Tratak is steady gazing at a particular point or object without blinking. Though this is an exercise for purification, it is intended for developing concentration and mental focusing. It is said, it is useful for Hatha Yoga(Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga that emphasize physical exercises to master the body along with mind as well as exercises to withdraw it from external objects .i.e. Hatha practices are intended to adjust and quiet your body, mind, and spirit in keeping fit for meditation. ), Jnana Yoga (Jnana i.e. understanding or awareness is considered the most challenging of the four main paths of Yoga, requiring great strength of will and mind. In Jnana yoga, the mind is used to inquire into its own nature and to transcend the mind’s identification with its thoughts and ego.), Bhakti Yoga (Bhakti yoga, also called Bhakti marga, is a spiritual path or spiritual practice within Hinduism focused on loving devotion towards a personal god.) And Raja Yoga (Raja means King. A king acts with independence, true-life confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc. Rāja yoga has variously referred to as “royal yoga”, likewise, a Raja Yogi is the path of self-discipline and practice.). Nothing can distract your mind, whatever be in the surrounding talking, singing, etc.
“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.”
When doing tratak you are to stare continuously without blinking for two minutes at the beginning and extend gradually up to 10 to 20 minutes your whole consciousness come to the eyes. Forget everything, rest of your body, just be the eyes. The eyes are the doors to the mind. The eyes, the mind will reach the peak of tension. Tratak creates tense peaks in the consciousness, from the peak the opposite will happen spontaneously, effortlessly you will fall into the abyss of relaxation. When you are doing tratak, thinking will stop automatically. By and by your consciousness will become more and more centred in the eyes. You will be just aware, eyes cannot think, the mind has no energy left to think. The moments when your eyes want to blink are the moments to watch out. The mind is trying to get energy back to think, it is trying to divert your consciousness. That is way constant staring is needed, gaze absolutely fixed.
When you are staring with no movement of the eyes the mind is also fixed, the mind moves with the eyes. Eyes are doors that belong to the inside mind and also to the outside world.
The technique begins with the eyes because to begin with the mind is difficult. It is hard to control the mind but eyes are outer things, you can. So keep your gaze absolutely fixed, starting without blinking. When eyes are still, your mind will become still.
When you close your eyes and mind mentally visualize –say a picture, it is saguna Dhyana- meditation with form. When you meditate on the formless aspects it will be Nirguna Dhyan (abstract meditation). Gradual steady practice is required. Don’t be rigid regarding time, duration. Important is that the mind must not be wandering, must be on the spot.
Those who cannot gaze for seconds in spite of several attempts need not worry. They can close their eyes and gaze at the imaginary spot in the space between two eyebrows- Ajna Chakra-(Third eye). Those who have a weak eye- capillaries should do tratak after closing their eyes. Do not tax your eyes by over practice. When you sit and do tratak, don’t shake the body.
Tratak improves eyesight. Many eye diseases are cured, it is said. To mentally visualize some exercises are suggested.
1-keep the picture of Lord Rama, Krishna or Om etc.
2- A black dot on a white wall.
3-lie down, gaze at a particularly bright star on the full moon day in the open terrace.
4-look at the mirror, gaze at the pupil of the eyes
5-between eyebrows in the forehead.
6-a ghee lamp, gaze at the flame.
If you really want to know about yourself then you can do Hatha yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga. I think, if we have faith in ourselves, if we are able to surrender ourselves to God then we can understand also the benefits of Tratak or its techniques.
“Reshape yourself through the power of your will; never let yourself be degraded by self-will. The will is the only friend of the self, the will is the only enemy of the self.”
“You cannot always control what goes on outside but you can learn to control what goes inside.”