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Foods injurious to a Yogi or Yogini

Today, we have so many ideas on what is healthy and what is good and bad. Every time i blink, I am seeing another idea of a superfood being sold to the ignorant or another diet or detox being exploited to create just more sales or for someones fortune or fame. 

We can easily see if we step out of the modern consumer world of spirituality that this is not the path.

Furthermore, detoxing, juicing, raw food, the list goes on and on, is not part of yoga or a yogic lifestyle at all. The understanding of ayurveda, yoga’s sister science, allows more light to be shown upon this area of health as well.

The following is from The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, it is the end of the first chapter or lesson one.

Foods injurious to a Yogi or Yogini

  1. Bitter, sour, saltish, green vegetables, fermented, oily, mixed with til (sesame) seed, rape seed, intoxicating liquors, fish, meat, curds (yogurt), chhaasa pulses, plums, oil-cake, asafoetida (hinga), garlic, onion, etc., should not be eaten.
  2. Food heated again, dry, having too much salt, sour, minor grains, and vegetables that cause burning sensation, should not be eaten. Fire, women, travelling, etc., should be avoided.
  3. As said by Goraksa, one should keep aloof from the society of the evil-minded, fire, travelling, early morning bath, fasting, and all kinds of bodily exertion.
  4. Wheat, rice, barley, shâstik (a kind of rice), good corns, milk, ghee, sugar, butter, sugar candy, honey, dried ginger, Parwal (a vegetable aka. pointed gourd), the five vegetables, moong, pure water, these are very beneficial to those who practice Yoga.
  5. A yogi or yogini should eat tonics (things giving strength), well sweetened, greasy (made with ghee), milk butter, etc., which may increase humors of the body, according to his or her desire.
  6. Whether young, old or too old, sick or lean, one who discards laziness, gets success if he or she practices Yoga.
  7. Success comes to him or her who is engaged in the practice. How can one get success without practice; for by merely reading books on Yoga, one can never get success.
  8. Success cannot be attained by adopting a particular dress (Vesa). It cannot be gained by telling tales. Practice alone is the means to success. This is true, there is no doubt.
  9. âsanas, various Kumbhakas, and other divine means, all should be practiced in the practice of Yoga, till the fruit óf Râja Yoga is obtained.
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Change of qualities and effects

The general qualities and effects of substances are changed due to several factors like matra (dose) samyoga (administration with other substances), svabhava (nature) and processes involved in the preparation etc.

 

By Dose:
Even poison, when taken in small quantity equal to a sesame seed, acts like nectar.

By combination:
Kodrava (Paspalum scrobiculatum Linn) on its own cures raktapitta (haemorrhagic diseases or haemo therma) but when it is used along with substances which are vidahi (substances causing inflammation or burning sensation), it causes raktapitta.
In the same way, sesame seeds, having a quality of causing dermatosis, cure it when it is applied along with bhallitaka (Semicarpus anacardium).
Jaggery a non-digestive stimulant becomes a digestive stimulant when combined with substances like abhaya (TermioaIia chebula).
Ghee, which stimulates the gastric fire is given to a thirsty person with excessive gastric fire along with madana (beeswax)
Milk which is well known as a Jivaniya (life-prolonging) causes death when traces of poison are left in the body
Sthavara (vegetable and mineral) and jangama poisons (animal poison) though both are poisons, act as antidotes to one another.

By Inherent nature
By nature, mani (precious stones) and charms though not consumed, subside fever. Unboiled buttermilk increases kapha in the throat but subsides in the alimentary canal. Ghee, even with more unctuousness in it, does not have the quality of subsiding facial paralysis, while butter does have that quality though less unctuous.

By Preparation
Dry ginger is prepared from ardraka /fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc) but the process involved in its preparation makes dry ginger lighter (easily digestible)
Rice is heavy but the laja (fried patty) though prepared from rice are light.
Kulmasa(grains soaked with water and then fried) prepared from mudga /mung (Phaseolus mungo) after steam-boiling is changed in quality from grahi and laghu to bhedana and guru
Wheat has a quality good to the eyes but when it is fried in oil it become harmful for the eyes.
Mulaka /Radish (Raphanus sativus) is injurious to health as it provokes all doshas, but when it is cooked or boiled it subsides them.

By its own Action
Rice is light (easily digestible) in its quality but the treatment of frying and pounding applied in preparing prithuka (poha/parboiled and flattened paddy) changes the quality of lightness to heaviness.
The normal (not heated) buttermilk and dry ginger are more grahi in their action than the buttermilk which is boiled and ardraka (fresh ginger) respectively.

By Combinative action
Jaggery water becomes more effective in its diuretic quality than jaggery or water given separately.
Similarly, jaggery and curd are aphrodisiac and the item called rasala, prepared from jaggery and curd, is more aphrodisiac

By Containment
Grapes (Vitis vinifera) though having a quality of subsiding doshas, if kept in utensils made of iron. become sour and provoke all the three doshas

By Utility
Application of the paste of candana (Santalum album) as an unguent is cool-producing in its effect but if the paste is made very fine and applied thickly and allowed to dry, it will give an effect of heat (burning sensation) due to the blocking of the heat from the skin.
A paste of agaru (Aquilaria agallocha Roxb) having an opposite quality of candana (i. e. producing coolness) gives an effect of cooling if the paste is rough, wet and applied in a thin layer.

By Individuality
Due to the difference in the constitution of the person, cow milk having the quality of shramsana, acts as grahi

By Age
Due to the change in the age and position, administration of emetics etc is prohibited to obese, old and children
Milk is sweet, sara and cold but curd a product of milk is opposite in its qualities.
Ghee, also a product of milk is same in its qualities to milk.
Milk and curd subside vata but unformed curd provokes vata

By Locality
Meat of peacock is not very wholesome for general health but it is wholesome for ears, voice, and eyes. Though eyes and ears are predominantly formed with the elements fire and wind, substances which are cold and hot to touch are respectively wholesome.

By Disease
As a normal procedure administration of emetics is prohibited in chardi (vomitting). heart ailments, and tumors. But it is advised in certain special cases, in chardi where the provocation of the doshas is very high to evacuate all the vitiated doshas and in cases of heart diseases and tumors where the vita dosha is obstructed by kapha, vomitting is advised.
Generally, basti is prohibited in the diseases of arshas (piles) and kushta (skin disorders) but in certain specific cases, i.e, when vata is provoked and when there is severe dryness in kustha, basti is permitted.

By Nature of Disease
Venesection is prescribed in diseases which are caused due to the vitiation of blood but in raktapitta (haemotherma) venesection is prohibited, though it is also caused by vitiated blood

By Time
The same food which is wholesome to the persons afflicted by eye disorders, becomes unwholesome during night
Dried saktu is unwholesome to all but wholesome only to a person of prameha disease
By daysleep, the food eaten on the previous day or night is digested but the food, which has been eaten on the same day is not digested
Scorpions are produced from the decomposed bodies of snakes but the same snakes die due to the sting of scorpion.

Swastaviritta 1

Swasthavritta, is the Ayurvedic preventive and social medicine in view of modern medical science. It’s primary aim is to preserve the health of healthy individual. It laid down all the preventive principles which are necessary in maintenance of health. The concept of Swasthavritta is a pioneer in the field of medicine propagated by ancient seers and is a basic need for building a healthy society.

It is based in the three pillars of health;  food, sleep, and abstinence. These three can be compared with health behaviour of modern day and are major contributors of both mortality and morbidity of a number of disease and health issues and their consequences globally.

Food and lifestyle routines are considered the most important medicine in Ayurveda. Every individual is unique and there is no diet or lifestyle routine that works for everyone. Ayurveda has the container to hold this with the detailed depth of knowledge to diagnosis each individual as to their own needs.

Ayurveda stresses FOOD, SLEEP & ABSTINENCE to be used with intelligence in a planned manner. This facilitates a person with all benefits of life endowed with strength, complexion, and full life span provided one does not indulge in unbeneficial activity and maintains rules prescribed for that. This ‘usage with intelligence’ also is interesting due to the fact that in following one’s intelligence to to go about their life using what is known to be beneficial and disregarding what is not beneficial it takes awareness of many variables. In understanding these variables, it makes one aware of and draws one to live in accordance to their surroundings and environment as well as their own system to a hugely greater degree. In this living, the rules of Ayurveda cannot maintain a superficial chore list of ‘eat this don’t eat that’ and do this and do that’ but one experiences the knowledge first-handedly. Following a to do and not to do list will never be anything other than empty information that ends in failure. For instance just the knowledge alone of one substance like and apple, it can be sweet or can be sour. Each will have its own effect on the system. This is applied into everything; how one lives and what one does, not only the understanding of food or how to eat.

 

In the next several posts, I will talk about each of the pillars. The first is Food. I find it the most challenging for people to understand as there are so many variables that go into it and the details continue to get deeper and deeper as one learns. It is not something that is learned thru a simplified book or by following a dosha diet propounded by Western new age Ayurveda books that saturate the market. So where does one start? We start with the basics.

 

History

From back in the Vedic era, Taittiriya Upanishad states that food is known as Brahma as it is the supreme and the creator as all the living beings originate from food and will this body with then be food to other organisms after this life is over. It is present in form of food sheath, annamaya kosha, in all living beings.

In Kashyapa Samhita, Kashyapa has called food Mahabheshajya, the biggest medicine. There is no medicinal equivalent to food. It is possible to make a person disease free with proper diet. It is also the main causations of disease. You can imagine that if the ancestors knew this, what we still do not get today, that it probably goes into much much greater detail as well. It does.

The Bhagavad Gita says that satvik food makes the mind clear and when mind is devoid of blemishes memory power enhances.

 

Ayurveda defines the types of food as

Corns with bristles – Sali (rice), Sashtika (60 days harvest rice), Yava (barley), Godhuma (wheat) etc.
Pulses – Mudga (mung dahl), Masha (black dahl), Adhaki (pigeon pea), Tila (sesame), etc.
Meat
Vegetables – consisting of leaves, tubers etc.
Fruits
Raw food edibles that are eaten like salad
Wines
Water
Milk and milk products
Sugar cane products like jaggery, sugar etc.
Food preparations – peya (gruel), vilepi (thick gruel), manda, saktu etc.
Accessory food articles – oils, condiments, spices, salts etc.

 

When and how to eat

Two Aahara kalas
Morning and evening is only recommended for the principal meals. Food in between (snacks) is not recommended at all. The reason why is that the food must be taken only after proper digestion of previous food which can be known from the signs of proper digestion like; clear belching, enthusiasm, proper evacuation of bowels, lightness of body/emptiness of stomach, hunger and thirst.

The food should not be taken within 3 hours in general after the previous meals. During this period rasa dhatu if it is disturbed by the consumption of another meal, its development is hindered and aama (improperly digested food nutrient toxicity) occurs. Rasa dhatu is what is formed when agni (digestive fire) digests food. When food is completely digested with the help of normally secreted digestive juices, the nutritive part of the digested food is called as rasa. This nutritive juice nourishes all cells and tissues of body. It is somewhat analogous to extracellular and intracellular fluids.

Rasajam purusham vidyaat rasam rakshet prayatnatah
annath paanathcha mathimaan aahaaraatch apyathandritah”

Rasa dhatu contains all the nutrients required to nourish body. Hence Ayurveda mentions human body as product of rasa. As rasa dhatu nourishes body and helps to keep it healthy, we should always put efforts to protect rasa dhatu. Indigestion impairs quality of rasadhatu.

 

Also one should not fast for more than 6 hours because it causes depletion of the strength of the system. Food then should be taken after 3 hours of the previous meal and before the completion of 6 hours in general.
Again, the previous meal should be completely digested before another meal is taken. Taking the evening meal even though the morning meal has not been completely digested is not injurious because the srotamsi (micro channels) are open due to the exertion, movement, and mental activity (stimulation of prana) of daytime as well as the sun being up. Due to this, the dhatus (tissues) of these channels do not get softened by excessive moisture (kleda) in the day. In the night, when the heart is in a state of diminished action, the channels, including the koshtha (digestive system), are inactive and dhatus are soften with kleda. Thus when the food consumed in the night is not fully digested, the person of intellect desiring to protect his strength and life, should not have any food.

 

The exception to the rule…… hunger

Hunger falls in the group of Adhaarniya vega (natural impulses or urges that not to be suppressed) so no rule is required to be followed. If one suppresses hunger then the digestive fire in absence of food, starts digesting doshas, then the dhatus and then ultimately digests prana and takes away life. This in fact is the deeper knowledge of fasting. Fasting done correctly digests the doshas and creates health. Fasting incorrectly destroys health. We can see this trying to be used in the Western world’s newest diet fad, ‘intermittent fasting.’ Problem is that our view of health is skewed. If you just search intermittent fasting on the net and see what pictures you come up with, everyone is getting ripped and that is the goal. There is a normal level of fat on your body that maintains health of the system and regulates many other things that the Western world has yet to discover yet is known in Ayurveda. Being ‘ripped’ is not healthy and creates disease later on in life. One more addition to think about is that your brain is made of fat. If your whole system is ripped, what do you believe is happening to your brain.

 

What is the effect of eating food untimely?

Vishamam bahu vaalpam vapya praptaateet kaalayoh
Bhuktam purvannasheshe tu puaradhyashanam
Intake of less or more at irregular timings and intake of food before digestion of previous food leads to death or dreadful diseases

Charaka CS 15.235

Eating Ayurvedically (nuts and bolts of it)

Ayurveda views all living beings in the universe require food, which sustains the life.

The food in the form of diets and drinks whose color, smell, taste arid touch are pleasing to the senses and conducive to the health, if taken in accordance with the rules, in fact represents the very life of living beings.

They promote:

1. Mental as well as physical strength
2. Strength of tissue elements (dhatus)
3. Pleasure of the senses
4. Complexion
5. Good voice
6. Longevity
7. Happiness
8. Satisfaction
9. Intellect
10. Enthusiasm
11. Memory

The various articles of diets and drinks are classified according of the following twelve groups:

1. Sukadhanya (corns with bristles): Sail, Sashtlka, Yava, Godhuma etc. belong to this group.
2. Samidhanya (pulses): Mudga, Masha, Adhaki, Charaka, Tila etc.
3. Mamsa (meat)
4. Saka (vegetables) consisting of leaves, tubers etc.
5. Phala (ripe fruits)
6. Harita (Salads)
7. Madya (wines)
8. Jala (water)
9. Gorasa (milk and milk products)
10. Ikshuvikara (products of sugar cant): jaggary, sugar etc.
11. Kritanna (food preparations): Peya (gruel), vilepi (thick gruel), manda, saktu etc.
12. Aharayogi (assessary food articles): oils, condiments, spices, salts etc.

Proper time for taking food:

It is stated that one should take food twice a day (within 24 hours) i. e. before noon and at night, and food should not be taken in between. This stipulation is only for adults but children who are in the state of growth may take more than two times, whenever they feel hungry.
1. The proper time for taking food is.
2. When there is normal movement of stool and urine.
3. The eructations are free of any taste.
4. When the body and sense organs are light and free.
5. When he is hungry.
6. When there is relish for food.
7. When the belly becomes light. The digestion of the ingested food is considered to be completed by the following symptoms:
1. Clarity of the belching (erection). It should not possess any particular taste either acid or that of any component of the food taken.
2. Enthusiasm: The person should be active.
3. Normal regulation of natural urges.
4. Lightness of the body.
5. Proper hunger and thirst. The food should not be taken within the yama (3 hours) after the previous meals, because during this period, the rasa dhatu is still in the process of development. It should not be taken after the second yama because it causes depletion of the strength. Therefore food should be taken after 3 hours of the previous meals and before the completion of 6 hours. The previous meal should be completely digested before another meal is taken. But according to Charaka, taking the evening meal even though the morning meal has not been completely digested is not injurious. The hridaya is awakened (active) due to the sun in the daytime like a lotus and therefore the srotamsi of the body are fully opened. The srotamsi are also open due to the exertion, movement and mental activity of the daytime. Hence the dhatus in these srotamsi do not get softened (kleda) in the day. When new food is mixed with the old, which is not softened, it does not get spoilt. But in the night when the hridaya is in a state of diminished action, the srotamsi including the koshtha are inactive and the dhatus get softened. Therefore when the food consumed in the night is not fully digested, the wise man, desiring to protect his strength and life, should not take any food.

Other stipulations about time:

A meal should not be eaten before the appointed time, nor before the appetite has fully developed. Similarly, over or insufficient eating should be equally refrained from. Eating at an improper time and before the lightness of the body is felt, brings on a large number of diseases and may ultimately lead to death. A meal eaten long after appropriate time tends to aggravate Vata, which affects the digestive fire and causes serious obstacles in the digestion. The food thus digested with difficulty destroys all desire for a second meal.

Regimen before meals:

One should wash his feet and mouth before meals. One should sleep with dry feet. Eating with wet feet increases longevity. One who had his bath, worn soft, beautiful, clean and white dress and flowers and just washed his feet, should enter the dining chamber with lucid mind along with his children and friends with the intent of taking meals which is good for him.

Description of seat:

One should sit on a seat which is sufficiency high, beautiful, softly covered, comfortable and wide. While taking meals he should face either east or north. He should sit during his meal in an easy posture on a high seat and partake at the right time, with his body erect and his mind engaged in the act of eating.

Vessels for cooking:

Earthened pots cleaned with water are good for cooking food. The food cooked in such pots will be tasteful and of good qualities.If pots are not available, iron vessels may be used. Vessels made of bronze or bell metal are also good. But the food prepared in copper vessels cause anorexia and gastritis. The best are the vessels made of gold and silver because they remove all faults.

Serving different dishes:

The mode of serving out the different dishes should be as follows:
1. Ghrita should be served in a vessel of steel (kantaloha).
2. Peya in a silver bowl.
3. Fruit and confectionary on leaves and baskets.
4. Different preparations which are dry and fried in golden plates.
5. Fluid edibles and meat essences in silver bowls.
6. Preserved chutney in stone utensils.
7. Cool boiled milk in copper vessels.
8. Other drinks, wines and cordials in earthened pots.
9. Raga-shadavas and sattakas in cool, pure glass bowls or in vessels made of crystals.

Qualities of different vessels
1. Gold vessels/plates are auspicious and alleviate all doshas, good for the eyesight, stimulate the digestive fire, alleviates pitta and cordial.
2. Silver vessels: alleviate anorexia, according to Bhoja aggravate vata and pitta, and according to Bhavamisra aggravate vata and kapha; good for the eyesight.
3. Bronze vessels: cordial, alleviate eye diseases and raktapitta. Food will be tasteful and increase intellect.
4. Brass vessels: cause aggravation of vata, heat and roughness but alleviate kapha and destroy krumi.
5. Iron or glass vessel: improve strength, alleviate oedema and anemia and jaundice.
6. Vessels made of stone or earth should not be used because they are inauspicious.
7. Vessel made of wood alleviate kapha, and increase relish.
8. Plantain leaf: alleviates vata and kapha; best for meals because of cleanliness; bestows strength, health, complexion, sexual desire, and hunger
9. Plate made of palasa leaves: destroys gulma, vata diseases, colic, diseases due to aggravation, of kapha and pitta.
10. Plate made of banyan leaves: heals ulcers and alleviates pitta.
11. Lotus leaf; acts as vishahara.Congenial food

The food containing clean and pleasant dishes, served neither hot nor cold, and cooked and seasoned in the desired method and possessed of their specific tastes is congenial to a person.

Varieties of food: According to Charaka, food is 4 varieties
1. Asitam – wholesome eatables
2. Peetam – beverages
3. Leedham – linctus
4. Khaditam – masticables

Bhavamisra divided into six varieties
1. Chooshyam – Any article of food to be sucked like sugar cane, pomegranate etc.
2. Peyem – Beverage, fit to be drunk.
3. Lehyam – Articles to be eaten by licking.
4. Bhojyam – Wholesome eatables.
5. Bhakshyam – Anything eatable, confectionaries etc.
6. Oharvyam – Masticable articles.Regimen while eating

At the time of eating, one should look at auspicious things; such act increases longevity. Abuse of food is prohibited at the time of eating but should be praised. One should pleasantly describe the food after looking at it, tasting and eating.

Practice regarding taking diet
One should not take food:
1. Without reciting mantras.
2. Without offering oblations to the God.
3. Without making offerings to the departed ancestors, teachers, guests and dependents.
4. Without wearing precious atones in hand.
5. Without taking bath.
6. Wearing a torn apparel.
7. Without applying sacred scents or garlands.
8. Without washing hands, feet and face.
9. Without cleaning the mouth.
10. With face turned towards the north.
11. With disturbed mind, or contemptuous disposition towards food.
12. Surrounded by the insincere, uncultured, dirty or hungry persons.
13. In unclean dishes.
14. At improper place and time, or in a place surrounded by many persons.
15. Which is dirty.
16. Served by the opponents.

Except in the case of meat, rhizomes, dry vegetables, fruits and sweets, one should not take stale food. One should not consume the entire food except in the cases of curd, honey, salt, Saktu and ghee. One should not take curd at night. One should not take Saktu without mixing it up with ghee and sugar or in the night or after meals or in large quantity or twice daily or “interrupted with water intake, nor one should eat by tearing with teeth.

Aharavidhi Vishesha:

There are eight factors of diet and dietetics
1. Prakriti (Natural qualities).
2. Karana (Samskara, preparation).
3. Samyoga (combination).
4. Rasi (Quantum).
5. Desa (Habitat).
6. Kala (Time).
7. Upayoga samstha (Rules of use).
8. Upayokta (user).

1. Prakriti:
Natural qualities are the innate properties of substances. The presence of qualities like heaviness etc., if the natural property of substances used as diet or drug. Thus heaviness is the nature of black gram and pork and lightness of green gram and venison.
2. Karana:
Preparation is the process performed to modify the natural properties of substances.That which modifies radically the properties of substances is transformation. This modification is brought about by application of water or heat, cleaning, churning, storing, maturing, flavoring, impregnation, preservation and the material of receptacle.

Examples:
1. The property of rice is heaviness. This property is lost by washing with water and cooking and the rice acquires the property of lightness.
2. Curd causes sopha. – But after churning, buttermilk destroys sopha.
3. Samyoga:
Combination is the combining together of two or more substances. This combination exhibits special properties which none of the constituents ever possessed separately.
Example: The combination of honey and ghee. Honey and ghee taken alone is wholesome to the body but combined in equal quantities, they become toxic. Similarly the combination of honey, fish and milk has a toxic effect.
4. Rasi:
The quantum is 2 varieties:
A. Sarvagraha—total measurement of the entire meal as a whole i. e. the combined quantity of the rice, meat, pulse, condiments etc.
B. Parigraha—detailed measurement of each article of diet separately. This determines the effects of the right and wrong doses.

5. Desha:
Habitat is a geographic region. It indicates variations in the qualities of substances, due to difference in soil, use and climate. Substance grown in the region of Himalayas are heavy in property while those grown in desert or sandy region are light. Similarly the living beings who consume light articles of food, or live in desert or sandy regions or indulge in many activities are also light in nature. Deshasatmya is that having opposite qualities to those of the region. Substances having the qualities of ushna, ruksha etc. are homologous to the watery or marshy region, and the substances having the qualities of shita, snigdha etc. for the desert or sandy regions.
6. Kala:
Time is used in two senses, time in the general sense i.e. Nityaga and time in the sense of a stage i.e. Avastha. Time in the general sense is used in relation to seasonal wholesomeness. The stage issued in relation to disease.
7. Upayoga Samstha:
The procedure in diet consists of the dietetic rules. They are determined by the strength of digestion.
8. Upayokta:
The user is he who makes use of food. These eight different factors give rise to good and evil effects and are helpful to one another. The person should try to know them, and having known them he should make use of the wholesome only. Either out of ignorance or negligence he should not make use of any article of diet or any other thing which is pleasant but unwholesome and fraught with unhappy consequences.

Most wholesome dietetic regulations:
These are the dietetic rules and procedure for the healthy as well as for certain types of people, concerning the intake of food that is most wholesome.

One should eat food which is:
1. Hot
2. Unctuous
3. In due measure
4. After full digestion of the previous meal
5. Non-antagonistic in potency
6. In the congenial place
7. Provided with all the favorite accessories
8. Neither too hurriedly not too leisurely
9. Without talking or laughing
10. With full concentration
11. Having proper regard to oneself

A. One should eat hot. The food eaten hot is relished and on being consumed stimulates the gastric fire, digested soon, and stimulates the peristaltic movement. It alleviates kapha. Therefore one should eat food that is hot.
B. One should eat unctuous food. This gives relish and on being consumed excites the inactive gastric fire, is rapidly digested, stimulates the peristaltic movement, makes the body plump, strengthens the sense organs, increases the vigor and brightens the complexion. Therefore one should eat unctuous food.
C. One should eat in requisite measure. The food eaten in requisite measure does not disturb the balance of the doshas, but exclusively promotes life, is easily assimilated. Therefore one must eat in measure.
Quantity of food and digestion:
The amount of food which, without disturbing the equilibrium of dhatus and doshas of the body, gets digested as well as metabolized in proper time, is to be regarded as the proper quantity. This measurement with certainly vary from individual to individual. No standard measurement can be prescribed for all individuals. In fact, the power of digestion even of a single individual varies from time of day as well as time of season and so there is bound to be some variation in the standard measurement of food to be taken by him.

Quantity of food relation with Quality of food:
The light food articles are predominant in the qualities of vayu and agni and heavy one in Prithvi and Ap mahabhutas. Therefore according to their qualities, the light articles of food, being stimulants of appetite and by nature are considered to be less harmful even if taken in excess of the prescribed quantity. On the other hand, heavy articles of food, being by nature, suppressors of appetite are extremely harmful if taken in excess unless there is a strong power of digestion and metabolism achieved by physical exercise. If the food article is heavy only three—fourth or half of the stomach capacity is to be filled up. Even in the case of light food articles, excessive intake is not conducive to the maintenance of the power of digestion and metabolism. The stipulation is meant to maintain the equilibrium, of the power of digestion. The lightness or heaviness of a food affects the lethargic, the unhealthy, the luxurious and men of delicate constitution and impaired appetite. Such discernment of the properties of food is not obligatory on strong, healthy men of active habits and good healthy digestion, who are habituated to hard and solid foods.

Three divisions of the stomach capacity:
One, about to eat a meal, ought to dispose the stomach capacity into three parts. He should use one third for solid food, one third for liquids and the remaining one third for the free movement of the three doshas. Eating in conformity to this rule, one is not liable to any of the ill effects resulting from eating without measure.

Effects of measured diet:
The following are the signs of food eaten in measure:
1. Freedom from distress in the stomach as the result of the quantity taken.
2. Freedom from the excessive heaviness of the stomach.
3. Absence of any cardiac discomfort.
4. The non-distension of the sides.
5. Gratification of the senses.
6. Subsidence of hunger and thirst.
7. Sense of each in standing, sitting, lying down, walking exhaling and inhaling, laughing and conservation.
8. Easeful digestion and assimilation of food in the evening and morning.
9. Imparting of strength, complexion and plumpness.

Evils of inadequate diet:
The diet which is deficient measure is seen to result in:
1. The impairment of strength, complexion and plumpness.
2. Want of satisfaction.
3. Disturbed peristalsis causing Udavarta. (upward movement of vata)
4. Impairment of the functions of life, virility and vitality.
5. Impairment of the functions of the body, mind understanding and five senses.
6. Disturbance of the eight saras.
7. Induction of inauspicious conditions.
8. Incidence of the eighty kinds of vata disorders.

Evils of excessive diet:
The diet which is excessive in measure causes the following
1. Provocation of the morbidity of all the 3 doshas.
2. These vitiated doshas lay hold of the indigested food mass and getting localized in the stomach of man who has over-eaten and make their resort in the food-mass.
3. They either obstruct or dispose of the stomach contents violently through the upper or lower routes of the alimentary tract giving rise to many disorders.
4. One should eat after the digestion of the previous meal. The food that is eaten while the previous meal is lying undigested, getting mixed with the semi digested ahararasa of the previous meal, immediately provokes the three doshas.

The food taken when the previous meal has been fully digested is the cause of the following:
1. Doshas return to their normal places.
2. Gastric fire is kindled.
3. Hunger is stimulated.
4. Srotamsi are clear and open.
5. Clear eructations. (belching)
6. Stomach is clear.
7. The peristaltic movement is normal.
8. Natural urges are normal.
9. Does not vitiate dhatus.
10. Promotes life.
Therefore one should eat on an empty stomach after the digestion of the previous meal.

One should not eat what is antagonistic in potency. By eating the food that is not antagonistic in potency, one is not afflicted with disorders born of incompatible dietary (like impotency, blindness, kushtha (skin diseases) etc. (The food which are antagonistic to the body are many varieties. 6. One should eat in a congenial place provided with all the necessary appurtenances, and then one does not get depressed in the mind by the emotions produced in unpleasant environment; similarly with the appurtenances. Therefore one should eat in a congenial place and circumstance

One should not eat hurriedly. By eating hurriedly, the food is likely to pass in the wrong way, or injure the health or it is not properly placed. There is no appreciation of either the good or bad qualities of the food taken .

One should not eat very leisurely. By eating too leisurely, one is not satisfied even if he eats much. The food gets cold and is digested irregularly .

One should not talk or laugh while eating. One who talks and laughs and is preoccupied while eating, is liable to suffer the same disorders as the one who eats too hastily. Therefore one should not talk or laugh while eating, but should eat with due attention to one self.

One should eat rightly considering one’s constitution. “This food will agree with me, this will not agree”, such knowledge makes for the determination of what is wholesome for each individual. This knowledge is known as Atmasatmya.

Method of taking meals:
One first should partake of the madhura dravya (sweet) of the meals, then of the Amla (sour) and lavana (salt) dravyas and of the katu (pungent) and other dravyas at the close of the meals. The taste of the madhura dravyas eaten at the outset subdue the vata located in the stomach, amla and lavana dravyas partaken of at the middle of the meal would rouse up the digestive fire located in the Aamashaya, while the katu taste enjoyed at its close tend to subdue the kapha. At the beginning of the meal, one can eat a mixture of saindhava lavana (salt) and ginger. This mixture stimulates the digestive fire, taste, and appetite and clears the tongue and throat. It is also stated that at the end of the meal, small articles of sweet taste have to be eaten, to counteract the evil effects of the consumption of saltish, sour (acid), pungent and hot articles of food. Therefore curd which is sweet or sweetened by sugar only has to be consumed at the end of the meal, or if such curd is not available milk has to be taken.

Evil effects of insufficient and excessive food:
The digestive fire is always kindled by the sufficient food (fuel). Therefore both insufficient and excessive intake of food destroy the digestive fire. Insufficient food gives inadequate satisfaction, and causes weakness, emaciation and vata disorders. Over eating, on the contrary, produces laziness, heaviness of ,the body, distension of the abdomen accompanied by rumbling in the intestines and indigestion. A judicious mixture of wholesome and unwholesome diet is known as samasana. A diet which is taken either excessive or scanty or eaten either too late is known as, Vishamasana (irregular diet). Adhyasana is a meal taken before the previous meal has been digested. The irregular meal is the main cause of indigestion and cause of all diseases. Therefore destruction of the irregular habit of meals destroys the diseases.

Food to be discarded:
The following varieties of food was to be discarded
1. Which is impure and dirty.
2. Infested with insects, poison, pebbles, dust, weeds etc
3. Out of which another has eaten a portion.
4. Which instinctively repels the mind.
5. Cooked on a previous day or long ago, or kept standing overnight.
6. Which is insipid.
7. Emits fetid smell.
8. Cold and hard.
9. Which is rewarmed, imperfectly strained or burnt.
10. Food prepared out of articles which are incompatible to each other (virudhahara)
11. Foods containing excessive leaf vegetables, black gram etc., or salt or very hot .
Only a single taste should not be enjoyed in the course of a meal. Cooked pot herbs, boiled rice of inferior quality and a diet with excessive Amla taste should be avoided.

Use of certain dietary articles:
Choice of grains :
Corns and grains, one year after their harvesting, are wholesome, old corns and grains are mostly ununctuous (ruksha) and fresh ones heavy. Corns and grains which take a shorter time for cultivation as well as harvesting are lighter than those taking longer time. Rice, will cleaned, washed and cooked with filtering of excess water is light when taken hot. After cooking, rice should be taken when it is still hot. Heating it for the second time is not considered wholesome. Food prepared out of fried rice is also very light. Rice cooked with milk or meat etc., is heavy.

Choice of animal food :
The meat of the animals which are in prime youth and killed and cleaned afresh is the best.
The meat of the following- type is unwholecome :
1. Of animals died a unnatural death
2. Emaciated (or dried up after death)
3. Fatty
4. Old or too young
5. Killed by poisonous arrows
6. Of animals who graze in a land not commensurate with their natural habitat.
7. bitten by snakes, tigers etc.

The meat which is otherwise, is wholesome, nourishing and strength promoting. Meat soup is refreshing for all living beings. If those who habitually indulge in exercise, sex and wine take meat soup regularly, they neither succumb to disease not lose their strength, No other food excels meat in producing nourishing effect.

Milk:
The milk, milked in the morning, is heavy, cold and takes a long time to be digested. Woman’s milk is wholesome in its natural or unboiled state. Freshly milked warm milk should be regarded as extremely wholesome, which, being cooled down, loses its efficacious virtues and becomes unwholesome.
Milk acts as nectar for the following:
1. Emaciated due to: a) disease b) drug c) travel d) speaking e) sex indulgence f) fasting g) exposure of sun h) physical exertion
2. Old
3. Children

The following varieties of milk is unwholesome and injurious
1. Emitting fetid smell
2. Discolored and insipid
3. Acquired an acid taste
4. Looks shredded and curdled
5. Tastes saline.

Evil effects of consuming unwholesome milk:
The following diseases are caused :
1. Indigestion
2. Diarrhea
3. Vomiting
4. Flatulence
5. Stomatitis and
6. The contagious disease like cholera, yakshma, fever etc.

Curd:
Curd should not be consumed at night.
It should not to be taken
1. Heated state
2. During Vasanta, Grishma and Sharat ritus (Spring, Early Summer, and Autumn)
3. Without combining with Mudga, honey, ghee, sugar or Amalaka
4. Every day
5. Which has not solidified properly.

If the above rules are violated, one may suffer from
1. Jwara
2. Raktapitta
3. Visarpa
4. Kushtha
5. Pandu
6. Kamala
7. Bhrama

Curd may be taken in Hemanta, Sisira and Varsha ritus. (Winter, Late Summer)

Butter Milk:
One who regularly takes buttermilk never suffers from any disease and the diseases subdued by the use of butter milk, will never recur. Use of butter milk according to the dosha.
Dosha Variety of buttermilk:
Vata Sour buttermilk with ginger
Pitta Sweet buttermilk with sugar
Kapha Buttermilk with Trikatu

Butter:
Fresh butter is digestive, stimulant and cardiotonic. It is useful in grahani, arsas,ardita and arochaka. It is very good to children and old people.
Ghee:
It is the best of all unctuous substances. It is cooling; prevents old age. When administered according to the prescribed procedure, it increases thousand times in potency and develops manifold utilities.
Unwholesome vegetable preparations:
Vegetables infested with insects, exposed to wind, the sun for a long time, dried up,old and unseasonal are unwholesome. Fruits, which are old, unripe, afflicted by insects and serpents, exposed to snow or sun for long, growing in the land and season other than the normal habitat and time and put rifled, are unwholesome.
Accessory food articles:
For the maintenance of health one should use pepper, cumin seed, asafoetida, mustard seeds, oils etc., in the small requisite quantities to enhance the taste and flavor.

Honey:
Honey should be taken in small quantity because it is heavy, ununctous, astringent in taste and cold in potency. Honey should never be used in heated condition, by person suffering from heat, in hot region or season or with hot foods.

Liquors:
Liquor is taken observing all the rules, acts as an elixin; otherwise as a poison.
Fresh wine is heavy, and aggravates all doshas.
Old wine alleviates three doshas and clarifies channels of the body; it is digestive, light and palatable.
The following kinds of wine should always be rejected.
1. Thick
2. Bad smelling
3. Insipid
4. Full of worms
5. Heavy and acid in digestion
6. Unpleasant, new and strong
7. Hot in potency
8. Preserved in an improper vessel
9. Prepared with a comparatively lesser number of ingredients
10. Decanted overnight or left unused
11. Extremely slimy or transparent

The following should not indulge in liquors
1. Who consumed hot foods or hot treatments
2. Who had purgation
3. Hungry

Anupanam:
Generally anupana should have the properties opposite to those of the food taken. But at the same time, it should not be harmful to the dhatus of the body. By anupana is meant by the drinks which are taken during meals or after meals. Of all kinds of anupanas, clear heavenly water, kept in a pure vessel should be deemed the best, in as much as such water contributes in every way to the welfare of a person throughout his life and all the six different tastes are inherent in that heavenly fluid. During the meal and after finishing a meal water should be drunk in a quantity which would be beneficial. Anupana drinks in general bring about refreshment, pleasure, energy, nourishment, satisfaction and steadiness in the food eaten. It helps in breakdown, softening, digesting, proper assimilation and instant diffusion of the food taken. An excessively heavy meal and the one which usually tends to derange the doshas, may be easily and speedily digested with the help of a suitable after drink.

A proper after-drink brings on:
1. A fresh relish for food.
2. Increases the bulk of the body
3. Acts as a spermatopoietic beverage
4. Disintegrates the combination or accumulation of the deranged doshas
5. Subdues or pacifies the deranged doshas
6. Soothes the organism
7. Increases the softness of the body
8. Removes the sense of fatigue and exhaustion
9. Brings on pleasurable sensations
10. Stimulates the appetite
11. Diminishes the thirst
12. Improves the complexion
13. Imparts tone and vigor to the system

Water:
Water is the life of all animals, and the life is dependent on water. Therefore water should not be prohibited. A thirsty man becomes unconscious leading to death. So a thirsty man should be supplied with water. Since it is stated that water is the best anupana, one should take water during meals. Intake of water before meals destroys the digestive fire and leads to emaciation and derangement of doshas but is also used in proper treatment of certain ailments. Intake of water during a meal stimulates the digestion and it is the best habit. Intake of water after meals causes aggravation of kapha and obesity but is also used in treatment of certain ailments. Hence drinking at meals should be most judiciously determined and taken with great forethought and discretion. Ice water is not healthy as it destroys the digestive fire. A hungry person should not drink water, because such act causes jalogens (Ascites). A thirsty person should not take meal, because such act causes Gulmaroga. Both excessive intake of water or abstaining from it prevents the proper digestion of food. Therefore for the kindling of the digestive fire, one should take small quantities of room temp or warm water during meal.

Evils of excessive intake of water:
A person who is excessively thirsty should not drink too much of cool water; such act aggravates pitta and kapha.
It may cause :
1. Amavastha
2. Thirst
3. Sleep
4. Drowsiness
5. flatulence
6. heaviness of the body
7. Indigestion
8. Cough
9. Nausea
10. Dyspnoea
11. Coryza.

Contraindications of anupana:
Persons suffering from the following diseases should avoid anupana
1. Dyspnoea
2. Cough
3. Diseases of the part above the clavicles
4. Ptyalism
5. Urahkshata
6. Swarabhang

Regimen after food:
After taking food, one should thoroughly wash his mouth and hands. He should take water into the mouth and gargle vigorously to remove/dislodge the particles stuck between the teeth, or may be gently drawn out by means of a toothpick, in as much as if not removed a kind of fetter is produced in the mouth. The eyes are to be wiped with wet hands. After eating, one should enjoy soft sounds pleasant sights and tastes, sweet perfumes, soft and velvety touch, in short anything that ravishes the soul and enwraps the mind with raptures of joy, since such pleasurable sensation greatly help the process of digestion. After taking a meal, one should not sleep or indulge on exertion, but should comfortably sit. If a person sleeps after food, the kapha and pitta getting aggravated and depress the power of digestion.

Restrictions after food:
One should not indulge in the following after food
1. Lying for a long time
2. Sitting for a long time
3. Excessive take of fluids
4. Exposure to sun or fire
5. Swimming
6. Travel
7. Riding
8. Exercise
9. Sex

Indulgence in the following after a meal causes vomiting
1. Sounds which are harsh
2. Sights which abominable
3. Touches that are hard and unpleasant
4. Smells which are fetid and disagreeable
5. Eating of impure and execrable boiled rice
6. Loud side-splitting laugh

Tamboola sevana (use of betel combination):
The vata is increased after the completion of digestion, the pitta during the process, while the kapha is increased immediately after the act of eating. Hence the kapha is to be subdued after the close of a meal and the intelligent eater should attain that end by chewing a betel leaf prepared with broken arecanut, camphor, nutmeg, clove etc., or by herbal smoking or by means of anything that instantaneously removes the acidity in the mouth and permeates it with its own essence. The betel leaves are chewed in combination with arecanut, flaked camphor, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, bark cardamom, musk, seeds of latakasturi (Hibiscusa belmoschus), lime etc. All these constituents are used in requisite quantity only. Chewing of such combination removes tastelessness and bestows good flavor to the mouth.

