What was Soma-ras exactly, alcohol?

One of my friends asked me this question. I know that there are ‘modern’ (in my view, ignorant) scholars who claim that ancient Indian Rishi-Seers ate non-vegetarian food and drank alcohol! Now I really don’t bother about random people saying things but my friend! So this post.

What is tantra? It is complete control on your mind as you attempt practices for gaining complete control on your own vital energy/ pran. You accept the experience with full awareness. And you desire to transcend this experience because you really to experience is your own self ie Moksh. And what is Yog? Here also you control your mind, attempt practices, gain complete control over the pran in your body. But you consciously deny yourself the experience of the manifested as you search for the Ultimate. You are determined to experience nothing but the Ultimate. Both routes are different but require control over the mind and the direction of the pran movement. The genuine practitioners are very different, if you sit near them you feel the ‘grace’, blessings, peace and strength.

Tantra or Yog, are the only possible ways for attaining Moksh. If you invoke the tantric aspect of your deity, you can move very fast on your path. But the pitfalls are extraordinarily dangerous and if you make mistakes, the repercussions are unimaginable. You are required to have complete control over your mind, emotions and actions. You cannot lose your focus in what you are doing, else you will be so badly damaged on the spiritual levels, that it will take innumerable lives to recover. There are several ancient tantriks who made mistakes and are stuck on earth (if ever you visit the ‘burning ghats’/ Smashan in Kashi/Varanasi, you will know what I mean)

All deities have their Tantric ‘variants’. The Ganapati who is considered the most ‘cute’, adorable deity has an extremely terrifying aspect called ‘Uddanda’. This form is with innumerable hands holding multiple weapons, all three eyes open, red with rage, wearing red garments, red aura, lots of ornaments, trumpeting the sound of ‘Om’, dancing the dance of destruction as he systematically destroys everything holding you back in your spiritual progress. If you do his Sadhana, it is like he is intently standing in front of you holding all his weapons, ready to decimate you if you make one single fraction of an error. If you manage to complete his Sadhana he will grant you endless energy, open your Kundalini locks, allow you Moksh and everything.

There are very few genuine tantriks who do pujas of such forms of deities. This is a very arduous method of spiritual practice. This Sadhana is not a ‘short-cut’. The deity grants you energy which energises you from the depths of your soul to the aura which projects outside you. You are first made capable of holding the energy then the energy is given to you and the path will be difficult. But the fundamental premise of Tantra is experience without any sort of engagement. Your deity is an aspect of the Ultimate Reality. As you follow the path shown to you, you will see that not only you, but your deity also evolves. Hereto unknown aspects of his energy will be shown to you, you will experience. Everything essentially is the Parabrahma, the ‘beyond intelligence’. You are the Para, your deity is the Para. Your deity will finally show you this Para form of himself and yourself too. Here is when the deity, the aspirant and the Real all merge. Moksh.

Depression, what does the horoscope say?

But the point comes to this, a genuine aspirant will not do anything which will dampen/distort his energy, or make him lose control over his energy. It takes so much effort to gain one smidgen of control over your energy, you don’t fritter this away! By ‘energy’, I mean the movement of Satva-Raja-Tama, the three- Gun the basic building blocks. You use your pran consciously to control them. This is the goal of all spiritual practice.

In movies and in life, you will see ‘tantriks’, practitioners to be typically creepy individuals. Wearing weird clothing, lots of malas, beads, black tilak on the forehead and general creepiness. I have met some of these practitioners and there was a miasma of negative energy, dark-auras in their rooms and surrounding them. Very suffocating. You feel suppressed, scared and want to get up and run away. (This is not what a real knower of Tantra looks or feels like, I have met some of these too.) These ‘tantriks’ are those degraded individuals who indulge in the lowest forms of energy manipulations and and will do anything the client asks for as long as their payment is right. Mostly these have spirits bound to them who they use as slaves to perform their work. These are the ones who drink alcohol, eat non-veg food etc.

