Monday, December 20, 2010

Chitta And The Control Of Prana

Chitta And The Control Of Prana

1. Chitta is the Subconscious mind. It is the mind-stuff. It is the store-house of memory. Samskaras or impressions of actions are imbedded here. It is one of the four parts of Antahkarana or inner instruments, viz., mind, intellect, Chitta and Ahankara or ego.

2. Mind is formed out of wind. So, it is fleeting like the wind. Intellect is formed out of fire. Chitta is formed out of water. Ego is formed out of earth.

3. Chitta has two causes for its existence, viz., Vasanas or subtle desires and the vibration of Prana.

4. If one of them is controlled, the result is, both of them are controlled.

Mitahara, Asana And Shakti-Chalana

5. Of these two, viz., Prana and Vasanas, the student of Yoga should control Prana by moderate food (Mitahara), by Asanas or Yogic postures and thirdly by Shakti-Chalana.

6. O Gautama! I shall explain the nature of these three disciplines. Listen with rapt attention.

7. The Yogi should take sweet and nutritious food. He should fill half the stomach with food. He should drink water, one quarter of the stomach. He should leave the fourth quarter of the stomach unfilled in order to propitiate Lord Siva, the patron of the Yogins. This is moderation in diet.

The Padma And Vajra Asanas

8. Placing of the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh, is Padmasana. This posture is the destroyer of all sins.

9. Placing one heel below the Muladhara and the other over it and sitting with the trunk, neck and head in one straight line is the adamantine posture or the Vajrasana. Mulakanda is the root of the Kanda, the genital organ.

The Rousing Of The Kundalini

10. A wise Yogi should take the Kundalini from the Muladhara to the Sahasrara or the thousand-petalled Lotus in the crown of the head. This process is called Shakti-Chalana.

11. The Kundalini should pass through the Svadhishthana Chakra, the Manipura Chakra in the navel, the Anahata Chakra in the heart, the Vishuddha Chakra in the throat, and the Ajna Chakra between the eyebrows or the Trikuti.

12. Two things are necessary for the practice of Shakti-Chalana. One is the Sarasvati Chalana and the other is the restraint of Prana or the breath.

The Sarasvati Chalana

13. Sarasvati Chalana is the rousing of the Sarasvati Nadi. Sarasvati Nadi is situated on the west of the navel among the fourteen Nadis. Sarasvati is called Arundhati. Literally, it means that which helps the performance of good actions.

14. Through this practice of Sarasvati Chalana and the restraint of the Prana, the Kundalini which is spiral becomes straightened.

15. The Kundalini is roused only by rousing the Sarasvati.

16. When Prana or the breath is passing through one’s Ida or the left nostril, one should sit firmly in Padmasana and lengthen inwards 4 digits the Akasa of 12 digits. In exhalation Prana goes out 16 digits and in inhalation it goes in only 12 digits, thus losing 4. But if inhaled for 16 digits then the Kundalini is aroused.

17. The wise Yogi should bring Sarasvati Nadi by means of this lengthened breath and holding firmly together both the ribs near the navel by means of the forefinger and thumbs of both hands one hand on each side, should stir up Kundalini with all his strength, from right to left, again and again. This stirring may extend over a period of 48 minutes.

18. Then he should draw up a little when Kundalini finds its entry into Sushumna. This is the means by which the Kundalini enters the mouth of Sushumna.

19. Along with the Kundalini, Prana also enters of itself the Sushumna.

20. The Yogic student should also expand navel by compressing the neck. After this, by shaking Sarasvati, the Prana is sent above to the chest. By the contraction of the neck, Prana goes above from the chest.

21. Sarasvati has sound in her womb. She should be thrown into vibration or shaken daily.

22. Merely by shaking Sarasvati one is cured of dropsy or Jalodara, Gulma (a disease of the stomach), Pliha (a disease of the spleen) and all other diseases rising within the belly.

Varieties Of Pranayama

23. Briefly, I will now describe to you Pranayama. Prana is the Vayu that moves in the body. The restraint of Prana within is known as Kumbhaka.

24. Kumbhaka is of two kinds, namely, Sahita and Kevala.

25. Till he gets Kevala, the Yogic student should practise Sahita.

26. There are four divisions or Bhedas. These divisions are: Surya, Ujjayi, Sitali and Bhastrika. Sahita Kumbhaka is the Kumbhaka associated with these four.

Suryabheda Kumbhaka

27. Select a place which is pure, beautiful and free from pebbles, thorns, etc. It should be of the length of a bow free from cold, fire and water. To this place, take a pure and pleasant seat which is neither too high nor too low. Upon it, sit in Padmasana. Now, shake or throw into vibration Sarasvati. Slowly inhale the breath from outside, through the right nostril, as long as this is comfortable, and exhale it through the left nostril. Exhale after purifying the skull by forcing the breath up. This destroys the four kinds of evils caused by Vayu. It destroys also the intestinal worms. This should be repeated often. It is called Suryabheda.

Ujjayi Kumbhaka

28. Close the mouth. Draw up slowly the breath through both the nostrils. Retain it in the space between the heart and the neck. Then exhale through the left nostril.

29. This removes both the heat caused in the head and the phlegm in the throat. It removes all diseases. It purifies the body and increases the gastric fire. It removes all the evils arising in the Nadis, Jalodara or dropsy, that is water in the belly, and Dhatus. The name for this Kumbhaka is Ujjayi. It can be practised even when walking or standing.

Sitali Kumbhaka

30. Draw up the breath through the tongue with the hissing sound Sa. Retain it as before. Then slowly exhale through both the nostrils. This is called Sitali Kumbhaka.

31. Sitali Kumbhaka cools the body. It destroys gulma or the chronic dyspepsia, Pliha (a disease of the spleen), consumption, bile, fever, thirst and poison.

32. Sit in Padmasana with belly and neck erect. Close the mouth and exhale through the nostrils. Then inhale a little up to the neck so that the breath will fill the space, with noise, between the neck and skull. Then exhale in the same way and inhale often and often. Even as the bellows of a smith are moved stuffed within with air and then let out, so you should move the air within the body. When you get tired, inhale through the right nostril. If the belly is full of Vayu, press well the nostrils with all your fingers except the forefinger. Perform Kumbhaka and exhale through the left nostril.

33. This removes the inflammation of the throat. It increases the digestive gastric fire within. It enables one to know the Kundalini. It produces purity, removes sins, gives pleasure and happiness and destroys phlegm which is the bolt or obstacle to the door at the mouth of Brahmanadi or the Sushumna.

34. It pierces also the three Granthis or knots differentiated through the three modes of Nature or Gunas. The three Granthis or knots are Vishnu Granthi, Brahma Granthi and Rudra Granthi. This Kumbhaka is called Bhastrika. This should be especially practised by the Hatha Yogic students.

The Three Bandhas

35. The Yogic student should now practise the three Bandhas. The three Bandhas are: the Mula Bandha, the Uddiyana Bandha and the Jalandhara Bandha.

36. Mula Bandha: Apana (breath) which has a downward tendency is forced up by the sphincter muscles of the anus. Mula Bandha is the name of this process.

37. When Apana is raised up and reaches the sphere of Agni (fire) then the flame of Agni grows long, being blown about by Vayu.

38. Then, in a heated state, Agni and Apana commingle with the Prana. This Agni is very fiery. Through this there arises in the body the fire that rouses the sleeping Kundalini through its heat.

39. Then this Kundalini makes a hissing noise. It becomes erect like a serpent beaten with a stick and enters the hole of Brahmanadi or the Sushumna. Therefore, the Yogins should practise daily Mulabandha often.

40. The Uddiyana Bandha: At the end of the Kumbhaka and at the beginning of expiration, Uddiyana Bandha should be performed. Because Prana Uddiyate, or the Prana goes up the Sushumna in this Bandha, the Yogins call it Uddiyana.

41. Sit in the Vajrasana. Hold firmly the two toes by the two hands. Then press at the Kanda and at the places near the two ankles. Then gradually upbear the Tana or the thread or the Nadi which is on the western side first to Udara or the upper part of the abdomen above the navel, then to the heart and then to the neck. When the Prana reaches the Sandhi or the junction of the navel, slowly it removes the impurities and diseases in the navel. For this reason, this should be practised frequently.

42. The Jalandhara Bandha: This should be practised at the end of Puraka (after inhalation). This is of the form of contraction of the neck and is an impediment to the passage of Vayu (upwards).

43. The Prana goes through Brahmanadi on the western Tana in the middle, when the neck is contracted at once by bending downwards so that the chin may touch the breast. Assuming the posture as mentioned before, the Yogi should stir up Sarasvati and control Prana.

How Many Times Kumbhaka Should Be Practised

44. On the first day, Kumbhaka should be practised four times.

45. It should be done ten times, on the second day, and then five times separately.

46. On the third day, twenty times will be enough. Afterwards Kumbhaka should be practised with the three Bandhas and with an increase of five times each day.

The Obstacles To The Practice Of Yoga And How To Overcome Them

47. Seven are the causes of the diseases in the body. Sleeping during the daytime is the first, late vigils overnight is the second, excess of sexual intercourse the third, moving amidst crowds the fourth. The fifth cause is the effect of unwholesome food. The sixth is the checking of the discharge of urine and faeces. The seventh is the laborious mental operation with Prana.

48. When attacked by such diseases, the Yogi who is afraid of them says, “My diseases have arisen from my practices of Yoga.” Then he will discontinue this practice. This is the first obstacle to Yoga.

49. The second obstacle to Yoga is the doubt as to the efficacy of Yoga practice.

50. Third obstacle is carelessness or a state of confusion.

51. The fourth is indifference or laziness.

52. Sleep constitutes the fifth obstacle to Yoga practice.

53. The sixth is not leaving the objects of senses; the seventh is the erroneous perception or delusion.

54. The eighth is sensual objects or concern with worldly affairs. The ninth is want of faith. The tenth is non-aptitude for understanding of the truths of Yoga.

The Rousing Of The Kundalini

55. The intelligent practitioner of Yoga should, by means of close investigation and great deliberation, avoid these ten obstacles.

56. With the mind firmly fixed on the Truth, the practice of Pranayama should be performed daily. Then the mind takes its repose in the Sushumna. The Prana therefore never moves.

57. When the impurities of the mind are thus removed and Prana is absorbed in the Sushumna, one becomes a true Yogin.

58. When the accumulated impurity, clogging the Sushumna Nadi, is completely removed and the passage of vital air through the Sushumna is effected by performing Kevala Kumbhaka, the Yogin forcibly causes the Apana with the downward course to rise upwards by the contraction of the anus (Mula Bandha).

59. Thus raised up, the Apana mixes with Agni. Then they go up quickly to the seat of Prana. Then, Prana and Apana uniting with one another, go to Kundalini which is coiled up and asleep.

60. Heated by Agni and stirred up by Vayu, Kundalini stretches its body in the interior of the mouth of the Sushumna.

The Kundalini Reaches The Sahasrara By Piercing Through The Three Knots

61. The Kundalini pierces through the Brahmagranthi formed of Rajas. It flashes at once like lightning at the mouth of Sushumna.

62. Then Kundalini goes up at once through Vishnugranthi to the heart. Then it goes up through the Rudragranthi and above it to the middle of the eyebrows.

63. Having pierced this place, the Kundalini goes up to the Mandala (sphere) of the moon. It dries up the moisture produced by the moon in the Anahata Chakra which has sixteen petals.

64. Through the speed of Prana, when the blood is agitated, it becomes bile from its contact with the sun. Then it goes to the sphere of the moon. Here it becomes of the nature of pure phlegm.

