Purification is of two kinds, internal and external. Internal purification can be made in several ways. Here you will find the technique of an important exercise.
Take a fine piece of cloth, 3 inches wide and 15 feet long. The borders should be stitched well and no loose thread should be hanging from the sides. Wash it with soap and keep it always clean. Dip it in tepid water. Squeeze out the water and swallow one end of it little by little. On the first day swallow only one foot length of the cloth and draw it out slowly. After gradual practice you can swallow the whole length by catching one end of it. Keep it in the stomach for a few minutes and then slowly draw it out. Do not be hasty and draw out the cloth forcibly. When the Kriya is over, drink a cup of milk. This is a sort of lubrication, for the throat. Do this when the stomach is empty. Morning time is good. It will be quite sufficient if you practise this, once in 4 or 5 days. This is an excellent exercise for those who are of a flabby and phlegmatic constitution. Gradual and steady practice cures Gulma, gastritis and dyspepsia and all other diseases of the stomach.
Basti is intended to remove congestion in the intestines. There are two varieties in this exercise, viz-, Sthala Basti and Jala Basti.
Sthala Basti : Sit on the ground, stretch your legs. Now catch hold of your toes with the hands. This is like Pashimottasan, but here, you need not bend much till your head touches the knees. Catching hold ofthe toes with the hands, churn the abdominal muscles slowly with a clown-
SHAT KRIYAS IN HATHA YOGA
forcible expiration through the mouth and keep the lungs completely empty. Contract and forcibly draw the abdominal muscles towards the back. This is Uddiyana Bandha. This is the first stage of Nauli.
Then let loose the centre of the abdomen and contract the left and right side of the abdomen. You will have all the muscles in the centre in a vertical line. This is called Madhyama Nauli. Keep it as long as you can retain in the position comfortably. Then you can release the muscles and inhale. This is the second stage of Nauli.
After some practice, contract the right side of the abdomen and let loose the left side free. You will now have all the muscles on the left side only. This is called Vamana Nauli. Again contract the left side and let loose the right side. This is Dakshina Nauli. By such gradual practice, you will understand how to contract the muscles ofthe central, left and right side ofthe abdominal muscles from side to side. Practise like this for a few days.
Then draw the muscles in the centre. Slowly move them to the right side and then to the left side in a circular way. Do this several times from the right to left and then do it in a reverse way from the left to right side. You should move the muscles always with a circular motion slowly. When you advance in the practice you can do it quickly. This last stage of Nauli will appear like ' churning ' when the abdominal muscles are isolated and rotated from side to side. When Nauli is demonstrated by advanced students, you will be surprised to observe the movements of the abdominal muscles. It will look as if an engine is working in the abdominal factory.
When beginners want to do Dakshina Nauli, they have to slightly bend towards the left side and contract left muscles. When they want to do Yramana Nauli, they have to bend a little to the right side. In Madhyama Nauli push the entire muscles forward by contracting the two sides.
Nauli Kriya eradicates chronic constipation, dyspepsia and all other diseases of the gastro-intestinal system. The liver and pancreas are toned. All other abdominal organs will function properly.
This is steady gazing at a particular point or object without winking. This is mainly intended for developing the power of concentration and mental focus. This is very useful for all.
Sit on Padmasan or Siddhasan. You can sit erect even on a chair. Keep the picture of your Ishta Devata or the , picture of Om or a black dot on a piece of white paper. Look at the point or picture very steadily. You can gaze at a bright star or on the flames of a ghee lamp. Gazing at the tip of the nose and at the space between the eye-brows is also Tratak. When you gaze at a particular point or picture, it is Tratak. Close your eyes and form a mental picture of the object. Practise this for 2 minutes and cautiously increase the period.
Tratak improves eye-sight. Diseases of the eyes are removed. Many have thrown away their spectacles after some practice in Tratak. It develops the power of concentration to a great degree.
Kapalabhati is an exercise for cleansing the skull. Kapala means ' skull ' and Bhati means ' to shine.' This exercise makes the skull shining.
