Light on Yoga Sadhana
by Swami Sivananda
Question: In "Practical Lessons on Yoga" it is stated that Bandha Traya can be practised during Pranayama, concentration and meditation, with much advantage. But is not Bandha Traya a strenuous exercise by itself? Will not the combination distract the attention from the Lakshya?
Answer: While practising Bandha Traya, the mind should be engaged in meditation. This will help Kumbhaka to be prolonged during Pranayama, concentration and meditation. If the mind is allowed to wander about, Kumbhaka will last for a very short period only. Bandha Traya should be practised at the primary stages of meditation for success in Kevala Kumbhaka. In the advanced stages the combination is not necessary.
Q.: Should one do Kumbhaka after inhaling the breath when one does simple Bandha Traya, i.e., without combining it with Pranayama? How many times this Kriya should be performed, especially for the purpose of Brahmacharya?
A.: Bandha Traya (particularly Jalandhara Bandha) is a necessity for Kumbhaka only, soon after inhalation. It is just to arrest the involuntary impulse to exhale. Even ten times Bandha Traya during Pranayama practice in the morning and evening will give success in observing Brahmacharya. Much depends, however, on diet and changing the angle of vision towards spiritual values.
Q.: I read in a book that a Yogi once gave some magnetised water to a patient. When the boy was asked to take the water, the Yogi touched the glass with his fingers, and the water began to boil. How is it?
A.: I have seen many 'Yogins' creating water from empty pots, making water boil, and preparing rice in it. This is not associated with Yoga. It is pure jugglery. Healing power can be increased only by spiritual power through purity and intensity of concentration. Yoga confers this power. But no ostentation is resorted to for attracting attention for personal fame or gain or even for creating belief. By mere Sankalpa wonders can be effected by a man of unbroken truthfulness, celibacy and ethical virtues. Even the proper practice of Satya, Ahimsa and Brahmacharya by an ordinary man, irrespective of his past records, can work miracles.
Q.: Some one has written that by mastery over Yoni Mudra, Kutastha can be seen. How can the Absolute Consciousness (Kutastha) be seen thus?
A.: Yoni Mudra is meant only for developing deep concentration through the avoidance of external distractions. Kutastha or other points relating to the Sukshma Sarira or beyond cannot be seen by the physical eyes. One has to develop the internal divine vision or intuition to perceive the hidden truths of Yoga.
Q.: Is Kundalini awakened only through particular Yoga, e.g. the method of Rishi Patanjali? Is it essential for acquiring Siddhis?
A.: Raja Yogins awaken Kundalini through Samyama, Hatha Yogins through various Yogic Kriyas, Jnana Yogins through Pure Will, and the Bhaktas through immaculate devotion. Awakening Kundalini through any of these methods will bestow Siddhis. When Kundalini passes through various Chakras, the aspirant attains their respective Siddhis. Intelligent Yogins never demonstrate Siddhis, as in most cases they cause downfall. The ultimate goal is Self-realisation, for which Siddhis are absolutely useless. Misused Siddhis lose their effectiveness and cause untold suffering.