WHAT IS THE MYSTERY OF THREE GRANTHIS(KNOTS)? IS PRANAYAMA HELPFUL TO UNTIE THE KNOTS?PRANAYAMA-06
MEANING OF GRANTHIS(KNOTS);-
1-The Sanskrit word granthi means “knot” or “doubt” and also means “an especially difficult knot to untie.” People in India wearing a sari or dhoti cloth will form a small pouch to hold money, and close it by knotting the fabric – this tightly knotted purse is called a granthi.
2-Granthi in spiritual practice are psychological or psychic barriers to total freedom. Granthi prevent prana from moving freely up sushumna nadi. Granthi bind the soul; they lock us to our misperception of reality (avidya) and self (asmita). They hold us to our preferences (raga and dvesha) and root us in fear of death (abhinivesha).
3-Knowledge (jnana) is a key component to transcend fear, and together with action (karma) they give wings to our spiritual desires – the rise of Kundalini.
In Bhagavad Gita there is a reference to granthi as doubt, and refuge of the Lord as freedom from that doubt.
4-In Kundalini Yoga, it is said that there are three granthis can be responsible for preventing prana from rising up through Sushumna nadi (the central canal). These three knots prevent one’s full potential from Kundalini rising (prana). These three knots are Brahma Granthi, Vishnu Granthi and Rudra Granthi . They also relate to the Prakritis three Gunas (Tamas, Rajas and Sattva).
DESCRIPTION OF THREE GRANTHIS ;-
1 -BRAHMA GRANTHI ;-
1-It covers the area of Mulahara and Svadhisthan chakras. Some calls it the perineal(The perineum is below the pelvic diaphragm and between the legs) knot. It relates to the Tamas Guna (Mulahara and Svadhishthana) the universal destructive power.
2-In both the Jabal and the Yogashikha Upanishad state that this granthi is located in the Muladhard chakra. However, most tantric scriptures place it in the Manipura chakra.
3-Brahma Granthi is located at the base of the spine between Muladhara Chakra and Svadhisthana Chakra where primitive brain functioning like the “fight or flight reflexes” guarantee survival. Fear of death, anxiety about food, shelter or clothing, or general lack of grounding, all manifest as Brahma Granthi.
4-When you experience fear in an asana like handstand or split, and the fear itself prevents success, this is Brahma Granthi. Lack of spare time can be part of this knot. When your bills and rent payment keep you at work and away from yoga, that is Brahma Granthi.
5-Mula (Root) Bandha is the first consolidation of Prana and Apana, piercing Brahma Granthi. Vitality, thought, breath, and speech are joined in pursuit of truth. This root lock can be applied all the time transforming every thing we do into a holy act.
2 -VISHNU GRANTHI (doing and prana);-
1-It covers the area between Manipura, Anahata and Vishuddi chakras. Sometimes it is known as the navel knot. It relates to the Rajas Guna (Manipura and Anahata) – the universal power of motion and activity.
2-Vishnu granthi is said to be located in the area of Anahata chakra (the heart center), which is also the seat of prana. The heart is also the major knot chakra. So, to take the Kundalini Shakti into the passage of the Sushumna through Anahata chakra is also not very easy.
3-Vishnu Granthi knots energy between Manipura Chakra and Anahata Chakra. This Granthi is a knot of individual ego and power. Our clinging to ego, self-cherishing and the quest for personal power can slow spiritual success. Fear of being ignored or of loosing prestige may plague our spiritual growth. This is a knot of power and manipulation, but it is also the knot of accumulation.
4-Accumulation of power, possessions, and fame, all tie us to this level of consciousness. In order to transcend this level of consciousness we must “give up the love of power, for the power of love!” The degree of vulnerability that we show in life – the ability to put our façade (a deceptive outward appearance)aside and challenge our own status quo, unties Vishnu Granthi.
5-Uddiyana (Flying up) Bandha is the second consolidation of Prana, Apana,
and Samana vayus.Applied together with Mula Bandha, this lock pierces Vishnu Granthi. The individual is able to transcend individuality. The whole abdomen is drawn in and up – symbolizing the renunciation of accumulation and concentration of energy upward toward Anahata Chakra.
3 -RUDRA GRANTHI (Jnana – true knowledge);-
1-It covers the areas of Ajna and Sahasrara chakras. It is also known as the forehead knot. Unlike the other five chakras, the Ajna chakra is not connected to the spinal cord. So, the Rudra granthi is blocking the flow of prana beyond the sixth chakra between the eyebrows, Ajna chakra, upwards toward Sahasrara. It relates to the Sattva Guna (Vishuddha and Ajna) – the universal creative power.
2-Rudra granthi is knotted between the Anahata and Ajna chakras. The attractiveness of heart centered action and the experience of serving others can distract the yogi who desires to “Be Love” – not just experience it.
3-Serving others is a completely satisfactory way to spend your life, but this service could become your cross to bear, where you hold resentment against others, and view them as lesser beings.
