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.