Episode # 375 – Why is the “PRANAYAMA” an integral part of the “Meditation” process? An important accord!!!

We’ve been witnessing in the last couple of episodes, the importance of “Dhyaanam” or “Meditation”, as per Bhagawan Krishna’s accord. We’ve commenced this discussion by categorizing “Dhyaanam” as per the three Gunas – “Saatvika Dhyaanam”, “Raajasa Dhyaanam” and “Taamasa Dhyaanam”. We’ve witnessed a detailed explanation in this accord. Subsequently, we had continued with this discussion to witness why “Saatvika Dhyaanam” is very important and how should we practise it regularly. In these lines, we’ve witnessed in the yesterday’s episode, the importance of “posture” while sitting to meditate. Bhagawan Krishna emphasizes heavily on posture, as this shapes us up for a great “Saatvika Dhyaanam” experience. He explains that we’ve to make sure that we’re sitting in the upright position and preferably in the “Padmaasana” position. When we sit in the “Padmaasana” position, our blood circulation streamlines from our head till the toe, resulting in the reduction of tension and anxiety in our mind. Our brain gets ample supply of oxygen and because of this, it would be devoid of tiredness and sleepy tendencies. In other words, by doing this, we’re slowly bringing down our “Taamasic” charactersitics. As we’ve discussed earlier too, once we consciously try and bring down our “Raajasic” and “Taamasic” characteristics, automatically our “Satva Guna” is going to fly high!

Moving on thus, we shall now continue with the discussion on the meditation procedure. Till now we’ve witnessed the importance of posture, and now we’re going to witness some aspects on how do we bring our mind into focus. Bhagawan Krishna explains that as we sit for meditation, we should bring our eye balls to focus on our joint between the forehead and the nose. Also, we’ve to try and streamline our breathing pattern with uniform inhalation and exhalation. There are three important aspects here – “Kumbakam”, “Rechakam” and “Poorakam”. “Poorakam” means inhalation. “Rechakam” means exhalation and “Kumbakam” means holding our breath for a few moments before exhaling. There is a “Yoga-Aasana” by name “Jalandrabandha”. This “Aasana” focuses on this point exclusively. The procedure for this is that, we’ve to inhale as much of oxygen we can and until our lungs can hold (Poorakam). Subsequently, we should try and hold our breath for a few seconds (Kumbakam). It might be for 15 seconds, 30 seconds, or more, depending upon the individual’s holding capacity. Subsequently we exhale the air (“Rechakam”). If we do this for a few times before going into the meditative state, our brain becomes fresh with abundant oxygen supply, and subsequently the capacity of our lungs would also increase, which results in deeper breaths. As we’re practising it every day consistently, we would be able to witness a phenomenal change in our breathing pattern. Our inhalation and exhalation become so streamlined that it would enable us to “watch” our breathing pattern more clearly while meditating. So we should thus make it a point that we practise this important “Yoga-Aasana” called “Jalandrabandha”, before we start the actual meditation process.

If we look at our regular “Sandhyavandanam” routine, we perform something called “Praanaayama”. This “Praanaayaama” is also a very similar exercise for breathing that we can adopt, to streamline our inhalation and exhalation processes. As most of us might be performing our “Sandhyavandanam” routine every day, we must now focus specially on this “Praanayaayaama” part. Each of us should make it a practice to perform atleast ten “Praanaayama” cycles in the morning, afternoon and evening. In total, we should perform atleast 30 “Praanaayaama” cycles per day. Once we start doing this meticulously, we would be able to observe that our blood circulation becomes normalized, our physical health would be vastly improved and also, our grasping (mental) capability would increase manifold.

Thus, we’re witnessing through all of these explanations that there are procedures dedicated for each of our routine practice that we follow in life. For instance, there is a procedure for sitting, lying down, consumption of food, etc. In fact, all of us have a myth that we’ve to consume food three times a day. According to our “Sanaatana Dharma”, it is more than sufficient if we have just two meals a day. This is now being widely accepted in all our modern-day health sciences. If we’re consuming food for just two times a day, our body becomes very brisk and would be totally devoid of any diseases as well. The more we consume food, (especially the so-called “junk” food that we consume), the more we’re laying “red carpets” for all diseases to invade our body. Hence, the point here is that, if we follow the apt procedures, our lifestyle would be shaped up accordingly and we would be able to lead a healthy life sans any diseases and disabilities.

Moving on thus with the meditation procedure, as we focus our breathing pattern thus, it is now time for us to start the process of focusing our mind. For this, we commence the process with the chanting of the sacred syllable called “OM”. Of course, there is a procedure to chant the Mantra “OM”. It should be chanted as per the number of “Maatras” associated with it. It is a known fact that the sacred syllable “OM” has three and a half “Matras”, majorly comprising of the sounds “A”, “U” and “M”. As we chant it, we should meticulously follow this procedure as well. This is the starting step for our mind control.

So for today, let us understand these important points, and let us wait till the next episode to continue this discussion on mind-control further. An important accord awaits us tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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