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Part I of II Hatha Yoga
by Chris Murphy
Philosophy Hatha Yoga is the art of uniting(Yoga) the Sun and the Moon (Ha-Tha). The primary school of thought in Yoga is called the Sankhya Philosophy. ounded !y "di Shankara# the Sankhya school of thought re$ol$es around Shi$a and the sym!olism of his mythology. Shi$a is seen# like in %ashmir Shi$aisim# to !e &rahman. &rahman is the one undi$ided 'od (ho is in the form of Satchidananda (e)istence# kno(ledge and !liss) (hich is true consciousness in the highest sense. Seeing as ho( the primary aim of this article is in teaching the practice of Yoga# I (ill not spend too long on the theory# !ut some !asic understanding of it (ill nonetheless help the "spirant in its practice. The religious preference of the "spirant (ill also not effect the practice of Yoga $ery much# !ut I am presenting Yoga here as it is traditionally taught (ithout the ne(- age influences that ha$e infected it since it came to the *est at the turn of the +,th century (ith S(ami -i$ekananda and Paramahamsa Yogananda. "s such# all the religious terminology (ill !e Sanskrit (ords pertaining to the Sankhya philosophy and I (ill try to define any sanskrit (ord I use in parenthesis for the reader. In the Sankhya philosophy# mankind li$es in material (orld trapped in the illusion of Maya. Maya is the .illusion po(er/ cast !y Shakti (feminine principle of the uni$erse) (hich allo(s us to identify our Self (ith our physical !ody and its lo(er desires. It is the illusion that sensual pleasure !rings happiness and indulgence !rings (ealth. &ut (hat keeps us in this Maya0 *hy do (e stay in it0 It is %arma. Most people kno( that %arma is the la( of cause and effect. In hindu and yogic philosophy# the soul is seen as !eing .caught/ in a (heel of life# death and reincarnation called Samsara# and it is the glue of %arma (hich !inds us to this (heel. The Yogi stri$es to reach .Moksha/ (li!eration) from the fetters of Maya (ith the practice of Yoga. &y the restraint of the mind and desires# the Yogi crosses the ocean of Samsara in the !oat of Sadhana (spiritual practice). He !ecomes a 'od-Man. He (alks in the material (orld !ut is not .in/ this (orld or .of1 it. He can mo$e (ithout creating %arma. He dissol$es his %arma in the fire of Sadhana and in the deepest states of Samadhi (spiritual ecstasy in 'od-2nion). He is called a 3i$an-Mukta (li!erated soul) (hile still ali$e. The practice of Yoga is the e)pansion of the indi$idual consciousness ("tman) into 'od1s consciousness (Purusha or Paratman). This is done primarily in one (ay4 the raising of the %undalini.
%undalini4 %undalini is Par$ati# Shi$a1s consort. She is his Shakti (feminine principle or counter-part) in the form of creati$e energy and is represented as a snake coiled up at the !ase of the spine in the Yogi. Through rigorous Sadhana this serpent must !e straightened out and forced into the mouth of Sushumna and guided through each chakra on its ascent up the spine into the head. *hile I could (rite for much longer and in much more detail a!out (hat the %undalini actually is# that is not the purpose of this article right no(. The !eginner (ill disco$er many things a!out the essence of the kundalini (ith good Sadhana. Chakras: There are 5 psycho-spiritual centers (ithin the human !ody kno(n as chakras. They are placed along the spinal chord of the person and are traditionally depicted as lotus-flo(ers of $arious si6es and colors. In the mundane man# these chakras are considered asleep# and in the Yogi they are considered a(ake. *hat is the difference0 7ach 8hakra is Shi$a in one of his emanations. Shi$a is asleep until a(akened !y his consort Par$ati (%undalini). *hen the %undalini is not a(akened !y the yogic fire and !rought to her lo$er# then the chakras are considered asleep. *hen the %undalini is !rought methodically to each chakra through rigorous Sadhana# then the chakras a(aken. The chakras do not all a(aken at once on most occasions. They are !rought into full acti$ity one !y one starting (ith the !ase of the spine and ascending to the cro(n of the head. "s each chakra a(akens# so does another le$el of the Yogi1s consciousness. He also de$elops the Siddhis (magickal po(ers) of each chakra. " description of the 8hakras are thus4 9) Muladhara 8hakra4 This is the seat of the %undalini# located at the !ase of the spine at the perineum. It is a four-petalled lotus (hose color is red. In the center of the lotus there is the yantra (sym!ol) of a triangle (ith its point up(ards. In the center of the triangle there is the serpent %undalini. +) S$adhistana 8hakra4 This chakra is located at the region of the se) organ a fe( finger-(idths a!o$e the Muladhara chakra. Its color is generally depicted as purple !ut also $iolet. It is a lotus (ith : petals and contains the sign of an up(ard crescent moon (ithin the !ase of the lotus. ;) Manipura 8hakra4 <ocated at the region of the =a$el. Yello( lotus (ith 9, petals. 8ontains do(n(ard pointing triangle as sym!ol. >) "nahata 8hakra4 <ocated at cardiac ple)us in the chest-region of the spine. 'reen colored lotus# !ut can also !e $isuali6ed as red. 9? petals (ith He)agram in center of lotus. ?) -isshudda 8hakra4 <ocated at throat. &lue color lotus (ith 9: petals. Sym!ol of crescent moon (ithin a !lack ring. :) "@na 8hakra4 <ast of the : Shat 8hakras# the "@na chakra is located at the pineal gland# !ut its emanation is a psychic center called the %utashta# (hich is located in !et(een the t(o eye!ro(s. It is a gray or (hite lotus (ith + petals and the sym!ol of AM upon the center of the lotus. 5) Sahasrara 8hakra4 'enerally depicted a fe( inches a!o$e the head# its actual psychic center is located in the &rahmarandhra at the top of the head in the anterior fontanelle @ust !elo( the skull1s surface. This is &rahman. It is the lotus of a thousand petals# and is pure (hite.
Nadis: There are 5+#,,, spiritual .$eins/ in the !ody called =adis. These astral tu!es carry prana throughout the !ody from chakra to chakra. The primary nadis are called the Sushumna# Ida and Pingala =adis. Ida starts in the left nostril# rises up into the "@na 8hakra and crosses o$er the center line of the !ody at this point. It then goes do(n the right side of the spine until the "nahata 8hakra at (hich point it intersects (ith the Pingala =adi and crosses !ack o$er to the left side of the spine. It continues to go do(n until the %anda# (hich is a spiritual center @ust a!o$e the Muladhara chakra. "t the %anda it crosses o$er again and ends in the right testicle. The Pingala starts in the right nostril and does the e)act re$erse of the Ida# ending in the left testicle. The sushumna runs in a straight line from the perineum at the !ase of the spine up the spinal chord into the medulla of the !rain# at (hich point it goes up into the pineal glad and further up to the Sahasrara 8hakra. This =adi contains (ithin it a smaller nadi called the &rahma =adi# (hich is actually the channel the %undalini takes up the spine. Prana, Upana and Samana: There are fi$e different types of -ayus (airs) in the human !ody. Af these# ; are the most important. The Prana is the primary spiritual life force of the !ody. In a mundane man it runs do(n his spine to(ards the lo(er ; chakras to engage is sensual pleasures. In the Yogi it runs up the spine to the higher chakras to esta!lish Satt$ic (holy) mind. It has its !ase in the "nahata 8hakra. The 2pana deals (ith the e)cretory system of the !ody. It has its !ase in the Muladhara chakra. It represents the current of .death/ so to say# (hile Prana represents that of .life/. The Samana is the 'astric fire that deals (ith digestion and assimilation. It is !ased in the Manipura chakra. The goal of hatha yoga is to unite the sun (ith the moon. The prana is the Sun and the 2pana the moon. The Samana is the means !y (hich the t(o are united. This is the goal of hatha yoga4 to control the flo( of the prana and upana and unite them in the fire of samana. This is done !y "sanas and Pranayama. This leads to Pratyahara. End of theory: That is the $ery !asic theory that is needed for a !eginner to a!le to make sense of the rest of this article. There are of course many things I did not talk a!out# and (hat I did talk a!out I spoke of in $ery minimal and simplistic terms.
Part t(o4 Practice
Introduction to practice4 Thus after some !asic theory (e start the practical e)ercises of Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga is said to ha$e !een founded !y the =ath Yogis# (hose Mahaguru (head guru) is "di =ath# (hose name is Shi$a 'orakshanath &a!a@i# the maha$atar of this age. He is the disciple of Matsyendranath# the founder of the tantra school of Yoga. "fter Shi$a had taught Tantra Yoga to Matsyendranath# he told him that he could ha$e any gift he desired. Matsyendranath asked that he ha$e a disciple greater than himself. "s he (as the greatest of all Yogis# Shi$a himself incarnated as 'oraksha &a!a@i and !ecame Matsyendranath1s disciple. The =ath Yogis are considered the 8ustodians of Hatha Yoga and %riya Yoga. Hatha Yoga is comprised of three angas (lim!s)4 "sana# Pranayama and Pratyahara. They are to !e mastered in that order# one after another. It is possi!le to reach the highest of attainments (ith
@ust Hatha Yoga# !ecause Hatha Yoga in its highest stage results in the complete stopping of the Prana and thus also the thoughts. This is the 8hitta -ritti =irodha (restriction of mind) that Patan@ali speaks of as the goal of Yoga. This occurs simultaneously (ith Saha@a Samadhi# (hich is the natural state of the human mind !efore its in$olution into the (orld. Ba@a yoga results naturally from Hatha Yoga# (hich (e (ill speak a!out in the ne)t article entitled .Ba@a Yoga/. =o( comes the Cuestion of a guru. Many (estern people are against the concept of a 'uru !ecause they can not hum!le themsel$es enough to admit that such a person can e)ists. *hile (e can spend a great deal of time talking a!out 'uru and the Cualities (ith (hich to test him !y# !ut ultimately the 'uru comes (hen the student is (illing enough. "t that time# all pre$ious misconceptions a!out the guru are destroyed. =o spiritual Sadhana (practice) should !e done (ithout the guidance of a 'uru. Ho(e$er# this is not possi!le for most people right no(. So I (ill change it4 Yoga can !e practiced (ithout 'uru# !ut the highest attaina!le stages of perfection can not !e achie$ed in Yoga (ithout the specific and secret direction of the 'uru. People think that e$erything a!out Yoga has !een pu!lished. This could not !e more (rongD Anly neophyte (aspirant or !eginner) things on Yoga ha$e !een released. 'uru must teach the rest. Sometimes the guru is not physically incarnate# sometimes he his. Begardless# he (ill al(ays come e)cept for in cases of e)treme past-life recapitulation in (hich the guru is not needed !ecause the secrets of Yoga are remem!ered !y the Yogi. *hat I (ill present here is good enough for any one to practice yoga and achie$e definite degrees of spiritual e$olution and e)pansion of consciousness. To finish the introduction# it must !e kept in mind that (hile Hatha yoga can achie$e all results# it is generally taught so that the 8hela (disciple) can clean the nadis and astral !ody and a(aken the %undalini so that Ba@a Yoga can then !e pursued. Ho(e$er it is (orth mentioning that perfection in Hatha Yoga is the only means of maintaining a physically immortal !ody according to a certain alchemical formula of the =ath Yogis. Perfection in other Yoga can still allo( the physical !ody to li$e in relati$e youth for a fe( hundred years# such as the case of Trailanga S(ami and Ald Haidhakan &a!a@i. =o( that I1$e undou!tedly sparked some curiosity# on to the actual practiceD
Part I4 "sana
"sana is the first task of the Hatha Yogi. Ho( can one meditate or e$en sit to !reath if one can not sit properly in the first place. It is up to the Yogi to decide (hich "sana to master as his sitting "sana. He is to pick one and only one. It is to !e practiced until it can !e held for great lengths of time (ith no discomfort. Ance the "sana can !e held for ; E hours in one stretch comforta!ly# he has achie$ed "sana@aya (Mastery of "sana). This is marked !y a $ery comforta!le and en@oya!le feeling (hen the "sana is taken. =o discomfort should occur at all. *hen sitting in the "sana# concentration should !e fi)ed on the physical !ody. The thoughts should !e tamed to al(ays come !ack to the !ody (hen they drift. 8ontemplate that the !ody is a statue. In this (ay it (ill !ecome rigid and still. The Yogi can also contemplate upon the =aga# the Hindu snake deity (ho supports the earth. "s =aga supports the earth# so does the "sana support the Yogi. It is said !y Patan@ali in the Yoga sutras that the Cualities of the gods can !e achie$ed !y meditation on them. <ike(ise here# (e meditate on =aga. Most (ill contemplate the statue depending on religious preference though. The Sitting "sanas4 Padmasana4
&y far the most popular "sana. It translates as .lotus pose/. The Yogi sits (ith his left heel against the hip on the right thigh# (ith the right heel against the hip on the left thigh. The heels should !e high enough so that the strain in the ankles are minimal. "t first# most (esterners (ill ha$e a hard time (ith this pose. You (ill feel pain in your knees. This is due to infle)i!ility at the hip @oints. There are some e)ercises to help you gradually reach Padmasana4 9) Put the right heel into the cre$ice of the left el!o( and pull it up infront of the chest. The right arm reaches around the leg and gra!s the left hand. This resem!les the cradling of an infant# (ith the infant !eing the leg. Slo(ly cradle it left and right so that you feel the stretch in the hips and hamstring muscles. Fo the opposite (ith the left leg. +) Place the right heel on the left hip in half-padmasana. The right leg should !e on top of the left leg. The left leg should !e folded in as if sitting cross-legged. Sit (ith spine completely erect. If the stretch is not felt in hips and thighs# then keep !ack straight (hile slo(ly leaning for(ard to place the forehead on the ground or against the knees. Make sure that the right leg is flat on top of the left leg. The knee should not !e up in the air due to infle)i!ility. If this occurs# take the right hand and slo(ly push the right knee do(n. Fo the opposite (ith the other leg.
;) Take the right heel and put it on the left thigh as in half-padmasana. This time# the left leg should not !e directly under the right leg. Instead# the left leg is placed (still !ent) slightly in front of the right leg so that the knee of the right leg and !e pushed do(n to the floor (ithout interference from the left leg. This !eing done# stretch for(ard and place the forehead against the left heel# (hich should !e a fe( inches in front of the right knee. Hold this for +, seconds# or as long as comforta!le. Fo the opposite (ith the other leg. Ance steps 9-; can !e done comforta!ly# then the heels (ill !e a!le to !e placed in full padmasana. "t first aim for +,-;, seconds. "fter a (eek or so# try to get a fe( minutes and gradually increase the time according to common sense. &enefits of Padmasana4 &y forcing the lo(er !ack straight due to the position of the hip @oints# the !ack can finally !ecome completely straight. Padmasana# (hen perfected# feels as if the Yogi is sitting upon a throne. It locks in the static electricity caused !y intense Sadhana and preser$es the Prana. The straightening of the lo(er !ack allo(s the %undalini to pierce the &rahma 'rantha (knot of &rahma) in the Muladhara 8hakra. The mind naturally calms in this posture. It allo(s the yogi to maintain an upright sitting position (ith no physical effort during deep meditation. This is one of the !est postures for the practice of Pranayama and meditation. " householder (one (ho has not renounced se) or does not intend to) should sit in this Padmasana. *omen can sit in it too.
GPadmasana--Takenfrom Si$ananda1s .%undalini YogaHG
The .perfect pose/. This posture is adopted !y many yogis# as is Padmasana. This
posture is also hard for most people at first# though to some it easier than Padmasana. It is sometimes considered to !e the !est "sana# e$en o$er Padmasana. The Yogi takes the right heel and places it at the !ase of the perineum. The left leg is placed o$er the right leg# (ith the left heel in$erted up(ards so that it touches and e)erts some pressure at the region immediately a!o$e the se) organ. This posture reCuires some ankle fle)i!ility# as (ell as hip fle)i!ility and hamstringIinner thigh fle)i!ility. Practicing splits (hile sitting helps the knees to !e (ide enough apart for this "sana. The hips also ha$e to !e rotated for(ard slightly so that the heel can !e in$erted. "s (ith Padmasana# some people are naturally good at this "sana and others ha$e to la!or a great deal to achie$e it. Benefits of Siddhasana: The right heel# !y placing pressure on the perineum# stimulates mula!handa (root lock) !y contraction of the anus and sphincter muscles# (hich forces the "pana up(ards. It also stimulates the Muladhara chakra and %undalini. The left in$erted heel stimulates the S$adhistana 8hakra and redirects the flo( of se)ual energy from do(n(ards into Muladhara to up(ards in the "nahata chakra# -isshuddha 8hakra and "@na 8hakra. This is the !est pose for a &rahmacharya (celi!ate renunciant). It is not to !e practiced !y (omen. The pressure on the perineum and se) organ can cause ner$e damage to the reproducti$e system. The male may loose se)ual urges# or at least not !e a!le to indulge in them. This "sana should !e sa$ed for those seriously pursuing their Sadhana as a &rahmacharya.
GSiddhasana-Taken from Si$anada1s %undalini YogaG
Sukhasana4 This is called the .7asy Pose/# and rightly so. In Sukhasana# the Yogi simply sits comforta!ly (ith his legs crossed. This is generally !etter for people (ho start their practice late in life and can1t achie$e Padmasana or Siddhasana. It is also used !y 8helas (discplesIaspirants) (ho are doing some spiritual e)ercises !ut ha$e not perfected Padma or Siddha "sanas. It has little
spiritual !enefits outside of !eing easy to sit in for a !eginner. These are the sitting poses that the Yogi should choose from. There are others# such as $a@rasana (rock pose)# !ut they do not pro$ide as good a !enefit in Yoga# so they ha$e !een omitted here. *hile the Yogi is (orking at perfecting Padma or Siddha "sanas# he can practice Sukhasana for his yoga. He should stri$e hard to perfect one of the t(o main sitting "sanas !efore the practice of pranayama. *hile he is practicing his "sana# it is good to also perform se$eral other key asanas that can !e kept in the Yogi1s Sadhana for years or a lifetime. There are three key "sanas# the performance of (hich (ill guarantee a fle)i!le !ody and clean astral !ody. Three key "sanas4 JJJJJJJIn the *est# a common practice of Yoga is called a .yoga flo(/ in (hich the yogi mo$es from one yogic position to the ne)t# spending only a fe( seconds on each "sana. This is agreea!le to people (ho can not keep their mind on one point for too long. &.%.S Iyengar and Pata!hi 3ois teach this system of "sana Yoga. This is not found in the traditional Yogic te)ts# particularly the t(o (hich pertain immensely to Hatha Yoga# !eing the Hatha Yoga Pradipika of S$atmaram and the 'oraknath Paddhati !y Shi$a 'oraksha &a!a@i. It is declared in the scriptures that the Yogi must endea$or to hold the "sana for a great deal of time# employing the proper !reathing techniCues and $isuali6ations taught !y the guru. In this (ay# the "sanas !ecome much more than @ust a physical (orkout. They control the mo$ement of the prana and help still the mind to de$elop 7kagrata (one-pointedness of mind). This is not to say that the Yoga flo(s are ineffecti$e# !ut @ust that they do not allo( the yogi to sit in the "sana long enough to reap the full spiritual !enefits. Fue to this# the three key "sanas are to !e practiced for prolonged periods of time. The Yogi should hold each "sana as long as possi!le ((hich at first is usually a!out ? minutes each) and then increase its length according to common sense. 9 or + minutes a (eek is usually good for most people. I (ill not pro$ide the proper $isuali6ations and mantras ((hen used) for the "sanas# as this is something that should !e learned directly from the mouth of the 'uru and they change slightly depending on the chela1s spiritual progress and %arma (hich the guru can see. *hile some specific pranayamas can !e used in the "sanas# 2@@ayi Pranayama is the !est natural !reathing seCuence. Inhale through the nostrils# retain the !reath as long as comforta!le# and then e)hale. Proper ratio is 94+49. or e)ample# !reath in ? seconds# retain the !reath for 9,# and e)hale for another ?. Ather ratios used are 94+4+ and 94>4+. Sirshasana4 This is called the %ing of all "sanas. It is said that @ust !y perfection of this "sana the highest stages of yoga can !e reached. The Yogi# sitting on his knees# !ends o$er and places thr top of his head on the ground. His hands reach up and interlock the fingers together !ehind his head. He then acCuires a point of !alance on the top of his head# shifts his (ait to the head and lifts up the trunk and legs of the !ody into the air in a $ertical ascension so that the Yogi stands completely on his head (ith hands locked !ehind his head and el!o(s placed firmly on the ground for support. Ha$ing gained !alance# the yogi closes the eyes and contemplates his !ody as a statue to acCuire stillness. If the !ody is mo$ing and shaking# then the mind is not still. If the mind is still enough# !ody (ill !ecome still. You (ill see (ith practice. Benefits of Sirshasana:
This asana redirects se)ual energy from the lo(er chakras into the "@na 8hakra to !e transmuted from se)ual energy into mental energy. This is a good "sana for fighting lustful urges. It also a(akens the %undalini and dri$es it up the spine. It tones the shoulders and !ack and de$elops neck strength as (ell. It is good for helping you to (ake up in the mornings# and can !e done !efore meditation to help the mind enter into a meditati$e mind-set. The Yogi (ho can hold this "sana for ; hours achie$es Siddhis (yogic po(ers) and great spiritual !enefit. He enters into the deepest states of meditation.
Sir$angasana4 JJJJJJJ"s Sirshasana is a head-stand# Sir$angasana is a shoulder-stand. <aying flat on the !ack# the yogi should raise the trunk and legs of his !ody $ertically o$er him# keeping the !ack and legs as straight as possi!le so as to form a straight line. The chin locks in 3alandhara &andha against the chest. If eyes are open# concentration is at tips of toes a!o$e the head. If eyes are closed# concentration is on !ody or specifically !et(een the eye!ro(s. Benefits of Sirvangasana: This "sana keeps the nectar Amrita (ithin the head a!o$e the palate of the mouth# instead of allo(ing it to drip do(n into the stomach and !e (asted. This generates an intense amount of mental and creati$e energy. "side from this# it does the same !enefits of Sirshasana# !ut in a less e)treme manner. I (ill gi$e the primary importance of this "sana in a cryptic manner that the Yogi can reali6e (ith practice and e)perience4 In Sirvangasana, the moon takes the place of the sun and the Sun becomes the moon, allowing shiva to embrace Shakti in the fire ya na !sacrifice"#
Paschimottanasana: The third key "sana is Paschimottanasana. The Yogi sits and stretches !oth legs directly in front of him flat on the ground. &oth feet are placed ne)t together. The yogi stretches for(ard the trunk of the !ody and reaches the hands out to the feet# grasping the !ig toe of each foot !y the inde) and middle fingers# (ith the thum!s pressing do(n on the front of the !ig toe at the toenail. "nother manner is to interlock the fin!gers of !oth hands (ith eachother# keeping the !ig toes in the middle of the lock. The former is the !est. The pressure on the !ig toe stimulates an important =adi. The !ack must !e kept as straight as possile. The yogi must make e)tra effort to keep the lo(er !ack straight (hile stretching fo(ard. The head locks in 3alandhara &andha against the chest.# or is placed (ith the nose !et(een the t(o knees. It is a good practice to keep neck straight (ith nose !et(een knees during inhale# and then mo$e to 3alandhara &andha for retention and e)halation of !reath. Benefits of $aschimottanasana4 This asana helps $itali6e the Sushumna nadi (ith the fresh prana acCuired from the 2@@ayi Pranayama. It stimulates the %undalini to rise up to the a@na 8hakra. It stimulates the chakras (ith Prana. &y keeping the spine fle)i!le (ith this "sana# the Yogi can help retain his youth and also enhance production of the spinal fluid and effecti$eness of the ner$ous system.
GPaschimottanasana-Si$ananda1s .%undalini Yoga/G
These are the three key "sanas for someone (ho does not (ish to rigorously practice hundreds of "sanas. These help maintain physical strength as (ell as spiritual strength. They should !e practiced in the a!o$e gi$en order. These three asanas (ill gi$e the !asic spiritual !alance in the Yogi1s "sana Sadhana# !ut should he desire for physical !alance as (ell# there are t(o other "sanas that should !e done to make sure the spine is stretched in all the needed directions. These can !e done after Paschimottanasana.
Matsyendrasana4 This is a strong spinal t(ist. The yogi sits do(n in sukhasana. =o( lift the right leg up and o$er the left leg so that the right foot is placed firmly in the ground to the left of the left knee. The right arm is placed in front of the right leg and stretches !ack to gra! the !ig toe of the right foot. The trunk t(ist to face !ehind you# (ith head focusing on (all !ehind you. The left arm reaches across the trunk to the left side and rests on top of the right hip. This is $ery hard for people (ith too much fatty tissue around the gut. The opposite is done (ith the other leg turning the other direction. Benefits of Matsyendrasana: This $itali6es the Sushumna straight up to Sahasrara 8hakra. It also e)ercises the spine and !ack to increase spinal fluid and spinal health. This increases o$erall health. It is said in the hatha Yoga Pradipika that the yogi (ho masters this "sana attains all Siddhis.
Gfrom hatha Yoga Pradipika-S$atmarama. 7lsy &echerer1s translation (ith commentary from Hans 2lrich BeikerG
&hu@angasana4 JJJJJJJThis is the co!ra pose. It stretches the spine in the opposite direction of paschimottanasana. The yogi lies flat on his stomach first. Then placing the hands firmly flat on the ground the upper !ody is pushed up(ards to that it in$ersely arches up(ards. The hips are left flat on the ground# and the arms should not !e completely stretched out in a locked position !ecause it kinks the shoulders and can cause harm. The spine !ends !ack(ards. The armsare left slightly !ent so that they do not lock out. This creates a good (orkout. Benefits of Bhu angasana: This helps a(aken the %undalini. It also dri$es the prana up the spine from the lo(er chakras into the "@na chakra. 2@@ayi Pranayama done in this "sana (ill help e)pand lung capacity. I ha$e no picture for this particular pose. The description should !e suita!le. If not#the reader can easily look online to get this picture. Ather "sanas4 There are o$er one hundred other "sanas# (ith at least 5, of those !eing traditional. They all ha$e some $alue# !ut most of them are impractical to hold for long periods of time. I ha$e gi$en the !ase of the Yogi1s "sana Sadhana. You may e)pand upon it according to your like# and I refer the reader to &.%.S Iyengar1s .<ight on Yoga/ and S(ami Si$ananda1s ."sanas/ for further study and
practice of the other groups of "sanas. Those "sanas (hich I ha$e included are the most important ones for a(akening of the %undalini and purification of the =adis.
Part II4 &andhas
=o( aside from the "sanas# the Hatha Yogi also employs a certain selection of physical locks called &andhas. There are se$eral &handas# and I (ill co$er the three most important (hich comprise the Traya &andha (lit. three locks). These are Mula &andha# 3alandhara &andha and 2ddiyana &andha. These are primarily done at different stages in the pranayama as a means to aid the flo( of the Prana and "pana and help stir the %undalini. Mula &andha4 JJJJJJJMula &andha is the first &andha done in the pranayama series. The Yogi retracts the sphincter muscles in(ards in this &andha. or help# he can place the heel of the foot against the perineum should he sit in Siddhasana. "t first this is hard to hold for long periods of time# !ut it !ecomes easier (ith practice. In the pranayama# this is done during the retention of the !reath. It can also !e done during the e)halation as (ell. Some do it during the entire pranayama# !ut fe( can do this. It is !est to make sure you do it at least during the retention of !reath. This &andha forces the "pana# (hich has a do(n(ard tendency# up(ards so that it can unite (ith Prana and enter into the Sushumna to a(aken and dri$e the %undalini. 3alandhara &andha4 This &andha can !e done either during the entire pranayama or @ust during the retention of the !reath. It is also done at certain points in some "sanas according to the $isuali6ation techniCues gi$en !y 'uru. The Yogi presses his chin against the top of the chest at the cre$ice of the collar !one. The chin must !e pressed firm against the !ody at this point# !ut not so much that it causes stress against the neck. This is an easy &andha. Some ha$e trou!le (ith it !ecause of pains in the !ack of the neck (hen they do it. This is due to infle)i!ility in the upper !ack muscles. Some stretching along (ith actual practice of the &andha (ill change this. 3alandhara &andha dri$es the prana from the chest region into the head and helps maintain the nectar a!o$e the palate during inhalation. In e)halation it maintains the amrita nectar a!o$e the palate of the mouth and dri$es the prana do(n(ards to(ards the rising "pana (from mula &andha). 2ddiyana &andha4 This is !y far the hardest &andha to learn# !ut once learnt it can !e easily done. The yogi here retracts his stomach and pulls the intestine into the pit of the stomach @ust !elo( the chest# thus allo(ing the stomach itself to retract far !ack almost to the spine. There is a certain knack to de$eloping this &andha. " good 'uru or teacher can help you. The yogi has to perform a sort of .internal inhalation/ (hich creates a suction force inside the !ody and dra(s the stomach in and up(ards. This &andha is not as necessary as the other t(o# !ut is still a great compliment for those (ho learn it. It dri$es the prana into the spine and acti$ates the 'astric fire for the !lending of "pana and Prana. It also dri$es the %undalini up the Sushumna.
Part III4 Mudras4 Mudras are yogic techniCues (hich act as seals in the !ody to help $i$ify the =adis and purify the mind. They also help raise the %undalini. There are many Mudras# !ut (e (ill !e concerned (ith only three of them (hich play a key importance in the yogi1s Sadhana. Maha Mudra4 <iterally translates as .'rand Seal/. The Yogi sits do(n and places the left heel against the perineum (hile stretching the right leg out in front of the !ody. Inhaling in 2@@ayi Pranayama# the yogi !ends for(ard and gra!s his right foot# placing the left hand grasping the sole of the foot and the right hand grasping the !ig toe !y hooking the !ack of the toe (ith the inde) and middle fingers (hile applying pressure to the front of the toe (at the toenail) (ith the thum!. He assumes 3alandhara &andha and retains his !reath for as long as comforta!le in this position. i) the eyes in !et(een the eye!ro(s and concentrate here. Then e)hale and lift up slo(ly during the e)hale resuming the original position. This can either al(ays !e done (ith the same leg# or for physical !alance can !e done once (ith one leg and then again (ith the other leg (s(itching hand positions of course). This Mudra has many !enefits. They are too many to list completely. The most important are the stimulating of the %undalini# -itali6ing of the Sushumna# $itali6ing of the 8hakras (ith Prana# &rahmacharya !ecomes easy# internal organs get (orked# siddhis are acCuired# etc. "s Sirshasana is the king of "sanas# so is Maha Mudra the king of Mudras. This should !e done at least 9+ times a day.
Yoni Mudra4 In the 'oraknath Paddhati# Shi$a 'oraksha &a!a@i says ."s the Turtle (ithdra(s his lim!s into his shell# so does the Yogi (ithdra( his Indriyas (? senses) in Yoni Mudra/. Yoni Mudra helps esta!lish Pratyahara. Sitting in Padma or Siddha "sanas# the yogi closes the openings of the head (ith his fingers as such4 the right thum! closes the right ear opening# the right inde) finger holds the right eyelid shut# the right middle finger pushes the right nostril closed# the right ring finger pushes do(n on the upper lip (hile the right little finger pushes up on the lo(er lip thus closing the mouth. The e)act opposite is done (ith the left hand on the left side of the head. Inhaling in 2@@ayi Pranayama# the Yogi directs all of his attention to the point !et(een the eye!ro(s (Shi$a =etri# also called %utashta). *hile retaining his !reath for as long as possi!le# the entire consciousness is !rought into the head !y intense focus on the kutashta and the mantra .Am/ is recited mentally in the head. The Yogi must endea$or to see his soul in the %utashta shining forth like a !rilliant (hite flame. There are deeper stages of this Mudra (hich should !e learned from the 'uru that can result in "stral Pro@ection along (ith other Siddhis. "fter retaining !reath# the Yogi e)hales slo(ly !ringing his consciousness !ack to his !ody. If he (ishes to repeat the e)ercise# he lea$es his hands in their positions and repeats the e)ercises. ? in a ro( of Yoni Mudra once a day has good !enefits on the consciousness. *ith Yoni Mudra# the Yogi can retain his !reath for incredi!le inhuman lengths of time (hen the consciousness is a!sor!ed in Yoni Mudra. %echari Mudra4 JJJJJJJ8alled the .flying seal/. It is said in the hatha Yoga Pradipika that the Yogi (ho masters this (alks on air. This refers to astral pro@ection of course# ho(e$er there are more important !enefits to this mudra. This Mudra should only !e practiced under the skilled guidance of a guru. The Tongue is !rought !ack in the mouth and up into the nasal ca$ity inside the head# so that one can not see the
throat opening (hen the tongue is thus placed. This reCuires the lengthening of the renellum (small thin connection !et(een the tongue and !ottom of mouth) !y the skilled and systematic cutting of it one hair at a time o$er the period of se$eral months (ith a sharp !lade. This should not !e attempted !y anyone (ithout a skilled 'uru1s guidance. The cut is then salted (ith rock salt to help heal the (ound !ut keep the frenellum from reconnecting. There is another method (hich does not in$ol$e cutting. It is @ust as effecti$e and much easier# !ut is hard to teach !y (riting. It has to !e taught !y demonstration and e)ample of the guru. Fo not# under any circumstances# result to cutting the renellum unless under a skilled guru (ho has done it many times (ith many students. This Mudra has many !enefits. The %undalini is dra(n up !y magnetism to Shi$a. The prana inhaled goes directly into the Sushumna. It is said that some of the highest stages of Meditation can only !e reached (ith %echari Mudra. *hile I don1t personally !elie$e this# I (ill say that it amplifies meditati$e sadhana immensely and the %undalini (akes easier. "lso# (hen the tongue reaches high into the nasal ca$ity inside the head it meets a small !ul! underneath the Pineal gland. *hen the tongue ru!s this !ul! a hea$enly nectar is emitted called "mrita. This is the di$ine nectar of Yogis. It is $ery pleasing and filling. This is ho( a Yogi (ho is al(ays fasting and doing Sadhana can still !e healthy and full in appearance# e$en fat. Part I-4 Pranayama Pranayama is perhaps the most important cornerstone of Hatha Yoga. There are a do6en different types of Pranayama. or the sake of length (!ecause this is not intended to !e a full analysis of Hatha Yoga) and practice# I (ill pro$ide those Pranayamas (hich are the most potent and important techniCues for the Yogi1s Sadhana. They are primarily three in num!er4 Sukha Pur$aka# &hastrika# and %hapal &hati. Fone in that order# they create a $ery peaceful and centered feeling along (ith cleansing the =adis. Pranayama is the most effecti$e means of cleansing the =adis and a(akening the kundalini. There are t(o kinds of Pranayama4 internal and e)ternal. Hatha Yoga pranayama is e)ternal (physical)# (hile Ba@a Yoga pranayama is internal (spiritual). The inhalation is called Pur$aka# the retention of the !reath is called %um!haka# and the e)halation of the !reath is called Becheka. There are t(o types of %um!halaK Sahita and %e$alya. Sahita is restraint of the !reath (ith an inhalation or an e)halation. %e$alya is the natural restraint of the !reath (ithout inhalation or e)halation. Sahita is normal pranayama. %e$alya is li!eration from this (orld. The Yogi (ho performs %e$alya rules this (orld and transcends Maya. %e$alya is the natural restraint of the !reath during Samadhi (ecstatic union (ith 'od). The yogi1s !reath stops for hours in %e$alya. %e$alya and Samadhi do not e)ist (ithout each other. Sukha Pur$aka Pranayama4 This is a $ery po(erful pranayama. The Yogi cleanses the Ida and Pingali (ith this pranayama. It induces =adi Sodhana (cleansing of the =adis)# (hich is marked !y feeling the alternating (arm and cool currents of "pana and Prana flo(ing up and do(n the spine. In =adi Sodhana# the nostrils !ecome clear and easy to !reath through (hence the name# (hich translates as .easy !reathing/). The skin !ecomes $i!rant and full of health. The yogi emits a pleasant fragrance from his !ody as (ell. The e)ercise is as follo(s4 9) The Yogi sits is Siddha or Padma "sana. He prepares his right hand for the pranayama !y taking the inde) and middle fingers and curling them into the palm# (hile the ring and little fingers reach
o$er the folded fingers and touch the point of the thum!. This is proper hand position. Anly the right hand touches the nostril during this Pranayama. The left hand is placed either in 3nana mudra (inde) finger touches thum!) or is used to help count the num!er of Pranayama done. +) The yogi completely e)hales to empty the lungs ;) The right hand comes up to the nose (maintaining its position). The thum! presses closes the right nostril !y pressing do(n the skin outside the nasal passage. The yogi does pur$aka through the left nostril. >) *hen pur$aka is done# (hile keeping the right nostril closed (ith the thum!# the other t(o fingers (ring and little) curl around to close the left nostril as (ell. Thus !oth nostril close and the Yogi retains the !reath in %um!haka. ?) <ift the thum! off of the right nostril and e)hale through the right nostril. This is Bechecka. :) Pause a second ((ithout closing nostrils# this is a natural pause !et(een e)halation and ne( inhalation) 5) Inhale through right nostril for Pur$aka. L) Fo %um!haka (ith !oth nostrils shut !y closing right nostril (ith thum!. M) Becheka through left nostril !y lifting little and ring finger. Steps ;-M comprise one round of Sukha Pur$aka Pranayama. Practice it until the motions !ecome natural. It is said in the 'oraknath Paddhati that if one sits for Pranayama > times a day at the time of Sandhya Prayers (midnight# sunrise# noon# sunset) >, times a sitting# then the Yogi can achie$e =adi Sodhana in a fe( months. Its is good for the Yogi to !e a!le to (ork up to L, rounds at a time. This has great physical and spiritual !enefits. The ratio for this pranayama is supposed to !e practiced as 94>4+. or e)ample# pur$aka for ? seconds# kum!haka for +, seconds and recheka for 9, seconds. If you can not do this ratio at first# then (ork up to it. Inhale for > seconds# hold for as long as comforta!le# and then try to e)hale as close to 9, seconds as you can. Increase the length of time (ith practice. "l(ays aim for the 94>4+ ratio. It has the !est purging effect on the =adis. Start (ith 9, rounds of sukha Pur$aka if possi!le. If not# then (ork up to 9, rounds. "t first# most people (ill do this once a day. You should al(ays endea$or to sit for pranayama at least t(ice a day. Start (ith 9, rounds and slo(ly increase the rounds. Ance you can do >, rounds at a stretch t(ice a day# then increase the time of the Pranayama. or e)ample# if you can do >, rounds of pranayama (ith >secI9:secILsec pattern# then increase it to ?secI+,secI9,sec pattern. 8ontinue in this manner according to your practice. Most yogis stop increasing !reath time once they can achie$e +,secIL,secI>,sec# thus making each !reath + minutes and +, seconds long. There are four le$els of success in this Sukha Pur$aka pranayama. The first stage is (hen the !ody shakes and trem!les# and feels intense heat (ith immense s(eating. This stage has to !e (orked up to. The shaking# heat and s(eating are all due to the prana cleaning out the impurities of the =adis. *hen the second le$el of success is achie$ed# the !ody !ecomes totally rigid in its "sana. This is a good stage for meditation. *hen the third le$el is reached# the rigid !ody starts to hop along the floor se$eral inches at a time. There is a fourth le$el# (hich is $ery hard to reach# in (hich the physical !ody le$itates off of the floor. e( can achie$e the fourth le$el. It reCuires a $ery one-sided training routine. The yogi should al(ays stri$e for !alance in his Sadhana (practice). Pranayama should ne$er !e pursued @ust for le$itation. =o success can !e had in that (ay. The mind must !e fi)ed firmly on one of t(o things4 the point !et(een the !ro(s# or the pure
prana !eing inhaled and the impurities of the !ody !eing e)haled. This is the neophyte1s (!eginner1s) le$el of $isuali6ation. There are some higher le$els of $isuali6ation (hich should !e learned from the guru. &hastrika Pranayama4 The is a $ery po(erful pranayama# and some Yogis claim that @ust its practice can a(aken the %undalini !y itself. The Yogi takes up his customary "sana and does a $ery strong pur$aka follo(ed !y a Cuick and strong e)hale. This can !e a physically e)hausting pranayama. The nostrils are not manipulated in any (ay. Inhalation and e)halation are done through !oth nostrils. An the pur$aka# the chest is e)panded and the stomach does not e)pand. The Becheka is done forcefully (hile the shoulders drop !ack do(n to their normal position (they lifted (hen the chest e)panded on the inhale). The shoulders are not forced do(n# they are allo(ed to drop !ack to place naturally. The e)act techniCue is !est learned !y a good teacher or guru. 8oncentration should !e on %undalini in Muladhara chakra. Ane round of &hastrika usually is 9, full !reaths in and out (9, actual !hastrika pranayamas). It is not good to do more than a fe( rounds. ;-? rounds is good. Too many rounds can make you go unconscious. You should rest for a fe( !reaths in !et(een rounds or else you can also go unconscious as a !eginner. ; rounds of 9, is good for starters. *hen done# it is a $ery refreshing and in$igorating pranayama. Fon1t !e foolish and do it too many times. %hapal &hati4 JJJJJJJThis translates as .skull cleaner/# !ecause it flushes prana throughout the head and refreshes the !ody greatly. Prana in$igorates the !lood stream and also rushes through the pores of the skin. This can help pre$ent (rinkles as (ell. It stimulates the gastric fire at the pit of the stomach and a(akens Mother %undalini. This is good (hen done after Sukha Pur$aka and &hastrika pranayamas. The Yogi sits in his usual "sana and makes Cuick and strong inhalations and e)halations# !ut on a much lesser scale than &hastrika. They are short !reaths in and out done $ery Cuickly. 9 &hastrika can !e done in +-; seconds# (hile + %hapal &hati can !e done in 9 second. This is also !est learned from a guru so that the proper mo$ement can !e checked. I (ill e)plain as !est as possi!le. An the e)halation# the yogi pumps the stomach Cuickly and forcefully !y tightening the a!dominal muscles and sucking in slightly. An the inhale the stomach rela)es !ack to its neutral position. It is not forced out# !ut is allo(ed to simply rela). This motion is done $ery Cuickly (ith the cycles of %hapal &hati. Ane full round should consist of +,-;, pranayamas according to the Yogi1s a!ility. The rounds is good for starters. The num!er of pranayama per round and the num!er of rounds can !e increased according to common sense as you !ecome !etter at your practices. It is not good to do too many rounds. ? rounds of 9,, is good for e$en an ad$anced practitioner. It is a (ise choice to stop (ith this unless instructed other(ise !y a 'uru or you ha$e !ecome $ery adept at Pranayama. Part -4 Pratyahara Many people think they can enter into pratyahara. This is a lie due to the lack of guidance from a good 'uru. People (ho ha$e !een practicing for only a fe( months say .I can do pratyahara/. This is not the case. They do not e$en kno( (hat pratyahara really is. They think it is simply stopping the thoughts# or attaining an in(ard peace during meditation. "n intense inner peace during practice (hen the eyes are closed and you are sitting to practice could !e called a lesser pratyahara# !ut that is simply to encourage the 8hela (disciple). Pratyahara is a $ery intense e)perience. It flo(s naturally from the practice of Pranayama. It usually takes se$eral years for a student to !e a!le to
attain full pratyahara. So then (hat is pratyahara0 It is the process !y (hich the yogi1s consciousness is (ithdra(n completely into the spinal chord. 7$erything !ecomes peaceful# and there is total loss of consciousness of the outside (orld. It is a much different state of mind. In some (ays# you are still a(are of (hat is occurring outside of you# !ut there is such a complete state of indifference that you couldn1t really !e considered conscious of it. I am not talking from !ooks or people1s theories. I am trying to share the e)perience of actually !eing in Pratyahara. These things are al(ays hard to put into (ords. It is the launching point of Ba@a Yoga. Fharana (concentration)# Fhyana (meditation) and Samadhi ('od-8onsciousness) all !lossom from the lotus of Pratyahara. This is still considered Hatha Yoga !ecause it only occurs once complete =adi Sodhana (purification of the =adis) has !een attained. 7$erything is intensely still in Pratyahara. It is an un(orldly still# accompanied !y an un(orldly peace. *hen the mind is still and (ithdra(n from the sense organs# the peace of the spirit is a!le to !e sensed. Ane also hears the great Prana$a (AM mantra) uttering forth from the depths of the soul. The anahata sounds (a series of special sounds that the anahata chakra produces) are heard $ery easily. In pratyahara# all a(areness from the sense organs are (ithdra(n. He is not a(are of physical touch# hearing# sight# smell# and taste. He is using astral senses no(. There is no e)act practice for Pratyahara. Yoni mudra helps de$elop it. Bigorous Pranayama (ill allo( the mind to naturally enter into Pratyahara after a great deal of practice. There are certain channels (hich the consciousness must follo( to enter into the Sushumna. These can !e learned from rigorous practice# !ut of course is !est learnt from the guidance of a 'uru. " guru can guide the chela1s consciousness straight into pratyahara if the disciple is ready.
This concludes the actual treatise on Hatha Yoga. I ha$e endea$ored to gi$e as much as possi!le a!out the actual practice of Hatha Yoga (ithout (riting a $ery large !ook. " great deal can !e (ritten a!out its full practice. There are many asanas# and many pranayamas. I ha$e included (hat is needed for success in Yoga and for the Yogi to progress from Hatha Yoga to the higher le$els of Ba@a Yoga. *hile all can !e achie$ed (ith Hatha Yoga# it is more natural for Hatha Yoga to naturally flo( into Ba@a Yoga. This is part one of my treatise on the practice of Yoga. Part + (ill e)amine the practice of Ba@a Yoga. I (ill no( pro$ide a fe( supplemental (ords a!out the actual guru and his role# as (ell as pro$ide a recommended training routine in Hatha Yoga for !eginners and intermediate Sadhus (those doing Sadhana). " e( *ords concerning the 'uru4 I kno( that most people in the *est seem to !e determined that there is either no such thing as a 'uru or that there is at least no need for one. This is largely due to people1s ina!ility to succum! their ego to the di$ine (ill of another. <oose the egoD orget it. You (ill !e hum!led o$er and o$er again in your Sadhana# so (hy not start no(. In India it is not too uncommon for a man to spend his first year of .training/ under his guru as a !eggar on the streets. He comes to the guru saying .I no( (ish to learn Yoga from you/# and instead of recei$ing any secret teachings# he is gi$en an alms !o(l and sent on his (ay !eing told not to return for another year. " muslim saint once said that Hunger (as the Cuickest (ay to 'od. Ho( true his (ordsD Ho( great a hum!ler is hungerD In India there 'uru is seen as 'od. *hy not0 The Yogi learns Cuickly that his 'uru1s consciousness and that
of 'od are one and the same. 'uru is omniscient# omnipotent and omnipresent. He is a @i$an mukta (li$ing li!erated soul). 'uru literally means .destroyer of darkness/# referring to the Farkness that the neophyte is in (hen he first pursues his practice. Many people think .I (ill dispel my o(n darkness/. Ho(0 Ha$e you !een gi$en any light0 Farkness does not destroy darkness. Anly light separates it. The <ight of the 'uru destroys the darkness that the chela(disciple) is in. People in the (est ha$e a hard time !o(ing do(n to someone greater than them. They think .certainly there is no man greater than I0 *hy should I !o(0/. "nd then the 'uru !o(s to them to sho( his great humility# and they feel ignorant. Fon1t li$e in ignorance. You (ill hear from $ain mouths .there is no such thing as a guru/ or ." guru isn1t needed/. These are the (ords of a man (ho has ne$er met his 'uruDD Anly such a man speaks such foolish things. People say .!ut there are so many aspirants and not enough gurus. I ha$e !een asking for a guru and one has not appeared/. This is (rong. There are al(ays enough 'urus. Fo you think hea$en does not prepare ahead of timeD 'uru al(ays comes (hen the chela de$otes himself to practice. Then one day (hen it is needed most# he appears. He is not al(ays physically incarnate on this earth at the time. People think that all the progress can !e made (ithout 'uru. rom (hat0 rom your !ooks0 *here else did you learn from0 You are practicing from !ooks. Ho( little do the !ooks of man re$eal a!out the practice of Fi$inityD If you are still learning and practicing from !ooks# you are a =eophyte. The guru instructs you in things ne$er (ritten do(n. He teaches you things passed do(n !y mouth from initiate to initiate for hundreds of years. He percei$es the secrets of hea$en e$en (ith his eyes. He teaches you ho( to do the same. There are certain characteristics !y (hich a 'uru can !e determined. Some gurus ha$e all of these Cualities !ut ne$er display them. Some display all of them. It is hard not to see at least some of them. I ha$e pro$ided a list !elo(4 -He should inspire his students to pursue 'od (ith his $ery presence. He needs no (ords -He should !e the incarnation of his teachings. -He kno(s (hat his disciples do# no matter the distance -He kno(s the thoughts of his disciples -He gi$es Shaktipat (transference of his shakti into disciples to clean their auras and help the %undalini a(aken). -He gi$es Shi$apat (Sharing of his consciousness (ith his disciples to still their minds and spirits) -He gi$es Pranapat (controls the prana flo( (ithin his disciples during meditation to ensure proper practice (hen needed). -He !esto(s initiation -He is al(ays engaged in ser$ice to humanity -He is al(ays engaged in Yama and =iyama (right acting and thinking) These are some of the characteristics of a 'uru. Sometimes the 'uru keeps his true nature to himself until the student is ready. 'uidelines for Sadhana4 9) There are some principles (hich should !e o!ser$ed !y the =eophyte as he starts his Sadhana. He should neither eat too much or too little. His diet should !e controlled. =o red meat if at all possi!le. -egeta!les# fruit# (heat and dairy products should !e the staple of the diet. These things don1t contain the degree of intelligent spirit that animals do. "nimals take much more prana to digest. The samana has to (ork much harder as (ell. 7$en the !lood rushes into the digesti$e organs to make the !ody la6y
and lethargic. This is not conduci$e to Yoga Sadhana. It arouses the passions. ruit and -egeta!les are $ery conduci$e to meditation. They culti$ate serenity and peace in the mind. +) Yama-This is correct action. I (ill speak more at length a!out this in part t(o of this treatise. The =eophyte should li$e his life in harmony (ith his aims. Foing the right thing is Yama. Begulating diet is Yama. Yama is many things. Yama is li$ing in harmony (ith the uni$erse. ;) =iyama-This is correct thinking. Beading and studying scripture# (riting poetry# 3apa (chanting mantra)# thinking a!out the <ord ((hoe$er he may !e for you)# maintaining pure thoughts# etc. This is niyama. I (ill e)pound upon this more in the ne)t part of the treatise. >) The =eophyte should not sleep too much or too little. >-5 hours of sleep is good for most ages. You can start (ith 5 hours and gradually decrease it o$er time. The deeper in your Sadhana you are# the less sleep you1ll need. ?) "$oid !ad company and Idle talk as much as possi!le. Try to keep the mind focused on Fi$ine things# e$en during daily acti$ities. :) Fo %arma Yoga. This is performing one1s duties and responsi!ilities e$ery day (ith no attachment. Fo not let the (orkplace upset you or distur! you. Fo not think a!out it much (hen you lea$e. 5) Fo not practice too much at first. Start (ith a short routine and !uild it up. " good Sadhana for someone (ho has made progress in his training is ;-> hours a day. "d$anced Sadhana replaces sleep so that the Yogi does his Sadhana sometimes 9,-9+ hours a day. This is done (ith Ba@a Yoga. Some e)amples of Sadhana routines in Hatha Yoga4 Fesigned (ith householders in mind Beginner: ?4,,-?4;,"M4 -(ake up -Sirshasana ? minutes -Sir$angasana ? minutes -Paschimottanasana ? minutes -&hu@angasana ? minutes -Matsyendrasana ? minutes -Sa$asana (lay do(n flat on !ack and rela)) +-; minutes ?4;,-:4,, "M4 -9, rounds Sukha Pur$aka >49:4L -; rounds of 9, &hastrika -; rounds of ;, %hapal &hati :4,,am:4,, PM4 -*orkI3o!IFaily Futies :4,,-:4;, pm4 -Pranayamas as !efore in the morning 9,4,, PM4 -!efore sleeping# read some scripture. More "d$anced Sadhana (Intermediate)4 ;4>?-?4,, "M4 -*ake up -Stretch legs for Padmasana -Sirshasana +, minutes -Sir$angasana +, minutes -Paschimottansana +, minutes ?4,,-:4,, "M4 ->, rounds Sukha Pur$aka ?I+,I9, seconds -? rounds of 9, &hastrika -? rounds of 9,, %hapal &hati :4,, "M-:4,, PM4 *orkI@o!IFaily acti$ities
:4,,-L4,, pm4 T(o hour nap if needed. If not# then scripture study and other acts of =iyama. L4,,-L4;, PM4 -+? Maha Mudras -?-9, Yoni Mudras L4;,-M4;, PM4 -repeat morning Pranayama routine. M4;,-9, PM -Fo some rela)ing acti$ities and prepare for sleep. Midnight4 (optional) -it is good to (ake up at midnight and repeat pranayama e)ercises if possi!le. Many people say .I don1t ha$e time to practice for + or ; hours a dayD/. Most of the time this is not true. Most people can make the room in their day. 7$en if the (orkday is as long as 9+ hours# this still lea$es you ? hours of time to practice and 5 hours of sleep. It is sacrifice that is the pro!lem. *e (ant to (atch T.- sho(s# play $ideo games# go to the !ar and drink# party# etc. Ho( tri$ial and illusory are such things. Ho( can they !e happiness. People say .I en@oy drinking a lot and it makes me happy/# !ut (hat is this happiness0 It is not permanent. *ill you e$en remem!er the good time you had (hile drinking0 *ill you $omit0 *ill you say something you didn1t mean to say to a lo$ed one0 *ill you physically hurt some!ody or get hurt yourself0 People call this happiness0 This is foolishness. Beal happiness is the result of Sadhana. *hat else is their more important0 <iCuor can1t compare to the nectar of di$ine reali6ationD 7)tra$agance in earthly clothes does nothing for our spiritual garments. *atching T- sho(s does not compare to seeing the plays and past-times of the godsD *hat is into)ication0 It is nothing in the face of Fi$ine ecstasy. It is filth. =o( this is not to say that one should gi$e up all such (orldly things# !ut not one soul can ad$ance in Sadhana if it is not (illing to make e$en the smallest sacrifice. There are people (orking multiple @o!s and going to school (ho still do se$eral hours of Sadhana a day. Fiscipline yourselfD In the immortal (ords of %rishna to "r@una# ."r@una# !e ye therefore a yogiD/. Some Last Remarks This article has far e)ceeded the length I had originally planned. *hat the reader must understand is that I ha$e only touched upon the surface of Hatha Yoga. I ha$e gi$en the !asics necessary for ad$ancement. =o( the routines I suggested a!o$e are for people (ho can (holly dedicate themsel$es to Yoga. This is not necessary. 7$en 9, minutes of yoga a day is !etter than none. It can also $ery po(erfully supplement your other training (should you ha$e some). =o( some (ill disagree (ith aspects of Yoga along its moral teachings. That is fine also# !ut it need !e kept in mind !y the reader that Yoga is a time tested means to achie$ing self reali6ation. There is a reason for e$erything. If you re@ect the moral and ethical teachings of Yoga# you (ill not make $ery good progress. I ha$e not (ritten a!out anything that I don1t ha$e any personal e)perience in. This entire article is supplemented in many places !y my o(n e)periences in Yoga. The e)ample Sadhana routines gi$en a!o$e (ere t(o different routines I use to follo( at different stages in my Sadhana. + hours of Yoga practice a day is a good minimum. <ess than that and progress can !ecome too slo(. Most any!ody can do + hours. =o( there are o!$iously many practices I left out in this part of the treatise on Yoga.
Some of them (ill !e co$ered in my ne)t part on Ba@a Yoga. I (ill primarily co$er the different stages of Fharana# Fhyana# and Samadhi# !ut (ill also talk a little a!out 3apa and some other e)ercises along (ith the practice of Yama and =iyama in full detail. I hope you ha$e en@oyed reading this as much as I en@oyed typing it.
%he $ractice of &oga part II: 'a a &oga
by Chris Murphy
8ontents4 Introduction Part I4Morality and Yoga Yama =iyama Part II4 Ba@a Yoga Fharana Fhyana Samadhi Part III4 Samyama The Siddhis or magickal faculties Part I-4 The 8hakras. Part -4 The Sadhana of a Yogi Sadhana routines
and daily li$ing Part -I4 &rief e)position of other Yoga systems &hakti Yoga Hatha Yoga =ada Yoga 3apa Yoga 3nana Yoga %riya Yoga %undalini Yoga (%hus begins the e)position of 'a a &oga* +&oga Sutras ,:, I ha$e decided to e)pand upon the scope of this article slightly so that I (ill not ha$e to (rite further articles to e)pand upon certain points. Thus I ha$e included the practices of Yama and =iyama# along (ith some descriptions of other yogic systems. The !ulk of the article (ill still remain on ra@a Yoga though. "s one may see from looking at the contents# due to the $ery nature of ra@a yoga itself# this article (ill ha$e to contain a great deal more theory than my pre$ious article on Hatha Yoga. Ba@a yoga is too a!stract to say .do this and that and thus you ha$e ra@a yoga/. *hile I (ill try to remain as short and to the point as possi!le and pro$ide as much practice as I can# Ba@a Yoga can !e Cuite intellectual and thus reCuires a great deal of e)position in certain areas. =o( it must !e understood that there are many yoga systems and different people ha$e different temperaments and thus are more inclined to some forms of discipline than others. I !elief that any person can adeCuately perform any system of yoga# !ut the Cuestion is can they dedicate themsel$es to it0 " person (ho is of a much more emotional and de$otional nature (ill !e comforta!le and succeed easily in &hakti Yoga ((hich is personal# i.e .god is a personality/)# ( hile such a person (ould feel $ery uncomforta!le in a non-personal ('od is not a personality !ut is !rahman# and all comes from this essential !eing) philosophy of Ba@a Yoga and 3nana (gee-ana) Yoga. <ike(ise# someone (ho !elie$es that self-reali6ation is (on through hard (ork (ould !e more comforta!le (ith %riya# Hatha# and Ba@a Yoga. Ane (ho is more intellectual in his pursuit of 'od may !e more inclined to 3nana Yoga. " musician may prefer nada yoga (hile a de$otee (ill usually feel at home (ith 3apa and &hakti Yoga. or one (ho !elie$es that (e are here to (ork# %arma Yoga is said to !e the (ay of reali6ation. *hat I pro$ide here is a discourse on that philosophy and practice called Ba@a(royal) Yoga. I !elie$e that this system pro$ides a methodic means for the achie$ement more so than some of the more de$otional yogas (hich rely more on grace and e)treme religious de$otion. Someone of any religious disposition can generally feel comforta!le practicing this. Begardless of (hether you !elie$e 'od to !e a personality or one essential presence or source from (hich all the other gods emerge (the idea of &rahman or Purusha)# the highest success can still !e achie$ed (ith Ba@a Yoga. "ll that is needed is firm determination.
Moreo$er# Ba@a Yoga proper is the necessity of all yoga. =o yoga can !e done (ithout it. Ba@a Yoga is Fharana (dar-ahn-ah)# Fhyana (dee-ahn-ah) and Samadhi (Sah-mahd-hee). *hile there has !een a certain tradition of teachings that are associated (ith (hat is called Ba@a Yoga# ultimately all Yoga is Ba@a Yoga or it is not yoga. Therefor it is uni$ersal. *hat yoga is not achie$ed through Ba@a Yoga0 In &hakti Yoga# the de$otee al(ays keeps his mind on the lord# constantly reciting his name and remem!ering his past times. He remem!ers the image and Cualities of his lord and thus enters into Fharana. *hen the concentration (Fharana) !ecomes e$en more intense then the mind flo(s into the lord as a ri$er into an ocean. Thus the &hakti enters into Fhyana (meditation) on the lord and kno(s him intuiti$ely. *hen his lo$e and de$otion increase e$en more and the mind constantly remem!ers the lord and hears his name# then the de$otee sees the <ord e$ery(here and in all things and enters into Samadhi. Though the process may !e slightly different than that of the socalled ."shtanga Yogi/# it is ultimately still Ba@a Yoga (hich is Fharana# Fhyana and Samadhi. The =ada Yogi !egins his Fharana on the su!tle sounds of the di$ine !ody# the 3nana Yogi !egins his on the "tman or soul# Hatha Yogis start Fharana on the chakras and %riya Yogis the %utashta point in the center of the !ro(s. The %arma Yogi !egins his Fharana on his (ork# the 3apa yogi on the di$ine name. "ll of them !egin their Fharana and thus e$ol$e gradually into Fhyana and Samadhi. They !ecome 3i$anmuktas (li!erated souls) in this $ery life. It is Ba@a Yoga. There is nothing special a!out the different yogas other than (here the Fharana !egins. 2ltimately they all end up in the unity of samadhi. They all perform ra@a yoga upon the ideals they focus on for li!eration. Ba@a yoga is !etter suited as a $er! than as a noun. "s such# I (ill make reference to the $arious stages of Ba@a Yoga employed !y the different schools of yoga throughout the article# and then look at those schools separately at the end. =o( then# onto the manner in (hich a yogi should go$ern his mind and !ody. I did not co$er the concepts of Yama and =iyama thoroughly in the first part of this treatise entitled .Hatha Yoga/# so I (ill e)plain them in detail here. Yama4 In Indian philosophy there are three 'unas or Cualities from (hich all others come. These are called Satt$a# Ba@as and Tamas. Satt$a is purity and 'odliness# Ba@as is action or passion# and Tamas is la6iness or inertia. Most people li$e and !reath a Tamasic andIor Ba@asic lifestyle. Thus their mind leaps from one place to another constantly# incapa!le of stopping on su!@ect for e$en 9, seconds. The lo(er passions dri$e the higher mind and the latter is ensla$ed !y these passions. The chakras stay inacti$e# the !ody is unhealthy# the mind is impure. Ho( can success in Yoga e$er !e reali6ed !y such people0 Ane (ho (ishes any success at all must stri$e the utmost in li$ing out a satt$ic lifestyle. The Yogi eats satt$ic foods# li$es in satt$ic (ays# thinks along satt$ic minds. Thus his mind is al(ays on 'od# and 'od is al(ays acting in him. I (ill e)plain more on satt$ic foods in the section on Sadhana. Yama is the means of li$ing a physically satt$ic life-style. Thus the !ody !ecomes a $essel of di$ine light in the (orld# !eing an e$er-perfect temple to house the Self-Beali6ed mind in. Patan@ali in his Yoga Sutras says Yama consists of fi$e parts4 "himsa (ah-heem-sa)# Satya (sahtyah)# "steya (ah-stay-yah)# &rahmacharya (!rah-mah-char-yah) and "parigraha (ah-par-ee-grahha). *e (ill consider each of these. Ahimsa: "himsa is defined !y Patan@ali as ."!stinence from in@uring and killing/# i.e. non-$iolence.
