Oration & Four Types of Speech
1. This is a continuation of the previous session. At the end of the previous session I said we will have to consider the vachika kriya in vaikhari. Vaikhari is expressed speech. It’s our vocal organ.
When we are speaking on a vaikharika plane, which is an expressed plane, oral plane, vocal plane…, all oration is by exhalation. That’s the observation which has come in Upanishads. [If] you make a complete exhalation and [then] try to speak you will not orate. You cannot orate when inhaling. Oration can only happen in an exhalation process.
2. In rhetoric, when the exhalation is offered… in the vocal chords, it then becomes our speech. Therefore speech is by exhalation. Because of exhalation, through the exhalation, in the process of exhalation, the exhalation becomes a gaseous matter. Then it strikes the larynx, the vocal chords, and the sounds are produced.
3. In vaikhari (audible speech) it becomes vayu (wind) kriya. If you recall, in pranayama I said we are going to use the speech on another plane. There are four planes…. What underlies vaikhari is madhyama (silent speech). Then what underlies madhyama is pashyanti (experiences stored in the heart that are the basis of speech). What underlies pashyanti is para (root cause of speech at the navel). So, para pashyantimadhyama vaikhari.
If you recall, I had also mentioned the locations. The region of vaikhari is the mouth, the speech organ. Madhyama is throat region, where you have the larynx, the vocal chords. Below that, in the chest region, we have the third speech called pashyanti. The fourth speech [para] is down in the navel. So navel, chest, throat, and mouth. These are the regions, respectively, of para pashyantimadhyama vaikhari.
4. In pranayama, or in the prana kriya of asanas, we have to use silent speech. Therefore, the exhalation doesn’t have to manifest in a gaseous form, although vaikhari has to have a gaseous manifestation. The air has to go through the larynx and the vocal chords, and strike the vocal chords for sound to be produced.
AUM Mantra Vocal Recitation +04.05
1. Now let us try to understand the combination of vaikhari and madhyama… [to] understand how the sound forms… work on our organic body.
That single letter mantra, AUM, has three syllables, namely, A-U-M. Now I am going to give you an illustration. You will demonstrate for yourself… to try to understand how the sound forms can work. The combination of vaikhari and madhyama [is] expressed speech and silent speech.
2. The first syllable of the mantra ‘AUM,’ the single letter mantra, eka akshara mantra, is ‘A.’ Chant the first letter ‘A’ as long as you have [the capacity to] orate. The oration will stop at a point in time [before] your exhalation has ended. That’s why the exhalations of those who are constantly speaking are shallow, unless they mindfully exhale completely.
In the process of speech you can’t produce sound when the exhalation breath has gone down… [below a certain] velocity. Then it doesn’t remain a vaikhari.
You are supposed to chant… the first syllable ‘A’ as long as… the sound is vocalized. When the oration…, the vocalization, is lost, continue to utter the same letter silently until your exhalation ends completely…. Then find out where you get a contraction.
3. Then, do the second syllable similarly…, ‘U’ uttering it as far as you can vocalize it. When the vocalization goes away you have to continue to mentally, or silently, chant the ‘U’ until the exhalation ends.
4. Then the third — ‘M’ . It can be either ‘umm,’ or M. It will be uttered in two phases. One is the vocal vaikhari phase, followed by the madhyama phase, where you silently keep on uttering.
5. Take a deeper inhalation, a well equipped inhalation, for a long oration. Take a deeper inhalation so that you can exhale longer… [to] have a longer oration…, uttering ‘AAAAUM..’ [Chants with an ‘A,’ ‘uh,’ sound, at the back of the throat.] When the voice stops continue mentally. Close the mouth and continue mentally.
Find out the region of the body where you get a contraction. . This will be somewhere in the belly region. You contract in the belly, the abdominal region. Try this on your own two or three times. Test it. Verify it. Invariably, you will get a contraction there.
6. Then the second syllable ‘U.’ Take a deeper inhalation, a well equipped inhalation, for a long oration. Then start uttering UUUM until the voice disappears. Then close the mouth and continue uttering it. You will get a contraction in the heart region, in the chest region. So you can also verify this, doing it a couple of times.
