Year : 2020  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-44

Jala-Bhramari, OM chanting, and Kaivalya: A neuroscience perspective

Emeritus Associate Professor of Neurology, University of Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, USA

Correspondence Address:
Vinod D Deshmukh
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ym.ym_9_20

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Bhramari is an ancient technique of the yogic pranayama practice. It has been described in the Vedic-Upanishadic literature. Currently, it is being actively practiced and taught in the yoga classes all over the world. Jala-Bhramari is a new term that I am proposing for doing the classical Bhramari while floating in water on one's back, swimming back-stroke, and while standing or sitting in water with both ears under water, while the face is in the air to breathe and vocalize. With this technique, one can hear the humming sound of Bhramari loud and clear through the water and feel the transmitted biomechanical vibrations in the head, face, chest, spine, and the whole body. It is a unique variation of the Bhramari technique with calming and energizing effects. The OM chanting is another very ancient yogic meditation practice from the Vedic-Upanishadic period. Mandukya Upanishad described this valuable meditative practice in detail and gave its rationale as well as the benefits. With this practice, one can achieve a state of profound stillness, silence, and serenity. One can become Atma-tushta, self-satieted, and Atma-shanta, at peace with self. One can also feel liberated from the stressful burdens of one's body, mind, and ego. Such a state was described as Turiya, the fourth state of consciousness. It is also called Kaivalya or the absolute self-freedom and a feeling of unity with the natural existence. Kaivalya is defined as the holistic state of absolute unity, self-liberation, and timeless serenity. Very few people can achieve such an advanced spiritual state and live a blessed life in nature. However, there have been many examples of sages and enlightened visionaries from India as well as other parts of the world. Most of us live with a limited outlook and an isolated individual perspective in this busy and challenging human world. Yogic meditation is a disciplined and purposeful process of self-discovery, which may lead to great insights and a blissful nondual self-awareness.

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