This $irtue has to !e particularly practiced !y the Yogi and is also perhaps the hardest . to perfect. The term itself is relati$e and does not necessarily mean .no $iolence at all under any condition/. Bather# it means that the mind of the yogi is to refrain from hate and $iolent thoughts# and that e$en if $iolence is necessary in a situation# it is done only according to the merit of he (ho recei$es it. 2ltimately it should !e a$oided under any circumstances# !ut depending on your duties that may change. or e)ample# a ruler can not al(ays practice such strict "himsa as it may put his country in @eopardy. Bather he should !e chi$alrous to the upmost if any $iolence is to !e enacted out at all. Befrain from mental $iolence as (ell# for this is $ery damaging to the mind. Fo not insult or feel hatred of others# especially if un(arranted. <et $i!rations of peace emanate from you. If there is e$er a peaceful (ay out of something# it should !e done. Perfect "himsa de$elops the &huta Siddhi (hich allo(s the Yogi to tame (ild animals (ith his mind. It is the culti$ation of "himsa (hich plays a large part in the peaceful $i!rations of a 'od-Beali6ed man. "himsa is easy for one (ho has o$ercome his false-ego ("hamkara) and attachment to this (orld of illusion (Maya). Satya: Satya means .to speak the truth/. "$oid lies and deceit. They are the results of the false- ego# the false sense of self associated (ith your lo(er desires. 'o$ern your speech. Ho( can one go$ern the mind if he can1t e$en control the tongue0 Surely no yoga could !e done at all !y such a man. Asteya: .=on-Stealing/. This is self-e)planatory. Fo not co$et or !e @ealous# and then "steya is achie$ed (ith ease. Brahmacharya: 8eli!acy. This is necessary for one (ho (ishes to !ecome a Sannyasin or renunciant of the (orld. It is not necessary for the householder yogi (ho (orks and has a family. =onetheless# the se)ual passions should !e controlled and moderated !y anyone seeking success in Yoga. This applies more to men than (omen# for men loose a great deal more spiritual energy (hen there is a discharge of semen. The mind !ecomes hard to control and the kundalini (ill !e much harder to control if the !ody discharges freCuently. The goal is for the energy to run up the spine to the spiritual centers and not do(n the spine to the se)ual centers in the !ody. If you li$e life (ith the energy constantly going do(n into the lo(er centers# success in Yoga is impossi!le. Ane discharge of semen can set your practices !ack Cuite a !it. You (ill ha$e to (ork harder for a (hile to make progress again after(ards. Most people complain saying that the se)ual urges should not !e restrained# and this is due to the false-ego. Such restraint is hard for (orldly minded people. They (ill ha$e no success in Yoga. If they (orship their se)ual organs# then Yoga is not for them. Some (ill say .!ut (hat of tantric yoga0/. "ny yoga that in$ol$es the %undalini is technically Tantric Yoga. Some people !ecame deluded !y the sym!olism of tantra that Matsyendranath taught and took it literally. 7$en so they achie$e some success# !ut most people are incapa!le of maintaining the mind-set necessary for Tantric se). The correct mind-set for Tantric Se) is e$en harder to achie$e than complete celi!acy. The yogic scriptures say a householder can engage in se)ual acti$ity once a month (ithout !eing detrimental to his Sadhana. <omer in his .Hermetic <etters/ says t(ice a month# and I (ill second his opinion. 8eli!acy is !est# once a month is accepta!le and t(ice a month is the a!solute most that can safely done (ithout causing serious damage to your progress in Sadhana (spiritual practice). Some say that the highest le$el of Samadhi called =ir$ikapla Samadhi cannot !e achie$ed unless o!ser$ing strict celi!acy. Athers say that it can !e achie$e if se)ual acti$ity is restrained to only a fe( times a year. *hile peoples .se)ual freedom/ and e)pression is their o(n priority# I can say that someone (ho can not e)ercise the self control needed for se)ual restraint can not !e e)pected to e$er succeed in Yoga. He is like a gardener (ho plants no seed and tills no ground# and then (onders (here his
crop is. Aparigraha: reedom from greed. " man (ho indulges in greed and @ealousy can ha$e no yoga. He can ha$e no peace of mind. Ho( can he0 His mind is stuck in the s(amp of maya pursuing snakes as he !ecomes more and more lost. 'reed is from ignorance. Ignorance is from the false- ego ("hamkara). 'reed causes no real satisfaction. It gi$es temporal satisfaction and ultimately leads to strife. It is an unsatisfia!le hunger. It (ill al(ays eat and ne$er !e satisfied. *hy feed it0 It is !etter off dying of hunger. " man (ho has no greed has a clear mind and can think and act !etter in all (alks of life. He (ill !e successful at (hate$er he puts his mind to. He (ill act on his o(n and not !e guided !y false promises. Some people achie$e success in this (orld (ith greed. In reality they achie$e no success. " man (ho achie$es the same success (ithout greed has o!tained real success. The difference may not !e (hat they ha$e physically# !ut it (ill !e (hat they ha$e spiritually and mentally. 'reed makes no success. Fetermination and perse$erance only do. 'reed is like an appendage that is to !e cut off due to disease !efore it takes o$er the !ody. =iyama4 =iyama is the means of purifying the mind and !ody. *hen =iyama is practiced (ith Yama# the mind !ecomes $ery satt$ic and ready for the practice of yoga. The purifications of =iyama are %riya (%ree-yah)# Santosha# Tapas (Tah-pahs)# S$adhyaya (S($ad-hyai-ya)# and Is$arapranidhana (eesh-($ar-ah-pran-eed-hah-nah). -riya: Patan@ali uses the (ord %riya to denote a series of physical and mental e)ercises for purification. In a sense# all of =iyama is %riya# Fo not confuse this use of the (ord (ith the Yoga kno(n as %riya Yoga taught !y Paramahamsa Yogananda. %riya in the sense of its use in =iyama co$ers a !road spectrum of things. Specifically (e can see it as referring to the physical kriyas of doing asana along (ith the Shat %riyas of physically purifying the !ody# touched upon slightly in my Hatha Yoga article# as they are hatha yoga practices. It also refers to mental cleansing e)ercises such as concentration and pratyahara. Ane could see it as all yoga up to Fhyana. %riya is not separate from the practice of yoga. It also refers to physical cleanliness !y taking sho(ers and mental cleanliness !y keeping the mind concentrated on loft things. In the actual Yoga Sutras# Patan@ali seems to use the term to refer to the follo(ing four practices of =iyama# considering them all as %riyas to !e o!ser$ed !y the yogi in his Sadhana. Santosha: Santosha means contentment. &e e$er glad# !e e$er @oyous. Fo not let Maya take hold of you. The emotional !ody is perhaps the hardest for the mind to control. 7motion is the presence or a!sence of contentment. *hen the mind is content# the spirit is !lissful and peaceful. *hen you are sad# angry# @ealous# irritated# or upset it is !ecause of lack of contentment. *hy do you let the (orld upset you so little Bama0 You ha$e the entire uni$erse (ithin you. 7)ploreD You (ill find infinite contentment. There is only room for 3oy in the "tma (soul). There is no room for any sadness in the spirit. It is Satchidananda (po(er# consciousness# !liss). It is real. It is the essence of reality itself. You are immortal. =o( Beali6eD Patan@ali states .supreme happiness is achie$ed through contentment/. The Yoga -asishta states that Santosha# Santi (peace)# -ichara (discrimination of real from unreal) and Satsanga (association (ith spiritual people) are the four guards at the door of Moksha (li!eration from Maya). %apas: Tapas generally means austerities or penance. It is common in the $edas and in the other
hindu literature for great sages go perform austerities for years to achie$e li!eration. Yoga is Tapas. asting is a form of Tapas. Beligious o!ser$ance is Tapas. There are three types of TapasK those of !ody# speech and mind. &ody is things such as pranayama# asana# religious o!ser$ances# etc. Speech is regulating the tongue ands controlling it so that no lies are spoken# and each (ord is chosen carefully and (eighed !efore speaking. It is also the e$asion of idle talk# (hich is like poison to the mind# and reciting the name of 'od. Mind is 8hitta--ritti =irodha# restricting (=irodha) the thoughts (-ritti) that appear in the mind (8hitta). Patan@ali states .Through Tapas# due to the destruction of the impurities# arise psychic po(ers in the !ody and the senses/. Svadhyaya: This is the study of scripture. It has a (onderful uplifting and cleansing effect on the mind. *hen (aking in the morning# the Sadhu (yogi in his Sadhana or training) should see to it that all !athroom duties are done first thing. Then he should take a cold sho(er and sit for the study of scripture at least ;, minutes. He can also ha$e a glass of milk or (ater. This (ill calm and center the mind to ready it for the morning Sadhana (spiritual practice). Bead things that are sacred to you. %eep some scripture in the meditation room# as it has a purifying effect on the atmosphere. Beading it out loud (ill also spread spiritual $i!rations throughout the atmosphere of the room. It is good to chant a fe( slokas from the :th chapter of the &haga$ad gita and contemplate them !efore sitting for meditation. Bead $arious scriptures according to your religious preference. Patan@ali says in the >> th sutra of chapter + in his Yoga Sutra .&y S$adhyaya comes the communion (ith the Ishta Fe$ata (personal deity)/. Isvarapranidhana: Self surrender. This should !e culti$ated greatly !y the yogi (ho seeks li!eration. *hat does this mean0 It is t(o-fold# for there are t(o sel$es. The one is ahamkara (false ego)# the other is "tman (True 7go or Fi$ine Self). In the conte)t of the ahamkara it means considering others !efore you. You are a Yogi. Your treasure is some(here else. Help those (ho still ha$e their treasure stored up here. The help may !e meaningless to you# !ut it may mean the (orld to them. "l(ays engage in selfless help to humanity. This is great %arma Yoga. <i!eration can !e achie$ed !y this alone. 'andhi (as a @i$anmukta (ho achie$ed li!eration in this manner. *hen the "hamkara is put in constant trou!les for the sake of humanity# the mind mo$es to higher planes and reali6es the "tman. The "hamkara !ecomes nothing more than a tool for the "tman# instead of !eing the seat of consciousness. =ot all are suited for this path. %arma yoga is $ery hard indeed. The second type of self-surrender is that of the "hamkara into the "tman# and the "tman into the &rahman or Purusha. This is called samadhi. It is li!eration. Part II4 Ba@a Yoga
Fharana4 Many people hear the (ord Fharana and think .ahh# I can concentrate easily. I (ill go on to Fhayana./ This is a false conception of Fharana. The english (ord .concentration/ is used to translate the sanskrit (ord .Fharana/. 8oncentration is not an e)act translation. .Fharana/ means much more than @ust the (estern concept of concentration. It is !est defined as the complete a!sorption of the mind into one point. The Yogi can perform Fharana on many things to achie$e ne( le$els of consciousness and Siddhis (occult po(ers). or consciousness and reali6ation he does Fharana on the chakras# or the "nahata Sounds# or on 3i$a and "tman. or Accult Siddhis he does
Fharana on !ody parts and elements# or the chakras. The yogi must ha$e culti$ated a $ery calm mind indeed should he (ish to enter into this state of consciousness. The leaping deer of the mind must ha$e !een tamed and the tiger of the passions su!dued. Fharana does not come for a (orldly person. They think they ha$e some e)periences# !ut they are fooled !y their senses. The prana must flo( in certain groo$es# and this is not possi!le for a (orldly person. In Fharana there is no (andering# there is no (orld or uni$erse. There is no !ody. There is @ust kno(er and kno(n. The mind literally !ecomes the o!@ect of concentration. =othing else at all e)ists. This is Fharana. BeCuirements for Fharana4 Some yogis !egin (ith Ba@a Yoga only at dharana and ha$e a hard time. It takes much effort and time to ad$ance only a little. %arma yoga is good to start (ith. &efore any yoga can !e done at all# the mind and !ody must !e purified for se$eral months at least (ith Yama and =iyama. *ork constantly in charita!le (ays# and regulate all aspects of life. Fo not sleep too much# (ork too much# sleep to little or (ork too little. Fo eat too much or too little. Fo not play too much# do not idle talk often. Bead scriptures and think of di$ine things constantly. This (ill help the mind and !ody prepare for Ba@a Yoga. Then it is good to do Hatha Yoga for a long time until success is had in "sana# pranayama and Pratyahara. This (ill purify the =adis and chakras. Ance =adi Sodhana is achie$ed (complete cleansing of the =adis)# then pratyahara come on its o(n and Fharana is $ery easy. Fharana is impossi!le (ithout =adi Sodhana. Fo not e$en attempt it. You (ill (aste precious time. =adi sodhana can !e achie$ed as such4 Sit four times a day at the sacred @unctions !eing sun rise# noon# sunset# and midnight. *ith each sitting do >, sukha pur$aka Pranayama# gi$ing you 9:, sukha pur$aka a day. This (ill take around > hours a day for most people. 8ontinuing in this manner and firmly esta!lished in Yama# =iyama and &rahmacharya (celi!acy)# =adi Sodhana (ill !e achie$ed in si) or se$en months# and less than that under the guidance of a 'uru. 'uru can make =adi Sodhana happen $ery Cuickly (ith @ust his aura. Ho( does one kno( that =adi Sodhana has !een achie$ed0 The !ody !ecomes firm !ut light# the gastric fire in the pit of the stomach is strong# 7kagrata (one-pointedness of mind) is de$eloped# peace and harmony flo( freely from the mind and !ody# sleep is minimal# diet !ecomes $ery small !ut !ody stays strong and full# and a s(eet smell emits off the Yogi. The se)ual energy is transmuted into mental energy for the practice of Yoga. Such a person (ill succeed in Ba@a Yoga $ery easily. =adi Sodhana is not the only thing necessary for Fharana. Pratyahara is e$en more important# and is !est entered after =adi Sodhana has occurred. The consciousness dra(s into the sushumna in the spinal chord (hile the senses in the !ody shut off. The Yogi feels his !ody going to sleep as one (ould feel a leg or arm going to sleep (hen he lays on it too long. The !lood e$en dra(s in(ards a little resulting in a pale complection for some during pratyahara. The !reathing process !ecomes $ery slo(. This is a $ery en@oya!le state for a yogi# and Fharana must !e entered from here alone. Pratyahara is the gate(ay to Fharana# Fharana is the gate(ay to Fhyana and Fhyana is the gate(ay to samadhi. 7ach !looms into the ne)t in a continuos stream of consciousness. Practices for Fharana4 9. Sit in Padmasana or Siddhasana# or Sukhasana if legs hurt too !ad. Hang a picture of <ord
%rishna# or Bama# or 3esus on the (all in front of you. If neither picture appeals to you# then hang a painting or picture of the sanskrit .AM/ in !lack upon a (hite !ackground in front of you. *ith eyes open# stare as long as possi!le at the picture (ithout !linking until tears roll do(n the cheek. Fo not let the mind (ander e$en once. Ha$e tunnel $ision. "ll that e)ists is the picture. This is called Trateka. It has (onderful effects on !oth culti$ating concentration to prepare for Fharana and healing the eyesight. Many people ha$e !een a!le to gi$e up their glasses !ecause of this e)ercise. Start for @ust ;, or >, seconds. 'radually e)tend it to ;, minutes (ithout !linking. This (ill come easier than you think. Perse$ere and you (ill see great !enefits. This helps culti$ate 8lair$oyance as (ell. +. Perform Trateka on the chosen image for a fe( minutes# and then close the eyes. Mentally concentrate on the image. Becreate the entire image perfectly in full detail. See e$ery piece of "rmor on -ishnu# e$ery !ead on Shi$a and e$ery hair on 3esus. The mental image must !e an e)act replica of the physical image. 'radually !uild up your po(er of concentration until the image can !e held for ;, minutes easily. ;. *hen (orking and performing duties throughout the day# stay completely concentrated on the task at hand. Fo not !uild castles in the air during (ork. People (ill say .day dreaming helps relie$e stress/. If your concentration (as good you (ould ha$e no stressD Fe$elop concentration al(ays. This e)ercise must !e done for a long time e$ery day. It does no good at all to sit for meditation ; hours a day# and then spend the rest of the day letting the mind (ander at (hate$er the eyes see or the desires (ish. Then Yoga !ecome useless. Such a person (ill make only a little progress in long time. People ha$e !een practicing > or ? hours a day for 9, years and (onder (hy they still ha$e no success. This is (hy. 8oncentration is your real friend. " person (ith good concentration (ill do much more (ork in a shorter period of time than a normal person. *hen you dri$e# focus on the road. Fo not (atch t.$ or listen to radio (hile you eat. Fo not think so much a!out (ork (hen at home# or a!out home (hen at (ork. In this (ay you (ill make great progress. You (ill !ecome a li!erated soul in this life. This is $ery hard. >. The Yogi should sit in Sukhasana# Padmasana or Siddhasana and (ithdra( the senses in Pratyahara. This !eing done# let him do =amah 3apa. The mind should !ecome completely a!sor!ed in the Mantra. Ha$e good &ha$a (a!sorption) and &hakti (Fe$otion). 8ontinue in this manner for an hour at least. The mantra should come automatically. =amah 3apa is a $ery easy (ay to purify the mind and make it suita!le for Fharana. 8oncentrate on the image of the <ord or on the sound of the mantra itself and its meaning. Fharana (ill come on its o(n in this manner. Anly the mantra (ill e)ist. It !ecomes $ery easy to do namah 3apa all night long (hile sleeping. The Yogi has dreams and $isions of the <ord and (akes up still repeating 3apa. ?. Ha$ing mastered the first t(o e)ercises# sitting in his "sana the Yogi should see the image of the <ord or of AM in his mind (ithout looking at the image physically. Fo not let the mind (ander. Hold this image for an hour. This is good Fharana. *hen only the o!@ect e)ists# you ha$e Fharana. :. Sitting in "sana# $isuali6e one of the : Shat 8hakras (from Muludhara to -ishuddha) intensely. Their images ha$e !een descri!ed in the first part of this treatise concerning Hatha Yoga. Fo Fharana on this. It (ill send su!tle psychic channels to that chakra so that the mind can !enefit from it. Siddhis (ill come if the chakra is a(akened. This is an e)cellent practice for Fharana. I (ill gi$e the 8hakras
in all their details at the end of this treatise. Fharana (ill !ecome $ery easy after a great deal of practice. Fharana !ecomes Fhayana. They are not too separate things. There are ho(e$er e)ercises (hich are more conduci$e to entering into Fhyana than those a!o$e# !ut dharana has to !e culti$ated !efore they can !e practiced (ith any success. The e)ercises a!o$e are for the sole purpose of de$eloping Fharana. Fharana is only for entering dhayana. That is its entire purpose. "t first you (ill not !e a!le to enter into Fhyana. You (ill ha$e to practice Fharana rigorously. Then Fhyana (ill come after a fe( hours of Fharana. 7$entually you (ill !e a!le to do Fharana on an o!@ect and go almost instantly into Fhyana. 7)ercises 9 and + should !e practice first# and three should al(ays !e done. "ll of the others can !e done according to your o(n preference. 7)ercises >-:# if e)panded upon slightly# can lead all the (ay into Samadhi (ith years of practice. Fo not think that Samadhi (ill !e achie$ed easily in a fe( short years. or a !eginner concentration is $ery hard. This must !e o$ercome. Fhyana4 Fhyana is not something (hich can !e talked a!out too much. It is a deeper state of Fharana. Bather# Fharana !lossoms into Fhyana. Ho(e$er it is not necessarily as simple as concentrating $ery hard and then suddenly Meditation ensues. *hat most people call meditation is not meditation. *e say .I am going to go meditate no(/# not kno(ing the characteristics that define Fhyana. There is not the same pro!lem is translating the sanskrit into 7nglish as (e ha$e (ith Fharana and the (ord .concentration/. Meditation is a great (ord to define (hat Fhyana is# !ut the pro!lem is that the 7nglish (ord itself has !een improperly used# at least in a yogic sense. Fhyana is a $ery e)act state of consciousness. The senses !eing (ithdra(n and the mind a!sor!ed in one o!@ect alone# the consciousness rises from the lo(er chakras up into the head at the Medulla @unction located roughly (here the atlas !one is. This stage of consciousness# called meditation# can not !e achie$ed (ithout control of the %undalini. Therefore let us first look at the %undalini a little more in depth than in the first part of this treatise on Hatha Yoga so that e$eryone understands its functions. Shakti is the feminine principle of the uni$erse (hich is said to e)ists co-eternally (ith Shi$a the male principle of the uni$erse. In the supreme &rahman (the undifferentiated Supreme !eing called Shi$a !y the Yogis) these t(o states of !eing (Shi$a and Shakti) e)ists together in perfect unity. *hen the &rahman .*ills/# then shakti emerges separately from Shi$a and (e ha$e this separation into a lo(er phase of reality. In HermeticI%a!!alistic parlance# this is the unfoldment of the di$ine "t6iluthic Feity into the realm of &riah and thus the initial spark on the Tree of <ife. Thus a ne( uni$erse emerges in (hich there is separation# (hereas prior there (as al(ays unity. %eep in mind that any .order of e$ents/ is purely metaphorical so that the human mind can grasp inhuman things easier. This Shakti unfolds and gradually forms the uni$erse# ultimately ending (ith the sym!olism of Am =amah Shi$aya# in (hich the .Am/ represents the masculine source of 'od# and the .=amah Shi$aya/ is the 2ni$erse# (hich is feminine in nature. The %undalini is the fifth unfoldment of this Fi$ine Shakti as it manifest in human !eings. There are three separate %undalini Shaktis in the Human &ody# !ut (e (ill stick (ith the one most talked a!out in yogic scriptures# !eing the %undalini at the !ase of the spine. =o( %undalini# (hich is represented sym!olically in myth !y the Fi$ine 'oddess Sati# longs
