The body is pervaded by ten airs which are conceived of as vital powers, or functions of the human organism; specifically and particularly of the senses and the involuntary processes, moving in channels, or paths, called nadi, which are found in all parts of the body. Five of these airs are of more importance to the Gorakhnathis and importantly the concepts in Gorakhnathi sect comparatively than are the others, and of the five two are of special interest; and, finally, prana, as the function of breathing, is primary. Prana, vayu and maruta means not merely air, or breathe, but actually the vital force, the principal of life, vitality, the antithesis of physical or bodily inertness and death. The prana is often identified with the individual soul (jiva).
The airs are as follows -
Apart from these vital airs, the other vital airs of importance to the Gorakhnath yogis, according to the concepts in Gorakhnathi sect are mentioned below -
Moreover, the concepts in Gorakhnathi Sect also describes that Prana and apana, 'situated above and below' the diaphragm, are the most important and receive the most attention in the system. They are 'joined' in the navel. To the Kanphata Yogi, the navel is the centre of the body. Apana is drawn up to the navel, by the prana; and is there united with it (the prana). Prana and apana alternately draw each other. In pronouncing 'ha', apana expels prana; and in pronouncing 'sa', prana drives down apana. Thus is described the breatheing process and it is conceived of as an expelling and inhaling of the jiva, or soul, which, because of lack of clear insight, identifies with the process. It is said that the final going out of prana is the exit of jiva in death. The word, 'hamsa', derived from the process of breathing (ha+sa) becomes a mantra, called the ajapa gayatri, the unuttered Gayatri mantra. So, the Yogi 'repeats' this mantra, of incalculable power, continually, twenty-one thousand six hundred times in a day and a night.
The vital concepts in Gorakhnathi sect also states that the knowledge of how the practice of yoga is done is of great importance to the yogis. In yoga practice, prana and apana are to be joined. The vital forces function through the nadis, sometimes called channels or arteries, or fibres. They are paths of power, not gross channels, but subtle lines. Among these seventy-two are of considerable importance, but they are not named. The nadis are spoken of as a network pervading the body and having their origin in the kanda. They all have their ends (outlets) in the openings of the body. The ten chief nadis are ida and pingala, susumna, gandhari, hastijihva, pusa, yasasvini, alambusa, kuhus and samkhini. Of these nadis the first three are the most important and receive major attention as the paths of the prana. They are of vital importance in pranayama and the raising of Kundalini Shakti. The first two are subordinate to the third, through which, by Yoga, prana is supposed to pass by way of the various centres out of the body through the brahmarandhra.
The lotuses, wheels, circles, centres are conceived of as positions or locations in the body where the various aspects of vital force reside. The circles, or lotuses, are a characteristic element in Gorakhnathi sect conception of the Hatha Yoga. The lotuses, except the last are also called Pithas, and are seats of Shakti.
The names and locations of the various chakras or circles, beginning with the lowest, are as follows -
Related to these most intimately, are two other regions of the body, the kanda and the brahmarandhra; the former the lower part of the abdomen, the source of all the nadis the latter at the anterior fontanels. Thus, the concepts of Gorakhnathi sect specify about the voluntary control that the Gorakhnathis exercises over consciousness and their ability of self hibernation.
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