Hatha Yoga Pradeepika Chapter 3a – Mudra (1-60 verse)

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika Chapter 3a– Mudra (1- 60 shlokas)

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika Chapter 3a– Mudra (1 – 9 shlokas)

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika - Chapter 3a

Yogacharya Sundaram demonstrating Jalandara bandha in the 1920’s

1.As the chief of serpents supports the earth, so does the Kundalini supports yoga-tantra.

2. Just as the sleeping Kundalini is aroused by the grace of the Guru, it pierces through the six lotuses and knots.

3. The prana moves to the shunyapadavi (null position) on the kings path, one is freed from reasoning and delusion of death.

4. The sushumna, sunyapadavi (position of null), brahmarandra (entry to the Brahman), Mahapatha (main road), smashana (cremation ground), shambhavi, madhyamarga (middle road) refer to the same thing.

5. Therefore, one should make every effort to awaken the powerful goddess (Kundalini), one should practice the mudras well.

6. Mahamudra, mahabandha, mahavedha, kecchari, uddiana, mulabandha and jalandhara bandha.

7. Viparitakarani, vajroli and sakticalana; these are the 10 mudras which destroy old age and death.

8. They were first taught by Adinatha and bestow the eight siddhis on the practitioner. In fact, they are favoured by all siddhas and are difficult to obtain even by the marutas. 

The ashta-siddis (eight siddhis) are: Anima (ability to contract form), Mahima (ability to expand form), Garima (ability to increase weight), Laghima (ability to decrease weight), Prapti (ability to move without locomotion), Pramakya (ability to achieve all desires), Ishtva (possessing absolute lordship), Vastva (ability to control).

9. This should be kept secret, like a casket of precious gems, like intercourse with a well born woman.

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika Chapter 3a– Mahamudra (10 – 18 shlokas)

10. Mahamudra – First, press the heel of the left foot against the root of the genitals, stretch the right leg out. Then, take a firm hold of the toes with the hands and keep steady.

11. Contracting the throat, hold the breath above it, then just as a serpent straightens out when struck by a stick,

12. The Kundalini shakti abruptly enters the danda, leaving the other 2 channels (Ida and Pingala) for dead.

13. Then the breath should be released very slowly, not violently. This is called Mahamudra by the hatha-siddhas.

14. By this, painful factors such as the kleshas, doshas and death are conquered. Therefore, the wisest call it Maha-mudra (the great seal).

The kleshas (distresses) are 5 – avidya (ignorance), asmita (feeling of being), raga (attachment), dwesha (repulsion) and abhinivesa (clinging to life).

15. After practicing on the left side, one should practice on the right. Finally, once the number of turns are equalised, the practice may be halted.

16. In fact, there is nothing wholesome or injurious, for the practice of this mudra digests the injurious effects of even deadliest of poisons.

17. Consumption, leprosy, constipation, abdominal diseases are overcome by the practice of Mahamudra.

18. Thus is described Mahamudra, which confers great siddhi upon men. It should be a carefully kept secret and not revealed to everybody.

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika Chapter 3a – Mahabandha (19 – 24 shlokas)

19. Mahabandha – Place the heel of the left foot at the base of the genitals and place the right foot upon the left thigh.

20. Fill the chest with air, keep chin firmly against the chest, contract the anus and fix the attention on the central channel (sushumna nadi)

21. Having retained it for as long as possible, expel it as slowly as possible. Having practiced on the left, practice on the right.

21. However, some are of the view that Jalandara bandha is not required and that pressing the tongue against the root of the upper teeth (jihva-banda) is preferable.

22. This stops the upward movement of all nadi’s. Verily, this maha-bandha is a giver of many siddhis.

23. This bandha is the best way of cutting away the noose of time (death). It brings about the conjunction of the triveni and carries focus to the region of Kedar (Rudra or ajna).

24. Just as beauty and charm in a woman are useless without a man, so also the maha-mudra and maha-bandha are useless without maha-vedha.

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika Chapter 3a – Mahaveda (25 – 24 shlokas)

25. Maha-vedha – Sitting in maha-bandha, the yogi should draw in air with his mind under control. The movement of the vayus should be stopped by closing the throat.

26. Placing both hands equally on the ground, he should raise himself and strike his buttocks against the ground gently. Consequently, the prana leaves the 2 channels and enters the middle one.

27. There is union of the Chandra, Surya and Agni which brings immortality. So, when the vayu becomes as if it were dead, it should be expelled slowly.

28. Uniquely, Mahavedha, with practice, gives great siddhis. In fact, it destroys old age, grey hair and trembling, and is practiced by the best of masters.

29. These 3 are great secrets. Together, they are destroyers of old age and death, increase gastric fires and confer siddi such as anima, so should be kept secret.

30. Furthermore, these should be performed in 8 ways, every day at every yama (3 hour period). Consequently, they increase the reservoir of good actions and reduce accumulation of sin.

