Pranayam is part of Yog. This is a well-discussed term. People come from foreign countries to India to learn Pranayam and saints go abroad to teach it. It shows that Pranayam is a subject that evokes curiosity and reverence among common people everywhere. So, it is noteworthy.
Let us try to know what actually Pranayam stands for.
What is its real import?

At first, the question arises What is Pran? According to Sanskrit etymology, the root of this word is ‘Un’ which means ‘to breathe’. When the prefix ‘Pra’ is joined with the root ‘Un’ the word Pran comes coined.

In the thirteenth incantation (Richa) of the ninetieth Sookt (Group of Mantras) of the tenth part of the Rigved (Which is well-known as Purushsookta) it is mentioned that ‘Pranadwayurjayat’ which means the wind born of Pran of the Supreme being. The word Pran does not mean only breath or act of breathing, it means actually the life force that impels the inhalation and exhalation of breath and which in different ways in this world invigorates the powers of speech, hearing, smelling, seeing, and the functions of the mind and which is the ultimate source of all energy.
For this very reason, all the creatures are known as Prani – animate beings.

The Signification of Pran has been elaborated in the Atharv Veda.
In the Chandogya Upanishad Pran has been hailed as
‘Jiyesht’ (Oldest) and ‘Shrestha’ (Superb or noble).
In the Brihadranyank Upanishad Pran has been called a Force.
In Prashnopanishad there is an ornate description of the Universe as Pran and Velocity (Rayi).
Pippaladi Rishi has answered in a sequence,
the six questions of Sukesha and the other six Rishis in this Upanishad.

Out of six questions, the third question was put by Ashwalayan of Koshal who asked –
“O Lord! Wherefrom this Pran comes?
How does it enter the body?
How does it get established after dividing itself?
How does it depart from the body?
How does it embody the external world?
And how remaining under the control of the soul it covers up the distance,
till the self-realization is achieved?
Ultimately how is it lodged in the soul?

The Maharishi answered that Pran is born of the Supreme Being.
It appears out of the broodings of the mind – (Manokriten Aayati).
It remains in the body, dividing itself into five parts – Pran, Apan, Saman, Vyan, and Udan.
The Pran places Apan in the anus and the pelvic region below the point of the navel
which regulates the discharge of stool and urine.
So far as Pran itself is concerned it moves through the mouth and nose and subsists in the eyes and ears. Saman Vayu is situated in the central part of the body.
It digests the food, burnt in the fire of Pran and circulates its essential juice equally,
in all the parts of the body which strengthens the seven minerals.
Vyan Vayu while existing in the heart moves in the seventy-two thousand nerves of the body,
and regulates them properly.
Udan Vayu prevails in the mental region, mounts up, and moves there.
It takes men to the world of virtues if they perform virtuous deeds,
but it can throw them to vile and ignoble worlds if they perform sinful deeds.
Men performing mixed deeds of virtues and sins are taken to the human world.

The functions of the five Prans i.e., digesting the foodstuff, circulating the essential juice in the body, regulating the discharge of stool and urine, and breathing process are common,
among birds and the animal world.

All the creatures take food and water and draw energy through them.
These are natural functions and are not at all connected with Pranayam.
Pran implies operations or the thought process of the mind, which is to be regulated,
and turned beyond the world of matter towards the Supreme being.
This is the technique of Pranayam.
When the flow of thoughts becomes tranquil and steady it is known as Pranayam.

Mahabharat: –

Bhishma, the grandsire, while narrating to Yudhistir about the dialogues of Karal named Janak and Maharishi Vashisht in the sub-section – Moksha Parva of the Chapter Shanti Parva of Mahabharat said that Meditation is the Prime duty of yogis. There lies their strength.
The savants of Yoga have divided Meditation into two kinds – first the concentration of mind and second, the Pranayam. Pranayam is further divided into two kinds: Qualified and unqualified Pranayam.
The Pranayam in which the mind is related to the qualified or the attributes is known as Sagun Pranyam
and the Pranayama in which the mind gets connected with the unqualified
or the
Attribute less is known as Nirgun Pranayama.
The Hindi letter ‘Sa’ implies the Supreme Being, God.
When the flow of thought of the mind remains with the attributes of God, it is Sagun Pranayama.
But when these attributes melt away and fuse gratuitously, this spontaneous state or the state of
effortlessness is known as Nirgun Pranayama.

Except for the time consumed in ablution and lunch or dinner all the time, one must engage oneself in the Practice of Yoga. An intelligent Yogi should get mentally purified and keep his mind and senses away from sensual objects. When the senses are restrained, the mind becomes free from the contact of senses. At such a time the mind and the mental inclinations should be propelled towards God, totally rising above the world of matter which constitutes twenty-four elements. We have heard from our gurus that those who practice Pranayama in such a way, are rightly entitled to know Parambrahama Paramatma, the Supreme being. In short, turning the thoughts of mind from the material world to the direction of God, is Pranayama.

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita: –

Lord Krishna in the first source book – The Gita elaborating on Pran and Creation, says in the twenty seventh shloka (Couplet)

सर्वाणीन्द्रियकर्माणि प्राणकर्माणि चापरे ।
आत्मसंयमयोगाग्नौ जुह्वति ज्ञानदीपिते ॥
sarvāṇī’ndriyakarmāṇi prāṇakarmāṇi cā’pare,
ātmasanyamayogāgnau juhvati jñānadīpite 

O! Arjun! “sarvāṇī’ndriyakarmāṇi/ सर्वाणीन्द्रियकर्माणि”, It is the senses which work,
and ‘prāṇakarmāṇi cā’pare /प्राणकर्माणि चापरे,’ it is the Prans which work (ātmasanyamayogāgnau juhvati jñānadīpite/आत्मसंयमयोगाग्नौ जुह्वति ज्ञानदीपिते ). The actions of Pran are burnt in the Yogic fire which shines with the illumination of knowledge, reading of some books, and increasing one’s own intellectual level through it, which can never be called the acquisition of real knowledge. Real knowledge according to the Gita is the efflorescence of the voice of the soul and the way of living under its directions.

The Gita says – 

अध्यात्मज्ञाननित्यत्वं तत्त्वज्ञानार्थदर्शनम्।
एतज्ज्ञानमिति प्रोक्तमज्ञानं यदतोऽन्यथा॥
adhyātmajñānanityatvam tattvajñānārthadarśanam
etajjñānamiti proktamajñānam yadato’nyathā||13-11||

Continuously living and working under the direction and protection of the soul and the direct perception of God is real Knowledge. All other kinds of knowledge (except this) in this world are sheer ignorance or nescience. Laying emphasis on such knowledge, the Lord says that the operations of the Prans and those of all the senses, illumined with knowledge are burnt in the soul, in the yogic fire of self-restraint remaining fully conscious of the directions of God. The senses operate outside but the mind, intellect, consciousness, and ego work in the internal world. The stream of their performance is called Pran. The process of thinking and its modifications goes on regularly in Pran. They do not have any set schedule or system but all the time they remain active. Channeling them all in the direction of God is called Pranayam.

How to regulate them, is given in the next couplet (shloka) – 

अपाने जुह्वति प्राणं प्राणेऽपानं तथापरे ।
प्राणापानगती रुद्ध्वा प्राणायामपरायणाः ॥४-२९॥
apāne juhvati prāṇam prāṇe’pānam tathā’pare,
prāṇāpānagatī ruddhvā prāṇāyāmaparāyaṇāḥ (4/29)

Some yogis offer or sacrifice Apan Vayu in Pran while others sacrifice Pran in Apan.
By doing so they restrain the movement of Pran and Aapan and thus acquire the skill of Pranayam.

Pran means the breath you take Apan is the breath which you exhale. In other words, the act of inhalation and exhalation is known as the sacrifice of exhalation and inhalation. When the mind’s eye passes through the breath, it should stay on the Apan (the act of exhalation), similarly when it rises from the Apan it should stay on the Pran (inhalation) Pran is poured into the Apan, and the apan into Pran – no interpolation of any other thought or emotion in this act should be allowed. When the breath is inhaled one should mentally utter ‘Om’, when it is exhaled one should repeat the utterance of ‘Om’. This is how inhalation and exhalation are regulated. ‘Om’ and Pranav are synonymous. When the practice grows subtle by and by,
prāṇāpānagatī ruddhvā/प्राणापानगती रुद्ध्वा ‘- The act of inhalation and exhalation is totally suspended. When thoughts do not intrude from inside or outside, the state of Pranayam begins.
Now the transactions of breath are stopped – the breathing is channelized.

Such a channellisation is called Pranayam.

Innumerable are the waves of thoughts in one’s mind. One fails to get peace due to the presence of these thought waves. Many a time people are deprived of sleep. But there are some such thought waves which guard us and so have godly attributes; they transmit divine experiences. But there are some such thought waves, which have devilish properties and are the cause of spiritual fall. Hence, they are to be dropped. In this way through the subsidence of the recurrence of both knowledge and Nescience through regular practice, the flux of breathing becomes steady- This is the zenith of Pranayam. Pranayam is nothing but consigning our thoughts to the flow of Pranav,
or to any tiny name of God like OM or to the mechanism of yoga.

Out of such a restraint the result of the Yagya (Sarifice) is born-that is the realisation of Eternal Brahm (God), the contact with Him is now stabilised.

यज्ञशिष्टामृतभुजो यान्ति ब्रह्म सनातनम् ।
नायं लोकोऽस्त्ययज्ञस्य कुतोऽन्यः कुरुसत्तम ॥४-३१॥
yajnaśiṣṭamṛtabhujo yanti brahma sanatanam,
nā’yam loko’sty ayajnasya kuto’nyaḥ kurusattama (4/31)

At the time of the culmination of Yagya or in other words at the time of the restraint of mind and its dissolution, whatever the Yagya (Sacrifice) leaves behind as residue is nectar. Only God is Beyond the grip of Death, only He is immortal. The person who performs such a sacrifice gets entrance into the region of immortality. Only God is the eternal truth, He is everlasting, and He transcends Time. He is all-encompassing, so He is called Brahm. The performer of this yagya is bestowed with the nectar of knowledge and gets acquainted with that Immortal Element which is called God.
After knowing Him he lives in Him.

