Most of the people are familiar with the concept of 3 Granthis, the 3 Knots, which encompass all the obstacles on the path of awakening.
Where are the 3 Granthis? Physically, they represent the way in which we can expend our energy. On a deeper level, all of them are here, in this moment. They represent the hurdles between us and the present moment.
Brahma granthi represents our creative pursuits. For example, right now, I am creating this post. If you are reading this post than you are also trying to acquire something- knowledge. This is one way of expending our energy, in creating something. Vishnu granthi represents sustenance. For example, emotions. Rudra granthi represents random and destructive thoughts.
Now if you look at it from a distance, you will realize that these 3 knots contain all different dimensions of your life. What do we do in this present moment? Either struggle to create something, or to preserve what we have accumulated (physically and otherwise) or get lost in random thoughts.
But why is this a problem? Because it all happens unknowingly, without awareness, without your consent. For example, just imagine that a lot of vehicles are passing on a road. You are standing and have a string attached to your body. Now, a car passes and the string gets attached to that car. Another car passes in opposite direction and the string leaves the former one and gets attache to the new one (Naughty string?). And this goes on and on. Just imagine your condition (or misery?) after sometime. This is what exactly happens with us, but in a slightly different way. The empty road is the silent, present moment. The vehicles are the thoughts, the 3 knots representing the different types of thoughts moving in different directions. Our mind keeps jumping from one thought to another and at the end of day, we end up being miserable and drained of energy. We pass through this same pattern, similar thoughts every day, but fail to notice this. (And even after having observed these patterns, I sometimes fall into unawareness, my awareness slackens and I tend to be forgetful of everything, and then when I get up, it feels like I was seeing a bad dream.)
You see? The 3 granthis are present right here, in this moment.
We are so occupied with these pursuits that we fail to experience the beauty of silence, the beauty of present moment. We fail to appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, the grace and kindness of nature that we experience each day. We get so identified with our self created misery that there seems no way out and the world turns out to be a nightmare.
The different yogic practices, meditation, etc is about becoming still, about getting out of this traffic, about becoming the master, about becoming the one who controls these thoughts instead of being controlled by these. It is about raising your awareness, becoming more conscious than you were yesterday.
Just stop, look at your thoughts silently, let them come and go, slowly you will learn to exercise control.
But then, if it’s so simple, then what about different yogic kriyas and mudras? Because witnessing requires great stillness and silence of mind and that just isn’t possible for most of the people when they are in chaos. The different yogic kriyas such as Shambhavi work at the energetic level, at a deeper level and not just physical level. Any change you make at a deeper level takes time to manifest in physical reality. That’s why a mudra or kriya will show its effect whether a person is believer or not. For example, current passing through a wire creates magnetic field and if you reverse the direction of current, i.e, reverse the polarity of battery, the polarity of magnetic field will change on its own. Similarly, you make changes at energy level and your way of thinking will automatically change.
Most of the hurdles are our mind games, as it is said, it’s all in your head! Remember, it’s all in your head!