Yadnopavit sutra, ‘Sacred thread’

As per Sanatan Dharm, young boys at the age of 6 yrs are initiated into the Gayatri Mantra and its jaap. The boy is taught the mantra in the Yadnopavit Sanskar and he then wears the ‘sacred thread’/ Yadnopavit sutra. Girls are not required to wear the sutra, but are taught the Mantra on their 6th birthday and are required to do do its Jaap. Gayatri mantra is the right of every human being and is the foundation of spiritual practice.

Gayatri is the Guru-mantra, it pulls you towards your Reality.

Om, Bhuh Bhuvah Swah, Om Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dheeyo Yo nah Prachodayat, Om.

ॐ भूः भुवः स्वः । ॐ तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि। धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात॥ ॐ

y3.jpg

Now this sutra is not a ‘thread’! It is made with specific mantras and intentions. Calling it a ‘thread’, is like calling a nuclear warhead a firecracker. It is that potent!

Making it is quite typical. First using raw cotton, a thin strand of thread is made by hand, (everyone is supposed to make it for himself but generally the older men in the house makes it for the boys). The length of the thread is 96 times the breadth of four fingers so is equal to the height of the man making it. The Gayatri mantra has 24 Akshar and there are 4 states of existence, so 24X4 = 96. Also 96 represents the units of time, specific mantras are recited while making it. The four fingers represent the four states of existence, Jagruti/ awake, Swapna/ dreams,  Sushupti/ deep sleep and Turiya/ the realisation of the Ultimate. 

The thin handmade thread is wrapped 9 times, and the energies of Om, Vishvadev, Agni, Vayu, Naag, Soma, Pitr, Prajapati and Yam are installed in each of these strands. More mantras. (Then there is the Gayatri Gita for more information.)

Then these 9 strands are twisted so that they are converted to 3 thicker strands each tied with one small typical knot. (After marriage the strands increase, become 6 because now he is responsible for his wife also.)

  • These 3 strands represent the Rg-ved/ Yajur-ved/ Sam-ved. Their knowledge is required on the way to the Moksh.
  • The 3 stages of the Gayatri mantra itself. 1st stage is ‘tat savitur varenyam’, 2nd is ‘bhargo devasya dheemahi’ and the last is ‘dheeyo yo naha prachodayat’.
  • The 3 debts that one owes in life, to the parents, the society and the Guru. Unless you resolve them you cannot reach the realisation. You repay the debt to the ancestors/parents when you have children of your own and you give them good values. The debt to the society is also repaid when your children become good citizens and you do charity etc and contribute in maintaining the society. And debt to the Guru is paid when you practice what you have learnt from him.
  • Then the 3 tyes of gun/attributes (satva, raja and tama). Satva pulls you towards reality, raja pulls you towards the objects of the manifested universe, and tamas is still unmoving energies which are most often directed towards negative thought patterns and then become discordant. One has to cross these to reach the Ultimate, which is Nirgun/without attributes.
  • The 3 naadis, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. The movement of pran in these three need to be controlled by conscious effort before you can progress.
  • The 3 knots are the 3 granthis of the Brahmanadi, which have to be unlocked so that the Kundalini can reach the top of the head.
  • The three ashram/stages of life. Brahmacharya/childhood, Gruhastashram/active life and Vanaprasthashram/retired life. The responsibilities associated with these 3 have to be completed. The real sense of the fourth stage/ashram, Sanyashram/ renunciation, is gained only with Moksh.

Now these 3 strands are knotted together in a very typical, difficult to make, knot called the Brahmagranthi. This knot represents OM the absolute.

This is now the Yadnopavit sutra or Brahma-sutra.

When it is worn normally, it is on the left shoulder and across the body. It will hang down till the top of the right thigh. It is a physical reminder that all these things, these are burdens which have to be carried and that the goal of life is realisation of OM. And then on the energy levels it is totally awesome. I saw it when I and my husband performed the Yadnopavit sanskar for our son. The sutra balances all the lower chakras perfectly, from the Muladhar to the Vishuddhi, as it encircles them. My son who till then had refused to wear even a gold chain in his neck, happily wore the sutra without any fuss. Its energy is just so awesome and it stabilises the energy of the person wearing it. So when the boy does his personal practice, he just has to work on his Ajnya chakra. It is a very big boost. The sutra ‘holds’ the practice. The sutra and the Gayatri mantra sadhana (for boys) are practically one unit.

