Tuesday 12 January 2010

Ojas And Tejas

David Frawley, in his book Yoga and Ayurveda has given valuable information about Ojas and Tejas (Chapter 7-Prana,Ojas and Tejas).

He defines "Ojas" as 'Primal Vigour'. The subtle energy of water as the stored -up vital reserve, the basis for physical and mental endurance; the internalized essence of digested food, water, air, impressions and thought. On an inner level it is responsible for nourishing and grounding the development of all higher faculties.

David Frawley defines "Tejas" as 'Inner Radiance'. The subtle energy of fire as the radiance of vitality through which we digest air, impressions and thoughts. On an inner level, it governs the unfoldment of all higher perceptual capacities. 'Tejas' makes a person to attract and magnetise people to himself/herself through radiance and a divine glow.
The functions of 'Ojas':-
It is the latent state of reproductive fluid that provides not only reproductive power but strength in general and nourishes all the bodily tissues from within, particularly the nerve tissue. He also states that Ojas is our power of endurance and ability to sustain us, not only sexually but through all forms of exertion, physical and mental.
The functions of 'Tejas':-
Tejas is the activated state of reproductive fluid when it is transformed into heat, passion and will power. This occurs not only in sexual activity but whenever we are challenged or need to exert ourselves. Tejas gives us valour, courage and daring. In yoga this force is necessary to enable us to perform tapas or transformative spiritual practices.
Increasing 'Ojas':-
1) Right Diet
2)Tonic Herbs
3)Control of Sexual Energy
4)Control of Senses
5)Devotion (bhakthi Yoga)

Right Diet:-
This means strictly vegetarian which involves whole grains, seeds and nuts, oils, root vegetables and naturl sugars.Cruder form of "Ojas" is developed through animal products, but hardly of any value for the spiritual path.Basically the diet has to be "sattvik" in nature like whole grains, dairy products, seeds, nuts, oils and sweet fruit.

Tonic Herbs:-They have qualities of enhancing and rejuvenating the system, like 'Ashwagandha' and 'Ginseng' which are taken along with food.

Control of Sexual Energy:-This means reducing the discharge of reproductive fluid. This is crucial for the development of additional 'Ojas'.This can be achieved by reduced sexual activity, or activity devoid of gratification, the type of practice taught in tantric and Taoist sexual yogas. It is not the question of morality, but retention of energy.Sexual energy being the strongest energy of the body, it is necessary as a fuel to carry on with spiritual practices for advancement. Sexual promiscuity is a strict no-no. It has to be done with spiritual aspiration and not as a mere repression, which cannot take the spiritual aspirant very far.

Control of Senses:-This requires reducing the amount of energy lost through sensory indulgence, which includes avoiding most forms of entertainment, particularly through mass media (television-watching soap-operas, serials, film songs, dance and music competitive programmes- eduacational, academic and classical form of music and dance within limits are exempted from the above.Video games, computer usage for meaningless chatting, emailing, browsing wasted and undesirable sites, playing card games out of boredom etc., reading magazines, fiction etc. for pleasure fall under the category of sensory indulgence.)
Much energy is lost through eyes and ears. This is a part of the practice of 'prathyahara' or withdrawal from the senses in Raja Yoga. Over use of motor organs can also deplete 'Ojas', particularly too much talking because the vocal organ is the most important of these. Overwork or overexertion of ny type should be avoided when 'Ojas' is low.

Devotion:-Bhakthi yoga is the best practice for developing 'Ojas'. This means redirecting our emotional energy inwardly through love of God in whatever form or relationship dearest to us. Devotion halps us to control senses and sexuality and transmutes animal emotions into more refined feelings. This can be achieved through various forms of devotional worship, rituals, prayers, repeating divine names, and serice to God and Guru.

Increasing Tejas:-
Once Ojas is sufficient, it can be turned into 'Tejas' without depleting it. Tejas is primarily developed through:
1)Control of speech and other austerities
3)Concentration exercises
4)Yoga of knowledge (Gnana Yoga)

Control of Speech:-
This means avoiding aimless talking and gossiping, also avoiding critical, sarcastic and abusive speech. Periods of silence are very helpful, like avoiding speech for one day in a week or being silent in the evening. This practice helps in enhancing internal energy apart from taking the aspirant into the witness state. Other austerities like fasting or staying awake in the night, are helpful in developing 'Tejas' as they increase the fire of determination.

Mantra is a higher form of control of speech that develops the inner fire. The Goddess Kundalini is said to wear the garland of the letters of the Sanskrit alphabets around Her neck. She is made up of Mantra. Repitition of 'bija' mantras like, 'hreem', 'kleem', 'shreem','om', etc. is one way of Mantra austerity. Longer mantras like Gayathri Mantra are extremely good. Initially it is advisable to recite mantras aloud for a short period of time, then muttered with a low voice for a longer period, and then repeated on a purely mental level for a yet longer period. Incidentally "Shrim" and"Krim" are useful bija mantras for increasing Ojas and Prana respectively.

Concentration Exercises:-
They are "dharana' exercises like focussing the mind on a particular object outside, like a flame. Internal visualization of the form of a deity, an element, an idea or truth principle comes in the category of concentration exercises. Concentration kindles th inner fire to come forth. The most important concenration technique for increasing 'Tejas' is visualization of inner light in the region of the third eye. Tejas is what allows the third eye to open.

Yoga of Knowledge:-
The yoga of knowledge is fire-predominant, particularly the practice of various forms of inquiry, like Self-inquiry. This consists of contemplation of 'atman' while letting go of other thoughts. Tejas arises out of development of discrimination (viveka), which means discerning the eternal from the transient, the unchanging truth from the changing names and forms. This is the main movement of our inner intelligence (buddhi) as it awakens in us as insight.

Above are excerpts from David Frawley's, Yoga and Ayurveda.