to !e (ith her hus!and Shi$a. In the mundane man# she is separated from her lo$er !ut in the Yogi she en@oys his company. It is the task of the Yogi to see to it that Sati at the !ase of the spine is reunited (ith her lo$er Shi$a in the "@na 8hakra. *hen this full union occurs# the yogi is called Self Beali6ed and is !eyond the (heel of Samsara (reincarnation). There are $arious le$els of samadhi. The lo(er and impermanent ones occur in a@na 8hakra# the permanent Samadhi occurs in the Sahasrara chakra. =o( that (e understand (hat the %undalini is# I (ill descri!e its manner of operation. "t the !ase of the spine near the 8occygeal Ple)us lies the Muladhara 8hakra. This is not at the tail-!one as many seem to !elie$e. The Muladhara is in the Perineum. or a male this is !et(een the se) organ and the anus# and for a female it is actually inside the se) organ. Here lies the red hued our Petalled <otus. In the center of the lotus lies an upright triangle atop the sanskrit &i@a Mantra .<am/ (ith &rahma on the left side and Fakini on the right. In the center of the triangle lies an upside-do(n <inga called the S$ayam!hu <inga. %undalini is coiled as a serpent three and one-half times around the S$ayam!hu <inga (ith her mouth open co$ering the entrance to the &rahma =adi. The &rahma =adi is a $ery fine tu!e (ithin the Sushumna. There is a common mistake here. Some think that the %undalini rises up the Sushumna and this is not (holly correct. The %undalini enters into the &rahma =adi# the Prana is (hat enters into the Sushumna and cleanses it so that the &rahma =adi (ill open up. The %undalini can not rise safely unless the Sushumna =adi is purified. Ho( does one go a!out purifying the Sushumna0 It is a t(o stage process. irst the Ida and Pingala must !e cleansed !y rigorous pranayama and o!ser$ance of Yama and =iyama. Ance =adi Sodhana occurs# then the Sushumna !ecomes acti$e and the yogi can (ork directly upon the Sushumna =adi !y $arious Pranayamas and $isuali6ations. =adhi Sodhana results from purifying the Ida and Pingala# %undalini a(akening results from purifying Sushumna. This takes much longer than =adi sodhana if the Yogi is not careful. He must not stray from his sadhana e$en one !it. *hen the Prana runs freely in the Sushumna then %undalini ascends. Its ascent is guided !y the 'uru and !y the Sadhana of the Yogi. &y "sanas# &andhas# Mudras# Pranayamas and specific concentration e)ercises the %undalini is guided up methodically along the spine. *hen the Sushumna is cleansed and the %undalini a(akened# then Fhyana is easily achie$a!le. It comes naturally. *hen the %undalini (akes up# the !ody (ill sometimes le$itate. This is not actually that rare. In people (ho ha$e not had the proper training under the guidance of a 'uru# the %undalini a(akening can !e drastic. They (ill go into comas# !e temporarily paraly6ed# loose control o$er their actions# !e $ery emotional# de$elop psychological disorders# !ecome $ery ill# etc. *hile this is not al(ays the case# it is !est to play it safe and a(aken the %undalini under the guidance of a 'uru and a pro$en system. So (hy is this necessary for Fhyana0 It all re$ol$es around the Pranic flo( in the Sushumna. The %undalini .(aking up/ does not necessarily mean it is ascending. It generally @ust means that no( the Prana is flo(ing in the Sushumna =adi. I (ill descri!e this =adi and its effect on the Yogi. *hen the Prana flo(s in the Sushumna nadi then Pratyahara ensues easily. *ithin this sushumna =adi is the su!tler -a@ra =adi. *hen the Prana# after much effort# flo(s in the -a@ra =adi then Fharana ensues easily. *ithin the -a@ra =adi is a su!tler nadi called 8hitra. *hen the Prana flo(s in this then Fhyana ensues easily !y the consciousness raising up the spine into the head. *ithin this 8hitra =adi is the $ery fine and su!tle &rahma =adi in (hich the %undalini flo(s. *hen the kundalini flo(s in the &rahma =adi then the consciousness rises into the &rahmarandhra at the top of the skull and Samadhi ensues easily. Thus are the (orkings of the
Sushumna. So (e see that the Prana must flo( in the Sushumna first !efore there can !e any hope of entering into Fhyana. To enter into Fhyana# first the mind must !e totally a!sor!ed on the o!@ect in Fharana. *ith practice# the mind (ill start to .flo(/ (ithin the o!@ect kno(ing it inside and out. &y intuition you (ill kno( the o!@ect on multiple realms. Instead of holding steadfast on the image# the mind (ill mo$e into su!tler meanings of the o!@ect. *hen doing Fharana on Shi$a the mind (ill flo( into the $ery essence of Shi$a himself contemplating his attri!utes and Cualities as reflected !y his (eapons and sym!olism. The Mind !ecomes a!sor!ed in the meaning of the o!@ect on an intuitional le$el. The su!conscious e$en !ecomes a!sor!ed and you merge into the o!@ect kno(ing it from the inside-out instead of from the outside-in. This process is $ery hard to descri!e. Ho( can I descri!e something taking place on a super-conscious le$el0 It has to !e e)perienced# so start practicing right no(. You (ill e)perience it (ith effort and time. It is a $ery peaceful state# residing in the inner (orlds of peace and harmony de$oid of time and hardships. It is a safe ha$en for the yogi in times of temptation. " yogi thus esta!lished can easily spend 9+ hours a!sor!ed in Fhyana in one sitting. It (ill effecti$ely replace sleep as (ell. It replenishes the !ody# mind and spirit in (ays regular sleep can not come close to. or a house-holder Yogi it is $ery !eneficial to learn to gradually replace sleep (ith meditation so that he can achie$e the long periods of Sadhana needed for e$entually achie$ing Samadhi. Samadhi is not something achie$ed in your leisure time. It has to !e sought after (ith e)treme diligence and perse$erance. Exercises for hyana: *hile most of the e)ercises I ga$e for Fharana (ill e$entually e$ol$e into Fhyana# there are certain e)ercises (hich a!sor! the mind $ery easily and thus make for good o!@ects of meditation. 9. Prana$a. This is the recitation of AM mentally. The mind must !e completely a!sor!ed in Am. This is not a 3apa e)ercise in (hich you repeat AM Cuickly. It is to !e done slo(ly and po(erfully. Start out loudly# and then repeat it in the mind. 7$ery 9, repetitions# let the mind d(ell in silence for a minute or t(o listening to it $ery carefully. 8ontinue on in this manner. You (ill e$entually start to hear AM re$er!erate in the mind in the minutes of silence. Ance you can hear it# e)tend it. "t first it (ill !e $ery fleeting. You ha$e to learn to e)tend the time of silent listening so that you can spend ;, minutes or more hearing AM the entire time. =o( there is a trap here (hich the rishis set. They say .<isten to AM in the right ear after repeating it/. This can not !e done# !ecause it is not the (ord .AM/ that repeats itself in the moments of silence. I (ill tell you a secret that not many people kno(. It has to !e learned !y the 'uru# !ut I (ill re$eal most of it. AM is not AM. The (ord .AM/ (or "2M) is the outer shell only. It is a disguise (hich the Bishis used to trap the ignorant. They say .Hear AM in the right ear/# !ut they do not mean to literally hear the (ord. Bather they are using the key to refer to (hat it unlocks. The pronunciation of the (ord .AM/ is the %ey# and (hen used it unlocks the real "2M# the 8osmic "2M (hich re$er!erates throughout the 2ni$erse. The cosmic "2M is not a (ord# it is a $i!ration (hich ensues after the (ord. This is the treasure. I (ill not tell you (hat it sounds like. You must learn to hear it yourself and then you (ill kno(. Ance you can hear it# !ecome a!sor!ed in it. It is the manifestation of 'od in sound. If you are a(are of this# then the mind (ill enter into full !lo(n Fhyana (hile listening to this 8osmic "2M. I am not speaking out of
!ooks right no(. This e)ercise# called the Amkar Sadhana# can result in full !lo(n Samadhi. It is $ery po(erful if the entire techniCue is kno(n. I ha$e not gi$en the entire techniCue# @ust enough to get started. 3ust this (ill lead the mind to $ery high places and super-conscious states. This is a @e(el. The techniCue a!o$e is gi$en in many yogic te)ts# I ha$e @ust tried to gi$e you some e)tra help for those of you (ho don1t ha$e a guru yet. The -i!ration of the 8osmic "2M (ill !e felt sharply in the entire !ody from head to toe. If this is felt then you are progressing along the right lines. +. 8ontemplation on the Maha$akyas. These are the .great sayings/ of the 2panishads. " good one is ."ham &rahma "smi/ (hich means .I am &rahman/. <et the mind !e a!sor!ed completely in this utterance. 2nderstand its meaning. eel yourself as the Fi$ine &eing from (hich all came and all returns to. 8ontemplate on the essential unity of all things# and as the entire uni$erse !eing nothing more than an e)tension of your 'reater Self. Here you are mentally contemplating and meditating on a concept (hich !ecomes fully reali6ed in deep Samadhi. This practice helps prepare the mind for Samadhi. You must try $ery hard to identify your consciousness (ith 'od1s. "ffirm to yourself .I am all &liss# I am all <ight# I am all 8onsciousness# I am infinite# I am all per$asi$e# I am immortal/. This type of meditation is considered as 3nana Yoga. This is meditation on identifying the "tma (ith the "tman# the 3i$a (soul) (ith the &rahman. This e)ercise leads to $ery deep meditation Cuickly. %eep the concentration on the %utashta center !et(een the !ro(s. You (ill see lights# saints# sages# gods# etc...(hen deep meditation occurs. <isten to their ad$ice. 'uru (ill appear also and gi$e ad$ice. ;. "@apa is the natural repetition of the .Soham/ or .Hamsa/ mantra (ith e$ery !reath. This goes on all day long. In a@apa Sadhana you simply !ecome conscious of the practice. Sit for Sadhana and interiori6e the mind. Make the !reath loud !y slightly closing the glottis so that the !reath sounds like (ind or ocean (a$es (ith each inhale and e)hale. If you listen closely# you (ill hear .Ham/ on the e)hale and .Sa/ on the inhale. You could also hear .So/ in the inhale and Ham/ on the e)hale. It makes no difference. Soham means .I am/# and Hamsa means S(an ((hich represents the illumined consciousness). The meditation is the same for !oth. *e (ill use Hamsa for illustrati$e purposes !ecause that is (hat I personally use. *ith the e)hale# in(ardly hear the !reath form .Ham/ (hile e)haling all false conceptions of self and negati$ity. An the Inhale in(ardly hear .Sa/ (hile identifying the consciousness (ith &rahman# similar to e)ercise + a!o$e. Suspend the !reath in !et(een each inhale and e)hale. 2nderstand the difference !et(een holding the !reath and suspending the !reath. *hen you .hold/ the !reath# the glottis closes and the !reath is retained !elo( the neck. *hen the !reath is suspended you are @ust e)tending the natural pause !et(een inhale and e)hale. Take a fe( deep slo( !reaths. You (ill notice this natural pause. 7)tend this pause and the !reath is considered to !e suspended. This is (hat occurs in Samadhi (hen one enters the .!reathless state/. The !reath feels as though it is !eing retained in the nostrils and head. This is more natural. *ith time as the meditation deepens# e)tend the time of this suspension gradually (hile identifying the mind (ith 'od. The deeper the concentration the easier the suspension of !reath (ill !e. *hen the mind is perfectly still the prana stops causing the !reath to stop as (ell. This occurs in Samadhi (hen the mind enters perfect silence. In time# you (ill !e a!le to suspend the !reath for $ery long lengths of time. 7$entually the !reath (ill stop altogether causing the yogi to enter into Samadhi. The Hamsa Yogis in the Himalayan mountains achie$e li!eration (ith @ust this techniCue. It is $ery po(erful.
>. 8oncentrate on the image of your Ishta Fe$ata (personal deity or 'od that you (orship). "s concentration !ecomes intense# let the mind enter into the image of concentration. The mind must learn to only mo$e (ithin the su!@ect of meditation. It mo$es to the $arious sym!olisms of the <ord1s forms and names# his or her (eapons# etc. This (ill e$ol$e into deep Fhyana. It !ecomes a mental in$ocation. The consciousness (ill actually enter into the form of the deity and !e in direct communion (ith it. You (ill ha$e $isions of 'od. You (ill understand his (orkings (ith Intuition. You (ill ha$e 'od communion e$entually. This is a good meditation for people of a de$otional nature. ?. 8ontemplate on the !ody. =o( e)pand the consciousness into that of the Ishta Fe$ata. "ssume the form of the Ishta Fe$ata (ith your o(n !ody. Meditate on the !ody and mind transforming into the deity. See the skin change# the hair change# the eyes change# formulate the sym!olism around you. "ssociate your consciousness (ith the 'od. 7)pand the consciousness no( so that you feel like the Ishta Fe$ata. Think .My head is the hea$ens# my !ody is the 2ni$erse and my legs and feet are in the under(orld# My (ord is the creati$e AM# the entire uni$erse is contained in my !ody/. This is a $ery po(erful meditation. It is a yogic in$ocation. It connects the indi$idual consciousness to the cosmic consciousness of the Ishta Fe$ata $ery easily. You (ill ha$e $isions. :. "!sor! the consciousness into the Sushumna =adi. <et the mind !ecome this =adi so that you feel like you are the Sushumna. See radiant light e$ery(here and feel peace and !liss. eel the magnetism of the sushumna and think of Shi$a at the top of the spine and %undalini at the !ottom. This e)ercise is $ery simple and $ery effecti$e for entering into Fhyana from Fharana. *hen the consciousness enters into Sushumna =adi you (ill ha$e Pratyahara. Fi$e deeper and deeper and (hen the consciousness enters into the su!tler -a@ra =adi you (ill ha$e Fharana. Feeper still into su!tler layers of the astral and mental !odies into the chitra nadi and you (ill enter into full !lo(n Fhyana. The !reath may stop# !ut the consciousness should not. 8ontinue to go deeper and e$entually the consciousness (ill enter into the &rahma =adi plunging the consciousness into the Superconsciousness of the Fi$ine Self and dri$ing the %undalini up the spine. Then you (ill ha$e Saha@a Samadhi. 5. 8oncentrate intensely on each 8hakra for + and E hours each from Muladhara up to -isshuda. %eep the mind particularly fi)ed on the Feities of that 8hakra and its element. In this manner# you (ill achie$e control o$er all of the elements. You (ill ha$e many siddhis# and no force of the elements (ill !e a!le to o$ercome and kill you. *hen you enter into Samadhi on a 8hakra# you (ill achie$e the Siddhis of that chakra. This is (hat it means to actually .a(aken/ a chakra. Some people think that some simple concentrations and mantra (ill acti$ate a chakra. They feel a su!tle $i!ration or mo$ement of prana in that 8hakra and think that their chakra is acti$e# @ust like people sit up straight and think their %undalini is a(akened. To a(aken the 8hakra reCuires the %undalini. More on the chakras and the %undalini (ill !e dealt (ith near the end of this article There are t(o types of meditation called Saguna and =irguna. " Saguna meditation is one (hich in$ol$es forms and images. 7)ercises >-5 are Saguna meditations. They are easiest to start out (ith and train the mind on. Ance the mind can enter into Fhyan (ith Saguna e)ercises then you should mo$e on to =irguna classically. This means .(ithout form/# and e)ercises 9-; !elong to this category. Fepending on the aptitude and inclination of the student# you may start (ith =irguna instead of Saguna. ollo( the 'uru1s ad$ice. If you are practicing !y yourself then it is usually !est to ha$e a small mi) that is predominantly Saguna at first and then e$ol$es into !eing predominantly =irguna
after a (hile of training. Saguna (ill train the mind for Fharana easier# and =irguna (ill a!sor! the mind in Fhyana and Samadhi easier for most people. <et it !e kno(n that !efore any e)ercises in this article are attempted (ith any sort of fer$or# the student should follo( the e)ercises in the first part of this treatise called .Hatha Yoga/ until he has achie$ed =adi Sodhana. You (ill !e (asting your time other(ise. You (ill ha$e fleeting illusions of success only. I (ill co$er this more thoroughly in the section for Sadhana routines a little later on.
Samadhi4 JJJJJJJSamadhi is the entire reason of Yoga. In the (ords of Patan@ali# .Yoga is Samadhi/. It is the .Yoga/ or @oining of the mind (ith the super-conscious self. Then (e call this Self Beali6ation. Samadhi ho(e$er is not a homogenous le$el of consciousness. There are many su!tle layers of superconsciousness# and thus different types of Samadhi ensue (hen the consciousness reaches these. The (ork is not done for a yogi in SamadhiD The $arying le$els of Samadhi all depend on the o!@ect of Samadhi and the Samskaras (karmic impressions) left on the soul. 7ach time the Yogi enters into Samadhi he !urns his Samskaras# !ut he must enter deeper and deeper so that once all Samskaras are !urnt in the fire of Sadhana# the mind can then retain its state of super-consciousness all of the time (ithout !eing pulled !ack do(n. =o( different schools use different terms to descri!e the $arying le$els of Samadhi. I (ill try to use uni$ersal terms# and include other names (hen needed. The Sampra!nata Samadhis: Sampra@nata Samadhi is (hen there is still an o!@ect of meditation# and thus it is also called Sa!i@a samadhi and the $edantins call it Sa$ikapla Samadhi and Saha@a Samadhi. The samskaras are not really !urned up !y this Samadhi. *hereas the higher Samadhi in$ol$es complete restriction of the mind and its $ritties (thoughts)# this reCuires $rittis. So then (hy enter into it0 or one# it is the first le$el of Samadhi you (ill achie$e. "side from this# its primary purpose is to understand the reality of the o!@ect upon (hich the Samadhi is entered into. It is in this manner that the Yogi acCuires many different siddhis and reali6ations of the uni$erse and its functions. 7ach le$el of samadhi has different ."$astas/ or states of consciousness depending on the (ay in (hich the Samadhi is entered and its depth. In Sampra@nata Samadhi the famous .!reathless state/ is achie$ed also called %a$alya %um!haka. There are four "$astas of Sampra@nata Samadhi4 9. -itarka Samadhi4 The mind !ecomes connected (ith the physical form of the o!@ect of meditation# or its .image/. +. -ichara Samadhi4 The thought processes !ecome more restricted# and the mind intuiti$ely understands the astral le$el of the o!@ect of meditation. ;. "nanda Samadhi4 The thought processes !ecome e$en more stilled and the consciousness reali6ed the Fi$ine le$el of the o!@ect of meditation# feeling it as an intense !liss and peace understanding the o!@ect on all le$els.
>. "smita Samadhi4 the thought process !ecome more restricted and the Yogi reali6es the o!@ect in &rahman and as nothing more than an e)tension of himself. Then he has mastered that A!@ect. This is a $ery high le$el of consciousness and is the highest form of sampra@nata Samadhi. The Yogi is caught up into the hea$ens and en@oys the pure peace and !liss of &rahman. &y constantly entering into "smita Samadhi in (hich the consciousness is a!sor!ed in &rahman# the Yogi1s "hamkara (false 7go) starts to dissol$e into his Self and he starts to di$e into the realm of samskaras. *hen this a!sorption of the mind into &rahman occurs and the -rittis completely su!side# then he starts to enter into "sampra@nata Samadhi# also called =ir!i@a Samadhi. "sampra!nata Samadhi: "t first# this ne( state is $ery fleeting. The Yogi (ill ha$e to constantly stri$e to enter into this o$er and o$er again increasing its length each time. He (ill find that !ecause of !oth current and pastlife samskaras he (ill not !e a!le to maintain this Samadhi in (aking consciousness for long. It (ill !e pulled do(n !y the samskaras# and so the Yogi has to one !y one dissol$e these afflictions of the Self. Fissol$ing these Samskaras is the task of "sampra@nata Samadhi. 8aught (ithin the !liss of &rahman in his Self# the Yogi constantly discriminates !et(een his mind and his Self (the Pure Fi$ine &eing) and thus destroys his Samskaras. Past-life Samskaras (ill appear again and again and must !e !urnt in the fire of Samadhi. This is restricting the -rittis in a higher manner. In Sampra@nata Samadhi the $rittis are restricted !y destroying latent desires# !ut in "sampra@nata Samadhi the $ery source of the desires themsel$es are destroyed and thus the acti$ities of the mind stop completely allo(ing the Mind to !ecome completely a!sor!ed in the Self !y the destruction of all past life Samskaras. *hen this has !een achie$ed perfectly and the conscious mind is in perfect control of the Self at all times then Fharmamegha Samadhi occurs. harmamegha Samadhi: This is the highest le$el of consciousness achie$a!le !y the Yogi in "sampra@nata Samadhi. It is a (aking Samadhi in (hich full self-reali6ation is o!tained. It causes the 2nmani "$asta (state of no-mind) (hich is the mark of a perfect !eing. Such a yogi (ill ne$er loose his consciousness though he die and reincarnate a thousand times. He lea$es no %armic footprint. The uni$erse is nothing !ut materiali6ed thought (hich he can play (ith at his (ill. He is an "$adhoot# or 'od- Man. He has all Siddhis.
