Gheranda Samhita(full version)
Once one Chanda Kapali went to the hut of Gheranda, offered him pranam with devotion and asked: “Oh Master of Yoga,” – but then in Sanskrit it is “ghatasta yogam”- it means “master of the Yoga of the body” – because “ghat” sometimes is referred to the body like a pot, which carries the soul, elixir of the spirit. “I wish now to learn the physical discipline, with needs to the knowledge of truth.” And Gheranda said: “ You are great, Chanda Kapali, because such great thought entered your mind and you are asking me this. Now listen carefully:
Oh my child, I will tell you what you have asked me. Listen very carefully, full of concentration. He said that there is no maya – there is no bondage of maya: who is continuously active in yoga and have attained some power in yoga – no maya exist for him. There is nothing better than true knowledge and there is no friend better – hide then your own self knowledge; and there is no greater enemy than false ego. This is the good example – like practicing the alphabets: by learning the alphabets one can true practice master all the books, all sciences – alphabet is the basic thing for every education. So thoroughly practice first the physical training one acquires a knowledge of truth. Only through the body you can start to understand the spirit – I think he is right. On account of good karma and bad karmas the bodies of all are produced. Then again body give birth to different karma, because they are also the result of somebody’s karmas – and that is how the circle continues. He is connecting it with some sort of irrigation system, which continues like this and brings water on the circle – this is like karma. Part of karma, you’re creating more karma – and it continues.
Only by the practice of hardest of yoga your body will become pure and free of karma. Beat it hard, in the fire of training, in order to strength and purify the body. Then he is giving seven different practices: the seven exercises, which appertain to this training of the body are following. Purification, strengthening, steading, calming and those needing to lightness, perception and isolation – these seven. The purification is acquired by regular performance of six practices; asanas, postures gives steadiness and strength. Mudras give sthira – absolutely steadiness of the mind and the body. Pratyahara gives patience and calmness. Pranayama gives lightness of the mind and the body. Dhyana gives perception and Samadhi gives isolation, which is for freedom.
Now they are describing the purification processes. Dhauti, basti, neti, lauliki, tratak and kapalabhati are shatkarmas or six practices, known as sadhana.
Q: why tratak is among shatkarmas?
Guruji: they actually purifies the nerves, connecting with your eyes directly to the brain. These are not technics – just shatkarmas. And by very strong practice of trataka finally – now you know that after first level with khechari you keep open your eyes; only by very hard practice of tratak it will come very easy. Everything has preparation.
Dhautis are of four kind: they clear of the impurities of the body. They are antar dhauti, danta dhauti, hira dhauti and mula shodhana. Antar dhauti are of different type: vatasara, varisara, agniisara, bahis kritam.
Vatasara: he is describing more dhautis then any other book available. Vatasara means – you drink air, making your mouth like a beak of a crow. Fill your body, your stomach with that air, move it in your intestine, then release it. It is not easy practice. Eat the air – it is not given anywhere – continue to eat the air as long as your all intestines are full. First your stomach will be full, then you move it downwards so it will just fill up all your intestine – then move it in your intestine and release it from your behind.
Q: is it close to plavini pranayama?
Guruji: in plavini we don’t release it. But the basic technic is the same, like plavini. Vatasara is the very secret process: with air – it’s very secret process. It destroy all diseases and increases the gastric fire. Increasing the gastric fire is very important, because ultimately it help to activate your Kundalini also – which you will read, when he is describing mula bandha. They are specially mentioning this gastric fire – jathara agni – and when you combine these two fires – then Kundalini wakes up.
Varisara I think you know already by different name: varisara is the dhauti with the water. It is known like shankhaprakshalana. Body becomes very pure and begins to shine. Then agnisara – you also know how it is done. He just saying that you should contract your navel hundred times in one bout, keeping your breathe out – that is agnisara. This thing will actually enable you to control those certain muscles – so you will be able to do nauli and also uddiyana in high practices. Without nauli uddiyana is not possible.
