You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : October 1998

Control of Mind- Part 4 (The role of Yoga)
Date: Sun Oct 04 1998 - 07:06:12 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas,
Given below is Part 4 on Control of Mind.
Anbil Ramaswamy
Control of Mind- Part 4 (The role of Yoga)
Regulating the body, speech and mind is what it all means by the term `Yoga.'
We will discuss the role of ‘Control of Speech’ as a prelude to ‘Control of
Mind’ later. For now, let us see what Yoga coupled with Praanaayaama (in
short, ‘Control of the body’) can help in the control of the mind.
As there are different kinds of personalities, some reflective, some
emotional, others active and yet others empirical -- a distinct `Yoga' is
prescribed for each of these categories. It is discipline that distinguishes
an organized regiment from a motley rabble; it is discipline that
differentiates a genuine yogi from a fake yogi. By such regulation, physical
and mental equilibrium can be reached and all perturbance abated. 'Light does
not flicker in a windless place' says the Gita. When this equilibrium is
reached, a Quietus is ushered in the threefold activities of the body, speech
and mind.
This is also called `Nirvikalpa Samadhi,' because there is no doubt, no
confusion, no uncertainly but everything becomes clear in the union of the
individual soul with the Universal soul. 'Vikalpa' means doubt, confusion,
uncertainty and the prefix `NIR' denotes the absence of these.              
In Raja Yoga and Hata Yoga practiced by some, extreme postures are resorted to
especially in Tantric cults'. `Kundalini' -a psycho-spiritual energy, the very
energy of consciousness in the form of a serpent supposed to be lying coiled
between the genitals is sought to be aroused and believed to pass through a
series of six `Chakras' or `Yogic centers along the spinal column until it
unites with the seventh known as `Sahasrara' on the top of the skull resulting
in new states of consciousness including mystical illumination. These chakras
have been identified as --
i.  Muladhara	      (Root lying between Anus and Genitals- pubic-at the base
of the spine)
ii.  Svadishtana        (Bottom of the Genitals- below the navel-umblical -
iii. Manipurvaka      (Opposite the stomach-navel- solar plexis)
iv. Anahata             (Opposite the heart - At the tip of the nose-nasal)
v. Visuddhi	       (Throat-the hollow of the sinuses- Laryngical)
vi. Ajna Or Ajnakya (Between eye brows - on the forehead)	
vii. Sahasrara        (Top of the Skull- crown of the head -cerebrum)
The practitioners of `Hata yoga' explain that `HA' means `moon' and `THA' the
sun. The solar and the lunar currents flowing through the body constitute the
life force (Prana) which can be regulated by control of breath. As `Breath' is
equated with the `life-force.' They believe that the control of the one
automatically controls the other.
Hatayoga consists of the following  
1.  Asana (Postures), 
2.  Dhauti ( Cleanliness), 
3. Pranayama (Breath control) 
4.  Bandha (Locks that regulate the flow of Prana and 
5. Mudra ( Gestures).