Charles Reed Peers.

Universal classics library (Volume 6) online

. (page 23 of 37)
Online LibraryCharles Reed PeersUniversal classics library (Volume 6) → online text (page 23 of 37)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


the language of the Hindus kant' a. The sixth comprehends
the interval between the two eyebrows, in Sanskrit bhruva.
The seventh region is that of the head, which is called by
the Hindus brahnianda. It is to be known that in these
regions there are many veins, among which three, as the
principal, are to be distinguished : the one is on the right
side, " the solar vein ** ; the other in the middle, ** the
earthen ** ; the third on the left side, " the lunar ** ; these
veins are named in the language of the Hindus dditya,
pankilay and soniana; in the Persian language, mahna, mind,
and mdnd. One of the three veins is the greatest, that,
namely, which running from the middle of the back to the
right of the back bone, divides beyond it into two branches,
the one of which attains to the right, the other to the
left of the nostrils ; the breath and the wind come from
them, and the air which proceeds from these veins extends,
during a man's being awake, to twelve, during sleep
to thirty-two, and during coition to sixty-four fingers : this
air and breath they hold to be the foundation of life, and a
great importance is attached to this subject by the learned
Sipasian and Hindus. They believe the wind to be of ten
kinds ; but what according to them is essential to know, is
the superior and inferior winds, which by the Hindus are
called Prdfia and Apdna* by the Persians, Alavi and Pdsdyi.

* Pra'na is breath, expiration, and inspiration ; apa'na is flatu-
lence, crepitus. Besides these two winds, the Hindus name tliree
other winds, namely: Jam&na, eructation, supposed to be essential
to digestion; {/da'na, passing from the throat into the head; it is the
16



242 THE DABISTAN

These two winds attract each other mutually, and in pro-
nouncing ^' han,^^ the breath goes out, in pronouncing ** ^a,'*
it goes within; and this takes place during prayers, without
the aid and the motion of the tongue; when they fix upon
a name, it becomes hansa, and they say also hamsa: the
Hindus call it ajapa, that is, it is pronounced without the
aid of the tongue ; and in Persian it has the name of
damdnibdd, or '* sound of the wind.** Thus there is, above
the channel of the region of the pubis, a most subtile vein ;
from the summit of the shank a flower, bright and similar
to gold in redness, expands itself from eight roots, and
after having from this origin raised its head, and taken the
high direction to the top of the head, it is there closed :
this the Hindus call Kujidel'i^ " a snake *' ; and the Persians
Ruhen mar, and Rdushibdr : and the path of the vein of the
head is a middle one. When the Kundeli awakes to draw
breath from a high feeling, it rises to the summit of the
head; in like manner as a thread passes through the eye of
a needle, it goes through the said opening to the top of
the head. If thou knowest this mode well, thou under-
standest the modes of sitting ; of these we mention one in
the section upon the Sipasian ; in this place we shall give
a further account of this subject. The most approved mode
of sitting is that which in the Hindu language is called
Maha dsana, and Sdda dsana, that is, " sitting as the
High, the mature of age, and the accomplished,** which in
Persian is termed sdniskin. The mode of this is as follows:
the heel of the left foot is placed at the orifice of the anus,
and the heel of the other foot raised up straight to the
pubis, and to the bust ; the eyes, without twinkling, are
directed to the middle of the eyebrows, then the part about
the pubis is put in motion; the inferior wind is drawn with
the superior toward the upper parts, and raised by degrees
until it reaches the head. We have explained the mode of
drawing up the breath in the section upon the Sipasian.

pulsation of the arteries in the head, the neck, and temples; Vya'na,
expanding through the whole body; it is the pulsation of the rest of
the superficial arteries and occasional pufliness of external parts, in-
dicating air in the skin (see Vedanta Sara, edit. Calc, p. 9; and
Sa'ukAya' Ka'rita, work quoted, p. 105).



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 243

At the time of drawing it up, the beginning is made on
the side of the left for emission through tlie right, of the
nostrils ; when drawn up on the right it is also passing
through the right, and the inferior wind emitted: this per-
formance is called Prdndyama, by the Hindus, and Aferas-
dam, that is, ** raising of the breath,*^ by tlie Persians.
The devotee, on drawing up the breath at the left side,
forms the image of the moon ; that is, he places the disk of
the moon to the left, and to the right that of the sun.
Some of the Sipasian place the image of one of the seven
planets at every stage of their devotion. This mode is held
in great esteem among the Hindus at all prayers and re-
ligious exercises ; they say, the adept in it has the power of
flying; he never falls sick, is exempt from death, and from
hunger and thirst ; it is stated in the Ramzsitan of the
Persian, that by means of this power K4i Khusro is still
alive. The Sipasian and the historians relate, that whoever
carries this process to perfection, rises above death; as long
as he remains in the body, he can put it off and be again
reunited to it ; he never suffers from sickness, and is fit for
all business.

Holding the Breath

Sanj4 nath, of the sect of Ayi, was a man accomplished
in restraining the breath ; the people numbered him among
the saints, and said, that seven hundred years of life had
elapsed without his hair having yet become \vhite : he was,
in the last-mentioned year seen in Lahore.

Sfiraj nath made great proficiency in mastering the
breath ; for several years, he has chosen his retirement in
Peshdver, and is occupied with his own concern. The
people think his age scarce less than that just before
stated. The writer of this work visited him in the year
1055 of the Hegira (1645 A, D.), and saw several of the
Yogies, an account of whom cannot find place in this book.

It is an established custom among the Yogfs that, when
malady overpowers them, they bury themselves alive.
They are wont also, with open eyes, to force their looks
toward the middle of their eyebrows, until so looking they



244 THE DABISTAN

perceive the Hgure of a man ; if this should appear without
hands, feet, or any member, for each case they have de-
termined that the boundaries of their existence would be
within so many years, months, or days. When they see
the figure without a head, they know that there certainly
remains very little of their life ; on that account, having
seen the prognostic, they bury themselves. However the
Jn&nis of India hold this figure to be an illusion, and an
appearance without a trace of reality.

As the Sanyasis are also pious men, I will join an
account of them to that of the Yogi's. The Sanyasis make
choice of abnegation and solitude ; they renounce all bodily
enjoyments ; some, in order that they may not be invested
with another body, and migrate from body to body; a
great number, in order to go to heaven ; and a multitude, in
order to acquire dominion, that is, to become kings, or very
rich men. When a man becomes a Sanyjisi, he must give up
all desire to return again into the world. They are dis-
tinguished by names, and divided into ten classes, namely :
Ba7t, A' ran, Tirthah, A' shratn, Kar, Parbatah, Sdkar^
Bhdrthy, Peri^ and Sarsatt. They are frequently holy men,
and abstain from eating flesh, and renounce all intercourse
with women. This class follow the dictates of Datateri,
v/hom they also venerate as a deity, and say that he is an
iiicarnation of Narayan, and in the retaining of breath at-
tained to such a degree tjiat he is exempted from death.
When he came into the presence of Gorakhnath, who is
the chief of the Yogis, and according to the opinion of the
SanyAsis, an incarnation of Mah^ld^o, Datdteri, for the sake
of trial, smote Gorakhnath on the head, who took the ap-
pearance of iron. Datfiteri told him : ** Thou hast not done
well; there is no striking iron.** When Gorakhnath him-
self bade him to combat, Datateri glided off from the body,
in the same manner as water glides off, and reunited safely
again. In this sense S'abur Mashedi says: —

** The whole body became water, withhold thy hand from killing me,
As often as thou strikest a blow, my body reunites.**

Afterward. Gorakhnath disappeared in the water ;
Datateri, having found and recognized him in the shape of



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 245

a frog, brought him forth. When Dat^teri concealed him-
self in the water, Gorakhnath, in spite of all his searching,
could not succeed in discovering him, because he was
mixed with the water, and water cannot be distinguished
from water. Mirzu Baki AH says : —

" When a drop is united with the sea, it becomes sea,
In substance, the bubble and billow are water; solve this riddle ;*>

Another says : —




Online LibraryCharles Reed PeersUniversal classics library (Volume 6) → online text (page 23 of 37)