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In Shiva Sutra, III.4 it is mentioned about Pranavayu that

this is a way of meditation to concentrate on Prana i.e. on the expiration and inspiration of breath from the centre of the body upto a distance of twelve fingers in the external space. The mind has to be concentrated on the starting point of the breath from the centre and the ending point at a distance of twelve fingers from the center which is known as the end of dvaadashaanta the distance of twelve fingers. The external distance is known as baahya dvaadashaanta and internal (the starting point) is known as antar dvaadashaanta . One has to concentrate on the points Where the expiring and inspiring breaths stop for a split seconds.

My question is what is twelve fingers in this context ?

  • 1
    It is just talking about the distance. The distance from the index finger to the lil finger, when they are joined with each other, is the distance of 4 fingers. 3 times that is the distance of 12 fingers. Sometimes it is used to point out exactly where from a particular point one needs to fix his gaze upon or one needs to fix his mind upon. – Rickross Jun 16 '18 at 12:02
  • You may post an answer instead. @Rickross – TheLittleNaruto Jun 16 '18 at 13:12
  • What is 9 inches, the length of nose ? @Uday – TheLittleNaruto Jun 16 '18 at 15:48
  • I think swami laxmanjoo site may have article on this – Rakesh Joshi Jun 19 '18 at 19:54
  • @Uday Is it ok if I add it to my answer ? – TheLittleNaruto Jul 4 '18 at 15:00
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As Rickross and Uday already mentioned in the comment, I'll add it as answer.

"twelve fingers" in Pranavayu is nothing but a distance unit. The distance from the index finger to the little finger, when they are joined with each other, is the distance of 4 fingers. 3 times that is the distance of 12 fingers. Sometimes it is used to point out exactly where from a particular point one needs to fix his gaze upon or one needs to fix his mind upon.

To understand this we can put it in a equation below:

4 fingers(minus thumb) multiplies by 3 == 9 inches == distance of twelve fingers from the center.

According to Gheranda Samhita FIFTH LESSON.86-87:

When exhaling, the stream of air measures about 12 fingers(9 inches)from the nose.When singing, its length increase to 16 fingers; when talking, to 24 fingers.During strenous exercises, to even more.

  • Is this meditation even possible. How can we measure when one is in meditation? – Ram Jul 4 '18 at 9:04
  • Well! That I have got no idea about. All I can tell you is, these things must be learned under the Guru for proper execution. And it is unfortunate for you that I am not a Guru :D @Ram – TheLittleNaruto Jul 4 '18 at 9:09
  • hmmm yes :). Do you know the benefit of this difficult meditation? – Ram Jul 4 '18 at 9:22
  • Yes certainly that I know. @Ram – TheLittleNaruto Jul 4 '18 at 9:26
  • what are the benefits apart from the usual meditation benefits? – Ram Jul 4 '18 at 9:27

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