Part III4 Samyama Samyama is defined as the doing Fharana# Fhyana# and Samadhi simultaneously upon one o!@ect. "n easy (ay to e)plain this is that you go into Sa$ikapla or Sampra@nata Samadhi on the o!@ect# particularly in the $ichara and ananda "$astas. This isn1t full merging as in the "smita "$asta# !ut in the lo(er "$astas of -ichara and "nanda there is still the trinity of kno(er# kno(n and kno(ing. "t this le$el of Samadhi you are still doing Fharana on the o!@ect (in as much as you are
$isuali6ing it)# !ut also doing Fhyana !ecause you are intuiti$ely a part of it on a causal le$el and performing Samadhi upon it !ecause you are in Sampra@nata Samadhi. Thus this acti$e trinity of Yoga is (hat is called Samyama. =o( then# (hy use this state0 Samyama is the means !y (hich the Yogi acti$ely achie$es Siddhis. " great deal of Siddhis (Accult Po(ers) (ill occur as a result of Sadhana# !ut should there !e other Siddhis he specifically (ants (hich he did not de$elop automatically# then he (ill ha$e to use the yogic process of Samyama on a certain internal# e)ternal or spiritual o!@ect. *hile there are many siddhis# I (ill list the L main ones according to Hindu Scripture4 9) "nima4 The Siddhi to make oneself as small as an atom. +) Mahima4 The Siddhi to make oneself as large as you (ish ;) <aghima4 The a!ility to !ecome (eightless >) 'arima4 The Siddhi of !ecoming as hea$y as you desire. ?) Prapti4 Teleportation more or less. Fefined !y Si$ananda as .the po(er of reaching any(here(po(er to approach distant things)# e$en the moon# to touch it (ith the tip of the finger/. :) Prakamya4 The po(er of ha$ing any desire reali6ed. 5) Ishat$a4 8reati$e Po(er. 7specially materiali6ation. L) -asit$a4 perfect control o$er the elements. There are many other minor siddhis such as kno(ing the future# le$itation# clair$oyance# clairaudience# etc...!ut these are the L primary Siddhis. *hy these0 They seem rather odd# !ut they are considered as the ma@or siddhis for one reason4 taken literally# they (ould reCuire the greatest command o$er Maya to perform in relation to all the other siddhis. =o( Patan@ali in his Yoga Sutras pro$ides a list of things to perform Samyama on that can induce certain Siddhis# and I (ill Cuote him accordingly4 9. .&y Samyama on the Sun come kno(ledge of the (orlds/. Pretty self e)planatory. +. .&y Samyama on the moon comes kno(ledge of the stars/. Pro!a!ly referring to 3yotish# (hich is Hindu "strology. ;. .&y Samyama on the Pole Star comes kno(ledge of the mo$ement of the stars/. >. .&y Samyama on the strength of elephants and others# you (ill get their strengths/. Saying that (hate$er you do Samyama on you (ill get the a!ilities of. ?. .&y Samyama on the form of the !ody# the po(er of comprehension !eing checked# and the connection !et(een eye and light !eing se$ered# comes the disappearance of the !ody/. This is referring to making the !ody in$isi!le !y making the light around you not !e percei$ed !y an onlooker. :. .&y this the making of (ords# etc...disappear as e)plained/. Beferring to the same techniCue as gi$en a!o$e# !ut done on the other sense organs of the !ody either on yourself or someone else. 5. .&y Samyama on the signs of others comes the kno(ledge of their minds/. Foing Samyama on a person. L. .&y Samyama on a small point in time comes discriminati$e kno(ledge./ -ichara (discrimination !et(een real and unreal) occurs.
M. .&y Samyama on the relation of ear and ether comes 8lairaudience./ Self-7)planatory. This is essentially the e)act techniCue gi$en !y &ardon in .Initiation into Hermetics/ for the de$elopment of 8lairaudience. 9,..&y Samyama on the three modifications of mind# comes the kno(ledge of the past and the future./ The modifications of mind refer to the Samskaras or karmic impressions left on the mind from !oth the current life and past li$es. 7ssentially you are doing Samyama on your o(n mind here# and the kno(ledge of past and future is pro!a!ly more related to your self than the uni$erse. 99..&y Samyama on the Samskaras comes kno(ledge of pre$ious !irths./ Pretty selfe)planatory. 9+..&y Samyama on the po(er of cognition# the essential o(n nature# egoism# Cualities and purposefulness or condition of senses comes the mastery o$er the sense organs./ &y doing samyama on the sense organs and (hat they percei$e you achie$e mastery o$er them. 9;..&y Samyama on 2dana -ayu# the yogi (ill not ha$e any contact (ith (ater# mud# thorns and others and can die at (ill./ The 2dana -ayu is (hat separates the astral !ody and physical !ody at death. It also (orks upon the circulatory system (ith the prana-$ayu and helps in digestion of food. &y .not touch/ it means the yogi can not die unless he (ishes. 9>..&y Samyama o$er Samana $ayu comes effulgence/. The Yogi glo(s# and can e$en emit fire from the !ody like Sage Sara!hanga did after ha$ing the Farshan ($ision) of <ord Bama. 9?. .&y Samyama on friendliness and other $irtues comes the po(er to transmit the same to others./ Self-e)planatory. 9:. .&y Samyama on the distincti$e relation !et(een Satt$a (purity) and Purusha (the soul)# come the po(ers of omnipotence and omniscience./ Satt$a is the pure relation !et(een the reali6ed soul and &rahman. &y doing Samyama on this concept the Yogi achie$es the di$ine Cualities of &rahman !eing Amniscience# Amnipotence# and Amnipresence. 95. .&y Samyama on the distinctions of the (ord# meaning# and kno(ledge (hich are confused (ith one another and appear as one !ecause of similarity comes the kno(ledge of the sounds of all li$ing !eings./ &y Samyama on the sound ((ord)# its meaning and (hat its use comes the kno(ledge of all languages of !oth animal and man. 9L. .%arma is of t(o kindsK those that are to !e fructified Cuickly and those that (ill !ring fruits slo(ly. &y Samyama o$er these or !y portents# the yogi gets the kno(ledge of the time of his death./ &y Samyama on %arma you get kno(ledge of your death. 9M. .&y Samyama on the chakra of the na$el comes kno(ledge of the !ody/. Fo Samyama on Manipura chakra. +,. .&y Samyama on the chakra at the pit of the throat ($isshuda) comes remo$al of hunger and thirst/. These are some of the siddhis produced !y the chakras once they1re a(akened !y the kundalini in samyama. +9. .&y Samyama on the light of the head (Sahasrara 8hakra) comes the Farshan of the Siddhas./ &y Samyama on Sahasrara chakra you (ill ha$e $isions of saints and sages. They (ill appear in the third eye in the midst of light# and (ill usually gi$e you tips on your practices or deli$er important messages. The guru may also come and gi$e a message or gi$e you his Farshan. Some of these sages are disincarnate and others are incarnate usually meditating in the Himalaya mountains. ++. .&y Samyama on the heart ("nahata chakra) comes the kno(ledge of the contents of the mind/. This is usually seen as referring to kno(ing other people1s minds. +;. .&y Samyama on the %urma =adi comes the steadiness of the !ody/. The kurma-nadi is located in the upper chest !elo( the throat. &y Samyama on it you achie$e "sana-3aya ($ictory o$er "sana).
+>. .&y Samyama on the inner light comes the kno(ledge of the su!tle# the o!scured# and the remote./ Here the inner light either refers to the "nanda chakra inside the "nahata chakra or the %utashta in the center of the !ro(s. The Siddhi refered to is clair$oyance and di$ine intuition. +?. .7)perience comes from the a!sence of discrimination !et(een Satt$a and Purusha that are a!solutely distinct from each other. This en@oyment !eing for another# kno(ledge of Purusha comes !y samyama on himself./ &asically saying that !y doing Samyama on the identity of the soul (ith &rahman comes self-reali6ation. The ne)t sutra goes on to say that this causes such Siddhis as clair$oyance# clairaudience# clairsentience# etc. +:. .&y Samyama on the gross form# su!stanti$e nature# su!tle form# Cualities and purposefulness of the elements comes mastery o$er the elements./ This produces a lot of Siddhis# and in my o(n opinion is !est done (ithin the chakras. These $erses are taken from the third chapter of the Yoga Sutras. I ha$e used S(ami Si$ananda1s translation as I personally find it to !e the !est as far as yogic terminology is concerned. " lot of modern english translations translate the yoga terminology poorly resulting in confusion. I highly recommend e$eryone read this chapter as there is a good deal I didn1t include. Part IV: The Chakras I (ill descri!e the chakras# specifically their images and meanings# in a more detailed (ay no( than I ha$e pre$iously in the Hatha Yoga part of this treatise. The yogi (ho (ishes to pursue his Sadhana (ith meditation in the 8hakras (ill !e much !enefitted !y this section and should take care to memori6e the images of the chakras (ith their Fe$as# Fe$is# and &i@a mantras e)actly. &y meditation on the chakras comes many Siddhis. The yogi should not spend less than + and E hours on a chakra in deep meditation if he (ishes to effecti$ely unite the %undalini (ith that chakra and recei$e its Siddhis. Ance the chakra is fully a(akened# you (ill hear its specific freCuency of ."2M/ !eing $i!rated usually as one of the "nahata sounds. Yogananda gi$es the sounds as such4 In Muladhara comes the sound of !ees !u66ing# in S$adishtana there is a flute playing# in Manipura a harp# in "nahata a gong !ell# in -isshudha thunder# and in "@na a $ery !eautiful com!ination of all the sounds ultimately resonating in "2M. These are called the "nahata sounds !ecause they are heard in the right hear of the meditating yogi $ia a nadi that connects the ear to the "nahata chakra. =o( then onto the chakras themsel$es. I (ill !e Cuoting and using a great deal of information from the Shat-8hakra =irupana# (hich is undou!tedly the !est Yogic Te)t concerning the details of the chakras. If you can acCuire this te)t I highly recommend it. Ather sources for the detailed information pro$ided !elo( comes from t(o other =ath Yoga te)t the Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati !y Shi$a-'oraksha-&a!a@i and the 'oraksha Paddhati (ritten !y a disciple of 'oraksha. Some su!tle teachings a!out the chakras comes from disciplic succession to me. or full comprehension of the follo(ing section you (ill need to do a lot of research on sanskrit letters and the images of the $arious Hindu deities. 9. Muladhara 8hakra4 The Muludhara chakra is in the coccygeal region of the spine# and is specifically at the perineum !et(een the penis and anus in men# and inside the $agina of (omen (I1m assuming (e are all mature enough for some anatomy terms). There resides a four petaled lotus red in color. 2pon each petal in gold is one sanskrit letter# all four !eing -a# Sha# Sha# and Sa (the t(o Sha letters are different). <earn these sanskrit letters in Fe$angari script if you intend for any serious meditation on the chakras. The petals are red# the letters gold and the center !ul! of the lotus itself is (hite. In the center of the lotus there is a yello( sCuare indicati$e of the tatt$a (element) of Prith$i (earth). *ithin
this yello( sCuare upon the lotus is the !i@a mantra .ram/ in red hue upon the yello( !ackground of the tatt$a sym!ol. *ithin the lotus at the !ottom is the king of 7lephants seen !eautifully ornamented and (ielding 5 trunks each colored according to the 5 main colors of the light spectrum. 2pon his !ack in the center of the <otus is &rahma on the left and Fakini on the right. &rahma is usually depicted (ith four arms holding the four $edas and four heads looking to the four directions. Fakini is of a red comple)ion (earing a red sari (ith long !lack hair# one face and four arms. In the left arms she (ields a skull in the left upper hand# and in the right upper hand she (ields a s(ord. The t(o lo(er hands are upon the knees as if in meditation. Her eyes are !rilliant red. In !et(een them !oth is an up(ard facing triangle (ith upside do(n linga in the center. This is called the linga of S$ayam!manu# and around it coiled three and one-half times is the %undalini serpent (ith her mouth open co$ering the &rahma nadi at the !ase of the Sushumna nadi. The &rahma =adi starts here at the top of the S$ayam!humanu linga in muladhara chakra# (hereas the sushumna nadi doesn1t officially start until a centimeter or t(o a!o$e the muladhara in a center kno(n as the %anda# from (hich all of the nadis of the !ody emanate. The Yogi should meditate on S$ayam!hu in his <inga form (ith %undalini coiled around him (ithin the red triangle called %amarupa. In doing so# he achie$es the a(akening of the %undalini. If he meditates upon the 'ods he achie$es a(akening of the 8hakra !y the marriage of the t(o deities (the respecti$e forms of shi$a and shakti in each chakra). The chakra is seen as facing (ith petals do(n(ards until the shi$a and shakti (the god and goddess in each chakra) (ed. Then the petal turns right-side up and shines !rilliantly. This achie$es many siddhis. The yogi should meditate for + and E hours upon the Tatt$a of the chakra each day until he attains mastery o$er that element. In this (ay that element can ne$er cause him death. +. S$adishtana 8hakra4 " fe( inches a!o$e the Muladhara chakra located at the root of the se) organ (the reproducti$e center itself# (hich for (omen is inside a fe( inches a!o$e muladhara and for men at the !ase of the penis)# here there is a : petalled lotus of $ermillion color called S$adishtana. <ocated in the lotus is the !rilliant up(ards crescent moon of the Tatt$a apas ((ater). The crescent moon is $ery large# and at its !ase is the Makara (!asically a crocodile) cur$ed up(ards along the moon1s cur$e. In the !ackground on the lotus is the &i@a Mantra of -am in Fe$angari script. An the left side of the lotus is <ord Hari# (ho is -ishnu. His skin is !lue and he (ears golden raiments !eautifully ornamented (ith four arms. An the right is the goddess Bakini (ho is of a pale !luish-red color (ith + heads and four arms (earing a cone-shaped cro(n on each head and in $ermillion dress. The Yogi# meditating upon this <otus gains control of the &indu (semen) and the se)ual urges. He transmutes the se)ual energy into A@as as a pure mental energy. He conCuers &rahmacharya (celi!acy) in !oth mind and !ody. The Shat-8hakra =irupana says .he is freed from all of his enemies/. The enemies here are things like "hamkara (false ego)# "$idya (Ignorance)# moha (attachment)# etc. *hy does he conCuer these0 It is said that the enemies of the Yogi on the psychological and spiritual !attlefield are manifested !y the improper use of the se)ual energy. *ith mastery of the S$adishtana 8hakra the se)ual energy is mastered and carefully preser$ed to !e transmuted into A@as# thus the enemies of the Yogi ha$e no food from (hich to eat or (ater to drink. He star$es them !y not feeding them from improper use of the &indu. In this (ay does he conCuer all of his enemies. &y meditating on the tatt$a of (ater and its relation to S$adishtana and the 2ni$erse the Yogi gains control o$er the (ater element in !oth the microcosm (s$apinda) and macrocosm (&rahmana). He can ne$er dro(n# and (ill ha$e control o$er the emotions and se)ual energy. &y
meditating on -ishnu and Bakini the chakra a(akens once %undalini (eds them together and the Yogi acCuires many Siddhis. ;. Manipura 8hakra4 "t the na$el is a lotus of ten petals (ith deep purple hue. <et it !e noted that this chakra is sometimes descri!ed as !eing yello( due to its solar nature. In the lotus is the red triangle of the Tatt$a "gni or fire (also called Te@as). This is $ery important. It is the legendary 'astric ire. This tatt$a rides upon the !ack of a Bam. In the !ackground of the lotus there is the !i@a mantra of .Bam/ shining like fire. An the three sides of the triangle of "gni Tatt$a there is a ta$ cross# also red in color# sticking out in that direction. An either Side of the center of the lotus there is Budra and Fakini. Budra is usually depicted on the right side and not on the left in this chakra. He is of a (hite comple)ion (ith ashes smeared on his !ody and red clothing. He has t(o hands# one head and three eyes (hen $isuali6ed here# (ith his hands in the mudra of !lessing. An the left is the 'oddess Bakini (ho is of a dark comple)ion (ith yello( clothing# four arms and one head. &y meditating on this chakra one gains the a!ility to .create and destroy (orlds/ according to the po(er of Budra himself. Budra is a form of Shi$a# and according to Shi$aite philosophy is Shi$a (hen he takes form# (hereas Shi$a himself is formless as &rahman. Thus any image or murti (statue) you see of Shi$a is actually Budra. The <inga (an A$al shaped stone or clay figure (ith three stripes across the center and the !indu in the middle) is the sym!ol of AM# and thus is used as the sym!ol of Shi$a himself as the formless &rahman. The Shi$a Purana says that you meditate upon the image of Budra (ith =amah Shi$aya or Am =amah Shi$aya# (hereas you meditate upon the <inga (ith @ust AM. =o( the Manipura chakra is perhaps the most important of all the chakras in the !ody (the : shat chakras not including Sahasrara (hich is outside the !ody) as far as the raising of the %undalini is concerned along (ith most of the Yogi1s Sadhana in the early years of training. The manipura chakra is designated in the &haga$ad 'ita !y the character of "r@una and is indicati$e of the Yogi himself in relation to Maya and &rahman. It is a $ery important chakra indeed. "llo( me to e)plain it thoroughly for you so that you (ill !enefit as much as possi!le. In the &haga$ad 'ita the de$otee of the <ord is "r@una# and the <ord is %rishna. %rishna as an incarnation of -ishnu is the inner spirit urging the Yogi to reali6ation. "r@una and %rishna are assem!led on the field of %urukshetra for a massi$e !attle !et(een the Panda$as and the %urus. %rishna and "r@una are on the side of the Panda$as (ith "r@una as one of the key (arriors of the army and %rishna as his charioteer. The %urus are the .!ad guys/# !ut many of them are long time friends and relati$es of "r@una. "r@una is hesitant to slay them# !ut %rishna urges him on to do so. *hy is this0 The Panda$as (ith "r@una and %rishna represent the inner spiritual forces such as purity# discrimination# non-attachment# celi!acy# etc...(hile the %urus are the sense faculties of the !ody and e$il inclinations (hich !ring the Yogi do(n into Maya. The Yogi ("r@una) does not (ant to slay the %urus at first @ust as the fledgling !eginner does not (ant to part (ith his lo(er desires and sense indulgences at first. The %uru army is thus the three lo(er chakras of Muladhara# S$adishtana and Manipura (hile the good Panda$a army of spiritual intentions and Cualities are Manipura# "nahata and -isshudha 8hakras. Manipura# represented !y "r@una# is the link !et(een !oth .armies/. *hen the se)ual enegry flo(s out(ards from Manipura to Muladhara the person is engaged in maya and misuses the senses and life-force. *hen the Yogi .slays/ these lo(er desires then the energy runs up the spine from Manipura to the -isshudha chakra and he is situated in the internal spiritual realms and their $irtues !y e$entually !ringing the kundalini into "@na chakra !y the $irtue of the up(ard flo(ing se)ual energy. This is the sym!olism of "r@una
listening to %rishna (the "@na 8hakra) in slaying the %urus (lo(er desires represented !y do(n(ard flo( of energy into the three lo(er chakras. Thus Manipura and its function properly reflects the human !eing itself# (ho has the decision of looking .do(n(ard/ into Maya or .up(ard/ into the spiritual (orlds. This is the sym!olism of the centaur Sagittarius (ith his lo(er !ody from the na$el (manipura chakra) do(n !eing a horse representing the animal desires of the lo(er chakras# !ut from the na$el up he is a human !eing (ith a !o( and arro( aiming up(ards into the hea$ens sho(ing the spiritual pull of three shat chakras a!o$e the na$el and the good spiritual Cualities therein (hen the energy flo(s up(ards. This is (hat is meant !y the yogi !eing a!le to .create and destroy (orlds/# namely he can destroy !y ha$ing his se)ual energy flo( do(n(ards and out or create !y ha$ing the se)ual energy flo( up(ards to(ards the no!le chakras. *ithin this chakra is the 'astric ire (hich a(akens the %undalini as (ell as the Samana current. =o( the Samana--ayu (one of the fi$e ma@or forms of prana in the !ody) is yello( in color and is e)tremely important. In the Muladhara chakra is the "pana--ayu and in the "nahata chakra (at the chest) is the Prana--ayu. *hen the "pana is pulled up(ards !y the Yogi (ith Mula &andha and the Prana is forced do(n(ards !y 3alandhara &andha then they !oth enter into the Samana current. If the samana current is then acti$ated !y 2ddiyana &andha (I ha$e gi$en all three &andhas in the first part of this treatise entitled .Hatha Yoga/) then the "pana and Prana merge together here. This causes the prana to enter into the Sushumna nadi causing =adi Sodhana and a(akening the %undalini. So (e see that this chakra is of the utmost importance to the Yogi. >. "nahata 8hakra4 In the region of the solar ple)us is the "nahata 8hakra (hich is a lotus of 9+ petals usually descri!ed as green in color# !ut the shat-8hakra =irupana descri!es it as $ermillion# as does S(ami Si$ananda. 7ither (ill (ork @ust fine. Here there is the tatt$a of -ayu ("ir) in the center (ith its form as a smoky colored He)agram. Here there is the !i@a mantra .Yam/ in the !ackground. An the right side is %akini (ho is yello( in comple)ion (ith !lue clothing. She has four arms# the upper left has noose# the lo(er left holds a spear# the upper right !ears a shield and the lo(er right (ields a skull. She has four heads. An the left side is Ish$ara# a form of Shi$a (ith !lue comple)ion# t(o arms and one head (ith three eyes. In his right hand is the spear and his left hand does the mudra of dispelling fear (the mudra of !lessing or !enediction done facing do(n(ards and out instead of up(ards). I (ill tell you something not many people kno(. In the center of this lotus is another lotus called the "nanda chakra of a pure golden color. It is the seat of the pure !liss (hich emanates from the "nahata chakra in the Yogi. It is this chakra !y (hich the 'uru enters into the spiritual !odies of the disciple and does his (ork and initiation. It forms a po(erful link !et(een guru and disciple. This chakra is directly linked to the mental !ody of the Yogi. The Yogi (ho meditates upon this chakra (anahata) can le$itate# and has a fair $oice. He !ecomes $ery radiant and emanates peace and !liss from his !ody. The intuition !ecomes $ery keen and many other Siddhis occur# such as entering another1s !ody. The t(el$e petals of the "nahata chakra sym!oli6e the t(el$e 6odiac signs as (ell as the 9+ nadis (hich (ork from the "nahata chakra. ?. -ishuddha chakra4 In the pit of the throat is a 9: petalled lotus called -ishuddha. It is of a smoky purple color# !ut
can also !e $isuali6ed as !lue (ith efficiency. In the lotus is a (hite circle (hich is the Tatt$a of "kasha (source of the > elements). *hile this is not the traditional sym!ol of this tatt$a# it nonetheless signifies it in -ishuddha. Here there is a (hite elephant and upon it is the !i@a mantra of .Ham/. Here there is on the left side Sada-Shi$a# a high manifestation of shi$a (ith four arms and ? faces. In the t(o lo(er hands he holds a noose and spear and in the t(o upper hands he gi$es the mudra of !lessing and of dispelling fear. His !ody is !lue in tiger skin. To his right is Shakini of fair comple)ion (ith heads and four arms (earing !lue raiments. She carries a spear# conch# skull and gi$es the mudra of !lessing. &y meditating on this <otus the chita (consciousness) !ecomes a!sor!ed in the "kasha and kno(s &rahman. The mind !ecomes completely stilled. His po(er is seen as undenia!le and unlimited. The $oice !ecomes $ery fair and the speech is perfectly controlled. He gains telepathy and other siddhis. The intuition !ecomes ama6ing and he gains kno(ledge of past# present and the future. :. "@na 8hakra4 This chakra is located specifically in the Pineal 'land at the center of the !rain. It is a radiant lotus shining (hite like the moon (ith + light !lue petals (hich !ear in (hite the sanskrit letters .Ha/ and .%sha/. Here there is the Shakti Hakini (ith fair comple)ion# : heads and : arms adorned in $iolet clothing. In the center if the lotus is the <inga of Shi$a# or rather Shi$a in his linga form (sometimes depicted as shi$a (ith his left side male and his right side female as a hermaphrodite). The "@na chakra is the seat of Shi$a himself in the !ody and is thus the seat of the higher Self in the Yogi. It is here (here the %undalini in muladhara 8hakra (ishes to @oin (ith her lo$er. *hen the %undalini rises into the "@na 8hakra then the Yogi enters into Sampra@nata Samadhi. The Yogi should see the &i@a mantra of ."2M/ in Fe$angari script here in the "@na chakra and it is in fact Cuite fine if the Yogi only $isuali6es this in the "@na chakra# as it is the form of Shi$a himself. I (ill tell you some little kno(n things a!out the "@na chakra. The "@na chakra !y its radiance does not act of its o(n# !ut through three of its manifestations in the head. The yogi should meditate upon these three places to stimulate and acti$ate the "@na chakra. irst and foremost of these is the %utashta at the center of the eye !ro(s located at the pituitary !ody in the forehead. Here the Yogi should endea$or to see a shining (hite star in the center of a !lue circle !ordered !y a golden ring. This is the $isual manifestation of "2M. It takes a long time to see this star perfectly as the Sushumna must !e clear after =adi Sodhana has !een achie$ed. 7ngaging in the practice of Yoni mudra# you must constantly try to see this star. In star you (ill see many things. Sages (ill come and speak (ith you# you (ill ha$e $isions of the <ord and see many other things. You must stri$e to enter into this star into the hea$enly realms and !e (ith the 'ods. This causes Samadhi. The second center is in the !ack of the head roughly (here the atlas !one is located (large !one at lo(er !ack of head that @oins spine to skull) (here the medulla center of the !rain is. Thus this center is usually called the medulla center. It is this point in (hich fresh spiritual energy enters into the !ody and (hen meditated upon the Yogi enters into Pratyahara $ery easily. This spot is $ery important for the guru to !esto( shaktipat (Transmission of Fi$ine energy). The third center is called the !rahmarandhra and is at the $ery top of the cranium. In ne(-!orn !a!ies this area is $ery soft and it hardens as (e age. This is the spot from (hich the soul lea$es the !ody in Mahasamadhi ((illed meditati$e death) !ut is also the means !y (hich the consciousness enters into the Sahasrara chakra a!o$e the head. Af all three centers# the %utashta is the chief center to !e meditated upon. The samadhi achie$ed in the "@na chakra is Sampra@nata Samadhi.
5. Sahasrara 8hakra4 This is the (onderful lotus of 9,,, petals. 'orakshanath is more specific and attri!utes 9: petals to it. This chakra is not usually included (ith the other : chakras (called the Shat-chakras) !ecause (hile the other : are in the astral !ody and causal !ody# the Sahasrara is alone in the causal !ody. *hen the consciousness# through sa$ikalpa samadhi# !rings the consciousness into the Sahasrara 8hakra he attains "sampra@nata Samadhi and Fharma Megha Samadhi. Sahasrara is &rahman himself# it is the pure primordial Shi$a. The yogi (ho reali6es this attains all Siddhis.
Part I-4 Sadhana JJJJJJJThe Sadhana is spiritual practice. It is the manifestation of the Yogi1s desire for 'od and to attain li!eration. It is the only means. Ho(e$er# one can do Sadhana e$ery day for years and achie$e no !enefit. He (ill sit for + hours in the morning and + hours at night and hope to make progress. *hat you do in !et(een your practices is @ust as important as (hat you do during your practices. In the !eginning of this article I ha$e co$ered the concepts of Yama and =iyama. These ha$e to !e o!ser$ed strictly. There is no such thing as a (orldly-minded self-reali6ed man. You can not sit for + hours of Sadhana in the morning# !ut then go to (ork all day and eat hea$y foods for lunch# flirt (ith the office (omen# spread gossip and talk !ad a!out other people# use degrading language# get mad o$er little things# etc...and still e)pect to achie$e any real !enefit from your practices. Some people say .I (ill indulge in the senses no( !ecause my Sadhana (ill get rid of my indulgences later./ This is (rong thinking. Sadhana does not make your lo(er desires simply disappear (ith the (a$e of a (and. Sadhana is a!solutely (orthless if you are not li$ing a lifestyle that is conduci$e to spiritual gro(th. People are sad to part (ith their lo(er desires !ecause they ha$e kno(n them for so long. They are like a !est friend to many people# !ut in reality they are murderers (earing masks. They lead you to the path of Feath (ithout you kno(ing it. People say that their fla(s are (hat makes them .them/. This is "$idya (ignorance) caused !y "hamkara (false ego). Ance you start to e)perience the @oy of meditation you (ill understand ho( fleeting the @oy of sensedesires are. You ha$e to de$elop $ery strong -airagya (non-attachment). This is the most po(erful tool of the Yogi. &e in the (orld !ut not of it. 2se the senses# !ut don1t a!use them. Some people ask a yogi .if the senses are not meant to !e pleasing# then (hy did 'od gi$e them to us0/. This is supposed to !e a smart Cuestion. The senses do not e)ist to !e a!used. 8ars (ere not created for the sole intention of dri$ing 9,, miles per hour and racing# they (ere meant to get us from point " to point & efficiently. <ike(ise food does not e)ists so that (e can eat lots and !ecome $ery fat# !ut so that (e can sustain the physical !ody. Such is the case (ith the senses as (ell. They do not e)ists to !e a!used# !ut to interact efficiently in Maya (hile (e engage in the Frama of life. %eep this in mind. You (ill ha$e to learn to go$ern the senses under the @urisdiction of spiritual illumination. Then you (ill ha$e spiritual progress. Ather(ise any real progress (ill only !e fleeting. =o( for the neophyte it is good to start (ith one hour a day# ;, minutes in the morning and
;, at night. *hen you first (ake up the mind is refreshed from sleep and this is $ery conduci$e to good meditation. Fo your Sadhana !efore eating any !reakfast in the morning. If you are hungry then ha$e a glass of milk# and if you are particularly hungry that morning you can ha$e something $ery light such as a piece of toast (ith some !utter and honey on it. In the morning start (ith meditati$e sadhana and end (ith more physical Sadhana such as gi$en in part one of this treatise entitled .Hatha Yoga/. In this (ay the !ody and mind (ill !e fresh and charged (ith Satt$ic (pure) Cualities to help guide you throughout the day. The calm and centered mindset after Sadhana should !e made to last as long as it can throughout the day. *hen you get !ack from (ork that night dinner should !e small. In the *ets it has !ecome customary to eat a large meal and then fall asleep. This is not only unhealthy for the physical !ody !ut for the mind and spirit also. &reakfast after morning Sadhana should !e the largest meal of the day. In this (ay the meta!olism (ill (ork efficiently throughout the day and you (ill ha$e plenty of energy for (ork. <unch should !e a little smaller or the same si6e depending on ho( much physical la!or you do in your @o!. Finner should !e $ery light. " small !o(l of fruits or rice is good as it (ill digest Cuickly and not distur! the mind for your practices. "fter eating a light dinner (ait an hour or t(o depending on ho( much time you ha$e !efore starting your night Sadhana routine. Your night Sadhana should !e the last thing you do !efore sleeping. Start out (ith the more physical Sadhana if you do any# and end (ith the meditati$e Sadhana to calm the !ody and mind for sleep. Start (ith ;, minutes each sitting for the t(o sittings a day. " 'rihashta is a .House-holder/# someone (ho has a family# (orks a @o!# etc. or a 'rihashta + hours a day should !e seen as the minimum for Sadhana. Start (ith ;, minutes each sitting to ha$e one hour a day# and gradually increase the length of the e)ercises to t(o :, minute sittings a day so that you can ha$e t(o hours a day of steady Sadhana. If you maintain yourself (ell in !et(een practices and do not let the mind !e degraded# then you (ill achie$e good success. ; hours a day is !est for a 'rihashta# !ut most people can1t do that and maintain a @o! and family. or a renunciant it is different. Success (ill of course come much Cuicker !ecause there is more time a$aila!le. The Benunciant should sit a minimum of t(o times a day for Sadhana# !ut prefera!ly four times during the Sandhya periods of the day# !eing midnight# sunrise# noon# and sunset. Start (ith ;, minutes a sitting so that you ha$e + hours a day. Then gradually !uild up to 9 hour a sitting to ha$e > hours a day. " renunciant should !uild up to :-L hours a day of practice at the height of his Sadhana after se$eral years of gradual Sadhana. Ance he can sit for long hours at a time in deep meditation then the entire Sadhana routine can take place at night for :# L or 9, hours all at one time. You (ill not need sleep !y this point. Feep meditation re$itali6es the !ody much more than sleep# and replenishes the mind and spirit infinitely more than sleep can. If a Householder can learn to do this it (ill !e of the most !enefit. It is rare to find a householder (ho can progress as fast as a renunciant# !ut if he can learn to slo(ly replace sleep (ith Sadhana then he (ill make lightning progress on the path of Self-reali6ation e$en as a householderD This is the method4 the Householder must slo(ly increase the time of his night-sadhana o$er a long period of time. 9? minutes e$ery fe( months is good. "fter a fe( years you (ill !e a!le to act effecti$ely in your 3o! (ith only ? hours of sleep. Increase the length of time for Sadhana e$en more. Ance you can enter into Samadhi you can spend the (hole night in Samadhi and thus progress $ery fast in the spiritual path. =o( I (ill gi$e some sample routines for !oth house-holders and renunciants (Sannyasas). %eep in mind that (hen I use that (hen I use the term 3apa in the practice routines# you can replace that (ith any of the Fharana or Fhyana e)ercises gi$en in this article. or most people# 3apa is the !est tool for meditation# so I ha$e used 3apa here.
#o$seho%der &'eginning ro$tine(: Morning: -*ake up -spend 9? minutes emptying the !o(els# !rushing teeth# taking sho(er# and other morning duties. -ha$e a small glass of milk if hungry -Fo 3apa for 9, minutes. -Fo 9, rounds of Sukha Pur$aka Pranayama. Should take a!out 9, minutes. -+ minutes each "sana of Sirshasana# Sir$angasana# Matsyendrasana# Paschimottanasana# and &hu@angasana. .ay: -Fo your daily duties ((ork# school# etc.). %eep constant mind-set of ."ham &rahma "smi/ (I am &rahman). Practice $airagya (non-attachment) all day. Bepeat the mantra that you use for 3apa throughout the day (hen the mind starts to get caught up into Maya. Practice intense concentration. /ight: -light dinner. -scripture reading -an hour or t(o after dinner sit for Sadhana4 -+ minutes each of Sirshasana# Sir$angasana# Matsyendrasana# Paschimottanasana# and &hu@angasana. -9, rounds of Sukha Pur$aka pranayama (9, minutes appro).) -9, minutes of 3apa. -sleep. Benunciant (!eginner)4 morning4 -(ake up at >49? am -spend 9? minutes emptying !o(els and doing morning duties -do morning routine for householder -go !ack to sleep if felt as necessary for an hour or t(o =oon4 -;, minutes of 3apa "fternoon4 -same routine as house-holder night sadhana Midnight4 ;, minutes of 3apa Householder (Intermediate-after : to M months)4 morning4 -(ake up -morning duties for 9? minutes -+, minutes of 3apa -+, rounds of Sukha Pur$aka Pranayama# ; rounds of 9, !hastrika Pranayamas# and ; rounds of ;, %hapal &hati pranayamas. -? minutes each "sana4 Sirshasana# Sir$angasana# Matsyendrasana# Paschimottanasana# and &hu@angasana Fay4 Same routine as for !eginner. %eep focused and remem!er to practice -airagya. =ight4 -"sanas ? minutes each -Pranayama routine same as morning -9, minutes trataka (keeping eyes open fi)ing ga6e on image until tears run do(n face) of image of the <ord or "2M sym!ol. -9, minutes meditation on image of the lord or "2M sym!ol# (hiche$er you used for Trataka.
Benunciant (Intermediate-after : months)4 morning4 -*ake up at >4>? am. -9? minutes doing morning duties -Fo householder morning routine Fay4 -+, sukha pur$aka pranayama# ; rounds of 9, !hastrika pranayamas and ; rounds of ;, khapal !hati pranayamas -9, malas of 3apa -;, minutes of meditation on image of the <ord or "2M =ight4 Householder night routine Midnight4 -;, minutes of 3apa# ;, minutes of meditation on ."mah &rahma "smi/# "um# or doing the Hamsa !reath. Householder (ad$anced-a!out + years into Sadhana)4 Morning4 -(ake up -9? minutes to take care of morning duties -+, minutes of 3apa or silent meditation ->, rounds of sukha Pur$aka Pranayama -"sanas if time allo(s. If not# pranayama is more important at this stage. Fay4 same as !efore =ight4 -light dinner if any at all -study scriptures -9, minutes each asana ->, rounds of sukha pur$aka pranayama# ? rounds of 9, !hastrika# ? rounds of ?, khapal !hati !hastrika. -9 hour of meditation doing Hamsa !reath# or "um# or image of the lord# or 3apa. Benunciant (ad$anced-a!out ; years into routine)4 Sunrise4 -9 hour of meditation ->, rounds of sukha pur$aka pranayama (ith ; rounds of 9, !hastrika and ? rounds of ?, khapal !hati. -9, minutes each "sana =oon4 ->, rounds of sukha pur$aka pranayama. =o !hastrika or khapal !hati. Sunsest4 -same as sunrise routine Midnight4 -9, minutes each "sana ->, rounds of Sukha Pur$aka. =o !hastrika or khapal !hati. -+ hours of meditation ((hiche$er meditation you ha$e gro(n fond of) =o( then# at this point it (ill !e hard for the householder to press any more time for Sadhana into his day. =adi Sodhana should !e $ery close or already ha$e !een achie$ed in the ad$anced stage of training for a householder. or a renunciant it (ill !e achie$ed in the intermediate stage (ith some help from his 'uru. "fter some years has passed# the renunciant may replace most if not all of his hatha yoga sadhana (ith deep meditation. I recommend at least al(ays keep 9 hour a day of hatha yoga in your Sadhana to stay strong# fle)i!le and healthy. Ance =adi Sodhana is achie$ed it is not
necessary to do so much pranayama a day. "s a householder# you should e)pect =adi Sodhana to take close to + years of regular practice# !ut it can happen much sooner than that if you go$ern yourself according to Yama and =iyama. The renunciant should stri$e to keep at least >, pranayama a day in his routine after =adi Sodhana has occurred# and the householder should stri$e to keep at least +, rounds of pranayama a day as part of his Sadhana after =adi Sodhana. This ensures that =adi Sodhana is not undone and that the =adis stay clean and pure. Ance the householder can enter into full Fhyana after some years of practice# he can statr to replace his sleep little !y little (ith dhyana (meditation). "fter ? or : years the Benunciant should !e stri$ing to keep 5 or L hours a day of deep meditation# prefera!ly in as fe( sitting as possi!le (t(o sittings of four hours each in deep meditation is good). Hatha yoga is encouraged !ecause sitting for such lengths of time can cause hip and leg damage in older age. *ith hatha yoga regularly done the chances of such damage are $ery rare as the legs and hips (ill stay strong and fle)i!le getting the proper range of mo$ement each day. <earn as many asanas as you can to keep the legs and hips in good condition. " renunciant (ill usually achie$e Samadhi much sooner than a householder. If a householder is $ery sincere than (ith as little as 9> or 9? years of dedicated Sadhana he may achie$e Samadhi. This is not long at all. Think a!out it4 most of you are in your late teens or early t(enties here at -eritas. That means that as soon as your early thirties you could !e a completely li!erated soul in full self-reali6ation ha$ing many siddhis and completely a!sor!ed in &liss and ecstacy of 'od. To !e thirty years old and !eyond deathD Many people don1t e$en start this science until late thirties or early forties# so start no( (hile you are still young. Part -I4 &rief e)position of other Yoga systems Bhakti &oga: &hakti Yoga is the means of uniting (ith 'od1s consciousness through a!solute de$otion and dedication of oneself to that 'od and his (ork. It is said in the scriptures that in this age of the %ali yuga# &hakti Yoga is the !est means of li!eration for the masses. =o( understand (hat this means. It does not mean that &hakti Yoga is the Cuickest and most effecti$e means of selfreali6ation. %riya Yoga holds that throne. *hat it does mean is that $ery fe( people are suited for Ba@a Yoga practices such as %riya Yoga. It is a small percentage of the (orld. Aut of the entire population# M, percent (ould reach li!eration easier (ith &hakti Yoga !ecause there has to !e a (orshiped and a (orshiper# a distinction !et(een 'od1s consciousness and man1s consciousness. Such a person could reach self-reali6ation# !ut pro!a!ly not 'od-reali6ation. "!out 9, percent of the population is pro!a!ly capa!le of the kind of hard (ork and dedication needed to achie$e full success (ith Ba@a Yoga. &hakti Yogas is the main stream religious practice in Hinduism and most of the Puranic literature of the Hindus preaches !hakti yoga as the chief means of li!eration for this age of humanity. &hakti Yoga Has produced many saints# !ut it has the one main fla( of !eing a!le to potentially limit someone1s scope of consciousness to .this is my religion# this is my 'od# this one religion and god of mine is the only (ay to sal$ation./ Thus it can !read close-mindedness if the ego is not properly destroyed. The chief meditati$e practice of !hakti yogis is 3apa# (hich I (ill descri!e in the section a!out 3apa Yoga. or other meditations the &hakti Yogi should use Saguna ((ith form) concepts of meditation. He should do Trataka on the image of his <ord# he should meditate upon the <ord1s lotus feet and the $arious aspects of his !ody. He should meditate upon the Fi$ine <eelas (actions or past-
times) of his <ord as presented in scripture. He should stri$e to see his <ord in all things# and thus he achie$es self-reali6ation. ollo(ing the $edic in@unctions for religious ceremony and fire rituals the &hakti yogi destroys his %arma and attains li!eration. or people of an emotional nature# &hakti Yoga is recommended. or people of an analytical nature# Ba@a Yoga is recommended. 0atha &oga: Hatha yoga is the uniting of the Sun (Ha) and the moon (tha). I ha$e touched upon this school of yoga in great detail in the first part of this treatise entitled .Hatha Yoga/. =onetheless# I (ill e)pound a little more. Hatha yoga proper is thought to ha$e started (ith the =ath Yogis as a !ranch of Tantra. Matsyendranath (as a great Yogi (ho founded the school of Tantra after allegedly learning the art !y o$erhearing a con$ersation !et(een Shi$a and Par$ati. Ance Shi$a appeared to Matsyendranath and he said .I (ill grant you any !oon/. Matsyendranath asked that he !e gi$en a disciple (ho (ould !e e$en greater than himself. Shi$a said that there (as no one on earth as skilled in Yoga as Matsyendranath# and thus Shi$a himself had to incarnate as 'orakshanath (ho e$entually founded the =ath tradition of Yoga. 'orakshanath is thus "di- =ath (ho is Shi$a# and he is kno(n as shi$a-'oraksha-&a!a@i# the same &a!a@i of (hom Yogananda (rote in his ."uto!iography of a Yogi/# and the keeper of %riya Yoga. =o( the .sun/ is located in the na$el and is Par$ati. There is a form of %undalini here in L coils (ho is called the Madhya-shakti. *hen she a(akens then %undalini has fully a(akened. The .moon/ is a small chakra in the nath tradition that is located in the palate of the mouth (here the legendary "mrita nectar is stored. The Yogi in %echari mudra drinks this nectar and attains immortality. This moon is Shi$a. So then Hatha Yoga is the uniting of Shi$a and Par$ati. Though Hatha Yoga is usually used as a step ladder to get to Ba@a Yoga# it can still lead the Yogi to Samadhi !y itself. The Hatha Yogi meditates upon the chakras and the nadis in the !ody during the asanas and the pranayamas. *hen he attains Samadhi his !ody enters into the !reathless state and performs many sacred and hidden "sanas that are kno(n as the "sanas of Shi$a. Such a Hatha Yogi may $ery (ell achie$e physical immortality ha$ing flushed the entire physical !ody (ith so much prana from successi$e years of asana and pranayama. /ada &oga: <iterally .sound union/. =ada yoga is a $ery uniCue system of Yoga that is !est done in con@unction (ith other yogic practices !ut can still lead the practitioner to Samadhi !y itself. In the "nahata 8hakra there is a su!tle nadi (hich connects the "nahata to the right ear. &y this =adi# the yogi can learn to hear $arious astral sounds emitting off the chakras and nadis called the ."nahata sounds/. These start out su!tle (ith sounds like !ees !u66ing and crickets. The yogi lets his mind !ecome a!sor!ed in these sounds and induces deep meditation. The yogic scriptures all agree that .there is no "sana like Siddha# there is no !andha like mula# there is no mudra like %echari and there is no !ha$a (a!sorption) like =ada (the mystical sounds)/. It is as $ery !eautiful e)perience. "fter the simpler sounds like !ees and crickets# then come sounds like flutes# lyres# drums# and harps. The sound of thunder finally comes and induces Samadhi. Feeper than this the sound of "2M is heard to resonate perfectly. The finer sounds reCuire =adi Sodhana to hear. The practice for hearing these sounds is $ery simple# and is called .!rahmari/. The Yogi takes his thum!s and applies pressure slightly up and in front of the ear opening (here the lo(er and upper @a( connect at. If you apply pressure and open the mouth you (ill feel the @a( !ones connecting and opening. &y pushing do(n here# the ear canal closes and allo(s the yogi to Cuietly hear the "nahata sounds. The other four fingers rest upon forehead. "s this can !ecome $ery tiring to the muscles after some time# it is good to use something to rest your arms on that are should height# such as a chair in front of you or the !ed. "nother great e)ercise for hearing the sounds is $ery similar and is called
Yoni Mudra# the practice of (hich (as gi$en in the first part of this treatise. "pplying some of the principals of nada yoga to music# occasionally a musical genius can learn the secret art of Taan. In Taan# the yogi learns to play music on an instrument (hile in the !reathless state of Samadhi and control (ith his mind the sound $i!rations. He can pluck a string of the harp and the sound (ill not come from the instrument# !ut off of (hate$er o!@ect he directs his mind too. In this (ay he can play music inside the chakras and nadis (hich cause them to a(aken in !oth himself and others. The last kno(n master of this art (as S(ami =ada!rahmananda# a disciple of S(ami Si$ananda. He spent se$en years learning the %undalini Taan# and as a result could play music and the music (ould !e heard to actually emit off of the muladhara chakra of the student. He could a(aken %undalini like this# as a snake charmer controls a snake (ith music. He (as tested multiple times in "merican uni$ersities under scientific conditions and it (as affirmed that he could go entirely !reathless ((ith e$ery orifice clogged up in an air-tight room) for + and E hours playing music the entire time. It (as also found that in a sound-tight room# after a fe( minutes of his presence music (ould actually start to emanate from the (alls. "side from this# they hooked up small microphones to his !ody and found that e$en his skin emitted music. I !elie$e he died in the 9MM,1s# and do not think there has !een a Master of Taan since him. 1apa &oga: 3apa Yoga is e)actly (hat it says4 attaining Samadhi (ith the practice of 3apa. <ike most smaller systems of Yoga (such as =ada and %arma Yoga) it !est ser$es as a complimen to a more su!stantial yoga system# !ut can still lead the Yogi to samadhi (ith @ust itself. It completely re$ol$es around the sole practice of 3apa. =o( I kno( that there is some confusion as to the proper practice of 3apa (ith people (ho are more used to the (estern spiritual traditions. In 3apa though you are repeating names of 'od or $edic sayings# you are not $i!rating the name magickally. 3apa1s main purpose is to train the mind to !e one-pointed. Ance this is done# then intense !ha$a (a!sorption) and &hakti (de$otion) are needed for it to lead you into deeper states of consciousness. The mantra should !e said Cuickly and (ell enunciated. I (ill descri!e the practice of 3apa in some detail. 'et a mala strand if you can# (hich is a strand of 9,L !eads usually made either from Tulsi (ood (for a de$otee of $ishnu) or Budraksha seeds (for a de$otee of Shi$a). In the center of the strand is a large !ead called the Meru# (hich should not !e passed !y the fingers. Ance you come to the meru !ead# turn around and go the other direction. Traditionally the Mala is held (ith the thum! !elo( the !ead and the middle and ring fingers a!o$e the !ead. Ane may use the little finger too. "fter the mantra is said# you use the middle and ring fingers to slide that !ead o$er the thum! and go to the ne)t !ead. This takes some practice# !ut can Cuickly !e mastered. The Mala strand is traditionally held in the right hand and at chest le$el or higher (hile sitting in meditation. or the first fe( rounds (one complete strand of 9,L !eads# thus 9,L mantras) the yogi should say the mantra out loud. Ance the mind Cuiets a little you can do the ne)t fe( rounds slightly (hispering the mantra# and once the mind has calmed do(n a lot you can resort to mental repetion of the mantra. The yogi then monitors his mind raising the mantra to a (hisper if the mind starts to (ander again# or to saying it out loud if the mind gets e$en more off track. Ance calmed do(n again he (orks on !ringing it !ack to a mental repetition. There are t(o types of 3apa4 that done (ith !ha$a and that done (ith &hakti. &ha$a is a!sorption# and means that in &ha$a 3apa the Yogi1s mind is focused only on the mantra itself and its meaning. Thus his mind !ecomes a!sor!ed in the sound of the mantra and he e$entually attains Mantra Saiddhi# in (hich he can chant the mantra for hours upon hours in complete @oy listening to the 2ni$erse chant the mantra !ack
(ith the force of a thousand celestial $oices. The second type is &hakti# (hich means de$otion. In &hakti 3apa the yogi keeps his mind focused on the Fe$a (god) or Fe$i ('oddess) of that mantra and thus has $isions and samadhi of that deity. Some people start (ith &ha$a and mo$e to !hakti# (hile others practice only one or the other. &oth can lead to Samadhi. or the full !enefits of 3apa# you must repeat the mantra as many times a day as your normal !ody completes the a@apa (silent @apa) of Soham or hamsa e$ery day (i.e the num!er of times you !reath in one day). Thus you should aim to ultimately repeat the mantra +9#:,, times a day# (hich should take :-L hours of constant 3apa. Then you ha$e mantra siddhi. It is good to do at least 9,L full rounds or malas of 3apa a day# ;: in the morning# ;: at noon and ;: at night if you (ant success in @apa. I (ill gi$e some !asic mantras# along (ith ho( many should !e said in one minute on a$erage during 3apa according to the instructions of S(ami Si$ananda4 9. AmN9>, a minute +. Sri BamaN 9+, a minute ;. Am =amah Shi$ayaN L, a minute >. Am =amo =arayanaN :, a minute ?. Am =amo &haga$ate -asude$ayaN >, a minute :.. The 'ayatri MantraN : a minute 5. The Maha MantraNL a minute The 'ayatri Mantra is .Am &ur &hu$a S$aha Tatsa$itur$aranyam &hargo -edasya Fhimahi Fhiya Yo =ah Prachodayat/# and the Maha Mantra is .Hare %rishna Hare %rishna %rishna %rishna Hare Hare Hare Bama Hare Bama Bama Bama Hare Hare/. "s you can see# the mantras are said $ery fast. In reality this is not that fast# only to a !eginner. *ith a fe( months of solid 3apa Sadhana the repetition of the mantra !ecomes effortless and the a!o$e figures !ecome considered slo(. *ith a good 3apa Sadhana# in a fe( years you (ill ha$e a physical Farshan ($ision) of your Ishta Fe$ata ('od (hich you (orship). &e sincere in your efforts. 3apa can gi$e many siddhis and !esto( li!eration. It is a good practice# especially for !eginners (hen used as the main practice of meditation. 1nana &oga: 3nana Yoga (usually pronounced as .gyana/) literally means .kno(ledge union/. The (ord .kno(ledge/ here is identical (ith the greek concept of 'nosis. It is a spiritual kno(ledge or reali6ation of 'od. In 3nana yoga this is specifically acCuired !y meditation on the Self and its relation to "tman. "s far as I1m concerned# @nana yoga is $ery hard to separate from the discipline of Ba@a Yoga and can easily !e considered either an integral part of Ba@a yoga or a great compliment to it. 'ood meditations for 3nana yoga are the Maha$akyas# or great 2panishadic utterances. They are four in num!er4 9. .Pra@nanam &rahma/-8onsciousness is &rahman +. ."yam "tma &rahma/-This Self is &rahman ;. .Tat T$am "si/-Thou art ThatD >. ."ham &rahma "smi/-I am &rahman. &y meditation on these four great sayings# the 3nana yogi destroys all his %arma# merges the 3i$a (soul) (ith the &rahman (Supersoul)# and achie$es li!eration in Samadhi. 8ontemplating any of these sayings leads to deep meditation $ery easily. Pick one and stick (ith it# then you (ill reali6e. -riya &oga: Though most people kno( at least a little a!out %riya Yoga through the famous !ook
.auto!riography of a yogi/ (ritten !y Paramahamsa Yogananda# I (ill e)plain it a little !it. If you ha$e not read that !ook. I promise you it as a !ook that reads !etter than most no$els# and (ill inspire anyone (ho reads it. =o( then# %riya Yoga literally means action union# !ut not in the sense that %arma Yoga (li!eration through hard (ork) does. The reason (hy it is called .action/ is !ecause the techniCue called .%riya/ is a specific meditati$e techniCue that reCuires the acti$e use of (ill po(er to mo$e certain energy currents along key points in the !ody (!ut in a manner different than Oi Oong or Tai 8hi) (hile in deep meditation. This one techniCue# called the %riya# is the entire !ase of %riya Yoga. This one techniCue alone leads to li!eration faster than any other yogic techniCue hither to re$ealed to man. Ane complete .%riya !reath/ is eCui$alent to one year of normal human spiritual e$olution. The yogi is ad$ised to !uild up o$er a year or t(o up to +,, kriya a day minimum according to the founder of %riya in this age# <ahiri Mahasaya. +,, kriya takes a!out an hour and a half# thus in that short amount of time the Yogi accomplishes +,, years of human e$olution. "t that pace# in a little o$er 9; years the Yogi (ill accomplish one million years of normal human spiritual e$olution. I (ill talk a little !it a!out the history of this yoga. The person (ho !rought %riya to the people of the (orld pu!licly (as <ahiri Mahasaya in the late 9L,,s. <ahiri Mahasaya had an ama6ing e)perience at around the age of ;, in India (here he met in a ca$e the immortal yogi &a!a@i# (ho is an incarnation of Shi$a himself as Yogade$('od of Yoga). There &a!a@i a(akened <ahiri1s consciousness !ack into Samadhi and he recalled all of his past li$es# including the many li$es he had spent as a direct disciple of &a!a@i in the Himalayan mountains. =o( &a!a@i had a small group of disciples that he kept (ith him from life to life. <ahiri Mahasaya said that in order to a$oid !eing found !y common folk# (hene$er !a!a@i sensed someone (as coming he (ould hold out his staff and e$eryone (ould gra! it. He (ould then demateriali6e e$ery!ody and they (ould reappear in another place in the Himalayan Mountains# and this is still (hat &a!a@i and his follo(ers are doing to this day. <ahiri Mahasaya# ha$ing !een re-taught (or remem!ered) the techniCue of %riya# he (as ordered !y &a!a@i to come !ack into society and teach it. <ahiri Mahasaya did as instructed# and started teaching hundreds of students the science of %riya. He had many prominent and ama6ing students. <ahiri himself (as attri!uted thousands of miracles and constant displays of his complete control o$er the uni$erse and %arma. His (ife !ecame his disciple after (aking up one night in !ed !ecause the room (as so !right. *hen she sat up she sa( <ahiri sitting in the middle of the room in deep meditation (ith light coming from his !ody and do6ens of angels in the room (orshiping him. =o( (hile <ahiri had many ama6ing disciples# the one (ho is generally the most important to %riya Yogis is a man !y the name of Sri Yuktes(ar. It (as he (ho (ould e$entually take on the young disciple Mukanda# (ho he later renamed as Yogananda. Yogananda# an ama6ing man in himself# (as one of the first Yogis to come to "merica in the early 9M,,s# if not TH7 first yogi. He taught kriya yoga to masses of people and started a society (hich still is at large today called the .Self-Beali6ation ello(ship/. Yogananda achie$ed international fame (ith his !ook .auto!iography of a yogi/ (hich detailed his life and the ama6ing e)periences he had (ith Sri Yuktes(ar. "fter Yogananda died# his !ody (as responsi!le for the first 2.S 'o$ernment certified medical miracle sealed !y the official 2.S Mortician. It (as found that e$en +L days after the death of Yogananda# his !ody (as in an incorrupti!le state. His flesh (as still (arm# his !ody (as soft and sho(ed no signs of loss of color# stiffness (rigomortus)# and decay. "side from this# his skin emitted a s(eet nectar (hich made his !ody smell like roses. "fter se$eral days of clinical test# the 2.S Mortician issued an official statement saying that there (ere no signs of em!alming or any other preser$ati$e action taken on
Yogananda1s !ody# and that his !ody (as incorrupti!le !y death. "n ama6ing end for an ama6ing man. =o( the techniCue itself is only taught !y disciplic succession from 'uru to disciple. Though many people claim to kno( the original kriya and post the techniCue online# after months of searching I could not find one (e!site that had the real techniCue. Some of them (ere completely (rong and some (ere close# !ut none that I ha$e seen online are the original techniCue itself# and thus don1t yield the same !enefits. Ho(e$er# e$en the sites that say they gi$e the real techniCue (and trust me they don1t) still agree that you must learn the proper practice itself and the e)ercises that accompany it from a true 'uru. Should you (ish to learn the techniCue# it is taught !y the Self-Beali6ation fello(ship# the %riya oundation no( headed !y Pra@nananda# and the Hamsa-Yoga Sangh of 'urunath. Ather people teach it# !ut these are the three groups that teach it the most accurately in my o(n opinion. If you are looking for easy a$aila!ility the %riya oundation of HariHarananda (no( headed !y Pra@nananda) is perhaps the largest of the three groups (ith o$er a hundred locations around the (orld in most countries. -undalini &oga: %undalini Yoga is usually considered to !e the same practice as Ba@a Yoga# especially (hen practiced along side Hatha Yoga. =o Yoga is possi!le (ithout the %undalini. 7$en those yogas (hich don1t specifically target or focus upon the %undalini# it is still a $ital part. =o Samadhi is possi!le (ithout the %undalini a(akening and entering into the &rahma =adi. This causes the consciousness to flo( into the causal !ody and merge (ith the super-conscious force of %unda lini resulting in Samadhi. There are three types of %undalini# roughly translated as lo(er# middle# and upper or cosmic %undalini. In e$ery person the %undalini is acti$e on the first le$el or else sentient life is not possi!le. *hen the %undalini is acti$e on the third le$el $ia its entry into the &rahma =adi and into the Manipura chakra# then (e say that %undalini has a(akened. The .lo(er/ %undalini is in the !ase of the spine. The middle %undalini is in Manipura chakra# and the upper %undalini is the cosmic kundalini. *hen the %undalini reaches the a@na chakra then (e say you are self-reali6ed. *hen the 8osmic kundalini (the Shakti of the 2ni$ersal Shi$a) is !rought do(n to the merge (ith the de$otee1s o(n %undalini (ith Shi$a in the Sahasrara 8hakra# then (e say that the yogi is 'od-Beali6ed. He !ecomes an "$adhoot# (hich is a man (ho !ecomes 'od# instead of a 'od (ho !ecomes Man ("$atar). This is called the =iruttana state of consciousness. The personal %undalini mo$es at the speed of sound# the 8osmic %undalini mo$es at the speed of light hundreds of times faster. There is a gap. In order for this gap to !e !ridged# the Sat 'uru is needed. The 'uru raises the $i!rations of the personal kundalini in the yogi and lo(ers the $i!rations of the cosmic %undalini so that they can !e in perfect harmony. =o( (hile a physical Sat 'uru is preferred for this# a disincarnate master or a deity can do it as (ell. or e)ample# 3esus or one of the ancient -edic Bishis or Shi$a himself could cause such a state of 'od-consciousness# !ut only if the yogi (as ready for it. This is $ery rare# and it is !etter to find a fully reali6ed !eing (ho can do this.
inal 8omments4 Thus I !ring to an end my t(o part treatise on the royal science of Yoga. If you practice the e)ercises and meditations gi$en in this little treatise# you (ill see great !enefits and ha$e immense @oy and !liss in a short time. I ha$e laid out techniCues in !oth parts of this treatise (hich can o$er years of practice lead the Yogi to Samadhi and li!eration. Still# a 'uru is necessary. Fo not think that you are kno( things a!out spiritual practice that (as not kno(n !y the 'od-reali6ed men (ho (rote the
scriptures and yogic te)ts. Many people in the *est say .I don1t need a 'uru/. This is !ecause of "$idya or ignorance. "ll the yogic scriptures speak in harmony (hen they say .'uru is necessary/. Many people @ust don1t (ant to su!consciously admit that there is someone (ho is !etter than them. This is pride and ego. It (ill only harm you on the (ay to success. People say .!ut I (ant to rough it out and e)perience all the hardships and pitfalls for myself/. This is ego too. They (ant to feel .special/ like they ha$e one up on e$eryone else. In the end# they (ill @ust die and ha$e to reincarnate again and again until they come to their senses# (hile the people (ho ran to a 'uru (ill !e free from the !onds of the material (orld and in complete !liss after a fe( years. 7$entually the ignorant man (ill# after many li$es# finally thro( himself at the feet of the guru and admit his ignorance and ask for forgi$eness. It is possi!le to ha$e a god as a 'uru# !ut it is e)tremely rare so don1t start your yoga training thinking .I (ill @ust assume that 'od (ill take form and !e my guru/. This is ego speaking. Anly $ery rare precious saints ha$e a di$ine Ishta Fe$ata ('od (hich you (orship) 'uru. Shi$a &ala Yogi1s 'uru (as <ord Shi$a (ho instructed him o$er many years (ith many $isions ho( to meditate and achie$e li!eration. <ahiri Mahasaya1s 'uru (as Shi$a in the form of &a!a@i. "r@una1s guru (as %rishna. The Fisciples of 3esus had to !e gi$en self-reali6ation !y 3esus himself !efore his ascension into hea$en. 'uru is $ery important. You (ill say .!ut here I am (ithout a guru or e$en a direction to look for one/. If you look and fer$ently pray and do your sadhana e$ery day# then your 'uru (ill come. In a fe( years you (ill !e (ith him. He may !e incarnate# !ut he not either. You might !e meditating one day and then suddenly a man materiali6es in your room or appears to you in a $ision and starts instructing you. Fo not (orry a!out I guru (ill come. It is not a possi!ility# it is an ine$ita!ility. You (ill not ha$e to think .I (onder if this is my 'uru/# you (ill kno( either immediately upon seeing him or after spending some time (ith him. That !eing said# I (ould like to gi$e a Cuick e)planation of my o(n personal yogic !eliefs and (hy some of the teachings in this article differ slightly from some of the mainstream yogic te)ts. "s far as my $ie(s are concerned# I could !e considered a =ath Yogi# a sect of Yoga started !y 'orahknath around 5-L centuries ago. *hen I first started studying =ath literature I Cuickly fell in lo$e (ith their teachings# and they harmoni6ed (ith my o(n $ie(s. The nath yogis differ from the traditional Ba@a yoga teachings of Patan@ali and other Yogis in Cuite a fe( (ays as far as theory is concerned# !ut as far as practice yoga is still essentially Yoga regardless of the sect. Most of the techniCues are still the same. The key differences !et(een the =ath tradition and (hat has no( !ecome popular yoga are four4 9) 2se of a system of M chakras instead of 5 +) The =aths ha$e more emphasis on the (aking state of consciousness instead of that achie$ed in deep meditation through Samadhi. The =aths only ackno(ledge traditionally > types of samadhi# all of (hich are states of (aking consciousness. ;) The =aths ackno(ledge ; different %undalinis instead of @ust one. I ha$e gi$en a Cuick e)planation of those three and the concept of the cosmic %undalini in the a!o$e section discussing %undalini yoga. These three %undalinis are called the "dhya Shakti# Madhya Shakti and 2rdh$a Shakti (hich I ha$e translated respecti$ely as lo(er# middle and upper or cosmic kundalini. >. Instead of meditating upon concepts such as &rahman and the image of the <ord (hich is common in Ba@a Yoga# =ath yogis instead meditate upon different parts of the physical and spiritual !ody (hich consist of the 9? physical points (all of (hich confer siddhis) of meditation# along (ith M
chakras# the main nadis# the ? tatt$as and the fi$e .spaces/ or akashas inside and outside of the !ody. They do the Hamsa !reath as (ell. I ha$e tried to refrain from including the =ath teachings too much into the article so that I (ould not conflict any(here (ith people1s perceptions of (hat Yoga is. "ll of that !eing said# I hope you ha$e thoroughly en@oyed this treatise on yoga.
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