Kriya Yoga in The Bhagavad Gita
Excerpts from God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita
by Paramahansa Yogananda
Page 4 of 7
Kriya Produces Conscious Ecstasy
When by Kriya Yoga mortal breath disappears scientifically from the lungs, the yogi consciously experiences, without dying, the death process by which energy is switched off from the senses (causing the disappearance of the body consciousness and the simultaneous appearance of the soul consciousness). Unlike the ordinary man, the yogi realizes that his life is not conditioned by exhalation and inhalation, but that the steady life force in the brain is continuously reinforced through the medulla from the omnipresent cosmic current. Even mortal man during the nightly state of sleep rises psychologically above the consciousness of breath; his life force then partially becomes still and reveals a glimpse of the soul as the deep joy of sleep. The breathless yogi, however, realizes the state of conscious "death" as a far deeper and more blessed state than that bestowed by the deepest blissful semi-superconscious sleep. When breath ceases in the Kriya Yogi, he is suffused with an incomparable bliss. He realizes then that it is the storm of human breath that is responsible for the creation of the dream wave of the human body and its sensations; it is breath that causes body consciousness.
St. Paul said:
"I protest by our rejoicing which I have
in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily"
(I Corinthians 15:31) (live daily without breath).
St. Paul was able by life-force control—through Kriya or a similar technique—to dissolve the consciousness of his dream body into the everlasting rejoicing of the Christ Consciousness.
When with cessation of breath and the quieting of the heart the life force is switched off from the senses, the mind becomes detached and interiorized, able at last to perceive consciously the inner astral worlds and supernal spheres of divine consciousness.
In the first stages of ecstasy by Kriya Yoga, the yogi perceives the soul blessedness. By higher ecstasies that come as a result of complete mastery of the breathless state, he realizes the physical body to be made of lifetrons that are surrounded by a halo of grosser electroatomic cells. The yogi perceives the illusion of the body dream dematerialize into the reality of God. By experiencing the reality of the body as prana or lifetrons, controlled by the thought of God, the yogi becomes one with Him. With that divine consciousness the yogi is able to create, preserve, or dematerialize the dream atoms of his body or of any other object in creation. Attaining this power, the yogi has the option of leaving his physical dream body on earth to gradually disintegrate into cosmic atoms; or he can keep his dream body on earth indefinitely like Babaji; or, like Elijah, he can dematerialize its dream atoms into the Divine Fire. Elisha witnessed the body of Elijah become etheric, ascending in a chariot of fiery atoms and lifetrons commingled with the cosmic light of God. His luminous physical and astral dream bodies and his causal body and soul merged into Cosmic Consciousness.
('And it came to pass, as they [Elijah and Elisha] still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven... and he saw him no more" (II Kings 2:11,12).)
A Kriya Yogi should have exact understanding of the rationale of the yogic science that is recommended in this stanza of the Bhagavad Gita. An explanation of the dream state will be helpful. A man sees himself in a dream; the power of his mind creates the consciousness of a real physical body. Similarly, by materializing His thought, the Lord has made dream men walking about a dream creation in dream bodies of flesh. The body is nothing but a materialized dream of God.
The Lord surrounded man's soul first with an idea body. Then He encased the idea body with a very fine or subtle light (the astral body). The third or final encasement was the electroatomic dream body, the illusion of a fleshly form. The reason, therefore, that the Gita advises devotees to practice the pranayama life-control technique is to enable them to realize that the body is made not of flesh, but of life force condensed from the thought of God.
When by the proper pranayama technique of meditation the concentrated Kriya Yogi distills life force from breath and reinforces the prana already present in the body cells and cerebrospinal centers, then even the yogi-beginner occasionally sees his spiritual eye of light. By deeper practice of Kriya Yoga or breathlessness, he perceives his astral body. Finally he is able to see his physical body as an electroatomic structure, an emanation in grosser form (by denser vibratory force) of the fine rays of the astral body.
By further advancement the yogi realizes the astral body with its texture of light to be an "idea" or materialized thought of God. When he has fully understood the ideational body, he is able to withdraw his consciousness from the three bodily prisons and unite himself as soul with the dreamless blessedness of God.
This, then, is the reason the practice of Kriya Yoga pranayama or life-control technique is imperative if man would transcend the delusion of the body as an exasperating mass of flesh and bones. (pg.505-507)