There are a few rules about wearing and changing it periodically but they are all very simple. So wearing it should not be a problem!

Now am sure that you must be wondering why just boys? Why don’t women wear the yadnopavit sutra? The simplest answer is that they dont need to. There is one very big advantage that women have. They do not have a Y chromosome. Science has also acknowledged that men are more delicate than women, the survivorship ratios of male/female at different age groups prove this. Men need to actively protect themselves and keep themselves healthy at all levels, so Gayatri sadhana wearing the Yadnopavit sutra is compulsory for all men.

Our ancients knew of the inherent weakness of the  Y-chromosome so had several ways to actively protect it, by ensuring that marriages are conducted according to astrological principles and according to the family dynasty/’Gotra’, by ensuring that the males perform the anteyshti/tarpan rituals of the departed etc. For women the challenge comes with menopause. If women can consciously transition when at menopause, they will realise how easy spirituality is for them. Till then even a simple basic 27 /54 /108 times jaap of Gayatri is enough to sustain them.

And this is the link to the most complete form of Gayatri, the Ghanapath and the full form of the Mantra. Do listen and enjoy it’s power.

y2

 

 

Gemini Sagittarius axis, Events in motion – Part 2

This is a continuation post from here. If you have Dhanu/Sagittarius as the ascendant/birth moon sign or if you have several planets placed in Dhanu, you can expect to be this on the internal/subconscious levels.

Being the 9th sign, it is the ‘Dharma-sthan’, here is the ‘foundation’ of the Kaal-purush (the animating principle of space-time/creation). Here you finally understand the purpose of your life and the constraints that your karma from present/past lives has laid on you. You begin to hope that you can successfully navigate the path of karma and reach your goal of self-realization. Your internal philosophies and your spiritual teacher, peers and patrons support you in this belief.sagittariuaThis sign is represented by a centaur carrying a bow and an arrow aimed and ready to shoot. The bow/Dhanushya and the arrow/Baan is a very important allegory which is repeated in every Hindu/Sanatan Dharm story. Shri Ram was a archer/Dhanurdhari. Shri Krishna taught the Bhagwat Gita to his cousin Arjun who was an archer too. The bow is the curve of the spine with its chakras, the arrow is the kundalini energy and the archer is you. You pull back the bow-string with the energy of your spiritual practice and you aim at the top of your internal Shrichakra/the Mula Bindu/Realization. You have set your sights on the Ultimate so your trials and tribulations are also going to be the highest here.

The sign is also represented by a Centaur, the higher human nature now dominates the lower animal nature and sets sight for Moksh with his bow/arrow. The centaur looks upwards away from the animal self. The person is internally ready to give up all comforts and entertainments of Creation to reach the highest divinity within himself. Your mirror is the duality of Gemini.

You are always engaged, focussed on some work or the other, you have the ability to sacrifice your own comforts for your beliefs, you have the courage of conviction. Often fearless and not bothered with consequences, you express yourself with clarity and eloquence. You are aware of the impermanence of form. You realise at the deepest levels that the real relationship is the one you have with yourself, rest everything is just a show. So you have your groups whom you address and teach but internally you are not dependent on them emotionally /spiritually.

Sagittarius is linked to Aries and Leo by the 5-9 axis, each of these sign is linked to the other by the cycle of foundation and creative intelligence. The entire force of the personality and the divine intelligence and creativity is now linked to the understanding of karma. Deep philosophical understanding leads to courage in entering the uncharted realms of the soul which leads to divine intelligence which again leads to deeper philosophy. This is the every evolving spiral of auspiciousness, called the Dharm trikon. The past is linked to the present and guided by the divine, creates the future.

The experiences indicated by Aquarius, Taurus, Cancer and Scorpio will challenge and frustrate the Sagittarius unless he understands their lessons.

