Kundalini, The Mother of the Universe, by Rishi Singh Gherwal, [1930]

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What is Pranayama? It is the stepping stone of the Yogi, or in other words the foundation, the helpmate of the Yogi in controlling his enemies—freeing him from diseases. The Pranayama is the means by which the Yogi masters levitation, walks upon the water, and also the means of living buried alive for years. Pranayama is the Master Key by which Yogis open the door of liberation, and master all the forces.

Pranayama is the best method for suffering humanity to overcome diseases, conquer fear, overcome nervousness or despondency. It opens the door of Blessed Peace, it gives hope to the hopeless, power to the poor, faith to the faithless. There is no other way to control the mind, as mind is nothing without desire or thought; desires and thoughts are nothing without Prana.

What is Prana? Prana is everything. “Prana is Fire; Prana is the Sun; the Cloud; the Wind; Prana is the Killer of Demons;

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[paragraph continues] Prana is the Earth. It is what is and is not, immortal. * * * Prana is the center of everything. “—Prasna Upanishad.

Prana is like the forces of electricity. Everything that moves is moved by Prana. Prana moves the lungs, then air goes in and out as breath. Prana is back of everything as force. The mind is lord of the senses and the organs—the Prana is lord of the mind: The mind is the motor—the Prana is the power that moves the motor.

The Prana is the great power of the Mother Kundalini. From the Prana there are born other Pranas, namely,—Apana, Samana, Vyana, and Udana. These are in the various parts of the body, but Prana is the power back of All and All.

How do Yogis control this power? By Pranayama. Prana is the Vital or life force—Yama, how to control it. This is why Yogis call Pranayama the stepping stone, or helpmate.

Let us see what H. Y. Pradipika, the most famous, says: “When the breath is irregular, the mind wanders, but when the breath is under control the mind is also under control. Because of this, Yogis live as long as they want to.”

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Everyone should learn to control the breath, by the practice of Pranayama. “Man lives as long as he has breath in his body. When the breath goes out he is said to be dead.”

“As long as the Nadis (nerves) are not pure, the Prana can not go through the Sushumna, and as long as Prana does not go through the Sushumna there is no success for the Yogi. As soon as the Nadis are purified, the Yogi succeeds in doing Pranayama, and then his body becomes slender and light. This is the sign of Pranayama success, for then the Prana goes through the Sushumna.

“There is no success without purification of the Nadis, and there is no purification of the Nadis without Pranayama.

“The Brahma (God of Creation), devotes himself to the practice of Pranayama, and is free from the fear of death.

“When Prana goes through the Sushumna, the mind becomes one-pointed. This is called Unmani Avastha (the steadiness of the mind).

“It is through the practice of Pranayama Yoga, that Yogi attains Sidhis (master over

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[paragraph continues] Nature’s Forces, Levitation, etc.).

“By forcing the Prana downward and raising the Apana upward, the Yogi becomes young, though he be old in years.”

There are eight different Pranayamas, that should be learned from a teacher who has mastered them. Any of the Pranayama practice can cure the diseases of the nervous system, as countless testimonial letters on file will show, as Rev. A. K. Burkland, Miss E. Lindsay and others.

The same authority says further: “When Pranayama, called Kevala Kumbhaka, has been mastered, there is nothing in the three worlds that can not be attained.”

It is by the power of Pranayama that the Yogis do the wonderful feats of levitation, walking on water, etc. This is not their goal—they only want liberation—but there is no liberation without awakening the Kundalini.

If the busy people of the world will practice Pranayama just a few months, they will be happily surprised to see its effect upon the body and mind. The body will become light and active. Idleness will vanish like darkness before the light.

Pranayama is easy to practice. Any one

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can do it, the young, the old, diseased or maimed. It is the key to everlasting youth.

“Pranayama will have a wonderfully soothing effect on one whenever they are at war with themselves. They will gain instantaneous peace. Is the world going hard with you? Do you feel you are losing out in the race of life? Then I say, practice Pranayama; after the practice you will emerge wonderfully renewed and renascent, ready to forge ahead in the battle of life, with new vigour, new faith in yourself and new hope. Are you face to face with a problem that requires a cool brain and clear thinking, profound and mature judgement? My advice to you is that before tackling the problem, attain mental poise by practicing Pranayama. There is nothing like it for giving poise, peace and balance. In the midst of the greatest stress and storm, in the thick of the battle, steady yourself for a supreme effort by practicing Pranayama. Practice this daily without fail, and you will notice how marvelously, your mental, physical and spiritual powers, are developed. You will then always be master of yourself and of the situation. You will always have a tremendous amount of surplus energy, mentally, physically

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and spiritually, upon which to draw.

“This will make your life natural and peaceful, free from nervous exhaustion and worry, because it will enable you to keep your vital force of life ever renewed and reinforced. It will enable you to charge your battery, to electrify it every day. Today you resemble a small boat tossing on the waves of a stormy life without oars, at the mercy of wind and wave, always in danger of rocks and shoals. Practice Pranayama and you will plough thru the vast sea of life like a giant dreadnought.

“Learn Pranayama—practice Pranayama, and be master of yourself and your circumstances.” Excerpt from the Author’s Pranayama—Lessons Three and Four.