These practicioners have spoilt the reputation of Tantra. Looking for short-cuts and with very material wishes. If you know how, you can go to a cemetery where dead bodies are buried and capture yourself a spirit. A slave you can use. Such slaves are always ready to turn on their masters. Or if you know more (or foolhardy or over-confident), you can visit the aforementioned ‘burning ghats’ of Kashi and bind an ancient tantrik’s spirit. Here your slave is a skilled one (pishachya, brahmarakshas, vetal etc) and can do more. And if it gets a chance it will happily turn on you and cause even more damage. Or there is another option, to go to some place where there is no inhabitation and natural forests. Here you will find spirits linked to the other dimensions who visit these areas, especially on eclipses, twilights, no-moon days and full-moon days. You can strike your bargains and get them to fulfil your wishes. None of this is advisable, but those who are blind in their desire for material gains and power will do it. And later suffer, badly.

And this is not what Tantra really means.

These short-cut tantriks use some other spirit or being as their source of energy. They are not internally that spiritually evolved themselves. Their only ability is to control the spirits using ‘procedures’, rituals and mantra. These spirits desire base/ tamasic gifts, like alcohol, meat, drugs, or sexual contacts, which the tantrik will procure for them so that they will work for him. And one becomes what one associates with, so such a practitioner also eventually becomes such a degraded creature himself. Then while this spirit is associated with them, they experience the higher energy levels which cannot be sustained when their association is broken. So the energy flow has to be consciously brought down in his body too.

Eg you have wire which can carry a current of 50volts. Now you temporarily link it to a second wire so that now it can carry 5000volts current. But this linkage is not possible all the time, the second wire needs a break, say for 12 hours/day (spirits need this, else they go insane). So as the first wire is delinked, there is damage as the wire is not in itself capable of 5000volt. This damage is to be suppressed (it can be repaired only be personal spiritual practice, which these short-cut tantriks will not do). Also at the instant of delinking the residual 5000volts has to be brought down in an instant else it will fry this first wire. So these tantriks drink alcohol.

Alcohol in large quantities lowers down the movement of pran and also your ability to control it. (In the past, my office group had a couple of guys who really liked drinking hard alcohol. During office parties it was very educational to watch them. As they drank progressively larger quantities of alcohol, their auras would progressively get murky and shrink.) Alcohol brings down your energy immediately and this ‘downer’ lasts for a day or so. Non-veg food also acts in the same way and its effect is sustained for a longer time, for a few days. And sexual contact also does the same thing, intimately sharing energy, such tantriks will divert all the extra load into their partner, now both will suffer. If even some normal person does these activities as a habit, you can easily see the effects. His energy body loses its vitality. Alcohol and non-veg are tamasic in nature, the person’s energy will become still, dull, difficult to move etc. (I never advocate avoidance, once in a while, for social reasons, for emotional reasons, for medicinal reasons, for health reasons etc is ok. But mindless over-indulgence will harm. In meats, only fish meat is comparatively safe.)

Depression, what does the horoscope say?

‘Soma-ras’ needs to be explained now. Modern scholars opine that Soma is alcohol which our ancient Seers drank, which is the stupidest thing. Soma-ras is defined by the two great Seers/Rishi of Ayurved, Patanjali and Sushrut, they have written about it.

Soma is another name for Anna, the ‘essence of food’. Anna is the ‘material thing’ of this universe which you use to sustain your mind/ body. This stuff is capable of being disintegrated by Fire/ Agni/ Pran and converted to Pran. In modern terminology, Soma would be something like matter and Pran is somewhat like energy. They both are conscious, intelligent, inseparable and inter-convertible. Soma is considered to be a form of Shakti (the energies are ‘with Uma’) and Pran is considered to be a form of Shiv. Soma is dispersed, it cannot be focussed on. Pran is the concentrated energy, this can be focussed with intention pushed into the thinnest nadi of the body. Soma needs to be converted into Pran for it to be of real use. Now there is one typical nature of Soma powered Pran, it rises up with relatively little effort.

