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Title: Prana, Kundalini & Yoga


1
Prana, Kundalini Yoga
2
Pranas
3
Prâna in Indian Philosophy
  • The Vedas in India are the oldest recorded major
    scriptures known to exist. Following them, came
    the Upanishads, Vedanta, Shaiva, Vaishnava,
    Buddhist and Tantric philosophies, to name a few
    of the primary ones. Thus, there was a continuous
    development of the science of Yoga for millennia
    during which time disciplines which led to the
    awakening of Kundalini were developed and refined
    to an extent that has been unmatched in any other
    known culture in the world.
  • The ultimate reality behind the phenomenal
    universe, according to the Upanishads, is
    referred to as Brahman. Brahman is said to be
    attributeless. It has no size, no shape, no
    color, no taste, no smell nor form. Brahman is
    held to be infinite, unbounded by time or space,
    the source of all. It is a unity, with no degrees
    or differences or sub-divisions. Being infinite
    and formless, it is unknowable by the intellect.
    Perhaps the only characteristic by which we can
    comprehend Brahman is that it is an infinite
    unbounded super-conscious Intelligence.
  • The Indian philosophies have subdivided Brahman
    into two complementary aspects. This consists of
    an unchanging Conscious Principle, that is in
    turn, completed by an infinite Creative Energy.
    The conscious principle has been designated as
    Atman or Shiva and the creative energy as Shakti.
    These may be thought of as the static and kinetic
    aspects of creation.
  • Shakti, or Para-Shakti as it is known in its
    cosmic form, the super-intelligent creative
    energy, is said to be the power which creates,
    maintains and destroys the entire phenomenal
    universe. This Cosmic Shakti operates in the
    phenomenal world in two primary ways. It
    functions in inanimate matter by manifesting the
    elements, atoms and molecules of the physical
    world and the four (at this time) known forces
    which bind them together. It also functions in
    the animate or living world as a subtle
    immaterial essence pervading all life forms,
    governing all biological processes within them.
    This form of Shakti is termed Prâna-Shakti or
    just Prâna.

4
Prâna- What It Is
  • The Subtle body is a minute germ of a living
    substance. It contains the invisible particles of
    matter which are held together by vital force. It
    also possesses mind or thought-force in a
    potential state, just as the seed of a plant
    contains the life force and the power of growth.
    It consists of Antah-karana the internal organ
    or the mind substance with its various
    modifications mind, intellect, egoism, memory,
    and Bahya-karana the 5 instruments of
    perception the powers of seeing, hearing,
    smelling, tasting and touching the 5 instruments
    of action the powers of seizing, moving,
    speaking, evacuating and generating, and the 5
    Prânas.
  • Prâna is the medium for the activity of thought
    and transference of sensations and impulses in
    living organisms, which controls the vital
    functions of all sentient life. This energy is
    said to become directly perceptible to the mind
    when some degree of true success is achieved in
    Yoga.
  • In its cosmic form, Prâna is a highly diffused
    intelligent energy spread everywhere. But in the
    individual it takes a specific form as the
    bio-plasma or individual Prâna composed of an
    extremely subtle organic essence drawn from the
    elements and compounds forming the body. It is
    this essence which, transformed into psychic
    energy, becomes the fuel for thought. The
    bio-plasma, sustained by the cosmic ocean of
    Pâana, permeates each and every cell of an
    organism.
  • Prâna is considered to be the basic vital life
    force which, disappearing at death, leads to the
    separation of the physical body from the Infinite
    Conscious Principle that had been linked to it.
    Prâna has a range or spectrum which varies from
    individual to individual and from species to
    species. It is this spectrum which is the source
    of the human aura that is described by psychics
    and clairvoyants and detected by Kirlian
    photography.

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6
Prâna- as a Yoga
  • The term Hatha Yoga is a compound of the two
    Sanskrit words Ha and Tha, which mean the
    Sun and the Moon. They represent the two
    basic polarities of Prâna-Shakti, termed Prâna
    and Apâna, which are said to function in the
    nervous system producing a heating or cooling
    effect respectively. They correspond to the two
    channels or nâdis named Pingla and Ida on the
    right and left sides of the spinal cord.
  • Hatha Yoga has as one of its primary objectives
    the ability to enhance the production,
    purification and control of Prâna in the
    practitioner and thereby to stimulate into
    heightened activity the mechanism of Kundalini.
    The term Prânayama, which is sometimes mistaken
    to mean simply the control of the breath, in
    actual fact denotes the control of this vital
    energy.
  • While air is the gross/physical attribute, it
    contains within it the subtle energy of Prâna
    (life-force). Simply by breathing air, we receive
    the benefits of Prâna in an unconcentrated form.
    But the yogic practice of Prânayama is not simply
    to breathe air, rather it is to stoke the
    internal fires to distill the Prâna from the air
    and to concentrate its effects to expand ones
    consciousness.
  • It is primarily through the medium of the
    respiratory system that Prâna is absorbed into
    the body from the surrounding air to replenish
    the store of vital energy which circulates in all
    parts of the body. Prâna appears to use Oxygen as
    the major vehicle for its activity in the body.
    The nervous system is thus the channel by which
    the Prânic energy stored in the cells of the body
    is collected and transmitted to the brain.
  • Since the nervous system in the human body is
    the basis for all feeling, movement, muscle
    control, information transmission and
    coordination, it is almost certain that Prânas
    activity in the body is intimately connected with
    this system. This aspect of the energy is of
    great concern in Yoga theory.

7
Prâna- a Super-Intelligence
  • Within the slowly evolving human being, the
    immune system is undergoing a rapid internal
    evolution of its own. How can such an amazing
    system possibly exist without the control and
    guidance of some remarkable agency such as Prâna?
    When we physically damage our bodies, the healing
    process takes over, completely beyond our control
    or understanding, repairing bones, organs and
    tissues. The fact that these processes work much
    more quickly when we are asleepin a totally
    unconscious stateagain indicates the operation
    of an intelligent agency present in our bodies,
    but separate from and undetected by our normal
    consciousness.
  • One of the most amazing aspects of Prâna is that
    it carries on all its intricate, complex and
    far-reaching activities in the human body without
    being in any way directly perceptible to us in
    our normal state of consciousness. Day after day
    we behold the miracles of conception and birth,
    healing, recovery from disease, regeneration
    during sleep, and for the most part do not even
    begin to suspect the possibility of a stupendous
    intelligence behind it all.
  • Not only must this super-intelligence know
    intimately every aspect of our physical being,
    but almost certainly our mental and emotional
    natures too. It is for this reason that those who
    awakened the Serpent Power in the past referred
    to it as a goddessan all-knowing Intelligence
    which knew every aspect of their being.
  • In the perspective of Sant-Mat, Prâna is
    considered merely the power behind the
    functioning of the Koshas or coverings that
    envelope the Soul, while the power behind the
    soul itself is Naam, Shabd or Holy Word,
    comprising the inner Sound and Light. It is Naam
    that creates Prâna. Hence, while Naam is
    considered to be a Chetan or conscious entity,
    Prâna is merely its Jada or inert covering that
    is concerned with duality of Mind and Matter. It
    is Prâna that creates the manifest world with the
    assistance of Naam, but cannot lead to the true
    Spiritual Goal.