Now the question may crop up Who is authorized to perform Pranayam or this Yagya (Yogic method)? 
Lord Krishna says,” O Arjun! if a man does not perform such a yagya, he is not provided with a second chance of getting the human body and hence gets deprived of peace hereafter. In other words, only human beings with corporeal frames can claim the right to perform yagya. No animal and no bird can avail of the facility to perform yagya. Only human beings with the rare gift of the human body can get this advantage wherever they are born. People born at the North Pole, in India, in the Arab world, or in Australia, all have equal potential to perform this Yagya. This is the mandate of the Gita which belongs to an age when caste, Creed, Sects, and communal organizations had no existence. The Gita offers methods for the alleviation of mental worries and all kinds of miseries. It speaks of a procedure to attain divine bliss, eternal life, never-ending Peace, and everlasting prosperity. “

Yogeshwar Shri Krishna again throwing light on the mode of Pranayam says,

स्पर्शान्कृत्वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्तरे भ्रुवोः ।
प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ ॥५- २७॥
sparśān kṛtvā bahir bāhyāmś cakṣuś cai’vā’ntare bhruvoḥ,
prāṇāpānau samau kṛtvā nāsābhyantaracārinau (5/27)

“sparśān kṛtvā bahir bāhyāmś/” means after abjuring the external contacts (contact of the senses with worldly objects), fixing the eyes in between the two eyebrows on the front point of the nose (where the glance falls straight there the vision is to be kept steady) the mind’s eye is to be placed stable. it is not the eyes but our thoughts that see, it is our mind’s eye that sees. So, this mind’s eye is to be diverted to witness the process of breathing carefully to see how the breath is inhaled and how it is exhaled.”nāsābhyantaracārinau / नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ” means – try to see the breath moving in and out and hear what does it spell? You have only to witness the breathing and hear what it says. The breath of a devotee does not utter any word except “Om” or Pranav. After converting your mind into a non-aligned witness centralize it on the resounding word-sound emanating from the process of breathing. People do not inhale only air. They inhale the thought waves also floating in the atmosphere. Similarly, while exhaling the breath, they do not only exhale carbon dioxide, but they also exhale the waves of good and bad thoughts along with the breath. So, keep an eye on the inhaling and exhaling of the breath and be watchful that nothing except the ‘Naam’, the name of the Lord Shuttles on the breath.

During the beginning period of Sadhna, the sages have laid emphasis on the practice of INTOING of any name of the Lord, but Pranayam is an advanced stage in which the name of the Lord has not to be diluted in the breath separately, it is already blended with the breath. So, in the Pranayama only an eye is to be kept on the movement of the breath – how it comes and how it goes. There is no need to contract or expand or withhold the breath. You have only to ward off other thoughts except the name of the Lord.

यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर्मुनिर्मोक्षपरायणः ।
विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधो यः सदा मुक्त एव सः ॥५- २८॥
yatendriyamanobuddhir munir mokṣaparāyaṇaḥ,
vigatecchābhayakrodho yaḥ sadā mukta eva saḥ (4/28)

That Muni (saint) is always emancipated who has conquered his mind, intellect and senses and is above desires, fears and wrath, but what does he get out of his emancipation?

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।
सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥५- २९॥
bhoktāram yajñatapasām sarvalokamaheśvaram,
suhṛdam sarvabhūtānām jñātvā mām śāntim ṛcchati (29)

“That entity in which all yagya, penance, canons, abstinence merge is no one else but ‘I’ and the return which one gets after observing them is nothing but my sumtotal O! Arjun! The fellow inhabits in Me and attains My immortal form”. (Zanati Tumahi Tumahi Hoi Jai!)
After knowing Him the individual merges with Him’.

Thus, the Gita also enjoins that Pranayama is nothing but the blending of thought waves with Pranava through the contemplation of the inhalation and exhalation of breath.

No body can do Pranayama on his own strength till God explains it.
In the Gita the Lord says –

अहं वैश्वानरो भूत्वा प्राणिनां देहमाश्रितः।
प्राणापानसमायुक्तः पचाम्यन्नं चतुर्विधम्॥१५-१४॥
ahaṁ vaiśvānaro bhūtvā prāṇināṁ dehamāśritaḥ|
prāṇāpānasamāyuktaḥ pacāmyannaṁ caturvidham||15-14||

*O! Arjun! I am present as Vaishwanara in the heart of all the creatures.
I assume the form of fire to digest four kinds of grains wrapped with Pran and Apan.

All living creatures take different kinds of food.
A lion is carnivorous, even the vegetarian elephant takes food in great
it seems it is God alone who from inside manages the digestion of 

But it is not true! Aahar (food) is that which nourishes the body, so it is called Aahar.
But that which nurses the soul is nothing but Bhajan which is the only food of it.
“Annam Brahmeti Vyajanat” (Taittiriya Upanishad/Bhrigu Walli Ist Mantra) –

“The grain is Brahma. Bhrigu Rishi obeying the instruction of his father Varun took grain, Pran.
Eyes, ears, mind, and speech are to be the gates of Brahm attainment.
He undertook penance with the faith that grain is God. For a devotee Brahma alone is Anna (grain)

All fourteen kinds of fires like Sanyamagni (fire of restraint) and Yogagni (fire of Yog and others) referred to in the fourth chapter of the Gita are collectively known as Gyanagni (fire of knowledge).
God seated in the region of the heart transmits knowledge and digests
all four kinds of combined grains (Ann) through inhalation and exhalation of breath.

The same name passes through Vaikhari, Madhyama, Pashyanti and Para. The four ways develop, get ripened, and attain the state of Paravani. We do not know when our Naam jap is correct and when it is on the wrong track if God does not point it out. God says that it was actually He who makes the grains assimilated. Whatever one gains through Bhajan is the gift of God.
‘Jakey Rath par Kesho’, Taa Kahan Kaun Andesho’!
To sum up our Pran in its natural form is unregulated uncontrolled,
to direct its flow in the channel of Pranav is Pranayama.

Patanjali Yogdarsan:-

According to Maharishi Patanjali, the author of Yogdarshan – there are eight parts of Yog – Yam, Niyam Asan, Pranayam, Pratyahar, Dharana Dhyan and Samadhi. Pranayama is the fourth in order. When we devote ourselves to the contemplation of the self, Pranayama is the fourth terminal which has no use in the worldly life. During spiritual Pursuits, the order of Pranayama comes after Yam. Niyam, and Aasn, are mastered well, so those who practice Pranayama from the very beginning.
and wish to derive physical and material benefits are in utter delusion –

There are five kinds of Yam – Ahimsa (non-violence) Satya (Truth) Asteya (non-stealing) Brahmacharya (Celibacy) and Aparigraha (Possessionlessness) Himsa (Violence) is one of those disorder that causes degeneration of the soul. The process of the ennoblement of the soul is switched on by Ahimsa. The physical body is nothing but an outer garment. The devotee has to be firm in his efforts to know the truth and maintain celibacy. Renunciation of possessions is very important and unavoidable. If you want to amass wealth, amass the wealth of God in your heart. After going through all these stages of yog the observance of the directions of Shauch (Cleanliness), Santosh (Contentment), Tap (penance), Swadhyay (Study of Self), and Ishwar Pranidhan (meditation) starts. By following these directions, one achieves capability for Aasn. In the forty-sixth maxim ‘स्थिरसुखम् आसनम्/sthira sukham āsanam.’ Maharshi Patanjali says that Asan means a stable and convenient mode of sitting. Many a trader sits from morning to evening in one position and feels pleasure in it. But this is not the attainment of the perfection of the sitting posture. Real pleasure depends on the mental state. of a man, never on the postures of his physical body. Despite all the material wealth at the command of King Dasharath, his eyes were full of tears pining for a nap, Mother Kaushalyas’s last days were spent only in shedding tears.
Notwithstanding the abounding provisions, sometimes the mind gets 
that men retire into seclusion and do not come out for days together,
but this in no way can be termed as steady Asan.
There is no feeling of delight in such forced Asanas.

While explaining the way of natural Asan the Maharishi directs:

(प्रयत्नशैथिल्यानन्तसमापत्तिभ्याम् / “prayatna śaithilya ananta samāpattibhyām”) / (2/47)

When all the efforts put in mastering Yam and Niyam get loosened or in other words become spontaneous, perfection of Asan is attained, and the mind then gets attached to God. To be
clearer, the Asan is perfected only when the mind is linked with God. If Asan means placing the body in one sitting posture where is the need of devoting the mind to God? Aasn is not at all connected with the twisting of limbs, demeanors, or poses. There was a great saint named Ashtavakra, whose limbs were crooked in eight places. He could not straighten his hands and feet. What asanas could he perform? But despite all such physical deficiencies, he became the top Mahapurush, Yogeshwar, and Seer of his age. Our grand gurudeo, the guru of our guru Maharaj had a broken leg. it could not even bend. But Gurudev was divinely directed to go to the temple where he was sitting to meet him as he was destined to be his guru, even in the pitch-dark night the great guru could be traced out. He was a real spiritual luminary. He had the unique capability to kindle the spiritual candle of Yog-Sadhana in others. He had mastered, the skill of transmigration of his soul into the souls of others. Despite such attainments, he never practiced any physical exercise. Actually, the Asan gets perfected only through the devotion of the mind to God and the gradual release and unlocking of
Yam-Niyam which happens with practice.
It is possible through spontaneous concentration. The mind becomes stable unwavering and steady.

तस्मिन्सति श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः प्राणायामः/ “tasmin satiśvāsa praśvāsayoḥ gativicchedaḥ prāṇāyāmaḥ” (2.49)
Pranayama is nothing but the stabilization of inhalation
and exhalation of breath after mastering the Asan.

We inhale breath and exhale it. When we inhale, we inhale the divine properties like Yam, Niyam, etc. and when we exhale, we exhale disorders like lust, wrath, love, hate, etc. When their egress and ingress subside in other words, when the thoughts do not germinate in the mind or when the good or evil ideas from the
outer world 
do not enter, only then the Pranayama becomes possible. It is nothing but the subsidence of passions born of the movement of the inhalation and exhalation of breath.

Pranayama is not done or articulated; it only happens. Yam and Niyam are meant for practice. When the practice is perfected, the state of Asan comes and the moment Asan is accomplished, Pranayam occurs. Pranayam means steadiness of the process of breathing which results in inner and outer thoughtlessness. The Pran starts flowing in one direction and modifications of the mind stop,
That is our goal.

Since Pranayam is our goal, the Maharishi tells us the method of Pranayam –

बाह्याभ्यन्तरस्तम्भवृत्तिर्देशकालसंख्याभिः परिदृष्टो दीर्घसूक्ष्मः/
“bāhya ābhyantara stambha vṛttiḥ deśa kāla
saṁkhyābhiḥ paridṛṣṭah dīrgha sūkṣmaḥ”.
While observing the inhalation and exhalation of breath witness the wanderings of the mind. Outer impulses are those impulses that lead to external disorders, to the world of matter to the world of darkness and attachment. The internal, impulses lead to Discernment, Renunciation, Sublimation, Power of Retention, and Trance’.

The suspended thought becomes stationary, a thought that assumes the identity of Name or Form.
When we view it with reference to time place and numbers it grows deep and subtle.
If you watch the wanderings of the mind in the regions of lust, wrath, attachments, hatred, and numberless desires and passions, you will find that as the mind moves in regions of attachment, it identifies itself with them. You should also watch till what time it stayed there. ‘Sankhyabhih Paridristo’ – Count the moments it spent there. You should force your mind to revert to the practice of meditation, to retained stationary thoughts, or to the Name or the Form of the Lord; you hold it there. If the mind or thought is inward you analyze whether it is lodged in Discernment, Renunciation, or in other areas of the like. If the mind moves in the area of Renunciation, you will find that it adopts the place. With the help of numbers, you can count the moments, or minutes of the time the mind stayed there, then again pull it to the retained thought. In this way the wanderings of the mind are controlled, the thoughts flow in one direction and Pranayam becomes easier, deep, and subtle.

