Vachika Kriya Prevents Mental Digression
1. In the previous session, we had commenced exploring the speechly act, vachika kriya. Much needs to be explored. There are couple of dimensions to consider.
We know that when it [comes to] yoga we want to have the best possible involvement. If there is no involvement at all, it is pseudo-yoga; there is no yoga at all. Involvement becomes a very prominent thing.
2. Let me give you an example of how the organ of speech has control over the mind to a great extent. We lack involvement, or [integration] because of the mind. The mind force is so strong that it is very difficult to remain integrated. The mind makes us [digress]. But the oral act has a significant amount of control to prevent digression of the mind.
That is why you might recall, as parents…, when your children are studying…, reading a text book, you tell them to read the book aloud so that they become better involved in reading.
If they are not reading the book aloud, but… mentally reading the book, you can understand the [the tendency] to digress. The moment they start reading aloud, the mind, to a significant extent, is prevented from digressing. Digressions are prevented. That’s why parents tell… small children [to read aloud]…. Even when you read a book, if you are reading silently in your mind, the mind can easily [digress].
3. But [if] it is an important textbook…, particularly a book on philosophy, [or] spirituality, adhyatma (pursuit of the atman)... you need to read the book aloud to prevent the mind from digressing. The mind is kept engaged because when you are reading aloud, there is a visual act — your eyes look at the book [while] reading…. The eyes go over the words…, through the lines, and the pages. The eyes are involved. The mind behind the eyes is involved.
Now, when you are reading a book aloud, you are reading… written matter. Therefore, again, the mind behind the oral organ is also engaged. Because the mind is behind all organs, the mind behind the eye is engaged. The mind behind the oral organ is engaged. The mind behind the ears, too, is engaged.
4. Now you might construe that when I am talking to you that I am the speaker, and you are the listener. But, I am also the listener of my own speech…. I can hear my talk as well. [You’re] not the only [one that can] hear my talk.
The mind is drawn in from three dimensions…. because of the eyes…, the oral organ, and the… ears.
If you read the book aloud, the ears are also involved. The ears will also receive the matter of the book. The mind behind the ears is also kept engaged, so the mind is engaged threefold. But if you read silently, then only the mind behind the eyes is engaged…. The mind in the ears is not involved. It is not invited. The mind of the mouth is not invited because you are reading it silently.
5. Therefore we had that culture of pathana (oral recitation of the scriptures). In our tradition, pathana, [has an] advantage when the oratory act is taking place. Read the book aloud, not only to read it loudly, but to use the proper intonation and culture of speech. [For instance,] if it is an interrogative statement you have to have an interrogative intonation (the tonal rise when asking a question). The intonation should suit the matter and the statement…. The voice culture is important.
That will [leave a] better impression on the… cortex. The matter will be better impressed. The oral act also is a kind of controller, to a significant extent, on the mind. The mind won’t [digress] if you are reading aloud….
6. It can be an invitation… to the mind. We want the mind to be involved in whatever we are doing, and more particularly, in yoga. We don’t want to do yoga without a significant involvement of the mind. We want the mind to be more and more involved. The speechly act will do that.
7. We are not supposed to speak loudly, as I said in the previous session…. As a commentator giving a running commentary, you will have to be more advertent about actions, responses, resistances, assistances, stances, and intents.
You can also read your intent if you are commenting on your dynamics. You will read your drive…, and your motive. Now, only you can read your drive and… your motive. You can conceal it [from] others. You will not [reveal] your drive. Or, perhaps you can even deceive them by putting on a mask.
Someone may think that you have a very noble drive, but you may not have a noble drive. You might have a petty, selfish drive. But you can read your own mind and drive…. It’s the naked truth — the drive, motive, and motion. So the psycho-mental aspects in your dynamics will be caught because the mind is commenting. That vachika kriya is so important in yoga. Then, there are so many other dimensions.
Shanti Mantra —Compatible Speech, Thought & Action +08.20
1. Let me tell you about another dimension. There is a wonderful Shanti Mantra which prays,
van me manasi pratishthita mano me vachi pratishthitam
Let my mind be established in my speech, let my speech be established in my mind. [Aitareya Upanishad Invocation]
This is a wonderful Shanti Mantra.
