||OM Ganapataye Namaha||
Mudras and Health
||Na hi Gyanena Sudrusham||
|| Pavitramahi Vidhate ||
Meaning there is nothing as sacred as knowledge. In the land of Bharata, Maharishis, Rishis and Yogis always engaged themselves in the pursuit of knowledge and studied the universe. Inspired by the nature and the way the whole universe was created the knowledge of infinity called Vedas and from it came the Upanishads. Since time immemorial the Vedas and Upanishads meant a lot to our great ancestors. Same as what the crown and specter was to anointed king to the west the Vedas was given equal importance and it passed from father to son from generation to generation through Oral transmission and not recorded in the books like the Bible or Koran.
Our Maharishis and Yogis lived for hundreds nay thousands of years and is quite bound that people of now would wonder at such statements. But now as we have come across the practical knowledge of Ayurveda, Yoga and Mudras we shall fell confident that the dream of realizing a long and healthy life is possible.
YOGA and MUDRA are a boon to mankind. The ancient laws of Mudras are one of the finest gifts of Bharat to the world. The science imparts knowledge that leads to self discovery, while providing a means to balance and maintain healthy independently and maximize the joy of living. The science of Mudras, a part of Yoga, is based in the fundamental principles of Life, namely, five elements- Akash (Ether/Space, Vayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Jal (Water), and Prithvi (Earth) the Five Pranas – Prana, Udana, Samana, Apana and Vyana; and the three doshas- Vata, Kapha, Pitta.
The Rishis discovered that the whole creation is composed of five elements mentioned above. They also discovered that the human structure is the miniature form of universe and hence is composed of the same five elements. Therefore they concluded that the secret of good health depends on the balance of the elements within the body and the imbalance in these five elements caused the diseases of the body and mind.
Mudras are mainly performed as gestures by fingers, hand positions and also in combinations with Asanas, Pranayama, Bandha and techniques involving eye movements. Mudras help create and maintain equilibrium in the body elements that result in a healthy life.
The mudras are comprehensive in nature. They create inner peace and strength, eliminate fatigue and anxiety, and promote physical and emotional health help relieve stress, depression and anger. They calm the mind sharpen the intellect and promote love, happiness, prosperity and longevity.
The origin of the term “Mudra” can be traced to Sanskrit and has been used in various contexts. It has been used to describe psychic, emotional, devotional and aesthetic attitudes. The word Mudra to the root ‘Mud’ meaning joy and ‘dravya’ meaning- to draw forth the ‘sat chit ananda’ which is latent in all of us.
Originated in Bharat Mudras have lived with us thousands of years through gestures performed during worship of Sandhya Vandana. Various Indian dance forms are also replete with silent eloquence of Mudras. If dance is the language, Mudras are its words.
Some of the original writing on Mudras is found in scriptures like Shiv Samhita, Gherand Samhita and Hatha Yoga. According to the science of Yoga the attitudes and gestures adopted during Mudra practices establish a direct link between the five sheaths, seven energy centers (the Chakras) in the body and dynamic power. Kundalini.
The Five Sheaths:
There is a divine spark in us called “Atma” the soul, and the five concentric layers of matter enveloping the Atma are called sheaths or Koshas. The five elements are:-
1. The food sheath - Annamaya Kosha.
2. The vital air sheath - Pranamaya Kosha.
3. The mental sheath - Manomaya Kosha.
4. The intellectual sheath - Vijnanamaya Kosha.
5. The bliss sheath - Anandamaya Kosha.
The Eight Energy Centres- The Chakras:
Chakras are energy centers in the spinal column. Each chakra is usually represented as a Lotus. There are seven main chakras in the human body that are directly connected with higher centers of the brain.
These chakras are part of Sushumna Nadi-nerve and this subtle body channel is part of the spinal column. On the physical side the spinal column connects the limbs and the organs of the body to the brain through a network of channels, the nerves. The Chakras are the junction of nerves.
The brain monitors, coordinated, regulated and controls the functions of the body through these nerves.
