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img 2·1 Tapaḥ Svādhyāya-Iśhvara-Praṇidhānāni Kriyā-Yogaḥ

2·1 Tapaḥ Svādhyāya-Iśhvara-Praṇidhānāni Kriyā-Yogaḥ

15 - 09 - 2014
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Kriya Yoga consists in the practice of Tapah, Svadhyaya and Ishvara Pranidhana
Sometimes we doubt whether we will have the strength and the discipline to keep up our practice, to walk straight in the hard path which is the life of a yogi. Kriya yoga is the action that removes that doubt. Kriya yoga is the action that transforms our lives in a ritual of service. Kriya yoga is the action that allows us to discover the vocation to purity that lies within every human heart. Kriya yoga is the door to the practice, the fundament, the root of any yoga action: Tapah, Svdhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana. Whenever you keep your attention to your solar plexus, meditate on the nature of Tapah. When you breathe to the center of your heart, contemplate the quality of Svadhyaya. When you concentrate your attention to the space between your eyebrows, practice Isvara Pranidhana. The term Kriya Yoga appears in several contexts in the framework of the Yoga tradition. Kriya comes from the Sanskrit root KR which means “action”. Patñajali presents it opening the “Sadhana Pada” (Chapter on the Practice). Just after closing the first chapter on “Samadhi”, he explains an “active” way to get there: Kriya yoga – the actions necessary reach Samadhi. In Hatha Yoga the term may also refer to the Shatkarmas, purificatory exercises for the body. In Tantra Yoga, as we all know, Kriya describes purification exercises for the subtle body, which combine visualization, breath and concentration. Tapah is the determination, is purificatory fire, tapah is austerity and overall simplicity. Behind Tapah lays the knowledge that the only thing we need to be happy is to live in the same vibratory frequency of the center of our chests, the right side of our physical hearts. Svadhyaya is the study of the self. As studying the self is a very hard task (the main subject of Jnana Yoga), the tradition offers to the sadhaka the scriptures and the voice of the Guru: both ways to get to practice Svadhyaya. Yogis: do read the Sutras! Do read the Gita! But also the Mahabharata, the Bible, the Koran, or any other holy scripture dedicated to the growth of the soul. As Feuerstein reminds: “the purpose of Svadhyaya is not intellectual learning: it is absorption into ancient wisdom. It is the meditative pondering of truths revealed by seers and sages who have traversed those remote regions where the mind cannot follow and only the hart receives and is changed.” Finally Ishvara Pranidhana. Do we have to believe in God in order to practice? Using Gregor Maehle words: “Any belief, whatever it is, is counterproductive in the context of the practice of yoga. One holds a belief instead of knowing. Believing always excludes knowing. When Jnana (Supreme knowledge) comes through the practice of yoga you will know” . The practice of Kriya Yoga does not require faith, it require trust in your master, in the practice, in the tradition. Offer the benefits of your practice. Practice for those who didn’t get the chance to meet their Master yet. Transform your practice into a constant service, and surrender to the Supreme or act for the good of beings, which is exactly the same. Om Namah Shivaya!
Translation: Kriya Yoga consists in the practice of Tapah, Svadhyaya and Ishvara Pranidhana

Sometimes we doubt whether we will have the strength and the discipline to keep up our practice, to walk straight in the hard path which is the life of a yogi. Kriya yoga is the action that removes that doubt. Kriya yoga is the action that transforms our lives in a ritual of service. Kriya yoga is the action that allows us to discover the vocation to purity that lies within every human heart. Kriya yoga is the door to the practice, the fundament, the root of any yoga action: Tapah, Svdhyaya, Ishvara Pranidhana.

Whenever you keep your attention to your solar plexus, meditate on the nature of Tapah. When you breathe to the center of your heart, contemplate the quality of Svadhyaya. When you concentrate your attention to the space between your eyebrows, practice Isvara Pranidhana.

The term Kriya Yoga appears in several contexts in the framework of the Yoga tradition. Kriya comes from the Sanskrit root KR which means “action”. Patñajali presents it opening the “Sadhana Pada” (Chapter on the Practice). Just after closing the first chapter on “Samadhi”, he explains an “active” way to get there: Kriya yoga – the actions necessary reach Samadhi. In Hatha Yoga the term may also refer to the Shatkarmas, purificatory exercises for the body. In Tantra Yoga, as we all know, Kriya describes purification exercises for the subtle body, which combine visualization, breath and concentration.

Tapah is the determination, is purificatory fire, tapah is austerity and overall simplicity. Behind Tapah lays the knowledge that the only thing we need to be happy is to live in the same vibratory frequency of the center of our chests, the right side of our physical hearts.

Svadhyaya is the study of the self. As studying the self is a very hard task (the main subject of Jnana Yoga), the tradition offers to the sadhaka the scriptures and the voice of the Guru: both ways to get to practice Svadhyaya. Yogis: do read the Sutras! Do read the Gita! But also the Mahabharata, the Bible, the Koran, or any other holy scripture dedicated to the growth of the soul. As Feuerstein reminds: “the purpose of Svadhyaya is not intellectual learning: it is absorption into ancient wisdom. It is the meditative pondering of truths revealed by seers and sages who have traversed those remote regions where the mind cannot follow and only the hart receives and is changed.”

Finally Ishvara Pranidhana. Do we have to believe in God in order to practice? Using Gregor Maehle words: “Any belief, whatever it is, is counterproductive in the context of the practice of yoga. One holds a belief instead of knowing. Believing always excludes knowing. When Jnana (Supreme knowledge) comes through the practice of yoga you will know” . The practice of Kriya Yoga does not require faith, it require trust in your master, in the practice, in the tradition. Offer the benefits of your practice. Practice for those who didn’t get the chance to meet their Master yet. Transform your practice into a constant service, and surrender to the Supreme or act for the good of beings, which is exactly the same.

Om Namah Shivaya!