PRATYAHARA PRATYAHARA is the first process in the mental part of our task. The previous practices, Asana, Pranayama, Yama, and Niyama, are all acts of the body, while mantra is connected with speech: Pratyahara is purely mental.

And what is Pratyahara? This word is used by different authors in different senses. The same word is employed to designate both the practice and the result. It means for our present purpose a process rather strategical than practical; it is introspection, a sort of general examination of the contents of the mind which we wish to control:

Asana having been mastered, all immediate exciting causes have been removed, and we are free to think what we are thinking about. A very similar experience to that of Asana is in store for us. At first we shall very likely flatter ourselves that our minds are pretty calm; this is a defect of observation.

Just as the European standing for the first time on the edge of the desert will see nothing there, while his Arab can tell him the family history of each of the fifty persons in view, because he has learnt how to look, so with practice the thoughts will become more numerous and more insistent.

As soon as the body was accurately observed it was found to be terribly restless and painful; now that we observe the mind it is seen to be more restless and painful still. ("See diagram opposite.") A similar curve might be plotted for the real and apparent painfulness of Asana. Conscious of this fact, we begin to try to control it: "Not quite so many thoughts, please!" "Don't think quite so fast, please!" "No more of that kind of thought, please!" It is only then that we discover that what we thought was a school of playful porpoises is really the convolutions of the sea-serpent.

The attempt to repress has the effect of exciting. When the unsuspecting pupil first approaches his holy but wily Guru, and demands magical powers, that Wise One replies that he will confer them, points out with much caution and secrecy some particular spot on the pupil's body which has never previously attracted his attention, and says: "In order to obtain this magical power which you seek, all that is necessary is to wash seven times in the Ganges during seven days, being particularly careful to avoid thinking of that one spot."

{diagram on page 26, nothing else, graph with following text beneath: BD shows the Control of the Mind, improving slowly at first, afterwards more quickly. It starts from at or near zero, and should reach absolute control at D. EF shows the Power of Observation of the contents of the mind, improving quickly at first, afterwards more slowly, up to perfection at F. It starts well above zero in the case of most educated men. The height of the perpendiculars HI indicates the dissatisfaction of the student with his power of control. Increasing at first, it ultimately diminishes to zero.} course the unhappy youth spends a disgusted week in thinking of little else. It is positively amazing with what persistence a thought, even a whole train of thoughts, returns again and again to the charge.

It becomes a positive nightmare. It is intensely annoying, too, to find that one does not become conscious that one has got on to the forbidden subject until one has gone right through with it. However, one continues day after day investigating thoughts and trying to check them; and sooner or later one proceeds to the next stage, Dharana, the attempt to restrain the mind to a single object. Before we go on to this, however, we must consider what is meant by success in Pratyahara.

This is a very extensive subject, and different authors take widely divergent views. One writer means an analysis so acute that every thought is resolved into a number of elements (see "The Psychology of Hashish," Section V, in Equinox II). Others take the view that success in the practice is something like the experience which Sir Humphrey Davy had as a result of taking nitrous oxide, in which he exclaimed: "The universe is composed exclusively of ideas." Others say that it gives Hamlet's feeling: "There's nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so," interpreted as literally as was done by Mrs. Eddy. However, the main point is to acquire some sort of inhibitory power over the thoughts. Fortunately there is an unfailing method of acquiring this power.

It is given in Liber III. If Sections 1 and 2 are practised (if necessary with the assistance of another person to aid your vigilance) you will soon be able to master the final section. In some people this inhibitory power may flower suddenly in very much the same way as occurred with Asana.

Quite without any relaxation of vigilance, the mind will suddenly be stilled. There will be a marvellous feeling of peace and rest, quite different from the lethargic feeling which is produced by over-eating. It is difficult to say whether so definite a result would come to all,or even to most people. The matter is one of no very great importance. If you have acquired the power of checking the rise of thought you may proceed to the next stage.



Yellow denotes intellectuality. It is a good colour. When the intellect runs into low channels, the yellow is deep and dull. When it is directed towards higher things, it becomes brilliantly golden or prim-rose yellow. Blue when dark and clear denotes religious feeling. When the blue amounts to a rich violet,
it represents highest religious thought and feeling. Blue when light and luminous represents spirituality. White when pure and effulgent represents the Spirit or Brahman or GOD. Dear friend! Surround yourself with harmonious vibrations within and without. Regular meditation will help you in attaining this end. Carry with you wherever you may go, vibrations of power, strength, joy, bliss, peace, kindness, love, mercy and sympathy. Absorb all good vibrations. Dispel all discordant vibrations. Learn to absorb the vibrations of great sages of yore which are floating in the ethereal space. Be in tune with the vibrations of the living liberated sages. They will all back you up. May the vibrations of peace and joy flow through your eyes, face, tongue, hands, feet and skin! May whoever comes in contact with you feel this! May the Eternal, Immortal Spirit guide you in your attainment of Self-realisation by developing harmonious vibrations! Om Peace!
Peace! Peace!


Human aura has different colours in different people according to their growth and
development physically, mentally, morally and spiritually, and each colour has got its own meaning
and significance. The meanings of some of these colours are set below:
Scarlet represents anger.
Crimson represents love.
Rose represents love.
Black denotes hatred and malice.
Red on a black background indicates anger.
Red on a green background shows jealousy.
Red independent of a background denotes “righteous indignation.”
Lurid Sanguinary Red indicates sensuality.
Grey represents selfishness when the colour is bright.
Grey represents fear when its shade is like a dead body.
Green denotes jealousy when the colour is dirty.
Red Flashes on a green background signifies anger mingled with jealousy.
Slimy Green signifies deceit and cunning.
Green when bright indicates tolerance, tact, adaptability, politeness and intelligence.
Orange when bright denotes pride and ambition.