Sit on Padmasan or Siddhasan. Close the eyes. Perform Rechak and Purak rapidly. This should be practised vigorously. One will get perspiration profusely. This is a good exercise for the lungs also. Those who are well-versed in Kapalabhati can do Bhastrika very easily. Rechak should be done forcibly by contracting the abdominal muscles. Do 20 expulsions for a round and gradually increase the number to 120. In Kapalabhati there is no Kumbhak. Kapalabhati cleanses the respiratory system and the nasal passages. It removes the spasm in bronchial tubes. Consequently Asthma is relieved and also cured in course of time. The apices of the lungs get proper oxygenation. Consumption is cured. Impurities of the blood are thrown out; The circulatory and respiratory systems are toned to a considerable degree.
will get new strength every time and you will never be tired. When you return home from the office you can practise this Pranayama and you will be recharged with fresh energy.
The greatest advantage is that once you start doing it you will do it very often ; and your mind can never find an excuse for not practising this Ati-Sukha-Purvak Pranayama, very, very easy and comfortable Pranayama which has all the advantages of Pranayama, without its 'rules and regulations.' Do it from now without fail.
Sukh Purvak Pranayam
Sit on Padmasan or Siddhasan in your meditation room. Close the right nostril with the right thumb. Draw in air slowly through the left nostril. Now close the left nostril also with the little and ring fingers ofthe right hand. Retain the breath as long as you can comfortably do. Then exhale very, very slowly through the right nostril after removing the thumb. Now half the process is over.
Then draw in the air through the right nostril as soon as you completely exhale. Retain the breath as long as you can after closing the right nostril and then exhale through the left nostril after removing the little and the ring fingers. These six processes constitute one Pranayam. To start with, do 10 Pranayams in the morning and 10 in the evening. Gradually increase the number to 20 in each sitting. Gradually increase the period of Kumbhak also. Have a Bhava 'mental attitude) that all the Deivi Sampat as mercy, love, forgiveness, Santi, Joy etc. are entering your system along with the inspired air and all the Asura Sampat such as lust, anger, greed etc. are being thrown out along with the exhaled air. Repeat Om or Gayatri mentally during Purak, Kumbhak and Rechak. This Pranayam exercise removes all diseases, purifies the Nadis, steadies the mind in concentration.
The next exercise is Kevala Kumbhak wherein is neither Purak nor Rechak. There is Kumbhak only. This is for advanced Yogins. Kumbhak is of two kinds, viz-, Sahita and Kevala. That which is coupled with inhalation and exhalation is termed as Sahita Kumbhak, which is described above. That which is devoid of Purak and Rechak is
Sit on Padmasan or Siddhasan. Slowly inhale the air through both the nostrils without making any sound. Do not retain the breath. Immediately exhale the air very, very slowly. Repeat this process ten or twenty times both morning and evening. Practise this regularly for three months. Then you can attempt for the Sukh Purvak exercise where there is retention of breath.
Inhalation is termed as ' Purak,' 1 Rechak ' exhalation and ' Kumbhak ' is retention.
Swasa refers to Purak and Praswasa refers to Rechak. Ati-Sukha-Purvak Pranayama
Technique : Sit comfortably on a chair, sofa or easy chair. Draw the air through both nostrils, as long as comfortable. Retain as long as comfortable. Repeat your Ishta Mantra or " Om " while retaining the breath. Then exhale as long as comfortable. You need not observe any ratio between the inhalation, exhalation and retention ; but let the inhalation and exhalation be deep and full.
Benefits : The benefits of this Pranayama are incalculable. All the muscles are relaxed. All the nerves are toned. Rhythm and harmony is established in the entire being. Mind is calmed. Circulation is promoted. An inexpressible peace and bliss come to reign within you.
You can do it in the morning while lying in bed. Your mind will become alert for commencing Japa and Dhyana. You can do it when the mind is about to lose balance on account ofthe setting in of lust, anger or other evil Vrittis ; the mind will be filled with a great power that will prevent the evil Vrittis from disturbing it. You can do it just before commencing your study ; the mind will be concentrated easily and what you study will be indelibly impressed in your mind. You can do it during your office-work : you
Kevala Kumbhak. After you get mastery over Sahita, it is said, :" when after giving up of inhalation and exhalation, one holds his breath with ease, it is Kevala Kumbhak (absolute)." He attains perfection.
Benefits of Pranayam
The ignorance caused by the Karma covers the light of knowledge. By the practice of Pranayam this covering is destroyed by the development of concentration and knowledge.
Hints on Pranayam
In the early morning answer the calls of nature and then sit for the practice. Pranayam should be done in a well ventilated room. Pranayam requires deep concentration and attention. Do not keep anyone by your side.
When you finish the practice, take a cup of milk, after 10 minutes. Do not take bath immediately.
Do not perform Pranayam till you get fatigued. In the beginning ofthe practice you may not be able to get the time-unit for doing Purak, Kumbhak and Rechak—the ratio is 1 : 4 : 2. When you have advanced in the practice the ratio will come by itself ; and you need not distract the mind in
CHAPTER VIII CONCENTRATION
Concentration is practised for stopping the modifications ofthe mind. Concentration is holding the mind to one form or object for a long time.
To remove the tossing and various other obstacles which stand in the way of one-pointedness the practice of concentration on one thing alone should be made.
Concentration is opposed to sensuous desires, bliss to flurry and worry, sustained thinking to perplexity, applied thinking to sloth and torpor, rapture to ill-will.
There is no limit to the power ofthe human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point.
The rays of the mind are scattered in the case of the worldly-minded persons. There is dissipation of mental energy in various directions. For the purpose of concentration, these scattered rays have to be gathered by the practice of concentration and then the mind must be made to turn towards God.
Concentration is fixing the mind on something external or internal. The mind can be fixed externally on the picture of Lord Hari, Lord Krishna or Lord Rama or any other object or point. Internally it can be fixed on any Chakra or any part of the body or on any abstract idea.
It is easy to concentrate the mind on external objects. The mind has a natural tendency to go outwards.
Keep the picture of Sri Krishna, Rama, Narayana, Devi or Lord Jesus or any picture, in front of you. Look at it steadily without winking. Gaze at the head, then at the body, then at the legs. Repeat the same process again and again. When your mind calms down look at a particular spot only. Then close the eyes and mentally visualise the picture.
counting and keeping time-unit, is needed for a long time
picture at a moment's notice. Keep it there steadily for some time. This is concentration. You will have to practise this daily. If you want to increase your power of concentration, you will have to reduce your worldly desires and activities. You will have to observe silence everyday for some hours. Then only the mind can concentrate very easily and without difficulty.
Sit in lotus-pose (Padmasan) with crossed legs. Fix the gaze on the tip ofthe nose. This is called the nasal gaze. Do not make any violent effort. Gently look at the tip of the nose. Practise for one minute in the beginning. Gradually increase the time to half an hour or more. This, practice steadies the mind. It develops the power of concentration. Even when you walk you can keep up this practice.
Sit in lotus-pose and practise fixing the mind between the two eye-brows. Do this gently for half a minute. Then gradually increase the time to half an hour or more. There must not be the least violence in the practice. This removes tossing of mind and develops concentration. This is known as frontal gaze.
Practise concentration till the mind is well established on the object of concentration. When the mind runs away from the object bring it back again and again. Even if the mind runs outside during your practice do not bother much. Allow it to run. Slowly try to bring it to your object of concentration. By repeated practice the mind will be finally focussed in your object. He who has gained abstraction (withdrawing the senses from the objects) will have good concentration.
After having gained strength in the practice of external concentration, you can concentrate internally on any of the «even Chakras (centres) of spiritual energy. Attention plays a very prominent part in concentration.
By practising concentration on Manipura Chakra one gets the knowledge of the construction of the body, the seven Dhatus etc. By practising concentration on (the Chakra at) the pit of the throat (Vishuddha Chakra), comes the removal of hunger and thirst. By practising concentration
on Anahata Chakra (at the heart) comes the knowledge ol the mind. By the practice of concentration on Sahasrar Chakra (on the head) comes the Darshan of Siddhas. These are some of the important internal chakras for the practice of concentration.
