WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF KURMA NADI IN MEDITATION & SAMADHI?--A QUICK LOOK AT THE Y0GA NADIS,
WHAT IS PRANA?-
04 FACTS;- 1-Prana is the sum total of all energy that is manifested in the universe. It is the vital force, Sukshma. Breath is the external manifestation of Prana. By exercising control over this gross breath, you can control the subtle Prana inside. Control of Prana means control of mind. Mind cannot operate without the help of Prana. It is the Sukshma Prana that is intimately connected with the mind.
2-Prana is the sum total of all latent forces which are hidden in men and which lie everywhere around us. Heat, light, electricity, magnetism are all the manifestations of Prana. Prana is related to mind; through mind to the will; through will to the individual soul, and through this to the Supreme Being.
3-The seat of Prana is the heart. Prana is one; but it has many functions to do. Hence it assumes five names according to the different functions it performs, viz., Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana and Vyana. According to the different functions they perform, they occupy certain places in the body.
Hatha Yogins consider that Prana Tattva is superior to Manas Tattva (mind), as Prana is present even when mind is absent during deep sleep. Hence Prana plays a more vital part than mind.
4-If you know how to control the little waves of Prana working through mind, then the secret of subjugating the universal Prana will be known to you. The Yogin who becomes an expert in the knowledge of this secret, will have no fear from any power, because he has mastery over all manifestations of
power in the Universe.What is commonly known as Power of Personality is nothing more than the natural capacity of a person to wield his Prana.
THE TYPES OF PRANA;-
As we know, there are five types of prana vayus which govern the functioning of the body, they are
1-A QUICK LOOK AT THE FIVE VAYUS...
Vayu>>Area of Body>>Function
1-1-Prana>>Chest, head>>Governs intake, inspiration, propulsion, forward momentum
1-2--Apana>>Pelvis>>Governs elimination, downward and outward movement
1-3-Samana>>Navel>>Governs assimilation, discernment, inner absorption, consolidation
1-4-Udana>>Throat>>Governs growth, speech, expression, ascension, upward movement
1-5-Vyana>>Whole body>>Governs circulation on all levels, expansiveness, pervasiveness
2-There are also five sub-pranas, or upa-pranas:
1-Naga, 2-Krkara, 3-Devadatta, 4-Dhanamjaya 5- Kurma.
2-1-Naga relieves pressure of the abdomen by burping.
2-2-Krkara prevents substances from passing up the nasal passages and down the throat by making one sneeze or cough.
2-3-Devadatta causes yawning and induces sleep.
2-4-Dhanamjaya produces phlegm, nourishes the body, remains in it even after death and sometimes inflates a corpse.
2-5-Kurma controls the movement of eye lids and regulates the intensity of light to be seen by controlling the size of iris. The movement of eyes reflects the movement of mind. It is often noticed that in a yoga class, after following the teacher’s instruction to close the eyes, students’ eyelids and eyeballs are continuously wobbling, which indicates their mind are very busy. By stilling the eyes, thoughts can be stilled.
WHAT ARE YOGA NADIS ?-
08 FACTS;- 1-Nadis are the astral tubes made up of astral matter that carry psychic currents. The Sanskrit term ‘Nadi’ comes from the root ‘Nad’ which means ‘motion’. It is through these Nadis (Sukshma, subtle passages), that the vital force or Pranic current moves or flows. Since they are made up of subtle matter they cannot be seen by the naked physical eyes and you cannot make any test-tube experiments in the physical plane.
2-These Yoga Nadis are not the ordinary nerves, arteries and veins that are known to the Vaidya Shastra (Anatomy and Physiology). Yoga Nadis are
quite different from these.The body is filled with innumerable Nadis that cannot be counted. Different authors state the number of Nadis in different ways, i.e., from 72,000 to 3,50,000. When you turn your attention to the internal structure of the body, you are struck with awe and wonder. Because the architect is the Divine Lord Himself who is assisted by skilled engineers and masons—Maya, Prakriti, Visva Karma, etc.
3-Nadis play a vital part in this Yoga. Kundalini when awakened, will pass through Sushumna Nadi and this is possible only when the Nadis are pure. Therefore, the first step in Kundalini Yoga is the purification of Nadis. A detailed knowledge of the Nadis and Chakras, is absolutely essential. Their location, functions, nature, etc., should be thoroughly studied.
4-The subtle lines, Yoga Nadis, have influence in the physical body. All the subtle (Sukshma) Prana, Nadis and Chakras have gross manifestation and operation in the physical body. The gross nerves and plexuses have close relationship with the subtle ones.Since the physical centres have close relationship with the astral centres, the vibrations that are produced in the physical centres by prescribed methods, have the desired effects in the astral centres.
