Care for the Eyes

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In the early chapter, Dharana was explained as concentration of mind. The chief work of the mind is to wander about and always think about anything. It is very difficult to bring the mind to one pointedness. By simple process it is possible to have concentration of mind to some extent only when there is concentration any work is possible and can be done with perfection.
Eyes have a link with the thoughts. Hence only great sages have meditated closing the eyes. The eyes are very important. There are no words to describe the glory and the importance of eyes. It is quite essential to protect the eyesight improves. But all are not able to do this. But they can follow at least some minimum exercise to protect the eyes.

By fixing the eyes on a particular object for long duration, the eyes are strained much. For example reading for long duration without break may affect the eyes. At convenient interval some rest is essential for the eyes. Reading in dim light and powerful light may also affect the eyesight.

The rotation of eyeballs to the right side and left side, some two or three times is a form of exercise to the eyes. Sometimes when we are walking on the road, dust particles fall on eyes. Rubbing the eyes immediately is not good. This is dangerous also. God has created tears in the eyes. This tear liquid will automatically bring the particles towards the end.

Seeing a distant object and seeing a near object alternatively is also a form of exercise.

When reading for long duration, wash the eyes with cold water. The lord is in the form of light only as described in scriptures. The eyes, which receive the light need to be protected.

Now a days every house has a T.V. set. This T.V. set has almost become a necessity. Yes – indeed. But viewing the T.V.program sitting close to the T.V.set, or lying on bed may affect the eyesight.

In the case of people who have night duty it is essential that they should sleep after returning home, thus giving rest to the eyes.

When there is any defect in the eyes, as redness, or in vision, or spots etc., immediately eye doctor should be consulted. Delaying this consultation may lead to complications. Let us protect the eyes carefully.

Conclusion


There is a proverb, “Practice before you preach” In the same way, in 1939, in my eighteenth age, I went to Rishikesh to have Dharsan of Shre Swami Sivananda. I learnt Asana Practice there. Then after returning to Tiruchirapalli, a branch of the Divine life society was opened at Golden Rock. For about three years my duty was to practice Asana both in the morning and evening.

Then afterwards whenever I had time I have been doing Asanas. Even this day I do Tholungasana, Yoga Mudra and sit the Padhmasana for half an hour. Only when there is health there is world.

In those days, degree was got only after regular attendance in college. But times have changed. At present time, it is possible to get a degree by postal tution. In the same way reading this book, grasping the procedure in the mind, asanas can be practiced. If one finds that a particular asana is not suitable to his physical frame, better leave it and select that which suits you.

One point I wish to stress again and again Asana practice has to be undertaken slowly step by step. Any rough method should be avoided. Mind should be calm be free from anger and lust. Anger is the chief enemy of man.

Let us all get the wonderful fruit of Kundalini Sakthi as explained in Raja Yoga. Let us all be healthy.

“Om Namah Shivaya”

Surya Namaskar

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In this book on Yoga Asana a chapter on Surya Namaskar is important. There is a proverb in Tamil that “After loosing eye sight what use is Surya Namaskar?” It means any act has to be done in the appropriate period.

Of late Sun energy and its use is becoming more and more important. Solar energy is being used in many ways, even in driving a car. Apart from this idea, Surya Namaskar will surely give a healthy body. (Though spiritual advancement is also got). This fact cannot be under estimated whatever may be the physical frame one can do this. When properly done Surya Namaskar includes some asanas also to some extent.

In Astrology there is a ruling. Fixing an auspicious day and time is still in practice by many people. A day suitable to us may not be auspicious. Hence our ancestors have given us a wonderful theory. Any good act, for example entering a new house, opening a business etc. done at Sunrise time, is always good. The lunar day, star or the day of the week need not be calculated for this. (Thithi. Vara, Nakshatra Dosha) Sunrise period is always auspicious.

Sunrise itself is a beautiful sight. At this beautiful time if Surya Namaskar is done there will be perfect health and sharp eyesight. We should not see the Sun directly. Out eyes are not created to receive the Sunrays directly. Hence close the eyes partially or turn the vision slightly downward. Adjust in such a way to avoid direct vision on Sun. avoid spectacles during Surya Namaskar.

The procedure as I learnt from my Guru is explained hereunder.

  1. Stand erect.

  1. Raise both hands above the head.

  1. Join both the hands in the raised position.

  1. In this position give a backward bend to the possible extent.
  2. Then coming to the normal position give a forward bend to the body.

  1. In forward bending the legs should not bent.

  1. Then slightly rising, bend one leg and take the leg backward and fix the toe on the ground.

  1. Place the palms on the ground.

  1. Take the other leg also to the back and fix this toe also on the ground.

  1. At this position the body will rest on strength of the palms and toes. There should be space between the ground and other portions of the body.

  1. Place the entire body on the ground.

  1. Bring the hands to the forward position from the head.

  1. While getting up fixing the palm on the ground, raise the head and chest region.

  1. Come to the original position slowly.

By this process the backbone is given a backward and forward bend. By fixing the palm on the ground and raising the head and chest, the nerves in the neck portion and chest portion are nourished. We are also doing a portion of Chakrasana, Pachimothasana, Salabasana, Bujangasana and Mayurasana and Savasana.

A minimum of twelve Namaskars has to be performed. After Surya Namaskar there will be perspiration and the body will receive a new strength. Lethargy will go. After this take rest and drink a cup of milk without sugar.

When the hands are raised above the head this sloka, as seen in Mantra Sastra can be said,

Om-Suryam – Sundara lokanatha – mamrudham –

Vedhantha Saram – Sivam-

Gnanam – Brahmamayam – Suresamamalam –

Lokaika ethitham – Swayam –

Indraditya – Naradhipam – Suraguram – Thrailokya –

Choodamanim

Brahma – Vishnu Siva Swarupa –Hirudayam –

Vandhe – Sadha Baskaram

The Broad meaning of this sloka is as follows:

The beautiful Lord of the Universe, like the nectar, substance and end of vedhas, the embodiment of auspiciousness, full of Gnana, form of Brahma, God of Devas, pure, a form of entire universe, Lord of Indra, Devas and men, hed of the three worlds, heart of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, full of rays – this superior Sun – I prostrate.

There are twelve mantras for twelve Namaskars.

1. Om Mithraya Namah: Salutations to the Lord who is kind to all.

2. Om Ravaye Namah: Salutations to thee who is the cause for all changes.

3. Om Suryaya Namah: Salutations to thee who induces everything into action.

4. Om Bhanave Namah: Salutations to thee who gives rays of light.

5. Om Khagaya Namah: Salutations to thee who is traveling in the sky.

6. Om Pushne Namah: Salutations to thee who nourishes everything.

7. Om Hiranya Garbaya Namah: Salutations to thee who is having everything.

8. Om Marichaye Namah: Salutations to thee who is having rays of light.

9. Om Adityaya Namah: Salutations to thee who is deva to Devas.

10. Om Savithre Namah: Salutations to thee who produces everything.

11. Om Argaya Namah: Salutations to thee who is fit to be worshiped.

12. Om Baskaraya Namah: Salutations to thee who is the Lord of rays of light.

My Gurudev Shri Swami Sivananda has described more and also the importance of Surya Namaskar in his books.

It is not correct to conclude that Surya Namaskar has to be done by one caste or sect of people. A healthy body is needed for all. Sun rays are for the entire universe without any difference. In the same way, air is needed to all that are created.

These are special gifts given by God. Light, Sound, air etc is for all. Without any distinction of caste, creed, religion, race etc. before the eyes of God, all that are created are equal as tree, men animal etc.

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The present day life is full of activeness and hurry. The living place is often far away from work spot. If a house is chosen near the work spot the rent is very high; Rent alone consumes a major portion of salary. Many have to start in the early hours to catch the train so that they can be at the work spot in time. Under this situation there is no time to practice asana.


Even when many desire to learn Asana, practically many do not find time. In the available time what asana is to be learnt is the confusion. Hence for the whole week a chart is worked out for the convenience of the readers. From the chart it may be noticed that all the important asana are done. At least thirty minutes per day is the minimum period. Required. I have furnished the chart for theis duration. This chart may be considered as a model one, to suit your convenience and time this may be alerted.



Sunday

1. Padhmasana 5 Minutes
2. Rest 3 ,,
3. Parvatasana 2 ,,
4. Rest 2 ,,
5. Sidhasana 2 ,,
6. Rest 2 ,,
7. Swastikasana 2 ,,
8. Rest 2 ,,
9. Sukasana 2 ,,
10. Pranayama 5 ,,
11.Savasana 2 ,,
───
30 Minutes
───

Monday

1. Padhmasana 5 Minutes.
2. Rest 3 ’’
3. Surasasana 2 ’’
4. Rest 5 ’’
5. Urdhwa Padmasana 2 ’’
6. Rest 5’’
7. Pranayama 5’’
8. Savasana 3’’
───
30 Minutes.
───

Tuesday

1. Padhmasana 5 Minutes.
2. Rest 2 ’’
3. Sarvangasana 3 ’’
4. Rest 2 ’’
5. Matsyasana 2 ’’
6. Rest 3 ’’
7. Pachimotasana 2 ’’
8. Rest 5 ’’
9. Pranayama 3 ’’
10. Savasana 3 ’’
───
30 Minutes
───
Wednesday

1. Padhmasana 5 Minutes.
2. Halasana 2 ’’
3. Rest 3 ’’
4. Dhanurasana 2 ’’
5. Rest 5 ’’
6. Salabasana 2 ’’
7. Rest 3 ’’
8. Tholungasana 3 ’’
9. Pranayama 3 ’’
10. Savasana 2 ’’
───
30 Minutes.
───

THURSDAY

1. Padhmasana 5 Minutes.
2. Ardhamatsyendra 2 ’’
3. Rest 3 ’’
4. Bujangasana 2 ’’
5. Rest 3 ’’
6. Matsyasana 2 ’’
7. Rest 3 ’’
8. Pranayama 5 ’’
9. Savasana 5 ’’
───
30 Minutes.
───
Friday

1. Padhmasana 5 Minutes.
2. Rest 2 ’’
3. Chakrasana 2 ’’
4. Bujangasana 2 ’’
5. Rest 3 ’’
6. Matsyasana 2 ’’
7. Rest 3 ’’
8. Pranayama 5 ’’
9. Savasana 5 ’’
───
30 Minutes.
───







Saturday

1. Padhmasana 3 Minutes.
2. Rest 2 ’’
3. Vajrasana 2 ’’
4. Rest 4 ’’
5. Chakrasana 2 ’’
6. Rest 3 ’’
7. Sarvangasana 2 ’’
8. Rest 3 ’’
9. Pranayama 3 ’’
10. Rest 2 ’’
11.Mudra and Banda 2 ’’
12. Savasana 2 ’’
───
30 Minutes.
───
Daily morning time is good for practicing Asana and Pranayama. But many persons have night shift duty. After night duty in the factory or railway or any other department they return home in the morning after working for the whole night without sleep their immediate requirement is sleep on returning home. It is not quite good to do asana at this time. Sleep is a great boon given to us by God. Atleast six hours sleep is quite essential for normal health.

Hence after sleeping for about six hours or so get up and refresh yourself. Take a cup of milk. For about ten or fifteen minutes do some minor work. Now the body will be under fit condition for asana. Do the asana and panoramas. After rest do some minor work as reading or any household work. Then bathing etc. may be had.

Due to physical frame one may not be able to do certain types of Asana. For them there is also a ready-made chart.

1. Padhmasana 5 Minutes
2. Sarvangasana 3 ’’
3. Yoga Mudra 2’’
4. Pranayama 2 ’’
5. Rest after each 10 ’’

Like this you can make a workable chart. My Guru Swami Sivananda used to say that Padhmasana, Sirasasana and Sarvangasana have to be done daily.

Pranayama

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Every created being has to breathe. So long there is this breath; there is power, wife, son, daughter. Money, friend etc. once these breathe stops, the person is given a name “BODY”. When we are working, sleeping, walking or talking breathing goes on. Out dear friend is breathing indeed!

By knowing the importance and extraordinary power of this breathing one can advice many good results and powers. The inhale and exhale process in called Pranayama. There are some rules to be observed for practicing Pranayama.

1. The room, where this is practiced, should have proper ventilation.

2. Preferably morning time is good.

3. The stomach should be empty. Doing Pranayama after food is to be avoided.

4. Satwic diet is required . Vegetables like lady’s finger, Bitter gourd, Cabbage, Cucumber, Radish, Snake gourd etc. are some that can be treated as Satwic vegetables.

5. Immediately after pranayama taking bath also has to be avoided. Take rest for about ten minutes and then do normal work.

6. If there is perspiration body should not be rubbed by towel. It is enough if you gently rub with the palm.

7. Chill weather wind may affect the lungs.

8. If the pranayama is practiced in the open terrace the air may contain dust particles.

9. By observing Brahmacharya, spiritual advancement may be got.

10. Inhaling or exhaling have to be done gently without noise from nose.

11. When you feel tired, better avoid Pranayama.

12. Avoid talking to others during Pranayama.
The mind has to be calm, free from anger and passion.

13. There should be regularity in inhaling and exhaling.

14. If too much time is taken for exhaling there will be an immediate inhaling.

15. To close the nostrils by the fingers, there is particular form. Bend the index finger and the middle finger. Use the thumb and ring finger. The little finger is also not used. Hence the right nostril is closed by thumb and the left nostril by the ring finger. This is the way as laid down by great men inhaling is known by the name Puraka, exhaling as Rechaka and retaining the breathe as kumbaka.
There are some delicate varieties under this, which have to be practiced only in the presence of a Guru or an expert. It is not advisable to practice them after reading the book. Hence I have omitted such practices and listed out only some common methods.

Procedure 1

Pranayama is performed only with the help of the two nostrils and mouth. Inhaling through one nostril, through the other, alternatively, retaining etc. are some of the methods. The procedures described is enough for a common man. There is vast difference between a Yogi and a common man.

