Important: some dos and donts for lunar eclipse (To my students I will send you more detailed personalized ritual details)
Dos and Don’ts for Lunar Eclipse: Following the Ancient Rituals and Purifying the Self
During a lunar or solar eclipse, certain regions of the world are affected, and to honor this event, we must follow the prescribed rituals as laid out in the scriptures. Our esteemed gurus advocate for embracing the sanctity of the occasion and abiding by the following practices:
The Shikshãpatri, a revered text, commands us to stop all activities at the time of the eclipse and chant the name of God in a purified state. After the eclipse, householders must bathe with their clothes on and then donate according to their means. The Purãnas tells the story of how the eclipse came into existence, narrating how during the churning of the ocean by the gods and demons, the nectar of immortality was produced, and a demon named Rãhu, disguising himself as a god, drank it. Thus, when God beheaded Rãhu, he became a planet, and during certain times of the year, he holds the sun and moon by his mouth (Grahan), causing solar and lunar eclipses.
The rules to follow before, during, and after an eclipse are as follows: Before the eclipse, one must not eat for 12 hours before the solar eclipse begins and for 9 hours before the lunar eclipse begins. During this period, one must not offer meals to God, but one can perform arti, pray, and sing devotional songs. If the solar eclipse occurs before sunrise, one may see the eclipse only after the sun has risen, and in this case, one must not eat after sunset the previous night.
During the eclipse, one must sit in one place, chant the name of God, and sing devotional songs. One must also observe a waterless fast while the eclipse is in progress.
After the eclipse, one must bathe immediately with clothes on and preferably with cold water. The Satsangijivan recommends offering donations according to one’s income, as this expresses one’s joy at the release of the Sun and/or Moon god from Rãhu’s grasp. Sadhus rejoice by performing puja.
To remain pure during the eclipse, one must get rid of extra cooked food, and not touch anything such as clothes, food, personal items, etc. After the eclipse, one must not touch anyone, and if one has touched anything by mistake, it must be purified by washing or by sprinkling water over it.
It is crucial to take a bath after an eclipse as darkness during the eclipse symbolizes impurity. Once the eclipse is over, light returns to the earth, and to rejoice, one must cleanse the impurity that darkness brought, worship God, and offer donations to express happiness.
We must also remember that we are all engulfed by an eclipse in the form of mãy, and purifying ourselves on this occasion will enable us to transcend this illusory world and reach the ultimate goal of yoga. Let us embrace the sacredness of the lunar eclipse and follow these ancient rituals to purify ourselves and connect with the divine.
Maha Mantra Om Namah Shivay “The Maha Panchakshari Mantra” is the great Vedic mantra to achieve awakenings, enlightenment and moksh. Many believe that this 5 Letter Mantra had the power to even Save you from Hell and the affects of bad karma.
Om Namah Shivay mantra generates a very high energy. These waves enhance human intelligence to the optimum level. Chanting Om Namah Shivay slowly during Meditation gives Harmony, Concentration, and strength.
Rig Veda defined Supreme being as Maharudra. Bhagwan Shiv ji symbolizes the Maharudra (रुदन रोकने वाला ) means the one who wipes out the tears. If a yogi chants the mantra with true devotion towards Sachidanand, their mind, body, and soul go through the transcendental phase, and they can even switch to higher dimensions of reality .
The Mantra ॐ नमः शिवाय:
Direct Translation: Adoration to Bhagwan shiv ji
The mantra focuses on Bhagwan shiv ji who is understood to be the god of all yogis and the god of yoga along with being the god of time and also the god who gives moksh. The repetition of the mantra is such that the last syllable of the mantra is the doorway to Shiva-consciousness, moving from the end to a new beginning.
Om Namah Shivay is Panchakshari mantra excluding Omkar (primary cosmic vibration) . Namah Shivay attached with the five essential elements of the materialistic world NA – MA -SI – VA – YA.
