Cleansing With Fire (Klesha Nashana Kriya)
Posted on March 21 2018
We’ve all taken a wash with water before, but how about a fire wash? Here, Sadhguru offers insight into the elements of fire and space, and describes processes of cleansing one’s body using fire. Sadhguru offers insight into the elements of fire and space, and describes processes of cleansing one’s body using fire.
Sadhguru: Have you noticed that when you have a shower – or a bath as we say in India –which is not a dip but involves water flowing over your body, if you pay attention, especially if you are showering with cold or cool water, you will see a shower is not just about cleansing the skin or washing whatever dirt or impurities that may be on your skin. It rejuvenates you and cleanses you of many things. Even if you went in angry and agitated, when you shower and come out, all the nonsense feels washed off. This is not just because of cool water flowing over your body and calming your nerves. That is also happening of course, but beyond that, there is a certain cleansing of the akashic dimension of who you are.
Your body is a manifestation or a play of five elements and akash or space is one of the five elements. The other four are earth, water, fire and air. When you look at the human form, the outermost aspect of your body is akash. There is somewhere between twelve to eighteen inches of akash around almost everyone, unless someone is in a certain state of sickness or very close to death – then it is structured differently. Otherwise, for most normal human beings, somewhere between twelve to eighteen inches of akash naturally envelops the physical body. This is an essential ingredient of the making of this human form.
Even before your physical body touches something, your akashic body has already touched it. So, whether what comes from outside is nourishing to you or destructive to you, the first element that takes the beating is your akash. How much you gather there in terms of impurities or support depends on what you are exposed to. To cleanse this of impurities, as you can do a water wash for the body, you can do a fire wash too. This does not mean setting fire to yourself! Using fire as a way of cleansing yourself is a very powerful system. This is known as Klesha Nashana Kriya, which means “to destroy or burn up the impurities in the system.”
If this process is done properly and the person conducting it is properly trained, you will see, initially, it is just fire. But at some point, you will feel a certain freedom, a release within you because something that was attached to you is gone.
If you wish to do some form of cleansing at home, light a fire with an organic substance like straw or firewood, without any oil, and stand facing the fire with open hands and open eyes for three minutes. Then stand with your back to it, exposing your spine for three minutes. This process brings about a new sense of resurgence in the system. It rekindles and reconnects the fire within with the fire outside. This is the basis of all fire-based processes of the East.
If having a fire is not practical for you, light a lamp with vegetable oil or ghee and be around this lamp. First, sit facing the lamp, then turn around and sit so that the fire element within you gets rekindled.
Sadhguru’s book, INNER ENGINEERING: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy presents a sophisticated guide to self-empowerment based on the teaching and principles of classical yoga. This system is a means to create a framework of inner stability, helping those who practice become architects of a joyful life.