Kriya 1: Vipareeta Karani Mudra (Inverted Psychic Attitude)
The Sanskrit word vipareeta means ‘inverted’; karani means ‘to get done’; and mudra means ‘psychic attitude’; therefore, the English translation of this kriya is the ‘inverted psychic attitude’. In the scriptures, this practice is sometimes called ‘vipareeta kari mudra’ with the same meaning.
Vipareeta karani mudra is one of the few kriyas mentioned in various traditional tantra-yoga texts. The most comprehensive description is given in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika as follows: “The secretion of the moon (bindu), the nectar of immortality (amrit), is normally consumed by the fire of the sun (manipura chakra). It flows downwards and results in ageing of the body. There is a wonderful technique which can reverse this process; it should be learned from a guru and can never be understood by reading even a thousand scriptures. The practice is called vipareeta karani mudra and the positions of the bindu and sun (manipura) are reversed (i.e. the body is inverted). The sun is held upwards and the moon downwards.” (v. 77-79)
The bindu is the focal point through which consciousness manifests and expresses itself in all created objects’. This also applies to man; it is the direct channel, the lifeline of man. It is through the bindu that man is sustained with both energy and bliss. With most people this energy is poorly directed into disharmonious living in the outside world, into selfish and worldly pursuits expressed through the medium of the manipura chakra. This leads to spiritual death. Man loses contact with his source; he lives blindly. Vipareeta karani mudra and indeed all yoga practices reverse this process, so that human awareness is directed once more through the bindu to the fountainhead of life. That is, awareness increases. This leads to revitalization of one’s whole being. It leads to bliss. It leads to wisdom. This is called the nivritti marga (the return to the source); the positions of the sun and the moon are reversed. The normal flow of nectar downwards from the moon to the sun represents the pravritti marga (the path of worldly activity). This symbolizes the life of most people. In spiritual life this process has to be reversed so that the path of pravritti is transformed into nivritti. Vipareeta karani mudra symbolizes this process.
Vipareeta karani mudra is not only symbolic. It is a method of transmuting energy from grosser to more subtle forms. For this reason it is included in the kriya yoga sequence.