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Svarshastra II

Date: 13 Nov 23 2003 07:22:17 -0000 From: "Liiladhar Karn" To: Subject: Svarshastra II Baba "Saba're kari a'hva'n saba'i a'ma'r pra'n'..." - P.S. 2945 Purport: Here goes the clarion call to one and all. Everyone is my own; everyone is my pra'n'a; everyone is close to my heart. We are all collectively singing the song in unison and moving towards the Goal-- Parama Purus'a. Nobody should remain left behind. We should carefully see that nobody should cry in the society, remaining as downtrodden or as neglected one. We are all singing the marching song of life collectively, with one tune and one melody. There is no difference between one human being and another. Everyone's desires, hopes, and inspirations are the same. We are all moving on one path with the inspiration of the great ideology, which will lead towards greatness...
Namaskar, 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) has a significant effect. And this follow-up letter on this important topic explores more about all of this.
Outside the Marga, little is said about the science of svarshastra. Common members of society just go on with their days unaware about the flow of the air in their body. But we know Baba places much importance on this-- 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, working at the computer, 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. Plus 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.
And 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: (1) Ida, (2) Piungala, and (3) Susumna. And these three nadiis run through the entire body. And where they all cross is known as the cakra. Baba says, "The cakras are situated at the intersecting point of ida, sus'umna' and piungala." (TK-2) 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 breath flows through the left nostril; when the piungala is active then the air is flowing primarily through the right nostril; when both nostrils are open, the susumna is active. 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." (CC-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." (CC-2) 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." (CC-2) 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 all this-- ie 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 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.
Overall then being familiar with the science of svarshastra and following Baba's special guidelines in this regard will lead to the all around development in all the spheres of life. Because this science of breath control has a deep seeded effect and is one essential factor that is 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 following is Baba's special blessing. Baba says, "Changes are fast coming in the psychic arena and in all realms of human expression. They are not only coming, they have just come. We have crossed the threshold of a new era." (PNS-17, p.56) Namaskar, Liiladhar
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 then, the second best position for sleeping is by lying down on the right side. Then the 3rd best way is to lie flat on one's back. And here then is the final way. Actually this last way, i.e. sleeping on the stomach should be completely avoided-- as 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 Didi was sleeping.
Some basic asanas can be done irregardless which nadii is dominating or which nostril is carrying most of the airflow. But there are some more advanced asanas which must be done with a particular nostril being dominant. So it is important to refer to Baba's guidelines in Caryacarya about this.
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)
I hope other margiis will also write their personal realisations and understanding of Baba's unique teachings on the science of breath control, or svarshastra.
****************************************** Kiirtan and Gandharva Loka
Baba says, "The following describes how and to what degree human beings are aware about their own unit consciousness (Shiva'tma). As well as how they come in contact with their shiva'tma." "For example, it is just like when one looks in the mirror then one does not see their real self, but rather a reflection of that. Or it is similar to when one awakens from a deep sleep then they can recall only part of their dream, and some aspects of their dream they cannot remember. Or perhaps, more precisely, they can only remember a reflection of their dream-- and not the dream itself." "In contrast, there are other occasions where one looks at their own reflection in the water and they can clearly see their reflected image. But still that is not one's entire being. It remains but a reflection. Just like if one sees a reflection of a mango in the water then that is just a reflection and not the real mango." "In reality only we come in contact with our unit consciousness when we sing kiirtan and some bliss comes. Then we come in contact with our shiva'tma." "So in the spiritual field one comes in contact with their own unit consciousness after singing spiritually vibrated music like kiirtan or bhajans. For this reason, such type of devotional chanting or singing is highly essential in the life of a sadhaka. And when one comes in momentary contact with their own unit consciousness while singing kiirtan this is known as Ghandharva loka. One can only feel the bliss of kiirtan when their mind reaches into Ghandharva loka." (SC-26)

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