1 Muladhara Chakra:
First—root chakra--- MULADHARA kidneys ,adrenaline glands — Red resonance –base of spine-- material worldly issues— survival, safety, prosperity, motivation . 194.18 Hz - same frequency as an Earth Day which is 24 hours. The energy is dynamic, stimulating, vitalizing and tonifying. frequency that influences the physical body. Ehteric Aura is 2 inches from body, Mirrors physical health. Ruby. Concern physical/ element earth. 3.8 - 4.3 Hz . Blockage- Addictions, compulsions, fear,indiscipline. Seat -Will to live, faith in life
2 Swadistana Chakra:
Second--- Sacral Chakra --- SWADHISTANA-- located just below navel, adrenaline glands, uterus reproductive system , spleen, circulation - hydrocortisone epinephrine/ — Orange resonance—abdomen--desires—pleasure , sexuality healing, . 210.42 Hz - same frequency as the Synodic Moon, which is the time of the full moon. This tone stimulates sexual energy and supports erotic communication, also good for woman's cycles and for disturbances of the glandular and lymphatic . emotional aura is 18 inches from body.systems, associated with feelings and emotions. Agate. Concern emotional / element water 5.6 - 6.2 Hz-- Blockage- emotional problems , sexual guilt, impotence, frigidity. Seat- Creativity, feelings, nostagia, first impressions
3 Manipura Chakra
Third--- Solar Plexus MANIPURA --Chakra . pancreas. nervous system, liver, stomach consumption of biofuel / — Yellow resonance --- —individual power—vitality, self esteem, calmness, emotional stability . 126.22 Hz - same frequency as our solar systems central star, the Sun. The Sun is the transmitter and receiver of energies between Earth and the Cosmos. It is the zero point or the point of stillness between Yin and Yang, and all cycles. This tone advances the magical and the transcendental. Mental aura concerned with thought. Amber. Concern ego/ element fire 9.8 - 10.2 Hz-- Blockage-- anger or a sense of victimization, poor self esteem, alcholism, weak will. Seat- Self esteem, power, authority, self control
4 Anahata Chakra
Fourth--- Heart Chakra ANAHATA --thymus gland , heart -lymphocytes immune , endocrine system, circulation system / —— Green resonance—relationships—love, balance, compassion . 136.10 Hz (Cosmic OM) - The HEART fork is tuned to the OM vibration This tone promotes deep relaxation and sedation. It is the frequency that influences the soul. It is relaxing, soothing, balancing and sedative. The sitar and tambura music are tuned to this keynote. It is the frequency of the soul. Astral aura. Stone-- Emerald. Grief—lack of empathy—criticism—loneliness—shy. Concern social/ element air 11.8 - 12.2 Hz-- -Blockage-- Inability to relate, suspicion, sleep disorders, high BP problems, Asthmas Seat --Love, healing, emotional bonding
5 Vishudda Chakra
Fifth--- Throat Chakra VISHUDDHA thyroid metabolic balance , lungs—— Blue resonance—communication, self expression , creative power . 141.27 Hz - The THROAT fork is the same frequency as the planet Mercury. This tone supports the speech center and all forms of communication. Spiritual aura concerned with divine will. Stone--Turquoise. Concern creative/ element sound 15.8 -16.2 Hz--Tied to creativity and communication. Feels pressure when you are not communicating your emotions properly. Blockage-- Inability to express self, thyroid problems. Seat- awareness, creativity
6 Ajna Chakra
Sixth/ Third Eye AJNA Chakra - pitutiary gland, hormones which control other glands,brain / — Indigo resonance—third eye-- wisdom—clairvoyance, imagination . 221.23 Hz - The 3RD EYE fork is the same frequency as the planet Venus. This tone promotes a great flow of love energy and inner harmony. Spiritual aura concerned with divine love. Stone--Blue sapphire. Concern archetypal/ element light/ 90.0 - 98.0 Hz. Blockage- poor memory , denial, endocrine and hormonal imbalances. Seat-Vision, psychic perception
7 Shasrara Chakra
Seventh/ crown chakra SAHASRARA / pineal gland seat of biorhythm — Violet resonance—spirituality—bliss, higher consciousness, enlightment . 172.06 Hz - The CROWN fork is the same frequency as the Platonic Year, which is 25,920 years. It is the time the axis of the Earth takes to complete a full rotation or precession like a top. The tone supports cheerfulness, clarity of spirit, supports cosmic unity and is anti-depressive. Spiritual aura concerned with divine mind. Stone--Diamond. Materialism — spiritual disconnection. Concern Universal/ element thought 960.0 Hz. Blockage-lack of self understanding and direction. Seat- oneness
8 Bindu Chakra
This is located at the back of the head where Hindus keep the tuft of hair. This is the seat of nectar- Amrit. This nectar is secreted by Bindu Chakra spread throughout the body by Vishuddhi Chakra and the body becomes radiant. This provides the energy of procreation.
Since the dawn of creation the Maharishis and Yogis have realized that within the human body there is a potential force that is neither physical, philosophical nor transcendental, but it is a dynamic force in the material body and it is called Kundalini – the coiled serpent power.
THE GREATEST DISCOVERY OF TANTRA YOGA.
The seat of Kundalini is a small gland at the base of the spinal cord. With the evolution of natural forces within man, this gland has reached a point to where it can realize its full potential. In Bharat the entire cultural set up was once organized to facilitate this realization.
When the Kundalini is awakened, a metamorphosis occurs in nature and spirit of a man accompanied by changes in the physical body and the nervous system. A person with awakened Kundalini power has clarity of vision, a high quality of thinking and a sublime philosophy. The practice of Mudras affect and influence the five sheaths, the chakras and facilitate the awakening of Kundalini power it leads the practitioner to higher awareness and perfect health.
According to the science of Mudra, body and mind of human beings is governed by the forces of five elements and the electromagnetic waves coursing through the channels – the nerves. The disturbance in the five elements causes diseases and imbalance of mind. In order to create and maintain equilibrium in our body and mind we need to take the help of Mudras.
Man is the greatest creation of God. Within the human body, the hand is one of the most important organs. Our body constantly emits electromagnetic power through nerves from the fingertips, nose, lips, ears and toes. So our finger tip becomes the key to good health through Mudras. The stresses of life lure body and mind away from equilibrium and hence invite diseases. Yoga mudras become the torch bearers for the Modern age to maintain health.
The body surface is interspersed with somatosensory nerves and the organs that maintain rapport between the external and internal environment. Stimuli of variable strengths and types induce the brain to react and respond to the meaning of the stimuli through these nerves there by affecting human thoughts, emotions as well as physical and metabolic activities.
Mind controls the body and is responsible for the functioning of neurons or a group of neurons. Mind orders the brain to process and perceive the sensations. It also instructs the brain to trigger motor response to external and internal stimuli. The Mind comprises of sensory input, the brain, and the motor input.
The Brain, Bio Effect Mechanism and Mudras:
An important function of the mind is to instruct the brain to coordinate its various neurons to perceive the sensations and then process this perception to affect a proper motor response. The brain controls the functions of our body via bidirectional traffic of neurons between itself and the organs. Impulses from organs of sensations are carried by one set of neurons – the Sensory neurons to the cerebral cortex and the sensory while another set of neurons – the Motor neurons, carry messages from the brain to appropriate organs for actions. The two sets of Neurons have separate functions. A specific part of the brain, the Thalamus, acts as a relay station in the traffic of neurons. For example - a fly sitting on leg sensation is driven away immediately by swapping of hand, withdrawal of leg, body movement and cognition of incidence. There is immense coordination of muscles which brain alone does without loss of time.
Besides these two types of neurons scientists know other tactile reflex receptors that transmit signals to the brain. Free nerve endings found throughout the skin in many other tissues can detect touch and pressure. A touch receptor of special sensitivity is the Meissners corpuscles- an elongated, encapsulated nerve ending that excites a large unmyelinated sensory nerve fiber. Inside the capsulation are many whorls of terminal nerve filaments. These receptors are present throughout the skin where one’s ability to discern spatial characters of touch sensations is highly developed.
Meissners corpuscles react in fraction of a second after they are stimulated which means that they are particularly sensitive to movement of light objects over the surface of the skin and also to low frequency vibration.
The fingertips and other areas that contain large number of Meissners corpuscles also contain large number of expanded tip tactile receptors.