Na Earth Element (Prithvi Tattva) Ma Water Element (Jal Tattva) Si Fire element (Agni Tattva) Va Air element (Vayu Tattva) Ya Space element (Akasha Tattva)
ॐ नमः शिवाय mantra chanting brings transcendental changes to the body of the chanter. Yogis all around the world are busy in chanting the auspicious mantra through which they have increased their abilities to infinite levels.
It means that those particular yogis have connected themselves with the primary nature of the existence which is Prakriti or sublime energy flow. Goddess Shakti resides in that energy flow and takes you to the Shiva. It is a remarkable ancient science of Yogis based on logistic realities. If chanted correctly, mantra helps chanter to get connected with Bhagwan shiv ji. Connecting to Shiva means going to self-healing mode. It is the ultimate state of the eternal blissfulness.
Yogeshwara Shiv is Mahadev, in simple terms supreme god of gods. The one who doesn’t have any start and end. Everything emerges from him and in the end, gets dissolve in him. Therefore, Shiva is unique; there is no one like Shiv, the immortal one, Unconquerable, the greatest Aghor, infinite, omniscient, greatest transformer, Adi Purusha.
The benefits of chanting Om Namah Shivay
The Mantra is Moksha Giver and stabilizes your thoughts – The Chanting of Om Namah Shivay is not just moksha giving mantra; It also enlightens, our inner thoughts process and improves blood circulation on the neurons. In medical term, this concept is called neuroplasticity .
Mantra makes you feel Light – Lord Shiva is highly auspicious, When someone chants Om Namah Shivay, At that moment he becomes AGHORI. Ghor means extreme and, AGhor (Not Ghor) means the one who is not extreme. That’s how Shiva makes you feel light inside your heart. A significant vibration originates in the subconsciousness part of the mind which gives the feeling of internal ecstasy. Om Namah Shivay mantra benefits that the Continuous repetition of the divine mantra is the way toward perennial joy.
Om Namah Shivay helps in controlling Senses and anxieties Neelkantham is Vairagya founder (Means founder of Dispassion). Shiva Kaam Bhasmam (Destroyer of eroticism ) makes you qualify to control your senses and nerves. The deity of eroticism (Kaam Dev) will not influence you.
Om Namah Shivay gives calmness to your mind Shiva holds moon crescent on his head. It impacts chanter body When somebody starts Om Namah Shivaay chanting. It cools his/her mind and helps them to get peace of mind, persistence, and calmness especially when everything is going against you.
Om Namah Shivay increases the happiness chemical which is known as GABA chemical. Lack of Gaba chemical reduces the natural sleep within humans. People who lack such chemical always feel exhausts. The frontal area of the human brain is in the Orbito prefrontal cortex which is responsible for making decisions, problem-solving and awakening the consciousness gets charged.
Students get the immense benefit of improving memory power after the Om Namah Shivaya chanting. Therefore if your kid is suffering from low memory power, advice them to chant the mantra for 15 mins every day. Chanting Om Namah Shivay mantra gives you eternal joy and the great Bhagwan shiv ji becomes your protector, Every kind of panic, stress, depression, insanity starts fading slowly, when you begin Om Namah Shivay chanting. Himself becomes the protector of the chanter.
Om Namah Shivay mantra makes you free from your animal passion and rude behavior. It grows positive energy in you which improves your body metabolism and reduces the toxicity of the body. You will start feeling the reduction in your aggression and anger. These changes will require 25-30 days. You require to practice mantra with high reverence on Shiv at least two times daily. Slowly – Slowly Internal and external Changes start appearing It activates the inactive neurons of the brain cell. Your body and skin start getting glow and shine by tightening up your pores automatically in a natural way. Om Namah Shivaya is a powerful maha-mantra.
The Continuous 108-time repetition is more beneficial to get Siddhis and It is helpful in awakening Kundalini Yoga Shakti.
