About Pranayama

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Effect of Pranayama, Dharana, Pratyahara, Dhyana

Benefits

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Srimat Sarvajnanottra Agama - Yoga Pada 16

Original Verse: "प्राणायामैर्दहेद्दोषान् धारणाभिस्तु किल्विषअम् । प्रत्याहारेण संसर्गान् ध्यानेनान् श्वरान् गुणान् ॥१६॥"

Transliteration: "pra’n.a’ya’mair dahed dos”a’n dharan.a’bhistu kilbis”am ll 16 pratya’ha’ren.a samsarga’n dhya’nena’nas’vara’n gun.a’n l"

Translation: By the practice of pranayama, the sadhaka incinerates all the efilements. By dharana, he annihilates all of his sinful effects. By pratyahara, he maintains himself completely free from the negative thoughts and vices. And by dhya’na, he becomes capable of nullifying the effects of even those qualities which do not decay.

What is Considered Dharana, Yoga and Yogasiddhi

Description

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Srimat Sarvajnanottra Agama - Yoga Pada 24

Original Verse: "प्राणायामोओत्तमो यत्तद्विगुणा धारणा मता । धारणाद्विगुणो योगो योगोऽपि द्विगुणीक्रत​: ॥ योगसिद्धिरिति ग्येया शिवेन परमात्मना ॥२४॥"

Transliteration: "pra’n.a’ya’mottamo yattad dvigun.a’ dharan.a’ mata’ dha’ran.a’d dvigun.o yogo yogopi dvigun.i’kr’tah Yogasiddhiriti jn”eya’ s’ivena parama’tmana’"

Translation: Twice the supreme kind of pranayama is considered as dharana. Twice the duration of dharana is considered as Yoga. Twice the duration of Yoga is significantly known as Yogasiddhi exclusively related to Lord Siva, the Supreme Self.

What is Pranayama?

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Kirana Agama - Yoga Pada (16-17)

Original Verse: "पूरकः कुम्भकष्चैव रेचकश्च तृतियकः | पूरणात् - पूरको वास्पि यः कुम्भस्तन्निरोधकः ॥ 16 ॥ रेचनात् - रेचकः प्रोक्तः प्राणायामत्रयं कुरु | (17)"

Transliteration" "pūrakaḥ Kumbhakaṣcaiva recakaśca tṛtiyakaḥ | pūraṇāt - pūrako vāspi yaḥ kumbhastannirodhakaḥ ॥16 ॥ recanāt - recakaḥ proktaḥ prāṇāyāmatrayaṁ kuru |"

Translation: "Prānāyāma consists of three phases of breath-processes - pūraka, Kumbhaka, and recaka. Puraka is done by inhaling the breath inside (through the left nostril); Kumbhaka is the retention of breath for a fixed time; and recaka is done by exhaling the breath (through the right nostril). One should do prānāyāma three times before the commencement of the Yogic process."

Pranayama Defined

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Tri-shikhi-brahmanopanishad 94

Original Verse: "चतुर्भिः क्लेशनं वायोः प्राणायाम उदीर्यते | सहितप्राणायामलक्षणमाह- रेचनमिति ॥ ९४ ॥

प्राणायामारम्भसमये शरीरगतदुष्टवायुरेचनं ततः पूरणं ततः कुम्भकेन वायोः शोधनं पुनः निःशेषतो रेचनम्, एवं चतुर्भिः पर्यायैः वायोः क्लेशनम् उपक्रमप्राणायामः उदीर्यते | एवं प्राणायामत्रये कृते सति अथ यथोक्तप्राणायामयोग्यं शरीरं भवतीत्यर्थः ॥"

Transliteration: "caturbhiḥ kleśanaṃ vāyoḥ prāṇāyāma udīryate | sahitaprāṇāyāmalakṣaṇamāha- recanamiti ॥ 94 ॥

prāṇāyāmārambhasamaye śarīragataduṣṭavāyurecanaṃ tataḥ pūraṇaṃ tataḥ kumbhakena vāyoḥ śodhanaṃ punaḥ niḥśeṣato recanam, evaṃ caturbhiḥ paryāyaiḥ vāyoḥ kleśanam upakramaprāṇāyāmaḥ udīryate | evaṃ prāṇāyāmatraye kṛte sati atha yathoktaprāṇāyāmayogyaṃ śarīraṃ bhavatītyarthaḥ ॥"

Translation: Expiration (of foul air from the body), then inspiration (of pure air), then purifying the air (with the Kumbhaka), similarly expiration (once again completely); the exhaustion of air, by (repeating) the (above) four (processes), is said to be Pranayama.

Three Parts of Pranayama

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Darshanopanishad VI.1

Original Verse: "प्राणायामक्रमं वक्ष्ये सांकृते शृणु सादरम् । प्राणायाम इति प्रोक्तो रेचपूरककुम्भक्ऐः ॥ १ ॥"

Transliteration: "prāṇāyāmakramaṃ vakṣye sāṃkṛte śṛṇu sādaram | prāṇāyāma iti prokto recapūrakaKumbhakaiḥ ॥ 1 ॥"

Translation: I shall presently describe the method of Pranayama, O Samkrti, listen to it reverently. Pranayama is said to be (made up) of Recaka, Puraka and Kumbhaka.

Initiation and Devotion to Sadashiva

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: Kumbhaka Paddadhi 174

Original Verse: "योग-दीक्षां विना कुर्वन् वात-ग्रन्थिं लभते ध्रुवम् | सर्वज्ञेन शिवेनोक्तं पूजां सन्त्यज्य मामकीम् ॥ युज्यतः सततं देवि योगो नाशाय जायते ॥ १७४ ॥"

Transliteration: "Yoga-dīkṣāṃ vinā kurvan vāta-granthiṃ labhate dhruvam | sarvajñena śivenoktaṃ pūjāṃ santyajya māmakīm ॥ yujyataḥ satataṃ devi yogo nāśāya jāyate ॥ 174 ॥"

Translation: "O, Devi! Without proper initiation into the practices, one is surely prone to get morbid vitiation of the vital air. According to Śiva, without the devotion to Śiva, if one undertakes the practice, it leads to harmful effects."

Importance of Pranayama

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: Hatharatnavali (Chapter 3, Verse 82)

Original Verse: "ब्रह्मादोयो पि त्रिदशाः पवनाभ्यासतत्पराः॥अभूवन्मृत्युरहितास्तस्मात्पवनमभ्यसेत्॥८२॥"

Transliteration: "brahmādoyo pi tridaśāḥ pavanābhyāsatatparāḥ ll abhūvanmṛtyurahitāstasmātpavanamabhyaset ll 82 ll"

Translation: Even the gods like Brahma etc. became free from death through consistent prāṇāyāma. Therefore, one should do prāṇāyāma. 82.