65. When it flows there, how does the blood which is very cold become hot?

66. Since at the same time the intense white form of moon is rapidly heated. The agitated Kundalini moves upwards and the shower of nectar flows more copiously.

67. As a result of swallowing this, the Chitta of the Yogin is kept away from all sensual pleasures. The Yogin is exclusively absorbed in the Atma partaking of the sacrificial offering called nectar. He takes his stand in his own Self.

68. He enjoys this highest state. He becomes devoted to the Atman and attains peace.

The Dissolution Of Prana And Others

69. The Kundalini then goes to the seat of the Sahasrara. It gives up the eight forms of the Prakriti: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and egoism.

70. After clasping the eye, the mind, the Prana and the others in her embrace, the Kundalini goes to Siva and clasping Siva as well, dissolves herself in the Sahasrara.

71. Thus Rajas-Sukla or the seminal fluid which rises up, goes to Siva along with Marut or the Vayu. Prana and Apana which are always produced become equal.

72. Prana flows in all things, big and small, describable or indescribable, as fire in gold. The breath also dissolves itself.

73. Born together of the same quality, the Prana and the Apana also dissolve themselves in the presence of Siva in the Sahasrara. Having reached an equipoised condition, they no longer go up or down.

74. Then the Yogi thrives with the Prana spread outward in the form of attenuated elements or in the mere remembrance of it, the mind having been reduced to the form of faint impressions and the speech having remained only in the form of recollection.

75. All the vital airs then spread themselves outright in his body even as gold in a crucible placed on fire.

Experiencing Everything As Consciousness During Samadhi

76. The body of the Yogi attains very subtle state of the pure Brahman. By causing the body made of the elements to be absorbed in a subtle state in the form of the Paramatman or the supreme Deity, the body of the Yogi gives up its impure corporal state.

77. That alone is the Truth underlying all things, which is released from the state of non-sentience and is devoid of impurities.

78. That alone which is of the nature of the Absolute Consciousness, which is of the character of the attribute “I” of all beings, the Brahman, the subtlest form of That alone is the Truth underlying all things.

79. The release from the notion that the Brahman is qualified, the delusion about the existence or non-existence of anything apart from the Brahman (which should be annihilated) and experience such as these that remain, there the Yogi should know as the Brahman. Simultaneously with the drawing of such knowledge of the form of the Atman, the liberation is attained by him.

80. When such is not the case, only all kinds of absurd and impossible notions arise. The rope-serpent and such other absurd notions, brought about by delusion take their rise. Absurd notions like the notion which men and women have, of silver, in the shell of the pearl-oyster, arise.

81. The Yogi should realise the oneness of the Visvatman and others up to the Turiya. He should realise the oneness of the microcosm with the Virat Atman and others, upto the Turiya, of the macrocosm, also of the Linga with the Sutratman, of the Self with the unmanifested state, of the Atman manifested in one’s Self with the Atman of Consciousness.

The Samadhi Yoga

82. The Kundalini Sakti is like a thread in the Lotus. It is resplendent. It is biting with its mouth, the upper end of its body, at the root of the Lotus, the Mulakanda or the Muladhara.

83. It is in contact with the hole of Brahmanadi of Sushumna, taking hold of its tail with its mouth.

84. Seated in Padmasana, if a person who has accustomed himself to the contraction of his anus (Mula Bandha), makes the Vayu go upwards with the mind intent on Kumbhaka, the Agni comes to the Svadhishthana flaming, owing to the blowing of Vayu.

85. From the blowing of Vayu and Agni, Kundalini pierces open the Brahmagranthi. It then pierces open the Vishnugranthi.

86. Then the Kundalini pierces the Rudragranthi. After that, it pierces all the six lotuses or the plexus. Then the Kundalini Sakti is happy with Siva in Sahasradala Kamala, the thousand-petalled lotus. This should be known as the highest Avastha or the state. This alone is the giver of final beatitude. Thus ends the first chapter.

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