Undoubtedly, one should be instructed properly, and begin practice gradually.

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika Chapter 3a – Kechari (31 – 40 shlokas)

31. Kechari – When the tongue is turned backwards into the skull cavity, enters it, with sight fixed between the eyebrows, perfection in Kechari is achieved.

32. By cutting, shaking and stretching, the tongue should be gradually elongated till it reached the middle of the eyebrows. Then, Kechari mudra can be accomplished.

33. Using a smooth, clean and sharp instrument like the leaf of a cactus, a hairs breath should be cut off the fraenum (a membrane linking the lower part of the tongue to the lower mouth) a little at a time.

34. Then, rub rock salt and yellow and Haritaki (yellow myrobalan). Later, after 7 days, extent of another hairs breadth should be cut.

35. Without fail, one should practice daily thus, for 6 months, in 6 months, the membrane which binds the root of the tongue with be completely severed.

36. Turn back the tongue so that it is fixed at the junction of the 3 channels (Ida, Pingala & Sushumna). This is Kechari mudra and it is called Vyomachakra.

37. Without doubt, that yogi who is able to remain even for half a kshana (24 minutes) with his tongue turned backwards is saved from poisons disease, death and old age.

38. For him that knows kechari-mudra, there is no disease, death (intellectual), torpor, sleep, hunger, thirst or clouding of intellect.

39. Also, he that knows kechari-mudra is not affected by disease, karma, or time.

40. In fact, this mudra is called Kechari by the siddhas because brain and tongue activity move in akasha (space).

41. When the cavity in the upper part of the palate is closed by kechari mudra, then the yogi remains unaffected even if he were to be embraced by a passionate woman.

42. Also, even though the fluid flows down to the bindu in the seat of the genitals, this yoni-mudra stops the flow and moves it upwards.

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika Chapter 3a – Kechari (43 – 54 shlokas)

43. Undoubtedly, with tongue turned back and held steady, one to drinks the Soma juice and conquers death in 15 days

44. After daily practice, when the body of the yogi is soaked with Soma, then even the poison of the Takshaka snake cannot enter him.

45. In fact, just as the fire does not go out for as long as there is fuel, light is connected by wick and oil, so too, life does not leave a body filled with Soma.

46. He may eat the flesh of a cow or drink strong liquor. Such are regarded as men of noble families by me. Others ruin the family.

47. The word “Go” means the tongue. Its entry into the palate is “to eat the flesh of a cow”.

48. It destroys the 5 great sins. (Killing a brahmana, drinking intoxicating liquor, theft, adultery with the wife of the teacher and association with anyone guilty of the above).

49. The nectar which flows from the moon because of the heat produced by the tongue is amaravaruni (strong liquor). (Moon is situated to the left of the space between the eyebrows).

50. If the tongue constantly touches the cavity, making flow the nectar which is salty, pungent, sour and milky like ghee and honey, old age can be overcome, attack of arms be evaded, all eight siddhis obtained, and damsels of gods attracted.

51. He, who with an upturned face and tongue closing the cavity of the palate, meditates on the supreme power and drinks the nectar of the moon which steadily flows from the brain to the sixteen petalled (vishuddhi) becomes free from disease and gets a body soft and beautiful like the stem of a lotus, and has a youthful life.

52. Within the upper part of the Meru (the sushumna), concealed in a cavity is the source of the Moon (Chandra-saara). He of pure disposition (Sattvic, not Rajasic or Tamasic), experiences the truth. From that Moon, the essence of life flows out as nectar, hence the experience of death. This is possible by practice of Kechari, no other means guarantees perfection.

53. This cavity is the conjunction of the 5 streams and confers spiritual knowledge. In the void of that cavity, kecari-mudra is lodged.

54. There is only one seed from which emerged the universe, only one mudra – the kechari, only one deity which is completely independent, only one experience called manonmani.

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika Chapter 3a – Uddiyana bandha (55 – 60 shlokas)

55. Uddiyana bandha: Yogis call it uddiyana bandha because when practiced, prana flies through it to the sushumna.

56. Because the great bird (prana) flies up continuously, it is called uddiyana (ut = fly + di = up). The bandha is now explained.

57. The abdomen is drawn westwards so the navel moves up. So, uddiyana is like a lion for the elephant of death.

58. One that practices uddiyana after attaining familiarity as learned from a guru, even if old will become young.

59. One should draw back the abdomen above and below the navel with effort. After practice of 6 months, when one has mastered it death is conquered.

60. Of the bandhas, uddiyana is most excellent. When it is perfected, moksha follows naturally.

Editor at School Of Yoga
School Of Yoga is a single point resource for all aspects of Classical Yoga practise. We try to achieve this by placing Yoga's traditional methodology in front of the reader and eliciting his or her experience. We value everyone's Yoga experience and would like you to share and enrich other practitioners so that everyone benefits.
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