Who was Joseph Turner?
[This text comes from his own writings]
I was born in California in 1946. My first real spiritual training
was at the age of 16, when I received training in Shotokan Karate
(which was far less commercialized at that time) under the great
master, Hiditaka Nishiyama. This gave me an understanding of the
necessity of, and some good training in, discipline and will –
something which I would soon sorely need just to survive.
After the completion of high school I joined the Army and was
assigned to a reconnaissance platoon of the 101st Airborne Division.
Within a year, my unit was sent to Vietnam where I spent two years in
combat. My experience there were pretty traumatic, and to this day I
recognize the great effect which they had on me. My view of life went
through a sobering transition in those steaming, insect-ridden
jungles of Vietnam. All around me was pain, disease, death and
disfigurment. More fortunate than many, I left Vietnam with only
minor damage. I returned embittered, confused, and thirsting for
The transition back into American society of the late 1960s was not
an easy one for me. I had no interest in the status quo, and with
some exasperation I watched the flowering of the drugculture. The
djungles had taught me the specioousness of politics and politicians.
I knew that truth must be sought elsewhere. I began a spiritual
search. Having rejected Christianity long ago, I browsed through
occult and new age literature, but found little of interest or value.
I first focused on Edgar Cayce, an astounding American psychic famous
for his psychially prescribed medical treatments which were tried and
proven. But what fascinated me most was his assertion that in the
prehistoric past there were civilizations on the earth that were far
more advanced than those of today. The details he gave me on this
went far to explain a great many historical mysteries, and I began to
perceive the reasons for the chaos around the world.
But the most influential book I ever read was Yogonandas
Autobiography of a Yogi. Altough also somewhat Christianized and from
a Bengali perception, the information therein opened up vast new
vistas for me. It all seemed strangely familiar to me, like something
forgotten from ages long past. But the one thing in the book that
most transfixed me was a drawing of one who, unlike the others
illustrated, was clearly not a Bengali. This was the great master who
Yogonanda called Mahavatar Babaji. I was drawn to him immediately.
I received training in Kriya Yoga from Yoganandas Self Realization
Fellowship. I was fortunate to be living near one of their centers,
and so I regulary attended group practice of the Kriya techniques. It
wasn´t long before I noticed that the psycho-physiological techniques
were having an effect on me. By this time I had entered college on
the GI Bill. I had never been much of as scholar, which was amply
reflected by my high school grades. But I found that after a year or
more of Kriya practice my abilities had greatly increased. Unless
required, I did little or no homework and rarely studied for a test.
Yet I remained on the Dean´s List throughout college.
By the time I finished college, I was tired of the degeneracy and
chaos of the city, and I longed for more training in the Kriyas. I
moved to a small intentional community in northern California which
was founded by one of Yoganandas direct disciples. He had not only
received training directly from Yogananda, but had spent some time in
India with disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya. He was a fountainhead of
knowledge and information, and very articulate as well. He foresaw
the importance of Yoganandas cooperative communities, and he realised
that it was his mission to fulfill that vision. Today, his
intentional community is probably the largest and most successfull in
From this disciple, I learned a great deal more about Yogananda and
Lahiri Mahasayas Kriya techniques, and I noticeably advanced on the
path. However, I was somewhat disconcerted than even here, just as
with Self Realization Fellowship, “Mahavatar Babaji” was kept in the
background, as something of an enigma. No details of his life or
mission, other than what was described in Autobiography of a Yogi,
were known , and he was treated somewhat as a legend. I have since
learned that the Great Siddha wished it to be this way, and had
instructed Yogananda to keep him in the background. He wanted no
religion built around him. Later on, he would come to his own.
After a while I moved to a remote, secluded spot in the forest, where
I lived with my family for more than five years. This primitive life-
style did much to strengthen my Kriya practice. More and more I
attuned myself to the Great Siddha, and my awareness and perception
increased. However, I was aware that something was missing. I was
certainly not a Christian, but neither was I a Hindu nor an American
Indian. Yogananda had said that he had not come here to make Hindus
out of Americans, but that his Kriya Yoga would enable everyone to
come to spiritual realization in their own native religion. Thinking
in terms of Christianity being my native religion, Yoganandas
assertion sent cold shivers down my spine.
But the truth is not hard to find. It took only a little research for
me to discover that the originators of Kriya were of the same blood
as myself. In ancient times, Aryans, men and women of fair skin and
hair, had built a great civilization in what is now northern India,
and it was they who developed the powerful Kriya techniques. Finally,
I understood fully the truth of Yoganandas words.Kriya is actually
our own heritage, and Yogananda had simply brought it back to us.
At about this time, I also became involved with the revival of the
pre-Christian religion of northern Europe, Odinism or Asatru. I
immediately recognized that the Kriya path of accelerated evolution
was what was symbolized by the allegories of Wotan, Thor, Yggdrasil,
etc. I realized that the hand of the Great Siddha had carefully
guided me to an awakening undreamed of. Kriya was my own spiritual
heritage from both the east and the west.
As my Kriya practice became stronger and more focused, I discerned
that Babaji Nagaraj was drawing me nearer to him and guiding me to
take part in the great struggle against the dark age forces. After I
was initiated in the original form of Kriya Kundalini Pranayama, and
into all of the other 144 Kriyas, he inspired me to open this new
Kriya path, Arya Kriya.
Please not that I am not a Siddha. I am just a pilgrim on the Kriya
path and my life is dedicated to the great struggle. But I have
witnessed many awesome transformations and events, and I have
directly experienced the great power of this ancient Aryan science. I
would never, ever, even consider leaving the path. Moreover, I am not
a wordsmith by any stretch of the imagination, and in fact, I do not
even like to write. But for whatever reasons, I have been selected to
write this information down and to distribute it to other sincere
seekers. This I do as a sacred duty and as a serviceful work on the
Kriya path. But I must point out that all credit should be given
strictly to Babaji Nagaraj. Any errors or omissions are my