7. Then the last one is either UUUM or Ma. When the oration disappears, continue mentally. The mouth is already closed mmm, and you’ll get a contraction in the brain region.
AUM Loosens Vasana Granthi (Knots) in Belly, Chest, Head +09.40
1. So in esoteric physiology there are three knot, k-n-o-t, junctions. In the human psyche we have three knot junctions which create complexity in our life. Life becomes more complicated, more complex, because of the knots.
2. In the abdominal region it is called a vasana granthi (tendency knots). The kama-pitha (passion-locus) is there according to the text. Pitha means locus. Kama means passion. That is the passion knot junction.
By that ‘A’ contraction we are working on the passion zone. Contraction of the passion zone. So it will work on the vasana granthi (tendency knots). Granthi also means… knot junction. K-n-o-t, knot junction, vasana granthi.
3. ‘U’ will work similarly in the chest region. We have complexities in our psyche because of emotional knots, and emotional complexities in the emotional center, because we are related differently to different people. We have different kinds of bonds with different people.
Having a bond with one’s mother is one kind of bond. Having a bond with one’s sister is another kind of bond. Having a bond with one’s own wife…, [or] one’s own daughter is another kind of bond. We have different emotional knots for different relationships. These are different bonds. The bonds are different with mother, sister, wife, child, cousin, aunts, grandparents, and every other relationship.
Similarly, bonds with father, brother…, cousins, and friends differ. We have different emotional affiliations with different people because we are related differently. The other day I said that if one doesn’t have any relationship, or is not related to the world, or is not able to relate with something, then it is not life at all. You must relate with things and with people. If you don’t relate with things and people, it is not really life.
4. We have these passion bondages, passion knots for different things. If you are most fond of something, how is the passion for it? If you are not so fond of something, how is the passion for it? If you don’t like something, what happens to the passion? You dislike something, you hate something, you loathe something, you love something. We have these bondages.
We are not just related to people. We are also related to inanimate things… you are fond of, and not so fond of. So we have these emotional bondages. We have passion bondages with different things and different people.
It’s not only that we have passion bonds in relation to living things, like people and our pets, we even have them with things. We have passion knots with regards to inanimate things and animate things. Our things, and not our things. So that’s a junction where it’s a very complex knot.
5. When you exhale in the abdomen, when the abdomen is contracted…, the knots are loosened. This seems to be a paradox — when you contract the abdomen, that will… loosen the knots.
Then, the second letter, which came to the chest and heart region, which are emotional bondages. Our emotional bonds differ with different people. There are some close people, [and] not so close people.
We have different emotional bonds with different people — [those] who are close, or not so close, or very distant to us. However, there is some emotionality in the sense of likes and dislikes, loathes and loves, attachments and aversions. So there is some kind of role in the emotional zone, the emotional center, with the people and things with which we are associated. There are lots of knots. Again, it is a knotty junction. When I say knotty it is k-n-o-t-t-y.
6. Then, in the brain. In the brain we have lots of knots regarding one’s identity, one’s ego, [and] one’s thought locus because our thoughts are stored in the brain. So there is a lot of dumping in the brain. Therefore, there are lots of knots which are found in the brain region.
The last syllable of AUM is UM. It can be Ma also…. It will work on the brain. Actually it works on three granthis.
7. In the texts of yoga there is mention of granthi-traya, the triad of knot junctions. The triad of the three knot junctions: the passion knots, the emotional knots, and the ego, [or,] identity knots etc. These three are important granthis. In yoga we need to be working on these three granthis for passion management, emotional management, and ego identity management.
8. When I say ego (ahamkara), it is not the literal meaning of the word ego — which means pride or arrogance, self-conceit etc. Ahamkara is the “I-ness….” I am speaking about the ego principle, and not ego-psychosis. The AUM is said to be working on these three regions which are the loci for the vasana granthi, the bhavana (feeling) granthi, and ahamkara (ego) granthi. Ahamkara, again, is not ego in common man’s parlance. It is… one’s identity, or one’s “I-ness.”
9. The utterances are in two phases. The first one is vayu kriya (air action)…. The second phase is silent prana kriya (life-force action). The three AUM syllables uttered by us were in two phases, starting with vayu kriya, and ending with prana kriya. The head piece is vayu kriya, where there is vocalization, or oration using the larynx…, and vocal chords. For the second phase we don’t need vocal chords. We don’t need a larynx. Therefore, the breath can work in different locations because of that volume….
