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YOGA OF MIND – 20. Travel in Subtler Body

We saw earlier that the physical and subtler body (let us call the subtler body hereafter as “astral body”) are two separate entities. Owing to this fact we can by some practice separate the astral body from the physical body and make it travel in the subtler world. The invisible chord that binds the physical and subtler body is called “astral chord”. Or a subtler bondage between the two. This is called in Tamil as “Pasakayiru”. It is bondage towards physical world that makes a man to take rebirths. It is shown in the pictures of deities symbolically as a rope in their hands. 

It is believed that once the bondage between the world and the astral body is cut off in yoga sadana, there will be no rebirth and the man gets away from the cycle of life and death. When death occurs the astral body slips out of the physical body but it keeps wandering round its physical body till it is got complet rid off.

Until the astral chord gets detached from the physical body, the astral body keeps hovering round the physical body and is unable to commence its evolution to the astral world immediately, but starts its evolutionary process only after the astral chord id cut, after the physical body completely decomposes and becomes one with dust. 

The separation of the astral body from the physical body temporarily, involves in the astral chord remaining in contact between the two bodies. Since the astral chord is a subtler thing, it is capable of stretching itself to any length. Even if the astral body goes millions of miles away from the physical body, the astral chord will keep on stretching. The astral chord is joined in the ‘mani’ pooraka chakra’ situated in the navel portion of the man. When one is a child in the womb it gets its food from the placenta attached to its navel from the mother’s womb. Once the child is born the placenta is cut.

When the astral body is in astral travel it will come to know through the astral chord’s vibrations anything happening to its physical body; it will then immediately join the physical body. Even the slightest injury to the physical body during that time will affect the physical body very much. So those who practice astral travel should ensure that their physical body is in a safe and secure place where no harm will occur to it till the astral body returns to the physical body. 

People who do not know how to separate the astral body from the physical body may say that it requires great yogic practice for a long time. But it is not so. All that is required is to calm one’s nerve through suddhi pranayama (deep and regular breathing). Many are under the wrong impression that this kind of pranayama is breathing through alternate nasal. What we mean is deep inhalation, retention in the lungs the inhaled air and inhalation, retention in the lungs the inhaled air and exhaling it with great force, like a jet through a small orifice (lips) created in the mouth by contracting lips. By this method the nerves get opposite vibrations and become very calm in by due course. The impurities in the body are thus cast away and the nerves become calm and strong. Side by side the mind also becomes very strong. Then this should be followed by deep concentration and meditation. Having calmed the nerves and mind, shift the consciousness from the body and make it stay outside the body in a place. Gradually the astral body will slip out of the physical body. Anyone who had mastered concentration and mediation can easily accomplish this. 

Initially when the subtler body separates from the physical body one will have a feeling as though he is in a merry-go-round which is spinning very fast. One is likely to get a bit frightened at the outset. It is, therefore, advisable to practice this exercise with the guidance of one’s guru and in his presence to start with. The guru can be in the astral state and when the student begins to resolve in the astral state, his astral body can be controlled by the guru and brought to normal state. The student can easily practice this and perform astral travel. When he wants to enter the physical body, shift the consciousness to the physical body and one will enter the physical body. He will then feel as though he has come it of a deep slumber.  

The common man has read in puranas that the angels float in the air and move about. Similarly man can travel in the air and go through any physical objects like mountain, houses etc. No physical objects will be of any barrier to him when he is in astral body. He can by mere thought be anywhere he wishes to be. Distance is no criteria. Like the light rays passing through the glass, he can pass through any physical object.  NIRVANA or MOKSHA or becoming a Jeevan Muktha or a liberated soul. This is one of the juggleries of life. If people were to think by astral travel they have attained something great; it is foolish! The common man will look at such people with awe. It is only a simple achievement attained through concentration and meditation.

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