Health and Ayurveda

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Paramhansa yogananda’s concept of mental health: a kriya yoga approach

Paramhansa yogananda was one of those very few yogis who propounded a detailed and pragmatic approach to lead a balanced life through kriya yoga. His writings are full of theoretical as well as practical explanations and methods for leading a perfect and balanced life. In order to lead a balanced and happy life, scientific technique of kriya yoga can be of immense help. His methods and techniques have been found to be very effective all over the world by the practioners of kriya yoga. Mention of kriya yoga is found twice in Patanjali’s yoga sutras (yoga sutra mentary on Bhagawad Gita, “God talks with Arjuna”; Sri Parmahansa Yogananda has explained kirya yoga in details. In Bhagawad Gita, Kriya yoga is mentioned specifically by Lord Krishna in Verse 29 of Chapter IV.
Other devotees offer as sacrifice the incoming breath of prana in the outgoing breath of apana, and the outgoing breath of apana in the incoming breath of prana, thus arresting the cause of inhalation and exhalation (rendering breath unnecessary) by intent practice of pranayama (the life-control technique of kriya yoga)
Yogananda explains this stanza in following words:
“By the concentrated practice of kriya yoga pranayama-offering the inhaling breath into the inhaling breath (apana into prana) – the yogi neutralized these two life currents and their resulting mutations of decay and growth, the causative agents of breath and heart action and concomitant body consciousness. By recharging the blood and cells with life energy that has been distilled from breath and reinforced with the pure spiritualized life force in the spine and brain, the yogi stops bodily decay, thereby quieting the breath and heart by rendering their purifying actions unnecessary. The yogi thus attains conscious life-force control.”
Prof. Keshav Sharma
Shimla (HP)


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