10. Even the… vernacular languages have a typical distinction compared to non-vernacular languages. Our [Marathi] sentences and statements end with a verb, and the verb always ends with a vowel. The verb, the last sound form of the sentence, will be one long vowel…. Like “main aa raha hoon (I am coming),” and “main kha raha hoon (I am eating).” So it’s a long vowel…, which we have experienced already.
In other languages there are breaks. Say, for instance, in the English, “I am going,” “I am coming…, eating…, and standing,” there is an abrupt break at the end of the statement…, and that advantage doesn’t come.
To express emotion, you might angrily tell someone, “I am coming” in Hindi – “main aa raha hoooon,” by prolonging it. You can’t do that in the English, “I am comiiiingggg.” [It won’t have] the [same] emotional overtone. In [our] vernacular an emotional overtone [results when] we prolong it further….
11. The Indian languages had this wisdom coming from the lore. That’s why our languages had certain practices. Other languages don’t relate the language to their own physiology. Modern world languages don’t relate it to their organism. They don’t relate it to their physiology, whereas these sound forms work on our physiology. The vowels, consonants, and vowelized consonants work on our organic body.
Therefore, speech will also work on our body. [Speech] works [externally] in communication — somebody could be hurt, or somebody could be elated by what you say — but it doesn’t work on our own physiology in the same direct way. It will work indirectly because of our mind. The mind will address our organs negatively, or positively, but the language itself doesn’t work on the organic body [by] using all the components….
12. It dawned too late for modern science. They came up with a concept of ultrasound — sonography. What is sonography…? What is sono? Ultrasound. What is ultrasound? All the living body produces sounds. All the organs produce sounds. All the organs work with a sound.
If you want to have a sound [healthy] organ, the organ will only be diagnosed, or perceived, as sound [healthy] if it has a proper sound. If the sound is not proper then the organ will not be sound [healthy].
13. The oratory system can work on our organs. This is taken up by the technology of yoga — [by] identifying the pranic system, and then understanding how the oration can work on pranic system…. The oral system is so important for physiology, and later, even esoteric physiology, as when I just now referred to granthis. These don’t come in exoteric physiology. You will not find granthis in any book of anatomy. However they are mentioned in the texts of yoga as it deals with human anatomy and physiology. It speaks of three granthis. So it can work on those granthis. All these sound forms will work like that.
14. Don’t think that this is something about Sanskrit. This is not of Sanskrit. This is of our human system. Our human oral system can produce these sounds and then these sounds can work on our physiology, from grosser to subtler.
You know that a statement can impact somebody’s mind. But if the sentence were broken into literal letters, it wouldn’t work like that. If I said, “You are a stupid fellow,” you would be hurt. But, then, if I were to phonetically break it up, and start uttering that, you would not be able to construe that I had stated that you are a stupid fellow: If I were to break it up, “yu-o-uh-uh-ru-e-uh-sa-ta-u-pa-i-d,” you would not construe that I am abusing you.
15. These prana kriyas, mere sound forms, can work wonders. They don’t turn out any meaning. If they don’t turn out any meaning, they won’t work on your emotional organ. [Only] if a statement has meaning, will it work on your emotions…, your intelligence…, and your mind. If it had a meaning you would be either hurt, happy, delighted, stressed, tensed, worried, or angry. It would trigger all sorts of emotions depending on the meaning of the statement. But the constituent literal letters in every statement don’t have [an inherent] meaning….
16. However, although it is not in the syllabus at this juncture, let me tell you about the grammar of Panini, although grammar is an inaccurate expression in English — Panini vyakarana (grammar, analysis). Panini vyakarana deals with a theory called sphota-vada (sound-expansion principle)…. All the literal letters have the potential to form a word. The words have potential to form a statement; and the statement has a meaning.
However, literal letters don’t have a meaning. Potentially they have… enormous powers. In English you have only 26 literal letters — “alphabets” — but in 26 letters how many subjects have come about…? Just 26 letters give you millions and millions of words. See the potency. See the potential of the literal letter, a mere 26. With 26 letters you can write a huge, huge book containing 10,000 pages, 20,000 pages, 10 million words, or 100 million words.
See the potential of each literal letter…. It is recognized by Indian grammarians that each letter is potentially equipped to form a word; then, the words together can form a statement; and, the statements together can form a description. That’s enormous potential. We are using these little, literal letters [that] work on our systemic body.
Prana Kriya Works on Physiology +30.15
1. Speech is enormously connected with our systemic body because of the breath. Since it is silent utterance, you can also use the inhalation process.
You tried ‘a’ with exhalation. Try the ‘a’ with silent inhalation because you can’t vocalize…, orate, while you are inhaling. However, you can have silent utterance.
It will work differently on your systemic body, cellular body, nervous system, corporeal body, and vascular system. Using the silent utterance while you are inhaling is possible because of madhyama. You can’t use inhalation for vaikhari. You can use it for madhyama.
2. These nearly 335-odd single-lettered sound forms…. I can chant them for your amusement:
a aa e ee u uu ru ruu klu kluu ai aai o au um aha k kha ga gha kn ch cha ja jha jn ta tha da dha na te tha de dha na pa pha ba bha ma ya ra la va sh sha rak sha.
Then, if these consonants are vowelized, such as:
k ka ki ku g ga gi gu…,
you will get 335-plus single lettered sound forms which will uniquely work on physiology.
3. Yoga makes use of this combination of your exhalations, and madhyama (silent speech). Even when it comes to japa (repetition of mantra), etc., — the madhyama… can also be used as an instrument for japa as much as vaikhari. What you call “mental” japa is not precisely mental japa. It is silent oratory japa, which is madhyama japa. It can work on physiology. These sound forms are meant for our physiology.
Shakti Manifestation as Letter Forms in Six Chakras +33.00
1. If you want to just have a pedantic verification of it, open any text of yoga where you get the description of six plexii — chakras. You will see that the chakras are comprised of petals: 4+6+10+12+16+2 totals 50. Each petal has… one single letter. That’s how the Shakti manifests within us.
2. The other day I said there are 51 Shakti pithas, and each of the Shakti pithas has one letter.
3. Then I told you about the Upanishad called the Akshamala Upanishad where it explains how each letter manifests in the universe, from which you get mountains, rivers, streams, plants, stones, metals, and what not. The creation is… with all these sound forms.
4. The Shakti is the power that turns out all manifestations. The same Shakti that resides within ourselves manifests in the shad (six) chakras. If you look at the depiction of the six chakras, you will identify the deities, the Shakti forms, and the letter forms there.
5. So the whole pranamaya kosha (energetic sheath) is made of these [chakra] sound forms. Today you have this impression that pranayama has to do something with the breath and breathing. That is svasa-ayama (restraint of the breath). Why does the science call it pranayama? Because the pranayama breath must be either in samantraka (accompanied by mantra) or amantraka (without mantra). That means sound forms must be there. There is no pranayama without sound forms. Inscribe this very deeply in your mind. If you don’t have any sound form, it is not pranayama.
6. So there must be sound forms — from single letter, nama, bija (seed) mantras, to mantras. There are so many kind of mantras. If you look into mantra shastra (texts), there are different forms of mantras. All these are made up of these sound forms, which the human vocal chords…, and the human vocal system, can produce.
7. The same can be working silently as well. We can silently speak. No animal, or bird, can silently cry or silently chirp. Birds know only one way — to chirp aloud. Animals have their cries and sounds aloud. They don’t have anything silent. A dog will not silently bark. We can bark, we can shout — both orally and… silently. This is what the human psyche… and system is made of. We don’t have to make expressions. We can silently speak…. Silent speech has been used enormously by yoga technology.
Oral Organ Casts a Spell +36.45
1. This oral organ is not just for us to talk, speak and communicate. Ask the value of this human oratory system… of a musical vocalist. Ask a vocalist how important the vocal system is. You, me, and a layman who are not familiar with music, will never imagine its value.
2. The human vocal system can turn out melodies. It’s not meant only for us to speak. When it comes to music, the human vocal system can sing. It can be sonorous. It can have magic spells. It is of enormous [value] to a vocalist. So, if you are not familiar with music, and if you are not a vocalist yourself, ask a vocalist how valuable that part of the throat — the vocal chords and the larynx — is….
