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I come into Kriya Yoga and spirituality as many before me had, and many are still to do, by reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. Prior to that I had given little thought to what couldn’t be perceived through the senses and had dismissed the notion of God due to ignorance and animosity towards institutionalized religion, which had up to then portrayed to me a God I found both distant and hard to believe in. The book struck a chord deep within me and seemed to ring with such truth that after reading it the view of the world around me had changed, I had to try and find someone who could teach me this KriyaYoga mentioned so frequently in the pages which had filled me with inspiration and new found enthusiasm for life. I was nearing the end of my time at University and busy writing my final year dissertation, the biggest and most demanding piece of work for the course. I came to find out that the man I call now Baba, Swami Shankarananda Giri, beloved Guruji, was visiting his English disciples in a place not too far from where I was, and that he would be giving initiation into Kriya Yoga. The day of initiation happened to be just the day after the dissertation was to be handed in, it was therefore possible to attend. It is said that initiation is a new birth, and from that day on things were never to be the same again. When looking back at myself before that day, I realize now that I was never really awake, it was like being trapped in a bubble, never really aware of what was going on around me. I was often dragged down by material problems, my mind used to flicker from one thought to another, unable to take a step back, to be uninvolved and to look at things calmly from a distance in order to understand their proper meaning, to understand the proper direction to take in life. I remember little about Baba’s initiation speech that day, the opening words however will remain in my memory forever. “All you see around you is an illusion”.

Kriya Yoga has made such a big difference to my being and for this I’m grateful to both God and Guru for having introduced me into such a life changing practice. Kriya Yoga has affected me on all levels, it is now firmly part of my daily routine and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. On a physical level I’ve noticed that I rarely get ill, much less frequently than before. This is due both to the health improvements of Kriya and to the fact that the practice has liberated me of those habits which were damaging me. My posture has also improved since practicing and any sense of sluggishness to the body has been replaced by a feeling of lightness which feels very liberating. On a mental level I have noticed increased energy levels and the ability to hold concentration for longer, which has helped me in my work. It also feels as if my mind has been uncluttered and that I’m more in control of thought patterns. Prior to Kriya I was moody, easy to loose my temper and often getting swamped in negative thought patterns, all these problems have now been virtually eliminated, in fact at this moment in time I can’t remember the last time I got angry. Kriya Yoga turns our awareness from the outside to the inside, helping us to understand what the Bible says when it states that “the kingdom of God is within”. Since practicing Kriya external events have decreased their influence on my mood and state of being. No longer do I look outside, to external events and objects for happiness, but I look inside. All the joy we ever desire is to be found within ourselves, it is always there and available to us if we but seek it. One of the things I’m most grateful for is the happiness Kriya has brought into my life, a happiness I’d like to share with all.

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