Aquarius will require the centaur to come back to his lower nature at times, he will be required to interact, bargain and exchange with a large number of often juvenile or immature partners. Here your boldness, courage, skills of articulation and effective communication will be tested. Aquarius brings in diffuse groups of like minded persons/ideas, it is required that you deal with them intelligently, with discipline, consistency and perhaps with a slight bit of rule-breaking. (But break too many rules and Saturn will register it as karma.) So the best way to counter this challenge by Aquarius, would be to proactively teach and interact on your own terms from the start. ‘Students’ is the exact juvenile, large diffuse target group and as you teach, you exchange ideas; handling a large bunch of students requires courage, boldness and skills. So rather than waiting for Aquarius to bring on his own group, proactively teach, whatever you know, teach it to others, any way you can. And understand that as you teach, your personal knowledge, wisdom and understanding is also being tested.

Taurus is located 6th from Sagittarius. If you keep on hoarding your assets for your personal family’s use you will fail your test here. Give as much as you can, the more you give the more will make its way back to you. You are not tied to one single family now, you belong to the whole of creation. On the physical plane, pay attention to your diet and lifestyle. Your personal family might create issues for you to resolve, so without being emotional about it, try to resolve them as per your conscience.

Now Cancer is the personal tradition, culture and homeland. You are required to make that leap from a limited family/ cultural set-up to a wide humanitarian mindset. All of creation must be accepted as being your homeland, inclusiveness is to be cultivated. Accept all the experiences in the conscious/Jagruti, astral/Swapna and sub-conscious/Sushupti states, so that the final Turiya becomes available to you. Cancer and its Moon represents the sum total of your entire existences, all the experiences of all your past/present/future/parallel lives. On the material side, you will generally be required to work without family support and emotional pleasures.

Scorpio is counted 12th from Sagittarius so the assets of Scorpio are consumed to create the personality of the Archer. Scorpio is deep turmoil, secrets being excavated with single minded determination often with deep emotional/spiritual/physical pain. When the secrets are out, they may not even be comforting to the soul. Deep dark secrets which were hidden for a reason are pulled out by the mysterious Scorpio. All the secrets are known in Scorpio and accepted in Sagittarius. You are meant to expand your consciousness, here. Try to look at your experiences with the lens of philosophy, religion, spirituality etc so that you can absorb their lessons completely.centaur2Sagittarius is often considered to be the luckiest sign of the zodiac, but often the other side of the psyche is not visible and it can be quite stressed.

All this positivity surrounding Sagittarius, then there  must be a downside too. And it is this, Sagittarius (and Gemini) represent the fastest moving events in life. To negotiate this continual movement you need to do some regular spiritual practice, there is no other way. You are so aware of your karmic bindings that you need the peace, calm and silence of the personal spiritual practice to shelter you. The trick is to act in such a way that the karma is balanced without getting emotional or attached about it. This means that you have to be highly aware of your own Dharma/the right action. For this you have to be in tune with your Conscience/Antaratma.

You are between Scorpio, (the mystery) and Capricorn (the action). You get your resources from the Mars of Scorpio and you resources are depleted by the Saturn of Capricorn. You are the 9th/the foundation, so your actions have to be for the greatest good of the greatest number. You may have to sacrifice your individual personality though. Decide how should you act? So you have the support from all these positive things that Sagittarius is known for, to help you decide and then focus single-pointedly.

The center of our Galaxy, the Vishnu-nabhi around which our galaxy revolves is the Nakshatra, Mula. This is a part of Sagittarius. This is the most mysterious lunar mansion, where you are offered the scope for Moksh, but only if you accept the temporary but intense pain of detachment from all of Creation.

 

Sagittarius

The simplest spiritual practice.

I have written a lot on spiritual practices, from Dhyan, Pranayam, simple Tratak to easy lifestyle changes which will go in very deep. But someone in the contact form wanted me to write on the simplest possible spiritual exercise. So here it is, Maun/Silence.silenceOur ancients have practiced Maun/Silence and even today spiritual seekers often go silent for days on end. My brother stays silent for minimum 3 days at a stretch once in a while to recoup his energies. Maun is the easiest thing which everyone can practice. It is very easy, you just do not speak anything at all. If you can stay completely silent for one day of the week, it would be a huge achievement. It is easy, nothing esoteric, just stay silent for one day out of the seven, every week. You can do this on your weekly holiday. It is nothing special, you will do all your regular activities as you do them, but do not speak, under any circumstance do not utter a word. You can write notes to communicate.

Do you have any conception on how much energy you waste when you speak?