Throwing light on the accomplishment of Pranayam Maharishi Patanjali says—
‘बाह्याभ्यन्तरविषयाक्षेपी चतुर्थः/ ‘bāhya ābhyantara viṣaya ākṣepī caturthaḥ’/ (2.51)’ ———— “When the waves of inner and outer world subside, the fourth stage of Pranayam comes. There is no reference to this fourth state in the popular proposition of three- staged Pranayam – Purak, Kumbhak, and Rechak. When the effort is made to regulate the thoughts and when they flow in a natural way undisturbed, that is the fourth stage of Pranayam. Where all the convulsions of mundane or spiritual thoughts sleep,
there lies the matured state of Pranayam.

Thus, we see that for Pranayam we have to quieten the leanings, stop the flow of ideas, and direct the movement of the mind in one direction. It is never the twisting of our breath. Breathing in children is found to be like children, in old men it is like old men, in young persons it is like young ones, in diseased men, it is like diseased people. Natural breathing is the routine of the corporeal body, which is constituted by Kshiti, Jal, Pavak, Gagan, and Sameer. It is an old saying that the human body is nothing but a bubble of water. Scientists have come to the conclusion after research that the human body consists of ninety-four percent of water, and only six percent of it is solid. So, it is correct that it is a bubble of water. The body has the elements of earth, water, space, fire, and wind. Breathing makes life possible. Please! do not obstruct the system provided by nature by increasing or decreasing the flow of breath. This would in no way help the attainment of Pranayam because Pranayam requires restraint of leanings and thoughts,
a spurt of material or non-material ideas in the mind. It is the chain of un-channelized concepts arising from the act of
breathing, which is to be restrained, not the act of breathing itself. If too much twisting of breathing is done, it is sure to cause some physical ailment. What you have to do is only to pledge the movement of your breath with the ‘Name’ or ‘Pranav’ and fix your mind at the feet of the Sadguru or in Brahm Vidya. All the systems of yog are comprehensively found in it.
There is no other place where you can take your mind except this trio. By stabilizing the breath
and coursing its flow towards self-realisation you can master Pranayam.

“ततः क्षीयते प्रकाशावरणम् / “tataḥ kṣīyate prakāśa āvaraṇam”
The moment Pranayam is accomplished, the curtain of Sanskaras  (
impressions) between you and the Light or God (whose form is light) stands thinned. There is one more benefit from Pranayam.
”धारणासु च योग्यता मनसः/”dhāraṇāsu ca yogyatā manasaḥ”/ (2.53). The mind develops the power of retentionGenerally, people use Pranayam for curing physical ailments but the author of Yog-Sutra, Mahrishi Patanjali ordains clearly that Pranayam smoothens the path of God-Realisation and develops the mental power of Retention. In the beginning, the mind has neither the ability of restraint nor retentionAs you start counting the name within the twinkling of an eye the mind slips out and starts roaming. It cannot retain the Name nor the Form but when the Mundane or outward-flowing thoughts get quietened and start flowing with Pranav, when the obstructions do not block the way at such a time mind gets the power of retention. After the state of Pranayam, if you wish to manage your mind to stay in Name, you can do so, if you want to tie it up with Form you can do it also, the mind’s eye would stand still. Just as you see your reflection in the mirror, you can see your own Form clearly and distinctly.

Maharishi Patanjali holds the same view about Pranayam which the Gita propounds. For Pranayam, you should neither shorten nor lengthen the breath. Only you sit in a calm posture and try to be aware of the ingoing and outgoing breath, how much time it stays inside and how much outside. When the mind starts observing it, drop the Name in the stream of contemplation quietly. When you inhale you should utter “Om” and when you exhale repeat it. For some days it is to be regularly practiced.
Thereafter there is a stage of contemplation known as Pashyanti Vani Jap.
When it comes the Name gets blended with the breath and the Name gets activated.

The breath does not utter anything except the Name. You have only to keep your mind upright witnessing objectively the transaction of breath as how it enters, how much time it takes in staying, and how it goes out. The moment the Name blends with the breath, gets activated and the mind’s eye fixed,
sweet music automatically emerges. The Jap would flow in a natural rhythm.

Lord Buddha: –

Generally, people think that Lord Buddha has evolved a new technique known as Vipashyana or Pranapansati but this is not so. He also talks about inhalation and exhalation, the same thing which our ancient scripture, the Gita expounds or which Maharishi Patanjali or any other accomplished saint advocated. When the Father of Gautam Buddha fell sick, he expressed his desire to meet and have Darshan of Tathagata. Lord Buddha went there and said,” O King! you practice Jap of Pranav and concentrate your mind on your breathing. We also do it. You should not feel grieved or sorrowful.
Try to concentrate on Panapan (breathing)”

Sufi Saint: –

There is a direction in the preachings of Sufi Saints and the Koran too that one should restrain and regulate the ‘Nafsha’- (senses) If even a single breath moves without the Name of the Lord, it means it is lifeless.
In other
words, it is your virtual death.

Thus, we see that all the Mahapurshas who treaded this path of divine practice, reach the same conclusion. When unaccomplished, immature saints occupy their places, they create friction and fissures in society.

Ram Charit Manas: –

Goswami Tulsidas has presented a metaphor of Pranayam in Ram Charit Manas. When Hanuman came back after locating Sita, Ram asked- “O’ Hanuman did you see Sita? Is she alive? How does she protect her life? (Kahahu Taat Kehin Bhanti Janki, Rahati Karati Raksha Swapran Ki / कहहु तात केहि भाँति जानकी। रहति करति रच्छा स्वप्रान की॥), – Hanuman replied – (Nam Paharu Diwas Nisi / नाम पाहरू दिवस निसि) “O! Lord! your Name constantly guards her (Dhyan Tumhar Kapat / ध्यान तुम्हार कपाट) – “Her mind is fixed at your feet”
(Lochan Nij Pad Jantrit Pran Jahin Kehi Bhat / लोचन निज पद जंत्रित जाहिं प्रान केहिं बाट ) – Her mind’s eye is fixed at her goal i.e., the revered God, that has locked it. No other thoughts can enter her mind.
Under such conditions how and from where the life breath of Sita can slip
This is an example of true Pranayam.

Lord Buddha says “O! my disciples! live in the yog-tight compartment as long as you are waking. When you retire for sleep, sleep with the constant echo of it, so that no untoward things happen, and no other thoughts or disorders creep into your mind to defile it. If you happen to see dreams, see the projection of your practices of the Sadhana of God only. Thought must flow in one direction.”

Swami Parmanand Ji. :-

 The revered Maharaj Ji used to say “ Jaagat Mey Sumiran Karey, Sowat Mey Luv Lai, Surat Dor Lagi Rahey Taar Tuti Na jai” – you should remain engaged with the remembrance of God as long as you are waking when you retire for sleep, you should after tying your mind to the contemplation go for sleep so that while you get up you find your mind’s eye clung to the same point. You should keep guard so that the chain of contemplation does not break. The Surati should remain all the time on its toe
linked with the soul discarding the material world.

Before coming under the refuge of Gurudeo, one gentleman had informed me that his uncle could withhold his breath for one hour. I enquired from him how long he could withhold it. He replied, “Fifteen minutes”. Out of curiosity, I further enquired. “How did you practice it?” He informed “You should retain your breath inside for as much time as you take in inhaling, it is taking almost the time in exhaling it. When you inhale your breath you should chant- ‘’Om Bhurbhuvah Swah tatsaviturava rendyam’’. When you retain your breath you should chant – ‘’Bhargo devasya dhimahi’’. While exhaling your breath you should chant “Dhiyoyo Nah Prachodayat “. In this way, you have to chant the Gayatri Mantra in three parts. As you inhale breath- think of God Brahma, at the time of its retention- think of God Vishnu
and while you exhale it- think of God Mahesh”. I had not seen God Brahma, so how could I think of
I could not translate his teachings into action.

After joining the order of Gurudev, I met one of his household devotees who used to perform some practices in the name of Yoga. He told me that a number of practices were to be made for Pranayam, for example taking a breath from the left nostril, retaining it inside then exhaling it outward. There after placing tight teeth over teeth, the breath is to be inhaled swiftly swelling and contracting the belly. After this pull out a bit of your tongue making your lips globular, now Inhale cool air inside this is called Sheetali Pranayam. Exhaling breath with a humming sound like bees is called Bhramari Pranayam. Thus, we find different kinds of Pranayam like Suryabhedi, Ujjai, Bhastrika, Moorchha, Kewali, Plavini, Kaki, Bhujangi, and Kavi. Some people practice Moolbundh some Jalandhar and some Uddiyan. Some adopt shadmukhi Mudra and some khechari while doing Pranayam. But our Guru Maharaj never taught us any of them, he did not even mention their names to us. Forcible intervention with the movements of breath is not our goal,
We aim to restrain the interpolation of extraneous disorderly thoughts
in the flow of meditation and take it to be Pranayam.

People generally believe that through the exercise of breathing, they can protect themselves
from mental disorders. But such safeguards are possible from any physical exercise. Such physical performances and postures might have medicinal use when one is afflicted with ailments but wasting time in learning Kumbhak etc. While we are healthy is not useful. It is as premature an act as bandaging the feet before they get hurt. In the modern age of advanced medical facilities, the operations of Hath yog for removing physical impurities have no use. On account of such occult activities, words like Yog, Asan, and Pranayam have lost their original connotation and utility. They create confusion in pursuit of yoga and deform society. It appears in one sentence like “śvāsa-praśvāsayor gati-vicchedaḥ”. The suspension of the act of breathing has misled the devotees. The sentence has wrongly been construed. Actually, it means the suspension of egress and ingress of thoughts, it means the suspension of the vocation of mind, it never means suspension of breath. All the words and phrases like Shwas, Prshwas, Pranapan, Vahya- Abhyantara, vritti, have the same connotation and aim at the same goal. Pranav stands for God; it is also known as ‘Om’. You should chant ‘OM’. Gradually the vocations of the mind would subside leaving behind the stability in your contemplation. You would attain the state of Pranayam.

Maharaj Ji used to narrate an anecdote in this reference. There was an industrialist who used to purchase at discount value all the goods of other traders who by evening failed to dispose of them. One day a trader approached him to sell his goods. The industrialist enquired about the merchandise. The trader replied that everybody made only inquiries about it, but no one came forward to buy it. The industrialist asked “What was the price of your commodity? The trader quoted Rupees five hundred and said that the merchandise was corked into a bottle because it was a ghost who is to be always kept engaged
in some kind of work, otherwise, it would devour its master.

The industrialist thought that he had so many factories in so many countries, the business also was flourishing, under such conditions, he needed a person who should remain engaged in the work all the time. He instantly paid one thousand instead of five hundred and bought it.