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10
Prânas- their Function
  • The Subtle body is a minute germ of a living
    substance. It contains the invisible particles of
    matter which are held together by vital force. It
    also possesses mind or thought-force in a
    potential state, just as the seed of a plant
    contains the life force and the power of growth.
    It consists of Antah-karana the internal organ
    or the mind substance with its various
    modifications mind, intellect, egoism, memory,
    and Bahya-karana the 5 instruments of
    perception the powers of seeing, hearing,
    smelling, tasting and touching the 5 instruments
    of action the powers of seizing, moving,
    speaking, evacuating and generating, and the 5
    Prânas.
  • Prâna means vital energy or the life-sustaining
    power in us. Although Prâna is one, it takes 5
    different names on account of the 5 different
    functions it performs. This word Prâna includes
    the five manifestations of the vital force.
  • The first power of Vyâna is that which works in
    every part of the nervous system from head to
    foot, through every canal, which keeps the shape
    of the body, preserves it from putrefaction, and
    gives health and life to every cell and organ.
    Second, that power which moves the lungs and
    draws the atmospheric air from outside into the
    system. This is also called Prâna. Second, that
    power which throws out of the system such things
    as are not wanted. It is called in Sanskrit
    Apâna. Third, it is called Udâna when it is the
    cause of bringing down food from the mouth
    through the alimentary canal to the stomach, and
    also when it is the cause of the power of speech.
    Fourth, it takes the name of Samâna, as
    performing digestive functions and carrying the
    extract of food to every part of the body.
  • These 5 Prânas stay in the grosser body. They
    are also in the finer or subtle body as the 5
    finer breaths corresponding to the 5 grosser
    Prânas.

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12
Prana
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15
Aura
Halo
Chakra centres of the bodies above the Physical
are all situated in the Brain
Chakras of the Etheric Double Egg
16
Kundalini
17
The Kundalini
  • The knowledge of Kundalini is very ancient. It
    dates back at least to the time of the Indus
    Valley civilization which flourished from about
    3,000 B.C. onwards. Ancient seals from this time
    depicting a three-faced God, sitting on a throne
    in a crossed-legged Yoga posture on a deerskin,
    surrounded by a tiger, buffalo and rhinoceros are
    almost without doubt representations of the God
    Shiva of later Indian philosophies. The fact that
    the male God depicted on the seals is shown in
    Yoga posture with erect phallus demonstrates a
    definite knowledge of the intimate connection
    that Kundalini has with the reproductive system.
  • Yoga traditions aim to awaken the Kundalini,
    because these traditions believe that the
    Kundalini is the power that is required to attain
    the ultimate goal of spiritual perfection.
    Kundalini is described as a sleeping, dormant
    potential force in the human organism. It is one
    of the components of the supra-physical body,
    which consists of Nâdis (energy channels),
    Chakras (psychic centres), Prâna (subtle energy),
    and Bindu (drops of essence).
  • It is depicted a phenomenal energy in the body,
    which can be aroused and manipulated through
    meditation and breathing exercises to rise up the
    spine into the brain. It is often pictured as
    being a form of subtle electricity powering the
    chakras, leading to states of cosmic
    consciousness. It is also a believed that
    meditation, practiced for a period of time,
    results in the awakening of Kundalini and the
    experience of higher consciousness.
  • Kundalini is the Goddess of speech. She is also
    called Saraswati, as she is the form of Shabda
    Brahman. She is the source of all Knowledge and
    Bliss. She is pure consciousness itself. She is
    Prâna Shakti, the Supreme Force, the Mother of
    Prâna, Agni, Bindu, and Nâda. It is by this
    Shakti that the world exists. Creation,
    preservation and dissolution are in her. It is
    through her Shakti on subtle Prâna, Nâda is
    produced. She maintains the individual soul
    through the subtle Prâna.

18
Kundalini is Fire
  • There are innumerable fires in the human
    body. The fire of stomach (Jatharagni) digests
    food and results in semen formation. Persons
    agitated by the fire of sexual passion (Kaamagni)
    burn themselves like a moth in a flame.  The fire
    of speech (Vaani Agni) makes friends or foes with
    good/bad speech.  The radiance of Ojas, Tejas and
    Varchas includes brilliance in all humans.  Fire
    of Brahman (Brahmagni) dwells in the Sahasrara
    Kanwal (1000-petalled lotus) and gives the
    individual soul a divine vision. The fire of
    sentiments (Bhavagni) in the heart manifests as
    compassion, friendship, sense of service etc. The
    fire of time (Kaalagni) induces death.  The fire
    of lethargy (Mandaagni) induces lethargy and
    diseases in man. The vital force fire is
    Kundalini which abounds in life force, daring and
    vigour in mankind.
  • Kundalini is also called Kaamabeeja (seed of all
    desires and sexual passion). When the Shivalinga
    is bathed, symbolizing Kundalini awakening, then
    the water vessel is placed on the tripod stand
    and one by one drops of water bathe the
    Shivalinga. In order that Sexual passion does not
    manifest nectar needs to be dripped in these
    regions from the head area.  This nectar is
    called Soma Rasa.  In the Soham spiritual
    practice of Khechri Mudra, one gets to sip this
    Soma Rasa. The 3 legs of the tripod stand
    represent the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna Nadis.
  • Kundalini is like a forest fire. If Kundalini
    enters the arena of desires, it can shatter a
    human being.  But when it is used for spiritual
    endeavours, then not only is itself happy, but
    that it gives joy. Mans basic power principle is
    Kundalini, which is joined to cosmic
    consciousness, and based on desires and needs, it
    imbibes energy from the cosmic storehouse. The
    latent serpent fire present in the Mooladhara
    Chakra keeps spitting venom while lying in the
    Kunda.  But this venom can be converted to
    nectar.  Kundalini awakening involves raising it
    to higher Chakras for drinking nectar and Soma
    Rasa (juice). It has also been called cosmic
    electricity.

