The following article should be a huge step forward in gnosticism for any seeker because it reveals a direct method to accomplish enlightenement within the christian and therewith western tradition!
Since Sodarshan Chakra Kriya stems from the fairly new religion of Sikhism but is claimed to have roots thousands of years ago it dawned upon me for quite a while that there should also be other sources for this Meditation. Someone asked if this is really a version of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya, but I have to clarify that it is not, because SCK did not even exist then. I just want to point out that it is a predecessor which includes equal principles and also seemes to work.
I found (surprisingly in a book dedicated to condemn prana exercises), a quote of another source and added following Wikipedia information for your understanding:
Omphaloskepsis is contemplation of one’s navel as an aid to meditation.
The word comes from Greek omphalos (navel) + skepsis (act of looking, examination).
Actual use of the practice as an aid to contemplation of basic principles of the cosmos and human nature is found in the practice of yoga of Hinduism and sometimes in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Some consider the navel to be “a powerful chakra of the body”.
In the Book Sikhism and Tantrik Yoga (which you can download for free here), I read in page 32 following information which seems to have been hidden for 800 years and (as far as I know) is here released for the first time on the internet !
The science of breath known as pranayam in Yoga, and embryonic respiration in Taoism, is involved in the mystical meditations of Sufis called dhikr (zikr) and Simrin of Sikhism, called svas svas Nam japna, and has been found even in some practices of Christian mystics. But this involvement of the science of breath in various systems has nothing to do with Yoga asanas, and Yoga techniques. They are the natural outcome of a continuous disciplined mediation.1
The Hesychastic monks to whom Yoga was unknown developed through their meditations similar techniques. Summarizing the essential Hesychastic prayer, Father Irenee Hausherr says:
“It comprises of two fold exercises, omphaloskespsis and
- indefinite repetition of the Prayer of Jesus: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.‘
- By sitting in darkness,
- bowing the head,
- fixing the eyes on the center of the abdomen (navel)
- trying to discover the place of the heart,
- by repeating this exercise indefatigably and always accompanying it with the same invocation, in harmony with the rhythm of respiration, which is retarded as much as possible, one will, if one
- perseveres day and night in this mental prayer,
end by finding what one sought, the place of the heart, and with it and in it, all kinds of wonders and knowledge.”2
Jean Gouillard quotes a 13th century Christian monk Nicephorus, who says, “As for you,
- sit down, compose your mind,
- introduce it—your mind, I say—into your nostrils; This is the road that the breath takes to reach the heart.
- Push it, force it to descend into your heart at the same time as the inhaled air.
- When it is there, you will see what joy will follow; you will have nothing to regret.”3
- Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu were already familiar with methodical respiration, and a Chou dynasty inscription attests the practice of a respiratory technique in the sixth century B.C. Mircea Eliade: Yoga, p 62
- For Sufi practices, see: Kashf-ul Mahjub and Writings of Dara Shikoh on medieval saints, notably Mian Mir in Safinat-ul-Aulia, and Sakinat-ul-Auliya.
- Quoted by Mircea Eliade in Yoga f.n. p 63
So what is the important takeway?
- One doesn’t need Sodarshan Chakra Kriya (referenced in italic) to accomplish the task if one observes following principles:
- One has to dedicate the Kriya to the divine (which the Adi Mantra and “Wahe Guru” pumps serve well as). However I asume that the mere repetition of the mantras only does half the trick – a mental application and dedication towards the divine in humbleness seems essential.
- slowing down the breath (retarding it) helps – the Yogi level is once per minute.
- Focus on your belly – mentally either by looking at it, or by thinking the mantra whilst pumping your belly. Chanting “Guru” enhances the Solarplexus Fire element.
- Search for your heart (which is accomplished in SCK via chanting “Wa” – the wind element mantra related to the heart chakra. I personally feel that one should also ultimately open ones heart in a loving way. I also want to point out that in that time medical obductions came in fashion half a millennium later, so should have been no knowledge about the physical location of the heart – which likely made it easier for people to find out the energetic location of the heart by contemplation, because the mind was free of physical preconceptions.
- Also crucial elements are sitting in the dark (closed eyes or focussed on ones nose just 1/10th open),
- bowing the head (described in Hinduism, the oldest religion as Jalandhar Bhanda
- repeating the mantra (regardless if western or eastern) constantly
The difference seems to be that the christian prayer works if done constantly day and night and Sodarshan Chakra Kriya works within 2 1/2 hours daily, probably due to the fact that it was refined in technique, since it is 200 years younger.
(The christian meditation is 800 years old and the Siri Guru Granth Sahib is 600 years old.
This is a strong indication on how the entire system from Yogi Bhajan was devised:
He seems to have developed to such an extend that he was able to improvise new Kriyas like a skilled Jazz musician out of the Siri Guru Grant Sahib in conjunction with his Yoga knowledge.
This should be good news for anyone who was interested in applying this Sikh Yoga Kriya to ones own faith. If that exercise is interchangeable it should also work for any faith on the planet if those principles are carefully studied and applied.
I for myself will stick to Sodarshan Chakra Kriya until I am absolutely certain what I am doing, but I will use this christian version of it or my own approach to god to tune into the divine. This way I stay independent of any conditioning of a specific religion.
Instead of the repetition of the Prayer of Jesus: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.‘ Someone suggested to
- breath in heavily (with an inner resistance), and meanwhile think
“Domine Jesu Christe”
- and then breath out (also in this kind of loud way) and think
“miserere me !”
This reinforces the prana in the breathing and also brings ascending soundcurrents when breathing in and descending sounds when exhaling.