Manas means mind. The mental and physical bodies are bridged together by prana, the life force. Consciousness is the spirit, the soul, about which modem medical science speaks very little. Since modern medical science places more emphasis on objective proof, it often overlooks subjectivity. The Sanskrit word pratyaksham means what one observes or perceives. Personal perception is limited and to prove everything objectively is difficult. Subjectivity and objectivity must be bridged’. Objectivity is limited, but subjective experiences are vast. All subjective experiences belong to the mind and all objective barometers are connected to the body. It is important to note that manas prakruti and vikruti, form a bridge between objectivity and subjectivity.
[ Prerequisite : The Nadi System (Channel Of Our Life Force) ]
The Mental Constitution and the Present Flow of Consciousness
Ayurveda is a science (objective truth), a philosophy (subjective truth) and an art of medicine all in one. It assays the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual components of life—encompassing the complete definition of life. What emerges from this definition is the understanding that life expresses in numerous modes—mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Influences upon us affect one or several of these aspects of life. For example, According to Ayurveda a mental trauma, will have emotional, physical and spiritual implications on the human mind,body and soul. Thus, each aspect of life both affects and reflects changes in the other modes of existence as well.
Hence, manas prakruti is important to assess. The seventh, the deepest level of the pulse, reveals the physical constitution of the human body. The sixth level is the mental constitution. According to Charaka, mind is the faculty which directs the senses toward an object of perception to create contact and then carries the sensation to the intellect to produce knowledge. Charaka also speaks about the pervasiveness of mind. Perceiving is a function of the mind and all tanmatras are present both within and outside the mind. The mind communicates with the subtle forces of the tanmatras and, therefore, mind also pervades. Every object in this world is waiting for our perception, but unless we pay attention to these objects, they do not exist for us. Unless the mind directs the senses to a particular object, we cannot perceive that object. Thus mind plays a very important role. Touch is everywhere, but touch belongs to the inner mind. The moment an outer object touches the mind, it carries that touch sensation to the inner faculty for interpretation.
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When looking at a star, one is touching that star. It is the touch of perception. Touch is of three types—sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. Sattvic, pure perception, gives us knowledge which nourishes consciousness. Cell is the center of consciousness and cellular consciousness is nourished by pure knowledge given by the mind. This process is due to sattva. But if the mind has more rajasic and tamasic qualities, perception is distorted and distorted perception leads to wrong conclusions, wrong judgments, wrong knowledge and a wrong image. These distortions build up ama and affect the individual psychosomatically. Let us try to understand manas prakruti at the sixth level of the pulse, which denotes the flow of consciousness.
An important aspect of Indian philosophy is the theory of the five elements. When checking for manas prakruti, the person should be facing the east direction. This position will help to clarify the reading represented in the diagram. The index finger of the examiner is Air, which is vata, and is pictured as a wave. The middle finger has a spike like pitta and is represented by a triangle. Kapha is composed of the Earth and Water elements, so the ring finger is represented by a square. The lotus at the bottom of the illustration represents the finger resting on the radial artery. Under each finger checking the pulse, one can imagine that there is an eight-petaled lotus. When feeling someone’s pulse, use the diagram of this lotus to find the location of the spike. Each petal of the lotus can be numbered for convenience of understanding and the number of the direction should be noted under each finger. For example, under the index finger one might note the direction as V5. The middle finger might indicate P7.
The ring finger may reveal a reading of K. If the spike is in the east, Petal Number 1, that indicates an Indra personality, which is royal and religious. If the spike is at the position of the second petal, the southeast direction, that shows an Agni personality, which means knowledge. That person is a worshiper of knowledge. The third petal is a Yama personality, impartial. Yama is the God of Death, who loves everyone equally. He takes away the soul and puts an end to the individual’s life. These people with Yama personalities are quite impartial. They love no one, which means they love everyone, and they are also withdrawn and introspective. A spike in the fourth petal indicates a Nairutya personality. These people love to sleep and are tamasic. Indra is sattvic, Agni is rajasic, Yama is tamasic and the direction of Nairutya is also tamasic. A spike in the west, Petal Number 5, is Varuna, which is sattvic. People with a Varuna personality are loving and compassionate. Petal Number 6, which is northwest, is Vayavya, which is rajasic. The Vayavya personality is emotional with mood swings.