Suitable time for such use:
The betel combination should be chewed in the following times
1. After waking from sleeping
2. Early in the morning
3. After bath
4. After meals
5. After vomiting
6. At the time of sexual union
7. During travel
8. During war
9. In conferences with scholars and kings
10. In marriages
11. During sacrifices, auspicious times etc.
One should wait a while for chewing the betel combination after waking from sleep, drinking water, sexual union, partaking fruits and meals.

Excessive use of betel combination causes the following
1. Anemia
2. Loss of strength to teeth
3. Eye diseases
4. Diseases of mouth
5. Causes vatarakta and raktapitta
6. Loss of strength of hair and ears
7. Loss of complexion

Contraindications:
The following should not use betel combinations
1. Who has taken a purgative.
2. Who is hungry and thirsty and very weak.
3. Suffering from the diseases of teeth and eyes.
4. Injured; exhausted.
5. Suffering from mental disorders, anaemia, prameha, oedema of the whole body, diarrhoea, mutrakriccra, vomiting, raktapitta, kshaya, aggravation of pitta and rakta, skin diseases and poisoning, vertigo, dyspnoea, heart diseases.
6. Who are parched (Atiruksha).
7. Obese persons.
8. Who had eaten rice and milk.
9. Immediately after eating mango, plantain, sugarcane, wood apple, jack fruit, liquor, milk, honey, ghee, coconut water.

Homologation (Satmya)
Homologation or habituation is that which agrees with ones system.
It is of three kinds:
1. Pravara (best)
2. Avara (poor)
3. Madhya (moderate).
It is again of seven kinds: agreeability to each or one of the six tastes and seventh by agreeability to all of them combined. Among these the last is the best type of homologation. The poorest type is the agreeability only to a single taste, while the medium type of agreeability is the mean between the best and the poorest. So, from the poorest and the medium agreeability’s one should develop the homologation of the best type that is agreeability to all the tastes. After acquiring homologation to all the tastes, one should resort to what is wholesome.

Most unwholesome articles categories (not for daily consumption):

Most unwholesome are as follows:
Paddy having bristles like Yavaka (wild barley)

Pulses – Black gram

Various types of drinking water River water in rainy season

Salts – Salt collected/Prepared from saline soil

Pot herbs – Mustard Greens

Meat of animals – Beef

Meat of birds – Young dove

Meat of animals living in holes – Frog

Fish – Chilichima fish

Ghee – Ghee of sheep milk

Milk – Sheep milk

Vegetable fats – Safflower oil

Fats of marshy animals

Fat of buffalo

Fats of aquatic animals

Fat of shark/crocodile

Fats of aquatic birds

Fat of water fowl

Fats of gallinaceous types of animals

Fat of sparrow birds

Fats of branch eating animals

Fat of elephant

Fruits – Wild jack fruit

Rhizomes and roots –  Aluka (potatoes)

Preparations of sugarcane – Treacle (Phanita)

Schedule for giving up the addictions:
A wise person should give up by and by unwholesome practices to which he is addicted and he should correspondingly adopt ones which are wholesome. The schedule for the same is given below:
On the first day one should give up a quarter of the unwholesome practice (still maintaining 3/4 of it) and correspondingly adopt a quarter of wholesome.

On the second day half of the unwholesome practice is to be given up and half of the wholesome one is to be adopted

This is to be continued for the third day also.

On the fourth day ¾ of the unwholesome practice is to be given up and ¾ of the wholesome one is to be adopted.

This process is to be continued on the 5th and 6th day also.

The process of giving up of the unwholesome practice and adoption of the wholesome practice is completed fully on the seventh day

By slowly and gradually giving up the unwholesome practices and by increasing the wholesome practices correspondingly, the unwholesome practices are eradicated forever and the wholesome practices are fully adopted). One should not be in a hurry to give up and to adopt the unwholesome and wholesome practices respectively. A sudden change in habits is likely to cause immense harm to the body. Only a slow and steady process as indicated above can absolutely eradicate the effects of unwholesome practices and stabilize the effects of wholesome ones.

Incompatibility in articles of food (Viruddhahara):
Such of the drugs and diets as are unwholesome or incompatible for the normal dhatus and doshas of the body (viruddhahara), are in fact opposed to the proper growth of such dhatus and doshas
1. Some act due to their mutually contradictory qualities (Gunaviruddha).
2. Some by combination (Samyoga Viruddha).
3. Some by the method of preparation (Samskara Viruddha).
4. Some by virtue of the place, time and dose (Deshakalamatra Viruddha).
5. Some others by their inherent nature (Swabhava viruddha).

Examples of mutually contradictory qualities:
Fish should not be taken together with milk, both of them have sweet taste, but due to the contradiction in their potency (fish is hot and milk is cool), they vitiate the blood and obstruct the srotamsi. There are many more.

Incompatible food combinations examples..
1. Taking milk, fish, and honey together.
2. Taking honey, ghee in equal quantity.
3. Milk and Curd, these things or any food items made of these two should not be eaten together.
4. Similar to milk and curd, milk and jaggery also does not go together.
5. Onion and milk is another item which is dangerous if taken together. Many problems of skin happen because of this combo.
6. Except amla (Indian gooseberry) no sour fruit should be taken with milk. Even mangoes are not to be taken with milk. This is a highly mistaken idea. Any fruit with a sour vipaka does not get mixed with milk as it is incompatible and is Virudhahara. (sorry not mango milk shakes.)
7. Milk followed by fruits and vice versa.
8. Sour substance along with milk.
9. Milk with salt
10. Wheat preparations in sesame oil (Tila taila)
11. Hot drinks after alcohol, curd or honey.
12. Cold and hot substances together
13. Banana with curd and butter milk
14. Chicken with curd
15. Ghee kept in bronze vessel
16. Radish with jaggery
17. Fish with jaggery or sugar
18. Milk with meat
19. Cheese and fruit
20. Consumption of stale/leftover food should be minimized for good health. It should never be mixed with fresh food as refrigerated food loses its vitality and becomes heavy and difficult to digest.

Compatible food combinations example
1. Milk with sugar
2. Milk with turmeric
3. Ginger with lemon
4. Panchamruta
5. Caffeine, stresses the adrenal glands. An Ayurvedic anti-dote is to add a pinch of cardamom or cinnamon to your coffee to minimize the impact on the adrenals.
6. Honey, equal quantities by weight of ghee and honey are bad combinations, but mixing in a ratio of 2:1 (two parts ghee to 1 part honey) is fine.

Upavasa (fasting):
Upavasa belongs to the Samana group of Langhana treatment (Reducing therapy)
The following are the benefits of fasting:
1. Stimulation/kindling of digestive fire
2. Digestion of Ama
3. Lightness of the body
4. Normal functioning of sense organs

A youthful person desirous of maintaining the health should indulge in fasting according to the laid down rules.

Varieties of fasting:
Fasting is of two varieties:
1. Nirahara (without diet)
2. Phalahara (with intake of fruits).
The former is the best and it is of two varieties.
1. Sajala (with intake of water)
2. Nirjala (abstaining from intake of water)
Sajala variety is recommended to the persons with vata and pitta temperaments and Nirjala for persons of kapha temperament.
In phalahara variety, the person should eat the fruits which do not cause constipation, only once in a day. A person intending to go on fasting a day, should eat a very light meal on the previous night and go on fasting for 24 hours. On the fasting day he should not indulge in day-sleep and sexual union. On the next morning, after completing the requisite ablutions, he should eat a meal which is well cooked, very light, unctuous, soft and sweet in taste.

Contraindications of fasting:
One who regularly offers oblations to the fire (Ahitagni), wrestlers and bachelors should not go on fast.
Prohibition of addictions: One should not get addicted to different varieties of alcoholic drinks, opium, tobacco, Datura seeds, cannabis, nux-vomica, cocaine, aconite, arecanuts etc. These are intoxicants; destroy the functions of the brain and heart. Therefore one who wishes to live healthfully should not use these either as drinks, smoking or eating.

Ready to have a Ayurvedic child? Here is how.

Transformation of a woman into a mother begins right from the time she conceives and so does the planning for the upbringing and development of the child. Both the mother and the baby gets attached to each other by an inextricable innate bond, such that every minute act, thoughts, joys, sorrows, emotions, eating habits influences baby’s physical, mental and emotional growth. Further on as time passes by the baby also recognizes and responds to mother’s voice and feelings. The mother can comfort the baby by expressing her love and care through her emotions.

It is since ages that Ayurveda appreciates the importance of ‘Suprajanan’ ( The science related with – grooming the process of childbirth well in advance – right from preparation for conception, achieving spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional state of equilibrium of both mother and the foetus till the childbirth and thereafter in a definitely superior fashion).

‘Garbha’ is the foetus and ‘Sanskaar’ is the ritual performed for welcoming the arrival of the most awaited family member – The Baby. It is the preparation of both the would be parents, especially the mother who nurtures the baby in her womb for the upcoming desired course of time.

We plan our Birthday celebrations, wedding ceremonies, anniversaries, our finances, travels and lot many things, then why miss an opportunity to plan our baby? which is the most wonderful and divine blessing of our life. With this facility we can design and modify our physical and mental needs and activities, our work schedules, plan our diet, exercises, lifestyle and thus bestow upon health, intelligence, devotion, moral values, valor, courage, energy and elegance  in the offspring. The procedure starts almost 3-4 months prior to conception. A planned pregnancy is always superior in all aspects to an unscheduled one. You can imagine with this understanding now wh

Thus Garbha sanskaar is the process of developing the course of childbirth into the most cherish-able and momentous experience.

The Garbha sanskar process basically comprises of three stages :

  1. I) Preconception (Beej sanskar)
  2. II) Duration of Pregnancy (Garbhasanskar)

III) Post Delivery (Bal sanskar)

  1. I) Bija Sanskar
  2. Creating awareness and explaining the importance of Garbhasanskar.
  3. Determining Prakriti (Body constitution) of both the parents after proper examination and to get aquainted with their medical history if any.
  4. Bija shuddhi (Shodhan sanskar) by Panchakarma so that Ovum (Matru bija) and Sperm (Pitru bija) are in its best & purest form and devoid of any abnormalities or genetic disorders.
  5. Treatment for any associated ailments which can cause problems in fertility
  6. Treatment for conceiving Physically, mentally and emotionally healthy offspring.  This can be achieved by panchakarma, Rasayan (rejuvination) and Vajikar (aphrodisiac) medicines.
  7. Associated treatments which enhance the internal environment in the womb like Uttar basti, Pichu dharan and Dhawan.
  8. Dietary guidance.
  9. Yoga, exercise and meditation.
  10. Study about probable days for conception.
  11. II) Garbha sanskar

Garbha sanskar is the stage where importantly mother is the one who is related to the foetus, and she should be taken care of . This is known as Garbhini Paricharya in Ayurveda. The phase begins from the time since pregnancy occurs till the birth of the baby.

The first three months of pregnancy are very essential and mother should receive all the love and care; as during these days the foetus is unstable inside the womb, it needs time and nourishment to gain the stability. In the second trimester the foetus attains the necessary stability and the focus is mainly on the evenly growth of the baby. In the third trimester the emphasis lays upon adding a golden touch to the child’s physical and mental development through medicines and other activities, taking care of baby’s weight, and also preparing the mother for labor.

Knowing your baby – Making the parents aware about the month-wise normal growth and development of the baby inside the womb, this strengthens the emotional bond.

During pregnancy the woman goes through hormonal variations, resulting in emotional and physical changes, which can be overcome with the help of a comforting and understanding spouse.

Solutions for common ailments like morning sickness,  vomiting, in early pregnancy, and backache, acidity, pedal oedema etc in the later phase. Awareness about these common complaints reduces anxiety and stress .

Nutrition – Dietary advise and medicines corresponding to the month of pregnancy and development of the baby. Parents need to be explained the importance of proper nutrition, timely meals, and healthy meals. Few dietary and lifestyle habits have to be brought into practice monthwise as per doctor’s advise. Foods which are to be avoided during pregnancy are equally important.

Exercise – Exercise basically includes Breathing exercises, Yoga and meditation. Again type of exercise varies trimester-wise and according to associated conditions/ complaints if any. Yoga and meditation helps to reduce stress, keeps your body fit and active and in the long run builds up your stamina for delivery. Exercise should be done under supervision of experts.

Role of  Auto-suggestion and Music – It is a proven fact that since seventh month, baby inside the womb can listen to mother’s voice, external sounds, and music; hence it is suggested that mother should spare some time daily and communicate with her baby. she should listen to good music instruments like flute, veena, etc. indulge into meditation, listen, read aloud religious books or hymns, etc which conveys moral values & good thoughts to the baby. It is even told to read or listen to chants of the vedas.

Preparing for Child-birth or Labor – The spouse is made aware of the process of normal labor and stages of the same. Signs and symptoms of initiation of labor is well explained so that they would be able to make a right decision of when to go to hospital. A list of necessary things to carry along is handed over.

Mother care after delivery – The mother undergoes physical and emotional variations due to changes in hormonal levels after the delivery. A proper care and comfort can easily help her. She is advised about her dietary habits and daily regime which will help her keep fit and active thereafter.

III) Bal Sanskar –

Bal sanskar is introduction to baby care, it includes topics like proper techniques of holding the baby, safety issues while sleeping, feeding, sanitation of the baby. Management of common complaints of baby like colic pain, gases, vomiting, etc. settling down a crying baby.

Mother is taught basics of Breast feeding, Do’s and Dont’s during and after feeding. Importance and techniques of massage and bathing are taught to the mother.

Last but not the least, vaccination schedule is explained, along with the importance of suvarna prasham sanskar – An Ayurvedic immunity booster.

A healthy child and a healthy mother is the goal.

Diet:

Dietary regimen in pregnancy is one of the most essential aspect which should be taken care of; as the growth of the foetus solely depends upon the health and nutrition of the mother. The Ahara- rasa i.e. nutrition or energy obtained from the mother’s diet serves three important functions, firstly nourishment of the mother herself, nourishment and growth of the baby, and lastly preparation for formation of stanya, i.e. breast milk.

There is an increased need of balanced diet with good nutritional value during pregnancy, any negligence or deprivation in nourishment may affect physical and mental growth of the foetus or either lead to miscarriage, premature delivery or an under weight baby. Here this article will benefit you in planning your diet accurately during pregnancy.

Some basic dietary rules should be followed such as having timely meals is essential, it helps in proper digestion and keeps mother healthy. Mother should have freshly prepared food, which is easily digestible and healthy. It should be a balanced diet providing necessary nutrition for mother and baby. Dietary supplements like fresh fruits, vegetables, milk and ghee should be consumed regularly in desirable amount.

Include few things in diet corresponding to month of pregnancy which adds to the healthier development of the foetus.

  1. First month – A pregnant woman should have atleast 2 glasses of milk everyday throughout the pregnancy, but particularly in first month milk should be consumed necessarily. If complaints like nausea, vomiting is present milk can be flavored with Elaichi, Shatavari kalpa, or milk masala containing almonds, cardamom, dry ginger, etc.
  2. Second month – It is suggested to take milk medicated with sweet herbs like shatavari, bala, etc. Adding 2 tsps of Shatavari kalpa to glass of milk will serve the purpose.
  3. Third month – The third month regimen explains adding honey and ghee to milk. One should keep in mind that honey should never be subjected to heat hence milk should be of room temp or luke warm. Another fact is honey and ghee together should always be taken in unequal quantity. You can mix 2tsps of ghee + 1tsp of honey to a cup of luke warm milk.
  4. Fourth month – The fourth month regimen recommends intake of fresh unsalted butter with crystal sugar.
  5. Fifth month – Fifth month regimen suggests increased intake of ghee alone or along with food. Minimum of 7-8 tsps of ghee should be consumed. Where ever ghee is mentioned it means preferably cow’s ghee.
  6. Sixth month – Ghee medicated with sweet herbs like Liquorice, Shatavari, should be taken early morning at empty stomach.
  7. Seventh month – Sixth  month regimen should be continued in seventh month.
  8. Eighth month – Sweet gruel prepared in milk proves beneficial if eaten in this month. You can have gruel made of rice, sooji, wheat vermicell, etc. Gruel should be taken once a day.
  9. Ninth month – Anuvasan Basti with medicated oil should be administered in the last month. It enables the foetus to acquire its normal position and helps in attaining favourable conditions for normal labor.

Sushruta explains the following rules to be followed by the pregnant woman till the delivery.

  • Immediately on the ascertainment of her pregnancy the woman should avoid all kinds of physical labour, sexual intercourse, fasting, day sleep, things that emaciate the body, late nights, indulgence in grief and fright, journey by carriage or any kind of conveyance that causes jerky movements.
  • Sneha karmas (Oliation internal and external), Rakta mokshana(bloodletting), Vegadharana(controlling natural urges) are completely avoided.
  • From the first day of conception the lady should be joyful, wear clean and white garment.
  • Engage herself in peace giving activities.
  • Live in devotion to the gods, brahmins, elders and teachers.
  • She should not touch/ come in contact with unclean, deformed, maimed persons.
  • She should forego the use of fetid smelling things.
  • Avoid dreadful sights, painful or agitating sounds and use of dry, stale, dirty food as well as that stored overnight.
  • Long and distant walks from home to resorts, cremation grounds, solitary retreats, chityas(a haunted or deified tree) and sitting in the shadow of the tree should be absolutely forbidden.
  • Indulgence in anger, fright or other agitating emotions of the mind should be deemed as injurious.
  • To carry heavy loads, to talk in a loud voice should be refrained from.
  • The practice of constant oil massage, udwarthanm (rubbing or cleaning the body with fragrant unguents or powders), etc should be given up.
  • Exercises which cause fatigue are discontinued.
  • The couch and the bed of a pregnant woman should be low, soft, and guarded on all four sides by a number of soft pillows or cushions.
  • Her food should be sweet, palatable (hridya), well cooked, prepared with appetizing drugs, unctuous and drava (liquid consistency).

Charaka explains the garbhopaghatakara bhavas (factors that damage the fetus) as follows.

  • The fetus dies in the womb or expelled out prematurely or dries up if the woman sits on rough, uneven or hard seat, suppresses urge of wind, urine, stools, undergoes strenuous exercises, takes hot food and eats very little food.
  • The fetus may delivered untimely by injury, compression, frequent looking at ditches, wells, waterfalls, traveling on a conveyance with excessive jerk, or hearing unpleasant words and loud sounds.
  • If she constantly lies down in supine position, the umbilical cord gets twisted around the neck of the fetus.
  •  The pregnant woman who sleeps in open place and moving out in night gives birth to an insane.
  • If she indulges in quarrels and fights the progeny will be epileptic.
  • One indulged in sexual intercourse gives birth to an ill-physiqued, shameless progeny.
  • If she is always under grief, the child will be timid, underdeveloped or short lived.
  • One thinking ill of others gives birth to a harmful, envious and woman devoted child.
  • One who sleeps constantly will give birth to a drowsy, unwise child with a deficient digestive power.
  • If pregnant woman takes wine constantly her child will be always thirsty, poor in memory and unstable mind.
  • One who uses pork regularly during pregnancy will have an offspring with red eyes, obstructed respiration and very rough body hair.
  • One who uses fish constantly during pregnancy will have a progeny with delayed closure of eyes or stiff eyes.
  • One who uses sweet things constantly during pregnancy will give birth to an offspring suffering from prameha (urinary disorders), dumbness and obesity.
  • If she uses sour things constantly during pregnancy, her offspring will suffer from internal hemorrhage, skin diseases and eye diseases.
  • On using salt thing constantly the offspring will suffer from early wrinkles, premature graying of hairs and baldness.
  • On using pungent things constantly the offspring will suffer from semen deficiency or infertility.
  • The pregnant lady who takes bitter things constantly will give birth to shoshi(consumptive),weak and underdeveloped progeny.
  • The pregnant lady who uses astringent things constantly will give birth to a blackish progeny who will also suffer from bloatedness of abdomen and udavartha (upward movement of wind in the abdomen).
  • The offspring of a lady who used excess godha mamsa (Alligator) will suffer from sharkara and ashmari. renal or (bladder stone)

Monthly regimens to be followed by pregnant lady (masanumasika charya)

First month:

  • She should drink Anupaskrta sheeta dugdha ( non processed cold milk ) in proper quantity.
  • She should eat saatmya bhojana, morning and evening. (Ch.Sh. 8)
  • She should take processed cold milk.
  • First 12days She should take Ksheerodhbhava sarpi( ghee extracted from milk) processed with Shaliparni and Palasha, followed by cold water which is pre boiled and cooled in golden or silver vessel.(anupana)
  • She should take liquid / semisolid saatmya food that has madhra rasa (sweet), sheeta guna(cold in potency), in the morning and evening.
  • Should not take Abhyanga(smearing the body with unctuous substance) and udwarthanam(rubbing the body with powders), and the doshakara bhavas( factors that damage the fetus) upto 5th month.(A. S.Sh 3)
  • She should take Madhura(sweet), Sheetala(cold in potency), and Drava aahara (liquid food). ( Su. Sh. 10)

Second month:

She should drink milk processed with madura aushadhas (sweet category drugs). (Vagbhatacharya mentions the same.) Sushruta recommends madhura (sweet), sheetala (cold), drava (liquid) food, in second month also.

Third month:

Charaka and vagbhata recommends processed milk along with madhu(honey) and sarpi(ghee).

Sushruta recommends Shastika shaali (variety of rice that grows in 60 days) with milk.

Fourth month:

Charaka says in the fourth month the pregnant lady should drink milk along with 1 aksha i.e. 12 gms of butter.

Sushruta recommends her to drink milk with butter, eat hridya (desired) food along with jangala (desert animal) meat, shashtika rice with curd.

Vagbhata advices to drink milk processed with sweet drugs along with one aksha quantity of butter.

Fifth month:

Charaka and Vagbhata say in fifth month the lady should take ghee extracted from milk.

Sushruta recommends shashtika rice with milk and ksheera sarpi (ghee extracted from milk).

Sixth month:

Charaka and Vagbhata recommends the ksheerasarpi (ghee extracted from milk) processed with drugs of sweet category (madhura oushadha).

Sushruta advices that in 6th month she should take ghee processed with Gokshura in adequate quantity or Yavagu (gruel) prepared with Gokshura .

7th month:

Charaka and Vagbhata advices to follow the regimen of 6th month in the 7th month also.

Sushruta recommends her to take a ghee processed with Prithakparni in 7th month.

8th month:

Charaka advices her to take a gruel(yavagu) mixed with ghee and milk in the 8th month. Acharya Bhadrakapya fears that by drinking this yavagu(gruel) in 8th month the baby may suffer from Paingalya (yellowish discoloration of the skin). But Acharay Aatreya says though the baby develops paingalya , by drinking this yavagu in the 8th month the pregnant lady will give birth to a strong, healthy, beautiful baby with a pleasant complexion, voice and built. Vagbhata’s regimen for the 8th month pregnant lady is similar to that of Charaka. Along with that he also prescribes Asthapana vasti(un-unctuous enema) using Badara leaf decoction, palala (Seasame paste), milk, curd, mastu, thaila, lavana, Madanaphala, ghee, madhu. This aasthapana vasti helps to clear the stagnated impurities inside the intestine. After wards an anuvasana vasti (unctuousenema) should be administered using madhukadi madhura oushadha siddha thaila (oil prepared with sweet category of drugs) in order to make the wind to move in downward direction (anuloma) because the pregnant lady who’s wind movement is in downward direction will deliver the baby without any difficulties.

After the vasti the lady should take ksheerayavagu (gruel prepared with milk) mixed with meat soup till delivery.

Sushruta also advices to give asthapana vasti to the pregnant lady in the 8th month in order to clear the retained impurities and to direct the wind in the downward direction. The asthapana vasti is administered using the mixture of badarodaka, bala, atibala, shatapushpa, palala, milk, curd, mastu, thaila, lavana, madanaphala, honey, ghee. After administering asthapana vasti, anuvasana vasti should be given using the oil prepared with sweet category of drugs and milk.

In the 8th month she should take unctuous gruels and meat soup of wild animals internally till the delivery. It is believed that the body of a pregnant woman thus treated becomes unctuous, gains strength and will have an uncomplicated delivery.

9th month:

Charaka advices to administer anuvasana vasti in the 9th month. Oil prepared with madhura skandha drugs is used for the unctuous enema. He also advices to do yoni pichu(keeping the cotton swab dipped in oil in the vagina) with the same oil as it helps in oliating the garbha sthana(uterus and garbha marga(vagilal canal).

Vagbhata recommends yoni pichu using the oil processed with sweet category drugs. According to Sushruta the pregnant lady should enter the Sootikagara (a special house built with all facilities to conduct the delivery and to nurse the child) in the 9th month after checking good time and start living there.

Why should a pregnant lady follow these regimens?

Vagbhata and Charaka says the pregnant woman who follows above regimens will have a mridu(soft) kukshi(abdomen), kati(hips), parshwa(waist), prista(back), skin and nails. Her bala(physical strength as well as immunity) and complexion will also improve. Vayu will move in downward direction. Her mala(stools), mootra(urine) and jarayu(amniotic membrane) will be expelled out through their respective routes without complications. She will give birth to a icchita(desired), shresta(famous), deerghayau(long life span), and nirogi (healthy) baby easily.

Hence the woman desiring excellent progeny should particularly refrain from unwholesome diet and behavior.

What are the symptoms shown by the woman who is ready to deliver the baby and how is delivery conducted in Ayurveda?

In modern texts the delivery process is explained in 3 stages. Similarly in ayurveda also the whole process of delivery is explained in 3stages.

The pregnant lady should enter the well equipped sootikagara in the 9th month after checking good time and wait for the symptoms of delivery.

1st stage: Premonitory symptoms of delivery

(Charaka)

Exhaustion of the body parts(Klamo gatranam), malaise on face, laxity in eyes, feeling of the loosening of the bondage from the chest, downward movement of the womb, heaviness of the lower parts of the body, Pricking pain in groins, perineum, waist, belly, sides and back, discharge from the vagina, lack of desire for food. Then gradually the delivery pains and amniotic fluid leakage follows.

2nd stage of delivery:

When the delivery pain begins, the bed should be made on the ground and the lady should be made to sit on the soft bed. Ladies with good qualities should attend her to educate and console her.

In spite of feeling the delivery pains , if she doesn’t deliver the baby the following steps , by which the fetus starts moving down are to be followed.

  • She should be asked to get up and take one pestle and pound the grains in the mortar slowly, in between she should take deep breathings and move around. But Lord Atreya disagrees with this. He says that severe exercise is always contraindicated for the pregnant woman particularly at the time of delivery because at this time all her dhatus and doshas are in mobile state, vayu(wind) impelled by the exercise with the pestle will kill both mother and fetus. Hence holding of the pestle is discarded only deep breathing and walking are performed.
  • The powder of ela kusta, langali, vacha, chitraka, chirabilwa and chavya should be smelt by the woman frequently. Or the smoke of the bhoorja patra or shimshapa sara may be inhaled.
  • In between the waist, flanks, back and legs should be massaged with the luke warm oil.

When it is felt that the fetus leaving the cardiac region is entering the pelvic region , is being fixed above the urinary bladder, the delivery pains are getting intensified and the foetus is moving downwards then at this stage she should be made to lie down on a cot and advised to strain.

One lady should chant “kshitijalam——— kartikeeyabhirakshatu” in her ear. Another lady should advise the woman not to strain in the absence of pains because her efforts goes in vain and her progeny may be deformed or may be afflicted with dyspnoea, cough, phthisis(shosha) and spleen disorders. So should follow the instructions of attending ladies. Initially when the pains are mild she should strain mildly, and gradually with stronger effort .The attending ladies should keep encouraging her saying, “just delivered a worthy son”. Thus she is filled with joy.

3rd stage of delivery:

  • Immediately after the child birth one should look for placenta(apara). In case if it has not expelled out , one of the attending ladies should press the area above the navel region with her right hand , hold her on the back with left hand and shake her body strongly. The pelvic region of the delivered woman should be rubbed with the attending lady’s heel. Her buttocks should be pressed strongly.
  • The delivered lady’s throat and palate should be touched with the tip of her hair.
  • The vaginal area should be fumigated with the leaves of bhoorja, kaachamani and slough of the serpent.
  • The paste of kusta, taaleesapatra is given to drink with one of the liquids like balwaja yusha or maireya or suramanda or kulattha yusha or decoction of mandookaparni and pippali.
  • The paste of sookshmaela, devadaru, kushta, naagara, vidanga, pippali, agaru, chavya, chitraka, upakunchika or the tip of the right ear of the living untamed bull, pounded on a grinding stone should be kept soaked in one of the liquids like balwaja yusha, maireya, suramanda, kulattha yusha, decoction of mandookaparni and pippali. For one muhurtha duration. Then filtered and administered to the delivered woman.
  • A cotton swab soaked in the oil prepared with shatapushpa, kusta, madanaphala and hingu are placed in her vagina.
  • An anuvasana vasti(oil enema) should be given with same oil.
  • An aasthapana vasti should be administered using the paste of madanaphala, jeemoota, ikshwaku, dhamargava, kutaja, kritavedhana, hastipippali, along with one of the liquids like balwja yusha or suramanda or maireya or kulattha yusha or decoction of mandookaparni and pippali. This non-unctuous enema makes the body expel the adhered placenta along with flatus, urine and stool.

Aacharya Vagbhata:

1st stage of delivery: (aasanna prasava lakshanas)

The premonitory symptoms of the delivery are same as explained by Charaka.

  • Klamogatranam( exhaustion of the body parts)
  • Nirmukta bandhane ivaksheeni ( feeling if loosening of eyes)
  • Nisteevika(excess salivation)
  • Mootra pureesha bahulyam(increased urge to pass urine and stools)
  • Shithila kukshita( loosened feeling in the abdomen)
  • Adhogurutwa(heaviness in the lower parts of the body)
  • Anannabhilasha( no desire for the food)
  • Vedana in hridaya, kati, basti, vamkshana(pain in the cardiac, hip, pelvic, groins) area.
  • Toda, bheda, shoola, sphurana in yoni region(pricking, cutting twitching type of pain in the vaginal area)

2nd stage of delivery:

When the head of the fetus starts showing in the vaginal opening,

  • A fruit having male name is to he given in her hand to hold during the delivery. Yavagu(gruel) with plenty of ghee should be given to drink.
  • She is made to lie down on her back , both the legs folded in the knee joint (lithotamy position), covered with a clean cloth except in the abdominal area. Then ashankhaniya(non suspicious), priyadarshana(pleasant and loving_, parinata vayasa(expert and elderly), prajanana kushala(expert in conducting delivery), pragalbha(honest), kritha nakha(with trimmed finger nails) ladies should attend her to give her the courage and to console her.
  • The powder of any one of the kushta, langali, ela, vacha, chavya, chitraka, chirabilwa should be smelt by her every now and then.
  • Or she is made to inhale the smoke of any one of the drugs like bhoorja patra, shimshapa, and sarjarasa.
  • Waist, back, hip, thigh region of the woman should be gently massaged with lukewarm oil.

With all these procedures the foetus starts moving down further and will show symptoms such as the foetus completely enters the abdominal area and leaves the cardiac region, it will get fixed near the basti shira( above the bladder) and the intensity of the pains will gradually increase.

If with these procedures the fetal head does not descend then the lady should strain strongly,walk around in the sootikagara and take deep breathings or yawning frequently. Then follow these procedures. When the fetal head starts showing in the vaginal orifice the lady is made to lie down on the cot . One attending lady should gently massage the vaginal orifice in anuloma gati(downward direction). Should press the buttock area with her feet. Another attending lady should instruct her to strain strongly when the pain appears and tell her happily that she will deliver a baby boy. The 3rd lady should chant the garbha prasava mantra in the woman’s ear.

The woman should strain slowly with less pressure in the beginning of the 2nd stage. When the fetal head starts showing she should strain with complete pressure till the baby comes out.

What should be done in the obstructed labour?

  • Fumigate the vaginal area with the slough of black serpent and madanaphala.
  • Tie the root of hiranya pushpa on the hands and legs.
  • The beads made up of the roots of suvarchala or vishlya(langali)are worn on neck and hands.

3rd stage:

In most of the normal cases the placenta is expelled out on its own. If it is not expelled on its own then Vagbhatachrya explains to follow these steps.

  • The area above the navel region is pressed with right hand and hold the back with left hand and shake her body strongly.
  • Press the pelvic area with the heel of the foot and press the buttocks strongly.
  • Touch the throat and palate with the tip of the hair
  • Fumigate the vagina with the leaves of bhoorja, kachmani and slough of black serpent. Or fumigate with bhoorja patra and guggulu.
  • Apply the ghee prepared with shaalimoola and fumigate the vaginal area with katkla, alabu, jalini, nimba and slough of black serpent.
  • If all of the above procedures fail then apply ghee on the clean hand with nails already trimmed is inserted into the vagina along with the path of the umbilical cord and remove the placenta.

Aacharya Sushruta:

Acharya Sushrutha also instructs that in the 9th month the pregnant woman should enter the sootikagara after checking good time etc.

1st stage:

  • Pain in kati(hips) and prishta(back).
  • Feeling of urge to pass stools and urine.
  • Mucus discharge from the vagina.

2nd stage:

  • These symptoms indicate that the lady is ready to deliver the baby. Immediately her body should be anointed with oil and washed with warm water and a fruit having of masculine name is given in her hand. Then plenty of yavagu(gruel) should be given to her with ghee.
  • She should lie down on a soft and spacious bed in supine position.
  • Parinata vayasaha(old), prajanana kushala(expert in conducting the delivery), karthita nakhaha(with trimmed nails) ladies should attend her.
  • One lady should gently massage her vagina in anuloma gati(downward direction), and instruct her to strain when she feels the pain. When there is mild pain in pelvis, supra pubic area she should strain lightly. When the fetal head starts showing in the vaginal orifice, she should strain strongly till the baby comes out. If she strains in the absence of pains she will deliver a mooka(dumb), badhira(deaf), kubja(short), vyastha hanu(dislocated jaw), moordhabhighata(head injury), kasa(cough), shwasa(breathing difficulties), shoshi(imaciated) and vikata(changed in appearance or ugly) baby.
  • In case of abnormal presentations, it should be corrected to a normal one.
  • In case of obstruction to the foetus in vagina then fumigate the vagina with the slough of black serpent or pindeetaka(madanaphala).
  • The roots of langali or suvarchala, or vishalya should be tied around the neck, waist and legs.

Sootika paricharya(postnatal care):

Acharya Charaka:

  • Once the placenta is expelled out , when the mother feels hungry one of the fats like ghee, oil, vasa( muscle fat), majja(bone marrow fat)should be mixed with panchacola powder given to her according to the suitability and digestive capacity. After she has taken the ghee and oil and wrapped round with a big clean cloth bandage so that vayu(wind) may not find any space to produce a disorder.
  • After the fat is digested, she should drink yavagu(gruel) prepared with pippali etc, and added with unctuous substance.
  • She should take hot water shower both the times before the intake of fat and gruel
  • This procedure should be followed for 5 or 7 days and later on nourishing food should be given to her.

Acharya Vagbhat:

  • Sootika should be anointed with bala thila soon after delivery. When she feels the hunger, one of the 4 fats, which will be digested in whole day should be mixed with panchcola powder or the powder of ajamoda, upakunchika, chaya, chitraka, vyosha, saidhava is given to her after considering her saatmya.
  • If the lady is not suitable for snehapana( oral intake of unctuous substance), then the fat should be processed with wind alleviating drugs or hraswa panchamoolas and administered to her.
  • Immediately after the snehapana her abdomen is applied with ghee and oil or any yamaka(combination of two fats) and wrapped tight with a long and strong cloth, so that the wind does not get any space to cause a disorder.
  • Once the ghee is completely digested a watery yavagu prepared with panchakola powder or ajamoda, etc powder is given to her along with vidaryadi gana decoction and milk in adequate quantity.
  • Before drinking the fat and the yavagu she should have a warm water shower.
  • These procedures should be followed for 3or 5or 7days, followed by yava, kola, kulattha yusha(soup) and light food for next 12 days.
  • Later on considering her digestive capacity nourishing foods like jangala mamsa rasa(meat soup of wild animal), etc are given to her.
  • She should always drink boiled and cooled water.
  • Now onwards she can undergo abhynga(full body oil application), udwarthana(rubbing the body with powders), parisheka(pouring warm liquids on the body), avagaha(tub bath) and she can take foods prepared with jeevaneeya(life promoting), brihmaniya(nourishing), madhura(sweet), vatahara(wind alleviating), hridya(good for heart) drugs internally.

These food habits will nourish the lady who has become weak due to pregnancy, delivery, etcand will give her a good health.

These regimens are to be followed for one and a half month or 45 days. For these 45 days the delivered woman is called sootika. After 45 days she can get back to her normal food habits. Some acharyas mention that these regimens are to be followed till she gets her menstruation.

Acharya Sushruta:

  • The body of the delivered lady is anointed with Bala thaila and treated with vatahara(wind alleviating) decoction internally and externally.
  • If the impurities are there in the body , then Gudodaka(jaggery water) with panchakola powder is given to her till the impurities are expelled out of the body. i.e. 2 to 3 days.
  • When the discharge becomes normal a gruel prepared with vidarigandhadi gana decoction, milk or fat for 3 days.
  • After 5 to 6 days she can take shashtika rice prepared with yava kola kulattha decoction and jangala mamsa rasa, according to her digestive capacity.
  • These regimens are to be followed for 45days or one and a half month, after which she can get back to her normal food habits.
  • Some acharyas advise to follow these regimens till she gets menstruation.

New born care( sadya prasoota shishu upachara):

Acharya Charak:

While the steps are being taken to expel the placenta one group of the attending ladies should perform following actions in respect of the new born child.

  • A sound should be produced by striking or rubbing two stones together near the base of the neonate’s ear.
  • Sprinkle cold or hot water on the face of the newborn. Thus the child recovers the vital breath which was stopped due to the distress so far.
  • If the child is not showing any movements he should be fanned with a winnowing basket(shoorpa) till he recovers.
  • Once he recovers breath and becomes normal, a warm water bath is given.
  • His palate, lips, tongue, throat should be cleaned with a cotton swab which is wrapped around the tip of the clean finger.
  • After cleaning the oral cavity, a cotton swab dipped in fatty substance is kept over the anterior fontanel.
  • Then induce vomiting by rubbing the mixture of saindhva lavana and ghee on the tongue.

After following above initial regimens to the child the umbilical cord should be cut.

  • Fix a point on the umbilical cord 8 angulas away from newborn’s umbilicus.
  • Both sides of the point should be held tight and cut with a sharp, half edged golden/silver/ steel instrument.
  • The end of the attached portion should be tied with a thread and tied loosely to the neck of the newborn.
  • If the umbilicus suppurates, then the oil prepared with lodhra, madhuka, priyangu, devadaru and haridra kalka should be applied and the fine powder of same drugs should be sprinkled on the umbilicus.
  • After the cord cutting mixture of honey and ghee in unequal proportion which is processed with mantras is rubbed on newborn’s tongue or is made to lick .
  • Similarly after chanting mantras the newborn is made to suck the right breast of the mother.
  • A pot filled with water is kept on the head side of the newborn after chanting mantras.

General measures to protect mother and newborn:

The maternity home should be surrounded by branches of aadaani, khadira, karkandhu, peelu, parushaka trees.

  • The seeds of sarshpa(mustard), atasi, tandula, kanakanika are scattered all over the maternity home.
  •  The oblation of offering of rice to the fire should be performed twice a day till the namakarana samskara(naming ceremony) of the child.
  • At the door of maternity home a wooden pestle is kept obliquely.
  • The drugs like vacha, kushta, kshemaka, hingu, sarshapa, atasi, lashuna, kanakanika are well tied in a cloth bag and tied at the front door. The same should be worn by the mother and the newborn in the neck and also put in the cooking vessels, water jars, cot, and both the panels of the door. These drugs help in repelling evil spirits.
  • There should be a fire burning constantly with kanakanika, or tinduka wood within the maternity home.
  • The attending women and friends should keep up the whole night near the mother and new born for 10 or 12 nights.
  • Moreover gifts, auspicious rites, blessings, praises, songs, playing musical instruments should be performed continuously in the maternity home.
  • The maternity home should be amply provided with food and drinks and be full of affectionate and happy people.
  • The brahmanas proficient in the Atharvaveda too should continuously offer propitiatory oblations to the fire twice a day for the well being of the child as well as the mother.
  • On the 10th day the mother along with the baby should take a shower with water processed with aromatic drugs, white mustard and lodhra.
  • Wear light, undamaged, clean cloth and auspicious, desirable, light and splendid ornaments.
  • Should touch auspicious objects, worship the appropriate deity and receive blessings from brahmanas wearing white cloth and have no deformity.
  • Wrap the baby in a clean and undamaged cloth and held facing east or north direction. Then the father of the child should say that the child is offering salutations to the deity and brahmanas. Having said so, the child should be given two names, one based on the nakshatra at the time of the birth and other popular name for the day to day use. The popular name should begin with ghosha(consonant) alphabets and end with antastha(semi-vowels) or ushma. There should not be a letter with vriddhi(diphthong), it should be similar to that in preceding generations and should not be newly established. The constellatory name is similar to the deity of the constellation and should consist two or four letters.
  • After the namakarana the child is examined for the knowledge of the span of his life.

