Shatkarma refers to the Yogic practices involving purification of the body channels, Nadis, of toxins. As the word suggests, shat means 'six' and karma means 'art' or 'process'.
The main objective of Shatkarma is purification. Unless your different body systems and nadis associated with the same get purified, energy cannot flow freely. One's capacity to work, think, digest, taste, feel, experience, etc., increases and greater awareness develops. Yogis who are on the path of spiritualism consider the shatkarma with great esteem
The parts which get purified through this process are:
1. Neti, nasal cleaning.
2. Dhauti, cleaning of the digestive tract.
3. Nauli, abdominal cleaning.
4. Basti, colon cleaning.
5. Kapalbhati, purification and vitalisation of the frontal lobes.
6. Traṭaka, blinkless gazing.
There are six ways or shatkarmas of purification.
First action or method of shatkarma is “Nyasa” where a special mantra is offered to the sacred and medicinally active body parts. The mantra is chanted into that body part and is infused. The mantras have power and helps in purifying and awakening the Prana Shakti.
Next is Japa, it’s to repeat a mantra with continuous awareness, usually 108 times. While doing the japa you need to be constantly conscious and present in each mantra and each bead. If you lose the focus, you need to go back start all over again. This needs practice and you need to carry on doing it till you expertise of being present and awake for each and every mantra for all the 108 beads.
Dyana is the third process of Shatkarma. Through this process we are meditatively aware continuously through constant concentration practice.
Home, Yagna or Havan is the fourth shatkarma. In this process fire and mantra are used to meditate upon. When done by one person, its home. When a group does the same, it’s called havan and when a large congregation of people follows this practice, it’s called as yagna. They have different names but the objective is same for all; to connect with the Divine.
The fifth method of purification is Puja. It can be any act of worship, be it offering flowers, water or simply show faith in the One above. Puja can be mental also. This practice strengthens faith and helps connecting us to the Divine.
Sixth and the last process of shatkarma is Tarpan. This is offering water to Gods, Sages and all other holy souls.
Not all shatkarmas should be done without proper guidance. They are very powerful practices and should be done under guidance of a proper experienced guru. Shatkarma process is an important step to follow in order to reach the higher level of spiritual state. If we want to master over our mind, this needs to be done daily with discipline so that the body stays purified always.