When the bottle was opened by the industrialist, the ghost jumped out and asked “Any service Sir? The industrialist gave it a list of undone and half-done jobs which now he had to finish. The ghost finished all the jobs allotted to him within two days and presented himself again with his usual remark “Please! Order for some other work”. The industrialist was now worried because he knew that if he failed to allot work to it, it would devour him. The frightened businessman ran towards the jungle where he met a saint in his Ashram. He humbly said to him about his problems. He requested him to accept the ghost free of charge in addition he was ready to pay an honorarium too. The saint asked where the ghost and the ghost were turned up. Promptly the ghost submitted “Any service Sir”? The businessman replied henceforth the saint would allot the work as he had been transferred to him. The ghost said, “O.K. let the saint now allot the work. If he fails to do it, I will devour both of you”. The saint asked it to bring a big bamboo which it brought. He ordered the ghost to fix it firmly in the ground. The ghost complied with the order. Now the saint directed him to run up and down on the bamboo like a shuttle cock. Sometimes he used to direct him to sweep the Asharam with a broomstick, or to bring firewood or put the rosary from one place to another. He directed it to go on serving thus and when it was free it had to shuttle up and down on the bamboo stick. The ghost performing the endless jobs got emasculated, it fell down and died.

Explaining the allegory of this story Maharaj Ji used to say that it is our mind which is in the above story represented as the ghost, and the breath is represented as the bamboo stick. The Mahapurushas activate breathing with spiritual vigor. In the beginning, the mind remains fickle, so it has to be collected from worldly objects and devoted to the chanting of breathing. He directed to chant the Name with the breath. When you inhale, you chant ‘OM’ when you exhale you chant ‘OM’, keep watch so that no other thought enters the mind. You can serve the master also when it is needed but soon after finishing the service get again engaged with your jap. Gradually by doing it, the mind would get tardy, and languid. Only then it would become tranquil and lose its existence. Such was the practical form of Pranayam
preached by Maharaj Ji. He used to explain and elaborate but never uttered the word Pranayam.

In his daily preachings also the revered Maharaj Ji used to prescribe the practice of Pranayam but never under the name of Pranayam. He never wanted to attach unnecessary importance to it. On the occasion of Guru Purnima which used to be celebrated at Ansuiya Asharam, often a number of devotees even when the celebration was over were unwilling to go back to their homes. Maharaj Ji used to persuade them to go back, so their household duties were not ignored.
He advised them to return physically but remain there mentally.
After such instructions, some devotees used to return to their homes,
still few stubborn followers stayed.

After some days, when Maharaj Ji marked that they were now growing gradually less interested in further prolonging their stay and had become homesick, he instructed them to return. The homesick mind would not allow them to pursue their devotion there anymore. So, they were asked to go to their homes and chant ‘OM’ or Ram or any diminutive name. It is so because in the future it has to be chanted with breathing. Then longer prayers like ‘OM’ Bhurbhuvah Swah or ‘Om Namo Bhagwatey Basudevay Namah’, or ‘OM Namah Shivay’ would not be possible to blend with the breathing, Tulsi Das says- Mantra Param Laghu Jasu Bas Vidhi Harihar Sur Sarv/ मंत्र परम लघु जासु बस, विधि हरि हर सुर सर्व :- The mantra for Jap should be tiny like ‘OM’ or ‘Ram’. “Select one Name and chant it and contemplate keeping in mind my form every morning and evening at least for five minutes, you would attain realization while remaining at your home. I would grant it even from my seat here.”
Bhajan is nothing but an awakening, it
cannot be written, nor can it be narrated.
It gets activated by some accomplished Sadguru only –
‘So binu Sant Na Kahoo Payi’/ बिनो संत न कहू पाही –
No one can get it without the help of any saint. ‘’

Thus, Maharaj Ji used to instruct for letting the breath cosigned to the flow of ‘OM’. Practice is not to be done for Pranayam, it is to be made for chanting ‘OM’ through the breath. The breath is not to be held or retained, only the thoughts of worldly objects or the operations of the mind born of breathing are to be held. Pranayam is the result of the suspension of the flow of thoughts. It is a testimonial. Practice is to be made to master Yam and Niyam. Pranayam is a stage that comes after the restraint of thoughts.
It is never the last stage of
Bhajan; it is only an encampment, a halting place.

~Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans. ©

Humble Wishes.


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Dhyan/Meditation in Ramcharit Manas………….!!!!!

Dhyan/Meditation in Ramcharit Manas………….!!!!!

According to the Ram Charit Manas, Dhyan (Meditation) is not the beginning of Sadhna,
it is the result or fruit of it. The context occurs in the Aranya Kand.
Maharishi Agastya was the top sage of his time.
Dashanan (Ravan) could be killed only by the special arrow that he presented to Lord Ram.
This great sage had thousands of disciples. Sutikshna was one of them.
He was very innocent, out and out a
simple-hearted devotee.
Impressed by his simplicity, the master allotted him the work of cleansing the rectangular seat of the idol of Lord Shaligram and giving a bath to the idol. There was a river named Kaveri near the Ashram and some trees of Jamun (A kind of fruit of black color) were there on the bank of it. Sutikshna used to pluck the fruits by throwing the idol of Saligram at them. When the fruit on the branches became unapproachable, he started pelting the said idol at them swaying his hands forcefully.

One day Saligram Ji fell into the river. Sutikshna took a dives after dives into the river to search it out but failed to find it. So, he took a round black fruit of Jamun and placed it on the wooden seat. When the master came and tried to put a mark of sandal paste on the idol, his fingers got stuck into it (as it had become softer on account of bathing). Sutikshna was called and asked to explain how it was so.
How did the idol of stone become so soft and yielding?
He replied,
“Puni Puni Chandan, Puni Puni Pani Salig Sad Gaye Hum Ka Jani?”
(On account of repeated bathings and marks of Chandan Paste Salig rotted.
I do not know any other reason).
The Maharishi was amazed to hear the explanation. He burst out chastising him “What a strange seer you
are! Go away and return here only when you find out the real God otherwise don’t appear before me.
As he was dismissed, he had to quit the Ashram.

Since Sutikshna had been an inmate of the Ashram for long, he knew well the system of Sadhna.
He built a cottage in the forest and started living there.

“Rishi Agastya Kar Shishya Sujana Naam Sutichhan Rati Bhagwana
Man Kram Bachan Ram Pad Sewak Sapnehun Aan Bharos Na Dewak”

With all his mind, body, and action he was singularly devoted to Lord Ram.
He did not even dream of any other God to rely upon.
He got absorbed in spiritual contemplation. One day Sutikshna came to know that Lord Ram, his adored God, was somewhere around the place. He started cursing his fate –

Hey Vidhi Deen, Bandhu Raghuraya Mosey Sath Par Karihahin Daya’

(O! God! Would you be kind to one like me who is so foolish and crooked)

‘More Jiya Bharos Dridh Nahi Bhagati, Virati Na Gyan Man Mahi’

(I am not mentally stable; I do not have the virtue of renunciation also.
I do not have any quality, which might attract the compassion of the Lord)

‘Nahi Satsang Jog Jap Jaga
Nahi Dridh Charan Kamal Anuraga’

 (My practice of chanting the name is not satisfactory,
I am alone and miss the company of saints,
My practice of yoga
is not going properly even the devotion to the Lord is missing,
so why should He care for me).
Such mental ramblings were going on. But soon he was reminded of one quality of God –

‘Ek Bani Karunanidhan Ki
So, Priya Jakey Gati Na Aan Ki’
(The Lord has avowedly promised that he certainly grants his benedictions
to one who does not depend on
anyone else.)

When this idea occurred to him his mind stood reassured –
“Hoihain Suphal Aaj Mum Lochan,
Dekhi Vadan Pankaj Bhav Mochan”
(My eyes would certainly be overjoyed to see the lotus-like face of the Lord
who grants deliverance from the ills of the world).

The moment his sentiments stabilized love-lorn, Sutikshna grew restless.
No sooner the form of the Lord dawned in his heart than he sat down firmly on the earth,
unwavering and steady.

“Muni Mug Manjh Achal Hoi Vaisa
Pulak Shareer Panas Phal Jaisa”
(He sat in the middle of the way, stable and staunch).

Was it any ordinary pedestrian footpath where Sutikshna sat down firmly in the middle of it.
No! There are actually two ways in the world – Pravritti Marg
(the path of active association with and interest in mundane affairs)
and Nivritti Marg (the path of resignation from mundane activity).
Pravritti Marg leads nowhere, it only throws one in the cycle of birth and death to wander about endlessly. Nivritti Marg is the path of devotion that leads to the realization of God.
finally ends as there is no being, no existence, no entity thereafter to seek for. Where would the devotee go? That is why when one moves on the path of devotion and goes on practicing the spiritual regulations,
and when the incessant flow of divine Love starts, God instantly appears in the heart –

‘Atishaya Preeti Dekhi Raghuveera,
Praktey Hriday Haran Bhav Bheera’

When the Lord came near him –
‘Munihi Ram Bahu Bhanti Jagava,
Jag Na Dhyan Janit Sukh Pawa’ –

He tried to wake him up in different ways,
but the Muni was deeply absorbed in Dhyan so could not be awakened.
Then the Lord adopted a device. His Dhyan underwent a change.
The Muni now got disturbed and stood up restlessly. The form that was installed in his heart,
was now visible outside. The Muni on seeing Him physically there fell at His feet.

Lord Ram said, “O! great sage! I want to have the Darshan of your Guruji.
I want to go to him along with you.”
Sutikshna said, “O! My Lord! I know you are not going there for Darshan,
actually, you fulfill the injunction of my Guru who had said to me to come back to him only with real God. You are in fact accomplishing it”.

“Hari Vyapak Sarvatra Samana Prem Tey Prakat Hohin Main Jana”

This is the truth that God is immanent, all-pervading everywhere,
He materializes Himself on account of only love.
Sutikshana ji used to pursue Bhajan at that time also when he lived in the Ashram of his Gurudeo.
In the beginning, he was serving his Guru and through service, he got the technique of Bhajan.
He was so evolved that he forgot his physical entity, his surroundings.

“Kabahuk Nritya Karai Gun Gai”.
Many a time he used to start dancing and singing about the attributes of God.
He was God – intoxicated. When God found that the flow of Love was incessantly suited to the state of Dhyan, He appeared in his heart.
When Dhyan stabilizes, God seems permeated everywhere.
He seems to be guarding with his bows and arrows. He manifests Himself.
Thus, we see that Dhyan is the fruit, the result.

The organization of the camps of Dhyan/Meditation is useless.
One should try to learn how to practice Bhajan.
One should also know whose Bhajan is to be done.
The technique is to be learned.
By and by love for God would grow but faith in one God should remain stable.

The moment the flow of love becomes continuous, God instantly reveals Himself.
You would attain the state of Dhyan (Meditation).
I repeat Dhyan is the result, not the beginning.
One should learn in the beginning the restraint of senses,
regulation of mind, and should know who is one’s adored God.
After doing it, one should get involved in the Sadhana which leads to Divine love.
It is the result of regular practice and firm faith.
The state of Dhyan occurs later on.

Another context of Manas is also worth going through,
it occurs in the Kishkindha Kand and refers to the deliverance of Bali.

‘Jiti Pawan Man Go Nirasi Muni Dhyan Kabahuk Pawahi’

First, breathing is controlled through the regulation of inhalation and exhalation of it.
Then the impulse of thoughts which is stimulated through breathing
and the surrounding atmosphere is to be overcome.
Only after completely freeing the mind and senses from the stronghold of objects and their attachments, the Munis attain the state of Dhyan which is the fruit of constant and perpetual practice.

‘Dhyan Kabhuk Pawahi’
(Seldom get it).

This is the result, not the beginning. One should know first how to control the senses.
How to free them from the attachment of objects,
how to regulate the movement of the breath, and how to stop the velocity of the mind.
These are the pre-conditions without observing them Dhyan Camps have no meaning.

~Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans.

Humble Wishes.


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Maharishi Patanjali, the great enunciator of the philosophy of yog has been an eminent sage.
He defines yog as –  अथ योगानुशासनम् / ‘atha yogānuśāsanam – which means yog is discipline.
What to discipline? In the next maxim he answers – योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः/ ‘yogaḥ cittavṛtti nirodhaḥ’ –
Yog is the regulation or disciplining the modifications of mind. Modifications are endless and they command speed also.

Mind moves faster than even wind. Regulation of its movement is Nirodh (restrain). We have to keep this nature of mind in control, under discipline. Suppose through arduous efforts we succeed in disciplining them, then what do we get of it?

Maharishi says – तदा द्रष्टु: स्वरुपेSवस्थानम्/
tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe avasthānam – the soul then gets 
in the pristine form of Parmatman (God).
Now the question arises – was the soul defiled before its restoration to the Swaroop?
Maharishi answers – वृत्तिसारूप्यम् इतरत्र/ ‘vṛtti sārūpyam itaratra’
– as the Vrittis are so the soul becomes.

What are Vrittis?
The enunciator of the maxim explains their nature –
वृत्तयः पञ्चतय्यः क्लिष्टाSक्लिष्टा:/
“vṛttayaḥ pañcatayyaḥ kliṣṭā akliṣṭāḥ”.
The modifications cause pain and miseries. They are of five kinds and every Vritti has two species. Sometimes they lead to distress, generating cycles of birth and death.
but at times they relieve also from them.
The Vrittis are endless but are cognisable as criterion/ correct or right knowledge (pramāṇa), metathesis/ misconception, incorrect knowledge (viparyaya), option/verbal delusion, imagination (vikalpa), Sleep (nidrā ) and memory (smṛiti ).
Thus, they are of five kinds.

The problem is how to regulate them? How to discipline them?
अभ्यासवैराग्याभ्यां तन्निरोधः/ “abhyāsa vairāgyābhyāṁ tannirodhaḥ” – through practice and renunciation
the modifications of mind are subjected and restrained.
What is renunciation? How to start? Where the mind is to be centered?

क्लेशकर्मविपाकाशयैरपरामृष्ट: पुरुषविशेष ईश्वरः/ “kleśa karma vipāka āśayaiḥ aparāmṛṣṭaḥ puruṣaviśeṣaḥ Īśvaraḥ – Ignorance (Avidya), I-ness, ego sense (Asmita), attachment (Raga), Aversion (Dvesha) and Fear of death, clinging to life (Abhinivesah) are the five causes of afflictions of human beings. He who is above the outcome of good or bad actions, he who is unrelated to their accumulations, is a special individual and may be called Purush Ishwara. They had no doubt their impact on this Purush prior to his spiritual attainments. But now he is free from it.

Had the Vrittis not any relation with the individual how the idea of God being above.
their impact could be entertained.
Such a one is Ishwara (God Himself).
Time has no effect on Him.
It can neither add nor 
subtract God.

Time has no access there. He is the Guru of Gurus; in other words, he is Sadguru.
because he incorporates supreme Truth.
तस्य वाचकः प्रणवः/ “tasya vācakaḥ praṇavaḥ” – He is called by the name – ‘Omkar’.
So, chant His name OM and meditate on its gist – form (Arthswaroop).
You would cross the hurdles as a result of it.
The sage has made it here very clear that you have not to meditate on anyone and everyone,
you have to meditate on only the supreme Lord and chant only His name.

In the second chapter of Yog – Darshan entitled ‘Sadhanpad’ Maharishi tells us from where the Yog starts.

तपःस्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि क्रियायोगः/ “tapaḥ svādhyāya Īśvarapraṇidhānāni kriyāyogaḥ – Austerity (tapaḥ), Self-Study (svādhyāya) and īśvarapraṇidhānāni Profound meditation on the Supreme God/ Sharnagati (īśvarapraṇidhānāni) is the dyanamic kriya yoga practice (Kriya- yog). This yog has eight parts – yama, niyama, āsana, prāṇāyāma, pratyāhāra, dhāraṇā, dhyāna, samādhayaḥ.

Yam is of five kinds. ahiṁsā, satya, asteya, brahmacarya, aparigrahāḥ.
Niyam also is of five kinds – śauca, saṅtoṣa, tapaḥ, svādhyāya, īśvarapraṇidhānāni.
 means Cleanliness of the conscience.
saṅtoṣa connotes balance of desire,
tapaḥ means the mortification of mind and senses through austerity as per the will of the Isht (adored God).  svādhyāya suggests the study of the self or self-evaluation.
as how much the mind is devoted to Bhajan,
how much it depends on God.

Out of all these tapaḥ, svādhyāya and īśvarapraṇidhānāni (the three) are Kriya Yog.
As soon as the three are translated into action, Bhajan starts (Yog begins).
ahiṁsā, satya, asteya, brahmacarya, aparigrahāḥ would follow by degrees.
Thereafter śauca and saṅtoṣa step in.

After Yam and Niyam, the third part of Yog is Aasan (posture).
स्थिरसुखम् आसनम्/ sthira sukham āsanam . “Aasan means stable and comfortable sitting posture.
A trader sits from dawn to dusk on his seat, is it the import of the word Aasan?
No, when does the Aasan become accomplished?

The Maharishi says:

प्रयत्नशैथिल्यानन्तसमापत्तिभ्याम् /”prayatna śaithilya ananta samāpattibhyām
(When the efforts of practicing yam and niyam become natural relaxed,
and the mind gets fixed completely, then the Aasna is accomplished).

If aasan means sitting at some external place, where is the need of tying the mind with the Infinite?
Had it been so what would have been the use and meaning of phrase – relaxation of efforts?
Actually, Aasan does not mean any seat or sitting posture,
it means the stability of the mind which tends to race hurriedly and wander untiringly.
In fact, Aasan becomes perfect only when the efforts made for attaining Ahimsha, truth, celebacy etc.
turn natural, automatic or effortless and the mind gets established in the Supreme Being.

As soon as the Aasan is accomplished –
तस्मिन्सति श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः प्राणायामः/ “tasmin satiśvāsa praśvāsayoḥ gativicchedaḥ prāṇāyāmaḥ

(The inhalation and exhalation of breath stop, and this cessation is called Pranayam.
Pranayam occurs when neither the thoughts of external world nor of internal world germinate in the mind, when there is no commotion of feelings, this state is known as Pranayam.
The operation of the breath ceases, the breath flows only in single direction).

Thus, it is clear that the Pranayam is not any form of practice.
Practice is done for penance, study of self and surrender to one God.
Practice has to be made for non- violence, truth and keeping away from hoarding etc.
After regular practice postures become easy, mind becomes stable.
The moment Asan is accomplished, Pranayam occurs.
This is the result of the observance of the rules of Yam – Niyam and other steps.

For attaining this state one has to pass through four stages –

बाह्याभ्यन्तरस्तम्भवृत्तिर्देशकालसंख्याभिः परिदृष्टो दीर्घसूक्ष्मः/
bāhya ābhyantara stambha vṛttiḥ deśa kāla
saṁkhyābhiḥ paridṛṣṭah dīrgha sūkṣmaḥ

External thoughts, internal reflections and stable thinking should be properly examined through.
Time, Place and numbers. As a result of it Pranayam gradually becomes long and subtle and then turns stable. External thoughts generate either attachment or hatred, likes or dislikes, endless desires.
Such passionwrapped inclinations throw us in the whirlpool of worldliness.

On the other hand, there are desires and inclinations which are internal and endowed with Reason (Vivek), Renunciation (Vairagya) Penance (Tap), Self-study (Swadhyay) and contemplation of God.
One should watch and examine in which area of conciousness
(in the area of greed or attachmenet or desires)
the mind was wandering, how much time it moved there, one should count the duration in numbers (because the clock or watch by that time was not invented).

At times this mind which wanders in the external world starts introspection
and analysis of its ways of
self-control and rules thereof.
It is found moving sometimes in the area of renunciation (vairagya) or in the field of continence (Brahmcharya), or in that of self-study.
But this too is in fact a wave rising on the surface of conciousness.
By counting in numbers, a constant watch has to be kept on mind to know how much time.
it stayed in the particular field.
Then it should be pulled back to stand unwavering.
One should try to control its speed and turn it to subtle unwavering state of motionlessness.

Our revered Guru Maharajji used to say –
Ho! Guard your mind with concious alert thoughts. Only then the Bhajan is possible”.
When the breath is observed step by step thoroughly, it becomes long, subtle and stable.
Then the state of Pranayam comes naturally.
बाह्याभ्यन्तरविषयाक्षेपी चतुर्थः/ ‘bāhya ābhyantara viṣaya ākṣepī caturthaḥ.

This is the fourth stage which comes naturally after the renunciation of external and internal contact of thoughts. Pumping in air, causing to swell the belly, then propelling it out and holding it there like the bellows of ironsmith, is only the perverted form of Pranayam.
It is misleading but it masquerades today as the real one.
What wrong your poor breath has done?

It infact invigorates power, if it stops, we will die. The rise and fall of five afflictions (Kleshas) like Ignorance, self-identity (Asmita) does not affect physical body, it affects the movement of thoughts. Such thoughts are to be restrained, desires are to be controlled, not the natural flow of breath.

As soon as the thoughts, the ideas emanating through breathing cease,
ततः क्षीयते प्रकाशावरणम्/
tataḥ kṣīyate prakāśa āvaraṇam ” the veil of light becomes thin and Pranayam is accomplished. The veil of Sanskaras which separates you from the soul becomes flimsy.
धारणासु च योग्यता मनसः/ dhāraṇāsu ca yogyatā manasaḥ 
the mind develops the power of retention.

The Maharishi delineates the nature of dhāraṇā (retention) in the first maxim of ‘Vibhutipad’:
देशबन्धश्चित्तस्य धारणा / ‘
deśa bandhaḥ cittasya dhāraṇā – Fixing the mind to some area or something is dhāraṇā ,
Maharishi has already described two areas or locations for dhāraṇā – firstly the Chanting (Jap) of OM
and secondly meditation of God.

