Archive for January 29th, 2010

From: “Seshagiri Das”
Subject: Svarshastra III
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 07:46:16 +0000
To: am-global@earthlink.net


“Adrira ma’jhe tumi himagiri, pus’per ma’jhe pa’rija’ta…” (P.S. 1685)


Baba, You are the Greatest among the great, the Sweetest among the
sweet. Amongst all the mountains, Your status is like the towering
Himalayas. Amongst all the flowers, You are like the most brilliant
parijata flower.

Baba, with Your own hand You are touching and playing the strings of the
viina of my inner core– which is situated in the depths of my heart. With
Your soft, loving touch You are arousing the divine ecstasy in my mind.

Baba, by Your grace You have brought me on this earth again and again.
And You have inspired me to love You in infinite ways. My whole existence
has always revolved around You; but even then I could never be satiated to
my heart’s full content.

Now You have brought me again on this earth. And by Your grace I have
brought a basketful of love for You. It is in my heart. O’ my Lord, please
remain along with me always– day and night, always.

Among all the things which are dear, You are the Dearest. You are my
Priyatama, the innermost One of my heart. Of all the things which I love,
You are the most dear. You always reside inside my heart.

Baba, the way You are, it is impossible to explain through language. I
do not have any words to express Your glory. So I do sastaunga pranam to
You– thousands of times, infinite times, again and again.

Baba, please keep me at Your lotus feet..


It is well known all around that in order to live and maintain a healthy
existence then at minimum proper air, clean water, and sufficient food is
needed. And in that order also. Because one can survive for days even weeks
without food. And one can live for a couple days without water. But without
air, one can hardly live a few minutes. Hence air is an indispensable
feature of human life. And in the general society each and every community
and civilization readily accepts this fact.

And for them the main response is to live where the air is clean. Or not to
pollute the air where they are living. How far they are successful in this
endeavour is another matter, but they believe and understand that that air
quality of their local living environment is important. That goes without

What they are not aware about though is the most effective or proper way
that air should be exchanged between the human body and the outside
environment. They do not know which orifice to draw in air or which nasal
passage way to use for which activity. Nor do they understand the
significance of air flow within the body. These things are all a mystery to


In our approach of Tantra, however, all this is a well-documented science
and clearly understood. Indeed it was first propounded 7000 years ago by
Lord Shiva and titled as svarshastra– the science of breath control. That
time Lord Shiva put down numerous guidelines about breathing. Such as which
nostril to use when and how to lift heavy items etc. And Baba has added
many new points which relate to our everyday practices from sadhana and
asanas to eating & more. Hence by being aware about this science, the human
body and mind can develop exponentially in all the realms of life:
physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Baba says, “The number of such inhalations and exhalations – on an average,
from 21,000 to 25,000 per day – varies from person to person. The process
of breathing has a great influence on the human mind and self, or soul.”


In the last few weeks others have written about numerous aspects of this
science of breath control known as svarshastra. So a some of those points
may be reviewed in this email plus there are some new points to share with
our general Marga society.

As we know, the flow of air through the right nostril should be dominant
for physical types of activities like playing sports, involving in manual
labor, and also eating.

And the left nostril is for psychic pursuits and psycho-spiritual practices
like sadhana.

And when both nostrils are open then that is also quite good for sadhana.
And of course for lessons like pranayama it is absolutely necessary.


Specifically with regards to eating, if one normally eats dinner at 7:00 pm
then by 6:30 p.m. the right nostril should be the dominant nostril. And all
through the course of eating dinner and then for minimum one hour after
dinner the right nostril must be the dominant nostril and the left should
basically be closed. Hence if one finishes their meal at 8:00 p.m. then the
right nostril must be dominant at least until 9:00 p.m. otherwise one’s
digestion and the system on the whole will be imbalanced– thus inviting
constipation and an uneasy stomach.


Similarly in the morning it is imperative for the right nostril to be open
in order to properly clean the stomach and clear the bowels. Without having
the right nostril open in the morning then surely one will suffer from
constipation. This is a common ailment all around the globe. And if this
happens to any of us, then in that case one will have to activate the right
nostril by using one of the techniques listed in the note section.

In addition there are some asanas to help with the clearing of the
digestive system. One asana that is particularly helpful is bhastrikasana
(bellows pose). That can be done in the morning before attending one’s
personal duties. So this will help.


Of course one need not feel overwhelmed thinking how are they going to live
their life, manage their duties, care for their family, and– on the top–
take time to ensure that the correct nostril is always working. One need
not worry excessively about this because in most cases, the human body
naturally switches dominance between the nostrils, based on one’s daily
routine and what activity one is doing.

Yet at the same time if the body is out of adjustment we should be ready to
intercede– yet to do so takes some awareness.

And as we were beginning to talk about asanas and how some help in aiding
digestion, then we should also be familiar with and remind ourselves about
Baba’s guidelines on this point.


Here are some of Baba’s important guidelines with respect to the science of
svarshastra and the practice of asanas.

The sense is that most of the general asanas and certainly the advanced
asanas can only be if the left nostril is dominating or working in
cooperation with the right nostril.

Baba says, “Practise Asanas only while breath is flowing through the left
nostril or both nostrils; do not practise Asanas when the breath flows only
through the right nostril.” (CC-3, Asana Chapter)

However Baba has listed that certain asanas do not apply to this rule.

Baba says, “There is no restriction of nostrils for the following Asanas:
Padmasana (lotus posture), Siddhasana (Siddha posture), Ardhasiddhasana
(half Siddha posture), Bhojanasana (‘cross-legged sitting posture’),
Viirasana (Viira posture), Diirgha Pranama (long bowing posture), Yogasana
(Yoga posture) and Bhujaungasana (cobra posture).” (CC-3, Asana Chapter)


As sadhakas we should develop the basic habit of checking to see which
nostril is dominating or working exclusively– because checking only takes
a second or two. Simply when breathing the places the fingers underneath
the nostrils and feel which nostril is releasing more air. So checking is
easy to do and can be done anywhere, anytime.

Plus it helps give that special boost in life because how we breath has a
tremendous effect on how we feel and how deeply we are able to engage in
sadhana and how much energy we have for our daily pursuits.\


Baba says, “You are the blessed travelers on that effulgent path. Let the
unique blending of your profound wisdom and intense urge for action rend
asunder the mists…” (Ananda Vanii #71)


Here are the other postings in this series



Baba says, “When doing a heavy job while breathing normally, a person might
have serious difficulties – perhaps one’s limbs might be broken – but in a
state of baddha kumbhaka or purna kumbhaka (with the lungs full), one can
easily do the same work. While doing some over-strenuous activity in a
state of shunya kumbhaka (with the lungs empty) one might even die.” (NSS)

Baba says, “Suppose you are climbing to a high place or lifting a very
heavy load. If you do not follow the system of breathing while lifting the
load, your hands may become painful or your bones dislocated. If you do the
same work in a state of shunya kumbhaka (lungs empty), you will have great
difficulty – you may even collapse. If on the contrary, you perform any
strenuous activity in purna kumbhaka, taking a deep breath, you can easily
do it. All this comes within the scope of that svaravijinana.” (NSS)

Baba says, “You might have read in the Ramayana that Hanuman, by taking a
deep breath, made his body swell and lifted a whole mountain. Although it
is a mythological story, it refers to the science of svaravijinana.” (NSS)


Baba says, “The process of breathing, depending upon whether the breath is
flowing through the right nostril or the left nostril or both nostrils,
influences people in various ways. It was Shiva who determined what kind of
activity should be performed, depending on which nostril the breath was
flowing through, and depending on whether the ida or piungala or susumna
channel was active. He set down specific rules and regulations as to when
one should undertake physical, psychic or spiritual activities. He further
instructed when and in what circumstances one should do asanas, pranayama,
dharana, dhyana, etc. This science, which Shiva invented and developed, was
known as svarashastra or svarodaya (science of breath control).” (NSS, 95
Edn, p.25-6)



Basically there are two techniques for switching over the nostril.
First Technique: If one wants to open the right nostril then first lie down
on the left side of your body. Then gently extend the left arm straight
along the floor past the head. And then bend the left elbow such that the
left hand can be used to prop up the head off the ground. By remaining in
this lying position for a few minutes the right nostril will open and
become the dominant nostril. Similarly the left nostril can be activated by
lying down on the right side.

Second Technique: If there is no room on the floor or if one prefers not to
lie down then this next technique is helpful. First sit down on the floor
with the legs extended and bend the left leg such that the left foot is
flat on the ground and the left knee is pointed up toward the sky. Then
lean the upper body forward and place the left armpit on top left knee and
apply pressure by pressing down on the left shoulder with the right hand.
By this technique of touching the left armpit onto the left knee and
applying pressure, then the right nostril will surely open and become the
dominant nostril. One of the keys to this is to remember that by applying
pressure to one of the armpits in this manner will then open up the nostril
of the opposite side of the body.

Treatment For Hunch-Back and Stiffness

Baba says:
“When calcium builds up and gets deposited in the back it becomes hard.
That is why when people are very young then their backbone is quite
flexible but due to an accumulation of calcium over just a few years then
by the time they are teen-agers already their spinal column has become
stiff and rigid.” (SC-8)

“Doing noakasana, utkata paschimottanasana, and shalabasana etc eliminates
the possibility of developing a hunched back. So those doing hard manual
labor that demands bending the back for extended periods of time should do
these aforementioned asanas on a regular basis. That will prevent them from
suffering from hunch-back in the future.” (SC-8)


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