What is the relationship between Kriya Yoga and the Lotus?
In ancient times, Kriya Yoga was the fastest method whereby the practitioner could awaken the Supreme Soul (Paramtman) in the Heart and merge one’s spirit into the Cosmic Consciousness.
The Lotus represents the Supreme Soul and the supreme Light that is situated within all Hearts. The Light Body that is awakened within you when practicing CKY is in the form of a divine White Lotus Flower. The Light Body is no different than the Light of God within your Heart. Thus Kriya Yoga is the science of awakening the Lotus of the Heart, the Primordial Light.
How is the Supreme Self and the Lotus of the Heart Connected?
According to the Hindu Tradition,
“The lotus represents purity and non-attachment, and is a symbol of Bhakti or love for God. Most people let their love flow towards the mundane world. But a devotee redirects his love only towards God, who resides with in one’s heart. Though God is present everywhere, it is in the heart, our spiritual centre, that He manifests as Param-Atma or the Supersoul. The heart of the devotee is the ‘Lord’s temple room.
Thus, the Lotus represents the heart. It is not the physical heart but the spiritual heart that the lotus represents. Mahanarayana Upanishad says, ‘In the citadel of the body, there is the small sinless and pure lotus of the heartwhich is the residence of the Supreme.
The heart-lotus or “lotus of heart” is the center of the infinite, omnipresent consciousness which connects with the consciousness of the universe. Through the intuition, one of man’s divine gifts, the spiritual student can see the infinite, omnipresent consciousness as the lotus flower within himself.” (http://www.harekrsna.de/Lotus-FLower.htm)
Brahma Seated on a Lotus Flower
The Narayana Suktam, an ancient Vedic scripture, also details that the Supreme Self (Paramatman) is found within the Heart as a lotus flower:
adho niṣṭayā vitasyānte nābhyāmupari tiṣṭhati,
jvālamālākulaṁ bhāti viśvasyāyatanaṁ mahat.
Below the Adam’s apple, at a distance of a span, and above the navel (i.e., the heart which is the relative seat of the manifestation of Pure Consciousness in the human being), effulges the Great Abode of the universe, as if adorned with garlands of flames.
santatagï śilābhistu lambatyākośasannibham,
tasyānte suṣiragï sūkśmaṁ tasmin sarvaṁ pratiṣṭhitam.
Surrounded on all sides by nerve-currents (or arteries), the lotus-bud of the heart is suspended in an inverted position. In it is a subtle space (a narrow aperture, the sushumna-nadi), and therein is to be found the Substratum of all things.
The White Lotus of the Heart is said to have eight petals.
In fact, the Maha-Mantra of Vishnu, “Om Namo Narayanaya” that is at the heart of all Kriya Yoga systems has eight syllables which correlate to each petal of the White Lotus.
According to the Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities edited by Charles Russell Coulter, Patricia Turner, Vishnu is “seated on white lotus flowers” in the “Vaikunta Heaven.” (499)
Narayana is said to recline in the Ocean of Milk eternally beyond the creation and destruction of the universe. The Ocean of Milk is a spiritual metaphor for the eternal Clear (Diamond) Light of the White Lotus that is the source of the universe.
What is the relationship between the Lotus of the Heart and the breath?
As the Light Body awakens in the Heart and the Lotus of the Heart starts to bloom, the breath will begin to slow and ultimately stop. The “breathlessness” state begins to awaken and the practitioner begins to feed off the Cosmic Light. High level masters of Kriya Yoga have been able to stop their pulse at will, their bodies completely living off the Cosmic Energy. This was demonstrated by Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar and other great masters. As the Lotus of the Heart awakens, one’s soul is fully awakened into the Divine Light.
What is the Significance of the White Lotus, Red Lotus and Gold Lotus Flowers?
The fundamental starting point of Kriya Yoga is the mastery of the White Lotus. Most practitioners and students who have heard of Kriya Yoga know that the practice of Kriya Yoga involves a specific connection to the sound of OM.
The White Lotus Flower:
The White Lotus of the Cosmos is correlated to the sound of OM. It represents Heaven, the infinite all-pervasive White Light of the Brahman that is beyond the material universe of the five elements. The White Lotus also represents purity and innocence of the Soul. The White Lotus is the foundational system of Kriya Yoga, to realize the infinite within all things.
The Red Lotus:
The Red Lotus is correlated to the sound of “HOM”, and involves the purification of the Heart and emotions and the physical body. It symbolizes eternal pure bliss. The Amitabha Buddha of the Western Paradise of Sukhavati is said to be seated on a primordial Red Lotus. The Red Lotus opens the love and compassion of the Heart and the pure acceptance of nature. The Red Lotus brings the divine impersonality of the Brahman down into Nature in the form of compassion and mercy towards all beings.
The Golden Lotus:
The Golden Lotus is the symbol of ultimate spiritual perfection and is connected to the Sound “Aaaa”. “Aaaa” is the sound of the Heart and the first word of God (A – U – M). “Aaa” is also the sound of creation and life. To realize the Golden Lotus means to realize the Center and Heart of all things, to be infused with the source of all Life. It is said in the Hindhu Tradition that the whole Cosmos was conceived inside the Hiranya Garba (Golden Womb) in which is seated a giant Golden Lotus holding up all of creation. The Golden Lotus is the energy of “life” itself and the universal creation of the “Dao”. When Shakyamuni Buddha realized his ultimate enlightenment he was handed the Golden Lotus by Brahma Himself, bestowing upon him authority over the entire creation.
“As the first patriarch, Mahakashyapa holds an important position in Buddhism. When Shakyamuni Buddha spoke the Dharma, the Great Brahma Heaven King presented him with a golden lotus and Shakyamuni Buddha held up the flower before the assembly. At that time hundreds of thousands of gods and men were present, but no one responded except Mahakashyapa, who simply smiled. The Buddha said, ‘I have the Right Dharma-Eye Treasury, the wondrous mind of Nirvana, the reality beyond appearance. The Dharma-door of mind to mind transmission has been entrusted to Kashyapa.’ Thus Mahakashyapa received the transmission of Dharma and became the first Buddhist patriarch.
Read here for more details https://ausar.org/2017/09/24/real-essence-of-the-cultivation-of-the-mysterious-wonder/
What is the connection between Kriya Yoga and the realization of the different Lotus Flowers of the Heart.
The Science of Kriya Yoga is fundamentally designed to realize the complete divinity within ones Heart. The full teachings of Kriya Yoga must involve the attainment of all the different Lotuses to completely embody the Divine with all its aspects. Only realizing “OM”, Infinity, will not be complete without realizing ‘Aaa’ the Heart and Center of all things. To understand Kriya Yoga and to actualize the Divine Enlightenment means to directly have knowledge over the workings of the Cosmos and Creation. The Realization of all aspects of the Heart enters one into the state of Ultimate Bliss and Cosmic Unity. Only then will you experientially understand the statement “I and my father are One.”