2.Understand its importance. Otherwise, in our business of life, what we usually do, think, and say are incompatible. We can say one thing, and we can have a totally incompatible mental intent. Then, what we do will be a third thing. So, we say one thing, we think another thing, and we do yet another thing. There can be three aspects which spoil our activities and our actions.
This is one of the principles of satya (truthfulness). What is truth? It’s not just speaking truth. The mind behind the truth should be established in [truth].
3. I will relate a story here: Once, some of the disciples complained to the acharya (spiritual teacher) about a particular disciple, saying that he had been lying in a particular matter…. So the acharya calls the disciple, and says, “Tell me the facts.”
Now, being a disciple [of that] acharya, he could not lie. He had to speak the truth because of his reverence for his acharya. He could not [lie] like he did to… his friends and colleagues…. But his acharya said, “You are speaking the truth, but you are speaking the truth haplessly, helplessly. You don’t want to speak the truth, but you were forced to speak the truth because I asked you.”
The disciple nodded. The disciple said, “Yes, I have spoken the truth without the mind being compatible, [without] fidelity. There was no fidelity between my mind [and thought]…. I was reluctant to say that…, so whatever I have spoken, I have spoken with a tremendous amount of discontent.”
4. That is not satya (truthfulness) according to dharma. According to moral-ethical principles, he… [may have] spoken the “truth,” but his mind didn’t want to speak that. His mind wanted to say the exact opposite. [When] the acharya, his guru, asked him that question, he could not lie. He had to come out candidly, unwillingly. If he unwillingly speaks the truth, according to dharma it is not the truth.
5. Therefore, the Shanti Mantra says,
Let my speech be established in my mind, let my mind be established in speech.
Not only fidelity, not only compatibility, but “established.”
Vachika Kriya — Fidelity of Speech, Thought & Action in Asana +12.10
1. When you are carrying out your vachika kriya in your asanas, there will be absolute fidelity between mind and speech, action, and what you say. You will articulate what you are doing…, what is being done…, what is happening…, how something was done, and what was done.
In the commenting act, you will be speaking the truth…, not merely with a compatible the mind having fidelity, but a mind established in it.
2. It won’t be like the case of that disciple who was reluctant to speak the truth to the acharya, but felt coerced because… he had to speak. It was not a coercive question from the teacher, but because of his reverence for the teacher, he had to speak the truth. So there was no fidelity, no compatibility. Of course an established condition was out of question.
Now, when you comment, you have a wonderful field to speak the truth, the essential truth, which qualifies as truthfulness according to dharma, the final authority. You will not speak of what you did not do, [else] you would be lying to your teacher, “I tried, I did, and I intently tried something. I tried this, and I tried that.”
You can lie to your teacher, but you can’t lie to yourself. There is no field to lie…, and, therefore, it is a wonderful field for satya. So you will score merit.
3. Apart from other advantages, which I said you will get when you are commenting, you will develop literacy. You will become more literate about yoga, more literate about your dynamics. You will read the drive, motive, motion, execution, purpose, contribution, participation, involvement, resistance, assistance. All this will be identified.
So not only will you get a clear picture of the dynamics, but you will also score merit [for] speaking the truth. Like the… saying, “Walk the talk, and talk the walk.” You can understand what is meant by “talk the walk and walk the talk.” You will be doing that while in asana quite spontaneously, quite organically, and with enormous fidelity, and integration.
You will be scoring merit by practicing truth, by just giving a silent running commentary in asana. Why not score that merit which comes easily our way? So that’s another dimension which, as I said, [is one of] many dimensions which we need to explore.
Prana Kriya — Vowels in Pranayama +15.40
1. Now another dimension… to explore. Settle down in Savasana. Lie down in Savasana…, with proper alignment, etc. Take some time to get settled in Savasana. You might use a bolster, or do it without a bolster. The options are open to you. I will be give you some time. Meanwhile, I will brief you….
