Sodarshan Chakra Kriya

My words are in italic – the rest is from Yogi Bhajan. Since this is a lot of text I do mark the significant information bold so that you afterwards have a good overview of the necessary steps to undertake:

Meditation for focus and mental purification

Here is a meditation that makes use of prana to cleanse mental garbage and purify the mind. Of all the 20 types of yoga, including Kundalini yoga, this is the highest kriya. This is a very powerful meditation for prosperity. It will give you a new start. It is the simplest kriya, but at the same time the hardest. It cuts through all darkness and all barriers of the neurotic or psychotic nature. When a person is in a very bad state, techniques imposed form the outside will not work. The pressure has to be stimulated from within.

The tragedy of life is when the subconscious releases garbage into the conscious mind. This kriya invokes the Kundalini to give you the necessary vitality and intuition to combat the negative effects of the subconscious mind.

POSITION: Sit with a straight spine (either with legs crossed or sitting on a chair with feet flat on the ground) Eyes are focused at the tip of the
nose, or closed if you prefer.

MUDRA AND BREATH:
a) Block off the right nostril with the right thumb. Inhale slowly and deeply through the left nostril and hold the breath.
Mentally chant ‘Wahe Guru” 16 times, while pumping the navel point 3 times with each repetition (once on ”Waa”, once on ”hey”, and once on ”Guru”) for a total of 48 pumps.
b) Unblock the right nostril and use the right index or pinkie finger to block the left nostril. Exhale slowly and deeply through the right nostril. Continue, inhaling left nostril, exhaling right.

TO END: Inhale and hold 5-10 seconds. Exhale. Then stretch and shake the body for about 1 minute to circulate the energy.
TIME: Suggested length for this kriya is 31 or 62 minutes a day. The ideal is to start at 31 minutes, but you can begin with 11 minutes, then build up to 31, then 40, and eventually 62.

* There is no time, no place, no space, and no condition attached to this meditation.
Each garbage pit has its own time to clear. If you are going to clean your own garbage, you must estimate and clean it as fast as you can, or as slow as you want. You have to decide how much time you have to dean up your garbage pit.

COMMENTS: If you can do this meditation for 62 minutes to start with, then build up to the point where you can do it 2 1/2 hours a day (1/10 of the day), it will give you the following: ”Nao nidhi, athara sidhi,” which are the nine precious virtues and 18 occult powers. In these 27 total virtues of the world lies the entire universe.

When practiced for 2 1/2 hours every day, it will make you a perfect superhuman. It purifies the subconscious and takes care of the human life. It will make you extremely intuitive. It brings together all 27 facets of life and makes a human saintly, successful, and qualified. This meditation also gives one pranic power. This kriya never fails. It can give one inner happiness, and bring one to a state of ecstasy in life.

(as taught by Yogi Bhajan on December 1990)
This basic instruction is what I worked with on my own for 24 years and I still follow it.
Whilst this should be sufficient, f
or your benefit to get the most complete version in one place,
I will always add new findings below here.
Feel free to post links which lead to more valuable information.

More comments from Yogi Bhajan fount at 3HO.org:
“This is one of the greatest meditations you can practice. It has considerable transformational powers. The personal identity is rebuilt, giving the individual a new perspective on the Self. It retrains the mind. According to the tantra shastras, it can purify your past karma and the subconscious impulses that may block you from fulfilling you. It balances all the 27 facets of life and mental projection, and gives you the pranic power of health and healing. It establishes inner happiness and a state of flow and ecstasy in life. It opens your inner universe to relate, co-create, and complete the external universe.

This meditation balances the Teacher aspect of the mind. It acts on all the other aspects like a mirror to reveal their true nature and adds corrections. You act as a human being not just a human doing. If the Teacher aspect is too strong, you risk a spiritual ego, which becomes too attached to the ability to detach and to be “above” normal struggles. When the Teacher aspect is too weak, you can misuse your spiritual and teaching position for personal advantage. When balanced, the Teacher aspect is impersonally personal. It starts with absolute awareness and a neutral assessment from that awareness.

The Teacher uses intuition to know directly what is real and what is a diversion. You respond from the Neutral Mind beyond the positives and negatives. You are clear about the purpose and the laws of each action. A complete Teacher is not an instructor. The Teacher is the expression of Infinity for the benefit of all. You master non-attachment so that you are simultaneously in all your activities and not of them.Treat the practice with reverence and increase your depth, dimensions, caliber, and happiness.”

More Yogi Bhajan Quotes from Sahej.com/Sodarshan.html

Yogi Bhajan said in Gurdwara on Sunday, December 22nd, 2002:
“Now, most powerful and beautiful is Sodarshan Chakra Kriya. I thought that I have taught for so many years, now people are ready for it. We didn’t start teaching it the first day. For me (I do not know about anyone else) it took 30 years to be able to control my left and right nostrils without holding them with my fingers. And I still do that sometimes when I feel very weak – I use my hand and fingers. Somebody can say, “Switching nostrils is not needed since the air coming through the right nostril and the left nostril meets.” We shall not take any responsibility for such wrong practices! What the hell is one creating? Disturbing the pituitary, the master command gland? These kinds of jokes will end by themselves, but it will be dangerous for those who practice it wrong. There is nothing in the teachings which are not clearly stated and which have not worked accurately”

And another Yogi Bhajan Quote from Sahej.com:

The Teachings are the Teachings, and have no one’s personality in them. I never edit them; you should not edit them. It is a Golden Chain. My own prayer is that you can perfect what it is, and go with it. It is a funny thing. It is a three thousand year old proven path – it’s not going to stop. Why do you want to add or subtract something – to satisfy your ego or convince students? It is very deceitful on the part of a teacher to teach teachings to please people. So honestly give people what we have. Teach like me. Teach exactly as it is. If you are not going to teach Kundalini Yoga purely, then don’t teach it at all. With Kundalini Yoga you are dealing with the life force of the atom. Don’t play with the pranic energy”

This is how the Siri Singh Sahib (Yogi Bhajan) keeps track of the counting.
Inhale (blocking the right nostril with the right thumb, other fingers held straight up in the air). And then I hold, and then I count ’16’ – – how? One. two. three — counts with the pinkie finger, moving it slightly three times. Four. Five, six — moves the ring finger three times. Seven, eight, nine — moves the middle or Saturn finger three times. Ten. eleven, twelve: — moves the index finger three times Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen — moves the thumb slightly for three beats. Sixteen — brings the index finger over to block off the left nostril, as he releases the right thumb from the right nostril. Then Exhale through right nostril.
You are open to try what works for you.

— above were unaltered teachings of Yogi Bhajan

A nice comment from Ravi Singh:
A young disciple asked Buddha: How long will it take me to burn through all of my karma. Buddha said, Can you imagine a block of marble 1 mile square? Now imagine that once a year a dove flies over the top of the marble trailing a silk scarf. How long do you think it would take to wear that block of marble down to nothing? Thats what each of us is up against with regard to the load of karmic debt we carry.

So Darshan Chakra Kriya is like 100 workmen with electric sanders working day and night on that
metaphorical marble. So Darshan Chakra Kriya is the most important and powerful meditation in Kundalini Yoga. This meditation will very quickly and effectively help you clarify and resolve the core issues in your life and very directly begin to transform your life in ways in ways you may not even be able to imagine!


Here are additional informations I gathered verbally from the 3HO comunity (so I strongly assume that the following is also from Yogi Bhajan):
• 40 days of daily meditation and all skin-cells have changed, (which has to do with the aura)
• 90 days and all blood-cells have changed (blood is related to emotions)
• 120 days the bone-cells have changed and you have changed permanent
by stamping each cell with your spiritual intention.
• 1000 days of meditation changes a monkey to a saint.

From the Hindu Tradition (one of the sources for Sikhism) I gathered:
The Jalandhar Bandha is a yoga position in which the neck is to be bent a little for achieving this bandh. But it should not be bent much. It is to be pressed onto the depression just as a spring is pressed with a little force.
It has been described in Hathapradeepika in the third chapter:
“The chin is to be pressed on the chest (heart) after contracting the throat. This bandh eliminates old age and death. The contracted veins in the throat ensure that the liquid from the skies is received here. Hence, the bandh has been appropriately known as Jalandhar Bandh, which means that it destroys any pain in the throat.
… Who practices this bandh for six months will, no doubt, achieve siddha status.”

I also want to emphasize that I read that this exercise should be done with eyes focussing on the tip of the nose. This will definitely be the hardest part of the entire exercise.
I realized that it is futile to force it, but instead constructive to relax into a forceful non-resistant state of mind which allows the eyes to drift within. I did set myself from time to time a second short timer repeating itself which reminded me often to focus on the nose again.
It has literally to do with a state of relaxed focus.

My personal tips out of experience for you (and believe me I did resist those revelations long) are:

  • Meditating before sunrise is literally 10 times easier than in the day: If you can do 11 minutes in daytime you could be able to do 62 minutes in the morning.
  • For men it is useful not to loose sperm to often – in chinese medicine it is the seat of the willpower, called Jing – and the longer it was able to build up the easier is the focussing on the eye. This comes because there runs a major meridian, called Dumai, up the spine which connects the preheavenly Qi (our constitution stored in the Kidneys and in the center in between, called the Ming Men) to the brain – in fact this is the essence of Kundalini Yoga to bring that Kundalini-Snakelike-energy up like a Cobra – hence pictures in chinese Restaurants of a bull at the bottom running through the mud, walking up a path and on top a perl ( the pituitary gland of the third eye).

My personal recommendation for you to do this exercise
1. Build it up over a 2-3 week period increasing 1 “Wahe Guru” each time & do it properly ( sit straight and focus on the tip of the nose ) from the start.
(It took me 2 weeks to be able to hold the breath over more than one cycle – then suddenly I had a break through and was able to meditate for as long as I could).

You may try at this point to increase it as fast as possible, but in the likely case that it overwhelms you as it did me for 20 years. So to save you this painful time (of crisis and diseases), instead of dropping it alltogether, go for the 1000 day plan which will transform your life forever gently but much faster.
and do following meditations DAILY.

2. Go for 40 days  just 3 minutes ( Jesus also went for 40 days into the desert)
3. extend the 40 days to 90 days of daily meditation
(If you fail: Simply start again. Meanwhile you can slowly build up to 10 minutes if you wish
This took me an entire year because I failed a few times after around 55 days)
4. Stay with the daily practice f and extend 3 min. to 120 days (once you have done 90 days it is easy to add the last 30 days).
Now you earned your 3 Minute-level, so you can go on to the next step:
5. Another 120 days of 11 minutes of Sodarchan Chakra Kriya ( meanwhile build up to 21 minutes in your own time )
Yet again – if you fail: No worries; just start again with this 11-minute-step.
6. 120 days of 22 Minutes (meanwhile build up to half an hour). On failing: repeat this step.
7. 120 days of 31 minutes ( intermediate- meanwhile build up to an hour).
If you don’t succeed at first … try again (and again and again … took me 3 years alltogether)
8. 120 days of 62 minutes (the length was measured in heartbeats not minutes)
9. Now you can slowly build up to 1/10th of the day.
10. 120 days of a tenth of the day. (which is 144 minutes),
11. 120 days of 2 ½ hours  (If you fail a day then, Yogi Bhajan said not to worry.)!

Addendum: meanwhile I did complete this program and had a crisis because I was not as enlightened as I was hoping for.
After having loosened up my practice and having looked for other spiritual ways for a year I think the only way is to continue, because I can not judge this kriya before I have done 1000 days of 2.5 hours of it. 
Since this is scary, I give myself a little break first.
You can watch my realtime progress on the right side of this page.