1. Posture becoming established, a Yogi, master of himself,
eating salutary and moderate food, should practice pranayama, as
instructed by his guru.
2. Respiration being disturbed, the mind becomes disturbed. By
restraining respiration, the Yogi gets steadiness of mind.
3. So long as the (breathing) air stays in the body, it is
called life. Death consists in the passing out of the (breathing)
air. It is, therefore, necessary to restrain the breath.
4. The breath does not pass through the middle channel
(susumna), owing to the impurities of the nadis. How can then
success be attained, and how can there be the unmani avastha.
5. When the whole system of the nadis which is full of
impurities, is cleaned, then the Yogi becomes able to control the
6. Therefore, Pranayama should be performed daily with satwika
buddhi (intellect free from raja and tama or activity and sloth),
in order to drive out the impurities of the susumna.
Methods of performing Pranayama.
7. Sitting in the Padmasana posture the Yogi should fill in
the air through the left nostril (closing the right one); and,
keeping it confined according to one's ability, it should be
expelled slowly through the surya (right nostril).
8. Then, drawing in the air through the surya slowly, the
belly should be filled, and after performing Kumbhaka as before,
it should be expelled slowly through the chandra (left nostril).
9. Inhaling thus through the one, through which it was
expelled, and having restrained it there, till possible, it
should be exhaled through the other, slowly and not forcibly.
10. If the air be inhaled through the left nostril, it should
be expelled again through the other, and filling it through the
right nostril, confining it there, it should be expelled through
the left nostril. By practicing in this way, through the right
and the left nostrils alternately, the whole of the collection of
the nadis of the yamis (practisers) becomes clean, i.e.,
free from impurities, after 3 months and over.
11. Kumbhakas should be performed gradually four times during
day and night (i.e., morning, noon, evening and midnight),
till the number of Kumbhakas for one time is 80 and for day and
night together it is 320.
12. In the beginning there is perspiration, in the middle
stage there is quivering, and in the last or third stage, one
obtains steadiness; and then the breath should be made steady or
13. The perspiration exuding from exertion of practice should
be rubbed into the body (and not wiped), as by so doing the body
14. During the first stage of practice the food consisting of
milk and ghee is wholesome. When the practice becomes
established, no such restriction is necessary.
15. Just as lions, elephants and tigers are controlled by and
by, so the breath is controlled by slow degrees, otherwise (i.e.,
by being hasty or using too much force) it kills the practitioner
16. When Pranayama, etc., are performed properly, they
eradicate all diseases; but an improper practice generates
17. Hiccough, asthma, cough, pain in the head, the ears, and
the eyes; these and other various kinds of diseases are generated
by the disturbance of the breath.
18. The air should be expelled with proper tact and should be
filled in skillfully; and when it has been kept confined properly
it brings success.
N.B.--The above caution is necessary to
warn the aspirants against omitting any instruction; and in their
zeal to gain success or siddhis early, to begin the practice,
either by using too much force in filling in, confining and
expelling the air, or by omitting any instructions, it may cause
unnecessary pressure on their ears, eyes, &c., and cause
pain. Every word in the instructions is full of meaning and is
necessarily used in the slokas, and should be followed very
carefully and with due attention. Thus there will be nothing to
fear whatsoever. We are inhaling and exhaling the air throughout
our lives without any sort of danger, and Pranayama being only a
regular form of it, there should be no cause to fear.)
19. When the nadis become free from impurities, and there
appear the outward signs of success, such as lean body and
glowing color, then one should feel certain of success.
20. By removing the impurities, the air can be restrained,
according to one's wish and the appetite is increased, the divine
sound is awakened, and the body becomes healthy.
21. If there be excess of fat or phlegm in the body, the six
kinds of kriyas (duties) should be performed first. But others,
not suffering from the excess of these, should not perform them.
22. The six kinds of duties are: Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Trataka,
Nauti and Kapala Bhati. These are called the six actions.
23. These six kinds of actions which cleanse the body should
be kept secret. They produce extraordinary attributes and are
performed with earnestness by the best Yogis.
24. A strip of cloth, about 3 inches wide and 15 cubits long,
is pushed in (swallowed), when moist with warm water, through the
passage shown by the guru, and is taken out again. This is
called Dhauti Karma.
