The Yogins have
discovered the explanation as to how we are capable of prolonging life
or curtailing it at our will. Although it is not possible to dilate
upon this subject in this small article, we will try to throw only a
little light upon it.
to the Yogins, an average healthy person has 15 respirations a minute.
This basis gives us 900 respirations per hour and 21600 times in
twenty-four hours. Normally our inspirations is 'ten angulies'—i.e.
roughly 7 inches long—and aspiration is 'twelve angulies' long—i.e.
roughly about 8 inches. During Physical labour the measurement of our
breaths is proportionate to the exertion.
During a slumber our exhalation becomes 80 'angulies' long. The annual
requirement of our breaths has been fixed up in consideration of our
exact requirement of physical labour and sleep, which we can easily
calculate arithmetically. According to these data our longevity is
calculated at a hundred years or more. We can, therefore, live up to a
full life of 100 to 125 years, provided we maintain this fixed limit of
breathings by limiting our excesses in physical exertions, our lust and
anger, our sleep and in our diet and thereby preserve our health
But if we lead a life in the reverse order—that is to say, if we exert
ourselves to the extreme, transgressing the order of methodical living,
become extremely lusty, prolong our sleeping hours, transgress the
principle of Balanced Diet to the detriment of our health, the body
shall definitely become diseased. All the above delinquencies directly
affect systematic breathing—i.e. prolong it abnormally and the
inevitable result is the proportionate loss of our 'total span of
breath' which we otherwise call our longevity. This fact clearly
explains how men waste their lives to court premature death. It is now
superfluous to further explain the glaring fact that the abuse or
overworking of the 'dynamo' of our life—namely the breathing and
circulatory apparatus, is solely responsible for sending our
world-famous athletes and wrestlers to the graves long before their
fixed hours of life.
We will here try to explain this mystery of 'diminution of life'
through breathing. During half an hour we normally exhale 30x15x12=5400
angulies—i.e. 225 cubits, or 337-1/2 feet, which gives an average of
7-1/2 cubits or 11-1/4 feet per minute. We exhale during the same half
an hour's sleep 30x15x83=36,000 angulies—i.e. 1500 cubits or 2200 feet.
If we idly sleep half an hour more than is necessary for maintaining
health—which varies according to age—we will lose
[(36,000-5400)÷(15x12)] angulies=2 hours and 50 minutes of life
per day for this excess sleep of half an hour. For this reason it is
found that people who are not early risers are usually short-lived.
Thus we waste our fixed longevity by favouring excessive sleep and
courting disease by our intemperance only. In serious sickness
exhalation exceeds even the 80 angulies as in sleep, and the exhalation
of the dying person is the longest, which finishes away the residual
life-breath very soon.
The above 'law of life' does not, of course, hold good in cases of
death by accident, by suicide or in wars, which we have already said.
These are however the ultimates of malefactory activity of the
individual or society or of nations—what is commonly understood as
'ill-luck' or 'destiny.' We can, therefore, legitimately conclude that
every individual has the right to, nay, has the jurisdiction over
living up to a full 100 years to 125 years at will.
Since our 'life-span' is diminshed by disease and delinquencies, we can
prolong the same inasmuch as we can diminish the length of our breaths
by means of some Yogic process. For this reason, the Yogins change
their normal length of breaths from 10-12 'angulies' to 9-11 or even to
8-10 'angulies'. Accordingly, the Yogins enjoy life prolongd up to a
century or two in proportion to their efforts for diminishing the
length of breaths. For this reason, Yogins living 150 years to 200
years are found in India in all the ages.
Because our 'longevity' is fixed by the number of breaths, we can
extend or diminish life at our will. It has been explained that our
life-span becomes shortened by excesses, disease, over-work, prolonged
sleep, etc., which directly make our breaths longer. Again, all the
above defects are fundamentally due to an apathy to 'Balanced food' and
'ideal food' [sattvik diet]. The hopeless lovers of excessive proteins
and concentrated food-stuff cannot save themselves from sexual abuse
and disease. This leads us to the only conclusion that taking of
'Balanced diet' or "Ideal diet' is a means to resist premature death
and as such, we have only briefly stated this fact upheld by the Yogins