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अपाने जुह्वति प्राणं प्राणेऽपानं तथापरे ।
प्राणापानगती रुद्ध्वा प्राणायामपरायणाः ॥ २९ ॥ (4.29)
अपरे नियताहाराः प्राणान्प्राणेषु जुह्वति ।

4.1048. Some intent on breath-control (प्राणायाम), blocking the movemnt of the in-breath and out-breath, sacrifice the in-breath in the out-breath, and similarly, sacrifice the out-breath in the in-breath.

4.1049. (some) जुह्वति, offer as sacrifice; the function of the vital force called PraaNa (प्राण) , अपाने in the function of Apaana.

4.1050. That is, they perform the PraaNayama called Pooraka (filling in) by filling the external air into the body.

4.1051. तथा अपरे still others; offer अपानं the Apaana; प्राणे in the PraaNa.

4.1052. That is they perform PraNayama called Rechaka (throwing out) by expelling the air within the body.

4.1053. Automatically Kumbhaka (holding on the breath) is also practiced as it is inseparable from Pooraka and Rechaka.

4.1054. The internal Kumbhaka is when the stoppage of inhalation and exhalation is practised after drawing in the air according to one’s capacity.

4.1055. After having mentioned these three praaNayaamas Sri Krishna speaks of the fourth which is a Kumbhaka: प्राणापानगती, the movement of PraaNa and Apaana.

4.1056. The movement of PraaNa consists in the outflow of internal air, exhalation, through nostrils and the mouth.

4.1057. The movement of Apaana consists in the inflow, inhalation, of the externalized air.

4.1058. Among them, in Pooraka there occurs the stoppage of the movement of PraaNa.

4.1059. In Rechaka there occurs the stoppage of the movement of PraaNa. In Kumbhaka both movements are stopped.

4.1060. Thus, अपरे others, who are different from the earlier ones, प्राणायामपरायणाः who remain engaged in praaNaayama;

4.1061. प्राणापानगती रुद्ध्वा by stopping the movements of PraaNa and Apaana, called exhalation and inhalation, successively and simultaneously;

4.1062. And who are नियत आहाराः, well regulated in their food, who are endued with the discipline of Yoga viz. regulation of food etc;

4.1063. जुह्वति offer (as a sacrifice), i.e. merge, through the practice of Kumbhaka, the fourth (praaNaayaama);

4.1064. प्राणान् the praaNaas in the form of sense organs and motor organs; प्राणेषु in the praaNaas, in the vital forces, which have been controlled through the practice of external and internal Kumbhakas.

4.1065. Patanjali says in his Yoga Sutra 2.49 तस्मिन्सति श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः प्राणायामः The meaning is:

4.1066. When that is there, then comes प्राणायामः in the form of the stoppage of movements of exhalation and inhalation.

4.1067. To explain तस्मिन्सति after the aasana the posture or seat becomes steady; प्राणायामः praaNaayaama should be practised.

4.1068. Of what kind? श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः in the form of stoppage of the movements of exhalationa and inhalation;

4.1069. it is that which is characterized as the विच्छेद stoppage itself–successively and simultaneously, through personal effort.

4.1070. of the gati or movements–of the natural flow occuring without personal effort;

4.1071. श्वासप्रश्वासयो: of the exhalation and inhalation, the functions of PraaNa and Apaana.

4.1072. Patanjali continues this theme on the next sutra: बाह्याभ्यन्तरस्तम्भवृत्तिः देशकालसङ्ख्याभिः परिदृष्टो दीर्घसूक्ष्मः (2.50)

4.1073. That praaNaayaama has external movement, internal movement and stoppage;

4.1074. These when tested according to distance, time and number become long and subtle.

4.1075. Since Pooraka consists in the stoppage of the outward movement of breath, therefore the phrase बाह्य वृत्ति (outward movement referred in the sutra) stands for Pooraka.

4.1076. Since Rechaka consists in the stoppage of the inward movement of breath, therefore the phrase आभ्यन्तरस्तम्भवृत्ति inward movement stands for Rechaka.