N.B.-- The strip should be moistened with
a little warm water, and the end should be held with the teeth.
It is swallowed slowly, little by little: thus, first day 1
cubit, 2nd day 2 cubits, 3rd day 3 cubits, and so on. After
swallowing it the stomach should be given a good, round motion
from left to right, and then it should be taken out slowly and
25. There is no doubt, that cough, asthma, enlargement of the
spleen, leprosy, and 20 kinds of diseases born of phlegm,
disappear by the practice of Dhauti Karma.
26. Squatting in navel deep water, and intoducing a six inches
long, smooth piece of 1/2 an inch diameter pipe, open at both
ends, half inside the anus; it (anus) should be drawn up
(contracted) and then expelled. This washing is called Basti
27. By practicing this Basti Karma, colic, enlarged spleen,
and dropsy, arising from the disorders of Vata (air), pitta
(bile) and kapha (phlegm), are all cured.
28. By practicing Basti with water, the Dhatus, the Indriyas
and the mind become calm. It gives glow and tone to the body and
increases the appetite. All the disorders disappear.
29. A cord made of threads and about six inches long, should
be passed through the passage of the nose and the end taken out
in the mouth. This is called by adepts the Neti Karma.
30. The Neti is the cleaner of the brain and giver of divine
sight. It soon destroys all the diseases of the cervical and
31. Being calm, one should gaze steadily at a small mark, till
eyes are filled with tears. This is called Tratika by acharyas.
32. Tratika destroys the eye diseases and removes sloth, etc.
It should be kept secret very carefully, like a box of jewelry.
33. Sitting on the toes with heels raised above the ground,
and the palms resting on the ground, and in this bent posture the
belly is moved forcibly from left to right, just as in vomiting.
This is called by adepts the Nauli Karma.
34. It removes dyspepsia, increases appetite and digestion,
and is like the goddess of creation, and causes all happiness. It
dries up all the disorders. This is an excellent exercise in
The Kapala Bhati.
35. When inhalation and exhalation are performed very quickly,
like a pair of bellows of a blacksmith, it dries up all the
disorders from the excess of phlegm, and is known as Kapala
36. When Pranayama is performed after getting rid of obesity
born of the defects of phlegm, by the performance of the six
duties, it easily brings success.
37. Some acharyas (teachers) do not advocate any other
practice, being of opinion that all the impurities are dried up
by the practice of Pranayama.
38. By carrying the Apana Vayu up to the throat, the food,
etc., in the stomach are vomited, By degrees, the system of Nadis
(Sankhini) becomes known. This is called in Hatha as Gaja Karani.
39. Brahna and other Devas were always engaged in the exercise
of Pranayama, and, by means of it, got rid of the fear of death.
Therefore, one should practice pranayama regularly.
40. So long as the breath is restrained in the body, so long
as the mind is undisturbed, and so long as the gaze is fixed
between the eyebrows, there is no fear from Death.
41. When the system of Nadis becomes clear of the impurities
by properly controlling the prana, then the air, piercing the
entrance of the Susumna, enters it easily.
42. Steadiness of mind comes when the air moves freely in the
middle. That is the manonmani condition, which is attained when
the mind becomes calm.
43. To accomplish it, various Kumbhakas are performed by those
who are expert in the methods; for, by the practice of different
Kumbhakas, wonderful success is attained.
Different kinds of Kumbhakas.
44. Kumbhakas are of eight kinds, viz., Surya Bhedan,
Ujjayi, Sitkari, Sitali, Bhastrika, Bhramari, Murchha, and
45. At the end of Puraka, Jalandhara Bandha should be
performed, and at the end of Kumbhaka, and at the beginning of
Rechaka, Uddiyana Bandhas should not be performed.
(N.B.--Puraka is filling in of the air
from the outside.)
46. Kumbhaka is the keeping the air confined inside. Rechaka
is expelling the confined air. The instructions for Puraka,
Kumbhaka and Rechaka will be found at the proper place and it
should be carefully followed. By drawing up from below (Mula
Bandha) and contracting the throat (Jalanddhara Bandha) and by
pulling back the middle of the front portion of the body (i.e.,
belly), the Prana goes to the Brahma Nadi (Susumna).
(N.B.-- The middle hole, through the
vertebral column, through which the spinal cord passes, is called
the Susumna Nadi of the Yogis. The two other sympathetic cords,
one on each side of the spinal cord, are called the Ida and the
Pingala Nadis. These will be described later on.)
47. By pulling up the Apana Vayu and by forcing the Prana Vayu
down the throat, the yogi, liberated from old age, becomes young,
as it were 16 years old.
(Note.--The seat of the Prana is the
heart; of the Apana anus; of the Samana the region about the
navel; of Udana the throat; while the Vyana moves throughout the
48. Taking any comfortable posture and performing the asana,
the Yogi should draw in air slowly, through the right nostril.
49. Then it should be confined within, so that it fills from
the nails to the tips of the hair, and let it out through the
left nostril slowly.
(Note.-- This is to be done alternately with
both the nostrils, drawing in through one, expelling through the
other, and vice versa.)
50. This excellent Surya Bhedana cleanses the forehead
(frontal sinuses), destroys the disorders of Vata, and removes
the worms, and, therefore, it should be performed again and
I am going to describe the procedure of the practice of
Yoga, in order that Yogis may succeed. A wise man should
leave his bed in the Usa Kala (i.e., at the peep
of dawn or 4 o'clock) in the morning.
2. Remembering his guru over his head, and his desired
deity in his heart, after answering the calls of nature,
and cleaning his mouth, he should apply Bhasma (ashes).
3. In a clean spot, clean room and charming ground, he
should spread a soft asana (cloth for sitting on).
Having seated on it and remembering in his mind his guru
and his god.
4. Having extolled the place and the time and taking
up the vow thus: 'To day by the grace of God, I will
perform Pranayamas with asanas for gaining samadhi
(trance) and its fruits.' He should salute the infinite
Deva, Lord of the Nagas, to insure success in the asanas
5. Salutation to the Lord of the Nagas, who is adorned
with thousands of heads, set with brilliant jewels
(manis), and who has sustained the whole universe,
nourishes it, and is infinite. After this he should begin
his exercise of asanas and when fatigued, he should
practice sava asana. Should there be no fatigue, he
should not practice it.
6. Before Kumbhaka, he should perform Viparita Karni
Mudra, in order that he may be able to perform Jalandhar
7. Sipping a little water, he should begin the
exercise of Pranayama, after saluting Yogindras, as
described in the Kurma Purana, in the words of Siva.
8. Such as "Saluting Yogindras and their
disciples and guru Vinayaka, the Yogi should unite with
me with composed mind."
9. While practicing, he should sit with Siddhasana,
and having performed bandhu and Kumbhaka, should
begin with 10 Pranayamas the first day, and go on
increasing 6 daily.
10. With composed mind 80 Kumbhakas should be
performed at a time; beginning first with the chandra
(the left nostril) and then the surya (the right
11-12. This has been spoken of by wise men as Anuloma
and Viloma. Having practiced Surya Bhedan, with Bandhas,
the wise man should practice Ujjayi and then Sitkari
Sitali, and Bhastrika, he may practice others or not.
13. He should practice mudras properly, as instructed
by his guru. Then sitting with Padmasana, he should hear
anahata nada attentively.
14. He should resign the fruits of all his practice
reverently to God, and, on rising on completion of
the practice, a warm bath should be taken.
15. The bath should bring all the daily duties briefly
to an end. At noon also a little rest should be taken at
the end of the exercise, and then food should be taken.
16. Yogis should always take wholesome food and never
anything unwholesome. After dinner he should eat Ilachi
17. Some like camphor, and betel leaf. To the Yogis,
practicing Pranayama, betel leaf without powders, i.e.,
lime, nuts and katha, is beneficial.
18. After taking food he should read books treating of
salvation, or hear Puranas and repeat the name of God.
19. In the evening the exercise should begin after
finishing Sandyha, as before, beginning the practice 3
ghatika or one hour before the sun sets.
20. Evening sandhya should always be performed after
practice, and Hatha Yoga should be practiced at midnight.
21. Viparita Karni is good to be practiced in the
evening and at midnight, and not just after eating, as it
does no good at this time.)
51. Having closed the opening of the Nadi (larynx), the air
should be drawn in such a way that it goes touching from the
throat to the chest, and making noise while passing.
52. It should be restrained, as before, and then let out
through the Ida (the left nostril). This removes slesma (phlegm)
in the throat and increases the appetite.
53. It destroys the defects of the nadis, dropsy and disorders
of Dhatu (humors). Ujjayi should be performed in all conditions
of life, even while walking or sitting.
54. Sitkari is performed by drawing in the air through the
mouth, keeping the tongue between the lips. The air thus drawn in
should not be expelled through the mouth. By practicing in this
way, one becomes next to the God of love and beauty.
55. He is regarded adorable by the Yoginis and becomes the
destroyer of the cycle of creation. He is not afflicted with
hunger, thirst, sleep or lassitude.
56. The Satwa of his body becomes free from all disturbances.
In truth, he becomes the lord of the Yogis in this world.
57. As in the above (Sitkari), the tongue to be protruded a
little out of the lips, when the air is drawn in. It is kept
confined, as before, and then expelled slowly through the
58. This Sitali Kumbhaka cures colic, (enlarged) spleen,
fever, disorders of bile, hunger, thirst, and counteracts
59. The Padma asana consists in crossing the feet and placing
them on both the thighs; it is the destroyer of all sins.
60. Binding the Padma-asana and keeping the body straight,
closing the mouth carefully, let the air be expelled through the
61. It should be filled up to the lotus of the heart, by
drawing it in with force, making noise and touching the throat,
the chest and the head.
62. It should be expelled again and filled again and again as
before, just as a pair of bellows of the blacksmith is worked.
63. In the same way, the air of the body should be moved
intelligently, filling it through Suyra when fatigue is
64. The air should be drawn in through the right nostril by
pressing the thumb against the left side of the nose, so as to
close the left nostril; and when filled to the full, it should be
closed with the fourth finger (the one next to the little finger)
and kept confined.
65. Having confined it properly, it should be expelled through
the Ida (left nostril). This destroys Vata, pitta (bile) and
phlegm and increases the digestive power ( the gastric fire).
66. It quickly awakens the Kundalini, purifies the system,
gives pleasure, and is beneficial. It destroys phlegm and the
impurities accumulated at the entrance of the Brahma Nadi.
67. This Bhastrika should be performed plentifully, for it
breaks the three knots: Brahma granthi (in the chest), Visnu
granthi (in the throat), and Rudra granthi (between the eyebrows)
of the body.
68. By filling the air with force, making noise like Bhringi
(wasp), and expelling it slowly, making noise in the same way;
this practice causes a sort of ecstasy in the minds of Yogindras.
69. Closing the passages with Jalandhar Bandha firmly at the
end of Puraka, and expelling the air slowly, is called Murchha,
from its causing the mind to swoon and give comfort.
70. When the belly is filled with air and the inside of the
body is filled to its utmost with air, the body floats on the
deepest water, like a leaf of a lotus.
71. Considering Puraka (Filling), Rechaka (expelling) and
Kumhaka (confining), Pranayama is of three kinds, but considering
it accompanied by Puraka and Rechaka, and without these, it is of
two kinds only, i.e., Sabita (with) and Kevala (alone).
72. Exercise in Sahita should be continued till success in
Kevala is gained. This latter is simply confining the air with
ease, without Rechaka and Puraka.
73. In the practice of Kevala Pranayama when it can be
performed successfully without Rechaka and Puraka, then it is
called Kevala Kumbhaka.
74. There is nothing in the three worlds which may be
difficult to obtain for him who is able to keep the air confined
according to pleasure, by means of Kevala Kumbhaka.
75. He obtains the position of Raja Yoga undoubtedly.
Kundalini awakens by Kumbhaka, and by its awakening, Susumna
becomes free from impurities.
76. No success in Raja Yoga without Hatha Yoga, and no success
in Hatha Yoga without Raja Yoga. One should, therefore, practice
both of these well, till complete success is gained.
77. On the completion of Kumbhaka, the mind should be given
rest. By practicing in this way one is raised to the position of
(succeeds in getting) Raja Yoga.
Indications of success
in the practice of
78. When the body becomes lean, the face glows with delight,
Anahata-nada manifests, and eyes are clear, the body is healthy, bindu
under control, and appetite increases, then one should know that
the Nadis are purified and success in Hatha Yoga is approaching.