2. I want you to have awareness of your lungs, chest and breathing. How the breath and lungs interact, how the breath and chest interact, how the breath, mind awareness and the chest interact, how breath, mind awareness and the chest and lungs interact. Start developing that sensitivity.
Now, shortly we will be going for vachika kriya and then you will explore and identify… a system which… anatomy doesn’t speak about. Anatomy will only say that there is a respiratory system. The lungs are part of that respiratory system. The chest contains the respiratory organ, and there is respiration there…. That’s all… anatomy…, physiology…, and body science will tell you. From that perspective try to understand your lungs as a respiratory organ. Lung inhalation and exhalation, chest inhalation and exhalation. Develop your sensitivities.
3. Now, if I say that you should attend primarily to the inhalation, I will say, “Slowly inhale, and inhale deeper. Inhale slower than normal so that it is a facility for sensitivity.” You can also sense it better, so, “Slower inhalation, and deeper inhalation.”
You can append supplements to deepen it. I am not suggesting inhalation in one go. You can inhale in stages, or you can append supplements to it. Watch your lungs while you are inhaling. Then watch your lungs while you are exhaling.
4. Similarly, slower exhalation and deeper exhalation. Now you will see that the respiratory organ, the lungs, are dilating distending, responding, activating, addressed, used, applied, etc. Try to ascertain all those things — how the lungs are inhaling, how the lungs are receiving inhalation, how the lungs are exhaling, how the lungs are dispensing exhalation. What are they receiving and dispensing? In what way are they activated? In what way are they mobilized? Understand the thoracic muscles, the respiratory muscles, intercostal muscles, and how they are activated by your in-breath and out-breath.
5. Now I will be giving you a scheme. Adhere to that scheme, and, then, with your sensitivity, try to understand how there are n number of ways to activate your chest during inhalation, and during exhalation. There are n number of ways to open out the chest by inhalation, and distend, [and] relax the chest by exhalation. It’s not just one way that you are now experiencing. In one way you activate the lungs and chest by inhalation, and another way you can distend your lungs and chest in exhalation. As you are doing that, now incorporate what I say. So this is called prana kriya.
6. We are going to a format where you exhale first, and inhale following it. The cycle will be exhalation followed by inhalation, exhalation followed by inhalation.
Now, when you are going to exhale, all of you exhale a, a, a, a, as in “uncle,” and inhale aa, aa, aa, aa, [as in father]…. Observe… the a exhalation and aa inhalation, a exhalation and aa inhalation.
Understand the graphic movements, the configuration, the constellation of in-breath and out-breath. There are graphic movements of your breath. They are in a graphic scheme — a exhalation, a, a, a uncle; aa, aa, aa father, inhalation.
Now, in the following cycles, continue until you [understand] the instructions completely. Continue what you are doing, and do that sensitively and literately.
Read the movement, read the aerodynamics of your breathing. How the lungs open in inhalation, how the lungs relax in exhalation. How the father aa inhalation activates, and how “uncle” a, exhalation distends.
7. Now in the following cycles, you will exhale, aa, father, father, father, aa, aa, aa exhale. Inhale ee, ee, ee eagle, sweet, sweep. See the graphic modulation that takes place which is quite significant, quite phenomenal. You can read it.
So first one was the a, ee breath, and now it is aa, ee breath. Graphically read it. Both a little slower and deeper as well.
8. Now in the following cycles, reverse it. Exhale e eagle, sweet, sweep, ee, ee, ee. Inhale aa, aa, aa [as in father]. Read it clearly. There is a difference between the second module and third module — they were juxtaposed. The second module and the third module were juxtaposed, so the comparison is clearer.
9. Now, in the following cycles you exhale aa, aa, aa as in father. Inhale oo, oo, oo as in fool, as in buffoon. Graphically find out how the breath is differently mobilized. You can repeat that cycle, exhaling aa, as in father, inhaling oo.
Then, exhale aa as in father and inhaling ay as in “angel.” Ay as in “angel.” See how the graphic modulations are taking place. Now you can let go for a while, and… listen intently.
10. Your practical aspect is being terminated, so now listen to this carefully. When you are using these sound forms, particularly today, with the advent of this coronavirus, there is lot of craze and obsession for… exercising your lungs. The doctors are also suggesting that you have to exercise your lungs because the coronavirus infection is directed at the lungs…. What is the point in exercising something without activating it?
Do you want to exercise the body without activating it at all? [Don’t] you want to first… activate the legs, and then exercise, activate the arms and then exercise, or do you want to straight away go for exercising your arms, limbs and legs, and any part of the body?
First you must activate…. It is also sans any reasoning… to exercise [without activating first]…. Therefore it is important to activate. First activate any body part… of the body you want to exercise.
If you don’t activate [first], it is risky to exercise. But we get advice from pragmatic doctors to exercise your lungs. They have no idea of even [how to] activate the lungs. They know only one kind of activity — inhalation and exhalation…. [But] that activity going is on anyway, 24/7.
11. See how many activities can take place with the help of this prana kriya. So a little jargon. Listen to this — 1) a exhalation, a inhalation; 2) a exhalation, aa [inhalation]; 3) a exhalation, ee inhalation; 4) a exhalation, oo inhalation; 5) a exhalation, ay exhalation. So you can be using these in permutations and combinations.
For exhalation it will be a static sound form, static vowel, a, a, a. For inhalation you can be changing — a, aa, ee, oo, ay, aai, oh, ow, um, aha…. to activate the lungs in ten ways, by ten sound forms.
Then you can go for the exercising process for exhalation — inhalation with a static vowel, and then exhalation changing the vowels. 1) Inhale a, exhale a; 2) Inhale a, exhale aa; 3) Inhale a, exhale ee; 4) inhale a, exhale oo.
[When] you change the vowel for exhalation, you will activate your lungs differently for exhalation. You mobilize the intercostal muscles, and pulmonary layers differently. It’s a different scheme to inhale and exhale by taking recourse to sound forms.
12. This is the pranic system known only to yoga, [but] not even to ultra-modern science. Particularly in Neo-Yoga, they tell you about breathing sensitively and actively. [Facetiously:] They say you must be sensitive about the breath in the nose and nostrils. And then you do any kind of pranayama. It is all about sensitivity in the nose and nasal parts, and then pranayama is done.
But the lungs, which are the respiratory organs, can be addressed. This is called the pranic system. This is not explored by modern science. They have no clue about this.
Silent Commenting—Obverse, Reverse Conical Breathing Through Prana Kriya +28.30
1. I will make an interesting statement. We all think that languages are meant for us. The oral organ is meant for language, and our oration is meant for expressing, communicating, and talking to someone….
We do not understand the role of the oratory organ for oneself. Do you ever speak to yourself? If you speak to yourself, people will say, “You are a lunatic.” [If] you are not talking to anyone, but… just talking to yourself, they will call you a lunatic. Lunatics speak aloud to themselves.
2. Wise people talk to themselves, but silently. That is the difference between a lunatic and a sagacious person. Both talk to themselves. We hardly speak to ourselves. We want someone… to be speaking to. We never try to understand speaking to ourselves. Only wise people… and lunatics speak a lot unto themselves. They don’t need anyone around. [Lunatics] will keep on talking loudly. There is no one to hear, yet they will be speaking. That is because of a defect in the brain, a psychological defect.
3. Here the commenting act… is for you. The silent commenting act is not for someone to hear, because they can’t hear it. But, now you uttered these sound forms in your inhalations and exhalations. Who was the beneficiary? Your lungs were the beneficiary. The lungs were irrigated differently….
4. Those who have learned directly from Guruji, [heard him] sometimes say, “Inhale from outer intercostal muscles.” Then sometimes he would say, “Inhale from inner intercostal muscles.” Nobody understood, but everybody nodded…. Nobody had a clue how it had to be done.
In simple words, these are obverse [upward pointing], [and] reverse [downward pointing] conical inhalations. Obversely inhale, find out how the intercostals muscles are inhaling. Reverse conically inhale, see how the intercostal muscles are inhaling. You will know they are outer and inner intercostal muscles alternatively activated by obverse, reverse conical, or triangular, in-breath.
5. So that is a formula. One is aa, ee —
Exhale aa, inhale ee; Exhale aa, inhale ee.
Then reverse it — Exhale ee, inhale aa; Exhale ee, inhale aa. Do that inhalation more slowly. Don’t do it as hastily as I uttered the statement. Go slow, soft, smooth.
[They are] called the aa, ee formula, and the ee, aa formula in prana kriya…. You will get both the obverse, and the reverse by the two formulas. And then you will know how the inner and outer intercostal muscles can be activated.
6. [If] you try to do it by your own volition, will, and biomechanics, you can’t do it. [But] you will easily do it by uttering sound forms. That is why, in the mysticism of yoga, the Kundalini has something to do with the pranic system. The Kundalini is symbolized as a snake, and the pranayama is the charmer by prana kriya. So by prana kriya you will be charming the breath, which is pranically mobilized. So the silent sound form is just like a breath charmer. It is a wonder as a breath charmer. So that is the pranic system in the lungs.
7. We are all obsessively consider the lungs a respiratory organ. As students of yoga you have to come out of this obsession.
Later, if you are a little more educated, you will come to know that abdomen is a major locus in pranayamic breathing. The back is also a major locus, if it is sitting pranayama. Whereas, in fashionable yoga today, the yoga that is [commercially] available on the counters, which caters [to the consumer], breath means… nose and lungs. Breathing means nose and lungs, that’s all.
But when you are better educated, you will know that the abdomen is a major organ. If you are sitting, the back and spine are much more prominent organs than the lungs and the chest. That is the pranic system.
Pranayama Takes Recourse To Sound +34.00
1. We know that there is a nervous system in our embodiment which runs [an] estimated 6,000 miles of network within the body. And there is vascular system in our body which is estimated to be around 60,000 miles.
Nobody has identified the pranic system. If you want to estimate… the length of the pranic system, it has to be measured on an astronomical scale. Not in terms of kilometers and miles…. The pranic system is all over the body.
2. In the pranic exercise that you did, you used the vowels. Is there any language without vowels, any word without vowels? Any word must contain at least a minimum of one vowel. If there is no vowel then it is not a word. In English you have those few vowels, a, i, e, o, u. So these few vowels turn out n number of words. How many words will you find in the twenty-volume Oxford English Dictionary…? Each word has at least one, or more, vowels. Understand the role of vowels in language. No vowel, no word. And, if no word, no language.
3. How do these vowels work within us…? We have vowels and consonants. If you have read Guruji’s book, he defines prana. It is… [also] defined in the classical texts —
vaishvika prana shakti
universal prana cosmic energy
Vaishvika [means] universal. It’s a universal cosmic energy. Why is it universal? How is it universal? If you have done whatever you have done, and the experience is… so personalized, [how could it be] universal?
It becomes universal cosmic energy because of the sound forms. How [did] the whole cosmos get launched? With sound. Modern physics says it is the Big Bang Theory. What is a Bang? Is it not a sound? Our metaphysics says that our whole creation has come from sound. The source of all creation is sound. The whole cosmological unfoldment is from sound. For astrophysicists it is the Big Bang, and for mystics it is AUM.
All pranayama, all pranayamic processes are by taking recourse to sound forms. No sound form, no pranayama. Either it should be a mantra, or, if it is a-mantrac, then it is svara vyanjanas (sound-letter devoid of meaning). Otherwise it is just breathing. That is why it is called pranayama, not svasa-ayama (restraint of breath). It is called prana-kriya (pranic action) and not svasa-kriya (breath action).
4. That is why there is a concept of the 51 Shakti Pithas (sacred shrines at the seats of Shakti). Shakti is that feminine force behind creation. The cosmic energy, in the form of feminine energy, is called Shakti.
There are 51 Shakti Pithas. Why 51? Why not any other number? [It is] 51 because there are 51 letters. Sound forms our system. I won’t say it is Sanskrit. Sanskrit adopted it. Our oral system, vocal system, whatever sound it produces, is between a to ksha. These are the letters, a to ksha. They number 51…. And everyone of the Shakti Pithas has only one letter. There is no repetition of a letter in [any] two Shakti Pithas. Each Shakti Pitha has one letter. That is why it is called a to ksha.
5. There is a wonderful Upanishad which divulges about the manifestation of these sound forms in the cosmos, the cosmic unfoldment. It is called the Aksha Upanishad. Aksha means a to ksha. [Whereas] in English you say a to z, in Sanskrit it is a to ksha. Our physiology is suitable to these sound forms. So these sound forms play a significant role in the internal universe microcosm. Yoga has identified this.
6. Therefore it has gone for Nada Sadhana, Shabda Sadhana (Practice of Sound). We don’t call [them] letters… as you say in English. We don’t say… that they are literally letters. They are Akshara, Ak-shara. Shara means destructible. Akshara means indestructible. These letters are indestructible sound forms, because they are the seed of all creation.
7. In the next session, let’s try to understand another dimension of how these sound forms work. [In] the next session… we will use a combination of vaikhari (audible speech) and madhyama (thought behind silent speech) and then see how they work on our physiology, how they work on our organic body, how they work on our granthi (knotted) region.
Esoteric physiology speaks about three granthis, knot junctions. K-N-O-T, knot junctions — the passion zone, emotional zone, and intellectual zone. We have lots of knots in our intellectual zone — in the head region; lots of knots in the heart — the emotional zone, sentimental zone; and lots of knots in the passion region — the passion zone, the belly. So this is for the next session.
 The mind makes us [digress]: Prashant literally said digrate, which seems to imply moving away from integration by combining digress and the negation of integrate. Thus, we have substituted the conventional English term for digrate. Moreover, the major point has been highlighted in his text: The statement, “I am thinking,” is a voluntary act of silent speech. In contrast, “Thoughts are coming into my mind” is an entirely involuntary act. [Prashant S. Iyengar, Pranayama: A Classical and Traditional Approach, New Delhi: New Age Books, 2016. P. 191-2]
 There was no fidelity between my mind [and thought]…, so whatever I have spoken, I have spoken with a tremendous amount of discontent: That the violation of the vow of satya (truthfulness) led to discontent is an example of the resulting lack of santosha (contentment), the second niyama.
 Observe… the a exhalation and aa inhalation, a exhalation and aa inhalation: This is a continuation of the prior class. See “Vowels Cast a Spell on Pranic System +37.55,” and the appended footnote on the correct pronunciation of the vowel sounds in English in Lesson 17: Vachika Kriya (Part 1).
 See the graphic modulation that takes place… You can read it: Graphic modulation refers to patterns of the breath that take the shape of circles and columns, triangles and cones, etc. This will be discussed in the next section, “Silent Commenting—Obverse, Reverse Conical Breathing Through Prana Kriya +28.30.”
 For inhalation you can be changing — a, aa, ee, oo, ay, aai, oh, ow, um, aha…. to activate the lungs in ten ways, by ten sound forms: This is a transliteration into English of the ten long Sanskrit vowels. They do not correspond to long vowels in English. Prashant recommends this practice for beginners in his text: Prashant Iyengar, Yogasana: The 18 Mahakriyas of Yogasana, Pune: RIMYI 2013. P. 155 Please also refer to the footnote cited under “Vowels Cast a Spell on Pranic System +37.55,” in Lesson 17: Vachika Kriya (Part 1).
 This is the pranic system known only to yoga, [but] not even to ultra-modern science: The prana kriya operates on our pranamaya kosha (sheath), which houses the “infrastructure of our incarnation.” The pranamaya kosha is comprised of the six chakras and innumerable nadis (channels). Prana kriya includes the silent uttering of the bija (seed) mantras. The prana kriya loosens and breaks us free of our vasana (tendency) granthis (knots, holds). [Prashant Iyengar, Yogasana: The 18 Mahakriyas of Yogasana, Pune: RIMYI 2013. P. 149-50] Vasana granthis will be discussed in “Vasana Granthi (Knots) +09.40,” in Lesson 19.
