By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Ambhasi-dharana, Ambhasi-dhAraNA, AAmbhasi-dhaaranaa
Āmbhasi-dhāraṇā literally means ‘fixing the mind on the water principle’.
It is one of the five dhāraṇās technically known as ‘pañcadhāraṇās’ in the works on Haṭhayoga. Such dhāraṇās help in the conquest of the mind. When guided properly, this can lead to the realization of the Self. Incidentally, certain supernatural powers are also attained in the process.
Āmbhasī-dhāraṇa is dhāraṇā or fixing the mind on the principle of ambhas or water. The water principle is white like the kunda flower or conch or moon. It is circular in form with Viṣṇu as the presiding deity and ‘va’ as the bīja (seed- letter). Fixing the mind along with the prāṇa (through kumbhaka prāṇāyāma) for five ghaṭikās (one ghaṭikā = 24 minutes) will help the yogi to destroy all sorrows. The yogi who has perfected this will not die even in deepest water.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore