IMPORTANT MUDRAS AND BANDHAS
There are several varieties in Mudras and Bandhas, viz., Maha Bandha, Jalandhara Bandha, Uddiyana Bandha, Mula Bandha, and Maha Mudra, Maha Vedha, Nabho, Khechari, Viparita Karani, Yoni, Sambhavi, Asvini, Pasini, Matangi, Kaki, Bhujangini and Yoga Mudras.
Among these I will give you a short description of the few important ones. You can select that which suits you well and practise regularly. Cough, asthma, enlargement of spleen and liver, sex-sublimation, venereal diseases, consumption, chronic constipation, leprosy and all sorts of incurable diseases are also cured. These Mudras and Bandhas will bestow on you all that you want. "Nasti mudrasamam kinchit samsidhyai kshitimandale"-There is nothing in this world like the Mudras for giving success.
Press the anus carefully with the left heel. Stretch out the right leg. Catch hold of the toe with the two hands. Inhale and retain the breath (Kumbhaka). Press the chin against the chest firmly, Jalandhara Bandha. Fix the gaze at the Trikuti, Bhrumadhya Drishti. Retain the posture as long as you can. Practise first on the left leg and then on the right leg. This cures consumption, haemorrhoids or piles, enlargement of spleen, indigestion, Gulma (chronic gastritis), leprosy, constipation, fever, etc. Life is increased. It confers Siddhis on the practitioners. When you do this Mudra, the posture will be almost similar to Janusirshasana.
Sit in Padmasana. Place the palms on the heels. Exhale slowly and bend forwards and touch the ground with the forehead. If you retain the pose for a long time, you can breathe in and out as usual, or come to the former position and inhale. Instead of keeping the hands on the heels you can take them at the back. Catch hold of the left wrist with your right hand. This pose removes all kinds of disorders in the abdomen.
`Khe' means in sky and `Char' means to move. The Yogi moves in the sky. Hence this is known as Khechari Mudra.
This Mudra can be performed by a man only if he has undergone the preliminary exercise under the direct guidance of a Guru who is practising Khechari Mudra. The preliminary portion of this Mudra is in making the tongue so long that the tip of the tongue might touch the space between the two eyebrows. The Guru will cut the lower tendon of the tongue with a bright, clean knife, little by little every week. By sprinkling salt and turmeric powder, the cut edges may not join together again. Rub the tongue with fresh butter and draw it out. Take hold of the tongue with the fingers and move it to and fro. Milking the tongue means taking hold of it and drawing it as the milkman does the udder of a cow during milking.
Cutting the lower tendon of the tongue should be done regularly, once a week, for a period varying from six months to two years. By all these means you can lengthen the tongue to reach the forehead. This is the preliminary portion of Khechari Mudra.
Then turn the tongue upwards and backwards by sitting in Siddhasana so as to touch the palate and close the posterior nasal opening with the tongue and fix the gaze at the space between the two eyebrows. The respiration will stop. The tongue is on the mouth of the well of nectar. This is Khechari Mudra.
By practice of this Mudra the Yogi is free from fainting, hunger, thirst and laziness. He is free from diseases, decay, old age and death. This Mudra makes one an Urdhvareto Yogi. As the body of the Yogi is filled with the nectar, he will not die even by virulent poison. This Mudra gives Kaya Siddhi to Yogins. Khechari is the best of all Mudras.
This is an important Yogic Kriya in Hatha Yoga. You will have to work hard to get full success in this Kriya. There are very few people who are experts in this act. Yogic students draw water first through a silver tube (catheter, specially made) passed into the urethra (urinary canal) for 12 inches inside, then milk, oil, honey, etc. They draw mercury in the end. Later on they can draw these liquids directly through the urethra without the help of the tube. This Kriya is of immense use in the establishment of Brahmacharya. On the first day you should send the catheter inside the urethra for one inch only, the second day two inches, third day three inches, and so on. You must gradually practise till you are able to send 12 inches of the catheter inside.
Raja Bhartrihari could do this Kriya very dexterously. Even a drop of semen cannot come out of the Yogi who practises this Mudra. Even if it is discharged, he can draw it back through this Mudra. The Yogi who draws his semen up and preserves it conquers death. Good smell emanates from his body. Lord Krishna was a skilled expert in this Mudra. That is the reason why He was called a Nitya Brahmachari though He was amidst several Gopis.
Lie on the ground. Raise the legs up straight. Support the buttocks with the hands. Rest the elbows on the ground. Remain steady. The sun dwells at the root of the navel and the moon at the root of the palate. The process by which the sun is taken upward and the moon downward is called Viparitakarani Mudra. The positions of the sun and moon are reversed. On the first day do it for a minute. Gradually increase the period to three hours. After six months wrinkles on the face and grey hair will disappear. The Yogis who practise this for three hours daily conquer death. As the gastric fire is increased those who practise this for a long time should take some light refreshment such as milk, etc., as soon as the Kriya is over. Sirshasana posture also is called Viparitakarani Mudra.
SAKTI CHALANA MUDRA
Sit in a secluded room in Siddhasana. Draw in the air forcibly and join it with Apana. Do Mula Bandha till the Vayu enters the Sushumna. By retaining the air, the Kundalini being suffocated, awakens and finds its way through Sushumna to the Brahmarandhra. Through the practice of this Mudra one can become a Siddha.
