The Meaning Of Swara Science
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Yoga

Control of Breath - Pranayama.

The Meaning Of Swara Science

The Swara science is a complicated subject. The basics are explained here for the benefit of people who are completely uninitiated in the process of pranayama. Sanskrit word ‘swara’ means sound. The whole breathing process begins by inhaling with the nose. The nose has two nostrils, the left one and the right one. In Yogashastra and pranayama the swara stands for the unexpressed melodious sound created in the nostrils during inhaling and exhaling. The swaras created in the two nostrils are also different in nature. Swara that operates in the right nostril is called Surya swara, Surya meaning the sun. The sound that operates in the left nostril is called Chandra swara, Chandra meaning the moon. The functioning of Surya and Chandra swara is also different. Awakening of Surya swara signifies arousal of action energy in the form of physical energy and power. Chandra swara on the other hand signifies rest and relaxation of the physical self.

Ancient texts firmly believe in the fundamental that the age of a human being is dependent on the number of breaths taken, which is predestined. If due to improper breathing the number of breaths is uncontrolled during a day time it means that it will have effect on the life span of the individual. Yoga and pranayama experts firmly believe that it is within the power of an individual to increase and decrease his life span just by practicing proper breathing techniques.

Swaras are believed to have an effect on the performance of various bodily functions. Different swaras are believed to have different powers. The swara is believed to change five times during a day. The swaras change much more rapidly in a weak or ailing person. Gurus attribute the birth of children with deformities to disorganization of swaras. Even inability to conceive, uncontrolled births, unsuccessful track record in life despite hard work, mental confusion are believed to be caused because of this imbalance.

An attempt to understand the functions of different swaras will be undertaken now. The broad functions of swaras can be divided into two sections, one is creative work and the second is laya, which means melody and stands for fusion or absorption. When the Chandra swara is functioning the body is doing creative works. During the Surya swara the body is indulging in absorption and assimilation functions. The indication of functioning of Surya swara is reflective of digestive functions. The indication of functioning of Chandra swara is to derive necessary subsistence from the digestive functions and create enough energy for efficient operation of the body.

The human body is known to be made of five elemental energies or tattvas. These are earth, fire, water, air and sky. These elemental energies get charged up and then are adapted in the system. Different periods are needed for creation and absorption of the consumed substances. These are known as periods of earth, sky and elements. Absorption and assimilation creates fusion energy that is important for the sustenance of the body. The ingested food gets energized during Surya swara. The reverse is true for the Chandra swara. When the Surya swara is operating the elements like earth, eater, fire, air and sky emerge and submerge in this order. When the Chandra swara is operating the elements emerge and submerge in the sequence of sky, air, fire, water and earth. It is believed that only after one element had risen and fused the next one starts to emerge and fuse. There is a time-element relationship between different elements. This depends upon the time needed for one element to rise and fuse in the system.

Swara Sadhana means the science of regulating and controlling the occurrence of swaras. This is closely linked with the practitioner’s diet, and strict dietary recommendations are implemented while doing Swara Sadhana.

To operate the Surya swara one should lie down on the left side with the head on the left arm. Within eight to ten minutes the Surya swara stars operating. For operating the Chandra swara one should lie down on the right side with the head placed on the right arm. Each swara should be allowed to operate for twelve hours. With regular practice within three months Swara Sadhana can be satisfactorily done. With a practice of six months this becomes a habit and swaras do not change at inordinate times. It is useful to operate the Surya swara during the day time and Chandra swara during the night time, for regular conduct of everyday body functions effectively.

It is very detrimental to health, if eating is done during Chandra swara and sleeping is done during Surya swara. The period between the end of Surya swara and beginning of Chandra swara is called evening and the end of Chandra swara and the beginning of Surya swara is called morning. If yoga asanas are practiced during the evenings of swaras and meditation is done during the morning of swaras it is extremely valuable for the human body.

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