Archive for Insight In Yoga

Dashamdwara and the way to Moksha

Because the tenth opening is situated at the top it is called Utterayana (Upper Path). The other ways are located below and these lower ways are named as ‘Dakshinayana’. It is belief that giving up life through Utterayana leads to higher stages and giving up life through Dakshinayana takes one to lower stages after death. Without knowing the secrets of the prana, some scholars have associated Utterayana and Dakshinayana with the motion of the sun. It is written that if the sun is towards the North then it is Utterayana ad if it is in South it is Dakshinayana. Those who give up life during Utterayana attain higher stages; otherwise they get into lower stages. If this idea is accepted, then countless living beings die when the sun is in Utterayana and similarly in the Dakshinayana also. Then the deeds of the individual and the practice of Yoga are rendered of no value.

Let this be remembered that among the nine openings the upper opening have comparatively greater importance than the lower ones. Therefore, through which opening one shall leave this body is decided according to ones deeds, emotions, thoughts, desires, practice of Yoga and samskaras. Hence to get to a better state after death, it is extremely important to be cautious about the deeds, thoughts etc throughout the life.

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Importance of the Dashamdwara

The importance of  this opening is unique. The gate always remains closed and a common person knows nothing about it. Only the Yogis understand its importance and they also know the method to open it. When a Yogi awakens the Kundalini and raises the prana up to this opening, it is the final destination. If one opens it and leaves the body by discharging prana through this opening, one gets to Kevalya or moksha (the union with the absolute). Only the great Yogis can leave the body this way and achieve the ultimate aim of life (moksha). All the rest give up life through other openings.

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Navadwara: Nine Openings

The nine openings of the body are generally known to everyone. These gates perform different processes of the body and help in gathering knowledge and discharging wastes. All these openings often remain open and keep doing their respective job themselves. These nine opening are two ears, two eyes, two nostrils, one mouth, rectum and genitals. the ears perform the hearing process and discharge some waste also from within. From eyes too the wastes come out and they see also. The nostrils also discharge enough waste and prana-vayu (breathing) and smelling processes are carried out. The mouth also discharges some wastes and carries out the processes of speech and eating food, and the organs for discharging urine and stool are main openings for discharging the wastes of the body. All these openings derive power from head only to carry out their respective functions.

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Dashamdwara – Sahasrara: Introduction and Location

In Yoga head is known as the most important part of body. It is the chief of all the parts. All the physical, mental and spiritual processes are undertaken here. All the prana-nadis (nerves) originate from here. All the parts of the body, rather every atom and molecule derives energy from this. Its weakness hampers the process of whole body and by strengthening it all physical and mental actions of life go on extremely systematically.

 

Sahasrara Chakra

 

In the scriptures of Yoga, knowing its importance the head has been given the top place above the shat chakras, and "Sahasrara dal kamal" (thousands of nadis) have been imagined here, which means that countless number of nadis originate from here. The light and color of this center is beyond description and the lord of this is the supreme power (Parbrahama), Who is greater than the creator of the universe. In the physical form Shri Sadguru (Yogi Guru) is enthroned here. It is located in the center of the skull and is called Dashamdwara.

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Categories of Samadhi

In a state of Samadhi the Chitta, the consciousness sets in ‘Dhayeya’ (focal point, which we bear in mind and concentrate upon). Hence the difference in the states of Samadhi is according to the relation between Dhayeya and the consciousness.

  1. Savitarka and Nirvitarka Samadhi
    1. Savitarka Samadhi: When the name and the form of Dhayeya remains in the consciousness of a Sadhaka, such a state is called Savitarka Samadhi.
    2. Nirvitarka Samadhi: The state in which consciousness is completely dissolved in Dhayeya and loses sense of the form and name also is called a Nirvitarka Samadhi.