 [They are] called the aa, ee formula, and the ee, aa formula in prana kriya…. You will get both the obverse, and the reverse by the two formulas… [to] know how the inner and outer intercostal muscles can be activated: Obverse primarily means principal, and facing the observer. Thus, obverse conical describes an upright traffic cone with the apex at the top. The reverse conical is upside down cone with the smallest part at the bottom, similar to a V-shape. An obverse conical will arise from the inner walls; a reverse conical from the outer walls. See “Pranayama Class 7-13-95 6 – 7 PM — Prashant Iyengar.” Bruce M. Roger RIMYI Class Notes.
 vaishvika prana shakti – universal prana cosmic energy: Although prana is here defined as the “universal cosmic energy,” he defined it in his text as vaishvika chaitanya shakti (universal power of consciousness). [Prashant S. Iyengar, Pranayama: A Classical and Traditional Approach, New Delhi: New Age Books, 2016. P. 7]. Vaishvika chaitanya shakti, also translated as the universal source of life energy, joins the jivatman, sperm and ovum to conceive birth of the foetus. [“Citta-vrtti to Citi sakti,” B.K.S. Iyengar, Astadala Yogamala (Collected Works), Vol. 8, New Delhi: Allied Publishers, 2008. P. 252] When the vrttis are restrained, the vaishvika chaitanya shakti is immobilized as stambha vrtti, which results in knowledge and wisdom. [“Sri Yoga Vidya Yantra,” B.K.S. Iyengar, Astadala Yogamala (Collected Works), Vol. 8, P..299]
 The whole cosmological unfoldment is from sound. For astrophysicists it is the Big Bang, and for mystics it is AUM: This has been described in the medieval Shiva Purana. Sleeping on the primordial Sea of Milk with the entirety of the potential creation within himself, Lord Vishnu gave birth to Brahma, the creator of the universe. When the disrespectful Brahma challenged the authority of Vishnu, claiming the power of creativity, the ground opened up to reveal an infinite jyotir-linga (shaft of light; pillar of fire). Vishnu incarnated as a boar to seek its source under the ocean. Brahma became a swan to fly to its top. When both returned a thousand years later without any success, the Lord Shiva emerged from the pillar of fire and the air resonated with the sound of AUM, which embodied all of the Vedas in a single word. Trembling at this sight, both Brahma and Vishnu bowed down to Shiva as their master. [Rudra Samhita I.6-9 of Shiva Purana] In regard to Prashant’s subsequent discussion about Shakti, Shiva and his consort Shakti are said to have given birth to Vishnu.
 Shakti is that feminine force behind creation. The cosmic energy, in the form of feminine energy, called Shakti.: As footnoted before, Shiva and his consort Shakti are said to have given birth to Vishnu. In tantric cosmology, the entire universe is sustained by the union of two fundamental forces, Shiva and Shakti. Shakti represents the Samkhya concept of prakrti (nature). She seeks union with her consort Shiva, or purusha (Self). Without Shakti’s power, the pure consciousness of Shiva is but a shava (corpse). See Three Rivers of the Spine in Dog Pose.
 There are 51 Shakti Pithas: Shakti Pithas are pilgrimmage sites dedicated to the goddess Shakti in South Asia. In yoga practice, shakti connotes physical power, but not necessarily “physical” yoga. Shakti must accompany yukti (clarity of the intelligence) and bhakti (devotion). The association of each pitha with a unique sound form (phoneme) suggests that Sanskrit is rooted in a celestial language. Shakti manifestations occur through these sound forms. [Prashant Iyengar, Yogasana: The 18 Mahakriyas of Yogasana, Pune: RIMYI 2013. P. 152]
 a wonderful Upanishad which divulges about the manifestation of these sound forms in the cosmos… is called the Aksha Upanishad: The Ekashara Upanishad has equated AUM with the imperishable truth, and the atman within.
 combination of vaikhari (audible speech) and madhyama (thought behind silent speech) and then see how they work on our physiology: See “Four Speeches of Adhyatma +19.40,” Lesson 17: Vachika Kriya (Part 1).