The hairy part of the skin also contains moderate number of expanded tip receptors even though they have almost no Meissners corpuscles. The receptors differ from Meissners corpuscles in that they transmit an initially strong but partially adapting signal and then continuing weaker signals that adapt slowly. Therefore they are responsible for giving steady state signals that allow one to determine continuous touch of objects against the skin.
Human thumb is connected with brain by Radial and Median sensory nerves. Index middle and half of the ring fingers by median nerves and half of the ring and small fingers by Ulner nerve and combining the thumb repeatedly with middle index small and ring together results into successively decreasing potentials.
In chanting hyms by combining different fingers for different purposes like Mudras with thumb as such they relay signals of different amplitude and frequencies by the concerned sensory nerves to specify sensory reception centers of the brain. In turn such signals produce different bio effects depending on the signal strength and frequencies.
In yoga shastra it is held that human fingers from thumb to small represent Fire, Air, Sky, and Water and Ether and they are referred to as the Panch Maha Bhootas (Five great elements)
Either of the fingers on coupling with the thumb is held to form specific Mudras viz. Jnana Mudra, Prithvi Mudra, Varun Mudra etc. Each of this Mudra gestures is suggested to cause specific bio effects and their advantages are taken for curing many diseases due to interaction of the representative elements. A combination of index finger tip with that of the tip of the thumb forms the Jnana Mudra. The signals of their cumulative potentials and elements are suggested to improve memory, concentration and so on.
According to Tantra Yoga, Mudras act as a remote control to maintain balance of five elements within the human body. As we breathe while performing Mudras fresh air reaches specific part of our lungs. The hand is full of nerve clusters like the Median, the Ulner and the Radial that convey sensory messages of touch to the brain. They execute instructions received from the brain to perform the number of tasks in coordination with the limbs and the other sensory systems. Mudras enable the brain to activate certain nerve centers and channels in the breathing system to direct the flow of fresh air to specific parts of lungs. This in turn directs the flow of freshly oxygenated blood to the desired limbs. This is known as the flow of prana- the vital air.
It is quite incredible that merely by manipulating the fingers we are able to direct the flow of prana to just where we want. Proper breathing pattern while performing Mudras is very important as performing them in combination with this specific breathing pattern ensures maximum benefits to the practitioner. The breathing pattern is as follows:-
· Breathe in deep and slow and uniformly for a count of five seconds
· Hold the breath for two seconds.
· Exhale slowly and uniformly
· Hold out for a second.
When we perform a Mudra the energy that is being emitted out of our fingertips is arrested and redirected to certain part of the brain centers from where the proper breathing directs it to parts of the body as per the Mudra. This is the scientific basis of Mudra.
While performing any Mudra combining the fingertip with the thumb tip, the subtle sensation of vibration is felt. Similarly as we perform Namaste, joining the hands, or one palm upon the other as in Dhyana Mudra, we feel a strong sensation of vibration. This proves presence of the Electromagnetic power of flowing in our body.
Significance of Mudras:
Through perseverance in meditation and contemplations, the Maharishis and Yogis made innumerable discoveries. They could awaken Kundalini power and acquired vitality. They also achieved Clairvoyance, clairaudience and telepathy. They perceived the cosmic sound, formed thirty three alphabets of Sanskrit Language and realized the vibrations of the human body. Accordingly they composed the Mantras and Mudras for physical, mental and spiritual well being.
The gross and subtle elements:
The whole universe is composed of five dense and gross elements. These elements exist everywhere and in all the things in an infinite variety and proportion that is why we see such an enormous diversity of life.
Each element is composed of one main element that makes up 50% of it and the other four elements combine to make up other 50%. For example, in Prithvi (Earth) the main element is Prithvi and it comprises 50% while the rest 50% is compromised of other four elements. These are in pure form and are called Tanmatras.
Each element has its own qualities such as sounds, touch, form, smell and taste.
Properties of the five elements:
1 Air: Gaseous, light, clear, dry and dispersing.
2 Ether: subtle that we rarely think about and it is equated to space.
3 Fire: the power of transformation and change has the quality of heat, dryness and the upward movement.
4 Water: liquid, cool, flowing and downward movement.
5 Earth: substantial heavy hard and with only little downward movement.
Functions of the five basic elements in the body:
All elements are present in the cell membrane, but the earth element predominates, givin structures to the cell.