Sit in Siddhasana. Take hold of the foot near the ankle and slowly beat the Kanda with the foot. This is Tadana Kriya. By this method also Kundalini can be awakened.
Sit in Siddhasana. Close the ears with two thumbs, eyes with the index-fingers, nostrils with the middle fingers, the upper lips with the ring-fingers and the lower lips with the little fingers. This is a beautiful Mudra for doing Japa. Dive deep and meditate on the Shat Chakras and Kundalini. This is not quite easy for all like other Mudras. You have to exert much in getting success in this. You must be perfectly established in Brahmacharya if you want sure success in this Mudra. "Devanamapi dur-labha"-very difficult to be obtained even by Devas. Therefore realise the importance of this Mudra. Practise it very cautiously.
Press the anus with the left heel. Place the right foot upon the left thigh. Contract the anus and muscles of the Yoni or perineum. Draw the Apana Vayu upwards. Draw the breath slowly and retain it by Jalandhara Bandha as long as you can. Then exhale slowly. Fix the mind on Sushumna. Practise first on the left side and then on the right side. Generally the Yogi does Maha Mudra, Maha Bandha and Maha Vedha together. This is a good combination. Then only maximum benefits are derived. The Yogi achieves all his desires and obtains Siddhis.
Sit in Maha Bandha posture explained elsewhere. Draw the breath slowly. Retain the breath. Press the chin against the chest (Jalandhara Bandha). Place the palms on the ground. Rest the body on the palms. Raise the buttocks slowly and strike them gently against the ground. The Asana must be intact and firm when you raise the buttocks. This Kriya destroys decay and death. The Yogi gets control over the mind and conquers death.
Press the Yoni with the left heel. Contract the anus. Forcibly draw upwards the Apana Vayu slowly by practice. Put the right heel on the organ of generation. This is called Mula Bandha, destroyer of decay and death.
The Siddhi or perfection in the practice of Pranayama is attained through the help of Bandhas. The practice of this Mula Bandha helps Brahmacharya, gives Dhatu-Pushti (nerve-vigour), relieves constipation and increases the Jatharagni. He who practises Mula Bandha will keep up everlasting youth. No grey hair will manifest.
The Apana Vayu which does the function of ejection of excreta has a natural tendency to move downwards. Through the practice of Mula Bandha the Apana Vayu is made to move upwards by contracting the anus and by forcibly drawing it upwards. The Prana Vayu is united with the Apana and the united Prana-Apana is made to enter the Sushumna Nadi or Brahma Nadi. Then the Yogi attains perfection in Yoga. This is a secret in Yoga. Then the Yogi is dead to the world. He drinks the nectar of immortality. He enjoys Siva-pada in Sahasrara. He gets all divine Vibhutis and Aisvaryas.
When the Apana is united with Prana, the Anahata sounds or different kinds of Nadas (mystical inner sounds) are heard very distinctly by the Yogi, because the outside worldly sounds are shut out now. He has deep concentration. Prana, Apana, Nada and Bindu unite now. The Yogi reaches perfection in Yoga.
Contract the throat. Press the chin firmly on the chest. This Bandha is practised at the end of Puraka (inhalation) and beginning of Kumbhaka (retention of breath). By the practice of this Bandha, the Prana moves in the right path. It is united with the Apana. Ida and Pingala Nadis are shut out. The gastric fire which is situated in the region of Nabhi consumes the nectar which exudes out of the Sahasrara through the hole in the palate. The Yogic student should practise this Bandha in order to prevent the nectar being thus consumed. The Yogi drinks the nectar and attains immortality.
Empty the lungs by a strong and forcible exhalation. Now contract and forcibly draw up the intestines and also the navel towards the back, so that the abdomen rests against the back of the body high up in the thoracic cavity. He who practises this Bandha constantly conquers death and becomes young. This helps a lot in keeping up Brahmacharya. All Bandhas awaken the Kundalini. Uddiyana is practised in the end of Kumbhaka and beginning of Rechaka. When you practise this Bandha, the diaphragm, the muscular portion between the thoracic cavity and abdomen, is raised up, the abdominal wall is drawn backwards. Bend your trunk forwards, when you do Uddiyana. Uddiyana can be done in sitting and standing postures. When you practise in the standing posture, place your hand on the knees or a little above the knees. Keep the legs a little apart.
Uddiyana is a blessing to humanity. It imparts beautiful health, strength, vigour and vitality to the practioner. When it is combined with Nauli Kriya which consists in churning the contents of the abdomen it serves as a powerful gastro-intestinal tonic. These are two potent weapons of the Yogin to combat constipation, weak peristalsis of the intestines and the gastro-intestinal disorders of the alimentary system. It is by these two Yogic exercises alone you can manipulate and massage all the abdominal viscera and tone them up.
Those who want to practise Nauli should practise Uddiyana in the beginning. Uddiyana reduces fat in the belly. For abdominal exercises nothing can compete with Uddiyana and Nauli. They stand unique, unrivalled and unprecedented amongst all systems of physical exercises in the East and the West.