I would like to know if it is good to continue shambavi mahamudra of inner engineering exercise of ISHA yoga,along with my Sri vidya sadhana. I am not a regular practitioner of shambavi. I took the program in 2013 due to chronic back ache (which I had been having for around six months due to a muscle strain, not slipped disc ) . On practicing for 2 weeks my back pain disappeared, I also felt lighter with more energy. but I did not practice it regularly for some reason. I practiced it off and on, whenever I felt very low on energy or I started my back muscles aching. Till date I haven’t had any problems while doing the shambavi Maha mudra.
I started Sri vidya last guru poornima (July 2018). My guru told me to not do any other yoga techniques and just follow my sadhana. At the most, I can do surya NAMASKAR if I wanted to, he said.
I just wanted to know if there is any harm in doing shambavi of Isha yoga because once a while my back starts aching and that’s when I do shambavi for a week or two.
I have read the articles on this site about pranayam and its dangers and also readers experiences of Sudarshan Kriya. Couldn’t find anything about Isha yoga practices specifically though it does contain breathing exercises. I just wanted to do the shambavi for a few days till my back ache goes away. Is it harmful for me and my sadhana? Please let me know.
Dr NIRMAL RAJ
Dr. Niramal Raj,
There may be 1001 reasons for something to be done or not but I prefer to answer the questioner rather than the question and thus my observations are as following.
Your message begins with addressing me as ‘Guru’ but the truth is I am not your Guru. You are probably displaying your respect and humility through these words and I accept that yet I would suggest you save this word to gracefully address your Guru and try not using this word anyone else other than your Guru. Now to your issues and question.
You seem to be suffering from stress related issues and your back pain is linked to your stress levels. This process that you mentioned just relieves you of the stress and you feel better. The particular process you are engaged in has some asanas, nadishodhan (alternate nostril breathing with of without hold), chanting of pranava (aumkara) with Mudra (specific hand gesture), Bhastrika (fast breathing with focus on exhalation) followed by Baahya (outer) and Antara (inner) Kumbhakas (hold) while holding Bandhas (the yogic muscular locks) and relaxed awareness of few minutes at the end.
Looking at the overview and rough structure of the process you can also clearly see that the sequence is not involving any major works in the spiritual dimension except one small period of chanting i.e. one generic seed mantra. Primary this process (mahamudra as you call it) is about relieving mental and bodily stress. I am sure it would be effectively delivering its desired results provided one follows the taught sequence. However I can tell you there is NOTHING spiritual about it but still it can surely help you relieve pain and stress etc.
Having said that as a practitioner of a Sri Vidya, a Tantric system that is received only through initiation (initiation is direct passage divine spiritual grace through the Guru) is much greater, probably the greatest (if your tantric practice is received in unbroken lineage with adept Guru’s promise to handhold one’s disciple) spiritual practices available to the mankind and only through this all purusharthas are achievable. Maybe you don’t know but here in this system your Guru is no other than embodiment of Shiva himself. Thus respect and follow the laid down rule : In case of any doubts you should consult your Guru and follow his instructions verbatim.
Dr. Nirmal, I do understand the pain of a modern day disciple. It is common to see Gurus not being available for further guidance after the grand deekshas (initiations) are over. Such behaviour on the part of a teacher is not only unethical and inappropriate but against the rules laid down in Tantric scriptures. If such is not the case then contact your Gurudev and share your issues with him and do whatever he suggests. His word should be final not mine.
-Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath