In India hypnotism, an ancient science was rooted in the Yoga system; and called variously at times as art of hypnotism or as knowledge of hypnotism, the science has been part and parcel of the Indian spiritualism.
In the Indian philosophy the concept-Yoga-has come to mean a severe control of, and total negation of the desires and inclinations of the Chitta. Once we obtain this, we achieve a total identity with the Almighty.
Indeed hypnotic power can be achieved through the medium of the Yoga, too. Broadly the Yoga has five kinds: Hath Yoga, Dhyana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Janna Yoga.
According to Patanjali there are eight stages of the Yoga
- Yama: An unfailing adherence to the tents of non-violence, truth, integrity, abstinence from sexual and secular pleasures, and non-possessiveness
- Niyama: A devotion to health, contentment, austerity, purity and spiritual meditation
- Asana: Sitting in a comfortable posture absorbedly attentive
- Pranayama: Preservation of vital energy in the body through exhaling, inhaling and controlling the movements of breath.
- Pratyahara: To deflect the senses from their physical objects and harmonise them with the faculty of the mind
- Dharana: To organise total concentration of one’s mind in a particular thought
- Dhyana: Concentration of the mind on a given object undisturbed by the presence of other objects
- Samadhi: Total absorption in the target object oblivious of one’s own existence
The eight siddis achieved by a yogi are:
The Yoga who succeeds in attaining all these eight siddhies will not be wanting in anything in his life. A mere wish will get him whatever he wants. Every word he utters proves to be nothing but truth. He is crowned with the title of Yogiraj-King of Yogis.
Among the Hath Yoga practices the first is awakening the Kundalini. In the body between the genital organ and the anus is found a dormant power which is called sushumna.
On the two sides of the Sushumna are found two nerves-Ida and Pingala. These are located close the umbilical region. These three together are called trinetra. One who can make his sushumna travel upward through the spinal column via the point in front of the coccyx (the point where it enters the spinal column) and make it terminate at the center of sahasrara is said to have awakened his Kundalini (consciousness or awareness).
The Kundalini which assumes the form of any one of the objects such as serpent or nectar or arrow or trident is visualised to move through these nerves. He is blessed with divine knowledge and omniscience. He changes into Lord Siva Himself. The terms ‘impossible’ and ‘difficult’ lose meaning to him.
Hypnotism is a part of this Yoga power. It is through this power that one can develop one’s mental power as well as will power. These developed powers ensure mastery of hypnotism. Primarily the following benefits accrue from these practices:
- The body grows into healthy and well-chiselled organism.
- It helps develop mental power.
- It ensures an all-pervasive peace.
- It helps develop spiritual power.
- It ensures self-knowledge.
Artificial sleep or hypnotism which we work up by way of influencing others or extending influence on self through spiritual power in either case is called Yoga Nidra in the Indian philosophy.
It helps memory. It helps us rise to great heights, and live a balanced life.
The yoga Indra is calculated to achieve the following:
- It can put the ‘subject’ to artificial sleep.
- The ‘subject’ while asleep hypnotically can be made to follow the suggestions of the sadhak-the hypnotist.
- It helps enrich his imagination. It is due to this highly developed imagination that she is in a position to answer all questions.
- Through yoga nidra the sadhak can make the ‘subject’ follow his injunctions.
The sadhak, besides, can hypnotise himself and be benefited as much as he could benefit the ‘subject’. Viewed from any angle it does good rather than harm.
One must always remember that the yoga nidra or artificial sleep is distinct from natural sleep. In case of natural sleep on sleeps completely, which does not give him any scope to respond to the suggestions of the hypnotist. However, in case of hypnotic sleep, it is only the outer mind of the individual which is put to sleep while s his inner mind remains fully awake and responds to all suggestions of the hypnotist.
Viewed from a certain angle the artificial sleep is hardly different from drowsiness or light sleep. In this situation the ‘subject’ makes full submission to the hypnotist.
The foundation of the Yoga nidra is spiritual power. In fact it is found in every individual to some degree. If he so chooses the individual cans s develop it by a set of special practices and exercises. Karma Shakti Jnan Shakti, Icha Shakti and others are some of the forms of this spiritual power. It is only by rousing and developing these powers that the sadhak can achieve completeness.