Prana – essence of Life
Prana is an ancient concept and is referred to in many Hindu scriptures and texts, such as the Upanishads and the Vedas. These texts state that prana originates from Atman.From the Sanskrit an, meaning “movement,” and pra, meaning “constant,” prana means “constant motion,” and refers to the idea that vital or life force energy is always dynamic. Prana is often understood in relation to the physical body and health and wellness through the chakras. It is thought that when someone is well and balanced, prana flows freely through the seven major chakras. However, when there are blockages or imbalances, they may manifest as physical or emotional issues. Prana is not merely a philosophical concept; it is in every sense a physical substance.Just as radioactive or electromagnetic waves exist even though we can’t see them, in the same way, in this physical body, there are pranic waves and a pranic field.
Prana is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “life-force” the invisible bio-energy or vital energy that keeps the body alive and maintains a state of good health. Prana is the life-energy or life-principle of the universe. This primeval energy is know by different names in other schools of wisdom, including: Ki (Japan), Chi (China), Pneuma (Greece), Mana (Polynesian), Ruah (Hebrew – Breath of Life, Old Testament).
Prana is energy, vitality, power. Prana is the foundation and essence of all life; the energy and vitality that permeates the entire Universe. Prana flows in everything that exists.Furthermore, Prana is the connecting link between the material world, consciousness and mind. It is what makes life on the material level possible. Prana regulates all physical functions for example, the breath, the supply of oxygen, digestion, elimination and much more. The function of the human body is much like a transformer, receiving energy from the Universal flow of Prana, distributing that energy, and then eliminating it. If a person or a room has a healthy, harmonious vibration, we say: “There is good Prana here”. Illness, on the other hand, disturbs or blocks the flow of Prana. As we develop the ability to control Prana, we gain harmony and health, of both body and mind. In addition to this, with long and consistent practice an expansion of consciousness is experienced.
Prana, or life force, moves through the nostrils where there are three nadis. The sun nadi is the right nostril. The moon nadi is the left nostril. The fire nadi is in-between both. This is known as the Sushumna nadi. We are living in an ocean of prana. Prana and Truth, or consciousness, is the prana of prana.
Prana also means: The Vital Breath
The 5 Vital Principles of basic energy:
- The five Pranas – Prana, Apana, Udana, Vyana and Samana.
- The five Upa-Pranas – Naga, Kurma, Devadatta, Krikala and Dhananjaya.
Vital Fluid of the body (according to Ma Ananda Moyî) or Prana is the energy in the upper part of the body, in the region above the heart. If prana is too high or is imbalanced you cannot sleep.
The nervous energy (according to Shrî Aurobindo) or Apana Vayu is the energy in the lower part of the body. If Apana is too high, then you feel lethargic, sleepy, and dull.
The Principal of life (according to Swâmî Vivékananda) or Samana Vayu is in the stomach region, it aids digestion.
The Substance of Life ( according to Shrî Aurobindo) or Udana Vayu is in the upper chest and throat region, it is responsible for emotions. If Udana Vayu is imbalanced, you have no emotions, you become like a stone or you become so mushy-mushy and weak.
A universal force and omnipresence that manifests itself throughout the entire Universe. (according to Swâmi Vivékânanda) or Vyana is all over the body, it is responsible for movements in the joints, the circulation in the body. If Vyana Prana is disturbed, then the circulatory system is disturbed, your joints are not flexible, there are aches and pains.
A cosmic force that acts upon the Akasha to replicate and create the Universe. Panch Prana, the five different types of prana are present in everybody, and different pranas dominates at different times. The imbalances in the pranas are corrected during Pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya.
Prana has many uses and is required for the continued existence of one’s physical body. Prana is the only substance in Creation which can create the steady structural replacements required by a physical body.
Pranic Healing was been a widely practiced art and science in ancient civilizations in China, Egypt and India. Prana is an ancient concept and is referred to in many Hindu scriptures and texts, such as the Upanishads and the Vedas. These texts state that prana originates from Atman.
From the Sanskrit an, meaning “movement,” and pra, meaning “constant,” prana means “constant motion,” and refers to the idea that vital or life force energy is always dynamic.
Pranic Healing is a highly evolved and tested system of energy medicine developed by GrandMaster Choa Kok Sui that utilizes prana to balance, harmonize and transform the body’s energy processes. Prana is a Sanskrit word that means life-force. This invisible bio-energy or vital energy keeps the body alive and maintains a state of good health. In acupuncture, the Chinese refer to this subtle energy as Chi. It is also called Ruach or the Breath of Life in Hebrew. Pranic Healing is a simple yet powerful & effective system of no-touch energy healing. It is based on the fundamental principles that the body is a self-repairing living entity that possesses the ability to heal itself and that the healing process is accelerated by increasing this life force that is readily available from the sun, air and ground to address physical & emotional imbalances.