Speech is not just sound from your lips, it has very deep linkages with your energy body. I had written about the creation of the seed of sound, the way each Akshar links to your energy body in my previous posts. The three chakras in your head around the Bindu at the top of your head are called Vama, Jeyshta and Rudri but they are also the creation of sound. Sound in Sanatan-Dharma/Hinduism, is Shabda-Brahma, the vibrations of the Ultimate reality itself. The central Bindu is the seed of sound called Para-vak, the next three phases of sound called Pashyanti, Madhyama and Vaikari, these are linked to these 3 chakras set in a triangle in your head.

Para-vak is pure One-ness, it has no form nor definition, it exists at the top Bindu of the Shri chakra. It is the state of Ultimate realisation, the seed form with all possible potential. Next is Pashyanti where the energy is lowered and differentiated. Pashyanti can be understood as the faintest glimmerings of an idea, the thought, the feeling/Bhava. Then is the Madhyama phase, here we know what it is that we are going to speak, we have the clear formed intention and sequence of ideas ready. Finally is the lowest energy version of all this, Vaikhari, the actual uttered words which come out of your lips. And of course when you utter the words you are drawing on your body’s individual chakras to power them.

If you can control the Vaikhari portion of this sequence, gradually you will retrace this sequence till you achieve Para-vak, the Ultimate realization. This process will not happen in one day, it will take its time and with routine practice, one day a week. Initially you will just maintain complete silence for a day. Over a few months you will realise that you are overall speaking less words, but whatever you speak has increased in intensity. Be careful after this phase starts as you can actually bless or curse with your words. Later you will realise that on your weekly silent day your mind has started becoming still, no thoughts seem to rise in your mind. Enjoy this when it happens, it will lead you to more things within yourself.

Closely followed by Maun/Silence is another simple practice, if you can do it. Do not touch anyone else for this one day of the week. Touching another living being transfers energy. If you are doing your spiritual practice, and you keep on touching others, this will make your higher self give away your energy out of Kindness. The more you isolate your aura, and do not allow it to mingle with persons of lower energy levels than yours, the faster you will progress. And there are lots of lower energy living beings around you as very few people do regular spiritual practice. The real Yogis would stay in isolation for just this reason.

So if you do both together, Silence + No touching others, together for one day a week, its effects on your energy body will be enhanced.

(And am writing this because I have done this myself. I went through a rather curious phase in life for a few years. I was living alone in a rather remote place, doing my job which had 2 days off per week. So practiced Maun/silence on these 2 days. Then we Indians don’t shake hands, don’t hug or anything like that, and most of my work colleagues were men, so despite regularly working in my organisation I was not required to touch anyone for extended periods. And I always observe my internal energies very closely. Not touching others for upto 3-4 months at a stretch, coupled with the weekly silence sessions was energy-wise awesome.)

Spiritual realisation an inherent part of yourself, you do not have to go anywhere to realise yourself. It is natural, effortless and easy, and a part of you. When you practice Maun, you are telling your innermost self that you don’t have to do anything, just Be.

 

silence

Mantra

For how long can you play a game?

The Devi pervades everything. First we experience her energy, then she guides us onward to Ourself. The ‘Mother Goddess’ has been worshipped in all faiths in some form or the other. (Again we are talking about energy, so the gender related words are meaningless, the simplest reason is ‘still’ energies are referred to as ‘masculine’ and energies ‘in motion’ are ‘feminine’. There are other reasons too, but this much is ok for now.)

The energy geometry, the mantras, the everything is created by a Ray of Light of the Devi. You follow this ray back to her. Whatever you do will lead you to her. Even your emotions, your longing! When you reach the extreme limit of any emotion you find the Ultimate. Extreme ecstasy and also extreme grief (e.g. Kunti in Mahabharat) will lead you to the Ultimate. In the Mahabharat war, the Kaurav princes all died on the battlefield, they displayed ultimate valour. They died in a battle for Dharm (i.e. their deepest conscience approved), the focus on Dharm was so strong that ‘body’ and ‘death’ lost meaning. They got the Ultimate experience of valour, thus their veergati (movement due to valour) led to Moksh.

What is death? From an energy point of view it is leaving the physical body through any of the available energy channels/naadi. Moksh is when you leave the physical body through the highest high tension energy channel/the Brahmanaadi within the Sushumna.light.jpgYou choose your life path (this can be an emotion) and you continue along it taking in the experiences. At one point you realise that there is nothing more you can experience in this path. You are Satisfied, thus you are Free.

