Initiated Meditation

Kriya Meditation Paths

His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda offers initiation into four different paths of meditation within the Himalayan Kriyā system: KriyāYoga, KriyāLaya, KriyāMantra and KriyāVinyāsa. Aspiring initiates choose, with the guidance of His Holiness, the path which is appropriate for them. This depends on many factors, such as lifestyle, personal inclinations and commitment to a daily practice.

Based on the degree of preparation needed, elements of the seven levels of the curriculum are advised for study and practice. While these four paths are independent within the overall Kriyā system, they all lead to the same ultimate goal of Self-realization. All meditation techniques are mentioned in the Sanskrit literature and related esoteric texts of the siddha adepts.


KriyāYoga 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.


KriyāVinyāsa is an advanced prānāyāma breathwork-based practice that is centred upon Himalayan surya-kriyā techniques including several morning practices synchronized with the sunrise. The KriyāVinyāsa 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.


KriyāMantra 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.


KriyāLaya 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.

Featured Video

In this free discourse, His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda explains the Himayalan Kriya meditation system based on his combined heritage of nātha adepts and r̥ṣi sages (rishi). The discourse begins with beautiful chanting and an introduction meditation tradition of the nath-siddhas and Himalayan Kriyayoga. His Holiness also explains how each meditation technique is rooted in a corresponding Sanskrit verse or aphorism.

Featured Audio

Paths of Initiated Kriya Meditation by HH Swami Vidyadhishananda
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.

Himalayan Siddha Kriya Tradition

The Kriya meditation system of the Himalayan adept (siddha) lineages utilizes three methods that are combined using stepwise micro-postural movements and mental strikes (mudrā). These three parts include: imbibing light by sun gazing and open-eye meditation (śāmbhavī mudrā) on the sun with internal focus on the mid-point of the eyebrows; perfected internal breathing (ujjāyī) in particular circuits (nādi); and chanting or rumination on the primordial Oṃ sound. Oxygenation is increased in the body by synchronizing the internal breath with rumination on Oṃ.

Breathing and quieting the mind become part of the same effort. The best results are obtained when the Oṃ sound is repeated at about 432Hz or 528Hz. Sun gazing methods and the related mudrā, prānāyāma, and yoga-vinyāsa techniques are collectively known as surya-kriyā, and are practiced in tandem with the sunrise. Open-eye meditation (śāmbhavī mudrā) when the sun is above 15° is practised with great care to avoid any UV damage. All of these special techniques have been systematized and revealed by Tryambaknath (popularly known as Mahavatar-babaji) and can only be undertaken when learnt properly from authentic meditation lineages.

In summary, the techniques of kriyāyoga and its family of related meditation practices use specific ujjāyī prānāyāma techniques that recharge the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid with prāna (vital energy) infused in the correct nādī circuit (energy pathway related to nerves, blood vessels etc.). The group of techniques applies particular mudrā (postures to retain prāna) when the internal mental rumination of the primordial sound syllable is synchronized with the perception of prāna.

Correct practice of kriyā-prānāyāma infuses prāna into the nādī to attain a momentum of habitual engrossment (samāpatti) ultimately bringing about the aftereffect saturation (parāvasthā). The meditator further undertakes subtle mental kriyā exercises during this aftereffect poise. This kriyā-based approach is distinct from other prānāyāma-based meditation practices. Moreover this synchronized practice using breath, light, sound, and subtle feelings (subtle movement sensations) constitutes an internal mindful action that brings about poise and alacrity. This approach is distinct from sitting meditation where one observes and releases subtle desires by minutely watching the breath while bearing through distractions to repose in silence.

Midpoint of Eyebrows Third Eye

The animation shows the kriya-pranayama level of KP3 that is simulating a 20-second inhalation, 4-second hold and pause, followed by a 24-second exhalation and a 2-second interchange between breaths, while guiding the prāṇā between the tailbone and the medulla. KP3 can be practiced effectively when the meditator can complete 80 internal breaths (ujjāyī) in one hour. Herein one set of KP3 entails 12 consecutive breaths without struggle in about 10 to 12 minutes. This amounts to synchronization of the prana with the pulse of the cerebrospinal fluid. Mastery of KP3 allows implanting the mentally recited Ong (as in song or gong) in the conceived chakra discs. Ong is an alternate representation of the Oṃ sound. In contrast the KP2 is based on 100 breaths per hour and by being a faster rate, this breath is of middling quality. This practice barely allows enough time to deposit the Oṃ sound at the 12 points as shown. The inferior ujjāyī breathing of KP1 classifies the rate of 120 breaths per hour and is for a novice; it is not suitable for contemplative subtleties of the kriyā-prāṇāyāma practice.

Sitting Meditator Kriya Pranayama

Initiation by a Realized Teacher

Sanskrit texts promise that the blessings of a realized spiritual teacher (satguru) are an invaluable boon to a devotee on the path of steadily deepening meditation. The Sanskrit heritage further proclaims that the blessings of an exalted spiritual teacher who is part of an unbroken lineage increases the impact manifold. An initiation with a time-honoured lineage may confer the power of all the spiritual masters onto an initiate into a meditation practice. The initiation process with its progressive stages nurtures the aspirant and ignites the power of the meditation techniques. Initiation is said to bring about a release from the bondage of the phenomenal world. No initiation into a structured meditation practice is possible without a spiritual master, and this paves the way for the succession of such masters!

Three Stages of Initiation

His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda is one of the very few ordained teachers who can confer all three types of initiation based on the ancient Sanskrit heritage. These stages of initiation into progressively higher practice of meditation are denoted by the Sanskrit terms: ānavi, śākteyi and śāmbhavi. The discourse entitled Higher Initiation for Deeper Meditation outlines a summary on this topic with insightful commentary on the meditative meaning of relevant Sanskrit verses. Initiation blessings and the meditation techniques are offered to sincere seekers without the condition of payment (except for housing, food and other hosting costs). Initiation depends more on the depth of seeking and commitment to a daily spiritual sādhanā (consistent spiritual practice) using the meditation techniques.

Contemplation and Rumination

Two higher levels of meditation practices are also offered by way of individual initiations to those who have undertaken prolonged deep study, especially from the aphorisms of Vedānta sutrāṇi and Sāṅkhya sutrāṇi. The Vedānta method begins with contemplation (upāsanā) leading into aham-graha meditation on Brahman. Whereas the Sāṅkhya method begins with repose in the intellect (inner voice) and matures into reflective rumination on the sutra and its purport to unravel the pure truth contained within the aphorism.

His Holiness Swami Hariharananda

Silent contemplation before the Kriya meditation initiation ceremony

Preparation for Initiation

Seekers, servers and devotees who are ready to commit to a daily meditation practice may apply with a formal letter of intent via email for approval to take initiation. Aspiring initiates must be approved directly by His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda in order to take initiation. This ensures that an aspirant is fully prepared and ready for daily sādhanā meditation. Before applying for initiation we highly recommend a course of preparatory study, which is often times several months or years long. It is important to understand how a lineage-based meditation practice is handed down. Read below for recommended preparation and study before applying for initiation:

    • Attend fellowships and guided meditations in-person as much as possible. Those from out-of-state may arrange to visit or attend a fellowship or guided meditation in California. See our events calendar.
    • Participate in monthly livestream fellowships.
      Subscribe and begin studying the audio and video recordings available on our e-learning platform, Practice the guided meditations with regularity and watch or listen to the available discourses and courses.
    • Study the set of videos titled “Preparation for Initiation” at
    • Attend at least one Retreat or Workshop.
    • See our events calendar. Attend workshops and fellowships directly related to the seven steps of holistic curriculum, understand the concepts, study related reading material, adjust your lifestyle as recommended in the teachings; a sincere study of the Lifeforce Workbook is highly recommended.
    • Meet with His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda in-person to receive guidance on your preparedness and readiness for initiation (this step is only fruitful after you have completed the preparation outlined in the bullet points above).

On-line Coursework

Preparatory Study Video Series

This series is a compilation of videos designed to prepare a seeker for the path of formal initiation. Some videos are offered free, while others are part of our subscriber content. The lock symbol in the right-hand corner denotes subscriber-only content.

Additional Resources

528Hz Oṃ Chanting by His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda

Experience the calming effect of 528Hz Oṃ sound. The soothing effect of this chant is the hallmark of the more meditative chanting and sublime recitation of Sanskrit mantra. With eyes closed, subtly feel and trace the sound vibration into the heart, through the centre of the chest behind the sternum. Ruminate on the sound-repetitions in the void of the heart-space. Please use good speakers or high quality headphones when listening and meditating.

432Hz Oṃ Chanting by His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda

Experience the rumination on 432Hz Oṃ sound. This repetitive drone can be listened to when practicing the trātaka or open eye gazing in a dark room on an un-flickering lamp some 8 to 10 feet away placed at the level of top of the head. One practices to gaze steadily and subsequently withdraw the internal attention at the mid-point in between the two eyebrows as it were the lamp is being viewed from this mid-point while the gazing eyes are relaxed and unblinking. This evening gazing balances the morning surya-kriyā techniques that use sun gazing methods based on the sunrise timing. In essence the evening trātaka in a dark ambience balances the morning open-eye meditation (śāmbhavī mudrā) in sunlight. These surya-kriyā techniques are a formal part of the initiated KriyāVinyāsa meditation path, but are in general practiced by most meditators of the Himalayan Kriyā system. When synchronized with ujjāyī prānāyāma techniques the Oṃ frequencies of 432Hz have been known to increase oxygenation. Please use good speakers or high quality headphones when listening and meditating.