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Anavopaya In Hinduism

In Hinduism, Anavopaya is one of the means of attaining moksha (liberation from here and now) in agama and tantra. Anavopaya is prescribed at the initial stage of sadhana for aspirants of less spiritual advancement, still lying in the realm of bheda jnana (knowledge of difference). At this stage, the knowledge of the self is confined to the modes of citta (the basal cognizing apparatus of the self), and the aspirant takes up some limited aspects, as buddhi, prashna, body, or some object in space from which he starts his yogic practice.

Anavopaya consists of all the external forms of worship, rituals and yoga. In yogic practice, its various aspects are dhayana, uccara, varna, karana and sthanaprakalpana. Dhyana consists of meditation of pramata (knower) and prameya (known) in a unified form with bhavana (contemplation) to dissolve the duality into the unity of consciousness.

The contemplation on the various functions of prana shakti – prana, apana, samana, udana and vyana, is uccara which causes the experience to bliss characterized as parananda, brahmananda, Mahananda and cidananda. While practicing uccara yoga, there vibrates an inarticulate sound, called an anahata nada. All the varnas (letters) are latent in this undivided nada, and hence it is called varna itself. The technique of using the body (gross, subtle and causal) including buddhi, subtle prana (varna) and mudras, is karana which is of seven types – grahya, grahaka, samvitti, nivesha, vyapti, tyaga and akshepa.

The external objects on which mind can be fixed in the realm of anavopaya – prana vayu, body and anything outside the body (images, pictures), are called sthanaprakalpana. Kriya Shakti of the self is manifested or realized by practicing anavopaya. In Kundalini Yoga, anavopaya is meant for the awakening of prana kundalini.