Bhuta Shuddhi an Esoteric Tantric Practice

What is Bhuta Shuddhi?

Bhuta Shuddhi is an ancient yoga meditation for chakras and a Tantra practice that balances or purifies (shuddhi) the element of fire (bhutas). Bhuta means the past and shuddhi means purifying that past. Whether you are practicing the feeling of tranquil, centered and balance or preparing for a kundalini awakening you will find this practice useful. The elements of air, fire, water, earth and space make up the five bhutas these 5 work alongside the lower five chakras.

The human body is composed of the five essentials elements: air, fire, wind, water and ether. Each element corresponds to the strength of the cellular structure within the body.  Every element emits subtle vibrations and emotions. For instance, the air element is seen in contractions and expansions of motion, fire element corresponds to heat, thirst, appetite and digestion and water symbolizes fluidity such as blood and lymph fluid and so on. We are able to discover the potential energy and subtle form supporting the whole form when we develop the processing of separating and purifying these elements. We return to the source of the matter.

Ideally, you will practice Bhuta Shuddhi daily three times, at morning, noon and dusk. Of course, you can reduce the number of times you practice according to your lifestyle. Anyone can practice Bhuta Shuddhi as it is not restricted to any specific religious group.

For the best results however, Bhuta Shuddhi is combined with the practices of mantra japa, pranayama and asana. As with any other good exercise you should do some stretches or hatha yoga asanas before hand and follow up with some form of exercise for physical relaxation. This prepares the mind for the ability to focus on the chakras much better.

Chakra Meditation

Signs of Correct Practice

- Increased feelings of Bliss, Joy and Harmony - Positive changes of Personality - Peaceful calmness of mind - Divine visions - With a reasonable amount of practice a tingling sensation is felt during the ascent and decent.

From the moment of awakening Tantric practice begins with bhutta shuddhi. While young you are taught daily to bathe, brush your teeth and so on, you do these without a second thought. However, if you are unable to do them on any day for any reason you will feel uncomfortable and ill at ease.  This practice should become part of your daily regimen as well. Taking on even more importance since it encourages both physical and mental hygiene. Only after the bhutta shuddhi is perfected, is the purification of consciousness or atma shuddhi possible. This is precisely the reason that the scriptures and shastras stress it so much.  The chakra meditation works while attending to the balancing of the chakras subtle forces of the 5 elements while using the seed mantras of the chakras. 

Chakras and their Seed Mantras

One - Lam Two – VAM Three – Ram  Four – Yam Five – Ham Six – Om Seven – Silence

With your spine and head erect sit in any meditative posture. Close your eyes and relax your entire body. Inhale slowly and steadily. Slightly contract your throat to produce a soft hissing sound as you inhale. Allow your awareness to wind along each chakra one at a time across the sushumna as you inhale. Begin from Muladhara. Mentally chant the bija mantra for each chakra as you become aware of it. For instance, Yam is the mantra mentally chanted at Muladhara. Continue on until you reach Ajna. Visualize a light, flower or lotus at each corresponding chakra point to aid your meditations. Upon reaching the Ajna chakra you will allow your awareness to descend the path of Sushumna, while chanting bija mantra, this time in reverse order. One cycle of husshuddhi kriya is one ascent and one descent. Beginners will practice kriya for 10 minutes while gradually increasing their time.  Since the mind is prepared, after the Chakra Meditation, it is best to continue with more meditation practice. Begin by practicing the spinal breath. Here you will bring your awareness upwards to the crown while inhaling and exhale as you follow the subtle stream of the spine downwards to the first chakra. You can do this with the so’ham mantra of inhaling with so and exhaling with ham. 

The Chakra Meditation

You can practice Bhuta Shuddhi alone or you can incorporate it into a complete meditation program. Here is one way; however it can be adapted to fit your personal circumstances. This is a sixty minute practice.

1. Begin with 15 minutes of Hatha Yoga. Practice some simple stretches or asanas, hatha yoga postures along with some breathing practices as pranayama. Of course, you can adjust your time accordingly. Experiment with doing some vigorous physical exercises before doing the breathing and postures. Such activities may include walking, swimming, cycling, jogging or working out with other exercise routines.

2. Thirty minutes of Chakra Meditation. Move upwards through the seven chakras. Allow three to four minutes for each chakra. Then move downwards, allowing around 30 seconds for each. This will help ground you. The practice of Bhuta Shuddhi practice last 30 minutes.

3. 15 minutes of Meditation and then do your regular meditation practice which will bring your attention deeply into the area of the Anahata Chakra within the chest or the ajna chakra between the eyebrows, with or without your regular object of meditation or mantra.

This example involves 30 minutes of Chakra Meditation and Bhuta Shuddhi, with a total of 60 minutes. Whether this seems to be a long time or not will vary, however you should practice within your own level of comfort. Find the amount of practice time that best serves you. It is beneficial to move with awareness through the chakras, up and then down in a matter of moments while remembering them along the way. Brief 30 second to one minute chakra meditations is beneficially useful and pleasant and can be done often.

Benefits of the Bhuta Shuddhi Process

Benefits

You gain clarity of thought when a harmonious balance is created between the optic nerve and auditory centers with the training of Bhuta Shuddhi to concentrate and combine visualization with repetition of the seed mantras for specific chakras. Greatly depending upon what is seen or heard the process of memory is improved. The practice of Bhuta Shuddhi creates a perfect environment for the brain centers to regulate the vision and hearing and is linked to and activates the processes of thinking and speaking.

You can more easily unlock the energy channels more effectively when the energy you release from the scared sound of seed mantras when combining the forces of breath retention and intense visualization than with any other yoga methods.

Cautions of the Bhuta Shuddi Practice

Cautions and Precautions

The advanced practice of Bhuta Shuddhi should always be performed carefully. Before undertaking this practice anyone with high blood pressure, heart disease, a nervous disorder of schizophrenia, as well as anyone recovering from drug abuse should consult with a competent teacher. You should begin studying breathing techniques and yoga postures before you begin to practice Bhuta Shuddhi. Meditating regularly before you begin is essential. A basic understanding of the chakras, the kundalini shakti, the role of mantra and tantra yoga while awakening the dormant force within aids in the understanding of the deep meaning behind the repetition of specific seed mantras of chakras and the dynamics. To help with the advanced pranayama, which is an essential element of the Bhuta Shuddhi are the breathing practices such as agni sara, Bhastrika, KapalaBhati and Nadi Shodhanam.

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