Babaji´s Kriya Yoga - origins
Babaji´s Kriya Yoga tradition flows directly from the perfected masters, Yoga Siddhas who lived and taught in Tamil, South-India. The founder of this yogic tradition, Kriya Babaji Nagaraj, synthesized Kriya Yoga from techniques taught to him by his teachers - the Mahasiddhas Agastyar and Boganathar.
Babaji initiated a great yogi, S.A.A. Ramaiah into these techniques in 1954 and 1955, near Badrinath in the Himalayas. In 1983, Yogi Ramaiah gave his student Marshall Govindan Satchidananda a set of stringent preconditions to be fulfilled before he could teach the 144 Kriyas or techniques of Babaji’s Kriya Yoga. It took Marshall Govindan several years to fulfill these conditions and start spreading Babaji´s Kriya Yoga also outside of India. In 2007, Marshall Govindan initiated me as Acharya, a Master Teacher of Kriya Yoga, giving me a spiritual name - Ishwarananda.
Babaji's Kriya Yoga includes a series of techniques or "Kriyas" grouped into five phases or branches:
- Kriya Hatha Yoga for the physical body,
- Kriya Kundalini Pranayama for the vital body,
- Kriya Dhyana Yoga techniques for learning the systematic art of mastering the mind,
- Kriya Mantra Yoga for awakening the intuition, the inspiration, and the chakras and to clean the habitual subconscious tendencies,
- Kriya Bhakti Yoga for the soul’s aspiration towards the Divine.
Possibilities to become initiated into Babaji Kriya YogaBabaji Kriya Yoga is taught directly from teacher to the student during an initiation. Since 2007, I have initiated people to Babaji´s Kriya Yoga in Estonia, Russia, and Germany. Besides me, there are five more Acharyas in the world who are qualified to initiate yoga students into all three levels of Babaji´s Kriya Yoga. The initiations carried out in Estonia take place in Lilleoru, which is part of the global kriya yoga network since 2004. More information about the initiations can be found on the webpage of Lilleoru. To be initiated into Babaji Kriya Yoga by me, there is a precondition requiring the student to first pass and practice The Art of Conscious Change I-II techniques.
Ingvar Ishwarananda about Babaji´s Kriya Yoga
It has always been important for me to find out how things and processes function in real life, beyond words, and how to apply this knowledge in practice. I have come across and practiced many teachings on my path, but when I look back and evaluate them now, I can say that they lacked either wholeness or answers to certain relevant questions. It was Babaji’s Kriya Yoga that helped me to put all the pieces of previous knowledge about human being together. Since 2007 I have been initiating people into Babaji’s Kriya Yoga as Acharya Ishwarananda. Today I can say that there is nothing else in my life but action with awareness – Kriya.
Years ago, a Buddhist friend sent me Marshall Govindan Satchidananda´s book “Babaji and the 18 Siddha Kriya Yoga Tradition”. Its description of the five-body system set all my previous knowledge and experiences into place. So I contacted him and asked him to teach Babaji’s Kriya Yoga in Estonia. In 2004 the first initiation into Babaji´s Kriya Yoga took place in Lilleoru, Estonia. During Babaji’s Samyama Kriya technique Babaji communicated to me: “Teach Kriya Yoga to people”, which was surprising and confusing to me at the time.
During one of his visits to Estonia, Satchidananda asked me to become an Acharya. He initiated me as Acharya Ishwarananda in 2007. Currently, I conduct initiations into all three levels of Babaji’s Kriya Yoga. By 2018 more than 50 of my Kriya Yoga students had completed the training of becoming a Kriya Hatha Yoga instructor and over 30 were actively teaching all across Estonia.
Looking back, I can say that I had attained stable awareness and found my True Self with the grace of Kriya Babaji before Babaji’s Kriya Yoga arrived in Estonia. I realized that he had always been with me, I just had not recognized him as the Teacher and had considered it my own insight, good thoughts, intuition, inspiration and knowledge. But it was Babaji’s Kriya Yoga that helped me to put all the pieces together.
In honor of Babaji’s Kriya Yoga, I want to say that these techniques are based on such deep knowledge about the mechanics of our inner world and the ways of influencing it, that their authenticity is beyond imagination. My respect and reverence to Babaji and Mahasiddhars for sharing these high and deep techniques with us!
My experience shows that the effectiveness of these techniques depends on the stability and depth of awareness when performing the techniques. As Acharya of Babaji’s Kriya Yoga, I have noticed that many students have difficulties in their practice. I studied the reasons and discovered three kinds of obstacles: unstable awareness or “monkey-mind”, and automatically rising emotions and mental activity. As the students do not yet have the experience of the True Self, there is no clear understanding of “who I am” and “who I am not”. There is also no clear understanding of what is going on in the inner world, what is the role of the True Self in shaping our lives and what kind of an instrument Kriya Yoga is as a means of changing one’s inner world. The Art of Conscious Change method is the result of my efforts to help my students in overcoming these obstacles.
Kriya Yoga starts when you are aware at least 90% of the time
The effectiveness of Babaji´s Kriya Yoga techniques also depends on perseverance and patience because Babaji’s Kriya Yoga is a very high teaching and does not open itself immediately. But most important is Babaji’s guidance.