When you eat food, it enters your digestive system where the conscious fire of digestion transforms it. Some of this is absorbed and some part is ejected out. This absorbed essence of food is used in different ways, to sustain the Sapta-dhatu, to sustain the mind/Manas and some is converted to pran/vital energy. The ancient Rishi-s ate specific food which could be converted completely to Pran. This food is called the Soma. Ras means the essence. And Ras also means the infinite intelligent scalar field of unlimited energy. So ‘Soma-ras’ is the subtlest energy of the essence of food. If such a food is eaten, there would be nothing ejected and a big boost of pure pran. This food was eaten before entering into the deepest states of Dhyan-Sadhana. These states would be maintained for long periods of time, even years. Rishi Patanjai clearly says that there are herbs-Oushadhi, which can be used to deepen the Dhyan states and achieve Moksh. But we do not have the details with us (continuous onslaughts of invaders targeted our temples, which were our institutions of learning and the teacher, the Brahmins who knew. No wonder this age is called the Kali-yug, all real knowledge is lost to us.)

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If you find this difficult to believe, try this small experiment. The hypothesis is, if you eat food which has higher spiritual energy, it is more easily and completely converted to Pran. There would be very little matter ejected and your aura/ energy will improve. So eat a dal/rice for 3 days. The dal should be only mung bean dal (Vigna radiata). And the rice should be unpolished. Add one spoon ghee (made from Indian desi humped cow milk) and some sea-salt/ rock-salt and turmeric as per your taste. If you find it tasteless, put some jira/Cumin seeds or 1pod of elaichi/ Cardamom or a bit of ground ginger in it as it cooks. This is the most Satvic-energy combination, where you have protein, carbohydrates, fats, mineral, turmeric in one dish. See what effect it has on your energy.

So, to conclude, Soma-ras is the purest essence of food, which is not available to us now. It is definitely not alcohol. Alcohol downs your energy instantly. Our ancient Rishi-s did not eat tamasic foods. They were Seers, realised souls, or aspirants who were actively working towards realization. Some of us are also actively pursuing this goal. So if you can, try to reduce your non-veg/ alcohol intake and sexual activity to reasonable limits. Mindlessly indulging in these will reduce the quantum of your pran and also affect your ability to manipulate it.

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Real Health benefits of the Surya namaskar

When it comes to exercise, motivation is a must. You might have thought of trying out the Surya-namaskar from my pervious post. When you do the Surya-namaskar regularly and faithfully with intention the entire body/mind benefits. Ideally you should do enough sets so that the body has a light perspiration. But right now begin slow.

(I searched the internet videos for the correct version of the Surya namaskar, it is this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt9eeXo5YPk  From 4:41 sec to 5:25 sec is the ideal Surya-namaskar sequence of the 10 postures. Except do not hold the ‘downward dog’ position for 5 deep breaths as he mentions.)

Real Health benefits of the Surya namaskar

The set of 10 yogic postures is the classical Surya-namaskar. A breathing pattern has to be followed of inhaling (purak), exhaling (rechak) and holding the breath (kumbhak). And an associated mantra has to be recited mentally as you perform each posture of the set. Each posture works to set your body and mind in its perfect alignment. I am not using the names of the individual Yog-asan, just writing what will happen as you perform them,Starting posture – To begin with, you will stand straight, facing the east, palms folded in the Namaskar position, looking at the rising Sun and recite the Mantras which are to be said out aloud.

First posture – The palms in the namaskar position are raised vertically upwards and your eyesight follows them. The neck and waist has to be stiffened as the entire body has to be vertical and in a straight line. If you have round shoulders or a stoop in your back, you will feel these areas straining and stretching. The entire body stretches out. Deep breathing is required so if you are not used to deep conscious breathing you will feel your lungs and diaphragm work. The palms have to be pressed against each other slightly so a slight pressure on your entire arm till tip of fingers will be felt. Hold yourself erect and inhale deeply, hold the breath.

