Kriya Yoga Ashram

#1 Feb 23rd, 2016, 09:09
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  • eternalkiss is offline
#1
Hello there,

I've used the "search" function in this forum to find an answer to my question, and although I was very close to finding the answer, I couldn't quite exactly find it. Now that I've shared that disclaimer...

I am seeking a particular ashram for kriya yoga:

1 - Is willing to accommodate in exchange for "free" or work; or, willing to teach a student so long as they live off-site

2 - Is not like some "spa" catered to make things "easier" for Westerners. I want an involvement of not only meditation, but of lectures, and a serious routine and opportunity to be around let's say "my guru"

3 - Kriya yoga is their focus

I can also share a true example of what I'm looking for. My friend followed a guru, with whom he lived with for roughly 4 years. There were about 10 other people in his ashram. The guru would give daily lectures that were required to attend, and when he was gone for travelling, they would listen to voice recordings of him lecturing. He began meditation for about 1 hour per day and eventually marked almost 24 hours a day for a few weeks towards the end of his stay. It was only requested that he contribute to chores; everything else was free, such as food and lodging.

I am seeking a true ashram experience, with a deep involvement into a consistent exposure to self-inquiry and meditation. I want the dynamic of it to be like something Paramhansa Yoganandaji spoke about while living with Sri Yukteswar. I am not sure how long I would like to stay there for, but I have a few thousand USD saved up so I suppose that will be the main determining financial factor.

Warm regards.
#2 Feb 23rd, 2016, 14:02
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  • atala is offline
#2
You would find ashrams for staying for free especially in the bhakti-environment in the Braj area, around Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, but there the meditation style is on mantras and bhajans.

The same thing also applies to Nabadwip Dham in West Bengal, a place which stilll presents a pristine kind of experience at the Ganga (even though I have not been there in a long time). The same thing also applies to Puri, in Orissa.

In Rishikesh there is one ashram, Ved Niketan, which comes closest to what you describe, but you pay for the room, around Rs 200 a day, which is very little in today's India.

I must admit, I don't quite understand why it is important to you not to pay for your stay. India is very expensive today. If you look just at the prices of vegetables (I am assuming you are a vegetarian), you will reconsider just how much you expect from your hosts to sacrifice for you.

And what is your sacrifice? Just a little help here and there? Let me tell you, you cannot do much. Even in the kitchen, you cannot do much, if anything at all.

I suppose you have never been in India, from the way you expect that things should be done for you.
#3 Feb 23rd, 2016, 14:27
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#3
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Originally Posted by atala View Post You would find ashrams for staying for free especially in the bhakti-environment in the Braj area, around Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, but there the meditation style is on mantras and bhajans.

The same thing also applies to Nabadwip Dham in West Bengal, a place which stilll presents a pristine kind of experience at the Ganga (even though I have not been there in a long time). The same thing also applies to Puri, in Orissa.

In Rishikesh there is one ashram, Ved Niketan, which comes closest to what you describe, but you pay for the room, around Rs 200 a day, which is very little in today's India.

I must admit, I don't quite understand why it is important to you not to pay for your stay. India is very expensive today. If you look just at the prices of vegetables (I am assuming you are a vegetarian), you will reconsider just how much you expect from your hosts to sacrifice for you.

And what is your sacrifice? Just a little help here and there? Let me tell you, you cannot do much. Even in the kitchen, you cannot do much, if anything at all.

I suppose you have never been in India, from the way you expect that things should be done for you.
I said I'm willing to work. Plus, Indians work heavily based on a karmic system. Even the poorest offer donations to help keep ashram running. Imagine a Buddhist temple or a Christian monastery or a Sufi temple charging money; monks charging money, it even sounds ridiculous. I know some of them have financial demands however I have read numerous accounts of some of them being in the "business"; not for me, I'll work my butt off, but I am not here to support religious business. So as an effort to basically weed out the ashrams I'm NOT interested in, I'm generalizing and saying I'm looking for free ones or ones that will take work in exchange for studies and/or lodging because from what I've read and heard about, these are USUALLY the no-BS one that are serious about the practice. There are many of them in India, but of course upon further research night found that their focus isn't kriya yoga.

But I'm not here to belittle what you know. I'll take it with a grain of salt and I'll definitely look into it, plus it's something new I can learn about. Who knows maybe it tugs at my heart more than kriya
#4 Feb 23rd, 2016, 15:02
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Your position of not paying for being taught, but to share on a free dana basis (free donations) is commendable. I am on your side with that.

I've just got the impression from your post, that you come to take, but not to give. The work you can do at any ashram in India is not much giving, because you do not invest much. However, you have invested much energy in your home country, to save those few thousand dollars. Be open with that energy, and spend that wisely, not necessarily at an ashram, but with people who are in more need than them.

Besides, you are looking for a small, very small ashram. A big institution has expenses without limit (they will have to charge, except if they are famous enough to get huge donations, which is quite possible in India), while a small place is just operating on a day-to-day basis.

The thing is, that "true guru" does not advertise, and certainly is not reading Indiamike.

I have met people in India who have a wealth of understanding, but they have no ashram, are not formally posing as gurus.

What is it that you would like to be taught?
#5 Feb 23rd, 2016, 17:15
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#5
The whole kriya system is set up around the idea that someone will let you into the secret of kriya's for a price. Don't you think Yogananda must have taken 100's of thousands if not millions of $$ off American devotees to build his giant organisation??
SOS: Missing Person...

Please look at this thread: http://www.indiamike.com/india/uttar...012-a-t159252/

He could be anywhere now: You might have met him, be able to help, or give information.
#6 Feb 24th, 2016, 10:25
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#6
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Originally Posted by kullukid View Post The whole kriya system is set up around the idea that someone will let you into the secret of kriya's for a price. Don't you think Yogananda must have taken 100's of thousands if not millions of $$ off American devotees to build his giant organisation??
Firstly, Yogananda wasn't charging to teach people; people gave DONATIONS VOLUNTARILY, and he did more than spread kriya yoga. Secondly, kriya yoga is taught for free by many people, including Bajaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar...

As far as initiation, that is also not true; Swami Satyananda Saraswati even wrong a book mention that initiation was not required, however he definitely did recommend it.

You are welcome to your opinion of the kriya yoga system, but I choose to go based off of some facts, too...
#7 Feb 24th, 2016, 10:29
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#7
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Originally Posted by atala View Post Your position of not paying for being taught, but to share on a free dana basis (free donations) is commendable. I am on your side with that.

I've just got the impression from your post, that you come to take, but not to give. The work you can do at any ashram in India is not much giving, because you do not invest much. However, you have invested much energy in your home country, to save those few thousand dollars. Be open with that energy, and spend that wisely, not necessarily at an ashram, but with people who are in more need than them.

Besides, you are looking for a small, very small ashram. A big institution has expenses without limit (they will have to charge, except if they are famous enough to get huge donations, which is quite possible in India), while a small place is just operating on a day-to-day basis.

The thing is, that "true guru" does not advertise, and certainly is not reading Indiamike.

I have met people in India who have a wealth of understanding, but they have no ashram, are not formally posing as gurus.

What is it that you would like to be taught?
I agree with you when you mention the reality of the true guru. I'm really, really hoping someone can draw from honest, experiential experience and suggest something to me.

I think an ashram is the convenient way for me to know that a teacher is willing to teach to a student. While it might be difficult to find those people with wealth of information, I try to keep my eyes and ears open for that, definitely. In the meantime, I find it reasonable to assume I can find a teacher who can take on another student.

Basically, I'm looking to be immersed into the Giri branch, and by extension, kriya yoga.
#8 Feb 24th, 2016, 18:13
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#8
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Originally Posted by eternalkiss View Post Firstly, Yogananda wasn't charging to teach people; people gave DONATIONS VOLUNTARILY, and he did more than spread kriya yoga. Secondly, kriya yoga is taught for free by many people, including Bajaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar...

As far as initiation, that is also not true; Swami Satyananda Saraswati even wrong a book mention that initiation was not required, however he definitely did recommend it.

You are welcome to your opinion of the kriya yoga system, but I choose to go based off of some facts, too...
IMHO people give VOLUNTARY DONATIONS expecting something in return, like a ticket to heaven!
Initiation is nonsense, unless it's given by God (Grace).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...sion-told.html

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/yoga-ashra...01-11y6wg.html

http://www.indiamike.com/india/chai-...andal-t230566/

You could always go visit Lahiri Mahasaya's great grandson
in Varanasi who thinks he has the hereditary right to initiate people into Kriya's. http://www.kriyayogalahiri.com/

Or Swami Yogeshwarananda Giri at Sri Yuteswar's Karar Ashram.

I'm sure either of these will efficiently & quickly help you DONATE your hard earned few thousand $$. http://www.vvmrc.com/kararashram/publications.htm
#9 Feb 24th, 2016, 21:05
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#9
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Originally Posted by eternalkiss View Post
I am not sure how long I would like to stay there for, but I have a few thousand USD saved up so I suppose that will be the main determining financial factor.
Hello Eternalkiss,
I have no answer for you but after reading the thread I decided to chime in.

Spending away HARD EARNED MONEY , all of it, in search of sat (truth) or Self Realization (Atma Jnana) is not dharmic in my opinion. Your swadharma is getting compromised with that kind of transgression and worse you may feel betrayed at the end of it all.

Yes there are volunteers who offer yoga lessons all for free all over India. They use parks, college grounds and such places every morning, work on a session, say from 5A.M. to 7 A.M. and go their merry way to their ‘routine’ lives after that. I know a few such places in Hyderabad; my brother used to attend one such ‘yoga center’ religiously every morning for years. So there you go, not every yoga teacher is looking to fleecing you. A vast majority of yoga lessons are offered free of cost. Good luck with your pursuit.
#10 Mar 2nd, 2016, 06:22
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#10
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Originally Posted by surya2015 View Post Hello Eternalkiss,
I have no answer for you but after reading the thread I decided to chime in.

Spending away HARD EARNED MONEY , all of it, in search of sat (truth) or Self Realization (Atma Jnana) is not dharmic in my opinion. Your swadharma is getting compromised with that kind of transgression and worse you may feel betrayed at the end of it all.

Yes there are volunteers who offer yoga lessons all for free all over India. They use parks, college grounds and such places every morning, work on a session, say from 5A.M. to 7 A.M. and go their merry way to their ‘routine’ lives after that. I know a few such places in Hyderabad; my brother used to attend one such ‘yoga center’ religiously every morning for years. So there you go, not every yoga teacher is looking to fleecing you. A vast majority of yoga lessons are offered free of cost. Good luck with your pursuit.
I am not here to spend money; I think some people are not understanding my point here. I am here to spend TIME with a serious monk he can guide someone like myself. I don't care for asana's; I am not spending 1k on airfare to learn how to bend myself in half. I am looking for a teacher who is only concerned with guidance as he himself has been guided to himself.
#11 Mar 2nd, 2016, 20:21
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#11
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Originally Posted by eternalkiss View Post I am not here to spend money; I think some people are not understanding my point here. I am here to spend TIME with a serious monk he can guide someone like myself. I don't care for asana's; I am not spending 1k on airfare to learn how to bend myself in half. I am looking for a teacher who is only concerned with guidance as he himself has been guided to himself.
I understand you don't want to spend money & it's commendable you don't want to tie your body in knots. IMHO A serious monk will not run an Ashram or require anything from you, nor have on interest in teaching Asana's or Kriya's.
#12 Mar 2nd, 2016, 23:43
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#12
To original poster

It is your journey to find your guru

Most of your questions are rhetorical and that is exactly the mark of a seeker

Trust in your journey

It is the process that brings about profound transformation not the tricks tips and techniques that you will gather and then eventually drop away

And remember , the human birth is a mirror, you cannot be moved by anything that is not already in you and you cannot loathe what you do not already despise in yourself, deep within

The greatness lies within you , but to find it is harder than to find it in others

To start you off

What is beyond dogma
What is beyond knowledge
What is beyond information
#13 Mar 3rd, 2016, 01:04
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#13
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Originally Posted by eternalkiss View Post I said I'm willing to work. Plus, Indians work heavily based on a karmic system. Even the poorest offer donations to help keep ashram running. Imagine a Buddhist temple or a Christian monastery or a Sufi temple charging money; monks charging money, it even sounds ridiculous. I know some of them have financial demands however I have read numerous accounts of some of them being in the "business"; not for me, I'll work my butt off, but I am not here to support religious business. So as an effort to basically weed out the ashrams I'm NOT interested in, I'm generalizing and saying I'm looking for free ones or ones that will take work in exchange for studies and/or lodging because from what I've read and heard about, these are USUALLY the no-BS one that are serious about the practice. There are many of them in India, but of course upon further research night found that their focus isn't kriya yoga.
Commitments to a buddhist monastery, or a christian one, is not one that you can do casually - You agree to a lifetime of sacrifice and austerity. I think you are looking for a bottle of Absolut Orange, or Absolut Nirvana style ashram You want to know if google (or IndiaMike) can help you find one ? Right ?

You want it without large outlay of cash ? I don;t think there is a Pearson's Guide to Ashrams, or US News and World reports ranking system for exotica of Yoga!

One does not need to travel all the way to India (or Vietnam, Tibet, Burmah, etc) to find one, Or does one ?

By the mere fact that you have preselected a few jargon-compliant words, you have subscribed to the notion of an ashram that has some modicum of financial structure. The ancient system of 'guru dakshina' does not exist any more. I'm sure you can find many a learned people who practice some form of yoga in public parks, banks of river, beaches etc. all over the world - Pick what suits you, where it suits you - If not, move on. For moving on is part of learning.

If India as the destination is what you have set your mind on, why don;t you come, look around and discover for yourself, rather than ask on a travel site called India Mike

Enjoy your Absolut Yoga on the Ganges !
#14 Mar 3rd, 2016, 01:56
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#14

Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by eternalkiss View Post I am here to spend TIME with a serious monk he can guide someone like myself. I don't care for asana's .... I am looking for a teacher who is only concerned with guidance as he himself has been guided to himself.
Your profile says you are in California. Why don't you check out the Self Realization Shrine in Santa Monica? It was dedicated by Yogananda himself. Maybe someone can help you there.

there are hundreds if not thousands of ashrams in India. Finding a "serious monk" could take a lifetime in India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank View Post I think you are looking for a bottle of Absolut Orange, or Absolut Nirvana style ashram You want to know if google (or IndiaMike) can help you find one ? Right?

Enjoy your Absolut Yoga on the Ganges!
be careful, yaar. someone is going to come along and accuse you of not being compassionate to a searcher of information.

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#15 Mar 3rd, 2016, 02:59
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Originally Posted by atala View Post The thing is, that "true guru" does not advertise, and certainly is not reading Indiamike.

I have met people in India who have a wealth of understanding, but they have no ashram, are not formally posing as gurus.

Very true!

I met someone in Varkala (believe it or not) like that, we were both buying coconuts from the same seller and we merely started talking. He was a wise man.

I once had a dear friend who was a Murugan bhakta, he met his guru by chance.

Ashrams are highly overrated.

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