Preksha Dhyana: Perception Of Psychic Colours: [4] Technique

Published: 01.03.2010
Updated: 02.07.2015

The exercise of perception of psychic colours (leśyā dhyāna) is the most important exercise in the system of prekṣā meditation. From the discussion in previous chapters, it must be clear that in this exercise, the practitioner concentrates his full attention on a particular psychic centre and then visualizes a specific colour on that centre. However, it is necessary for him to be proficient in the previous exercises viz., relaxation, perception of breath, perception of body and perception of psychic centres, before he practises perception of psychic colours. A question may be raised: 'Why can one not practise this exercise without the above-mentioned qualification?' The answer is: Till the practitioner is thoroughly acquainted with total breathing, till he has acquired adequate proficiency in perception of breath, till he is mature in the perception of body, til! his concentration of psychic centres is perfect, and till he is able to experience the vibrations of the endocrine etc., he cannot practise leśyā dhyāna properly. There is always a definite sequence in progress and development. Hence one must follow the course in a prescibed order. The instructor must also know that it is his responsibility to gradually develop the higher levels of consciousness of a practitioner. When the practitioner is ready for advancement, there is no difficulty. A mountaineer, who wants to climb the Everest, must first establish a base-camp and then plan his ascent in stages to reach the peak. He cannot   do this overnight. If any one thinks that he must reach the peak from the base in one day, it is pure fantasy. The climbing process has its own order. Nobody can ignore the order and jump up on the peak.

In the same way, one is not competent enough to practise leśyā dhyāna until:-

  1. One is thoroughly conversant with numerous physical and mental functions.
  2. One has experienced the subtle vibrations, produced by the flow of vital energy, which is concomitant with these functions.
  3. One has developed full competency to grasp and perceive with equanimity the above-mentioned vibration.
  4. One has attained, by sustained conscious effort, the insight to interpret the functions of various psychic centres and their secretions (hormones).

Arrangement and Synthesization of Colours

It has been already explained that colour has profound influence on our body, mind, emotions, passions etc. Physical health or sickness, mental equilibrium or upset, stimulation or inhibition of impulses—all these depend upon our adjustment of various colours i.e. replenishment of deficient colour and removal of excess by associating specific colour with specific centre. For instance, deficieny of 'blue' colour in our body results in being short tempered. Meditation of blue colour removes the deficiency and the habit subsides. Deficiency of white colour produces agitation, that of red colour stimulates laziness and indecision, and that of yellow colour enervates the nervous system. Daily practice of visualization and perception of white colour on jyoti kendra; (rising sun) red colour on darśana kendra and yellow colour on jñãna kendra for 8-10 minutes will result in tranquillity, activeness and revitalization of nervous system respectively. When you are facing a serious problem with no apparent solution, try this simple experiment:

Quietly sit down and relax: breathe slowly; keep your body motionless and limp; close the eyes sofdy; perceive golden yellow colour (padma leśyā) on cākṣus kendra or on ãnand kendra for ten minutes. A solution of the problem will present itself.

Technique of Perception of Psychic Colours

Leśyā dhyāna is perception of psychic colours. In this practice, we perceive a specific colour on a specific psychic centre. Since, for a successful meditational session, actual appearance of the desired colour is essential, it is necessary to know fully about the quality of various colours. First of all, all colours are divided in two categories: (i) bright or shining colours which emit or reflect most of the light falling on it, and (ii) dark and gloomy colours which do not emit, do not reflect much, but absorb most of the light. Dull and gloomy black, blue and grey are inauspicious, but bright black etc. are not so. Similarly bright red, yellow and white are auspicious, but dark and dull red, etc. are not so. In leśyā dhyāna we visualize bright colours and not gloomy ones[1]. In leśyā dhyāna, the following five bright colours are visualized:-

  1. Green colour as of emerald.
  2. Blue colour as of peacock's neck.
  3. Red colour as of rising sun.
  4. Yellow colour as of sun-flower or gold.
  5. White colour as of full moon or snow.


To bring about the actual appearance of the desired colour, it is essential to concentrate and actually see the colour mentally. A building first exists in the mind of an architect, it is visualized by him, then put on the paper and finally it is constructed. Similarly, the practitioner of the perception of psychic colours must positively visualize not only the desired colour but also the desired result. At the commencement of the exercise he has to visualize the colour specified in the exercise. Then at the end of the exercise he must again visualize the desired result. That, is, he shall try to see as clearly as possible the condition in which he would be if he was free from the distortion he is interested to eradicate. He should try to picture himself the way he would look, the way he would feel and the way he would behave. For instance, he may visualize that the urges and impulses are controlled and his behaviour is free from psychological faults and negative attitudes.

