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WHAT IS YOGA AND PRANAYAMA?

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Research: Anupam V Kapil, 21.6.2018


Patanjali says, “ the control of functions of Chitta (yogas-chitta-vritti-nirodah) is Yoga. The Maya Tantra says, “ those who are learned in yoga, say that it is the union of the Jiva and Aatma’.   Prakriti Vadis say that the union of Shiva and SHAKTI is Yoga, by a union of Jiva and Aatma means Samadhi. Mind and consciousness are abstract terms....whereas breath is a physiological reality.


There are many paths in Yoga, but in essence, they have one goal...the union of the self with God. On the physical level, this means the union of the lower brain with the upper brain. Man’s faculties of abstract thinking and his aspirations for the higher ideals of life ( seated in the cerebral cortex) often conflict with his instinctive animal nature ( situated in his lower brain). Yoga one can learn to master his lower brain and pursue higher ideals. All yogic disciplines clearly state that a direct relationship exists between Prana and mind and that by controlling or mastering prana one can master the mind.


The Sandilya Up, defines Pranayama to be the union of Prana and Apana, the Nada and Bindu are thus united. All yogic disciplines clearly state that a direct relationship exists between Prana and mind and that by controlling or mastering prana one can master the mind. The most appropriate for Pranayama is, “ breath control and development”, leading to the union of Prana and Apana.


Pranayama is first practised with a view to control and develop the Prana. The air which is breathed through the mouth and nostrils is material air (Sthula Vayu), the breathing is a manifestation of a vitalising force called Prana-Vayu. By control over the sthula Vayu, thePranav Vayu (sukshama or subtle air) is controlled, the process concerned with this is called pranayama.


There are two lines of yoga...Dhyana or Bhavana yoga, and Kundalini Yoga, in the first class of yoga ecstasy (Samadhi) is attained by an intellectual process (Kriya Jnana) of meditation and the like with the aid, it may be, in a preliminary stage of Mantra or Hatha Yoga.


The second one is in which, though the intellectual process is not neglected, the creative and sustaining Sakthi of the whole body as Kundalini is actually and truly united with the Lord Consciousness so as to procure for the Yogi a result which the Jnana Yogi directly gains for himself. But Raj Yoga is generally regarded as the highest form of Yoga perfect liberation ( Nirvikalp Samadhi) can be obtained by Raj Yoga of which Kundalini Yoga is a preliminary method.


Samadhi, may also be attained on the path of devotion (Bhakti), as on that of knowledge. The highest devotion (Para Bhakti) is not different from knowledge. A Dhyan yogi must not neglect his body, knowing that he is both mind and matter, each reacts the one upon the other. In Dhyan Yog, ecstasy takes place through detachment from the world and mental concentration.


In Samadhi of Dhyan Yog there is no rousing and union of Kundalini shakti, with accompanying bliss and acquisition of special powers (Siddhi). Though in both cases bodily consciousness is lost, in Kundalini Yog, not only the mind but the body in so far as it is represented by its central power is actually united with Shiva. This union produces an enjoyment (bhakti) which the Dhyan yogi does not possess.


Yogi Mudra, which detaches the Manas from the outside world says, “ Place the left heel against the anus, and the right heel on the left foot, and sit erect with your body and neck in a straight line. Then with your lips formed to resemble a crow's beak, draw in the air and fill therewith your belly. next, close tightly your ear holes with the thumbs, with your index fingers the eyes, the nostrils by your middle fingers, and your mouth by the remaining fingers. Retain the air with in you, and with the sense controlled, meditate on the mantra, whereby you realize the unity of Prana and Manas. This is Yoga, the favourite of the yogis.


By the practice of Yama and Niyama that perfection in preliminary yoga practices is attained. But the sadhak has by practice to destroy such inclinations as lust, anger and the like that interfere with Yoga, and cultivate others, such as controlling the inner air, steadiness of mind, which is helpful in Yoga practices. However, a man by reason of merit and good fortune acquired in. A previous birth, and by his nature, is free from anger, list and other passions, then he is capable of real Yoga without the preliminary practices.


The most important thing which teachers don’t tell you.....’Sevitam Catiguptam)...the Rule is, “eating (ahara), evacuation ( Nirhara), sexual intercourse (Vihara) and Yoga, should be done in secret by him who knows the Dharma”. Hence Suras (Devas) serve or worship It in secret.


If a person dies, attaining any of the stages of the Kundalini, he is born again having all the advantages of the stages gained, thus, a man dies after leading the SHAKTI to the Anahata, in his next life he begins where he has last left, and leads the SHAKTI onwards from the Anahata.


Yoga is not attainable by those who have not brought their body, speech and mind under control.


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