Sunday, February 3, 2013

Kriya Yoga: Synthesis of a Personal Experience

Ennio Nimis has been studying and practicing yoga since the age of 15 and after becoming an adult has focused exclusively on Kriya Yoga. He has now written an excellent book on the subject with all of the details provided. The book is available to download for free from his web site: Kriya Yoga Info. Below is the inspiration that led him to writing this book.

It was winter. One day I went skiing in the nearby mountains with a couple of friends. All went magnificently. During a break in the afternoon, I managed to find time alone. I found myself looking at the mountains that marked the boundaries of the distant horizon in all directions. In less than half an hour the sun would paint them pink – with an intense hue on their eastern side and tinged with blue on the western side. I imagined India to be right behind them, the Himalayas being their continuation. My thought went to all the Kriya enthusiasts who found, as I did, insurmountable obstacles to the understanding of that beloved discipline. All those obstacles seemed to me an absurdity that wore the clothes of a nightmare – I felt an infinite rebellion.

I visualized a book on Kriya explaining every technique in great detail. How often had I wondered what would have happened if Lahiri Mahasaya or one of his disciples had written it! My imagination led me to fantasize about its cover, to skim its few pages – sober, yet rich in content. If this book existed, we would have a reliable manual of Kriya that restrained the many small or large variations made up by various teachers. Perhaps some annotator would try to force its meaning into his own theories. Nay, I was positive that some pseudo-guru would say that the techniques described in it were for beginners only, while there were much more complicated techniques that could only be passed on by an authorized teacher to chosen disciples. Some would swallow the bait, contact the author, and pay good money to be introduced to rubbish that he had assembled either through fancy or borrowed from some esoteric book...

This happens; it’s part of our human nature. However, sincere researchers would surely be able to recognize the strength and self-sufficient intrinsic evidence of the original text.

It is a shame that no one had written that book! For the first time I dared to let my thoughts stray toward what could happen if I wrote it. It would be hard, yet possible, to summarize the totality of my knowledge of Kriya into a book – welding together techniques and theories through a clean, rational vision. The intention was definitely not to celebrate myself or lay the foundations for yet another new school of Kriya. If I were to describe my experiences, it would only be for the purpose of clarifying theoretic and technical explanations. There would be no more rhetorical claims of legitimacy and riddle-like sentences to confuse readers or have them guess at technical details or create further doubts in them! How beautiful it was to dream of a book which would prove its validity by reproducing Lahiri Mahasaya's thought in the simplest and most logical way, in a complete, harmonious set of techniques!

I will be examining Ennio's teachings in greater detail in future posts.


  1. Hi, Manoj!

    This has definitely gotten my attention. I seem to recall in "Autobiography of a Yogi" a description of a monk in SRF, who had practiced Kriya faithfully for 19 years, and never had the experiences others had. I have felt frustrated by the unreliability of results, even though Master assured everyone there would be results. It takes quite a commitment and time, and these days people in many countries aren't even getting enough sleep every day. I am looking forward to more information about this book. Thank you!

    1. You will find "more information" by being loyal to your initiation and practicing till death even without results:God knows,not you or Ennio ;-)

  2. Everyone is different. Some are able to learn advanced mathematics with little effort while others must study relentlessly to just learn the basics.

    I would guess spirituality is the same. The question you have to ask yourself is how badly do you want to become a master, whether of mathematics or spirituality or anything.

    Jesus fasted and meditated in isolation in the desert for forty days straight. Buddha went to even greater extremes. There is nothing to get frustrated about.

    "Do, or do not. There is no try." -Yoda

  3. Thank you for your excellent website and help with yoga and kriya.

  4. Ennio Nimis wrote a fantastic book, IMHO. He clearly explains how SRF has fallen into the error of thinking that they are the only valid conduit to disseminate the techniques of Kriya, and that their techniques are the only effective techniques.

    It is well-documented in Yogananda's publications that Yogananda, himself, varied the Kriya details over time.

    Also, Yogananda authorized non-SRF/YSS members to teach Kriya, and to teach it to whomever they deemed fit to receive it. This is documented in several of the memoirs of Yogannada's disciples and followers

    In "Autobiography of a Yogi," Yogananda mentioned those (Jesus and others) who attained great spiritual advancement through "the use of Kriya or a similar technique." Clearly, the supposed "letter of the law" of SRF techniques is merely one variation amongst many.

