Love is the Centre of Your Atma Kriya Yoga Practice

painting of someone sitting in meditation with Krishna in their heart

Written by: Roshan

To reach Him (God) faster, is to run quickly inside of you. Dive into that ocean of His Love. It is through His Love that He has made it so easily accessible for every human being. Continuously He reminds everyone of His Love. But human beings are so pre-occupied with the petty things of the outside world that they lose their chances. Don't waste time. Dive into the ocean of Love and find Him. This is the easiest way to attain to Him. Don't look left, right, don't look back, forward. Just look deep inside of you. Meditate upon Him. The Supreme Lord is there inside of you heart.

Paramahamsa Vishwananda

The greatest tool of self-transformation on the path of yoga is the power of love. To be able to receive, feel, and give love is the true measure of progress on the spiritual path. There is nothing higher than love in spirituality.

In the beginning, when Atma Kriya Yoga was first taught in 2007, it was called Bhakti Kriya by Mahavatar Babaji and Paramahamsa Vishwananda. Bhakti is the secret. It is what takes your yoga to another level, on the fast highway to God, enabling you to finish your spiritual journey and the purpose of incarnating on earth.

And yet, for most people practising any form of yoga today, bhakti, which is the action and expression of love and devotion, is not normally at the centre of their yoga practice. Bhakti is how we fall in love with God. We know from our own life experience that when we want to deepen our relationship with someone, we will act in innumerable ways to show that person how much we love them. Those acts of kindness, caring, sharing, devotion, giving our undivided attention, is our way of winning over them, to win their hearts, to fall in love. Bhakti employs the same approach and it is natural because it is a part of our human nature to show such acts. The only difference is that, in Bhakti Yoga, that love and devotion is now directed towards God in order to win Him over, to attain Him in love.

To meet Him within one’s own heart is the highest aim of yoga.  For the yogi, why should it be any different whether you are approaching another person or God? In both instances, it involves forming a relationship, which first requires effort from your side. Then becomes two-sided, and, as it progresses, it is reciprocated and very quickly multiplied by God and eventually evolves into an ever higher and more ecstatic experience of life. That experience is Divine Love.  The more you dive into the deepness of this bhakti and love, the more you want it. It is like tasting the source of life, the amrit (nectar), you can never get enough of it. Whoever has tired of experiencing a love that has kept growing? No one.

Atma Kriya Yoga is rare because it allows one to express not just a few, but all the forms of bhakti. As a yoga system it is fully complete.  These nine forms of bhakti seal one’s passage to God. They are shravana bhakti, kirtana bhakti, smarana bhakti, padaseva bhakti, archana bhakti, vandana bhakti, dasya bhakti, sakhya bhakti,and atmanivedan bhakti.

Each technique of Atma Kriya Yoga works on a different expression of our love for God. Love is the science, the short-cut, the missing-link of how to attain God. This is the secret. And it is scientific because it is the repeated experiences of spiritual masters, saints and great yogis for thousands of years. They keep referring to bhakti and love over and over again as the key to finding God because it works in that most difficult and final stage of the spiritual journey. It is what you need as you make the final ascent to the summit of life, where you can finally stand alongside God and can truly call Him yours.

It is what you need as you make the final ascent to the summit of life, where you can finally stand alongside God and truly call Him yours.

Like the euphoria of a climber that has conquered Everest, this summit represents your highest attainment, Divine Love. Even 5,000 years ago when Lord Krishna was on Earth, He spoke about the supremacy of bhakti, love, and forming a personal relationship with God.  The Bhagavad Gita teaches us about life and how to attain the goal of life. The source of Atma Kriya Yoga is the Bhagavad Gita. Love is the way and the goal and this is what every yogi needs to finally realise to complete their spiritual journey.

The final step of this journey of millions of lives is only completed through Divine Love. It is also why Paramahamsa Vishwananda is here with us today.  He’s not just a living Kriya Yoga Master, He has mastered the path of bhakti. He IS unconditional Love. His mission is to remind us about this Love we have to become and to enter a relationship with God through bhakti in order to attain Him. This is God-Realisation, the final passage, the highest goal of spirituality, which He is here to give to people who truly want it.

If, in a human relationship, we show our love towards someone in a certain way because we know them, then how do you possibly love God when you don’t know Him? That’s exactly why bhakti is so important because it starts to awaken that relationship between you and God.  It’s what allows you to fall in love with Him, not in one way, but in the nine different ways of Navadha Bhakti.