The Devi has created you and she is your mother. There is a saying in Sanskrit which means the ‘Mother is the first Guru‘. In the mundane sense of course our mothers are our first teachers, but a teacher is called ‘Adhyapak’ not ‘Guru’. The one who gives spiritual wisdom is Guru. The Devi is our Guru, inspiring us towards the Ultimate.

When you think of the Devi, perhaps you visualise a woman wearing a sari, wearing lots of jewellery and holding weapons in her hands. This is good enough for those who have just stepped into this school of spirituality. But if you have reached middle school, you have to come out of this superficial external appearance. Think in terms of geometry and energy and see the way your mind realigns itself.

Do this tiny experiment. When you are very relaxed, sit with your neck and back straight. Keep the room dark or wear an eye mask if you are out in nature. Focus into your third eye. Breathe slowly for a few minutes and relax some more. Then gently ask yourself how do I really look like? The answer you get from Yourself just might surprise you!

A way to gauge your spiritual progress. Sit comfortably in pitch dark, back and neck straight, in silence alone. (if you cannot sit, lie down then in the Shavasan, just keep your back and neck as straight as possible). There should not be disturbances around you. Close your eyes and focus into your third eye for a few minutes. Observe what you see, perhaps reddish color or multicolored clouds or a mix of 1-2 colours or one single color? Do you know what you would see if you were doing your practice regularly? Just a sparkly bright white color throughout your vision field! Surprised? lightI had written earlier on how your naadi and chakra energy self is created and maintained. Subtle seeds of Vibration manifested in the physical world as sound. So let’s start with sound first, increase its intensity, experience the Vibration, then onto Intention and then Reality. Do your spiritual practice regularly for just 6 months and observe the colors in your closed eyes again, you will see for yourself.

Mantras are Sanskrit, this language ‘defines Light’ (Dev Bhasha) in the most perfect way (Sams-krutam). Light here means the Creative force of the Ultimate. To know the Ultimate you have to know its Creative force first. Just as to know the Lamp, first you need to experience its Light.

Mantra is not a prayer. Mantra is an aspect of the energy of creation. If you do not understand this, the mantra you recite will never give its full result. Mantra is not a prayer, it is an aspect of Yourself. When you recite it, repeat it, you are entraining your lower self. You are making your lower self resonate with an aspect of your own Divinity. You are setting your own geometry right. Experiencing a ray of your own Light.

So how to increase the potency of the mantra you are using. Do your mantra jaap in your mind, focussing on your third eye chakra. In this mental recitation of the mantra, the energy of the mantra directly links into your energy self and creates subtle vibrations along it.

Use the mantra Om or Soham or Hamsa for your Dhyan (detailed post here)

(Technical stuff – I had written earlier about creation from Vibrations. Parabrahma – Devi – Naada (of two types – Nadant and Nirodhini) – Om – Bindu – Vama/Jeyshtha/Raudri – Sapt-Matrika – 16 Kala – the vowels and consonants of the Sanskrit language. This is sequence in which creation goes down the energy ladder. When you recite the mantra mentally, the Nirodhini component of Naada is then linked to it, you are one step closer to Reality.)

So how long will you play this Game? You decide for yourself and once you have experienced it all, you go home.

 

lightNo one can make new mantras in this age! If you get hear a ‘new’ mantra discovered by some new-age ‘Guru’ do not use it, it will damage.

A colleague of mine, a reiki teacher herself, was ‘doing’ a new mantra from a hi-if fashionable ‘Guru’ in Delhi. Apparently it was for increasing wealth. When I met her, her entire energy body was trembling with the imbalance, I could not have the tea she made, but could eat the snacks her cook had prepared! She surprise hugged me as I left, and it was a psychic vampire thing, she drained me of my energy in one shot, she transferred her ‘black energy of imbalance’ to me. Her body was desperately requesting positive energy and I guess my higher self gave it. Then as I sat in my car, I started shivering, crying, my body went cold, the aura scattered and the driver was staring. Luckily my brother was with me so he immediately cleaned up my aura and stabilized me. After that he called her up, she apologized and everything.

And I learnt all over again to not touch or hug other people!

So do not experiment with new mantra. Stick with Om/Soham/Hamsa for doing your Dhyan/spiritual practice or a mantra described by the ancient seers/Rishi for doing jaap.)

