Guru: There is nothing called routine. If you are practicing mantras, etc you should always practice in empty stomach. By empty stomach I mean that stomach should not be full. There is no point in reciting a mantra without aligning it with breath. As I have already discussed this with you, you should follow only one mantra and be with that mantra and the concerned deity. If you practice more than a mantra, you will end up reciting only mantras without any progress.
Probably you can follow the routine which I am going to discuss with you now and you can always modify the routine according to your convenience. First thing you should learn is that you should not put your physical body to undergo too much of strain. Though a physical body needs a lot of flexibility, this does not mean that you should put your body into too much of strain, beyond the level of tolerance. The energy needed for your system can be drawn only through your physical body. When your physical body is tired, your subtle body (mind) and causal body (prāṇa) also become tired. In all, your every system is affected. Don’t tell me that your soul is not affected. Soul will never get affected and it is beyond any afflictions.
There are nine external opening in your physical body and you should be knowing what they are. Though every opening is to be kept clean, from the spiritual point of view, there are five opening that are to be kept clean and they are your mouth, nostrils and eyes. Your mouth should be kept clean as the central canal of the spinal cord through which kuṇḍalinī traverses runs very close to your soft palate (a soft muscular portion situated at the posterior part of the mouth and its structure of muscle and membrane has no bony support). Therefore, you have to keep your mouth not only clean but also wet. Your mouth acts like radiator water to your system. This does not mean that you have to consume liters of water every time. You have to merely ensure that you sip water frequently to keep this area always wet. It should not be allowed to dry.
The second one is your nostrils. Nostrils should always be clean. In ancient times, the cleansing of nostrils was done through a procedure called jalanetī. This should be practiced only in the presence of an experienced yoga master. Therefore, I would suggest a simple method by which one can clean his or her nostrils using a cotton bud. Take clean boiled water in a cup, add common salt (cooking salt) and stir well till the salt crystals are completely dissolved. Take a cotton bud and dip the bud in this water and allow sometime for the extra water to drip down from the bud. Now place this bud inside a nostril and clean and repeat the process if need be. Do the same thing for the other nostril. If you desire, you can add a drop of sesame oil to the water along with common salt. Normally, you may have to clean two or three times per session for a nostril. Nostrils have the ability to filter the air you breathe in. Remember that you should never breathe in through your mouth; however, you can exhale through your mouth. I am not detailing about yogic procedures here. I am highlighting only important aspects of yogic procedures that are essential to keep your physical body clean. Nostrils need to be cleaned, as they affect the quality of air that enters your lungs.
Disciple: Have I to clean my nostrils every day?
Guru: No, not necessary, you can do this once a week and that is good enough. If you feel like, you can do twice a week and surely not more than that.
The third one is the pair of eyes. You should wash your eyes with cool water at least twice a day. The water with which you clean your eyes should not contain chlorine, as presence of chlorine could cause irritation in your eyes. As far as possible use only pure and cool water to clean your eyes. Take water in your curved palms and open one of the eyes in the water for a few seconds. When you go back, tears will roll down your eyes. You can do this once or twice per eye, depending upon your requirements. In later stages, you can pass on positive energy through your eyes. If you keep your eyes cool, it keeps the entire body cool. When you meditate, your inner body temperature is bound to increase and this cannot be read with a thermometer.
Apart from these five openings (moth, two nostrils, pair of eyes), you have to keep your feet perfectly clean. Your feet are the points of contact between your body and Mother Earth. Earth has huge amount of prāṇa reserve. Mother Earth has the capacity to infuse prāṇa as well as absorb prāṇa. By default and under normal conditions, your feet ensure that right prāṇa level is maintained in your body. But, your body is capable of producing excessive energy during certain types of meditations. Therefore, at the end of such meditative sessions, you have to intentionally push excessive energy from your body to Mother Earth and this is called grounding. If you do not ground your excess energy, your body is bound to suffer in some form ailments. It is like overeating. Like your feet, nape of the neck is also important area that should be kept clean. This is another area through which prāṇa is drawn. Medulla Oblongata, the thickest portion of the spinal cord which connects the brain with major portion of the nervous system is situated behind the nape of your neck. This takes care of your breathing and circulation. Cosmic energy enters into the system through Medulla Oblongata. Any block in the pores in this area prevents pure cosmic energy entering into our system. In the early morning sun, if you stand facing opposite to the sun by exposing your nape to the sun, plenty of cosmic energy will enter into your system. In fact, this will cure majority of your ailments. Though I am not discussing this now, top of your head is also capable of drawing cosmic energy. You need to cover the top of your head when your sahasrāra is fully active.
Now you have the perfect blend of cosmic energy as well as energy of Mother Earth. If you are able to practice this, you will not get any ailments beyond your karmic account. I will conclude this chapter after discussing two more parts. One is your palms and another is your forehead. Your palms are capable of not only absorbing cosmic energy, but also capable of emitting cosmic energy. Mostly, your left palm absorbs and your right palm emits. In exceptional cases, this could be reversed. Therefore, you should keep your palms clean all the time. This does not mean that you should go and wash your hands every now and then. I hope you understand. By shaking hands with someone who has depleted energy, you could end up transferring your positive energies. This may not happen intentionally, but it will happen without anybody’s notice. When you are inexperienced, you may not be able to stop this from happening. I know you are growing impatient. But, you have to pay a price to learn the intricacies of spirituality. These are the fundamental aspects and we should never give a miss to these points. I am coming to the last part.
The last part that you should keep clean is your forehead. You know, this is the area behind which major portion of your brain (cerebrum) is situated. Just behind the central part of your forehead, pineal gland is situated and just below that is the pituitary gland. Pineal gland reacts to the light. If you expose only your forehead by closing your eyes (never look at the sun with naked eyes) to sunlight at dawn, sunlight will enter through the pores in forehead and activate the pineal gland. It is not necessary that you should do this every day, but practice this whenever you have time. A matter of two to three minutes is more than adequate. Once you are well versed in meditation, you can pass on energy from your ājñā chakra, also known as third eye, which is directly connected to your pineal gland. But remember that your pineal gland will not be activated by exposing it to the sunlight. It is only a supplementary method to activate your pineal gland. Direct method is to concentrate on pineal gland. (this is already discussed in an article titled “simple way to activate your ajna chakra”.)
Disciple: You said earlier that physical body has nothing to do with spirituality and now you say that I have to keep several parts of my body clean. Is it not contradictory?
Guru: It is not. Ancient verses say that body is the temple and the soul within is the Sanctum Santorum. Think like this. You live in a comfortable home and your home is well maintained, neat and tidy. But your home is surrounded by broken drainage, garbage, slushy ground and unkempt for many years. Because of leaking drainage and slushy ground lot of pigs are loitering around. Will you live in that home? You will not. Same is the principle here.
Disciple: But you said God is omnipresent. Does He not exist in this dirty place?
Guru: Yes, very much He exists there. But the question is can you exist? You cannot exist in that place as of now. If you are able to move forward in spiritual path, you may live there. But this depends upon your level of attainment.
Disciple: I am sorry, now I understand.
Guru: We will discuss more about your routine during our subsequent discussions. Do you remember what we have discussed earlier? Please recollect our earlier discussions meticulously. If you have any doubts, please do not hesitate to ask me. You should not proceed with lingering doubts in your mind. At the end of our session, I can assure you that you will truly transform into a realized person. You must understand that I am not withholding any divine secrets from you. I am sharing with you, what I know and I am sharing only my experience. I quote from texts to make you believe that I am not discussing irreverent subjects. I know how busy you are and hence to hasten the process of realization, I am giving you only the essence. At the same time, you can continue to do your own rituals, etc, if you so desire. You need not stop any of your religious practices now. In due course, you will understand what we discuss here. When you are God, whom you are going to worship? Am I right?
Disciple: I will practice what you preach.
(to be continued)
Note: There are frequent references to Lalitā Sahasranāma and Bhagavad Gītā in previous parts of this series. Entire 1000 names of Lalitā Sahasranāma and all the eighteen chapters of Bhagavad Gītā are explained in detail in this site. Apart from these two Scriptures, Vedānta is also explained through a series of postings. These titles are available in the side bar towards your right.