4-We must strive to transcend otherness and experience the “oneness of being” in the highest levels of consciousness, and then complete the circle by bringing that consciousness into our compassionate( feel or show pity, sympathy, and understanding for people who are suffering) actions. When we are free from the illusion of otherness,then our actions emerge spontaneously from Love.
5-Jalandhara Bandha enables this leap of consciousness.The consummate
consolidation of prana is Jalandhara Bandha (Cloud Catching Lock or Net Lock -for the network of nadis in the neck) when Prana, Apana, Samana and Udana vayu in Sushumna Nadi loosen Rudra Granthi, and the veil of separation is lifted.
HOW TO UNTIE THE KNOTS?-
1-As for the Brahma granthi, we feel that it is related to theParasympathetic (anatomatically ;the autonomic nervous system which balances the action of the sympathetic nerves) system. Brahma granthi separates the first two chakras (Mulahra and Suadhisthana chakras) from the Manipura chakra. we notice the sympathetic chain is continuous, however, at the upper level of the splanchnic nerves , the presynaptic system changes to post-synaptic system.
2-So, one can say the Vishnu Granthi is between the Manipura and the Anahata
chakras.It is interesting to note that in Shashuma research,The centers of
chakras are expressed as plexuses outside the spinal cord …..and on the gross level, one can see there is a gap between the solar plexus and the Vagus nerve of the parasympathetic nerves system. This gap is known as the void in the religion and Maya (or Bhava Sagar) in Indian thought .
3-Functionally, we can explain these three granthis ;as the Rudra granthi is
between the Ajna and Spinal cord. It is easy to understand that prana travels from spinal cord to Ajna is blocked .
4-When the dormant Kundalini is aroused , then alone all the padmas (lotuses ,chakras) and the granthi (knots) are opened.-In Srimad-Bhagavatam bhakti-
yoga severs the granthi (hard knot) of material affection and enables one to come at once to the stage of asamsayam-, (without any doubt) samagram '(completely under My shelter)
5-The hathayoga methods for untying these knots are the bandhas, or energy locks. By focusing the pranas in Sushumna Nadi the bandhas increase the potency of the rising Kundalini allowing us to transcend normal restrictions of thinking and acting.
6-The yoga practices reveal where we are stopped by granthi, psychological knots, and give us tools for negotiating and loosening those limitations. The granthi are pierced through asana, meditation, pranayama, samyama, virtuous acts, purification of diet, good intention, yama and niyama, mudra, and through nada techniques like chanting and mantra.
DESCRIPTION OF THREE BANDHAS;-
1-Press the Yoni with the left heel. Keep the right heel pressed at the space just above the organ of generation. Contract (become smaller ) the anus and draw the Apana Vayu upwards. This is called Mula Bandha. The Apana Vayu which does the function of ejection of excreta has natural tendency to move downwards. Through the practice of Mula Bandha, the Apana Vayu is made to move upwards by contracting the anus and by forcibly drawing it upwards.
2-The Prana Vayu is united with the Apana and the united Prana-Apana Vayu is made to enter the Sushumna Nadi. Then the Yogi attains perfection in Yoga. Kundalini is awakened. The Yogi drinks the Nectar of Immortality. He enjoys Shiva-pada in Sahasrara Chakra. He gets all divine Vibhutis and Aishvarya. When the Apana is united with Prana, Anahata sounds (mystical inner sounds) are heard very distinctly.
3-Prana, Apana, Nada and Bindu unite and the Yogi reaches perfection in Yoga. This highest stage cannot be reached by the first attempt. One should practise this again and again for a long time.
4-During the practice of concentration, meditation, Pranayama and all other Yogic Kriyas, Mula Bandha can be combined.
1-The Sanskrit word “Uddiyana” comes from the root ‘ut’ and ‘di’ which means to “fly up.” When this Bandha is practised the Prana flies up through the Sushumna Nadi. Hence the significant name.
2-Empty the lungs by a strong and forcible expiration. The lungs will become completely empty when you exhale forcibly through the mouth. Now contract and draw up the intestines above and below the navel towards the back, so that the abdomen rests against the back of the body high up in the thoracic cavity. This is Uddiyana Bandha.
3-This is practised at the end of Kumbhaka and beginning of the Rechaka. When you practise this Bandha, the diaphragm, the muscular portion between the thoracic cavity and abdomen, is raised up and the abdominal muscles are drawn backwards.
4-If you bend your trunk forwards, you can easily do this exercise.Uddiyana Bandha can be practised in a sitting or standing posture. When you do it while standing, keep your hands on the thigh.
1-Contract the throat. Press the chin firmly against the chest. This Bandha is practised at the end of Puraka and beginning of Kumbhaka. Generally this Bandha is done during Kumbhaka only.
2-The gastric fire, which is situated in the region of Nabhi, consumes the nectar which exudes out of the Sahasrara Chakra through the hole in the palate. This Bandha prevents the nectar being thus consumed.
THE KEY POINT;-
When you practise Pranayama, you can beautifully combine Mula Bandha, Jalandhara Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha. This is Bandha-Traya,but it should be done under guidance.