Ojas is an important concept in Yoga and Tantra. Its meaning is defined more on a subtle level of mind and body system than on a gross level. However, it is very important to understand its meaning because yoga, tantra, and modern practices such as no-fap and abstinence derive their benefits and strength from Ojas.
Ojas meaning as Reproductive Fluid
In Ayurveda, Ojas is considered the finest, last, and most powerful thing produced in the body from the food we eat. According to Ayurveda, there are seven Dhatus that make up the body from the digested food.
Of these, the reproductive fluid is considered the most potent and powerful in the body.
According to Ayurveda, as the dhatus produced get finer, they become more powerful than the previous one and consume more energy from the food to get made.
Ojas is the vital principle that is contained in the seven dhatus .
Also, it has the capacity to give new life. If stored within one’s body, it can energize the body immensely. Thus, it is considered indispensable for achieving internal transformation.
Ojas is also known by other names such as “force”, “strength”, “vitality” and from the root vaj, it also means “to be strong.”
It is believed that the greatest concentration of Ojas is found in the semen (also known as “Bindu” or “Shukra” in certain cases).
Ojas meaning Tridosha Theory
The foundations of Ayurveda are based on the Tridosha Theory. The three doshas in Ayurveda are:
- Vata (air)
- Pitta (fire)
- Kapha (water)
But these three doshas are defined on the macrocosm or gross body level. Similarly, their manifestation also takes place at the microcosm level. Also known as mental or subtle levels of the body.
It is important to understand them on a subtle level also to grasp the spiritual energies activated by Yoga and meditation.
The subtle or mental essences of the three doshas are:
The best way to understand these terms is by correlating them to the earth elements of different types.
Taken in this context, Ojas is compared to the element of water. It is considered as the underlying fluid energy reserve for the entire psycho-physical being . Our underlying capacity for patience and mental endurance are attributed to Ojas.
Like Ojas, Prana and Tejas are compared respectively to the elements of air and fire.
In the context of yoga, these three spiritual energies can be considered as causal elements i.e, the root energies behind our manifestation. And the manifestation of all things, both form and formless . They contain the power of the Tanmataras (rudimentary or subtle element, which contains the potential to create grosser elements in the universe).
Ojas meaning according to Upanishad
According to Chandayoga Upanishad, there are three constituents of the manifested gross universe:
|Earth or Food||Anna|
At a subtle level, these correspond to Ojas(food and mind), Prana (water and breath) and Tejas (fire and speech).
Ojas is made of fluid essence and is derived from food. It is used to support and stabilize the mind. It has a strong impact on the emotional nature of a person.
It is believed that the reproductive fluid of a person becomes the ojas. Which then becomes the substance that makes up the mind.
Location of Ojas in the body
Ojas is said to dwell in the head or the crown chakra.
The following is the list of benefits and precautions around Ojas, based on the theories of Yoga, Tantra, and Ayurveda.
Benfits of Sufficient Ojas
- Mind and emotions are calm and steady
- High degree of endurance
- A strong sense of fearlessness
- Reproductive system is working adequately
- Immunity is strong
Symptoms of excessive Ojas
- Heaviness and dullness of the mind
- Over-confidence and self-contentment
- Aggression and stubbornness
However, excessive Ojas is considered less harmful than excessive Tejas or Prana (i.e excessive fire or air element).
It is important to keep Tejas and Prana doshas in check because excess of them poorly affects the quality of Ojas, according to Ayurveda.
Symptoms of depleted Ojas
- Weak immune System
- Less production of reproductive fluids (semen in the case of men)
- Instability in mood and emotions
- Increased sense of fear, anxiety and restlessness
- Lack of self-confidence
- Poor memory and concentration abilities [link]
- Getting easily perturbed by light and sound
Ways to increase Ojas
- The major way to increase ojas is through Bhramacharya, i.e., control of sexual energy through abstinence.
- It is better to combine sexual energy conservation with yoga and meditation practices like:
- Mantra meditation
- Seals and locks in Hatha Yoga
- Vajroli Mudra
- Book: Tantric Yoga and the Wisdom Goddesses by David Frawley
- Book: History of the Tantric Religion An Historical, Ritualistic, and Philosophical Study, 2006 by N. N. Bhattacharyya
- Book: Encyclopedia of Yoga and Tantra by Georg Feuerstein