Transcribed from teachings of Guruji Swami Shree Yogi Satyam
TRUE MEANING OF PRANAYAMA
Prana - The Invisible Cosmic Vibratory Life force ...
The word Pranayama is derived from two words- Prana and Ayama. Prana means life force and Ayama means dimension (all aspects). Attaining the knowledge of all dimensions of Prana is called Pranayama.
Prana is not breath. Prana is creator of breath. Therefore, Pranayama is not breathing exercise. We cannot control Prana by breath. By realizing oneness with Prana we get full control over breath, body, mind, senses.
Maharshi Patanjali has clearly defined Pranayama- “Liberation can be accomplished by that Pranayama which is attained by disjoining the course of inspiration and expiration.” -- (Aphorisms 2:49) Here disjoining the course of inspiration and expiration means lack of inspiration and expiration where breath is stopped. It is converted into the higher consciousness. At this stage we attain the power to live without breath, heart beat, pulse rate. It is also called the state of Samadhi where we realize our true nature as Omnipresent Consciousness.
According to Maharshi Patanjali, Pranayama is a state of cessation of breath, the discontinuance of inhalation and exhalation which is the state of higher consciousness of realizing oneness with God. At this stage where we are perfectly united (one) with the Prana, we get full control over Prana. We realize that we are not bound or controlled by breath but we are controller of breath.
Pranayama cannot be practiced. It is the state of attainment of complete knowledge of Prana. Kriyayoga is the technique by which the state of Pranayama can be attained. Practice of Kriyayoga brings complete control over Prana therefore, it is highest Pranayama.
Kriyayoga practice calms the storm of breath and retires our consciousness into the Heavenly sphere of brain and spine. By merging with the infinite light of wisdom within brain and spine (the seven divine wisdom centers of knowledge), we realize oneness with Spirit (God).
Pranayama Is Not Breathing Exercise
A number of misguided zealots promote fast breathing exercises as Pranayama which is harmful for the nervous system and alveoli of the lungs. It disturbs the elasticity of bronchioles, and bronchi and alveoli which results in improper gaseous exchange between the air of the lungs and the circulating blood. Fast breathing exercises increase harmful emotions fear, lust, anger, greed, temptation and bring about physical and mental inharmonies. When we suffer from fear our breathing rate increases. Therefore, fast breathing exercises increase fear within.
Kriyayoga is the science of concentration on Self (body- toes to head). As concentration on body increases more and more, breathing rate reduces and we feel awakening of knowledge, power, peace within. When body and mind is fused (completely merged together), we live without breath. Then we behold our expanded, vast and infinite form known as Omnipresent Consciousness. At this stage the devotee realizes the Eternal Truth that Self and God are one.