Swarodaya or knowledge of the breath

Swar : means flow of breath through the nostril.  Odaya means arise.  Swarodaya is the knowledge of the breath.

This knowledge of the breath is absolutely necessary for everyone – whether one is walking on the path of Yoga or not.  If you are a Yogi, you must have a detailed knowledge of the breath.

I will share some basics here but a more detailed account is related in Mukta shastra and I would direct anyone who is interested in it to that book.

Why is Swarodaya so important?  This is because our breath is constantly telling us things  and hints different events about to unfold in our life.  It tells about death, it tells us when we are about to have a horrendous day and it tells us when we will fall sick.  All this is an interplay of Surya nadi (breath through the right nostril), Chandra nadi (breath through the left nostril), Sushumna (breath through both nostrils equally), Amrita yoga and Visha yoga.  ALL astrology for the immediate future is from this science. 

Just remember, if you have Sushumna nadi. “breath through both nostrils simultaneously” STOP all activity.  There will be NO SUCCESS and can easily lead to death.  I repeat STOP all activity and DO NOT start any activity on that day if that is the nadi that is there when you wake up.  EVERYONE should wake up and the first thing to do is check your nadi, (left nostril, right nostril or both).  If it is in both nostrils, DO NOT get up from the bed till you change the nostrils.  In general, activites done when there is flow of breath through the left nostril is good for most purposes in wordly matters.  Gurudev, Yogananda, Vivekananda and all great saints had a detail knowledge about this. 

A few more things on the subject

1) The breath comes out of the body with varying degree of force.  The more the force it comes out with, the less spirituality.  A true Yogi, knows how to decrease the force or flow outside.   This force with which the breath comes out is measured in finger breaths.  While sitting this flow is 12 finger breaths and while having sex it can be as high as 64 finger breaths. 

2) When the chandra nadi is in force, the basic elements that are active are Earth or Prithvi and Water or Jala.  These forces are helpful.  REMEMBER, these basic elements were created before the creation of the universe.  YOU CANNOT see them till you are close to perfection and having ALL the wonderful powers of a Yogi (see previous blog where Yukteshwar was able to double his weight by a thought)

3) The durations of the different elements (tattvas) are as follows : Akasha or ether is 4 min, Vayu or Wind is 8 min, Agni or fire is 12 min.  Any activity done in those elements are detrimental.  One has Surya nadi or flow through the right nostril at that time.  The duration for Water or Jala is 16 min and Earth or Prithvi is 20 min.  This adds up to an hour and these numbers are applicable for a Yogi.  When one has Jala or Prithvi tattva, flow is through the left nostril.

4) Gurudev taught me a trick which some Yogis used to identify the Tattva.  Again, this method is to be used by those who cannot see the tattvas (and that includes 99.99999% of the population).  The yogi, after getting the blessings of his Guru, carries in his pocket 5 different marbles of different colors.  Black, green, red, white and yellow corresponding to the five elements – Akasha, Vayu, Agni, jala and Prithvi. They pick a marble from their pocket randomly and depending on the color proceed with the task or abandon it, knowing the results will not be auspicious.

5) A yogi when he or she is established in himself, automatically slows the force of the exhalation. There is a very detailed description of this in Mukta shastra.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to be sure of his or her progress.  If you try to slow the force of exhalation that DOES NOT WORK.  The slowing of the exhalation should be automatic because, the yogi has his attention (the great Dictator as Yogananda called it in The science of religion) within. 

6) When sitting in meditation, slowing the breath from 12 to 11, makes one feel hot within.  In this situation one has the prana in Muladhar.  Slowing it to 9, the prana is at Manipur and at 7 finger breath the prana is at Anahata.  Gurudev, always had his breath at this level.  This gives one the feeling of Videhi or without a body and one is established in pure consciousness.  This is the breath at which Kriya Yoga starts spontaneously.  At 5 finger breath, Samadhi begins to emerge and the prana is at the Vishuddha chakra.

God bless everyone!


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  1. This is helpfull to know what is swarodaya.
    Where i can get more knowled of swarodaya?

    1. Swarodaya is not to be read about but to practiced. Books cannot teach how it is done. It is learnt only from someone who is an expert. Such people are rare. Detailed information is present in Prashnopnishada, Mukta shastra and Shiv swarodaya.

  2. Hai sir excellent article one doubt u said “slowing the breadth from 12 to 11” etc.. what do u meant by 12 to 11 these numbers??could u plz explain me??

    1. That is part of Swar vidya. Most of that knowledge is lost. What people know is breathing they don’t know prana

  3. please let me know who can teach me swar vigyan,ashok jain email id ashokjjjj@gmail.com

    1. Only an advanced yogi can. Takes 30-40 years

  4. Sir i am interested in learning Shiv Swarodaya Shashtra, Can you please guide me whom should i learn from here in Mumbai for a nominal fees, I am not financial sound. Please help.

    1. That knowledge is always free. What is needed is the blessings of perfected yogis

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