Just like our digestive fire “Jathar Agni” , there is a concept of “Bhuta Agni”. It is like digestive fire of mind, i.e, how much knowledge and learning our mind can absorb and at what speed. Some people’s intellect is naturally more than others. Many read Gita or listen to discourses, some gain less and some more from same source. How much one grasps depends on Bhuta Agni. It is like fire which cooks raw information (spiritual or academic) and turns it into knowledge and understanding. So if you have strong Bhuta Agni, you will understand and remember more and your awareness will be more.
Regular meditation, especially concentrative, increases Bhuta agni. As in my experience, when your Bhuta agni is strong then :
- You sleep less and feel less hungry (which is one of side effects of meditation).
- You can visualise things easily.
- You can listen to your inner chattering.
- The anahata nada (buzzing sound in ears) becomes more intense, especially when you are alone.
- Whatever you read or listen, you remember it with more easily.
- You can easily read mentally. Not kidding, I have seen people who find reading books mentally very hard. But mental speech is more powerful and if you can read mentally, you will remember more.
- You can understand complex things more easily for example a student with strong bhuta agni will be able to solve a complex math problem with more ease than others with weak bhuta agni.
So here are some factors which affect Bhuta Agni :
- Food : If you eat too much, then your Bhuta Agni is going to reduce. You are directing more and more energy to your stomach. It is one of the reason behind keeping fasts on special occasions such as Navratri. It may not be possible to keep fast everyday, but at least eat as much as it is required by body and that too with mindfulness and positive intention.
- Sleep : Excessive sleep reduces Bhuta Agni. This is one reason I have understood behind staying awake on nights such as Shivratri, Janmashtami, Diwali. So don’t sleep more than you require (if you really want to increase your bhuta agni, otherwise you are welcome to enjoy the dream world).
- Silence : The practice of silence or mouna, increases your bhuta agni and your awareness turns inwards and you will become more and more aware of your thoughts.
- Eye movement : When you reduce the movement of your eyes, your bhuta agni increases as energy can now flow inwards. Any meditation which involves fixing your eyes will increase your awareness, especially tratak on candle. Excessive movement of eyes, for example, scrolling on screen, reduces your bhuta agni.
- Pranayama : Simple anulom-vilom pranayama, alternate nostril breathing, if done for long time increases bhuta agni. Inhale from left nostril, hold, exhale from right, inhale from right, hold, exhale from left and repeat. Ratio of inhalation-hold-exhalation should be 1-4-2. No forceful inhalation or exhalation. Simple ratio I use is 2-8-4 seconds.
- Sexual release : The excessive release of sexual fluids no doubt decreases your bhuta agni, your awareness. I accept we are humans and complete control is not possible for everyone, but you can at least limit it to once in a month or two.
This is what I have grasped about bhuta agni till now, any suggestions are welcome. Thank you everyone.