स्पर्शान्कृत्वा बहिर्बाह्यांश्चक्षुश्चैवान्तरे भ्रुवो: |
प्राणापानौ समौ कृत्वा नासाभ्यन्तरचारिणौ || 27||
विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधो य: सदा मुक्त एव स: || 28||
sparśhān kṛitvā bahir bāhyānśh chakṣhuśh chaivāntare bhruvoḥ
prāṇāpānau samau kṛitvā nāsābhyantara-chāriṇau
yatendriya-mano-buddhir munir mokṣha-parāyaṇaḥ
vigatechchhā-bhaya-krodho yaḥ sadā mukta eva saḥ
sparśhān—contacts (through senses); kṛitvā—keeping; bahiḥ—outside; bāhyān—external; chakṣhuḥ—eyes; cha—and; eva—certainly; antare—between; bhruvoḥ—of the eyebrows; prāṇa-apānau—the outgoing and incoming breaths; samau—equal; kṛitvā—keeping; nāsa-abhyantara—within the nostrils; chāriṇau—moving; yata—controlled; indriya—senses; manaḥ—mind; buddhiḥ—intellect; muniḥ—the sage; mokṣha—liberation; parāyaṇaḥ—dedicated; vigata—free; ichchhā—desires; bhaya—fear; krodhaḥ—anger; yaḥ—who; sadā—always; muktaḥ—liberated; eva—certainly; saḥ—that person
The sage who has turned away all external impressions, fixing his gaze in the centre of the brows, controlling the incoming and outgoing breath rhythmically, keeping the senses, the mind and the intellect controlled, free from desire, fear and hatred, aspiring for the highest freedom indeed enjoys freedom always.
The field of sense-activity is the external world. All sense-contacts are in the outside world. What right have they to enter the inner domain of man’s heart? So thinking, the wise man prevents the entry of these impressions, and if they stealthily enter, they are pushed out at once. The foolish man allows them to come in and is enslaved by them. So the spiritual aspirant equipped with renunciation should put up the board ‘No admission’ at the gate-ways of the senses. It is like a country keeping strong border patrols on its frontiers to prevent incursions from enemy forces.
Having turned away from all sense-contacts, the sage centres the gaze of meditation in the middle of the eye-brows. This is called in yogic terminology ‘Khechari Mudra‘. If one meditates with eyes open, the mind may be distracted by sense attractions. If he closes his eyes there is the danger of sinking into sleep (tamas). So with eyes half-closed, the sage fixes the gaze in the centre of the eye-brows. In the science of Yoga, this spot is called ‘Ajnachakra’. Others concentrate on the tip of the nose or on the ‘sahasrara’. That practice which is agreeable to the aspirant may be followed. The aim is to prevent the mind from going out and fixing it in the Self within.
Having balanced the breath: For most people the incoming and outgoing breaths are not rhythmical and balanced. The flow of breath in and out is irregular. Making the breath regular and balanced by the practise of Pranayama is good for bodily health and concentration of mind. It is one of the practices of the Ashtanga Yoga. The prana and the mind are closely interlinked. If one is controlled, the other is also controlled, without any particular effort. So control of breath is a necessary practice to bring the roving mind to a state of stillness. So the Sastras have prescribed breath-control as an important aspect of sadhana.
With senses, mind and intellect controlled: It has already been declared that Atma is beyond the senses, the mind and the intellect.
Aspiring for liberation: The yearning for freedom from the bonds of samsara is the first qualifying condition of the spiritual aspirant. If one desires Moksha with all his heart he will certainly have it. Is he ready to renounce the foolish pleasures of the objective world? If so, the yearning for the Supreme gathers force and momentum. The biographies of sages and devotees reveal the intense longing they had for Truth, for God.
Free from desire, fear and anger: Freedom from desire, fear, and hatred is the hall-mark of the sage. These three are the leaders of the host of enemies in spiritual life. If they are suppressed the others are easily eliminated. The Lord emphasises the need for overcoming these weaknesses many times.
The sage possessing the above attributes is always free. He re-gains his birth-right of freedom and gives up forever the shameful guise of a slave which he has imposed upon himself by ignorance.