Health Benefits of Om Namah Shivay •improves your blood circulation and stabilizes heartbeat. •Mantra can even enhance your blood purification system. •Chanting the mantra also purifies your rationalizing process which improves your physiological as well as intellectual well-being. •It also heals your sorrows, emotional pain and takes you out of the darkness and show the positivity of life. •It also reduces the chances of heart strokes and organ failure.
It spreads positivity in your house Worshipping Shiva in the home brings happiness into the family. Shiva & Shakti both get established in that house. You start understanding others problem and becomes ever ready to give helping hand to others. Moreover that, Moral values will start growing in the kids. Positive vibes will get emitting from that house and from the people living in that house. Chanting Om Namah Shivaya makes the law of attraction works better in your favor.
The Power of Om Namah Shivaya is that it can free you from your past sins. The Mantra helps you to invoke [ AtmyaGyan – Atman ] What most of the people don’t know is that almighty Shiva is known for his simplicity and guiltless nature. This mantra helps you to get connected with supreme consciousness. Every substance including deities is the manifestation of Shiva’s energy. Chanting Om Namah Shivay is like worshipping the primary elements of nature means invoking your inner Shiva.
Welcome to the sacred knowledge about the importance of 108. The mala, consisting of 108 beads, holds great importance in the practice of yoga and meditation. Although there are numerous explanations for the number 108, none are superior or inferior to the others.
108 is a Harshad number, a number that is divisible by the sum of its digits. The Sanskrit term for Harshad is “great joy.” In mortals, there are said to be 108 earthly desires and 108 lies. The chakras, energy intersections in the body, have 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra, and the path to self-realization lies in Sushumna, one of the energy lines leading to the crown chakra.
The Sri Yantra, which has 108 points, as well as the human body, has 54 intersections where three lines meet, each having shiva and shakti aspects.
There are 108 human delusions or forms of ignorance, and 108 marmas in the subtle body. When reciting mantras on the mala, it is essential to remember the mantra with sincerity, devotion, feeling, and full attention.
In the practice of counting the number of repetitions of the mala, 100 beads are counted as completed, with the remaining 8 beads being offered to god and guru and used to cover errors or omissions.
Some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to the past, present, and future. The numbers 1, 0, and 8 have symbolic meanings, with 1 representing higher truth, 0 representing emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, and 8 representing infinity or eternity.
The diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the earth, while the average distance of the moon from the earth is 108 times the diameter of the moon.
Lastly, 108 is believed to refer to the number of Hindu deities, with each having 108 names. It is also said that there are 108 paths to god, and 108 styles of meditation. Let the knowledge of 108 inspire your spiritual practice and guide you on your journey toward self-realization.
om tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭivardhanam urvārukamiva bandhanānmṛtyor mukṣīya maamṛtāt
The Mahamrityunjaya Mantra is a powerful chant that is believed to have originated from Rigveda. It is considered to be one of the most potent mantras for healing and is chanted to invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva, the three-eyed Lord who sees everything, both visible and invisible. The mantra seeks the Lord’s protection from disease, death, and all forms of suffering. The mantra begins with the sacred syllable “Om,” which is a mystical symbol of the universe and the divine. The word “Tryambakam” refers to Lord Shiva, who is known as the three-eyed one. The next line, “Yajamahe,” is an expression of worship, adoration, and reverence.
“Sugandhim” means fragrant and is a reference to the Lord’s sweet-smelling nature. “Pushthivardhanam” refers to the Lord’s nourishing and life-giving qualities. The Lord is seen as a good gardener who takes care of all his creations, making them thrive and prosper.
The line “Urvārukamiva” compares the Lord’s protective powers to that of a cucumber, which is shielded by its strong vine. The Lord’s protection is believed to be as powerful as the vine that holds the cucumber. “Bandhanān” means bound down, and with “Mṛtyormukṣīya,” it means “liberate from the bounds of death.”
