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Helpful Tips - Namaskara To Yati(Sanyasi), Danda(Yoga Stick), Pravara (156)

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This section Helpful Tips is all about Frequently Arising Questions. Sri Narendra Babu Sharma widely known as Brahmanda Guruji, share the knowledge on general topics and Hindu Sanathana Dharma in his Television Programme - Lakshmi Kataksha, telecasted in Kasthuri Kannada Channel, which i have put in this section. Guruji also share information of knowledge on Vasthu Shastra and lot of Helpful stuffs. Many People have lot of doubts on Hindu Sanathana Dharma, which is also covered in this section.
Please do ask a priest or elders, if you have any doubts in below, who knows very well about our customs and practices and clarify the same.

  • Namaskara To Yati(Sanyasi):

    Namaskara To Yati(Sanyasi)
    We should not offer namaskara to any Yati/Sanyasi/Guru (Religious Mendicant) without Danda (Yoga Danda or Yoga staff). We should offer namakara only when Yati/Sanyasi is with the Danda.

  • Yoga Danda or Yoga staff:

    Yoga Danda or Yoga staff
    In a normally healthy person, the flow in any one nostril is slightly restricted as compared to the flow in the other nostril. This unequal flow between nostrils is normal and alternates between the right and the left on its own every few hours.

    However, sometimes one nostril gets exceedingly restricted and the flow is blocked if there is any disturbance in our mind-body complex. At this time, even the alteration in flow to the other nostril is delayed.

    There are ways available to change the flow of breath between nostrils if you experience the need to do so.

    This is specially required to practice alternate nostril breathing successfully - a very useful Pranayama breathing technique with powerful benefits

    The Tool: The Yoga Danda or Yoga staff is an ancient device, which when supported under the armpits, provides the desired effect. The Yoga Danda is a T-shaped wooden staff of about 2 feet in height. The horizontal member is bent in the shape of a “U” with a smooth broad edge to provide a comfortable support to the armpit. By using it appropriately, the flow in the nostrils can be regulated.

    How to Use: Squat on the floor or be seated in any meditative posture such as Siddhasana or Padmasana with spine erect.

    Support your torso on the Yoga Danda by resting your armpit on the U-shaped horizontal member of the staff. The Danda is to be placed under the side that has the open nostril. For example, if the flow is free on the right nostril, support your right armpit on the Yoga danda. After a few minutes, you will feel the flow of breath easier through the left nostril. Once this flow through the left nostril is achieved, the stick may be removed.

    Benefits: The Yoga Danda offers a convenient way to alter breath flow between nostrils. This helps in freeing up the breath flow and is especially useful in gaining the maximum out of Pranayama techniques, especially those requiring alternate nostril breathing, such as Nadi Shodhana Pranayama.

    In fact, there is a whole branch of Yoga, called Svara Yoga that employs regulation of flow between nostrils to achieve optimum energy flows in our body with great results.

    When pressed under the armpit, it aids in Detoxification. The area under the armpit is rich in lymph nodes where the absorption of toxins for excretion takes place. The lymph removes the toxins from the human body. Pressing the armpit stimulates the lymph flow which helps eliminate the toxins from our systems

    In all, this is a handy tool to be had by a sincere yoga practitioner who wishes to harness the energy balancing power of yoga.

    Using the Yoga Danda for Japa meditation: Some practitioners of Japa Meditation on mala beads rest the hands on the knees while turning the beads, so that the mala is allowed to rest on the floor. Others, bend their arm so that their hand is placed towards the heart while bead turning but this can be tiresome.
    Often, many practitioners of japa meditation, prefer to support their forearm on the Yoga Danda, so that they can practice japa without discomfort.

    In this case, the danda is placed in front of the seated body and the hand supported on it. The mala is allowed to fall freely from this raised position that facilitates turning of the beads for japa.

  • Can we touch the feet of Yati/Sanyasi while offering Namaskara?

    Can we touch the feet of Yati/Sanyasi
    No, we should not touch the feet of Yati/Sanyasi while offering prostration namaskara.

  • Can we offer namaskara with pravara to Yathi/Sanyasi/Guru?

    No, we should not offer namaskara with pravara to Yathi/Sanyasi/Guru. We should offer namaskara with pravara only to Elders or God.

  • Meaning of Pravara:

    Upanayanam ceremony (Thread Ceremony), which generally happens in Brahmin families, it is a version of the sacred thread ceremony where the concept of Brahman is introduced to a young boy or an adolescent male before marriage. As a part of this ceremony, one is supposed to go to people, introduce himself to them and seek alms just like how a Brahmin used to do some decades ago. The person makes use of his ‘pravara’ to introduce himself. Also, while tying the knots of sacred thread, an oath is taken in the name of each one of these three or five or seven rishis belonging to one's gotra.

    Sample Pravara:

    ‘Chatussagara paryantam gobrahmanebhyah shubham bhavatu,

    Angirasa, Bhaarhaspatya, Bharadvajasa tria rishayah pravaranvita

    bharadvajasa gotrah,

    Apastamba sutrah,

    Krishna Yajur shakhadhayi

    Subrahmanya Kiran sharmah ahambhoh abhivadaye’

    Here is what it means,

    Line 1: May all the cows and Brahmins across the four seas be blessed

    Line 2: The names and number of the main rishis to whose lineage the person belongs

    Line 3: Gotra of the person

    Line 4: The sutra that the person follows

    Line 5: The veda shakha that the person belongs to

    Line 6: Name of the person

    A Gotra is the name of the founding father (and in a few exceptional cases, founding mother) of the clan. A shaka is a Hindu theological school that specializes in learning certain Vedic texts, or else the traditional texts followed by such a school. In Brahmin lineage, each family is supposed to have one Gotra, and one Sutra, meaning that a certain Veda is treasured by this family in way of learning by heart.

    So, to translate it into English, a person, introduces himself as follows,

    I am 'XYZ', of Bharadwaja gotra, of Apastamba sutra, of Krishna shakha of Yajurveda, of three pravaras named Angirasa, Bhaarhaspatya and Bharadwaja.


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