Prostrations at the lotus feet of AMMA.
nishhedhanaM prapaJNchasya rechakaakhyaH samiiraNaH .
brahmaivaasmiiti yaa vR^ittiH puurako vaayuriiritaH ..
Meaning: Negating all the naama roopam is called rechakam . Having the thought that I am Brahman is called poorakam.
Explanation: In the earlier sloka the author sankarabhagavadpada has explained the definition of pranayamam. In this sloka and next sloka he explains porakam,rechakam and kumbhakam.
As per yoga pranayama involves poorakam,rechakam and kumbhakam. Pranayama is done by controlling the breath. Inhaling, exhaling and retaining air for certains intervals of time is done in pranayama. This helps in controlling of the mind.
Inhaling air till a certain period of time is called poorakam. Kumbhakam is retaining the inhaled air for some time. Rechakam is exhaling sir for some period of time.
Praanayama is practiced through inhalation, exhalation of air is done in a systematic manner as per the instructions over a period of time.
The same is explained in a vedantic perspective in this sloka. As per the author, Rechakam is negating all naama roopam in this world. The world is made up of naama roopam and Brahman the substratum of everything in the world. Naama roopam is temporary and will bring sorrow alone to a person. We cannot depend on anything in the world as one day it will lead to sorrow. This we have seen in our personal lifes
If we depend on TV for our happiness, when the power goes off, the same thing would bring us sorrow. Same applies to all entities in the world. So with this knowledge that naama roopam or names and forms are just an illusion in the reality of Brahman, one should negate all names and forms and know them to be nothing but all pervading Brahman.
Katha Upanishad says
Manasaiva idam aaptavyam neha nana asthi kinchana
Mrityoh sah mrityum gacchathi ya iha nana iva pashyathi
Self alone exists here and nothing else. A person who doesn’t realize this truth would be entangled in the birth death cycle.
As mentioned in atma bodha
Samsarah Swapnatulyo hi Ragadweshadi Samkulah
Swakaale Satyavatbhati Prabodhe sati Asadbhavet.
The world is like a dream, filled with dual experiences like likes, dislikes . It appears to be real as a long dream, until we wake up and know the truth .
When we know that world is unreal and the substratum of Brahman alone is real. We should practice is by negating all the naama roopam we see as unreal. This assertion should be done in the mind. One cannot stop doing any activities , knowing that world is unreal. One should do karma with the awareness that Brahman alone is real and everything is illusionary. This rejecting of naama roopam is actual rechakam by sankarabhagavad pada. This will make the mind calm and undisturbed by the results we get from the temporary objects in the world.
When one rejects what is harmful, what brings him sorrow, he should accept what would give him poornaananda , the eternal bliss. So accepting Brahman as the only truth, as the substratum of the illusionary world is called poorakam.
Mere rejected of the unwanted is not enough, one should take in what is needed for growth and happiness.So always understanding that everything is Brahman alone and he is also that Brahman, would bring bliss to the person. This is actual poorakam.
tatastadvR^ittinaishchalya.n kuMbhakaH praaNasa.nyamaH .
aya.n chaapi prabuddhaanaamaGYaanaa.n ghraaNapiiDanam.h .
Meaning: Having the constant thought of Brahman is kumbhakam. Ignorant people practice it which will cause only pain to the nostrils.
Explanation: In continuation with the earlier sloka , sankarabhagavadpada is explaining kumbhakam here. Kumbhakam as practice by retaining inhaled air for certain interval of time .
One may have the knowledge that the world is an illusion and reality is Brahman alone. But until he has a constant thought of this and implements it every moment, he cannot attain ultimate bliss. The mind would easily delude the person into the objects of the world. So pull ourselves out of the clutches of the mind, we should constantly ascertaining ourselves in the mind that Brahman alone is present here one without a second. Having this constant thought of Brahman is actual kumbhakam as per the author.
Thus negating all naama roopam, considering everything to be Brahman alone and fixing the mind onto the reality that Brahman alone is present here, would lead a person to niddhidhyasanam and thereby to self-realization. Only through knowledge of the ultimate truth and through constant contemplation of it, one would develop strong conviction about the truth .Once the strong conviction is attained, one perceives the world as what he believed in. Which brings him eternal bliss.
As mentioned in atma bodha
Ajnana Kalusham Jeevam Jnanaabhyasat Vinirmalam
Krutwa Jnanam Swayam Nasyet Jalam Katakarenuvat.
Thus through knowledge alone a person is purified. Once attaining the purification, knowledge itself vanishes as the alum dissolves in water and removes impurities in water.
Practicing pranayama as per yoga sastras involves physical strain to the body, as one has to constantly breath in a controlled which helps in loosening the veil of ignorance.
The author says a person who doesn’t understand what praanayamam is in right sense, would end up in troubling his nostrils.
vishhayeshhvaatmataa.n dR^ishhTvaa manasashchiti majjanam.h .
pratyaahaaraH sa viGYeyo.abhyasaniiyo mumukshubhiH
Meaning: Seeing everything as aatma, the mind merges with atman. This is
called pratyaharam. This is practiced by people who want to attain moksha.
Explanation: Sankarabhagavadpada in this sloka explains the next sadhana of pratyahara.