Description of Breath

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Darshanopanishad VI.12-13

Original Verse: "पूरकादिलक्षणम् बाह्यदापूरणं वायोरुदरे पूरको हि सः ॥ १२ ॥ संपूर्णकुम्भवद्वायोर्धारणं कुम्भको भवेत् । बहिर्विरेचनं वायोरुदराद्रेचकः स्मृतः ॥ १३ ॥"

Transliteration: "pūrakādilakṣaṇam bāhyadāpūraṇaṃ vāyorudare pūrako hi saḥ ॥ 12 ॥ saṃpūrṇakumbhavadvāyordhāraṇaṃ kumbhako bhavet | bahirvirecanaṃ vāyorudarādrecakaḥ smṛtaḥ ॥ 13 ॥"

Translation: That is known as Puraka, wherein there is the filling up, in the belly, of the air from outside (the body), the holding of the air, as in a filled-up pot, is Kumbhaka, the expulsion freely of the air is known as Recaka.

Amantraka and Samantraka Pranayama

Pranamaya

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Additional Shastras: Two types of Pranayama

Apta Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: Nathamuni Yoga Rahasya I.96-97

Original Verse: "अमन्त्रकस्समन्त्रश्च प्राणायामो द्विधा मतः । मन्त्रप्रयोगस्सर्वत्रमधिक्रियामवलंबते ॥ सगर्भो मन्त्रसहितः विगर्भो मन्त्रविच्युतः । प्रशस्तो मन्त्र सहित इतरस्त्वधमस्स्मृतः ॥"

Transliteration: "amantrakassamantraśca prāṇāyāmo dvidhā mataḥ । mantrapraYogassarvatramadhikriyāmavalaṃbate ॥ 96 sagarbho mantrasahitaḥ vigarbho mantravicyutaḥ । praśasto mantra sahita itarastvadhamassmṛtaḥ ॥ 97"

Translation: "Pranayama is known to be of two types- Amantraka (without mantra) and Samantraka (with mantra). The use of mantra always depends on the practitioner’s adhikara (need and capacity).

Pranayama done with mantra is called Sagarbha Pranayama and that done without mantra is called Vigarbha Pranayama. Texts praise Pranayama which is done with mantra while the other type is considered lower."

OM Pranayama and The Sacred Syllable Om

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: Goraksh Paddhati (2, 2-5)

Translation: "[Yogic] exhalation, inhalation, and retention are of the nature of the humming sound (pranava) [i.e., the sacred syllable Om]. Breath control is threefold and endowed with twelve measures (mâtrâ). (2.2)

The [internal] Sun and Moon are connected with the twelve measures; they are not fettered by the network of defects (dosha). The Yogin should always know [these two principles]. (2.3)

During inhalation he should perform twelve measures [of the syllable Om]. During retention he should perform sixteen measures, and during exhalation ten Om-sounds. This is called “breath control” (prânâyâma). (2.4)

In the initial [stage of breath control] twelve measures [should be done]; in the middle [stage] twice as many are deemed [appropriate]; in the superior [stage] thrice as many are prescribed. Such is the qualification of breath control. (2.5)"

Pranayama and Kumbhaka - Essential part of Yogic Practice

Source: Yoga Kundali-Upanishad I 19-21

Original Verse: "प्राणरोधमथेदानीं प्रवक्ष्यामि समासतः । प्राणश्च देहगो वायुरायामः कुम्भकः स्मृतः ॥ १९ ॥ स एव द्विविधः प्रोक्तः सहितः केवलस्तथा । यावत् केवलसिद्धिः स्यात् तावत् सहितमभ्यसेत् ॥ २० ॥ सूर्योज्जायी शीतली च भस्त्री च्ऐव चतुर्थिका । भेद्ऐरेव समं कुम्भो यः स्यात् सहितकुम्भकः ॥ २१ ॥"

Transliteration: "prāṇarodhamathedānīṃ pravakṣyāmi samāsataḥ | prāṇaśca dehago vāyurāyāmaḥ Kumbhakaḥ smṛtaḥ ॥ 19 ॥ sa eva dvividhaḥ proktaḥ sahitaḥ kevalastathā | yāvat kevalasiddhiḥ syāt tāvat sahitamabhyaset ॥ 20 ॥ sūryojjāyī śītalī ca bhastrī caiva caturthikā | bhedaireva samaṃ kumbho yaḥ syāt sahitaKumbhakaḥ ॥ 21 ॥"

Translation: Then I shall presently relate briefly about the control of the vital air. Prana is air coursing through the body and Ayama is said to be Kumbhaka (holding under control). The same is said to be of two kinds: the combined (Pranayama) and that (which is practiced) alone by itself. One should practice the combined Pranayama till he attains success in the (practice of Kumbhaka) alone by itself. The Kumbhaka which is practiced along with Surya, Ujjayi, Siitali and Bhastrl as the fourth, that is the combined Kumbhaka.

The Qualities of The Breath

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Varaha Upanishad V. 18

Original Verse: "पूरकः कुम्भकस्तद्वद्रेचकः पूरकः पुनः । प्राणायामाः स्वनाडीभिस्तस्मान्नाडीः प्रचक्षते ॥ १८ ॥"

Transliteration: "pūrakaḥ Kumbhakastadvadrecakaḥ pūrakaḥ punaḥ | prāṇāyāmāḥ svanāḍībhistasmānnāḍīḥ pracakṣate ॥ 18 ॥"

Translation: "(Puraka) in-filling, (Kumbhaka) steadying, similarly (Recaka) expelling, then (Puraka) in-filling again, these are the (Pranayama-s), the ways of breath-rarefaction by means of one's own Nadi-s (air-tubes). Hence the Nadi is spoken of (in the sequel)."

Sagarbha Pranayama in 3 kinds, and control of breath

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Srimat Sarvajnanottra Agama. Yoga Pada 15

Original Verse: "उत्तमा मध्यमा मन्दास्सगर्भाः त्रिविधाः स्मृताः ॥ १५ प्राणायामांश्च तान् कुर्यात् पूरकुम्भकरेचकान् ।"

Transliteration: "uttama’ madhyama’ manda’s sagarbha’h trividhah smr’ta’h ll 15 pran.a’ya’ma’ms’ca ta’n kurya’t pu’ra Kumbhaka recaka’n l"

Translation: The specific kind of Pranayama known as sagarbha Pranayama is of three kinds – the superior, intermediary and slow. The sadhaka should practice the control of breath through Puraka (inbreath), Kumbhaka (retention of breath) and Recaka (out breath).

Description of Puraka

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Srimat Sarvajnanottra Agama. Yoga Pada 17

Original Verse: "उदरं पूरयित्वा तु वायुना यावदीप्सितम् ॥ १७ प्रणायामो भवेदेवं पूरको देहपूरकः ।"

Transliteration: "udaram pu’rayitva’tu va’yuna’ ya’vadi’psitam&& 17 pra’n.a’ya’mo bhavedevam pu’rako deha pu’rakah&"

Translation: "Inhaling the breath deeply to the extent possible and filling up the stomach with the breath taken inside is the mode of pra’n.a’ya’ma known as pu’raka."

Description of Kumbhaka

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Srimat Sarvajnanottra Agama. Yoga Pada 18

Original Verse: "पिधाय सर्वद्वाराणि निश्वासोच्छ्वासवर्जितः ॥ १८ सम्पूर्ण कुम्भवतृ तिष्ठत् प्राणायामः स कुम्भकः ।"

Transliteration: "pidha’ya srva dva’ra’n.i nis’vasocchvasa varjitah&& 18 sampu’rna kumbhavat tis”t’het pra’n.a’ya’mah sa Kumbhakah&"

Translation: "Closing all the passages meant for the flow of prana and keeping free from inhalation and exhalation, the sadhaka should remain seated like a vessel (kumbha) completely filled up to its mouth.This mode of Pranayama is known as Kumbhaka."

Description of Rechaka

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Srimat Sarvajnanottra Agama. Yoga Pada 19

Original Verse: "ततोर्ध्व रेचयेत् वायुं मृदुनिश्वास संयुतम् ॥ १९॥ रेचकस्त्वेष विख्यातः प्राणसंशयकारक ।"

Transliteration: "tatordhvam recayet va’yum mr’du nis’vasa samyutam | recakastves”a vikhya’tah pra’n.a sams’aya ka’rakah ॥19॥"

Translation: "The sadhaka should empty the stomach by slowly exhaling the prana. This mode of Pranayama is known as Recaka which is instrumental in driving the prana out."

Pranayama and Kundalini Awakening

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Vijnana Bhairava Tantra. 154

Original Verse: "व्रजेत्प्राणो विशेज् जीव इच्चया कुटिलाकृतिः।दीर्घात्मा सा महादेवी परक्षेत्रम् परापरा॥ १५४॥"

Transliteration: "vrajetprāṇo viśej jīva iccayā kuṭilākṛtiḥ | dīrghātmā sā mahādevī parakṣetram parāparā ॥ 154 ॥"

Translation: "Prana and apana, having moved swiftly in a distinct direction, by the wish of Kundalini, that great Goddess stretches (elongates herself) and becomes the supreme place of pilgrimage of both manifest and unmanifest. 154"

Vayusiddhi (Levitation) – Destroys Darkness of World

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Shiva Samhita. III. 42

Original Verse: "योगी पद्यासनस्थोऽपि भुवमुत्सृज्य वर्तते । वायुसिद्धिस्तदा क्षेया संसारध्वान्तनाशिनी ॥ ४२ ॥"

Transliteration: "yogī padyāsanastho'pi bhuvamutsṛjya vartate । vāyusiddhistadā kṣeyā saṃsāradhvāntanāśinī ॥ 42 ॥"

Translation: 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.

Perfection of Pranayama Brings Decrease of Sleep, Excrement and Urine

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Shiva Samhita. III. 43

Original Verse: "तावत्कालं प्रकुर्वीत योगोक्तनियमग्रहम् । अल्पनिद्रा पुरीषं च स्तोकं मूत्रमं च जायते ॥ ४३ ॥"

Transliteration: "tāvatkālaṃ prakurvīta yogoktaniyamagraham । alpanidrā purīṣaṃ ca stokaṃ mūtramaṃ ca jāyate ॥ 43 ॥"

Translation: 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.

The Truth-Perceiving Yogi becomes Free from Disease, Sorrow, Afflictions, Never Gets Putrid

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Shiva Samhita. III. 44

Original Verse: "अरोगित्वमदीनत्वं योगिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः । स्वेदो लाला क्रिमिश्चैव सर्वथैव न जायते ॥ ४४ ॥"

Transliteration: "arogitvamadīnatvaṃ Yoginastattvadarśinaḥ । svedo lālā krimiścaiva sarvathaiva na jāyate ॥ 44 ॥"

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

When Yogi is Excepted from Specific Diet and Rest

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Shiva Samhita. III. 45

Original Verse: "कफपित्तानिलाश्चैव साधकस्य कलेवरे । तस्मिन्काले साधकस्य भोज्येष्वनियमग्रहः ॥ ४५ ॥"

Transliteration: "kaphapittānilāścaiva sādhakasya kalevare । tasminkāle sādhakasya bhojyeṣvaniyamagrahaḥ ॥ 45 ॥"

Translation: When in the body of the Yogi, there is neither any increase of phlegm, wind, nor bile; then he may with impunity be irregular in his diet and the rest.

Bhuchari Siddhi Through Constant Practice

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Shiva Samhita. III. 46

Original Verse: "अत्यल्पं बहुधा भुक्तवा योगी न व्यथते हि सः । अथाभ्यासवशाद्योगी भूचरों सिद्धिमाप्नुयात् ॥ यथा दर्दुरजन्तूनां गतिः स्यात्पाणिताडनात् ॥ ४६ ॥"

Transliteration: "atyalpaṃ bahudhā bhuktavā yogī na vyathate hi saḥ । athābhyāsavaśādyogī bhūcaroṃ siddhimāpnuyāt ॥ yathā dardurajantūnāṃ gatiḥ syātpāṇitāḍanāt ॥ 46 ॥"

Translation: No injurious results then would follow, were the Yogi to take a large quantity of food, or very little, or no food at all. Through 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.

Yogi should go on with his practice irrespective of all the obstacles and hazards (Will Persistency)

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Shiva Samhita. III. 47

Original Verse: "सन्त्यत्र बहवो विघ्ना दारुणा दुर्निवारणाः । तथापि साधयेद्योगी प्राणैः कन्ठगतैरपि ॥ ४७ ॥"

Transliteration: "santyatra bahavo vighnā dāruṇā durnivāraṇāḥ । tathāpi sādhayedyogī prāṇaiḥ kanṭhagatairapi ॥ 47 ॥"

Translation: 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.

Repetition of long Pranava Om to destroy obstacles

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Shiva Samhita. III. 48

Original Verse: "ततो रहस्युपाविष्टः साधकः सन्यतेन्द्रियः । प्रणवं प्रजपेद्दीर्घं विघ्नानां नाशहेतवे ॥ ४८ ॥"

Transliteration: "tato rahasyupāviṣṭaḥ sādhakaḥ sanyatendriyaḥ । praṇavaṃ prajapeddīrghaṃ vighnānāṃ nāśahetave ॥ 48 ॥"

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

On the duration of Pranayama

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Srimat Sarvajnanottra Agama. Yoga Pada 20

Original Verse: "प्रसार्य चाग्रहस्तं तु जानुं कृत्वा प्रदक्षिणम् ॥ २० छोटिकां तु ततो दधान् मात्रैषात्वभिधीयते ।"

Transliteration: "prasa’rya ca’gra hastam tu ja’num kr’tva’ pradaks”in.am ll 20 chot’ika’m tu tato dadya’n matrais”a’tvabhidhi’yate l"

Translation: "Stretching the forearm , if one encircles his knee once from left to right simultaneously snapping his fingers, the time taken for doing such encircling once is called mantra."

