Bhutashuddhi Kriya


Bhutashuddhi Kriya (also known as Kundalini Pranayama) is a wonderful Pranayama that cleanses Sushumna and makes Kundalini flow through it. Human body consists of five great elements namely earth, water, fire, air and space. During creation of this body transformation takes place in the order Shiva - Shakti - Mind - Space - Air - Fire - Water - Earth. Yoga aims at reversing this order such that earth dissolves in water, water in fire, fire in air, air in space and so on till the source (Shiva) is reached. The first five chakras (from Mooladhara to Vishuddhi) are representation of one element each (from earth to space). The Bhutashuddhi Kriya cleanses all the five elements (bhutas) thereby hastening the dissolution and thus Self-realization.


  • Sit in any meditative posture with spine and head erect
  • Close the eyes and relax the whole body
  • Start inhaling slowly and steadily
  • As you inhale contract your throat slightly so as to produce a soft hissing sound.
  • As you inhale let your awareness revolve along the Sushumna across each chakra one at a time
  • Start from Mooladhara
  • As you become aware of a chakra, mentally chant its bija mantra. For example, at Mooladhara mentally chant Lam mantra, at Swadhisthana chant Vam mantra and so on till you reach Ajna. To aid visualization you can visualize a flower, lotus or light at the chakra point.
  • As you reach Ajna chakra let the awareness descend the Sushumna path and chant bija mantra as mentioned before in reverse order

One ascent and one descent is one cycle of Bhushuddhi Kriya. Beginners should do this kriya for 10 minutes gradually increasing the time. As a variation you can substitute bija mantra and chakra awareness with the following:

  • As you inhale visualize a stream of light particles ascending like a snake from Mooladhara to Ajna through the spinal column and as you exhale visualize the stream descending from Ajna back to Mooladhara
  • As you inhale let the sound of inhalation (Sooo....) ascend from Mooladhara to Ajna through the spinal column and as you exhale let the sound of exhalation (Hammm....) descend from Ajna back to Mooladhara. This unspoken mantra of breath is known as Soham, Hamsa or Ajapa Japa.

For exact chakra location and their bija mantras see FAQs section.

Signs of correct practice

  • A feeling of bliss, joy and harmony is generated
  • Divine visions may come to the practitioner
  • Entire personality starts changing in positive sense
  • Mind becomes calm and peaceful
  • Meditative state is attained
  • A tingling sensation may be felt during ascent and descent after reasonable amount of practice
  • During advance stages your breath becomes slow and steady. It may even stop momentarily.

Signs of erroneous practice

  • Lack of synchronization between mantra and chakra point
  • Pain in throat or a feeling of soreness
  • Bending of spine with inhalation and exhalation
  • Wandering away during the practice
  • Lack of focus on each chakra
  • Forgetting to chant bija mantra

Scriptural references

The above technique is mentioned directly or indirectly in the following Yogic texts:

  • Kularnava Tantra
  • Vijana Bhairav Tantra
  • Yoga Chudamani Upanishad
  • Goraksha Paddhati
  • Bhagvat Gita
  • Yoga Shikha Upanishad


Bipin Joshi is an independent software consultant, trainer, author, yoga mentor, and meditation teacher with over 24 years of experience in classical form of Yoga. He is an internationally published author and has authored or co-authored more than twelve books on .NET technologies. He has been awarded as a Most Valuable Professional by Microsoft. He has also written a few Marathi books including Devachya Davya Hati and Natha Sankentincha Danshu. Having embraced the Yoga way of life he also teaches Ajapa Yoga to selected individuals.

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Posted On : 28 July 2007

Tags : Kundalini Chakras Kriya Yoga Pranayama Courses

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