Second posture – Bending down with the knees straight. The palms touch the ground on both sides of the feet and the head touches the knees. The muscles of the calves, thighs, buttocks, hips, waist, back and spine are stretched out. You will feel the strain. Go very slow, if you are unfit you might black-out as all the air in your lungs is forced out. The muscles joining your shoulders and back will feel the strain. The muscles of the abdomen and waist will be pulled in. The kidneys are activated here. The solar plexus is stimulated. You won’t be able to do it perfectly at the first attempt so bend as much as you can comfortably, do not strain.

Third posture – Touching the tips of the fingers to the ground and moving the neck to look straight in the front. This activates in addition the neck, throat muscles and the shoulders. If you are suffering from stiff neck or cervical area problems, go slow here. Here you inhale. Do as much as you can without straining, this exercise will build up strength and also reduce neck/chin fat.

Fourth posture – As you jump backwards you are exhaling. And the rest of this posture is done in the ‘kumbhak’, you ‘hold’ breath. You have exhaled and there is no air in your lungs. You are pulling your abdomen in. The weight of the whole body is on your palms and toes. The wrists arms and feet/ankles bear the maximum pressure here. Also the abdomen and waist, the buttocks and the thighs. This reduces abdominal fat. This is the real ‘plank exercise’. You might not be able to do it perfectly so you can touch your body to the ground in the initial stages.

Fifth posture – Now you inhale. this is the classical snake posture. The back is curved and look up at the sky. The weight of the whole body is on the arms. Here the neck, arms and the chest benefit. The size of the abdomen will decrease and that of the chest will increase till the perfect proportion is achieved. All liver, spleen and intestinal complaints will disappear.

Sixth posture – Here you are exhale. Your body makes a triangle with your buttocks as the highest upward point. You exhale. The palms and the feet are placed flat on the ground. The muscles of the feet, calves, waist, abdomen, back, neck and upper arms are exercised. This will reduce abdominal fat. Abdominal fat is the root cause of ill-health in majority of humans.

Seventh posture – As you jump forwards you inhale and you touch your finger-tips to the sides of your feet, look straight forwards. Same as the third posture.

Eighth posture – Same as the second posture. You exhale.

Ninth posture – same as the first posture. You inhale.

Tenth posture – Same as the starting posture. You mentally recite the last posture mantra. “Om Bhaskaraya Namah”

Real Health benefits of the Surya namaskar

This is a full body workout. The entire musculature of the body benefits. The neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, back, chest muscles, abdomen, thighs, calves and ankles. The body skeleton, the joints all benefit. Most important the fluid movement of the 10 postures, fully stretch and compress the spine. This frees you from back-ache forever. Rheumatic tendencies are arrested. The ligaments and tendons of the entire body are overhauled and made to work properly.

The entire digestive system benefits, the stomach, liver, pancreas, intestines. Better digestion and absorption of food and regular bowel movements are the first step to a healthier life. As the back strengthens, the kidneys also benefit. The nervous system is invigorated. The brain, spinal cord and the functional parts of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. Fogginess, mental fatigue, forgetfulness and other forms of mental stress are gradually removed. The intellect and the mind shine with energy. The sense organs also seem more sharp.

The circulatory system undergoes a systematic overhaul. The pumping of the heart improves. The blood circulation improves, this is very important as blood brings nutrients and flushes toxins from every part of the body. Deep breathing improves the lungs, the lung capacity and the stamina. The throat muscles are energised by the continuous compression and extension movements. Thyroid function improves. Similarly the other endocrine glands in the body are stimulated increasing health. This movement of the neck improves the circulation to the head so the hair and scalp health improves. The senses of hearing, seeing, smelling and tasting remain sharp till old age.

You are supposed to work out till you lightly perspire. This removes toxins, more important in higher altitudes where people do-not sweat naturally. A healthy skin absorbs more pran/vital energy directly from the Universe and it also glows with health.

