23rd August, 2011: This update is being made while Maharaj Ji is still on board on his return to India. Hearts beat thick and fast here, anticipating the love and relaxation that exude out from his being. Meanwhile, during the last leg of his stay there, more seeds and samskaras to attain greatest joy possible in human life, were sown in the hearts of all. Maharaj Ji’s talks were centered on practical approaches to going within. He shared in his usual good humour right from everyone’s techniques like chanting Om to the subtleties of kriya yoga. Needless to write that all this took place in an atmosphere that was enveloped in SSKYoga, Agni Kriya Yoga, Sanjivani Kriya – thus bringing new vigour to the weak, health to the diseased, and spiritual growth to the healthy. As Maharaj ji leaves behind Canada, he leaves behind hearts that have been strengthened with purpose and a master’s guidance to steadfastly seek the path that leads to complete fulfillment of the human birth.
<The lectures that Maharaj Ji gave are still under transcription. Please check the Messages Menu for new updates regarding the same. Below we present the transcription of “Science of Breathing”>
Discourse: The Science of Breathing
The real utterance of OM takes place when all the breath has been exhaled and in the vacuum within, one still continues to chant OM with the mind.
<This statement of Maharaj Ji is followed by few utterances of OM and Maharaj Ji’s way of chanting exemplifies what he has just said. Then he invokes the Divine through a couple of mantras and thereafter begins the discourse>.
Today we are talking about ‘how to breathe’. We have talked much on this subject before, but how much so ever we may talk on it, there would always be scope and need to talk on it still further. The reason for this is that the science of breath cannot be fully understood by only mental analysis; the technique of learning to breathe completely can only be mastered through practice. And what would happen with practice? With practice, the entire structure of our body – the muscles, the nerves – would begin to change. Once this transformation is underway in the body, then alone can we say that indeed, now one is learning to breathe fully. The meaning of breathing fully is this: the air that we breathe, the subtle vibrations in prana emanating from it, travel deeper and deeper until they merge into the Brahmarandra. In other words this is nothing but samadhi. When we draw air, we are drawing an immense force within; the force of Parameshwari. This force reaching deeper and deeper would affect the body and also our thoughts, samskaras etc. In the terminology of yoga, this force that we draw within us, when we draw air, is called prana. Within the body, this prana manifests itself in five different forms: prana, vyana, apana, samana, udana.
The air that we draw in through the nostrils and which reaches the lungs and then gets absorbed into the blood is called prana; thereafter it spreads throughout the body and is termed as vyana; the part of prana that becomes active in the lower regions of the body, that cleanses the body of metabolic waste products is apana; this apana then purified (once the wastes are eliminated) begins to rise up. Thus, there are two contra-motions: of the prana, downwards, and the apana, upwards. Where these two motions merge, there the digestive fire is lighted. This same fire, when it is activated to a greater extent is called yogagni. Through the sushumna, this yogagni ascends to the brain as udana. Thus, the cycle gets complete. For the cycle to function fully, the path should be free of blockages. Thus, to breathe fully entails to clear the path of wastes and obstructions so that the cycle runs continuously.
Thus, there is no scope of saying, ‘Well, I have learnt to breathe now.’ At the very outset, there is a knot in the nostrils itself. That is to be purified. Then as the breath-force reaches deeper, it spreads throughout the body. Still deeper, it cleanses the body of the wastes. If it goes still deeper, then yogagni is lighted in the navel. And since the navel is the central hub of nervous system, this yogagni then reaches the subtle nerves causing further cleansing of the body. And if one can reach still deeper, then one enters the realm of samadhi.
Because, our breath is not whole, therefore, a very minuscule part of the energy that is available in the Universe, are we able to channelize into our bodies. And a mere fragment of it reaches the pinnacle of the breath-force cycle into the brain. And therefore we say, we must learn to breathe fully, wholly and completely. We have talked on an earlier occasion about the three step breathing. Whenever we breath-in, the body should expand in all directions just as a balloon does when inflated with air. In the first stage, the chest is fully expanded. At this stage, vyana begins to get active. Then in the second step, the navel is also joined in the expansion and the contraction process. Here, the apana begins to get active. Even if we are able to master till here, our lives would be free of all kinds of diseases. Every individual should master these two levels, atleast. This would bring good health, energy and a deep state of repose to the individual.
<to be continued>