The last line, “Māmṛtāt,” can be interpreted in different ways. One interpretation is “Free me from death but not from immortality,” implying that the mantra seeks protection from death but not necessarily eternal life. Another interpretation is “Give me some life-rejuvenating nectar,” which implies that the mantra seeks the blessings of the Lord for a healthy and long life.
The origin of this secret mantra is steeped in mythology, with Rishi Markandeya being the only one in the world who knew it. Legend has it that the Moon was once in trouble and cursed by King Daksha. Rishi Markandeya gave the Mahamritryunjaya Mantra to Sati, Daksha’s daughter, for the Moon’s well-being. The mantra is also known as the Rudra mantra, symbolizing the furious aspect of Lord Shiva. The Tryambakam mantra alludes to Shiva’s three eyes and is sometimes called the Mrita-Sanjivini mantra, as it forms a part of the life-restoring practice given to the primordial sage Sukracharya.
The Mahamritryunjaya Mantra is a potent tool for seekers of yoga and spirituality. It has found its place in the Vedas and holds within it the essence of the divine. So let us invoke the blessings of the three-eyed Lord Shiva and elevate our consciousness to new heights.
The Mahamrityunjaya Mantra, a sacred and powerful invocation to Lord Shiva, is renowned for its benefits to mental, emotional, and physical health. This moksha mantra is believed to grant longevity and immortality, and to protect against untimely death. When chanted, the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra imbues the practitioner with energy and guidance from the divine, while reconnecting the consciousness to its true nature. This transformative practice is known as Japa, which involves the repetition of the mantra and leads to greater concentration and awareness.
The Mahamrityunjaya Mantra can be used in various ways, including during the smearing of Vibhuti over various parts of the body, as well as in Japa or Homa (havan) to manifest desired results. While the Gayatri Mantra serves to purify and guide spiritually, the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra provides healing, rejuvenation, and nurturance to the practitioner.
To truly understand the concept of the divine, we must understand the concept of time. Time is the ultimate manifestation of the divine, present in all things and driving nature itself. It both creates and destroys, and in the end, only time remains when all else fades away. The ancient sages knew that to Understand god they must understand the concept of time, which is why they named Shiva Mahakal and Shakti as Mahakali, the great gods, and goddesses of time. These divine entities are beyond our limited selves and hold the key to the fate of our soul’s journey. Even if you do not consider yourself religious or spiritual, it is crucial to respect time. For, in the end, only time is ever victorious, and it determines the course of our lives. Let us learn to appreciate the power of time and honor its place in our lives. By doing so, we can connect with the divine and find a greater purpose in our existence.
“Where to hide the divinity was the question” ask Gods. So Lord Shiva called a council of the gods to help him decide.
“Let’s bury it deep in the earth,” said the gods. But Shiva answered, “No, that will not do because humans will dig into the earth and find it.”
Then the gods said, “Let’s sink it in the deepest ocean.” But Shiva said, “No, not there, for they will learn to dive into the ocean and will find it.”
Then the gods said, “Let’s take it to the top of the highest mountain and hide it there.” But once again Shiva replied, “No, that will not do either, because they will eventually climb every mountain and once again take up their divinity.”
Then the gods gave up and said, “We do not know where to hide it, because it seems that there is no place on earth or in the sea that human beings will not eventually reach.”
Shiva thought for a long time and then said, “Here is what we will do. We will hide their divinity deep in the center of their own being, for humans will never think to look for it there.”
All the gods agreed that this was the perfect hiding place, and the deed was done. And since that time humans have been going up and down the earth, digging, diving, climbing, and exploring–searching for something already within themselves.
Alexander was a brilliant warrior and military genius. He had a bright and subtle mind. His tutor was the great Greek philosopher Aristotle, whose thoughts and writings have had a huge influence on western thoughts concerning ethics, beauty, and politics.
Alexander created a huge army and invaded Persia, of which he conquered along with Egypt, Phoenicia, Palestine, Babylonia, Assyria, and Asia Minor. Alexander now commanded a vast empire but was not satisfied so went on to invade India. When he was making his way through India he came to the Indus Valley. Whilst there, he encountered a small group of yogi’s who were sitting in meditation on the banks of the river.