In women, if she has been doing Surya-namaskar regularly it helps in all problems related to menstrual cycle, pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum recovery. During pregnancy it will reduce nausea and similar uncomfortable problems. Feminine charm, bust, body shape etc remains attractive, as the entire body muscles develop in a proportionate way. In men, masculine attractiveness is enhanced. Excess fat is dislodged from those difficult areas of abdomen, thighs, chin, saggy arms are corrected. Obesity will reduce. Posture related problems are corrected. In growing children the height of the body will be increased. Immunity increases. Gradually you feel more energetic and youthful. More confident, you feel capable and poised, ready for life!

Real Health benefits of the Surya namaskar

Healthy old age is a blessing which very few people in this modern age enjoy. The Surya-namaskar is the best way of postponing age as it rids the body/ mind of the products of decay/ damage/ degeneration of the body. It links you to the Sun, the source of all life. If you do Surya-namaskar with a combination of satvik food your food intake will reduce. This means vegetarian food, vegetables, rice, millets, pulses, desi cow milk and ghee made from desi cow milk. No heavy spices, no oily food, no stimulants.

By now you must be thinking that I am exaggerating. But I am not! You are using the power of the Sun, your mantra and your intention and reforging your body, breath and mind. Do your Surya-namskar for a few months regularly and then see the change in yourself. And others will also notice the healthier you. You are in control. You decide. If you practice you will gain.I wrote this ‘biology’ post on purpose, so that you read the health benefits and they register in your mind. If you are still in your teens, adopt the Surya-namaskar for a life-time of health. You will never suffer even the minor complaints of fever and cold. If you have children, make sure that they perform it, you are gifting them a life-time of health and vitality. And even if you are older or unwell, try some of the postures in whatever slow imperfect way you can. Never strain the body, if you have been unwell/ lazy for 10yrs you can’t expect the perfect set on the first day. It will take 6 months of slow committed practice, it is ok. Congratulate yourself that you have started at least.

You can start at any age. It requires no kit, no expense, not much space. Even if you make mistakes initially it is ok. The Asans will self-correct gradually. Just remember to not strain, if you feel strain/pain stop immediately, Go slow. If you cannot do it at sunrise, do it at anytime of the day (2hrs after meals, as empty stomach is essential). But do it. Secure your health, effectiveness and longevity.

 

Real Health benefits of the Surya namaskar

My brother goes to a Yog-asan class. There is a very over-weight lady too there. The trainer is really good and wanted to get this lady started on Surya-namaskar. The poor lady could not bend, forget anything else. But the trainer was like, ‘do how much every tiny movement you can from the set, the body will loosen up with time’. It was a struggle for her, but she and the trainer persevered, a tiny bit every-day. By the end of 2 months, the lady did manage to bend enough to touch her own feet, and also shed a few kgs, an amazing achievement! So however physically unfit you actually are or believe yourself to be, all you need a good teacher to guide/ motivate and the Surya-namaskar. Reclaim your health!

Surya namaskar is an all-in-one remedy

Everyone knows about the Surya-namaskar sequence. This is a Yog-Asan, yogic posture which we all should perform everyday from the age of 6yrs onwards regularly. It is the right of every human to be healthy and this Yogasan is the foundation of your life-time health. Here I list out things which will add energy to your practice.

Surya namaskar is an all-in-one remedy

Use the power of the rising Sun. Do your Surya-namaskar in the early morning, facing the east. Looking at the rising sun is ideal. If your house has a balcony do it there, where fresh air can touch your body. Or in a park? Or at least open the windows of your room so that fresh air can touch your body/mind. Now we live in cities so seeing the rising sun may not be possible. So on the East wall of your room, put a nice photo of the rising Sun, your favourite deity, source of faith, Shri yantra? or at least paint that wall in light yellowish-orangish, the color of the radiant rising Sun. This will give your mind an object to concentrate on. Gradually will give you the ability to silence the mind’s continuous chattering and increase your mental strength/ability.

You will need a flat horizontal non slippery surface. A cotton mat is traditionally used, but you should use whatever you are comfortable with. Wear minimum possible cotton clothing. Ensure that the clothes do not interfere with the body’s freedom of movement. Do not eat, empty stomach is necessary.

