Tratak is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘to see or gaze’. It is one of the practices of meditation performed gazing at a certain object. Generally, it is practiced by looking at the flame of the lamp. Moreover, it also can be practiced by gazing at the symbol, photo, circle, flower, moon, water, leaf or any point. It has been categorized into two kinds. One is internal tratak which is to gaze the inner consciousness through the mind. In internal tratak eyes are closed. On the other, it is external tratak about which we usually make the mind when you hear the word tratak. In this type of tratak we gaze at the certain object with open eyes until the drop of tears falls off the eyes. In ancient Hindu tradition, Ghandhari is believed to have mastered tratak. In recent era Ramana Maharshi had practiced it.
How to perform Tratak?
Sitting in any comfortable meditative posture about one meter or a half away from the object which has to be kept at eye level, we keep our total focus with open eyes to the object without blinking the eyelids and making our eyeball steady. The place for the practice should be half-dark. The appropriate time to practice tratak is in the early morning or in the evening or at night before sleeping. The gazing with open and steady eyes continues until a drop of tears/water comes out of the eyes. The focus should be on the flame of the lamp rather than on the lamp itself or candle. When the water falls off the eyes, keep your eyes closed. Then concentrate on the third eye where you see the flame of light still beaming. The focus will be continued until the flame of the light at the third eye fades away. If you want to prolong your practice you can again gaze your eyes on the flame of the lamp or the candle. Otherwise, gently place your rubbed palms on the eyes and gradually open your eyes.
What are the benefits of Tratak?
Tratak is one of the best technique which leads you to the way of having the psychic ability of clairvoyance. When it is mastered, it is said that the practitioner get siddhis that he/she can see the future. The intuitive power also can be attained by the strenuous and serious practice of tratak. Moreover, the power of controlling your mind get developed by the practice of tratak. It is very effective practice to develop the concentration and focus power of the mind. Your memory also can be improved by the regular practice of tratak. The chattering and wandering mind is controlled in greater extent through the regular and sincere practice of tratak. It also cures eye-related disease. The water which is excreted from the eyes allows the relief and relaxation on your eyes which keeps your eyes lightening and meditative. The meditative power can be developed with the application of tratak in daily life. It also helps to awaken the centre of brains which make a practitioner realize the power within us.
For the people having weak eyesight and wear eye-glasses can gaze at the dot of the wall for fifteen day or a month by which eyes vision can be restored in better level. Even the double vision due to detachment of the retina can be healed too much extent by the proper practice of the tratak in the flame of the lamp.
Even the bite of scorpion can be healed by the austere practice of tratak. The hypnotic power also can be developed by the practice of Tratak. Through practice of tratak siddhi to control someone can be attained. Moreover, it is the best practice to lead us into the state of self-realization provided that it is practiced with dedication and firm determination.
Mechanism of Tratak
The light radiated from a flame of the candle or lamp is received by the eyes which generate energy into the eyes. The focus of the light and heat energy occurs when the lens of the eyes concentrate on the flame which strikes to the retina. The light and energy enter the posterior lobes of the brain through the passage of optical nerves. The energy and light entered into the lobes at the rear of the brain rise the energy in the Pineal gland which feeds on light and energy. The Pineal gland is also known as the third eye. The ability of the pineal gland to convert the light into the electromagnetic energy gives the energy to the body’s glandular system.
Tratak in candle
If we want to do trataka in candle flame we should fix a candle flame in the level of eyes sitting in straight still position continuously without blinking eyes stare at the flame more time, there can be tears coming and the muscles can be stressful so open big eyes and keep continues. When there is more stress close the eyes and visualize the flame of a candle in eyebrow enter let go all the thoughts. Try to still your mind in visualized light than finally palming the eyes.
Trataka develops concentration and removes mental disturbances. It involves gazing steadily at a point. Gazing on a steady candle flame is also practiced without blinking the eyes. This practice also improves eyesight and gives steadiness of mind. Mental power and capacity of meditation will be strong. It improves the mental and nervous stability. It removes insomnia and increases the quality of sleep. It removes the distraction in the mind making the mind calm steady increasing the concentration. It strengthens the muscles of eyes to get rid of mild eye problems.
Dhauti: The process of cleansing the stomach along the food pipe is called dhauti. It is done basically in the empty stomach early in the morning for removing the undigested food particles as well as for removing the gaseous that are deposited in the stomach. There are various types of dhauti. The main type of dhauti are:
- Varisar dhauti or Sankha Prakashalana (Cleansing of an entire digestive system)
- Vatsara Dhauti or Kaki mudra (Cleansing the intestines with air)
- Vahnisara Dhauti or Agnisara Kriya (Activating the digestive fire)
- Vaman Dhauti (Regurgitative cleansing)
This kind of dhauti is further divided into three types
- Kunjal Kriya (Practice of vomiting water )
- Gaja karma Kriya or elephant style of vomiting
- Vyaghra Kriya or tiger style of Vomiting
- Vastra Dhauti (Cleansing of the intestine by using cloth)
- Danda Dhauti ( Cleansing of intestine by using catheter)
There are two types of major neti which are
- Jala Neti (nasal cleansing with water)
- Sutra Neti (nasal cleansing with thread)
The process of cleansing and purifying the nasal passage with the mild salted water using the pot (having a long spout on one side) is called Jala Neti. We should bend our head toward the right if we fixed the spout of the pot in the left nostril and wait for the water coming out from the next nostril. Again repeat the process from the right nostril. After completing this process the nostrils must be thoroughly dried by Vastrika breathing. Jala neti stimulates the nerve ending in the nose, removes mucus from nasal passages, cleans the nose and sinus cavities, thus helping in reliving allergies, sinuses, mild headache, migraine, memory loss etc.
Note: Kunjal kriya followed by Jala neti
Neti can be done from the rubber as well as from the thread that is called Sutra neti. Slowly we pass the blunt end of the catheter or the thread in the nostril feeling each sensation it will go upward and heading towards the throats, with the help of two finger pull the catheter out gently rub or massage the channels smoothly. Then leaving the nostril part pulls it out from the mouth. Repeat the process with next nostril. Again repeat with the water neti at the end. Practice under the guidance of expert practitioners.
This practice cleanses the forehead, nose, and throat and prevents cold, improves vision and catarrh.
Some of the benefits of Neti- jal/ rubber/ thread are:
- It removes all the mucus so if any bacteria, dirt or foreign matters are in contact is out.
- It helps to drain the sinus cavities so body natural mechanism against nasal infections like high fever, allergies, sinusitis and other respiratory complains such as sore throats, cough, and inflammation of tonsils.
- It is beneficial for all problems associated with eyes such as flushing tears ducts, encouraging clear vision and gives sparkle to eyes.
- Neti is a cooling and soothing effect on the brain, drawing out the excessive heat helping for headaches, epilepsy migraines, hysteria, depression and mental tensions.
- It effects in clearing the third eye the Ajya chakra for the higher conscious state
- It is helpful for asthma and bronchitis reducing the tendency of mouth breathing by freeing nostril mucus.
- It re-sensitizes the nose to the pollution of ingestion smoke
- It is helpful to maintain the good health of ears, eyes, and throat.
- Removes stress and anxiety and head feel fresh and light.
The practice of rotation of abdominal muscles in clockwise or anti-clockwise direction is nauli kriya. There are four forms of Nauli, they are;
1) Vama- left
3) Madhya- middle
4) Moving in all direction clockwise and anti-clockwise.
Nauli helps to tone all the muscles as well as organs associated with the abdomen. It removes all the digestives disorders.
Nauli is the practice of churning the abdominal muscles to the left and right repeatedly. Rotation of the muscles, clockwise as well as anti-clockwise is also practiced. This tones up all the organs in the abdomen and removes digestive disorders. It is a difficult practice in the beginning and may take a few months to master. The process involves isolating the ‘Abs’ muscles (also called the rectus abdominus muscle) on both sides of the abdomen and then using it to move and churn the internal organs. This improves the functioning of all organs in the abdomen. The four forms of Nauli practiced areVama Nauli (using left Abs muscles), Dakshina Nauli (using right Abs muscles), Madhya Nauli (using both Abs muscles) and churning (rotation – clockwise as well as anti-clock wise) of the Abs muscles.
Kapalabhati – Though many include Kapalabhati as a type pranayama, in the Hatha Yoga texts, it is classified under theShatkarmas. It is a powerful cleaning process where the air is forcefully expelled from the lungs, removing any stagnant carbon dioxide accumulated in the lower parts of the lungs. In kapalabhati, the exhalation is forceful while the inhalation is normal. This process is repeated few rounds. It is said to be a cure for many diseases.
Benefits of Kapalbhati
- It helps to regulate the breathing mechanism as make us prepare body and mind for advance practice of pranayamas.
- It purifies the nerves and the pranic channels.
- It helps to remove all the impurities of the body kapha doshas.
- It helps to remove abdominal fats as well as strengths the abdominal muscles.
- It gives a clear mind so that thoughts can be controlled.
- It cleans the cranial sinuses and can relieve cerebral thrombosis
To draw in water through the anus and wash the large intestines with nauli or simple movement of abdomen and then take out all the unnecessary things from large intestine is known as basti karma. In short cut the act of cleansing the bowels with the water is basti. Traditionally the ancient people use to drawl the water from their anus from the pond while having bathing in the pond thus cleansing their bowel, but due to increasing population this technique have been diverted. The water about 1-1.5 liter of mild hot slightly salted water is place at a pot (enema can) with some feet high from the bed level head level slightly lower than leg, with the pipe connected with the tap and the catheter, the nozzle is slowly placed in the anus with putting some lubrication if required, then open the pipe so that the water enters into our large intestine. Wait for while remove before the water is finished. Be in the toilet wait until there is a pressure to defecate, you will find the dark colored stool that may be the remaining of last food that have been stored from past.
It balances the three doshas (humor) of the body. The large intestines can have impurities stuck to its walls, which don’t get expelled for days so the basti helps to remove these. It helps relieving the gas formation in large intestine. It wakes the digestive power. This process is very powerful to relives and cures the constipation.