The Breath - Praan
Emphasis is placed on exercising the praan breath while training both the physical and astral body.
Three components exist -the Physical, the Astral and the Casual bodies
The Physical Body:
In Sanskrit, the physical body is known as the Annamaya Kosha, or food sheath.
This is the visible body, which is born, grows, decays, and dies.
For Gatka student the aim is to bring the physical body under the control of the mind.
In all disciplines of life, proper care of the body is necessary if any objective is to be met, physical or spiritual.
To train the body without paying attention to the way we correlate the breathing with movement
can result in bad mental and physical conditions and poor resistance to the external elements that our bodies are exposed too.
The energy of the breath is responsible for the coordination of the senses and mind.
Various breathing techniques are integrated into both low and high body movements such as crouching or leaping techniques, or when one is physically over powered by more then one assailant . control of the breath is also an intergral partt for the student whil trainning in archery and horse riding.
Breathing exercises practiced during training help to encourage clarity of the mind and create a pleasant claming effect on the body. These techniques also help to relieve stress and tension for a better and more effective life style.
The Astral Body :
Lack of oxygen in the body will result in a loss of mental balance, concentration and control of the emotions which are vital for any person training in any martial discipline.
Every living being has an Astral Body. This is attached to the physical body by a subtle thread along which vital currents pass. When this cord is cut, the Astral body departs and the body dies.
Composed of three layers:
Layer 1 : Pyranic Sheath subtle than the physical body, very similar in form, made up of 72,000
nadis, or astral tubes through which prana, or vital energy flows.
Layer 2 : Mental sheath - The second layer where thought, doubt, exhilaration, depression and
delusion are experienced. Very jumpy by nature, and is constantly engaged with the
input from the five senses.
Layer 3 : Intellectual Sheath : Discrimination and decision making take place here, the ego, the
sense of who I think I am, reside here.
The Mental aspects of proper breathing:
Improves your concentration and clarity of thought
Increases your ability to deal with complex situations without suffering from stress You have a stronger control over your emotions
Improves control and co-ordination of the Physical body.
The Causal Body
The final astral body element is the Causal Body: called the Karana Sharira in Sanskrit.
This is compared to as the seed Body, which stores the subtle impressions in the form of Karma.
(the impression of everything that has happened to you in this life and past lives. Karma is not fate, destiny or luck, but the result of your own past actions) these impressions control the formation and growth of the other two bodies :
(the Physical and Astral) and determine every aspect of the next birth.
At the time of death both the Astral and Causal bodies which remain together separate from the physical body.
So for the spiritual and mental growth of the saint soldier, emphasis is placed on the development of these two elements
The Causal and Astral bodies.
Their growth and strength is obtained by meditation and a disciplined way of life, which demands living for Dharma.
The Breath and Meditation during training
Praan, the life-force, if we believe there is sound behind the breath then by combining the Guru Mantara with the breath we can change the energy of the mind.
(Naam Simran) Repetition of the Guru-Mantra. During this process the student is encouraged to repeat the mantara. as ordained by the Guru - Wa-he-gu-ru
The process of repeating the name is based on the theory of inhaling and exhaling of the breath.
You have the Jaap where the student uses his tongue to repeat the Naam, ears to hear the Naam, and Thought to channel the Naam in to the mind and then you have the Ajapa-Jaap, where the student is able to meditate on Gods name with easy , while eating, sleeping,
walking, working basically he is able to hear the vibration of Gods name through all His creation, ever little sound is heard as the vibration of Gods name, so he is always in a conscious state of Samadhi. - Transcendental bliss
We cannot confess to achieving these states of mind , but can share with you the knowledge and wisdom that has been passed down to us by many through the congregation of Holy men the Gurus Sangat and the Gurus devotees.
Basic Breathing and meditation techniques which can be introduced in to your training and daily way of life.
Merely reading scriptures and listening to the learned is not the way to salvation, one has to take time out and practice these ways, so why wait, lets try our best and perhaps with Gods grace we may be able to repeat His Naam.
SWAAS - SHABAD - KHYIAL ( BREATH - GURMANTAR -THOUGHT )
Meditate on the Gurmantar and place your thought on the Gurumoorth( Guru Sroop )
" Antar Guru Aradna, jeva jap guru nau, Natree satgur pekhna , sarvnee sanu guru Nau"
Waheguru - Waheguru - Waheguru - Waheguru - Waheguru - Waheguru - Waheguru - Waheguru
sit in a comfortable crossed legged position, with the spine and neck erect
( Metabolism and breathing all slow down during sitting)
Keep the mantara focused in the breath at all times. Begin with a few minutes of deep breathing to allow a fresh supply of oxygen to the brain, then gradually slow the breath down, keeping the flow rhythmic. Repeat with the tongue and listen to the Word
with your ears as vibrations of sound are carried through the body.
Try and withdraw all the senses of awareness from all outside objects. Sense of sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch.
Find your own inner space. In time and with practice, repeat the Naam with out any movement of the tongue and lips.
The meditation is then progressed to the state where the mind beings to repeat the Naam with out any physical assertion.
Here the Vocal repetition progresses through to mental repetition.
With in your own inner space select a point of concentration. According to ancient Indian scriptures, there are 7 energy centers known as Chakras which are located along the central canal that corresponds to the spine.The Chakras represent the vibratory levels of the astral body in which the mantra can be repeated. There are many text of Gurbani that indicate meditation of the Naam in various locations of the astral bodies chakras, the language differs in many cultures and belief but the emphasis is the same.In simple terms Repeat the Mantra in the Nabhi - Located at the Navel - then try and ascend to the Hirda - the Heart centerNext stage the Khant - the base if the throat moving up wards into the trikuti - the third eye : located in the middle of the foreheadand then finally take the vibration into the Dasam Dewar - the tenth door, located under the tress knot of the hair on top of the head.
Focus the mental vibration of the sound in the chosen point of concentration. Repeat it mentally as you inhale and exhale
Allow the sound to merge with the thought. In which stage the mental repetition
merges in to the telepathic form, where the body loses all the awareness of
the physical world. And in to a transcendental state.
In this stage many saints and mystics have said that a sense of duality still exists.
Ego consciousness, subject and objects still exist in a subtle form. With time and practice this state merges in to the state of super consciousness where Samadhi is reached.
Samadhi is the state of mind where the knower, knowledge and the known become one,to be one with the All Mighty, the ultimate for the Saint-Soldier.
It would be worth mentioning here that it was with this state of mind that many of the Sikh Gurus, saints and followers both young and old were able to lay there life's before their faith. Not once questioning the order to be freed from the realms of injustice, but to accept death as the ultimate to life for their faith and Guru.
The tributes and rewards are countless, there are many ways and numerous techniques developed to strengthen the physical and astral bodies, what works for one might not work for another, Its you , your body, your sprit and your soul, respect it and give it the proper care that is needed for union with the Akaal.