A set of 10 yogic postures = 1 Suryanamaskar. Start with 3 sets daily and increase 1 set per week. Maximum is 108 sets, do not increase beyond that. Doing 108 sets will take about 1hr 15 mins which is not realistic in today’s life. So fix some figure in your mind, as a maximum of 27 or 54, but do it everyday.

This is a complete physical exercise, a spiritual exercise and a pranic exercise. You strengthen your entire body from the head to the feet and the tips of your fingers. You improve your sensory organs. You make all the fluids in your body move. You will increase the volume, quality and regular flow of pran in your nadis. And finally you strengthen your mind and will power.

Surya namaskar is an all-in-one remedy

You are doing 3 things here.

  1. Exercising your physical body in a series of 10 interconnected yogic postures. You are using the muscles of your entire body. As the muscles work effectively they positively influence the other organs near them. So muscular health is essential for complete body health.
  2. Exercising your pran/vital energy movements in your naadi strucutre by a fixed sequence of breath in and breath out sequence. Each of the 10 postures is linked to either exhale or inhale, and the entire sequence goes fluidly. Simple logic is when you extend the body you inhale and when you contract the body you exhale. Always breathe through your nose, never open the mouth. First focus on getting the muscular movement perfectly, the breath will automatically sync later. The sync comes slowly with practice. (Ideally the 10 postures of the Surya namaskar are performed in 3 complete breaths!)
  3. Adding the power of Surya mantra to all this. There are a set of 10 mantra-s, one for each yogic posture in the sequence. This is the real power of the Yog-asan. Breathing without a mantra makes the whole thing tamasic. You will get excellent physical body but no spiritual benefit. Something like musclebound gym-crazy young men who do not ‘sparkle’ with ‘inner light’. You should add the mantras to the postures after you have got the muscle movement and the breath sync. Maybe after 1-2 months.

 

I searched the internet videos for the correct version of the Surya namaskar, it is this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt9eeXo5YPk  From 4:41 sec to 5:25 sec is the ideal Suryanamaskar sequence of the 10 postures. Except that there is no requirement to hold the ‘downward dog’ position for 5 deep breaths as he mentions. The entire Suryanamaskar continues in a fluid sequence of 10 postures, no ‘holding’ any pose. In the video the young man is in superb physical condition and is a teacher himself so don’t feel disheartened!

Surya namaskar is an all-in-one remedy

You are exercising for yourself and not competing with the young man in the video. I have seen people get enthusiastic about exercise and then in a few days they get demotivated and never exercise again. The fault is with the trainers.

  • Always remember, exercise should be in proportion to one’s own strength.
  • It should be regular and continuous to be of benefit. You do only 3 sets per day, but do them. They will not be perfect, it is ok.
  • Exercise should be within your physical limit, ie after doing it you should feel refreshed and energetic not tired out. If you are feeling tired, reduce the intensity or the duration.
  • Don’t compare yourself to your younger self. (I used to go to the gym for 2 hrs everyday in my 20s. At the age of 29yrs I looked like a 17yrs old often confusing people. Now I can’t do that much exercise. Accepted!)
  • You are not perfect in your practice now, but you are doing it regularly that is most important.
  • At the beginning of this ‘body/mind reconstruction exercise’, there is bound to be some discouragement and pain as unused muscles are forced to move. But this has to be gone through.

So practice slowly at your own pace, regularly, don’t get lazy after all this, it is just for 5 mins! Suryanamaskar are done quite slowly at first. First you have to get the physical movements correct. When you practice slowly, you will know which part of your body is under strain. When you change posture which bones creak. And slow movements will help this straining creaking body parts gradually build strength. You are doing this for yourself.

Then the mind. While doing the sets, do not let your mind wander. Your mind as well as body need discipline. You have to focus on the Sun and on your own body. Look at the Sun with your eyes. Intend that the energy of the Sun enters your body parts which are moving. We want increased pran moving in the body, this is possible only by the power of the focussed mind. As you breathe in visualise gold/silver energy entering you, energising you, making you one with the Sun. This is also an exercise for the mind.

Surya namaskar is an all-in-one remedy

 

Now the mantra. Before beginning your practice you are required to recite this out loud, ‘Om Hraang Hreeng Hroung sah Suryaya namah”. Or as the second option, “Om Mitra Ravi Surya Bhanu Khaga Pushna Hiranyagarbha Marich Aditya Bhaskarya namah Om”. Speaking aloud, voice is very important. When you speak these words you are exercising your vocal cords and setting the tone for your entire exercise. Breathe deeply a few times. This you can do from the first day itself.

Then these ten basic mantra are to be recited in your mind, once per posture, these are,

  1. Om Mitraya namah
  2. Om Ravaye namah
  3. Om Suryaya namah
  4. Om Bhanave namah
  5. Om Khagaya namah
  6. Om Pushnaye namah
  7. Om Hiranyagarbhaya namah
  8. Om Marichaye namah
  9. Om Adityaya namah
  10. Om Bhaskarya namah

Add these mantras to your posture and breath only after you have gained confidence, maybe 1-2 months later. Don’t complicate things for yourself at the start. If you have no faith in Sanskrit and Mantra, do not recite them. But a Yog-asan done without a mantra remains tamasic, it gives only physical strength no inner fire. So you will have to at least intentionally recite So-ham. ‘So’ mentally as you breathe in and ‘hum’ mentally as you breathe out. So-ham is also a mantra.

So start in whatever slow imperfect way you can, it will take only 5 mins of your time initially. Evaluate yourself after 21days. After this self-motivation will come in. And in a few months you won’t believe the change this will bring in you. Perfection comes with regular practice. (If you are already physically damaged or ill, do consult your healthcare professional before doing them. These are quite strenuous and vigorous movements.)

Now for women. Women must perform Surya namaskar. In Indian cities, you see young women in severely unhealthy states. If the woman is physically/ mentally /spiritually ill, the entire house suffers. She is the centre around which our families and our societies both revolve. If she is healthy the nation will be healthy. Surya namaskar is the ideal three-in-one way to remain forever fit. Women go through two physically challenging events in their lives, one at the age of 12yrs as the monthly cycle starts and then at the age of 51yrs when it stops. Also the monthly 5day cycle is physically exhausting. As the girl-child starts Surya-namaskar at the age of 6yrs and continues for a life-time she will never face any problems related to this aspect of the female life ever. It is a guarantee.

Women are exempted for the 5 days of their monthly cycle, they should rest. During pregnancy the practice has to be stopped. But she should not break her habit of standing before the rising Sun. Mantra-s can be recited. Some light warm-up stretching types of movements recommended for pregnant women can be done. After delivery do not perform Surya-namaskars for 3 months. After this, if the medical professional agrees, can start with 3 sets and gradually increase.

Suryanamaskar are the complete exercise for your mind body and soul. You will discipline your body, your breath and your mind over time. Give yourself these 5-10 mins daily and see the change in yourself as you draw in the energy of the Rising Sun into yourself.

Part 2 continued here.

 

Surya namaskar is an all-in-one remedy

 

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.

Ida and Pingala continued

Now 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.

Ida and Pingala continued Ida and Pingala continued

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.

Ida and Pingala continued

Then the easiest method is 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. 

(If you cannot do any of the methods I have given in this post, you can try the crudest method. Physically shut the active nostril with your finger for a few minutes. It will be a bit difficult to breathe for a couple of minutes till the other one fully opens. This is to be used only if you cannot do any of these above methods. Or very rarely, like you are in public and you need to change the flow of breath/swar.)

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.

Ida and Pingala continued Ida and Pingala continued

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.

Ida and Pingala continued

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.

Ida and Pingala continued

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.

 

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 and the Shatchakra

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 and the Shatchakra

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’.)

This 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 and the Shatchakra