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Re: Breathing Exercises (fwd)

Jul 04, 1996 03:09 PM
by Maxim Osinovsky

Corrections to my posting below:
	(Pranato be yama ===> (Pranayama
	refer to II,53 above ===> refer to II,52 above

> Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 17:30:40 -0400
> From: Maxim Osinovsky <>
> Subject: Re: Breathing Exercises 

On Thu, 4 Jul 1996, Jerry Schueler wrote:

> 	BTW, Patajali's pranayama, as far as I know,
> is a relatively safe approach, and anyone who is afraid
> to try it had best stick to reading and study.

I am afraid that when people talk about pranayama they may mean different 
things. I am glad that Jerry qualified it by saying  "Patanjali's 
pranayama." (Pranato be yama as known to readers of such works as 
B.K.S.Iyengar's, Swami Sivananda's, S.Yesudian's and so on is something 
else.) So it seems to be a good time to remind ourselves what Patanjali's    
pranayama is by quoting ALL relevant sutras (I.K.Taimni's 

I,34. [The mind becomes clarified by cultivating, among other things], 
the expiration and retention of breath.

II,49. This having been (accomplished) Pranayama which is cessation of 
inspiration and  expiration (follows).

II,50. (It is in) external, internal or suppressed modification; is 
regulated by place, time and number, (and becomes progressively) 
prolonged and subtle.

II,51. That Pranayama which goes beyond the sphere of internal and 
external is the fourth (variety).

II,52. From that is dissolved the covering of light.

II,53. And the fitness of the mind for concentration [is achieved].

III,40. By mastery over Udana levitation and noncontact with water, mire, 
thorns etc. [is achieved].

III,41. By mastery over Samana blazing of gastric fire [is achieved].

As to the goal of Patanjali's pranayama, please refer to II,53 above, and 
read the following comment by Rammurti S. Mishra ("The Textbook of Yoga 
Psychology," p.219):

"As a result of mastery gained in pranayama, avidya which is covering the 
light of Self is destroyed. Ignorance about Self is destroyed as one 
practices pranayama. The magical panorama of lust and desire for 
material, sensual, and sexual enjoyment is mighty. As soon as one wave of 
desire is satisified, another arises with greater force. This maze of 
desires and karmas produces ignorance which covers the conscious 
principle, sattva, which is luminous by nature. The vicious cycles of 
evil karmas and evil desires of man produce ignorance regarding reality 
of Self and cover the sattva quality, conscious principle, of mind and 
bind one to repeated births and deaths and suffering. 

"By practice of pranayama this ignorance with its consequences is 
destroyed and the light of Purusa, Brahman, is perceived shining in its 
own reality."

So much about Patanjali's pranayama.


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