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In order to practise Pranayama , you must sit in a most comfortable , easy position ; to sit cross-legged is the most comfortable posture , but this posture will kill you , an East Indian . You may sit in an easy chair .

Keep your body straight , back-bone stiff , head up , chest out , eyes front .

< : 1 : > Place the right hand thumb on the right nostril , and inhale the breath slowly through the left nostril . Go on inhaling slowly , until you feel at ease , go on inhaling as long as you can conveniently . While inhaling , let not the mind be vacant .

While you are inhaling , let the mind be concentrated on the thought that all Omnipotent , Omniscient , Omnipresent Divinity is being inhaled , that you are drinking Divinity , GODhead , the whole world , all the Universe .

< : 2 : > Well , when you think you have filled in the air to your best , then close the left nostril , through which you were inhaling , by finger , and when you stop both nostrils , let not the breath escape through the mouth ; keep the inhaled breath within you in the lungs , in the stomach , in the abdomen , all the cavities being filled with air , the air which you have inhaled , and when the breathed air is in you , let not the mind be vacant ,

let the mind be centred in the idea , in the truth that you are Divinity , the Almighty GOD that fills , permeates and pervades everything , every atom and molecule in the universe . Feel that . Put forth all your energies to realize that idea , apply all your strength to feel your divinity . Just as the breath fills your body , so realize and feel that you are the truth , you are the power divine that fills the whole universe . Feel that . You want to concentrate your minds on that .

< : 3 : > When you think that you cannot hold the breath any longer , then keep the left hand nostril shut , open the right hand nostril , and through the right hand nostril , slowly , gradually exhale . There let the mind not remain at rest , let it work , let it feel that just as the breath comes , and

impurities of the stomach are being driven off , so is all impurity , unchastity , all that was unclean , all that was wicked , savoring of wickedness , all ignorance are exhaled , driven off , and deserted . All weakness is gone , no weakness , no ignorance , no fear , no anxiety , no pain , no worry , no troubles , all ceased , gone , left you .

When you have exhaled , when you have breathed out so far as you most conveniently can , go on exhaling so long as you conveniently can , and when you think that you cannot exhale any longer , then try to keep all air shut out with both nostrils open .

< : 4 : > Take off the hand from your nose ; dont allow the air to come in for some time , for as long as you can , and while by your efforts the air is not allowed to enter the lungs through the nostrils , let the mind be again at work and let it feel , let it be exerted to its full power and strength ,

in realizing that this is the unlimited divinity . All time and space is thought by me , my own real Atma , Self , beyond time , space and causation , feel that this divinity is beyond time , space and causation , is not limited by anything in this world . It is beyond imagination , beyond thought , beyond all that , beyond everything , not limited , everything is contained in it , everything is limited by it , the Atma or Self cannot be limited . Feel that .

Thus you mark that in this Pranayama , as laid before you so far , there are four processes , both physical and mental .

< : A : > The first process was inhaling . The inhaling part was the physical process , and the idea , the way or feeling and thinking and applying your mind and exerting your energy to realize that divinity , that divinity am I . Divinity is me . This idea was the mental process connected with it .

< : B : > Again while you kept the breath in your lungs , there was a double process , the physical process of keeping it in your lungs , and the mental process of feeling that you were the whole universe , and in the

< : C : > third process you exhaled through the right nostril , and threw off all weakness ; firm determination to keep yourself rooted , established , seated in the divinity , never to allow any weakness , or any demon temptation to approach you , and then there was the

< : D : > fourth process of keeping the breath outside .

Thus the first half of Pranayama is done up to so far in this fourth process . One-half is finished .

After going through this fourth process , you may take a little rest .

Then allow the breath to fill your nostrils as it may . Inhale and exhale just as you inhale and exhale rapidly after taking a long walk . This natural inhalation and exhalation which will go on very rapidly , is Pranayama by itself . That is the natural Pranayama .

So after taking rest this way , after allowing your lungs to inhale and exhale for some time , begin again .

< : 5 : > Now begin , not with the left hand but with the right hand nostril . Mental process the same as before . Only the nostrils are changed . Inhale through the right hand nostril , and while inhaling , feel that you are inhaling divinity , and after inhaling to your fill , so long as conveniently you can ,

< : 6 : > keep the breath within you , and again , when the breath is within you , feel that you are the breath and life of the whole universe , you fill and enliven the wide world ,

< : 7 : > and after that exhale through the left hand nostril . Exhale through the nostril through which you inhaled in the first half of Pranayama and feel that you are driving off , just as the Sun drives off the mist , fog , cold , darkness ; so feel that all weakness , all darkness is being driven off from your mind . No mist , fog , darkness or cold .

< : 8 : > And then keep the breath outside your nose , and try to elongate and lengthen every process .

Altogether we have got eight processes in this .

The first four processes form one-half of the Pranayama , and the last four form the second half of the Pranayama .

< : NB : > Try to lengthen every one of these processes as long as and as much as you can .

Here is harmonious motion ; just as a pendulum has got double oscillation , so here you have to make a pendulum of your breath , harmonious motion .

You will see by your own experience that you gain immense strength . Most of your diseases leave you ; consumption , diseases of the stomach , blood diseases , and almost every disease will leave you if you practise that .

Well , Rama finds that when people begin to practise Pranayama , most of them fall sick . The reason is that they do not adopt the natural course . They begin to inhale and exhale for so many seconds ; that will make you sick .

< : NB : > Be natural in every part of this breathing .

Make efforts , do your best to lengthen every process , but do not fatigue yourself . Do not work much yourself . If after performing only the first two processes , say , the inhalation and keeping the breath in your lungs , you feel tired , stop . Stop , you are under no obligation .

The next day be more considerate , and while performing the first process or the second process , try to keep your energies reserved , so that you may be able to continue the remaining processes ; be judicious .

Well , this is the only favourable method of controlling the breath . This is a kind of physical exercise .

Those who think that this Pranayama has got something mystical , some divine meaning in it , are mistaken . Those who think that the highest realization culminates in it and that there is nothing higher than it , are mistaken .

Pranayama or this control of breath has nothing supernatural in it . It is an ordinary exercise . Just as you go out and take physical exercise , so is this a kind of exercise of the lungs . There is no real significance in it , nothing mystic about it .

< : NB : > One thing more ought to be said in connection with Pranayama . When you begin to inhale or exhale , keep your ( you will pardon if Rama uses that word ) abdomen , the lower part of the body , drawn in . That will be of great use to you .

< : NB : > Again when you inhale or exhale , let the breath reach and fill all your belly . Let not the breath simply go up to the heart and no farther . Let the breath go deeper down . Let every cavity of your body , all the upper half of your body be filled .

Well , this will do for Pranayama and those who want to concentrate their minds on vedantic lines , will find it a wonderful aid to practise Pranayama

< : A : > before they begin to chant OM ,

< : B : > before they begin to concentrate their mind on any method they have read of in the vedantic literature .