Acharya Tulsi - Fifty Years Of Selfless Dedication: Kayotsarga: Total Relaxation with Self-awareness

Published: 24.09.2012

Bodily movements, speech and mental functions are threefold activities of our organism. One of the facets of meditational practice is reduction or total cessation of each of these activities. Three types of meditational practice thus ensue from the trinity of activities. Kayotsarga and its associates such as kayagupti, kayapratisamlinata, etc. come under one of these three types.

Kayotsarga literally means 'abandonment of the body coupled with a high degree of conscious awareness.' In practice it is conscious suspension of all gross movements of the body resulting in relaxation of the skeletal muscles and drastic reduction of metabolic activities. This physical condition results in relieving mental tensions and is an essential precondition of meditational practice. It becomes, therefore, the first phase of Preksha Dhyana and must be practised for a few minutes at the commencement of all types of this technique. Apart from this, kayotsarga may be independently practised daily for longer periods. If one learns and practises systematic relaxation every day, he will remain relaxed, calm and unperturbed in any situation. Physically it is more restful than sleep and is the most harmless and direct antidote to psychosomatic maladies resulting from tension. Spiritually, in this process, the lifeless body is cast off, while consciousness soars upwards freed from and outside its material shell.

Method of Kayotsarga

Choose a comfortable position 'Lotus-posture' is ideal, but other easier ones can also be adopted. Keep your spinal cord, neck and head in a straight line without causing tension. For a longer period, lying flat on a hard ground on a blanket is more suitable. Relaxation commences with the total cessation of the voluntary movements. Since breathing and relaxation are linked together, be aware of your breathing. If it is shallow, hasty and irregular, regulate it until it becomes even, slow and rhythmic. After this it may be forgotten altogether. Next persuade every muscle in each part of the body to relax by autosuggestion. Keeping the body entirely motionless, allow the mind to move in small steps keeping in mind that the technique is that of patient persuasion; it is not forced by strong willpower. Autosuggestion is followed by an experience of relaxation in each part. When the whole body has become relaxed, there is an acute and actual perception of rest and relaxation, which is no longer autosuggestion but real experience. Once this stage is reached, the body is cast off and forgotten and the conscious element reveals its separate existence. Thus kayotsarga is not only total relaxation but actual perception of the self, quite apart from the material non-self, i.e. the body.

Sources
Title:
Acharya Tulsi - Fifty Years Of Selfless Dedication
Publisher:
Jain Vishva Bharati Ladnun
Shrichand Bengani

Editor-in-Chief:

R.P. Bhatnagar

Editors:

● S.L. Gandhi
● Rajul Bhargava, Department of English, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur
● Ashok K. Jha, Department of English, LBS College, Jaipur

Edition:
First Edition, 1985-2000

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Consciousness
  3. Dhyana
  4. Kayotsarga
  5. Preksha
  6. Preksha Dhyana
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