This ancient healing methodology is intended to complement conventional medical practices as well as other alternative healing methods.Now, each of us has a certain quantity of prana in our physical body and we utilize this in the course of our day to day activities throughout life.When our prana diminishes, sickness sets in, and when we have plenty of prana, every part of the body is in perfect health.If we have an excess of prana, it can be transmitted to others for healing or magnetism.The inner prana can be stimulated by the practice of pranayama and thereby increased to a greater quantum.The brain requires maximum prana, and for the practice of meditation, it needs an increased supply.
It is for this reason that we practise pranayama before commencing our meditation practice.If we are not able to supply plenty of pranic fuel to the brain, the mind becomes very restless and disturbed.When the brain is receiving a deficient supply of prana, you suffer from nervous depression or nervous breakdown.Then the whole body perspires, there is trembling in every organ, you can’t stand, your mind is unsteady and you are constantly thinking negative thoughts.
The body has the innate ability to heal its self.
In order to do so life force, or life energy must be present.
I will elaborate a little on these principles. The body does the healing always, period. We may encourage the body’s immune system with drugs, sew it together or put a limb in a cast, but it is the body that does the healing.
The body has intelligence of its own. If it did not we would spend all our time telling it what to do. No time to do anything else. The body has the ability to control and energize its own system if it is it’s condition to do so. In order for the body to heal it requires life force or life energy. Simple, no life force or life energy, no healing can occur, the body is dead.There are several sources of this life force or “Prana”. These include the environment i.e. the sun, the air, the earth. We get some prana from the food that we eat, from animals, and from other people, and spiritual sources.You can’t even sleep and you don’t want to talk or think.This state indicates that the brain is only receiving a very small quantity of prana.We also know that the physical body has bio-plasmic impulses flowing through it. The body acts as the copper wire for the bio-plasmic impulses to flow through. This current flowing through the body forms a bio-electro-magnetic field around the body. This is commonly known as the Bio-plasmic field, or the Etheric Field or the Auric Field. This Auric field is the container that holds Prana or life force. It is made up of several layers.
The outermost of these layers is termed the Outer Aura. Again, it’s function it to contain or hold in the energy that the body acquires from those various sources. If there is a hole, crack or tear in this field, the prana, or life force will steadily leak out. If you have ever met someone who is frail, always getting sick, or when they recover they often have relapses, this condition may be caused by a leak in this Outer Aura.The innermost layer is called the Inner Aura. This is the layer that is generally measured to gauge irregularities in Bio-Energetic Anatomy. Just as we have physical power plants, transformers and wires, we have energetic power plants, transformers and wires as well.The energetic power plants are called Chakras. They gather energy and change it into something digestible to the subtle and physical bodies. The Chakras, (chakra means wheel in Sanskrit), spin two directions, they inhale fresh clean Prana, and expel used up or diseased energy. They also supply Prana, (life force), to our internal organs using our version of wiring, the Meridian System.The Meridians are those lines on an Acupuncture Chart. The energy generated at the physical power plant is too great to use directly, it must be made “compatible” with our appliances. This is done through a series of transformers. Something similar also happens within chakra system. Many people are somewhat familiar with the seven Chakra system. There are many, many Chakras in our system. There are major chakras, such as those that are located down the front of the body, there are minor chakras such as those on the hands feet and spleen.There are mini chakras like the ones on the tips of the fingers, and micro chakras such as those dots on the acupuncture charts. The Major Chakras supply etheric energy, Prana or life force to the various systems and organs within our bodies. So, just to quickly recap, our energetic anatomy is made up of our chakras, (power plants), the meridians (the wiring) and the Auric Field (the emanation of the current running through the system). The Auric Field is the energetic blueprint that the physical body follows.
Prana normally flows in either Ida or Pingala: Our kundalini energy system is usually more active in either the left or right sides, which are the Ida and Pingala. Of the thousands of energy channels (nadis), three are most important: Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna (sometimes called “silver cord”), which is the central channel, and the most important.The universal prana underlying all combinations in creation is the basis of unity that has prevented the One Spirit from being irrevocably split into many. It pervades all atoms of the universe and every place in the cosmos. It is the primal, direct, subtle link between matter and Spirit—less spiritual than the Great Spirit, but more spiritual than the material atoms. This universal prana is the father of all so-called forces, which Spirit (in Its immanent form) utilizes to create and sustain the universe.
Prana was first expounded on in the Upanishads, where it is part of the worldly, physical realm, sustaining the body and the mother of thought and thus also of the mind. Prana suffuses all living forms but is not itself the Atman or individual soul. In the Ayurveda, the Sun and sunshine are held to be a source of Prana. God (the intelligent principle of the universe) replicates God to create Creation. God (All That Is) duplicates itself because there can only be God in any part of Creation. God constructs Creation by creating sub-atomic Golden Spheres. These Golden Spheres are exact duplications, or replications of God’s original energy. These minuscule replications of God, these phenomenal Golden Spheres of God’s Unconditional Love are the building blocks of everything that is manifested in Creation. All light, energy and matter everywhere in Creation is comprised of sub-atomic Golden Spheres. The common name for these Golden Spheres is Prana, the life force behind of all Creation.You should not think that just by practising a little pranayama you are sending a lot of prana to the brain.The process of supply and assimilation of prana into the brain is very complicated.The brain is a subtle instrument and it can only be enriched by the subtle form of prana and not the gross form.Therefore, when you practise pranayama, you will have to convert the prana into a subtle force.Conscious control of prana (the creative vibration or energy that activates and sustains life in the body). The yoga science of pranayama is the direct way to consciously disconnect the mind from the life functions and sensory perceptions that tie man to body consciousness. Pranayama thus frees man’s consciousness to commune with God. All scientific techniques that bring about union of soul and Spirit may be classified as yoga, and pranayama is the greatest yogic method for attaining this divine union. — Read more at: http://www.yogananda.com.au/g/g_pranayama.html#topCleansing and Energizing are two techniques used in Pranic Healing. Before any energy is given, negative, dirty, diseased, or contaminated energy is first removed and disposed of properly this is called cleansing.
Prana is an intelligent force, but has no consciousness in the empirical, nor transcendental, sense. It is the basis of the empirical consciousness, but soul is the conscious unit. Soul through ego dictates, and prana, its servant, obeys. Prana, neither grossly material nor purely spiritual, borrows from the soul its power of activating the body. It is the power lodged between soul and matter for the purpose of expressing the former and moving the latter. The soul can exist without prana, but the prana in the body cannot exist without a soul as its substratum.
Prana is that life energy which nourishes the whole body so that it could, together with its different organs, function properly and normally. Without energy the body would die.It means that without Prana, translated as life, there would be no physical body as an integrated entity. Physical body without Prana is basically a collection of cells independent from one another; Prana is the substance that links these independent cells together creating one whole living complex.Deep breathing alone is not enough to stimulate prana. By breathing deeply, you stimulate your respiratory system and the blood circulation, but if you could examine the brain at that time, you would see that it is least affected.Prana can even be transferred from one person to another person; what is commonly known as the act of healing. In fact the rate of the healing of the body can be increased by increasing the life-energy on the affected part and on the entire body. Just as light can cause chemical reactions, which is used as a basis in photography, Prana increases the chemical reactions of the body, manifesting as healing. This principle is basically one of the main principles in alternative healing techniques such as Pranic Healing.
However, when you practice pranayama with concentration, as shown by scientific studies, the brainwaves undergo a significant change and the limbic system is also positively influenced.
The brain can be split into two parts- the frontal brain and the posterior brain. The posterior brain is the instinctive brain which we have inherited through animal incarnations.The frontal brain is the seat of total consciousness.
The breath and the underlying energy, or Prana, usually flow predominantly on one side or other, the left or the right. Breath predominantly in the left nostril is described as cool, and sometimes referred to as feminine. The flow of Prana on the left is the lunar, and is called Ida. Breath flowing predominantly in the right nostril is described as hot, and sometimes referred to as masculine. The flow of Prana on the right is the solar, and is called Pingala. Usually we believe that we are breathing through both nostrils, although breath is normally dominant in one or the other. The dominance shifts from time to time during the day. For one with a well balanced body and mind, that shift of nostril dominance happens approximately once in ninety minutes. For other people, the shift may be much different. Sometimes one can be so off balance that one nostril remains dominant, which is a symptom of some physical, mental, or emotional difficulties.When you breathe without awareness, the breath is registered in the posterior brain, but when you are aware that you are breathing and you are consciously witnessing the whole process, then it is registered by the conscious brain, the frontal brain.The breath changes with every action, and certain prana functions at certain times.The Vedas teach us that the metabolism of your body is twice when you are breathing through the right nostril than it is when breathing through the left. Following this, when the left nostril is functioning, it is a good time to drink; when the right is functioning, then it is a good time to eat. If you do the reverse, then within six months time you may fall sick. Ayurveda also says that you should not eat and drink at the same time, and when you do eat you should leave a gap of half an hour to an hour before drinking. The nadis, the breath, changes every hour. Similarly, prana changes, the energy in the world changes, all the time.This difference seems to be very simple, but its effect is very great. Throughout life, you breathe unconsciously, just like animals, children and most other people do, excepting for the few who have started practising yoga. Now, in every case, the pranic flow is being registered in the posterior brain as if in a computer.
