Art and Culture Health and Lifestyle

Shat-Karma: The Six Purificatory Processes

| By

Those who are of a flabby and phlegmatic constitution only, should practise at first these six Kriyas to prepare themselves for the practice of Pranayama and their success comes in easily. These six Kriyas are: 1. Dhauti, 2. Basti, 3. Neti, 4. Trataka, 5. Nauli and 6. Kapalabhati.

Dhauti

Take a clean piece of muslin cloth 4 fingers wide and 15 feet long. Dip it in tepid water. The borders of the cloth should be nicely stitched on all sides and no pieces of thread should be hanging loose. Then slowly swallow it and draw it out again. Swallow one foot the first day and increase it daily, little by little. This is called Vastra-Dhauti. In the beginning you may have slight retching. It stops on the third day. This practice cures diseases of the stomach, such as gastritis, Gulma (dyspepsia), belching, fever, lumbago, asthma, Pleeha (diseases of spleen), leprosy, skin-diseases and disorders of phlegm and bile. You need not practise it daily. You can practise it once a week or once in a fortnight. Wash the cloth with soap and keep it always clean. Drink a cup of milk after the practice is over; otherwise, you will feel a dry sensation inside.

Basti

This can be practised with or without a bamboo tube. But it is better to have a bamboo-tube. Sit in a tub of water covering your navel. Assume the posture Utkatasana by resting your body on the forepart of your feet, the heels pressing against the posteriors. Take a small bamboo-tube 6 fingers long and insert 4 fingers of its length into the anus after lubricating the tube with vaseline or soap or castor oil. Then contract the anus. Draw the water into the bowels slowly. Shake well the water within the bowels and then expel the water outside. It is known as Jala-Basti. It cures Pleeha, urinary disorders, Gulma, myalga, dropsy, disorders of digestion, diseases of the spleen and bowels, diseases arising from the excess of wind, bile and phlegm. This Kriya should be done in the morning when the stomach is empty. Drink a cup of milk or take your meals when the Kriya is over. This Kriya can be practised while standing in a river.

There is another way of doing Basti without the help of water. It is called sthula-Basti. Sit in Paschimottanasana on the ground and churn the abdominal and intestinal portions slowly with a downward motion. Contract the sphincter muscles. This removes constipation and all the abdominal disorders. This is not so effective as the Jala-Basti. Technique of Drawing Water into Bowels

Neti

Take a thin thread 12 fingers long (1/2 cubit) without knots. Insert it into the nostrils and passing it inside draw it out by the mouth. You can also pass the thread through one nostril and pull it through the other. The thread is glued and thereby rendered stiff for passing through easily. This Kriya purifies the skull and produces clear and keen sight. Rhinitis and Coryza are cured thereby.

Trataka (Gazing)

Gaze steadily without winking with a concentrated mind at any small object, until tears begin to flow. By this practice all diseases of the eye are removed. Unsteadiness of the mind vanishes. Sambhavi Siddhi is obtained. Will-power is developed. Clairvoyance is induced.

Nauli

This is abdominal churning with the help of rectus muscle of the abdomen. Bend the head down. Isolate the rectus muscle and turn it from right to left and from left to right. This removes constipation, increases the digestive fire and destroys all intestinal disorders.

Kapalabhati

Do Rechaka and Puraka rapidly like the bellows of a blacksmith. This destroys all the disorders of phlegm. Detailed instructions are given separately.

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply