July 16, 2022
The Sanskrit word granthi means knot or doubt, these knots are also said to be binding and prevent the journey to liberation (moksha or kaivalya). They also prevent prana from travelling in the sushumna nadi.
Early yogis believed that for liberation to occur and prana to rise in sushumna nadi each knot must be untied. This requires work in the form of self-study, knowledge, meditation and different yoga practices (including Karma, Jnana, Bhakti and Raja yoga). When the knots are untied the journey towards liberation can progress. It is believed that some level of freedom will be experienced as each granthi is removed.
There are three granthis positioned at various points on sushumna nadi.
Brahma granthi is in the region of muladhara chakra (some schools locate it between muladhara and svadhishthana). It represents fear, attachment to physical pleasures, material objects and excessive selfishness.
Vishnu granthi is in the region of anahata chakra (some schools locate it between anahata and vishuddha). It represents unhealthy emotional attachments.
Rudra granthi is in the region of ajna chakra (some schools locate it between ajna and sahasrara). It is created by an attachment to psychic powers (known as siddhis). Siddhis are not favourable psychic powers as they are not always developed for the greater good.
By exploring the granthis we can begin to discover the obvious connections between the knots and the qualities that the nearest chakra helps to balance and eliminate.
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika suggests that the grathis can be untied by practising bandhas. Applying maha bandha will hold in prana like a pressure cooker, which is said to pierce through blockages when the bandha is released.
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