Astral Travel or Astral Projection is the first yogic meditation out of body experience (OBE). Let’s see dangers, reality, and methods here. I have shared personal experiences of Astral Projection with the help of my own narrative. This Article is crafted with academic references from high-quality journals and books. You can click on the references below the article to understand the topic deeply. However, it is advised to read the article fully. Hope you will enjoy it and add a mystical flavor to life. (Updated Article with more facts)
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Astral Travel or Astral Projection is to project our intelligence consciously to higher spiritual/nonspiritual planes. Many people in Scientific Community consider it as pseudoscience. However, there are researches going on in a controlled environment. Some of the results from various researches and observation has suggested, there is some reality associated with Astral Travel. Some people report exactly the same environment which is supposed to be in reality while many fail to do so. Interesting right?
‘Out of Body Experiences (OBE)’ is one of the most common stuff in some kinds of people having Yogic Interests or medical conditions. The academic study suggests, 1 out of 10 people experience OBEs once in their lifetime. It is common in ‘near death’ time periods. Most of them report similar kinds of environment, like a place having bushes, plants, trees, etc.
There is a famous case of Pam Reynolds, who was undergoing surgery for a tumor. The operation was highly invasive. She was able to describe aspects of the procedure that had happened at a time when she was clinically dead. Was it just an OBE or Astral Projection? Scientific studies are inconclusive and discussions are still going on.
People often ask, is astral travel real? Astral Travel is mostly experienced consciously in the sleep mode or fully relaxed mode. However, these are experienced also in medical and psychological conditions like epilepsy, brain injuries, depression, anxiety, Guillain-Barré syndrome, cardiac arrest, dissociative identity disorders, migraine, and altered states of consciousness-related disorders. If you have experienced headaches, mood swings, thought for leaving the body permanently (suicide), etc. while trying it you should stop and visit the doctor or psychiatrist immediately.
There is no scientific conclusion on whether the Astral Projection happens just in dreams or in real. In Indian Philosophy, astral travel is a matter of Siddhi or the perfection in Yoga. Here, Siddhi is not recommended because it hampers the process of enlightenment.
So, the whole matter is philosophical rather than Scientific. Let’s understand Astral travel from a philosophical perspective.
The major requirement for Astral Travel or Astral Projection is to have a subtle body. In the book Yoga Vashista. Astral Body is known as Linga Sharira. As per the three-body doctrine of Indian Philosophy, each one has three types of bodies namely gross body (physical body), subtle body (linga sharira/astral body), and Causal Body ( Brahman or Purusha ). Misbalance in these three bodies results in phycological or bodily dysfunctions. This is one of the major dangers of astral travel.
I would like to share my personal astral projection experiences. Since I am a Himalayan Yogi, I was able to do it through my meditative practices. My first experience happened in September 2013. I was lying on the bed in Savasana posture. I remember I was trying to feel the udana vayu and samana vayu respectively.
There are different types of Vayus and meditation techniques to feel the Pranas consciously by Dharana. This is the technique I followed. Consciously meditating on Pranas results in Samyama (Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi) It is the flow of continuous attention and knowledge to an object of meditation. If you meditate on the Udana Vayu, you can consciously project your body on deep sleep mode.
Coming back to the astral travel experience, after some time, I went to a dreamless sleep. Suddenly my formless subtle body was out of the physical body. There was a slight feeling of spark in the head. It can be called as Vajra of the Yogis who practice the Vajra Yogini-based meditations.
The astral body was actually formless but I could also feel my physical body which was locked and paralyzed. My astral body saw the mirror kept in my room. My formless body went in front of the mirror, all of sudden I could see the female form of my subtle body in the mirror. She was dark like goddess Kali. She said I shall support you in each of your work. Strangely, she was all me. She disappeared in my subtle body and I was again inside my physical body.
This is actually the Yin-Yang principle or Purusha and Prakriti in my astral projection experience. The primordial nature of any being is a feminine force called Shakti. She is my shakti or which manifests in Jagrit (Wakefulness) as Self Confidence, Self-Motivation, Sympathy, Love, Care, etc. If you are a female, Shakti could be a masculine force but there shouldn’t be any assumptions from both genders.
Kindly, don’t make any assumptions for yourself from my astral projection experience, psychology differs for each individual based on space and time where they are raised. As said by Carl Gustav Carus, the key to the understanding of the character of the conscious lies in the region of the unconscious. To reach consciously to the unconscious or subconscious portions of the mind, while keeping the memories alive is tough. You should be able to distinguish between Pancha Koshas of human psychology for such psychological feats. The five koshas or the Pancha Kos has are the sheaths that cover your real soul.
My experiences will not help you to achieve such psychological wonders. However, I will share the general method after sharing another experience. As usual, I was trying to understand the deep places inside my own psychology (Prakriti) through meditation. I was lying on the Savasana posture doing the Dharana on the nature and the forest of my surrounding. My village is located in the forest region, of Sikkim Himalaya. The land and forests of Sikkim are full of Shamanic spirits.
They cannot be seen through eyes, neither they speak directly, nor they can be heard. They can be felt through extreme empathy and it’s completely psychological. In reality, you are trying to connect to your own portion of empathy with the help of Dharana. Kindly, don’t confuse yourself while trying to understand the science behind this. It doesn’t matter you can call it pseudoscience or protoscience but kindly understand the basics of Jungian Psychology, Indian Psychology, and Para Psychology first. Acquire deep knowledge before trying any such things. Each individual has a different kind of psychology based on space and time where they are raised.
In this astral projection/astral travel experience I remember I was feeling the finest aspect of my empathy for the forest spirit and nature. I went to a dreamless sleep. I came out of my body and I saw nature around. I was one with the forest spirit or the Shamanic spirit. I was one with the air, I was one with the forest and I was one with the rain falling to the leaves in the forest. It was actually my mind that had become one with the spirit. This is a complete Samyama, (the last three limbs of yoga combined).
In other astral travel experiences, some people say they traveled to the whole space and universe. In maximum cases, such astral travel experiences are incomplete and give a false perception of reality and dangerous forms of altered states of consciousness. The perfect astral projection is only valid when you know about the place perfectly and keep it in the memory. Here Science and Knowledge become necessary. Ignore Science in meditation and personal psychology but don’t ignore it in the Jagrit World ( Wakeful world). Adding mystical flavor to life is the perfect thing to do for self-satisfaction and realization.
The stored memory can take shape in any form inside the subconscious mind, for example, Ramanujam the great mathematician was able to develop infinity series through such experiences only. He told the world that he got the infinite series from the goddess, which was actually his own psychological power (Shakti). In such cases worship also matters. I will be narrating and discussing the cases of famous Yogis and Worship in the upcoming articles.
Astral Projection is one of the deepest mysteries of Psychology. It is certainly not valid in modern science. As I said earlier, psychology varies in each individual based on space and time. So to understand it probably you have to survey perfectly all the 7-8 Billion people of Earth which is not possible at any cost unless you have the greatest of the technologies. Meanwhile, you can always read philosophy and modern scientific researches. Start with Yoga Vashista, the enlightenment story of Lord Rama. The case of Pam Reynolds is a perfect modern story to assume, why Astral Travel is a mystery for Science. People are waiting for scientific evidence for more than 5,000 years.
The questions how to do astral projection? and how to astral travel? are the same. I will share the stepwise method for astral projection/astral travel. However, patience is the first key for opening the locks of your own psychology.
If you still feel you are missing something, aim for enlightenment. Complete mastery of your own phycology is the first enlightenment. Here is an article for the motivation of Samadhi, starting from Astral Travel and Projection. Add mystical flavor to your life and be a superhero.
There are many dangers of astral projection. If you don’t have the perfect knowledge about the place where you are trying to project, you might become the prey of a false perception of reality. The false altered states of consciousness are another danger of astral projection. You can easily become a victim of such stuff. The victims of false astral projection develop an ego and feel that they are enlightened and they are no more suited for this Earth.
Remember that, complete enlightenment means, you need to be able to know logically about the smallest to the largest in the Universe. No, one is completely enlightened, even the great masters. If you don’t have patience, you can develop frequent headaches and other unknown disorders. You should try it at your own risk but there is nothing wrong with developing meditative will, knowledge, and empathy. Start with these small things to explore the other wonders of the soul. Astral Projection is just one aspect of the soul.
Be careful about the people whom you meet. Frauds mostly say they have experienced Astral Travel and, they can teach you anything. Remember no one can teach you such stuff. These are things to be experienced by ‘self’ based on psychology.