What do great Siddhas tell us about Vasi yoga? which is also known as siddha yoga,
kriya yoga, gadhagatham etc. This system of yoga is practiced by all Siddha yogis
of Tamil Siddha tradition.
Vasi Yoga is referred to by Lord Krishna, incarnation of Maha Vishnu, in Bhagavad
Offering inhaling breath into the outgoing breath, and offering the outgoing breath
into the inhaling breath, the yogi neutralizes both these breaths; he thus releases
the life force from the heart and brings it under his control. The meaning is: regular
practice of vasi yoga will result in cessation of inhalation and exhalation of breath.
The yogi will live with out regular breathing through his nostrils, food and water
for any length of time. His body will not decay. The ageing process will stop..
Siddhas of Tamil tradition call this stateMaranamilla peru vazhvu meaning life without
A great kriya yogi, Lahiri Mahasaya a disciple of Babaji has said the following
about this system:
yoga is a concentrated approach to Self-discovery and spiritual enlightenment: awakening
to full knowledge of the infinite and of cosmic processes. It includes the most
effective processes of all systems of yoga, with emphasis on wholesome, constructive
living and super conscious meditation practice. Super conscious states are clearly,
refined states of consciousness superior to ordinary waking states and subconscious
and unconscious states. The purpose of yoga practice is to restore the practitioners
awareness to the Truth. This is accomplished by acquiring knowledge of ones true
nature as a spiritual being; cultivating rational thinking, emotional balance, and
physical health; purposeful living and meditation.
Yoga helps the aspirant to locate, find and realize God in his own body. Hence many
Siddhas in their verses, especially Thirumular in his work Thirumandiram calls human
body the Temple. The practice is to concentrate his gaze on the point between eye-brows
which will ultimately lead him to realization. The realization of God in his body
enables him to see God in other humans too. The inner vision and realization enables
him to widen his outer vision. He understands that the physical body is maintained
by Prana and regular practice of Vasi yoga unfolds the secrets of breath. Once he
learns to control the breath, he is able to control the five elements. When the
five elements are under his control, he attains life without death. When one realizes
that what is manifest in him is in everyone else, the sense of unity amongst all
men and women results in bringing about the world peace.
The science of Kriya Yoga, mentioned so often, became widely known in modern India
through the instrumentality of Lahiri Mahasaya, my gurus guru. The Sanskrit root
of Kriya is kri, to do, to act and react; the same root is found in the word karma,
the natural principle of cause and effect. Kriya Yoga is thus union (yoga) with
the Infinite through a certain action or rite. A yogi who faithfully follows its
technique is gradually freed from karma or the universal chain of causation.
The Way of Kriya is 5% technique, and 95% practice and understanding the heart.
The path of Kriya begins as a completely inward journey. You must rise up inside
your apparent form, perhaps for a very long time, until a moment comes when inward
and outward are no longer relative, and no longer relevant. In Samadhi there is
no division of Self whatsoever. Kriya will take you to a point where this Samadhi
is possible, but it wont happen as long as you hold yourself back by imagining yourself
as separate. So know from the outset that the only obstruction in your way is that
which you imagine. What is being falsely imagined is that the Self is separate from
Of all such yoga techniques, the most effective, according to Paramhansa Yogananda
and his line of gurus, because the most central and direct in its application, is
Kriya. This was the technique, they said, that was taught in ancient times by Lord
Krishna to Arjuna. And Krishna, in the Bhagavad Gita, states that he gave this technique
to humanity in an incarnation long prior to the one in which he taught Arjuna. Of
all the techniques of yoga, Kriya is quite probably the most ancient. Kriya Yoga
directs energy lengthwise around the spine, gradually neutralizing the eddies of
chitta. At the same time it strengthens the nerves in the spine and brain to receive
cosmic currents of energy and consciousness. Yogananda stated that Kriya is the
supreme yoga science. Beside it, other yoga techniques that work on calming the
breath, concentrating the mind, etc., though important in themselves (Yogananda
also taught a number of them), must be classed as subsidiary.
--Kriya Yoga - Highway to the Infinite J. Donald Walters.
The great yogies, Lahiri Mahasaya, Yukteswar, Paramahansa Yogananda come under the
order of the great Kriya Yogi Maha Avatar Babaji. Babaji is a siddha yogi. He was
fortunate enough to have several siddhas of Tamil tradition as his guru, begining
his spiritual journey from Kandi, Sri Lanka. What he learned and practiced was siddha
yoga. It is clearly explained in the book written by Kriya Yogi Govindan of Babajis
tradition. The same system of yoga is now taught by Babajis disciples as Kriya yoga.
In essence both systems are the same and difference is only in name. Vasi, Siddha,
Kriya, Gathagatham mean only one system. In Paramahansa Yoganandas institution,
the disciples are initiated into Kriya yoga (Vasi Yoga) at the last stage, when
the aspirant is fully prepared and ready to take the final lap of the journey.