Yoga, in its myriad forms, has graced the Western world for decades. From hatha to ashtanga, from vinyasa to bikram, it seems we’ve seen it all. But amidst the plethora of yoga practices, Kriya Yoga stands out, not only for its unique techniques but also for its emphasis on lineage. At the heart of this tradition is the figure of Mahavatar Babaji, a figure shrouded in mystery and veneration. In this post, we’ll delve into why lineage is so critical in Kriya Yoga, its history, and the transformative power of practicing within a lineage.
Mahavatar Babaji: The revered progenitor
Before understanding the lineage, it’s pivotal to understand Babaji. Mahavatar Babaji, often simply referred to as Babaji, is considered a deathless yogi who has been present for centuries. Stories abound of his timeless youth, his ability to appear and disappear at will, and most importantly, his role in reviving and safeguarding the practice of Kriya Yoga.
It is believed that Babaji reintroduced this ancient yogic technique to modern times, passing it to his disciple Lahiri Mahasaya in the 19th century. This marked the revival of a lineage that would go on to influence countless lives.
The pillars of a Kriya Yoga lineage
In the spiritual domain, lineage isn’t merely about tracing a family tree; it’s about the unbroken chain of wisdom and transmission of authentic teachings. Here are a few reasons why lineage is so pivotal in Kriya Yoga:
- Guarding Authenticity: With myriad forms of yoga being introduced today, it’s challenging to distinguish authentic teachings from diluted or modified ones. A lineage offers a guarantee of purity and adherence to time-tested methods.
- Energetic Transmission: Beyond the mere techniques, there’s an intangible transfer of energy and wisdom when one learns from a master connected to a lineage. This energy supports, uplifts, and accelerates the yogi’s progress.
- Support and Guidance: Being part of a lineage means you’re never alone in your spiritual journey. Your connection to the lineage offers a roadmap, a sense of belonging, and access to collective wisdom.
Kriya Yoga: With and without a lineage
Imagine embarking on a journey. With a map, compass, and a seasoned traveller by your side, the path becomes clearer, obstacles are easier to navigate, and the destination feels achievable. This is akin to practicing Kriya Yoga with a lineage. On the other hand, without lineage, the journey is more like navigating without a map or guide. While some may find their way through intuition or luck, many might get lost, discouraged, or even misguided.
- Direct transmission of wisdom.
- A structured, step-by-step approach.
- Energetic support from the lineage.
- Assurance of authenticity.
- Potential dilution or distortion of techniques.
- Lack of structured guidance.
- Missed nuances or deeper layers of the practice.
- Potential absence of the energetic transmission, which can accelerate progress.
Kriya Yoga lineage – A summary
Lineage in Kriya Yoga isn’t about elitism or exclusivity; it’s about preserving the sanctity, depth, and power of a tradition. Through the guiding light of figures like Mahavatar Babaji, the lineage serves as a beacon for all Kriya yogis. It offers them not just techniques, but a holistic journey towards self-realisation. Embracing this lineage is akin to tapping into a reservoir of spiritual wisdom and energy, ensuring the journey is not just authentic but profoundly transformative.
Our Kriya Yoga course
In Bhakti Marga, we run various yoga and meditation courses. One of the courses we teach is Atma Kriya Yoga which is a complete spiritual practice that includes, asana, mudra, pranayama, meditation and mantra. This course is designed to clean the energetic body, release Kundalini and lead the practitioner to a state of self-realisation. Atma Kriya Yoga ultimately leads to a divine love relationship between the individual and God. If you want to find out more, perhaps sign up to our free online Atma Kriya Yoga class.