That’s why I keep suggesting that: you do 100 agnisara and 100 nauli every day after brushing your teeth.
Bahiskrita dhauti: after this agnisara there is another dhauti described. With the kaki mudra – with making your deep – you fill up your stomach with air, hold it there for 1,5 hour, then force it down toward intestine and release it. This is the very secret practice.
Q: it looks almost the same like the first one?
Guruji: but here they are describe it to hold for 1,5 hour: only after going through this your intestine and stomach will be strong enough to hold the air for so long.
Guruji: when you have eaten it, when it is in intestines – it is possible to keep it there more than 1,5 hour, then you expel it through the lower part.
Q: so in vatasara dhauti we are deliberately make it to going down …
Guruji: immediately with nauli and all other technics and here you must keep it inside for 1,5 hour.
Q: why exactly this period?
Guruji: actually it is special time: even Shakti Chalini is for 1,5 hour. In 1,5 hour it starts some sort of different type of reaction inside. Or it may prepare your intestines for the kevala kumbhaka also.
This is the most dangerous thing now coming that: you stand up to your navel in the water and bring out your long intestine, wash the nadi with the hand and put it back again. This I’ve never been seen. But if he is writing – I believe it is possible.
There is a doubt here: he is not writing intestine – he is writing Shakti nadi; what is this Shakti nadi – nobody is describing. But it is from the stomach and it is back to the stomach again. Well, I’ve seen some Nigerians: this Shakti nadi – I think now I get it. You see: the tongue also goes up to here. They have the technic to bring the inner tongue out, and this is the thing which remains more filthy in almost everybody – because there is no way to actually clean it or wash it. So you bring it in water, wash it with your hands – then take it back again. I’ve seen some Nigerians doing it. Inner tongue: tongue is just attached here – it goes up to here, it is a long thing. It’s thing is connecting here – they just draw out the tongue with fingers.
Q: why do you think it’s Shakti nadi?
Guruji: because tongue is the Shakti – without tongue no Samadhi is possible! It’s not about intestines – they are discussing the inner tongue, which comes up to here and remains filthy.
Q: you know – predators never eat the tongue of human body, because it absorbs all impurities.
Guruji: never. So that Nigerian tribes let it go out – when the drums playing – and then put it back. I know some students from my college, which I already left – they were from Nigeria. Once one man came to me – he needed some help and we got to talk; then this talk came up and I’ve asked him show me – and he show me. This maybe the Shakti nadi. Not intestines – but the tongue can be brought out. You just go with your tongue – how deep it is going. And you need to wash it with your hands. That inner tongue nobody cleans.
Gheranda Samhita is talking about that portion of the tongue. That is Shakti nadi: because tongue is the power – without tongue Samadhi is not possible.
Q: when the people do khechari – it is connected with the karma? Why exactly with the tongue?
Guruji: it connected with the karma; the tongue is called Shakti and it is the most pleased to Shiva. It is the real secret: what we are without tongue? – nothing. No taste, no speech, nothing.
The next shloka simply prepare the tongue for khechari mudra. When you know the more elaborated technics – you don’t need it. Remember: in no yoga book talabhi and jihva chalan not described. It’ s a great secret of Kriya.
Kapala randhra dhauti: making massage with the thumb on your forehead.Now I’m trying to draw your attention to another thing. They are talking about brahma randhra – kapala randhra. And it is describing between the eyebrows, not on the top of the head. This is the technical thing.
Tongue is the real power in you – no speech is possible, no eating is possible without tongue. You can very well call it Shakti.
And he said, that even gods doesn’t know about this cleaning – so much it is secret. They call it jihva mool – the root of the tongue. Next he is describing it. Then it is described brushing of the teeth and the root of the tongue, two holes of the ears and nose – you must keep them clean.
They describe a sort of a powder to clean your teeth – I think toothpaste was not invented then. Teeth washing is the great dhauti and an important process in a practice of yoga for a yogi – so all yogis shоuld keep their teeth clean. It should be done daily in the morning by the yogis in order to preserve the teeth.
Again now he is talking about the tongue – it’s fantastic sentence. “I shall now tell you the method of cleansing the tongue: the elongation of the tongue destroys old age, death and disease. Only then khechari will be possible. Then he is telling how to clean the tongue with three fingers. There was no tongue cleaner available. And then – how to clean two holes of the ears.
Vomiting is also part of cleansing your heart – it’s directly related to the heart. He is describing cleansing of the heart: hrid dhauti. It is of three types: one by danda – stick, vamana – vomiting and vastra – eating a cloth and taking it out. It actually has a direct impact on heart.
Q: I think danda should be something like a rope?
Guruji: it is a stick – they are talking about plantain stick. You see banana plant? You just take of the outside – and in the middle it is the very soft thing – that should be put inside. And if a sword-swallower can put the sword inside – I think you can put a stick. He is saying – by this danda dhauti every kind of heart disease is surely cured – so it is for the heart.
I will say – it’s not only cleaning, but it give you certain kind of control over so many impulses inside. And those control over impulses maybe having a direct effect on your heart. All these things actually granting you certain muscle control or the nerve control inside, which a normal person never ever think of.
Q: so in Hatha Yoga Pradipika – asanas for heart control and here – such simple things for heart control?
Guruji: yes. Then he is talking about vomiting: “ after the meal let the wise practitioner drink water full up to the throat; then looking for a short while upwards – let him vomit it out. By daily practicing this, disorders of phlegm and bile are cured.” Even vomiting is a sort of control over your certain nadis and vayus. All these practices will give you extraordinarily inner control – that maybe the purpose.
Then vastra dhauti: let him swallow slow the thin cloth in his throat – then let him out dry it again: this is called vastra dhauti. Disorders of phlegm and bile disappears and day by day practitioner gets health, strength and cheerfulness.
Then mula shodhana. Apana vayu does not flow freely as long as a rectum is not purified; therefore with the greatest care let him practice this purification of large intestines. By the stuck of the root of the haridra – turmeric – or the middle finger the rectum should be carefully clean with water over and over again. This destroys constipation, indigestion, dyspepsia and increases the beauty and vigor of the body and kindles spheres of the fire – the gastric fire. So your both ends should remain absolutely clean. I think shankhprakshalana is also cleaning absolutely: it’s a good practice.
On the part two they are describing basti: jala basti – drawing water from your rectum. Sukshma basti is just drawing air from your rectum. Water basti is done in water and dry basti – always on land. Then they are describing how to draw water and bring water up to the navel and assuming a posture called utkatasana. Let him contract and release the muscles of the anus – this is called jala basti. This cure for main urinary disorders, disorders of the digestion and krur vayu – disorder of the wind. The body becomes free from all diseases and becomes beautiful as that of the god Kupid.
Now he is describing something which no other book describes. First assume the posture pashchimottanasana. Then let him move intestine in pashchimottanasana – slowly-slowly and practice ashvini mudra – contraction and dilation of the anus. That is called the real basti. By this practice of yoga constipation never occurs and it increases the gastric fire and cures flatulence. But I think – moving your stomach in pashimottanasana needs very great muscle control.
Q: what do you mean – moving stomach? Like nauli?
Guruji: like nauli. It is easy if you know how. I mean – this thing is not for a newcomer.
Q: it looks like mahamudra?
Guruji: yes. Then neti – same thing which you already know. Sutra neti and jala neti. They said – by neti-kriya one obtains the khechari siddhi, destroy the disorders of phlegm and produces the clairvoyance or the clear sight. Neti is somehow connected with clairvoyance; only he is writing – nobody else is writing.
Now he is saying about nauli: he is calling it lauliki yoga. With great force move stomach and intestines from one side to another – this is called lauliki yoga. This destroys all diseases and increases the bodily fire.
I think 100 agnisara and 100 this lauliki yoga is must for everybody.