Nursery for the child:

  • It should be well planned by the architect.
  • It should be spacious, beautiful, well ventilated, free from darkness and excess wind, strong, inaccessible for various animals, rats, and insects.
  • It should have a distinct places for water, pounding, urinal, lavatory, bathroom and kitchen.
  • It should be comfortable in the particular season, equipped with cot, chairs and beddings according to the season.
  • Protective measures, offerings, auspicious rites, oblations and expiatory rites should be performed well there.
  • It should be full of clean and elderly people, physician and affectionate people.
  • The beddings, chairs and coverings for the child should be soft, light, clean and perfumed.
  • Soiled cloths should be discarded. If there are no additional ones the same may be used after they are washed, dried and well fumigated.
  • For fumigation of clothing’s, cots, beddings and coverings the drugs like yava, sarshapa, atasi, hingu, guggulu, vacha, choraka, vayastha, golomi, jataila, palamkasha, ashokarohini and slough of serpent mixed with ghee are used.
  • Amulets made of the tip of the right horn of an alive rhinoceros or deer or wild bull should be worn by the child. The herbs like indri, jeevaka, rishbhaka or whatever indicated by the brahmanas conversant in Atharvaveda may also be used for wearing.
  • Toys for the child should be of various shapes, sound producing, beautiful, not heavy, without sharp edges, big (so that can not enter into the mouth) and should not be terrifying.

Behaviour of other people with the child:

  • The child should not be frightened. Hence when the cries or does not eat or is attracted to some other things, one should not try to subside him by frightening by calling the names of rakshasas, pishachas, putanas, etc.
  • If the child falls sick, then the physician should start the treatment after examining cautiously the constitution, etiology, premonitory symptoms, symptoms and therapeutic suitability. The drugs selected should be sweet, mild, light, fragrant, cold in nature. Because the children are suited to such measures and they get cured from the same.
  • In case of healthy baby, he should be maintained on the code of conduct for healthy and using the things contrary to the place, time and his self constitution.
  • The unwholesome habits should be gradually changed to the wholesome ones and thus all unwholesome should be avoided. Thus he attains the excellence of strength, complexion, physique and lifespan.
  • In this way the child should be looked after till he is an adult and gets the skills to acquire virtue and means of sustenance.

Acharya Vagbhata:

  • As soon as the child is born, the child is born the oral cavity is cleaned with saindhava lavana and ghee.
  • His body should be applied with bala thaila.
  • A sound should be produced by striking two stones together near the base of the new born’s ear.
  • If the child does not show any movement, he should be fanned with a winnowing basket, till he recovers and chant mantras in his right ear.
  • Once the child regains breath and becomes normal or looks healthy, his umbilical cord should be cut by tying it in two points with a silk thread 4 angulas away from newborn’s umbilicus. The cord is cut with a sharp edged instrument. The stump is tied loosely to the neck of the newborn.
  • The umbilicus is anointed with Kushta thaila.
  • Then a warm water shower is given using water processed with any one of the drugs like ksheerivriksha or sarva gandha dravyas or red hot gold or silver or kapittha patra.
  • The newborn’s tongue, throat and lips should be cleaned gently with the tip of tarjani(fore finger) wrapped with cotton.
  • One harenu matra of paste of indri, brahmi, shankhapushpi, vacha, honey and ghee is taken on a golden spoon or aswattha leaf , chanted with mantras by touching it with the tip of kusha is given to the new born. This helps to improve the medha(intelligence), aayu(life span), bala(strength) of the new born.
  • Similarly the powder of brahmi, bala, ananta, shatavari can also be given to the new born.
  • Then the newborn is made to vomit by giving saindhvalavana and ghee. This emesis helps to clear the chest, throat and it makes the child’s body lighter and improves the appetite.
  • Then jatakarma should be done according to the praajapatya vidhi.
  • Achaya vagbhata says that the breast milk secretion starts on 3rd or 4th day of the delivery. So what should be given to the newborn for those 3 days? He says On the first day ananta mixed with honey and ghee after purifying with mantras. On the 2nd and 3rdday lakshmana processed with honey and ghee is given. On 4th day ghee should be given two times and the breast feeding should be started. The quantity of the ghee on 4th day should be equal lent to the quantity that can be held in child’s own palm(panitala).
  • Every day a cotton swab dipped in oil should be kept in the ear passage and on the shringataka region.
  • The child should be made to sleep on a soft cloth bed with head pointing east or north direction. A pot filled with water and cleansed with mantras is placed on the head side. Similarly two more pots should be placed on both sides of the entrance door.
  • The branches of aadari, vidari, badari, khadira, nimba, peelu, parushaka are used for fanning child. Branches of the same drugs should be placed on all four sides of the maternity home.
  • The seeds like sarshapa, atasi, kanakanika are scattered inside as well as out side of the maternity home.
  • The oblation should be done in the morning and evening.
  • Maternity home should be fumigated using guggulwdi dhoopa explained in vranatreatment.
  •  The brahmanas who are proficient in atharvaveda should chant maayuri, mahamaayuri, aaryaa, ratnaketu, dhaarini in the morning and evening.
  • The drugs like hingu, vacha, turushkara, rakshoghna(mustard) are well tied in a cloth bag and tied on the front door. The same should worn by the newborn and mother in the neck.
  • Similarly mantras like aaryaa, parna shabari, aarya aparaajita are written on the bhoorja patra with gorochana, tied in a piece of cloth and worn by newborn child and mother. The same should be tied on the sides of the cot.
  • At the entrance door of the maternity home , a pestle should be kept obliquely.
  • A holy fire should be lit using tinduka woods and mustard, kandaka(rice) should be offered to this fire in the morning and evening.
  • Friendly and pleasant ladies should stay inside the maternity home.
  • On the sixth night, a special care should be taken to protect the newborn child by doing bali(religious offering) and homa(oblations to god by putting ghee into the fire). All friends and relatives should keep up on this night.
  • On the 10th or 12th day depending on their kula, gotra, aachara, etc the father should do the namakarana samskara.
  • Naming ceremony can be done on 10th,12th or 100th day or after one year. On the day of naming ceremony , a paste of manahshila, haratala, gorochana, agaru, chandana should be applied on child’s body.
  • The rules for selection of the name is similar to Acharya Charaka’s explanations.
  • After the naming ceremony the child should be examined for the knowledge of the span of life.

Nursery:

  • It should be well planed by an architect , completely equipped, clean, well ventilated and lighted. Elderly ladies and a physician should be there inside the nursery. It should be free from insects, rodents, etc.
  • Nursery should have distinct places for bathing, etc.
  • The mattress, bed covering, etc of the child should be soft, washed and dried fumigated with the rakshoghna dravyas ( drugs that protect from the evil spirits).
  • The cloths and beddings should be fumigated with vacha, ghee, kushta, shreevestaka, sarshapa.
  • One should not suddenly wake up the sleeping baby.
  • Soon after waking up one should not lift him high, by doing so he will be frightened and his urine and stools will be obstructed.
  • The paste of honey, amalaki, vyosha, brihatimoola, saindhava lavana should be applied into the oral cavity to reduce the salivation of the child.
  • Amulets made of tip of right horn of the alive rhinoceroses, deer or wild bull to be worn by the child. The herbs like indri, jeevaka, rishbhaka can also be used for wearing in the hands, head and neck. These things will improve the aayu(life span), medhaa(intelligence), smriti(memory) and swsthya(health) of the child. It also protects the child from raakshasas(evil spirits).
  • In the 4th month the child should be brought out of the maternity home. The child should be well dressed and should do namaskar(showing respect by bowing down) to the devatas(gods) before going out. The child should follow agni and skandha.
  • In the fifth month the child should be made to sit on the floor which is smeared with gomaya(cow dung) and offered oblations.
  • While sitting the child’s back should be supported and the back, hips should be gently massaged.
  • In the 6th month Annaprashana samskara should be done. As the quantity solid food intake increases the breast feeding should be reduced gradually.
  • In 6th, 7th or 8th month ear piercing should be done.
  • Up to one year the child should not be taken for outing in hot or bright sun. Any kind of shining objects, lightning and fire should not be shown to the child.
  • When the teething process starts, gradually the breastfeeding should be weaned off. Weaning off should be tried with sneha(love) and prema(affection), when these does not work out, pastes should applied on the nipples which looks like a wound .
  • Once the weaning process is started the milk processed with laghu panchamoola should be given to the child. Light and nourishing foods should be started gradually.
  • When the breastfeeding is completely stopped the child should be given a modaka(laddoo) prepared with priyalamajja, madhuka, madhu, laaja, sitopala.
  • Saktu(the fried barley flour) of baala bilwa, ela, sharkara, laja also can be used. This preparation acts as agnideepaka.
  • A tarpana of dhaataki pushpa, sharkara, laaja is used as sangrahi
  • After weaning if the child’s appetite increases abnormally, treatments of atyagni roga or paarigarbhika roga are done.
  • Then aacharya explains the quality of the care taker of the child.
  • If the child does not listen to his elders or throws tantrums, the child should not be scared by parents.
  • One should protect the child from jumping from heights and from the cloths falling on the face.
  • The place where the child plays should be free from metal pieces, stones, weapons, mud dust, etc. The play area should be sprinkled with water processed with vidanga or maricha or nimba.
  • The toys should make pleasant noise, should have pictures/ drawings on them, They should not be scary ones, should be huge, should not have sharp edges, should have the shapes of cow, horse, etc, animals or fruits.
  • When the child attains the appropriate age to pursue the education , he should be taught dharma(customary observances of a caste, etc), vinaya(discipline), etc which helps him to control his horse like indriyas(sense organs) during his yauvanavastha(young age).
  • Abhyanga(oil application on the body), udwarthana( rubbing the body with powders) and snana(shower) are done everyday.
  • Oil for Abhyanga is prepared using sahadeva, shaliparni, harenu, shwetakamala, chandana, brihati phala, tarkari, sarshapa, kushta, saindhava, ashwagandha, eranda, tila, apaamarga tandula, aatmagupta phala and goat’s milk. This oil helps to keep away all evil spirits and it is balya(that which improves the strength).
  • Powder for udwarthana:- The powder of same drugs are used along with 3 parts of chikkisa(fried yava choorna), curd and honey.
  • Powder of moorva moola, rajani dwaya, yava or kulattha powder or ashwagandha powder can also be used for udvarthana.
  • Water for bath:- The water for bath should be processed with sarvaoushdhi (eladi gana) paste.

Seasonwise care for the child:

  • In cold season (sheetakala) and Vasanta ritu the water for bathing should be processed with aaragwadhadi gana drugs. The ghee processed with vatsakadi gana drugs should be used internally for the child.
  • In greeshma ritu due to wind, hot sun(aatapa), sweat the child will attain klama(tiredness). So the milk processed with jeevaneeya gana drugs is to be given to the child in the morning. Or Saktu(fried barley flour) with adequate quantity of ghee and sita(candy sugar) can be given to the child.
  • If the child has the habit to drink more water then the ghee should not be given.
  • If the plain ghee is saatmya for the child, the ghee should be processed with kakoli, shrkara, meda, vamshalochana, yastimadhu and jeevaka.
  • A lepa(application of the paste) of kutannata or any cooling herb is applied on the child’s forehead.
  • Ghee processed with vidaryadi gana decoction, raasna, sarala, varshbhu, hingu, saindhava, devadaru can also used for internal use.
  • In sharad ritu ghee extracted from milk and processed with prapaundareeka, madhuka, soopyaparni, duralabha, priyalamajja, kakoli, vidari, katphala, amruta, draksha, ajashringi, dugdhika, ksheerashukla, ashwagandha, shringi, madhooka kusuma, meda, rishabhaka, jeevaka is used internally.
  • Brahmi gritha or saraswata gritha also can be used.

General care:

  • Powders of vacha, little swarna bhasma mixed with honey and ghee is made to lick by the child till he becomes one year old to develop his medha(intelligence), vani(speech) and agni(digestive fire).
  • Powders of hareetaki, pippali, kushta, haridra, sariva, vacha, mamsi, kaidarya in equal proportions are mixed with equal quantity of brahmi choorna. This mixture of powders should be given to the child with ghee up to one year.
  • Powder of above said drugs are mixed with the powder of any one of the drugs like doorva, moorva, brahma suvarchala, lakshmana, shwetakantakari, avyanda, shweta sarshapa, sahasraveerya, phalini, brihatipakwa phala, rohisha in equal quantity and used for children as well as adults.
  • One should protect the child from eating mud. Mud eating leads to paandu, shopha, shwasa, kasa, atisara, krimi, vamana, moorcha, agnimaandya, stanya dwesha, angaruk and bhrama.
  • The brush should not be used to child till his gums become strong(sthira).

Aacharya Sushruta:

  • As soon as the child comes out the jarayu(amniotic membrane) sticking to the face and oral cavity is removed and the oral cavity is cleaned with saindhava lavana and ghee.
  • A cotton swab dipped in ghee is kept over the brahma randhra/ anterior fontanel.
  • Then the umbilical cord should be cut 8angulas away from the umbilicus after tying it with a thread. The stump should be tied to the neck of the newborn.
  • After cutting the umbilical cord the child’s face should be sprinkled with cold water. Once the child looks comfortable jaatakarma should be done.
  • The mixture of honey, ghee and ananta choorna(gold powder) should be taken in the tip of the anamika(ring finger) and rubbed on the newborn’s tongue.
  • Full body abhyanga should be done with bala thaila and washed with warm water processed with one of the drugs like Ksheerivriksha, Sarvagandhodaka(eladi gana or chaturjataka), kapittha pattra or water dipped with hot silver or gold foil.
  • According to aacharya sushruta also describes that the breast milk secretion starts on the 4th day. So he advices to give a mixture honey, ghee and ananta powder after chanting mantras, three times a day on the first day. On 2nd and 3rd day ghee processed with lakshmana. On the 4th day a mixture of honey and ghee should be given in swapaanitala matra and the breast feeding should be started.
  • The child should be wrapped with silk cloth and made to sleep on a soft bed covered with silk cloth.
  • The child should be fanned with peelu, badari, nimba, parushaka branches.
  • A cotton swab soaked in oil is kept on the child’s forehead.
  • Fumigation should be done with rakshoghna dhoopa.
  • The drugs of rakshoghna dhoopa should be tied on hands, legs, neck and head of the newborn.
  • Tila, atasi, sarshapa should be scattered inside the maternity home.
  • A sacred fire should be lit inside the maternity home.
  • The regimens explained in vranitipasaneeya chapter should be followed.
  • On the 10th day the newborn’s parents should name the child according to the nakshtra.

How to behave with child?

  • The child should be lifted or handled gently as not to cause any discomfort.
  • The child should not be scolded nor suddenly roused up from sleep, as it might get frightened.
  • The baby should not be suddenly drawn up or suddenly laid down. This may result in the derangement of bodily wind.
  • The child should not be made to sit for long time as it might cause kaubjya(short stature).
  • The child should be fondled and amused with toys and play things. A child unruffled by these methods becomes healthy, cheerful, intelligent as he grows older.
  • The infant should be guarded against exposure to the rain, sun, bright light, lightning, grhachayas and dusta grahas. He should not be taken under the trees/ creepers, into empty houses, nimna sthanas like cave, well, etc.
  • The child should not be left alone in an unclean, unholy place nor under the sky(lonely or open place), uneven places. He should not be exposed to heat, cold, storm, rain, dust, smoke and water.
  • In the absence of mother’s milk, cow’s milk or goat’s milk should be given to the child in the proper quantity.
  • In the 6th month the child should be fed with light and wholesome food.
  • The child should protected from evil spirits by keeping him inside the house and by doing the religious rites.
  • The education of the child should be commenced at a suitable age and with suitable subjects according to his social varna(caste) or order he belongs to.
  • On attaining 25th year he should marry a girl of 12 years.

Drugs to improve the immunity:

The growth, memory, strength, intellect of the child can be improved by using the following medicinal mixtures.

  • Swarna powder, kushta, vacha, honey, ghee.
  • Mastyakshaka, shankhapushpi, swarna bhasma, honey, ghee.
  • Arkapushpi, vacha, swaena powder, honey and ghee.
  • Swarna powder, kaidarya, shweta doorva, honey and ghee.

Caesarian section in Ayurveda:

In Sushruta chikista sthana 15th chapter he explains about extraction of garbha shalya(dead foetus) with surgical intervention or decapitation of the foetus.

The live fetus should be delivered with various manipulations.

While explaining the causes for Moodha garbha in Nidana sthana 8th chapter there is a verse saying that if the mother is dead and the foetus is alive then the foetus should be delivered by doing udara vipaatana ( opening the abdomen by putting an incision). But there no description about the udara vipatana on living mother by aacharyas like Sushruta, Vagbhata and Charaka.

Shiva Samhita

The Shiva Samhita, it is one of the main texts of Yoga. A tantra. It’s date is around the 17th century but this is debatable. No matter, it is old. It is Yoga in detail. Interestingly enough it has four asanas described. All of them seated meditative postures. No flow, no vinyasa, just static seated postured. What does that tell you?

CHAPTER I.

Existence one only.

1. The jnana alone is eternal; it is without beginning or end; there exists no other real substance. Diversities which we see in the world are results of sense-conditions; when the latter cease, then this Jnana alone, and nothing else, remains.

2-3. I, Ishvara, the lover of my devotees, and Giver of spiritual emancipation to all creatures, thus declare the science of yoganasasana (the exposition of Yoga). In it are discarded all those doctrines of disputants, which lead to false knowledge. It is for the spiritual disenthralment of persons whose minds are undistracted and fully turned towards Me.

Differences of opinion.

4. Some praise truth, others purification and asceticism; some praise forgiveness, others equality and sincerity.

5. Some praise alms-giving, others laud sacrifices made in honor of one’s ancestors; some praise action (karma), others think dispassion (vairagya) to be the best.

6. Some wise persons praise the performance of the duties of the householder; other authorities hold up fire sacrifice as the highest.

7. Some praise mantrayoga, others the frequenting of places of pilgrimage. Thus are the ways which people declare emancipation.

8. Being thus diversely engaged in this world, even those who still know what actions are good and what are evil, though free from sin, become subject to bewilderment.

9. Persons who follow these doctrines, having committed good and bad actions, constantly wander in the worlds, in the cycle of births and deaths, bound by dire necessity.

10. Others, wiser among many, and eagerly devoted to the investigation of the occult, declare that the souls are many and eternal, and omnipresent.

11. Others say, “Only those things can be said to exist which are perceived by the senses and nothing besides them; where is heaven or hell?” Such is their firm belief.

12. Others believe the world to be a current of consciousness and no material entity; some call the void as the greatest. Others believe in two essences – Matter (prakriti) and Spirit (purusa).

13-14. Thus believing in widely different doctrines, with faces turned away from the supreme goal, they think, according to their understanding and education, that this universe is without God; others believe there is a God, basing their assertions on various irrefutable arguments, founded on texts declaring difference between soul and God, and anxious to establish the existence of God.

15-16. These and many other sages with various different denominations, have been declared in the Shastras as leaders of the human mind into delusion. It is not possible to describe fully the doctrines of these persons so fond of quarrel and contention; people thus wander in this universe, being driven away from the path of emancipation.

Yoga the only true method

17. Having studied all the Shastras and having pondered over them well, again and again, this Yoga Sastra has been found to be the only true and firm doctrine.

18. Since by Yoga all this verily is known as a certainty, all exertion should be made to acquire it. What is the necessity then of any other doctrines?

19. This Yoga Shastra, now being declared by us, is a very secret doctrine, only to be revealed to a high-souled pious devotee throughout the three worlds.

Karmakanda.

20. There are two systems (as found in the Vedas). Karmakanda (ritualism) and jnanakanda (wisdom).

Jnanakanda and karmakanda are again each subdivided into two parts.

21. The karmakanda is twofold – consisting of injunctions and prohibitions.

22. Prohibited acts when done, will certainly bring forth sin; from performance of enjoined acts there certainly results merit.

23. The injunctions are threefold – nitya (regular), naimittika (occasional), and kamya (optional). By the nonperformance of nitya or daily rites there accrues sin; but by their performance no merit is gained. On the other hand, the occasional and optional duties, if done or left undone, produce merit or demerit.

24. Fruits of actions are twofold – heaven or hell. The heavens are of various kinds and so also hells are diverse.

25. The good actions are verily heaven, and sinful deeds are verily hell; the creation is the natural outcome of karma and nothing else.

26. Creatures enjoy many pleasures in heaven; many intolerable pains are suffered in hell.

27. From sinful acts pain, from good acts happiness, results. For the sake of happiness, men constantly perform good actions.

28. When the sufferings for evil actions are gone through, then there take place re-births certainly; when the fruits of good actions have been exhausted, then also, verily, the result is the same.

29. Even in heaven there is experiencing of pain by seeing the higher enjoyment of others; verily, there is no doubt of it that this whole universe is full of sorrow.

30. The classifiers of karma have divided it into two parts; good and bad actions; they are the veritable bondage of embodied souls each in its turn.

31. Those who are not desirous of enjoying the fruits of their actions in this or the next world, should renounce all actions which are done with an eye to their fruits, and having similarly discarded the attachment for the daily and the naimittika acts, should employ themselves in the practice of Yoga.

Jnanakanda.

32. The wise Yogi, having realized the truth of karmakanda (works), should renounce them; and having left both virtue and vice, he must engage in jnanakanda (knowledge).

33. The Vedic texts, – “The spirit ought to be seen,” – “About it one must hear”, &c., are the real saviors and givers of true knowledge. They must be studied with great care.

34. That Intelligence, which incites the functions into the paths of virtue or vice, am I. All this universe, moveable and immovable, is from me; all things are preserved by me; all are absorbed into me (at the time of pralaya; because there exists nothing but the spirit and I am that spirit – there exists nothing else.

35. As in innumerable cups full of water, many reflections of the sun are seen, but the substance is the same; similarly individuals, like cups are innumerable, but the vivifying spirit, like the sun, is one.

36. As in a dream the one soul creates many objects by mere willing; but on awaking everything vanishes but the one soul; so is this universe.

37. As through illusion a rope appears like a snake, or a pearl-shell like silver; similarly, all this universe is superimposed in the Paramatma (the Universal Spirit).

38. As, when the knowledge of the rope is obtained, the erroneous notion of its being a snake does not remain; so, by the arising of the knowledge of self, vanishes this universe based on illusion.

39. As, when the knowledge of the mother-of-pearl is obtained, the erroneous notion of its being silver does not remain; so, through the knowledge of spirit, the world always appears a delusion.

40. As, when a man besmears his eyelids with the collyrium prepared from the fat of frogs, a bamboo appears like a serpent, so the world appears in the Paramatma, owing to the delusive pigment of habit and imagination.

41. As through knowledge of rope the serpent appears a delusion; similarly, through spiritual knowledge, the world. As through jaundiced eyes white appears yellow; similarly, through the disease of ignorance, this world appears in the spirit – an error very difficult to be removed.

42. As when the jaundice is removed the patient sees the colour as it is, so when delusive ignorance is destroyed, the true nature of the spirit is made manifest.

43. As a rope can never become a snake, in the past, present or future; so the spirit which is beyond all gunas and which is pure, never becomes the universe.

44. Some wise men, well-versed in Scriptures, receiving the knowledge of spirit, have declared that even Devas like Indra, etc., are non-eternal, subject to birth and death, and liable to destruction.

45. Like a bubble in the sea rising through the agitation of the wind, this transitory world arises from the Spirit.

46. The Unity exists always; the Diversity does not exist always; there comes a time when it ceases: two-fold, three-fold, and manifold distinctions arise only through illusion.

47. Whatever was, is or will be, either formed or formless, in short, all this universe is superimposed on the

Supreme Spirit.

48. Suggested by the Lords of suggestion comes out avidya. It is born of untruth, and its very essence is unreal. How can this world with such antecedents (foundations) be true?

The Spirit.

49. All this universe, moveable or unmovable, has come out of Intelligence. Renouncing everything else, take shelter in it.

50. As space pervades a jar both inside and out, similarly within and beyond this ever-changing universe, there exists one Universal Spirit.

51. As the space pervading the five false states of matter does not mix with them, so the Spirit does not mix with this ever-changing universe.

52. From Devas down to this material universe all are pervaded by one Spirit. There is one satchitananda (Being, Consciousness, and Bliss) all-pervading and secondless.

53. Since it is not illuminated by another, therefore it is self-luminous; and for that self-luminosity, the very nature of Spirit is Light.

54. Since the Spirit in its nature is not limited by time, or space, it is therefore infinite, all-pervading and entirety itself.

55. Since the Spirit is unlike this world, which is composed of five states of matter, that are false and subject to destruction, therefore, it is eternal. It is never destroyed.

56. Save and beyond it, there is no other substance, therefore, it is one; without it everything else is false; therefore, it is True Existence.

57. Since in this world created by ignorance, the destruction of sorrow means the gaining of happiness; and, through jnana, immunity from all sorrow ensues; therefore, the Spirit is Bliss.

58. Since by jnana is destroyed the Ignorance, which is the cause of the universe; therefore, the Spirit is jnana; and this jnana is consequently eternal.

59. Since in time this manifold universe takes its origin, therefore, there is One who is verily the Self,unchanging through all times. Who is one, and unthinkable.

60. All these external substances will perish in the course of time; (but) that Spirit which is indestructable by word (will exist) without a second.

61. Neither ether, air, fire, water, earth, nor their combinations, nor the Devas, are perfect; the Spirit alone is so.

Yoga and Maya.

62. Having renounced all false desires and abandoned all false worldly chains, the Yogi sees certainly in his own spirit the Universal Spirit by the self.

63. Having seen the Spirit, that brings forth happiness, in his own spirit by the help of the self, he forgets this universe, and enjoys the ineffable bliss of Samadhi (profound meditation.)

64. Maya (illusion) is the mother of the universe. Not from any other principle has the universe been created; when this maya is destroyed, the world certainly does not exist.

65. He, to whom this world is but the pleasure-ground of maya, therefore, contemptible and worthless, cannot find any happiness in riches, body, etc., nor in pleasures.

66. This world appears in three different aspects to men – either friendly, inimical, or indifferent; such is always found in worldly dealing; there is distinction also in substances, as they are good, bad or indifferent.

67. That one Spirit, through differentiation, verily becomes a son, a father, etc. The Sacred Scriptures have demonstrated the universe to be the freak of maya (illusion). The Yogi destroys this phenomenal universe by realizing that it is but the result of adhyaropa (superimposition) and by means of aparada (refutation of a wrong belief).

Definition of a Paramahamsa.

68. When a person is free from the infinite distinctions and states of existence as caste, individuality etc., then he can say that he is indivisible intelligence, and pure Unit.

Emanation or Evolution.

69. The Lord willed to create his creatures; from His will came out avidya (Ignorance), the mother of this false universe.

70. There takes place the conjunction between the Pure Brahma and avidya, from which arises Brahma, from which comes out the akasa.

71. From the akasa emanated the air; from the air came the fire; from fire – water; and from water came the earth. This is the order of subtle emanation.

72. From ether, air; from the air and ether combined came fire; from the triple compound of ether, air and fire came water; from the combination of ether, air, fire and water was produced the (gross) earth.

73. The quality of ether is sound; of air motion and touch. Form is the quality of fire, and taste of water. And smell is the quality of earth. There is no gainsaying this.

74. Akasa has one quality; air two, fire three, water four, and earth five qualities, viz, sound, touch, taste, form and smell. This has been declared by the wise.

75-76. Form is perceived through he eyes, smell through the nose, taste through the tongue, touch through the skin and sound through the ear. These are verily the organs of perception.

77. From Intelligence has come out all this universe, movable and immovable; whether or not its existence can be inferred, the “All Intelligence” One does exist.

Absorption or Involution.

78. The earth becomes subtle and is dissolved in water; water is resolved into fire; fire similarly merges in air; air gets absorption in ether, and ether is resolved in avidya (Ignorance), which merges into the Great Brahma.

79. There are two forces – viksepa, (the out-going energy) and avarana (the transforming energy) which are of great potentiality and power, and whose form is happiness. The great maya, when non-intelligent and material, has three attributes sattva (rhythm) rajas (energy) and tamas (inertia).

80. The non-intelligent form of maya covered by the avarana force (concealment), manifests itself as the universe, owing to the nature of viksepa force.

81. When the avidya has an excess of tamas, then it manifests itself as Durga: the intelligence which presides over her is called Isvara. When the avidya has an excess of sattva, it manifests itself as the beautiful Lakshimi; the Intelligence which presides over her is called Vishnu.

82. When the avidya has an excess of rajas, it manifests itself as the wise Saraswati; the intelligence which presides over her is known as Brahma.

83. Gods like Siva, Brahma, Vishnu, etc., are all seen in the great Spirit; bodies and all material objects are the various products of avidya.

84. The wise have thus explained the creation of the world – tattwas (elements) and non-tattwas (non-elements) are thus produced – not otherwise.

85. All things are seen as finite, etc. (endowed with qualities, etc.), and there arise various distinctions merely through words and names; but there is no real difference.

86. Therefore, the things do exist; the great and glorious One that manifests them, alone exists; though things are false and unreal, yet, as the reflection of the real, they, for the time being, appear real.

87. The One Entity, blissful, entire and all-pervading, alone exists, and nothing else; he who constantly realizes this knowledge is freed from death and the sorrow of the world-wheel.

88. When through the knowledge that all is illusory perception (aropa) and by intellectual refutation (apavada) of other doctrines, this universe is resolved into the one, then, there exists that One and nothing else; then this is clearly perceived by the mind.

Karma clothes the Jiva with body.

89. From the Annamiya Kosa (the physical vehicle) of the father, and in accordance with its past karma, the human soul is re-incarnated; therefore, the wise consider this beautiful body as a punishment, for the suffering of the effects of the past karma.

90. This temple of suffering and enjoyment (human body), made up of flesh, bones, nerves, marrow, blood, and intersected with blood vessels etc., is only for the sake of suffering of sorrow.

91. This body, the abode of Brahma, and composed of five elements and known as Brahmanda (the egg of Brahma or microcosm) has been made for the enjoyment of pleasure or suffering of pain.

92. From the self-combination of the Spirit which is Siva and the Matter which is Sakti, and, through their inherent interaction on each other, all creatures are born.

93. From the fivefold combination of all subtle elements, in this universe, gross innumerable objects are produced. The intelligence that is confined in them, through karma, is called the jiva. All this world is derived from the five elements. The jiva is the enjoyer of the fruits of action.

94. In conformity with the effects of the past karma of the jivas, I regulate all destinies. Jiva is immaterial, and is in all things; but it enters the material body to enjoy the fruits of karma.

95. Bound in the chain of matter by their karma, the jivas receive various names. In this world, the come again and again to undergo the consequences of their karma.

96. When the fruits of karma have been enjoyed, the jiva is absorbed in the Parambrahma.

CHAPTER II

(1) The Microcosm.

1. In this body, the mount Meru – i.e., the vertebral column – is surrounded by seven islands; there are rivers, seas, mountains, fields; and lords of the fields too.

2. There are in it seers and sages; all the stars and planets as well. There are sacred pilgrimages, shrines; and presiding deities of the shrines.

3. The sun and moon, agents of creation and destruction, also move in it. Ether, air, water and earth are also there.

(2) The Nerve Centers.

4. All the beings that exist in the three worlds are also to be found in the body; surrounding the Meru they are engaged in their respective functions.

5. (But ordinary men do not know it). He who knows all this is a Yogi; there is no doubt about it.

6. In this body, which is called Brahmanda (microcosm, literally the mundane egg), there is the nectar-rayed moon, in its proper place, on the top of the spinal cord, with eight Kalas (in the shape of a semi-circle).

7. This has its face downwards, and rains nectar day and night. The ambrosia further sub-divides itself into two subtle parts:

8. One of these, through the channel named Ida, goes over the body to nourish it, like the waters of the heavenly Ganges – certainly this ambrosia nourishes the whole body through the channel of Ida.

9. This milk-ray (moon) is on the left side. The other ray, brilliant as the purest milk and fountain of great joy, enters through the middle path (called sushumna) into the spinal cord, in order to create this moon.

10. At the bottom of the Meru there is the sun having twelve Kalas. In the right side path (Pingala) the lord of creatures carries (the fluid) through its rays upwards.

11. It certainly swallows the vital secretions, and ray-exuded nectar. Together with the atmosphere, the sun moves through the whole body.

12. The right-side vessel, which is pingala is another form of the sun, and is the giver of nirvana. The lord of creation and destruction (the sun) moves in this vessel through auspicious ecliptical signs.

(3) The Nerves.

13. In the body of man there are 3,500,000 nadis; of them the principal are fourteen;

14-15. Sushumna, Ida, Pingala, Gandhari, Hastijihvika, Kuhu, Saraswati, Pusa, Sankhini, Payaswani, Varuni, Alumbusa, Vishwodari, and Yasaswani. Among these Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are the chief.

16. Among these three, sushumna alone is the highest and beloved of the Yogis. Other vessels are subordinate to it in the body.

17. All these principal nadis (vessels) have their mouths downwards, and are like thin threads of lotus. They are all supported by the vertebral column, and represent the sun, moon and fire.

18. The innermost of these three is chitra; it is my beloved. In that there is the subtlest of all hollows called Brahmarandhra.

19. Brilliant with five colours, pure, moving in the middle of sushumna, this chitra is the vital part of body and centre of sushumna.

20. This has been called in the Shastras the Heavenly Way; this is the giver of the joy of immortality; by contemplating it, the greatYogi destroys all sins.

(4) The Pelvic Region.

21. Two digits above the rectum and two digits below the linga (penis) is the adhara lotus, having a dimension of four digits.

22. In the pericarp of the adhara lotus there is the triangular, beautiful yoni, hidden and kept secret in all the Tantras.

23. In it is the supreme goddess Kundalini of the form of electricity, in a coil. It has three coils and a half (like a serpent), and is in the mouth of sushumna.

24. It represents the creative force of the world, and is always engaged in creation. It is the goddess of speech, whom speech cannot manifest, and who is praised by all gods.

25. The nadi called ida is on the left side coiling round the sushumna, it goes to the right nostril.

26. The nadi called pingala is on the right side; coiling round the central vessel, it enters the left nostril.

27. The nadi which is between Ida and Pingala is certainly Sushumna. It has six stages, six forces, 1 six lotuses, known to the Yogis.

28. The first five stages2 of Sushumna are known under various names; being necessary, they have been made known in this book.

29. The other nadis, rising from <Muladhar>, go to the various parts of the body, e.g. the tongue, penis, eyes, feet, toes, ears, the abdomen, the armpit, fingers of the hands, the scrotum and the anus. Having risen from their proper place, they stop at their respective destinations, as above described.

30. From all these (fourteen) nadis, there arise gradually other branches and sub-branches, so that at last they become three hundred thousand and a half in number, and supply their respective places.

31. These nadis are spread through the body cross-wise and length-wise; they are vehicles of sensation and keep watch over the movements of the air i.e., they regulate the motor functions also.

(5) The Abdominal Region.

32. In the abdomen there burns the fire – digester of food – situated in the middle of the sphere of the sun having twelve Kalas. Know this as the fire of Vaiswanara; it is born from a portion of my own energy, and digests the various foods of creatures, being inside their bodies.

33. This fire increases life, and gives strength and nourishment, makes the body full of energy, destroys all diseases, and gives health.

34. The wise Yogi, having kindled this Viswanaric fire according to proper rites, should sacrifice food into it every day, in conformity with the teachings of his spiritual teacher.

35. This body called the Brahmanda (microcosm) has many parts, but I have enumerated the most important of them in this book. (Surely) they ought to be known.

36. Various are their names, and innumerable are the places in this human body; all of them cannot be enumerated here.

(6) The Jivatma.

37. In the body thus described, there dwelleth the Jiva, all-pervading, adorned with the garland of endless desires and chained to the body) by karma.

38. The Jiva possessed of many qualities and the agent of all events, enjoys the fruits of his various karmas amassed in the past life.

39. Whatever is seen among men (whether pleasure or pain) is born of karma. All creatures enjoy or suffer, according to the results of their actions.

1 That is, the functions of the Cord, viz.Reflection, co-ordination, etc.

2 The parts of which the Spinal Cord is composed are the Tantrik stages viz.:-Cervical, Dorsal, Lumbar, Sacral and Coccygeal.

40. The desires, etc., which cause pleasure or pain, act according to the past karma of the Jiva.

41. The Jiva that has accumulated an excess of good and virtuous actions receives a happy life; and in the world he gets pleasant and good things to enjoy, without any trouble.

42. In proportion to the force of his karma, man suffers misery or enjoys pleasure. The Jiva that has accumulated an excess of evil never stays in peace – it is not separate from its karmas; except karma, there is nothing in this world. From the Intelligence veiled by maya, all things have been evolved.

43. As in their proper season, various creatures are born to enjoy the consequences of their karma; as through mistake a pearl-shell is taken for silver, so through the taint of one’s own karmas, a man mistakes Brahman for the material universe.

44. From desire all these delusions arise; they can be eradicated with great difficulty; when the salvation-giving knowledge of the unreality of the world arises, then are desires destroyed.

45. Being engrossed in the manifested (objective) world, the delusion arises about that which is the manifestor – the subject. There is no other, (cause of this delusion). Verily, verily, I tell you the truth.

46. The illusion of the manifested (objective world) is destroyed when the Maker of the Manifest becomes manifest. This illusion does not cease so long as one thinks, “Brahma is not.”

47. By looking closely and deeply into the matter, this false knowledge vanishes. It cannot be removed otherwise; the delusion of silver remains.

48. As long as knowledge does not arise about the stainless Manifestor of the universe, so long all things appear separate and many.

49. When this body, obtained through karma, is made the means of obtaining nirvana (divine beatitude); then only the carrying of the burden becomes fruitful – not otherwise.

50. Of whatever nature is the original desire (vasana), that clings to and accompanies the Jiva (through various incarnations); similar is the delusion which it suffers, according to its deeds and misdeeds.

51. If the practiser of Yoga wishes to cross the ocean of the world, he should perform all the duties of his ashrama, (the condition of life), renouncing all the fruits of his works

52. Persons attached to sensual objects and desirous of sensual pleasures, descend from the road of nirvana, through the delusion of much talk, and fall into sinful deeds.

53. When a person does not see anything else here, having seen the Self by the self; then there is no sin (for him if he) renounces all ritual works. This is my opinion.

54. All desires and the rest are dissolved through Gnosis only, and not otherwise. When all (minor) tattwas (principles) cease to exist, then My Tattva becomes manifest.

CHAPTER III.

On Yoga Practice. The Vayus.

1. In the heart, there is a brilliant lotus with twelve petals adorned with brilliant sign. It has letters from k to th (i.e., k, kh, g, gh, n, ch, chh, j, jh, ñ, t, th), the twelve beautiful letters.

2. The Prana lives there, adorned with various desires, accompanied by its past works, that have no beginning, and joined with egoism (ahankara.)

Note: The heart is in the center where there is the seed yam.

3. From the different modifications of the Prana, it receives various names; all of them cannot be stated here.

4. Prana, apana, samana, udana, vyana, naga, kurma, Krikara, devadatta, and dhananjaya.

5. These are the ten principal names, described by me in this Shastra; they perform all functions, incited thereto by their own actions.

6. Again, out of these ten, the first five are the leading ones; even among these, the prana and apana are the highest agents, in my opinion.

7. The seat of the Prana is the heart; of the apana, the anus; of the samana, the region above the navel; of the udana, the throat; while the vyana moves all over the body.

8. The five remaining vayus, etc., perform the following functions in the body: – Eructation, opening the eyes, hunger and thirst, gaping or yawning, and lastly hiccup.

9. He who in this way knows the microcosm of the body, being absolved from all sins, reaches the highest state.

(2) The Guru.

10. Now I will tell you, how easily to attain success in Yoga, by knowing which the Yogis never fail in the practice of Yoga.

11. Only the knowledge imparted by a Guru, through his lips, is powerful and useful; otherwise it becomes fruitless, weak and very painful

12. He who devoted to any knowledge, while pleasing his Guru with every attention, readily obtains the fruit of that knowledge.

13. There is not the least doubt that Guru is father. Guru is mother, and Guru is God even; and as such, he should be served by all with their thought, word and deed.

14. By Guru’s favour everything good relating to one’s self is obtained. So the Guru ought to be daily served; else there can be nothing auspicious.

15. Let him salute his Guru after walking three times round him, and touching with his right hand his lotusfeet.

(3) The Adhikari.

16. The person who has control over himself attains verily success through faith; none other can succeed. Therefore, with faith, the Yoga should be practiced with care and perseverance.

17. Those who are addicted to sensual pleasures or keep bad company, who are disbelievers, who are devoid of respect towards their Guru, who resort to promiscuous assemblies, who are addicted to false and vain controversies, who are cruel in their speech, and who do not give satisfaction to their Guru never attain success.

18. The first condition of success is the firm belief that it (vidya) must succeed and be fruitful; the second condition is having faith in it; the third is respect towards the Guru; the fourth is the spirit of universal equality; the fifth is the restraint of the organs of sense; the sixth is moderate eating, these are all. There is no seventh condition.

