CONCENTRATION ON SOLAR PLEXUS
Solar plexus is often called the abdominal brain. It is an important centre of the nerves, connected with the sympathetic nervous system. It is located in the Epigastric region, behind the pit of the stomach on either side of the spinal column. It has control on the main internal organs of man. It plays a much more important part than is generally recognised. It takes an important part in the control of emotions and of various bodily functions. It is composed of white and grey brain matter. It is one of the most vital parts of the body. A blow over the solar plexus is well-known to boxing men as a ready means of rendering an opponent unconscious or at any rate helpless. It is the store-house of Prana. It is the power-house. It is the most important of all the Adharas (supports) of the body that are sixteen in number. It is a known fact that men have been instantly killed by a severe blow over the solar plexus. The solar plexus is literally the sun of the nervous system. When the sun is shining harmoniously, the whole of the physical system is harmonious. It radiates strength and energy to all parts of the body. Thoughts and Prana, when directed towards this centre through Pranayama, will stimulate and awaken the sunshine latent therein.
Sit erect in Padmasana or Siddhasana. Close your eyes. Draw the air slowly through the left nostril as long as you can do with comfort. Keep the right one closed with your right thumb. Repeat Om mentally. Then retain the breath. Have the attention well-directed towards the solar plexus. Concentrate your mind there. Have the thought centred upon it. Do not make any undue strain of the mind or undue effort of any kind. Direct consciously the Prana to the region of solar plexus through the retained breath. Imagine : "I am breathing in Prana, happiness, joy, strength, vigour, love." Then slowly exhale through the right nostril. Then inhale through the right nostril, retain it as before and exhale through the left. Repeat the process 12 times in the morning. Fear, depression, weakness and other undesirable emotions, which stand in the way of spiritual advancement, will vanish. You will become more and more confident of success in Self- realisation.
There are five elements, viz., Prithvi, Apas, Agni, Vayu and Akasa. To the body of the five elements, there is the fivefold Dharana. From the feet to the knees is said to be the region of the Prithvi. It is four-sided in shape, yellow in colour and has its Varna the Sanskrit letter 'L' along the region of earth, i.e., from the feet to the knees. Contemplating upon this, one should perform Dharana there for a period of two hours daily. He then attains mastery over the earth. Death does not trouble him since he has obtained mastery over the 'earth' element.
The region of Apas is said to extend from the knees to the anus. Apas is semi-lunar in shape and white in colour. It has the letter 'Va' for its Bijakshara-seed-letter. Carrying up the breath with the letter 'Va' along the region of Apas, one should contemplate on God Narayana, having four arms, a crowned head, dressed in orange-colour clothes and as decayless. Practising Dharana there daily for a period of two hours, he is freed from all sins. Then there is no fear for him from water.
From the anus to the heart is said to be the region of Agni. Agni is triangular in shape, red in colour and has the letter 'R' along for its Bija. Raising the breath with the letter 'Ra' along the region of fire, one should contemplate on Rudra, who has three eyes, who grants all wishes and who is of the colour of mid-day sun. Practising Dharana there daily for a period of two hours, he is not burnt by fire, even though his body enters into the fire-pit.
From the heart to the middle of the eyebrows is said to be the region of Vayu. It is black in colour and shines with the letter 'Ya'. Carrying the breath along the region of Vayu, one should contemplate on Isvara, the omniscient. The Yogi does not meet his death through Vayu.
From the centre of the eyebrow to the top of the head is said to be region of Akasa. It is circular in shape, smoky in colour and shines with the letter 'Ha'. Raising the breath along the region of Akasa, one should contemplate on Sadasiva. By practising this Dharana one obtains the power of levitation. The Yogi gets all the Siddhis.