The scriptures praise bhuta shuddhi so that students will be inspired to practice it. But to make sure it is taught properly, the scriptures also tell us that it is highly secret. I therefore advise anyone who practices bhuta shuddhi to do so under the guidance of a competent teacher who has mastered this technique and who has experienced the subtleties that are not described in either the scriptures or this series of articles.
According to what I have observed, bhuta shuddhi is a joyful experience mixed with fear for those who have not prepared themselves. Aspirants who have not gained some experience with mantra meditation and who have not practiced pranayama find bhuta shuddhi too intense—by the time they have completed the practice, the mind has turned inward and become so one-pointed that the nervous system is overwhelmed. That is why the scriptures tell you to purify your heart, to strengthen your nervous system with the help of pranayama, and to train your mind with the help of japa in order to enjoy the bliss that springs from the center of consciousness.
Because this advanced technique involves breath retention and requires coordination between thinking, hearing, and visualization, it is important that you learn it carefully and systematically-- and then practice it regularly and sincerely. Consult a competent teacher before undertaking this practice if you have:
high blood pressure,
a nervous disorder,
a history of drug abuse.
If you want to practice bhuta shuddhi, you should have experience:
studying yoga philosophy,
practicing the fundamental yoga postures and breathing techniques,
meditating regularly, and
developing a basic knowledge of kundalini shakti, the chakras, tantra yoga, and the role of mantra in awakening the dormant force within. (This will help you understand the dynamics of visualization and the deep meaning behind the repetition of specific seed mantras at the chakras.)
The breathing practices of nadi shodhanam, kapalabhati, bhastrika, and agni sara will help prepare you for the advanced pranayama, which is an important part of bhuta shuddhi.
This meditation practice introduces you to the deepest layers of your being. Bhuta shuddhi’s benefits include that it:
Soothes the mind and awakens the heart (It leaves no room for sloth and inertia.)
Helps you master pranayama and trains the mind to concentrate. (When this practice is finished the mind slips into meditation without effort.)
Clarifies the thinking process and creates a harmonious balance between the auditory and the optic nerve centers in the brain (by combining visualization and the repetition of the seed mantras of the specific chakras).
Improves the power of memory and creates a perfect environment in which the brain centers that regulate vision and hearing are activated and linked with the processes of speaking and thinking.
Helps unblock the energy channels more effectively than many other yogic methods that are not so all-inclusive (due to the energy released from the sacred sound of the seed mantras, together with the combined force of intense visualization and breath retention.)