In the beginning despite efforts the form of God eludes contemplation. Mind starts chanting OM but soon deviates and disgresses, it starts roaming or thinking about senseless things. But when the Pranayam is mastered, the mind acquires the power of retention (dhāraṇā)
and the grasp of swaroop (Self) becomes possible.

तत्र प्रत्ययैकतानता ध्यानम् / ‘tatra pratyaya ekatānatā dhyānam‘- Where the mind is fixed, there the consciousness continuously flows, and it is known as dhyāna. Dhyan is the fruit of such practices; it is never the beginning. Dhyan camps are useful for teaching how to restrain the senses? How to know? On whom to meditate?

Camps for learning the methodology may be organised but they should not be called meditation camps.
“dhyāna” is simply the result of the correct spiritual practices.

When Dhyan becomes matured–

तदेवार्थमात्रनिर्भासं स्वरूपशून्यमिव समाधिः/ ‘tadeva arthamātranirbhāsaṁ svarūpaśūnyam iva samādhiḥ’ –
when the aimed object alone remains in sight, when the mind dissolves, when the person who meditates loses the consciousness of his separate identity, it turns into samādhayaḥ. “Sam-Aadi – Sa Samadhih” – the state which gives equanimity with the phenomenon which has no beginning, no end and which is the ultimate truth,
the Supreme God, is Samadhi.
Even consciousness dissolves here.

Man, Mara Maya Mari, Hansa Beparvah, Jako Kachhoo Na Chahiye Soi Shahanshah’
The surface of mind which bears the imprint of illusion (Maya) is now lost. So where would Maya now stand.

The separate entity of the witness no more exists, it has merged with the self.
That is the ultimate aim of Yog.

According to Maharishi Patanjali, one should meditate on the Sadguru and chant Pranav (OM).
Sadguru is he who is free from impact of pain and pleasure, who is not separate from God,
who lives like the Akal Purush (Supreme Being who is not subject to Time).
Such a guru is the guru of gurus. Manas says– ‘Balak Roop Ram Kar Dhyana’– The child form of God can be meditated upon. Our revered Maharaj Ji used to say that a child and an accomplished saint are similar, live on the same plane. Such a saint may physically look grown, but his nature is childlike.

In the Geeta (11/43) Lord Shri Krishna has been addressed as “gururgarīyān” which means greater than gurus. Maharishi Patanjali’s words like “Poorveyshamapi guru” have been used bearing the same meaning what Manas says – ‘Tum Tribhuwan Gurudeo Bakhana’. Such is the nature, state and quality of a Sadguru.

If you do not get such a genuine guru, do not be in hurry to accept any one as such. Till you get an exalted, self-realised Guru, you should serve saints, live close to them, chant the name and pray. There are lots of Sanskaras (imprints) accumulated through different cycles of births and deaths and they are like dirt and dross, acting like sheath or envelop between you and your soul.

The moment they are washed away God would guide your soul like a charioteer. He would instruct you what to do and what not to do. He would tell you also – “Look! There is your Sadguru”.
Our revered Gurudeo was informed by God Himself that his guru was present in a particular temple. Maharaj Ji told us that he had seen that gentleman several times earlier also but could not identify him. People used to take him to be a lunatic and like them he also took him to be so. But it was God Himself who through Aakashwani (Divine Voice) informed him that it was he who was his Gurudeo.

He could recognise him only when God told him. If you want to do Bhajan, do it at a secluded, sequestered place, do it like a lunatic. If you show off, you cannot perform Bhajan. All the great saints who stand as milestones, looked like lunatics. Ram Krishna Paramhansh, Jada Bharat, Lord Mahavir, Kakbhushundi all looked during their period of Sadhana like lunatics. Our Gurudeo and his Gurudeo Maharaj too were taken as such during their period of penance.

He used to say – “Wherever I went, people took me to be a mad man, street urchins pelted gravels and pebbles at me but when they happened to hear my words, they used to cling to me and say O! Maharaj Ji! How wrong ideas we had about you, astonisingly you came out to be such a great saint.

Actually, the great seers perform Bhajan in disguise. When a man is absorbed in his industry, he has no time for general beahviour and common courtesies. Those who read daily newspapers are found many a time so engrossed in reading that they are not aware of the passersby. If it is so with such persons, you can imagine of a man who performs Bhajan and gets deeply absorbed in it. He does not know what goes on in the outer world. Bhajan is performed in a concealed way. Even the neighbouring person fails to know that the Bhajan was being performed. Thus, sadgurudeo is a hard nut to crack but it is very easy to find him out – only know the method of Sadhana and engage yourself in it.

Go on chanting the name, praying God and serving faithfully the saints and seers.

God would Himself show the path – “Sant Vishuddh Milahin Pari Tehin, Ram Kripa Kari Chitwahin Jeyhin.”– Once the Lord graciously happens to cast his glance at anyone, the genuine saint (Sadguru) meets like a windfall. After you meet a sadguru, nothing remains to be achieved. After this Dhyan comes as the next step. But Dhyan is never the beginning stage. When the sadguru gives the clue of Sadhana, gradually the state of Dhyan is attained. The spiritual clues cannot be found in books.
as they cannot be put in black and white.

Only by an accomplished sage, it is kindled in the conscience of a devotee.

~Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans. ©

Humble Wishes.

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Yogeshwar Shri Krishna speaks in the chapter – six of the Geeta that a yogi living in a sequestered place, abjuring desires, expectations, and hoardings should restrain the mind and senses, then sitting in a stable posture, keeping his body, neck, and head straight collect himself and meditate on Me. Here too Dhyan is not the beginning of Sadhna. The devotee has to fulfill certain pre-conditions like living in a sequestered place and restraining the mind and senses. The Yogeshwar (Lord of Yog) prescribes His own form as the object of meditation. It is important to note that the Geeta does not ordain to meditate on any or everything or every person.

In chapter Eighteen, From Verse Fifty-One to Fifty-Five Yogeshwar Shri Krishna says:

बुद्ध्या विशुद्धया युक्तो धृत्यात्मानं नियम्य च।
शब्दादीन्विषयांस्त्यक्त्वा रागद्वेषौ व्युदस्य च॥
buddhyā viśuddhayā yukto dhṛtyātmānaṁ niyamya ca
śabdādīnviṣayāṁstyaktvā rāgadveṣau vyudasya ca

“Blessed with a pure intellect, firmly in command of the Self,
with objects of sensual gratification like sound forsaken,
with both fondness and revulsion destroyed, -“

विविक्तसेवी लघ्वाशी यतवाक्कायमानसः।
ध्यानयोगपरो नित्यं वैराग्यं समुपाश्रितः॥
viviktasevī laghvāśī yatavākkāyamānasaḥ
dhyānayogaparo nityaṁ vairāgyaṁ samupāśritaḥ

“Dwelling in seclusion, eating frugally, subdued in mind, speech, and body,
incessantly given to the yog of meditation, firmly resigned, -’’

अहंकारं बलं दर्पं कामं क्रोधं परिग्रहम्।
विमुच्य निर्ममः शान्तो ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते॥
ahaṁkāraṁ balaṁ darpaṁ kāmaṁ krodhaṁ parigraham
vimucya nirmamaḥ śānto brahmabhūyāya kalpate

“And of giving up conceit, the arrogance of power, yearning, ill humor,
and acquisitiveness, devoid of attachment, and in possession of a mind at repose,
a man is worthy of becoming one with God.”

ब्रह्मभूतः प्रसन्नात्मा न शोचति न काङ्क्षति।
समः सर्वेषु भूतेषु मद्भक्तिं लभते पराम्॥
brahmabhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu madbhaktiṁ labhate Param

“In this serene-tempered man, who views all beings equally,
who abides intently in the Supreme Being,
neither grieving over nor hankering after anything,
there is fostered a faith in me that transcends all else.’’

भक्त्या मामभिजानाति यावान्यश्चास्मि तत्त्वतः।
ततो मां तत्त्वतो ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनंतरम्॥
bhaktyā māmabhijānāti yāvānyaścāsmi tattvataḥ
tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā viśate tadanaṁtaram

“Through his transcendental faith, he knows my essence well,
what my reach is, and having thus known my essence
He is at once united with me.”

For the attainment of my Para Bhakti (transcendental devotion) the devotee has to abjure objects even words (speech) and has to lead a secluded life. He has to take little food, restrain the body and senses, and is to be thoroughly devoted to meditation. Here too Yogeshwara Krishna has directed several precursory steps to be taken before meditation. He has confirmed and pointed out that his devotion was possible through meditation of some exalted yoga – Being (Yogeshwar).

The Geeta never speaks of the meditation on any Tom Dick Harry.

In Chapter Eight Verse Six it says–

यं यं वाऽपि स्मरन्भावं त्यजत्यन्ते कलेवरम्।
तं तमेवैति कौन्तेय सदा तद्भावभावितः॥
yam yam vā’pi smaranbhāvam tyajatyante kalevaram
tam tamevaiti kaunteya sadā tadbhāvabhāvitah

“A man attains, O son of Kunti,
to the state with the thought of which he departs from the body
because of his constant preoccupation with that state.’’

It means – the person gets the same yoni (the form of existence) about whom he thinks at the time of his leaving the body (death).
Yogeshwar Krishn also says that those who leave their body meditating on Me, attain my immortal, imperishable
divine form which breaks the cycles of birth and death.
So, O Arjun! you constantly contemplate on me.

Thus, we see that Yogeshwar Shri Krishna prescribes meditation on His own being for liberation from cycles of birth and death for the attainment of an immortal state and for final establishment in the element of immortality. Thoughts and contemplation of other forms of existence (yonis) undoubtedly grant those very forms (Yonis). This is indisputable. Concentrating the mind on a flower or a lamp instead of God would not do.

Discussing the same point, the Yogeshwar further lays emphasis

in Chapter Eight, Verse Seven –
तस्मात्सर्वेषु कालेषु मामनुस्मर युध्य च।
tasmātsarvesu kālesu māmanusmara yudhya ca

“So, you will doubtlessly realize me if,
with your mind and intellect dedicated to me, you always wage war.’’

“O! Arjun! You contemplate on Me and start the battle.”

In the next couplet (Shloka) he clarifies the method of contemplation i.e., unwavering renunciation,
leading a life of recluse, retaining the yog-technique in the heart
and singular contemplation of My Being – ‘cetasā nānyagāminā.’
They are the methods of meditation.
If other scenes and visions in place of God appear in the mind,
the contemplation is not perfect.
The notable point here is that the Lord has ordained to meditate on His own Being.

In the Ninth Chapter, Verse Eleven of the Geeta, Lord Shri Krishna introduces Himself –

अवजानन्ति मां मूढा मानुषीं तनुमाश्रितम्।
परं भावमजानन्तो मम भूतमहेश्वरम्॥
avajānanti mām mūdhā mānusīm tanumāśritam
param bhāvamajānanto mama bhūtamaheśvaram

‘‘The deluded who do not know my ultimate being regard me in the human form as but an inferior mortal.’’

