Mudras and Bandha, According to Hath Yoga Pradipika – In the third chapter of Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Swami Swatmaram ji has described the mudras. All yoga practices are based on Kundalini. Therefore, to awaken this Kundalini, one should practice madra. These mudras should be kept secret by all means, like a person keeps his box of jewellery. All these mudras have been explained by Adinath i.e. Lord Shiva, they gives eight types of divine wealth (Aishwarya). According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika there are ten mudras which destroy old age and death. bandhas in hatha yoga pradipika, mudras in hatha yoga pradipika are following.
1. Maha Mudra
Pressing the perineum (yoni) with the heel of the left foot and stretching forth the right foot, one should grasp its toe by the thumb and first finger by stopping the throat, the air is drawn in from the outside and carried down. Just as a snake, stuck with a stick, becomes straight like a stick, similarly, kundalini sakti becomes straight at onces. Then, Ida and pingala becomes lifeless; leaving them, kundilini enters the susumna, Then, the air should be expelled slowly, not violently. It is known as Mahamudra. Having practised with the left nostril. it should be practiced with the right nostril. When the number of both sides becomes equal, the mudra should be discontinued.
Describing the benefits of Mahamudra, it has been said in Hathayoga Pradipika that all the dry, bitter, acidic, pungent substances containing edible and non-eatable juice and without juice are easily digested. Because it destroys the injurious effect of all the chemicals (rasas), Even the deadliest of poisons, if taken, act like nectar. Consumption, leprosy, prolapsus anus celiac and the diseases due to indigestion all these irregularities are removed by the practice of the mudra, moreover, it is the giver of great success to men. Hence, it should be kept secret by every effort and not revealed to any and everyone.
2. Maha Bandha
Pressing the left heel to the perineum and placing the right foot on the left thigh, one should fill in the air. Keeping the chin firm against the chest and having pressed the air, the mind should be fixed on the middle of the eyebrows or in the susumna. Having confined it so long as possible, it should be expelled slowly. Thus, having practised on the left side, it should be practiced on the right side, the another view is that the closing of throat is not necessary here for keeping the tongue pressed against the root of the upper teeth which makes a good bandha.
This practice stops the upward motion of all the nadis. This mahabandha, the giver of great siddhis, is the most skillful means for cutting away the snares or death. It brings about the conjunction of Ida, pingala and susumna. Then it carries the mind to kedara i.e., the space between the eyebrows, which is the place of shiva.
3. Mahavedha Mudra
As the beauty and loveliness do not avai! a woman without husband so the maha-mudra and the mahabandha are useless without the mahavedha. Such is the value of practising the maha-vedha.
Sitting with the Mahabandha, the yogi should fill in the air and keep his mind concentrated. The movements of the vital air should be stopped by closing the throat. Resting both the hands equally on the ground, he should raise himself a little and strike his buttocks against the ground gently leaving both the passages i.e., Ida and pingala the air moves into the middle one. The union of the Ida (soms) pingala, (surya) and susumna (agni) brings immortality. When the air becomes as it were dead, the air should be expelled.
This mahavedha, the given of great siddhis, destroys old age and death grey hair and shaking of the body. The three viz. the mahamudra the mahabandha and the mahavedha destroy old age and death, increase the gastric fire, confer the accomplishment of Anima etc. People instructed well, should begin their practise by little first.
4. Khechari Mudra
The mind and the tongue reach akasa by its practice, so it is known as Khechari mudra by siddhas.The khechari mudra is accomplished by thursting the tongue into the gullet by turning it over itself and keeping the eyesight in the middle of the eyebrows.
To accomplish this, the tongue is lengthened by cutting the fraenum lingual moving and pulling it. Taking a sharp, smooth and clean instrument of the shape of a cactus leaf, the fraenum of the tongue should be cut a little, at a time. Then, rock salt and yellow myrobalan should be rubbed on the seventh day, it should again be cut a hair’s breadth. This should be done regularly for six months. At the end of six months, the freanum of the tongue will be completely cut. Turning the tongue upwards, it is fixed on the three ways (tripathe) known as Vyomachakra that makes it the khechari mudra.
Thus, the yogi who sits for a minute turning his tongue upwards, is saved from posions, diseases, death, old age etc. He is not afflicted with diseases death, sloth, sleep, hunger, thirst and swooning. | He is not stained with karmas and not snared by time.
If the hole behind the palate is stopped with khechari by turning the tongue upwards, bindu cannot leave its place even if a woman was embraced.
If the yogi drinks someras with the tongue turned backwards and concentrates the mind, then he conquers death within 15 days. And his body is filled with someras, the soul does not leave the body which is filled with the nectar emanating from the someras.
On the top of the Meru (vertebral column), concealed in a hole, there is the somarasa and there is the universal spirit i.e., atma in it. It is the source of the down going Ida, pingala and susuman nadis which are the Gangas, yamuna and the sarasavati from that chandra is shed the essence of the body which causes death of men. Therefore, it should be stopped from shedding.
This Khechari mudra is a very good means for this purpose. There is no other means of achieving this end. This hole is the generator of knowledge and is the source of the five streams i.e., Ida, pingala etc. In that colourless vaccum, khechari mudra should be established. There is only one seed germinating the whole universe from it, there is only one without any one’s support and there is one condition called manonmani, similarly, there is only one mudra called khechari.
5. Uddiyana Bandha
Exhaling, pull the abdomen above, below and behind the navel. This Uddiyana bandha is like a lion to escape the elephant of death. By practising it, prana flies in the susumna or it may be said that the prana, the great bird tied to it flies without being fatigued, therefore it is known as the Uddiyanabandha.
According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, of all the bandhas, uddiyana is the best, for by the binding it firmly, liberation comes spontaneously.
6. Mula Bandha
It is made by pressing perineum (Yoni) with the heel contracting up the anus and by drawing the Apana. During the practice, the Apana naturally inclined downward, goes up, by force hence, by constriction of the anus ie., the seat of the Muladhara, the mulabundha is so known. Further, pressing the heel well against the anus, one should draw up the air by force, again and again till it goes up. This is mulabandha.
Prana, Apana, Nada and Bindu uniting into one in this way, give success in yoga undoubtedly. By the purfication of Prana and Apana urine and excrements decrease. And even an old man becomes young by constantly practising Mulabandha. Moreover, going up the Apana enters the zone of fire i.e., the stomach. The flame of fire struck by the air is thereby lengthened. These, fire and Apana, go to the naturally hot prana which becomes inflamed thereby and causes burning sensation in the body.
Then, the sleeping kundalini becomes well heated and awakens well. It becomes straight like a serpent, struck dead with a stick. It enters the Brahmanadi just as a serpent enters its hole. Therefore, the yogi should always practise the mulabandha.
7. Jalandhara Bandha
By contracting the throat, one should press the chin firmly against the chest. This Jalandhara bandha destroys old age and death.
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika describes that this bandha stops the opening of the group of the Nadis, through which the juice from the sky (the soma in the brain) falls down. It is, therefore, called the Jalandhara bandha the destroyer of a hosts of diseases of the throat. In this bandha, the indications of a perfect contraction of throat are the nectar which does not fall into the fire and the air is not distrubed. The two nadis viz. Ida and the pingala, should be stopped, firmly by contracting the throat, and the middle centre i.e., the visuddhi chakra stops the 16 vital parts (adharas). The usuage of the three bandhas.
By drawing up the anus (mulasthana), Uddiyana bandha should be performed by closing the ida and the pingala, the flow of the air should be directed to the susumna. The Prana becomes calm and latent by this means. Thus there is no death, old age, and disease, etc. These three bandhas are the best of all.
The nectar, possessing divine qualities, which exudes from the soma is devoured by the surya in the stomach, owing to this, the body becomes old. To remedy this, the opening of the surya is avoided by excellent means. It should be learnt best by instruction from a guru.
8. Viparitakarani Mudra
Placing the head on the ground and the feet up into the sky, for some second only the first day, one should increase that period daily. After six months, the wrinkles and grey hairs are not seen. He who practises it daily, even for two hours, conquers death. It increases the gastric fire, so, one who practises it, should eat more food otherwise it will bum him at once. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika suggests that this exercise should be learm from the Guru’s instruction, because there are surya and the chandra above the navel and below the palate respectively.
9. Vajroli Mudra
Gradually, the practice of contracting the vaginal circle should be done well. By doing this, both men and women get the fruit of Vajroli. Describing the pre-preparation of this mudra, it has been said that a sufficiently long tube made of glass should be slowly inserted into the penis hole and attracts air from the urethra. This glass tube should be smooth and 14 fingers in length. On the first day only 1 finger should enter the tube. In this way, increasing the sequence, that tube should be inserted into the linga-vivar up to 12 fingers. Then air should enter from the middle of the tube inwards.
This purifies the penis. After this, pure and slightly warm water should be attracted by the linga. After the attraction is proved, the point should be attracted. Vajroli Mudra is proved when the point is attracted.
Only those who have conquered Prana Vayu can prove it, no one else. After proving this, lift the point falling in the vaginal circle by practice and keep that moving point safe by pulling it up.
It has also been said for the female yogini that with the skill of practicing, the woman also attracts the semen of the man well and protects her raja through the Vajroli mudra, then such a female yogini is commendable.
Sahajoli and Amaroli– According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika , Sahajoli and Amaroli are only the different kinds of vajroli mudra. Hence, being together these there, it is described as one mudra among 10.
Note- (This Vajroli Mudra is being described only for the information of the readers. Do not practice it)
In this way, a devotee of Yoga, who protects the Bindu through Vajroli Mudra, conquers premature death, because the destruction of the Bindu is death and the protection of the Bindu is life. It has been said that by wearing Bindu, fragrance arises in the body of the seeker. As long as there is a point in the body, then where is the fear of time, that is, there is no premature death of such a seeker. By the practice of this mudra, the accomplishment of sky movement etc. is said to be attained. It has also been said that the practice of Vajoli gives body accomplishment. This virtuous yogic practice is a liberating practice while enjoying pleasure.
10. Shakti Chalini Mudra
It means to awaken the Shakti (Kundalini). In Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Kundalini is described as Kulilangi, Bhujangi, Shakti, Ishwari, Kundli, Arundhati, Parameshwari Balaranda, Tapaswini, all these words revealing the same meaning. The Kundali is of a bent shape and it is said to be like a snake.
As a door is opened with a key so the yogi opens the door of Liberation by rousing kundalini by means of Hathayoga.
Ida is called goddess Gange, pingala is goddess yamuna in the middle of these two there is kundalini, it should be caught hold by force, to get the highest position.The sleeping serpent, should be awakened by catching hold of her tail. Then, the Sakti, leaving her sleep, rises up with force.
Sitting in the vajrasana, holding firmly, with the hands, the feet near the ankles, one should put pressure on the kanda. Then, having caused the kundalini to move, one should perform the Bhastrika kumbhaka the kundalini awakes. By contracting the navel (surya near the navel) a yogi should cause kundalini to move. By this process, kundalini certainly leaves the mouth of the susumna. Therefore prana goes naturally through the susumna, so this sleeping Kundalini should always be moved so that the yogi gets rid of diseases. The yogi who has been able to move the sakti deserves success, and conquers death playfully.