3. For you and me there is not much value. Only when we can’t speak for some reason, do we have a… difficulty…. But understand how important it is for a vocalist to protect it, nurture it, work it. You can do an enormous amount of work on the vocal system. If you know some musicians, ask how they train their throats, their vocal organs. It is worthwhile learning something, understanding something, just as information on how they train their own vocal systems through music. They have enormous schemes, fabulous schemes.
But they have explored the vocal region vocals organs in one way because they can sing from it, and can cast a spell on thousands of people with their melody. It can evoke emotionality in people. The music can provide what they call delight of the soul…. Delight of the soul through music is an expression. See what the realm of operation is for human vocal system. If you decide to learn vocal music, you will know how to train your vocal muscles differently….
4. The musicians have understood the nada (sound) aspect, the dhvani (tone) aspect of it, the sound and melody aspect of it…. The yogis have gone even beyond that. That’s [why] this vachika kriya is worth exploring for a student of yoga. In your asanas try to use different forms to see how it works.
Pancha Tattvas (Five Essential Principles) & Chakra Kriyas +40.25
1. Then… these pancha tattvas (five essential principles, referring to the elements of matter). If you want to work on your embodiment, and… your consciousness, the matter of the consciousness and the body is [comprised of] the five elements. The five elements make up the body…, the mind…, the psyche…, and the consciousness. There are pancha tattvas…, which are the infrastructure, or infra-matter, of the mind organs, and the body organs — both the body matter and mind matter.
2. Thus, there are pancha tattva kriyas. The bija (seed) mantras of these five tattva elements are: lam, for the element of earth; vam, for element of water; ram, for element of fire; yam, for the element of air; and ham, for the element of ether, space.
Carry out this management through yoga technology — in-breath, out-breath, inner retention, outer retention, thicker and thinner exhalation, thicker and thinner inhalation, and the breath at different confines…, and locations — with lam, vam, ram, yam, and ham. Carry out that management of the infra-matter of mind-stuff (chitta) and infra-matter of the body-stuff… with the tattva kriya, which is, again, because of the prana kriya.
3. Then yoga works on chakras. The chakras have their letters. The muladhara (root) chakra has four petals [that bear] four letters — vam, scham, sham, sam. That can be used in your in-breath and out-breath for muladhara kriya.
Then svadhistana kriya, then manipura kriya, then anahata kriya, then vishuddhi kriya, and then ajna kriya… that are a part of the esotericism of asanas. If you look into prana kriya, chakra kriya, and tattva kriya, are all because of sound forms.
4. You can’t avoid using sound forms, and say that you are managing the element of earth…, [or] managing the element of fire. Impossible…. Not [even] as an exception is it is possible. The human sound system, oral system, has enormous bounties that we must try to explore.
Vachika Kriya Accrues Punya (Virtue) +43.15
1. Since this has been the first kind of lesson for you in vachika kriya, we will not go much deeper into it. I have given you some basic information…, basic knowledge, for to understand the importance of vachika kriya.
2. I will just give you some words from a mystic saint. These days we say this is an evil world. We are in a time called the kali-yuga (spiritual dark age). We say the whole world is evil, wicked. There is no place for you to accumulate virtue, or punya. We can only accumulate, even unwillingly, unaware or helplessly…, lots of sins. This is the way the world is around us. This is the kali-yuga. There are lots of vices, and lots of wickedness, which is a complaint of a common man, like you and me. We complain about the world…. “The world is wicked,” we say. Where is the scope to do, and accumulate, punya (virtue)?
One of the mystic saints has said that you can take recourse to vachika kriya, which is done internally. You do internal vachika kriya to collect virtue. Or, at least for that duration, you will not commit vice.
3. Guruji had given this example. When in Sirsasana (headstand), [even] if nothing good were happening, at least you would be weaned away from wicked acts for the duration [of the asana]. If you spend 10 minutes on the head, you couldn’t be kicking someone. You couldn’t be slapping someone. You couldn’t be beating someone. Perhaps you might not even speak by being in Sirsasana, so you couldn’t abuse, curse, or hurt someone. For at least 10 minutes you wouldn’t commit any sin. That is a great merit. If you weren’t sinning for those ten minutes, is it not virtue?
