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"Shatkarma" According to Gheranda Samhita

Shatkarmas means six karma by which the body is purified. The right sequence of Shatkarma described in the Gheranda Samhita is- (1) Dhauti (2) Basti (3) Neti (4) Nauli (5) Trataka (6) Kapalabhati.

(1) "Dhauti " according to Gheranda Samhita

According to Gheranda Samhita, there are four types of Dhauti, which removes the impurities of the body. (A) Antha Dhauti (B) Danta Dhauti (C) Hrid Dhauti (D) Mul Shodhan

(A) Antha Dhauti- 

There are four types of Antha Dhauti. (i) Vaat saar-Antha Dhauti (ii) Vari saar- Antha Dhauti (iii) Agnisaar- Antha Dhauti (iv) Bahiskrita- Antha Dhauti

(i) Vaat saar-Antha Dhauti

Method - Having contracted the mouth like the beak of a crow, gradually drink air. Fill the air in the stomach gradually; the air rotates in the stomach. Then slowly force it out of the lower passage.

This is a very secret process that causes the purification of the body, destroys all diseases and increases the gastric-fire.

 (ii) Vari saar- Antha Dhauti

Method - Fill lukewarm water in the mouth and drink slowly under the throat, then five postures are done. (taadaasan, tiryak taadaasan, katichakraasan, tiryak bhujangaasan, udaraakarshan) then moving the water out of the rectum while pushing the bottom through the stomach. 

This process purifies the body and by practicing it with care, one gets a luminous body. It is said to be the highest Dhauti. He, who practices it with ease, purifies his filthy body and turns it into a shining one. Initially it should be practiced only under the supervision of the Guru. It has also been called Sankhprakshaalan Kriya. 

(iii) Agnisaar- Antha Dhauti

Method- Press the navel and intestines towards the spine for many times quickly, This process is the Agnisara Dhauti.

Agnisara, gives success in the practice of yoga. It cures all the diseases of the stomach and enhances the internal fire. It should keep very secret. The gods are also difficult to get it. This helps the seeker definitely get a bright body. 

(iv) Bahiskrita- Antha Dhauti

In this action, filling the stomach with air with the help of a crow's beak-like posture, holding the air there for one and a half hours, it should be forcefully taken towards the intestines. then he is thrown out through the anus In this action, like a crow's beak, one has to drink the air from the mouth, after which it is held in the stomach for some time and expels it from the lower passage.

Abdominal disorders are cured. The body becomes light and radiant. Kundalini shakti is beneficial in awakening. Makes the breeding institute stronger.

(B) Danta Dhauti- 

There are four types of Danta Dhauti (i) Danta-mula Dhauti (ii) Jihva-mula Dhauti (iii) Karna Dhauti  (iv) Kapala-randhra-Dhauti

(i) Danta-mula Dhauti- For purification of the teeth-  One should rub the teeth with catechu-powder or with pure earth, so long as dental impurities are not removed. It is an important process in the practice of Yoga for the Yogis. It should be done daily in the morning by the Yogis in order to preserve the teeth.

(ii) Jihva-mula Dhauti- For purification of the toung- Join together the three fingers viz. index, the middle and the ring finger. Put them into the throat, Rub well and clean the root of the tongue. By washing it again throwout the phlegm. Having thus washed it, rubbed it with butter and milk it again and again. Then holding the tip of the tongue with an iron instrument, pull it out slowly and slowly.

One should do this daily with diligence, before the rising and setting sun. Thus the tongue becomes elongated.

(iii) Karna Dhauti- Purification of the two holes of the ear- One should Clean the two holes of the ears by the index and the ring fingers. By practising it daily, the mystical sounds are heard.

(iv) Kapala-randhra-Dhauti- In this Dhauti Kriya, making a cup-like shape of the hand, pat the skull with cold water. By this practice, diseases arising from derangements of phlegmatic humorous are cured. The nadis become purified and clairvoyance is induced.