19
Kundalini
20
Kundalini- Its Location
  • Kundalini is the dormant cosmic power in
    individual bodies. It has been described as a
    residual power of pure desire. It is not a
    material force like electricity or magnetism. It
    is an electric fiery occult power, the great
    pristine force which underlies all organic and
    inorganic matter. It is a spiritual potential
    Shakti or cosmic power. In reality it has no
    form. Prâna, Ahamkara, Buddhi, Indriyas, mind,
    five gross elements, nerves are all the products
    of Kundalini.
  • Kundalini resides in the Kanda, the triangular
    shaped sacrum bone in 3.1/2 coils, coiled up
    around a smokey grey lingam at the base of the
    spine. The location of the Kanda is 12 angulis
    (or about 9 inches) above the anus and 3 inches
    long and 3 inches in breadth. It is the shape of
    a bird's egg and covered with a soft white piece
    of cloth. There sleeps the Kundalini.
  • Kundalini, the Serpent Power or mystic fire,
    is the primordial energy or Shakti that lies
    dormant or sleeping in the Mooladhara Chakra. It
    is called the serpentine or annular power on
    account of serpentine form. Hence Kundalini is
    also called Bhujangini, serpent power. The 3
    coils represent the 3 Gunas of Prakriti Sattva,
    Rajas and Tamas, and the ½ coil represents the
    Vikritis, the modification of Prakriti.
  • In the Mooladhara chakra, there is Swayambhu
    Linga. The head of the Linga is the space where
    Sushumna Nâdi is attached to the Kânda. The
    Kundalini lies face downwards at the mouth of
    Sushumna Nâdi upon the head of Swayambhu Linga.
    When it is awakened, it makes a hissing sound
    like that of a serpent beaten with a stick, and
    proceeds to the other chakras through the Brahma
    Nâdi, which is also called Chitra Nâdi within
    Sushumna.
  • Kundalini is awakened by the Yogi being seated
    on the Vajrasana and taking hold of the ankles,
    slowly beating the Kanda.

21
Kundalini is located In the Kanda
22
Kundalini- Its Location
  • Mooladhara is the source of Prâna (vital force)
    but its widespread nature, behaviour and
    distribution function is possible only through
    the medium of Merudanda. Just above the
    Mooladhara and slightly below the Swadhishthana
    chakra is the prostrate gland.  Here lies the
    semen center.  The waves emanating from this
    induces area sexual passion.  The hormones
    emitted by it are responsible for sperm
    production.  The womb of women too lies in this
    region.  In the lower area of the Sushumna lies
    the lumbar and sacral plexus.  These 2 plexuses
    control urine emission and sexual passion of the
    genitals. This is the area of all useful
    inspirations of life and is also called Kanda,
    Kurd or Kaam Beej (seed of sexual passion). 
  • Kanda also has another name called Koorma
    (tortoise).  It is the representative of Koorma
    Avatar i.e. tortoise incarnation of God.  Because
    of its activity of withdrawing and stretching its
    legs it is said to be the symbol of divine
    powers.  The shape of Kanda region is like that
    of an egg.  It is compared to the withdrawn state
    of the hands and legs of an tortoise.  In the
    legend of ocean churning the churning rod was the
    Mandarachala mountain.  Lord Koorma as the
    tortoise sat under this mountain and took its
    weight on his shoulders.  This is a symbolic
    description for the churning and power of the
    inner world of the Kanda region or tortoise.
  • The sleeping Kundalini Shakti wound around the
    Shivalinga dwells there like a sleeping female
    snake.  But when it evolves and rises up towards
    the head region she dwells in the grey matter of
    the brain i.e. in the subtle nerve network of
    Sahasrara Kamal.  After a rise the small
    Shivalinga takes the form of a gigantic mount
    Kailash. It evolves further in the blooming
    1000petalled lotus called the Sahasradal
    Kamal. Mooladhara chakra is also called the seed
    of sexual passion and Sahasrara Kamal is the seed
    of divine wisdom. The purification-coordination
    of both results in discriminative activities. 

23
Kundalini Awakening
  • Kundalini has connection with subtle Prâna.
    Subtle Prâna has connection with the subtle nadis
    and chakras. Subtle nâdis have connection with
    the mind. Mind has connection all through the
    body. Prâna is the dynamic working force of the
    body. This static Shakti is affected by Prânayama
    and other Yogic practices and becomes dynamic.
    These two functions, static and dynamic, are
    termed sleeping and awakening of the
    Kundalini.
  • After being awakened, Kundalini is said to be
    able to remove the knots of the major chakras,
    cleanse, open and develop them until they are
    fully developed into full-blooming lotus forms.
    In the Mooladhara chakra the soul light appears
    as fire.  In the Swadhishthâna chakra it appears
    as a shoot of coral.  In the Manipura  chakra it
    shines like electricity.  In the Nâbhi chakra it
    is like the light of lightning.  In the Anahata
    Chakra it is like the shape of a phallus, in the
    Vishuddhi Chakra as white in colour and in the
    Taalu chakra there is an experience of oneness
    and formlessness.  In the Bhroo chakra it is like
    the flame of the shape of our thumb.  In the Ajna
    Chakra it is like a flame of smoke and in the
    Sahasrar like a shining axe.
  • However, only a few are said to really able to
    awaken their Kundalini. For those who are lucky
    enough to have their Kundalini awakened, the
    cleansing process of the Kundalini would still
    take decades. Kundalini requires years to
    cleanse, open and develop a chakra completely,
    and the process is done from the base chakra
    upwards in sequential order.
  • As the Kundalini starts at the lowest chakra and
    spends a few years at this base chakra, it takes
    decades before the Kundalini can start working on
    the crown, the 7th chakra. In most cases, one
    will die before achieving the final goal since
    the time required is too long. Even if the
    Kundalini reaches the crown chakra, it is just
    the beginning of the real journey of the
    Kundalini.

24
Kundalini Awakening
  • There are 4 different stages in the Kundalini
    awakening process 1. Awakening stage
    (Arambha) Technically speaking, the Kundalini is
    considered awakened when the shell of the
    Kundalini is broken and so is the knot of the
    base chakra, the Brahma Granthi as this is very
    close to the Kundalini center. 2. Cleansing stage
    (Ghata) After the Kundalini energy opens the
    second knot at the heart chakra, the Vishnu
    Granthi, Kundalini energy can flow easier toward
    different parts of the body to do more thorough
    cleansing. 3. Absorption stage (Parichaya) At
    this stage, the cleansing is done in different
    body layers. 4. Final stage (Nishpatti) When the
    Kundalini opens the third knot at the Ajna (Third
    eye) chakra, called the Rudra Granthi, the
    person is only one step away from getting the
    crown chakra opened. As the crown chakra opens,
    one is able to achieve self realization, cosmic
    realization, and then achieve Yoga.
  • Kundalini can be classified into three parts
    the core, the fire, and the energy. The Core of
    the Kundalini itself is the Kundalini proper. It
    is the last part that moves. It can only move
    after the Sushumna is open quite wide and is
    clean. The cleansing is actually done by the fire
    of the Kundalini. The fire is released/uncoiled
    energy from the Kundalini. Released energy from
    the Kundalini looks like fire and it cleanses by
    burning. The fire burns all negativities and
    blockages in the energy body to cleanse the
    energy body. Burnt negativities and blockages are
    brought up and out from the body. If the crown
    chakra is already open, the energy flows out
    through the crown chakra.
  • Kundalini is a magnificent power and requires
    one to be cleansed and pure enough before one is
    ready for its awakening. Otherwise, one could
    have serious problems and sickness after the
    Kundalini is awakened. After preparing themselves
    for years, people normally do special exercises
    to awaken their Kundalini.

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Kundalini Awakening Practices
  • ParâShakti united with Shiva, whose substance is
    the pure nectar or bliss, red-like unto
    vermillion, the sunset sky, who having crept her
    way through the mass of sound issuing from the
    clashing and dashing of the two winds in the
    midst of the Sushumna, rises to the brilliant
    energy which glitters with the lustre of ten
    million lightnings. She, the Kundalini, who
    quickly goes to and returns from Shiva, grants us
    the fruit of Yoga! Being awakened, she is the
    Cow of Plenty to Kaulas, and the Kalpa Creeper
    of all things desired for those who worship her.
  • There are two common techniques of Kundalini
    awakening. The first one is called Kumbhaka (vase
    breath technique). The other is called Bandha
    Traya (three locks). Kundalini can also be
    awakened instantly with the help of someone else.
    This method is called Shaktipat  (energy
    transfer). In this method someone uses his energy
    to help another awaken his Kundalini.
  • The gist of Kundalini awakening involves
    attracting vital consciousness from the cosmos so
    as to unite this great consciousness with ones
    own vital force and thus attain higher divine
    powers.  Hence Yogic practices are encouraged so
    as to utilize these divine powers for higher
    sacred goals.  This capacity increases in
    proportion to ones mental control and with
    wastage of this force this capacity decreases and
    ultimately gets destroyed.
  • Yogic exercises like Bandhas, Mudras such as
    Shaktichalini, Prânayama, Asanas such as
    Siddhasana, Vajrasana, etc.  are carried out for
    this very purpose.  The energy of Mooladhara is
    activated /awakened and raised upwards so as to
    unite it with self fulfilled centers.  But all
    these Hatha Yoga and Kriya Yoga practices are but
    the first step in Kundalini activation. 
  • Kundalini is sleeping, closing the door of
    Sushumna. She sleeps above the Kanda or where
    nâdis unite. She gives liberation to Yogi and
    bondage to fools. He who knows her knows Yoga."

27
The Kundalini Awakening Practices
  • During meditation, the individual is confronted
    with his subconscious or unconscious mind. This
    is associated with a lowering of EEG frequency
    and an increase of amplitudes (more alpha and
    theta waves). In deep meditation, more and more
    neurons of the brain work in synchrony at a
    slower and slower pace directed by bodily and
    sub-cortical mechanisms. This is an attempt by
    the brain to confront, contain, and eventually
    integrate blocked feelings and old repressed
    traumas at deeper levels of consciousness.
  • Meditation may increase attention, sensitivity
    and access, while the expression of feelings
    during psychotherapy can promote the actual
    release of physical and mental blocks in the body
    and nervous system making the person more whole.
  • Special physical postures, controlled breathing
    exercises, meditation, chanting, etc are done to
    prepare themselves for the Kundalini awakening.
    However, as the energy released from the
    Kundalini that has been awakened is so huge and
    unlimited, they may still experience different
    problems even though they may have done special
    preparations for years. So, the Kundalini
    awakening may not always be a pleasant
    experience. When the energy is aroused, it
    ascends thru the spinal column in Sushumna,
    passing thru each of the chakras on its way to
    the brain. If the energy rises thru Ida or
    Pingala instead, it may cause severe mental
    disturbance.
  • Many people become interested in Kundalini
    energy mainly due to its powerful energy that can
    give Riddhi-Siddhis, the psychic powers. The
    psychic powers are a by-product of the Kundalini
    awakening process. Practicing psychic powers is
    not recommended at all, because it boosts ego and
    creates arrogance, thereby distracting one away
    from the attainment of yoga.

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Yoga
29
Yoga
  • Yoga is derived from the root Yuj, to join or
    weld together. Yoga then signifies a spiritual
    condition of universal equality and God Union. In
    all Yogas, union with the Universal is the one
    dominant and recurrent note, however different
    may be the process.
  • Yoga has five principal meanings z as a
    disciplined method for attaining a goal, z as
    techniques of controlling the body and the mind,
    z as a name of one of the schools or systems of
    philosophy (darshana), z in connection with other
    words, such as "hatha-, mantra- and laya-, z
    referring to traditions specializing in
    particular techniques of yoga, as the goal of
    Yoga practice.
  • Founded by sage Yajnavalkya, Yoga school of
    Hindu philosophy incorporates ethical precepts
    (Yamas and Niyamas) and an introspective way of
    life focused on perfecting one's self physically,
    mentally and spiritually, with the ultimate goal
    being Kaivalya (liberated, unified, content state
    of existence). Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Yoga
    Vashistha and Bhagavad Geeta are its main texts.
    Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is also referred to as
    the Raja Yoga text, which defines Yoga Yoga?
    chitta-v?tti-nirodha? i.e. Yoga is restraining
    the mind-stuff (Chitta) from taking various forms
    (Vrittis).
  • Yoga is used for treatment of cancer patients to
    decrease depression, insomnia, pain and fatigue
    and to increase anxiety control. Yoga as a
    complementary treatment may help alleviate
    symptoms of schizophrenia, asthma and heart
    disease.
  • Yoga is undoubtedly a Hindu movement for
    spiritual meditation, yet is now being marketed
    as a supplement to a cardio routine. Historical
    origins of Yoga are the Indus Valley Civilization
    (3300-1900 BCE) and pre-Vedic north-eastern India
    (Bihar region), the Vedic civilization (1500-500
    BCE), and the Sramana movement (starting ca. 500
    BCE). Yoga philosophy is reckoned to be part of
    the non-Vedic system, which also includes
    Hindu Samkhya school, Jainism and Buddhism.

30
History of Yoga
  • Origins of Yoga have been speculated to date
    back to pre-Vedic traditions, but most likely
    developed around the 6th and 5th cent. BCE in
    ancient India's ascetic circles, which are also
    credited with early Sramana movements. Chronology
    of earliest Yoga texts is unclear, varyingly
    credited to Upanishads and Buddhist Pali Canon
    probably of 3rd cent. BCE or later. Yoga Sutras
    of Patanjali date from the first half of the 1st
    mill. CE, but only gained prominence in the 20th
    cent. Hatha Yoga texts emerged around 11th cent.
    CE, and in its origins was related to Tantrism.
  • Although Rig Veda mentions the word Yoga,
    references to it are to be found in the early
    Upanishads such as Brihadaranyaka and Chhandogya,
    as well as in Shanti Parva of Mahabharata. Katha
    Upanishad (3rd cent. BCE) integrates the monism
    of early Upanishads with concepts of Samkhya and
    Yoga in the modern sense. Shvetashvatara
    Upanishad, Maitrayaniya Upanishad developed the
    Yoga theme before Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.
  • Swami Vivekananda, the first Hindu teacher to
    actively advocate and disseminate aspects of Yoga
    in the west, toured Europe and the US in the
    1890s. Modern scientific study of Yoga began with
    the works of N.C. Paul and Major D. Basu in the
    late 19th cent.-early 20th cent. with Shri
    Yogendra and Swami Kuvalayananda to study Yoga as
    a science. During 1960s, most influential Indian
    teachers of Yoga came from lineages of Sivananda
    Saraswati (18871963) and Tirumalai
    Krishnamacharya (18881989). Teachers of Hatha
    yoga who were active in the west included B.K.S.
    Iyengar (1918-2014), K. Pattabhi Jois
    (1915-2009), Swami Vishnudevananda (1927-1993)
    and Swami Satchidananda (1914-2002). Yogi Bhajan
    brought Kundalini Yoga to the US in 1969.
    Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (19182008) popularized
    Yoga by the name Transcendental Meditation and
    achieved fame as the guru of the Beatles and
    other celebrities in the west. Popularity of Yoga
    worldwide has led to the establishment of
    International Day of Yoga on 21st June.

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(No Transcript)
32
Types of Yogas
  • There are the three main types of yoga designed
    and fashioned according to human nature. Each one
    receives the mystic call, as one may be inclined
    temperamentally. The spiritual aspirant endowed
    with an emotional mind gets it asLeave all else
    and lose thyself in my love To the reflective
    philosopher gifted with a logical mind, it comes
    as Leave all else and know me while a highly
    practical and active mind gets the call asLeave
    all else and serve me. The spiritual yoga
    (Surat-Shabd yogaa special yoga of devotion)
    begins directly at the Brow chakra, while the
    journey in mental yogas (such as Raja or Jnana
    yoga) is started at the Heart chakra, and that in
    material class yogas (such as Kundalini yoga) at
    the Anal chakra.
  • The Bhagavad Geeta is truly a compendium of the
    yoga systems prevailing at the time of its
    exposition, and in fact mentions as many as
    eighteen Vishaada Yoga (Ch. I), Sankhya Yoga
    (Ch. II), Karma Yoga (Ch. III), Gyan Karma
    Sanyasa Yoga (Ch. IV), Karma Sanyasa Yoga (Ch.
    V), Atma Sanyam Yoga or Dhyana Yoga (Ch. VI),
    Gyana Vigyana Yoga (Ch. VII), Akshara Brahma Yoga
    (Ch. VIII), Raja Vidya Raja Guhya Yoga (Ch. IX),
    Vibhooti Yoga (Ch. X), Vishva Rupa Darshan (Ch.
    XI), Bhakti Yoga (Ch. XII), Kshetra Kshetragya
    Vibhaga Yoga (Ch. XIII), Guna Trai Vibhaga Yoga
    (Ch. XIV), Purshottama Yoga (Ch. XV), Devasura
    Sampada Vibhaga Yoga (Ch. XVI), Shraddha Trai
    Vibhaga Yoga (Ch. XVII), and Mokshar Sanyasa Yoga
    (Ch. XVIII).
  • A Karma Yogi purifies the heart through constant
    selfless service. He kills egoism through
    self-sacrifice, attains illumination and thus
    achieves conquest of self. Here, one needs to
    know and realize that one has a right to action
    or work and not to the fruit thereof. As one
    cannot but do work, the work is therefore to be
    performed in the true spirit of ones duty, a
    dedication unto the Lord, with the mind fixed on
    Him. The renunciation of attachment to the fruits
    brings evenness of temper, and in the calm of
    self-surrender lies true yoga of contemplation, a
    perfect peace born of total surrender of ones
    life to God.

33
Types of Yogas
  • A Tantra Yogi (Buddhist/HinduShaiva, Shakta)
    practices deity visualizations using geometrical
    arrays and drawings (mandala), fierce male and
    particularly female deities, transgressive
    life-stage related rituals, extensive use of
    chakras, mantras and sexual techniques, all aimed
    to help one's health, long life and liberation.
    Tantra comprises meditation and ritual practices
    that seek to channel the divine energy of the
    macrocosm or godhead into the human microcosm, in
    order to attain Siddhis and Moksha. The Tantric
    aim is to sublimate (rather than negate)
    reality. The Tantric practitioner seeks to use 
    Prana to attain goals which may be spiritual,
    material or both.
  • A Mantra Yogi effects union through the
    repetition of Om, Soham or any other name of God.
    It is concerned, with the acquisition of one or
    the other material or mental power or powers
    through the constant repetition of a particular
    mantra or oral formula in order to attract the
    presiding power or deity to which the mantra
    relates, and then to press that power into
    service, good or bad, according to the will and
    pleasure of the practitioner. It is the yoga of
    rhythmic repetition of hermetically sealed
    formulassacred and secretprepared by the
    ancient mantrakaras (adepts in phonetics and in
    the power of sounds, including supersonics or
    sounds beyond the human ken), each designed
    separately for winning over the particular god or
    goddess representing one or the other powers of
    nature.
  • A Laya Yogi is, by a deep and continued
    absorption through concentration, gradually led
    to a state of forgetfulness of everything else,
    including the bodily self, and to having only one
    thought uppermost in ones mind, which is the
    objective before him for realization. This
    obsession may be for anything, worldly gain,
    power and pelf, name and fame even for acquiring
    Riddhis and Siddhis or supernatural powers or,
    above all, for attaining the Ultimate Reality we
    call God.

34
Types of Yogas
  • A Hatha Yogi awakens the Kundalini Shakti, that
    is lying dormant in the Mooladhara chakra through
    Asanas (postures), Prânayama (breath control),
    Bandhas (catches) and Mudras (gestures), takes it
    through different chakras and unites Shakti with
    Shiva in Sahasrara chakra. Hatha Yoga Pradeepika,
    Shiva Samhita, Gheranda Samhita, Goraksha
    Samhita are some of its texts. Hatha yoga deals
    with the control of the body and the bodily
    activities as the means of stilling the mind.
    Even the routine of Hatha Yoga Kriyas is too
    difficult to perform, and often leads to inner
    complications which at times prove serious and
    incurable and endanger life. These kriyas are
    meant for purification of the arteries and other
    channels in the body of all kinds of accumulated
    mineral deposits like chalk, lime and salt, etc.,
    which clog the system and are the root cause of
    decay and disease. This process of deintoxication
    and rejuvenation is done by means of purificatory
    acts called Shat Karma (meaning six acts).
  • A Raja Yogi practises control and concentration
    of mind thru Yama- self-restraint and Niyama-
    ethical observances. He sits, restrains the
    breath, withdraws the senses, controls the
    thoughts, practises Dharana- concentration,
    Dhyana- meditation and Samadhi- absorption unto
    the Lord. Raja Yoga is the royal road to
    reintegration the reintegration of soul which
    is now in a state of disintegration, having lost
    its cohesion through the diversifying influence
    of the mind running into so many outgoing
    channels. The job of a Raja yogin then, is to
    unmask the reality within him by removing the
    numberless masks or false identifications, and
    thereby to separate the great Self from the
    enshrouding sheaths by which it is encumbered.
    Ashtanga Yoga or the eightfold path of Patanjali
    leads to what is commonly known as Raja Yoga. It
    aims at Samadhi (the final step in Patanjalis
    yoga system), whereby the individual is
    deindividualized and perceives within him the
    totality, unbounded and unembodied, limitless and
    free, all pervading like the ether. It is seeing
    all things in the aspect of eternity.

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Ashtanga Yoga
  • Raja Yoga or Royal Yoga originally referred to
    the ultimate goal of Yoga, which is
    usually Samadhi, but was popularized by
    Vivekananda as the common name for Ashtanga Yoga,
    the eight limbs to be practiced to attain
    Samadhi, as described in the Yoga Sutras of
    Patanjali.
  • Ashtanga Yoga is a system of Yoga containing
    eight spiritual practices Yama, Niyama, Asana,
    Prânayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi,
    recorded by the sage Vamana Rishi in the Yoga
    Korunta, an ancient manuscript. The four are
    preparatory internal cleansing practicesthe mind
    under control. When purification is complete and
    mind control occurs, the poisons surrounding the
    spiritual heart, one by one, go completely,
    revealing the Universal Self.
  • The method for purifying and strengthening the
    body is called Asana (posture) to make the body
    strong and healthy. With the body and sense
    organs thus stabilized, the mind can be steady
    and controlled. With mind control, one is able to
    pursue and grasp these first two limbs,
    Yama and Niyama. To perform Asana correctly
    in Ashtanga Yoga, one must incorporate the use
    of Vinyasa (breathing and movement system)
    and Tristhana (three places of attention or
    action posture, breathing system and looking
    place). 
  • Prânayama, the breathing technique performed
    with Vinyasa is called Ujjayi (victorious
    breath), which consists of Puraka (inhalation)
    and Rechaka (exhalation). The purpose of
    Bandha (lock or seal)  is to
    unlock prânic energy and direct it into the
    72,000 nâdis. Samyama or one-pointed
    concentration is the combination of Dharana
    (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi
    (absorption).
  • The present human Sutratma or soul-string
    comprises triple Koshas or bodies Physical,
    Supra-Physical and Astral (Quarter-IV). Broadly
    speaking, the composite Ashtanga Yoga, comprising
    the Hatha Yoga, Prâna Yoga and Raja Yoga, hence
    deals with these triple bodies.

36
Sage Patanjali as an avatar of the divine
serpent, Sesha.
Ashtanga Yoga
37
Types of Yogas
  • A Jnana Yogi exercises discrimination between
    spirit--matter, self--not-self and equips himself
    with Sadhana Chatushtaya- 4 means of salvation
    Viveka (wisdom), Vairagya (dispassion),
    Shad-Sampat (sixfold virtues) and Mumukshutva
    (intense yearning for final emancipation). Then
    he approaches a Brahma-Shrotri, Brahma-Nishtha
    Guru, hears Shrutis or Upanishads, reflects on
    what he has heard, meditates on Nirguna Brahman
    and attains self-realization. The path of Jnana
    Yoga is for those who are gifted with strong
    intellect or mental grasp and have a keen
    insight, capable of penetrating into the why and
    wherefore of things, so as to reach the core of
    reality. It means right discrimination and
    knowledge.
  • A Bhakti Yogi develops the finer emotions
    through Navavidha Bhakti- nine-fold modes of
    devotion. He does Japa of Mantra, does Kirtan and
    serves the devotees and ungrudgingly
    self-surrenders to the Lord, and attaining the
    vision of the Lord, obtains mastery over death. A
    bhakta- devotee has, as a preliminary step, to
    understand the true significance of bhakti-
    devotion to the Lord and then to develop in
    himself a correct perspective, which may enable
    him to see the light of his Ishta-Deva not only
    in all forms of life. Bhakti is characterized by
    3 salient features japa, prema and the symbolic
    representation of the object of veneration.
  • Surat-Shabda Yoga (union of Celestial Sound and
    spirit) is a Vishishtha or special form of Bhakti
    yoga- a spiritual practice followed in Sant-Mat.
    Surat means spirit or soul or attention,
    its outward expression. Shabd means Naam, Kalma
    or holy Word, the creational Audible Life
    Stream that expresses itself as the inner Light
    and Sound. It is considered to be a Sehaj Yoga
    (an easy path leading to equipoise). It comprises
    taking spiritual initiation from a Sant or
    perfect Master and regular meditation within
    human body-temple. It begins with Sumiran or
    remembrance of the charged verbal names given by
    the Guru, culminating in Dhyan- affixation on
    inner Light, and a second practice called Bhajan
    for hearing the spirit elevating inner Sound.

38
Prâna-Yoga
  • Prânayama Yoga, Mudra Yoga and Dhârana Yoga are
    all for the control of the 5 Prânas and mind.
    Mind without Prâna is like a bird without wings.
    The practice of the Mudras is to control the
    dynamic energy of the Kundalini, namely, Prâna,
    Apâna, etc. The practice of Prânayama is also to
    control the dynamic energy of the Kundalini, and
    with it awaken the static energy of the
    Kundalini, which is sleeping at the Mooladhara,
    or root chakra. When the 5 Prânas are controlled
    or made to stop at the desired place, the
    Muladhara chakra, or at the door of the Sushumna,
    it will work like a spark to the static energy of
    the Kundalini Shakti at rest or 'coiled'.
  • The task of the Yogi is to gather together or
    control the 5 Prânas the life force of the
    Kundalini that the dynamic energy of the
    Kundalini may be used to awaken the static energy
    of it. In the tissues of a living body, again,
    the operative energy ('vital force') polarizes
    itself into two similar forms- anabolic and
    katabolic one tending to change and the other to
    conserve the tissues, the actual condition of the
    tissues being simply the resultant of these two
    coexistent or concurrent activities. When the
    Yogin has opened the inner eye, then he sees the
    different chakras and the energy of the
    Kundalini.
  • Prânayama powerfully reacts on Mooladhara
    Shakti, so much so that it awakes the dormant
    power and sends it piercing through the centres.
    The common description that the Kundali uncoils
    herself then and goes up the Sushumna, leaving
    the Mooladhara, should be admitted with caution.
    Kundali, when powerfully worked upon by Yoga,
    sends forth an emanation or ejection in the
    likeness of Her own self (like the 'etheric
    double' of the Theosophists and Spiritualists)
    which pierces through the various centres until
    it becomes blended with the Maha-kundali of Shiva
    at the highest or seventh centre. While this
    self-ejection of the coiled power at the
    Mooladhara ascends the Sushumna, the coiled power
    itself does not and need not stir from its place.

39
Prâna-Yoga
  • The traditional Yoga systems have always
    regarded the awakening of Kundalini for the
    attainment of higher consciousness as an arduous
    life-long undertaking, suitable for only a few.
  • When Apâna rises upward to the 'Fire chakra,'
    the flame of divine fire grows strong and bright,
    being fanned by Apâna. When the Apâna fire mixes
    with the Prâna, which is naturally hot, the
    spiritual heat of the body becomes bright and
    powerful. When the Kundalini feels this extra
    heat, she awakens from sleep then she goes into
    the Sushumna.
  • The Kundalini is coiled like a serpent, and by
    Mudras or Prânayama processes, Kundalini moves
    and opens the mouth of Sushumna. When Kundalini
    awakens or moves, it goes up to the different
    chakras and returns again and again. While she
    reaches to the Sahasrara, still she is at her
    home at the Mooladhara chakra.
  • The Kundali at Mooladhara is the whole
    primordial Shakti in monad or germ or latency
    that is why it is coiled. The Kundali that mounts
    up the nâdi is also the whole Shakti in a
    specially dynamic form an eject likeness of the
    Eternal Serpent. The result of the last fusion
    (there are successive fusions in the various
    centres also) in the Sahasrara is also the whole,
    or Purna. In this conception, the permanent
    static background is not really depleted, much
    less is it dispensed with. It is merely the
    conversion of static (potential) energy into
    dynamic (kinetic) energy in part, the sum
    remaining constant. The Yogi therefore simply
    'awakens', and never creates Shakti.
  • The mind is made to move by two things, the
    Prâna and desire. If Prâna is controlled, desire
    is also controlled. Therefore, Prâna and mind are
    as one. As long as the mind is not mastered, so
    long the senses are not mastered. When the three
    are controlled, then the Yoga can hold them on
    any Chakra, and awaken or move the Kundalini. By
    control of the Prâna and mind, the Yogi gains
    strength by this strength he arises above all
    diseases. So Yogi practice Prânayama and the
    Mudras to master Prâna.

