Some ancient roots of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya 

Everyone believes in something – I do believe in a Pranayama Kundalini-Yoga-Exercise called Sodarshan Chakra Kriya, because it promises to balance out the entire energy.

On further research some people who are not in alignment with Yogi Bhajan’s teachings and 3HO-organization seriously doubted that this Meditation; which I put (since the last 4 and for the 4 years) all my efforts into;
would not be an authentic ancient yogic exercise, but a made up Kriya from Yogi Bhajan.

This was worse for me than having personal patience issues with the meditation (and believe me I was challenged many times to practice consistently). Over the last 20 years my entire spiritual focus was on trying and failing and trying again to accomplish SCK; and for the last thousand days I  did already build the Kriya up to over an hour.
I did even sacrifice my entire social-life and career in order to be able to complete Sodarshan Chakra Kriya. And suddenly it turns out to potentially be as fake as weapons of mass-destruction in Iraq or our entire money system? I was really worried that I had directed my entire life into Yogi Bhajan’s personal invention.

So I sat back and contemplated what to do:
The first step was to continue my 1000 days, because I always would be able to drop it at a later stage, but I would not be able to reclaim the 68 days I already did, if I stopped it now.
I also remembered that this exercise had some strong benefits for me – so even if it was all made up, there definitely was something valuable in it.

So whilst I continued to do practice daily, I did mail to a bunch of people who run other Sodarshan-Chakra-Kriya websites, someone repied that SCK would be referenced in the Sri Granth Sahib, so I did searched an online version for a simple part of the instruction – the phrase “left nostril” and found the following: at srigranth.org :

  • The breath is drawn in through the left nostril;
  • it is held in the central channel of the Sukhmanaa,
  • and exhaled through the right nostril,
  • repeating the Lord’s Name sixteen times

Considering that “Wahe Guru” ist the Sikh name for God, this comes close to Yogi Bhajan’s instruction:
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.

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.

Simultaneous to my findings Sat Avtar Kaur found in mrsikhnet.com:
Here is a meditation described in Siri Guru Granth Sahib on page 1106 by Bhagat Jai Dev ji that was taught by SSS Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi ji on August 1991. I just realized that only two shabads are in Siri Guru Granth Sahib by Bhagat Jai Dev and one of these two was him sharing his experience of this meditation.
I looked up which shabads he refers to
So far I can see following lines which somehow correlate with SCK:
On page 526:
ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੇਤਿ ਜਪਿ ਨਰ ਸਕਲ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਦੰ ॥
गोबिंद गोबिंदेति जपि नर सकल सिधि पदं ॥
Gobinḝ gobinḝėṯ jap nar sakal siḝẖ paḝaʼn.
Meditate on the Lord of the Universe, the Lord of the Universe, O man; He is the source of all the spiritual powers of the Siddhas.
And as mentioned above on page 1106:
ਚੰਦ ਸਤ ਭੇਦਿਆ ਨਾਦ ਸਤ ਪੂਰਿਆ ਸੂਰ ਸਤ ਖੋੜਸਾ ਦਤ੝ ਕੀਆ ॥
चंद सत भेदिआ नाद सत पूरिआ सूर सत खोड़सा दतढ़ कीआ ॥
Cẖanḝ saṯ bẖėḝiĝ nĝḝ saṯ pūriĝ sūr saṯ kẖoṛsĝ ḝaṯ kīĝ.
The breath is drawn in through the left nostril; it is held in the central channel of the Sukhmanaa, and exhaled through the right nostril, repeating the Lord’s Name sixteen times.

So it seems that this is the proof that Sodarshan Chakra Kriya has some roots at least in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Having just seen more verses I assume that yogis either wrote those verses or took several texts spread out in the SGGS in order to fuse them together to entire Yoga-Kriyas or sets.

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Some sources I spontaneously found were:

Page 905, Line 7
“The Yogi draws the breath upwards, and opens the Tenth Gate.
He practices inner cleansing and the six rituals of purification.
But without the Lord’s Name, the breath he draws is useless.”
Guru Nanak Dev
This is a clear reference to the Mantra “Wahe Guru” as well as the necessary believe in god which I will tackle in another article.