When the practitioner is good at visualizing, excellent results are obtained. On the other hand, those who have difficulty in visualizing would not have the same success.

Visualization is the key to this technique. Once it is sustained and intensified, the mind will project the colour and there would be actual appearance. Visual aids in the form of coloured bulbs or coloured cellophone paper wrapped on the lighted bulbs are useful. When one looks at a source of coloured light with open and unwinking eyes for a few moments, he will visualize it with closed eyes.

For actual appearance of colour, steadiness and concentration of mind is essential. Concentration here means intensified and sustained visualization of a single colour. As mental steadiness increases and visualization is intensified, the desired colour is produced by the subtle taijasa body and the mental picture actually projects itself. At this stage the experience is real and not imaginary.

As already stated at the outset, practice of leśyā-dhyāna is comparable to reaching the peak of a mountain. Success is likely to vary widely from person to person. Some may achieve a significant success in a very short time, while another may take a long time and will have to practise it patiently for deriving measurable benefits. No one needs, however, be disappointed, because with persistent efforts everybody will ultimately be adequately benefitted. Every practitioner is endowed with infinite potential capability, but he is not aware of this. What is needed is self-reliance and patient development of the potential capability into active competence.

Frequently, instead of the desired colour, some other colour appears. This should not discourage the practitioner. In fact, appearance of any colour is a proof that the technique is well in hand, and is, therefore, a good sign. Appearance of a colour is the result of the steadiness of mind and concentration. Though this cannot, be condsidered as a remarkable achievement, yet it has its own importance, because it strengthens reverence and belief of the practitioner. In the absence of any experience it looks as if the meditational practice is not proving fruitful. Experience—small or big, serves a lot of purpose.

Auto-suggestion and Intense Willing

One of the important points in the technique of leśyā-dhyāna is the actual experience of various results and changes accuring from the effect of perceiving different colours. To strengthen the result of meditation practice, and important exercise is auto-suggestion. A new therapy called 'autogenic therapy' is being developed in the western countries recendy. The basic principle of this therapy is self-hypnosis or auto­suggestion. One visualizes a state or a condition, intensifies it, and then experiences it. This exercise is called exercise of bhāvanā (intense willing) in philosophy. By its practice, one can change one's own self as well as external change. For instance, when one practises perception of brightwhite colour (as that of a full moon) on jyoti kendra, first he visualizes that white luminescence is spreading all round his body and envelops him; next, he, by auto-suggestion, visualizes that his aura is completely permeated with white radiance; after that he intensely wills, "My anger is subsiding, my agitation and excitation are being pacified, my urges and impulses are abating", and finally experiences growing peace and tranquillity.


1. Posture: For a successful practice of meditation, steadiness of the body is essential. Posture, therefore, is an important feature of the exercise. The practitioner must remain motionless, quiet, and alert for the duration of the exercise. Obviously, therefore, a posture which produces any kind of distracting discomfort is ruled out. Strain or discomfort must be avoided during the session. An advanced practitioner may adopt a standing posture. In exceptional condition a recumbent posture may also be used. But a sitting posture is most convenient for learners and novices, and is most commonly adopted. Any of the following postures may be chosen:-

Full lotus posture (Padmāsana)
Half lotus posture (Ardha-padmāsana)
Simple posture (Sukhāsana)
Diamond posture (Vajrāsana)

Although the full lotus posture is the best, sādhaka may adopt any one of these which can be comfortably maintained for the duration of the session. Some discomfort is inevitable, in the begining, in any cross legged posture, but a little practice would eliminate it to the extent that it ceases to be a distraction. However, if at any time during the practice, there is a feeling of distracting discomfort, the position of the legs may be quietly changed without opening the eyes. In all postures, the trunk and head are erectwith the spine and neck in a straight line. There should, however, be no stiffness. Eyes remain softly closed.

2. Mudrā: The position of practitioner's hands is called mudrā. One of the following two mudras may be assumed:

  1. Let the back of your right hand rest on your right knee and the left hand on the left knee, both palms turned up. Let the index fingers touch the roots of thumbs, with a slight pressure in the contact. The other fingers are kept straight.
  2. Bend both arms at the elbows. Keep the back of your left hand on the central part of your lap and the back of your right hand on the top of the upturned palm of your left hand.
    Do not put your hands on the ground.
    Do not put your palm turned downwards.
    In a standing posture, stand erect with the spine and neck in a straight line but without stiffness.
    Keep your feet parallel to each other with a distance of about 10 cms. between them.
    Let your arms hang down loosely from the shoulder-joints close to your body, with the palms open, facing inwards and fingers straight and pointing down. Keep all skeletal muscles relaxed.
    If a practitioner is unable to adopt either standing or a sitting on-the-floor posture, he may sit in a chair. An armless chair is to be used. Keep your back and neck in a straight line without the back rest. There should be no stiffness.
    Keep your feet parallel as in the standing posture. Assume one of the two mudrās given above.
    If a recumbent posture becomes absolutely necessary, one may lie down on his back, keeping a distance of about a foot between two feet, hands about six inches away from the trunk, palms turned upward and eyes softly closed.

Technique of Meditation

Premeditation Exercise No.1: Relaxation (kāyotsarga)

This is an essential precondition of meditational practice, resulting in steadiness of the body. The whole body is mentally divided into several convenient parts and full attention is concentrated on each part. By the process of auto­suggestion, each part is relaxed and the relaxation experienced. The relaxed and motionless state of the body is maintained throughout the meditation session. Simulta­neously, there should be a keen awareness of the spiritual self. This exercise will take 7 to 10 minutes.

Premeditation Exercise No.2: Internal Trip (Antaryatra)

Full attention is to be concentrated on the bottom of the spine called śakti kendra. It is then directed to travel upwards along the spinal cord to the top of the head—jñāna kendra. When the top is reached, direct the attention to move downwards taking the same path until it reaches śakti kendra again. Repeat the exercise for about 5 to 7 minutes. All the time, the consciousness is confined in the path of the trip (i.e. the spinal cord), and the sensations therein caused by the subde vibrations of the flow of the vital energy, are carefully perceived.

Meditation-Perception of Psychic Colours (Leśyā Dhyāna)

The first step is to visualize that everything around, including the air itself, is coloured bright green, as if reflected by an emerald. The respiration is to be slowed down and with every inhalation green air is breathed in. This is to be continued for 2 to 3 minutes. Full attention is to be focussed on ānanda kendra (psychic centre of bliss, located near the heart), and by sustained and intensified visualization, bright green colour is to be perceived. After 2 or 3 minutes, visualize that this colour is radiating from the centre and spreads all around the body, permeating the entire aura, which becomes brightgreen. Finallybyintense willing, freedom from psychological faults and negative attitudes is to be experienced, (for 2 to 3 minutes). Adopting the same technique, perceive bright blue colour (as of the neck of a peacock) on viśuddhi kendra; bright red colour (as of the rising sun) on darśana kendra; bright yellow colour (as of polished gold) on jñāna kendra or chākṣus kendra; and bright white colour (as of full moon) on jyoti kendra.

The following table shows the psychic centres, colours to be visualized and what is to be experienced by intense willing:

Psychic Centres Colours to be Visualized Intense willing and experience
1.Centre of bliss (ānanda kendra) Emerald green Freedom from psychological faults and negative attitudes.
2.Centre of purity (viśuddhi kendra) Peackock-neck blue Self-control of urges and impulses.
3.Centre of intuition (darśana kendra) Rising sun red Awakening of intuition—bliss.
4.Centre of wisdom (jñāna kendra) or centre of vision (chākṣus kendra) Golden yellow Acuity of perception - clarity of thought,
5. Centre of enlightenment (jyoti kendra) Full moon white Tranquillity, subsidence of anger andother states of agitation and excitation

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Published by:
Jain Vishva Bharati
Ladnun-341 306 (Rajasthan)

Edited by: Muni Mahendra Kumar © Jain Vishva Bharati

Thoughtfully wishing the century point of the auspicious life of His Holiness Acharya Mahaprajna, who, with his versatile creativity having rare equal in the history, is being felicitated on the 247th day of eightythird year on 16th February, 2003

Budhmal Surender Kumar Duggar, Ratangarh- Kolkata

Edition: January, 2003

Printed by:
S.M. Printers
Uldhanpur, Delhi-32

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
  2. Antaryatra
  3. Aura
  4. Bhāvanā
  5. Body
  6. Centre of Bliss
  7. Centre of Enlightenment
  8. Centre of Intuition
  9. Centre of Purity
  10. Centre of Vision
  11. Centre of Wisdom
  12. Concentration
  13. Consciousness
  14. Darśana
  15. Dhyāna
  16. Equanimity
  17. Internal Trip
  18. Jyoti Kendra
  19. Jñāna
  20. Kendra
  21. Kāyotsarga
  22. Leśyā
  23. Meditation
  24. Padmāsana
  25. Perception Of Body
  26. Perception of Psychic Centres
  27. Perception of Psychic Colours
  28. Prekṣā
  29. Psychic Centre
  30. Psychic Centres
  31. Psychic Colours
  32. Sādhaka
  33. Taijasa body
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