Spread a blanket and sit on it facing east or north direction. It is better to close the eyes. By Pranayama the mind gets concentration. This concentration may be disturbed if the eyes are opened. Mentally “OM” or your Ishta Mantra during the exercise.

Closing the right nostril by the thumb inhale through the left nostril slowly without noise and exhale also through the same nostril. Do like this at least ten times. Then after rest for few minutes repeat the process, through the other nostril slowly without noise and exhale also through the same nostril. Do like this atleast ten times. Then after rest for few minutes repeat the process, through the other nostril. This process also has to be done at least ten times.

Procedure 2


Sit on Padhmasana facing east or north direction. Close the right nostril with the thumb. Inhale through the left. Close the left nostril by the ring finger and exhale through right nostril. Do this for at least ten times. Then practice the same alternate method. There is no retention of breath in this process.

Procedure 3

In the Cauvery River even during the season when water was flowing much I have noticed workers taking sand from the river. They dived into the river and retaining their breath they will fill the basket with sand and come up. A worker used to fill even one cart load duration. But for ordinary persons so much of strain is not necessary. The retention has to be under taken by very slow method. Yoga is to retain the breath for long time. That is quite different issue. Retaining the breath forcibly will bring unnecessary complications. Haste and rough method may be avoided.

Now about the procedure, sit on the blanket in Padhmasana. Closing the left nostril by the ring finger inhale through the right nostril and retain the breath. Then exhale through the left nostril. Do the same process by the other nostril. Each practice may be done at least ten times.

About retaining the breath inside a workable formula may be taken. In the earlier chapter the seven stages of Kundalini Sakthi was explained. Mentally think of these stages, in their order, repeating “OM” in the mind as Om Bhuh; Om Bhuvah; Om suvah; Om Mahaha; Om Janah; Om Tapah; Om Sathyam. (This means om is ruling the seven worlds, seven stages etc.) By theis method two benefits are derived. One is the spiritual advancement. The other is a uniform method, a time factor, in retaining the breath.

Procedure 4

In the iron blacksmith workshop many would have noticed a bellow for blowing the air to the furnace. In the same way this is practiced. Sit in Padhmasana; Inhale and exhale in quick succession. This is called Bastrika pranayama. This also can be practiced ten times.

The benefits of Pranayama are many. The chest region is cleared from phlegm. (In the earlier chapter the seven stages of Kundalini Sakthi was explained. This chest region is the heart of position. Rudra is the presiding daity. This is a form of Lord Siva, the giver of life). Diseases as sinus are cured. There will be a shining in the face. (When I was writing the manuscript for this portion in the T.V. Programe Meenakshi Kalyanam discourse was going on. In that discourse it was said about Lord Siva as “Charu Padhmasanastham”. A wonderful coincidence on the importance of Padhmasana).

Note:-
God has given us two nostrils and one mouth for two different function. The nose for inhaling and exhaling and the mouth for taking food. Hence while talking or sleeping breathing has to be only through nose. Breathing through mouth is a bad habit. When the just born baby is sleeping in the cradle when it is breathing through the mouth this wrong method is to be corrected.

Sometimes when we are running, more quantity of air is required. Hence by nature we use mouth for inhaling and exhaling. This is an extraordinary situation.

Udyana Bandha

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This can be practiced either by sitting or in standing positions. Stand in the usual way. Give a forward bend slightly. Place the two hands between thighs. In this position draw the stomach portion inside to give a hollow space. Then come to the original position.

There is a golden saying that when there is no food for one day the stomach gives hollow space due to hunger.

Some experts do this Udyana in a modified manner. They churn the stomach like taking butte. This rather difficult.

This Yoga Mudra and Udyana Bandha will remove constipation. In the morning there will be no problem in the toilet. (I am still doing these two almost daily).

YOGA MUDRA

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In a few minutes practice, this will give best results. Spread a blanket and sit on it in the usual manner. Place the legs in Padhmasana type. Place the hands on the heels. Gently exhale. At this stage, give a forward bend to the body so that the forehead touches the ground. Then come to the original position and exhale. Some breathe during the pose.
This can be done with some modification also. Take the hands backwards and catch the toes. Stout persons will find it difficult to do this. If it is not possible to catch the toes take the hands towards back to the possible extent. By continued practice even fat persons can do this. This yoga mudhra will remove all the troubles in the intestines.

Mudra and Bandha

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Some of the common and important asanas have been explained so far. In continuation of asana, Mudra and Bandra are also parts of health giving poses. Some of them are explained under these two categories there are several varieties, which have to be practiced only in the presence of Guru or an expert under direct guidance. Hence I have omitted them. I have explained only simple varieties.