Receiving the Grace of
our Satguru Kriya Babaji Nagaraj
by M. Govindan Satchidananda
My teacher, Yogi S.A.A. Ramaiah, often cited three requirements
to receive the grace of Babaji. "The amount of Grace you
receive depends upon how much sadhana you do, how much karma yoga
or service you do and how much love and devotion you manifest,"
he would say. Not only in words, but also in the ways he required
us to live our lives, as residents of his ashram and centers.
What exactly did he mean by the terms "grace", "sadhana",
"karma yoga" and "love and devotion"? How
were these teachings applied in the lives of his dedicated students?
One day I will write a book about this. For now, a brief description
can help Babaji's students find success in this field and in all
five planes of existence.
" Grace" is a term which one finds in many spiritual
traditions, and it refers to all that we receive which helps us
to evolve and to come closer to the Divine, ultimately experiencing
our Oneness. It often takes the form of fortuitous occurrences
which we recognize as blessings, but it may manifest as blessings
in disguise, cloaked in suffering as a result of some loss. It
may also be experienced as spiritual experiences, such as Divine
Light, visions, ecstasies or the descent of a great peace. Because
it comes spontaneously, we attribute it to some force or entity
outside of ourselves, usually the Divine form to which we are
most devoted or allied with. As we often go through long periods
where there is seemingly little progress in our spiritual evolution,
despite all of our efforts, we seek the grace of the Divine to
help us to reach new levels of awareness or experience. Both grace
and effort are necessary for progress. Without our efforts to
surrender our ego, there is no room for the grace in our lives.
In ego consciousness we take credit for all the good things that
come to us, and blame God for all the bad things. But when we
awaken from the sleep of ego consciousness we realize that it
is just the reverse. As my teacher often used to say: "All
that is good is due to the Grace of Babaji, all that is bad is
the work of the ego". Following its own selfish impulses
of desire, as well as those of fear and pride, the ego creates
a chain of actions and painful reactions. When, however, we purify
the subconscious and awaken the consciousness of the Presence
of the Divine, we become a witness and a consciously guided participant
in His unfolding creation. The little promptings of the inner
voice in the stillness of our soul are listened to and followed.
The blaring trumpets of the ego, desire, fear and pride, are increasingly
To cooperate with our Satguru in this holy transformation of ego
consciousness to Divine consciousness through Divine grace, sadhana,
service and devotion are essential. What exactly do these terms
" Sadhana" literally means "discipline", and
it refers to all efforts to consciously remember the presence
of God or to experience our true Self. One who practices yoga
for these purposes is known as a "sadhak" (male) or
"sadhaka" (female). A "Kriya Yoga Sadhak"
is one who follows the path of "Babaji's Kriya Yoga",
practicing its techniques and following the teachings of Babaji.
These techniques are taught during initiations and retreats. So
are the teachings, which are also found to some extent in the
publications released to date. Collectively these are referred
to as "Tamil Kriya Yoga Siddhantham". As most of Babaji's
teachings have been given in an oral form only, it will require
a number of years before we can bring these out in the form of
books and journal articles. Babaji's teachings are really the
cream or condensed form of "Tamil Yoga Siddhantham",
the teachings of the 18 Tamil Yoga Siddhas. The most important
writings of which include "Thirumandiram", Boganathar's
collected works (which have yet to be translated), and Agastyar's
collected works (which have yet to be collected in their entirety,
and translated). Babaji's two gurus were Boganathar and Agastyar,
and so a complete understanding of his teachings will require
that these be published one day. Rather than write himself, Babaji
has preferred to crystallize the teachings he received from these
two great Siddhas, or perfected beings, into "Kriyas"
or "practical yogic techniques", and to encourage their
dissemination through a few dedicated souls whom he could use
as instruments. One such soul was my teacher, Yogi S.A.A. Ramaiah,
whose every action in life was soaked in the nectar of devotion
for Babaji. He used to say, however, that Babaji could raise up
any number of souls to the level of saints, sages and siddhas,
if they would but surrender to Him.
