Next, we know—the great warrior prince, Arjun, pierced the eye of the dummy bird placed on a distant tree.
It’s a classic example of how powerful concentration can be when it comes to reaching your goals.
Tratak, the ancient Hindu technique to build concentration, is there since ages. And now, you can also take its advantage. But before we discuss how you can build concentration with Tratak, let me clear a doubt:
Tratak is a technique to build concentration. It has nothing to do with meditation.
In concentration, you fix your awareness on one particular point—every bit of your energy flows towards your aim.
So, What’s Meditation Then?
In Meditation, you stay aware of whatever is happening to you, and around you. You realise that you are the watcher, not the doer.
When you eat, you know the body eats, not you.
While you walk, you know it’s the body that walks, not you.
When you breathe, you know it’s the body that breathes, not you.
In other words:
Meditation is the state of being aware of your body, mind, and yourself.
Meditation Is Just Like Sleep
‘Oh, god. What’s happening? Why am I not able to sleep?’ Remember that night? You were tossing and turning in your bed, and still, sleep was miles away from your eyes.
The worst part?
The more you tried, the more sleep ran away from you.
So, you tried harder. But nothing happened.
And then you gave up. Next thing you know you woke up in the morning—refreshed, right?
You can create the right atmosphere for sleeping: cosy bed, dim-lighting, soothing music, burning incense sticks, etc. But you cannot force sleep to happen. You go into a deep sleep only when all your efforts cease.
Meditation is similar to sleep, you can “be” in meditation, but you cannot “do” it. In fact, meditation happens when all the doing stops. It’s a state of non-doing.
Trying to do meditation is like getting your car come to a halt by pressing the accelerator. Not gonna happen.
Different Names Used for Tratak
People use different terms to address Tratak. Some call it Tratak Sadhana (त्राटक साधना ), Tratak Kriya (त्राटक क्रिया), while some others prefer Tratak Vidya (त्राटक विद्या). Names do not matter, what matters is the benefits Tratak gives, here are some:
Tratak is a process of taking control of your life.
You see, your mind likes movement.
It keeps moving from point A to point B, and again from point B to point A, or even to point C. The moment you force it to stay at one point for too long, it gets uncomfortable. And Tratak is simply a method to make the mind stay at one point as long as you wish.
Now, the mind knows it cannot hold you back from practising Tratak, so it plays a trick: It says, “You want to practice Tratak? Fine. Let’s do it BIG. Let’s practice for 2 hours daily.”
You know why?
Because it knows you won’t be able to sustain if you tried practising for long periods, at least not in the beginning—and you will eventually quit. That’s the reason most people fail at Tratak—they fall for the trick and start big. But you’re not most people, right?
Here’s what to do:
Begin with a manageable aim. And once you reach there, aim higher, and higher. Start with one minute on day one. Then two minutes on day two. Keep increasing the time each day until you reach thirty-two minutes (for all forms of Tratak except The Sun Tratak).
When you could focus on a particular object without blinking your eyes, for 32 minutes, congratulate yourself. You’ve mastered Tratak.
You Can Improve Concentration With Tratak. Here’s What You Need
A strong focus is possible with Tratak if you’re willing to do the work. I say this because It can take anywhere between 21 days to 6 months or even more to achieve unwavering focus. It depends on how strong your concentration is at the moment.
But you see, Tratak is not a quick fix. It’s not like you’ve had a headache and you swallowed a pill, and it’s gone. No, it’s not that. So, don’t expect some miracle by practising it once—before your exam day. You must be determined to get the results you wanted. And that brings us to the next point.
Consistency is damn important. I always say practice does not make you perfect; regular practice does. You must practise Tratak regularly (if not every day). Maybe you could create a schedule for it. Let’s say Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It’s up to you. But make sure you do practise. If you don’t have time right now, then put it on hold and only begin when you do.
Also, most people believe that Tratak can (and must be) done only in the mornings. That’s not true.
It’s okay to practice Tratak in the mornings. But evenings or even afternoons are fine, too. Don’t fuss over the time of the day (or night). Just make sure your practice goes on.
Nothing fancy. Just simple homemade food, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, would be the best bet. Also, keep yourself hydrated. That’s important.
What is Tratak
Tratak is a process of gazing at a particular point—concentrating your mind on one object.
It has various forms:
Shakti Chakra Tratak
Agnishikha Tratak (Candle Light Tratak)
Chandra Tratak (Moon Tratak)
Surya Tratak (Sun Tratak)
Agni Tratak (Fire Tratak)
It’s not necessary to practice them all.
Just pick one. Start. And keep practising.