§ The water element is predominant in the cytoplasm, the liquid in the cell.
§ The air element is predominant in the gases in the cell.
§ The metabolic processes regulating the cell are governed mainly by the fire element.
§ The space occupied by the cell represents the ether element.
Ø Akasha (Space)- this is an inactive element that manifests itself in the bodily cavities like the cranial cavity, the paranasal sinuses, the ear cavity, the buccal cavity, thoracic cavity and the abdomen-pelvic cavity as also the spaces within the tubular bag like organs. Akash creates room within the body, so that rest of the elements can act. Akash is associated with sound and therefore hearing. Ear ailments are relieved by the manipulation of Akash Elements.
Ø Vayu (Air)- This is the element of movement. All movements of the body and within the body voluntary as well as involuntary are affected by air.
Air is also responsible for our thoughts and emotions and for the movement of the electrical impulse along the sensory and motor nerves.
Air is related to the sense of touch and therefore to the skin. Disorders of the movements in paralysis or Parkinson disease can be helped by the manipulation of air element.
Ø Agni (Fire)- This element is responsible for the body temperature and metabolism.
Fire works on the alimentary system causing thirst, hunger, digestion of food, assimilation of digestive food. Fire is associated with vision and therefore eyes. Disorders like the loss of appetite, indigestion and obesity can be helped by the reinforcement of fire elements.
Ø Jala (Water)- This element is the constituent of protoplasm, blood, tears, saliva, digestive juices, sweat, urine, semen, cerebro spinal fluid and fat. Water is related to the taste and therefore the tongue. Without water the tongue cannot recognize various tastes. Disorders of water, metabolism like dehydration or water retention can be helped by manipulating the water element.
Ø Prithvi (Earth)- This element is the constituent of body mass, skin, hair, nails, bones, cartilages, muscles etc. An excess of earth element caused obesity, while a deficiency causes emaciation. Earth is associated with the small and therefore the nose. Disorders like leanness, prostration and low immunity can be helped by the manipulation of the earth element.
Good health is the natural consequence of the balance and controlled functioning of each of these five elements. Mudras help to manifest balance in these elements and help to regain health. All matter including the human body is made atoms and atoms are made up of smaller particles. The three main particles in making of an atom are the protons, the neutron and the electron. When electrons move between the atoms, a current of electricity is created. Within the human body this electricity is called bioelectricity. This electricity flows in channels called nerves.
According to Tantra two sensory nerves flow on both sides of the spine. The left one is called Ida and the right one is called Pingla. In between the nerves flows the channel called Shushumna. Ida, Pingla and Shushumna are connected to the stem of the brain. The brain is like a ball floating in a fluid called cerebro spinal fluid. It communicates with the various parts of the body via the bioelectricity flowing through the nerve.
The Pranic Body
Prana is the force. According to Yoga physiology Pranayama Kosha or Sheath is made up of Five Major Pranas which are collectively known as Panch Pranas. They are Prana, Udana, Samana, Apana and Vyana. Pranayama kosha governs the areas between the Larynx and the top of the Diaphragm.
This is the force that is associated with the organs of respiration, speech, the gullet, muscles and the nerves that activate these organs. It is by this force that the breath is drawn inside.
This force is associated with the area of the body above the neck. It activates the sensory receptors such as eyes, nose, ears etc. The main function is to activate thought and consciousness. The force also activates limbs, their muscles, ligaments, nerves and joints and helps and erect postures.
This nerve is located between the heart and the navel. It activates and controls the digestive system the liver, intestine, pancreas and stomach and their secretions. Samana also activates the heart and circulatory system and is responsible for the assimilation of nutrients.
This force is located below the navel region and provides energy to the large intestines, kidneys, anus and genitals. This force is concerned with the expulsion of waste from the body.
This force pervades the whole body. It regulates all movements, coordinates other Pranas and acts as reserve force for them. Vyana is the main cause of blood circulation throughout the body.
All Comprehensive Mudras
v Mudras try to achieve harmony at individual level and universal level.
v Mudras have very extra ordinary powers. The practice of Mudras brings about a quick and fundamental reversion of destructive changes in the human body.
v Mudras are universal in application. They will benefit all who practice them.
v There are numerous Mudras that are performed during worship, Yogasanas.
v The sciences of mudras are very exact and perfect.
v By the practice of mudras an element in our body can be increased or decreased to bring it to an optimum level. The optimum level of the element in the body indicates health and happiness. Excess or deficiency of the element induces sickness. Specifically, the practice of mudras can bring about substantial change in the tendons, arteries and glands.
v Mudras are like yogic injection and yogic tranquilizer. Some of the mudras can balance an element in the body in 45 minutes or less whereas some other mudras have an immediate effect, practicing mudras can cure sleeplessness, arthritis, memory loss, heart problems, impaired hearing, grey hair, incurable infections, blood pressure, diabetes congested chest and many more ailments.
v Mudras add to facial beauty.
In case of some Mudras, performing those with the right hand has a positive effect on the left side and vice versa. For e.g. there is only one artery that supplies pure blood to both sides of the body. When Vayu Mudra is performed with the right hand, flow of blood within this artery gets redirected to the left side thus helping reduce the pain in the knee joint of the left side.
Life is beautiful and one needs the proper attitude to realize it. Mudras like the Jnana Mudra, Prithvi Mudra and Prana Mudra help in building a positive attitude.
Some Mudras like the Shoonya Mudra (performed to combat the effects of Vertigo) and Apaan-Vayu Mudra (to combat the effects of heart attack) produce the desired effect with great speed while other Mudras show their efficacy gradually but definitely.
Knowledge of Mudras can be of immense help in progress and protection of the entire human race.
Mudras in present context
v Mudras are excellent alternative therapy.
v Mudras are not only therapeutic but also prevent ailments. They are very effective
v Pharmaceutical medicines are like double edged swords. They can be effective but has side effects too, also very expensive whereas Mudras therapy is free.
v Mudras are natural simple and gentle and miraculous.
v There is no medication in Mudra therapy or ultra sophisticated instruments involved.
v Mudras are to be performed by self so they are independent. We need not depend on anyone for treatment.
v Mudras being universal can be performed anytime anywhere and by anybody.
v Mudras can cure any type of illness simple or serious.
v By performing mudras one can utilize time profitably and can retain good health.
v Mudras help people who are entirely new to it. They help young children and even insane people so the question of belief does not arise.
v Mudras even help semi conscious or unconscious people. Rubber bands can be used to maintain thumbs and fingers in specific positions.
v Many doctors and researchers have approved Mudras and they have faith in this technique. Everyone needs to practice this with open mind.
The Origin of the universe and the five great elements.
Nature is the original cause of the universe. There are three qualities in the creation and they are called
Satwa – Leads to knowledge and happiness
Rajas – Leads to action for fulfilling desires.
Tamas – Ignorance and lethargy.
These three gunas gets disturbed and they continuously transform into one another. Theis leads to the creation of Mahat. Ahamkara – ego evolves from Mahat and in turn, the five Tanmatras- sound, touchm form, taste and smell are born from Ahamkara.
From these subtle elements five groups or physical elements are born. They are Ether, Wind, Fire, Water and Earth.
Therefore it is said that this universe is composed of these five elements. In bramhanandavalli of Dwitya Prashna of Taittariyopanishad, the origin of the universe is described:
|| Om Bramhavidapnoti Param
Tasma du Etasmadatmana Aakashasambhutam
Aakashadwyuhu Vayooragnihi Agnerapaha
Adhyaha Pritvihi Prithvyaha Oshadhyayaha
Oshadhibhyonnam Annat Purushaha
Sava Esha Purushonna Rasamayaha ||
Meaning: with the power of the Primal sound OM and the supreme soul- space was created, from space the wind, from wind the fire and from fire came water and from water the earth, plants and food were created. Therefore all beings are constituted of food and water.
Aapova Annam- this means that water and air is also food. All beings have evolved from food and production of food depends on rain.
From the five elements are born the five sense organs and the five motor organs. Mind is born from the mixture of these elements. Thus there are twenty four evolutes originating from Nature.