- Practise Asanas and Pranayamas in the early morning or three hours after food.
- Offer prayers to Guru and God before commencing the practice.
- Take Sattvic food, avoid hot pungent, sour articles of food and stimulants like tea, coffee, etc
- Keep a clean room under lock and key, let it be well ventilated, cool , free from insects and from other source of disturbance.
- Observe strict brahmacharya ; avoid unnecessary talks.
- Reduce your wants. Develop contentment.
- Take bath before the practice. If that is not possible, have a wash before and bath atleast half an hour after the practice.
- Sit facing East or North.
- Be regular and systematic in your practice.
- Obey your Guru implicitly in all respects.
YOGA AND ITS CONSUMMATION
Yoga is the art of uniting Kundalini Shakti lying in Muladhara Chakra with Shiva in Sahasrara Chakra. As per Vedanta the soul is enveloped by five sheaths – Annamaya Kosh (the Gross Body), the Pranamaya Kosh (vital sheath) , Manomaya Kosh ( the Mind), Vijnanmaya Kosh ( The intellect), and Anandamaya Kosh ( the bliss sheath or the ignorance that immediately veils the Self), and that the goal of life via self-realization is attained by negating the five sheaths and piercing the veil of ignorance.
When do we regard the particular part or organ of a body as perfectly healthy? When we are not made aware of tht organ. The ear is in perfect health when we are not aware that that organ exists. If there is pain we are conscious of its presence. In order to transcend the five sheaths, therefore they must be free from all afflictions. Yoga helps you do that.
The purificatory kriyas of Hatha Yoga and Asana ensure health of the body and free it from ailments. Pranayama revitalizes the vital sheath. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the rays o f the mind and restraining them from flowing outwards) and Dharana ( concenteration) strengthen the mind. Meditation brings about a happy blending of the intellect and intuition, and the yogi’s intelligence becomes intuitive. Samadhi illumines the soul and reveals the Self, by piercing the veil of ignorance. This is Yoga, the perfect system of all round Self-Culture.
To embark on this you have to prepare the vessel with Yama-Niyama- which is the canons of right conduct. One who has not controlled his senses, who is not truthful, kind, compassionate and pure cannot make any progress in sadhna. Energy leaks out through all avanues of the body. The vital sheet is debilitated, The mind is completely extroverted. The intellect is dull. The soul is enveloped in dense darkness. Meditation for such a person is just a dream. Therefore all spiritual aspirants should –
- Engage themselves in Nishkama Yoga for self-purification and cultivation of virtues and
- Practice as much japa as possible to earn His grace.
These two Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga cannot be overemphasized.
Once the senses are controlled, and the heart purified, control of mind, concenteration of its rays, and meditation becomes very easy. The aspirant would do well to remember the two great watch words of Sadhna –
(a) Abhyasa (unrelenting, intense, unbroken, regular and systematic practice),
(b) Vairagya (dispassion, aversion to all sensual enjoyments, non attachment to objects of senses).
To the extent to which the aspirant grows in these two, to that extent will his mind want tomeditate. There will be joy in meditation. The mind will look forward to the period of meditation. When this condition becomes intense, then the mind will be in constant state of meditation. As your hands are engaged in the work of the day, the mind will be blissfully detached from the world, peacefully witnessing – Sakshi Bhava- the play of the sense and the sense objects. When you are established in this state you are a Perfected Yogi. You have only to sit and close your eyes, you will instantly transcend the five sheaths and merge in the Supreme Soul. Your actions will be in tune with the divine will. You will have the superhuman powers of intellect, mind and body. You will never be tired, dull or depressed. Your words will have life-transforming power. Your heart will be full of compassion and love for humanity, and all humanity will be drawn towards you. You will become a spiritual magnet. You will shine as a Yogi, Sage and Jivanmukta. You are liberated. This is the Goal.