Friday, November 23, 2012

Prana and Mind - Way to Liberation

The flow of prana in the nadi's is directly related to the state of mind. There are three major nadis - ida, pingala and sushumna. Generally the breath shifts between ida and pingala. For a brief duration, it flows through sushumna during the shifting phase. The mind becomes free only when the breath flows through the sushumna. Until then it remains captivated by duality, the good and bad, positive and negative, pleasure and pain... When the breath flows through sushumna, the mind becomes more of an observer. It is the state of meditation. The goal of a yogi is to keep the breath in the sushumna channel.

When the prana flows through ida, you can feel the breath flowing through your left nostril. When the prana flows through pingala, you can feel the breath flowing through the right nostril. When the prana starts moving in sushumna, the breath starts flowing in both the nostrils.

A hatha yogi uses different physical poses to control the flow of breath. Mahamudra is one of the mudras that helps in making the breath flow through sushumna. That is why that mudra is given a very high importance. Long back it was the secret known only to the himalayan yogis. Advanced yogis control the flow of their prana, just with their mind. Keeping the mind in the bridge between the nostrils will help the breath flow through the sushumna.

One cannot be always putting some effort to keep the breath flow through the sushumna. It has to naturally flow through sushumna most of the time without any effort. That stage is achieved when the major energy blocks (granthis) along the sushumna are opened up. That is achieved through yogic practices. Kriya yoga moves the prana in the sushumna to clear the blocks. It is considered one of the quickest methods to achieve great results. Working directly with the subtler body (being aware of the energy body) is my favourite way for clearing the blocks. I consider it a very efficient technique.

When the energy blocks are opened up, the prana starts flowing through the sushumna giving a state of freedom and bliss. It may not free one completely from the worldly suffering immediately. There may be still disease, old age and death. But, a free mind makes you a pure observer. An observing mind does not add further karma as you would lose the sense of doing and you would know things happen through you. Things happen to reduce the karmic burden. It would pave way for liberation.

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