Vrittis, Whirlpools of Energy Lodged in the Spine


Swamiji has often spoken of Vrittis - the eddies of downward pull of energy. He suggested bringing this energy up the spine, offer it to God, thus achieve expansiveness as well. How do you do it - is it thru the tremendous power of thought. Please explain, further send me a link for detailed explanation. Thank you,

—sandy nat, u s a


It is true that a major part of spiritual growth is to dislodge the vrittis – the energy whirlpools caused by our countless past and present likes and dislikes – from their current locations in the astral spine and dissolve them in the inner light. Unfortunately, it is no simple matter to “get your hands on” even one of them, and in any event, there are far too many of them for it to be feasible to address them one by one.

There must be another way, and there is. If you can learn to control your body’s energy generally, and in particular, bring large amounts of energy to the brain, you can create a “upward flash flood” of energy in the spine. This can dislodge some vrittis and carry them to the brain, where they can be dissolved in the light of the spiritual eye.

How to create such a flash flood? There are many aspects to it. You can begin by increasing the amount of energy in your body, concentrating that energy in the spine, and raising that energy to the brain. The Energization Exercises of Paramhansa Yogananda are excellent for increasing and learning to control energy. The Ananda Yoga approach to asana practice can be very helpful for bringing energy to the brain. There are other, more-forceful Hatha Yoga techniques that attempt to accomplish this, but they can be futile or even dangerous unless we accompany them with an elevation of our consciousness.

The safest and most effective technique for bringing the vrittis to the brain is meditation, coupled with relentless positive thinking and devotion to God. Paramhansa Yogananda said that every time you meditate, some of those vrittis are dissolved. (I assume that he meant “every time you meditate with concentration, not haphazardly.”) Among meditation techniques that facilitate this, Kriya Yoga is unsurpassed.

Finally, keep in mind that techniques alone can never take us to ultimate freedom. Techniques help purify us and make us more receptive to God’s grace, but grace – and grace alone – will finally free us. So pray for that grace as you practice your techniques with the devotion that will make you even more receptive to grace. Spiritual growth comes not from a monumental effort of will to dissolve vrittis; it comes from a monumental effort of will to escape the pull of ego, your smaller self, that it may be dissolved in God’s Light.

Blessings on your quest,