Between the years 1995 and 2007, The Vedic Conservatory, of which I am the founder, has initiated experience ofTratak meditation to some 9000 persons in seven countries. As a result, knowledge and dialogue has emerged that could fill a small book.
I am privileged and gleeful to present that wisdom here for reasons not the least of which include that I am a daily practitioner of Tratak meditation and have been blessed in this way for many years. For me, Tratak meditation is a distinctive adornment such as a rare gem locket or jeweled necklace. In cultures ornamented in sacramental traditions such as ancient Bharata Varsha (India) and Siam (Thailand), it is no wonder that Tratak is routinely engaged in before going to any social event such as a community gala or a wedding ceremony. It is also important to mention that mothers of these classical communities would leave ghee lamps burning in the rooms of their infants so that their child would gaze upon the sparkling glow of the flame and hence keep their pineal gland stimulated and thus not allow the pineal gland to wither and atrophy as is now the cursed condition of most of the human population over the age of 12.
Upon this note, that is, that the understanding within Ayurvedic medical knowledge is that the pineal gland (considered by anthropologists as historically the master gland) has most unfortunately ceased its vital function (though it has NOT perished) in each of us at the importune time of age 12 (some say 14/16 years of age). This is critically the main subject of this essay.
Tratak meditation is soft gazing at a light source without blinking the eyes until the eyes tear and then closing the eyes and directing the attention to a region between the eyebrows allowing the after image of the flame to emerge.
Tratak meditation produces the re-blossoming of the pineal gland. Tratak accesses primordial pranicconsciousness (prakriti) that naturally re-activates the Third eye (1st eye?).
How is this possible? In what way can we re-flower, refresh and re-enervate the very gland that the animals use to know when to migrate, to mate, to shed their fur and how to acclimate to their environments?
Is this not of utmost critical importance particularly in the light of the state of affairs of present day society and its biological disarray?
According to the Shamans (doctors) of Vedic medicine, the pineal gland nourishes/feeds itself upon light and heat!
Herein lies our Blessed miracle! Tratak is gazing at a light source without blinking until the eyes tear, then closing the eyes, bringing the gaze inward, and focusing on the Blue Pearl of the afterimage.
The expression that is shared communally thus culturally Gracing this medical folk art since time immemorial is: “One teardrop is more valuable than a pearl and more precious than one hundred drops of blood”! Jesus’ words here are also significant: “If thine eye be single, thy whole body will be full of light”.
Tratak is a vehicle for us to transcend the dual nature of the mind. In Buddhist doctrine, the mind is referred to as the “tyranny of the drunken monkey!” In addition to this theology, the Vedic Sutras inform us that the mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy! Tratak meditation helps us unify our awareness and transcend this duality.
Tratak is cherished pleasure and serene beauty for the soul precisely because we become one and whole during the Tratak ritual. We inherently come to know for example that pleasure and pain, happiness and distress, loss and gain, success and failure, even divinity and profanity or life and death (more dualities!) are opposite forces that are perpetuating their very existences with complimentary and antagonistic forces. To know youth is to know aging. To know vice is to know virtue etc. Yet beyond these many dramas ARE our natural and eternal being of Bliss, Ecstasy and Infinity (Sat-Chit-Ananda).
Do we not have already technologies to enhance the beauty of our body’s skin, teeth, hair and nails? Are we not in more real and vital need to beautify our soul (atman)?
Tratak elegantly actualizes calm and luminescent balance and personal harmony. The experience emotionally compliments our being with innocence.
Tratak is non-sectarian and therefore does not polarize any religious sentiment. It is the authentic and true thread lacing through all 1200 religions on the planet today. It is meditation on light, the absolute essence of life.
Be childlike with Tratak. Enjoy its preparation and indulgence and multifarious benefits. She is a royal servant teaching us consecrated wisdom, pleasure and spiritual etiquette.
Fact: In science, we know that wherever the awareness is concentrated, the electrons within that area become stimulated into bio-activity. Moreover, stimulated electrons attract photons. Photons are molecules of light! Now imagine the benefits individually or socially when we place our awareness between the two hemispheres of our brain!
Imagine the medical results for one suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease! As we focus our consciousness at the center of the cranium, Tratak enervates the energies within the cranium and stirs the bio-electrical prana at the hypothalamus-pituitary and pineal regions. This is called ‘the endocrine cascade’. We experience at this time the delicate balancing result occurring when the glandular system (chakra constellations) symbiotically communicates with itself creating harmonic resonance within its chemical/electrical system. This is tranquilizing yet lucid awareness.
Consider our light source options available for doing Tratak. They can be of many marvelous origins such as the moon, a star, a mountain peak, a Temple Spire, a tree top, a Yantra-mandala, or of course a flame. If you want to have some fun, do Tratak with the moon before going out on a date. I will reassure you most honestly that all your needs on this date will happen for you! Tratak meditation is a desire tree. It is a touchstone for personal dreams. I strongly recommend Tratak as essential in preparing for an exam or participation in an athletic event. Try it. Research it. Be a genuine scientist and experiment with Tratak meditation.
You will find the practice (prashad) indispensable!
DO NOT USE THE SUN AS A LIGHT SOURCE FOR TRATAK MEDITATION! This can damage your eyes permanently and must be avoided!
The most recommended fuel in ayurvedic medicine is ghee (clarified butter). The use of every day ordinary candles is to be discouraged (though acceptable) because they are customarily (and unbeknownst to most people) made of petroleum products. Don’t unknowingly turn your comfortable living room into a downtown Elizabeth, New Jersey or Baton Rouge, Louisiana! These cities are the cancer capitals of the world because of petroleum refineries.
It is a wonderful sensation indeed to use candles made with natural products such as soy oil, palm oil and bees wax. Other highly recommended fuel oils in ayurvedic rituals are mustard seed oil, sesame oil and olive oil. These are liquid fire! Simply make a cotton wick, place it in the oil, and light it!
Pranam dandavats to Sriman Shyam Bhatnagar of the Princeton, New Jersey area. It is with respect and honor to this man that this written page begins. Having never met him, yet being a yoga/meditation student of his student Barbara Waaben in the early 1970’s, I pay my reverence and humility to this renowned chakra psychologist and meditation pioneer. His influence at bringing the contribution of peace and cultural harmony to the western countries has certainly affected many souls with enlightenment and self-realization.
Please know Dear Sir, that because of the little booklet that you authored entitled TRATAK-Meditation on Lightthat graced a small coffee table in your ashram center in Princeton when I was only in my late teens, I no longer address Tratak as a technique or as a meditation style but that I address Tratak now as a Person, a Goddess, a Devi of imponderable loveliness and beauty. Such is also the same for pranayama breathing and its invaluable influence on consciousness and spirit. Pranayama be indeed no longer denoted for me as simply an austere modality to exercise and control. Now She, Srimati Pranayama Devi, has become a Person of mercy and goodness, a Divine Feminine Angel offering guidance with love and She is celebrated within my heart as a most kind and mysteriously munificent Sacred Deity. Gratitude and Glorification to Srimati Tratak Devi Om and Srimati Pranayama Devi Om!
Praises and prayers to Sriman Shyam Bhatnagar!