You can concentrate on some of the abstract ideas such as ' purity,' ' courage,' ' love,' ' mercy,' etc. You can feel ' I am purity.' ' I am full of mercy.' ' I am full of love.' ' I am full of courage ' etc. You can even concentrate on ideas such as ' God is full of love.' ' God is Omnipresent.' ' God is full of light.' ' God is full of Knowledge.'
In Concentration you will have only one Vritti or wave in the mind-lake. The mind assumes the form of only one object. All other operations ofthe mind are suspended.
Krishna, according to your inclination or taste. An archer first aims at grosser objects. Then he takes up medium objects. Finally he shoots at finer and subtle objects. Even so, one should take to Saguna meditation to start with and when the mind is trained and disciplined well, he can have Nirakara, Nirguna meditation. Saguna meditation removes Vikshep.
Meditate on the mental picture of the Murthy or Form half to two hours only in the Trikute (the space between the two eye-brows) or in the heart. See and feel that the Ishtam is present in every object in the universe. When you meditate, mentally repeat the Mantra ofthe Ishtam. Feel that Sattwic qualities from the Ishtam flow towards you. Feel that you Dossess this Sattwic Bhavana. You will have Darshan of vour Ishtam, if you are sincere in vour practice.
To start with, meditate for half an hour in the morning from 4 to 4-30 and for half an hour in the evening from 6 to 6-30 and gradually you can increase the time up to 3 hours for each sitting. Morning time is the best for meditation. The mind is refreshed after sound sleep. Further Sattva predominates in the system as in the surrounding atmosphere.
Nirguna Meditation is Aham gra Upasana. This is meditation Om. This is meditation on an abstract idea. Sit in Padmasan. Repeat Om mentally. Keep the meaning of Om always in the mind. Feel that you are the all-pervading. You are Infinite Light. Feel that you are the Shud-dha-Sat-Chit Ananda Vyapak Atma, Nitya Shuddha Bhuddha Mukta. eternally free Brahman. Feel that you are Chaitanya. Feel that you are the ' Akhanda Paripoorna, Ekarasa, Santa, Infinite, Eternal, Unchanging Existence. Lip repetition will not do. It should be through heart, head and soul. Your whole soul should feel that you are the subtle, all-pervading intelligence. This feeling should be kept up continuously.
Negate the body idea when you repeat Om mentally. When you chant Om feel : Infinity I am, All light I am. All Joy I am. All Glory I am. All power I am. AU knowledge I am. All Ananda I am.
" Dhyanam Nirvishayam Manah "—That state of the mind wherein there are no Vishayas or sensual thoughts is meditation.
A continuous flow of perception or thought is Dhyana or meditation. There is continuous current in the mind on one object like the flow of water in a river.
Meditation is the keeping of an unceasing flow of God-consciousness. It is the flow of continuous thought of one thing or God or Atma. Meditation follows concentration. Meditation is regular flow of thought with regard to the object of concentration.
Meditation is the only way for attaining immortality and eternal bliss.
Meditation is of two main kinds viz-, Saguna (concrete) meditation and Nirguna (abstract) meditation. ■ In concrete meditation the student concentrates on the form of Lord Krishna, Rama, Siva, Hari, Gayatri or Sri Devi. In abstract meditation he concentrates the whole energy of the mind on one idea of God or Atma and avoids comparisons of memories and all other ideas. The one idea fills the whole mind.
Saguna meditation is meditation on a Murthy or form ofthe Lord. This is concrete form of meditation for people of devotional temperament. This is meditation with Gunas or attributes of God. Repeat the Name of the Lord. Think of his attributes, Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omnipresence etc. The mind will be filled with purity. Enthrone the Lord in the lotus of your heart amidst a blazing light. Mentally think of His feet, legs, chest, head, hands and" the ornaments and dress and again and again come to His face. Again and again repeat this process.
Saguna meditation is meditation on a form. Select any Murthy you like best, either Siva, Vishnu, Rama or
Meditate on the above ideas constantly. Constant.
effort with zeal and enthusiasm is indispensable. Repeat
mentally the above ideas incessantly. You will realise.