Description of Tala (Twelve Matras)

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Srimat Sarvajnanottra Agama. Yoga Pada 21

Original Verse: "मात्रा द्वादश विज्ञेयाः प्रमाणं तालसंज्ञकम् ॥ २१"

Transliteration: ma’tra’ dva’das’a vijn”eaya’h prama’n.am ta’la samjn”akam ll 21

Translation: Twelve Matras make one measure known as Tala.

Level of Pranayama based on number of Talas

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Srimat Sarvajnanottra Agama. Yoga Pada 22

Original Verse: "तालद्वादशकं ज्ञेयं प्राणायामस्तु कन्यसः । मध्यमश्च चतुर्विंशज् ज्येष्ठस्तद्विगुणो भवेत् ॥"

Transliteration: "ta’la dva’das’akam jn”eyam pra’n.a’ya’mastu kanyasah l madyamas’ca caturvis’aj jyes”t’has taddvigun.o bhavet ll 22"

Translation: The Pranayama done with the duration of 12 Talas is of lower kind. That which is done with the duration of 24 Talas is of intermediary type. The supreme kind of Pranayama is that which is done with the duration of 48 Talas.

Yogi to Increase One Tala per day in Practice of Pranayama

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Srimat Sarvajnanottra Agama. Yoga Pada 23

Transliteration: "ekaika’m vardhayen ma’tra’m pratyaham Yogavittamah l na tvren.a vilambena kramen.aiva vivardhayet ll 23 ll"

Translation: The sadhaka who has known well the system of Yoga should increase the duration of Pranayama by one Tala day by day. Increasing the duration of Pranayama should not be done very swiftly or very slowly. He should increase the duration gradually and in due order.

Matra: the unit of measurement for Pranayama

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Yoga-Cudamany Upanishad 100-104

Original Verse: "प्राणो देहस्थितो यावदपानं तु निरुन्धयेत् । एकश्वासमयी मात्रा ऊर्ध्वाधो गगने स्थितिः ॥ १०० ॥ रेचकः पूरकश्च्ऐव कुम्भकः प्रणवात्मकः । प्राणायामो भवेदेवं मात्राद्वादशसंयुतः ॥ १०१ ॥ मात्राद्वादशसंयुक्त्औ निशाकरदिवाकर्औ । दोषाजालमबध्नन्त्औ ज्ञातव्य्औ योगिभिः सदा ॥ १०२ ॥ पूरकं द्वादशं कुर्यात् कुम्भकं षोडशं भवेत् । रेचकं दश चोंकारः प्राणायामः स उच्यते ॥ १०३ ॥ अधमे द्वादशा मात्रा मध्यमे द्विगुणा मता । उत्तमे त्रिगुणा प्रोक्ता प्राणायामस्य निर्णयः ॥ १०४ ॥"

Transliteration: "prāṇo dehasthito yāvadapānaṃ tu nirundhayet | ekaśvāsamayī mātrā ūrdhvādho gagane sthitiḥ ॥ 100 ॥ recakaḥ pūrakaścaiva Kumbhakaḥ praṇavātmakaḥ | prāṇāyāmo bhavedevaṃ mātrādvādaśasaṃyutaḥ ॥ 101 ॥ mātrādvādaśasaṃyuktau niśākaradivākarau | doṣājālamabadhnantau jñātavyau Yogibhiḥ sadā ॥ 102 ॥ pūrakaṃ dvādaśaṃ kuryāt Kumbhakaṃ ṣoḍaśaṃ bhavet | recakaṃ daśa coṃkāraḥ prāṇāyāmaḥ sa ucyate ॥ 103 ॥ adhame dvādaśā mātrā madhyame dviguṇā matā | uttame triguṇā proktā prāṇāyāmasya nirṇayaḥ ॥ 104 ॥"

Translation: "As long as the Prana (vital air) remains in the body, (the Yogin) should regulate the Apana (vital air). Matra (the unit of measurement of the breath) is the time occupied by a single breath (inspiration and expiration in the normal manner) occupying the ether upwards and downwards. The Recaka, the Puraka and the Kumbhaka are of the character of Pranava. According to this computation, the Pranayama is made up of twelve Matras.

Then should he perform the Puraka for a duration of twelve Matras. The Kumbhaka would be of the duration of sixteen Matras, the Recaka of ten Matras and the Omkara as well (of ten Matra-s). That is known as Pranayama. In (the practice of) the inferior type (the Pranayama) is twelve Matra-s in duration. In one of the middle type It is considered to be twice as many. In one of the superior type it is said to be thrice as many."

Measuring time for Pranayama

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: Kumbhaka Paddadhi 158-162

Original Verse: "मात्रा नव-विधा प्रोक्ता योगिभिस्-तत्व-दर्शिभिः | निमेषोन्मेषणं मात्राकालो लघ्वक्षरान्वितः ॥ १५८ ॥ मिता द्वादश-ह्रस्वानां शीघ्रम्-उच्चार-कालतः | प्रदक्षिणी-कृत्य जानुं न द्रुतं न विलम्बितम् ॥ १५९ ॥ अङ्गुली-त्रिकतो मात्रा छोटिका-करणाद् भवेत् | गोदोह-वत्स-पानेषु क्षेपघण्टा-रवोन्मिता ॥ १६० ॥ चतुरो ह्यतिमात्रा स्युस्-ताश्-च सेव्याह् शन्ऐः शन्ऐः। देश​-कालानुसारेण प्राहुर्-योगीश्वराः पुराः॥१६१॥ पूर-कुम्भक-रेचेषु निसर्ग-जनितेसू यः | कालः स मात्रा-संज्ञः स्यात् स्व-स्व-मान-क्रमाद्-इमाः ॥ १६२ ॥"

Transliteration: "mātrā nava-vidhā proktā Yogibhis-tatva-darśibhiḥ | nimeṣonmeṣaṇaṃ mātrākālo laghvakṣarānvitaḥ ॥ 158 ॥ mitā dvādaśa-hrasvānāṃ śīghram-uccāra-kālataḥ | pradakṣiṇī-kṛtya jānuṃ na drutaṃ na vilambitam ॥ 159 ॥ aṅgulī-trikato mātrā choṭikā-karaṇād bhavet | godoha-vatsa-pāneṣu kṣepaghaṇṭā-ravonmitā ॥ 160 ॥ caturo hyatimātrā syus-tāś-ca sevyāh śanaiḥ śanaiḥ। deśa​-kālānusāreṇa prāhur-yogīśvarāḥ purāḥ॥161॥ pūra-Kumbhaka-receṣu nisarga-janitesū yaḥ | kālaḥ sa mātrā-saṃjñaḥ syāt sva-sva-māna-kramād-imāḥ ॥ 162 ॥"

