Question: What is the meaning and importance of having a Guru who is alive?
Answer: The first thing you have to find out is from where the Guru learned – learn about the lineage and know who his Guru was. Guru is taking you on the path of truth. And when he is alive, he is always guiding you for your benefit.
The Guru is teaching you original Kriya practice and guiding you in that, but he is not influencing or manipulating his disciples in any way.
Some people make claims that Lahiri Mahasaya initiated them in a dream. They say that Lahiri Mahasaya told them to initiate a mantra to the people and call it Kriya Yoga. No problem, they can continue their practice. But as far as the original Kriya path is concerned, there is no truth in such things and they are nothing but fabrications of the imagination. Kriya Yoga is not a mantra practice – this is creating a variation. And nowadays as a result of many different variations on Kriya Yoga, we can see bad publicity happening in the name of Kriya Yoga.
Some Kriya organisations are teaching that Guru is Atma (soul), and therefore placing emphasis on the fact that it is not necessary for this path to have a living Guru. Actually, it is true that for modified Kriya yoga, there is no need. But for original Kriya Yoga there must be a living Guru.
The fact is that Kriya Yoga was brought to this modern age by Lahiri Mahasaya. In the past, present and future, there has only ever been one original Kriya Yoga. There is one method for everybody, because it is scientific. There are not fifty kinds of Kriya practice. There are no differences or variations that can be made based on colour, age, gender, nationality or race. It will always be the same.
On this path we understand the significance of the fact that Babaji waited forty years for Lahiri Mahasaya, for he was the person destined to initiate this holy path into the world. He waited for him and him alone. He did not compromise and initiate anyone else beforehand. And there is another example which is given in this context – it is mentioned in Footsteps to Freedom, about how one sadhu was jealous of Lahiri Mahasaya and was sent by Babaji to meet the great Householder Yogi in person. After that he understood why Babaji was always appreciating Lahiri Mahasaya.
Very Humble, Very Wise
I have been interested in Kriya Yoga since 1997 and was enrolled into (a Kriya organisation) in 1999. The practice was good in many ways and produced absorption for me and had positive results in my life. Especially during the first years I felt that I was making progress by increasing the sadhana, but later on I thought I was lacking something because it was very impersonal and there was no living master to guide me.
One day when I was casually surfing the web I came across the Kriya Source website and found out about the new book Footsteps to Freedom. After reading it I felt drawn to Guruji, a living master with whom I could have a personal relationship and who could guide me along the path, someone who had attained a high level of practice and realisation and who was of Lahiri Baba’s lineage, which was very important in Kriya Yoga.
Guruji looks like an ordinary person. He is very humble, very knowledgeable and wise and has no need to show off. (Most yoga teachers I have ever come across seemed to know little, have practised little and were self-centred and egoistic.) Guruji is very different and everything about him speaks for itself. The atmosphere around him is very spiritual, and you can feel a deep presence. Everyone seems to be affected by his presence one way or another. I was initiated into Kriya Yoga by Guruji about a year ago.
I never felt any disloyalty towards (Kriya organisation) by meeting Guruji because I was looking for the authentic Kriya Yoga practice. After all, (certain Kriya masters) have also had more than one Kriya initiation from different masters.