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Swami Lakshmanjoo
“ASANA

Now I shall instruct you regarding the nature of asana or seat. Although by 'asana' is generally meant the erect posture assumed in meditation, this is not its central or essential meaning. When I use the word 'asana' I do not mean the various forms of asana’s such as Padmasana, Vajrasana, Svastikasana, or Bhadrasana. By 'asana' I mean something else, and this is what I want to explain to you.

First let me speak to you about breath; about the inhaling breath-apana, and the exhaling breath-prana. Breath is extremely important in meditation; particularly the central breath-madhyama-pranan, which is neither prana nor apana. It is the center of these two, the point existing between the inhaling and exhaling breaths. This center point cannot be held by any physical means, as a material object can be held by the hand. The center between the two breaths can be held only by knowledge-jnana – not discursive knowledge, but by knowledge which is awareness. When this central point is held by continuously refreshed awareness – which is knowledge and which is achieved through devotion to the Lord – that is, in the true sense settling into your asana.

“On the pathway of your breath maintain continuously refreshed and full awareness on and in the center of breathing in and breathing out. This is internal asana." (Netra Tantra)

Asana, therefore, is the gradual dawning in the spiritual aspirant of the awareness which shines in the central point found between inhaling and exhaling.

This awareness is not gained by that person who is full of prejudice, avarice, or envy. Such a person, filled with all such negative qualities, cannot concentrate. The prerequisite of this glorious achievement is, therefore, the purification of your internal egoity. It must become pure, clean, and crystal clear. After you have purged your mind of all prejudice and have started settling with full awareness into that point between the two breaths, then you are settling into your asana.

“When in breathing in and breathing out you continue to maintain your awareness in continuity on and in the center between the incoming and outgoing breath, your breath will spontaneously and progressively become more and more refined. At that point you are driven to another world. This is pranayama." (Netra Tantra)

After settling in the asana of meditation arises the refined practice of pranayama. ‘Pranayama’ does not mean inhaling and exhaling vigorously like a bellow. Like asana, pranayama is internal and very subtle. There is a break less continuity in the traveling of your awareness from the point of asana into the practice of pranayama. When through your awareness you have settled in your asana, you automatically enter into the practice of pranayama.

Our Masters have indicated that there are two principle forms of this practice of ‘asana-pranayama’, i.e. cakrodaya and ajapa-gayatri. In the practice of ajapa-gayatri you are to maintain continuously refreshed full awareness-(anusandhana) in the center of two breaths, while breathing in and out slowly and silently. Likewise in the practice of cakrodaya you must maintain awareness, which is continually fresh and new, filled with excitement and vigor, in the center of the two breaths – you are to breathe in and out slowly, but in this case with sound.”
Swami Lakshmanjoo

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