Then tratak. Gaze steadily without blinking at any small object until tears begin to flow – this is called tratak by the wise. By practicing this yoga shambhavi siddhi are obtained and certainly all diseases of the eyes are destroyed and clairvoyance is induced.
Then kapalabhati is of three types: vamakram, vyutkram and sitkram. Draw the air through the left nostril and expel it through the right and draw it again through the right and expel it through the left: this inhalation and exhalation must be done without any force – this practice will destroy the disorders of phlegm.
Then vyutkarm kapalabhati: draw the water through the two nostrils and expel it through the mouth – slowly and slowly. This is called vyutkram: it destroys disorders of phlegm.
Then sitkram kapalabhati: suck the water through the mouth and expel it through the nostrils – by practice of yoga one becomes like god Kupid. No old age will come; old age will never disfigure him, the body becomes healthy, elastic, and disorders of phlegm are destroyed. This is the result of cleansing the body.
He is describing 32 postures. I think you can do everything.
Q: 16 in Hatha Yoga Pradipika and 32 here – it’s twice bigger?
Guruji: one is called yogasana, which I find described only in Gheranda Samhita. You sit in lotus. It is simple – I’ve been telling it to Russians. Put your hands down on the floor by your side – it will relax you immediately. This is called yogasana.
And they start by siddhasana, padmasana, bhadrasana, muktasana, vajrasana, svastikasana – they are more or less the same. Singhasana, gomukhasana, virasana, dhanurasana, mritasana: mritasana is shavasana. Guptasana, matsyasana, matsyendrasana, pashchimottanasana.
Q: matsyasana and matsyendrasana: is it twist there?
Guruji: they are different. Make the padmasana posture then lie down. Put your hands like this – this is matsyasana. Matsyendrasana: keeping abdomen risen at each like a back, bend the left leg and put it on the right thigh; then place here the elbow of the right hand and place the face on the palm. You sit like this – it is matsyendrasana. And fix the gaze between the eyebrows – this is called matsyendrasana. So that thing, which is really difficult – may not be the real matsyendrasana. Because this variation is given in many others – even in Hatha Yoga Pradipika they are describing this. It is very easy to think, that yogin in matsyendrasana sitting in Samadhi like this for a very- very long time.
Pashchimottanasana – same way, gorakshasana- same way, utkatasana – same way. Sankatasana: placing the left foot and the leg on the ground, surround the left foot by the right leg and place two hands on the two knees – this is sankatasana.
Mayurasana almost look like same: place the palms of the two hands on the ground, place the umbilical region on the two elbows, stand upon the hands and legs been raise in the air and cross like padmasana – this is called mayurasana. Always with lotus is mayurasana.
The peacock posture destroy the unwholesome food, it produces heat in the stomach, destroys the effects of deadly poisons, it easily cures diseases like gulma and pile and fever.
Q: it cures the high fever?
Guruji: yes. They mention fever with mayurasana only, that it cures fever.
Kukuttasana – same, kurmasana – same. Uttankumasana – same and mandukasana – same; uttanamandukasana – almost same. Vrikshasana – you must be knowing it in different name: tadasana also, tree pose. Stand on one leg and put another like this. And they end with yogasana, which we already discuss.