(C) Hrid-Dhauti- 

There are Three types of  Hrid-Dhauti - (i) Danda Dhaut (ii) Vmana Dhauti (iii) Vastra Dhauti

(i) Danda Dhauti- 

Method- According to Maharishi Gherand- The sticks of the soft part of the banana, the sticks of turmeric should be taken out slowly by inserting them slowly from the esophagus to the stomach. By this process, all the phlegm, bile and other impurities are expelled, out of the mouth, and every kind of heart diseases are surely cured.

(ii) Vmana Dhauti-

Method- After meal, one should drink water full up to the throat. Then looking for a short while upwards, e He should vomit it out. By daily practising it, disorders of phlegm and bile are cured.

This dhauti is also known by the name Vyagrakriya. Vamana is actually of two types - one that is done on an empty stomach, which is named Kunjalkriya and the other is Vygrakriya which is done after the meal. 

(iii) Vastra Dhauti- 

Method- Having swallowed slowly a thin cloth, which is four-fingers wide, he should draw it out again. This process cures abdominal diseases, fever, enlarged spleen, leprosy and other skin diseases and disorders of phlegm and bile. One gets health, strength and cheerfulness.

(D) Mul Shodhan- 

By the stalk of the root of turmeric or the middle finger, the rectum should be carefully cleansed with water over and over again. It cures constipation, indigestion, increases the beauty and vigour of the body and Ignites gastric fire.

(2) Basti- 

Basti is the second purification practice among the six Shatkarmas. It is of two kinds. (A) Jal Basti (B) Sthala Basti

(A) Jal Basti- 

Method- It is done in water. Entering into water upto the navel and assuming the posture called Utkatasana, one should contract and dilate the sphincter-muscle of the anus. This is called Jala-Basti. It cures disorders of digestion and that of the wind. The body becomes free from all diseases and becomes as beautiful as that of the God Cupid.

(B) Sthala Basti-

Method-Assuming the posture called Paschimottanasana. Moving the intestines slowly downwards. Then contract and dilate the sphincter muscle of the anus with the Aswinimudra. By this practice, constipation never occurs. It increases gastric fire.

(3) Neti- 

Neti is the third purification practice among the six Shatkarmas.

Method-Take a thin thread measuring half a cubit. Put it in the nostrils and pass it through the throat and take it out through the mouth. This is called Neti Kriya. It destroys the disorders of phlegm and produces clairvoyance or clear sight.

(4) Nauli- 

With great force, to move the stomach and intestines from one side to the other, that is called Nauli. This destroys all diseases and increases the bodily fire.


According to Gheranda Samhita there are three types of tratakas- (i) Bahirtratak Tratak (ii) Antaranga Tratak (iii) Adhatratak Tratak

Looking at a small object or the flame of a lamp continuously for a long time, till tears start flowing from the eye. This action is called tratak. Its practice leads to attainment of Shambhavi Siddhi and surely all diseases of the eyes are destroyed. 

(6) Kapalabhati - 

According to Gheranda Samhita, there are three types of Kapalbhati-  (i) Vamakrama (ii) Vyutkrama (iii) Sheetkrama 

(i) Vamakrama Kapalabhati: Purification of the brain by Vata means air element is Vatakram Kapalbhati. Inhale through the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril, then inhale through the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril. The action of complement and laxative should not be fast. The practice of this kriya gives relief from cold and cough.

(ii) Vyutkrama Kapalabhati: Draw water through both the nostrils and remove it from the mouth. Then draw water from the mouth and remove it from the nostrils. This Vyutkrama (inversion) Kapalbhati cures cough-related diseases.

(iii) Sheetkrama Kapalabhati: Sheetkrama is the third and last type of Kapalbhati. In this process, water is taken out through the nostrils after drinking it through the mouth.  By this practice, one becomes like the God Cupid; old age never comes to him and decrepitude never disfigures him. The body becomes healthy, elastic and disorders of phlegm are destroyed.

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