EPISODE 1 Alexander’s party of soldiers was trying to get through but the meditating yogis were blocking their way and were refusing to move. One of Alexander’s Lieutenants started shouting at one of the yogi’s, “This man has conquered the world! What have you accomplished?” The yogi looked up calmly and replied, “I have conquered the desire to conquer the world” and upon hearing these words Alexander laughed; he admired the wisdom of the yogi.
EPISODE 2 Plutarch further speaks of the wit and character of Indian Yogis in these terms:
“Alexander summoned ten of the wise men of the country, which men do all go naked, and are called philosophers of India. They had made the tribe of Sabbas to rebel and fight against Alexander and had thereby greatly hurt him. These philosophers were taken to be the sharpest and readiest of answer Alexander put them, as he thought many hard questions. He told them that he would put the first man to death that answer his question worst and likewise all others in this order. He made the eldest among them the judge of their answers.
“The question that he asked the first man was:
“Whether the dead or the living, were the greater number”. He answered, “the living…’For, the dead are no more man.’”
‘He asked the second man, “Whether the earth or the sea brought forth most creatures”.
‘The man answered, “The earth ‘for the sea is but a part of the earth.”
‘To the third man he asked, “Which of all beasts was the subtlest”.
‘The answered given was, “That which man hitherto never knew”.
‘To the fourth, question put was, “why did you make king of Sabbas rebel against him (Alexander)?”
‘The answered received was, “Because he should live honorably, or die vilely”.
‘To the fifth he asked, “Which you thought was the first- the day or the night?”
‘The answer given was, “the day, by a day”.
‘Alexander finding this strange answer said, “Strange questions must of necessity receive strange answers.”
‘Coming to the sixth he asked, “How a man should come to be beloved?”
‘He got this answer, “If he be a good man and not terrible”.
‘To the seventh he put the question, “how a man should be a god?”
“In doing a thing that is impossible for a man”, was the received answer.
“Which was stronger, life or death?” was the question put by him to the eighth.
‘And he received this answer, “life that suffers so many troubles.”
‘To the last ninth Yogi, he put this question, “How long a man should live?”
‘The answer was, “until the man thinks it better to die, than to live.”
‘After hearing these answers, Alexander turned to the tenth yogi and asked him to give his judgment upon them.
‘The judge said, “They had all answered one worse than another.”
‘Thereupon, Alexander said, “then you shall be made to die first, because you have given such a judgment.”
‘He replied promptly to Alexander, “It cannot be so, 0 king, unless you be a liar, because you said that you would kill him first, that answered the worst.”
‘Alexander gave them rewards and allowed them to go.”
EPISODE 3 “When Alexander the Great was busy conquering the world far and wide, he came at last to India.
When he was about to return to his country, he remembered that his people had asked him to bring to them an Indian yogi. They had heard a lot about yogis and were very desirous of seeing one, meeting him, hearing him speak and receiving his blessings. Alexander was told that the yogis dwelt in the forest.
In quest of a yogi he went to a forest. Sure enough, he found one sitting underneath a tree, in deep meditation. He waited patiently until the yogi opened his eyes. They shone with a strange, mystic light.
Reverently, Alexander requested the yogi to accompany him to Greece, saying.
“I will give you everything you need or ask for. But, pray, do come with me. My people would love to meet you!”
The yogi quietly answered, “I need nothing, I am happy where I am.”
This was the first time that anyone had turned down Alexander’s request. He could not control himself. He flew into a rage.
And unsheathing his sword, he thundered, “Do you know who is speaking to you? I am the great king Alexander. If you will not listen to me. I shall kill you- cut you into pieces!”
Unperturbed, the yogi answered. “You cannot kill me. You can only kill my body. And the body is but a garment I have worn. I am not the body. I am that which dwells within the body.”
The yogi continued, “You say you are a king. May I tell you, who you are? You are a slave of my slave!”
Stunned. Alexander asked. “How am I a slave of your slave?”
In a voice tender with compassion, the yogi explained. “I have mastered anger. Anger is my slave. See, how easily you gave way to anger. You are a slave of anger, and, therefore, a slave of my slave!”
EPISODE 4 (even though technically this is episode 3, I switched the order, wanted to save the best for the last) Aristotle the teacher and guide of Alexander had told him that, in India lived great mystical, intellectual, and spiritual super beings called Yogis. He told Alexander if he ever got the opportunity, to go and meet a Yogi SPECIFICALLY DANDAMIS, and if possible to even bring one back to Greece for Aristotle to meet.
Upon inquiry, whilst in India, Alexander learned about the great and wise Sanyasi, Yogi Dandamis, of Taxila who dwelled deep in a forest.
Alexander sent numerous summons to Dandamis, which he promptly ignored. Alexander who could strike fear in the hearts and minds of great armies and kings was intrigued. He became desperate to meet this being who assigned no importance to Alexander.
Alexander next sent messengers with lavish gifts and an invitation to Dandamis for discourse and discussion on philosophy. Dandamis politely declined both the gifts and the invitation.
Though angry Alexander, a pupil of the great philosopher and teacher Aristotle, knew very well that, great beings could rarely be lured or coerced.
Finally, Alexander sent a messenger, his helmsman, Onesicritus a disciple of the Hellenic school of Diogenes to invite Dandamis. When Onesicritus met Dandamis, he lavished praise and gifts on him. When Dandamis declined his invitation and gifts, Onesicritus threatened Dandamis. He said that Alexander had ordered the beheading of Dandamis should the orders of the emperor be disobeyed.
Dandamis remained unperturbed, stating, he had no fear of death. Onesicritus couldn’t muster the courage to kill Dandamis, and, instead, paid his respects to Dandamis and went back to report the incident to Alexander.
Livid at being rejected by a naked forest-dweller, Alexander decided to go to Dandamis himself. With his Marshal and a large entourage, Alexander made his way deep into the forest. Even though he experienced the powerful aura of Dandamis, Alexander grew furious when the sage did not get up to welcome him.
Dandamis Yogi ji
“How dared you refuse my gifts?” Alexander demanded. “They were smeared in blood,” replied Dandamis.
The chilling truth, and fearless conviction in Dandamis’s voice, rattled Alexander. Alexander could not let his men overhear the embarrassing exchange, so he ordered them to move some distance away.
Then, when he was alone with Dandamis, Alexander dismounted from his horse, walked towards the sitting sage, and menacingly stood over him.
“Do you know who I am?” Alexander roared. “I don’t think even you know, who you are,” replied Dandamis.
Alexander felt deeply insulted. He drew his sword and swung it at Dandamis, stopping just before it struck Dandamis’s neck.
“I am Alexander, the world conqueror,” he shouted. “You are sitting on my land. Submit or I’ll kill you … ”
“Your land?” Dandamis chuckled as he cut him off. “The land belongs to no one, O King!”
“Before you, there were others who claimed it as theirs,” he continued. “After you, there’ll be others who will say it’s theirs.
All creation belongs to the Creator alone, Alexander. And no one has any right to destroy what they haven’t created. You have blood on your hands, O Emperor! You may have a temporary claim on the land, but you have permanent scars on your soul.”
Clearing his throat, a flustered and uncomfortable Alexander lowered his sword and adjusted his posture.
“The whole world is mine, Dandamis,” Alexander exclaimed. “History will remember me as the mightiest king! My men will die for me!”
“What good is your ambition or their remembrance, O King? You drown yourself in alcohol every evening so you may forget about your crimes and sins. These men who surround you, they are tired of you. You will see it, they’ll give up on you one day, in fact very soon.”
