Practice the Earth Concentration Seal and Live For Many Kalpas | iHanuman


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Practice the Earth Concentration Seal and Live For Many Kalpas

We in the West think of historical time as running along a track, an arrow moving in one direction only, and each of us having, as the TV soap opera reminds us, one life to live. But in India, historical time is cyclical, running round and round like a Ferris wheel, each of us passing through many hundreds, even thousands of lives. Each turn of the wheel is called a kalpa, a period of time estimated at 4,320,000 human years. This may seem like an eternity to us, but to Brahma, the creator god, it's only one "day" and "night" in his life. It's estimated that Brahma's life span is 36,000 kalpas, which works out to 100 divine years. It's claimed-though it's not clear how anyone knows this-that we're now living in Brahma's fiftieth year. Every night, just before he goes to bed, Brahma destroys the universe, an event known as the Dissolution or Re-absorption (pralaya), then he re-creates it after breakfast the next morning.
You might expect that nothing and no one can survive the end of the universe, but you'd be mistaken. Meet the crow Bushunda (who's actually a human that's assumed a crow's form and identity), who nests on a branch of the Kalpa Tree (kalpa taru), also known as the Wishing Tree, which grows the northern slope of Mount Meru. Meru is the Hindu's mythic holy mountain, located at the exact center of the universe, with an estimated elevation 84,000 yojanas, or about 350,000 miles. Many eons ago, the Wishing Tree grew on earth. Nobody then had any property or possessions, or did any hard work for that matter, because whenever someone wanted something, anything, all she had to do was find the Wishing Tree-easy enough, since it has gold and silver leaves and jewels for flowers-and wish for what she wanted. Unfortunately, as people became more ambitious and acquisitive, the Tree was taken away and planted on Meru, where now only the gods and their closest allies have access to it.
As you might have guessed, Bushunda isn't your ordinary crow. It's reported that he's achieved supreme peace and wisdom and lives in a perpetual state of samadhi. He's one of the very few chira jivas, which means-believe it or not-that he's lived through several kalpas! Because of this he's also what's called a "knower of three times" (trikala jnani), because knows everything there is to know about the past, present, and future. How has he accomplished all this? Well, through the practice of pranayama, or as he says, by always contemplating the natural and effortless movement of the life-force.
Bushunda he spends his days resting happily in his nest, luxuriating in the bliss of his own true self. He only leaves his nest when Brahma's night arrives. While everything and everyone in existence is being wiped out, he survives because he knows an esoteric pranayama practice called the Five Concentration Seals (pancha dharana mudra). Each seal is dedicated to one of the traditional elements (bhuta)-Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether or Space-that make up the world. So, for example, when the dozen sons of the First Goddess, called Unbounded (aditi), scorch the earth with their burning rays, Bhushunda protects himself by bathing in the Water Concentration Seal. When hurricane winds uproot even the mountains and blow them away like dust, Bhushunda is steady as a rock in the Earth Concentration Seal. When the universal flood submerges everything, Bhushunda floats lightly on the surface of the water with the Air Concentration Seal. And when Brahma finally closes his eyes and the world winks out, Bhushunda falls into dreamless sleep at the foot of the god's bed.
In the morning, Brahma awakes and begins fashioning the universe anew. Bhushunda too stirs, stretches, and yawns, and using only his amazing will power, re-creates his nest on the branch of the Kalpa Tree, then he returns home until it's time to leave again when the next Brahma night falls, in four billion, three hundred and twenty million years.
Would you like to live forever, or at least a very long time? I thought so. So here's how to do the first Concentration Seal, the Earth Concentration Seal (parthivi dharana mudra). Sit in a comfortable position and for a few minutes imagine a yellow square at the base of your spine. Breathe slowly and smoothly and repeat silently to yourself the seed syllable of this seal, LAM. According to the old books this practice brings about "steadiness and conquers death." Easy, huh?

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