Some ancient roots of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya

Everyone believes in something – I do believe in a Pranayama Kundalini-Yoga-Exercise called Sodarshan Chakra Kriya, because it promises to balance out the entire energy.

On further research some people who are not in alignment with Yogi Bhajan’s teachings and 3HO-organization seriously doubted that this Meditation; which I put (since the last 4 and for the 4 years) all my efforts into;
would not be an authentic ancient yogic exercise, but a made up Kriya from Yogi Bhajan.

This was worse for me than having personal patience issues with the meditation (and believe me I was challenged many times to practice consistently). Over the last 20 years my entire spiritual focus was on trying and failing and trying again to accomplish SCK; and for the last thousand days I  did already build the Kriya up to over an hour.
I did even sacrifice my entire social-life and career in order to be able to complete Sodarshan Chakra Kriya. And suddenly it turns out to potentially be as fake as weapons of mass-destruction in Iraq or our entire money system? I was really worried that I had directed my entire life into Yogi Bhajan’s personal invention.

So I sat back and contemplated what to do:
The first step was to continue my 1000 days, because I always would be able to drop it at a later stage, but I would not be able to reclaim the 68 days I already did, if I stopped it now.
I also remembered that this exercise had some strong benefits for me – so even if it was all made up, there definitely was something valuable in it.

So whilst I continued to do practice daily, I did mail to a bunch of people who run other Sodarshan-Chakra-Kriya websites, someone repied that SCK would be referenced in the Sri Granth Sahib, so I did searched an online version for a simple part of the instruction – the phrase “left nostril” and found the following: at srigranth.org :

  • The breath is drawn in through the left nostril;
  • it is held in the central channel of the Sukhmanaa,
  • and exhaled through the right nostril,
  • repeating the Lord’s Name sixteen times

Considering that “Wahe Guru” ist the Sikh name for God, this comes close to Yogi Bhajan’s instruction:
Block off the right nostril with the right thumb.

  • Inhale slowly and deeply through the left nostril and
  • hold the breath.
  • Mentally chant ‘Wahe Guru” 16 times, while pumping the navel point 3 times with each repetition (once on ”Waa”, once on ”hey”, and once on ”Guru”) for a total of 48 pumps.

Unblock the right nostril and use the right index or pinkie finger to block the left nostril.

  • Exhale slowly and deeply through the right nostril. Continue, inhaling left nostril, exhaling right.

Simultaneous to my findings Sat Avtar Kaur found in mrsikhnet.com:
Here is a meditation described in Siri Guru Granth Sahib on page 1106 by Bhagat Jai Dev ji that was taught by SSS Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi ji on August 1991. I just realized that only two shabads are in Siri Guru Granth Sahib by Bhagat Jai Dev and one of these two was him sharing his experience of this meditation.
I looked up which shabads he refers to
So far I can see following lines which somehow correlate with SCK:
On page 526:
ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਗੋਬਿੰਦੇਤਿ ਜਪਿ ਨਰ ਸਕਲ ਸਿਧਿ ਪਦੰ ॥
गोबिंद गोबिंदेति जपि नर सकल सिधि पदं ॥
Gobinḝ gobinḝėṯ jap nar sakal siḝẖ paḝaʼn.
Meditate on the Lord of the Universe, the Lord of the Universe, O man; He is the source of all the spiritual powers of the Siddhas.
And as mentioned above on page 1106:
ਚੰਦ ਸਤ ਭੇਦਿਆ ਨਾਦ ਸਤ ਪੂਰਿਆ ਸੂਰ ਸਤ ਖੋੜਸਾ ਦਤ੝ ਕੀਆ ॥
चंद सत भेदिआ नाद सत पूरिआ सूर सत खोड़सा दतढ़ कीआ ॥
Cẖanḝ saṯ bẖėḝiĝ nĝḝ saṯ pūriĝ sūr saṯ kẖoṛsĝ ḝaṯ kīĝ.
The breath is drawn in through the left nostril; it is held in the central channel of the Sukhmanaa, and exhaled through the right nostril, repeating the Lord’s Name sixteen times.