19. Having received instructions in Yoga, and obtained a Guru who knows Yoga, let him practice with earnestness and faith, according to the method taught by the teacher.

(4) The Place, etc.

20. Let the Yogi go to a beautiful and pleasant place of retirement or a cell, assume the posture padmasana, and sitting on a seat (made of kusa grass) begin to practice the regulation of breath.

21. The wise beginner should keep his body firm and inflexible, his hands joined as if in supplication, and salute the Gurus on the left side. He should also pay salutations to Ganesha on the right side, and again to the guardians of the worlds and goddess Ambika who are on the left side.

(5) The Pranayama.

22. Then let the wise practitioner close with his right thumb the pingala (right nostril), inspire air through the ida (the left nostril); and keep the air confined – suspend his breathing – as long as he can; and afterwards let him breathe out slowly, and not forcibly, through the right nostril.

23. Again, let him draw breath through the right nostril, and stop breathing as long as his strength permits; then let him expel the air through the left nostril, not forcibly, but slowly and gently.

24. According to the above method of Yoga, let him practice twenty kumbhakas (stopping of the breath). He should practice this daily without neglect or idleness, and free from all duels (of love and hatred, and doubt and contention), etc.

25. These kumbhakas should be practiced four times – once (1) early in the morning at sunrise, (2) then at midday, (3) the third at sun-set, and (4) the fourth at mid-night.

26. When this has been practiced daily, for three months, with regularity, the nadas (the vessels) of the body will readily and surely be purified.

27. When thus the nadas of the truth-perceiving Yogi are purified, then his defects being all destroyed, he enters the first stage in the practice of Yoga called arambha.

28. Certain signs are perceived in the body of the Yogi whose nadas have been purified. I shall describe, in brief, all these various signs.

29. The body of the person practicing the regulation of breath becomes harmoniously developed, emits sweet scent, and looks beautiful and lovely. In all kinds of Yoga, there are four stages of pranayama – 1: Arambha-avastha (the state of beginning); 2: Ghata-avastha (the state of co-operation of Self and Higher Self); 3: Parichaya-avastha (knowledge); 4: Nishpattiavastha (the final consummation).

30. We have already described the beginning of Arambha-avestha of pranayama; the rest will be described hereafter. They destroy all sin and sorrow.

31. The following qualities are surely always found in the bodies of every Yogi – Strong appetite, good digestion, cheerfulness, handsome figure, great courage, mighty enthusiasm and full strength.

32. Now I tell you the great obstacles to Yoga which must be avoided, as by their removal the Yogis cross this sea of worldly sorrow.

(6) The things to be renounced.

33. The Yogi should renounce the following; 1: Acids, 2: astringents, 3: pungent substances, 4: salt, 5: mustard, and 6: bitter things; 7: much walking, 8: early bathing (before sun-rise) and 9: things roasted in oil; 10: theft, 11: killing (of animals) 12: enmity towards any person, 13: pride, 14: duplicity, and 15: crookedness; 16: fasting, 17: untruth, 18: thoughts other than those of moksha, 19: cruelty towards animals; 20: companionship of women, 21: worship of (or handling or sitting near) fire, and 22: much talking, without regard to pleasantness or unpleasantness of speech, and lastly, 23: much eating.

(7) The means.

34. Now I will tell you the means by which success in Yoga is quickly obtained; it must be kept secret by the practitioner so that success may come with certainty.

35. The great Yogi should observe always the following observances – He should use 1: clarified butter, 2: milk, 3: sweet food, and 4: betel without lime, 5: camphor; 6: kind words, 7: pleasant monastery or retired cell, having a small door; 8: hear discourses on truth, and 9: always discharge his household duties with vairagya (without attachment), 10: sing the name of Vishnu; 11: and hear sweet music, 12: have patience, 13: constancy, 14: forgiveness, 15: austerities, 16: purifications, 17: modesty, 18: devotion, and 19: service of the Guru.

36. When the air enters the sun, it is the proper time for the Yogi to take his food (i.e., when the breath flows through the pingala); when the air enters the moon, he should go to sleep (i.e., when the breath flows through the left nostril or the ida).

37. The Yoga (pranayama) should not be practiced just after the meals, nor when one is very hungry; before beginning the practice, some milk and ghee  can be taken.

38. When one is well established in his practice, then he need not observe these restrictions. The practitioner should eat in small quantities at a time, though frequently; and should practice kumbhaka daily at the stated times.

39. When the Yogi can, of his will, regulate the air and stop the breath (whenever and how long) he likes, then certainly he gets success in kumbhaka, and from the success in kumbhaka only, what things cannot the Yogi command here?

The first stage.

40. In the first stage of pranayama, the body of the Yogi begins to perspire. When it perspires, he should rub it well, otherwise the body of the Yogi loses its dhatu (humours).

The second and third stages.

41. In the second stage, there takes place the trembling of the body; in the third, the jumping about like a frog; and when the practice becomes greater, the adept walks in the air.

Vayusiddhi.

42. When the Yogi, though remaining in padmasana, can raise in the air and leave the ground, then know that he has gained vayusiddhi (success over air), which destroys the darkness of the world.

43. But so long (as he does not gain it), let him practice observing all the rules and restrictions laid down above.

From the perfection of pranayama, follows decrease of sleep, excrements and urine.

44. The truth-perceiving Yogi becomes free from disease, and sorrow or affliction; he never gets (putrid) perspiration, saliva and intestinal worms.

45. When in the body of the practitioner, there is neither any ncrease of phlegm, wind, nor bile; then he may with impunity be rregular in his diet and the rest.

46. No injurious results then would follow, were the Yogi to take a large quantity of food, or very little, or no food at all. hrough the strength of constant practice, the Yogi obtains bhucharisiddhi, he moves as the frog jumps over the ground, when frightened away by the clapping of hands.

47. Verily, there are many hard and almost insurmountable obstacles in Yoga, yet the Yogi should go on with his practice at all hazards; even were his life to come to the throat.

48. Then let the practitioner, sitting in a retired place and restraining his senses, utter by inaudible repetition, the long pranava OM, in order to destroy all obstacles.

49. The wise practitioner surely destroys al his karma, whether acquired in its life or in the past, through the regulation of breath.

50. The great Yogi destroys by sixteen pranayamas the various virtues and vices accumulated in his past life.

51. This pranayama destroys sin, as fire burns away a heap of cotton; it makes the Yogi free from sin; next it destroys the bonds of all his good actions.

52. The mighty Yogi having attained, through pranayama, the eight sorts of psychic powers, and having crossed the ocean of virtue and vice, moves about freely through the three worlds.

Increase of Duration.

53. Then gradually he should make himself able to practice for three gharis (one hour and a half at a time, he should be able to restrain breath for that period). Through this, the Yogi undoubtedly obtains all the longed for powers

Siddhis or Perfections.

54. The Yogi acquires the following powers: vakya siddhi (prophecy), transporting himself everywhere at will (kamachari), clairvoyance (duradristhi), clairaudience (durashruti), subtle-sight (shushma-drishti), and the power of entering another’s body (parakaypravesana), turning base metals to gold by rubbing them with his excrements and urine, and the power of becoming invisible, and lastly, moving in the air.

II. The Ghata Avasta.

55. When, by the practice of pranayama, the Yogi reaches the state of ghata (water-jar), then for him there is nothing in this circle of universe which he cannot accomplish.

56. The ghata is said to be that state in which the prana and the apana vayus, the nada and the vindu, the jivatma (the Human Spirit) and the Paramatma (the Universal Spirit) combine and co-operate.

57. When he gets the power of holding breath (i.e., to be in trance) for three hours, then certainly the wonderful state of pratyahar is reached without fail.

58. Whatever object the Yogi perceives, let him consider it to be the spirit. When the modes of action of various senses are known, then they can be conquered.

59. When, through, great practice, the Yogi can perform one kumbhaka for full three hours, when for eight dandas (=3 hours) the breathing of the Yogi is suspended, then that wise one can balance himself on his thumb; but he appears to others as insane.

III. The Parichaya

60. After this, through exercise, the Yogi reaches the Parichaya-avastha. When the air leaving the sun and moon (the right and the left nostrils), remains unmoved and steady in the ether of the tube sushumna, then it is in the parichaya state.

61. When he, by the practice of Yoga, acquires power of action (kriya shakti) and pierces through the six chakras, and reaches the sure condition of parichaya, then the Yogi, verily, sees the three-fold effects of karma.

62. Then, let the Yogi destroy the multitude of karmas by the pranava (OM); let him accomplish kayavyhua (a mystical process of arranging the various skandas of the body), in order to enjoy or suffer the consequences of all his actions in one life, without the necessity of re-birth.

63. At that time let the great Yogi practice the five-fold dharana forms of concentration on Vishnu, by which command over the five elements is obtained, and fear of injuries from any one of them is removed. (Earth, water, fire, air, akas cannot harm him.) Note: He should perform 5 kumbhakas at each centre or chakra.

64. Let the wise Yogi practice dharana thus:– five ghatis (2 1/2 hours) in the adhara lotus (muladhara); five ghatis in the seat of the linga (svadhisthana), five ghatis in the region above it, (in the navel, manipur), and the same in the heart (anahata); five ghatis in the throat (visuddha) and, lastly let him hold dharana for five ghatis in the space between the two eye-brows (anjapur). By this practice the elements cease to cause any harm to the great Yogi.

65. The wise Yogi, who thus continually practices concentration (dharana), never dies through hundreds of cycles of the great Brahma.

IV. The Nishpatti.

66. After this, through gradual exercise, the Yogi reaches the Nishpatti-avestha (the condition of consummation). The Yogi, having destroyed all the seeds of karma which existed from the beginning, drinks the waters of immortality.

67. When the jivan-mukta (delivered in the present life,) tranquil Yogi has obtained, through practice, the consummation of samadhi (meditation), and when this state of consummated samadhi can be voluntarily evoked, then let the Yogi take hold of the chetana (conscious intelligence), together with the air, and with the force of (kriya-sakti) conquer the six wheels, and absorb it in the force called jnana-sakti.

68. Now we have described the management of the air in order to remove the troubles (which await the Yogi); through this knowledge of vayu-sadhana vanish all sufferings and enjoyments in the circle of this universe.

69. When the skilful Yogi, by placing the tongue at the root of the palate, can drink the pranavayu, then there occurs complete dissolution of all Yogas (i.e., he is no longer in need of Yoga)

70. When the skilful Yogi, knowing the laws of action of prana and apana, can drink the cold air through the concentration of the mouth, in the form of a crow-bill, then he becomes entitled to liberation.

71. The wise Yogi, who daily drinks the ambrosial air, according to proper rules, destroys fatigue, burning (fever), decay and old age, and injuries.

72. Pointing the tongue upwards, when the yogi can drink the nectar flowing from the moon (situated between the two eye-brows), within a month he certainly would conquer death.

73. When having firmly closed the glottis by the proper yogic method, and contemplating on the goddess Kundalini, he drinks (the moon fluid of immortality), he becomes a sage or poet within six months.

74. When he drinks the air through the crow-bill, both in the morning and in the evening twilight, contemplating that it goes to the mouth of the kundalini, consumption of the lungs (phthisis) is cured.

75. When the wise Yogi drinks the fluid day and night through the crow-beak, his diseases are destroyed: he acquires certainly the powers of clairaudience and clairvoyance.

76. When firmly closing the teeth (by pressing the upper on the lower jaw), and placing the tongue upwards, the wise Yogi drinks the fluid very slowly, within a short period he conquers death.

77. One, who daily continues this exercise for six months only, is freed from all sins, and destroys all diseases.

78. If he continues this exercise for a year, he becomes a Bhairava; he obtains the powers of anima and conquers all elements and the elementals.

79. If the Yogi can remain for half a second with his tongue drawn upwards, he becomes free from disease, death, and old age.

80. Verily, verily, I tell you the truth that the person never dies who contemplates by pressing the tongue, combined with the vital fluid of Prana.

81. Through this exercise and Yoga, he becomes like Kamadeva, without rival. He feels neither hunger, nor thirst, nor sleep, nor swoon.

82. Acting upon these methods the great Yogi becomes in the world perfectly independent; and freed from all obstacles, he can go everywhere.

83. By practicing thus, he is never reborn, nor is tainted by virtue and vice, but enjoys (for ages) with the gods.

The postures.

84. There are eighty-four postures, of various modes. Out of them, four ought to be adopted, which I mention below:– 1, Siddhasana; 2, Padmasana; 3, Ugrasana; 4, Svastikasana.  Or “freedom from all diseases”.

1. Siddhasana.

85. The Siddhasana that gives success to the practitioner is as follows: Pressing with care by the heel the yoni, the other heel the Yogi should place on the lingam; he should fix his gaze upwards on the space between the two eyebrows, should be steady, and restrain his senses. His body particularly must be straight and without any bend. The place should be a retired one, without any noise.

86. He who wishes to attain quick consummation of Yoga, by exercise, should adopt the Siddhasana posture, and practice regulation of the breath.

87. Through his posture the Yogi, leaving the world, attains the highest end and throughout the world there is no posture more secret than this. By assuming and contemplating in this posture, the Yogi is freed from sin.

2. The Padmasana.

88. I now describe the Padmasana which wards off (or cures) all diseases:– Having crossed the legs, carefully place the feet on the opposite thighs (i.e., the left foot on the right thigh, and vice versa); cross both the hands and place them similarly on the thighs; fix the sight on the tip of the nose; pressing the tongue against the root of the teeth, (the chin should be elevated, the chest expanded) then draw the air slowly, fill the chest with all your might, and expel it slowly, in an unobstructed stream.

89. It cannot be practiced by everybody; only the wise attains success in it.

90. By performing and practicing this posture, undoubtedly the vital airs of the practitioner at once become completely equable, and flow harmoniously through the body.

91. Sitting in the Padmasana posture, and knowing the action of the prana and apana, when the Yogi performs the regulation of the breath, he is emancipated. I tell you the truth. Verily, I tell you the truth.

3. The Ugrasana.

92. Stretch out both the legs and keep them apart; firmly take hold of the head by the hands, and place them on the knees. This is called ugrasana (the stern-posture), it excites the motion of the air, destroys the dullness and uneasiness of the body, and is also called paschima-uttana (the posterior crossed posture.) That wise man who daily practices this noble posture can certainly induce the flow of the air up through the anus.

93. Those who practice this obtain all the siddhis; therefore, those, desirous of attaining power, should practice this diligently.

94. This should be kept secret with the greatest care, and not be given to anybody and everybody. Through it, vayu-siddhi is easilyobtained, and it destroys a multitude of miseries.

4. The Svastikasana.

95. Place the soles of the feet completely under the thighs, keep the body straight, and sit at ease. This is called the Svastikasana.

96. In this way, the wise Yogi should practice the regulation of the air. No disease can attack his body, and he obtains vayu-siddhi.

97. This is also called the sukhasana, the easy posture. This health-giving, good svastikasana should be kept secret by the Yogi.

CHAPTER IV.

Yoni-Mudra. The Sacred Drink of the Kaulas.

1. First with a strong inspiration fix the mind in the adhar lotus. Then engage in contracting the Yoni, which is situated in the perineal space.

2. There let him contemplate that the God of love resides in that Brahma Yoni and that he is beautiful like Bandhuk flower (Pentapetes pheanicia)– brilliant as tens of millions of suns, and cool as tens of millions of moons. Above this (Yoni) is a small and subtle flame, whose form is intelligence. Then let him imagine that a union takes place there between himself and that flame (the Siva and Sakti).

3. (Then imagine that) – There go up through the sushumna vessel, three bodies in their due order (i.e., the etheric, the astral and the mental bodies). There is emitted in every chakra the nectar, the characteristic of which is great bliss. Its colour is whitish rosey (pink), full of splendor, showering down in jets the immortal fluid. Let him drink this wine of immortality which is divine, and then again enter the Kula (i.e., perineal space.) Note. While these subtle bodies go up, they drink at every stage this nectar, called Kulamrita.

4. Then let him go again to the Kula through the practice of mantrayoga (i.e., pranayama). This Yoni has been called by me in the Tantras as equal to life.

5. Again let him be absorbed in that Yoni, where dwells the fire of death – the nature of Shiva, Thus has been described by me the method of practicing the great Yoni-mudra. From success in its practice, there is nothing which cannot be accomplished.

6. Even those mantras which are deformed (chhinna) or paralyzed (Kilita), scorched (stambhita) by fire, or whose flame has become attenuated, or are dark, and ought to be abandoned, or which are evil, or too old, or which are proud of their budding youth, or have gone over to the side of the enemy, or weak and essenceless without vitality; or which have been divided into hundreds of parts, even they become fertile through time and method. All these can give powers and emancipation when properly given to the disciple by the Guru, after having initiated him according to proper rites, and bathed him a thousand times. This Yoni-mudra has been described, in order that the student may deserve (to be initiated into the mysteries of) and receive the mantras.

7. He who practices Yoni-Mudra is not polluted by sin, were he to murder a thousand Brahmanas or kill all the inhabitants of the three worlds—

8. Were he to kill his teacher or drink wine or commit theft, or violate the bed of his preceptor, he is not stained by these sins also, by virtue of this mudra.

9. Therefore, those who wish for emancipation should practice this daily. Through practice (abhyasa), success is obtained; through practice one gains liberation.

10. Perfect consciousness is gained through practice. Yoga is attained through practice; success in Mudra comes by practice; through practice is gained success in pranayama. Death can be cheated of its prey through practice, and man becomes the conqueror of death by practice.

11. Through practice one gets the power of vach (prophecy), and the power of going everywhere, through mere exertion of will. This Yoni-mudra should be kept in great secrecy, and not be given to everybody. Even when threatened with death, it should not be revealed or given to others.

The Awakening of Kundalini.

12. Now I shall tell you the best means of attaining success in Yoga. The practitioners should keep it secret. It is the most inaccessible Yoga.

13. When the sleeping goddess Kundalini is awakened, through the grace of Guru, when all the lotuses and the bonds are readily pierced through and through.

14. Therefore, in order that the goddess, who is asleep in the mouth of the Brahmarandhra (the innermost hollow of sushumna) be awakened, the mudras should be practiced with the greatest care.

15. Out of the many mudras, the following ten are the best: (1) Mahamudra, (2) Mahabandha, (3) Mahavedha, (4) Khechari, (5) Jalandhar, (6) Mulabandha, (7) Viparitkarana, (8) Uddana, (9) Vajrondi, and (10) Shaktichalana.

16. My dearest, I shall now describe to you the Mahamudra, from whose knowledge the ancient sages Kapila and others obtained success inYoga.

(1) Mahamudra.

17. In accordance with the instructions of the Guru, press gently the perineum with the heel of the left foot. Stretching the right foot out, hold it fast by the two hands. Having closed the nine gates (of the body), place the chin on the chest. Then concentrate the vibrations of the mind and inspire air and retain it by kumbhaka (so long as one can comfortably keep it). This is the Mahamudra, held secret in all the Tantras. The steady-minded Yogi, having practiced it on the left side should then practice it on the right side; and in all cases must be firm in pranayama – the regulation of his breath.

18. In this way, even the most unfortunate Yogi might obtain success. By this means all the vessels of the body are roused and stirred into activity; the life is increased and its decay is checked, and all sins are destroyed. All diseases are healed, and the gastric fire is increased. It gives faultless beauty to the body, and destroys decay and death. All fruits of desire and pleasure are obtained, and the senses are conquered. The Yogi fixed in meditation acquires all the above-mentioned things, through practice. There should be no hesitation in doing so.

19. O ye worshipped of the gods! know that this mudra is to be kept secret with the greatest care. Obtaining this, the Yogi crosses the ocean of the world.

20. This Mudra, described by me, is the giver of all desires to the practitioner; it should be practiced in secrecy, and ought never to be given to everybody.

(2) Maha-Bandha.

21. Then (after Mahamudra), having extended the (right) foot, place it on the (left) thigh; contract the perineum, and draw the apana vayu upwards and join it with the samana vayu; bend the prana vayu downwards, and then let the wise Yogi bind them in trinity in the navel (i.e. the prana and the apana should be joined with the Samana in the navel. I have told you how the Mahabandha, which shows the way to emancipation. By this, all the fluids in the vessels of the body of the Yogi are propelled towards the head. This should be practiced with great care, alternately with both feet.

22. Through this practice, the wind enters the middle channel of Sushumna, the body is invigorated by it, the bones are firmly knitted, the heart of the Yogi becomes full (of cheerfulness). By this Bandha, the great Yogi accomplishes all his desires.

(3) Maha-Vedha.

23. O goddess of the three worlds! when the Yogi, while performing the Mahabandha, causes the union of the prana and apana vayus and filling in the viscera with air drives it slowly towards the nates, it is called Mahavedha.

24. The best of the Yogis having, through the help of the vayu, pierced with this perforator the knot which is in the path of sushumna, should then pierce the knot of Brahma.

25. He who practices this Mahavedha with great secrecy, obtains vayu-siddhi (success over the wind). It destroys decay and death.

26. The gods residing in the chakras tremble owing to the gentle influx and efflux of air in pranayama; the great goddess, Kunali Maha Maya, is also absorbed in the mount Kailasa.

27. The Mahamudra and Mahabandha become fruitless if they are not followed by Mahavedha; therefore, the Yogi should practices all these three successively with great care.

28. He who practices these three daily four times with great care, undoubtedly conquers death within six months.

29. Only the siddha knows the importance of these three and no one else; knowing these, the practitioner obtains all success.

30. This should be kept in great secrecy by the practitioner desirous of obtaining power; otherwise, it is certain that the coveted powers can never be obtained through the practice of Mudras.

(4) Khechari.

31. The wise Yogi, sitting in vajrasana posture, in a place free from all disturbance, should firmly fix his gaze on the spot in the middle of the two eyebrows; and reversing the tongue backwards, fix it in the hollow under the epiglottis, placing it with great care on the mouth of the well of nectar, (i.e. closing up the air passage). This mudra, described by me at the request of my devotees, is the Khecharimudra.

32. O, my beloved! know this to be the source of all success, always practicing it let him drink the ambrosia daily. By this he obtains vigraha-siddhi (power over the microcosm), even as a lion over the elephant of death.

33. Whether pure or impure, in whatever condition one may be, if success be obtained in Khechari, he becomes pure. There is no doubt of it.

34. He who practices it even for a moment crosses the great ocean of sins, and having enjoyed the pleasures of Deva-world is born into a noble family.

35. He who practices this Khecharimudra calmly and without laziness counts as seconds the period of hundred Brahmas.

36. He who knows this Khecharimudra according to the instructions of his Guru, obtains the highest end, though immersed in great sins.

37. O, ye adored of gods! this mudra, dear as life, should not be given to everybody; it should be kept concealed with great care.

(5) Jalandhara.

38. Having contracted the muscles of the throat press the chin on the breast. This is said to be the Jalandhara- Mudra. Even gods reckon it as inestimable. The fire in the region of the navel (i.e., the gastric juice) drinks the nectar which exudes out of the thousand-petalled lotus. (In order to prevent the nectar to be thus consumed), he should practice this bandha.

39. Through this bandha, the wise Yogi himself drinks the nectar, and, obtaining immortality, enjoys the three worlds.

40. This Jalandhara-bandha is the giver of success to the practitioner; the Yogi desirous of success should practice it daily.

(6) Mula-bandha.

41. Pressing well the anus with the heel, forcibly draw upwards the apana vayu slowly by practice. This is described as the Mula-bandha – the destroyer of decay and death.

42. If, in the course of the practice of this mudra, the Yogi can unite the apana with the prana vayu, then it becomes of course the Yoni-mudra.

43. He who has accomplished Yoni-mudra, what can he not accomplish in this world. Sitting in the padmasana posture, free from idleness, the Yogi, leaving the ground, moves through the air, by the virtue of this mudra.

44. If the wise Yogi is desirous of crossing the ocean of the world, let him practice this bandha in secret, in a retired place.

(7) Viparit-karana.

45. Putting the head on the ground, let him stretch out his legs upwards, moving them round and round. This is Viparit-karana, kept secret in all the Tantras.

46. The Yogi who practices it daily for three hours, conquers death, and is not destroyed even in the pralaya.

47. He who drinks nectar becomes equal to Siddhas; he who practices this bandha becomes an adept among creatures.

(8) Uddana-bandha.

48. When the intestines above and below the navel are brought to the left side, it is called Uddana-bandha – the destroyer of all sins and sorrows. The left side viscera of the abdominal cavity should be brought above the navel. This Uddana-bandha, the lion of the elephant of death.

49. The Yogi, who practices it four times a day, purifies thereby his navel, through which the winds are purified.

50. By practicing it for six months, the Yogi certainly conquers death; the gastric fire is kindled, and there takes place an increase of the fluids of the body.

51. Through this, consequently, the vigrahasiddhi is also obtained. All the diseases of the Yogi are certainly destroyed by it.

52. Having the method from the Guru, the wise Yogi should practice it with great care. This most inaccessible Mudra should be practiced in a retired and undisturbed place.

(9) Vajrondi-mudra.

53. Actuated by mercy for my devotees, I shall now explain the Vajrondi-mudra, the destroyer of the darkness of the world, the most secret among all secrets.

54. Even while following all his desires, and without conforming to the regulations of Yoga, a householder can become emancipated, if he practices the Vajrondi-mudra

55. This Vajroliyoga practice gives emancipation even when one is immersed in sensuality; therefore it should be practiced by the Yogi with great care.

56. First let the talented practitioner introduce into his own body, according to the proper methods, the germcells from the female organ of generation, by suction up through the tube of the urethra; restraining his own semen, let him practice copulation. If by chance the semen begins to move, let him stop its emission by the practice of the Yoni-mudra. Let him place the semen on the left hand duct, and stop further intercourse. After a while, let him continue it again. In accordance with the instruction of his preceptors and by uttering the sound hum, let him forcibly draw up through the contraction of the Apana Vayu the germ-cells from the uterus.

57. The Yogi, worshipper of the lotus-feet of his Guru, should in order to obtain quick success in Yoga drink milk or nectar in this way.

58. Know semen to be moon-like, and the germ-cells the emblem of sun; let the Yogi make their union in his own body with great care.

59. I am the semen, Sakti is the germ fluid; when they both are combined, then the Yogi reaches the state of success, and his body becomes brilliant and divine.

60. Ejaculation of semen is death, preserving it within is life; therefore, let the Yogi preserve his semen with great care.

61. Verily, verily, men are born and die through semen; knowing this, let the Yogi always practice to preserve his semen.

62. When through great efforts success in the preservation of the semen is obtained, what then cannot be achieved in this world? Through the greatness of its preservation one becomes like me in glory.

63. The vindu (semen) causes the pleasure and pain of all creatures living in this world, who are infatuated, and are subject to death and decay. For the Yogi, this preservation of semen is the best of all Yogas, and it is the giver of happiness.

64. Though immersed in enjoyments, men get powers through its practice. Through the force of his practice, he becomes an adept in due season, in his present life.

65. The Yogi certainly obtains through this practice all kinds of powers, at the same time enjoying all the innumerable enjoyments of the world.

66. This Yoga can be practiced along with much enjoyment; therefore the Yogi should practice it.

67. There are two modifications of the Vajrondi, called Sahajoni and Amarani. By all means let the Yogi preserve the semen.

68. If at the time of copulation the vindu is forcibly emitted, and there takes place an union of the sun and the moon, then let him absorb this mixture through the tube of the male organ [urethra]. This is Amarani.

69. The method by which the vindu on the point of emission can be withheld through Yoni-mudra is called Sahajoni. It is kept secret in all the Tantras.

70. Though ultimately the action of them (Amarani and Sahajoni) is the same, there are arisen differences owing to the difference of nomenclature. Let the Yogi practice them with the greatest care and perseverance.

71. Through love for my devotees, I have revealed this Yoga; it should be kept secret with the greatest care, and not be given to everybody.

72. It is the most secret of all secrets that ever were or shall be; therefore let the prudent Yogi keep it with the greatest secrecy possible.

73. When at the time of voiding urine the Yogi draws it up forcibly through the Apana-Vayu, and keeping it up, discharges it slowly and slowly; and practices this daily according to the instructions of his Guru, he obtains the vindu-siddhi (power over semen) that gives great powers.

74. He who practices this daily according to the instructions of his Guru does not lose his semen, were he to enjoy a hundred women at a time.

75. O Parvati! When vindu-siddhi is obtained, what else cannot be accomplished? Even the inaccessible glory of my godhead can be attained through it.

(10) Shakti-chalan.

76. Let the wise Yogi forcibly and firmly draw up the goddess Kundali sleeping in the adhar lotus, by means of the apana vayu. This is Shakti-chalan mudra, the giver of all powers.

77. He who practices this Shakti-chalan daily, gets increase of life and destruction of diseases.

78. Leaving sleep, the serpent (i.e. the Kundalini) herself goes up; therefore let the Yogi desirous of power practice this.

79. He who practices always this best Shakti-chalan according to the instructions of his Guru, obtains the vigraha-siddhi, which gives the powers of anima, etc., and has no fear of death.

80. He who practices the Shakti-chalan properly for two seconds, and with care, is very near to success. This mudra should be practiced by the Yogi in the proper posture.

81. These are the ten mudras whose equal there never was nor ever shall be: through the practice of any one of them. a person becomes a siddha and obtains success.

CHAPTER V.

1. Parvati. O Lord, O beloved Shankar! tell me, for the sake of those whose minds search after the supreme end, the obstacles and the hindrances to Yoga.

2. Siva. Hear, O Goddess! I shall tell thee, all the obstacles that stand in the path of Yoga. For the attainment of emancipation, enjoyments (bhoga) are the greatest of all impediments.

Bhoga (enjoyment).

3. Women, beds, seats, dresses, and riches are obstacles to Yoga. Betels, dainty dishes, carriages, kingdoms, lordliness and powers; gold, silver, as well as copper, gems, aloe wood, and kine; learning the Vedas and Shastras; dancing, singing and ornaments; harp, flute and drum; riding on elephants and horses; wives and children, worldly enjoyments; all these are so many impediments. These are the obstacles which arise from bhoga (enjoyment). Hear now the impediments which arise from ritualistic religion.

Dharma (ritualism of Religion).

4. The following are the obstacles which dharma interposes: ablutions, worship of deities, observing the sacred days of the moon, fire sacrifice, hankering after moksha, vows and penances, fasts, religious observances, silence, the ascetic practices, contemplation and the object of contemplation, mantras, and alms-giving, world-wide fame, excavating and endowing of tanks, wells, ponds, convents and groves: sacrifices, vows of starvation, Chandrayana, and pilgrimages.

Jnana (Knowledge-obstacles).

5. Now I shall describe, O Parvati, the obstacles which arise from knowledge. Sitting in the gomukh posture and practicing dhauti (washing the intestines by hathayoga). Knowledge of the distribution of the nadis (the vessels of the human body), learning of pratyahara (subjugation of the senses), trying to awaken the kundalini force, by moving quickly the belly (a process of hathayoga), entering into the path of the indriyas, and knowledge of the action of the nadis; these are the obstacles. Now listen to the mistaken notions of diet, O Parvati.

6. That samadhi (trance) can be at once induced by drinking certain new chemical essences and by eating certain kinds of food, is a mistake. Now hear about the mistaken notion of the influence of company.

7. “Keep the company of the virtuous, and avoid that of the vicious” (is a mistaken notion). Measuring the heaviness and lightness of the inspired expired air (is an erroneous idea).

8. Brahman is in the body or He is the maker of form, or He has a form, or He has no form, or He is everything – all these consoling doctrines are obstacles. Such notions are impediments in the shape of Jnana (knowledge).

Four Kinds of Yoga.

9. The Yoga is of four kinds: First mantrayoga, second hathayoga, third layayoga, fourth rajayoga, which discards duality.

Sadhaks (Aspirants).

10. Know that aspirants are of four orders – mild, moderate, ardent and the most ardent – the best who can cross the ocean of the world.

(Mild) entitled to Mantrayoga.

11. Men of small enterprise, oblivious, sickly and finding faults with the teachers; avaricious, sinful gourmands, and attached helplessly to their wives; fickle, timid, diseased, not independent, and cruel; those whose characters are bad and who are weak – know all the above to be mild sadhaks. With great efforts such men succeed in twelve years; them the teachers should know fit for mantrayoga.

(Moderate) entitled to Layayoga.

12. Liberal-minded, merciful, desirous of virtue, sweet in their speech; who never go to extremes in any undertaking – these are the middling. These are to be initiated by the teacher in layayoga.

(Ardent) entitled to Hatha Yoga.

13. Steady minded, knowing the Laya-Yoga, independent, full of energy, magnanimous, full of sympathy, forgiving, truthful, courageous, full of faith, worshippers of the lotus-feet of their Gurus, engaged always in the practice of Yoga – know such men to be adhimatra. They obtain success in the practice of Yoga within six years, and ought to be initiated in hathayoga and its branches.

(The most ardent) entitled to all Yogas.

14. Those who have the largest amount of energy, are enterprising, engaging, heroic, who know the Shastras, and are persevering, free from the effects of blind emotions, and, not easily confused, who are in the prime of their youth, moderate in their diet, rulers of their senses, fearless, clean, skillful, charitable, a help to all; competent, firm, talented, contented, forgiving, good-natured, religious, who keep their endeavors secret, of sweet speech, peaceful, who have faith in scriptures and are worshippers of God and Guru, who are averse to fritter away their time in society, and are free from any grievous malady, who are acquainted with the duties of the adhimatra, and are the practitioners of every kind of Yoga –undoubtedly, they obtain success in three years; they are entitled to be initiated in all kinds of Yoga, without any hesitation.

Invocation of the shadow (pratikopasana).

15. The invocation of Pratika (shadow) gives to the devotee the objects seen as well as unseen; undoubtedly, by its very sight, a man becomes pure.

16. In a clear sun-lit sky, behold with a steady gaze your own divine reflection; whenever this is seen even for a single second in the sky, you behold God at once in the sky.

17. He who daily sees his shadow in the sky, will get his years increased and will never die an accidental death.

18. When the shadow is seen fully reflected in the field of the sky, then he obtains victory; and conquering the vayu, he goeseverywhere.

How to invoke.

18b. At the time of the rising sun, or by moon, let him steadily fix his gaze on the neck of the shadow he throws; then, after sometime, let him look into the sky; if he sees a full grey shadow in the sky, it is auspicious.

19. He who always practices this and knows the Paramatma, becomes fully happy, through the grace of his shadow.

20. At the time of commencing travel, marriage, or auspicious work, or when in trouble, it is of great use. This invocation of the shadow destroys sins and increases virtue.

21. By practicing it always, he begins at last to see it in his heart, and the persevering Yogi gets liberation.

Raj Yoga.

22. Let him close the ears with his thumbs, the eyes with index fingers, the nostrils with the middle fingers, and with the reaming four fingers let him press together the upper and lower lips. The Yogi, by having thus firmly confined the air, sees his soul in the shape of light.

23. When one sees, without obstruction, this light for even a moment, becoming free from sin, he reaches the highest end.

24. The Yogi, free from sin, and practicing this continually, forgets his physical, subtle and causal bodies, and becomes one with that soul.

25. He who practices this in secrecy, is absorbed in the Brahman, though he had been engaged in sinful works.

26. This should be kept secret; it at once produces conviction; it gives nirvana to mankind. This is my most beloved Yoga. From practicing this gradually, the Yogi begins to hear the mystic sounds nadas.

Anahad Sounds.

27. The first sound is like the hum of the honey-intoxicated bee, next that of a flute, then a harp; after this, by gradual practice of Yoga, the destroyer of the darkness of the world, he hears the sounds of ringing bells; then sounds like roar of thunder. When one fixes his full attention on this sound, being free from fear, he gets absorption, O my beloved!

28. When the mind of the Yogi is exceedingly engaged in this sound, he forgets all external things, ad is absorbed in this sound.

29. By practice of Yoga he conquers all the three qualities (i.e., good, bad and indifferent); and being free from all states, he is absorbed in chidakas (the ether of intelligence).

A Secret.

30. There is no posture like that of Siddhasana, no power like that of kumbha, no mudra like the Khechari, and no absorption like that of nada (the mystic sound).

31. Now I shall describe to thee, O dear, the foretaste of salvation, knowing which even the sinful aspirant may obtain salvation.

32. Having adored the Lord God properly, and having completely performed the best of the Yogas, and being in a calm and steady state and posture, let the wise Yogi initiate himself into this Yoga by pleasing his Guru.

33. Having given all his cattle and property to the Guru who knows Yoga, and having satisfied him with great care, let the wise man receive this initiation.

34. Having pleased the Brahmans (and priest), by giving them all kinds of good things, let the wise man receive this auspicious Yoga in my house (i.e., the temple of Shiva) with purity of heart.

35. Having renounced by the above methods all his previous bodies (the results of his past karma), and being in his spiritual (or luminous) body, let the Yogi receive this highest Yoga.

36. Sitting in the padmasana posture, renouncing the society of men, let the Yogi press the two vijnana nadis (vessels of consciousness, perhaps coronal arteries) with his two fingers.

37. By obtaining success in this, he becomes all happiness and unstained; therefore, let him endeavor with all his might, in order to ensure success.

38. He who practices this always, obtains success within a short time; he gets also vayu-siddha in course of time.

39. The Yogi, who does it even once, verily destroys all sins; and undoubtedly in him the vayus enter the middle channel.

40. The Yogi who practices this with perseverance is worshipped even by the gods; he receives the psychic powers of anima, laghima, etc., and can go everywhere, throughout the three worlds, at pleasure.

41. According to the strength of one’s practice in commanding the vayu, he gets command over his body; the wise, remaining in the spirit, enjoys the world in the present body.

42. This Yoga is a great secret, and not to be given to everybody; it might be revealed to him only, in whom all qualifications of a Yogi are perceived.

Various kinds of Dharana.

43. Let the Yogi seat himself in the padmasana, and fix his attention on the cavity of the throat, let him place his tongue at the base of the palate; by this he will extinguish hunger and thirst.

44. Below the cavity of the throat, there is a beautiful nadi (vessel) called kurma; when the Yogi fixes his attention on it, he acquires great concentration of the thinking principle (chitta).

45. When the Yogi constantly thinks that he has got a third eye – the eye of Shiva – in the middle of his forehead, he then perceives a fire brilliant like lightening. By contemplating on this light, all sins are destroyed, and even the most wicked person obtains the highest end.

46. If the experienced Yogi thinks of this light day and night, he sees the Siddhas (adepts1), and can certainly converse with them.

47. He who contemplates on sunya (void or vacuum or space), while walking or standing, dreaming or waking, becomes altogether ethereal, and is absorbed in the chid-akasa.

48. The Yogi, desirous of success, should always obtain this knowledge; by habitual exercise he becomes equal to me; through the force of this knowledge, he becomes the beloved of all.

49. Having conquered all elements, and being void of all hopes and worldly connections, when the Yogi sitting in the padmasana, fixes his gaze on the tip of the nose, his mind becomes dead and he obtains the spiritual power called Khechari.

50. The great Yogi beholds light, pure as holy mountain (Kailas), and through the force of his exercise in it, he becomes the lord and guardian of the light.

51. Stretching himself on the ground, let him contemplate on this light; by so doing all his weariness and fatigue are destroyed. By contemplating on the back part of his head, he becomes the conqueror of death. (It has described before the effect of fixing one’s attention on the space between the two eyebrows, so it need not be enumerated here).

52. Of the four kinds of food (i.e., that which is chewed, that which is sucked, that which is licked and that which is drunk), which a man takes, the chyle fluid is converted into three parts. The best part (or the finest extract of food) goes to nourish the linga sharira or subtle body (the seat of force). The second or middle part goes to nourish this gross body composed of seven dhatus (humours).

53. The third or the most inferior part goes out of the body in the shape of excrement and urine. The first two essences of food are found in the nadis, and being carried by them, they nourish the body from head to foot.

54. When the vayu moves through all the nadis, then, owing to this vayu, the fluids of the body get extraordinary force and energy.

55. The most important of these nadis are fourteen, distributed in different parts of the body and performing various functions. They are either weak or strong, and the prana flows through them.

The six Chakras.

1. Muladhar chakra.

56. Two fingers above the rectum and two fingers below the linga, four fingers in width, is a space like a bulbous root.

57. Between this space is the <yoni> having its face towards the back; that space is called the root; there dwells the goddess Kundalini. It surrounds all the <nadis>, and has three coils and a half; and catching its tail in its own mouth, it rests in the hole of the sushumna.

58. It sleeps there like a serpent, and it is luminous by its own light. Like a serpent it lives between the joints; it is the goddess of speech, and is called the seed (vija).

59. Full of energy, and like burning gold, know this Kundalini to be the power (shakti) of Vishnu; it is the mother of the three qualities – sattwa (rhythm), rajas (energy) and tamas (inertia).

60. There, beautiful like the Bandhuk flower, is placed the seed of love lam; it is brilliant like burnished gold, and is described in Yoga as eternal.

61. The sushumna also embraces it, and the beautiful seed is there; there it rests shining brilliantly like the autumnal moon, with the luminosity of millions of suns, and the coolness of millions of moons. The goddess Tripura Bhairavi has these three (fire, sun, and moon) taken together, and collectively she is called the vija. It is also called the great energy.

1 This unfortunate term is influenced by Theosophy, a more correct translation would be “those who have attained success”

62. It (vija) is endowed with powers of action (motion) and sensation, and circulates throughout the body. It is subtle, and has a flame of fire; sometimes it rises up, and at other times it falls down into the water. This is the great energy which rests in the perinaem, and is called the swayambhu-linga (the self-born).

63. All this is called the adhar-padma (the support lotus), and the four petals of it are designated by the letters (v), (d), (s,), (s).

64. Near this Swayambhu-linga is a golden region called kula (family); its presiding adept is called Dviranda, and its presiding goddess called Dakini. In the centre of that lotus is the Yoni where resides the Kundalini; the circulating bright energy above that, is called kama-vija (the seed of love). The wise man who always contemplates on this Muladhar obtains Darduri-siddhi (the frog-jumping power); and by degrees he can altogether leave the ground (i.e., rise in the air).

65. The brilliancy of the body is increased, the gastric fire becomes powerful, and freedom from disease, cleverness, and omniscience ensue.

66. He knows what has been, what is happening, and what is to be, together with their causes; he masters the unheard of sciences together with their mysteries.

67. On his tongue always dances the goddess of learning, he obtains mantra-siddhi (success in mantras), through constant repetition only.

68. This is the dictum of the Guru: “It destroys old age, death, and troubles innumerable.” The practitioner of pranayama ought always to meditate upon it; by its very contemplation, the great yogi is freed from all sins.

69. When the Yogi contemplates this Muladhar lotus – the Swayambhu-linga – then, undoubtedly, at that very  moment, all his sins are destroyed.

70. Whatever the mind desires, he gets; by habitual exercise he sees him, who gives salvation, who is the best both in and out, and whois to be worshipped with great care. Better than Him, I know none.

71. He who leaving the Siva who is inside, worships that which is outside (viz., worships external forms), is like one who throws away the sweetmeat in his hand, and wanders away in search of food.

72. Let one thus meditate daily, without negligence, on his own Swayambhu-linga; and have no doubts that from this will come all powers.

73. By habitual exercise, he gets success in six months; and undoubtedly his vayu enters the middle channel (the sushumna).

74. He conquers the mind, and can restrain his breath and his semen; then he gets success in this as well as the other world, without doubt.

2. Swadhisthan Chakra. (Prostatic Plexus).

75. The second chakra is situated at the base of the penis. It has six petals designated by the letters b, bh, m, y, r, l. Its stalk is called Swadhisthan, the colour of the lotus is blood-red, its presiding adept is called Bala, and its goddess, Rakini.

76. He who daily contemplates on this Swadhisthan lotus, becomes an object of love and adoration to all beautiful goddesses

77. He fearlessly recites the various Shastras and sciences unknown to him before; becomes free from all diseases, and moves throughout the universe fearlessly.

78. Death is eaten by him, he is eaten by none; he obtains the highest psychic powers like anima, laghima, etc. The vayu moves equably throughout his body; the humours of his body are also increased; the ambrosia exuding from the ethereal lotus also increases in him.

79. The third chakra, called Manipur, is situated near the navel; it is of golden colour, having ten petals designated by the letters d, dh, n, t, th, d, dh, n, p, ph.

80. Its presiding adept is called Rudra – the giver of all auspicious things, and the presiding goddess of this place is called the most sacred Lakini.

81. When the Yogi contemplates on the Manipur lotus, he gets the power called the patal-siddhi – the giver of constant happiness, He becomes lord of desires, destroys sorrows and diseases, cheats death, and can enter the body of another.

82. He can make gold, etc., see the adepts (clairvoyantly), discover medicines for diseases, and see hidden treasures.

4. Anahat Chakra.

83. In the heart, is the fourth chakra, the Anahat. It has twelve petals designated by the letters k, kh, g, gh, n, ch, chh, j, jh, ñ, t, th. Its colour is deep blood-red; it has the seed of vayu, yam, and is a very pleasant spot.

84. In this lotus is a flame called vanlinga; by contemplating on this, one gets objects of the seen and the unseen universe.

85. Its presiding adept is Pinaki, and the Kakini is its goddess. He who always contemplates on this lotus of the heart is eagerly desired by celestial maidens.

86. He gets immeasurable knowledge, knows the past, presentand future time; has clairaudience, clairvoyance and can walk in the air, whenever he likes.

87. He sees the adepts, and the goddess known as Yoginis; obtains the power known as Khechari, and conquers all who move in the air.

88. He who contemplates daily the hidden Banalinga, undoubtedly obtains the psychic powers called Khechari (moving in the air) and Bhuchari (going at will all over the world).

89. I cannot fully describe the importance of the meditation of this lotus; even the Gods Brahma, etc., keep the method of its contemplation secret.

5. Vishuddha Chakra.

90. This chakra situated in the throat, is the fifth, and is called the Vishuddha lotus. Its colour is like brilliant gold, and it is adorned with sixteen petals and is the seat of the vowel sounds (i.e., its sixteen petals are designated by the sixteen vowels – a, a, i, i, u, u, ri, ri, lri, lri, e, ai, o, au, am, ah.). Its presiding adept is called Chhagalanda, and its presiding goddess is called Sakini.

91. He who always contemplates it, is truly the lord of the Yogis, and deserves to be called wise; by the meditation of this Vishuddha lotus, the Yogi at once understands the four Vedas with their mysteries.

92. When the Yogi, fixing his mind on this secret spot, feels angry, then undoubtedly all three worlds begin to tremble.

93. Even, if by chance, the mind of the Yogi is absorbed in this place, then he becomes unconscious of the external world, and enjoys certainly the inner world.

94. His body never grows weak, and he retains his full strength for a thousand years, it becomes harder than adamant.

95. When the Yogi leaves off this contemplation, then to him in this world, thousands of years, appear as so many moments.

6. Ajña Chakra.

96. The two-petalled Chakra, called the Ajña, is situated between the two eye-brows, and has the letters h and ksha; its presiding adept is called Shukla Mahakala (the White Great Time); its presiding goddess is called

Hakini.

97. Within that petal, there is the eternal bija (the syllable tham), brilliant as the autumnal moon. The wise anchorite, by knowing this, is never pulled down.

98. This is the great light held secret in all the Tantras; by contemplating on this, one obtains the highest success, there is no doubt of it.

99. I am the giver of salvation, I am the third linga in the turiya (the state of ecstasy, also the name of the thousand-petalled lotus). By contemplating on this, the Yogi becomes certainly like me.

100. The two vessels called the ida and the pingala are the real Varana and Asi. The space between them is called Varanasi (Benares, the holy city of Siva). There it is said that the Vishwanatha (the Lord of the universe) dwells.

101. The greatness of this holy place has been declared in manifold scriptures by the truth-perceiving sages. Its great secret has been very eloquently dwelt upon by them.

7. The Thousand-Petalled Lotus.

102. The sushumna goes along the spinal cord up to where the Brahmarandhra (the hole of Brahma) is situated. Thence by a certain flexure, it goes to the right side of the Ajña lotus, whence it proceeds to the left nostril, and is called the Ganges.

103. The lotus which is situated in the Brahmarandhra is called Sahasrara (the thousand-petalled). In the space in its centre, dwells the moon. From the triangular place, elixir is continually exuding. This moon-fluid of immortality unceasingly flows through the ida. The elixir flows in a stream – a continuous stream. Going to the left nostril, it receives from the Yogis the name of the “Ganges.”

104. From the right-side portion of the Ajña lotus and going to the left nostril flows the ida. It is here called Varana (the northward-flowing Ganges).

105. Let the Yogi contemplate on the space between the two (ida and pingala) as Varanasi (Benares). The pingala also comes in the same way from the left side portion of the Ajña lotus, and goes to the right nostril, and has been called by us the Asi.

106. The lotus which is situated in the Muladhar has four petals. In the space between them, dwells the sun.

107. From that sphere of the sun, poison exudes continuously. That excessively heating venom flows through the pingala.

108. The venom (sun-fluid of mortality) which flows there continuously in a stream goes to the right nostril, as the moon-fluid of immortality goes to the left.

109. Rising from the left-side of the Ajña lotus and going to the right nostril, this northward flowing pingala has been called of old the Asi.

110. The two-petalled Ajña lotus has been thus described where dwells the God Maheshwara. The Yogis described three more sacred stages above this. They are called vindu, nada and sakti, and are situated in the lotus of the forehead.

111. He who always contemplates on the hidden Ajña lotus, atonce destroys all the karmas of his past life, without any opposition.

112. Remaining in this place, when the Yogi meditates constantly, then to him all forms, worships and prayers appear as worthless.

113. The Yakshas, Rakshashas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, and Kinnaras, all serve at his feet. They become obedient to his command.

114. By reversing the tongue and placing it in the long hollow of the palate, let the Yogi enter into contemplation, that destroys all fears. All his sins, whose mind remains steady here even for a second, are at once destroyed.

115. All the fruits which have been described above as resulting from the contemplation of the other five lotuses, are obtained through the knowledge of this one Ajña lotus alone.

116. The wise one, who continually practices contemplation of this Ajña lotus, becomes free from the mighty chain of desires, and enjoys happiness.

117. When at the time of death, the Yogi contemplates on this lotus, leaving this life, that holy one is absorbed in the Paramatma.

118. He who contemplates on this, standing or walking, sleeping or waking, is not touched by sins, even if it were possible for him to do sinful works.

119. The Yogi becomes free from the chain by his own exertion. The importance of the contemplation of the two-petalled lotus cannot be fully described. Even the gods like Brahma, etc., have learnt only a portion of its grandeur from me.

120. Above this, at the base of the palate, is the thousand-petalled lotus, in that part where the hole of that sushumna is.

121. From the base or root of the palate, the sushumna extendsdownwards, till it reaches the Muladhar and the perineum: all vessels surround it, or are supported by it. These nadis are the seeds of mystery, or the sources of all principles which constitute a man, and show the road to Brahma (i.e. give salvation).

122. The lotus which is at the root of the palate is called the Sahasrar (the thousand-petalled); in its centre, there is a yoni (seat or force-centre) which has its face downwards.

123. In that is the root of the sushumna, together with its hole; this is called the Brahmarandhra (the hole of Brahma), extending up to the Muladhar padma.

124. In that hole of the sushumna there dwells as its inner force the Kundalini. In the sushumna there is also a constant current of force called chitra, its actions or modifications should be called, in my opinion as Brahmarandhra, etc.

125. By simply remembering this, one obtains the knowledge of Brahman, all sins are destroyed, and one is never born again as man.

126. Let him thrust the moving thumb into its mouth : by this the air, which flows through the body, is stopped.

127. Owing to this (vayu) man wanders in the circle of the universe; the Yogis, therefore, do not desire to keep up this circulation; all the nadis are bound by eight knots; only this Kundalini can pierce these knots and pass out of the Brahmarandhra, and show the way to salvation.

128. When the air is confined full in all the vessels, then the Kundalini leaves these knots and forces its way out of the Brahmarandhra.

129. Then the vital air continually flows in the sushumna. On the right and the left side of the Muladhar, are situated the ida and the pingala. The Sushumna passes through the middle of it.

130. The hollow of the sushumna in the sphere of the adhar is called the Brahmarandhra. The wise one who knows this is emancipated from the chain of karma.

131. All these three vessels meet certainly at the mouth of the Brahmarandhra; by bathing at this place one certainly obtains salvation.

The Sacred Triveni (Prayag).

132. Between the Ganges and the Jamuna, flows this saraswati: by bathing at their junction, the fortunate one obtains salvation.

133. We have said before that the ida is the Ganges and the pingala is the daughter of the sun (the Jamuna), in the middle the sushumna is the saraswati; the place where all three join is a most inaccessible one.

134. He who performs mental bathing at the junction of the White (ida) and the Black (pingala) becomes free from all sins, and reaches the eternal Brahma.

135. He who performs the funeral rites of his ancestors at the junction of these three rivers (Triveni) procures salvation for his ancestors and himself reaches the highest end.

136. He who daily performs the threefold duties (i.e., the regular, occasional and optional ones) by mentally meditating on this place, receives the unfading reward.

137. He who once bathes at this sacred place enjoys heavenly felicity, his manifold sins are burned, he becomes a pure-minded Yogi.

138. Whether pure or impure, in whatever state one might be, by performing ablution at this mystic place, he becomes undoubtedly holy.

139. At the time of death let him bathe himself in the water of this Triveni (the Trinity of rivers): he who dies thinking on this, reaches salvation then and there.

140. There is no greater secret than this throughout the three worlds. This should be kept secret with great care. It ought never to be revealed.

141. If the mind becomes steadily fixed even for half a second at the Brahmarandhra, one becomes free from sins and reaches the highest end.

142. The holy Yogi whose mind is absorbed in this, is absorbed in me after having enjoyed the powers called anima, laghima, etc.

143. The man knowing this Brahmarandhra, becomes my beloved in this world; conquering sins, he becomes entitled to salvation; by spreading knowledge, he saves thousands of people.

144. The Four-faced and gods can hardly obtain this knowledge, it is the most invaluable treasure of the Yogis; this mystery of the Brahmarandhra should be kept a great secret.

The Moon of Mystery.

145. I have said before that there is a force-centre (yoni) in the middle of the Sahasrara; below that is the moon; let the wise contemplate this.

146. By contemplating on this the Yogi becomes adorable in this world, and is respected by gods and adepts.

147. In the sinus of the forehead let him contemplate on the ocean of milk; from that place let him meditate on the moon, which is in the Sahasrara.

148. In the sinus of the forehead there is the nectar-containing moon, having sixteen digits (kalas, i.e, full). Let him contemplate on this stainless one. By constant practice, he sees it in three days. By merely seeing it, the practitioner burns all his sins.

149. The future reveals itself to him, his mind becomes pure; and though he might have committed the five great sins, by a moment’s contemplation of this he destroys them.

150. All the heavenly bodies (planets, etc.,) become auspicious, all dangers are destroyed, all accidents are warded off, success is obtained in war; the Khechari and the Bhuchari powers are acquired by the seeing of the moon which is in the head. By mere contemplation on it all these results ensue, there is no doubt of it. By constant practice of Yoga one verily becomes an adept. Verily, verily, again most verily, he becomes certainly my equal. The continual study of the science of Yoga, gives success to the Yogis. Here ends the description of the Ajñapura Chakra.

The Mystic Mount Kailas.

151. Above this (i.e., the lunar sphere) is the brilliant thousand-petalled lotus. It is outside this microcosm of the body, it is the giver of salvation.

152. Its name is verily the Kailas mount, where dwells the great Lord (Shiva), who is called Nakula and is without destruction, and without increase or decrease.

153. Men, as soon as they discover this most secret place, become free from re-births in this universe. By the practice of this Yoga he gets the power of creating or destroying the creation, this aggregate of elements.

154. When the mind is steadily fixed at this place, which is the residence of the Great Swan and is called Kailas, then that Yogi, devoid of disease and subduing all accidents, lives for a great age, free from death.

155. When the mind of the Yogi is absorbed in the Great God called the Kula, then the fullness of the samadhi is attained, then the Yogi gets steadfastness.

156. By constant meditation one forgets the world, then in sooth the Yogi obtains wonderful power.

157. Let the Yogi continually drink the nectar which flows out of it; by this he gives law to death, and conquers the kula. Here the kula kundalini force is absorbed, after this the quadruple creation is absorbed in the Paramatman.

The Raja Yoga.

158. By this knowledge, the modifications of the mind are suspended, however active they may be; therefore, let the Yogi untiringly and unselfishly try to obtain this knowledge.

159. When the modifications of the thinking principle are suspended, then one certainly becomes a Yogi; then is known the Indivisible, holy, pure Gnosis.

160. Let him contemplate on his own reflection in the sky as beyond the Cosmic Egg: in the manner previously described. Through that let him think on the Great Void unceasingly.

161. The Great Void, whose beginning is void, whose middle is void, whose end is void, has the brilliancy of tens of millions of suns, and the coolness of tens of millions of moons. By contemplating continually on this, one obtains success.

162. Let him practice with energy daily this dhyana, within a year he will obtain all success undoubtedly.

163. He whose mind is absorbed in that place even for a second, is certainly a Yogi, and a good devotee, and is reverenced in all worlds.

164. All his stores of sins are at once verily destroyed.

165. By seeing it one never returns to the path of this mortal universe; let the Yogi, therefore, practice this with great care by the path of the Swadhisthan.

166. I cannot describe the grandeur of this contemplation. He who practices, knows. He becomes respected by me.

167. By meditation one at once knows the wonderful effects of this Yoga (i.e., of the contemplation of the void); undoubtedly he attains the psychic powers, called anima and laghima, etc.

168. Thus have I described the Raja Yoga, it is kept secret in all the Tantras; now I shall describe to you briefly the Rajadhiraj Yoga.

The Rajadhiraj Yoga.

169. Sitting in the Svastikasana, in a beautiful monastery, free from all men and animals, having paid respects to his Guru, let the Yogi practice this contemplation.

170. Knowing through the arguments of the Vedanta that the Jiva is independent and self-supported, let him make his mind also elf-supported; and let him not contemplate anything else.

171. Undoubtedly, by this contemplation the highest success (maha-siddhi) is obtained, by making the mind functionless; he himself becomes perfectly Full.

172. He who practices this always, is the real passionless Yogi, he never uses the word “I”, but always finds himself full of atman.

173. What is bondage, what is emancipation? To him ever all is one; undoubtedly, he who practices this always, is the really emancipated.

174. He is the Yogi, he is the true devotee, he is worshipped in all worlds, who contemplates the Jivatma and the Paramatma as related to each other as “I” and “Am”, who renounces “I” and “Thou” and contemplates the indivisible; the Yogi free from all attachment takes shelter of that contemplation in which, through the knowledge of super-imposition and negation, all is dissolved.

175. Leaving that Brahma, who is manifest, who is knowledge, who is bliss, and who is absolute consciousness, the deluded wander about, vainly discussing the manifested and the unmanifested.

176. He who meditates on this movable and immovable universe, that is really unmanifest, but abandons the supreme Brahma – directly manifest – is verily absorbed in this universe.

177. The Yogi, free from all attachment, consistently exerts himself in keeping up this practice that leads to jnana, so that there may not be again the upheaval of Ignorance.

178. The wise one, by restraining all his senses from their objects, and being free from all company, remains in the midst of these objects, as if in deep sleep, i.e., does not perceive them.

179. Thus constantly practicing the Self-luminous becomes manifest: here end all the teachings of the Guru, (they can help the student no further). Henceforth he must help himself, they can no more increase his reason or power, henceforth by the mere force of his own practice he must gain the jnana.

180. That jnana from which the speech and mind turn back baffled, is only to be obtained through practice; for then this pure jnana bursts forth of itself.

181. The hathayoga cannot be obtained without the rajayoga, nor can the rajayoga be obtained without the hathayoga. Therefore, let the Yogi first learn the hathayoga from the instructions of the wise Guru.

182. He who, while living in this physical body, does not practice Yoga, is merely living for the sake of sensual enjoyments.

183. From the time he begins till the time he gains perfect mastery, let the Yogi eat moderately and abstemiously, otherwise, however clever, he cannot gain success.

184. The wise Yogi in an assembly should utter words of highest good, but should not talk much: he eats a little to keep up his physical frame; let him renounce the company of men, let him renounce the company of men, verily, let him renounce all company: otherwise he cannot attain mukti (salvation); verily, I tell you the truth.

185. Let him practice this in secrecy, free from the company of men, in a retired place. For the sake ofappearance, he should remain in society, but should not have his heart in it. He should not renounce the duties of his profession, caste or rank; but let him perform these merely, as an instrument of the Lord, without any thought of the event. By thus doing there is no sin.

186. Even the house-holder (grihastha), by wisely following this method, may obtain success, there is no doubt of it.

187. Remaining in the midst of the family, always doing the duties of the house-holder, he who is free from merits and demerits, and has restrained his senses, attain s salvation. The householder practicing Yoga is not touched by sins, if to protect mankind he does any sin, he is not polluted by it.

The Mantra (Om, Aim, Klim, Strim).

188. Now I shall tell you the best of practices, the japa of mantra: from this, one gains happiness in this as well in the world beyond this.

189. By knowing this highest of the mantras, the Yogi certainly attains success (siddhi): this gives all power and pleasure to the one-pointed Yogi.

190. In the four-petalled Muladhar lotus is the bija of speech, brilliant as lightening (i.e., the syllable aim).

191. In the heart is the bija of love, beautiful as the bandhuk flower (klim). In the space between the two eyebrows (i.e., in the Ajña lotus), is the bija of Sakti (strim), brilliant as tens of millions of moons. These three seeds should be kept secret – they give enjoyment and emancipation. Let the Yogi repeat these three mantras (i.e., Om, aim, klim, and strim) and try to attain success.

192. Let him learn this mantra from his Guru, let him repeat it neither too fast nor too slowly, keeping the mind free from all doubts, and understanding the mystic relation between the letters of the mantra.

193. The wise Yogi, intently fixing his attention on this mantra, performing all the duties peculiar to his caste, should perform one hundred thousand homs (fire sacrifices), and then repeat this mantra three hundred thousand times in the presence of the Goddess Tripura.

194. At the end of this sacred repetition (japa), let the wise Yogi again perform hom, in a triangular hollow, with sugar, milk, butter and the flower of karari (oleander).

195. By this performance of Homa-Japa-Homa, the Goddess Tripura Bhairavi, who has been propitiated by the above mantra, becomes pleased, and grants all the desires of the Yogi.

196. Having satisfied the Guru and having received this highest of mantras, in the proper way, and performing its repetition in the way laid down, with mind concentrated, even the most heavy-burdened with past

Karmas attains success.

197. The Yogi, who having controlled his senses, repeats this mantra one hundred thousand times, gains the power of attracting others.

198. By repeating it two lacs of times he can control all persons – they come to him as freely as women go to a pilgrimage. They give him all that they possess, and remain always under his control.

199. By repeating this mantra three lacs of times, all the deities presiding over the spheres as well as the spheres, are brought under his dominion.

200. By repeating this six lacs of times, he becomes the vehicle of power – yea, the protector of the world – surrounded by servants.

201. By repeating this twelve lacs of times, the lords of Yakshas, Rakshas and Nagas come under his control; all obey his command constantly.

202. By repeating this fifteen lacs of times, the Siddhas, the Viddyadharas, the Gandharvas, the Apsaras come under the control of the Yogi. There is no doubt of it. He attains immediately the knowledge of all audition and thus all-knowinghood.

203. By repeating this eighteen lacs of times, he, in his body, can rise from the ground: he attains verily the luminous body; he goes all over the universe, wherever he likes; he sees the pores of the earth, i.e., he sees the interspaces and the molecules of this solid earth.

204. By repeating this 28 lacs of times, he becomes the lord of the Viddyadharas, the wise Yogi becomes kamarupi (i.e., can assume what-ever form he desires). By repeating these thirty lacs of times he becomes equal to Brahma and Vishnu. He becomes a Rudra, by sixty lac repetitions, by eighty lac repetitions he becomes all-enjoyer, by repeating one tens of millions of times, the great Yogi is absorbed in the Param Brahman. Such a practitioner is hardly to be found throughout the three worlds.

205. O Goddess! Shiva, the destroyer of Tripura, is the One first and highest cause. The wise attains Him, who is unchanging, undecaying, all peace, immeasurable and free from all ills – the Highest Goal.

206. O Great Goddess! This science of Shiva is a great science (mahavidya), it had always been kept secret. Therefore, this science revealed by me, the wise should keep secret.

207. The Yogi, desirous of success, should keep the hatha yoga as a great secret. It becomes fruitful while kept secret, revealed it loses power.

208. The wise one, who reads it daily from beginning to end, undoubtedly, gradually obtains success in Yoga. He attains emancipation who honours it daily.

209. Let this science be recited to all holy men, who desire emancipation. By practice success is obtained, without it how can success follow?

210. Therefore, the Yogi should perform Yoga according to the rules of practice. He who is contented with what he gets, who restrains his senses, being a householder, who is not absorbed in the household duties, certainly attains emancipation by the practice of Yoga.

211. Even the lordly house-holders obtain success by japa, if they perform the duties of Yoga properly. Let, therefore, a householder also exert in Yoga (his wealth and condition of life are no obstacles in this).

212. Living in the house amidst wife and children, but being free from attachments to them, practicing Yoga in secrecy, a householder even finds marks of success (slowly crowning his efforts), and thus following this teaching of mine, he ever lives in blissful happiness.

The Shiva Samhita

The Shiva Samhita stands as one of the main texts of yoga. By reading this you will notice many things. One is that what is written here bares no resemblance to what is taught in the Western world when it comes to “yoga”. Beyond that much of the text is hardly understood due to context and cultural understanding. Enjoy.

CHAPTER I.

Existence one only.

1. The jnana alone is eternal; it is without beginning or end; there exists no other real substance. Diversities which we see in the world are results of sense-conditions; when the latter cease, then this Jnana alone, and nothing else, remains.

2-3. I, Ishvara, the lover of my devotees, and Giver of spiritual emancipation to all creatures, thus declare the science of yoganasasana (the exposition of Yoga). In it are discarded all those doctrines of disputants, which lead to false knowledge. It is for the spiritual disenthralment of persons whose minds are undistracted and fully turned towards Me.

Differences of opinion.

4. Some praise truth, others purification and asceticism; some praise forgiveness, others equality and sincerity.

5. Some praise alms-giving, others laud sacrifices made in honor of one’s ancestors; some praise action (karma), others think dispassion (vairagya) to be the best.

6. Some wise persons praise the performance of the duties of the householder; other authorities hold up fire sacrifice as the highest.

7. Some praise mantrayoga, others the frequenting of places of pilgrimage. Thus are the ways which people declare emancipation.

8. Being thus diversely engaged in this world, even those who still know what actions are good and what are evil, though free from sin, become subject to bewilderment.

9. Persons who follow these doctrines, having committed good and bad actions, constantly wander in the worlds, in the cycle of births and deaths, bound by dire necessity.

10. Others, wiser among many, and eagerly devoted to the investigation of the occult, declare that the souls are many and eternal, and omnipresent.

11. Others say, “Only those things can be said to exist which are perceived by the senses and nothing besides them; where is heaven or hell?” Such is their firm belief.

12. Others believe the world to be a current of consciousness and no material entity; some call the void as the greatest. Others believe in two essences – Matter (prakriti) and Spirit (purusa).

13-14. Thus believing in widely different doctrines, with faces turned away from the supreme goal, they think, according to their understanding and education, that this universe is without God; others believe there is a God, basing their assertions on various irrefutable arguments, founded on texts declaring difference between soul and God, and anxious to establish the existence of God.

15-16. These and many other sages with various different denominations, have been declared in the Shastras as leaders of the human mind into delusion. It is not possible to describe fully the doctrines of these persons so fond of quarrel and contention; people thus wander in this universe, being driven away from the path of emancipation.

Yoga the only true method

17. Having studied all the Shastras and having pondered over them well, again and again, this Yoga Sastra has been found to be the only true and firm doctrine.

18. Since by Yoga all this verily is known as a certainty, all exertion should be made to acquire it. What is the necessity then of any other doctrines?

19. This Yoga Shastra, now being declared by us, is a very secret doctrine, only to be revealed to a high-souled pious devotee throughout the three worlds.

Karmakanda.

20. There are two systems (as found in the Vedas). Karmakanda (ritualism) and jnanakanda (wisdom).

Jnanakanda and karmakanda are again each subdivided into two parts.

21. The karmakanda is twofold – consisting of injunctions and prohibitions.

22. Prohibited acts when done, will certainly bring forth sin; from performance of enjoined acts there certainly results merit.

23. The injunctions are threefold – nitya (regular), naimittika (occasional), and kamya (optional). By the nonperformance of nitya or daily rites there accrues sin; but by their performance no merit is gained. On the other hand, the occasional and optional duties, if done or left undone, produce merit or demerit.

24. Fruits of actions are twofold – heaven or hell. The heavens are of various kinds and so also hells are diverse.

25. The good actions are verily heaven, and sinful deeds are verily hell; the creation is the natural outcome of karma and nothing else.

26. Creatures enjoy many pleasures in heaven; many intolerable pains are suffered in hell.

27. From sinful acts pain, from good acts happiness, results. For the sake of happiness, men constantly perform good actions.

28. When the sufferings for evil actions are gone through, then there take place re-births certainly; when the fruits of good actions have been exhausted, then also, verily, the result is the same.

29. Even in heaven there is experiencing of pain by seeing the higher enjoyment of others; verily, there is no doubt of it that this whole universe is full of sorrow.

30. The classifiers of karma have divided it into two parts; good and bad actions; they are the veritable bondage of embodied souls each in its turn.

31. Those who are not desirous of enjoying the fruits of their actions in this or the next world, should renounce all actions which are done with an eye to their fruits, and having similarly discarded the attachment for the daily and the naimittika acts, should employ themselves in the practice of Yoga.

Jnanakanda.

32. The wise Yogi, having realized the truth of karmakanda (works), should renounce them; and having left both virtue and vice, he must engage in jnanakanda (knowledge).

33. The Vedic texts, – “The spirit ought to be seen,” – “About it one must hear” are the real saviors and givers of true knowledge. They must be studied with great care.

34. That Intelligence, which incites the functions into the paths of virtue or vice, am I. All this universe, moveable and immovable, is from me; all things are preserved by me; all are absorbed into me (at the time of pralaya; because there exists nothing but the spirit and I am that spirit – there exists nothing else.

35. As in innumerable cups full of water, many reflections of the sun are seen, but the substance is the same; similarly individuals, like cups are innumerable, but the vivifying spirit, like the sun, is one.

36. As in a dream the one soul creates many objects by mere willing; but on awaking everything vanishes but the one soul; so is this universe.

37. As through illusion a rope appears like a snake, or a pearl-shell like silver; similarly, all this universe is superimposed in the Paramatma (the Universal Spirit).

38. As, when the knowledge of the rope is obtained, the erroneous notion of its being a snake does not remain; so, by the arising of the knowledge of self, vanishes this universe based on illusion.

39. As, when the knowledge of the mother-of-pearl is obtained, the erroneous notion of its being silver does not remain; so, through the knowledge of spirit, the world always appears a delusion.

40. As, when a man besmears his eyelids with the collyrium prepared from the fat of frogs, a bamboo appears like a serpent, so the world appears in the Paramatma, owing to the delusive pigment of habit and imagination.

41. As through knowledge of rope the serpent appears a delusion; similarly, through spiritual knowledge, the world. As through jaundiced eyes white appears yellow; similarly, through the disease of ignorance, this world appears in the spirit – an error very difficult to be removed.

42. As when the jaundice is removed the patient sees the colour as it is, so when delusive ignorance is destroyed, the true nature of the spirit is made manifest.

43. As a rope can never become a snake, in the past, present or future; so the spirit which is beyond all gunas and which is pure, never becomes the universe.

44. Some wise men, well-versed in Scriptures, receiving the knowledge of spirit, have declared that even Devas like Indra, etc., are non-eternal, subject to birth and death, and liable to destruction.

45. Like a bubble in the sea rising through the agitation of the wind, this transitory world arises from the Spirit.

46. The Unity exists always; the Diversity does not exist always; there comes a time when it ceases: two-fold, three-fold, and manifold distinctions arise only through illusion.

47. Whatever was, is or will be, either formed or formless, in short, all this universe is superimposed on the Supreme Spirit.

48. Suggested by the Lords of suggestion comes out avidya. It is born of untruth, and its very essence is unreal. How can this world with such antecedents (foundations) be true?

The Spirit.

49. All this universe, moveable or unmovable, has come out of Intelligence. Renouncing everything else, take shelter in it.

50. As space pervades a jar both inside and out, similarly within and beyond this ever-changing universe, there exists one Universal Spirit.

51. As the space pervading the five false states of matter does not mix with them, so the Spirit does not mix with this ever-changing universe.

52. From Devas down to this material universe all are pervaded by one Spirit. There is one satchitananda (Being, Consciousness, and Bliss) all-pervading and secondless.

53. Since it is not illuminated by another, therefore it is self-luminous; and for that self-luminosity, the very nature of Spirit is Light.

54. Since the Spirit in its nature is not limited by time, or space, it is therefore infinite, all-pervading and entirety itself.

55. Since the Spirit is unlike this world, which is composed of five states of matter, that are false and subject to destruction, therefore, it is eternal. It is never destroyed.

56. Save and beyond it, there is no other substance, therefore, it is one; without it everything else is false; therefore, it is True Existence.

57. Since in this world created by ignorance, the destruction of sorrow means the gaining of bliss; and, through jnana, immunity from all sorrow ensues; therefore, the Spirit is Bliss.

58. Since by jnana the Ignorance is destroyed, which is the cause of the universe; therefore, the Spirit is jnana; and this jnana is consequently eternal.

59. Since in time this manifold universe takes its origin, therefore, there is One who is verily the Self, unchanging through all times. Who is one, and unthinkable.

60. All these external substances will perish in the course of time; (but) that Spirit which is indestructable by word (will exist) without a second.

61. Neither ether, air, fire, water, earth, nor their combinations, nor the Devas, are perfect; the Spirit alone is so.

Yoga and Maya.

62. Having renounced all false desires and abandoned all false worldly chains, the Yogi sees certainly in his own spirit the Universal Spirit by the self.

63. Having seen the Spirit, that brings forth bliss, in his own spirit by the help of the self, he forgets this universe, and enjoys the ineffable bliss of Samadhi (profound meditation.)

64. Maya (illusion) is the mother of the universe. Not from any other principle has the universe been created; when this maya is destroyed, the world certainly does not exist.

65. He, to whom this world is but the pleasure-ground of maya, therefore, contemptible and worthless, cannot find any happiness in riches, body, etc., nor in pleasures.

66. This world appears in three different aspects to men – either friendly, inimical, or indifferent; such is always found in worldly dealing; there is distinction also in substances, as they are good, bad or indifferent.

67. That one Spirit, through differentiation, verily becomes a son, a father, etc. The Sacred Scriptures have demonstrated the universe to be the freak of maya (illusion). The Yogi destroys this phenomenal universe by realizing that it is but the result of adhyaropa (superimposition) and by means of aparada (refutation of a wrong belief).

Definition of a Paramahamsa.

68. When a person is free from the infinite distinctions and states of existence as caste, individuality etc., then he can say that he is indivisible intelligence, and pure Unit.

Emanation or Evolution.

69. The Lord willed to create his creatures; from His will came out avidya (Ignorance), the mother of this false universe.

70. There takes place the conjunction between the Pure Brahma and avidya, from which arises Brahma, from which comes out the akasa.

71. From the akasa emanated the air; from the air came the fire; from fire – water; and from water came the earth. This is the order of subtle emanation.

72. From ether, air; from the air and ether combined came fire; from the triple compound of ether, air and fire came water; from the combination of ether, air, fire and water was produced the (gross) earth.

73. The quality of ether is sound; of air motion and touch. Form is the quality of fire, and taste of water. And smell is the quality of earth. There is no gainsaying this.

74. Akasa has one quality; air two, fire three, water four, and earth five qualities, viz, sound, touch, taste, form and smell. This has been declared by the wise.

75-76. Form is perceived through he eyes, smell through the nose, taste through the tongue, touch through the skin and sound through the ear. These are verily the organs of perception.

77. From Intelligence has come out all this universe, movable and immovable; whether or not its existence can be inferred, the “All Intelligence” One does exist.

Absorption or Involution.

78. The earth becomes subtle and is dissolved in water; water is resolved into fire; fire similarly merges in air; air gets absorption in ether, and ether is resolved in avidya (Ignorance), which merges into the Great Brahma.

79. There are two forces – viksepa, (the out-going energy) and avarana (the transforming energy) which are of great potentiality and power, and whose form is bliss. The great maya, when non-intelligent and material, has three attributes sattva (rhythm) rajas (energy) and tamas (inertia).

80. The non-intelligent form of maya covered by the avarana force (concealment), manifests itself as the universe, owing to the nature of viksepa.

81. When the avidya has an excess of tamas, then it manifests itself as Durga: the intelligence which presides over her is called Isvara. When the avidya has an excess of sattva, it manifests itself as the beautiful Lakshimi; the Intelligence which presides over her is called Vishnu.

82. When the avidya has an excess of rajas, it manifests itself as the wise Saraswati; the intelligence which presides over her is known as Brahma.

83. Gods like Siva, Brahma, Vishnu, etc., are all seen in the great Spirit; bodies and all material objects are the various products of avidya.

84. The wise have thus explained the creation of the world – tattwas (elements) and non-tattwas (non-elements) are thus produced – not otherwise.

85. All things are seen as finite, etc. (endowed with qualities, etc.), and there arise various distinctions merely through words and names; but there is no real difference.

86. Therefore, the things do exist; the great and glorious One that manifests them, alone exists; though things are false and unreal, yet, as the reflection of the real, they, for the time being, appear real.

87. The One Entity, blissful, entire and all-pervading, alone exists, and nothing else; he who constantly realizes this knowledge is freed from death and the sorrow of the world-wheel.

88. When through the knowledge that all is illusory perception (aropa) and by intellectual refutation (apavada) of other doctrines, this universe is resolved into the one, then, there exists that One and nothing else; then this is clearly perceived by the mind.

Karma clothes the Jiva with body.

89. From the Annamiya Kosa (the physical vehicle) of the father, and in accordance with its past karma, the human soul is re-incarnated; therefore, the wise consider this beautiful body as a punishment, for the suffering of the effects of the past karma.

90. This temple of suffering and enjoyment (human body), made up of flesh, bones, nerves, marrow, blood, and intersected with blood vessels etc., is only for the sake of suffering of sorrow.

91. This body, the abode of Brahma, and composed of five elements and known as Brahmanda (the egg of Brahma or microcosm) has been made for the enjoyment of pleasure or suffering of pain.

92. From the self-combination of the Spirit which is Siva and the Matter which is Sakti, and, through their inherent interaction on each other, all creatures are born.

93. From the fivefold combination of all subtle elements, in this universe, gross innumerable objects are produced. The intelligence that is confined in them, through karma, is called the jiva. All this world is derived from the five elements. The jiva is the enjoyer of the fruits of action.

94. In conformity with the effects of the past karma of the jivas, I regulate all destinies. Jiva is immaterial, and is in all things; but it enters the material body to enjoy the fruits of karma.

95. Bound in the chain of matter by their karma, the jivas receive various names. In this world, the come again and again to undergo the consequences of their karma.

96. When the fruits of karma have been enjoyed, the jiva is absorbed in the Parambrahma.

CHAPTER II

(1) The Microcosm.

1. In this body, the mount Meru – i.e., the vertebral column – is surrounded by seven islands; there are rivers, seas, mountains, fields; and lords of the fields too.

2. There are in it seers and sages; all the stars and planets as well. There are sacred pilgrimages, shrines; and presiding deities of the shrines.

3. The sun and moon, agents of creation and destruction, also move in it. Ether, air, water and earth are also there.

(2) The Nerve Centers.

4. All the beings that exist in the three worlds are also to be found in the body; surrounding the Meru they are engaged in their respective functions.

5. (But ordinary men do not know it). He who knows all this is a Yogi; there is no doubt about it.

6. In this body, which is called Brahmanda (microcosm, literally the mundane egg), there is the nectar-rayed moon, in its proper place, on the top of the spinal cord, with eight Kalas (in the shape of a semi-circle).

7. This has its face downwards, and rains nectar day and night. The ambrosia further sub-divides itself into two subtle parts:

8. One of these, through the channel named Ida, goes over the body to nourish it, like the waters of the heavenly Ganges – certainly this ambrosia nourishes the whole body through the channel of Ida.

9. This milk-ray (moon) is on the left side. The other ray, brilliant as the purest milk and fountain of great joy, enters through the middle path (called sushumna) into the spinal cord, in order to create this moon.

10. At the bottom of the Meru there is the sun having twelve Kalas. In the right side path (Pingala) the lord of creatures carries (the fluid) through its rays upwards.

11. It certainly swallows the vital secretions, and ray-exuded nectar. Together with the atmosphere, the sun moves through the whole body.

12. The right-side vessel, which is pingala is another form of the sun, and is the giver of nirvana. The lord of creation and destruction (the sun) moves in this vessel through auspicious ecliptical signs.

(3) The Nerves.

13. In the body of man there are 3,500,000 nadis; of them the principal are fourteen;

14-15. Sushumna, Ida, Pingala, Gandhari, Hastijihvika, Kuhu, Saraswati, Pusa, Sankhini, Payaswani, Varuni, Alumbusa, Vishwodari, and Yasaswani. Among these Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are the chief.

16. Among these three, sushumna alone is the highest and beloved of the Yogis. Other vessels are subordinate to it in the body.

17. All these principal nadis (vessels) have their mouths downwards, and are like thin threads of lotus. They are all supported by the vertebral column, and represent the sun, moon and fire.

18. The innermost of these three is chitra; it is my beloved. In that there is the subtlest of all hollows called Brahmarandhra.

19. Brilliant with five colours, pure, moving in the middle of sushumna, this chitra is the vital part of body and centre of sushumna.

20. This has been called in the Shastras the Heavenly Way; this is the giver of the joy of immortality; by contemplating it, the greatYogi destroys all sins.

(4) The Pelvic Region.