A spike at the seventh petal indicates Kubera, which is sattvic. People with this personality are rich in mind and blessed with long life. Petal Number 8 is Ishanya, which is also sattvic. These people are fortunate and spiritual. This classification is explained in ancient nadi texts, which we are now learning in the twentieth century. These ancient texts tried to bridge subjectivity and objectivity. Now to learn the technique, go to the deepest pulse at the seventh level. Then gently release the pressure and come to the sixth level, where the spike changes. At the seventh level the spike will be felt at the center of the lotus. With a slight release of pressure to the sixth level, the change of direction will be felt toward one of the petals of the lotus. Try to focus your attention on each finger separately. Under the vata finger find out whether the spike is at Indra, Agni, Yama, or one of the others. Take a note of the reading. Turn your attention to the pitta finger and find the direction of the spike. Then feel the kapha finger. With this information manas prakruti can be understood as a mixed prakruti of vata, pitta and kapha. The spike under each finger might be at a different petal of the lotus, helping to clarify the understanding of the individual’s personality. Don’t compare the reading with the prakruti of the subject, just feel the direction of the spike while visualizing the lotus.
To simplify, pay attention to which finger has a more prominent throbbing. Suppose the prominent throbbing is under the index finger. Then read manas prakruti under the finger with the most prominent throb, because the mind and consciousness are expressing, through that throb. Suppose the prominent throbbing is best felt under the index and middle fingers, compare which is more prominent. Under that prominent finger, meditate and visualize this eight-petaled lotus. This is a subtle perception. There is an eight-petaled lotus under each of the fingers of the examiner and one can read all three fingers, but that is too complicated initially. For beginners it is better to practice on the finger with the prominent spike, one finger at a time. Once you read your own manas prakruti, turn to a friend and try to feel his or her manas prakruti. Ideally the subject should be facing east and the reader should be facing the west direction, which will simplify the reading. The tips of the fingers, of the person being examined are always visualized as facing the east direction. However, any direction can be faced as long as the anterior aspect is seen as east and the posterior aspect as west. Keep the finger reading the pulse stationary. Don’t move it in all eight directions. This is imagination, but the greatest scientist is gifted with a positive power of imagination. Try to be a scientist and be imaginative.
Use the right hand of the person for a man and the left hand for a woman. The lotus is in the same position on both hands. Don’t become confused by the position of the subject’s thumb on the right and left hands. The orientation of the lotus is the same on both hands and does not change in its relationship to the position of the thumb. Just keep the orientation of the fingertips of the subject facing east.
Planetary Principles in the Nadi
The sixth level of the pulse can also denote planetary principles acting in the nadi. These readings may not correspond to one’s Jyotish astrological birth chart. The sixth level of the pulse indicates the status of the mental body. The modern term astral body is composed of the ancient Upanishad descriptions of the prana body and the manas body. The movement of prana becomes disturbed by the vibrations of thoughts, feelings and emotions coming from the manas body. So, the mental body can disturb the astral body and the astral body can disturb the mental body. Before pathological changes happen in the physical body, subtle changes take place in the mental and astral bodies. In other words, the mental and astral bodies play an indirect role in the immune system, affecting Agni, tejas and ojas.
Many times, people ask what stone they should wear, on which day they should fast or which deity they should worship. The sixth level of the pulse reveals this information. Read each finger in the same way as for manas prakruti. For example, if the reading of the petal numbers denotes V2 P3 K5, V2 represents Ketu and the person should wear a cat’s eye or a pearl. Petal Number 3 on the pitta finger is Mars, so the person should wear a red coral necklace. With this combination of vata and pitta the person should wear a red coral necklace with a pearl in the center. Petal Number 5 on the kapha finger represents Jupiter and the stone to be used is a yellow sapphire. Using the correct gems facilitates healing. Life without a personal deity is without direction, leading us to a feeling of un-groundedness. When anchored with a deity, one will never feel lonely or ungrounded. One’s connection with a personal deity brings stability, direction and perfume to life.
Then the whole life becomes a celebration, not a meaningless futile game. It is difficult to have a direct relationship with Almighty God, but worship of a personal deity such as Ganesha, Vishnu, Rama, Krishna, Christ or Buddha brings communion with higher consciousness. Almighty God is experienced through the personal deity and this deity becomes a bridge to salvation and enlightenment. The choice is also guided by which doshas are active in the manas prakruti and vikruti. If vata is active, the person should wear a cat’s eye, which will calm vata. There is a bridge between dosha, planets and gemstones in manas prakruti. When one fasts on a specified day, the blessing of that particular planet is received. In Ayurveda there is a branch of astrology called astrotherapy (graha chikitsa) which addresses the influences of the planets upon the person.
For example, a person has a pitta problem and under the pitta finger the spike is in the Mars position (Petal Number 3).This high pitta is due to the affliction of Mars in the mind. Wearing a red coral necklace will absorb the Mars energy and fasting on Tuesday will calm down pitta and the Mars provoking influence. Fasting according to these principles will eliminate mental impurities or ama. Enlightenment has many doors and there ‘are many paths to realization. God never asks through which door you come, in which car you arrive or on which flight. He is just happy to see you and bless you. There are many ways to become enlightened—mantra yoga, jhana yoga, bhakti yoga, karma yoga, chanting the holy name of God, fasting, doing puja, doing worship—all these ways lead to God. The Ayurvedic culture makes life a splendid ceremony. Even death becomes a ceremony. People take the body, carry it to the cremation yard, chant mantra, burn the body to ashes and carry the ashes to the sacred river. The deceased person’s soul is happy and that soul has equal energy to that of God.