Translation: "The learned Yogīs state the measurement of time, called mātrā to be nine-fold. The measure of mātrā is (i) time taken for twinkling of the eyes, (ii) pronouncing a short vowel, (iii) time taken for a quick pronunciation of 12 short vowels, (iv) going round the knee-joint with hand neither too slow nor to fast, (v) snapping together three fingers, (vi) ringing of the bell when feeding the calf at the time of milking a cow. 158-160

There are four other varieties narrated by the ancient yogis, called atimatras which are to be used gradually according to the region and season. 161

The duration of the time taken for pūraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka by the individual according to his natural capacity is also called mātrā. 162"

Duration of Pranayama

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana, Source, Chapter, Verse: Kumbhaka Paddadhi 153

Original Verse: "मात्राः षोडश-पूरे स्युश्-चतुः-षष्ट्यस्-तु कुम्भके | द्वात्रिंशद्-रेचके प्रोक्ताः मात्राकुम्भः समीरितः ॥ १५३ ॥"

Transliteration: "mātrāḥ ṣoḍaśa-pūre syuś-catuḥ-ṣaṣṭyas-tu kumbhake | dvātriṃśad-recake proktāḥ mātrākumbhaḥ samīritaḥ ॥ 153 ॥"

Translation: Inhaling air for sixteen Matras (time units) and holding it for sixty four Matras, and exhaling it for thirty two Matras is known as Matra-Kumbhaka.

How to start the practice of Kumbhakas?

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Yoga Kundali-Upanishad I 54-55

Original Verse: "प्रथमे दिवसे कार्यं कुम्भकानां चतुष्टयम् । प्रत्येकं दशसंख्याकं द्वितीये पञ्चभिस्तथा ॥ ५४ ॥ विंशत्यलं तृतीयेऽह्नि पञ्चवृद्ध्या दिने दिने । कर्तव्यः कुम्भको नित्यं बन्धत्रयसमन्वितः ॥ ५५ ॥"

Transliteration: "prathame divase kāryaṃ kumbhakānāṃ catuṣṭayam | pratyekaṃ daśasaṃkhyākaṃ dvitīye pañcabhistathā ॥ 54 ॥ viṃśatyalaṃ tṛtīye'hni pañcavṛddhyā dine dine | kartavyaḥ kumbhako nityaṃ bandhatrayasamanvitaḥ ॥ 55 ॥"

Translation: On the first day should be practised the four kinds of Kumbhakas, (at the rate of) ten of each several kind. On the second day in the same way, but with the number increased by five. On the third day, twenty (of each kind) will do. Hence, everyday, be increasing the number by five (progressively) per day, the Kumbhaka should be performed everyday along with the three Bandha-s.

Kumbhakas and Bandhas to acheive the Ultimate state of Yoga

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Yoga-Sikhopanishad 88 - 89

Original Verse: "अथाभ्यसेत् सूर्यभेदमुज्जायीं चापि शीतलीम् । भस्त्रां च सहितो नाम स्याच्चतुष्टयकुम्भकः ॥ ८८ ॥ बन्धत्रयेण संयुक्तः केवलप्राप्तिकारकः । कुम्भकभेदमाह​- अथेति ॥ ८९ ॥"

Transliteration: "athābhyaset sūryabhedamujjāyīṃ cāpi śītalīm | bhastrāṃ ca sahito nāma syāccatuṣṭayaKumbhakaḥ ॥ 88 ॥ bandhatrayeṇa saṃyuktaḥ kevalaprāptikārakaḥ | Kumbhakabhedamāha- atheti ॥ 89 ॥"

Translation: One should practice (the Kumbhaka-s known as) Surya-bheda, Ujjayi, S'ltali and Bhastra. (These) together constitute the four-fold Kumbhaka. Together with the three Bandhas, (that) causes the attainment of the Kevala (Kumbhaka).

Order of Pranayamas

Pramanya: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apt Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: "Haṭhapradīpikā of Svātmārāma (Chapter 5, Verse 177)"

Original Verse: "तदाभ्यसेत् सूर्यभेदम्-उज्जायीं चापि शीतलीम् ॥ एवम् - अभ्यासयुक्तस्य यमस्तु यमिनः कुतः ॥ १७७ ॥"

Transliteration: "tadābhyaset sūryabhedam-ujjāyīṃ cāpi śītalīm ll evam - abhyāsayuktasya yamastu yaminaḥ kutaḥ ll 177 ll"

Translation: After that, take up the practice of sūrya-bheda, ujjāyī and śitalī. A Yogī, who practices in this manner, is not afraid of death. 177

The nine types of Kumbhakas

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: Haṭharatnāvalī (2, 5)

Original Verse: "Bहस्त्रिका, भ्रामरी, सूर्यभेदोज्जायी च शीतली ॥ मूर्च्छानामकसीत्कारं केवलश्चाष्टकुम्भकाः ॥ भुजङ्गकरणी चेति कुम्भका नवसङ्ख्यकाः ॥5॥"

Transliteration: "Bhastrikā, bhrāmarī, sūryabhedojjāyī ca śītalī ॥ mūrcchānāmakasītkāraṃ kevalaścāṣṭakumbhakāḥ॥ bhujaṅgakaraṇī ceti kumbhakā navasaṅkhyakāḥ ॥5॥"

Translation: Tr. Bhastrikā, bhrāmarī, sūryabheda, ujjāyī, śītalī, mūrcchā, sītkāra and kevala are the eight Kumbhakas, bhujangakaraṇī is the ninth Kumbhaka. 5.

10 Types of Pranayama

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source: Nathamuni Yoga Rahasya I.100

Original Verse: "उज्जायी नाडिकाशुद्धिः सूर्यभेदश्च भस्त्रिका । सीत्कारी शीतली चैव लहरी भ्रामरी तथा । कपालभातिरान्दोली प्राणायामा दश स्मृताः ॥"

Transliteration: "ujjāyī nāḍikāśuddhiḥ sūryabhedaśca bhastrikā । sītkārī śītalī caiva laharī bhrāmarī tathā । kapālabhātirāndolī prāṇāyāmā daśa smṛtāḥ ॥"

Translation: Texts talk about ten types of Pranayama. They are Ujjayi, Nadisodhana, Suryabhedana, Bhastrika, Sitkari, Sitali, Lahari, Bramari, Kapalabhati, and Andoli.

When to practice Pranayama?

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Sandilyopanishad VI. 2

Original Verse: "प्रातर्मध्यंदिने सायमर्धरात्रे तु कुम्भकान् । शन्ऐरशीतिपर्यन्तं चतुर्वारं समभ्यसेत् ॥ २ ॥"

Transliteration: "prātarmadhyaṃdine sāyamardharātre tu kumbhakān | śanairaśītiparyantaṃ caturvāraṃ samabhyaset ॥ 2 ॥"

Translation: "Early in the morning, at noon, in the evening and at midnight, (the Yogin) should practise Kumbhaka-s, gradually (increasing the number) up to eighty, four times every day."