Ida and Pingala continued…

This is a continued post from this one. Ida and Pingala naadis are not randomly active, they follow a fixed sequence which is linked to the phases of the moon. This sequence also varies as per the fortnight, bright and dark. In the bright fortnight (shukla paksh), the first 3 days after the no-moon (Amavasya), the Ida is first active when the sun rises, then Pingala alternates every hour or so. Then for the next 3 days the Pingala is first active at sunrise and so on. During the dark fortnight (Krishna paksh), the first 3 days after the full moon/Purnima, the Pingala starts first at sunrise. And the next 3 days the Ida starts first and so on. This sequence is fixed.kundaliniNow if you notice your active nostril does not follow this sequence, it means the body is going to fall ill soon, it will be fever if you start with Pingala when Ida was supposed to start. And you will catch a cold if you start with Ida when Pingala was supposed to start. If this wrong sequence continues for more than 2 months it can be severe enough to indicate even physical death.

So if you realise that the wrong naadi has started, how to reset the correct sequence. How to shift the naadis from Ida to Pingala and then the other way round? Here are 3 options which you can use as per your personal fitness levels,

Yogdanda – Ancient Rishis carried this item with them. If you want to change your naadi from the left to the right, you simply insert the Yogdanda in your left armpit and sit for a few minutes and vice versa.

yogdandayogdanda

Ardhamatsyendra asan – If you can perform this yogic posture, you can easily shift the naadis. To activate the left naadi, tuck the left knee in the right armpit and twist the trunk, hold your left ankle with your right hand and your left hand passes over the back. Retain
the position for 2 minutes. (To induce the right nadi, perform the alternate movement jamming the right knee in the left armpit.) But before attempting these postures ensure that you have basic fitness levels at least.ardha-matsyendrasana-half-spinal-twist.jpgThen the easiest, lying on your side. If you lie on your left side for 5 minutes or so your right nadi Pingala is activated and vice versa.

You might need to activate the Ida and Pingala if you realise that you are waking up with the wrong naadi active. Or for doing a specific activity, e.g. you have to go to the gym and you have your Ida active you will feel lazy. Shifting it to Pingala will charge you up and you will go for your gym session happily. (A secret, if you and your husband/wife want to conceive a baby, try it when the husband’s Pingala is active and the wife’s Ida is active. You now know how to shift them!)

Now finally, to activate the Sushumna. This is ideally done before doing intensive spiritual practice, Dhyan or Jaap. If you can shift your pran to Sushumna, it will act as a booster. But do these following only and only if your physical health permits it.

Anulom/Vilom Pranayam – Anyways your pran does automatically shift to the Sushumna some 5-10 mins after you start your spiritual practice so even if you cannot actively do these things it is ok. At the very least you can do the Anulom/Vilom Pranayam where you alternately close the right and left nostrils. The thumb is used to close the right nostril and the little and ring fingers together close the left nostril. Anyone can do this irrespective of physical fitness. Close your right nostril and breathe in from your left, then close your left nostril, open your right and breathe out from the right. Next breathe in from the right, close the right, open the left and breathe out from the left nostril. This is one count. Do 12 sets of this pranayam. (For left dominant hand people, start your set with breathing in from the right nostril first)

anulom-vilom-steps.jpganulom vilom

Now the real thing, the Bastrika pranayam – It requires you to have a basic good health as this is strenous, if you are not sure do not do it, you might faint. Very fast powerful forced expiration and inspiration, for just 1 min, no more. Sit in your chosen yogic posture, Siddhasan or Padmasan. Breathe out forcefully with a hissing sound through your nose. Breathe in equally forcefully. Your entire chest and abdomen should feel the strain of the physical effort. You might even start perspiring. In about 1 min both your nostrils will be clear and open, and your pran will start moving in the Sushumna.

Paschimottana Asana – This also requires basic physical fitness, if you have back problems or are quite fat, do not do it. You might strain your back and black-out too. Lie on your back. Sit up with your hands above your head. Touch your fingers to your toes. Touch your head to your knee. Retain this final pose for two minutes. This will shift the pran to the Sushumna.

paschimottana asana

Finally the Shirshasan – Again these yogic postures are not just ‘exercises’, they are called ‘Yog-asan’, meaning the foundation of your spiritual practice. And they require considerable physical fitness. Do this one, only if you have been taught by a proper teacher. Sushumna is activated with the Shirshasan posture within 2 minutes.

shirshasan.jpg

So this was a bit on how to get your naadis working the way you want them to. You are now consciously allocating pran depending on which activity you are about to perform, so that you can get the most out of it.

