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 subtlest 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. Ajnya chakra is called so, because ajnya means to ‘order’ or ‘control’. 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 deep 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.

 

Kundalini and the Shatchakra

The human body is a source of extraordinary energies. These energies are spread all through the body structure but the most extraordinary ones are found in the spine and the head of the body. It is very important to protect the head and the spine for energy reasons as well as medical reasons. Let’s focus on the spine in this post. Words and that too in English are very inadequate to describe the magnificence of these energies, these have to be experienced.

kundalini.jpg

Westerners think that that there are crores and crores of gods in Sanatan Dharma, 33 crores to be exact! Several Hindu’s believe this too. This belief is good enough for average people who not know the true meanings of Sanskrit words. But for those who understand Sanskrit (not just know Sanskrit) there are 33 ‘koti’ / classes of energies in Sanatan dharm. (Koti means excellence, class, point, end, top, edge, eminence, pitch of sound, etc. Can you see it now? there are basically 33 types of energies.)

Now these 33 koti deities, each ‘koti’ corresponds to one segment of your vertebral column. There are 33 vertebrae. The 33 classes of energies, i.e. the eight Vasu, twelve Aditya, eleven Rudra, Indra and Prajapati are located in your spine. Be very careful of your back and head (friends casually hit each other on the head/back, it can be damaging). Your backbone is the literal backbone of your spiritual practice. If your spine and head are physically deformed or damaged you cannot do Dhyan. For manipulating the pran in the delicate nadis of the spine the backbone needs to be in shape. That is why we have the entire system of doing Yog-asans. (Suryanamaskar is the very basic asan which everyone should practice at sunrise, it keeps every body part in shape. It is breath control, body control and mantra recited mentally together. Find a good teacher and start with 3 repeats a day and slowly increase by one count per week, max is 108 repeats).

(Sometimes I feel quite deeply for Libra ascendant people, if the ascendant sign/ruler is well placed then doing spiritual practice is a bit easier for them. But if there are problems here, the back, backbone, spine, vertebrae and the associated structures suffer.)

The Spine however is the basis of all energy work and the spinal cord protected within it is the physical side of the energy nadis. There are several of them along the spine, however the most important are the 3, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. Sushumna contains Vajrini, inside this is the Chitrini, inside this is the Brahmanadi. The Sushumna is connected to the top of the head called Brahmarandhra and to the lower point at the base of the spine at the centre of the genital area.

The Brahmanadi at the lower end is locked in place within the human body with a complicated knot of 3 and half coils twisted and fixed around a hexagonal ‘kurma’ structure. This is not a physical organ, it is an energy structure, and is linked to the consciousness. If it ever gets detached from the kurma-shila, it is physical death. This interlocked area is called the Kundalini. Its energies in the resting locked state ‘look’, reddish-brown to darkish yellow. The Kundalini is where the pran from the Hiranyagarbha links to the human’s Brahmanadi. The locks of the Kundalini are highly intricate because they protect the most valuable thing conceivable, the door to the Brahmanadi. There are locks within locks, in all possible dimensions and energies. An average human cannot even dream of even accessing these locks, leave opening them! But if a deserving Yogi tries to access them, he will be allowed entry.

(The energy which helps access and then open these locks is the Vighnaharta, Ganapati. The first mantra that we begin with for any energy work is Ganapati’s. He is the ultimate Vighnesh, remover of obstacles, basically means that he removes the ultimate obstacle of the locks within locks and allows access to the Brahmanadi. As children we are first taught the Gayatri mantra and the second one is Ganapati’s.)

(Kurma means several things, a tortoise, one of the 49 types of vayu in the body, name of a Naag, the second Avtar of Vishnu, a figure made by intertwined ropes, the manifested reality swimming in the ‘water’ of ksheer samudra. This is the reason why Sanatan dharma is ridiculed by people who do not understand Sanskrit. The ‘earth’ is supported on the ‘tortoise’!, basically means that the Muladhar/prithvi tattva rests on the kurma-shila.)

kundalini.jpg

Now after the initial protection/foundation at the kurma-shila and the Kundalini the Brahmanadi is protected in the spine by 6 more locks called the Shatchakras. Muladhar, Swadhisthana, Manipur, Anahata, Vishuddi and Ajnya. There are 5 tattvas, prithvi, aap, tej, vayu and akash. These tattvas are dominant in the various chakras and give rise to their typical colors, sounds, geometry, shapes and attributes. These attributes affect the movement of the pran in this area.

We visualise these chakras as ‘lotuses’ with varying number of ‘petals’. These shapes in the simplest 2 dimensions are seen as the yantras of that chakra. These represent the movement of the pran through the brahmanadi around the chakra, sometimes fast, slow, curved, sharp turns, triangular etc. (This may sound dull to read, but just think our ancient Rishis had the power and focus to ‘see’ the movement of vital energy/pran in their body. When you see a yantra of a chakra, you are actually seeing now pran moves in your body at this point.) These movement of the pran in the area around the chakra is correlated with the gait/movements of animals, slow, fast, jumping, etc so these animals are called the ‘vahan’/carrier of the energy of the chakras.

In an average human the movement of energy is unbalanced leading to several mental, emotional, psychological, physical etc problems. If you have ever visited a real Nadi Vaidya, he will just touch your pulse points at the wrist and tell you what is your health status on all levels. Such a Vaidya can access the movement of pran in the brahmanadi and diagnose you very very deeply.

The Sri Yantra/Mahameru is all the chakras of superimposed on each other in 2D/3D. When you focus on the central bindu you are forcing your own pran to move in its perfect route. You are giving it, its perfect energy diagram to follow, you are training it. You are doing the deepest possible healing on yourself.

The sounds that the pran makes as it moves through the chakra is the beej mantra of that chakra. This beej mantra is written in the center of the lotus geometry yantra of that chakra. And as the pran moves through the smaller segments of the chakras, through each individual ‘lotus petal’  it makes more sounds which are heard as even more beej mantras. In the yantra you must have seen these individual letters written on each segments.

Now the brahmanadi is entwined around the chakra. The chakra is a point, the brahmanadi forms its ‘lotus’ and its ‘petals’ around it. When the pran moves it describes every ‘letter’ of the Sanskrit alphabet, how it looks like, the alphabet. We have lost the actual original alphabet, though those who can see can just look within and write it again. It is so awesome that the script that we write Sanskrit in, is the actual movement of the pran within the brahmanadi as it makes the corresponding sound, moving around the chakra.

(The first person to write this alphabet was Brahmi, the daughter of Samrat Rishabhdev, who had his capital city at Ujjain, she was sister to Bharat, after whom our nation Bharat is named and Bahubali, who is known as the epitome of asceticism. This alphabet was named after her as ‘Brahmi’.)k1This Brahmanadi then passes through the spine and at the top of the head expands and becomes the thousands petaled Sahastradala kamal. It is also described as the thousand headed Sheshnaag, the Naag on which Vishnu rests. This sahastradala kamal is like your energy antennae, these pick up the pran, the energy, the communications from other dimensions etc, everything from the Universes and also broadcasts your energy to the universes. Here also the myth is an allegory. Vishnu is the Universe and he sits on the Sheshnaag having thousands of heads, i.e your Brahmanadi. Can you reach up to Him within Yourself?

(Naag means fearsome, cloud, luminous, entwined, mountain, immense, seven, snake, tree, intelligent, one who creates, undefinable etc. )

We average humans are in search of the powers of matter, which is located at the bottom of the Brahmanadi, the Yogis search for the realisation of Vishnu and the beyond located at the top of the Brahmanadi. In an average human the Sahastradala kamal droops, its petals scattered without any order, but for a Yogi they are perfect, erect and energised.

Just remember you have the Universe within yourself. You are everything. You have such priceless extraordinary energies within you, if you could only focus on them. Nothing is lost and no one goes anywhere, if you decide that you want to experience or know something just put your intention and will behind it. You have the power within you to manifest it. Use it!

 

kundalini