Duration of Pranayama Practice

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source: "Haṭhapradīpikā of Svātmārāma (Chapter 5, Verse 178)"

Original Source: "मुहूर्त्तद्वयपर्यन्तं निर्भयं चालनादस्औ ॥ ऊर्ध्वम्-आकृष्यते किञ्चित् सुषुम्नागत​-कुण्डली ॥ १७८ ॥"

Transliteration: "muhūrttadvayaparyantaṃ nirbhayaṃ cālanādasau ll ūrdhvam-ākṛṣyate kiñcit suṣumnāgata-kuṇḍalī ll 178 ll"

Translation: "If one fearlessly undertakes this practice for six hours, kuṇḍalī is aroused and it enters into suṣumnā. 178"

Heat generating Kumbhakas

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source: Hathatatvakaumudi (Chapter 10, Verse 8-9)

Original Verse: "इति कफवातरोगकृमिदोषशैत्यविकारहर उष्णविर्यः सूर्यभेदकुम्भकः ॥ ८ ॥ उज्जायिसूर्यभेदौ द्वौ कुम्भावुष्णौ स्मृतौ मुनेः | चिद्रूपोष्मांशुधमनीविषवाहतया तनौ ॥ ९ ॥"

Transliteration: "iti kaphavātarogakṛmidoṣaśaityavikārahara uṣṇaviryaḥ sūryabhedaKumbhakaḥ ॥ 8 ॥ ujjāyisūryabhedau dvau kumbhāvuṣṇau smṛtau muneḥ | cidrūpoṣmāṃśudhamanīviṣavāhatayā tanau ॥ 9 ॥"

Translation: "Ujjayi and Suryabedha generate heat and detoxify the body. Ujjayi and suryabheda are the two Kumbhakas which are considered heat generating. The ray of heat generated in the body removes the toxicity from the tubular vessels in the body of a muni."

The Four Stages of Pranayama

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Shiva Samhita 29

Original Verse: "समकायः सुगन्धिश्च सुकान्तिः स्वरसाधकः । आरम्भघटकश्चैव यथा परिचयस्तदा ॥ निष्पत्तिः सर्वयोगेषु योगावस्था भवन्ति ताः ॥ २९ ॥"

Transliteration: "samakāyaḥ sugandhiśca sukāntiḥ svarasādhakaḥ । ārambhaghaṭakaścaiva yathā paricayastadā ॥ niṣpattiḥ sarvayogeṣu yogāvasthā bhavanti tāḥ ॥ 29 ॥"

Translation: 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).

Advice during the practice of Pranayama

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Sandilya Upanishad VII.6-7

Original Verse: "यथा सिंहो गजो व्याघ्रो भवेद्वश्यः शन्ऐः शन्ऐः । तथ्ऐव सेवितो वायुरन्यथा हन्ति साधकम् ॥ ६ ॥ युक्तंयुक्तं त्यजेद्वायुं युक्तंयुक्तं च पूरयेत् । युक्तं युक्तेन बध्नीयादेवं सिद्धिमवाप्नुयात् ॥ ७ ॥"

Transliteration: "yathā siṃho gajo vyāghro bhavedvaśyaḥ śanaiḥ śanaiḥ | tathaiva sevito vāyuranyathā hanti sādhakam ॥ 6 ॥yuktaṃyuktaṃ tyajedvāyuṃ yuktaṃyuktaṃ ca pūrayet | yuktaṃ yuktena badhnīyādevaṃ siddhimavāpnuyāt ॥ 7 ॥"

Translation: "Even as a lion, an elephant or a tiger, is capable of being brought under control, (when attention is devoted in that direction) little by little, even so the vital air, when served (with due care). Otherwise, it will kill the practitioner. (The Yogin) should send out the vital air prudently and according as the circumstances demand-, he should in-fill it according to the circumstances with due care; he should hold it bound (in Kumbhaka) according to exigencies; (by practising) in this manner he would attain successful accomplishment (of the purification of the Nadi-s)."

Guidance on the Practice of Pranayama

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Yoga-Tattvopanishad 65-67

Original Verse: "ततो भवेद्घटावस्था पवनाभ्यासतत्परा । प्राणोऽपानो मनो बुद्धिर्जीवात्मपरमात्मनोः ॥ ६५ ॥ अन्योन्यस्याविरोधेन एकतां घटते यदा । घटावस्थेति सा प्रोक्ता तच्चिह्नानि ब्रवीम्यहम् ॥ ६६ ॥ पूर्वं यः कथितोऽभ्यासश्चतुर्थांशं परिग्रहेत् । दिवा वा यदि वा सायमेककालं समभ्यसेत् ॥ ६७ ॥"

Transliteration: "tato bhavedghaṭāvasthā pavanābhyāsatatparā | prāṇo'pāno mano buddhirjīvātmaparamātmanoḥ ॥ 65 ॥ anyonyasyāvirodhena ekatāṃ ghaṭate yadā | ghaṭāvastheti sā proktā taccihnāni bravīmyaham ॥ 66 ॥ pūrvaṃ yaḥ kathito'bhyāsaścaturthāṃśaṃ parigrahet | divā vā yadi vā sāyamekakālaṃ samabhyaset ॥ 67 ॥"

Translation: Then comes the stage (known as) Ghata, wherein effort has to be put forth for the regulation of breath. That is known as the Ghata stage, wherein the Yogin brings about the union of Prana, Apana, Manas and Buddhi, and of the Jivatman and the Paramatman, without detriment to their mutual relationship. I shall relate the symptoms thereof: He should then take hold of the practice prescribed already, only to a fourth of its extent. Once, either during the day or at twilight, should he practise (as above) and once every day should he perform Kevala-Kumbhaka.

Levels of Pranayama

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Yoga-Cudamany Upanishad 105-106

Original Verse: "अधमे स्वेदजननं कम्पो भवति मध्यमे । उत्तमे स्थानमाप्नोति ततो वायुं निरुन्धयेत् ॥ १०५ ॥ बद्धपद्मासनो योगी नमस्कृत्य गुरुं शिवम् । नासाग्रदृष्टिरेकाकी प्राणायामं समभ्यसेत् ॥ १०६ ॥"

Transliteration: "adhame svedajananaṃ kampo bhavati madhyame | uttame sthānamāpnoti tato vāyuṃ nirundhayet ॥ 105 ॥ baddhapadmāsano yogī namaskṛtya Guruṃ śivam | nāsāgradṛṣṭirekākī prāṇāyāmaṃ samabhyaset ॥ 106 ॥"

Translation: (In this manner) is the determination of the Pranayama. In one of the inferior type there is (profuse) perspiration generated, in one of the middle type there is tremour experienced, in one of the superior type the Yogin attains the right position. Therefore should one control the vital air. The Yogin, assuming the Padmasana posture, and saluting his Guru and Siva,should practise Pranayama all alone, with his eyes fixed on the tip of the nose.