The moment you become aware of your breathing and you begin to conduct and control the breath in a particular fashion, immediately the frontal brain registers the influence.This fact has been revealed by scientific experiments and has led us to the following conclusion.Conscious breathing has an entirely different effect on the brain than unconscious breathing.Through unconscious breathing we are definitely able to feed the whole body with prana, but we cannot supply the brain with sufficient prana for its evolution and growth.
The word Prana comes from two roots. Pra means first, and na is the smallest unit of energy. Prana is therefore the first breath, the primal or atomic beginning of the flow of energy. Out of this first unit of energy manifests all aspects and levels of the human being. It is one and the same with kundalini shakti. That kundalini, manifesting as Prana flows in certain patterns, or lines, or channels that are called nadis. There are said to be some 72,000 such nadis coursing through the subtle body that supports the physical body and its various systems. When the Prana flows across the latent impressions, they spring to life in the form of awareness in the conscious mind, in the physical body and brain. When kundalini manifests outward, those thousands of nadis intersect here and there, forming the matrix of the subtle body. The major intersections are called chakras (section#5), and the five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and space manifest around these so as to form the gross body. Often, we speak of chakras as if they are in the body. Actually, this is somewhat backwards. It is more like the body has been suspended on the subtle chakras, with these chakras being formed or constructed by the major highway intersections of the nadis, which are none other than kundalini shakti.
There are three major sources of Prana.
The main sources of Prana are the Sun , the Earth and the Cosmos and the prana they give is known as Sun prana, Earth prana and Cosmic prana.Other sources of Prana are the air we breathe, the food we eat, water we drink, trees, holy persons, holy places, crystals, certain geometric structures, objects like holy books , certain symbols etc.
There are many types of Prana exercises which have been practised since ancient times in different countries to generate and increase the flow of prana in the body to stay healthy like Yoga in India, ChiKung and TaiChi in China and Akido in Japan.Pranayama a part of Indian Yoga in which various types of breathing is done to manage the flow of prana into the body in order that the person can enjoy a long healthy life.When we breathe in, it is not only the oxygen that we inhale, we also take in silver coloured very fine particles of energy present in the atmosphere. Each of this particle is the air prana.Most of us are unconsciously obtaining prana from all above sources but in a manner where it is just a part of our existence and habit. We are doing it without awareness and there is no measure of the quantity of this prana and it’s effect on our aura.
The Sun: First, solar prana, that vital and magnetic fluid which radiates from the Sun, is transmitted to the planetary etheric body where it is collected by the earth’s spleen center.After the planet assimilates what is required, the excess is given off as surface radiation, the heat the earth gives off after nightfall. Solar prana is now colored by the planetary quality and is absorbed by all evolutions found within its life.The three main sources of pranic energy or life energy are the sun, wind and ground. Solar prana or solar energy is derived from sunlight. It promotes good health and energizes the entire body. One can obtain solar prana or solar energy by sunbathing for about 5 to 10 minutes or by drinking water that has been exposed to sunlight. But too much exposure to solar prana can be harmful for the body since it is quite strong. Solar Prana that invigorates and that can be absorbed by sunbathing and drinking sun-exposed water, but too much solar Prana can harm because it is so potent.Humans receive prana from both the Sun and the planet, but never directly from the Sun ~ its intensity is harmful to matter and must be filtered through an intermediary. Etheric bodies of humans receive solar prana via the agency of certain deva entities of a very high order, and of a golden hue. The prana passes through their bodies and is emitted as powerful radiations, which in turn descend directly into certain centers in the human etheric body correlating to the head and shoulders, and eventually pass into the physical organ of the spleen.After distribution over the entire body through the etheric network, it demonstrates in surface radiation as the health aura. Again, the physical radiations humans give off differ according to the quality of their physical bodies. Planetary prana is safely absorbed through the pores of the skin as the destructive fire of the sun has been diminished by passing through the filter of the earth.