5-Whenever there is an interlacing of several nerves, arteries and veins, that centre is called “Plexus.” The physical material plexuses that are known to the Vaidya Shastra are:— Pampiniform, Cervical, Brachial, Coccygeal, Lumbar, Sacral, Cardiac, Esophageal, Hepatic Pharyngeal, Pulmonary, Ligual Prostatic Plexus, etc. Similarly there are plexuses or centres of vital forces in the Sukshma Nadis. They are known as ‘Padma’ (lotus) or Chakras.
6-All the Nadis spring from the Kanda. It is in the junction where the Sushumna Nadi is connected with the Muladhara Chakra. Some say, that this Kanda is 12 inches above the anus. Out of the innumerable Nadis 14 are said to be important. They are:—
6-1. Sushumna 6-2. Ida 6-3. Pingala 6-4. Gandhari 6-5. Hastajihva 6-6. Kuhu 6-7. Saraswati
6-8. Pusha 6-9. Sankhini 6-10. Payasvini 6-11. Varuni 6-12. Alambusha 6-13. Vishvodhara 6-14. Yasasvini 7-Again Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are the most important of the above 14 Nadis, and Sushumna is the chief. It is the highest and most sought by the Yogins. Other Nadis are subordinate to this.Gandhari, Hastajihva, Kuhu, Sarasvati, Pusha, Sankhini, Payasvini, Varuni, Alambusha, Vishvodhara, Yasasvini, etc., are some other important Nadis. These have their origin in Kanda.
8-All these Nadis are placed on the sides of Sushumna, Ida and Pingala, and proceed to different parts of the body to perform certain special functions. These are all subtle Nadis. Innumerable minor Nadis spring from these. As the leaf of the Asvattha tree is covered with minute fibres so also, this body is permeated with thousands of Nadis. WHAT IS LALANA CHAKRA ?- Lalana Chakra is situated at the space just above Ajna and below Sahasrara Chakra. Twelve Yoga Nadis emanate from this centre. The vibrations that are made by the 12 Nadis are represented by the Sanskrit letters: (Ha, Sa, Ksha, Ma, La, Va, Ra, Ya, Ha, Sa, Kha and Phrem). It has OM as its Bija. At this centre the Yogi concentrates on the form of his Guru and obtains all knowledge. This has control over the 12 pairs of nerves that proceed from the brain to the different sense-organs. WHAT IS SPINAL COLUMN ?-
03 FACTS;- Before proceeding to the study of Chakras we should know something about the Spinal Column, as all the Chakras are connected with it.Spinal Column is known as Meru Danda.This is the axis of the body just as Mount Meru is the axis of the earth. Hence the spine is called ‘Meru’.
2-The body may be divided into three main parts:—head, trunk and the limbs, and the centre of the body is between the head and the legs.The spinal column extends from the first vertebra, Atlas bone, to the end of the trunk.The spine is formed of a series of 33 bones called vertebrae; according to the position these occupy, it is divided into five regions:— 2-1. Cervical region (neck) 7 vertebrae 2-2. Dorsal region (back) 12 vertebrae 2-3. Lumbar region (waist or loins) 5 vertebrae. 2-4. Sacral region (buttocks, Sacrum or gluteal) 5 vertebrae. 2-5. Coccygeal region (imperfect vertebrae Coccyx) 4 vertebrae.
3-Spinal column is otherwise known as spine, axis-staff or vertebral column. Man is microcosm. (Pinda - Kshudra-Brahmanda). All things seen in the universe,—mountains, rivers, Bhutas, etc., exist in the body also. All the Tattvas and Lokas (worlds) are within the body.
WHAT IS PADMAS OR CHAKRAS?-
1-Without the subtle body, the gross body is impossible.The meaning of this sentence should be taken to be that one can feel and understand the Sukshma Chakras during concentration and meditation only.Sukshma Prana moves in the nervous system of the Linga Sarira (astral body). Sthula Prana moves in the nervous system of the gross physical body. The two courses are intimately connected. They act and react upon each other. 2-Chakras are in the Linga Sarira (astral body). Linga Sarira is of 17 Tattvas, viz., 5 Jnanendriyas (ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose); 5 Karmendriyas (speech, hands, legs, genitals, anus); 5 Pranas (Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana, Samana); Manas (mind); and Buddhi (intellect). 3-These have corresponding centres in the spinal cord and the nerve-plexuses in the gross body. Each Chakra has control and function over a particular centre in gross body. These cannot be seen by the naked eyes.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF KURMA NADI?-
1-Kurma-nadi is the vehicle of prana: breathing. If you silently watch your breathing, not changing its rhythm in any way, neither making it fast nor slow, just leaving it natural and relaxed; if you simply watch it, you will become absolutely still. There will be no movement in you because all movement comes through breathing, prana.
2-The movement exists in you through breathing. When breathing stops, a person is dead – he cannot move. If you constantly bring your samyama to breathing, to kurma-nadi, by and by you will come to a state where you will see breathing has almost stopped. Yogis do this meditation facing a mirror because the breathing becomes so silent, they cannot feel it. They can only see whether there is some mist on the mirror from their breathing or not.
3-Sometimes they have become so silent that they cannot decide whether they are still alive or not. In deep meditation this experience will happen to you also sometimes; don’t be afraid. Breathing almost stops. When consciousness is perfect, breathing almost stops. But don’t be worried; that is not death. It is simply stillness. The whole effort of Yoga is to bring you to such stillness that it cannot be broken by anything, to such a state of consciousness that cannot be disturbed.
4-A Sufi saint says ''profit is when you make two into one ;when all duality disappears, when only one remains'. The word yoga means the method of becoming one. Yoga means how to join together that which has fallen apart. The very word yoga means “joining together.” And the whole effort is how to find the permanent, the one behind the many, the unmoving behind all the changes, the flux , the deathless, the beyond. Your habits will create trouble because your mind is conditioned for wrong habits – you always divide. Your whole intellect has been trained to divide and dissect and make many out of one. Man has lived up to now through the intellect, and he has forgotten how to put them together.
5-Yoga came to know that by bringing samyama to certain centers, things can disappear. For example, if you bring samyama to the throat, you will feel that thirst has gone and hunger has gone.That’s how yogis could fast so long. It is said about Mahavira that he fasted sometimes even three months, or four months, continuously. During the whole period of twelve years while he was meditating, he fasted almost eleven years. Three months he would fast and then one day he would eat, then again one month he would fast and two days he would eat – this way. In twelve years he was eating only one year; that means in twelve days, one day of eating, eleven days of fasting, on average. It is almost impossible, humanly impossible but he could do it.
6-Yoga has some secrets. If you concentrate on the throat – try, next time you feel thirsty, close your eyes, sit, and bring your total attention in the throat. Once the attention is there, you will see the throat is relaxing. Because whenever your total attention is at any point, you become separate from it. The throat is thirsty: you feel I am thirsty. If you bring your witnessing consciousness to it, suddenly you are separate. Your cooperation is broken. Now you know the throat is thirsty, not I. And a throat can't be thirsty without you.That's why a dead man is not hungry or thirsty.
7-Even if all the water disappears and evaporates from the body, a dead man will not feel thirst. Identification is needed. So next time you feel hungry, try it. Just close your eyes, go deep down into the throat…watch. You will see the throat as separate from you. The moment you will see the throat as separate from you, the body will stop saying that the body is hungry. The body cannot be hungry; only your identification with the body. By performing samyama on the nerve called KURMA-NADI, the yogi is able to be completely motionless.
THE IMPORTANCE OF KURMA PRAN;-
2-Kurma means tortoise. In Hinduism, kurma is the second incarnation of Vishnu who, in the form of a great turtle, carried the world on his back.
2-There is another mythology which talks about kurma carrying shesha naga (the cosmic snake) on his back. Shesha naga has a thousand heads and it holds the Earth on one of them. When it shifts the Earth from one head to another, earthquakes occur. The most powerful earthquake occurs when kurma moves slightly.
3-Kurma nadi is the name of an energy channel, it is one of the main nadis according to yogic scriptures. The beginning of kurma nadi is said to be in between of the Muladhara Chakra and Swadhisthana Chakra. It runs up and ends in the chest region, below the throat.
4-'Kurmanadyam sthairyam'..we can apply this sutra.By samyama on kurma nadi, the yogi can make his body and mind firm and immobile like a tortoise. Calmness is
attained by samyama on the bronchial tube. As the breathing becomes subtle, the mind becomes motionless.
5-Samyama/concentration on the location where kurma nadi ends, i.e. below the throat. Do a few deep breaths, focus the mind at the location where kurma nadi ends. This will lead us to a motionless state – both motionlessness of body and motionlessness of mind. In the long run, we will develop emotional steadiness in all circumstances. This technique is extremely helpful for beginners who have problems in sitting still or those whose mind is always wandering.
KURMA NADI MEDITATION;-
1-This is a practice to develop steadiness and stillness.The subtle nerve
plexus called Kurma Nadi is located about 1” down from the notch(an edge) in the centre of your collarbone and ½ “ inside. It can be visualized as an oval tube about ¾ “ long in a cool colour (blue, green, violet) according to your preference.
2-Simply focus the mind there for about 5 minutes before or after meditation, or as a practice apart from meditation. If you have difficulty locating that precise spot with just your mind, simply press your finger on the skin 1” down from the collarbone notch and focus on that spot. The result will come just the
same.Eventually, through that stimulation, you will be able to focus directly on the Nadi itself.
It is a good idea to do about 10 deep breaths before beginning this practice.