The Yogic Powers attained from Pranayama

Pramana:Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Yoga-Cudamany Upanishad 51 - 62

Original Verse: "प्रस्वेदो जायते पूर्वं मर्दनं तेन कारयेत् ॥ ५१ ॥ ततोऽपि धारणाद्वायोः क्रमेण्ऐव शन्ऐः शन्ऐः । कम्पो भवति देहस्य आसनस्थस्य देहिनः ॥ ५२ ॥ ततोऽधिकतराभ्यासात् दर्दरी स्वेन जायते । यदा च दर्दरो भाव उत्प्लुत्योत्प्लुत्य गच्छति ॥ ५३ ॥ द्मासनस्थितो योगी तथा गच्छति भूतले । ततोऽधिकतराभ्यासाद्भूमित्यागश्च जायते ॥ ५४ ॥ पद्मासनस्थ एवास्औ भूमिमुत्सृज्य गच्छति । अतिमानुषचेष्टादि तथा सामर्थ्यमुद्भवेत् ॥ ५५ ॥"

Transliteration: "prasvedo jāyate pūrvaṃ mardanaṃ tena kārayet ॥ 51 ॥ tato'pi dhāraṇādvāyoḥ krameṇaiva śanaiḥ śanaiḥ | kampo bhavati dehasya āsanasthasya dehinaḥ ॥ 52 ॥ tato'dhikatarābhyāsāt dardarī svena jāyate | yadā ca dardaro bhāva utplutyotplutya gacchati ॥ 53 ॥ padmāsanasthito yogī tathā gacchati bhūtale | tato'dhikatarābhyāsādbhūmityāgaśca jāyate ॥ 54 ॥ padmāsanastha evāsau bhūmimutsṛjya gacchati | atimānuṣaceṣṭādi tathā sāmarthyamudbhavet ॥ 55 ॥"

Translation: "At first there will be profuse perspiration (caused by holding the breath in the foot), wherewith should one massage (the body). Even after that, as a result of the gradual holding of breath, there will arise the tremour of the body in the usual course, in the Yogin who has assumed his posture. With further increase of practice thereafter, a hollow is of itself caused.

When there is this state of hollowness, (the Yogin) moves by leaps and bounds The Yogin sitting in the Padmasana posture, will move on the surface of the earth in the same posture. With further increase of practice thereafter, there will be the giving up of (the movement on the surface of) the earth. He will even while in the Padmasana posture, leave off the surface of the earth and move. "

Apta Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: Haṭhapradīpikā of Svātmārāma (Chapter 4, Verse 17-18)

Original Verse: "उत्तमे त्रिगुणा प्रोक्ता प्राणायामस्य निर्णयः ॥ अधमे जायते स्वेदः कम्पो भवति मध्यमे ॥ १७ ॥ अधमे द्वादशी मात्रा मध्यमे द्विगुणा भवेत् ॥ उत्तिष्ट्थत्युत्तमे प्राणो बद्धे पद्मासने दृढे ॥ १८ ॥"

Transliteration: "uttame triguṇā proktā prāṇāyāmasya nirṇayaḥ //adhame jāyate svedaḥ kampo bhavati madhyame // 17 //adhame dvādaśī mātrā madhyame dviguṇā bhavet // uttiṣṭthatyuttame prāṇo baddhe padmāsane dṛḍhe // 18 //"

Translation: "Adhama prāṇāyāma consists of twelve time units and causes perspiration. Madhyama prāṇāyāma has twenty four times units and causes tremors, while uttama prāṇāyāma consist of thirty six time units resulting in levitation of the body in padmāsana. 17 - 18 "

Special instructions on the Practice of Yoga

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Sandilya upanishad VII. 3-4

Original Verse: "कनीयसि भवेत् स्वेदः कम्पो भवति मध्यमे । उत्तिष्ठत्युत्तमे प्राणरोधे पद्मासनं भवेत् ॥ ३ ॥ जलेन श्रमजातेन गात्रमर्दनमाचरेत् । दृढता लघुता चापि तस्य गात्रस्य जायते ॥ ४ ॥"

Transliteration: "kanīyasi bhavet svedaḥ kampo bhavati madhyame | uttiṣṭhatyuttame prāṇarodhe padmāsanaṃ bhavet ॥ 3 ॥ jalena śramajātena gātramardanamācaret | dṛḍhatā laghutā cāpi tasya gātrasya jāyate ॥ 4 ॥"

Translation: "In the early stages, there will be (the flow of) sweat. In the middle stages, there will be the tremour (of the body). In the advanced stages of the control of breath, (the body) will rise up. The Padmasana posture should be assumed (by the Yogin in all stages).

He should massage his body with the perspiration produced (in the course of practice) due to the exertion (involved). (Therefrom) strength of limb and lightness of his body will result."

Additional Shastras: Shiva Samhita. III 40-41

Apta Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: Hatharatnavali (Chapter 3, Verse 89)

Original Verse: "जलेन श्रमजातेन अङ्गमर्दनमाचरेत्॥दृढता लघुता चापि तथा गात्रस्य जायते॥८९॥"

Transliteration: "jalena śramajātena aṅgamardanamācaret॥ dṛḍhatā laghutā cāpi tathā gātrasya jāyate॥89॥"

Translation: "One will do well by rubbing the body with the sweat generated by exertion (of prāṇāyāma). This makes the body strong and light.89."


Three stages of development according to Dattatreya

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: Kumbhaka Paddadhi 197-198

Original Verse: "तस्य त्री-भूमिकत्वं चिरकालाभ्यासतो भूयात् | द्वादश-नैसर्गिकतो ह्यधिकश्-चेद्-दैव-योगेन ॥ १९७ ॥ मात्राः प्रथम-भुवि स्याद्-दत्तात्रेयो द्रवीभावे | अस्याः द्विगुणां कम्पां त्रिगुणाम्-उत्थापिकां योगी ॥ १९८ ॥"

Transliteration: "tasya trī-bhūmikatvaṃ cirakālābhyāsato bhūyāt | dvādaśa-naisargikato hyadhikaś-ced-daiva-yogena ॥ 197 ॥ mātrāḥ prathama-bhuvi syād-dattātreyo dravībhāve | asyāḥ dviguṇāṃ kampāṃ triguṇām-utthāpikāṃ yogī ॥ 198 ॥"

Translation: "According to Dattātreya, there are three stages of development with its prolonged practice. The first stage consist of twelve mātrās which may luckily increase. In this stage one gets perspiration. The second stage consists of twenty four mātrās causing tremors and in the third stage with thirty six mātrās, a yogī attains levitation."

