This clearly written guide shows how to use meditation to raise one's
awareness out of ordinary waking consciousness into the state of
Superconsciousness, Swami Kriyananda offers core meditation tech-
niques and exercises, and explains what one experiences when in a variety
of meditative states. It is a remarkable, deep book for the life-long meditator,
as well as the eager beginner.
It offers step-by-step instructions for investigating higher states of awareness
and specific routines to help one tap into the wellspring of creativity and unlock
intuitive guidance. Superconsciousness is the hidden mechanism behind
successful problem solving, concentration, spiritual and physical healing, and
finding lasting joy. It is the key to living a deeper, more meaningful life.
Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, is
widely considered one of the world's foremost experts on yoga,
meditation, and spiritual practice. He has written over 90 books,
translated into 28 languages, and composed over 400
pieces of music. He founded Ananda Sangha in 1968
to spread Yogananda's teachings. Ananda includes six
cooperative spiritual communities and ashrams in
the United States, Europe and India, retreats and teaching
centers, and over 100 meditation groups worldwide. He
lives in India.
A prolific author, accomplished
composer, playwright, and artist, and
a world-renowned spiritual teacher,
Swami Kriyananda refers to himself
simply as "a humble disciple" of the
great God-realized master, Paramhansa
Yogananda. He met his guru at the
young age of twenty-two, and served
him during the last four years of the Masters life. And he has
done so continuously ever since.
Kriyananda was born in Rumania of American parents,
and educated in Europe, England, and the United States.
Philosophically and artistically inclined from youth, he
soon came to question life's meaning and society's values.
During a period of intense inward reflection, he discovered
Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, and immediately
traveled 3,000 miles from New York to California to meet
the Master, who accepted him as a monastic disciple.
Yogananda appointed him as the head of the monastery,
authorized him to teach in his name and to give initiation
into Kriya Yoga, and entrusted him with the missions
of writing and developing what he called "World-
Brotherhood colonies." Recognized as the "father of the
spiritual communities movement" in the United States,
Swami Kriyananda founded Ananda World-Brotherhood
Community in 1968. It has served as a model for a
number of communities founded subsequently in the
United States and Europe.
In 2003 Swami Kriyananda, then in his seventy-eighth
year, moved to India with a small international group of
disciples, to dedicate his remaining years to making his
guru's teachings better known. To this end he appears
daily on Indian national television with his program, A
Way of Awakening. He has established Ananda Sangha,
which publishes many of his ninety literary works and
spreads the teachings of Kriya Yoga throughout India. His
vision for the next years includes founding cooperative
spiritual communities in India, a temple of all religions
dedicated to Paramhansa Yogananda, a retreat center, a
school system, and a monastery, as well as a university-
level Yoga Institute of Living Wisdom.
I began meditating over sixty years ago, in 1948. Since
then I haven't, to the best of my recollection, missed a
single day of practice. No stem-minded self-discipline
was needed to keep me regular. Meditation is simply the
most meaningful activity in my life-indeed, the most
meaningful activity I can imagine. I seriously wonder
how people live without it. Meditation gives meaning to
everything one does. As India's best-known scripture, the
Bhagavad Gita, states, 'To the peaceless person, how is
happiness possible?" Inner peace is like lubricating oil: It
enables the machinery of our lives to function smoothly.
Without mental peace, our emotions, and the various
demands placed upon us in our lives, grind together and
create inner stress, leading eventually to some kind of
physical or nervous breakdown.
Psychometric studies have shown that meditation
produces a healthy ego, that it expands a person’s world
view and enables people to cope better with the stresses
of life. Meditators, in addition, have shown significant
gains in overcoming depression, neurotic behavior, and
feelings of social inadequacy.
Meditation develops concentration, so essential for
success in every activity Often I have found, by meditation-induced concentration, that I can accomplish in an
afternoon what others have required days or even weeks to
complete. In three days, some years ago, I wrote melodies
for eighteen of Shakespeare’s lyrics; in a single day, more
recently, twenty-one of the thirty-three melodies for my
oratorio, Christ Lives, which has had hundreds of performances in America and in Europe. In one day, recently,
I wrote thirty-one melodies for an audiotape of my mini-
book Secrets of Happiness; and in one day also, my entire
book Do It NOW!, which has a different saying for every
day of the year. (I did need a month, later, to edit the book
Before taking up meditation, I would sometimes stare
at a page for days before I could write down a single word.
Even then, I doubted whether what I'd written was what
I really wanted to say.
Inspiration, which many highly creative people consider out of their hands, can be summoned at will by
one-pointed concentration, and by magnetizing the flow
of thoughts and ideas in meditation.
Physical fatigue can be banished also, by putting ourselves in tune with inner abundance, flowing to us from
infinity The deeper this attunement, through meditation,
the greater the abundance we experience in every aspect
of our lives.
It was from a great master of yoga, Paramhansa
Yogananda, that I learned the art and science of meditation. I read his Autobiography of a Yogi" in 1948, and was
so moved by it that I took the next bus from New York
City to Los Angeles, where he had his headquarters. The
day I met him, he accepted me as a disciple, and I lived
with him as a monk for the remaining three and a half
years of his life. I have been his disciple ever since.
The path of yoga that he taught was not that of the
physical postures of hatha yoga, but the ancient meditative
path of raja yoga. Of raja yoga, the highest technique,
mentioned in several places in his autobiography, is kriya
yoga. This present volume is based on the ancient raja yoga
traditions and on his teachings. It serves as a preparation
also for kriya yoga initiation. My own spiritual name, by
which I am known in many spiritual circles, is Kriyananda,
meaning "divine bliss through kriya yoga."
The teachings of raja yoga are the best guide to meditation that I know. They are completely non-sectarian,
and can be practiced with equal effectiveness by anyone
regardless of that person's religious affiliation or lack of
affiliation. The goal of these teachings is superconscious
realization: the realization of who and what you are in
your highest, spiritual reality It is, as you can see, a
very personal goal for each seeker. I have therefore tried
to explain it in a spirit of humble respect for your own
deepest spiritual needs.
This book is for several audiences.
First, it is for the beginning meditator that wants
an easy-to-follow, self-consistent system based not on
scholarship or on desultory reading, but on the practical
experience of a great master, supplemented by my own
personal practice and experience.
Second, I've written for experienced meditators, to
bring them to a new and deeper level in their practice,
and to offer them helpful pointers as well as answers to
problems they may have encountered during their own
Third, this book is for people who are on other spiritual
paths but don't realize the importance of direct spiritual
experience. As Paramhansa Yogananda put it, "Meditation
is to religion what the laboratory is to science."
Fourth, this book is for people generally who, without
necessarily realizing it, seek deeper meaning in life.
Fifth and finally, this book is for those who, while not
ready to take up meditation, desire deeper understanding
of the phenomenon of consciousness.
I have aimed to make this book as deep, and at the
same time as clear, simple, comprehensive, and enjoyable
to read, as possible.
I am aware that some readers prefer to omit God from
any effort at self-improvement, including the practice of
meditation. I show in this book that, without aspiration
toward some higher reality, one is left meandering mentally in a labyrinth. Whether you call that higher reality
God, Cosmic Intelligence, or your own higher Self, it is
infinitely above your normal waking state of awareness.
I refer to God as "He" for the reason that, in English
(as in many other languages), the masculine pronoun is
also the impersonal. Something precious would be lost
if we referred to the Godhead as It. For though God has
no gender, God is not a thing. God is conscious; God
knows us; God loves us. But one cannot keep on saying
"God ... " this and "God ... " that without giving the
impression that one is clumping about on stilts in an iris
bed. Any attempt to be exact in ones references to God is
almost laughable: How can the human mind even begin
to grasp Infinity?
My practice has been, when referring to human beings
as individuals, to use the impersonal pronoun, "he," in
cases where my reference is to the forever-sexless soul
encased in a human body. "It" obviously wouldn't do. To
follow the modern convention of saying "he/she" would
be stylistically cumbersome, and (worse still) would force
the reader's attention to a lower level by emphasizing
superficial and spiritually non-essential differences.
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend