Shabda Sanchalan is the 5th of this series of Tantric Kriyas, and incorporates the sacred Ajapa Gayatri Mantra, “So Ham”. This mantra is always on our breath, and if you listen carefully as you breathe you will hear the subtle sounds; with each inhalation listen to hear “So” and with each exhalation, “Ham” (said like Hum). It is a comforting thought that a mantra is always there, on every breath we breathe.
“Throughout the day and night there are twenty-one thousand and six hundred respirations (15 respirations per minute). Every living being (Jiva) performs this japa unconsciously, but constantly. This is called Ajapa Gayatri” and is considered one of the most powerful mantras for enlightenment.”
Japa is the conscious process of repeating a mantra, and ajapa is when the mantra repeats itself without you even thinking about it. This subtle sound rides on each breath. This mantra means “I am One with the Divine”. Try to feel with each incoming breath you are infused with the prana of Divinity, our true Source, and with each outgoing breath feel your individual prana join with that of the Divine, just as a drop of water merges with the ocean and becomes One with it.
Shabda means “word”. In this technique we rotate our consciousness with the sacred words “So Ham”. This technique follows the previous kriya pavana sanchalana using the sacred mantra OM, featured in the February enews.
During inhalation, eyes are open as we move our mind up the front passageway of the body (arohan) and, during exhalation, eyes close as we move our mind down the back passageway (awarohan).
Sit in a comfortable seated pose with a straight spine, eyes open.
Curl the tongue back toward the soft palate in amritpan khechari mudra.
Lower the chin to “look at” muladhara chakra. Repeat (mentally) “muladhara” 3 times.
Inhale “So” up the frontal passageway up to the bindu at the back of the head.
Hold the breath briefly at bindu and repeat mentally “bindu, bindu, bindu.”
Closing the eyes, exhale “Ham” down the back passageway (awarohan) taking your consciousness all the way down to muladhara. Mentally repeat “muladhara” 3 times.
The head moves with your mind up and down the passageways. Traditionally one would repeat this process 59 times, or alternatively you can repeat this 11 times. Then rest and absorb the resounding inner sound and bliss following this practice.
Here is a video to guide you through the process. You can read more about it on page 151 in Letters from the Yoga Masters. If you are just joining us here, I recommend you refer back to SOYA blog learn the practice of Arohan and Awarohan and the previous kriyas. Remember, these practices are intended to thread one into the next, until eventually all 20 kriyas are completed in one sitting. Of course many of us do not have time to do this, so they are still very beautiful practices completed on their own. Enjoy!
Marion Mugs McConnell is the author of Letters from the Yoga Masters: Teachings Revealed through Correspondence from Paramhhansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda, and Others, published by North Atlantic Books copyright © 2016 ISBN 978-1-62317-035-6. This is an excerpt of the book, and reprinted by permission of North Atlantic Books.