40
Pranayama
41
Shiva Yoga
  • The principle of Shiva Yoga aims at transcending
    the symbol thru the symbol. Symbol is used of the
    Linga, assumes two forms as Ishta and Prâna like
    within and without, they are also inseparably
    related to each other. When thru unblinking gaze
    the aspirant is lost in meditation on Linga, he
    loses consciousness of within and without and
    finds himself in identity with truth.
  • Shiva Yoga aims at the awakening of the dormant
    pineal gland. When, by the process of Shiva-yoga,
    the dormant pineal gland begins to vibrate, it
    releases flood of light. Ishta linga which is a
    stone with a shiny covering is a crystal magnet
    used in the process. It is made of light grey
    slate stone which contains and generates
    electricity. To be kept intact, it is coated all
    over with a fine durable paste made of certain
    ingredients. The colour of the paste is indigo or
    blue-black. The colour of bhroo-madhya chakra
    (Agneya chakra) is also indigo. Their colours,
    being akin in nature, they act and react upon
    each other thus generating electromagnetic waves
    which dash against the pineal gland situated in
    the third ventricle of the brain.
  • By sustained focus upon Linga, transmuted
    energies rise up the nerve channel into medulla
    oblongata through the pons, then pass down into
    the pituitary behind the eyes. The increasing
    pituitary radiations finally pass through the
    third ventricle until they awaken the dormant
    pineal, and the Shiva netra lights up between
    them. Concentrated gaze generates psychic heat or
    Tapas which stirs pineal gland into activity.
    This produces psychic light (Tejas) which, in
    turn, leads to the release of thought force
    (Ojas), a power of vision and power of execution.
  • Linga is the connecting and co-ordinating link
    between Shiva and Shakti or the unifying
    principle of truth and will. Shiva is the Sat
    aspect of reality, while Shakti is its Chit
    aspect. Shiva and Shakti are the transcendent and
    immanent, static and dynamic, personal and
    impersonal aspect of reality. Sat and Chit become
    one in Ananda Sat-Chit-Ananda.

42
Shiva Yoga
43
Kriya Yoga
  • Kriya Yoga is the ancient Yoga system, revived
    in modern times by  Mahavatar Babaji through his
    disciple Lahiri Mahasaya, ca. 1861. To
    Westerners, it was brought into popular awareness
    through Paramahansa Yoganandas book
    Autobiography of a Yogi. Through Lahiri
    Mahasaya, Kriya Yoga soon spread throughout
    India. Yogananda, a disciple of Shri Yukteswar
    Giri who was himself a disciple of Lahiri
    Mahasaya, then brought Kriya Yoga to the US and
    Europe during the 20th cent. It is being
    popularized today by several groups incl. the
    Isha Fdn., Art of Living etc.
  • Yogananda also stated that Krishna was referring
    to Kriya Yoga when "Lord Krishna ... relates that
    it was 'he', in a former incarnation, who
    communicated the indestructible yoga to an
    ancient illuminato, Vivasvat, who gave it to
    Manu, the great legislator. He, in turn,
    instructed Ikshwaku, the father of Indias solar
    warrior dynasty." And again he says, "Liberation
    can be accomplished by that Prânayama which is
    attained by disjoining the course of inhalation
    and exhalation. "
  • In Kriya Yoga, offering inhaling breath into the
    outgoing breath, and offering the outgoing breath
    into the inhaling breath, the yogi neutralizes
    both these breaths he thus releases the life
    force from the heart and brings it under his
    control. Patanjali refers to the Kriya technique
    when he wrote in the Yoga Sutras II49
    "Liberation can be attained by that Prânayama
    which is accomplished by disjoining the course of
    inspiration and expiration."
  • The Kriya Yogi mentally directs his life energy
    to revolve, upward and downward, around the six
    chakras, which correspond to the twelve astral
    signs of the zodiac, the symbolic Cosmic Man.
    Kriya entails several acts that have evidently
    been adapted from the Geeta, the Yoga Sutras,
    Tantra shastras and from conceptions on the
    Yugas. The science of Kriya Yoga was given to
    Manu, the original Adam, and through him to
    Janaka and other royal sages.

44
Soma Rasa
Candidate plants for Soma include Honey, Fly
agaric (Amanita muscaria), genus Ephedra (Haoma),
Poppy seeds, Cannabis, Bhang (Indian hemp)- its
derivatives are Marijuana and Hashish, Psilocybe
cubenis- a hallucinogenic mushroom.
  • Soma is a substance secreted by the Yogis body
    as a result of perfecting certain practices and
    attaining a higher consciousness. It is described
    as green-tinted and bright-shining in the
    RigVeda. Soma was kept and distributed by the
    Gandharvas. King of gods, Indra became
    intoxicated after drinking the Soma and was able
    to destroy the cosmic serpent wrapped around the
    cosmic egg.
  • Soma evolved into a lunar deity. Full moon is
    the time to collect and press the divine drink.
    The moon is also the cup from which the gods
    drink Soma, thus identifying Soma with the moon
    god Chandra. A waxing moon meant Soma was
    recreating himself, ready to be drunk again.
    Soma's 27 wives were the star goddesses, the
    Nakshatrasdaughters of the cosmic progenitor
    Daksha, who told their father that he paid too
    much attention to just one of them, Rohini.
    Daksha subsequently cursed Soma to wither and
    die, but the wives intervened and the death
    became periodic and temporary, and is symbolized
    by the waxing and waning of the moon.
  • Nectar is something that is produced by the
    raising of the Kundalini energy, which is the
    result of certain yogic and tantric practices.
    Khechari mudra stimulates the production and
    retention of the nectar. It stops the movement of
    Prâna or life-force energy in the side channels
    and enables it to move into the central channel.
    When the Prâna moves properly in the central
    channel, the mind stills and the practitioner
    enters into a heightened state of awareness. Even
    then, the nectar is not produced unless the
    Kundalini rises in the central channel and that
    can only happen if there is sufficient sexual
    essence or Prâna to fuel its passage.