    The fundamental psychophysical rationale behind Kriya is not tethered to a set-in-stone suite of techniques; but is, instead, more like math: inflexible with regard to whether or not the final result is real and true, but flexible regarding the techniques used to solve the problem. (Example: calculus was independently discovered by two men in the same time frame, using different systems of notation.)

    If all of the authorized SRF Kriya teachers were to suddenly die, with no successors, would Kriya die off forever? Of course not. Yogananda himself wrote that a spiritually adventurous person would eventually tease out the underlying principles behind Kriya (just as, as I mentioned above, the principles of math have been rediscovered independently in different cultures and time frames, using similar but different approaches).

    Ennio Nimis's huge contribution is to lucidly and sincerely point out how organizational strictures and structures, such as those of SRF, are a double-edged sword: on one hand, they nobly guard against the corruption of Kriya; and the promiscuous dissemination of Kriya; and the profiteering off Kriya (a particular problem, I hear, in India) -- but, taken too literally, these same safeguards can make the spiritual aspirant mistake the rule for the underlying rationale; and the organization for the underlying reality. Such misunderstandings can cause what has been called "scrupulosity," which can paradoxically slow spiritual progress.

    Bravo to Ennio Nimis for his sincere and clear reporting of his journey on the path!

  5. Anyone basing what they know of Kriya on SRF, Kriya Yoga Institute, CSA, Ananda or any other organization needs to really take the time and educate themselves before believing in any one groups statements of being the only real or authentic method.

    Ennio has done just this.

    I myself was originally initiated into Kriya via SRF, later by direct students of Paramahansa Yogananda. After some time of dissatisfaction I learned from Hariharananda’s Kriya Yoga Institute and later still from Shibendu Lahiri to include the higher Kriyas.

    All three teach very wonderful technique and some are quite different from each other.

    You the individual are the only one who can determine what fits you best, no one has the best formula for you, that is for you to discover by doing and it may take years but it is the only real way.

    Like Ennio I went out in real life spent time with the teachers of Kriya and discovered by doing and from this can say without a doubt that there is no point in choosing one way over another because if you will practice what has been taught to you then in time it will be Kriya practicing you and not the other way around.

    The organizations and teachers like Shibendu Lahiri can only give you the general outline and specifics of technique. Learning the techniques of Kriya require you to practice, then in time you actually learn, no one can impart this to another it takes doing.

    After some time has passed you will encounter the truest teacher for you in the depths of stillness in your sadhana and you will know in the depths of your very being how and what to do expertly. This is what is meant by Kriya practicing you without using popular terms like Kundalini etc…

    Beware of anyone who tells you to go against your common sense if you are dissatisfied with your practice rest assured it has nothing to do with a lack of devotion etc… this is how cults and religions entrap people by convincing others of un provable, emotionally charged sudo-facts within the framework of a self created belief system. Belief does not equal fact.

    Quite a few in the Kriya Market Place are Cults nothing more needs be said, be careful and to thine ownself remain true.

    A word of caution: Ennio does not describe the techniques exactly as he was taught in his book or as the teachers of today currently do.

    Ennio describes the techniques as it has come to him by doing just as I described above. There are books by people who have attempted to edit and organize Ennios writings it can be seen where the person has followed closely in some cases and altered the techniques more in others.

    Again this comes from this persons practice.

    SRF has done a decent job of keeping their brand of Kriya pretty much the same since the 1930's so it retains a base line way of doing things.

    KYI has also since the passing of Hariharananda.

    Shibendu teaches as he does but being that his followers are generally an intimidated bunch easily bullied and lack self confidence there is not much to go by here other than internet boards that complain about the way he teaches the higher Kriyas including the perineum as a chakra where others do not in the higher Kriyas. I can affirm he still teaches it this way as of 2014. So it is assumed he keeps his baseline of practice the same.

    Ennio does not proclaim to teach his book is for comparative analysis. This is where it shines it is a wonderful publication for those who have learned Kriya already experienced by doing daily, but I would say for a complete novice not the way to go at all.

    For a complete novice I would say that the book may cause confusion, but it also will fill in the blanks that if a person goes to learn in person will most certainly have later aiding them in understanding just what it is they are learning.