By practicing pranayama everyday, at a fixed time in an advised form of cycle, in due course of time, it invigorates the Kundalini Shakti. This kundalini shakti starts raising from its abode, the Muladhara - and passing through all the six chakras - centres - finally reaches the Sahasrara Chakra where it submerges in the great divine light, while enjoying the Sudharasa - divine Ambrosia.
Asana and Pratyahara, are two essential supports for the pranayama to be easy, effective and fruitful. A firm and convenient Asana is like a support stand for the continual practice of pranayama. Indriyas - the internal and external organs - should be freed from their corresponding objects of attraction, and should be withdrawn inwards and made to concentrate on a subject; this is called Pratyahara. The organ eye looks at the external shapes and colors. Closing this organ, withdrawing the internal eye inwards, and concentrating on the Bhagavan in the lotus of heart is called the Pratyahara of the eye.
Sitting in a firm and convenient asana, if pranayama & pratyahara are practiced regularly, they start supporting each other, synchronizing and pushing up each other. This gradually results in the attainment of concentration. Thus one can capture and tie the monkey called mind. This leads to the attainment of Sat, the Bhagavan.
Japa acts like a catalyst in the above process. The divine name, repeated, especially mentally, is the best. Japa should be continuously going on along with breathing processes in Pranayama. This is highly effective in achieving Samadhi. Generally, any of the divine names, Pranava and Hamsa mantras are taken up for Japa.
Thus, if pratyahara, pranayama and mental Japa are practiced regularly, the mind dissolves itself in Samadhi. Sadhana, thus, should be continuous and concentrated, without any types of mental activities. Thus, one can get established in Samadhi, enjoying the divine Light, Sound and Ananda.
drakshyasi nijahrudayastham devam
What are the requirements for a Sadhaka to escape from this bondage of worldly life and achieve Samadhi state and thus get salvation ? The ready answer for this is - “one should have controlled both the Indriyas and the Mind”. While saying, Shri Shankaracharya has coupled Yama, Niyama and Pratyahara and has called it as Niyama.
Patanjali Maharshi in his great work “Yoga Sutra” has termed the five moral codes of conduct - Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya & Aparigraha - as Yama. The personal codes of conduct - Shoucha, Santosha, Tapas, Swadhyaya and Eshwara pranidhana - as Niyama.
The word “Pratyaahaara” has already been explained in the verse beginning “pranayamam pratyaharam”. Only he, who has understood the codes of conduct of both Indriyas and mind, can be fit to be a true disciple and sadhaka.
This article has been taken from the book A Torchlight in the Path of Salvation, Bhaja Govindam- Pray to Govinda by K V Varadaraja Iyengar