Tratak is a powerful technique to increase concentration.
Now, we all know how important it is to have intense concentration: people who can focus on studies, work, and passions with totality are more likely to succeed in life.
You also can be one of those people if only you could build rock-solid concentration.
That’s where TRATAK comes in.
In this article, I’ll share 7 Powerful Tratak and how you can practice them to increase your concentration. And before we do that, let me answer some questions, such as:
- What is Tratak?
- Tratak or Tratak Meditation—which one is correct?
- What is the difference between Tratak and Meditation?
- What are the benefits of Tratak?
- Is there a ‘best time’ for practicing Tratak?
Let’s get started.
So, What Is Tratak, Exactly?
Tratak is an ancient Yogic (Hindu) Sadhana to improve concentration, originated in Bharat.
It has many types, and this practice dates back thousands of years. Now, before we discuss how you can do Tratak to improve your concentration, let’s deal with a minor glitch, which is…
Tratak or ‘Tratak Meditation’—Which One Is Correct?
You can call it Tratak Meditation if that’s what you like, but you see, it is not meditation per se. Actually, it is the step that LEADS to meditation.
Let me explain.
Maharishi Patanjali states in Patanjal Yoga Darshan (पातंजल योग दर्शन) that Yoga has Eight Angs.
यम, नियम, आसन, प्राणायाम, प्रत्याहार, धारणा, ध्यान और समाधि—ये योग के आठ अंग हैं । (योग• २ । २१)
- Dhyana and
Let’s focus on ‘Dharana’ (sixth on the list):
चित्त को किसी एक देश-विशेष में स्थिर करने का नाम धारणा है ।
अर्थात स्थूल-सूक्ष्म या बाह्य:आभ्यंतर—किसी एक ध्येय स्थान में चित्त को बाँध देना, स्थिर कर देना या लगा देना धारणा कहलाता है । (योग• ३ । १)
So you see, Dharana is the act of concentrating your awareness on a particular object, which is what Tratak is. But, I understand that most people consider Tratak as a form of meditation. So, let’s understand how concentration and meditation differ.
Difference Between Tratak and Meditation
When you fix your consciousness on an object (that’s exactly what we do in Tratak)—when your total energy flows towards that point only, and you become unavailable to everything else—that’s concentration.
When you become aware and conscious of everything happening within you and around you simultaneously (unlike concentration, in which you’re focused on a particular object)—that’s meditation.
In other words, where concentration ends, meditation begins.
Concentration is a dimension of the mind, whereas meditation is the state you reach when you’ve transcended the mind.
Okay, now, let’s get to Tratak.
Different Names of Tratak
Tratak has many names. For example: (Tratak):
- Siddhi (त्राटक सिद्धि)
- Sadhana (त्राटक साधना)
- Kriya (त्राटक क्रिया)
- Yoga (त्राटक योग)
- Vidya (त्राटक विद्या)
- Yogic Sadhana (त्राटक यौगिक साधना)
Names do not matter. What really matters is the benefits of Tratak meditation. (Oops! Did I say ‘Tratak Meditation?’ 😳 )
Okay, okay. You got me! 😋
Anyways, let’s talk about the benefits.
Benefits of Tratak
Apart from improving concentration power and building a rock-solid mental focus, Tratak Kriya has many other benefits. Here are some:
- Improved memory and increased IQ
- Better control over thoughts and feelings
- An unprecedented increase in self-worth
- Enhanced sense of general well-being
- A more open and friendly attitude in general
Such is the power of Tratak. But it is not to say that Tratak does not have its negatives. It does.
Can Tratak be Dangerous?
Yes, if you try too hard to achieve results, Tratak can be dangerous.
Remember: things take time, and you can beat everything but time. So, trying too much too soon can affect your eyes as well as your mental health like anything. Also, like everything else, Tratak has its pitfalls. Let’s talk about them.
Many Start Tratak Practice, But Only A Few Succeed. Here’s Why
Almost everyone fails at this Sadhana, and that too at the beginning itself.
For a simple reason: they don’t educate themselves about how the human mind works. But you’re not everyone—you want to succeed at this, right? Well, then remember: In Tratak Sadhana, you’re trying to achieve something that your mind hates.
Yes, your mind hates concentration.
Staying at one point is against the very nature of the mind. It keeps moving from point A to point B and again, from point B to point A, just like a pendulum. And, that’s how it keeps you enslaved—by not letting you stay focused on an object or task. And when you force your mind to stay at one point for too long, it gets uncomfortable.
So, this is what Tratak is all about:
Tratak is a yogic practice to train your mind to stay focused on a specific task for as long as you wish.
But your mind will not give up easily, and it will do everything in its power to defeat you.
Beware! Your Mind Can ‘Play’ You
Now, since the mind knows it cannot hold you back, it plays a trick on you:
“Oh! You want to improve your concentration? Great! Let’s practice for 1 hour daily.”
Do you know why?