Therefore, never speak bad things about a deceased person. This is very important. A person makes his life miserable if he carries unresolved emotions about a deceased father or mother. Never ever carry unresolved anger about a deceased person. When a person has ceased to exist physically, that anger should be resolved and released. The deities related to the Sun are Rama, Gayatri Devi and Christ. Shiva is related to the Moon and Monday is a good day to worship Shiva. Mars is connected to Lord Ganesh and, when Mars is activated, Ganesh will cool down Mars energy. Mercury is related to Lord Vithala, Krishna and Vishnu, Jupiter to Lord Dattatraya, Lakshmi and also Lord Balaji. Buddhists worship Buddha. Venus, Friday, is Lakshmi, Sarasvatl, Durga and Allah. Saturday is Lord Shani and Hanuman. Hanuman is also worshipped to calm down Mars. According to Vedic philosophy, Hanuman is a living entity who is the son of Wind God and travels with the speed of the wind. He is the dedicated servant of Rama. Hanuman is full of love. He stands for bhakti and service. He protects us from evil energy, such as ghosts and spirits. Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa on Saturday and Tuesday will activate this protective energy. Rahu and Ketu are pleased by worshipping them on Saturday and Tuesday respectively. Fasting from sunrise to sunset is a good discipline, cleansing the body, mind and consciousness. For fasting take fruits or fruit juice, which are sattvic, and don’t eat any cooked grains.
In Hinduism there are 36,000 deities. The Hindus worship everything as a manifestation of God—trees, flowers, and there is even a special day for cows. They also worship the bull, which is a vehicle of Lord Shiva. They are innocent like a child and innocence is the perfume of life. Knowledge is beautiful but knowledge makes the person rigid, it makes the person logical. Logic is based upon knowledge and reasoning. On the other hand, intelligence is creative. Hence, logic has no intelligence.
Chakras in the Nadi
The word chakra means wheel and chakras are centres of energy in the body related to physical, mental and spiritual energies. If the flow of energy in any of these centres becomes blocked, stress is reflected in the physiology. The sixth level of the pulse also reveals how well each of these chakras is functioning. If a spike is present, that chakra is working under stress. A healthy chakra has no spike. Return to the same sixth level pulse to find which chakra is stressed. Reading this information is slightly different. Gently move the finger and find the location of the spike. The ring finger at the proximal curvature denotes the activity of muladhara, the first chakra, and at the distal curvature the activity of svadhisthana, the second chakra, is felt. On the middle finger one can detect manipura and anahata respectively. On the index finger one will feel visuddha and the sixth chakra, which is ajna. The central part of each finger denotes the activity of sahasrara. When a spike is present, that chakra is working under stress and the kundalini shakti is blocked there. That chakra needs cleansing work.
A healthy chakra has no spike because the kundalini energy moves smoothly. A dynamo that works perfectly creates no noise. However, the dynamo that is cracked creates a loud noise. Hence, the chakra that is working under stress creates a spike. We are ordinary people who are involved in worldly affairs and our chakras may not be open. What is the spike of an enlightened person? An enlightened person will have a gentle balanced spike at the site of sahasrara under all three fingers. The bija mantra for each chakra is given in the illustration of Chakras in the Pulse. Lam is for muladhara, vam for svadhisthana, ram for manipura, yam for anahata, ham for visuddha, sham-ksham for ajna, so-hum for sahasrara, and aum for bliss, located about the width of 10 fingers above the physical brain. This point is the junction between the auric field and cosmic consciousness and is called anuchara, the unspoken soundless sound, the sound of one hand clapping, sound without duality.
If the person mentally recites the appropriate mantra 108 times, it helps to release the blockage and open any chakra. The chakra system and chromo-therapy go together. The seven rainbow colours are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and indigo, and they are also the colours of the chakras, from muladhara to sahasrara respectively. A spike at muladhara on the proximal curvature of the ring finger may be connected to the reproductive organs— testicles, ovaries, cervix and prostate. The person may have sexual debility or low libido. If the spike is on the distal curvature of the ring finger, it is connected to the second chakra, svadhisthana—kidney, urethra, bladder and adrenals. The second chakra is also connected to the spleen and governs the water element. The third chakra is functionally connected to the stomach, pancreas, small intestine, liver and gallbladder. The fourth chakra relates to the heart and lungs and the fifth to the vocal cords, thyroid and parathyroid. The sixth is related to the third eye and the pituitary gland and the seventh to the pineal. With this understanding, now try to read your own chakra pulse and then read the condition of your friend’s chakra pulse.