The Air: Ozone Prana, most effective when acquired through deep slow rhythmic breathing and through the energy centers (chakras) of the inner and outer aura, which is our etheral body.Air prana is obtained from the pranic energy present in the air. While breathing air, prana is absorbed by our lungs. It is also absorbed directly by the chakras or energy centers. It is possible to obtain more air prana by slow deep and rhythmic breathing than by short shallow breathing.Ozone is one of the most energetic and useful agents known to science. Its therapeutic action is due to oxygenation of the blood by the loose molecule (free radical) of oxygen in the O3 compound. It is carried to the various organs and tissues of the body and absorbed, thus oxidizing the waste products, and facilitating their elimination. In other words, ozone increases the metabolism without the expenditure of vital energy and special stress should be laid on the fact that ozone is a natural remedy.In the process of respiration waste products are exposed to the action of the oxygen of the air, and they are burned up very much as if they were put into a stove, thereby producing body heat. In the living body, heat, whether tangible or not, is continually being generated through the chemical action of carbon and oxygen. The element of air relates to the sense of touch in the Yogic system. Air on a subtle level is touch. Through touch we feel alive and can transmit our life-force to others. Yet as air arises in space, so does touch arises from sound, which is the sense quality that corresponds to the element of ether. Through sound we awaken and feel our broader connections with life as a whole. On a subtle level Prana arises from the touch and sound qualities that are inherent in consciousness. In fact Prana has its own sheath or body.
The Earth: The ground Prana that enters though the souls of our feet. Trees and plants absorb Prana from sun, air, and ground and exude a lot of excess Prana.Ground prana is derived from the life energy present in the ground. It is absorbed by the soles of our feet. There is an increase in the amount of ground prana absorbed by the body while walking barefoot. It is possible for one to learn how to draw ground prana consciously, to increase one’s energy and ability to think clearly and to do more work. And we absorb ground prana through our feet as we walk around every day. (We also get prana from the food we eat, but consuming food is merely an indirect way of obtaining prana that ultimately comes from the air, earth, and sun.)And we absorb ground prana through our feet as we walk around every day. (We also get prana from the food we eat, but consuming food is merely an indirect way of obtaining prana that ultimately comes from the air, earth, and sun.) Ground Prana is absorbed through the soles of the feet. This is done automatically, unconsciously. Walking barefoot increases the amount of ground prana absorbed by the body. One can learn to consciously draw in more ground prana and increase one’s vitality, capacity to do more work, and ability to think more clearly.Certain trees such as pine trees or old and gigantic healthy tress exude a lot of excess prana. Tired or sick people can benefit by lying down or resting underneath these trees. Better results can be obtained by verbally requesting the being of the tree to help the sick person get well. Anyone can also learn to consciously learn to absorb chi from these trees through the palms, such as the body would tingle and become numb because of the tremendous amount of prana absorbed. This skill can be acquired after only a few sessions of practise.
During bad weather conditions many people get sick; not only because of the changes in temperature, but also because of the decrease in solar and air prana (life energy). Thus a lot of people feel mentally and physically sluggish, or become susceptible to infectious diseases. This can be counter acted by consciously absoirbing prana or ki, from the air and the ground. It has been clairvoyantly observed that there is more prana during the day than night. Prana reaches a low level at about three or four in the morning
‘Vitality globules’ (collection of units of white prana) are absorbed by the chakras or energy centers where they are broken down into different components. So when white prana is digested, it produces six types of colour prana – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Colour pranas are more specialized and potent than white prana.
Red Prana – It is warm, strengthening, expansive, dilating, distributive, constructive, stimulating, activating and it also sustains the physical body.
Orange Prana – It is expelling, eliminating, decongesting, cleansing, splitting, exploding and destructive.
Green Prana – This colour prana is decongesting, cleansing, detoxifying, dis infecting and dissolving.
Yellow Prana – It is cementing, assimilating and initiating.
Blue Prana – It is disinfecting, inhibiting, contracting, soothing, cooling and flexible.
Violet Prana – It contains all the properties of the above mentioned colour pranas. Light violet has an regenerating effect. It also has a multiplier effect on all the properties of the colour pranas.
Electric Violet Pranic Energy – Electric Violet prana is obtained from the higher soul or higher self and it appears as “brilliant white with light violet on the periphery”. It is also known as divine energy or spiritual energy. It is much more powerful than normal violet prana and it contains all the properties of the other colour pranas. Electric violet pranic energy has a consciousness of its own.
Golden Pranic Energy – When electric violet energy comes in contact with the etheric body, it turns into golden prana and when golden prana is absorbed by the physical body it turns into light red. The properties of golden prana are almost similar to electric violet energy but it is milder and less fluidic. This energy is known as “heaven ki” in Taoist Yoga, “pillar of light” in Kabbalah, “descent of the Holy Spirit” in Christianity and “antahkarana” or the spiritual bridge of light in India.