Because the mind knows nobody can sustain such rigorous practice (at least not in the beginning).
So, did you notice what happened here?
You wanted to practice Tratak to increase your concentration, and your mind hated that. But, instead of saying a definite ‘no,’ it persuaded you to go BIG. The mind made it an ego issue for you: “Do this, or you’re a loser.”
And, you fell for it. You began with great enthusiasm, but you quit since it wasn’t humanly possible to practice for such long periods.
The mind won.
Starting big is the reason why most people fail at Tratak. So, what do you do?
Begin with a manageable aim. Take baby steps, and as you achieve your desired goals (milestones), aim higher and higher.
Start with one minute on day one. Then two minutes on day two, and so on. Keep increasing the time until you reach thirty-two minutes (for all the forms except the Sun Tratak). And when you’re able to focus on an object without blinking for 32 minutes, congratulate yourself. You’ve made it. From there, it’s just a matter of maintaining your practice.
With that, it’s time to cover the basics.
Basics of Tratak
Just like anything, improving concentration with Tratak takes time.
It can take 21 days to 6 months. Or even more to achieve unwavering focus. It all depends on how intense your concentration was when you began.
But, let me also warn you:
Tratak is NOT a quick fix.
It’s not like you’ve had a headache, you swallowed a pill, and it’s gone. No, it doesn’t work like that. Don’t expect miracles by practicing it once—on the night before your exam day. And that brings us to our next point.
You must be consistent if you’re serious about developing concentration.
Don’t expect to progress if you worked for a couple of days, and then gave up, and resumed after a month. Nothing will happen.
Practice doesn’t make one perfect; consistent practice does.
Make a schedule.
Let’s say Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Or how about Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays? You decide. Don’t have the time right now? Then put it on hold, and begin only when you do.
Most people believe that this Sadhana must be practiced only in the mornings.
Well, not exactly!
There’s no best time for it (except the Sun Tratak—more on that later). It’s okay to practice in the mornings, but evenings or even afternoons are fine, too. Don’t fuss too much about at what time you do it.
You don’t need any special diet for this Sadhana.
Stick with simple homemade food along with fresh fruits and vegetables, and you’ll be fine. Also, keep yourself hydrated properly because you’ll lose a lot of fluids in the form of tears during your gazing practice.
So, now that we’ve prepared the ground for our Tratak Practice let’s talk about the different forms of Tratak. There are many kinds of Tratak, but I’ve listed only 7 of them (most of which I’ve practiced myself).
Seven Powerful Forms of Tratak
- Bindu Tratak (बिंदु त्राटक)
- Surya Tratak (सूर्य त्राटक)
- Shakti Chakra Tratak (शक्तिचक्र त्राटक)
- Agnishikha Tratak (अग्निशिखा त्राटक)
- Chandra Tratak (चंद्र त्राटक)
- Agni Tratak (अग्नि त्राटक)
- Darpan Tratak (दर्पण त्राटक)
1. Bindu Tratak (बिंदु त्राटक)
Here’s how to do Bindu Tratak:
Take an A4 size sheet, and using a pencil, draw a dot in the middle of it. Remember to keep the dot size similar to a 25 paisa coin (roughly the size of a large Bindi).
Once done, hang the sheet on a wall, and sit on a cotton cushion or ‘Aasan’ at a distance of about three feet. Now, take three deep breaths and concentrate on the ‘Bindu’ (the dot). You may feel uneasiness in your beginning days, but nothing to worry about because that’s quite normal. You’ll get used to it.
Remember: Your ultimate goal is to reach thirty-two minutes of staring at the dot (without blinking your eyes).
Staring at one point for thirty-two minutes straight is easier said than done, but you can achieve it if you stayed consistent.
2. Surya Tratak (सूर्य त्राटक)
Fifteen. Million. Degrees. Celsius.
That’s the temperature of the Sun.
Sun Tratak requires you to concentrate on the Sun, and it can be hazardous if you’re not careful. Just a little carelessness, and your eyesight will be gone—forever! That’s why Sadhaks practice this method in the mornings—at sunrise, and you must do the same. Remember: Never practice Sun Tratak in mid-morning or afternoon. I mean NEVER!
Let’s discuss how to do it:
Go to a park or stand on the roof of your house. Now, relax and take three deep breaths, and concentrate on the Sun.
(A word of caution: You must start small and take it from there until you reach 15-20 minutes. Do NOT attempt to go beyond 20 minutes.)
It is one of the most powerful Tratak out there. And there’s a reason for it: The Sun is the king of the solar system, and nothing comes even closer when it comes to power and authority. So, basically, when you focus on the Sun, you start becoming like it. Not only will your concentration improve, but you shall also experience improved confidence, especially while dealing with authority figures.
3. Shakti Chakra Tratak (शक्तिचक्र त्राटक)
For this one, you’ll need a Shakti Charka.
