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  1. I have a question regarding candle-gazing meditation, specifically that of Tratak. I have practiced this meditation in the past, at times with diligence and at others inconsistently, overall the discipline yielded very tangible results. The times of inconsistency and general faltering in the required self-conduct are what caused me to distance myself from the practice, yet in all the time that I have left it alone I've felt a strange compulsion to begin again anew. While I do not recommend this form of meditation, it has been deemed to be easy, direct and powerful by many internet users and I personally agree with the sentiment. This meditation is seen by a number of people as a sort of straight-shot to self-actualization, a path with "less fluff" if you will. My question is, is the end of this particular path indeed self-realization, "enlightenment", or something maybe more nebulous and ineffable? There isn't much writing on the internet to be found in regards to this particular form of meditation, and the information available tends to be copy-and-pasted from site-to-site ad infinitum, with little in the ways of variance beyond the occasional vague, brief and largely positive testimonials of experience. However, this particular passage kept coming up and really caught my eye: "The human body is made of five elements: ether, earth, air, water and fire. The Fire Tratak removes from it two constituent elements. Viz. earth and water. By virtue of the Fire Tratak the practitioner brings about a blending of the remaining elements and enters the universe of the three elements. All gods are made of only three elements. One has to leave behind the to elements named above. It is only then can one reach supreme godhead. The principal use of the Fire Tratak is that one gets endowed with power to enter such realms which are generally obscure and forbidden. The human being who is made of five elements will not be able to reach the universe made of only three elements. He may be the greatest yogi belonging to the highest order. Dropping two elements is central to the job of acquiring power to enter all realms of the universe. Until the process of elimination is consummated, one has to remain confined to the mundane framework. One can achieve this only through the Fire Tratak." If someone has had any prior experience with tratak or is able to translate the above into more accessible terms it would be greatly appreciated, because as of now what I've interpreted from the above passage has instilled fear in me much more than curiosity. Anyways. I also recently happened into Zoroastrianism where fire is largely revered as a symbol of god and purity. While there are other things/ideals I find to be of interest in that particular religion, the whole fire worship thing is very synchronistic. For me personally, it just raises a question of what space is it that tratak will eventually grant me access to? Also, what exactly is the force or entity that I'm aligning myself with by continuing to entertain and engage with the practice of tratak? After all, if one truly does dedicate themselves to this discipline for the long run they would essentially spend a number of days, months, possibly even years, staring into the depths of a flame.