Additional Apta Sources: Hatharatnavali (Chapter 3, Verse 88)

Third stage of development according to Dattatreya

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: Kumbhaka Paddadhi 199-200

Original Verse: "स्वेदे द्रवी भवेत् कम्प उत्थानेति तृतीयका | आनन्द-निद्रा-घूर्णाश्-च रोमाञ्च-ध्वनि-संविदः ॥ १९९ ॥ अङ्ग-मोटन-कम्पाश्-च भ्रम-स्वेद-प्रजल्पकाः ॥ संविन्-मूर्च्छादिकाश्-चैव जायन्तेऽस्यां न संशयः ॥ २०० ॥"

Transliteration: "svede dravī bhavet kampa utthāneti tṛtīyakā | ānanda-nidrā-ghūrṇāś-ca romāñca-dhvani-saṃvidaḥ ॥ 199 ॥ aṅga-moṭana-kampāś-ca bhrama-sveda-prajalpakāḥ ॥ saṃvin-mūrcchādikāś-caiva jāyante'syāṃ na saṃśayaḥ ॥ 200 ॥"

Translation: "In the third progressive stage, one experiences perspiration, ease, tremors, joy, trance, whirling, thrill, hearing of mystical sounds, bodily pain, sidewards movement, inarticulate murmur and Samadhi."

Mṛdu-meru, Madhya-meru, and Tīvrameru

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: Kumbhaka Paddadhi 214-215

Original Verse: "प्रथम-त्रितये नाडी-शोधनं वह्नि-दीपनम् ॥ मृदौ स्वेद-समुद्-भूतिर्-मध्य-मेरौ तु कम्पनम् ॥ २१४ ॥ तीव्रे खे राजतेऽन्येषु स्वनाम-सदृशं फलम् ॥ समाध्यन्तम्-इहोद्दिष्टं तत्-तत्-सङ्ज्ञा ततस्-ततः ॥ २१५ ॥"

Transliteration: "prathama-tritaye nāḍī-śodhanaṃ vahni-dīpanam ॥ mṛdau sveda-samud-bhūtir-madhya-merau tu kampanam ॥ 214 ॥ tīvre khe rājate'nyeṣu svanāma-sadṛśaṃ phalam ॥ samādhyantam-ihoddiṣṭaṃ tat-tat-saṅjñā tatas-tataḥ ॥ 215 ॥"

Translation: "First three stages lead to purification of the nāḍīs and increase of gastric fire. In mṛdu-meru perspiration is generated, in madhya-meru one experiences tremors and in tīvrameru one levitates. In other stages upto samādhi, one gets the results as per the names indicate, such as pratyāhāra, dhāraṇā, dhyāna and samādhi."

Merucalaka

Pramana: Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source, Chapter, Verse: Hathatatvakaumudi (Chapter 10, Verse 40-43)

Original Verse: "अमेरुमेरुप्रभिदा महेशो द्विधाऽवदत् कुम्भमिधादिमोफलः ॥ न वर्धय्द्रोधमथो सुसंयमं कृतं यथाशक्ति चिरेण सिद्धिदः ॥ ४० ॥ अमुमभ्यसतः पुंसो नैसर्गिकमेरुसंभूतिः | बभुभिः कालैर् भूयात् अगण्यपुण्यैः परासुमतेः ॥ ४१ ॥ तस्य त्रिभूमिकत्वं चिरकालाभ्यासतो भूयात् | द्वादश नैसर्गिकतो ह्यधिकाश्चेद् दैवयोगेन ॥ ४२ ॥ मात्रा प्रथमभुवि स्युर्दत्तात्रेयोऽब्रवीत् द्रवीभावे | अस्या द्विगुणं कम्पां त्रिगुणं उत्थापिकां योगे ॥ ४३ ॥"

Transliteration: "amerumeruprabhidā maheśo dvidhā'vadat kumbhamidhādimophalaḥ ॥ na vardhaydrodhamatho susaṃyamaṃ kṛtaṃ yathāśakti cireṇa siddhidaḥ ॥ 40 ॥ amumabhyasataḥ puṃso naisargikamerusaṃbhūtiḥ | babhubhiḥ kālair bhūyāt agaṇyapuṇyaiḥ parāsumateḥ ॥ 41 ॥ tasya tribhūmikatvaṃ cirakālābhyāsato bhūyāt | dvādaśa naisargikato hyadhikāśced daivayogena ॥ 42 ॥ mātrā prathamabhuvi syurdattātreyo'bravīt dravībhāve | asyā dviguṇaṃ kampāṃ triguṇaṃ utthāpikāṃ yoge ॥ 43 ॥"

Translation: "Two-fold Kumbhaka has been propagated by Mahesa as Ameru and Meru. Although the former is not futile, when it is increased judiciously and to the capacity, it leads to success in the longer run. With this practice one attains perfection of meru naturally with a great fortune in course of time. There are three stages of development with its prolonged practice. The first stage (natural) consists of twelve (Matras), one may have more (stages) by good luck. A Yogi gets perspiration on the first stage (12 Matras) according to Dattatreya. (In the second stage of) 24 Matras one experiences tremors, (while in the third stage of) 36 Matras one levitates."

The Parichaya-Avastha

Pramana: Śāstra Pramāṇa - शास्त्र प्रमाण

Source: Shiva Samhita. III. 60

Original Verse: "ततः परिचयावस्था योगिनोऽभ्यासतो भवेत् । यदा वायुश्चन्द्रसूर्यं त्यक्त्वा तिष्ठति निश्चलम् ॥ वायुः परिचितो वायुः सुषुम्ना व्योम्नि संचरेत् ॥ ६० ॥"

Transliteration: "tataḥ paricayāvasthā Yogino'bhyāsato bhavet । yadā vāyuścandrasūryaṃ tyaktvā tiṣṭhati niścalam ॥ vāyuḥ paricito vāyuḥ suṣumnā vyomni saṃcaret ॥ 60 ॥"

Translation: 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.


Ten Stages of meru

PRAMANA:Āpta Pramāṇa - आप्त प्रमाण

Apta Pramana Source: Kumbhaka Paddadhi 213

Original Verse:

"एकोद्घातो-द्विर्-उद्घातस्-त्रिर्-उद्घातस्-ततो मृदुः |

मध्य-मेरुस्-तीर्व-मेरुः प्रत्याहारश्-च धारणा ॥

ध्यानं समाधिर्-इत्युक्तो मेरोः स्थूलभुवो दश ॥ २१३ ॥"

Transliteration:

"ekodghāto-dvir-udghātas-trir-udghātas-tato mṛduḥ |

madhya-merus-tīrva-meruḥ pratyāhāraś-ca dhāraṇā ॥

dhyānaṃ samādhir-ityukto meroḥ sthūlabhuvo daśa ॥ 213 ॥"


Translation:

"One Udghāta, two Udghātas, three Udghātas, Mṛdu-meru, Madhya-meru, Tīvra-meru, pPratyāhāra, Dhāraṇā, Dhyāna and Samādhi are stated to be the ten stages of Meru."