“Besides,” Dandamis continued, “what will you do with the world? All you need is two yards. Two yards long and two yards deep. Ultimately that’s all that will belong to you.”
Alexander sheathed his sword and sat at the feet of Dandamis for a long while. After a rather long discourse, a humbled Alexander bowed his head before Dandamis and left.
Shiva resides in the Sahasrāra Chakra and Shakti in the Mūlādhāra Chakra. When Prakriti and Purusha unite in the Sahasrāra Chakra, knowledge, knower and the object of knowledge become one. Once we have experienced this no desires remain within us because we realise unequivocally that everything we have ever yearned for is carried within us. In this state of absolute consciousness there are no polarities and therefore no more sorrows; there is only everlasting joy, unconditional love, unlimited compassion and total understanding for all living beings.
For as long as consciousness is connected to the physical body it is unable to remain constantly in the Sahasrāra Chakra and so returns to the residence of the Ātmā in the Heart Centre (Anāhata Chakra). A realised person always thinks, feels and acts from the heart. Embedded in eternal love and eternal happiness, that person is always conscious of the immortal Ātmā, the ocean of bliss, and their consciousness is forever connected to the divine consciousness.
Shakti is the motherly love of God that surrounds us with warmth, caring and protection. Shiva is the paternal love of God that gives us consciousness, clarity and knowledge.
I wish for you the blessing of the Divine Mother who lives within you as energy and vitality, and the blessing of the Divine Father who resides within you as consciousness and knowledge. May they always take care of you, protect you and guide you, and in their infinite love lead you to the cosmic consciousness.
Yoga means union with God. The state of yoga is impossible to attain without the blessings of Lord Shiva. It needs a concentrated and focussed mind. There are some specific spots in the human body concentrating upon which, enables a man to attain the state of yoga-spot between the eyebrows, lower part of the throat, Navel and six inches above it etc.
The state of yoga can never be attained until and unless a person has fully controlled the tendencies of sense organs. It can be achieved with the help of eight means-Yama (Penance), Niyam (discipline), Aasan (Posture), Pranayam (Breath-control), Pratyahar (restraint of passion), Dharan (retention), Dhyan (concentration) and Samadhi (deep meditation). Each of them holds an important position in the path of yoga.
Describing about the methods of performing yoga, in Linga Purana Sutji says – “A person should sit with his legs crossed in Padmasan and try to concentrate his mind by fixing his gaze between his eyebrows. He should keep his spine erect. He should meditate either on the form of Omkar or on the form of lord Shiva. Breath control is an important aspect of yogic exercise. A man should exhale deeply for 32 times and then breathe in deeply. He should then retain his breath as long as possible and visualize lord Shiva within his body. By constant practice he will achieve mastery over this art and a time will come when he will experience divine bliss. This divine bliss can not be experienced unless one has attained a deep state of meditation (Samadhi).”
Obstacles in the Path of Yoga – A man experiences numerous obstacles in the path of Yoga-laziness, restlessness confusion, a diseased body etc. The main reason for being lazy is a bulky physique and one’s inability to concentrate his mind. Lack of concentration results in restlessness, which is a major obstacle in the path of yoga. If a person in unsure about the results he becomes confused. It is impossible for a person suffering from any disease to concentrate his mind.
All the above mentioned hurdles can be overcome by firm resolution. A man who has successfully overcome all these obstacles might experience other obstacles in the form of siddhis (divine powers). There is a real danger of getting lured by these divine powers. As a result his mind may get distracted from his original goal and he may deviate from his path. The names of these siddhis or divine powers are-Pratibha (having knowledge of past present & future incident), Shravan (being capable of listening to abnormal sounds), Varta (whatever is said becomes true), Darshana (capable of seeing things which can mot be seen by the mortal eyes), Aaswada (being capable of experiencing divine (tastes), Vedana (being capable of relieving other’s pain by a mere touch). If a person successfully overcomes all these allurements then he becomes a siddha- or man of accomplishment and divine powers.!!