yogananda had to “adjust kriya for the general public.” This is a species of the same tension that has always existed between sanyasins and householders regarding the necessity of celibacy to reach the highest in yoga. Householders cannot join the club. Did Babaji, who himself was apparently celibate, therefore adjust Kriya for the “general public” by eliminating celibacy as a requirement? Is Kriya more powerful if practiced with celibacy? There are obviously those who believe that.

I would agree that Yogananda modified kriya with Babaji’s blessing and in accord with Babaji’s vision to make yoga sadhana increasingly accessible to householders. It doesn’t mean that one way is better or worse than another.

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