So it seems that this is the proof that Sodarshan Chakra Kriya has some roots at least in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

Having just seen more verses I assume that yogis either wrote those verses or took several texts spread out in the SGGS in order to fuse them together to entire Yoga-Kriyas or sets.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Some sources I spontaneously found were:

Page 905, Line 7
“The Yogi draws the breath upwards, and opens the Tenth Gate.
He practices inner cleansing and the six rituals of purification.
But without the Lord’s Name, the breath he draws is useless.”
Guru Nanak Dev
This is a clear reference to the Mantra “Wahe Guru” as well as the necessary believe in god which I will tackle in another article.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Page 333, Line 3
ultat pavan chakar khat bhayday surat sunn anraagee.
“I turned my breath inwards, and pierced through the six chakras of the body, and my awareness was centered on the Primal Void of the Absolute Lord.” – Bhakta Kabir –
Relates to: Holding the breath, pumping the belly & mentally chanting “Wahe Guru”.

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Page 991, Line 16
soor sar sos lai som sar pokh lai jugat kar marat so san-banDh keejai.
“Heat up the sun energy of the right nostril, and cool down the moon energy of the left nostril; practicing this breath-control, bring them into perfect balance.”
Guru Nanak Dev
The thumb is correlates to the thumb which heats up and the index finger to the Jupiter (and as it seems the Jupiter cooles down the left moon nostril).

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Page 359, Line 8
man motee jay gahnaa hovai pa-un hovai soot Dhaaree.
“If the pearl of the mind is strung like a jewel on the thread of the breath,…”
Guru Nanak Dev
This could be a reference to pumping the belly, hence directing the mind down the threat of the breath.

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The following quotes also emphasize on the importance of breath and a dedication to the divine. I saw Sikhs fighting amongst Kundalini-students because former focus on the believe in god and latter in the technique of the practice. It seems that both are essential for a spiritual sucess:

Page 969,
“Joining the two channels of the breath, I have lit the furnace, and I drink in the supreme, sublime essence.” – Bhakta Kabir –

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Page 972
“The mind, the master of the breath, abides in the state of supreme bliss. There is no death, no re-birth, and no aging for me now. || 1 |
| Pause |
| Turning away from materialism, I have found intuitive support. I have entered into the sky of the mind, and opened the Tenth Gate. The chakras of the coiled Kundalini energy have been opened, and I have met my Sovereign Lord King without fear.”

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Page 1123, Line 13
ree kalvaar gavaar moodh mat ulto pavan firaava-o.
“You barbaric brute, with your primitive intellect – reverse your breath and turn it inward.” – Bhakta Kabir –

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Page 1365, Line 8
kabeer maa-i-aa dolnee pavan jhakolanhaar.
“Kabeer, Maya is the butter-churn, and the breath is the churning-stick.”
Bhakta Kabir

  • – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 I also wrote an article about a fascinating 800 year old source – 200 years older than the Siri Guru Grant Sahib, where a christian gnostic version of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya is described here.

This means that you now have the choice to modify Sodarshan Chakra Kriya to your own believe if you understand its principles – this is what Yogi Bhajan or some Sikhs have done – they altered ancient Pranayama Techniques to implement it in their believe system. So even Jews, Muslims or any Religion whatsoever should be able to utilize this knowledge. Contact me if you want to work it out for your own religion and I will do my best to help with my experience.

Here is another link, Xavier just sent me


When asking Ravi Singh & Ana Brett that according to the tantra shastras, Sodarshan Chakakra Kriya can purify your past karma and the subconscious impulses that may block you from fulfilling one, they mailed me:

“In the Sharada Tilaka Tanta a proto-version of So Darshan Chakra Kriya is described:
Inhale through the left nosril (concentrating on the left side of the spine) for 16 counts. Hold the breath for 64 counts guiding energy into the central channel of the spine (shushumna). Exhale through the right nostril for 32 counts.
It states that this can be done with or without a mantra recited mentally.”

Since in Kriya Yoga and Vivekanda one promote that one should breath in 4 beats, hold the breath for 16 beats and breath out 8 beats, it seems that one yogi secret is the ratio of breathing in to holding to breathing out being: 1:4:2.
Hence I will try breathing in thinking 4x “wahe guru” (which is 12 beats),
pump 16x as instructed while holding the breath (48 beats)
– the pumping seems equilvalent to guiding energy to the spine)
and breath out thinking 8 times “wahe guru” (not pumping my stomach on the breaths).
This then is equivalent to a 1:4:2 ratio, which I just was told is called “Anuloma Viloma” or “Nadi Shodana” in classical Hatha Yoga. It’s a very well known and powerful practice used in order to clean the nadis and it is supposed to burn the karma.

I know one should not add anything to the kriya, so I won’t recommend it to others,
I just experiment with it in order to see if I can find the common breathing ratio.

I personally will research more into Raja Yoga as my next way to move on after I will have done 1000 days of 2 1/2 hours.

 

#breath, #god, #pranayama, #research, #siri-guru-granth-sahib, #sodarshan-chakra-kriya, #sources

7 Replies to “Some ancient roots of Sodarshan Chakra Kriya”

  1. This is all so interesting! Wow thank you. Curious – do you know anything about the Art of Living courses which teach something they call Sudarshan Kriya? I’m assuming it’s based on SCK. Do you know anything about this organization?

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    1. Thanks – I did start a longterm project doing SCK and whilst doing research my philosophy was that I might as well share all informations with everyone, because it is not mine in the first place.

      There is a guy here commenting called David Cook. He did some research about it recently.
      You can reply to him or wait for him to contact you, because I will send him your comment and webadress.

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  2. Amy, I am sure they are the same thing. I would look at the 3HO version of this kriya https://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga/pranayam/pranayam-techniques/sodarshan-chakra-kriya
    as the original. There are many, many descriptions of this meditation available but they mostly stick pretty closely to this version. It is not easy to do at first, and requires some practice, but with patience and persistence, the results will come. Most will say try this daily in the morning, making time before breakfast.
    Best wishes – Thilo and I encourage your questions about SCK as it has had a big effect on our individual lives.

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    1. David, I think she meant the “Sudarshan Kriya”, which often is mistaken even by search engines for Sodarshan Chakra Kriya.
      I just realized that by accident about 30 years ago I think I attended one of their events with Ravi Shankar himself who looked into everyones eyes for a few seconds.
      I can not say much, since I was a total newbie then, and 2 decades later when Sai Baba did look me into the eyes in a simmilar manner when looking each person in the crowd from a distance, it was much stronger, but maybe by then I was more receptive to it.

      However I think you are right, David, in the end both seem to be kriya yogas with pranayama inbuilt – just as Sodarshan Chakra Kriya is, so I feel that it comes down to the same results in the end.

      The only thing I don’t like so much with them is them patenting this kriya and trying to sue bloggers who criticised them publicly.

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  3. Yeah, they appear to be different in some ways, but many similarities also; I suspect they are from the same original source with cultural and geographic differences.

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  4. Hi again Thilo, was looking for something to read on SCK and came across this blog of yours from 2014. Interesting read! I’ve been able to extend my 11 minutes to about 14/15 per day. Have a little more time to put into my practice over next few weeks. Though I continue to feel the challenges of doing this meditation I’m feel a natural internal kind of ‘draw’ to keep going. I really love the way it draws me inward to being with myself more deeply. I’m now feeling a responsibility to somehow help my daughter to get to like K Yoga, maybe not this meditation but at least something. Young people seriously need this kind of thing to divert attention from drugs and alcohol.

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    1. Hi Susan, thanks for your comment – it is always inspiring to see that others out there do appreciate my work. Congratulations on your 14 minutes – this is a shift of a third already, so I would suggest for the next 120 days to not do more than 21 minutes – this way you should have accomplished to do 120 days of 3 and 11 minutes respectively before even considering to enter the 22 minute realm. Even if you keep it under 18 minutes for another year, you are perfectly on the path of doing 6 minutes more yearly.

      The difficulty for you to inspire your daughter to do what you already teach is that a t(w)een wants and needs to make their own experiences in order to find themselves, so sometimes mutual evolution between a parent and sibling coincides, but often also doesn’t – which in fact doesn’t mean anything, because she’s “a chip of the old block” anyway, so common trades will show sooner or later.
      Actually – especially for young people i started to write the yoga-course on the top-left of this site, in which I will tell everyone very honestly about all my faults and mistakes, because I think that rebels don’t want to be fooled and rather take the advice from someone who had problems than from bigots who try to sell their path as the perfect one.
      So if she at all is inclined to take a look into the spiritual world, you can tell her to look at the first 3 steps of the meditation-project and if she likes it to bookmark it or subscribe, because the course is just starting to guide people slowly into a daily practice of SCK.

      But if that is not her thing I fully understand, because there are uncountable ways to approach enlightenment from different angles and no one could have told me to go their way when I was younger myself.

      Getting back to your own challenges:
      I will get into this in much more depth throughout the next year, because SCK is like dissolving your entire self-image like a caterpillar only to come out of the other end as a butterfly, but most people can’t take that. However – simply knowing that it is possible to get through it, can make us reach unknown territory we never would have deemed possible to ever experience.
      So keep doing your 12-18 minutes throughout next year and you will have accomplished 1000 days already! It’s winter-solstice today – a great day for rebirths and inspiring resolutions.

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