 

Using the Ida and Pingala

The central Sushumna is the biggest naadi in your body, next are the Ida and Pingala. All three start at the Muladhar chakra, this point is the Trikut (tri-junction). Ida and Pingala twine around the Sushumna but do not intersect anywhere during their lengths. These two terminate at the third eye Ajnya chakra this point is called the Bhrukut. From this point only Sushumna i.e. the Brahmanadi travels upwards to the top of the head. There are more naadis parallel to the Sushumna. Other smaller naadis are created at the interval (Kanda) between the Swadhisthan and the Muladhar chakra.pexels-photo-1576369.jpegAll of us breathe, but have you ever observed that both your nostrils are not equally open always, one of the two feels ‘blocked’. Try closing them alternately to see which one is ‘open’, and check again after one hour or so to recheck. If you pay attention to your breathing pattern you just might notice that both are ‘open’ only for a few minutes in intervals of about 1hr. When you do pranayam, you are forcing both the nostrils to ‘open’ by the breathing exercise. And when you are doing Dhyan or jaap both remain ‘open’. When both nostrils are open, it seems that the air you breathe is somehow more ‘fresh’ more ‘bright’.

We pull in pran from the Universe (Hiranyagarbha/Samashti pran), through our skin and maximum through our nose/air. When your right nostril is open your Ajnya chakra is allocating the pran you receive from the Universe to the Muladhar chakra via the Pingala naadi. When your left nostril is open, you are sending pran down via the Ida naadi. And when both are open for 2-3 mins every 1hr or so, you are sending the pran via the Sushumna naadi. When the pran reaches the Muladhar chakra it is further sent to all the naadis of your energy body and your body survives. You can survive without oxygen but not without pran. (In samadhi state the pran is allocated only to the Sushumna, so the body will appear dead.)

Pran ‘looks’ shimmery golden silvery milky. It ‘feels’ cool. It is ‘thicker’ in nature, places where human habitation is less, like Himalayas, oceans, sea shores and near the mighty rivers e.g. Ganga, near waterbodies and temples which are considered to be auspicious.

For spiritual growth we focus only on the Sushumna. The Ida, Pingala and all the others are concerned with the activities of physical life.

When the pran is being sent through your Ida nadi, your left nostril is active and you use the energy for your body’s and mind’s nutrition, maintenance and growth. Ida is called the lunar channel. Lunar doesn’t mean the ‘moon’ as such, it means the qualities of the Moon, nourishment, protection, comfort, maternal love, stability and security. You are utilizing the pran to maintain yourself in every way. You are nourishing yourself, maintaining your Creation.

  • Simple example, do your make-up and dress while Ida is active, it will feel more satisfing!
  • Setting up shop and arranging the displays will be more creative.
  • Start a long journey when your Ida is active for a successful travel experience.
  • Or a visit to a temple or giving charity or peforming a selfless service.
  • Starting constructions, any engineering or landscaping projects. Even getting married is starting a new project!
  • If you take your  medicine when Ida is active, will improve its efficacy.
  • Meeting your boss or giving interviews or presentations, social interactions and meeting friends all these activities will be just a bit better if you are breathing through your left nostril.

pranNow your Pingala, when the right nostril is active. You are now ‘burning’ pran for expressions of your ego and personality. The ‘fire’, ‘heat’ in your body is more, so perform actions which create the force of your personality. It is also called the solar naadi.

  • If you eat your food while the internal fire is on, the food will be digested more effectively.
  • Strenuous movements, hiking, trekking, gym, difficult yogic postures like the Shatkarma of Hathayog.
  • Learning new physical skills, learning self-defence will be better if you start them when your Pingala is active.
  • Learning or even teaching technical subjects, scientific stuff, machinery related things.
  • Doing tantric sadhana and manipulating pran in your naadis by diverting the ‘heat’ to ‘burn’ the obstacles within your Brahmanadi are some of the things done better with the Pingala on.
  • Going to war!, or arguing, doing your karma, influencing others and your environment needs heat.
  • Coming back home from a long journey with your pingala active will make the experience more pleasurable.
  • Actual trading, i.e. the action of buying and selling will be more profitable with your Pingala active.