    In Savitarka and Nirvitarka Samadhis Dhayeya is in the physical (sathula) form. But when the Dhayeya is not in the physical form but in subtle form (sukshama), the names of the Samadhi change in that case such as:

  2. Savichara and Nirvichara Samadhi
    1. Savichara Samadhi: The state in which Dhayeya is in subtle form but the form and name is retained in the consciousness is called the Savichara Samadhi.
    2. Nirvichara Samadhi: When the consciousness is free from the thought of name and form and completely lost in Dhayeya, that state is known as Nirvichara Samadhi. It has special importance. It cleanses the inner-self completely and one attains the "Ritambhara Pragya / Prajna", which means divine realization of the Absolute truth and there is absolutely no trace of ignorance.

    With the attainment of the "Ritambhara Pragya" the Samskaras (imprints on mind of deeds of various births) are completely cleansed and no new imprints are formed.

  3. Nirbeeja Samadhi: When the "Ritambhara Pragya" also ends, in other words, when this stage is also surpassed then a unique Samadhi is attained and the consciousness gets into an unexplainable stage, which is named as Nirbeeja Samadhi.
  4. Dharma Megha Samadhi: In Nirbeeja Samadhi the consciousness is in the state of "Oneness with the Absolute" as one experiences the knowledge of the Absolute, such a state is called the ‘Dharma Megha Samadhi’. It means that as the earth gets water from rains in a natural way, similarly the Yogi is constantly showered with knowledge of the Absolute. At this stage all the deeds and troubles come to an end and the Nirbeeja Samadhi takes place. All the stages of Samadhi before Nirbeeja Samadhi are the types of Sabeeja Samadhi.

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Four Steps towards Samadhi

  1. First steps – Yama and Niyama
    1. Yama: Yama means restraint. It has five parts: Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmcharya, Aparigraha.
      1. Ahimsa (Non-Violence): Ahimsa means not to trouble any living being either by mind, speech or deeds.
      2. Satya (Truth): To have a firm faith in the truth, truthful speech and truthful behavior. Where mind, speech and deeds are different, the truth is missing there.
      3. Asteya (Non-stealing): It means not to steal and to be satisfied with whatever is owned. Anything that belongs to others should not be taken by mind, speech or deeds.
      4. Brahmcharya (Celibacy): It means try to concentrate all thoughts in God, restrain yourself from luxuries by mind, speech and deeds. Except your own wife every elderly woman is to be considered like mother, woman of equal age as sister and young ones as a daughter.
      5. Aparigraha (Not to accumulate in excess): It means not to think about the wealth of the others and be content with whatever you have.
    2. Niyama: Niyama means pledge or oath, in other words a self-discipline. Whatever is heard in the pravachanas (sermons) of the Guru, to follow the same strictly is called Niyama. It too has five parts: Shaucha,  Santosha,Tapas, Swadhayaye, Ishawara Pranidana.
      1. Shaucha (Purity): It means purity of body, mind, speech, and deeds.
      2. Santosha (Contentment): To be satisfied with whatever is owned. In no way the mind should be allowed to stray into materialism of the world.
      3. Tapas (Control over senses): To train or discipline the sense and bearing of hunger, thirst, hot and cold weather, and benevolence to every living being.
      4. Swadhayaye (Study of Scriptures): Concentrate thoughts in the self, study and follow the scriptures.
      5. Ishawara Pranidana (Trust in God): It means to have a firm faith in God.

    With the practice of above-mentioned Yama and Niyama person cleanses and purifies his mind and becomes worthy of reaching the second step of Samadhi, the Pratyahara.

  2. Second step – Pratyahara: When all the senses of the knowledge (eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin) are trained to be free from their individual infatuations or obsessions and submit to the control of mind and when mind becomes introvert, this is known as a state of Pratyahara. It needs a long practice indeed.
  3. Third step – Dharana: The third step to the Samadhi is Dharana (To attach the conscience to one place or point is called Dharana). When the introvert mind achieves the aim with the blessings of the Satguru (Guru), it is known as the state of Dharana.

    In this state there are three different centers before the mind, Dhyata (Sadhaka himself), Dhayeya (focal point) and the effort. Dharana too needs a practice for a long time like Pratyahara. If one tries to reach Dharana with immature Pratyahara, it would be a miserable failure. The same principle is applicable to the next stage also from Dharana. The aim of Dharana (affixing mind to a point) is also achieved with the blessings of the Guru only. In Dharana, Shradha that is devotion to the Guru, Aastha, which is faith in the focal point, and self-confidence are of utmost importance.

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Samadhi (Trance)

Samadhi is the highest state of mental concentration that a person can achieve while still bound to the body and which unites him with the highest reality. It is a state of profound and utterly absorptive contemplation of the Absolute that is undisturbed by desire, anger, or any other ego-generated thought or emotion. It is a state of joyful calm, or even of rapture and beatitude. Samadhi is regarded as the climax of all spiritual and intellectual activity, which is the ultimate aim of Yoga.

 

Yoga has two branches, Hatha Yoga and Raj Yoga. Hatha yoga has seven parts:

  1. Shat karma (Six Cleansings)
  2. Asana (Postures)
  3. Mudras
  4. Pranayama (breathing exercises)
  5. Pratyahara (Control of senses)
  6. Dhyana (Meditation)
  7. Samadhi (a state of contemplation or trance)

 

Raj yoga has eight parts (Asthanga yoga):

  1. Yama
  2. Niyama
  3. Asana (Postures)
  4. Pranayama (breathing exercises)
  5. Pratyahara (Control of senses)
  6. Dharana
  7. Dhyana (Meditation)
  8. Samadhi (a state of contemplation or trance)

The first five parts are called external aids to Yoga; the remaining three are purely mental or internal aids. As the ultimate goal of both the branches is the Samadhi, so a reader may find a few aspects common in both the branches. To achieve the state of Samadhi, a sadhaka has to go through/climb up the four steps as described in next article.

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Yogic Concept of Hridaya

According to Yoga, spine is the place for mental concentration where shat chakras exist within the Sushumna Nadi (nerve). It has been named Hridaya in the Yogic scriptures. Literal meaning of Hridaya is the central part. The Sushumana Nadi in spine is the central part of body. Therefore, it is defined as Hridaya.

 

In the Yogic scriptures wherever the word Hridaya is mentioned or sadhakas are told to concentrate in Hridaya it refers to the concentration of consciousness / mind only in the Sushumna. In a book, Yoga Swarodya, it is mentioned that Sushumna Nadi where all the chakras are situated is the only Hridaya and it is unanimously accepted in all the scriptures. A physical thing (heart) is not the Hridaya as understood by many.

 

Therefore, sadhaka of Yoga should consider the Sushumna Nadi only as the Hridaya instead of heart. We can say that the creation of the shat-chakras, is the science of body based on the intuitive knowledge of experienced Yogis. With the constant practice of meditation on these chakras one can attain the higher planes of Yoga and Spiritualism.

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A basic mantra

A basic mantra has been imagined for each chakra and the mantra helps in meditation of that chakra.

 

No. Shat Chakra Basic Mantra
1. Mooladhara Chakra L
2. Swadhisthana Chakra V
3. Manipura Chakra R
4. Anahata Chakra Y
5. Vishudha Chakra H
6. Agya / Ajna Chakra O

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Locations of the Shat Chakras

Another important point here is that these chakras are situated in the spine and to imagine the exact location is difficult. Therefore, the nature has created specific points opposite to the chakras on the front side. The chakras exist exactly behind these points in the spine.

 

No. Shat Chakra Symbolic place
1. Mooladhara Chakra Rectum
2. Swadhisthana Chakra Genitals
3. Manipura Chakra Navel
4. Anahata Chakra Center point of the lower chest
5. Vishudha Chakra Center of the upper chest
6. Agya / Ajna Chakra Center of the forehead

 

To concentrate on these chakras the yogis have named them Kamal (lotus) and every lotus has a different number of petals (nadis), which originate from each chakra.

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