Kriya Babaji is one of my three gurus
In India, Babaji is the title used for “an honored father” – someone who is highly respected, as well as for saints who have reached Self-realization. The title also refers to “someone ancient.”
Several Teachers are known by the name Babaji in India.
Kriya Babaji is a Siddhar – one who has achieved immortality, and is a student of Siddhar Agastyar and Siddhar Boganathar.
He initially practiced techniques learned directly from his teachers, and then organized these to create the system of Kriya Yoga – comprising of 144 techniques.
Babaji has achieved absolute immortality, which is only achievable by activating a particular hidden energy and then releasing it.
He is still alive, and has remained among us in order to guide and assist people just like us.
As Babaji himself describes: “I am the death of death.”
The manifestation of Kriya Babaji
Looking back, it is clear that my reaching a continual conscious state and discovering my True Self was all thanks to Kriya Babaji, despite this happening long before I had even begun my Kriya Yoga practice.
I realize now that Babaji was alongside me all the while. I had just not recognized his guidance initially, and had assumed his manifestations were my own thoughts, ideas, intuition and inspiration, rather than his.
Lilleoru has a connection with two Babajis. A distinction must be made between Siddhar Kriya Babaji and the avatar Haidakhandi Babaji, who lived in the foothills of the Himalayas.
In 2002, Shri Muniraj – who later became the head of the Haidakhandi ashram – gave me the spiritual name Ishwar Lal, along with the right to conduct the Vedic fire ceremony havan. Since then, we have also practiced Haidakhan Babaji’s Vedic Eternal Teaching, Sanatana Dharma, at Lilleoru.
Babaji is my Kriya Yoga teacher
Back in 2004, Acharya Durga Ahlund from the Canadian Babaji Kriya Yoga Centre visited Lilleoru, and led the first level initiation into Babaji Kriya Yoga. All of these techniques were somehow familiar to me. I understood them all, both in terms of form and content, and was immediately able to put them into practice.
During this first initiation, while I was performing the technique called Babaji samyama kriya, Babaji instructed me: “You must teach people Kriya Yoga.” I shared this message with Acharya Ahlund, but she was unable to provide an explanation. On a future visit to Lilleoru in 2008, Acharya Marshall G. Satchidananda, the founder of the Canadian Center, initiated me as the Acharya of Kriya Yoga. During that initiation I was given my spiritual name, Ishwarananda.
And so it could be said, that Kriya Yoga chose me – rather than I choosing it.
Over the centuries, Babaji has passed on his knowledge to numerous teachers, and as a result, there are various different lineages of Kriya Yoga teaching. I teach the Kriya Yoga that comprises of the 144 techniques received directly from Siddhars. This is one of my tasks. In addition to bringing a new Teaching to humankind, my purpose here is also to restore the honorable status of the ancient dignified wisdom of the Siddhars. And it was Kriya Babaji who presented me with this task.
Kriya Babaji and his teachers
In order to understand who Kriya Babaji truly is, one must take a look at his teachers.
Babaji was not born as an avatar, but grew into one during his lifetime. He used specific inner technologies – engaging in practices that enabled him to achieve this.
Babaji’s two main teachers, who made this transition possible, were Siddhars Agastyar and Boganathar. They taught him the transformative techniques of the Tamil 18 Siddhar Tradition, and – as a result of practicing these – Babaji achieved soruba samadhi, meaning “my true state.” There are surely countless stories of achieving this revered state, but truly reaching it in reality it is an entirely different matter – and a very practical one.
Babaji Nagaraj (Babaji’s name at birth) became Kriya Babaji through the application of yogic practice and wisdom. It would be a mistake, however, to conclude that Kriya Babaji manifested after the changes which took place within Babaji Nagaraj. The true and original Kriya Babaji, an aspect of God, was already there to begin with; Babaji Nagaraj simply achieved oneness with that which already existed.
How to reach and communicate with Babaji?
Over the course of time, a number of different people have made contact with Babaji. My own communication with Babaji takes place directly – through consciousness and silence. However, it is not in fact so mystical as it may sound.
To conceptualize this more clearly, we can draw a comparison with physics and the structure of matter. When we delve deeper, we find atoms, and the space between those atoms. Beyond this, even deeper, there is an infinitely vast space, and something else – which scientists have not yet been able to explain. For now we can call it the “quantum soup.”
Every individual follows the same structure – we are made of gross and subtle matter, part of both the material world and the energetic realm. Kriya Babaji lives at the very deepest, most subtle level, within that so-called quantum soup. Everyone has the potential to experience these deeper levels, as it is from there that we all originate. The True Self of a person resides on the same level as this quantum soup – but we do not know it. Being so attached to the material things we have with us at the upper levels keeps us locked into superficiality. Thus we fail to delve down into more subtler layers and discover our own deep roots.
But once you do dig deeper, great potential starts to manifest within you, and so much practical knowledge can be received and put into practice. Moreover, being able to personally experience this deeper level also allows for direct communication with Babaji himself, as it is there that he resides.
The reviver of the Kriya Yoga system
Why is it called Babaji Kriya Yoga? Because Babaji selected the best parts of the teachings of all the great Siddhars, and pooled them all together – taking forwards only the quintessential elements.
Paramahansa Yogananda described the immortal existence of Kriya Babaji in his book, “Autobiography of a Yogi.” According to Yogananda, Babaji was a great Siddhar who had surpassed the limitations of the biological human form – living in the Himalayas for centuries, and leading many spiritual teachers throughout the world.
Yogananda also writes of how Babaji brought the Kriya Yoga techniques into modern times – by personally initiating Lahiri Mahasaya into Kriya Yoga in 1861. Lahiri Mahasaya would go on to become a renowned Kriya Yoga teacher in contemporary India. Babaji is said to have informed Lahiri that he was his guru from the past, before initiating Lahiri into Kriya Yoga and tasking him with the initiation of others (reference 1).
Between the years 1952-1953, Babaji dictated three books to V.T. Neelakantan: “The Voice of Babaji and Mysticism Unlocked;“ “Babaji’s Masterkey to All Ills,” and “Babaji’s Death of Death.”
In 1954 in the town of Badrinath in the Himalayas, Babaji also initiated yogi S.A.A. Ramaiah into the 144 techniques of Kriya Yoga. Through his student Marshall Govindan, this lineage of teaching then reached its way to me.
In Kriya Yoga, we also call Kriya Babaji Sadguru (“true teacher”) Babaji. When we talk of Kriya Babaji, we also talk of the Kriya energy force – the power of conscious action – which holds the corresponding Kriya consciousness. This is the force which the Perfect Ones discovered before achieving perfection. They used this force to discover God in all his manifestations, and achieve absolute Self-realization – as it is the force which enables such a state to be achieved. Babaji receives the title Sadguru because he has acquired this force of nature and become one with it.
Kriya Babaji is also Sadguru tattva (in Sanskrit, “the principle of an omnipresent teacher”), or the pure energy of the highest teacher, infinite knowledge. The deeper meaning of Sadguru Kriya Babaji is that it is the primary existential principle of nature – in which the energies of consciousness and action, and of knowing the past, the present and future, have been united as a whole.
This principle is manifested by assisting and guiding those who wish to gain such knowledge, and to make a conscious change in their lives. The most well-known manifestation of this principle is insight. When you have a series of consecutive insights, you are deep within the flow of consciousness, then the initial vividness of an insight as an experience subsides. What remains is conscious action, action with continuous insight. At this stage, Sadguru Kriya Babaji appears. Some call this higher guidance.
If you approach Babaji using the BKY Babaji samyama kriya technique, you will reach the level of your “intellect body,” and find your teacher residing there as well.