3 Feb 2022 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy
(Concentration on earth)
The color of earth element is yellow like orpiment (a yellow mineral used as a pigment),the bija or seed mantra is Lam, it is square in shape and Brahma is the God. Manifest it with the yogic power, retain it in the heart and hold the prana there up to five ghanti (about two hours). It is known as parthivi mudra or adhodharana mudra. After mastering it, a practitioner become the conqueror of the earth. One who practises Prithvi dharana wins over death and wanders over the earth as a siddha, a perfected person.
In the first verse the yantra,or geometrical blueprint, of earth is referred to. It can be understand the sage Gheranda is speaking to people he assumes understand the science of tattwas, the essences or elements .He refers to the earth element as yellow like hartal a chemical made from sulphur and arsenic.It is square in shape, all its sides being equal. It is to be retained in the heart, which means deep inside, and the practitioner has to be aware of it’s bija, seed, mantra Lam.
Kundalini yoga can be used as the basic for under-standing this verse. Mooladhara chakra ,which is related to the earth element ,is a four-petalled lotus .On each of these four petals a mantra is written:vam, sham,sam. In the center of the lotus is a yellow square which is the yantra, symbol or diagram of the earth element. In the center of this yellow square these is an inverted triangle with its apex pointing down. Within this inverted triangle there is a Shivalinga, a symbol of shiva or consciousness, which is called the swayambhu linga the self illumined symbol .A serpent, representing the dormant kundalini, is coined around it three and a half times. All these symbols are contained in mooladhara chakra.
The practice of concentrating on the earth element, parthivi dharana ,more commonly called Prithvi dharana, is an attempt to awaken mooladhara chakra through meditation and concentration. It is said in this mantra that the ishta devata, the chosen deity, of mooladhara chakra is lord brahma, whose function is to create. The process of creation commences with the earth element. Whether It is vegetation,a mountain, a stone ,an animal ,a bird or a human being ,everything is created out of Prithvi tattwa ,the earth element .These is also the goddess of the skin, of the sense of touch,whose name is Dakini. Brahma and Dakini are the controllers of mooladhara chakra . Instruction are given to imagine or concentrate on the earth element in the heart during the practice , hridisthaapitam. Here hrid does not mean the physical heart ;rather it means focusing the antahkarana, inner tools of consciousness ,on the yantra.
Sit in a meditative posture, close the eyes, become still, and be aware of the breath. Focus the mind on the yantra of Prithvi tattwa, the earth element. Visualize the bright yellow square and move the awareness along the four even sides of the square and move the awareness along the four even sides of the square. Experience the fragrance of earth. Feel your own connection with the earth and feel yourself drawn to the attractive bright yellow square of its yantra.
Begin to feel or hear or repeat mentally the mantra of Prithvi tattwa, which is Lam. See the mantra Lam in the center of the square. It ia the Sanskrit letter written in Devanagari, the script of the gods, or the gods, or the script of light.
The seed mantra of the yantra of Prithvi Tattwa is lam. Be aware of it like a pulse beat. During meditation this yantra ,along with the mantra Lam , is retained in the consciousness .Also be aware of the other characteristics of earth and feel them as part of your own nature. Feel the essential unity of yourself and all being with the mother earth, and feel the benevolence of the element earth.
Be aware of the laya, the rhythm of the breath, as you dwell in the earth element .be aware of the natural pause at the end of each inhalation, and let it gradually lengthen. Prana is to be retained inside. To end the practice, disengage the mind from the mantra Lam and from the yantra of the earth element.
Be aware of the solidity and shape of the physical body.
Beware of the natural breathe and its rhythm. Feel the energy flowing in the body with the breathe. Be aware of the surrounding and the time of day. When you have extroverted , open the eyes and release the posture.
This dharana can be practiced with pooraka, breathing in, and holding the breathe inside. Let this develop naturally without strain. First be aware of the natural pause at the end of each inhalation, and it gradually lengthen.
Any kind of dharana practice is incomplete until mastery over pranayama is achieved. Initially ujjayi breathing is taught, observing the breathe moving up and down the spine between mooladhara and the top of the spine. In the beginning the only aim is to gradually achieve control over the breathe. After three or four months , holding the breathe for up to one minute is practiced. Thus the capacity of the body is increased little by little. In this way, the goal can finally br achieved. With expert guidance moorcha pranayama can be incorporated. The breathe is retained for up to three or four minutes during part of the practice. Advanced practitioners just relax and watch the spontaneous flow or stoppage of the breathe. The prana is to be retained inside.
Begin with short practices of five or twenty minutes, however long the practice can be maintained with an alert awareness and a witnessing attitude. Eventually the practice of dharana, concentration, can be done for approximately two hours.
Remember that this practice is not perfected in day. Yogis keep doing a practice continuously for years; only then is mastery or perfection of the practice attained. The technique explained here is a formal technique, a final position. It is not possible to inhale deeply and retain the prana inside on the very first day. In order to retain the prana inside for up to two hours, it is imperative to have mastered pranayama prior to the practice.
It is believed in yoga that one lifetime is probably not adequate to perfect a sadhana or practice. These techniques should be practiced slowly and only under the guidance of a competent teacher. If force is applied, the responsibility is not that of yoga or the teacher.
Benefits: Sage Gheranda says that a sadhaka who has gained mystery over mastery over Prithvi dharana achieves victory over death and all the merits and demerits of Prithvi tattwa, and wanders on this earth without any worries. The yogatattwa Upanishad also says that whosoever gains mastery over this practice achieves victory over the merits and demerits of the earth element.