21. Two digits above the rectum and two digits below the linga is the adhara lotus, having a dimension of four digits.

22. In the pericarp of the adhara lotus there is the triangular, beautiful yoni, hidden and kept secret in all the Tantras.

23. In it is the supreme goddess Kundalini of the form of electricity, in a coil. It has three coils and a half (like a serpent), and is in the mouth of sushumna.

24. It represents the creative force of the world, and is always engaged in creation. It is the goddess of speech, whom speech cannot manifest, and who is praised by all gods.

25. The nadi called ida is on the left side coiling round the sushumna, it goes to the right nostril.

26. The nadi called pingala is on the right side; coiling round the central vessel, it enters the left nostril.

27. The nadi which is between Ida and Pingala is certainly Sushumna. It has six stages, six forces, 1 six lotuses, known to the Yogis.

28. The first five stages of Sushumna are known under various names; being necessary, they have been made known in this text.

29. The other nadis, rising from adhara, go to the various parts of the body, e.g. the tongue, penis, eyes, feet, toes, ears, the abdomen, the armpit, fingers of the hands, the scrotum and the anus. Having risen from their proper place, they stop at their respective destinations, as above described.

30. From all these (fourteen) nadis, there arise gradually other branches and sub-branches, so that at last they become three hundred thousand and a half in number, and supply their respective places.

31. These nadis are spread through the body cross-wise and length-wise; they are vehicles of sensation and keep watch over the movements of the air i.e., they regulate the motor functions also.

(5) The Abdominal Region.

32. In the abdomen there burns the fire – digester of food – situated in the middle of the sphere of the sun having twelve Kalas. Know this as the fire of Vaiswanara; it is born from a portion of my own energy, and digests the various foods of creatures, being inside their bodies.

33. This fire increases life, and gives strength and nourishment, makes the body full of energy, destroys all diseases, and gives health.

34. The wise Yogi, having kindled this Viswanaric fire according to proper rites, should sacrifice food into it every day, in conformity with the teachings of his spiritual teacher.

35. This body called the Brahmanda (microcosm) has many parts, but I have enumerated the most important of them in this book. (Surely) they ought to be known.

36. Various are their names, and innumerable are the places in this human body; all of them cannot be enumerated here.

(6) The Jivatma.

37. In the body thus described, there dwelleth the Jiva, all-pervading, adorned with the garland of endless desires and chained to the body) by karma.

38. The Jiva possessed of many qualities and the agent of all events, enjoys the fruits of his various karmas amassed in the past life.

39. Whatever is seen among men (whether pleasure or pain) is born of karma. All creatures enjoy or suffer, according to the results of their actions.

1 That is, the functions of the Cord, viz.Reflection, co-ordination, etc.

2 The parts of which the Spinal Cord is composed are the Tantrik stages viz.: Cervical, Dorsal, Lumbar, Sacral and Coccygeal.

40. The desires, etc., which cause pleasure or pain, act according to the past karma of the Jiva.

41. The Jiva that has accumulated an excess of good and virtuous actions receives a happy life; and in the world he gets pleasant and good things to enjoy, without any trouble.

42. In proportion to the force of his karma, man suffers misery or enjoys pleasure. The Jiva that has accumulated an excess of evil never stays in peace – it is not separate from its karmas; except karma, there is nothing in this world. From the Intelligence veiled by maya, all things have been evolved.

43. As in their proper season, various creatures are born to enjoy the consequences of their karma; as through mistake a pearl-shell is taken for silver, so through the taint of one’s own karmas, a man mistakes Brahman for the material universe.

44. From desire all these delusions arise; they can be eradicated with great difficulty; when the salvation-giving knowledge of the unreality of the world arises, then are desires destroyed.

45. Being engrossed in the manifested (objective) world, the delusion arises about that which is the manifestor – the subject. There is no other, (cause of this delusion). Verily, verily, I tell you the truth.

46. The illusion of the manifested (objective world) is destroyed when the Maker of the Manifest becomes manifest. This illusion does not cease so long as one thinks, “Brahma is not.”

47. By looking closely and deeply into the matter, this false knowledge vanishes. It cannot be removed otherwise; the delusion of silver remains.

48. As long as knowledge does not arise about the stainless Manifestor of the universe, so long all things appear separate and many.

49. When this body, obtained through karma, is made the means of obtaining nirvana (divine beatitude); then only the carrying of the burden becomes fruitful – not otherwise.

50. Of whatever nature is the original desire (vasana), that clings to and accompanies the Jiva (through various incarnations); similar is the delusion which it suffers, according to its deeds and misdeeds.

51. If the practiser of Yoga wishes to cross the ocean of the world, he should perform all the duties of his ashrama, (the condition of life), renouncing all the fruits of his works

52. Persons attached to sensual objects and desirous of sensual pleasures, descend from the road of nirvana, through the delusion of much talk, and fall into sinful deeds.

53. When a person does not see anything else here, having seen the Self by the self; then there is no sin (for him if he) renounces all ritual works. This is my opinion.

54. All desires and the rest are dissolved through jnana only, and not otherwise. When all (minor) tattwas (principles) cease to exist, then My Tattva becomes manifest.

CHAPTER III.

On Yoga Practice. The Vayus.

1. In the heart, there is a brilliant lotus with twelve petals adorned with brilliant sign. It has letters from k to th (i.e., k, kh, g, gh, n, ch, chh, j, jh, ñ, t, th), the twelve beautiful letters.

2. The Prana lives there, adorned with various desires, accompanied by its past works, that have no beginning, and joined with egoism (ahankara.)

Note: The heart is in the center where there is the seed yam.

3. From the different modifications of the Prana, it receives various names; all of them cannot be stated here.

4. Prana, apana, samana, udana, vyana, naga, kurma, Krikara, devadatta, and dhananjaya.

5. These are the ten principal names, described by me in this Shastra; they perform all functions, incited thereto by their own actions.

6. Again, out of these ten, the first five are the leading ones; even among these, the prana and apana are the highest agents, in my opinion.

7. The seat of the Prana is the heart; of the apana, the anus; of the samana, the region above the navel; of the udana, the throat; while the vyana moves all over the body.

8. The five remaining vayus, etc., perform the following functions in the body: – Eructation, opening the eyes, hunger and thirst, gaping or yawning, and lastly hiccup.

9. He who in this way knows the microcosm of the body, being absolved from all sins, reaches the highest state.

(2) The Guru.

10. Now I will tell you, how easily to attain success in Yoga, by knowing which the Yogis never fail in the practice of Yoga.

11. Only the knowledge imparted by a Guru, through his lips, is powerful and useful; otherwise it becomes fruitless, weak and very painful

12. He who devoted to any knowledge, while pleasing his Guru with every attention, readily obtains the fruit of that knowledge.

13. There is not the least doubt that Guru is father. Guru is mother, and Guru is God even; and as such, he should be served by all with their thought, word and deed.

14. By Guru’s favour everything good relating to one’s self is obtained. So the Guru ought to be daily served; else there can be nothing auspicious.

15. Let him salute his Guru after walking three times round him, and touching with his right hand his lotus feet.

(3) The Adhikari.

16. The person who has control over himself attains verily success through faith; none other can succeed. Therefore, with faith, the Yoga should be practiced with care and perseverance.

17. Those who are addicted to sensual pleasures or keep bad company, who are disbelievers, who are devoid of respect towards their Guru, who resort to promiscuous assemblies, who are addicted to false and vain controversies, who are cruel in their speech, and who do not give satisfaction to their Guru never attain success.

18. The first condition of success is the firm belief that it (vidya) must succeed and be fruitful; the second condition is having faith in it; the third is respect towards the Guru; the fourth is the spirit of universal equality; the fifth is the restraint of the organs of sense; the sixth is moderate eating, these are all. There is no seventh condition.

19. Having received instructions in Yoga, and obtained a Guru who knows Yoga, let him practice with earnestness and faith, according to the method taught by the teacher.

(4) The Place, etc.

20. Let the Yogi go to a beautiful and pleasant place of retirement or a cell, assume the posture padmasana, and sitting on a seat (made of kusa grass) begin to practice the regulation of breath.

21. The wise beginner should keep his body firm and inflexible, his hands joined as if in supplication, and salute the Gurus on the left side. He should also pay salutations to Ganesha on the right side, and again to the guardians of the worlds and goddess Ambika who are on the left side.

(5) The Pranayama.

22. Then let the wise practitioner close with his right thumb the pingala (right nostril), inspire air through the ida (the left nostril); and keep the air confined – suspend his breathing – as long as he can; and afterwards let him breathe out slowly, and not forcibly, through the right nostril.

23. Again, let him draw breath through the right nostril, and stop breathing as long as his strength permits; then let him expel the air through the left nostril, not forcibly, but slowly and gently.

24. According to the above method of Yoga, let him practice twenty kumbhakas (stopping of the breath). He should practice this daily without neglect or idleness, and free from all duels (of love and hatred, and doubt and contention), etc.

25. These kumbhakas should be practiced four times – once (1) early in the morning at sunrise, (2) then at midday, (3) the third at sun-set, and (4) the fourth at mid-night.

26. When this has been practiced daily, for three months, with regularity, the nadas (the vessels) of the body will readily and surely be purified.

27. When thus the nadas of the truth-perceiving Yogi are purified, then his defects being all destroyed, he enters the first stage in the practice of Yoga called arambha.

28. Certain signs are perceived in the body of the Yogi whose nadas have been purified. I shall describe, in brief, all these various signs.

29. The body of the person practicing the regulation of breath becomes harmoniously developed, emits sweet scent, and looks beautiful and lovely. In all kinds of Yoga, there are four stages of pranayama – 1: Arambha-avastha (the state of beginning); 2: Ghata-avastha (the state of co-operation of Self and Higher Self); 3: Parichaya-avastha (knowledge); 4: Nishpattiavastha (the final consummation).

30. We have already described the beginning of Arambha-avestha of pranayama; the rest will be described hereafter. They destroy all sin and sorrow.

31. The following qualities are surely always found in the bodies of every Yogi – Strong appetite, good digestion, cheerfulness, handsome figure, great courage, mighty enthusiasm and full strength.

32. Now I tell you the great obstacles to Yoga which must be avoided, as by their removal the Yogis cross this sea of worldly sorrow.

(6) The things to be renounced.

33. The Yogi should renounce the following; 1: Acids, 2: astringents, 3: pungent substances, 4: salt, 5: mustard, and 6: bitter things; 7: much walking, 8: early bathing (before sun-rise) and 9: things roasted in oil; 10: theft, 11: killing (of animals) 12: enmity towards any person, 13: pride, 14: duplicity, and 15: crookedness; 16: fasting, 17: untruth, 18: thoughts other than those of moksha, 19: cruelty towards animals; 20: companionship of women, 21: worship of (or handling or sitting near) fire, and 22: much talking, without regard to pleasantness or unpleasantness of speech, and lastly, 23: much eating.

(7) The means.

34. Now I will tell you the means by which success in Yoga is quickly obtained; it must be kept secret by the practitioner so that success may come with certainty.

35. The great Yogi should observe always the following observances – He should use 1: clarified butter, 2: milk, 3: sweet food, and 4: betel without lime, 5: camphor; 6: kind words, 7: pleasant monastery or retired cell, having a small door; 8: hear discourses on truth, and 9: always discharge his household duties with vairagya (without attachment), 10: sing the name of Vishnu; 11: and hear sweet music, 12: have patience, 13: constancy, 14: forgiveness, 15: austerities, 16: purifications, 17: modesty, 18: devotion, and 19: service of the Guru.

36. When the air enters the sun, it is the proper time for the Yogi to take his food (i.e., when the breath flows through the pingala); when the air enters the moon, he should go to sleep (i.e., when the breath flows through the left nostril or the ida).

37. The Yoga (pranayama) should not be practiced just after the meals, nor when one is very hungry; before beginning the practice, some milk and ghee  can be taken.

38. When one is well established in his practice, then he need not observe these restrictions. The practitioner should eat in small quantities at a time, though frequently; and should practice kumbhaka daily at the stated times.

39. When the Yogi can, of his will, regulate the air and stop the breath (whenever and how long) he likes, then certainly he gets success in kumbhaka, and from the success in kumbhaka only, what things cannot the Yogi command here?

The first stage.

40. In the first stage of pranayama, the body of the Yogi begins to perspire. When it perspires, he should rub it well, otherwise the body of the Yogi loses its dhatu (humours).

The second and third stages.

41. In the second stage, there takes place the trembling of the body; in the third, the jumping about like a frog; and when the practice becomes greater, the adept walks in the air.

Vayusiddhi.

42. When the Yogi, though remaining in padmasana, can raise in the air and leave the ground, then know that he has gained vayusiddhi (success over air), which destroys the darkness of the world.

43. But so long (as he does not gain it), let him practice observing all the rules and restrictions laid down above.

From the perfection of pranayama, follows decrease of sleep, excrements and urine.

44. The truth-perceiving Yogi becomes free from disease, and sorrow or affliction; he never gets (putrid) perspiration, saliva and intestinal worms.

45. When in the body of the practitioner, there is neither any increase of phlegm, wind, nor bile; then he may with impunity be irregular in his diet and the rest.

46. No injurious results then would follow, were the Yogi to take a large quantity of food, or very little, or no food at all. hrough the strength of constant practice, the Yogi obtains bhucharisiddhi, he moves as the frog jumps over the ground, when frightened away by the clapping of hands.

47. Verily, there are many hard and almost insurmountable obstacles in Yoga, yet the Yogi should go on with his practice at all hazards; even were his life to come to the throat.

48. Then let the practitioner, sitting in a retired place and restraining his senses, utter by inaudible repetition, the long pranava OM, in order to destroy all obstacles.

49. The wise practitioner surely destroys all his karma, whether acquired in its life or in the past, through the regulation of breath.

50. The great Yogi destroys, by sixteen pranayamas, the various virtues and vices accumulated in his past life.

51. This pranayama destroys sin, as fire burns away a heap of cotton; it makes the Yogi free from sin; next it destroys the bonds of all his good actions.

52. The mighty Yogi having attained, through pranayama, the eight sorts of psychic powers, and having crossed the ocean of virtue and vice, moves about freely through the three worlds.

Increase of Duration.

53. Then gradually he should make himself able to practice for three gharis (one hour and a half at a time, he should be able to restrain breath for that period). Through this, the Yogi undoubtedly obtains all the longed for powers

Siddhis or Perfections.

54. The Yogi acquires the following powers: vakya siddhi (prophecy), transporting himself everywhere at will (kamachari), clairvoyance (duradristhi), clairaudience (durashruti), subtle-sight (shushma-drishti), and the power of entering another’s body (parakaypravesana), turning base metals to gold by rubbing them with his excrements and urine, and the power of becoming invisible, and lastly, moving in the air.

II. The Ghata Avasta.

55. When, by the practice of pranayama, the Yogi reaches the state of ghata (water-jar), then for him there is nothing in this circle of universe which he cannot accomplish.

56. The ghata is said to be that state in which the prana and the apana vayus, the nada and the vindu, the jivatma (the Human Spirit) and the Paramatma (the Universal Spirit) combine and co-operate.

57. When he gets the power of holding breath (i.e., to be in trance) for three hours, then certainly the wonderful state of pratyahar is reached without fail.

58. Whatever object the Yogi perceives, let him consider it to be the spirit. When the modes of action of various senses are known, then they can be conquered.

59. When, through, great practice, the Yogi can perform one kumbhaka for full three hours, when for eight dandas (=3 hours) the breathing of the Yogi is suspended, then that wise one can balance himself on his thumb; but he appears to others as insane.

III. The Parichaya

60. After this, through exercise, the Yogi reaches the Parichaya-avastha. When the air leaving the sun and moon (the right and the left nostrils), remains unmoved and steady in the ether of the tube sushumna, then it is in the parichaya state.

61. When he, by the practice of Yoga, acquires power of action (kriya shakti) and pierces through the six chakras, and reaches the sure condition of parichaya, then the Yogi, verily, sees the three-fold effects of karma.

62. Then, let the Yogi destroy the multitude of karmas by the pranava (OM); let him accomplish kayavyhua (a mystical process of arranging the various skandas of the body), in order to enjoy or suffer the consequences of all his actions in one life, without the necessity of re-birth.

63. At that time let the great Yogi practice the five-fold dharana forms of concentration on Vishnu, by which command over the five elements is obtained, and fear of injuries from any one of them is removed. (Earth, water, fire, air, akas cannot harm him.) Note: He should perform 5 kumbhakas at each centre or chakra.

64. Let the wise Yogi practice dharana thus:– five ghatis (2 1/2 hours) in the adhara lotus (muladhara); five ghatis in the seat of the linga (svadhisthana), five ghatis in the region above it, (in the navel, manipur), and the same in the heart (anahata); five ghatis in the throat (visuddha) and, lastly let him hold dharana for five ghatis in the space between the two eye-brows (anjapur). By this practice the elements cease to cause any harm to the great Yogi.

65. The wise Yogi, who thus continually practices concentration (dharana), never dies through hundreds of cycles of the great Brahma.

IV. The Nishpatti.

66. After this, through gradual exercise, the Yogi reaches the Nishpatti-avestha (the condition of consummation). The Yogi, having destroyed all the seeds of karma which existed from the beginning, drinks the waters of immortality.

67. When the jivan-mukta (delivered in the present life,) tranquil Yogi has obtained, through practice, the consummation of samadhi (meditation), and when this state of consummated samadhi can be voluntarily evoked, then let the Yogi take hold of the chetana (conscious intelligence), together with the air, and with the force of (kriya-sakti) conquer the six wheels, and absorb it in the force called jnana-sakti.

68. Now we have described the management of the air in order to remove the troubles (which await the Yogi); through this knowledge of vayu-sadhana vanish all sufferings and enjoyments in the circle of this universe.

69. When the skilful Yogi, by placing the tongue at the root of the palate, can drink the pranavayu, then there occurs complete dissolution of all Yogas (i.e., he is no longer in need of Yoga)

70. When the skilful Yogi, knowing the laws of action of prana and apana, can drink the cold air through the concentration of the mouth, in the form of a crow-bill, then he becomes entitled to liberation.

71. The wise Yogi, who daily drinks the ambrosial air, according to proper rules, destroys fatigue, burning (fever), decay and old age, and injuries.

72. Pointing the tongue upwards, when the yogi can drink the nectar flowing from the moon (situated between the two eye-brows), within a month he certainly would conquer death.

73. When having firmly closed the glottis by the proper yogic method, and contemplating on the goddess Kundalini, he drinks (the moon fluid of immortality), he becomes a sage or poet within six months.

74. When he drinks the air through the crow-bill, both in the morning and in the evening twilight, contemplating that it goes to the mouth of the kundalini, consumption of the lungs (phthisis) is cured.

75. When the wise Yogi drinks the fluid day and night through the crow-beak, his diseases are destroyed: he acquires certainly the powers of clairaudience and clairvoyance.

76. When firmly closing the teeth (by pressing the upper on the lower jaw), and placing the tongue upwards, the wise Yogi drinks the fluid very slowly, within a short period he conquers death.

77. One, who daily continues this exercise for six months only, is freed from all sins, and destroys all diseases.

78. If he continues this exercise for a year, he becomes a Bhairava; he obtains the powers of anima and conquers all elements and the elementals.

79. If the Yogi can remain for half a second with his tongue drawn upwards, he becomes free from disease, death, and old age.

80. Verily, verily, I tell you the truth that the person never dies who contemplates by pressing the tongue, combined with the vital fluid of Prana.

81. Through this exercise and Yoga, he becomes like Kamadeva, without rival. He feels neither hunger, nor thirst, nor sleep, nor swoon.

82. Acting upon these methods the great Yogi becomes in the world perfectly independent; and freed from all obstacles, he can go everywhere.

83. By practicing thus, he is never reborn, nor is tainted by virtue and vice, but enjoys (for ages) with the gods.

The postures.

84. There are eighty-four postures, of various modes. Out of them, four ought to be adopted, which I mention below:– 1, Siddhasana; 2, Padmasana; 3, Ugrasana; 4, Svastikasana.  Or “freedom from all diseases”.

1. Siddhasana.

85. The Siddhasana that gives success to the practitioner is as follows: Pressing with care by the heel the yoni, the other heel the Yogi should place on the lingam; he should fix his gaze upwards on the space between the two eyebrows, should be steady, and restrain his senses. His body particularly must be straight and without any bend. The place should be a retired one, without any noise.

86. He who wishes to attain quick consummation of Yoga, by exercise, should adopt the Siddhasana posture, and practice regulation of the breath.

87. Through his posture the Yogi, leaving the world, attains the highest end and throughout the world there is no posture more secret than this. By assuming and contemplating in this posture, the Yogi is freed from sin.

2. The Padmasana.

88. I now describe the Padmasana which wards off (or cures) all diseases:– Having crossed the legs, carefully place the feet on the opposite thighs (i.e., the left foot on the right thigh, and vice versa); cross both the hands and place them similarly on the thighs; fix the sight on the tip of the nose; pressing the tongue against the root of the teeth, (the chin should be elevated, the chest expanded) then draw the air slowly, fill the chest with all your might, and expel it slowly, in an unobstructed stream.

89. It cannot be practiced by everybody; only the wise attains success in it.

90. By performing and practicing this posture, undoubtedly the vital airs of the practitioner at once become completely equable, and flow harmoniously through the body.

91. Sitting in the Padmasana posture, and knowing the action of the prana and apana, when the Yogi performs the regulation of the breath, he is emancipated. I tell you the truth. Verily, I tell you the truth.

3. The Ugrasana.

92. Stretch out both the legs and keep them apart; firmly take hold of the head by the hands, and place them on the knees. This is called ugrasana (the stern-posture), it excites the motion of the air, destroys the dullness and uneasiness of the body, and is also called paschima-uttana (the posterior crossed posture.) That wise man who daily practices this noble posture can certainly induce the flow of the air up through the anus.

93. Those who practice this obtain all the siddhis; therefore, those, desirous of attaining power, should practice this diligently.

94. This should be kept secret with the greatest care, and not be given to anybody and everybody. Through it, vayu-siddhi is easilyobtained, and it destroys a multitude of miseries.

4. The Svastikasana.

95. Place the soles of the feet completely under the thighs, keep the body straight, and sit at ease. This is called the Svastikasana.

96. In this way, the wise Yogi should practice the regulation of the air. No disease can attack his body, and he obtains vayu-siddhi.

97. This is also called the sukhasana, the easy posture. This health-giving, good svastikasana should be kept secret by the Yogi.

CHAPTER IV.

Yoni-Mudra. The Sacred Drink of the Kaulas.

1. First with a strong inspiration fix the mind in the adhar lotus. Then engage in contracting the Yoni, which is situated in the perineal space.

2. There let him contemplate that the God of love resides in that Brahma Yoni and that he is beautiful like Bandhuk flower (Pentapetes pheanicia)– brilliant as tens of millions of suns, and cool as tens of millions of moons. Above this (Yoni) is a small and subtle flame, whose form is intelligence. Then let him imagine that a union takes place there between himself and that flame (the Siva and Sakti).

3. (Then imagine that) – There go up through the sushumna vessel, three bodies in their due order (i.e., the etheric, the astral and the mental bodies). There is emitted in every chakra the nectar, the characteristic of which is great bliss. Its colour is whitish rosey (pink), full of splendor, showering down in jets the immortal fluid. Let him drink this wine of immortality which is divine, and then again enter the Kula (i.e., perineal space.) Note. While these subtle bodies go up, they drink at every stage this nectar, called Kulamrita.

4. Then let him go again to the Kula through the practice of mantrayoga (i.e., pranayama). This Yoni has been called by me in the Tantras as equal to life.

5. Again let him be absorbed in that Yoni, where dwells the fire of death – the nature of Shiva, Thus has been described by me the method of practicing the great Yoni-mudra. From success in its practice, there is nothing which cannot be accomplished.

6. Even those mantras which are deformed (chhinna) or paralyzed (Kilita), scorched (stambhita) by fire, or whose flame has become attenuated, or are dark, and ought to be abandoned, or which are evil, or too old, or which are proud of their budding youth, or have gone over to the side of the enemy, or weak and essenceless without vitality; or which have been divided into hundreds of parts, even they become fertile through time and method. All these can give powers and emancipation when properly given to the disciple by the Guru, after having initiated him according to proper rites, and bathed him a thousand times. This Yoni-mudra has been described, in order that the student may deserve (to be initiated into the mysteries of) and receive the mantras.

7. He who practices Yoni-Mudra is not polluted by sin, were he to murder a thousand Brahmanas or kill all the inhabitants of the three worlds—

8. Were he to kill his teacher or drink wine or commit theft, or violate the bed of his preceptor, he is not stained by these sins also, by virtue of this mudra.

9. Therefore, those who wish for emancipation should practice this daily. Through practice (abhyasa), success is obtained; through practice one gains liberation.

10. Perfect consciousness is gained through practice. Yoga is attained through practice; success in Mudra comes by practice; through practice is gained success in pranayama. Death can be cheated of its prey through practice, and man becomes the conqueror of death by practice.

11. Through practice one gets the power of vac (prophecy), and the power of going everywhere, through mere exertion of will. This Yoni-mudra should be kept in great secrecy, and not be given to everybody. Even when threatened with death, it should not be revealed or given to others.

The Awakening of Kundalini.

12. Now I shall tell you the best means of attaining success in Yoga. The practitioners should keep it secret. It is the most inaccessible Yoga.

13. When the sleeping goddess Kundalini is awakened, through the grace of Guru, when all the lotuses and the bonds are readily pierced through and through.

14. Therefore, in order that the goddess, who is asleep in the mouth of the Brahmarandhra (the innermost hollow of sushumna) be awakened, the mudras should be practiced with the greatest care.

15. Out of the many mudras, the following ten are the best: (1) Mahamudra, (2) Mahabandha, (3) Mahavedha, (4) Khechari, (5) Jalandhar, (6) Mulabandha, (7) Viparitkarana, (8) Uddana, (9) Vajrondi, and (10) Shaktichalana.

16. My dearest, I shall now describe to you the Mahamudra, from whose knowledge the ancient sages Kapila and others obtained success inYoga.

(1) Mahamudra.

17. In accordance with the instructions of the Guru, press gently the perineum with the heel of the left foot. Stretching the right foot out, hold it fast by the two hands. Having closed the nine gates (of the body), place the chin on the chest. Then concentrate the vibrations of the mind and inspire air and retain it by kumbhaka (so long as one can comfortably keep it). This is the Mahamudra, held secret in all the Tantras. The steady-minded Yogi, having practiced it on the left side should then practice it on the right side; and in all cases must be firm in pranayama – the regulation of his breath.

18. In this way, even the most unfortunate Yogi might obtain success. By this means all the vessels of the body are roused and stirred into activity; the life is increased and its decay is checked, and all sins are destroyed. All diseases are healed, and the gastric fire is increased. It gives faultless beauty to the body, and destroys decay and death. All fruits of desire and pleasure are obtained, and the senses are conquered. The Yogi fixed in meditation acquires all the above-mentioned things, through practice. There should be no hesitation in doing so.

19. O ye worshipped of the gods! know that this mudra is to be kept secret with the greatest care. Obtaining this, the Yogi crosses the ocean of the world.

20. This Mudra, described by me, is the giver of all desires to the practitioner; it should be practiced in secrecy, and ought never to be given to everybody.

(2) Maha-Bandha.

21. Then (after Mahamudra), having extended the (right) foot, place it on the (left) thigh; contract the perineum, and draw the apana vayu upwards and join it with the samana vayu; bend the prana vayu downwards, and then let the wise Yogi bind them in trinity in the navel (i.e. the prana and the apana should be joined with the Samana in the navel. I have told you how the Mahabandha, which shows the way to emancipation. By this, all the fluids in the vessels of the body of the Yogi are propelled towards the head. This should be practiced with great care, alternately with both feet.

22. Through this practice, the wind enters the middle channel of Sushumna, the body is invigorated by it, the bones are firmly knitted, the heart of the Yogi becomes full (of cheerfulness). By this Bandha, the great Yogi accomplishes all his desires.

(3) Maha-Vedha.

23. O goddess of the three worlds! when the Yogi, while performing the Mahabandha, causes the union of the prana and apana vayus and filling in the viscera with air drives it slowly towards the nates, it is called Mahavedha.

24. The best of the Yogis having, through the help of the vayu, pierced with this perforator the knot which is in the path of sushumna, should then pierce the knot of Brahma.

25. He who practices this Mahavedha with great secrecy, obtains vayu-siddhi (success over the wind). It destroys decay and death.

26. The gods residing in the chakras tremble owing to the gentle influx and efflux of air in pranayama; the great goddess, Kunali Maha Maya, is also absorbed in the mount Kailasa.

27. The Mahamudra and Mahabandha become fruitless if they are not followed by Mahavedha; therefore, the Yogi should practices all these three successively with great care.

28. He who practices these three daily four times with great care, undoubtedly conquers death within six months.

29. Only the siddha knows the importance of these three and no one else; knowing these, the practitioner obtains all success.

30. This should be kept in great secrecy by the practitioner desirous of obtaining power; otherwise, it is certain that the coveted powers can never be obtained through the practice of Mudras.

(4) Khechari.

31. The wise Yogi, sitting in vajrasana posture, in a place free from all disturbance, should firmly fix his gaze on the spot in the middle of the two eyebrows; and reversing the tongue backwards, fix it in the hollow under the epiglottis, placing it with great care on the mouth of the well of nectar, (i.e. closing up the air passage). This mudra, described by me at the request of my devotees, is the Khecharimudra.

32. O, my beloved! know this to be the source of all success, always practicing it let him drink the ambrosia daily. By this he obtains vigraha-siddhi (power over the microcosm), even as a lion over the elephant of death.

33. Whether pure or impure, in whatever condition one may be, if success be obtained in Khechari, he becomes pure. There is no doubt of it.

34. He who practices it even for a moment crosses the great ocean of sins, and having enjoyed the pleasures of Deva-world is born into a noble family.

35. He who practices this Khecharimudra calmly and without laziness counts as seconds the period of hundred Brahmas.

36. He who knows this Khecharimudra according to the instructions of his Guru, obtains the highest end, though immersed in great sins.

37. O, ye adored of gods! this mudra, dear as life, should not be given to everybody; it should be kept concealed with great care.

(5) Jalandhara.

38. Having contracted the muscles of the throat press the chin on the breast. This is said to be the Jalandhara- Mudra. Even gods reckon it as inestimable. The fire in the region of the navel (i.e., the gastric juice) drinks the nectar which exudes out of the thousand-petalled lotus. (In order to prevent the nectar to be thus consumed), he should practice this bandha.

39. Through this bandha, the wise Yogi himself drinks the nectar, and, obtaining immortality, enjoys the three worlds.

40. This Jalandhara-bandha is the giver of success to the practitioner; the Yogi desirous of success should practice it daily.

(6) Mula-bandha.

41. Pressing well the anus with the heel, forcibly draw upwards the apana vayu slowly by practice. This is described as the Mula-bandha – the destroyer of decay and death.

42. If, in the course of the practice of this mudra, the Yogi can unite the apana with the prana vayu, then it becomes of course the Yoni-mudra.

43. He who has accomplished Yoni-mudra, what can he not accomplish in this world. Sitting in the padmasana posture, free from idleness, the Yogi, leaving the ground, moves through the air, by the virtue of this mudra.

44. If the wise Yogi is desirous of crossing the ocean of the world, let him practice this bandha in secret, in a retired place.

(7) Viparit-karana.

45. Putting the head on the ground, let him stretch out his legs upwards, moving them round and round. This is Viparit-karana, kept secret in all the Tantras.

46. The Yogi who practices it daily for three hours, conquers death, and is not destroyed even in the pralaya.

47. He who drinks nectar becomes equal to Siddhas; he who practices this bandha becomes an adept among creatures.

(8) Uddana-bandha.

48. When the intestines above and below the navel are brought to the left side, it is called Uddana-bandha – the destroyer of all sins and sorrows. The left side viscera of the abdominal cavity should be brought above the navel. This Uddana-bandha, the lion of the elephant of death.

49. The Yogi, who practices it four times a day, purifies thereby his navel, through which the winds are purified.

50. By practicing it for six months, the Yogi certainly conquers death; the gastric fire is kindled, and there takes place an increase of the fluids of the body.

51. Through this, consequently, the vigrahasiddhi is also obtained. All the diseases of the Yogi are certainly destroyed by it.

52. Having the method from the Guru, the wise Yogi should practice it with great care. This most inaccessible Mudra should be practiced in a retired and undisturbed place.

(9) Vajrondi-mudra.

53. Actuated by mercy for my devotees, I shall now explain the Vajrondi-mudra, the destroyer of the darkness of the world, the most secret among all secrets.

54. Even while following all his desires, and without conforming to the regulations of Yoga, a householder can become emancipated, if he practices the Vajrondi-mudra

55. This Vajroliyoga practice gives emancipation even when one is immersed in sensuality; therefore it should be practiced by the Yogi with great care.

56. First let the talented practitioner introduce into his own body, according to the proper methods, the germ cells from the female organ of generation, by suction up through the tube of the urethra; restraining his own semen, let him practice copulation. If by chance the semen begins to move, let him stop its emission by the practice of the Yoni-mudra. Let him place the semen on the left hand duct, and stop further intercourse. After a while, let him continue it again. In accordance with the instruction of his preceptors and by uttering the sound hum, let him forcibly draw up through the contraction of the Apana Vayu the germ-cells from the uterus.

57. The Yogi, worshipper of the lotus-feet of his Guru, should in order to obtain quick success in Yoga drink milk or nectar in this way.

58. Know semen to be moon-like, and the germ-cells the emblem of sun; let the Yogi make their union in his own body with great care.

59. I am the semen, Sakti is the germ fluid; when they both are combined, then the Yogi reaches the state of success, and his body becomes brilliant and divine.

60. Ejaculation of semen is death, preserving it within is life; therefore, let the Yogi preserve his semen with great care.

61. Verily, verily, men are born and die through semen; knowing this, let the Yogi always practice to preserve his semen.

62. When through great efforts success in the preservation of the semen is obtained, what then cannot be achieved in this world? Through the greatness of its preservation one becomes like me in glory.

63. The vindu (semen) causes the pleasure and pain of all creatures living in this world, who are infatuated, and are subject to death and decay. For the Yogi, this preservation of semen is the best of all Yogas, and it is the giver of happiness.

64. Though immersed in enjoyments, men get powers through its practice. Through the force of his practice, he becomes an adept in due season, in his present life.

65. The Yogi certainly obtains through this practice all kinds of powers, at the same time enjoying all the innumerable enjoyments of the world.

66. This Yoga can be practiced along with much enjoyment; therefore the Yogi should practice it.

67. There are two modifications of the Vajrondi, called Sahajoni and Amarani. By all means let the Yogi preserve the semen.

68. If at the time of copulation the vindu is forcibly emitted, and there takes place an union of the sun and the moon, then let him absorb this mixture through the tube of the male organ [urethra]. This is Amarani.

69. The method by which the vindu on the point of emission can be withheld through Yoni-mudra is called Sahajoni. It is kept secret in all the Tantras.

70. Though ultimately the action of them (Amarani and Sahajoni) is the same, there are arisen differences owing to the difference of nomenclature. Let the Yogi practice them with the greatest care and perseverance.

71. Through love for my devotees, I have revealed this Yoga; it should be kept secret with the greatest care, and not be given to everybody.

72. It is the most secret of all secrets that ever were or shall be; therefore let the prudent Yogi keep it with the greatest secrecy possible.

73. When at the time of voiding urine the Yogi draws it up forcibly through the Apana-Vayu, and keeping it up, discharges it slowly and slowly; and practices this daily according to the instructions of his Guru, he obtains the vindu-siddhi (power over semen) that gives great powers.

74. He who practices this daily according to the instructions of his Guru does not lose his semen, were he to enjoy a hundred women at a time.

75. O Parvati! When vindu-siddhi is obtained, what else cannot be accomplished? Even the inaccessible glory of my godhead can be attained through it.

(10) Shakti-chalan.

76. Let the wise Yogi forcibly and firmly draw up the goddess Kundali sleeping in the adhar lotus, by means of the apana vayu. This is Shakti-chalan mudra, the giver of all powers.

77. He who practices this Shakti-chalan daily, gets increase of life and destruction of diseases.

78. Leaving sleep, the serpent (i.e. the Kundalini) herself goes up; therefore let the Yogi desirous of power practice this.

79. He who practices always this best Shakti-chalan according to the instructions of his Guru, obtains the vigraha-siddhi, which gives the powers of anima, etc., and has no fear of death.

80. He who practices the Shakti-chalan properly for two seconds, and with care, is very near to success. This mudra should be practiced by the Yogi in the proper posture.

81. These are the ten mudras whose equal there never was nor ever shall be: through the practice of any one of them. a person becomes a siddha and obtains success.

CHAPTER V.

1. Parvati. O Lord, O beloved Shankar! tell me, for the sake of those whose minds search after the supreme end, the obstacles and the hindrances to Yoga.

2. Siva. Hear, O Goddess! I shall tell thee, all the obstacles that stand in the path of Yoga. For the attainment of emancipation, enjoyments (bhoga) are the greatest of all impediments.

Bhoga (enjoyment).

3. Women, beds, seats, dresses, and riches are obstacles to Yoga. Betels, dainty dishes, carriages, kingdoms, lordliness and powers; gold, silver, as well as copper, gems, aloe wood, and kine; learning the Vedas and Shastras; dancing, singing and ornaments; harp, flute and drum; riding on elephants and horses; wives and children, worldly enjoyments; all these are so many impediments. These are the obstacles which arise from bhoga (enjoyment). Hear now the impediments which arise from ritualistic religion.

Dharma (ritualism of Religion).

4. The following are the obstacles which dharma interposes: ablutions, worship of deities, observing the sacred days of the moon, fire sacrifice, hankering after moksha, vows and penances, fasts, religious observances, silence, the ascetic practices, contemplation and the object of contemplation, mantras, and alms-giving, world-wide fame, excavating and endowing of tanks, wells, ponds, convents and groves: sacrifices, vows of starvation, Chandrayana, and pilgrimages.

Jnana (Knowledge-obstacles).

5. Now I shall describe, O Parvati, the obstacles which arise from knowledge. Sitting in the gomukh posture and practicing dhauti (washing the intestines by hathayoga). Knowledge of the distribution of the nadis (the vessels of the human body), learning of pratyahara (subjugation of the senses), trying to awaken the kundalini force, by moving quickly the belly (a process of hathayoga), entering into the path of the indriyas, and knowledge of the action of the nadis; these are the obstacles. Now listen to the mistaken notions of diet, O Parvati.

6. That samadhi (trance) can be at once induced by drinking certain new chemical essences and by eating certain kinds of food, is a mistake. Now hear about the mistaken notion of the influence of company.

7. “Keep the company of the virtuous, and avoid that of the vicious” (is a mistaken notion). Measuring the heaviness and lightness of the inspired expired air (is an erroneous idea).

8. Brahman is in the body or He is the maker of form, or He has a form, or He has no form, or He is everything – all these consoling doctrines are obstacles. Such notions are impediments in the shape of Jnana (knowledge).

Four Kinds of Yoga.

9. The Yoga is of four kinds: First mantrayoga, second hathayoga, third layayoga, fourth rajayoga, which discards duality.

Sadhaks (Aspirants).

10. Know that aspirants are of four orders – mild, moderate, ardent and the most ardent – the best who can cross the ocean of the world.

(Mild) entitled to Mantrayoga.

11. Men of small enterprise, oblivious, sickly and finding faults with the teachers; avaricious, sinful gourmands, and attached helplessly to their wives; fickle, timid, diseased, not independent, and cruel; those whose characters are bad and who are weak – know all the above to be mild sadhaks. With great efforts such men succeed in twelve years; them the teachers should know fit for mantrayoga.

(Moderate) entitled to Layayoga.

12. Liberal-minded, merciful, desirous of virtue, sweet in their speech; who never go to extremes in any undertaking – these are the middling. These are to be initiated by the teacher in layayoga.

(Ardent) entitled to Hatha Yoga.

13. Steady minded, knowing the Laya-Yoga, independent, full of energy, magnanimous, full of sympathy, forgiving, truthful, courageous, full of faith, worshippers of the lotus-feet of their Gurus, engaged always in the practice of Yoga – know such men to be adhimatra. They obtain success in the practice of Yoga within six years, and ought to be initiated in hathayoga and its branches.

(The most ardent) entitled to all Yogas.

14. Those who have the largest amount of energy, are enterprising, engaging, heroic, who know the Shastras, and are persevering, free from the effects of blind emotions, and, not easily confused, who are in the prime of their youth, moderate in their diet, rulers of their senses, fearless, clean, skillful, charitable, a help to all; competent, firm, talented, contented, forgiving, good-natured, religious, who keep their endeavors secret, of sweet speech, peaceful, who have faith in scriptures and are worshippers of God and Guru, who are averse to fritter away their time in society, and are free from any grievous malady, who are acquainted with the duties of the adhimatra, and are the practitioners of every kind of Yoga –undoubtedly, they obtain success in three years; they are entitled to be initiated in all kinds of Yoga, without any hesitation.

Invocation of the shadow (pratikopasana).

