The Mudras

(1) Just as Ananta the lord of the serpents the infinite one with seven heads supports the whole universe with its mountains and woods, even so is kundalini the mainstay of all yoga practices. The leitmotiv is majestically clear here. We are entering into the inner sanctum of the secret temple. Now the preparatory work is completed things are called by their real names, and yet-- this master, who now sees with open eyes what is at stake, suddenly becomes aware that he is still only a student....

Kumbhaka

When we now speak of the various forms of kumbhaka you should not try to understand it all at once in the first few sentences. Everything that follows is so important that some details have to be made clear first. So do not let your thoughts race away whatever is not explained now will be discussed later on. (44) There are eight kumbhakas suryabhedana, ufjayi, sitAari, sitali, bhastrika, bhramari, murccha and plavini. (45) At the end of inhalation puraka one should do jalan-dhara bandha and at...

The Bandhas

Before going any further let us recall one sentence Maha-mudra, mahabandha) mahavedha, khecari uddiyana bandha, mula bandha, and jalandhara bandha viparitakarani, vajroli, and shakticalana these are the ten mudras which conquer old age and death. So far we have learned only a few of these mudras Mahamudra The joining of prana and apana. Mahabandha Preventing prana and apana from reverting their course. Mahavedha Connecting the three nadis by beating the buttocks on the floor. Khecari mudra...

Nada The Inner Sound

Here, however, we are not concerned with prayer but with mantra, though a certain relationship does exist between the two. Prayer is mostly expressed in the spontaneous, freely-chosen words of the devotee, while the mantra is bound not only in its sound but also in its intonation. In prayer the divinity is importuned in mantra it is expressed. The prayer goes to the divinity the mantra is an essential attribute of the divine, its name. The prayer is a...

Mind And Breath

Mind and prana, so it is said, are one, and thus mind and breath are interdependent. Where there is breath there is thought without breath the activities of the mind will dry up. These rather unusual assertions must be investigated further, for they are the core of raja yoga. It is not by accident that the German word Atem (breath), and the Sanskrit term atman (the self) have the same root. In our understanding, to cease breathing means to die. In yoga teaching it may mean death but does not...

Figure

(37) Some call this siddhasana others say it is vajrasana, or muk-tasana, or guptasana. Why Is there a difference of opinion No, there are good reasons. This asana can serve several purposes, and each name indicates a different emphasis. But we do not want to get lost in details. (38) The siddhas say Just as among the yamas the most important is to do no harm to anyone, and that among the niyamas moderation, so is siddhasana the chief of all asanas. We should not take this as a qualitative...

The Purification Of The Nadis

After the broad outline of the evolution of the whole organism through asanas given in Part One, we come to the vata element in all its aspects. Only he can grasp the deepest sense of pranayama who is open-minded enough to view each concept in three dimensions gross (physical), subtle (mental), and abstract (spiritual) or dynamic, static, and abstract. When he recognizes the interrelation of these aspects, he may come to that cognition which converts the wisdom of yoga into revelation. (1 )...

Info

The Hatha yoga pradipika of Svatmaratma (with the commentary Jyotsna of Brahma-nanda) Adyar library and Research Centre, The Theosophical Society, Madras, India, 1972. Part Two is devoted mainly to pranayama and its techniques. Pranayama means prana vrtti nirodha or restraint of the breath, which is by nature unsteady. According to Svatmarama, When the breath wanders the mind is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed, the mind too will be still. (2 2) Pranayama flushes away the toxins and...

F1guu

In the last three phrases we simply have variations of sitting crosslegged as has been customary in India for thousands of years. These asanas in themselves are not practice rather, they are fundamental conditions upon which the real practice is based. The following sentence is a continuation of the instructions of No.20. (22) Press the anus firmly with crossed feet and sit thus. But do it with care. This is kurmasana. Here we might look for a deeper meaning, since the posture does not really...

The Shambhavi Mudra And The Inner Light

(35) The Vedas, the Shastras and the Puranas are like prostitutes attainable to all . The shambhavi mudra, however, is like a chaste woman, carefully guarded. Wisdom was never secret in the Orient Secret areonly the paths to wisdom. The intellectually created world of concepts has been dissolved. Now let's return to the man who created a new world by the two levels of vibration (light and sound), that interior world of a higher life, which requires the stronger flame, the flame which he learned...

Yoga And The Art Of Healing

In Japan there are physicians who kick the patient in the back, twist his neck, or simply give him a heavy slap on the shoulder, and the patient feels like a new man. In China there are physicians who practice acupuncture (the insertion of needles). They prick a place quite apart from the ailing organ and pain disappears--quite suddenly. In Ceylon there are doctors who touch the patient's skin with a red hot iron--and they aim with the precision of a fraction of a millimeter. A quick pain. The...

The Shakti

Everything so far has really been only preparation. Everything essential has been accomplished, except the most essential the raising of kundalini. To be sure, the yogi is now capable ot going into deep meditation he can put his body into a deathlike state and he can fan or quench the inner fire. He has complete control over the functions of his body. All in all, he is master of hatha yoga. But what of it He is still only an insignificant apprentice of raja yoga. We have already seen that it is...