A Kriya Yoga "sadhak" or "sadhaka" is one
who is consciously trying to surrender their ego consciousness
for a Divine consciousness, by the systematic practice of the
techniques and teachings of Babaji and the 18 Siddhas. "Kriya
Yoga Sadhana" refers to the practice of all of the techniques
and activities prescribed in Babaji's five- fold path: (1) Kriya
Hatha Yoga, including asanas, bandahs and mudras for physical
body primarily, (2) Kriya Kundalini Pranayama and related breathing
techniques for the circulation of pranic energy in the vital body
bring about its transformation; (3) Kriya Dhyana Yoga, the scientific
art of mastering the mind with all of its meditation techniques;
(4) Kriya Mantra Yoga, the use of potential sound syllables to
invoke the various aspects of the divine, awaken the chakras etc;
(5) Kriya Bhakti Yoga, the cultivation of love and devotion for
God and His creation. By systematically practicing these five
phases the suffering caused by the ego consciousness gradually
disappears and is replaced by happiness in all five planes of
existence. For example, when by practicing Kriya Hatha Yoga systematically,
one experiences radiant physical health, relaxation and peace,
one is liberated from preoccupations with the physical body's
tendencies towards illness, inertia and pain. One can then tune
into the more subtle parts of one's being and gradually free them
from their preoccupations, which like knots, bind one to a round
of painful actions and reactions.
By practicing the Kriya Kundalini pranayama and other prescribed
breathing techniques one experiences tremendous amounts of energy,
which can serve as fuel to overcome tendencies towards laziness,
forgetfulness, and depression, when directed properly using Kriya
Dhyana meditation techniques. Working together pranayama and meditation
helps the Kriya Yoga sadhak to become increasingly aware of the
Presence of the divine. Kriya Kundalini Pranayama brings more
and more pranic energy up to the higher centers of awareness in
the vital body: coincident with the heart, where it manifests
as more and more love for God and others; at the throat center,
with greater powers of self expression in various media; at the
forehead center, where intuition, creativity, clairvoyance manifest;
and at the crown center, where cosmic consciousness is realized
and one experiences the Presence of the Divine everywhere.
The practice of Kriya Dhyana Yoga purifies the subconscious and
helps to replace habitual thinking and acting out with the very
conscious awareness that one is being guided in all activities.
It begins during brief moments during sessions of mediation when
one becomes aware of one's thinking or feeling, as their witness,
and progresses to remaining aware during daily activities and
even during sleep periods. One learns to be attentive and to discriminate
and reject those habitual thoughts which are not helpful to remaining
at peace. It leads ultimately to the experience of samadhi, first
experienced in the breathless state of communion with God, "sarvihelpa"
samadhi, and if repeated often enough, during everyday life, as
the continuous experience of God in everything, known as "nirvihelpa"
samadhi. However, the ego, or habit of identifying with one's
thoughts, including one's name, relationships, personal history,
and ambitions, remains until one has completely surrendered all
of one's consciousness down to the last subconscious fear or desire,
and down to the cellular level of one's physical being. That requires
a tremendous amount of sadhana, and until the ego is completely
eradicated from one's being it will continue to create mischief
in all five bodies. As long as the ego is still present at some
level of one's being, one cannot experience the goal of "Tamil
Kriya Yoga Siddhantham", which is "complete surrender"
to the Divine. The hallmark of this complete surrender is "soruba
samadhi" wherein the cells of the physical body become, so
to speak, "enlightened", or consciously directed by
the Supreme Self. Divine Grace descends into all five levels of
one's being. When the physical body becomes ill or dies, even
in the case of great saints, it is an indication that at least
their physical vehicle has not shared in their surrender and enlightenment.
Physical immortality is besides the point. Once one is completely
surrendered, one follows the direction of the Divine. But the
possibility of complete surrender, the goal of Kriya Yoga, depends
upon a realization of the Divine not just spiritually, as in the
case of saints, or not even just intellectually, mentally and
vitally as in the case of sages and siddhas respectively. Only
the greatest of the siddhas, the so called "Mah Siddhas",
as exemplified by the 18 Siddhas, and those of "Theosophy"
can be deemed to have completely surrendered themselves to the
The Kriya Yoga Sadhak should gradually increase the time devoted
to these practices and integrate them into the awareness cultivated
during them into one's daily activities. Meditation is not a goal
in itself, but a means to an end. It should manifest by our becoming
increasingly aware in the "little things of life". All
of our experience thus becomes a field for our practice of "sadhana"
or remembrance of Self awareness.
the Grace of Satguru Kriya Babaji Part 2
Copyright by Marshall Govindan September 1994. All rights
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Babaji's Kriya Yoga