Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Sometimes in devotional circles people are afraid of yoga practices. They keep it secret. Just recently I’ve heard that: “Imagine, Rupa Gowami was also practicing breath control, keep it in secret!” Why? Why it is such a big secret? Because others will also try to control their breath and make their mind functions stronger and more alive?

Yashoda: I am amazed why in bhakti practice breath control is never mentioned?

Tirtha Maharaj: It is not true, it is mentioned, we practice it every day, in the morning especially: “Samsara davanala lidha loka…” But I am serious! I am observing this for the last few years, but I haven’t found any practice that is not included in the natural worship and daily regime of the devotees. You cannot show me some.

Yashoda: But I am thinking about these, that were mentioned – kumbaka, rechaka… which I have heard before in hatha-yoga style of practice.

Tirtha Maharaj: If you sing your bhajans this is the best breath control, little upgrade of rechaka. It is there. Well, chanting of the mahamantra is a little different in that sense because usually we do not strictly connect that with the breathing process, but it is also there. Haven’t we made experiment last time in Sofia about that – what sounds you hear in your heartbeat? Who is discussing that topic? Nobody. No other school is discussing that topic.

But if you want to hear more about meditation, let’s try to finish the verses here: “Manufacturing in mind through the instrumentality of life breath the sound of pranava, om, as extending uninterruptedly at the stem of the lotus stalk from muladhara, one should then follow it with the sharp nasal sound continuous as the ringing of a bell.”[1] So, with the life-breath, with prana we should visualize the om, manifest the om through the spinal column and from muladhara, the bottom chakra, bring it up to the high crown chakras. “In this way he should exercise his breath, joining it with pranava, the om, trice a day, ten times each. Within a month he will have attained control over his breath.”[2] It’s not very complicated.

And what is the breath control for the bramins? Three times, three occasions per day, what it is? This is the Gayatri, to raise our consciousness. Because what is the goal of controlling the breath? To bring your life energy on a higher and higher level in the chakra system, right? So if you chant your Gayatri, immediately you will be connected to the light, to divine light. So what is missing here? Nothing, right?

[1] “Shrimad Bhagavatam” 11.14.34

[2] “Shrimad Bhagavatam” 11.14.35

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