Will Kriya Yoga Practice Lead to Moksha?
Love and longing for God, austere sadhana, renunciation and severe secrecy regarding holy matters are commonly misunderstood by many. For this very reason some people respect religion from distance. But you see, spiritual essence, deep philosophy of life and societal structure which in turn has helped to build up the spine of human existence has indeed come from an origin- from thought processes that has revolutionized the way we think and become.
But the need of spirituality fused life is not only limited for a good societal structure, rather deep down there must be something which can elevate our thoughts to a sublime level of consciousness. We must enquire and seek that. Now, let us see what Upanishads tell us in this regard- in Mundak Upanishad ,we find Shounik asking Angirasa; “Knowing ‘what’ can lead us to the knowledge of everything?” the answer is “ The knowledge ParaVidya, leads to Brahman or Akshara vastu”.
This Brahman is absolute and unchangeable. But simultaneously the emergence of the entire cosmos is through it. How come? The Upanishads explain this as an analogy with the phenomenon of a spider web emerging from a spider. The web itself has emerged out of the spider, but even then, it can reside upon it. But in this entire phenomenon Brahman is absolutely still; as with his will force he emerges out as ‘Hiranyagarbha’ or ‘prana’. Next follows ‘manas’ thought, ‘panchabhuta’ and creation begins to start. All this happens with the help of the primordial principle of creation or ‘Maya’. (Mundak Upanishad; 1/1/8)
The ‘jiva’ bhava is unstable prana, and stable prana is ‘shivatwa’ or God. That is, human nature comes into existence when prana assumes unstability, and when it becomes stable, or still, it is God; and that is why many masters have said that “God is nothing but a state of existance”. Now, how do you achieve that?
“purusha ebedang vishwakarmo tapo brahmaparamritam,
etedya veda nihitang guhayang sohavidyagranthing
bikiratiha somya’’ (Mundak Upanishad; 2/1/10)
-meaning this entire cosmos is the embodiment of this ‘purusha’ even tapasya and other karma is also him; one who knows this ‘parabrahma’ residing in ‘cave’ frees himself of all bonds in this very birth. Readers will notice here that the word ‘cave’ is of much importance.
Every sincere sadhak or kriyavan knows for sure that this refers to the ‘bhramri guha’ of ‘kutastha’. In Shrimad Bhagvatam we see, Shri Krishna showed the entire creation and his true nature to his mother inside his mouth! This actually indicates ‘kutastha’. The Upanishads say further-
“pranava dhanu swaro hatmya brahma tallakhyamuchyate,
Apramatyena bedhyavyang swarabattanmayo bhavet”
(Mundak Upanishad; 2/2/4)
-pranava or Omkar is the bow, ‘jivatma’ is the arrow and ‘brahma’ is the target. By accurately hitting the target, the sadhak can be one with it, that is human nature will transcend to Godliness.
Upanishads also share an anecdote about two birds residing on a tree, one eating fruits and the other being still and only an observer, watching his actions. Actually the first one is ‘jivatma’ residing in our body (tree), who by the delusion of maya has to eat fruits (of actions). The other is ‘paramatma’ residing inside ‘kutastha’ is only observer.
But one can easily find out that nothing is possible without any action. In Kriyayoga, as handled down by Lahiri Mahashaya, it is told one to acquire the knowledge of ‘prana’. This ‘prana’ can be known only through selfless work, referred to as ‘nishkam karma’ in the Bhagvad Gita. Many have misunderstood a very popular shloka of the Gita,
“karmanye va dhikaraste ma phaleshukadachanah”
Many think that here selfless work means unaction and action without a goal (“ma phaleshu”). But you see, action without a goal is not possible! (except being a mad)!
Also, until one is alive, one cannot be completely bereft of action. So, it does not mean that. What action is referred here? Doing what can give us liberation? The answer is doing something, where you cannot help being the doer (so you never abide by its results). It is breathing! But in Kriya yoga pranayama, there indeed comes a stage where the prana itself comes into action and leads to ‘sthiratwa’ or stillness; in this whole process, one is only an observer. After this stillness is achieved in daily life through Kriya practice, one does not abide by the fruits of any action, even if the action is good or bad in social practice.
But a man of God usually does such work, which helps the society in moving towards a direction, as the Gita says, ‘one should do work for the upliftment of society, for the society follows the actions of the great ones’. We conclude that the heart of entire spirituality helps in bringing up a man in society who can rightly be called as an embodiment of Godliness.
Sri Aurobindo described such men as ‘divyakarmi’.
Dear readers, did you find your answer?
Great is the science that has created such men of God! Greater still, are the ones, who live amongst us as an embodiment of these principles!
 Upanishad –Swami Lokeshwarananda; Ananda publishers; (Bengalibook)
 Gita(Sadhak Sanjeevani)- Gita press, Gorakhpur (Bengalibook)
Essays on the Gita—Sri Aurobindo, Aurobindo Ashram.
Written / Submitted By: Dipanjan Dey, Kolkata region, India