Q: and again about trataka…
Guruji: trataka will actually prepare for shambhavi mudra and even khechari mudra. Trataka is to keep your eyes on any point as long as you can. But as Gorakhnath describe – you do trataka on your big toe. That is much better and convenient. Or you can do it on your thumb. Trataka will prepare your eyes and make them strong enough so you will be comfortable in concentration. And remember: they say the mind is fickle – it is not very easy thing to control your mind. Your eyes also are very fickle – it is not very easy to keep your eyes unblinking very long time. If your eyes will remain unblinking for a long time – refer to my commentary at Yoga Sutras – simply remaining your eyes unblinking you will be able to control the kurma vayu, which remains here( eyes); and only with the control of kurma vayu will able you to enter Samadhi. This tratak and khechari and shambhavi goes very long. Without stopping the blinking of your eyes you will never ever be able to control the kurma vayu, which remains in your eyelids. That’s why in khechari you remains eyes up, in shambhavi also – in trataka you practice for this. It will enable you to control the kurma vayu. Shambhavi – when you are already established you consciousness in unconscious, then you are already beyond looking somewhere; eyes will remain half-opened, half-closed but they will see nothing, because you are observe inside. It’s different state. Not many people could stop the blinking of the eyes for the long time, it’s directly connected with the mind. Mind is always moving – so you keep blinking your eyes also. Udana vayu remains in your spinal cord. Only when kurma vayu is still – highest stay of the mind; eyes are steady- mind is steady. If eyes are fickle – mind is also fickle. It is easily seen on anybody. It may sound simple, but it is not so simple. It’s fantastic: to control your mind you need to control your eyes.
Q: it’s not possible without kumbhaka?
Guruji: it is possible without kumbhaka. You can just sit and you notice – when your eyes become more steady, your breathe is slow down more and more.
Q: so I can just sit like this and enter into Samadhi?
Guruji: with certain things, yes. You will need to do khechari, you should be sitting in Siddhasana, and you should be listening to Nada. Just – and you will be in. in Gheranda samhita they are describing Nada Yoga Samadhi – khechari is the most important ingredient. Another technical point here: Khechari mudra will enable you to go into suspended animation: that means by khechari your body is already tuned into some different things. When in Samadhi the body will go into suspended animation and you are already with khechari – it will be absolutely normal condition. And if someone need to wake you from samadhi – what he should do? I think this is very important.
First he should remove your tongue outside. And he should make you sit up, if you are falling down. And he should rub downward your spine again and again. And your tongue will have tendency to go back again, so he should keep your tongue in place with spoon. Keep it in normal condition. And out some warm milk, few drops inside and say “OM” in your ears. And just massage your body and shake you and you will come back. This knowledge I’m telling you – you must spread it out in group with khechari.
Q: how long I must sit in this state?
Guruji: once you will enter Samadhi- it will continue intensity. When you will be in Samadhi your eyes will remain open for some time – then they will close on their own. But you will not remain aware of it, because you are looking without looking. If it’s some covering on your eyes, or no covering – it’s no matter. Remember these instructions; and also put a hot water bottle on your head; keep it warm and rubbing downwards again and again, and keep the body warm. You must keep the tongue in place by the spoon, because it will have the tendency to go back. It is technical thing, only with Guru to disciple it passing.
It will no pulse, body will be cold, no heartbeat, but the crown of the head will be warm. And you will be in bliss, 7 heaven. When is nobody going about it – maybe it will take you for then and you will be arrange for something.
Q: and you can not exit from this state by yourself?
Guruji: you see, in first – one or two time – it may be happen like this, then you will get control. You just need long hair, so crown will be protected; and if you lost your hair you must wrap some cloths around your head to keep it warm.
Q: someone help you first time?
Guruji: oh, I came back automatically. After 1,5 hour. I think Babaji protects me- and you also.
But I would like you to have your body prepared. The better you are trained – the better your chance for surviving in future. Maybe some day we will have 100 disciples in Samadhi. But it will be not the show.
Q: but if 100 disciples will be in Samadhi – it will be like a blast for the area…
Guruji: it will be. Not for the area – for the whole world, for the whole planet.
Q: what is the perception of time till this 1,5 hour?
Guruji: there was no perception of time. Eternal life. 1,5 hour is too much time: you feel a few years or few months have passed.
Q: could we compare this condition with the experience out of the body?
Guruji: it was not exactly out of the body; it was like that you actually everywhere and every pore of your body of consciousness goes out and you are suddenly feeling everything. It’s very different. And in the beginning it is not such a pleasant experience. The smell of humanity are not tolerable. Only after some time you begin to go beyond about it.