The right hand in the man and the left hand in the woman should be used to understand the chakras. To find this pulse at the sixth level, gently tune your finger to locate the presence of the spike. Try to contact the throb. This information is at the same sixth level as manas prakruti and the planetary influences, but fine tuning is different. A spike at sahasrara on the kapha finger means the crown chakra has a tarpaka kapha disorder. A spike at sahasrara under the pitta finger indicates sadhaka pitta is involved. If the spike is under the index finger, prana vata is involved. An uneven spike at the sahasrara site under all three fingers means the person is mentally disturbed. But if the spikes are equally balanced at this position under all three fingers, the person is enlightened.
The Present Flow of Consciousness
Now let us shift our attention to the second level. Just a bit below the superficial pulse on the first level, the spike changes. The second level represents the present flow of consciousness. Although we refer to this present flow of consciousness as manas vikruti, it is more appropriately called the present status of the mind. Under each finger visualize the eight-petaled lotus representing the eight directions in the same manner as at the sixth level. This pulse changes approximately every 90 minutes, due to changing thought waves and feelings. It is not permanent, because it is a flow of consciousness connected to the thought wave.
At one moment there may be a wave of sadness and depression. In the second moment one may feel happy and cheerful. A spike in the east direction (Petal Number 1) represents creative, positive thoughts. A spike in the southeast (Petal Number 2) represents judgmental thoughts, sometimes self-criticism or perfectionism which is judgmental. Pitta people are often, perfectionist kind of people which creates a lot of stress in them. A spike in the south (Petal Number 3) indicates depression and low self-esteem. The fourth direction is southwest (Petal Number 4), representing pessimistic thinking. The west direction (Petal Number 5) is attachment and emotional thinking. People are attached to status, relationships and objects. Attachment can be to anything. The northwest direction (Petal Number 6) represents a chattering mind and north (Petal Number 7) indicates thinking of money and success. Northeast (Petal Number 8) is spiritual thought. The mind is calm, quiet and serene.
This level may or may not be the same as the manas prakruti at the sixth level. For example, a person may be born with a sattvic manas prakruti but may become predominantly rajasic manas vikruti as he or she reaches adulthood. Perhaps the vata finger may indicate depression but the pitta finger may show judgmental thinking and the kapha finger vikruti but may become predominantly rajasic manas vikruti as he or she reaches adulthood. Now we will try to read the second level of the pulse. First read your own and then your friend’s pulse. Keep the fingers still. For comparison, use each finger separately.
Perhaps the vata finger may indicate depression but the pitta finger may show judgmental thinking and the kapha finger into your prana with your inhalation. However, you should exercise caution with this practice because you may receive the energies of the subject and pick up the person’s feelings and emotions. To feel someone’s pulse is an energy exchange. There are certain methods to protect oneself. Practice So-Hum meditation and watch the breath. In addition, wearing gemstones and crystals such as amethyst, rose quartz and a rudraksha mala will add protection. One can also practice the meditation of passive awareness during which there is doing without the sense of the doer. Emotions can enter through the breath. When one unconsciously breathes in, one can take in another person’s energy. Even when walking by someone on the street who is throwing out thoughts of anger and fear, these molecules, these atoms of thoughts are inhaled.
When arriving home, if the feelings of sadness come without any apparent reason, we have picked up that person’s energy. Conscious breathing and the So-Hum mantra are very important. When practicing So-Hum meditation, one does not incorporate other people’s energy. One remains alert and tranquil. There are many ways to improve the sensitivity in the fingers. Rub the fingers with certain medicated oils containing brahmi and vacha, which bring more alertness and sensitive observation. I always do So-Hum meditation when I. feel the pulse. With So-Hum, the mind is not interfering, the thoughts and feelings are not interfering and the perception of the pulse becomes clear. You can also use any guru-given authentic mantra. A mantra can neutralize the blockage and interference created by one’s own thoughts and pulsations.
Examining an individual’s pulse is meditation. Meditate, feel the pulse, focus attention on the mantra and you will feel pulse under your fingers. In this way the reading will be accurate. Practically, the sixth level of manas prakruti doesn’t change unless one becomes enlightened. When one transcends normal consciousness, that person is beyond manas prakruti, and to practice meditation is to go beyond manas prakruti. Up to this point, pulse reading has been more technical but to realize the subtleties of the pulse needs mere sensitive awareness. The concepts presented in this article are complicated and will bring up many questions in the mind of the reader. However, all these questions can be answered by the development of subjective perception.