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Page 333, Line 3
ultat pavan chakar khat bhayday surat sunn anraagee.
“I turned my breath inwards, and pierced through the six chakras of the body, and my awareness was centered on the Primal Void of the Absolute Lord.” – Bhakta Kabir –
Relates to: Holding the breath, pumping the belly & mentally chanting “Wahe Guru”.

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Page 991, Line 16
soor sar sos lai som sar pokh lai jugat kar marat so san-banDh keejai.
“Heat up the sun energy of the right nostril, and cool down the moon energy of the left nostril; practicing this breath-control, bring them into perfect balance.”
Guru Nanak Dev
The thumb is correlates to the thumb which heats up and the index finger to the Jupiter (and as it seems the Jupiter cooles down the left moon nostril).

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Page 359, Line 8
man motee jay gahnaa hovai pa-un hovai soot Dhaaree.
“If the pearl of the mind is strung like a jewel on the thread of the breath,…”
Guru Nanak Dev
This could be a reference to pumping the belly, hence directing the mind down the threat of the breath.

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The following quotes also emphasize on the importance of breath and a dedication to the divine. I saw Sikhs fighting amongst Kundalini-students because former focus on the believe in god and latter in the technique of the practice. It seems that both are essential for a spiritual sucess:

Page 969,
“Joining the two channels of the breath, I have lit the furnace, and I drink in the supreme, sublime essence.” – Bhakta Kabir –

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Page 972
“The mind, the master of the breath, abides in the state of supreme bliss. There is no death, no re-birth, and no aging for me now. || 1 |
| Pause |
| Turning away from materialism, I have found intuitive support. I have entered into the sky of the mind, and opened the Tenth Gate. The chakras of the coiled Kundalini energy have been opened, and I have met my Sovereign Lord King without fear.”

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Page 1123, Line 13
ree kalvaar gavaar moodh mat ulto pavan firaava-o.
“You barbaric brute, with your primitive intellect – reverse your breath and turn it inward.” – Bhakta Kabir –

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Page 1365, Line 8
kabeer maa-i-aa dolnee pavan jhakolanhaar.
“Kabeer, Maya is the butter-churn, and the breath is the churning-stick.”
Bhakta Kabir

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 I also wrote an article about a fascinating 800 year old source – 200 years older than the Siri Guru Grant Sahib, where a christian gnostic version of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya is described here.

This means that you now have the choice to modify Sodarshan Chakra Kriya to your own believe if you understand its principles – this is what Yogi Bhajan or some Sikhs have done – they altered ancient Pranayama Techniques to implement it in their believe system. So even Jews, Muslims or any Religion whatsoever should be able to utilize this knowledge. Contact me if you want to work it out for your own religion and I will do my best to help with my experience.

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When asking Ravi Singh & Ana Brett that according to the tantra shastras, Sodarshan Chakakra Kriya can purify your past karma and the subconscious impulses that may block you from fulfilling one, they mailed me:

“In the Sharada Tilaka Tanta a proto-version of So Darshan Chakra Kriya is described:
Inhale through the left nosril (concentrating on the left side of the spine) for 16 counts. Hold the breath for 64 counts guiding energy into the central channel of the spine (shushumna). Exhale through the right nostril for 32 counts.
It states that this can be done with or without a mantra recited mentally.”

Since in Kriya Yoga one also should breath in 4 beats, hold the breath for 16 beats and breath out 8 beats, it seems that one yogi secret is the ratio of breathing in to holding to breathing out being: 1:4:2.
Hence I will try breathing in thinking 4x “wahe guru” (which is 12 beats),
pump 16x as instructed while holding the breath (48 beats)

  • the pumping seems equilvalent to guiding energy to the spine)

and breath out thinking 8 times “wahe guru” (not pumping my stomach on the breaths).
This then is equivalent to a 1:4:2 ratio.

I know one should not add anything to the kriya, so I won’t recommend it to others,
I just experiment with it in order to see if I can find the common breathing ratio.