45
Khechri Mudra
  • Pineal gland not only produces the neuro-hormone
    Melatonin, one of body's most potent
    anti-oxidents, and pinoline, as well as other
    beta-carbolines, having miraculous powers.
    Ancients used the plant that has these
    componentsthe well-known Soma plant (Assyrian
    Rue or Pegunam Harmala). Soma plant mixed with
    gold, meteorite and special elements has been
    used in Ayurveda.
  • By sublimating and conserving sexual energy, the
    vital fluid (semen) rises to Sahasrara, becomes
    Soma, the nectar of immortality and spreads
    through the lymphatic system, eventually finding
    its way to the brain, where it becomes Ojas
    (vigour) and Tejas (splendour), essential for
    obtaining super-consciousness. This ascent of
    conserved energy is called Urdhvaretas. 
  • While practicing Kriya Yoga, mind becomes
    enchanted while listening to nada, a divine
    nectar-like current flows from the Sahasrara.
    Through Khechari mudra, touching the tip of the
    tongue to the uvula or little tongue (or
    placing it in the nasal cavity behind the uvula),
    that divine life-current draws Prâna from the
    senses into the spine and directs it up through
    the chakras to Vaishvanara (Universal Spirit),
    uniting the consciousness with Spirit. The entire
    body is thereby spiritualized and energized. As a
    result, a perceptible glow may emanate from the
    body.
  • Once Khechari mudra has been mastered, it
    activates Bindu Visarga chakra to produce
    ambrosial fluid, the Elixir of Life. The
    ambrosial fluid travels in Sushumna to the 7th
    chakra and then drips down the throat enabling
    Yogis to enter Jada (inert) samadhi and sustain
    breathless life. However, if Khechari mudra is
    attempted before the lower chakras are purified,
    a poison will be secreted.
  • From Chandra or Indu chakra is shed the essence
    of the body, which causes death of men. It
    should, therefore, be stopped from shedding by
    Khechari mudra. He who drinks Soma, the liquor of
    moon falling from the brain to the 16-petalled
    lotus, obtained by means of Prâna, by applying
    the tongue to the hole of the pendant in the
    palate, and by meditating on the great power
    (Kundalini), becomes free from disease and tender
    in body and lives a very long life.

46
Khechri Mudra
  •  Bindu Visagra, is the psychic center at the top
    of the head towards the back, but at the same
    plane where the 3rd eye is located. Bindu means
    point and dot, and refers to the point where
    each individual contains the potential
    consciousness and creative force. It is said to
    be the place where the moon resides and when it
    is full, it sheds its nectar or ambrosial
    fluid down to permeate the entire body, The flow
    of nectar produced by the bindu make the body
    resistant to toxins in the system and the immune
    system strengthens towards all viruses. In
    physiological terms, this flow of nectar is
    associated with the release of hormones from the
    pituitary gland into the bloodstream.
  • In Vishuddha (throat) chakra the nectar amrita
    drips down the Chitrini nâdi, and is split into a
    pure form and a poison. Through practices such as
    Khechari Mudra and Jalandhara Bandha the nectar
    reaching Vishuddha is purified, the poison from
    the body is cleansed and amrita becomes the
    nectar of immortality. The nectar and poison
    originate from the Hindu episode of the churning
    of the Ocean of Milk in which gods and demons
    churn the ocean to obtain Amrita, the nectar of
    immortal life.
  • During Shirsasana and Sarvangasana, Amrita is
    increased, bestowing health and
    longevity. According to Hatha Yoga, if one
    practices Kechari mudra the process of
    degeneration of the body can be
    reversed. Khechari mudra is turning the tongue
    backwards into the cavity of the cranium and
    turning the eyes inwards towards the eyebrow
    center.
  • Khechari mudra is a cleansing technique that can
    change the structure of the tongue the tongue
    becomes flexible and can be inserted into the
    upper epiglottis. This is when the nectar begins
    to flow! It flows from Bindu Visagra to Vishuddhi
    chakra, where it gets purified and processed for
    further use and distribution to the whole body.
    To gain immortality though one needs to perform
    techniques and practices so that the nectar is
    trapped and consumed within the human body. One
    of the purpose of Jalandhara Bandha (throat
    lockwhere jal means water) is to hold the
    nectar in Vishuddhi and prevent it from falling
    into the digestive fire. In this way, Prâna is
    conserved.

47
Samudra Manthan
  •  When the devas (good supernatural deities)
    and asuras (the supenatural forces of chaos that
    are in constant battle with the devas) were
    churning the ocean they extracted 14 elements,
    two of which were nectar and deadly poison.
    Neither of the two parties wanted the poison, but
    both wanted the nectar. When it came to the
    distribution of the nectar, devas and asuras sat
    in two lines. Lord Vishnu disguised himself as a
    beautiful young maiden and danced between the two
    lines, discreetly pouring the nectar only into
    the glasses of the devas. One asura sat in the
    devas line and also received the nectar.
    However, as he swallowed and it reached his
    throat, the sun and moon, who had been watching
    the whole situation, informed Vishnu, who then
    destroyed the asura before the nectar had time to
    circulate through the body and endow him with
    immortality.
  • Now when the poison was extracted everyone was
    afraid. Whoever drank the poison would be
    finished, and yet there was no safe place to
    discard it either. If it was thrown away the
    three worlds would be burnt. So they took the
    poison to Lord Shiva to ask for his help because
    he was the only one able to drink it without
    being destroyed. Shiva drank the poison and
    retained it in his throat. He managed to purify
    the poison and liberated the world from a deadly
    danger.  Therefore, he is often depicted with a
    blue throat and called Neela-kantha. This myth
    signifies the capacity of the Yogi who has
    awakened Vishuddhi chakra to assimilate both
    positive and negative aspects of life to retain
    balance, health and equanimity in the midst of
    the dualities of pain and pleasure, light and
    dark, life and death, body and mind etc.
  • The conduit of immortality, Amrita nâdi
    manifests upon full enlightenment and creates a
    link between the ascending sushumna nâdi and the
    centre of the heart. It is as if a line of Light
    were plumbed between the deep centre of the upper
    coil (midbrain to crown) and the deep centre of
    the lower coil (below and behind the navel). The
    whole body becomes full of Light and Radiant
    Bliss.

48
Sudarshan Kriya Mind-Body Relationship
  • The interaction of the conscious and
    subconscious mind requires a congruent
    interaction between the corresponding systems of
    nerves, our Autonomic Nervous Systems and our
    Cerebrospinal Nervous Systems. Vagus nerve acts
    as the central switchboard between our two
    nervous systems, acting as a bio-informational
    data-bus that routes the impulses going through
    in both directions. The Vagus nerve passes out of
    the cerebral region as a portion of the voluntary
    system to the thorax, networking out to our
    hearts and lungs, and ultimately passing through
    the diaphragm it loses its outer coating and
    becomes merged with the nerves of the Solar
    Plexus, thus establishing a binding connection
    between the two, and making humans the self aware
    beings that we are.
  • Having an understanding of the dual nervous
    systems, the relationship between unhealthy vagal
    activity and a myriad of diseases, the knowledge
    of how the health of our nervous systems directly
    corresponds do our mental health, it makes sense
    that healing the Vagus nerve can provide profound
    benefits. it also acts as a br
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