Make Your breath the Music of Life
The garland of life is woven with the thread of breath. If life is a veena (musical instrument), its cords are formed by breaths. The musical notes of this veena (life) ascend and descend with the ups and downs of breathing.
If there is breath, there is life. If there is no breath, all expressions of life cease. The rhythms of breathing provide the smile to every moment of life. When there are obstruction and disturbance in this rhythmic flow, everything starts fading. Nothing then remains normal.
Body and mind both get harmonized through the lyric of breath. The flow of breath powers every bodily process. Without breath, one can neither imagine the existence of body one can neither imagine the existence of body nor its beauty and glamour.
It is breath which chisels the physical beauty otherwise, there would not be any difference between a beautiful statue and a beautiful human body. The former only looks beautiful, but it is not really so, because there is no flow of breath in it. A Statue can be beautiful, but it lacks emotions. The varying shades of expressions and emotions are clearly visible on a human face because of the flow of breath. This is the difference.
Breath beautifies the glory of life. The daily changes in life are intrinsically entwined with the flow of breath. Anger, hate, compassion, enmity, attachment, envy – all are essentially different forms of the changing tunes of breath. This is not a matter of discussion or analysis but of perception.
For example, a disturbance in the rhythm of breath generates anger; the sparks of this anger then starts burning the self and the relationships. But the same breath also creates the sweet music of love and affection which fill life with fragrance, smile, and happiness. In one moment envy is changed into affection and affection into envy.
In this rhythm and flow of breath lie all the events in life and all its immense potential. If the breathing is balanced, the life too is balanced and calm. But if the breathing is agitated, the circumstances and nature of life too get adverse. Problems start piling up in life. The mind gets entangled in coping up with these problems which, in turn, makes the breathing even more haphazard.
When the breathing becomes haphazard, peace and pose in life are lost; any spiritual progress gets blocked. If this disharmony continues for a long time, the situation becomes really serious. It gets converted into various kinds of mental and psychological ailments, thereby making the life still more unbearable and beyond redemption. The next natural corollary is a break in the flow of breath.
Controlled breathing increases mind’s power. A person begins to recognize his strengths and can tailor and perform his work accordingly. Uncontrolled breathing dents this power of the mind. Vital force begins to decline. This weakening vital force pushes us to anxiety, conflict, ailments, and depression. Any possible development becomes remote at this point. Experts believe that the rate of breathing is maximum during sexual desire and activity.
It becomes severely uncontrolled at this time. The more unregulated the rate of breathing, the more rapid is the decline in vital force. That is why sexual activity is considered the biggest enemy of breathing. Another big enemy is anger. Anger too breaks the rhythm of breathing.
Then comes anxiety. All types of negative thinking and bad conduct disturb smooth flow of breathing. Experts opine that the more even and composed breathing is, the more peaceful life would be. The rate of breathing is directly related to aging. A yogi, by making his breath even and stable, acquires control over aging, while the temperamental, the lascivious and the malefactors reduce their age and invite premature death.
The art of controlling the rate and rhythm of breathing is pranayama. Pranayam enables regulation of breathing. A person who achieves expertise in pranayama is a great person because he can check the degeneration of vital force and the wastage of life energy.
Pranayam is the greatest invention made by mankind till date. It is a greater achievement than the moon landing and the Mars missions because wherever man may transport his physical being, the inner being remains unchanged and static at the same place. Mere transportation of body has not much value.
Value and importance lie in elevation achieved through regulation of breath.
The importance of control over breath is underlined because of the changes it brings about in life. In other words, a change in the rhythm of breathing causes the corresponding change in both the condition and the direction of life. Earlier, life appeared a drag and its every moment was heavy. To come out of this painful direction of life looked impossible.
But now, with the change in the pattern of breathing, all this impossible-looking situation and mental condition get changed too. The right rhythm of breath produces enlightening states of dhyana and Samadhi in life. But this regulation of breath should be done with full consciousness. When we are conscious and alert, breathing becomes stable.
We can then ‘see’ this breathing and feel its soothing flow. There is no fixed method for acquiring this skill. We will have to learn to live consciously and also practice simultaneously God’s remembrance with every intake of breath. The more this practice is intensified, the more the rhythm of breathing, and with it, the rhythm of life will change for the better.