4. When you are doing this oral prana kriya, you are subserving these deities within you. That collects virtue. That collects punya. A mystic saint has said that yogis with prana kriya, with pranayama, collect a lot of virtue.
[Yogis may] not committing social virtue, but within themselves they can… accumulate a lot of virtue by shunning the world. There is no world once you are inside. You have an inside universe. You don’t have the wicked world inside you. The wicked world is outside of you.
You have this universe which is a cosmos. Look at the meaning of it. Uni-verse (single-) and cosmos, not chaos. Universe, and not multiverse. Universe and not diverse. Within yourself you have such a thing and then with a prana kriya, or with the nama (reciting the name of God), you will… accumulate a lot of virtue.
5. Within ourselves we have a dharma-kshetra (virtue-field). This is one of the wonderful interesting interpretations of the first verse of the Bhagavad Gita, which commences with the concept of dharma-kshetra and Kuru-kshetra (field of Kurus, one of the battlefield combatant families). Arjuna is in dharmakshetra and Kurukshetra. The dharmakshetra within ourselves is a field of virtue, a field of dharma. We can collect a lot of dharma by the process of internal activity, internalized activity, which takes place in yoga.
6. The vachika kriya will help you collect a lot of virtue within yourselves. Just utter the name of God to collect a lot of virtue. In silent speech carry out the prana kriya, in yogic process to collect a lot of virtue within. There will be no room to complain, “The world is so wicked that I can’t amass virtue in this world,” or “I can only amass sin in the world because the world is so sinister….” In this prana kriya, vachika kriya, where there is just silent speech, talk within yourself in the yogic process, in the yogic culture, in the yogic ambiance. You will collect a lot of virtue, which is not available outside in the world, particularly in the era of our times.
7. We are in the kali-yuga (spiritual dark age). We are not in the satya-yuga (age of truthfulness). We are in kali-yuga, the worst of the four yugas. However, within you — inside — you don’t have any yuga. You don’t even have time and space within you. The delimitation of time and space is outside of you. Now, outside of you — in your temporal cerebral world — today is Saturday. There is no time and space in the internal world. We escape all that. We escape all those radiations of time and space — bad times, and good times, etc. No such thing is there. The vachika kriya can help you collect virtue.
8. In silent speech there is nama japa (repetition of God’s name), Bhagavan nama (names of the Lord), and Bhagvat kirtana — praising the divine, praising God. Silently do that to collect lot of virtue. If you do that aloud, somebody may prevent you [from chanting], saying, “Please stop talking. No noise.” [If you] silently speak, nobody can prevent you, and you will collect lot of virtue.
9. I will end with the last statement. There is something called the vachika (oral) tapas in the Bhagavad Gita. The Jnanesvari (1290 CE Maharashtrian commentary) wonderfully says that the yogis make their vacha (speech) veda shala (essential knowledge school) by chanting hymns, Vedic suktas (hymns), Vedic mantras, chanting various eulogies to God, praising God, etc., various compositions on God and divinities that become a veda shala, an academy of ultimate knowledge, essential knowledge. Veda is essential knowledge. So vachichi keli veda shala () is the expression in that Jnaneshvari. That is vachika tapas (speech austerity).
10. Rather than blabbering and talking nonsense, why not make it an academy of wisdom? That is why [the goddess]Saraswati resides in our mouth. She is not disgusted with the mouth which is spiteful. Saraswati opts to reside there although the mouth even contains fire…, and the craziest organ in us — the tongue. It is because the vacha (speech) is presided over by that deity of wisdom, Saraswati.
Anyway much to say about vacha, vaghendriya, vak, and brahma. But enough for the time being.