Do you know what the seers and sages are?
They too by getting the transcendental touch get established in the transcendental entity.
The physical body of such a saint is mere habitation which houses him – “Sadhan Dham Moksha Kardwara.”

In the Eighth Chapter, Verse Eleven the Lord says –

यदक्षरं वेदविदो वदन्ति
विशन्ति यद्यतयो वीतरागाः।
यदिच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति
तत्ते पदं संग्रहेण प्रवक्ष्ये॥
yadaksaram vedavido vadanti
viśanti yadyatayo vītarāgāh
yadicchanto brahmacaryam caranti
tatte padam sangrahena pravaksye

“I shall tell you briefly of the ultimate state which knowers of the Ved call the imperishable,
and which is realized by men who aspire for it, act without desire, and practice continence.’’

I would tell you about Him who alone is worthy to be placed in the heart. What is His nature?

सर्वद्वाराणि संयम्य मनो हृदि निरुध्य च।
मूर्ध्न्याधायात्मनः प्राणमास्थितो योगधारणाम्॥
sarvadvārāni sanyamya mano hrdi nirudhya ca
mūrdhnyādhāyātmanah prānamāsthito yogadhāranām
(Chapter Eight, Verse Twelve)

ओमित्येकाक्षरं ब्रह्म व्याहरन्मामनुस्मरन्।
यः प्रयाति त्यजन्देहं स याति परमां गतिम्॥
omityekāksaram brahma vyāharanmāmanusmaran
yah prayāti tyajandeham sa yāti paramām gatim.
(Chapter Eight, Verse Thirteen)

“Shutting the doors of all the senses, that is, restraining them from the desire for their objects,
confining his intellect within the Self,
fixing his life-breath within his mind, and absorbed in Yog,’’

“He who departs from the body intoning OM,
which is God in word, and remembering me, attains to salvation.’’

He, who by controlling the doors of all the senses by restraining them holds the technique of yoga in his heart,
establishes his mind in his intellect and chants the name Akshra Brahm – ‘OM’ meditating on ‘Me’ (My form)
and leaves his body – consciousness, gets instantly Supreme State of realization.
‘Tyajandeham’ means even the awareness of the body goes.
‘sa yāti paramām gatim’. The moment it happens, the ultimate goal is achieved.
The Lord has ordained here to meditate on Him and chant the name of OM. He calls the method of performance – ‘Yogavidhi’ which is to be observed to stop the movement of the senses from digressing to worldly objects.

The Lord again emphasizes –

अनन्यचेताः सततं यो मां स्मरति नित्यशः।
तस्याहं सुलभः पार्थ नित्ययुक्तस्य योगिनः॥८-१४॥
ananyacetāh satatam yo mām smarati nityaśash
tasyāham sulabhah pārtha nityayuktasya yoginah
(Chapter 8, Verse Fourteen)

“The yogi who is firmly devoted to me,
and who constantly remembers me and is absorbed in me, realizes me with ease.”

‘I’ am accessible to him, now what is the benefit of such accessibility?

मामुपेत्य पुनर्जन्म दुःखालयमशाश्वतम्।
नाप्नुवन्ति महात्मानः संसिद्धिं परमां गताः॥
māmupetya punarjanma duhkhālayamaśāśvatam
nāpnuvanti mahātmānah sansiddhim paramām gatāh
(Chapter Eight, Verse Fifteen)
“Accomplished sages who have attained the ultimate state are no longer subject.
to transient rebirth which is like a house of sorrows.’’

Such accomplished sages are no longer subject to transient rebirth which is the source of all the miseries.
Now the question arises – who falls in the sphere of re-birth?

आब्रह्मभुवनाल्लोकाः पुनरावर्तिनोऽर्जुन।
मामुपेत्य तु कौन्तेय पुनर्जन्म न विद्यते॥
ābrahmabhuvanāllokāh punarāvartino’rjuna
māmupetya tu kaunteya punarjanma na vidyate
(Chapter Eight, Verse Sixteen)

“All the worlds from Brahmlok downwards are, O Arjun, of a recurrent character,
but O son of Kunti, the soul which realizes me is not born again.”

Even the creator of this world and his world created by Him – animate and inanimate,
the issues of Diti and Aditi known as gods and demons,
all essentially are recurrent by nature, in other words take birth again and again in this world.
‘Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Marnam’ – they are all stuck in the cycle of birth and death
and hence transient and full of suffering.

But O! Arjun! My devotee never perishes. The word of the Yogeshwar implies that those who meditate on others,
invite huge calamities. If you desire to perish you may go for mortal things or beings,
if you want to attain an immortal and imperishable state, you should rush up to the Yogeshwar.

In the closing chapter of the Geeta the Lord Himself speaks – “O! Arjun! Do you know where God lives? –

ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति।
भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया॥
īśvaraḥ sarvabhūtānāṁ hṛddeśe’rjuna tiṣṭhati|
bhrāmayansarvabhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā
(Chapter Eighteen. Verse Sixty-One)

“Propelling all living things that bestride a body-which is but a contrivance-by his Maya,
O Arjun, God abides in the hearts of all beings.’’

But if God lives in our hearts and is so close to us, why are we ignorant of his presence?
This is so because the contraptions we call body are driven by the power of Maya,
the universal ignorance or illusion by virtue of which we consider the unreal universe as real
and distinct from the Supreme Spirit.
So, this physical mechanism is a grave impediment, and it takes us around endlessly through one birth after another.
Where, then, can we find shelter or refuge? Then what to do?

The Yogeshwar says –

तमेव शरणं गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत।
तत्प्रसादात्परां शान्तिं स्थानं प्राप्स्यसि शाश्वतम्॥
tameva śaraṇaṁ gaccha sarvabhāvena bhārata|
tatprasādātparāṁ śāntiṁ sthānaṁ prāpsyasi śāśvatam
(Chapter Eighteen, Verse Sixty-Two)

“Seek refuge with all your heart,
O Bharat, in that God by whose grace you will attain to repose and the everlasting, ultimate bliss.’’

So, if we have to meditate, we should do it within the realm of the heart. The heart is the true abode of God.
It is the message of even the Bhagwat Mahapuran: that although God is all-pervading,
he is realized only by meditation in the realm of the heart.

Arjun! Take the refuge of God present in you with all your heart and soul, with all your devotion.
Devotion should be singular, it would not do if it is divided partly in Pashupatinath,
partly in Kamachadevi, and partly in Bhaironath.
If it is so it would defuse and would not do any good.
So total devotion is required.

Suppose after breaking all the bonds with the beliefs, predispositions etc.
one takes the refuge of God what is the use of it? What would one get out of it?
‘tatprasādātparāṁ śāntiṁ’ – By his grace you would get Supreme peace – not only this – ‘sthānaṁ prāpsyasi śāśvatam’ – you would achieve a state which is immortal and everlasting. This is called the procurement of the quintessence of immortality and the imperishable state. But here too there is one lacuna. Even after the attainment of this state, strangely enough, we have not seen God dwelling in every heart. So how to go to His shelter? The Lord says.

– ‘O! Arjun! Listen a very confidential secret’ –

मन्मना भव मद्भक्तो मद्याजी मां नमस्कुरु।
मामेवैष्यसि सत्यं ते प्रतिजाने प्रियोऽसि मे॥
manmanā bhava madbhakto madyājī māṁ namaskuru
māmevaiṣyasi satyaṁ te pratijāne priyo’si me
(Chapter Eighteen, Verse Sixty-Five)

“I give you my sincere pledge because you are so dear to me,
that you must attain to me if you keep me in mind, adore me, worship me, and bow in obeisance to me.”

सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज।
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्ष्ययिष्यामि मा शुचः॥
sarvadharmān parityajya māmekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja|
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarvapāpebhyo mokṣyayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
(Chapter Eighteen, Verse Sixty-Six)

“Grieve not, for l shall free you from all sins if you abandon all other obligations (dharm)
and seek refuge in me alone.”

In the first two Shlokas quoted above the Lord says that God is present in the heart and directs to take His refuge.
In the next two Shlokas He says to come to His own shelter. Now there is great confusion about where to go for refuge.
Should the devotee go to the God located in the heart or to Shri Krishna standing out beckoning to take His shelter?
The truth is that God exists in the heart undoubtedly, but He can be attained only through Sadguru.
That is the way. The Yogeshwar introduces Himself at several places in the Geeta that He was a Sadguru,
a sage endowed with quintessence of truth.

So, if you wish to attain God situated in the heart you have to go to the refuge of a Sadguru whole-heartedly.

Patanjali calls such a sadguru free from the impact of Karmas and miseries (Klesh – Karm – Vipak).
He identifies him as God. Sanjay was a direct witness. Whatever Arjun saw in that scene was seen by Sanjay also.
Arjun received the vision from Shri Krishna, and the same vision was obtained by Sanjay through the grace of Vyas,
Shri Krishna granted the same which was granted by Vyas, Sanjay the visionary clarifies lastly –

यत्र योगेश्वरः कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धरः।
तत्र श्रीर्विजयो भूतिर्ध्रुवा नीतिर्मतिर्मम॥
yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇo yatra pārtho dhanurdharaḥ|
tatra śrīrvijayo bhūtirdhruvā nītirmatirmama
(Chapter Eighteen, Verse Seventy-Eight)

“Good fortune, conquest, splendor, and steadfast wisdom abide
wherever are Lord Krishn and the noble archer Arjun: such is my conviction.”

Wherever Yogeshwar Shri Krishna and the noble archer of Yog Arjun are,
there abide good fortune, victory, splendour
unwavering wisdom.
O King! Pandavas would emerge victorious because victory dogs the footsteps of Yogeshwara
otherwise it is impossible to conquer Nature – Lord Krishna is God-manifested
and is endowed with the transcendental touch of divinity. He is the Lord of Yog.

When Arjun enquired how and from where he could get that knowledge, after knowing which nothing remains to be known, after acquiring which nothing remains to be acquired, God answered –

तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया ।
उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः ॥
tad viddhi praṇipatena
paripraśnena sevayā,
upadeksyanti te jñānam
jñāninas tattvadarśinaḥ
(Chapter Four, Verse Thirty-Four)

“Obtain that knowledge (from sages) through reverence, inquiry, and innocent solicitation,
and the sages who are aware of reality will initiate you into it.’’

So, Arjun is advised to approach seers with reverence, self-surrender, and humility, to be instructed in true knowledge through devoted service and guileless curiosity. These seers will enlighten him on it.
The ability to acquire this knowledge comes only with a wholly dedicated service.
They are seers who enable us to have a direct perception of God.
They know the mode of yagya, and they will teach it to Arjun.

