A brief snippet from Q&A with Nancie Di (paraphrased, not verbatim):
Q: How did Sri Sri come up with Sudarshan Kriya?
A: Once in a blue moon Sri Sri talks about it, and even then only a few brief sentences. I’ve only been around Him twice when He has spoken on the topic. He used to be a meditation teacher, and He realized that some people were not able to meditate, and some who were meditating were in fact not getting the benefits that have been enunciated for meditation. This age is so full of activity for the mind, isn’t it? Our daily lives have become so hectic, and the mind is just not able to go deep at all. He realized that something more was needed. So He went into a period of silence for 10 days. During that silence, what came to Him was the kriya. This was in 1982.
He has said that the knowledge of kriya was there on this planet in the past, and it had been lost. So He revived it.
Kriya is not just a precursor to meditation. A lot of deep cleansing happens during kriya. The word kriya itself means “purifying action”. A lot of rebalancing happens in all the levels of existence we talked about earlier.
Outside of the course session, Nancie Di also pointed to a specific story in Vasistha’s Yoga that enunciates kriya as well as the hollow and empty meditation (taught on the Art of Living Part 2 Course). I do not remember that story at all; time to go back to reading Vasistha! Last week, I watched (again) the fifth tape of Sri Sri’s commentary on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, where Patanjali also talks about kriya. Of course, the experience completely trumps the explanation!