By Santhanam Nagarajan
Sri Aurobindo , the sage of Pondicherry, India once narrated his experience thus: "While I was practicing Pranayam, I was doing it for about five to six hours a day, three hours in the morning and two or three hours in the evening. I felt there was a great accession of light and power in the mind. I used to write poetry in those days. Earlier, I could sometimes write only about 200 lines a month. After I began practicing Pranayam I could write 200 lines in half an hour. My memory was rather dull before. But afterwards I composed whenever I had inspiration and remembered ad seriatum the whole, till I committed it to paper at leisure"
R.R.Divakar has recorded this experience of the great sage in his book Mahayogi Shri Aurobindo.
By practicing yogic disciplines one could attain exalted mental state and high inspiration so that his/her creative power knows no bounds. Pranayama means practice of breathing exercises to get control over vital forces.
This is the fourth limb of Yoga, the other seven being Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pratyahara,Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. The equivalent English meanings for these Sanskrit words are ethical restraints, ethical observances , physical poses for the practice of meditation, withdrawal of senses, concentration of mind, meditation and super consciousness, respectively.
One should learn all these yogic disciplines from a true Yogi. Doing on one’s own will lead to disaster. If properly practiced as prescribed by the Yoga sutra , one could attain eight psychic powers.
- Anima : Minuteness (one can become small)
- Mahima: Heaviness (one can become big and heavy)
- Laghima : lightness(one can become light)
- Prapti :Attainment (one can approach distance objects)
- Prakamya :Infallible desires ( one can have immense will power)
- Ishittwa : Lordliness (one can get the power to create)
- Vashittwa : Control (one can control all objects)
- Kamavasaittwa : Highest Bliss ( one can attain the highest bliss)
Mind Development can be ensured by simple breath control exercises.
- Increased efficiency
- Functioning of both left and right brain.
- Enhancement of memory power
- Positive mental attitude
- Good health
Daily practice of pranayam will be the first step to learn Yoga..