When God Himself stood before him, what was the point in directing Arjun to a seer?
Actually, Lord Krishna was Himself a seer who had not only seen God but Himself had attained the ultimate state of divinity. The Geeta is actually a dialogue between a guru and his disciple.
Arjun says – ‘shishyasteaham’ – I am your disciple, lead me on.
Thus, we see that Shri Krishna directs to a sadguru, to his refuge.
So, the ancient scriptures prescribe to meditate on Sadguru.

~Revered Gurudev Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans.

Humble Wshes.

(This discourse was given on 01-12-2000 by revered Maharaj Shree Adagadanand Ji at Kachhawan, Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, India in HINDI. Maharaj Shree has resolved doubts here regarding the nature of Dhyan, what is Meditation, and on whom to meditate as per the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. There is a lot of confusion about it prevailing in the society. Let us try to remove it today in the light of the directions and preachings of Revered Gurudev.) Hari Om.



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At present the metaphysical term MEDITATION/DHYAN is a subject which is being discussed
around the globe at a very large scale.
Each religion and institution are defining this as per own choice, learning and conception.

I am sharing teachings of Sri Krishna from Bhagavad Gita (approximately 5200 yeras ago) and Maharshi Patanjali (thosand years ago) from his Yog Sutras as both the Indian scriptures are well known around the globe
which throw light upon this metaphysical term.

Lord Krishna sings in Chapter Five of Bhagavad Gita:

स्पर्शान्कृत्वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्तरे भ्रुवोः ।
प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ ॥
यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर्मुनिर्मोक्षपरायणः ।
विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधो यः सदा मुक्त एव सः ॥
sparśān kṛtvā bahir bāhyāmś
cakṣuś cai’vā’ntare bhruvoḥ,
prāṇāpānau samau kṛtvā
munir mokṣaparāyaṇaḥ,
yaḥ sadā mukta eva saḥ

“That sage is liberated forever who shuts out of his mind all objects of sensual pleasure, keeps his eyes centered between the two brows, regulates his Pran and apan, conquers his senses, mind and intellect, and whose mind is fixed on salvation.”

Revered Gurudev has taught me the interpretation of this verse as being mentioned below:

“It is the vital need of excluding from the mind all thoughts of external objects as well as of keeping eyes fixed steadily between the two brows. Keeping eyes between the brows does not simply mean concentrating them at something. It is rather that while the worshipper is sitting erect, his eyes should be pointed ahead in a straight line from the midpoint between the brows; they should not wander about restlessly and look right and left.

Keeping the eyes aligned with the ridge of the nose-we must be careful that we do not start watching the nose-and balancing Pran against Apan and keeping the eyes steadily fixed all the while, we should direct the vision of mind (surat), to the breath and let him watch it: when does the breath go in, how long is it held-if it is held in for only half a second, we should not try to prolong it by force, and how long does it stay out?

It is hardly necessary to say that the name in the breath will ring audibly. Thus, when the vision of mind learns to concentrate steadily on the inhaled and exhaled breath, breathing will gradually become constant, firm, and balanced. There will be then neither generation of inner desires nor assaults on the mind and heart by desires from external sources. Thoughts of external pleasure have already been shut out; now there will not even arise inner desires.

Contemplation then stands steady and straight like a stream of oil. A stream of oil does not descend like water, drop by drop; it comes down in a constant, unbroken line. Similar to this is the motion of the breath of a sage of attainment. So, the man, who has balanced his Pran and Apan, conquered his senses, mind and intellect, freed himself from desire, and fear and anger, perfected contemplative discipline, and taken refuge in salvation, is ever liberated.

And now, Patanjali Yog Sutra, Vibhuti Pad Sutra defines this metaphysical term and says:

तत्र प्रत्ययैकतानता ध्यानम् ॥
“tatra pratyayaikatānatā dhyānam”

Dhyan is the unbroken unidimensional flow of Vritti (disposition).
The Vritti revolves unceasingly round the object where the mind is placed, this is DHYAN.

Revered Gurudev says: “Dhyan implies. incessant oil like flow of contemplation along with steady, stable breathing, noninterference of any other thoughts except the chanting of OM….OM…..OM.
In DHYAN the Vritti or the disposition runs in unison or unilaterally.
If any other thoughts happen to intrude, it breaks the intensity of Dhyan.
In meditation the meditator and the object of meditation exist but it is all effortless,
without any awareness of the efforts made in meditation.
Gradually the DHYAN goes subtler and only object of the Dhyan remains in sight.
Then the state of Samadhi (trans) appears.


Now I very cordially invite everyone who read this post to throw light upon this metaphysical term in details and share whether the concepts which are in their mind is the same as mentioned above already or differ and if differ then what the other is the linage with detailed explanations?

Humble Wishes.
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Scriptures were written by the Indian thinkers from two points of view: first for keeping alive the glorious history so that people could seek inspirations and follow the footsteps of their ancestors,
to lead a dignified and happy life and keep aloft their culture, secondly the spiritual points of view,
because they knew that mere happy material life would not lead them to their ultimate welfare.
They wished to convey that human life is simply an interval between birth and death, simply a halting place.
So, a happy, well managed worldly life would never bestow ultimate well-being.
For this very reason the thinkers and seers adopted the spiritual approach.

Every living being is under the governance of Maya (Illusion). To liberate him from the clutches of Maya and place him on the authentic, solid ground of the soul, to awaken his dormant spirit so that he might cover the distance from God, the Supreme Element, to enable him to perceive the Supreme Being through the divine touch, is the sole objective of the Spiritual path and this is known as Bhakti (devotion). Only in it lies the eternal welfare of the living 
beings. Lord Krishn said,

‘Arjun! Neither through the Veda, nor through Yagya, nor through offerings,
nor through penance,
I can be attained.
I can be attained only through total Bhakti (devotion) depending on no one else except Me.’’-

भक्त्या त्वनन्यया शक्य अहमेवंविधोऽर्जुन।
ज्ञातुं द्रष्टुं च तत्वेन प्रवेष्टुं च परन्तप॥
bhaktyā tvananyayā śakya ahamevamvidho’rjuna
jñātum drastum ca tatvena pravestum ca parantapa
(Geeta, 11/54)

Lord Krishn says to Arjun,

‘Only through Bhakti I can be directly realized as you have realized and perceived Me.
I am accessible through it.’’
Thus, the prime aim of Indian thought is to enable the tormented, agonised living beings to attain the spiritual Supreme Goal and the immortal state of total indivisible bliss.

Wars in the world have always been there, be it the war of Mahabharat or the battle between Ram and Ravan or the battles and wars described in the mythological scripture. The sages and seers presented these incidents in the light of the two points of view discussed above. They have been presenting the inherent essence of the Vedic lore through the examples of these famous historical events.

Undoubtedly the terrible war of the Mahabharat was fought but Lord Krishn – the hero of this war – knew it well that even the victors of this war were not destined to enjoy the fruits of it. So, he described it as an internal spiritual war which assumes eternal victory, which bestows immortal life, which provides everlasting peace, and which never gives way to any kind of disorder. He presented the outer war in spiritual and philosophical terms. For this he presented the Geeta, a spiritual scripture. By taking up therein characters like Arjun and others as symbols of the inner potentialities of each person, Lord Krishn described the inner war of the mind and heart. Thereby he opened the locked doors of our possibilities of realising and attaining the ultimate truth.

There are two kinds of thoughts or mode of thinking. One is divine, which leads to the Supreme Being and eliminates the distance from God by true perception, by the touch of the divinity and which disappears after providing the merger in God. The second kind of thought is demonic which leads to groping and stumbling in the dark world of ignorance. The endless cycles of birth and death are caused by it, leading to sufferings after sufferings, but never reaching to any destinations. The Geeta presents a systematic method which pulls out living beings from meaningless wanderings and ramblings and provides the immortal state of peace.

Mad after wealth and pompous material life, people do not understand the truth despite lots of teachings and preachings. Even after staking everything in order for obtaining victory, people at last come to realise that it all was but a demeaning deception, a fruitless endeavour. At such crucial point men become capable of grasping the Truth. The same happened with Yudhisthir – the victor of the war of Mahabharat. After the end of the
war, he ruled for thirty-six years but his eyes were always filled with shedding tears. One day he came to learn that Lord Krishn had finally departed from this world, he rose up from the throne and silently moved towards the Himalayas.

Yuyutsu, a brother of Duryodhan, at the beginning of the war came to Yudhisthir saying, ‘‘Brother, Dharm (justice) is in your favour, so I will fight from your side.’’ Yudhisthir replied, ‘‘Why should you fight! You are intelligent, so you look after the management of the camps.’’ Even after the end of the war he was alive. When he saw Yudhisthir leaving, renouncing all, he said, ‘‘Brother! Where are you going?’’ There was no reply.
So, he again said to him, ‘‘Who would occupy this jewel- studded throne?’’ Yudhisthir said, ‘‘Now you occupy it.’’ He retorted, ‘‘I do not need it.’’ Yudhisthir then remorsefully said, ‘‘For this very throne six thousand million of great warriors laid down their lives. You sit on this throne which is placed over the river of blood, and you too taste the joy of it.’’ Yuyutsu aptly replied that he in no way at any cost would like to have it.

Yudhisthir replied that, ‘‘He would have been happier if he would have occupied it. If he did not want it, he should search Parikshit and tell him about it. He would now no more weep for that which was mortal.’’ Saying so Yudhisthir moved towards the Himalayas along with his brothers and Draupadi to follow the path of the Geeta and attainment throughout their remaining life. He picked up the path which awards eternal victory. The Geeta is the methodical way of the worship of God.
No doubt the war of Mahabharat did take place but it was simply a temporary event. But the Geeta has preached about a life which would last forever. It is a spiritual scripture. The Lord has himself proclaimed it to be a scripture.

इति गुह्यतमं शास्त्रमिदमुक्तं मयाऽनघ।
एतत्बुद्ध्वा बुद्धिमान्स्यात्कृतकृत्यश्च भारत॥
iti guhyatamaṁ śāstramidamuktaṁ mayā’nagha
etatbuddhvā buddhimānsyātkṛtakṛtyaśca bhārata
(Geeta, 15/20) ‘

‘Arjun! This most occult scripture has been revealed by Me.
He who would obey it, would be dearest to Me.’’

‘Yatharth Geeta’ is the exact commentary of it.
You are all advised to go through it and attain the Supreme Goal of life.

Courtesy: Yatharth Geeta – The Geeta In Its True Perspective.

“This ‘Yatharth Geeta’ is intended to provide you with the noblest sermon made by Yogeshwar Shree Krishn in the ‘SHREEMADBHAGWADGEETA’:This contains the portrayal, by a sage,
after attainment, of that Supreme Soul that abides within our hearts.
Attempting to use the Geeta with cynical perspectives is to be avoided,
lest we may be cheated out of knowing our goals and the paths. By the devoted study of the Geeta,
the entire human race stands to succeed in their efforts to gain well-being. Even if they comprehend only a small portion of it, they are certain to attain the ultimate beatitude, because any progress made in this path, shall never be lost.”

– Swami Adgadanand Jee Paramhans.

Humble Wishes.
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