Dharana is a yogic practice that enhances your concentration. Without concentration, you can not do any work. Even in normal work, such as eating, drinking, reading, writing, speaking, listening, walking, etc., concentration is required.
In the various schools where Dharana is taught, different procedures are used, such as Tratak, kriya, mantra, breathing awareness. The consciousness that sits in front of an image or idol of a deity and focuses the mind on it, concentrating the mind in different energy centres in the body, etc.
In our meditation class, Dharana follows the following process: the result of continuous research over many years. During this long time, the following four body parts were eventually identified as centres of energy generating.
- The navel is the centre of physical energy for the whole body. The vital energy generated in the navel is transmitted to the whole body through 72,000 channels of energy. Concentrating on the belly button helps develop physical energy.
- The hole below the throat is the centre of mental development. Here thoughts are generated. You get to Manovaha Nadi’s brain and the relative action begins. By concentrating the mind in this pit in the throat, we develop psychological powers such as memory, concentration, will power and self-confidence.
- Develop thinking skills and improve knowledge. This is also known as the “Agnya Chakra” centre to give instructions to various parts of the body. The concentration of the mind in the middle of the eyebrows will help to sharpen the intellect.
- The hole below the middle of the chest is the centre of spiritual development. This is also called the lotus heart, behind is the main residence of the soul, The spirit. By focusing the mind in this centre, you develop spiritual powers.
When the mind concentrates regularly on the four previous points of the body; Physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual progress is beginning to happen.
There are three types of process in Dharana ;
The first one:
In the initial stage, it is necessary to concentrate the mind on the four centres;
- Bhrukuti-the centre between the eyebrows.
- The pit below the throat.
- The lotus heart in the centre in the chest.
- The navel.
The mind should feel their existence for some time. This feeling is the first step in it.
How to do Dharana:
1. Either in laying or sitting position, half of Bhrukuti between the eyebrows is touched for a while with the tip of the right index finger. You feel the sensation of touch. The finger is removed. However, try to feel your finger for a while. This feeling is called the concentration of the mind in the centre, which sharpens the intellect.
2. The right forefinger touches the pit below the throat for some time. The feeling of the touch is felt. The finger is taken off, and it is tried to continue the same feeling of touch ( without the touch of the finger) is called concentrating the mind on the centre that develops the psychological power.
3. Putting all the right fingers and the thumb, come together. The point fingers are placed in the small hole in the centre of the chest the lotus heart and the touch can be felt. After a while, the fingers are removed from this place and we try to feel the touch. This is called the concentration of the mind at the centre of spiritual power.
4. The bunch of the right fingers is placed on the navel and the touch is felt. After some time, the fingers are taken off from the navel. The feeling of the touch should be continuous for some time, though the fingers don’t touch. This is called concentrating the mind on the centre of physical energy.
After a regular exercise, with and without contact, you can feel the direct concentration of the mind in the energy centres. First, you should feel the touch at each point for 2 to 3 minutes. This attempt should be repeated 3-4 times. Regardless of the energy needed between the previous four, the mind must concentrate on this particular energy centre for a longer period of time.
The Second Step:
In the second stage, the centre of the four energies makes a special experience felt through the mind. It is an act of mental visualization. I think that mental feeling is how we see it with our eyes open.
How to do:
1. The centre of the eyebrows is connected with the intellect and the intellect is connected with knowledge. Knowledge is supposedly light. The sun is the source of light. It is advisable to focus the mind in the middle of the eyebrows and visualize the scene of the rising sun. After a few days of uninterrupted experience of sunrise, the rays of the golden sun are felt on the entire forehead. This process shows the expansion of knowledge at every moment, just as sunlight illuminates every moment.
2. The psychic power is centralized in the pit below the throat. The mind is associated with joy and happiness. Happiness is indicated by a beautiful green colour that resembles the green of the rice fields. The mind must concentrate on the pit and make visible a green belt, a sign of joy and happiness around the neck. It helps to feel happier.
3. The spiritual power is unlimited as the sky is. The sky is blue. The mind is concentrated on the lotus heart in the pit on the centre of the chest. It should be tried to visualize that the sky blue is spreading all over the chest. This experience of visualization increases the spiritual power of the aspirant.
4. The physical energy is indicated by the flames of the fire and the flames of the fire are indicated by a bright orange-red colour. The mind is concentrated in the centre of the navel and one tries to see a bright red circle around the navel, which resembles the colour of the flames of the fire. This feeling increases physical energy.
After experiencing gradually, one after the other feelings are felt in the mind. Initially, the required colours may not be felt at all, there is no need for disappointment. Continuous practice helps in getting the desired results in a few days.
The third step:
The above(a) intellectual, (be) psychological, (c) spiritual and (d) physical energies are linked with the supreme energy, The God in this third stage. The aspirant has to visualize the all-pervading Supreme Energy in the for, of Om symbol in each of the above four energy centres, in specific size and colour. This is a further extension of the above- second step.
How to do:
- The golden and pink rising sun appears and feels in the middle of the eyebrows. If you leave the sun in the background, the bright red Om symbol appears in the sun’s circle. It is the union of intellectual energy with the highest energy.
- If you place concentration on the pit in the centre of the throat, the green belt should be visualised all over the neck. The OM symbol, the size of a dark green thumb, should be visible in the throat. It is the union of psychological energy with the highest energy.
- The sky blue colour should be felt spreading all over the chest. The symbol Om of two inches in size in dark blue colour should be visualized on the lotus heart. This is the union of the spiritual energy with the Supreme Energy God.
- The bright red circle should be felt around the navel. The symbol OM of half an inch in size in dark brown colour should be felt on the navel. This is the union of the physical energy with the Supreme Energy.
According to the choice of the practitioner, any other symbol such as Swastik, Semicircle, Crescent, Cross, Star..etc.. may be used in place of OM. Even the figure of the favourite deity may be visualized of in place of Om. They should be felt in the above-referred size and colour.
The symbol can be felt seen either from the inside of the body or from the outside.
It is expected that the practitioner, following the above kriyas of the concentration, will acquire the skill of developing the intellectual, psychological, spiritual and physical powers and try to reach the highest peak in the meditation and successfully feel the Bliss of the Supreme.