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Whether or not we’re practitioners of Kriya Yoga, we may be looking for ways to inspire our spirit and connect with the divine world—spiritual poetry is a great way to do this.
Poetry is an important part of Kriya Yoga, and many teachers in this tradition, such as Paramahansa Yogananda, were also great poets. In this blog, we’ll explore the essence of spiritual poetry in Kriya Yoga, provide a few examples of spiritual poems from the Kriya Yoga tradition, and discuss the benefits of reading—and writing—spiritual poetry.
What is Spiritual Poetry? Understanding the Basics.
As the name implies, spiritual poetry, also called mystical poetry, is a type of poetry that’s primarily concerned with spiritual, religious, or mystical subjects and ideas.
There are many different traditions of spiritual poetry, but they all are focused on the “metaphysical” and expressing spiritual meaning that reaches far beyond wording, rhyme, rhythm, and structure.
This is the primary distinction between spiritual poetry and poetry about other subjects. To truly connect with spiritual or mystical poetry, the person reading the poetry must have the right spiritual background.
For example, if a non-Christian reads a spiritual poem by a Christian, they may appreciate the imagery, concepts, storytelling, or even simply the rhythm and composition of the words—but the spiritual meaning and connection will be lost unless a Christian is reading the poem.
This is not to say that you cannot gain spiritual benefits from reading poetry outside of Kriya Yoga; however, far from it. Kriya Yoga is not a religion, but rather, a spiritual practice that integrates with other religions, and the spiritual perspectives that it gives you can help you connect with poetry from a wide variety of spiritual poets in Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and other major world religions.
Spiritual Poetry in Kriya Yoga is About Contemplating Divine Reality.
In the tradition of Kriya Yoga, spiritual poetry is considered to be an expression of the divine reality—poets are often attempting to distill the core truth of the world into words that can be understood, expressed, and enjoyed by the reader.
This is a difficult task, to be sure. The divine nature of reality is often too difficult to truly express itself through mere words alone. But by attempting to do so, Kriya Yoga poets can bring themselves closer to the divine reality of the world and also do the same for their readers.
A great example of this is My Soul Is Marching On by Paramahansa Yogananda. This spiritual poem is a celebration of the immortality of the soul and the impermanence of the world—the constant refrain of “But still my soul is marching on!” is an expression of the divine Self that endures beyond the impermanent material things that surround us in the world.
Despite the trials, tribulations, and difficulties of the world, Paramhansa Yogananda shows that the soul will endure and that the knowledge of this is enough to provide any Kriya Yoga practitioner with the self-control, endurance, and strength they need to overcome the challenges that so often face us in life.
Writing Your Own Spiritual Poetry Can Be a Useful Part of Your Kriya Yoga Practice.
There are many great spiritual poets in the Kriya Yoga tradition, and the nature of Kriya Yoga as a spiritual—rather than religious—path means that it’s also easy to draw inspiration from other spiritual, mystic, and religious poets.
But poetry in Kriya Yoga is not just something to be absorbed and consumed but should also be created. Even if you do not consider yourself to be a talented writer or a poet, writing poetry as part of your Kriya Yoga practice can be a useful way to bring yourself closer to the divine nature of reality.
Even if you have never written a poem before, consider trying to do so. Along with morning meditation, for example, you can set 15 minutes aside to sit with a pen and paper, and write whatever comes naturally to you after meditating.
Regardless of whether this poetry is ever shared, it can act as a focus and a method by which you can connect more deeply with your spiritual Self—a devotional activity that will enhance your spiritual and mystical practice and help you gain more insights into the world.
Read and Write Spiritual Poetry to Enhance Your Connection to Divine Reality.
As a Kriya Yoga practitioner, it’s important to always continue exploring the nature of reality and the Self, and reading and writing spiritual poetry or mystical poetry is an excellent way to do this. So think about how poetry can integrate with your existing spiritual practices, and enjoy a deeper connection to yourself and to the world around you.