Way to Dhyāna/ Meditation

JYOTI (Light) TRĀTAK

Benefits

  • Physical– It keeps away the eyestrain by improving the stamina of eye muscles and by giving deep relaxation to them. It makes the eyes clear, bright and radiant. It cleanses the tear glands and purifies the optical system.
  • Therapeutic– Errors of refraction get corrected. It strengthens the ability of the lens to adjust better to distance. It balances the nervous system, relieving the nervous tension, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
  • Spiritual– It helps to develop intense concentration and improve memory. It helps to develop a strong a strong will-power. It is an excellent prepration for meditation.

Limitations

Epileptics (Epilepsy patient) should avoid gazing of flickering candle flames. They can, however, choose a totally steady object to gaze on. If you are a sensitive person who has Insomnia, this Practice at night makes your mind too widely awakened and difficult to go to sleep. Hence you can Practice TRATAKA one hour before going to bed. In case of tension headache, one may avoid this Practice, as it may tend to aggravate the pain.

JYOTI (Light) TRĀTAK PREPRATION

  1. Get candle, candle stand and match box.
  2. Wash your eyes with cool and clean water ( with eye cups if available) before starting the Practice for good result.
  3. When you practice in a group, sit around the candle stand, making a cure at sufficient distance from the candle stand (1.5 – 2 meters). The maximum number of participants in a group could be about 10. Keep the candle at the same level as the eyes.
  4. Arrange a few chairs for those who are not able to sit on the ground.

JYOTI (Light) TRĀTAK INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Sit in any comfortable meditative posture, if necessary you may sit in a chair.
  2. Remove your glasses and wrist watches.
  3. Keep your spine, neck and head in a line. Collapse your shoulders.
  4. Close the eyes and adopt namaskar mudra.
  5. Maintain a smile on your face throughout the Practice.
  6. Calm down your mind. Observe your body and breathe.
  7. Begin the session by chanting the verse from the upnishad , praying for the welfare of the teacher and the student.

STARTING PRAYER

Chant the Prayer
Chant the Prayer

Contemplating on the meaning of the Mantra.

Feel and contemplate of the meaning of the Mantra.
  1. Gently take your hands behind the back, catch the right wrist with left palm, make a loose fist with the right hand and feel the pulse of right hand using your fingers of left hand.
  2. As you exhale, gentle bend forwards to touch the ground and surrender to the almighty.
  3. Come back as you inhale.

Preparatory Eyes Exercises

Up and down or vertical movements

  1. Open your eyes with a few blinks.
  2. Gently move your eyeballs up-down, up-down, up-down, continue another seven rounds ( counting mentally). Move your eyeballs smoothly and continuously. Try to avoid jerky movements and keep your head steady, Practice at your own pace. Practice palming.

Right and left or horizontal movement of eyeballs

  1. Gently open your eyes with a few blinks.
  2. Gently move your eyeballs right-left, right-left, right-left, continue seven more rounds. Move your eyeballs smoothly and continuously. Try to avoid jerky movements and keep your head steady, Practice at your own pace.
  3. After completing ten rounds, gently stop the Practice and close your eyes.
  4. Rub your palms against each other, form a cup of your palms and cover your eyes.
  5. Practice simple palming. Do not touch the eyelids with your palms directly. Relax your eye muscles completely. Relax for a while.
  6. Feel the warmth and darkness in yoir eyes. Make sure that your eyes are totally in dark.
  7. After sufficient relaxation, gently drop your hands down.
  8. Feel the cool sensation around the eyeballs. Relax for a few seconds. Do not open your eyes immediately.