You will have Atma Darshan.
Meditate constantly and intensely : I am that Brahman
Even in Nirguna meditation (formless) there will be an abstract mental image in the beginning of Sadhan. The abstract image will vanish eventually. When you meditate negate the names and forms. Do not mistake either the physical body or the mind, the Prana, the intellect or the Indriyas for the pure eternal Atman. The highest Self is entirely distinct from these. Meditate on the above ideas and bring the Bhav during work also. You can take up any ofthe following formulae :—" I am the All. I am In all. I am the Immortal Self in all. I am living Truth." Bring back the mind to the point again and again if the mind wanders. You can rotate the mind from one formulae to another if the mind wanders and finally fix it on one formulae only, when the mind has become steady. The mind will become now like the steady flame of a lamp in a windless place. You will rest in your own Swaroopa, thoughtless state of pure bliss. Samadhi or superconscious state will ensue now.
The meditation is Samadhi when it shines with the object of meditation alone, as it were devoid of itself. The thinker and the meditated become one. The mind becomes the Dheyarupa. The separate notions ' contemplation,' ' contemplated ' and ' contemplator ' vanish. In the state of Samadhi the aspirant is not conscious of any external or internal objects. Just as the arrow-maker, having his mind engrossed in the arrow, knew not the king passing by his side, so also, the Yogi knows not anything when he is deep in his meditation.
Samadhi or blissful divine experience arises when the ego and the mind are dissolved. It is a state to be attained by one's own effort. It is limitless, divisionless and infinite. When this experience is realised, the mind, desires, actions and feelings of joy and sorrow vanish into a void.
Samadhi is of various kinds. But of all of them there are only very few important ones.
The Samadhi experienced by a Bhakta is Bhava Samadhi. The devotee attains the state through Bhava and Maha-Bhava. A Bhakta who meditates on the form of Lord Krishna will see Krishna and Krishna only everywhere, when he is established in Samadhi. All other forms will disappear. This is one kind of Samadhi. He will see himself as Krishna. Gopis of Brindavan, Gouranga and Ekanath had this experience. Those who meditate on the all-pervading Krishna will have another kind of cosmic experience, the consciousness of whole Virat.
Again there are two other varieties of Samadhi, viz-, Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa Samadhi. In the first variety there is Triputi or the triad, viz-, knower, knowledge and knowable, .or seer, sight and seen. The Samskaras are not destroyed. In.the latter the Samskaras are totally fried or destroyed. There is no Triputi, in Nirvikalpa.
Samprajnata is another name for Savikalpa Samadhi. Asamprajnata is another name for Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
In Nirvikalpa Samadhi there is no ego-consciousness. Ego and mind melt and fuse in Brahman. The pure mind assumes the form of Brahman. This is known as Nirbija Samadhi. There is no prop for the mind in this Samadhi. The Samskaras are fried in toto. Savikalpa Samadhi deepens into Nirvikalpa Samadhi. There is no idea of any kind in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. It is thoughtless Absolute Consciousness.
Nirvikalpa means that in which there is no Vikalpa. That which is not associated with any idea is Nirvikalpa. No imagination, no functioning of mind or intellect. All vrittis totally cease. There is only pure Consciousness or awareness. All the Samskaras and Vasanas are fried in toto. All names and forms are burnt up. Asti-Bhati-Priya only remains. Asti-Bhati-Priya is Sat-Chit-Ananda. That which ever exists is Asti ; that which shines is Bhati. This is Absolute consciousness. And that which gives happiness is Priya ; this is unalloyed Bliss, Ananda. In Nirvikalpa Samadhi the mind is freed from distraction, attachments. It rests unmoved like the flame of a lamp sheltered from the wind.
In Samadhi or Super-Consciousness the student gets himself merged in the Lord. The senses, the mind and the intellect cease functioning. Just as river joins the ocean, the individual soul mixes with the Supreme Soul. The Samadhi bestows Supreme knowledge, and one is freed from the wheel of births and deaths and gets Kaivalya (Moksha) or liberation.