Trataka or Yogic Gazing is a special type of meditation done by your eyes. Out of five sensory organs, the eyes are the most vital sensory organs. So, that’s why it is said that – “Your eyes are the windows of your soul”. As we all know that the brain is the most complex part in our body. But eyes also take the position of the most complex organ in the body. Eyes are holding about two hundred million working parts. You know what, 80% of all the sensory data we process comes from only our vision.
What is Trataka (Yogic Gazing) and its type?
The word Trataka is coined from the text of Sanskrit (त्राटक). Which means gaze, or to look, or set your gaze to a particular object (like a candle, black dot, sky, moon). The importance of Fixed gazing (Trataka) is mentioned in the Hatha Yoga as well as in Gherand Samhita (in 5.54 sholka). Generally, Trataka is simple to do but very effective method and is one of the six cleansing practices (Shatkarma -Cleansing method). Trataka is a method of Hatha Yoga in which you have to fix your eyes to a particular point, object or on a flame of a candle. In simple words, Yogic Gazing is a special type of meditation in Yoga by which you can improve your concentration. It gives the power of self-actualization, increases your spirituality level and gives you the feeling of tranquility.
meditation is categorizing into two parts – 1. Bahiranga Trataka (Outer gazing) 2. Antranga Trataka (inward gazing). Gazing a candle flame is the most common way of Trataka. In a simple form of fixed gazing, there is one important point, that during this you should not blink your eyes during the practice.
Outer Gazing (Bahiranga Trataka)
In this Yogic Gazing method you have to focus on an outer object, means those object who are present and easily seen by our eyes. Gazing a sky, flame of a candle, a particular image or point is comes under the outer gazing method. The main thing is that you don’t need to close your eyes. You have to set your eyes on a particular object or on a point.
Inward Gazing (Antranga Trataka)
Inward gazing is totally opposite to outer gazing. Or you can also say that it is the advanced level of Trataka. Once a learner is comfortable with the first one then he/she go for inward gazing. In this method of Trataka, you have to focus inwardly means set your focus on anyone Chakra. Third eye or Ajna chakra is best for focusing.
Yogic Gazing in the different culture
According to Indian culture, the Yogic Gazing was used by ancient Sages to get the extrasensory perception or perception of subtle manifestations. As per Gherand Samhita, Hardcore practitioners of Trataka used this technique for gaining the power of sixth sense. It is believed that Yogic Gazing gives the attractive power to your eyes. Through which you can attract any living beings. But for this, Very hard practice and lots of time are needed.
In Buddhism religion, Trataka (Yogic Gazing) is used as a meditation, but they set their gaze to the sky or moon. Or they focus on their chakra.
The ancient priestesses in Egypt set their gaze into a bowl of still-water. There are also many cultures (Chinese, Japanese) that used Trataka for relaxing and increasing the power of the mind.
Scientific Facts of Trataka
Trataka is totally based on the scientific fact. The movement of our eyeballs reflects our thinking process. During the practice of Trataka, when we focus on a particular object. Due to focusing on a specific object, random thoughts are very less or vanished out and our eyeballs become steadier. There is a unique connection between the movement of the eyeball and in our mental state. You can easily see this on an EEG machine. During the practice of fixed gazing (Trataka), you’ve to forcefully set your eyes on a specific object or point by doing this you can get a steady focused mind. Throughout the process, your random or negative thoughts have become less and your unstable mind is under control.
Different ways of Fixed Gazing
There are so many ways to practicing Trataka, learner’s use many various objects for the practicing of steady gazing(objects like – Crystal ball, the full moon, sky, sun of early morning, black dot on the wall or picture of God/Goddess). But focusing on the flame of a candle is the popular and most common technique of Trataka followed by the practitioners.
Steps of setting your gaze on the flame of Candle
- First of all, you have to sit comfortably in any meditation Asana like Padmasana or Sukhasana on the Yoga mat. If you have a problem with bending knees then you can also sit on a chair. Your spine should erect at that time.
- You need a stand which is proper in height, now with a candle stand put a candle on the stand or short table. But keep in mind the height of the candle is parallel to your eyes or same in the level of your eyes (Choose appropriate table for placing the candle, flame of candle is the same in the level as your eyes. Or in a way that, you don’t need to tilt your head upward or downward for gazing the flame).
- Stay calm and steady and start gazing at the bright spot of the flame.
- Note that, don’t look at the top of the flame because flame may flicker any time and you’ll lose your focus. For better concentration set your gaze at the red dot at the top of the wick.
- One most essential part doesn’t blink your eyes. At the initial stage, you can focus for a few minutes. You feel some irritation on your eyes, or tears is come out from your eyes even this don’t blink your eyes.
- If you feel more irritation in your eyes wait for a minute and start your practice.
- Daily practice will make you more aware and you set your focus only on the flame. And you forget everything even you lose your body consciousness along with you feel that you are combined with flame.
- When you feel your eyes are tired, gently close your eyes and relax for sometimes. If your eyes may water then keep it close until the strain is released.
- Also, try to imagine the picture of the flame when you close your eyes. Feel your internal flame as long as you can imagine the candle flame with closed eyes.
- Slowly and gently open your eyes and blink your eyes for a few minutes to release the strain.
- As per your interest repeat the process.
(We mentioned the steps of fixed gazing on a candle flame, but you can choose any object as per your choice and follow the same steps).
What are the benefits of Trataka (fixed gazing)?
- An awesome technique to prepare yourself for a meditation with a mantra. Boosts your intelligence, concentration, and memory also.
- Trataka is a very powerful as well as an effective method to increases vision and eyesight. It corrects the all the problems related to the eyes.
- Willpower and self- confidence is the most vital factor in the individual, and Trataka improves willpower and self-confidence.
- Trataka is the best method for anger management. Soothes your mind and gives silence and inner peace.
- Yogic Gazing is Best for insomnia, headache, and cures the sleep-related disorder.
- Yogic Gazing Relax mind creates a great productivity and efficiency at work.
- Increase and makes you good at decision making by giving clarity to your mind.
- Trataka overcomes your emotional and behavioral issue and helps you to overcome your mental problems.
- By Yogic Gazing You feel stress-free and relaxed all the day.
Trataka or Yogic Gazing is the traditional form of meditation, its need for patience, and time. Practice the Trataka in the peaceful environment. Where you comfortably and peacefully perform this process. You need a well-qualified teacher for the guidance. Because incorrect steps affect you mentally.