Atma Kriya Yoga is a scientific, as well as, a devotional process of realising our true Self. One of the key elements or purpose of practicing Atma Kriya Yoga is to burn the karma accumulated through many lives.
That karma does not allow us to progress fast on our spiritual life and to achieve the final goal of every human being. Atma Kriya Yoga will speed up our evolution. It is sometimes addressed as airplane route to God. The legitimate question one may ask is:
How does Atma Kriya Yoga burn karma?
The scientific process will need to be explained now.
We need to first understand what karma is. Karma is any action we do. Whether we perceive it as good or bad – does not matter – an action done with the selfish motivation is the cause of bondage. Any action, repeated a number of times, creates an impression (samskara) which is imprinted on our subconscious mind (chitta). To explain it in a more simple language: if we keep on doing a mistake, that mistake will turn into an impression which becomes a part of who we are and it forces us and dictate how we act in the future. It is like a seed which you plant (action-karma) and water (repeated action), and eventually it grows into a powerful plant (samskara). You can also see it as karmic consequences of an action. In other words, when you are stuck in a habit (repeated action) that is called samskara. There are many impressions, which are like residual potency ready to emerge any time from the subconscious mind (chitta). Every action or intent of an action leaves samskara in the deeper structure of human mind. An external stimuli is needed to revive samskaras. A thought arises in the mind (sankalpa-intention) to fulfill the desire. The nature of desires depend of samskaras. They can be beneficial or less beneficial, depending on your goal of life.
From samskaras, the tendency to act in a certain way, will rise and it is called vasanas, and due to the vasanas we act like a machine (mindlessly). Vasanas are formed from samskaras (subtle impressions). They are in the form of desires, feelings, mental urges, etc. From samskaras (imprints) emanate vasanas (tendencies) like pests. From vasanas endless streams of desires are born, and from enjoying those desires more craving or intense longing (trishna) arises.
Those tendencies (vasanas) create thought patterns (vrittis); they awake the pleasures in the mind (vrittis), which thinks of an object of attraction, and soon the attachment is formed. These thinking patterns form our attitudes and mental disposition. The mind plans to fulfill those desires and in an instant we are swayed by passions (kama). So these vrittis lead us back to action (karma). We act because our mind forces us to act in order to satisfy our desires in form of tendencies, which arise from the impressions made in the mind from past actions. This is a viscous circle, unending! But there is a way out.
What they teach us in meditation schools is stilling the mind. This is the first step. An ancient sage Patanjali refers to it as, yogaś-citta-vr̥tti-nirodhaḥ, stilling the turbulent waves of the mind. Sometimes these thought waves are known as whirlpools, that drag you down once you are in their close proximity.
If the mind is not calm how can it be focused on anything?
The mind is the turbulent raging storm. And the battle to calm it down is sometimes seen as fruitless job. The monkey mind is another word used for the activities of the mind. It is never settled, even during the sleep. And the reason was already explained: it is constantly being stimulated by the outer objects of attraction, which give rise to samskaras to appear from the subconscious mind.
The problem is that most meditation techniques use the mind to control the mind. The results are not great with that method. We need to use something more powerful than the mind. That is japa nām, or repetitions of God’s Name. We have to bombard the mind constantly with the new impressions, and electrocute the conscious and subconscious mind with the powerful seeds of God’s Name, which carry the super high vibrational weapon. For thus we use one of the most powerful mantras that exist today: OM Namo Narayanaya. The meaning of this mantra is: ‘I surrender to the One who dwells in all things and in Whom all things dwell‘. In other words, we enforce the mind to surrender to the Lord and let Him take over the mind. That is our job. We don’t need to surrender anything else. Once the mind is surrendered we are His, completely! Then the Lord can take the full possession of our being. Lord Krishna has repeatedly reiterated in the Bhagavad Gita: “Surrender your mind to Me!” So when the mind is surrendered through japa nām (or japa kriya), only then can we truly meditate on the Lord.
Atma Kriya Yoga is said to burn a lot of past karmas. How does it do it? Every action, even simple act like breathing, seeing, smelling, feeling, tasting, creates karma. Therefore, we use the breathing process and infuse each breath with the mantra (potent high vibrational frequency missiles), and in a directed and specified places we electrocute the areas where the samskaras and vasanas are stored. We nip them in the bud, not allowing them to make their way on the conscious mind. It is the real inner yajna, or fire rite, in which we offer all the hidden tendencies. The aim of Atma Kriya Yoga is to obliterate all these samskaras. The death of all samskaras lead to moksha (liberation). Liberation means the freedom from the cycles of birth and death.
All this would not be possible without the Grace infused as shaktipat, which is given at the initiation. Shaktipat literally means the descend of Grace. It unlocks the inner channels and allows the techniques of Atma Kriya Yoga to work its way. On top of that, the masters Mahavatar Babaji and Paramahamsa Vishwananda, through whose Grace these liberating techniques are given to mankind, promised that they would be there each time any sadhak (kriya yogi) is practicing it. We have their eternal assurance, and the testimonials of thousands kriya yogis prove that every day.
Paramahamsa Vishwananda said,
“When you are initiated in Atma Kriya Yoga and receive shaktipat, a different channel is activated inside of you. This channel is the guru-parampara, the Grace and blessings of the gurus, sages and saints from that lineage, which flows from the Master to the disciple, or from the Master to the teacher to the student.”
That is why the initiation from a bona fide yogic tradition is of a paramount importance. Otherwise, our efforts would be fruitless.
Another thing what Atma Kriya Yoga does in words of Paramahamsa Vishwananda, “Atma Kriya Yoga awakens the shakti, this cosmic energy inside of you, so that you return back to the universal source which is your true Self.”
This process of awakening shakti-kundalini is the automatic process and it is safe, due to the aforementioned Grace. No harm is possible, if practiced according to the injunctions. Our system has endless storage of cosmic energy. Atma Kriya Yoga helps to activate that reservoir.
There are many kriya yogas that Mahavatar Babaji gave throughout the centuries. Paramahamsa Vishwananda explains, “Atma Kriya Yoga is a form of kriya yoga given by Mahavatar Babaji. Which is a very simple way to help awaken Love and come into contact with your true Self.”
So we come to the conclusion and the objective of our practice. Burning of the karma is a side effect and it should not be the primary reason why we do it. Why? Simply because with our own effort, devoid of Grace, we cannot achieve anything. That is the major flaw with other kriya yoga traditions that rely solely on your own effort. The main objective should be the awaking of the Love of God. Atma stands for the soul, which is permeated with the Love of God. When we touch our soul, we touch the source of our existence, which is Love.