To focus on just one or two ways would risk not achieving your goal. But to engage in every way possible is a sure way to attain Him. This relationship, this love is worth striving for, because it goes far beyond any human relationship or love. Every single human relationship you ever encountered was finite and the love was limited, whereas the love relationship between us and God is eternal. It is the ultimate relationship we are waiting to experience and enjoy because it is the relationship between our soul and God, it is the purest of relationships, the purest form of love, without limit and eternal. Our soul is the patient witness that has longed for only this since the inception of time. Your soul is as old as creation itself. It will wait as long as eternity to experience this relationship and the Love of God. That’s where it has come from, belongs to, and will once more return.

Our soul is the patient witness that has longed for only this since the inception of time. Your soul is as old as creation itself. It will wait as long as eternity to experience this relationship and the Love of God. That's where it has come from, belongs to and will once more return.

In the English language, there are very few words for love. But in other languages, like Sanskrit, there are many different words. That’s because there is not just one kind of love. For example, you can have love for a friend, love for parents and family, love for a lover and love for God. These are all different kinds of love. In Sanskrit, Prem is the love for God and our guru. That’s not an ordinary love. It’s a love that awakens from the soul. Human love awakens from the mind, emotions and body. It is limited. When we become one with prem, so we become one with God because God is prem. Then there is no more human love, there is only Divine Love. Even the love we have for somebody else changes from 'I’m loving the person', to 'I’m loving the God inside the person'. This is the difference.

When we can give prem, there is no longer a condition attached to the love. You don’t need a reason to love. For example, 'I love this person because'…, 'I love my family because'… You don’t need a 'why' to love anymore. And the more you can love like this, it feels like you’ve known this person forever because this kind of love is eternal. Your soul is eternal, God is eternal and this Divine Love is eternal.

When we come to such a point of loving and directing our attention towards God, we see the big difference between what we considered to be 'love' our entire lives and what love truly is. But that kind of love awakens when we start to get close to God, when we make Him the centre of our life and spirituality and everything we do in Atma Kriya Yoga is out of love for Him. 

The more you will contemplate on this, the more you will realise that there are only three things which are eternal in your life: God, our soul and the love relationship in between. These three things are one and the same. In Divine Love, there are no conditions, whereas in human love we tend to limit love, to say love is only a good feeling or only joy, or only happiness, only peace, etc. But in Divine Love, there’s not just happiness and joy, there can also be worry, sadness, anger, many things. That’s because in Divine Love we have transcended the mind which is in a constant state of judgement, duality and comparison. That is why we do Japa Kriya, to conquer this limited mind.  

Now in Divine Love, we start to experience all these things equally and that’s when ananda or bliss arises. Bliss is often misunderstood. It is not just extreme joy. It is a full experience of everything at the same moment with no condition, whether it is joy and excitement or sadness or anger, or peace and desire for more love, but all at the same time. These are not contradicting feelings. Our mind may separate them as good or bad because it is in our human nature to judge, but in Divine Love that judgement stops. This kind of Love is unlimited because there is no ego or extreme emotionalism.

In Atma Kriya Yoga, we are trying to awaken something deep within. That awakening is Divinity, it is God. It is Him inside of us that we are trying to re-connect with. That Divinity has a personality and form. It is real like any relationship and in Atma Kriya Yoga we refer to God in this way as Narayana. We chant the mantra om namo narayanaya to connect with Him, long for Him and be with Him once again.

Like the chanting of the mantra and all the other exercises of Atma Kriya Yoga, in the end, it comes down to wanting to know God, and that only happens when a relationship exists between you and Him. How can you possibly know Him in the absence of a relationship? You can’t. So these techniques of Atma Kriya Yoga work on a different expression of love, founded on one of the nine forms of bhakti. Each of the nine forms of bhakti is that expression of love. In the same way that if you love someone, you do certain actions to demonstrate this love, so similarly, these nine forms of bhakti are natural expressions of the love of God.

What the world needs right now is more people who are willing to have the strength and courage to make this connection with their deeper Self and God and to express this love.

What the world needs right now is more people who are willing to have the strength and courage to make this connection with their deeper self and God and to express this love. This is how Atma Kriya Yoga can transform your life and the world for the better. It is through love. It changes your perception and understanding of life and how you deal with difficult situations. There is greater understanding and compassion for oneself and others. Today it is obvious that what the world needs most of all is love; a love that is unconditional, that is inspiring, where the personality is transcended, a sense of self-belief where you transcend all limitations. The challenge is, how can you bring this eternal love into the world? Bhakti is the way to achieve this because those nine forms of bhakti come directly from Divine Love, and when you practice Atma Kriya Yoga, you will start expressing and sharing this bhakti with the world.