This is the way to develop a protecting auric shell: Sit at ease. Retain the breath for a half or one minute. Imagine that you are surrounded by a shell of thought-aura to a distance of 2 or 3 feet from the body on all sides. Form a clear mental image. Repeat this process 10 to 15 times. Repeat OM mentally, when you retain the breath. The spiritual aura is of yellow. It centres round the heads of Saints, Sages, Rishis, Prophets, and Yogins. This can sometimes be seen by ordinary persons with naked eyes, when the saint stands on the pulpit to preach. The yellow glow is intensified, when the intellectual faculties are put to an unusual strain. The face of the saint will present a glowing appearance. This is the nimbus or glory of a saint. This is the halo shown in pictures of spiritual leaders. The magnetic spiritual aura of Lord Buddha extended to a distance of 3miles all around. Those who came within the compass of 3 miles were subdued. They became his disciples. The magnetic divine aura of Yogi Kaka Bhusunda radiated to a distance of eight miles! The spiritual aura of even a first-class aspirant radiates to a
distance of 400 yards. You can also develop this spiritual aura by regular and continued practice of meditation with zeal and persistence.

Jalandhara bandha

Jalandhara bandha
Jalandhara bandha is the water pipe lock. It binds the network of subtle energy channels. Engaging Jalandhara bandha is useful for alleviating diseases of the throat. It also improves the quantum of prana in the thoracic region. By pressing the chin to the chest, prana is captured, preventing it from escaping the upper body. Many major nerve fibers pass through the neck; when jalandhara bandha is performed it exerts pressure on them and the flow of nervous impulses to the brain is restricted. These impulses collect in the cervical plexus, and when the bandha is released they flood into the brain. The force of these impulses helps to activate higher centers in the brain, those that function with creativity and intellect.
Practice : Jalandhara bandha
1. Sit comfortably in siddhasana or padmasana (illustration p.13). Place the palms of the hands on the knees and allow the whole body to relax. Inhale slowly and deeply through the nose and retain the breath. Lower the chin so that it touches the collarbone. At the same time, straighten the elbows and raise the shoulders. Hold the breath and the position for as long as comfortable. Then release jalandhara bandha by slowly raising the head and relaxing the shoulders. Exhale in a very slow, controlled manner. Practice five rounds, breathing normally for a few minutes between each round. Then practice five rounds with external retention (exhale and hold).
2. Visualize the throat as a net that captures the breath as it comes up.
3. Notice when the chin is tucked how easy it is to see your navel.
4. Pay attention to the opening of your throat while simultaneously locking the chin.
5. Link all the bandhas and follow the flow of breath unobstructed while maintaining the locks in the body. Notice any change in energy level or effects on your thoughts.
From : ashtanga yoga manual

Cleansing and purification :: Meltdown

Nauli kriyas
If you look around you, you’ll notice what happens as we get
older. The middle of the body begins to lose shape and collapse.
Gravity is pulling us downward. Unless we are practicing some
type of opposing technique, the whole solar plexus area, a major
nerve center of the body, will become squashed. Not to mention
the toxins that get trapped, the poor digestion that results, and the
lack of oxygen to the abdominal region. Naulis, in conjunction
with the bandhas, bring everything upward, inviting vitality back
into the middle of the body. These techniques keep the gastro-intestinal or alimentary system balanced and functioning smoothly. Naulis massage the internal organs, acting as an internal cleansing technique. Keeping you pure and clean, naulis remove sluggishness of the stomach, intestines, and liver, bringing back upward the evercaving-in abdominal
region which is crushing and suffocating internal organs as gravity
pulls us down. Don’t let the fire go out. Keep the channels of the body pure and
open the pathway for the oxygen to keep feeding the fire. It’s best
to practice on an empty stomach in the morning.

from : ashtanga yoga manual


Just as blood flows along arteries and veins, so also the vital force flows along the nerves in a constant stream. This vital force is poured upon us from the sun, which is the source of life. He who has abundant vital force is a healthy man. He radiates abundant “Health Aura’’ and brings joy, strength, health and vitality to countless persons with whom he comes in contact. He becomes a centre of energy. The vital force constantly radiates from his body in all directions. A mesmeriser actually transmits his vital force through magnetic “passes” to the subject. It is through the help of this vital force that he practices various sorts of healing. He who is endowed with abundant “Health Aura” and vital force cannot succumb easily to any disease. The “Health Aura” and the vital force act as powerful germicides. They prevent the entry of germs into the body. Even if he succumbs to any kind of disease, he will tide over the crisis very easily in a short time on account of his high standard of health and vitality. He will convalesce very quickly. On the contrary a weak man who is deficient in vital force or Prana absorbs the vitality or Prana of a strong man with whom he happens to come in contact. If you feel weak, uncomfortable and weary after an interview with any weak person, remember that the weak man has depleted your energy to some extent. He has acted the part of a vampire. You might have all experienced this in your daily life. It is quite possible by an effort of the will to put a check to the radiation of vitality from one’s body by building a shell around the body. This will prevent the entry of disease-causing germs into the body. Further the body will also be impervious to any kind of astral elemental influence from without. You may render yourself immune from any form of vampirism. There will not be any leakage of life-force from your body. The depressing influence of the base thoughts of low-minded people will be obviated. You can live quite comfortably with them in the same room.