Fortunately, I have the Shakti Chakra image I practiced at. Here it is. (You can take a printout of this picture.)
The method remains the same.
Hang the Shakti Chakra on a wall, breathe deeply and concentrate on the center of the picture.
Again, you need to concentrate on Shakti Chakra without blinking your eyes—that’s very important. And believe me when I say that focusing without blinking is hard as hell. But again, practice is the key. I did it, and you can do it, too.
Go easy, and keep moving forward. And within weeks, it’ll be a piece of cake for you.
During your practice, some random images might appear in the Shakti Chakra. Those pictures may either reflect your past lives or some unexpressed desires from this lifetime, but that’s nothing to worry about.
4. AgniShikha Tratak (अग्निशिखा त्राटक)
This form uses ‘Agni’ as its main element.
It’s roughly translated as Candle Gaze or Candle Gazing, and for this Tratak, you’ll need a high-quality candle because inferior quality candles release a lot of smoke which is not good for you.
Also, you can use a Diya if a candle is not available.
Light the candle and put it on the ground, or fix it in a candle holder at your eye level. Now, turn off the lights (LED, Tubelight, etc.) and sit at a distance of about 3 feet. Take three deep breaths and concentrate on the tip of the flame.
While concentrating on the flame, you may notice some random images and might also start hallucinating, which, again, is expected—nothing to worry about. Just stay focused.
(This form is more suitable for winters because you’re not supposed to run a fan or AC while practicing it, as the airflow is likely to disturb the flame.)
5. Chandra Tratak (चंद्र त्राटक)
Chandra Tratak is best done on a full moon night or three to four days before and after.
Here’s how to do it:
Go to the roof of your house and lie down on your back.
If that’s not possible, sit on a comfortable chair and concentrate on the Moon, and try to keep your eyes open for as long as possible.
6. Agni Tratak (अग्नि त्राटक)
I have practiced almost every form of Tratak listed in this article except this one, and for a good reason:
Agni Tratak requires you to go into deep woods (which I find eerie, but who am I to stop you?)
Like I said, I never did it, but here’s a possible way:
Go into a forest or a highly dense wild area, and collect some dry wood. Once you’re done collecting the firewood, start a fire. Now, sit about 6-10 feet away from the fire and concentrate on the flame.
You might hear some weird sounds or may notice some disturbing images in the fire, and also, fear, anxiety, or strange restlessness may emerge out of nowhere. But, you need to be strong and keep at it. Continue concentrating on the fire, and aim for 32 minutes. (Not at once, of course!)
Here’s why I don’t recommend it:
Finding a forest is challenging unless you’re already living in one (which I doubt).
Not only that, but I also feel that traveling to a forest for the sake of improving concentration is really not worth it. And even if you’re able to find one, you’ll need to be constantly vigilant during your Tratak practice because the danger of wild animals is always there.
Moreover, ‘the fire element’ may attract paranormal entities (obviously beyond human control). Now, you don’t want to be in such an uncomfortable and life-threatening situation, would you?
7. Darpan Tratak (दर्पण त्राटक)
You may address it as Darpan Tratak Siddhi or can translate it roughly as Mirror Gazing.
Unlike other forms (which require you to focus on external objects), this method requires you to focus on yourself, on your eyes, to be specific.
Darpan Tratak is highly risky, disturbing, and even scary at times. So, I recommend attempting it only after you’ve practiced certain other forms of Tratak.
Here’s how to do it:
Sit comfortably in front of a mirror. You can use a chair or sit on the floor on an Aasan (Yoga Mat). Relax, and breathe deeply—don’t try to control your breathing; let it be.
Once relaxed, choose either left or right eye, and look into that eye of your reflection in the mirror. It’s next to impossible to look into both eyes simultaneously, so decide which one you’re going to focus on, and then keep looking into that eye. Now, many weird things may happen during your practice, such as:
- You may notice strange faces or figures appearing in the mirror.
- Sometimes, your face might disappear from the mirror, and you’ll be staring at a blank surface.
- You may feel somebody (other than you) is staring at you from inside the mirror.
(See, I warned you.)
Remember: If you experience overwhelm or eerie images or disturbing feelings, then discontinue the practice. You may not be ready for it—yet. Give it a rest, and practice other forms first. Once comfortable, try Darpan Tratak again and see how it goes.
It’s Possible to Increase Concentration Power With Tratak
Most people believe that only sannyasins and sages should undertake Tratak Sadhana.
That’s not entirely true!
You see, anyone with the right mindset and determination can practice and improve their concentration power. And by ‘right mindset, I mean you must be clear about why you want to increase your mental focus and concentration.
Is it because your best friend is doing it, and you don’t want to get behind? Or is it because you really want to develop your concentration?
Think about that.
And once you’re clear about the WHY, pick any form and get started. Remember to aim small and go slow. Then, once you’ve achieved the concentration you desired, use it with good intention.
Remember: With GREAT Power Comes GREAT Responsibility!