Scientific Benefits of the ritual Thoppukaranam or Super Brain Yoga….
(Source: from a Pranic Healer friend)
The son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha has an elephant face with a curved trunk, and big ears and a huge pot bellied body of a human being . He is the lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles . He is also worshipped as the god of knowledge ,wisdom and wealth .
Symbolism of the form.
Ganesha’s head symbolizes the Atman or the soul ,which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence , and his human body signifies maya or the earthly existence of human beings . Thus the entire form represents the fundamental identity of macrocosm and microcosm .
Very often the popular message – that if you pray to Lord Ganesh He will remove all obstacles in life – is greatly misunderstood or misinterpreted. Have you seen or followed an elephant in a jungle walking through the shrubs and trees? The elephant is so large, heavy and powerful, the jungle vegetation virtually crumbles under his feet and its body weight simply moves the trees and shrubs apart. In the event if you were walking behind this elephant – you now have a clear and unobtrusive pathway in the jungle to walk through without any hindrance.
So in real life what does this mean? The jungle is our world where we live with all sorts of challenges, hindrances and obstacles and the elephant signifies the higher Wisdom that gives the strength and confidence to mankind to meet these challenges and overcome the obstacles. This means that Lord Ganesh signifies the wisdom bestowed by the divine on mankind who will use this Wisdom to walk through the jungle of life in this world overcoming obstacles by boldly facing challenges.
What further does this elephant form of Lord Ganesh signify and what other messages does this form give us?
The large ears of the elephant signify that we must listen well whilst the constant flapping of the ear-lobes gives us the message – Hear no Evil – that is “flap-away” messages that are evil. The truncated elephant face of Lord Ganesh urges us to speak well and less – that is speak wisely and only when necessary – sufficient to convey the message and also signifies the cultivation of inner strength to Speak No Evil.
All deities have an animal assigned as the vehicle to them and Lord Ganesh’s vehicle is a tiny mouse. There is a mythological story behind this that explains how the mouse became the vehicle for Lord Ganesh. The story is about a powerful saint named Savupary whose wife Manomaya was constantly harassed by an “asura” or demon named Kravunchan. One day the Saint Savupary got angry and lost control over his emotions and cursed Kravunchan to turn in to a mouse. Also remember that the mouse has a habit of biting or tasting anything that it comes across. Even as a mouse the asura or demon was still going around biting and tasting everything that he came across. Saint Savupary now feeling sorry for this Mouse guided him to seek the wisdom of Lord Ganesh to overcome these desires which he did. Eventually Lord Ganesh accepted this mouse as His vehicle.
The message this story implies is that the mouse signifies the Worldly Desires or Kama that mankind suffers from. In order to overcome this and cultivate will power one needs the higher Wisdom through the grace of the God one believes in. By making the mouse as his vehicle under His control – Lord Ganesh signifies the need for higher Wisdom that is required by mankind to overcome the Kama or worldly desires which in fact is one of the six negatives qualities or obstacles that impede spiritual progress of mankind.
Another interesting practical feature is how a tiny mouse can carry around the heavily featured Lord Ganesh on his body. This signifies the fact that when you have the grace and blessings of the God you believe in – then God becomes an indweller in the hearts of the devotees residing as an eternal companion, light as a feather without causing any discomfort to the devotee.
In the same vein, when the carer of the elephant or the mahout wants to climb up on to the back of the elephant, the great beast lowers its trunk or bends his great pillar like legs to enable the keeper to climb up. This signifies the situation when the devotee earnestly and sincerely yearns to acquire spiritual or higher Wisdom that will enable the devotee to realise the true identity and purpose of human birth, then God enables the devotee to achieve this by giving all the assistance necessary to “climb up” towards this Wisdom.
And finally – in front of Lord Ganesh – as a mark of respect and devotion, it is traditional that the devotees knock the extreme corners of their forehead with crossed hands and clenched fists and also hold their ears and do sit-ups referred to as “Thoppu Karanam”. or ”Super Brain Yoga.”
How To Energize & Activate The Brain
To ensure you achieve maximum benefits:
1. Face East. For the elderly, face North.
2. Remove any jewelry and connect your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Leave it there throughout the exercise.
3. Take your left hand, cross your upper body to take hold of your right earlobe with thumb and forefinger. Make sure that the thumb is in front.
4. Now take your right hand across your upper body to take hold of your left earlobe. Again, make sure that the thumb is in front. At this point you’re pressing both earlobes simultaneously. Make sure your left arm is close to your chest and inside your right arm.
5. Inhale through your nose and slowly squat down to the ground.
6. Hold your breath and exhale as you start making your way back up to a standing position.
7. Repeat this squatting action 14 times. Remember to keep holding your earlobes and to keep your tongue touching the roof of your mouth throughout the entire exercise.