When these 2 aspects of your personality are balanced, they shut down briefly and all the pran is channelised through the real You, the Sushumna. In deep Dhyan pran moves only through Sushumna and it can go on for hours in the samadhi state). But in the awake life, this happens only for a few minutes, then again the Ida/Pingala are activated and the Sushumna shuts down.

These 2-3 mins of Sushumna are very precious, use them well. When it gets active, stop all your work, take a deep breath and focus on your third eye. Say a mental prayer, or any mantra 12 or 27 times (will take 2-3 mins) or at least recite Om a few times. Practising your spiritual practice, dhyan, jaap, mantra, yog etc during the Sushumna phase gives you a power boost. Prayers, blessings and even curses are more effective in this phase.

Will continue in my next post on this same Ida/Pingala theme.

 

ball shaped circle close up dark

Naadi and Pran, a small exercise

The energies called Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are created by the chakras/energy vertices of your body. Rahu and Ketu are not linked any chakra as such because they are in subtle sense unreal. They are the forces of attraction and apathy which pull and push at your soul, distorting the perfection of your internal geometry. ‘You’ exist within your Sushumna naadi, the central energy channel. There are smaller energy channels flowing alongside the Sushumna and throughout your body.time lapse photography of waterfallsThis vitality of this nadi network and pran flow is a function of Mars. If you severely damage a body part, its corresponding naadi also gets damaged. I tore the ligaments of my knee when I was in college, the injury was permanent and I can see the pran in this naadi in this knee flows in a twisted way, it is a permanent damage to my energy body too. (So take care of your back and head.)

If you have been doing regular spiritual practice, by now you should be able to see your naadi/chakra network and the pran flowing through it. Perhaps you have tried making a chi ball? Now let’s try seeing the pran flowing in someone else. Get your friend to be your ‘subject’. This is how you do it.

Sit comfortably facing each other in a dimly lit room. Your friend should hold both his hands forward, palms facing inwards towards each other, about 6 inches apart. His palm chakras will automatically start making an energy ball. Now you should sit in front of him and put your own palms between or around his like this diagram (there are two options both work, choose which feels more comfortable to you). Don’t touch his palms keep a few centimeres distance. So now your own palm chakras are making their own energy chi ball which is within or around his chi ball as per your palm position. And your and your friend’s energy bodies are interacting very deeply. Now you should close your eyes and focus in at your third eye.

palms.jpg              option 2.jpg

We might think we see with our eyes and taste with our tongue but actually our consciousness resides at the third eye (Kuthastha), you do everything from here. Your Ajnya chakra controls the allocation of pran. (Ajnya means ‘to order’) Your soul/Jivatma sits here at the Kuthastha (depth of the joint) point.

  • From your third eye, now ‘look’ into your friends body. Try to see his chakras, they will be easily visible spinning away in their colors, red at the lower end of the spine, then orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, white/shimmery at the very top of the head.
  • You can also sense the direction of the spin. If your friend is a woman in her monthly cycle (5 days) her chakras will be spinning anticlockwise, otherwise they are clockwise. For men they always spin clockwise. Anticlockwise spinning chakras means destruction is going on inside the body. So if you ever see someone’s chakras going anticlockwise tell them to be careful of their health.
  • You can then try to see the energy lines/naadis from these chakras, they will be seen radiating, dividing and subdividing getting smaller and finer. Near the chakras they will be of the colors of the chakra and as they go farther away they turn generic shimmery.
  • Now if your friend has a permanent injury, like I have in my knee, you can ‘look’ at this portion of his body, you will see the pran moving in jerky movement here, not in a smooth flow.
  • And finally you can scan the internal organs, if they are healthy the pran flow there will be strong, but if there is a problem the flow will be jerky, thin or even nil.

So enough of theory, check out how much you have actually gained with your spiritual practice. Yes, Shri Krishna says in the Bhagwat Gita that one should do one’s practice/work/karma and not really bother with the outcome. But there are pointers on the spiritual route which tell you that you are moving. This exercise is about checking the pointers.

Try this simple exercise when you are relaxed and your surroundings are silent. It will give you a new perspective on how you really look like.