15. The invocation of Pratika (shadow) gives to the devotee the objects seen as well as unseen; undoubtedly, by its very sight, a man becomes pure.

16. In a clear sun-lit sky, behold with a steady gaze your own divine reflection; whenever this is seen even for a single second in the sky, you behold God at once in the sky.

17. He who daily sees his shadow in the sky, will get his years increased and will never die an accidental death.

18. When the shadow is seen fully reflected in the field of the sky, then he obtains victory; and conquering the vayu, he goeseverywhere.

How to invoke.

18b. At the time of the rising sun, or by moon, let him steadily fix his gaze on the neck of the shadow he throws; then, after sometime, let him look into the sky; if he sees a full grey shadow in the sky, it is auspicious.

19. He who always practices this and knows the Paramatma, becomes fully happy, through the grace of his shadow.

20. At the time of commencing travel, marriage, or auspicious work, or when in trouble, it is of great use. This invocation of the shadow destroys sins and increases virtue.

21. By practicing it always, he begins at last to see it in his heart, and the persevering Yogi gets liberation.

Raj Yoga.

22. Let him close the ears with his thumbs, the eyes with index fingers, the nostrils with the middle fingers, and with the reaming four fingers let him press together the upper and lower lips. The Yogi, by having thus firmly confined the air, sees his soul in the shape of light.

23. When one sees, without obstruction, this light for even a moment, becoming free from sin, he reaches the highest end.

24. The Yogi, free from sin, and practicing this continually, forgets his physical, subtle and causal bodies, and becomes one with that soul.

25. He who practices this in secrecy, is absorbed in the Brahman, though he had been engaged in sinful works.

26. This should be kept secret; it at once produces conviction; it gives nirvana to mankind. This is my most beloved Yoga. From practicing this gradually, the Yogi begins to hear the mystic sounds nadas.

Anahad Sounds.

27. The first sound is like the hum of the honey-intoxicated bee, next that of a flute, then a harp; after this, by gradual practice of Yoga, the destroyer of the darkness of the world, he hears the sounds of ringing bells; then sounds like roar of thunder. When one fixes his full attention on this sound, being free from fear, he gets absorption, O my beloved!

28. When the mind of the Yogi is exceedingly engaged in this sound, he forgets all external things, ad is absorbed in this sound.

29. By practice of Yoga he conquers all the three qualities (i.e., good, bad and indifferent); and being free from all states, he is absorbed in chidakas (the ether of intelligence).

A Secret.

30. There is no posture like that of Siddhasana, no power like that of kumbha, no mudra like the Khechari, and no absorption like that of nada (the mystic sound).

31. Now I shall describe to thee, O dear, the foretaste of salvation, knowing which even the sinful aspirant may obtain salvation.

32. Having adored the Lord God properly, and having completely performed the best of the Yogas, and being in a calm and steady state and seat, let the wise Yogi initiate himself into this Yoga by pleasing his Guru.

33. Having given all his cattle and property to the Guru who knows Yoga, and having satisfied him with great care, let the wise man receive this initiation.

34. Having pleased the Brahmans (and priest), by giving them all kinds of good things, let the wise man receive this auspicious Yoga in my house (i.e., the temple of Shiva) with purity of heart.

35. Having renounced by the above methods all his previous bodies (the results of his past karma), and being in his spiritual (or luminous) body, let the Yogi receive this highest Yoga.

36. Sitting in the padmasana posture, renouncing the society of men, let the Yogi press the two vijnana nadis (vessels of consciousness, perhaps coronal arteries) with his two fingers.

37. By obtaining success in this, he becomes all happiness and unstained; therefore, let him endeavor with all his might, in order to ensure success.

38. He who practices this always, obtains success within a short time; he gets also vayu-siddha in course of time.

39. The Yogi, who does it even once, verily destroys all sins; and undoubtedly in him the vayus enter the middle channel.

40. The Yogi who practices this with perseverance is worshipped even by the gods; he receives the psychic powers of anima, laghima, etc., and can go everywhere, throughout the three worlds, at pleasure.

41. According to the strength of one’s practice in commanding the vayu, he gets command over his body; the wise, remaining in the spirit, enjoys the world in the present body.

42. This Yoga is a great secret, and not to be given to everybody; it might be revealed to him only, in whom all qualifications of a Yogi are perceived.

Various kinds of Dharana.

43. Let the Yogi seat himself in the padmasana, and fix his attention on the cavity of the throat, let him place his tongue at the base of the palate; by this he will extinguish hunger and thirst.

44. Below the cavity of the throat, there is a beautiful nadi (vessel) called kurma; when the Yogi fixes his attention on it, he acquires great concentration of the thinking principle (chitta).

45. When the Yogi constantly thinks that he has got a third eye – the eye of Shiva – in the middle of his forehead, he then perceives a fire brilliant like lightening. By contemplating on this light, all sins are destroyed, and even the most wicked person obtains the highest end.

46. If the experienced Yogi thinks of this light day and night, he sees the Siddhas (adepts), and can certainly converse with them.

47. He who contemplates on sunya (void or vacuum or space), while walking or standing, dreaming or waking, becomes altogether ethereal, and is absorbed in the chid-akasa.

48. The Yogi, desirous of success, should always obtain this knowledge; by habitual exercise he becomes equal to me; through the force of this knowledge, he becomes the beloved of all.

49. Having conquered all elements, and being void of all hopes and worldly connections, when the Yogi sitting in the padmasana, fixes his gaze on the tip of the nose, his mind becomes dead and he obtains the spiritual power called Khechari.

50. The great Yogi beholds light, pure as holy mountain (Kailas), and through the force of his exercise in it, he becomes the lord and guardian of the light.

51. Stretching himself on the ground, let him contemplate on this light; by so doing all his weariness and fatigue are destroyed. By contemplating on the back part of his head, he becomes the conqueror of death. (It has described before the effect of fixing one’s attention on the space between the two eyebrows, so it need not be enumerated here).

52. Of the four kinds of food (i.e., that which is chewed, that which is sucked, that which is licked and that which is drunk), which a man takes, the chyle fluid is converted into three parts. The best part (or the finest extract of food) goes to nourish the linga sharira or subtle body (the seat of force). The second or middle part goes to nourish this gross body composed of seven dhatus (humours).

53. The third or the most inferior part goes out of the body in the shape of excrement and urine. The first two essences of food are found in the nadis, and being carried by them, they nourish the body from head to foot.

54. When the vayu moves through all the nadis, then, owing to this vayu, the fluids of the body get extraordinary force and energy.

55. The most important of these nadis are fourteen, distributed in different parts of the body and performing various functions. They are either weak or strong, and the prana flows through them.

The six Chakras.

1. Adhar chakra.

56. Two fingers above the rectum and two fingers below the linga, four fingers in width, is a space like a bulbous root.

57. Between this space is the yoni having its face towards the back; that space is called the root; there dwells the goddess Kundalini. It surrounds all the nadis, and has three coils and a half; and catching its tail in its own mouth, it rests in the hole of the sushumna.

58. It sleeps there like a serpent, and it is luminous by its own light. Like a serpent it lives between the joints; it is the goddess of speech, and is called the seed (vija).

59. Full of energy, and like burning gold, know this Kundalini to be the power (shakti) of Vishnu; it is the mother of the three qualities – sattwa (rhythm), rajas (energy) and tamas (inertia).

60. There, beautiful like the Bandhuk flower, is placed the seed of love lam; it is brilliant like burnished gold, and is described in Yoga as eternal.

61. The sushumna also embraces it, and the beautiful seed is there; there it rests shining brilliantly like the autumnal moon, with the luminosity of millions of suns, and the coolness of millions of moons. The goddess Tripura Bhairavi has these three (fire, sun, and moon) taken together, and collectively she is called the vija. It is also called those who have attained success.

62. It (vija) is endowed with powers of action (motion) and sensation, and circulates throughout the body. It is subtle, and has a flame of fire; sometimes it rises up, and at other times it falls down into the water. This is the great energy which rests in the perineum, and is called the swayambhu-linga (the self-born).

63. All this is called the adhar-padma (the support lotus), and the four petals of it are designated by the letters (v), (d), (s,), (s).

64. Near this Swayambhu-linga is a golden region called kula (family); its presiding adept is called Dviranda, and its presiding goddess called Dakini. In the centre of that lotus is the Yoni where resides the Kundalini; the circulating bright energy above that, is called kama-vija (the seed of love). The wise man who always contemplates on this Muladhar obtains Darduri-siddhi (the frog-jumping power); and by degrees he can altogether leave the ground (i.e., rise in the air).

65. The brilliancy of the body is increased, the gastric fire becomes powerful, and freedom from disease, cleverness, and omniscience ensue.

66. He knows what has been, what is happening, and what is to be, together with their causes; he masters the unheard of sciences together with their mysteries.

67. On his tongue always dances the goddess of learning, he obtains mantra-siddhi (success in mantras), through constant repetition only.

68. This is the dictum of the Guru: “It destroys old age, death, and troubles innumerable.” The practitioner of pranayama ought always to meditate upon it; by its very contemplation, the great yogi is freed from all sins.

69. When the Yogi contemplates this adhar lotus – the Swayambhu-linga – then, undoubtedly, at that very  moment, all his sins are destroyed.

70. Whatever the mind desires, he gets; by habitual exercise he sees him, who gives salvation, who is the best both in and out, and whois to be worshipped with great care. Better than Him, I know none.

71. He who leaving the Siva who is inside, worships that which is outside (viz., worships external forms), is like one who throws away the sweetmeat in his hand, and wanders away in search of food.

72. Let one thus meditate daily, without negligence, on his own Swayambhu-linga; and have no doubts that from this will come all powers.

73. By habitual exercise, he gets success in six months; and undoubtedly his vayu enters the middle channel (the sushumna).

74. He conquers the mind, and can restrain his breath and his semen; then he gets success in this as well as the other world, without doubt.

2. Swadhisthan Chakra. (Prostatic Plexus).

75. The second chakra is situated at the base of the penis. It has six petals designated by the letters b, bh, m, y, r, l. Its stalk is called Swadhisthan, the colour of the lotus is blood-red, its presiding adept is called Bala, and its goddess, Rakini.

76. He who daily contemplates on this Swadhisthan lotus, becomes an object of love and adoration to all beautiful goddesses

77. He fearlessly recites the various Shastras and sciences unknown to him before; becomes free from all diseases, and moves throughout the universe fearlessly.

78. Death is eaten by him, he is eaten by none; he obtains the highest psychic powers like anima, laghima, etc. The vayu moves equably throughout his body; the humours of his body are also increased; the ambrosia exuding from the ethereal lotus also increases in him.

79. The third chakra, called Manipur, is situated near the navel; it is of golden colour, having ten petals designated by the letters d, dh, n, t, th, d, dh, n, p, ph.

80. Its presiding adept is called Rudra – the giver of all auspicious things, and the presiding goddess of this place is called the most sacred Lakini.

81. When the Yogi contemplates on the Manipur lotus, he gets the power called the patal-siddhi – the giver of constant happiness, He becomes lord of desires, destroys sorrows and diseases, cheats death, and can enter the body of another.

82. He can make gold, etc., see the adepts (clairvoyantly), discover medicines for diseases, and see hidden treasures.

4. Anahat Chakra.

83. In the heart, is the fourth chakra, the Anahat. It has twelve petals designated by the letters k, kh, g, gh, n, ch, chh, j, jh, ñ, t, th. Its colour is deep blood-red; it has the seed of vayu, yam, and is a very pleasant spot.

84. In this lotus is a flame called vanlinga; by contemplating on this, one gets objects of the seen and the unseen universe.

85. Its presiding adept is Pinaki, and the Kakini is its goddess. He who always contemplates on this lotus of the heart is eagerly desired by celestial maidens.

86. He gets immeasurable knowledge, knows the past, presentand future time; has clairaudience, clairvoyance and can walk in the air, whenever he likes.

87. He sees the adepts, and the goddess known as Yoginis; obtains the power known as Khechari, and conquers all who move in the air.

88. He who contemplates daily the hidden Banalinga, undoubtedly obtains the psychic powers called Khechari (moving in the air) and Bhuchari (going at will all over the world).

89. I cannot fully describe the importance of the meditation of this lotus; even the Gods Brahma, etc., keep the method of its contemplation secret.

5. Vishuddha Chakra.

90. This chakra situated in the throat, is the fifth, and is called the Vishuddha lotus. Its colour is like brilliant gold, and it is adorned with sixteen petals and is the seat of the vowel sounds (i.e., its sixteen petals are designated by the sixteen vowels – a, a, i, i, u, u, ri, ri, lri, lri, e, ai, o, au, am, ah.). Its presiding adept is called Chhagalanda, and its presiding goddess is called Sakini.

91. He who always contemplates it, is truly the lord of the Yogis, and deserves to be called wise; by the meditation of this Vishuddha lotus, the Yogi at once understands the four Vedas with their mysteries.

92. When the Yogi, fixing his mind on this secret spot, feels angry, then undoubtedly all three worlds begin to tremble.

93. Even, if by chance, the mind of the Yogi is absorbed in this place, then he becomes unconscious of the external world, and enjoys certainly the inner world.

94. His body never grows weak, and he retains his full strength for a thousand years, it becomes harder than adamant.

95. When the Yogi leaves off this contemplation, then to him in this world, thousands of years, appear as so many moments.

6. Ajña Chakra.

96. The two-petalled Chakra, called the Ajña, is situated between the two eye-brows, and has the letters h and ksha; its presiding adept is called Shukla Mahakala (the White Great Time); its presiding goddess is called

Hakini.

97. Within that petal, there is the eternal bija (the syllable tham), brilliant as the autumnal moon. The wise anchorite, by knowing this, is never pulled down.

98. This is the great light held secret in all the Tantras; by contemplating on this, one obtains the highest success, there is no doubt of it.

99. I am the giver of salvation, I am the third linga in the turiya (the state of ecstasy, also the name of the thousand-petalled lotus). By contemplating on this, the Yogi becomes certainly like me.

100. The two vessels called the ida and the pingala are the real Varana and Asi. The space between them is called Varanasi (Benares, the holy city of Siva). There it is said that the Vishwanatha (the Lord of the universe) dwells.

101. The greatness of this holy place has been declared in manifold scriptures by the truth-perceiving sages. Its great secret has been very eloquently dwelt upon by them.

7. The Thousand-Petalled Lotus.

102. The sushumna goes along the spinal cord up to where the Brahmarandhra (the hole of Brahma) is situated. Thence by a certain flexure, it goes to the right side of the Ajña lotus, whence it proceeds to the left nostril, and is called the Ganges.

103. The lotus which is situated in the Brahmarandhra is called Sahasrara (the thousand-petalled). In the space in its centre, dwells the moon. From the triangular place, elixir is continually exuding. This moon-fluid of immortality unceasingly flows through the ida. The elixir flows in a stream – a continuous stream. Going to the left nostril, it receives from the Yogis the name of the “Ganges.”

104. From the right-side portion of the Ajña lotus and going to the left nostril flows the ida. It is here called Varana (the northward-flowing Ganges).

105. Let the Yogi contemplate on the space between the two (ida and pingala) as Varanasi (Benares). The pingala also comes in the same way from the left side portion of the Ajña lotus, and goes to the right nostril, and has been called by us the Asi.

106. The lotus which is situated in the Muladhar has four petals. In the space between them, dwells the sun.

107. From that sphere of the sun, poison exudes continuously. That excessively heating venom flows through the pingala.

108. The venom (sun-fluid of mortality) which flows there continuously in a stream goes to the right nostril, as the moon-fluid of immortality goes to the left.

109. Rising from the left-side of the Ajña lotus and going to the right nostril, this northward flowing pingala has been called of old the Asi.

110. The two-petalled Ajña lotus has been thus described where dwells the God Maheshwara. The Yogis described three more sacred stages above this. They are called vindu, nada and sakti, and are situated in the lotus of the forehead.

111. He who always contemplates on the hidden Ajña lotus, atonce destroys all the karmas of his past life, without any opposition.

112. Remaining in this place, when the Yogi meditates constantly, then to him all forms, worships and prayers appear as worthless.

113. The Yakshas, Rakshashas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, and Kinnaras, all serve at his feet. They become obedient to his command.

114. By reversing the tongue and placing it in the long hollow of the palate, let the Yogi enter into contemplation, that destroys all fears. All his sins, whose mind remains steady here even for a second, are at once destroyed.

115. All the fruits which have been described above as resulting from the contemplation of the other five lotuses, are obtained through the knowledge of this one Ajña lotus alone.

116. The wise one, who continually practices contemplation of this Ajña lotus, becomes free from the mighty chain of desires, and enjoys happiness.

117. When at the time of death, the Yogi contemplates on this lotus, leaving this life, that holy one is absorbed in the Paramatma.

118. He who contemplates on this, standing or walking, sleeping or waking, is not touched by sins, even if it were possible for him to do sinful works.

119. The Yogi becomes free from the chain by his own exertion. The importance of the contemplation of the two-petalled lotus cannot be fully described. Even the gods like Brahma, etc., have learnt only a portion of its grandeur from me.

120. Above this, at the base of the palate, is the thousand-petalled lotus, in that part where the hole of that sushumna is.

121. From the base or root of the palate, the sushumna extendsdownwards, till it reaches the Muladhar and the perineum: all vessels surround it, or are supported by it. These nadis are the seeds of mystery, or the sources of all principles which constitute a man, and show the road to Brahma (i.e. give salvation).

122. The lotus which is at the root of the palate is called the Sahasrar (the thousand-petalled); in its centre, there is a yoni (seat or force-centre) which has its face downwards.

123. In that is the root of the sushumna, together with its hole; this is called the Brahmarandhra (the hole of Brahma), extending up to the Muladhar padma.

124. In that hole of the sushumna there dwells as its inner force the Kundalini. In the sushumna there is also a constant current of force called chitra, its actions or modifications should be called, in my opinion as Brahmarandhra, etc.

125. By simply remembering this, one obtains the knowledge of Brahman, all sins are destroyed, and one is never born again as man.

126. Let him thrust the moving thumb into its mouth : by this the air, which flows through the body, is stopped.

127. Owing to this (vayu) man wanders in the circle of the universe; the Yogis, therefore, do not desire to keep up this circulation; all the nadis are bound by eight knots; only this Kundalini can pierce these knots and pass out of the Brahmarandhra, and show the way to salvation.

128. When the air is confined full in all the vessels, then the Kundalini leaves these knots and forces its way out of the Brahmarandhra.

129. Then the vital air continually flows in the sushumna. On the right and the left side of the Muladhar, are situated the ida and the pingala. The Sushumna passes through the middle of it.

130. The hollow of the sushumna in the sphere of the adhar is called the Brahmarandhra. The wise one who knows this is emancipated from the chain of karma.

131. All these three vessels meet certainly at the mouth of the Brahmarandhra; by bathing at this place one certainly obtains salvation.

The Sacred Triveni (Prayag).

132. Between the Ganges and the Jamuna, flows this saraswati: by bathing at their junction, the fortunate one obtains salvation.

133. We have said before that the ida is the Ganges and the pingala is the daughter of the sun (the Jamuna), in the middle the sushumna is the saraswati; the place where all three join is a most inaccessible one.

134. He who performs mental bathing at the junction of the White (ida) and the Black (pingala) becomes free from all sins, and reaches the eternal Brahma.

135. He who performs the funeral rites of his ancestors at the junction of these three rivers (Triveni) procures salvation for his ancestors and himself reaches the highest end.

136. He who daily performs the threefold duties (i.e., the regular, occasional and optional ones) by mentally meditating on this place, receives the unfading reward.

137. He who once bathes at this sacred place enjoys heavenly felicity, his manifold sins are burned, he becomes a pure-minded Yogi.

138. Whether pure or impure, in whatever state one might be, by performing ablution at this mystic place, he becomes undoubtedly holy.

139. At the time of death let him bathe himself in the water of this Triveni (the Trinity of rivers): he who dies thinking on this, reaches salvation then and there.

140. There is no greater secret than this throughout the three worlds. This should be kept secret with great care. It ought never to be revealed.

141. If the mind becomes steadily fixed even for half a second at the Brahmarandhra, one becomes free from sins and reaches the highest end.

142. The holy Yogi whose mind is absorbed in this, is absorbed in me after having enjoyed the powers called anima, laghima, etc.

143. The man knowing this Brahmarandhra, becomes my beloved in this world; conquering sins, he becomes entitled to salvation; by spreading knowledge, he saves thousands of people.

144. The Four-faced and gods can hardly obtain this knowledge, it is the most invaluable treasure of the Yogis; this mystery of the Brahmarandhra should be kept a great secret.

The Moon of Mystery.

145. I have said before that there is a force-centre (yoni) in the middle of the Sahasrara; below that is the moon; let the wise contemplate this.

146. By contemplating on this the Yogi becomes adorable in this world, and is respected by gods and adepts.

147. In the sinus of the forehead let him contemplate on the ocean of milk; from that place let him meditate on the moon, which is in the Sahasrara.

148. In the sinus of the forehead there is the nectar-containing moon, having sixteen digits (kalas, i.e, full). Let him contemplate on this stainless one. By constant practice, he sees it in three days. By merely seeing it, the practitioner burns all his sins.

149. The future reveals itself to him, his mind becomes pure; and though he might have committed the five great sins, by a moment’s contemplation of this he destroys them.

150. All the heavenly bodies (planets, etc.,) become auspicious, all dangers are destroyed, all accidents are warded off, success is obtained in war; the Khechari and the Bhuchari powers are acquired by the seeing of the moon which is in the head. By mere contemplation on it all these results ensue, there is no doubt of it. By constant practice of Yoga one verily becomes an adept. Verily, verily, again most verily, he becomes certainly my equal. The continual study of the science of Yoga, gives success to the Yogis. Here ends the description of the Ajñapura Chakra.

The Mystic Mount Kailas.

151. Above this (i.e., the lunar sphere) is the brilliant thousand-petalled lotus. It is outside this microcosm of the body, it is the giver of salvation.

152. Its name is verily the Kailas mount, where dwells the great Lord (Shiva), who is called Nakula and is without destruction, and without increase or decrease.

153. Men, as soon as they discover this most secret place, become free from re-births in this universe. By the practice of this Yoga he gets the power of creating or destroying the creation, this aggregate of elements.

154. When the mind is steadily fixed at this place, which is the residence of the Great Swan and is called Kailas, then that Yogi, devoid of disease and subduing all accidents, lives for a great age, free from death.

155. When the mind of the Yogi is absorbed in the Great God called the Kula, then the fullness of the samadhi is attained, then the Yogi gets steadfastness.

156. By constant meditation one forgets the world, then in sooth the Yogi obtains wonderful power.

157. Let the Yogi continually drink the nectar which flows out of it; by this he gives law to death, and conquers the kula. Here the kula kundalini force is absorbed, after this the quadruple creation is absorbed in the Paramatman.

The Raja Yoga.

158. By this knowledge, the modifications of the mind are suspended, however active they may be; therefore, let the Yogi untiringly and unselfishly try to obtain this knowledge.

159. When the modifications of the thinking principle are suspended, then one certainly becomes a Yogi; then is known the Indivisible, holy, pure Gnosis.

160. Let him contemplate on his own reflection in the sky as beyond the Cosmic Egg: in the manner previously described. Through that let him think on the Great Void unceasingly.

161. The Great Void, whose beginning is void, whose middle is void, whose end is void, has the brilliancy of tens of millions of suns, and the coolness of tens of millions of moons. By contemplating continually on this, one obtains success.

162. Let him practice with energy daily this dhyana, within a year he will obtain all success undoubtedly.

163. He whose mind is absorbed in that place even for a second, is certainly a Yogi, and a good devotee, and is reverenced in all worlds.

164. All his stores of sins are at once verily destroyed.

165. By seeing it one never returns to the path of this mortal universe; let the Yogi, therefore, practice this with great care by the path of the Swadhisthan.

166. I cannot describe the grandeur of this contemplation. He who practices, knows. He becomes respected by me.

167. By meditation one at once knows the wonderful effects of this Yoga (i.e., of the contemplation of the void); undoubtedly he attains the psychic powers, called anima and laghima, etc.

168. Thus have I described the Raja Yoga, it is kept secret in all the Tantras; now I shall describe to you briefly the Rajadhiraj Yoga.

The Rajadhiraj Yoga.

169. Sitting in the Svastikasana, in a beautiful monastery, free from all men and animals, having paid respects to his Guru, let the Yogi practice this contemplation.

170. Knowing through the arguments of the Vedanta that the Jiva is independent and self-supported, let him make his mind also elf-supported; and let him not contemplate anything else.

171. Undoubtedly, by this contemplation the highest success (maha-siddhi) is obtained, by making the mind functionless; he himself becomes perfectly Full.

172. He who practices this always, is the real passionless Yogi, he never uses the word “I”, but always finds himself full of atman.

173. What is bondage, what is emancipation? To him ever all is one; undoubtedly, he who practices this always, is the really emancipated.

174. He is the Yogi, he is the true devotee, he is worshipped in all worlds, who contemplates the Jivatma and the Paramatma as related to each other as “I” and “Am”, who renounces “I” and “Thou” and contemplates the indivisible; the Yogi free from all attachment takes shelter of that contemplation in which, through the knowledge of super-imposition and negation, all is dissolved.

175. Leaving that Brahma, who is manifest, who is knowledge, who is bliss, and who is absolute consciousness, the deluded wander about, vainly discussing the manifested and the unmanifested.

176. He who meditates on this movable and immovable universe, that is really unmanifest, but abandons the supreme Brahma – directly manifest – is verily absorbed in this universe.

177. The Yogi, free from all attachment, consistently exerts himself in keeping up this practice that leads to jnana, so that there may not be again the upheaval of Ignorance.

178. The wise one, by restraining all his senses from their objects, and being free from all company, remains in the midst of these objects, as if in deep sleep, i.e., does not perceive them.

179. Thus constantly practicing the Self-luminous becomes manifest: here end all the teachings of the Guru, (they can help the student no further). Henceforth he must help himself, they can no more increase his reason or power, henceforth by the mere force of his own practice he must gain the jnana.

180. That jnana from which the speech and mind turn back baffled, is only to be obtained through practice; for then this pure jnana bursts forth of itself.

181. The hathayoga cannot be obtained without the rajayoga, nor can the rajayoga be obtained without the hathayoga. Therefore, let the Yogi first learn the hathayoga from the instructions of the wise Guru.

182. He who, while living in this physical body, does not practice Yoga, is merely living for the sake of sensual enjoyments.

183. From the time he begins till the time he gains perfect mastery, let the Yogi eat moderately and abstemiously, otherwise, however clever, he cannot gain success.

184. The wise Yogi in an assembly should utter words of highest good, but should not talk much: he eats a little to keep up his physical frame; let him renounce the company of men, let him renounce the company of men, verily, let him renounce all company: otherwise he cannot attain mukti (salvation); verily, I tell you the truth.

185. Let him practice this in secrecy, free from the company of men, in a retired place. He should not renounce the duties of his profession, caste or rank; but let him perform these merely, as an instrument of the Lord, without any thought of the event. By thus doing there is no sin.

186. Even the house-holder (grihastha), by wisely following this method, may obtain success, there is no doubt of it.

187. Remaining in the midst of the family, always doing the duties of the house-holder, he who is free from merits and demerits, and has restrained his senses, attains salvation. The householder practicing Yoga is not touched by sins, if to protect mankind he does any sin, he is not polluted by it.

The Mantra (Om, Aim, Klim, Strim).

188. Now I shall tell you the best of practices, the japa of mantra: from this, one gains happiness in this as well in the world beyond this.

189. By knowing this highest of the mantras, the Yogi certainly attains success (siddhi): this gives all power and pleasure to the one-pointed Yogi.

190. In the four-petalled adhar lotus is the bija of speech, brilliant as lightening (i.e., the syllable aim).

191. In the heart is the bija of love, beautiful as the bandhuk flower (klim). In the space between the two eyebrows (i.e., in the Ajña lotus), is the bija of Sakti (strim), brilliant as tens of millions of moons. These three seeds should be kept secret – they give enjoyment and emancipation. Let the Yogi repeat these three mantras (i.e., Om, aim, klim, and strim) and try to attain success.

192. Let him learn this mantra from his Guru, let him repeat it neither too fast nor too slowly, keeping the mind free from all doubts, and understanding the mystic relation between the letters of the mantra.

193. The wise Yogi, intently fixing his attention on this mantra, performing all the duties peculiar to his caste, should perform one hundred thousand homs (fire sacrifices), and then repeat this mantra three hundred thousand times in the presence of the Goddess Tripura.

194. At the end of this sacred repetition (japa), let the wise Yogi again perform hom, in a triangular hollow, with sugar, milk, butter and the flower of karari (oleander).

195. By this performance of Homa-Japa-Homa, the Goddess Tripura Bhairavi, who has been propitiated by the above mantra, becomes pleased, and grants all the desires of the Yogi.

196. Having satisfied the Guru and having received this highest of mantras, in the proper way, and performing its repetition in the way laid down, with mind concentrated, even the most heavy-burdened with past

Karmas attains success.

197. The Yogi, who having controlled his senses, repeats this mantra one hundred thousand times, gains the power of attracting others.

198. By repeating it two lacs of times he can control all persons – they come to him as freely as women go to a pilgrimage. They give him all that they possess, and remain always under his control.

199. By repeating this mantra three lacs of times, all the deities presiding over the spheres as well as the spheres, are brought under his dominion.

200. By repeating this six lacs of times, he becomes the vehicle of power – yea, the protector of the world – surrounded by servants.

201. By repeating this twelve lacs of times, the lords of Yakshas, Rakshas and Nagas come under his control; all obey his command constantly.

202. By repeating this fifteen lacs of times, the Siddhas, the Viddyadharas, the Gandharvas, the Apsaras come under the control of the Yogi. There is no doubt of it. He attains immediately the knowledge of all audition and thus all-knowinghood.

203. By repeating this eighteen lacs of times, he, in his body, can rise from the ground: he attains verily the luminous body; he goes all over the universe, wherever he likes; he sees the pores of the earth, i.e., he sees the interspaces and the molecules of this solid earth.

204. By repeating this 28 lacs of times, he becomes the lord of the Viddyadharas, the wise Yogi becomes kamarupi (i.e., can assume what-ever form he desires). By repeating these thirty lacs of times he becomes equal to Brahma and Vishnu. He becomes a Rudra, by sixty lac repetitions, by eighty lac repetitions he becomes all-enjoyer, by repeating one tens of millions of times, the great Yogi is absorbed in the Param Brahman. Such a practitioner is hardly to be found throughout the three worlds.

205. O Goddess! Shiva, the destroyer of Tripura, is the One first and highest cause. The wise attains Him, who is unchanging, undecaying, all peace, immeasurable and free from all ills – the Highest Goal.

206. O Great Goddess! This science of Shiva is a great science (mahavidya), it had always been kept secret. Therefore, this science revealed by me, the wise should keep secret.

207. The Yogi, desirous of success, should keep the hatha yoga as a great secret. It becomes fruitful while kept secret, revealed it loses power.

208. The wise one, who reads it daily from beginning to end, undoubtedly, gradually obtains success in Yoga. He attains emancipation who honours it daily.

209. Let this science be recited to all holy men, who desire emancipation. By practice success is obtained, without it how can success follow?

210. Therefore, the Yogi should perform Yoga according to the rules of practice. He who is contented with what he gets, who restrains his senses, being a householder, who is not absorbed in the household duties, certainly attains emancipation by the practice of Yoga.

211. Even the lordly house-holders obtain success by japa, if they perform the duties of Yoga properly. Let, therefore, a householder also exert in Yoga (his wealth and condition of life are no obstacles in this).

212. Living in the house amidst wife and children, but being free from attachments to them, practicing Yoga in secrecy, a householder even finds marks of success (slowly crowning his efforts), and thus following this teaching of mine, he ever lives in blissful happiness.

Having an Ayurvedic baby

Transformation of a woman into a mother begins right from the time she conceives and so does the planning for the upbringing and development of the child. Both the mother and the baby gets attached to each other by an inextricable innate bond, such that every minute act, thoughts, joys, sorrows, emotions, eating habits influences baby’s physical, mental and emotional growth. Further on as time passes by the baby also recognizes and responds to mother’s voice and feelings. The mother can comfort the baby by expressing her love and care through her emotions.

It is since ages that Ayurveda appreciates the importance of ‘Suprajanan’ ( The science related with – grooming the process of childbirth well in advance – right from preparation for conception, achieving spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional state of equilibrium of both mother and the foetus till the childbirth and thereafter in a definitely superior fashion).

‘Garbha’ is the foetus and ‘Sanskaar’ is the ritual performed for welcoming the arrival of the most awaited family member – The Baby. It is the preparation of both the would be parents, especially the mother who nurtures the baby in her womb for the upcoming desired course of time.

We plan our Birthday celebrations, wedding ceremonies, anniversaries, our finances, travels and lot many things, then why miss an opportunity to plan our baby? which is the most wonderful and divine blessing of our life. With this facility we can design and modify our physical and mental needs and activities, our work schedules, plan our diet, exercises, lifestyle and thus bestow upon health, intelligence, devotion, moral values, valor, courage, energy and elegance  in the offspring. The procedure starts almost 3-4 months prior to conception. A planned pregnancy is always superior in all aspects to an unscheduled one. You can imagine with this understanding now what a loss it is to not plan the best for your babys health as well as by the end of this article why people that are infertile are imbalanced and to force a preganancy is only giving that imbalance to the child.

Thus Garbha sanskaar is the process of developing the course of childbirth into the most momentous experience and creation of a healthful conscious being.

The Garbha sanskar process basically comprises of three stages :

I) Preconception (Beej sanskar)

II) Duration of Pregnancy (Garbhasanskar)

III) Post Delivery (Bal sanskar)

I) Bija Sanskar –

  1. Creating awareness and learning the importance of Garbhasanskar.
  2.  Determining Prakriti (Body constitution) of both the parents after proper examination from a real Ayurvedic doctor, not a Western practitioner, to get acquainted with their medical history if any.
  3. Bija shuddhi (Shodhan sanskar) by Panchakarma so that Ovum (Matru bija) and Sperm (Pitru bija) are in its best & purest form and devoid of any abnormalities or genetic disorders.
  4. Treatments for any associated ailments which can cause problems in fertility
  5. Treatments for conceiving Physically, mentally and emotionally healthy offspring.  This can be achieved by panchakarma, Rasayan (rejuvination) and Vajikar (aphrodisiac) medicines.
  6. Associated treatments which enhance the internal environment in the womb like Uttar basti, Pichu dharan and Dhawan.
  7. Dietary education.
  8. Yoga, exercise and meditation.
  9. Study about probable days for conception, also how to conceive the desired sex of the child

II) Garbha sanskar –

Garbha sanskar is the stage where importantly mother is the one who is related to the foetus, and she should be taken care of . This is known as Garbhini Paricharya in Ayurveda. The phase begins from the time since pregnancy occurs till the birth of the baby.

The first three months of pregnancy are very essential and mother should receive all the love and care; as during these days the foetus is unstable inside the womb, it needs time and nourishment to gain the stability. In the second trimester the foetus attains the necessary stability and the focus is mainly on the evenly growth of the baby. In the third trimester the emphasis lays upon adding a golden touch to the child’s physical and mental development through medicines and other activities, taking care of baby’s weight, and also preparing the mother for labor.

Knowing your baby – Making the parents aware about the month-wise normal growth and development of the baby inside the womb, this strengthens the emotional bond.

During pregnancy the woman goes through hormonal variations, resulting in emotional and physical changes, which can be overcome with the help of a comforting and understanding spouse.

Solutions for common ailments like morning sickness,  vomiting, in early pregnancy, and backache, acidity, pedal oedema etc in the later phase. Awareness about these common complaints reduces anxiety and stress .

Nutrition – Dietary advise and medicines corresponding to the month of pregnancy and development of the baby. Parents need to be explained the importance of proper nutrition, timely meals, and healthy meals. Few dietary and lifestyle habits have to be brought into practice monthwise as per doctor’s advise. Foods which are to be avoided during pregnancy are equally important.

Exercise – Exercise basically includes Breathing exercises, Yoga and meditation. Again type of exercise varies trimester-wise and according to associated conditions/ complaints if any. Yoga and meditation helps to reduce stress, keeps your body fit and active and in the long run builds up your stamina for delivery. Exercise should be done under supervision of experts.

Role of  Auto-suggestion and Music – It is a proven fact that since seventh month, baby inside the womb can listen to mother’s voice, external sounds, and music; hence it is suggested that mother should spare some time daily and communicate with her baby. she should listen to good music instruments like flute, veena, etc. indulge into meditation, listen, read aloud religious books or hymns, etc which conveys moral values & good thoughts to the baby. It is even told to read or listen to chants of the vedas.

Preparing for Child-birth or Labor – The spouse is made aware of the process of normal labor and stages of the same. Signs and symptoms of initiation of labor is well explained so that they would be able to make a right decision of when to go to hospital. A list of necessary things to carry along is handed over.

Mother care after delivery – The mother undergoes physical and emotional variations due to changes in hormonal levels after the delivery. A proper care and comfort can easily help her. She is advised about her dietary habits and daily regime which will help her keep fit and active thereafter.

III) Bal Sanskar –

Bal sanskar is introduction to baby care, it includes topics like proper techniques of holding the baby, safety issues while sleeping, feeding, sanitation of the baby. Management of common complaints of baby like colic pain, gases, vomiting, etc. settling down a crying baby.

Mother is taught basics of Breast feeding, Do’s and Dont’s during and after feeding. Importance and techniques of massage and bathing are taught to the mother.

Last but not the least, vaccination schedule is explained, along with the importance of suvarna prasham sanskar – An Ayurvedic immunity booster.

A healthy child and a healthy mother is the goal.

Diet:

Dietary regimen in pregnancy is one of the most essential aspect which should be taken care of; as the growth of the foetus solely depends upon the health and nutrition of the mother. The Ahara- rasa i.e. nutrition or energy obtained from the mother’s diet serves three important functions, firstly nourishment of the mother herself, nourishment and growth of the baby, and lastly preparation for formation of stanya, i.e. breast milk.

There is an increased need of balanced diet with good nutritional value during pregnancy, any negligence or deprivation in nourishment may affect physical and mental growth of the foetus or either lead to miscarriage, premature delivery or an under weight baby. Here this article will benefit you in planning your diet accurately during pregnancy.

Some basic dietary rules should be followed such as having timely meals is essential, it helps in proper digestion and keeps mother healthy. Mother should have freshly prepared food, which is easily digestible and healthy. It should be a balanced diet providing necessary nutrition for mother and baby. Dietary supplements like fresh fruits, vegetables, milk and ghee should be consumed regularly in desirable amount.

Include few things in diet corresponding to month of pregnancy which adds to the healthier development of the foetus.

  1.  First month – A pregnant woman should have atleast 2 glasses of milk everyday throughout the pregnancy, but particularly in first month milk should be consumed necessarily. If complaints like nausea, vomiting is present milk can be flavored with Elaichi, Shatavari kalpa, or milk masala containing almonds, cardamom, dry ginger, etc.
  2. Second month – It is suggested to take milk medicated with sweet herbs like shatavari, bala, etc. Adding 2 tsps of Shatavari kalpa to glass of milk will serve the purpose.
  3. Third month – The third month regimen explains adding honey and ghee to milk. One should keep in mind that honey should never be subjected to heat hence milk should be of room temp or luke warm. Another fact is honey and ghee together should always be taken in unequal quantity. You can mix 2tsps of ghee + 1tsp of honey to a cup of luke warm milk.
  4. Fourth month – The fourth month regimen recommends intake of fresh unsalted butter with crystal sugar.
  5. Fifth month – Fifth month regimen suggests increased intake of ghee alone or along with food. Minimum of 7-8 tsps of ghee should be consumed. Where ever ghee is mentioned it means preferably cow’s ghee.
  6. Sixth month – Ghee medicated with sweet herbs like Liquorice, Shatavari, should be taken early morning at empty stomach.
  7. Seventh month – Sixth  month regimen should be continued in seventh month.
  8. Eighth month – Sweet gruel prepared in milk proves beneficial if eaten in this month. You can have gruel made of rice, sooji, wheat vermicell, etc. Gruel should be taken once a day.
  9. Ninth month – Anuvasan Basti with medicated oil should be administered in the last month. It enables the foetus to acquire its normal position and helps in attaining favourable conditions for normal labor.

Sushruta explains the following rules to be followed by the pregnant woman till the delivery.