Let’s discuss them one by one:
Bindu Tratak (बिंदु त्राटक)
Take an A4 size sheet, and using a pencil, draw a dot in the middle. Keep the size of the dot similar to a 25 paisa coin (roughly the size of a large Bindi).
Hang the sheet on a wall and sit at a distance of about three feet—on a cotton cushion or “Aasan.” Take three deep breaths and concentrate on the “Bindu” (the dot). You might feel uncomfortable in the beginning, and that’s normal.
Your ultimate goal should be to practise Bindu Tratak for thirty-two minutes (without blinking your eyes). Now, staying focused on one point for thirty-two minutes is difficult. But with patience and consistency, you can master it.
Shakti Chakra Tratak (शक्तिचक्र त्राटक)
You’ll need a Shakti Charka to perform this one.
Fortunately, I have the Shakti Chakra image I used to practice at in 11th standard. You can take a printout.
Hang the Shakti Chakra on a wall (just like in Bindu Tratak).
Now, concentrate on the centre of the picture. Breathe normally.
You’re supposed to concentrate on Shakti Chakra without blinking your eyes. That’s important. And believe me, when I say that focusing without blinking, is damn hard. But again, practice is the key. I did it, and you can do it, too.
Go easy and keep moving. And within weeks, it’ll be your second nature.
A word of caution:
You may start seeing some random images appearing in the Shakti Chakra. Those pictures can either be reflections of your past lives or some unexpressed desires from this lifetime. It’s normal. Just keep practising.
AgniShikha Tratak (अग्निशिखा त्राटक)
AgniShikha Tratak uses the fire element. This form is more suitable for winters because you cannot run a fan or AC while practising this.
You’ll need a thick candle for this (if a candle is not available, you can use a “Diya” instead). Make sure the candle is high quality because inferior quality candles release smoke.
Light the candle, and turn the lights off. Put the candle on the ground, and sit about 3 feet away from it. Take three deep breaths and concentrate on the tip of the flame. You may notice some random images and may also start hallucinating. That’s quite normal. Stay focused on the flame.
Chandra Tratak (चंद्र त्राटक)
The best time to practice Chandra Tratak is on a full moon night or three to four days before and after.
Go to the roof and lie down on your back. If that’s not possible, then sit on a chair in a comfortable position and concentrate on the Moon. Try not to blink your eyes for as long as possible.
Surya Tratak (सूर्य त्राटक)
Fifteen million degrees Celsius.
That’s the temperature on the Sun. And Surya Tratak requires you to concentrate on it which makes this form of Tratak to walk on a razor’s edge—a little carelessness and your eyes will be gone—forever. Does that mean you can’t or shouldn’t do it? You definitely can. It’s just like any other form of Tratak. But be very careful.
The best time to practice Surya Tratak is morning—at the time of sunrise. Never practice on mid-morning or afternoon sun. Never.
Go to a park or stand on your roof. Take three deep breaths. And focus on the Sun. Become one with it. Start small and keep increasing the time until you reach 18-20 minutes. Be careful not to push yourself. Do NOT attempt to go beyond 20 minutes.
Apart from the concentration, your self-confidence shall also grow leaps and bounds because you’d be concentrating on the King of the solar system—when it’s about power and authority, nothing comes even closer to the Sun.
Agni Tratak (अग्नि त्राटक)
I’ve practised all the forms except Agni Tratak (अग्नि त्राटक). And for a good reason.
You see, Agni Tratak requires you to go into deep woods (which I find eerie, but if you insist, then who am I to stop you, huh?).
Here’s a possible way:
Go into a forest or a highly dense wild area. Collect some dry woods and start a fire. Now, sit about 6 feet away from the fire and concentrate on the flame. Keep staring at it. You may hear some abnormal sounds and may also notice some disturbing images in the fire. Fear, anxiety, or a weird restlessness may also emerge out of nowhere.
Carry on. Keep concentrating on the fire for as long as 32 minutes.
Here’s why I don’t recommend it:
It’s performed outdoors—in a forest. And mind you, forests are for wild animals, not for humans.
The fire may attract paranormal entities, which may be beyond human understanding and control. And you don’t want to be in such an uncomfortable, and possibly life-threatening situation, right?
Building Concentration With Tratak Doesn’t Have to Be a Dream
Many people believe that Tratak is for sanyasis and sages only. That’s not true. Any person can build concentration with Tratak with the right mindset and determination.
So, there you go. I have explained most Tratak forms. Pick one and get started. Just be careful to practice slowly. And when you achieve the concentration you desired, use it with good intention.
Remember: With great power comes great responsibility.