Rājayoga is taught directly as per the system of Tryambaknath and his sister Nāgalaxmi. The techniques are systematized as per Śyamacharan Lahiri’s system for householders and professionals. The original and unchanged KriyāYoga, which has been practised and passed down through the unbroken lineage, is taught to prospective initiates. This kriyā technique practice is definitely rigorous and is distinct from the teachings of kriyāyoga mentioned in the Patañjali yogasutra.
HH Swami Vidyadhishananda offers initiation into four paths of meditation within the Himalayan Kriyāyoga system. These four paths are independent, but all lead to the same goal of Self-realization.
Hathayoga is an advanced prānāyāma breathwork-based practice that is centred upon Himalayan surya-kriyā techniques including several morning practices synchronized with the sunrise. The Hathayoga system includes the vinyāsa-krama practices related to surya-namaskārah (sun salutation). This path is more suitable for aspiring yogins who retain a reasonable degree of neuromuscular and joint flexibility.
Mantrayoga is based on the path of devotional connection with a higher god (iṣta). The practice uses root mantra and the vinyāsa sequence of the root mantra, and is verily intricate. The salient features of Vedic whole brain learning are directly invoked by way of the nyāsa system, wherein preparatory techniques use the hands and fingers in tandem to increase retention power, and deposit in the body parts the subtle feelings from the mental rumination. The mantra rumination uses a varnamālā system of the Sanskrit sound partitions that multiplies the power of repetition by a thousand-fold.
Layayoga meditation practice begins with a release of emotional disturbance, followed by rumination on the internal sound current, tracing the source of the subtlest internal sound thereby reposing in one’s own awareness, and thereafter focusing on the inner light. The nature of the practice requires knowledge of the subtle heart and the I-sense, but the method is suitable for anyone who prefers to avoid a rigorous or intricate practice and wants to slip into meditation rather quickly. This practice is deemed to be more subtle.
In this discourse, His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda expounds on the practical aspects that distinguish the four Himalayan Siddha Kriya meditation practices with regards to taking initiation into one of these paths. During the discourse, he draws from his meditation lineage that is based on the combined heritage of nātha adepts and r̥ṣi sages (rishi). His Holiness delineates the four meditation paths that he teaches as per the guidance of great Himalayan nātha adept, Tryambaknath (also popularly known as mahavatar babaji). His Holiness offers initiation into these four distinct paths of the Kriya meditation system named as KriyaYoga, KriyaLaya, KriyaVinyasa and KriyaMantra. Servers, seekers and devotees wishing to learn an authentic Kriya meditation practice can choose from one of these four paths based on their inclination, temperament and time commitment. This introductory summary was shared during the birthday celebration of Adisankara, the monk who revived Vedic philosophical thought in and around 500 BCE.