As per yoga sastras pratyahara means withdrawal of sense organs from sense objects contact. This helps in control of sense organs.
As per the author, pratyaharam means perceiving what ever objects we see as Brahman.
Whatever we see in the world, ascertain that to be Brahman. An object externally cannot be Brahman, but the substratum of everything in the world is Brahman alone. So keeping this in mind, we should pierce through the Naama roopam and see only Brahman in all objects. We should understand the consciousness principle which is the driving force for the entire world to be in harmony. Thus perceiving the objects constantly for some period of time , the mind will merge into Brahman. So later without effort the mind will reside always in Brahman. It constantly think about Brahman alone and perceive the same everywhere. This is the what seeker of moksha in this spiritual try achieve through constant practice.
Until we do not understand the underlying truth behind all entities in the world, we will be deluded by maya. All the objects will appear real to us and bring us only sorrow.
As Krishna in Gita 7th sloka says
daivi hy esa guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te
My maya is difficult to conquer, but only people who surrender to me will not be overpowered by maya.
So we need to seek surrender to the lord inorder to overcome Maya and always remind ourself of the truth, not getting deluded by the temporary objects of the world. Only through Guru’s or gods grace alone one can overcome Maya and always be in the constant thought of Brahman.
yatra yatra mano yaati brahmaNastatra darshanaat.h .
manaso dhaaraNa.n chaiva dhaaraNaa saa paraa mataa
Meaning: Whereever the mind goes, see Brahman alone. This is called dharana of the mind. Dharana is superior.
Explanation: Sankaracharya here explains the next sadhana of Dharana.
As per yoga sutras dharana to gain one-pointed concentration. Here the person tries to gain concentration by focusing on one point or object. This is when a person is all the time making the mind to be focused. This helps in attaining dhyana or one-pointed concentration. The main disadvantage of this sadhana is that a person cannot sit and try to gain focus all the time.
As per the author the dharana prescribed as per Vedanta can be done without any limitations. Dharana here means to perceive Brahman wherever the mind goes. We know that the mind is very wavery. It is the fastest moving object. Sitting at a place one can tour the entire world.Such is the power of the mind.
Mind deludes us in the world, as we perceive duality in the world. We develop likes and dislikes having come into contact with objects of the world. This creates impressions in the mind and are actions are influenced by these impressions of our mind. Thus we get entagled into the fruits of the actions performed in the world, until we realize the truth the world is unreal and is only an illusion in the substratum of Brahman.
Inorder to remain focused on the truth one should remind himself of the truth that Brahman alone exists in the world. Thus he sees oneness everywhere gradually. He sees himself in everything in the world. He sees world in himself and himself in the world. This brings equanimity of mind as mentioned in scriptures as
Saarva bhutasta aatmanam sarva bhutani cha aatmani ikshate yoga uktaatma sarvatra samadarshinaha
Such a person can alone have compassion and love to the entire beings in world and can serve the society selflessly , all other people’s actions are self-centered as they haven’t realized the true nature of themselves. Only one who has realized himself can be useful to the society.
As lord Krishna says in Gita 4th chapter
sanniyamyendriya-gramam sarvatra sama-buddhayah te prapnuvanti mam eva sarva-bhuta-hite ratah
Only who has controlled his sense organs and who has equanimity of mind towards every person in the world, he alone attains me and does welfare to the society.
Thus a person who practices dharana as mentioned by author can through dharana gain focus of mind on the ultimate truth.
brahmaivaasmiiti sadvR^ittyaa niraalambatayaa sthitiH .
dhyaanashabdena vikhyaataa paramaanandadaayinii
Meaning: Having the thought of I am Brahman, which makes a man not independent is called dhyanam, which gives immense bliss.
Explanation: After explaining dharana Sankarabhagavad pada in this sloka explains Dhyanam. One who practices dharana where a person tries to gain focus on an object, over a period of time he would be able to gain one-pointedness this is called dhyanam which means mediating on a form or formless.
Yogic dhyanam is sitting in a position and focusing on a particular object. This helps in attaining Samadhi , where the meditator becomes one with the meditating object.
From a vedantic perspective dhyanam is having the constant thought of I am Brahman, the substratum of the entire world, always reveling in the truth of Brahman being the ultimate reality . This when achieved makes a person independent. No matter whatever circumstances, he can live independently, this gives him immense inner strength to him. He sees everything as pervaded by Brahman. So what to loose ,what to gain, what to like and what to dislike, what to do and what not to do. Always he rejoices in Brahman.
As lord Krishna says in Gita 5th chapter
kama-krodha-vimuktanam yatinam yata-cetasam abhito brahma-nirvanam vartate viditatmanam
A person who is devoid of likes, anger and all material desires, who is self-realized, who is self-disciplined and who always practice to be in Brahman and reside in Brahman
Such person sees oneness everywhere as he sees Brahman alone everywhere. He sees Brahman in each and everyone in the world.
Lord Krishna says in Gita in 5th chapter
vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi hastini suni caiva sva-pake ca panditah sama-darsinah
A Brahmin, who is a scholar sees Brahman in cow, elephant, dog and a dog eater. He sees all as Brahman alone.
This is what is called as dhyanam , having one thought of Brahman all the time and always being immersed in it, because of which a person ever rejoices in bliss, as he devoid of all dualities.