"Collegiate Assessor Kovalev also awoke early that morning. And when he had done so he made the ?B-r-rh!? with his lips which he always did when he had been asleep ? he himself could not have said why. Then he stretched, reached for a small mirror on the table near by, and set himself to inspect a pimple which had broken out on his nose the night before. But, to his unbounded astonishment, there was only a flat patch on his face where the nose should have been! Greatly alarmed, he got some water, washed, and rubbed his eyes hard with the towel. Yes, the nose indeed was gone! He prodded the spot with a hand ? pinched himself to make sure that he was not still asleep. But no; he was not still sleeping. Then he leapt from the bed, and shook himself. No nose! Finally, he got his clothes on, and hurried to the office of the Police Commissioner"
The Nose, Gogol.
Anon. added this excellent comment below on an earlier post that I just have to share...
...Regarding Pranayama, and my practice thereof, as was taught by Ramaswami, I have been reading and contemplating Adi Shankara's observations in "Aparokshanubhuti" translated by Swami Vimuktananda.
E.g. From Sutra 114, Shankara writes:
114. That (Brahman) which is the root of all existence and on which the restraint of the mind is based is called the restraining root (Mulabandha) which should always be adopted since it is fit for Raja-yogins.
115. Absorption in the uniform Brahman should be known as the equipose of the limbs (Dehasamya). Otherwise ere straightening of the body like that of a dried-up tree is no equipose.
116. Converting the ordinary vision into one of knowledge one should view the world as Brahman Itself. That is the noblest vision, and not that which is directed to the tip of the nose.
117. Or, one should direct one's vision to That alone where all distinction of the seer, sight and the seen ceases and not to the tip of the nose.
118. The restraint of all modifications of the mind by regarding all mental states like the Chitta as Brahman alone, is called Pranayama.
119. The negation of the phenomenal world is known as Rechaka (breathing out), the thought, "I am verily Brahman," is called Puraka (breathing in), and the steadiness of that thought thereafter is called Kumbhaka (restraining the breath). This is the real course of Pranayama for the enlightened, whereas the ignorant only torture the nose.
He then goes on to explain the remaining steps to the attainment of knowledge..."
The text can be found online in pdf HERE
However Anon recommends the print edition with the commentary see the comment to this post.