 So para pashyantimadhyama vaikhari: See “Four Speeches of Adhyatma +19.40,” Lesson 17: Vachika Kriya (Part 1) where the four classes are cited as para, pashyanti, madhyama, vaikhari. Also: Prashant Iyengar, Yogasana: The 18 Mahakriyas of Yogasana, Pune: RIMYI 2013. P. 65-6
 In the abdominal region it is called a vasana granthi (tendency knots): Granthi is a knot, bunch, or protuberance. In Ayurveda it refers to a tumor, bone joint, or swelling and hardening in a vessel. Thus it is an obstruction, or bondage such as a false conception within the spiritual heart. [Prashant S. Iyengar, Pranayama: A Classical and Traditional Approach, New Delhi: New Age Books, 2016. P. 172]
 Then I told you about the Upanishad called the Akshamala Upanishad…: Akshamalika Upanishad (post 1100 CE) is a minor Upanishad associated with the Rig Veda. The akshamala denotes a string made up of 108 mala beads where each bead represents one of the 50 letters of the alphabet, a to ksha.
 the whole pranamaya kosha (energetic sheath) is made of these [chakra] sound forms: The pranamaya kosha determines individuation — “why we are like this, and not like that.” It is designed by our prarabdha karma based on prior impressions. Each chakra corresponds to a set of vasanas (tendencies) — biological, individuated, metabolic, spiritual inclination, intellectual interest, and willpower. See Prashant Iyengar, Yogasana: The 18 Mahakriyas of Yogasana, Pune: RIMYI 2013. P. 174-86
 pancha tattvas (five essential principles, referring to the elements of matter): Prashant has differentiated between the metaphysical status of the five elements from their mundane classification as mahabhutas. Thus chitta, consciousness, is comprised of these metaphysical tattvas, which may also be considered divine. [Prashant Iyengar, Yogasana: The 18 Mahakriyas of Yogasana, Pune: RIMYI 2013. P. 158-9]
 bija (seed) mantras of these five tattva elements are: lam, for the element of earth; vam, for element of water; ram, for element of fire; yam, for the element of air; and ham, for the element of ether, space: although pronounced lum, vum, rum, yum, and hum, they are written lam, vam, ram, yam, and ham. They also represent the first five chakras – muladhara, svadhistna, manipura, anahata, and vishuddhi chakras.
 When you are doing this oral prana kriya, you are subserving these deities within you: Just as humans thrive on oxygen, so do the celestial deities that reside within us require the prana of pranamaya kosha that is replenished through prana kriya. [Prashant Iyengar, Yogasana: The 18 Mahakriyas of Yogasana, Pune: RIMYI 2013. P. 152]
 Within ourselves we have a dharma-kshetra (virtue-field). This is one of the wonderful interesting interpretations of the first verse of the Bhagvad Gita, which commences with the concept of dharma-kshetra and Kuru-kshetra (field of Kurus, one of the battlefield combatant families): Dharma-kshetra is the very first word in the Bhagvad Gita. In the midst of life’s difficulties, the ability to uphold the virtue of dharma that lies within the very core of our being is what leads to liberation. “When in the dharma-kshetra (field of virtue), on the Kurukshetra (Kuru battlefield), assembled together and desiring to fight, what did my (Kuru) army and the Pandava army do?” [Bhagavad Gita I.1]
The speaker here is the blind Kuru-clan king whose evil sons have conspired to steal the kingdom from the protagonist Pandava clan at the battle of Kurukshetra, north of Delhi, prior to 600 BCE. There, the oldest of the Pandava princes, Yudhisthira (“steady in battle”), and son of Dharma, fought to reclaim his rightful inheritance from his evil cousins. Kuru is derived from the verb root kr (to do, perform, undertake). The pernicious sense “to injure another,” is a more suitable description of the Kuru-clan motive. See “What is Dharma? +12.00,” Lesson 4: Yama and Niyama – Ethico-Religious Practice 4-19-20 <https://yogastlouis.us/yama-niyama-ethico-religious-practice/>; and Lesson 6: Dharma in Asana 4-26-20 <https://yogastlouis.us/dharma/>
 I will end with the last statement. There is something called the vachika (oral) tapas in the Bhagavad Gita: Vakyam (speech) that does not cause distress, and is true (satyam), agreeable (priya), beneficial (hitam); and practice (abhyasa) of svadhyaya (self-study) is vach-mayam (formed of speech) tapas (austerity). [Bhagavad Gita 17.15]
 why not make it an academy of wisdom? That is why [the goddess] Saraswati resides in our mouth: Saraswati presides over vacha (speech). The force concentrated by Saraswati carries out pranayama. [Prashant S. Iyengar, Pranayama: A Classical and Traditional Approach, New Delhi: New Age Books, 2016. P. 116]