Performance of Japa; Pranayama
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami , 2001-02-24
A cyberspace devotee in Singapore wants to know why the middle finger is used to move the beads when performing japa. Gurudeva says that the index finger is not used because if it was it would gain a lot of energy and if ever it was pointed at someone it could injure them in some way. Another cyber devotee wants to know if the performance of pranayama can lead to samadhi. Gurudeva says that pranayama harmonizes the masculine and feminine energies, tunes up the physical and astral bodies and sets the foundation for meditation.
From Singapore, a cyberspace devotee feels hesitant communicating with us through e-mail. But, being an e-guru, it is a quite-natural thing to do for e-sishya. Times have changed! Wants to know more of the significance of performing japa and why the middle finger is used to move the beads as you are counting your japa.
It is said that, we use the middle finger because if we use the first finger and the thumb, that makes the first finger very strong. (and) If you ever point it at someone, the prana going out from that finger might injure them in some psychic way. (And) Of course, japa should never be performed after a fit of anger. [You] should wait 31 days before performing japa. This is because that which is positive can be turned negative. (Of course) If you are under the vow of performing this japa 365 days a year, after 31 days you will have to do 31 extra japas to make up, to keep on your schedule.
I hope this answers your question in Singapore.
A cyberspace devotee from Nagerkoil, Tamil Nadu, in South India asks, "Performing yogasana and pranayama, does this really make a change in one's nerve system? Could it lead to samadhi?"
The answer would be, (that) yes definitely. It harmonizes the two currents, the ida and pingala, the masculine and feminine force within. (And) Yes, it does tune up the physical and astral bodies. (But) [It] sets a foundation for meditation, which requires concentration, meditation, contemplation and then samadhi. For samadhi, one must get control of the mind. However, pranayama does control the mind because if you control the breath, you control the prana. (and) The mind that thinks, is made out of prana. So, that gets controlled as well.