4.1077. Some also explain बाह्य as Rechaka, आन्तर (in आभ्यन्तर) as Pooraka.

4.1078. स्तम्भ is the simultaneous stoppage of both movements. This action is Kumbhaka.

4.1079. Vachaspati Mishra comments on this sutra (2.50) as follows:

“…when there is absence of both exhalation and inhalation as a result of a single effort to stop them–not, again, the necessity of controlling the continuous tendency of air for filling in as before, or the necessity of controlling the continuous tendency of air for moving out–, then, on the other hand, just as water poured on a heated stone dries up, gets reduced from all sides, similarly air, which is apt to move, becoming restrained from moving through a mighty effort of control, remains in the body itself in a subtle form. It does not fill in by which it becomes Pooraka; nor does it move out by which it becomes Rechaka.”

4.1080. This threefold praaNaayaama (Pooraka, Rechaka and Kumbhaka) when examined from the point of view of distance, time and number, is termed long and subtle.

4.1081. Just as a compressed lump of cotton becomes, when spun, long and fine owing to thinness, similarly praaNa also, through practice of praaNaayaama, by increasing its distace, time and number, becomes long as well as subtle by reason of its becoming difficult to perceive.

4.1082. To explain: Breath, starting from the heart, extends up to a distance of 12 fingers in front of the nose.

4.1083. And returning from there itself, it enters up to the heart. This is the natural movement of PraaNa and Apaana.

4.1084. By practice however, it gradually comes out from the navel or from Muladhara (located just above the organ of generation).

4.1085. It terminates at a distance of 24 fingers or 36 fingers from the nose.

4.1086. The entry also is to be understood as spreading over that much distance.

4.1087. As to that, its extension is the space outside is to be determined throgh the movement of the fine cotton-like fibres at the tip of a reed etc. in a windless location.

4.1088. The internal distance also is to be inferred from the sensation inside akin to that of the movement of an ant on the skin.

4.1089. Similarly a क्षण is one-fourth of the time taken by the blinking of an eye.

4.1090. मात्रा is the time taken for snapping a finger after encircling one’s kneecap 3 times with ones palm.

4.1091. The first उद्घात in 36 such मात्रा is मन्द (weak); When it is doubled then it is second उद्घात known as मध्य or medium.

4.1092. When this उद्घात is trebled then it is called तीव्र or intense.

4.1093. The striking at the head by the air as it is expelled on being pushed from the root of the navel is called उद्घात.

4.1094. This as such is the determination of the time and the number.

4.1095. The time and number were talked separately to speak of a slight difference between them.

4.1096. Although in Kumbhaka no spatial extent is understood, the time and number are definitely understood.

4.1097. That three-fold praaNaayaama when practised everyday, is said to be long because of its extension over distance, time and number, as days, weeks and months progress; and to be fine since it is mastered through great skill.

4.1098. In Sutra 2.51 बाह्याभ्यन्तरविषयाक्षेपी चतुर्थः॥५१॥ Patanjali says: the fourth is independent of those which are concerned with the external and the internal.

4.1099. The outgoing breath concerned with the external distance, time and number, is called Rechaka.

4.1100. The inflowing breath concerned with the internal is called Pooraka. This may also be contrariwise.

4.1101. Depending on these two, Kumbhaka, the third praanaayaama which is of two kinds according to the difference of being external or internal, occurs through a mighty single effort at suspension.

4.1102. The fourth praaNaayaama which is a Kumbhaka comes from a repeated efforts for it through skillfulness in the practice of Kumbhaka alone, independently of both Rechana and Pooraka.

4.1103. Thus बाह्य आभ्यन्तर विषय आक्षेपी means independently of those Rechaka and Pooraka.

4.1104. PraaNaayaama, which is of four kinds, has been explained by this one and half verse of Bhagavat Geetha.

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  1. Pingback: BHAGAVAT GEETHA – CHAPTER 4 – ज्ञानकर्मसंन्यसयोग: – YOGA OF RENUNCIATION OF ACTION IN KNOWLEDGE – PART 23 | Tamilbrahmins

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