  • Immediately on the ascertainment of her pregnancy the woman should avoid all kinds of physical labour, sexual intercourse, fasting, day sleep, things that emaciate the body, late nights, indulgence in grief and fright, journey by carriage or any kind of conveyance that causes jerky movements.
  • Sneha karmas (Oliation internal and external), Rakta mokshana(bloodletting), Vegadharana(controlling natural urges) are completely avoided.
  • From the first day of conception the lady should be joyful, wear clean and white garment.
  • Engage herself in peace giving activities.
  • Live in devotion to the gods, brahmins, elders and teachers.
  • She should not touch/ come in contact with unclean, deformed, maimed persons.
  • She should forego the use of fetid smelling things.
  • Avoid dreadful sights, painful or agitating sounds and use of dry, stale, dirty food as well as that stored overnight.
  • Long and distant walks from home to resorts, cremation grounds, solitary retreats, chityas(a haunted or deified tree) and sitting in the shadow of the tree should be absolutely forbidden.
  • Indulgence in anger, fright or other agitating emotions of the mind should be deemed as injurious.
  • To carry heavy loads, to talk in a loud voice should be refrained from.
  • The practice of constant oil massage, udwarthanm (rubbing or cleaning the body with fragrant unguents or powders), etc should be given up.
  • Exercises which cause fatigue are discontinued.
  • The couch and the bed of a pregnant woman should be low, soft, and guarded on all four sides by a number of soft pillows or cushions.
  • Her food should be sweet, palatable (hridya), well cooked, prepared with appetizing drugs, unctuous and drava (liquid consistency).

Charaka explains the garbhopaghatakara bhavas (factors that damage the fetus) as follows.

  • The fetus dies in the womb or expelled out prematurely or dries up if the woman sits on rough, uneven or hard seat, suppresses urge of wind, urine, stools, undergoes strenuous exercises, takes hot food and eats very little food.
  • The fetus may delivered untimely by injury, compression, frequent looking at ditches, wells, waterfalls, traveling on a conveyance with excessive jerk, or hearing unpleasant words and loud sounds.
  • If she constantly lies down in supine position, the umbilical cord gets twisted around the neck of the fetus.
  •  The pregnant woman who sleeps in open place and moving out in night gives birth to an insane.
  • If she indulges in quarrels and fights the progeny will be epileptic.
  • One indulged in sexual intercourse gives birth to an ill-physiqued, shameless progeny.
  • If she is always under grief, the child will be timid, underdeveloped or short lived.
  • One thinking ill of others gives birth to a harmful, envious and woman devoted child.
  • One who sleeps constantly will give birth to a drowsy, unwise child with a deficient digestive power.
  • If pregnant woman takes wine constantly her child will be always thirsty, poor in memory and unstable mind.
  • One who uses pork regularly during pregnancy will have an offspring with red eyes, obstructed respiration and very rough body hair.
  • One who uses fish constantly during pregnancy will have a progeny with delayed closure of eyes or stiff eyes.
  • One who uses sweet things constantly during pregnancy will give birth to an offspring suffering from prameha (urinary disorders), dumbness and obesity.
  • If she uses sour things constantly during pregnancy, her offspring will suffer from internal hemorrhage, skin diseases and eye diseases.
  • On using salt thing constantly the offspring will suffer from early wrinkles, premature graying of hairs and baldness.
  • On using pungent things constantly the offspring will suffer from semen deficiency or infertility.
  • The pregnant lady who takes bitter things constantly will give birth to shoshi(consumptive),weak and underdeveloped progeny.
  • The pregnant lady who uses astringent things constantly will give birth to a blackish progeny who will also suffer from bloatedness of abdomen and udavartha (upward movement of wind in the abdomen).
  • The offspring of a lady who used excess godha mamsa (Alligator) will suffer from sharkara and ashmari. renal or (bladder stone)

Monthly regimens to be followed by pregnant lady (masanumasika charya)

First month:

  • She should drink Anupaskrta sheeta dugdha ( non processed cold milk ) in proper quantity.
  • She should eat saatmya bhojana, morning and evening. (Ch.Sh. 8)
  • She should take processed cold milk.
  • First 12days She should take Ksheerodhbhava sarpi( ghee extracted from milk) processed with Shaliparni and Palasha, followed by cold water which is pre boiled and cooled in golden or silver vessel.(anupana)
  • She should take liquid / semisolid saatmya food that has madhra rasa (sweet), sheeta guna(cold in potency), in the morning and evening.
  • Should not take Abhyanga(smearing the body with unctuous substance) and udwarthanam(rubbing the body with powders), and the doshakara bhavas( factors that damage the fetus) upto 5th month.(A. S.Sh 3)
  • She should take Madhura(sweet), Sheetala(cold in potency), and Drava aahara (liquid food). ( Su. Sh. 10)

Second month:

She should drink milk processed with madura aushadhas (sweet category drugs). (Vagbhatacharya mentions the same.) Sushruta recommends madhura (sweet), sheetala (cold), drava (liquid) food, in second month also.

Third month:

Charaka and vagbhata recommends processed milk along with madhu(honey) and sarpi(ghee).

Sushruta recommends Shastika shaali (variety of rice that grows in 60 days) with milk.

Fourth month:

Charaka says in the fourth month the pregnant lady should drink milk along with 1 aksha i.e. 12 gms of butter.

Sushruta recommends her to drink milk with butter, eat hridya (desired) food along with jangala (desert animal) meat, shashtika rice with curd.

Vagbhata advices to drink milk processed with sweet drugs along with one aksha quantity of butter.

Fifth month:

Charaka and Vagbhata say in fifth month the lady should take ghee extracted from milk.

Sushruta recommends shashtika rice with milk and ksheera sarpi (ghee extracted from milk).

Sixth month:

Charaka and Vagbhata recommends the ksheerasarpi (ghee extracted from milk) processed with drugs of sweet category (madhura oushadha).

Sushruta advices that in 6th month she should take ghee processed with Gokshura in adequate quantity or Yavagu (gruel) prepared with Gokshura .

7th month:

Charaka and Vagbhata advices to follow the regimen of 6th month in the 7th month also.

Sushruta recommends her to take a ghee processed with Prithakparni in 7th month.

8th month:

Charaka advices her to take a gruel(yavagu) mixed with ghee and milk in the 8th month. Acharya Bhadrakapya fears that by drinking this yavagu(gruel) in 8th month the baby may suffer from Paingalya (yellowish discoloration of the skin). But Acharay Aatreya says though the baby develops paingalya , by drinking this yavagu in the 8th month the pregnant lady will give birth to a strong, healthy, beautiful baby with a pleasant complexion, voice and built. Vagbhata’s regimen for the 8th month pregnant lady is similar to that of Charaka. Along with that he also prescribes Asthapana vasti(un-unctuous enema) using Badara leaf decoction, palala (Seasame paste), milk, curd, mastu, thaila, lavana, Madanaphala, ghee, madhu. This aasthapana vasti helps to clear the stagnated impurities inside the intestine. After wards an anuvasana vasti (unctuousenema) should be administered using madhukadi madhura oushadha siddha thaila (oil prepared with sweet category of drugs) in order to make the wind to move in downward direction (anuloma) because the pregnant lady who’s wind movement is in downward direction will deliver the baby without any difficulties.

After the vasti the lady should take ksheerayavagu (gruel prepared with milk) mixed with meat soup till delivery.

Sushruta also advices to give asthapana vasti to the pregnant lady in the 8th month in order to clear the retained impurities and to direct the wind in the downward direction. The asthapana vasti is administered using the mixture of badarodaka, bala, atibala, shatapushpa, palala, milk, curd, mastu, thaila, lavana, madanaphala, honey, ghee. After administering asthapana vasti, anuvasana vasti should be given using the oil prepared with sweet category of drugs and milk.

In the 8th month she should take unctuous gruels and meat soup of wild animals internally till the delivery. It is believed that the body of a pregnant woman thus treated becomes unctuous, gains strength and will have an uncomplicated delivery.

9th month:

Charaka advices to administer anuvasana vasti in the 9th month. Oil prepared with madhura skandha drugs is used for the unctuous enema. He also advices to do yoni pichu(keeping the cotton swab dipped in oil in the vagina) with the same oil as it helps in oliating the garbha sthana(uterus and garbha marga(vagilal canal).

Vagbhata recommends yoni pichu using the oil processed with sweet category drugs. According to Sushruta the pregnant lady should enter the Sootikagara (a special house built with all facilities to conduct the delivery and to nurse the child) in the 9th month after checking good time and start living there.

Why should a pregnant lady follow these regimens?

Vagbhata and Charaka says the pregnant woman who follows above regimens will have a mridu(soft) kukshi(abdomen), kati(hips), parshwa(waist), prista(back), skin and nails. Her bala(physical strength as well as immunity) and complexion will also improve. Vayu will move in downward direction. Her mala(stools), mootra(urine) and jarayu(amniotic membrane) will be expelled out through their respective routes without complications. She will give birth to a icchita(desired), shresta(famous), deerghayau(long life span), and nirogi (healthy) baby easily.

Hence the woman desiring excellent progeny should particularly refrain from unwholesome diet and behavior.

(Who would of thought that child birth does not need all kinds of chemical drugs that are in your unborn child’s blood stream just as strongly as your own? That the birth can be seamless and easy?

“You mean I will actually have to do stuff and follow stuff and there isn’t a pill that I can just take?”

This is the deepest disease of the western world. )

What are the symptoms shown by the woman who is ready to deliver the baby and how is delivery conducted in Ayurveda?

In modern texts the delivery process is explained in 3 stages. Similarly in ayurveda also the whole process of delivery is explained in 3stages.

The pregnant lady should enter the well equipped sootikagara in the 9th month after checking good time and wait for the symptoms of delivery.

1st stage: Premonitory symptoms of delivery

(Charaka)

Exhaustion of the body parts(Klamo gatranam), malaise on face, laxity in eyes, feeling of the loosening of the bondage from the chest, downward movement of the womb, heaviness of the lower parts of the body, Pricking pain in groins, perineum, waist, belly, sides and back, discharge from the vagina, lack of desire for food. Then gradually the delivery pains and amniotic fluid leakage follows.

2nd stage of delivery:

When the delivery pain begins, the bed should be made on the ground and the lady should be made to sit on the soft bed. Ladies with good qualities should attend her to educate and console her.

In spite of feeling the delivery pains , if she doesn’t deliver the baby the following steps , by which the fetus starts moving down are to be followed.

  • She should be asked to get up and take one pestle and pound the grains in the mortar slowly, in between she should take deep breathings and move around. But Lord Atreya disagrees with this. He says that severe exercise is always contraindicated for the pregnant woman particularly at the time of delivery because at this time all her dhatus and doshas are in mobile state, vayu(wind) impelled by the exercise with the pestle will kill both mother and fetus. Hence holding of the pestle is discarded only deep breathing and walking are performed.
  • The powder of ela kusta, langali, vacha, chitraka, chirabilwa and chavya should be smelt by the woman frequently. Or the smoke of the bhoorja patra or shimshapa sara may be inhaled.
  • In between the waist, flanks, back and legs should be massaged with the luke warm oil.

When it is felt that the fetus leaving the cardiac region is entering the pelvic region , is being fixed above the urinary bladder, the delivery pains are getting intensified and the foetus is moving downwards then at this stage she should be made to lie down on a cot and advised to strain.

One lady should chant “kshitijalam——— kartikeeyabhirakshatu” in her ear. Another lady should advise the woman not to strain in the absence of pains because her efforts goes in vain and her progeny may be deformed or may be afflicted with dyspnoea, cough, phthisis(shosha) and spleen disorders. So should follow the instructions of attending ladies. Initially when the pains are mild she should strain mildly, and gradually with stronger effort .The attending ladies should keep encouraging her saying, “just delivered a worthy son”. Thus she is filled with joy.

3rd stage of delivery:

  • Immediately after the child birth one should look for placenta(apara). In case if it has not expelled out , one of the attending ladies should press the area above the navel region with her right hand , hold her on the back with left hand and shake her body strongly. The pelvic region of the delivered woman should be rubbed with the attending lady’s heel. Her buttocks should be pressed strongly.
  • The delivered lady’s throat and palate should be touched with the tip of her hair.
  • The vaginal area should be fumigated with the leaves of bhoorja, kaachamani and slough of the serpent.
  • The paste of kusta, taaleesapatra is given to drink with one of the liquids like balwaja yusha or maireya or suramanda or kulattha yusha or decoction of mandookaparni and pippali.
  • The paste of sookshmaela, devadaru, kushta, naagara, vidanga, pippali, agaru, chavya, chitraka, upakunchika or the tip of the right ear of the living untamed bull, pounded on a grinding stone should be kept soaked in one of the liquids like balwaja yusha, maireya, suramanda, kulattha yusha, decoction of mandookaparni and pippali. For one muhurtha duration. Then filtered and administered to the delivered woman.
  • A cotton swab soaked in the oil prepared with shatapushpa, kusta, madanaphala and hingu are placed in her vagina.
  • An anuvasana vasti(oil enema) should be given with same oil.
  • An aasthapana vasti should be administered using the paste of madanaphala, jeemoota, ikshwaku, dhamargava, kutaja, kritavedhana, hastipippali, along with one of the liquids like balwja yusha or suramanda or maireya or kulattha yusha or decoction of mandookaparni and pippali. This non-unctuous enema makes the body expel the adhered placenta along with flatus, urine and stool.

Aacharya Vagbhata:

1st stage of delivery: (aasanna prasava lakshanas)

The premonitory symptoms of the delivery are same as explained by Charaka.

  • Klamogatranam( exhaustion of the body parts)
  • Nirmukta bandhane ivaksheeni ( feeling if loosening of eyes)
  • Nisteevika(excess salivation)
  • Mootra pureesha bahulyam(increased urge to pass urine and stools)
  • Shithila kukshita( loosened feeling in the abdomen)
  • Adhogurutwa(heaviness in the lower parts of the body)
  • Anannabhilasha( no desire for the food)
  • Vedana in hridaya, kati, basti, vamkshana(pain in the cardiac, hip, pelvic, groins) area.
  • Toda, bheda, shoola, sphurana in yoni region(pricking, cutting twitching type of pain in the vaginal area)

2nd stage of delivery:

When the head of the fetus starts showing in the vaginal opening,

  • A fruit having male name is to he given in her hand to hold during the delivery. Yavagu(gruel) with plenty of ghee should be given to drink.
  • She is made to lie down on her back , both the legs folded in the knee joint (lithotamy position), covered with a clean cloth except in the abdominal area. Then ashankhaniya(non suspicious), priyadarshana(pleasant and loving_, parinata vayasa(expert and elderly), prajanana kushala(expert in conducting delivery), pragalbha(honest), kritha nakha(with trimmed finger nails) ladies should attend her to give her the courage and to console her.
  • The powder of any one of the kushta, langali, ela, vacha, chavya, chitraka, chirabilwa should be smelt by her every now and then.
  • Or she is made to inhale the smoke of any one of the drugs like bhoorja patra, shimshapa, and sarjarasa.
  • Waist, back, hip, thigh region of the woman should be gently massaged with lukewarm oil.

With all these procedures the foetus starts moving down further and will show symptoms such as the foetus completely enters the abdominal area and leaves the cardiac region, it will get fixed near the basti shira( above the bladder) and the intensity of the pains will gradually increase.

If with these procedures the fetal head does not descend then the lady should strain strongly,walk around in the sootikagara and take deep breathings or yawning frequently. Then follow these procedures. When the fetal head starts showing in the vaginal orifice the lady is made to lie down on the cot . One attending lady should gently massage the vaginal orifice in anuloma gati(downward direction). Should press the buttock area with her feet. Another attending lady should instruct her to strain strongly when the pain appears and tell her happily that she will deliver a baby boy. The 3rd lady should chant the garbha prasava mantra in the woman’s ear.

The woman should strain slowly with less pressure in the beginning of the 2nd stage. When the fetal head starts showing she should strain with complete pressure till the baby comes out.

What should be done in the obstructed labour?

  • Fumigate the vaginal area with the slough of black serpent and madanaphala.
  • Tie the root of hiranya pushpa on the hands and legs.
  • The beads made up of the roots of suvarchala or vishlya(langali)are worn on neck and hands.

3rd stage:

In most of the normal cases the placenta is expelled out on its own. If it is not expelled on its own then Vagbhatachrya explains to follow these steps.

  • The area above the navel region is pressed with right hand and hold the back with left hand and shake her body strongly.
  • Press the pelvic area with the heel of the foot and press the buttocks strongly.
  • Touch the throat and palate with the tip of the hair
  • Fumigate the vagina with the leaves of bhoorja, kachmani and slough of black serpent. Or fumigate with bhoorja patra and guggulu.
  • Apply the ghee prepared with shaalimoola and fumigate the vaginal area with katkla, alabu, jalini, nimba and slough of black serpent.
  • If all of the above procedures fail then apply ghee on the clean hand with nails already trimmed is inserted into the vagina along with the path of the umbilical cord and remove the placenta.

Aacharya Sushruta:

Acharya Sushrutha also instructs that in the 9th month the pregnant woman should enter the sootikagara after checking good time etc.

1st stage:

  • Pain in kati(hips) and prishta(back).
  • Feeling of urge to pass stools and urine.
  • Mucus discharge from the vagina.

2nd stage:

  • These symptoms indicate that the lady is ready to deliver the baby. Immediately her body should be anointed with oil and washed with warm water and a fruit having of masculine name is given in her hand. Then plenty of yavagu(gruel) should be given to her with ghee.
  • She should lie down on a soft and spacious bed in supine position.
  • Parinata vayasaha(old), prajanana kushala(expert in conducting the delivery), karthita nakhaha(with trimmed nails) ladies should attend her.
  • One lady should gently massage her vagina in anuloma gati(downward direction), and instruct her to strain when she feels the pain. When there is mild pain in pelvis, supra pubic area she should strain lightly. When the fetal head starts showing in the vaginal orifice, she should strain strongly till the baby comes out. If she strains in the absence of pains she will deliver a mooka(dumb), badhira(deaf), kubja(short), vyastha hanu(dislocated jaw), moordhabhighata(head injury), kasa(cough), shwasa(breathing difficulties), shoshi(imaciated) and vikata(changed in appearance or ugly) baby.
  • In case of abnormal presentations, it should be corrected to a normal one.
  • In case of obstruction to the foetus in vagina then fumigate the vagina with the slough of black serpent or pindeetaka(madanaphala).
  • The roots of langali or suvarchala, or vishalya should be tied around the neck, waist and legs.

Sootika paricharya(postnatal care):

Acharya Charaka:

  • Once the placenta is expelled out , when the mother feels hungry one of the fats like ghee, oil, vasa( muscle fat), majja(bone marrow fat)should be mixed with panchacola powder given to her according to the suitability and digestive capacity. After she has taken the ghee and oil and wrapped round with a big clean cloth bandage so that vayu(wind) may not find any space to produce a disorder.
  • After the fat is digested, she should drink yavagu(gruel) prepared with pippali etc, and added with unctuous substance.
  • She should take hot water shower both the times before the intake of fat and gruel
  • This procedure should be followed for 5 or 7 days and later on nourishing food should be given to her.

Acharya Vagbhat:

  • Sootika should be anointed with bala thila soon after delivery. When she feels the hunger, one of the 4 fats, which will be digested in whole day should be mixed with panchcola powder or the powder of ajamoda, upakunchika, chaya, chitraka, vyosha, saidhava is given to her after considering her saatmya.
  • If the lady is not suitable for snehapana( oral intake of unctuous substance), then the fat should be processed with wind alleviating drugs or hraswa panchamoolas and administered to her.
  • Immediately after the snehapana her abdomen is applied with ghee and oil or any yamaka(combination of two fats) and wrapped tight with a long and strong cloth, so that the wind does not get any space to cause a disorder.
  • Once the ghee is completely digested a watery yavagu prepared with panchakola powder or ajamoda, etc powder is given to her along with vidaryadi gana decoction and milk in adequate quantity.
  • Before drinking the fat and the yavagu she should have a warm water shower.
  • These procedures should be followed for 3or 5or 7days, followed by yava, kola, kulattha yusha(soup) and light food for next 12 days.
  • Later on considering her digestive capacity nourishing foods like jangala mamsa rasa(meat soup of wild animal), etc are given to her.
  • She should always drink boiled and cooled water.
  • Now onwards she can undergo abhynga(full body oil application), udwarthana(rubbing the body with powders), parisheka(pouring warm liquids on the body), avagaha(tub bath) and she can take foods prepared with jeevaneeya(life promoting), brihmaniya(nourishing), madhura(sweet), vatahara(wind alleviating), hridya(good for heart) drugs internally.

These food habits will nourish the lady who has become weak due to pregnancy, delivery, etcand will give her a good health.

These regimens are to be followed for one and a half month or 45 days. For these 45 days the delivered woman is called sootika. After 45 days she can get back to her normal food habits. Some acharyas mention that these regimens are to be followed till she gets her menstruation.

Acharya Sushruta:

  • The body of the delivered lady is anointed with Bala thaila and treated with vatahara(wind alleviating) decoction internally and externally.
  • If the impurities are there in the body , then Gudodaka(jaggery water) with panchakola powder is given to her till the impurities are expelled out of the body. i.e. 2 to 3 days.
  • When the discharge becomes normal a gruel prepared with vidarigandhadi gana decoction, milk or fat for 3 days.
  • After 5 to 6 days she can take shashtika rice prepared with yava kola kulattha decoction and jangala mamsa rasa, according to her digestive capacity.
  • These regimens are to be followed for 45days or one and a half month, after which she can get back to her normal food habits.
  • Some acharyas advise to follow these regimens till she gets menstruation.

New born care( sadya prasoota shishu upachara):

Acharya Charak:

While the steps are being taken to expel the placenta one group of the attending ladies should perform following actions in respect of the new born child.

  • A sound should be produced by striking or rubbing two stones together near the base of the neonate’s ear.
  • Sprinkle cold or hot water on the face of the newborn. Thus the child recovers the vital breath which was stopped due to the distress so far.
  • If the child is not showing any movements he should be fanned with a winnowing basket(shoorpa) till he recovers.
  • Once he recovers breath and becomes normal, a warm water bath is given.
  • His palate, lips, tongue, throat should be cleaned with a cotton swab which is wrapped around the tip of the clean finger.
  • After cleaning the oral cavity, a cotton swab dipped in fatty substance is kept over the anterior fontanel.
  • Then induce vomiting by rubbing the mixture of saindhva lavana and ghee on the tongue.

After following above initial regimens to the child the umbilical cord should be cut.

  • Fix a point on the umbilical cord 8 angulas away from newborn’s umbilicus.
  • Both sides of the point should be held tight and cut with a sharp, half edged golden/silver/ steel instrument.
  • The end of the attached portion should be tied with a thread and tied loosely to the neck of the newborn.
  • If the umbilicus suppurates, then the oil prepared with lodhra, madhuka, priyangu, devadaru and haridra kalka should be applied and the fine powder of same drugs should be sprinkled on the umbilicus.
  • After the cord cutting mixture of honey and ghee in unequal proportion which is processed with mantras is rubbed on newborn’s tongue or is made to lick .
  • Similarly after chanting mantras the newborn is made to suck the right breast of the mother.
  • A pot filled with water is kept on the head side of the newborn after chanting mantras.

General measures to protect mother and newborn:

The maternity home should be surrounded by branches of aadaani, khadira, karkandhu, peelu, parushaka trees.

  • The seeds of sarshpa(mustard), atasi, tandula, kanakanika are scattered all over the maternity home.
  •  The oblation of offering of rice to the fire should be performed twice a day till the namakarana samskara(naming ceremony) of the child.
  • At the door of maternity home a wooden pestle is kept obliquely.
  • The drugs like vacha, kushta, kshemaka, hingu, sarshapa, atasi, lashuna, kanakanika are well tied in a cloth bag and tied at the front door. The same should be worn by the mother and the newborn in the neck and also put in the cooking vessels, water jars, cot, and both the panels of the door. These drugs help in repelling evil spirits.
  • There should be a fire burning constantly with kanakanika, or tinduka wood within the maternity home.
  • The attending women and friends should keep up the whole night near the mother and new born for 10 or 12 nights.
  • Moreover gifts, auspicious rites, blessings, praises, songs, playing musical instruments should be performed continuously in the maternity home.
  • The maternity home should be amply provided with food and drinks and be full of affectionate and happy people.
  • The brahmanas proficient in the Atharvaveda too should continuously offer propitiatory oblations to the fire twice a day for the well being of the child as well as the mother.
  • On the 10th day the mother along with the baby should take a shower with water processed with aromatic drugs, white mustard and lodhra.
  • Wear light, undamaged, clean cloth and auspicious, desirable, light and splendid ornaments.
  • Should touch auspicious objects, worship the appropriate deity and receive blessings from brahmanas wearing white cloth and have no deformity.
  • Wrap the baby in a clean and undamaged cloth and held facing east or north direction. Then the father of the child should say that the child is offering salutations to the deity and brahmanas. Having said so, the child should be given two names, one based on the nakshatra at the time of the birth and other popular name for the day to day use. The popular name should begin with ghosha(consonant) alphabets and end with antastha(semi-vowels) or ushma. There should not be a letter with vriddhi(diphthong), it should be similar to that in preceding generations and should not be newly established. The constellatory name is similar to the deity of the constellation and should consist two or four letters.
  • After the namakarana the child is examined for the knowledge of the span of his life.

Nursery for the child:

  • It should be well planned by the architect.
  • It should be spacious, beautiful, well ventilated, free from darkness and excess wind, strong, inaccessible for various animals, rats, and insects.
  • It should have a distinct places for water, pounding, urinal, lavatory, bathroom and kitchen.
  • It should be comfortable in the particular season, equipped with cot, chairs and beddings according to the season.
  • Protective measures, offerings, auspicious rites, oblations and expiatory rites should be performed well there.
  • It should be full of clean and elderly people, physician and affectionate people.
  • The beddings, chairs and coverings for the child should be soft, light, clean and perfumed.
  • Soiled cloths should be discarded. If there are no additional ones the same may be used after they are washed, dried and well fumigated.
  • For fumigation of clothing’s, cots, beddings and coverings the drugs like yava, sarshapa, atasi, hingu, guggulu, vacha, choraka, vayastha, golomi, jataila, palamkasha, ashokarohini and slough of serpent mixed with ghee are used.
  • Amulets made of the tip of the right horn of an alive rhinoceros or deer or wild bull should be worn by the child. The herbs like indri, jeevaka, rishbhaka or whatever indicated by the brahmanas conversant in Atharvaveda may also be used for wearing.
  • Toys for the child should be of various shapes, sound producing, beautiful, not heavy, without sharp edges, big (so that can not enter into the mouth) and should not be terrifying.

Behaviour of other people with the child:

  • The child should not be frightened. Hence when the cries or does not eat or is attracted to some other things, one should not try to subside him by frightening by calling the names of rakshasas, pishachas, putanas, etc.
  • If the child falls sick, then the physician should start the treatment after examining cautiously the constitution, etiology, premonitory symptoms, symptoms and therapeutic suitability. The drugs selected should be sweet, mild, light, fragrant, cold in nature. Because the children are suited to such measures and they get cured from the same.
  • In case of healthy baby, he should be maintained on the code of conduct for healthy and using the things contrary to the place, time and his self constitution.
  • The unwholesome habits should be gradually changed to the wholesome ones and thus all unwholesome should be avoided. Thus he attains the excellence of strength, complexion, physique and lifespan.
  • In this way the child should be looked after till he is an adult and gets the skills to acquire virtue and means of sustenance.

Acharya Vagbhata:

  • As soon as the child is born, the child is born the oral cavity is cleaned with saindhava lavana and ghee.
  • His body should be applied with bala thaila.
  • A sound should be produced by striking two stones together near the base of the new born’s ear.
  • If the child does not show any movement, he should be fanned with a winnowing basket, till he recovers and chant mantras in his right ear.
  • Once the child regains breath and becomes normal or looks healthy, his umbilical cord should be cut by tying it in two points with a silk thread 4 angulas away from newborn’s umbilicus. The cord is cut with a sharp edged instrument. The stump is tied loosely to the neck of the newborn.
  • The umbilicus is anointed with Kushta thaila.
  • Then a warm water shower is given using water processed with any one of the drugs like ksheerivriksha or sarva gandha dravyas or red hot gold or silver or kapittha patra.
  • The newborn’s tongue, throat and lips should be cleaned gently with the tip of tarjani(fore finger) wrapped with cotton.
  • One harenu matra of paste of indri, brahmi, shankhapushpi, vacha, honey and ghee is taken on a golden spoon or aswattha leaf , chanted with mantras by touching it with the tip of kusha is given to the new born. This helps to improve the medha(intelligence), aayu(life span), bala(strength) of the new born.
  • Similarly the powder of brahmi, bala, ananta, shatavari can also be given to the new born.
  • Then the newborn is made to vomit by giving saindhvalavana and ghee. This emesis helps to clear the chest, throat and it makes the child’s body lighter and improves the appetite.
  • Then jatakarma should be done according to the praajapatya vidhi.
  • Achaya vagbhata says that the breast milk secretion starts on 3rd or 4th day of the delivery. So what should be given to the newborn for those 3 days? He says On the first day ananta mixed with honey and ghee after purifying with mantras. On the 2nd and 3rdday lakshmana processed with honey and ghee is given. On 4th day ghee should be given two times and the breast feeding should be started. The quantity of the ghee on 4th day should be equal lent to the quantity that can be held in child’s own palm(panitala).
  • Every day a cotton swab dipped in oil should be kept in the ear passage and on the shringataka region.
  • The child should be made to sleep on a soft cloth bed with head pointing east or north direction. A pot filled with water and cleansed with mantras is placed on the head side. Similarly two more pots should be placed on both sides of the entrance door.
  • The branches of aadari, vidari, badari, khadira, nimba, peelu, parushaka are used for fanning child. Branches of the same drugs should be placed on all four sides of the maternity home.
  • The seeds like sarshapa, atasi, kanakanika are scattered inside as well as out side of the maternity home.
  • The oblation should be done in the morning and evening.
  • Maternity home should be fumigated using guggulwdi dhoopa explained in vranatreatment.
  •  The brahmanas who are proficient in atharvaveda should chant maayuri, mahamaayuri, aaryaa, ratnaketu, dhaarini in the morning and evening.
  • The drugs like hingu, vacha, turushkara, rakshoghna(mustard) are well tied in a cloth bag and tied on the front door. The same should worn by the newborn and mother in the neck.
  • Similarly mantras like aaryaa, parna shabari, aarya aparaajita are written on the bhoorja patra with gorochana, tied in a piece of cloth and worn by newborn child and mother. The same should be tied on the sides of the cot.
  • At the entrance door of the maternity home , a pestle should be kept obliquely.
  • A holy fire should be lit using tinduka woods and mustard, kandaka(rice) should be offered to this fire in the morning and evening.
  • Friendly and pleasant ladies should stay inside the maternity home.
  • On the sixth night, a special care should be taken to protect the newborn child by doing bali(religious offering) and homa(oblations to god by putting ghee into the fire). All friends and relatives should keep up on this night.
  • On the 10th or 12th day depending on their kula, gotra, aachara, etc the father should do the namakarana samskara.
  • Naming ceremony can be done on 10th,12th or 100th day or after one year. On the day of naming ceremony , a paste of manahshila, haratala, gorochana, agaru, chandana should be applied on child’s body.
  • The rules for selection of the name is similar to Acharya Charaka’s explanations.
  • After the naming ceremony the child should be examined for the knowledge of the span of life.

Nursery:

  • It should be well planed by an architect , completely equipped, clean, well ventilated and lighted. Elderly ladies and a physician should be there inside the nursery. It should be free from insects, rodents, etc.
  • Nursery should have distinct places for bathing, etc.
  • The mattress, bed covering, etc of the child should be soft, washed and dried fumigated with the rakshoghna dravyas ( drugs that protect from the evil spirits).
  • The cloths and beddings should be fumigated with vacha, ghee, kushta, shreevestaka, sarshapa.
  • One should not suddenly wake up the sleeping baby.
  • Soon after waking up one should not lift him high, by doing so he will be frightened and his urine and stools will be obstructed.
  • The paste of honey, amalaki, vyosha, brihatimoola, saindhava lavana should be applied into the oral cavity to reduce the salivation of the child.
  • Amulets made of tip of right horn of the alive rhinoceroses, deer or wild bull to be worn by the child. The herbs like indri, jeevaka, rishbhaka can also be used for wearing in the hands, head and neck. These things will improve the aayu(life span), medhaa(intelligence), smriti(memory) and swsthya(health) of the child. It also protects the child from raakshasas(evil spirits).
  • In the 4th month the child should be brought out of the maternity home. The child should be well dressed and should do namaskar(showing respect by bowing down) to the devatas(gods) before going out. The child should follow agni and skandha.
  • In the fifth month the child should be made to sit on the floor which is smeared with gomaya(cow dung) and offered oblations.
  • While sitting the child’s back should be supported and the back, hips should be gently massaged.
  • In the 6th month Annaprashana samskara should be done. As the quantity solid food intake increases the breast feeding should be reduced gradually.
  • In 6th, 7th or 8th month ear piercing should be done.
  • Up to one year the child should not be taken for outing in hot or bright sun. Any kind of shining objects, lightning and fire should not be shown to the child.
  • When the teething process starts, gradually the breastfeeding should be weaned off. Weaning off should be tried with sneha(love) and prema(affection), when these does not work out, pastes should applied on the nipples which looks like a wound .
  • Once the weaning process is started the milk processed with laghu panchamoola should be given to the child. Light and nourishing foods should be started gradually.
  • When the breastfeeding is completely stopped the child should be given a modaka(laddoo) prepared with priyalamajja, madhuka, madhu, laaja, sitopala.
  • Saktu(the fried barley flour) of baala bilwa, ela, sharkara, laja also can be used. This preparation acts as agnideepaka.
  • A tarpana of dhaataki pushpa, sharkara, laaja is used as sangrahi
  • After weaning if the child’s appetite increases abnormally, treatments of atyagni roga or paarigarbhika roga are done.
  • Then aacharya explains the quality of the care taker of the child.
  • If the child does not listen to his elders or throws tantrums, the child should not be scared by parents.
  • One should protect the child from jumping from heights and from the cloths falling on the face.
  • The place where the child plays should be free from metal pieces, stones, weapons, mud dust, etc. The play area should be sprinkled with water processed with vidanga or maricha or nimba.
  • The toys should make pleasant noise, should have pictures/ drawings on them, They should not be scary ones, should be huge, should not have sharp edges, should have the shapes of cow, horse, etc, animals or fruits.
  • When the child attains the appropriate age to pursue the education , he should be taught dharma(customary observances of a caste, etc), vinaya(discipline), etc which helps him to control his horse like indriyas(sense organs) during his yauvanavastha(young age).
  • Abhyanga(oil application on the body), udwarthana( rubbing the body with powders) and snana(shower) are done everyday.
  • Oil for Abhyanga is prepared using sahadeva, shaliparni, harenu, shwetakamala, chandana, brihati phala, tarkari, sarshapa, kushta, saindhava, ashwagandha, eranda, tila, apaamarga tandula, aatmagupta phala and goat’s milk. This oil helps to keep away all evil spirits and it is balya(that which improves the strength).
  • Powder for udwarthana:- The powder of same drugs are used along with 3 parts of chikkisa(fried yava choorna), curd and honey.
  • Powder of moorva moola, rajani dwaya, yava or kulattha powder or ashwagandha powder can also be used for udvarthana.
  • Water for bath:- The water for bath should be processed with sarvaoushdhi (eladi gana) paste.

Seasonwise care for the child:

  • In cold season (sheetakala) and Vasanta ritu the water for bathing should be processed with aaragwadhadi gana drugs. The ghee processed with vatsakadi gana drugs should be used internally for the child.
  • In greeshma ritu due to wind, hot sun(aatapa), sweat the child will attain klama(tiredness). So the milk processed with jeevaneeya gana drugs is to be given to the child in the morning. Or Saktu(fried barley flour) with adequate quantity of ghee and sita(candy sugar) can be given to the child.
  • If the child has the habit to drink more water then the ghee should not be given.
  • If the plain ghee is saatmya for the child, the ghee should be processed with kakoli, shrkara, meda, vamshalochana, yastimadhu and jeevaka.
  • A lepa(application of the paste) of kutannata or any cooling herb is applied on the child’s forehead.
  • Ghee processed with vidaryadi gana decoction, raasna, sarala, varshbhu, hingu, saindhava, devadaru can also used for internal use.
  • In sharad ritu ghee extracted from milk and processed with prapaundareeka, madhuka, soopyaparni, duralabha, priyalamajja, kakoli, vidari, katphala, amruta, draksha, ajashringi, dugdhika, ksheerashukla, ashwagandha, shringi, madhooka kusuma, meda, rishabhaka, jeevaka is used internally.
  • Brahmi gritha or saraswata gritha also can be used.

General care:

  • Powders of vacha, little swarna bhasma mixed with honey and ghee is made to lick by the child till he becomes one year old to develop his medha(intelligence), vani(speech) and agni(digestive fire).
  • Powders of hareetaki, pippali, kushta, haridra, sariva, vacha, mamsi, kaidarya in equal proportions are mixed with equal quantity of brahmi choorna. This mixture of powders should be given to the child with ghee up to one year.
  • Powder of above said drugs are mixed with the powder of any one of the drugs like doorva, moorva, brahma suvarchala, lakshmana, shwetakantakari, avyanda, shweta sarshapa, sahasraveerya, phalini, brihatipakwa phala, rohisha in equal quantity and used for children as well as adults.
  • One should protect the child from eating mud. Mud eating leads to paandu, shopha, shwasa, kasa, atisara, krimi, vamana, moorcha, agnimaandya, stanya dwesha, angaruk and bhrama.
  • The brush should not be used to child till his gums become strong(sthira).

Aacharya Sushruta:

  • As soon as the child comes out the jarayu(amniotic membrane) sticking to the face and oral cavity is removed and the oral cavity is cleaned with saindhava lavana and ghee.
  • A cotton swab dipped in ghee is kept over the brahma randhra/ anterior fontanel.
  • Then the umbilical cord should be cut 8angulas away from the umbilicus after tying it with a thread. The stump should be tied to the neck of the newborn.
  • After cutting the umbilical cord the child’s face should be sprinkled with cold water. Once the child looks comfortable jaatakarma should be done.
  • The mixture of honey, ghee and ananta choorna(gold powder) should be taken in the tip of the anamika(ring finger) and rubbed on the newborn’s tongue.
  • Full body abhyanga should be done with bala thaila and washed with warm water processed with one of the drugs like Ksheerivriksha, Sarvagandhodaka(eladi gana or chaturjataka), kapittha pattra or water dipped with hot silver or gold foil.
  • According to aacharya sushruta also describes that the breast milk secretion starts on the 4th day. So he advices to give a mixture honey, ghee and ananta powder after chanting mantras, three times a day on the first day. On 2nd and 3rd day ghee processed with lakshmana. On the 4th day a mixture of honey and ghee should be given in swapaanitala matra and the breast feeding should be started.
  • The child should be wrapped with silk cloth and made to sleep on a soft bed covered with silk cloth.
  • The child should be fanned with peelu, badari, nimba, parushaka branches.
  • A cotton swab soaked in oil is kept on the child’s forehead.
  • Fumigation should be done with rakshoghna dhoopa.
  • The drugs of rakshoghna dhoopa should be tied on hands, legs, neck and head of the newborn.
  • Tila, atasi, sarshapa should be scattered inside the maternity home.
  • A sacred fire should be lit inside the maternity home.
  • The regimens explained in vranitipasaneeya chapter should be followed.
  • On the 10th day the newborn’s parents should name the child according to the nakshtra.

How to behave with child?

  • The child should be lifted or handled gently as not to cause any discomfort.
  • The child should not be scolded nor suddenly roused up from sleep, as it might get frightened.
  • The baby should not be suddenly drawn up or suddenly laid down. This may result in the derangement of bodily wind.
  • The child should not be made to sit for long time as it might cause kaubjya(short stature).
  • The child should be fondled and amused with toys and play things. A child unruffled by these methods becomes healthy, cheerful, intelligent as he grows older.
  • The infant should be guarded against exposure to the rain, sun, bright light, lightning, grhachayas and dusta grahas. He should not be taken under the trees/ creepers, into empty houses, nimna sthanas like cave, well, etc.
  • The child should not be left alone in an unclean, unholy place nor under the sky(lonely or open place), uneven places. He should not be exposed to heat, cold, storm, rain, dust, smoke and water.
  • In the absence of mother’s milk, cow’s milk or goat’s milk should be given to the child in the proper quantity.
  • In the 6th month the child should be fed with light and wholesome food.
  • The child should protected from evil spirits by keeping him inside the house and by doing the religious rites.
  • The education of the child should be commenced at a suitable age and with suitable subjects according to his social varna(caste) or order he belongs to.
  • On attaining 25th year he should marry a girl of 12 years.

Drugs to improve the immunity:

The growth, memory, strength, intellect of the child can be improved by using the following medicinal mixtures.

  • Swarna powder, kushta, vacha, honey, ghee.
  • Mastyakshaka, shankhapushpi, swarna bhasma, honey, ghee.
  • Arkapushpi, vacha, swaena powder, honey and ghee.
  • Swarna powder, kaidarya, shweta doorva, honey and ghee.

Caesarian section in Ayurveda:

In Sushruta chikista sthana 15th chapter he explains about extraction of garbha shalya(dead foetus) with surgical intervention or decapitation of the foetus.

The live fetus should be delivered with various manipulations.

While explaining the causes for Moodha garbha in Nidana sthana 8th chapter there is a verse saying that if the mother is dead and the foetus is alive then the foetus should be delivered by doing udara vipaatana ( opening the abdomen by putting an incision). But there no description about the udara vipatana on living mother by aacharyas like Sushruta, Vagbhata and Charaka.

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