Swamiji devised yog nidra by discovery of his own experience. During his stay in Rishikesh at his guru’s ashram when he slept in a school hostel for a few days where he acted as guard. One day he discovered that he could recall the Sanskrit mantras which the children chanted when he was asleep. The subconscious mind is active and receptive even during sleep. After his own experience he experimented this principle on a juvenile child brought to ashram. The child was extremely destructive and during his waking time it was impossible to control him. Studies were out of question for him. When the child slept in the evening, swamiji used to sit by his bedside & chant various mantras and read different chapters of gita and other religious books. And surprisingly! After some days the child became calmer and also started reciting the mantras which swamiji recited when he was asleep.
Swamiji has devised yognidra in a very easy and interesting way. It is a set of commands in which practioner is asked to relax deeply physically but to remain mentally alert. When physical body is completely relaxed, the mind becomes much focused and as the mind follows commands the consciousness become active. And then the process of internal cleaning starts. All of us clean our houses, clothes and other bodies, but have we ever cleaned ourmind and consciousness? During the waking hours the subconscious mind keeps on storing all the happenings like the recorder of a tape recorder. All good and bad experiences of the whole day keep on getting stored in the mind. Anger, worry, tension, depression all get piled up in the mind. Do we clean it? We empty the dustbin in our house when it is full and over flows but poor mind! It overflows with all the negativity but we cannot, do not know the way to empty it. The result is manifestation of mental and physical diseases. Divided personality, schizophrenia, acute depression are a few mental problems rampant today.
Yognidra when practiced regularly under the guidance of a trained yoga teacher cleans, uproots the deeper complexes of mind. And as the negative feelings are purged out, the person becomes extremely relaxed and cheerful. And the best part about yognidra is that even children enjoy it extremely. Even bedridden patients show extremely wonderful results in their lowered anxiety level and hence early recovery happens. If one is hard pressed with time 10 minutes of yognidra can relax deeply and rejuvenate both physically and mentally.
When insomnia patients (who cannot sleep during night) practice it under the guidance of trained teacher, learn it and practice it at night can sleep peacefully and their medicine is also reduced gradually. Swamiji has glorified its importance even for normal healthy person at bed time. If one sleeps after practicing yognidra, the clearing of subconscious and unconscious mind gives a feeling of deep relaxation and cheerfulness in the morning. For medical students, it is a boon because in less sleeping hours i.e. 4 to 5 hours on feels re-energized and relaxed. Even all others who have to work for long time, late nights and are hard pressed with time derive a lot of benefit from this practice. All spiritual aspirants benefit greatly when they practice it at bed time.
Yognidra is a wonderful practice of meditation which though easy yet extremely beneficial. Those people who do not have assess to trained yoga teachers can make use of Swamiji’s audio cassettes and C.D. Swami Niranjanand Saraswati’s cassettes on yognidra are also extremely good and beneficial.
O’Man wakes up! Each and every minutes of this precious human life must be utilized for the realization of God. A lot of time is wasted in sleep by many of us. By practicing yognidra, even sleep can be converted into sadhna. Yognidra lays the foundation of sleep which can be converted to Samadhi. The culmination of meditation leads to Samadhi and when Samadhi gets prolonged God realization happens. And that is the ultimate aim of human birth!