Diagonal movement of eyeballs (two directions)

  1. Open your eyes with a few blinks.
  2. Gently move your eyeballs to extreme right-up, extreme left-down; right-up, left-down; right-up; left-down; continue another seven rounds. As you move the eyeballs smoothly and continuously to extreme right-up and extreme left-down positions, try to avoid jerky movements and keep your head steady, Practice at your own pace.
  3. After completing ten rounds gently stop the Practice and close your eyes.
  4. Rub your palms against each other, for a cup of your palms and cover your eyes.
  5. Give press and release palming. As you inhale deeply, press the palm around the eyes. As you exhale completely, release the pressure, continue four more rounds, count mentally. Do not press the eyeballs with your palms directly. Relax your eye muscles completely.
  6. After completing five rounds, gently drop your hands down.
  7. Feel the cool sensation around the eyeballs. Relax for a few seconds. Do not open your eyes immediately.

Diagonal movement in the opposite direction

  1. Open your eyes with few blinks.
  2. Gently move your eyeballs left-up, right-down; left-up, right-down. Try to avoid any Jerky movements and keep your head steady, Practice at your own pace.
  3. After completing ten rounds gently stop the practice and close your eyes.
  4. Rub your palms against each other, form a cup of your palms and cover your eyes.
  5. Give press and release palming.
  6. After completing five rounds, gently drop your hands.
  7. Feel the cool sensation around the eyeballs. Relax for a free seconds. Do not open your eyes immediately.

Rotational movement of the eyeballs- clockwise and anti-clockwise and anti-clockwise and clockwise movement

  1. Now, let us proceed to rotational movement of the eyeballs.
  2. Open your eyes with a few blinks.
  3. Gently move your eyeballs to the left, up, right, down; left, up, right, down; left, up, right, down, continue another seven rounds; count mentally. Move your eyeballs clockwise, smoothly and continuously, according to your own pace. Try to avoid any Jerky movements and keep the head steady.
  4. After completing ten rounds gently stop the Practice and close your eyes.
  5. Rub your palms against each other, form a cup of your palms and cover your eyes.
  6. Here give constant pressure palming. Press constantly around the eyeballs with your palms. Inhalt deeply and exhale completely. Do not press on the eyeballs. Relax your eye muscles completely.
  7. After completing five rounds of deep slow breathing, gently drop your hands down.
  8. Feel the cool sensation around the eyeballs. Relax for a few seconds. Don not open your eyes immediately.

Anti-clockwise movement

  1. Now, proceed to anti-clockwise rotation of the eyeballs.
  2. Open your eyes with few blinks.
  3. Gently move your eyeballs in anti-clockwise direction- right, up, left, down; right, up, left, down; right, up, left, down, continue to move your eyeball smoothly and continuously at your own pace anti-clockwise. Try to avoid any Jerky movements and keep your head steady.
  4. After completing ten rounds gently stop the practice and close your eyes.
  5. Rub your palms against each other, form a cup of your palms and cover your eyes.
  6. Give contact pressure palming.
  7. If you feel like changing your position, you may do so. Take rest for some time before you start Jyoti Tratak.

JYOTI TRATAKA (in three stages)

Step 1:Effortless gazing or focusing at flame

  1. Let us start stage -I of Jyoti Tratak i.e. “Effortless gazing or focusing.”
  2. Gently open your eyes with a few blinks and look at the floor. Do not look at the flame directly.
  3. Slowly shift your vision to the base of the candle stand, then move to top of the stand, then to the candle and then slowly look at flame of the candle. Now, start gazing at the whole flame without any effort. Do not blink your eyes. There may be a few irritating sensations, but use your willpower and gaze in a relaxed way. If tears appear, allow it to flow freely. This is a sign of good Practice. Let the tears wash out the impurities from the eyes. Learn to ignore the irrigation and watering of eyes.
  4. Gaze at the flame about 30 seconds.
  5. Slowly close your eyes, rub your palms against each other for a few seconds, form cup shape of your palms and cover your eyeballs.
  6. Give press and release palming.
  7. After completing five rounds, gently drop your hands down.
  8. Feel the cool sensation around the eyeballs. Relax for a few seconds. Do not open your eyes immediately.

STEP 2: Intensive focusing at the tip of the wick of the flame

  1. Pass on to stage-II of JYOTI TRATAKA i.e., “Intensive focusing” (Dharna).
  2. Gently open yoir eyes with a few blinks and look at the floor. Don not look at the flame directly.
  3. Slowly shift your vision to the base of the candle stand, then move to top of the stand, then to the candle and then slowly look at the flame of the candle. Now, start gazing at the whole flame without any effort.
  4. Slowly gaze at the tip of the wick of the candle, the small black cord. Focus your attention at one point. This is a practice of focusing and concentration. Keep on gazing, use your will power. Let the tears come out and try not to blink your eyes. By practicing the gaze becomes steady, making the mind one-pointed.
  5. Gaze at the flame for about 30 seconds.
  6. Slowly close your eyes, rub your palms against each other for a few seconds then form a cup of your palms and cover your eyeballs.
  7. Give constant pressure palming. Press constantly around the eyeballs with your palms and inhale deeply and exhale completely. Continue four more rounds. Count mentally. Do not touch the eyeballs with your palms directly. Relax your eye muscles completely.
  8. After completing five rounds, gently drop your hands down.
  9. Feel the cool sensation around the eyeballs. Relax for a few seconds. Do not open your eyes immediately.

STEP 3: De-focusing

  1. Let us proceed to Stage-III of JYOTI TRATAKA i.e., “De- Focusing”.
  2. Gently open your eyes with a few blinks and look at the floor. Do not look at the floor. Do not look at the flame directly.
  3. Slowly shift your vision to the base of the candle stand then move to the top of the stand, then to the candle and then slowly look at the flame of the candle. First fix your attention at the flame, then gradually widen your vision. Slowly de-focus your attention from the flame and have a de-focused gaze on the flame. With expansive awareness, collect all the details of the flame such as color of the flame, shape of the flame, and aura around the flame. Then observe the aura expanding more and more and see the small light particles around the flame.
  4. Recognise the subtle changes achieved by De-focusing.
  5. After minute of De-focusing, gaze or focus on the flame. Slowly close your eyes and retain the image in your mind. Visualize the flame between your eyebrows and collect all the details with your eyes closed. When the image disappears go for planning.
  6. This time we combine palming with breathing and Bhramari. First apply constant pressure around your eyes, then inhale and chant Bhramari; feel the vibration of Bhramari throughout the body; repeat the same.
  7. Inhale – chant Mm… as you exhale, inhale Mm…, inhale Mm…. and the last round inhale Mm…; feel the sound resonance in the entire head region specially round the eye region.

STEP 4 : Silence

  1. Feel the silence and relax for a while. After sufficient relaxation, gently drop your hands down. Sit quite for some time and feel the deep comforting effect of the Practice. Be aware of the changes taking place inside you. Recognise that the mind has become completely calm; your concentration, will power and sharpness of eyesight have improved.
  2. Gently bring your hands behind the back catch hold of the right wrist with your left palm, make a loose fist with right hand and feel the pulse of the right hand.
  3. As you exhale, gently bend down towards the floor and surrender to the almighty.
  4. Come back as you inhale.
  5. Gently give a feather massage around the eyes muscles with three fingers (index, middle and ring fingers)

भोचनॊनत्रेयोगाणाॊतन्दाद्रीनाॊकऩाटकभ ।्
मत्नतस्त्राटकॊ गोप्यॊमथा हाटकऩटेकभ ॥् ३२॥
Mochanam netraroghānām tandādrīnām kapātakam
Yatnatastrātakam ghopyam yathā hātakapetakam

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, Swāmi Swarātmānāma


MEANING:

Trâtaka destroys the eye diseases and removes sloth, etc.
It should be kept secret very carefully, like a box of
jewellery.

Courtesy : Swami Vivekananda Yoga anusandhan Samsthana- SVYASA

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