Yogoda Satsanga Society of India Glossary

Hinduism.  See Sanatana Dharma.

Holy Ghost.  The sacred Cosmic Intelligent Vibration projected from God to structure and sustain creation from Its own vibratory Essence. It is thus the Holy Presence of God, His Word, omnipresent in the universe and in every form, vehicle of God’s perfect universal reflection, Christ Consciousness (q.v.). The Comforter, Cosmic Mother Nature, Prakriti (q.v.). See Aum and Trinity.

Intuition. The all-knowing faculty of the soul, which enables man to experience direct perception of truth without the intermediary of the senses.

karma. Effects of past actions, from this or previous lifetimes; from the Sanskrit kri, to do. The equilibrating law of karma, as expounded in the Hindu scriptures, is that of action and reaction, cause and effect, sowing and reaping. In the course of natural righteousness, each man by his thoughts and actions becomes the moulder of his destiny. Whatever energies he himself, wisely or unwisely, has set in motion must return to him as their starting point, like a circle inexorably completing itself. An understanding of karma as the law of justice serves to free the human mind from resentment against God and man. A man’s karma follows him from incarnation to incarnation until fulfilled or spiritually transcended. See reincarnation. The cumulative actions of human beings within communities, nations, or the world as a whole constitute mass karma, which produces local or far-ranging effects according to the degree and preponderance of good or evil. The thoughts and actions of every man, therefore, contribute to the good or ill of this world and all peoples in it.

Karma Yoga. The path to God through nonattached action and service. By selfless service, by giving the fruits of one’s actions to God, and by seeing God as the sole Doer, the devotee becomes free of the ego and experiences God. See Yoga.

Krishna Consciousness. Christ Consciousness; Kutastha Chaitanya. See Christ Consciousness .

Kriya Yoga. A sacred spiritual science, originating millenniums ago in India. It includes certain techniques of meditation whose devoted practice leads to realization of God. Paramahansa Yogananda has explained that 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 (kriya).” Kriya Yoga is praised by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita and by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. Revived in this age by Mahavatar Babaji (q.v.), Kriya Yoga is the diksha (spiritual initiation) bestowed by the Gurus of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship. Since the mahasamadhi (q.v.) of Paramahansa Yogananda, diksha is conferred through his appointed spiritual representative, the president of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship (or through one appointed by the president).

Kundalini.The powerful current of creative life energy residing in a subtle coiled passageway at the base of the spine. In ordinary waking consciousness, the body’s life force flows from the brain down the spine and out through this coiled kundalini passage, enlivening the physical body and tying the astral and causal bodies (qq.v.) and the indwelling soul to the mortal form. In the higher states of consciousness that are the goal of meditation, the kundalini energy is reversed to flow back up the spine to awaken the dormant spiritual faculties in the cerebrospinal centres (chakras). Also called the “serpent force,” because of its coiled configuration.

Kutastha Chaitanya. Christ Consciousness (q.v.). The Sanskrit word kutastha means “that which remains unchanged”; chaitanya means “consciousness.”

Lahiri Mahasaya. Lahiri was the family name of Shyama Charan Lahiri (1828–1895). Mahasaya, a Sanskrit religious title, means “large-minded.” Lahiri Mahasaya was a disciple of Mahavatar Babaji, and the guru of Swami Sri Yukteswar (Paramahansa Yogananda’s guru). Lahiri Mahasaya was the one to whom Babaji revealed the ancient, almost-lost science of Kriya Yoga (q.v.). A Yogavatar (“Incarnation of Yoga”), he was a seminal figure in the renaissance of yoga in modern India who gave instruction and blessing to countless seekers who came to him, without regard to caste or creed. He was a Christlike teacher with miraculous powers; but also a family man with business responsibilities, who demonstrated for the modern world how an ideally balanced life can be achieved by combining meditation with right performance of outer duties. Lahiri Mahasaya’s life is described in Autobiography of a Yogi.

Life force. See prana.

Lifetrons. See prana.