The year 2011 marked the 150th anniversary of the reintroduction of the ancient science of Kriya Yoga into the modern world. It was in 1861 that Lahiri Mahasaya met the deathless guru Mahavatar Babaji in the Himalayas and received initiation into the sacred soul-science. As Paramahansa Yogananda has written: “This auspicious event did not happen to Lahiri Mahasaya alone; it was a fortunate moment for all the human race. The lost, or long-vanished, highest art of yoga was again being brought to light.”
Numerous events were conducted by Self-Realization Fellowship in 2011 to honor this anniversary and to help in further spreading the soul-liberating Kriya technique to truth seekers throughout the world:
- An entire issue of Self-Realization magazine was dedicated to the science of Kriya Yoga. Interest in the Summer 2011 issue was so great that it quickly sold out despite an overrun in printing. (This special issue has been now reprinted, and copies are available while supplies last.) A message received from one reader attested:
“Every single page [of this issue] is overflowing with such encouraging and inspiring words. I have carried the magazine with me everywhere so that when I get a chance, I can just look at a paragraph to uplift me and to give me a thought to which I can keep returning during the day. Kriya really is ‘the royal technique of God-realization’ and, again, thank you for reiterating in this dynamo of a magazine many of its incomparable blissful blessings.”
- A new section was added to the SRF Website highlighting the history and benefits of this sacred technique of soul liberation.
- SRF temples and centers worldwide conducted programs based on Paramahansa Yogananda’s writings on Kriya Yoga, during which a special message from SRF/YSS President Sri Mrinalini Mata was shared with the congregations.
- During the 2011 Convocation, all classes included a special focus on the many vital facets of the Kriya science.
- Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS) featured special events throughout the subcontinent as well as special content in their magazine and on their website. Among the special events were pada yatras, or walking pilgrimages, reenacting the 1861 journey of Lahiri Mahasaya from Ranikhet to Babaji’s Cave — the site near which Lahiri Mahasaya received initiation into Kriya Yoga from his guru, Mahavatar Babaji. Two groups of YSS members and YSS monks on different occasions participated in the eleven-hour trek through the Himalayan foothills. One participating devotee wrote:
“Our journey started bright and early at 6:00 a.m. It was a beautiful crisp morning and the pleasant weather encouraged our endeavor. As an added bonus, YSS monks who accompanied us inspired us and offered pearls of wisdom along the way. As we passed small towns and villages, we were greeted and cheered by the locals. Within six hours we reached a small town, Binta. Here we had our simple lunch. The majestic mountains, soul soothing sceneries, endless sky, cheerful sun, and floating clouds were so refreshing, we did not feel the difficulty of trekking. We passed beautiful streams and lovely forests, enjoying the peace of Mother Nature and feeling God and Guru’s love.
“When we reached Babaji’s Cave after five hours of trekking from Binta, we could not imagine we had trekked for eleven hours from Ranikhet. Definitely Babaji’s blessings must be behind this experience. While meditating in the cave we felt the love of Babaji showering upon us, the world ceased in our consciousness, and we were consumed by ever new, pure joy. It was an enriching experience and each of us carried back unforgettable memories.”
The Kriya anniversary was also featured in numerous print and online publications, including:
- The Midwest-based online publication Essential Wellness, which included an excerpt from The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita, featuring selections from God Talks with Arjuna – The Bhagavad Gita, Paramahansaji’s illuminating commentary on India’s most beloved scripture.
In addition to widespread media coverage, a press release prepared by Self-Realization Fellowship was viewed by thousands of people via various online news feeds, further helping to spread the message of the timeless Kriya Yoga meditation technique to seekers the world over.