Consider the brain as being composed of different types of finely tuned electronic circuits. Electrical impulses pass through it at all times and the activity of these circuits increases according to various internal and external factors. The activity of the brain can be measured during different states of consciousness: sleep, waking, dreaming, etc.
Every electronic circuit has a particular frequency of operation called its resonance frequency - the number of cycles per second at which it vibrates. It is dependent on many factors, particularly the size of the apparatus and the material of which it is constructed. The resonating circuits in the brain respond to a person's mental condition as well as his physical state. These changes in frequencies can be measurably demonstrated, but we must take into consideration the fact that many circuits lie outside the range of conventional frequency measuring devices.
These circuits are the super and ultrasonic circuits which present the unknown factor in modern brain research. However, by the study of the modes of energy available from the control and unification of prana, we can say that these very circuits are the ones richest in pranic energy, and that possibly this energy is filtered and diluted when it passes to the lower frequency circuits. We say this because both these energies have not as yet been thoroughly investigated by modern science, although they have been known for several thousand years by yogis and other seers throughout the history of both East and West.
It is in these ultrasonic circuits, normally dormant, that the heightened perceptions, the supra-mental and psychic powers are locked. The kundalini energy lies within them. Man's full power potential is capable of being expressed in every sphere of his activities if a definite and systematic method is followed to unlock these circuits. One effective method is through the regular practice of pranayama and yogic bandhas or psychic interlocks, which we will now consider.
Generally the word bandha, as encountered in yogic texts, is translated as 'psychic interlock'. However, due to the vagueness of this term we shall call them 'ionoplasmic field expansion methods'. Thus, a bandha is a means of expanding the ionoplasmic field which is concentrated around the chakras.
Just how is this to be accomplished? Well, let us consider ida and pingala as rotating coils in three dimensions. When we perform jalandhara bandha, by lowering the head so that the chin presses the hollow at the base of the neck, raising the shoulders and holding the breath, the field around vishuddhi chakra is expanded. This has the effect of increasing the strength of the pranic field in this area. The amplitude of the wave form and its range of activity are increased. The ionoplasmic field now extends in a greater density from anahata to ajna.
Likewise, the influence of uddiyana bandha - performed by breathing out, holding the breath externally and sucking in the abdominal area - expands the field around manipura chakra. When practiced by itself, this bandha extends the ionoplasmic field in greater density from swadhisthana to anahata and when combined with jalandhara bandha, the field is expanded from swadhisthana to ajna.
The third bandha, called moola bandha, is practiced by contracting the area of the perineum (between the anus and the genitalia in the male and at the cervix in the female).
When practiced by itself the field around mooladhara is expanded and when practiced in conjunction with uddiyana and jalandhara bandhas, the ionoplasmic field from mooladhara to ajna is expanded.
The first diagram shows the modified wave forms when moola bandha is practised by itself (fig. A) and when the three bandhas are performed together (fig. B).
When jalandhara, uddiyana and moola bandhas are practiced simultaneously, it is called maha bandha; this is one of the most important techniques for those engaged in serious yogic practices. It increases the ionoplasmic and pranic energies in the body and develops and activates the many dormant brain cells.
It should be borne in mind that these waves are changes in the flows of ida and pingala nadis themselves. We are not considering these nadis as concrete items but as wave or energy-forms capable of being altered under certain internal or external influences. Thus the flows of ida and pingala do change for the duration of the bandha. This is a fact which so far has not been explored greatly. It leaves room for research due to its vast importance in the study and practice of pranic activation and control - prana vidya.
Exploring further possibilities, we find that there is not only one altered wave form of ida and pingala (maha bandha), but three additional different wave forms. In physics these are known as the modes of vibration of a stretched string. These modes are illustrated in the following diagram along, with the basic mode. Remember that ida and pingala are like two flexible strings which have the property of expanding or contracting according to internal or external forces. These different wave forms afford a possibility of understanding the vast complexity of all the forces existing in the yoga practitioner when performing any of the higher yogic practices.
The first mode of vibration (no. 1) is the normal one usually shown in illustrations of ida, pingala and sushumna, and with which we are now familiar.
The second mode (no. 2) is the wave form set up when the practitioner performs jalandhara, uddiyana and moola bandhas.
The third gives rise to still higher and more expansive pranic fields. The method of creating it is to form a bandha to expand the field around vishuddhi, anahata, swadhisthana and mooladhara chakras. These bandhas have not, to the best of our knowledge, been mentioned in any of the standard texts. However, we can state that such bandhas can be performed if the serious practitioner some thought to the necessary requirements.
Similarly, the fourth and fifth may be created by performing the appropriate bandhas. In the case of mode 4, these are bandhas for vishuddhi, anahata, manipura and swadhisthana. There is, however, one important point to remember before their performance is undertaken. These vibrations resulting in the expansion of the pranic field are very powerful, and to the serious aspirant a word of caution is necessary. The body must be prepared by yogasanas, correct diet and correct thinking; in short, absolute physical and mental purity and strength are necessary before they can be perfected.
When the pranic field is expanded to any degree by any of the yoga practices, not only bandhas, the practitioner experiences many different 'symptoms' such as an increase in mental and physical energies, less desire for sleep, less hunger, more tranquillity. A new vitality enters him and various visions arise. Meditation becomes easier. He may also develop, often spontaneously (i.e. literally overnight) many psychic or supra mental abilities such as telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience etc. These are natural outcomes of such practices since stimulation of the ionoplasmic centers is a method of activating other higher and more powerful parts of the brain. These centres are in the normally dormant part of the brain- the nine tenths which we do not use. It is the action of these centres which can lead us to a higher and more powerful awareness, a greater ability to concentrate, and can awaken a new (or old) realm of supra-mental abilities.