Archive for February 7th, 2013

To: am-global@earthlink.net
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2013 22:06:37
From: “Prabhakar”
Subject: Left & Right Nostrils: How to Utilise for Physical, Psychic, & Spiritual Health #2


“Eso prabhu a’ma’r ghare toma’y a’mi ceyechi…” (P.S. 946)


O’ Prabhu Baba, O’ Parama Purusa, please come in my home – with deep yearning & longing I am calling You. I want You – I want to have You close. Please listen to the longing of my heart which is grief-stricken in Your absence. Baba, only for You I am surviving, my life is for You.

O’ Divine Entity, You are the grand lighthouse on my dark path; and, You are the healing warmth of love for my broken heart. O’ Parama Purusa, You are the quintessence of the sandalwood paste of my forehead; O’ Lord You are pure and filled with the divine effulgence.

You are that type of pure joy & happiness which one feels after recovering something very precious that was lost long ago. O’ Lord, by Your grace I have understood You – Your essence. O’ Parama Purusa, please come close in my heart. You are my most dear. For You I have kept nectar filled in my heart.

O’ Divine Entity, O’ Baba, please grace me by coming close…


~ Part 2 ~

(Note: This is the second letter in this series; a link to the initial letter has been appended below. – Eds)

In Ananda Marga, we know that proper breath control and the correct use of nostrils plays a vital role in our physical well-being, mental health, and spiritual growth. From proper digestion to the sublime aspect of our spiritual practices, the science of svarshastra (breath control / science of brearthing) has a significant effect. And this follow-up letter on this important topic explores more about all of this.


In the general society, little is said about the science of svarshastra (i.e. science of breathing). Common members of society just go on with their days unaware about the flow of the air in their body. But we know in His Ananda Marga philosophy Baba places much importance on right breathing, and He gives particular instruction as to what types of actions correspond with each of the nostrils.

In quick review, as a basic rule, we know that when the body is engaged in physical works – such as running, walking, digging a well, and cooking, etc – then the right nostril should be the dominant nostril. That means the air should be flowing predominantly through the right nostril.

Included within this category is the process of eating. Food should also be taken when the air is flowing freely and predominantly through the right nostril. And for proper digestion half-an-hour prior to taking food, during the meal itself, and for the first hour after eating, during all these times the right nostril should be clear and managing most of the air flow into and out of the body. Only in this way will the body will be able to digest the food properly.

Hence, on the whole, all physical works are done using the right nostril.

In contrast during more psychic or mental types of activities like studying, reading, memorizing, doing svadhyaya etc, then the left nostril should be dominant. That means the air should be flowing primarily through the left nostril during these engagements. Included in this is the drinking of fluids. During that time also, i.e. while drinking, the left nostril should be controlling most or all of the air flow.

And when both the nostrils are open then this is very good for sadhana and allowing the kundalini to rise up.

Although it should also be understood that many lessons of meditation can also be done when the left nostril is dominant.


Most of the time this switching over of the nostrils happens quite naturally – that is to say the body does this automatically, most of the time. So generally we will find that this is all going on properly. Even then it is extremely important for us to be aware about what is happening because due to a change in routine or for any reason it can happen that the correct nostril is not working. In which case we will have to switch the nostrils ourselves otherwise that will only invite more problems. And below this technique will be discussed.

First however is a quick look at the inner science of the functioning of the nostrils.


Within our bodies there are three nadiis or subtle nerve channels: (a) Ida, (b) Piungala, and (c) Susumna.

And these three nadiis run from the muladhara cakra to the ajina cakra. And where they all cross is known as the cakra.

Ananda Marga Philosophy says, “The cakras are situated at the intersecting point of ida, sus’umna’ and piungala.” (1)

Thus these nadiis are deeply linked with the inner functioning of the body, the human psyche, and with our spiritual lives.

And, in addition, each nadii is intrinsically related with a particular type of breath control.

For example when ida nadii is dominant or active then the breath flows through the left nostril; when the piungala is active then the air is flowing primarily through the right nostril; when the susumna is active, then both nostrils are open.

Thus when one nadii is dominating then that corresponding nostril is open. So the whole inner science of breath control is based on the dominance of the nadiis – when one or another or both have an active role.

Thus accordingly – depending on the nadii – that type of work or activity can be done.


Here then are some of Baba’s important guidelines about what can be done:

Baba says, “Take solid food when the right nostril (Piungala Na’d’ii) is predominant.” (2)

So the right nostril is used for taking solid food and doing physical work.

Baba says, “When your left nostril (Ida’ Na’d’ii) is active you should take liquid food.” (3)

Hence the left nostril is used when drinking and for doing mental work.

Baba says, “When your Id’a’ Na’d’ii is working predominantly, you should utilize the time for your sadhana.” (4)

And sadhana is to be done when the ida nadii alone is open or when it is functioning in cooperation with the right nostril.

In that manner Baba specifically guides us that our actions must correspond with the dominance of a particular nadii.


So our awareness about all this is highly needed and useful in our practical lives. Because the entire theory svarshastra is one grand science and not just some dream or menagerie.

When our left nostril is dominating then our thinking will be optimal. And when the right nostril is open then digestion will be proper and our body will be ready to do work. And when the left nostril or both nostrils are open then that is especially advantageous for sadhana.

But if due to a change in routine, sickness, or for whatever reason, if the proper nadii is not dominating for the appropriate activity, then that will create serious problems.

If the right nostril is not open while eating food then it is sure that digestion will not be proper. And that will invite the diseases like acidity, indigestion (dyspepsia) etc.

And when reading or reflecting, if the left nostril is not dominating, then one’s whole thinking pattern and mental processes will be sporadic and imbalanced etc.

Hence our awareness of breath control and which nostril is open is very important to know about.

Because if ever the wrong nostril is dominating and one realises it, then that person can do something to switch over to the dominance of the other nostril. And thus effect positive change in the life – either physically, psychically, or spiritually.


Basically there are three 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. Or keep the left arm lengthened and lie parallel to the earth by resting your left ear and that side of the head on your left arm. 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 press the left toes into the earth and lift the left heel slightly in the air. Once this position is attained, then lean the upper body forward towards the left side and place the left armpit on top left knee and apply pressure by pressing down on the left shoulder with the right hand. Strong pressure must be applied so the left armpit is being firmly pushed into the left knee. Remain here a few minutes. By this technique of touching the left armpit onto the left knee and applying pressure, 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.

Third Technique: This is performed from a stand position. Start in an erect stance. Raise the right arm into the air and lean the body to the left. The bending of the body should begin at the naval region and the upper torso bends accordingly. It is a deep bend to the left side with the right arm up in the air and sloped over the head and leaning to the left. The left arm will just hang limply along the left side of the body. The position resembles one of the aspect of padahastasana. Remain here for a few minutes. By leaning to the left in this manner – with the left arm along the side of the body and the right arm arching of the head to the left – the left nostril will open, or become dominant. To make the right nostril dominant perform the entire sequence to the right side.

Final note: The body has particular needs and if you aim to open the nostril that is most conducive to the action the body must perform, then the nostril will switch quite easily. For instance, suppose you have just eaten and the right nostril is not open, yet it should be open for proper digestion. Then lying on the left side will easily open the right nostril as the body recognises that that is the nostril that should be open. However, if you have just eaten and already the right nostril is dominant and you try to switch it to the left nostril, it may not go because the body has a strong inclination to keep the right nostril open.

If it is not clear or you have more questions, then please write.


In brief it is always best to sleep on the left side because in general sleep slows down the digestion process, in which case it is important to keep the right nostril open by lying down on the left side. Doing so will help with digestion. Hence, even our sleep cycle is linked with the system of nadiis.

To continue, a bad position for sleeping is is to lie flat on one’s back. Even worse is to sleep lying on the right side. The absolute worst position for sleeping is sleeping on the stomach; that should be completely avoided – it is unhealthy. All this was told by Baba Himself in various reporting sessions. But in particular one time He told all these points concerning sleep when publicly correcting the way one Wt was sleeping.

With regards the science of svarshastra (i.e. science of breathing), sleeping on the left side is most helpful as it opens the right nostril for better digestion.


Overall then being familiar with the science of svarshastra (i.e. science of breathing) and following Baba’s special guidelines in this regard will lead to the all-round development in all the spheres of life. Because this science of breath control has a deep seeded effect and is one essential factor happening in each and every moment of our lives. So although this science is basically ignored by the common society, in the life of a sadhaka it is extremely important and meaningful.


Here is a summary of Baba’s dynamic and diverse guidelines on svsharshastra (i.e. science of breath control). The below points have been organised according to the nature of human activity and engagement.


“Moreover, 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 id́á or piungalá or suśumná 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 ásanas, práńáyáma, dhárańá, dhyána, etc. This science, which Shiva invented and developed, was known as svara shástra or svarodaya [science of breath control]. Prior to Him, the world was not aware of this science. Shiva also gave clear instructions how this science could be applied by people in the practical field of action. In fact, this svara shástra did help the people later to solve many problems in their mundane as well as spiritual lives.” (5)


“When your Id’a’ Na’d’ii is working predominantly, you should utilize the time for your sadhana.” (6)

And sadhana is to be done when the ida nadii alone is open or when it is functioning in cooperation with the right nostril.


“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.” (7)

“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.” (8)

“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.” (9)


“Take solid food when the right nostril (Piungala Na’d’ii) is predominant.” (10)

“When your left nostril (Ida’ Na’d’ii) is active you should take liquid food.” (11)

“It is good to take food when the main flow of breath is through the right nostril. Even after food, it is good if the flow of breath mainly through the right nostril continues for some time. Because that is the time when the digestive glands start secreting a sufficient quantity of fluids to help digestion.” (12)

“During mealtime and for an hour thereafter the breath should be flowing through the right nostril.” (13)

“It is desirable to take food or to defecate when the main flow of breath is through the right nostril. Even after food, it is desirable if the flow of breath mainly through the right nostril continues for some time. Because that is the time when the digestive glands start secreting a sufficient quantity of fluids to help digestion.” (14)


“As with dyspepsia, during mealtime and for an hour thereafter breath should be flowing through the patient’s right nostril. At the time of severe colic pain, the dominant flow of breath should be changed from the nostril through which it was flowing at the time the pain started to the other nostril. Allowing the bile to accumulate by not taking something when one is hungry should never be permitted, because in that event the undigested bile itself will become the cause of acidity.” (15)


“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.” (16)

“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 (snake posture).” (17)

“For all those asanas where there is no restriction of nostrils, there is no restriction on food either.” (18)


“[Sadashiva] also invented sha’stras; that is, He found the link between the exhalation and inhalation of breath…This is called svarashastra.” (19)

In Him,


“This entire science of svarashastra is highly significant and occurs deep within the subtle processes of the body. All this occurs within the internal workings of the human structure. Rather it all happens automatically– deep within all this is going on.

Because when the body is in a state of balance and health then automatically the proper nostril will be working according to the type of activity one is involved in. If anyone is not accustomed to or less aware about this, then at any given time they can test which nostril is working by placing their finger(s) just below the two nostrils while exhaling. Then one can feel the air flow and it becomes quite evident which nostril is dominating.

So again, this all happens quite naturally when the body is healthy.

The purpose of letter is to bring awareness to times when the body is not functioning properly and empower one with the ability to make the body healthy and balanced by changing the dominant nostril. This is one very helpful and practical technique.

And this applies not just to physical health but psycho-spiritual well-being also. For instance, if sadhana is not pointed and the mind is running hither and thither, then check to see if the left nostril is dominant. If not, then make it dominant by lying on the right side for a few minutes. Once the left nostril becomes dominant or both nostrils are active, return to your sadhana and most likely you will experience a dramatic shift in the quality of your meditation.

So this is quite practical on many fronts.”



1. Tattva Kaoumudi -2
2. Carycarya-2
3. Carycarya-2
4. Carycarya-2
5. Namah Shivaya Shantaya, 95 Edn, p. 25-6
6. Caryacarya-2
7. Namah Shivaya Shantaya
8. Namah Shivaya Shantaya
9. Namah Shivaya Shantaya
10. Caryacarya-2
11. Caryacarya-2
12. Caryacarya-3
13. Yogic Treatment, p. 8
14. Yogic Treatment – Dyspepsia (Indigestion)
15. Yogic Treatments, Acidity
16. Caryacarya Part III, chapter 8, pt #6
17. Caryacarya Part III, chapter 8, pt #19
18. Caryacarya Part III, chapter 8, pt #20
19. Song Dance And Instrumental Music

The section below demarcated by asterisks is an entirely different topic,
completely unrelated to the above letter. It stands on its own as a point of interest.

Can You Forgive Those Who Altered Baba’s Discourses

Baba says, “What is forgiveness? It means to remain free from vindictive attitudes towards anyone. Suppose someone has done something inimical to you, you, in turn, need not be revengeful or vindictive towards him or her. It is of course quite natural for an ordinary person to take revenge against someone who has done an inimical action: there’s nothing wrong if an ordinary person does that. But one who is virtuous, that is, one who has risen slightly above the rest, cannot act in this way. He or she should behave otherwise. How should a virtuous person behave? If one is satisfied that the wrong-doer’s habit has been rectified, one may pardon him or her. If someone is perpetrating atrocities on thousands of Ananda Margiis, however, one has no individual right to excuse the wrongdoer because he or she has harmed thousands of innocent people. But if a person commits atrocities on me alone, and if I am satisfied that his or her nature has been transformed, it would be proper for me as a dhármika to show forgiveness. However, if his or her nature has not been rectified, my forgiveness may result in that person becoming even more of a reckless scoundrel and in such a case forgiveness would be considered as a sign of my weakness. This is the dhármik interpretation of kśamá. That is, neither is it proper for me to blindly forgive a wrongdoer, nor is it proper for me to blindly punish a wrongdoer. We should think properly before we act. If someone goes against the collective interest of the society, a collective decision should be made whether the wrong-doer should be forgiven or not, keeping in mind whether he or she has already rectified the bad habit. No individual can take a decision in this regard arbitrarily” (Ananda Vacanamrtam – 4, The Ten Characteristics of a Dhármika)

Note: We cannot forgive those who manipulated Ananda Marga scripture. We cannot forgive those who imposed the dogma that all discourses and books were translated from the original Bengali. We cannot forgive those who curtailed and eradicated margii rights. We cannot forgive those who committed these very atrocities yet do not show any signs of remorse or repentance. The reason is that these are social crimes – they harmed Ananda Marga society – so no one has the right to forgive them.

We all know who these people are – everyone is aware about who committed these acts. But no single individual can forgive them because their sinful activities harmed the society.

Forgiveness is only for individual life. If someone harmed you then and you see they have rectified their ways – then you can forgive them. But if they did not change their ways, do not forgive them. Otherwise wrongdoers will gain greater incentive to do wrong.

Those who forgive such unrepentant culprits are, unfortunately, ignorant and committing sin.

If someone commits an act that goes against society and collective interest, then no one person can forgive them. Rather an assigned body of leaders or representatives of the collective must review the case.

Those who manipulated Ananda Marga scripture and tore down margii rights have done irreparable damage to society. Those who committed these heinous acts are now suffering from diseases and they are now out of power. But that is not cause to forgive them. Baba’s teachings of forgiveness are very clear and these people are not worthy of forgiveness, not even close.

There are ten wonts of dharma – right use of forgiveness (ks’ama) is the second.

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