Fundamentally, kriya means internal action. When you do inner action, it does not involve the body and the mind because both the body and the mind are ...
Fundamentally, kriya means internal action. When you do inner action, it does not involve the body and the mind because both the body and the mind are still external to you. When you have a certain mastery to do action with your energy, then it is a kriya. If you do external activity we call it karma; if you do internal activity we call it kriya. Traditionally, or in the general sense of the term it is understood like this: karmas are those which bind you, kriyas are those which release you.
Whatever we do with your body, your attitudes and your thought, for example today your thoughts may go in one direction. Tomorrow if another person comes and influences you, they will go another way. Similarly, whatever we do with your body, your body is well today so it likes asanas. Tomorrow morning if your body is stiff, you will hate asanas. Your emotions are not at all reliable. At any moment they can shift from this to that. But your energies are different. Once we start working with the energy in a certain way, it has a different kind of depth to life. Suddenly, there is a different dimension to every aspect of your life because your energies have been touched and activated in a completely different way.
Kriya yoga is a very powerful way to walk the spiritual path, but at the same time it is a very demanding way. It needs discipline and a certain exactness about everything. Most people don't have the body, the mind or the stability of emotion for the kriya yoga path anymore because right from childhood, people are in too much comfort. Comfort does not mean physical comfort. Sitting in a comfortable chair is not an obstruction, you can enjoy the comfort. But your whole being is seeking comfort always, that is a great obstruction. If you are constantly seeking comfort then that kind of mind, that kind of emotion is unsuitable for the path of kriya yoga.
Kriya yoga is important only if you want to do things beyond realization. If your interest is only to somehow escape this prison and getaway, you just want enlightenment or mukti, then you don't really have to walk the kriya yoga path. Kriyas can be used in a small way, it need not be too intense. If you follow the path of kriya very intensely, without guidance it may take a few lifetimes to mature. If there is somebody alive who can do things with you, then it can happen in this life. Otherwise, kriya is a little roundabout way, but here you are not only seeking realization, you also want to know the mechanics of life-making. You want to know the engineering of how life is built; what to do about it, that is why it is a much longer process.
Ranked amongst the fifty most influential people in India, Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, visionary and a New York Times bestselling author Sadhguru has been conferred the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India in 2017, the highest annual civilian award, accorded for exceptional and distinguished service.