Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson 167 - Living on Air and Sunlight Alone?
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, “Why This Discussion?”
Date: Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:03pm
Q: Have you heard of this practice or practice it yourself or know anyone do this practice that one sustains one’s body only on the essence from space or sunlight? I read many biography of past MahaSiddha, almost all of them has undergone austerity (fasting) and develop the ability of sustaining the physical body NOT on food. By the way, I am doing the sungazing practice rediscovered by HRM and he says he now only lives on sunlight and water.
A: I have no contact with those who exist on prana in the air or sunlight alone, and it is not an ability I am focused on developing at this time. However, the principle should be fairly clear from our yoga practices and experiences.
As we advance in yoga our nervous system purifies and opens to our inner pranic energies, fed by the kundalini/sexual energy rising from the pelvic region. As this process matures we are nourished by the active life force (prana) much more from within. So much so that breath can suspend spontaneously for long periods during pranayama and meditation, and eventually outside practices too. Even beginning meditators experience this automatic slow down and stoppage of breath. The same applies to food intake. If we are nourished from within, then we are less dependent on constant food intake also and can fast easily without discomfort, though this is a more delayed process than the immediate response of the breath.
It stands to reason that inner prana must be replenished from somewhere, normally by both air and food, and that may be where the methods of the “breatharians” and “sungazers” come in. Based on what I just said about inner nourishment, it would seem that these practices are not for direct nourishment, but for replenishing and storing prana in the body (probably in the lower centers) for inner sustenance.
It seems to me that all this would be best served by first engaging in yoga practices to bring about the purification and opening of the nervous system that is prerequisite to such refined inner nourishment, which then can be sustained, if desired, by harvesting prana from the air and/or the sunlight. So these practices would seem to be later stage things in the overall process of enlightenment.
The first question in the lessons is always, what does this contribute to the process of human spiritual transformation today? Is it leading to more purification and opening in the nervous system, or is it getting the cart in front of the horse? We’d all love to live as the siddha-saints do, but have we first done all the yoga they did to get to the stage we would like to emulate? Is developing the ability to live on air and sunlight so important? Or is it just a by-product ability (a siddhi) of something much more important — our enlightenment, which is the joining of inner silence and the ecstatic energies within us. How we replenish our prana is a fairly mundane subject compared to the divine union going on inside.
No doubt higher abilities will come when required by the opening of our nervous system, and the natural rise of ecstatic bliss and divine love. This is the best, and least distracting, attitude to have about the development of any kind of siddhis.
Just some food (pun!) for thought. I wish you all success on your chosen path to enlightenment.
The guru is in you.
Note: For detailed discussion on the inner neurobiology of the “nectar cycle,” see the Diet, Shatkarmas and Amaroli book, and AYP Plus.