Scientifically it has been discovered that doing this initiates fresh circulation of blood to the brain and thus assist in “recharging” the brain function. The sit-ups helps improve the circulation along the spine and the limbs, resulting in a feeling of freshness and alertness. This exercise is now being recommended to those who suffer from memory loss and absent-mindedness. In other words – Healthy mind in a healthy body is the message behind this traditional “Ganesh exercise”.
For the journey of life we need a healthy body and mind with higher Wisdom that will allow us to face the journey with courage and confidence and rather enjoy the journey than lament over the obstacles on the journey which are in fact placed there by the divine for our own good.
Therefore “Lord Ganesh” virtually signifies all the above discussed and is a Universal Messenger of divine wisdom for all devotees and not symbolic of Hindu religion. This is the reason that even in Prashanthi we have Lord Ganesh as you enter the holy premises and is called Ganesh Gate.
Superbrain Yoga transforms or internally alchemizes the energies from the lower energy centers into higher subtler energies. These energies are then utilized by the upper energy centers. When those centers are highly energized, they energize the brain so it can function with greater efficiency and effectivity.
Superbrain Yoga not only energizes and activates the brain, but also assists in balancing the energies of the heart, throat, ajna, forehead and crown energy centers.
When energies from the basic energy center and sex energy center move up to the heart energy center, they are transformed into inner peace. When the energies go up to the throat energy center and the ajna energy center, they are transformed into greater intelligence and creativity. When they go up to the forehead energy center and crown energy center, they are transformed into a higher degree of spirituality. The lower energies are transformed into subtle energy, which is utilized by the brain to enhance its proper functioning.
Thankyou and Atma Namaste to all …
Grey matter – Thoppukkaranam ups brain activity.
(Source: Deccan Chronicle newspaper, March 8, 2009)
Thoppukaranam, the traditional expression of devotion towards Lord Ganesha has now found a scientific interpretation. A research by scientists of the celebrated Yale University School of Medicine has found that holding the ears in devotion and doing the sit-ups improved brainpower. But western scientists have renamed the age-old Thoppukaranam as Super Brain Yoga.
“This is one of the many other devotional practices that have health benefits,” Prof BM Hegde, well known cardiologist, told Deccan Chronicle.He said that many such things termed ‘superstitions’ by rationalists were practiced diligently by westerners.
“SBY stimulates neuro pathways in the brain by activating the acupuncture points on the ear lobes.
Holding the left ear activates the right brain while holding the right ear activates the left brain,” Dr Eugenius Ang Jr, YUSM told a US TV channel.
According to Dr Ang, SBY pumps up cells and neuron activities in brain. Patients suffering from memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and even kids showed improved results with SBY.
Raina Kotebra, an occupational therapist said that SBY helped a seven-year-old ward of her who was suffering from acute emotional disorder. Dr Eric Robins, a physician describes SBY as a fast, simple and drug-free method of improving brain energy.
Choa Kok Sui, in his book Miracles on Pranik Healing has explained how the SBY helps in strengthening brain.
“When the right ear lobe is gently squeezed with the left thumb and left index finger with the thumb outside, it produces the necessary energy connection. This connection causes the left brain and pituitary gland to become energized and activated. Similar is the case with the left ear lobe and right hand,” the master has written.
Dr Mahadeva Srinivasan, country’s top physicist and a DC reader, pointed out that the term SBY itself has been patented. “It is the high sounding jargon for the simple Thoppukaranam which every Tamil performs before the Ganesha. Let us rush to patent Thoppukaranam before some American doctor does find its extraordinary healing powers,” he said. The news about Thoppukaranam has become a rage, according to Dr Srinivasan. More details have been posted at Superbrainyoga.org.
Thoppukkaranam is no punishment!
(From ExpressBuzz.com 10 Nov 2008)
“WHY didn’t you do your math correctly?” the teacher would ask the student and ask him or her to stand outside the class and do sit ups holding the ears as a punishment. The devotee who goes to the temple will also stand before the idol of Ganesha and do the same thing asking pardon for “sins.”
But Thoppukkaranam is no punishment. It is a system of acupressure that energises the brain and keeps the person who practices it, mentally alert and physically active.
Dr. M.N. Sankar, an acupuncture specialist was at the International Auricular Therapy Convention at Shanghai in China in 1999. At a discussion on the pressure points in the ear, he did the Thoppukaranam and the audience followed after him. “Splendid, the organiser said and asked who taught you this. It is in our lifestyle where we do this to pray to god or give punishments, I replied and there was a resounding applause from the audience,” the Doctor narrates, pointing out that Thoppukaranam has now been included in the chapter on auricular therapy.
He explains that crisscrossing the hands to knock gently on the temples is a means of activating the right brain and the left brain and energising the pineal and pituitary glands – the master glands of the body. This leads to mental alertness and physical fitness at one go.