By Swami Harshananda
Bandha, Bandhana literally means ‘bondage’.
These words which mean ‘bondage,’ have been used in the philosophical literature in a more technical sense. It refers to the bondage of the ātman (or soul) due to various factors.
Generally, all the six well-known schools of philosophy accept that bandha or bondage is caused by avidyā, ajñāna or mithyājñāna (ignorance or false knowledge of the Reality) and mokṣa or liberation comes through jñāna or right knowledge and experience of the Reality.
In Haṭhayoga, the word bandha or mudrā is used to indicate the various methods prescribed for controlling the prāṇa or the vital airs arousing the kuṇḍalinīśakti. kuṇḍalinīśakti is the basic psycho-spiritual energy situated at the root of the spinal column.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore