Human beings breathe 920,000,000 times during a complete lifetime. This amounts to 118
years, three months, 12 days, 14 hours and 13 minutes. When in a natural state, the proper
number of breaths taken in a minute is 15, whereas in a day of 24 hours one should breathe
21,600 times. If the speed of the breath is disturbed, one is not at peace, and slowly the mind
loses its balance.
Too much sleep, tamasic food (spicy), temperamental instability, etc. makes the lifespan shorter.
Human beings have to be re-born again to complete the amount of breaths left from their last
birth. By meditation and living with proper conduct, having sattvic food, leading an evenly paced
life, one can live a complete life attaining the goal of self-realization.The yogis meditate on the six
chakras, which are connected by the Banknal (spinal cord) or Merudanda from the base of the
body to the top of the head. By meditating on these chakras, the body remains healthy and the
heart and the mind stay in perfect equilibrium. The thought processes become sattvic (pure)
and true knowledge and the path to self-realisation becomes easy.
The Yogacharyas (teachers of yoga) believe that the human body has 72,864 nadis (nerves)
which are joined to the Banknal. Along the Banknal, the six chakras, the Muladhara (base), are
Svadisthana (genitals), Manipuraka (navel), Anahata (heart), Vishuddha (throat), Agya (third
eye). The seventh chakra, that is Sahasra Kamala, has the Guru Sthan - the supreme place - and
is also called Amrit Lok (Nectar World), Shiva Sthana (place of Shiva), Mukti Sthan (free from
bondage), Amar Lok (immortal world) etc.
One : " The Muladhara chakra, located at the base of the body, the anus, has four petals and is
red in colour. The shape is like that of an elephant's trunk. It is the seat of Apana Vayu. The
prime work of this chakra is to keep the digestive system correct,which is considered extremely
important in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for a healthy mind and body. By meditating, and
keeping it clean, the Kundalini is awakened from here and a yogi derives perfect health, clear
intellect, strength and purity of thoughts. A yogi should meditate on this chakra for 40 minutes,
taking 600 breaths.
Two :. The Svadisthana chakra is located in the linga (genitals), and is of
yellow colour, with six petals. It has Krakal Vayu. This is the place of virya (for men) and raj (for
women), which is necessary for reproduction. By meditation for 80 minutes, taking 1200
breaths, one can purify this chakra, attaining the qualities of patience, tolerance, faith and
Three:The Manipura chakra is located at the nabhi (navel) and is blue in colour,
with 10 petals. The main nadis here are Ida, Pingala and in-between them is the Sushumna nadi.
Samana Vayu resides in this lotus. Saman Vayu attracts pran vayu from the heart and the apan
vayu from the base. This union of prana and apana takes the breath through the Banknal
towards the shikhar (top of the head). Manipurak chakra has 10 petals and is where different
desires are born. By meditating here for 2,400 breaths, that is 160 minutes, these desires are
stilled, leading to joy, peace and contentment. Feelings of bairaag (detachment) and single
pointed concentration manifest.
Four: Anhat chakra is situated in the heart. There are 12 petals
of a white colour and it is ruled by Lord Shiva. Prana Vayu which nourishes and protects the
whole body resides here. One should meditate on this chakra for 4,800 breaths (320 minutes)
every day. This fills the heart with love, truth, kindness, forgiveness, and non-violence, and
gives the power to generate total selflessness.
Five:. Vishuddha Chakra is located in the throat
area. It is black in colour and has 16 petals in the lotus. This is the seat of the most delicate of the
nadis. The Lord of this chakra is jiva, the meditation time is 9,600 breaths, amounting to 640
minutes. Many extraordinary powers and siddhis are attained by doing sadhana on this chakra,
which a yogi can use at will. Details can be found in works on Hatha Yoga.
Six: Agya chakra
is situated in the place of the third eye. There are two petals, and two nadis, Gandhari and
Hastini, in this lotus. The colour of this chakra is deep red. This is the centre of the Gyandriyas
(knowledge). The divine light of true knowledge is derived by the union of Ida, Pingala and
Sushumna nadis here. It's also called the triveni or trikuti, where the three rivers merge. One
should concentrate on this chakra for 200 minutes, taking 3,000 breaths. All the bhranti
(illusions) disappear and the yogi is able to see from the divine light, within oneself. The thoughts
and the soul become one, here.
Seven: Sahastrahaar is located at the top of the head and, as its
name suggests, has 1,000 petals. The colour of this lotus is smokey grey and this is the place of
supreme enlightenment. This is the Guru Sthan, as it rules and controls the whole body,
consisting of all the indriyas. All bodily functions are obeyed by these indriyas by the orders
given from here. Thus it is also called the Shikhar Lok (supreme place). The supreme power of
the awakened Kundalini enters here and that is when the yogi attains nirvana. The soul becomes
one with the cosmos, free from birth and death and all kind of material bondage. All illusions are
destroyed and the amrit (nectar) flows from within. The great yogis who attain this state of
perfect equilibrium of the vritti and surti, that is the negative and positive characteristics, merge
in Sahaj Samadhi, Absolute Consciousness. The ultimate goal for all yogis is to attain this state of