Comparing Paramahansa Yogananda & Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s Kriya Yoga Practices

I was a meditator/member of Yogananda’s YSS organisation for more than a year and I am aware of all those people who claim to expose the original Lahiri Mahasaya/Babaji’s Kriya teachings, now I am practicing the Isha Yoga so I think I am eligible to write this blog. Below are some of the differences that I have noticed :

  • Importance of Hatha Yoga:

Sadhguru’s Isha Yoga has the Hatha Yoga as the main component of their teachings which is must required to prepare the body, mind and energies before you do the advanced kriyas. Lahiri Mahasaya’s techniques had only one physical kriya which is mahamudra.

Sadhguru: If we want to do kriya yoga, we always prepare people with Hatha yoga because without the body being prepared, it will not be able to take higher dimensions of energy. It will break. It is just like if your pipe is not ready and you pump in too much force, something is bound to burst. Hatha yoga, so to speak, could be understood as preparation of the pipe.

  • Distortion of Teachings:

I was very inspired after reading Autobiography of a Yogi. Yogananda tried to simplify kriya Yoga too much but his disciples and lineage ended up distorting all the teachings which came from Lahiri Mahasaya and Yogananda. So right now no one knows who is teaching the original kriya yoga. On the other hand all Isha centers take special care of this fundamental thing that not even a single practice gets distorted and they try to keep the sanctity of every single technique.

  • Need for Committed Atmosphere:

I know lot of books are there in market and internet which claim to have exposed all the ancient kriya teachings by labeling it as babaji’s secret teachings, let me tell you all these practices look fascinating but so-called seekers of modern generation are so impatient that they try all such techniques for all the wrong reasons. They think spiritual enlightenment is cool thing to pursue but they end up making mess of themselves. In Isha centers you are given the techniques by looking at your current level of spiritual evolution, so it is step by step process.

When it comes to the transmission and teachings of yoga, Sadhguru has laid down a cardinal rule: “Without a committed atmosphere, there should be no transmission of yoga.” So what constitutes the ‘committed atmosphere’? The participants of the Hata Yoga Teacher Training Program have had a session on how to create this. Sadhguru says, “A lot of care has been taken to organize the program in a certain way because how we set up the program is as important as how we conduct the program. We want the place to be set up in such a way that even as people enter the place they know this is a committed place. They don’t even have to go through the class, they can sense it. That setting up is very important. Without the right kind of atmosphere the right kind of things will not happen.”

Sadhguru explaining below the importance of proper yoga instruction.

  • Importance of Initiation:

Right now, it is very difficult to find real enlightened teacher available in babaji’s lineage who can initiate us into his kriya yoga.

Why does meditation involve an initiation? Requiring more than just a set of instructions, as Sadhguru explains, initiation is fundamentally an energy process, much like flipping the switch of an induction motor. Though all the ingredients required for meditation may already be present, a certain energy must be applied to set everything into motion.

  • Kechari Mudra and other Advanced Practices:

Some people judge the organisation and gurus by looking at the complexities of the yogic techniques they teach. You know why all these new age kriya yogis became popular because they teach you the practices which even they don’t understand. Let me tell you one thing, success in spiritual path depends mainly upon your longing and intensity rather than the practice that you choose. Even the simple breath watching can take you beyond if you have the sufficient longing. Only one thing matters to a yogi and that is intensity. So if you can write up 5 pages explaining about wonderful benefits of kechari mudra, you are considered to be a great yogi and scholar on yogic subjects. Don’t fall into all these traps, these are just marketing gimmicks. Think on my advice once, start with simple practices and then move slowly into advance practices taught by Isha Yoga if time and situations allows. It is very sad to read some posts in which people are misleading in name of kechari mudra.

  • Types of Yoga:

Isha Yoga is not just limited to the kriya yoga practices, they try to integrate all 4 types of yoga as part of your life. These 4 yoga are kriya, karma, gnana, bhakti.

In Isha, first you prepare your body with hatha yoga programs like surya kriya, yogasanas etc. Then you slowly introduce yourself to milder kriyas Shambhavi Mahamudra, then you learn more intense form of meditation called shoonya. Once you start stabalizing in this then you can undergo a more intense sadhana called samyama. Meanwhile you continue to involve in volunteering aspects(karma yoga marg) and other rituals(bhakti marg) to involve your physical body and emotions in your spiritual journey.

  • Live Guru :
  • Siddhis:

Yogananda, Yukteshwar Giri and Lahiriji all of them talked about astral projection, yogic siddhis and other states of consciousness. Sadhguru doesn’t deny all these things but he says such discussions have tendencies to create hallucinations in the mind. No body is allowed to disclose his experience with other Isha Meditators. No body becomes proud of whatever experience they get in Isha centers, as all these things are useless to serious seekers and to people living a worldly life.

  • Culture of Volunteering :

There are various reasons why I switched to Isha yoga but some of the important ones I have described above.

Just follow this blog and stay tuned. Suggestions and feedback is most welcome in comments or contact me form.

Somewhere on the path to experience the life...