Uniting with the universal prana
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 is originally derived from the Sanskrit language meaning “life energy” (Prā means forth, while an means to breathe, move or live); therefore the nearest English equivalent of this Sanskrit term is “the breath of life.”In Chinese Prana is called “chi,” while in Japanese it is known as “ki.” In Greek Prana is equivalent to “Pneuma” and in Polynesian it is “mana;” all referring to the same concept. It can be best described as “Vitality,” “as the integrating energy that co-ordinates the physical molecules, cells, etc and holds them together as a definite organism.” Prana is universal in nature. The individual prana is a microcosmic representative of the universal system and should not be mistaken for the air that we breathe.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.In the physical body we have two types of energies. One is known as prana and the other is known as mind or consciousness. That means, in every organ of the body there should be two channels supplying energy. Modern physiology describes two types of nervous systems – the sympathetic and the parasympathetic, and these two nervous systems are interconnected in each and every organ of the body. In the same way, every organ is supplied with the energy of prana and the energy of mind.In yoga, the concept of prana is very scientific. When we speak of prana, we do not mean the breath, air or oxygen. Precisely and scientifically speaking, prana means the original life force.
Prana is a Sanskrit word constructed of the syllables praand an. ‘An’ means movement and ‘pra’ is a prefix meaning constant. Therefore, prana means constant motion. This constant motion commences in the human being as soon as he is conceived in his mother’s womb. Prana is therefore a type of energy responsible for the body’s life, heat and maintenance.A certain quantum of prana exists in each human body. By enlarging the scope of prana we awaken the inner recesses of the brain. Prana flows in the body on a superficial level to maintain our body and its organs. It is a force or energy which is resonant throughout the physical system of man. According to the science of hatha yoga, pingala nadi, which flows on the right side within the framework of the spinal column, is the channel of prana from mooladhara to ajna chakra. The distribution of prana takes place throughout the physical structure by a different system made up of thousands and thousands of nerve channels which carry the force of prana to each and every atom in the body, for its growth and maintenance. 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. 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.
According to yoga, tantra and the science of kundalini, prana is supposed to originate in pingala nadi. Within the framework of the spinal cord, there are three channels known as nadis in yoga. One is called ida, another is pingala and the third is sushumna. Ida nadi represents the mental energy, pingala represents prana or pranic energy and sushumna represents spirit or spiritual awareness. These three nadis originate in mooladhara chakra, which is situated at the perineum or cervix. Pingala nadi flows to the right from mooladhara and continues to cross ida at each chakra all the way up to ajna. There are six chakras through which pingala nadi passes. The first one is mooladhara chakra from which it originates. The second is swadhisthana where the nadi crosses to the left. The third is manipura chakra where the nadi crosses to the right. And the fourth is anahata where the nadi crosses to the left. The fifth is vishuddhi where the nadi crosses to the right and the sixth is ajna where the nadi terminates from the right. Similarly, ida nadi also crosses at each chakra but in the reverse order. Every sincere yoga aspirant should have a clear understanding of the pathway of these three major nadis. Pingala nadi is the distributing channel for prana in the body, and from each chakra the pranas are disseminated to every organ of the body. From swadhisthana the pranic energy is distributed to the genito-urinary system. Manipura chakra supplies prana to the digestive system and anahata supplies the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. From vishuddhi, distribution takes place to the ears, eyes, nose and throat, and ajna chakra is the distributor of energy through which man’s brain is fed.
In order to alleviate sicknesses of the brain, in order to develop the latent capacities of the, brain or to initiate evolution of the brain, we cannot just depend on the way we have been breathing in the past. This is precisely the reason why the different forms of pranayama are practised.
When you practise pranayama, the pranas are stimulated in the lower region of the body, but you must have a means of forcing the pranic energy up. Somehow, you have to create a negative force which will push the pranic energy up through the spinal cord. For this reason pranayama should be practised in coordination with specific bandhas. The three bandhas which are incorporated into the practice of pranayama are jalandhara bandha, uddiyana bandha and moola bandha. They create a negative force like the ejecting force used to extract water from a well.
There are two forces used for pumping water- the sucking force and the ejecting force. When we practise pranayama with the bandhas, we put an ejecting force into action.So, through pranayama you generate prana in the lower region of the body, then in order to conduct it up to the brain you must first practise moola bandha, then uddiyana bandha and finally jalandhara bandha. Moola bandha is contraction of the perineum, uddiyana bandha is contraction of the abdominal muscles and jalandhara bandha is the locking of the chin against the sternum. Prana is then conducted to the brain with the help of the subtle circulatory system.
The network of vessels through which the blood circulates is not just an arrangement of hollow tubes. It is a generator and distributor of prana as well. These vessels become charged and polarized as the bloodstream circulates throughout the body. It is as though the whole arterial and venous circulatory trees become magnetized. The flow of blood through the vessels generates a bio-magnetic force just as a forceful flow of water is used to generate hydro electricity. This is how prana shakti is able to permeate and enliven even the most distant cells and tissues of the body.Under normal conditions a certain quantum of prana is circulating, and this is responsible for our present level of health. However, the importance of pranayama is to enable us to consciously generate a higher voltage of prana and this greater quantum of prana can then be directed into the higher centres of the brain, via the cerebral blood vessels and the cerebrospinal fluid circulating and irrigating the brain’s sleeping centres. In this way, pranayama brings a higher reality, experience and dimension to its practitioner. It boosts the level of consciousness by activating and awakening the dormant centres and capacities of the left and right hemispheres of the evolving brain.Now, another means of conducting prana to the frontal portion of the brain is by the practice of shambhavi mudra. Shambhavi mudra is centralizing the pupils of the eyes at the point between the two eyebrows. This practice is also known as mid-eyebrow centre gazing. When you practise shambhavi mudra, the pranas are sucked up by force to irrigate the frontal area of the brain.
Pranayama attempts to extend the scope of prana beyond the frontiers of the physical body. Force has many manifestations. Energy can assume any dimension. It can be minimal as well as cosmic.The prime objective of pranayama is to create a greater quantum of prana, change the nature of the electrical forces within this pranic body, and then transmit it to the silent areas of the brain. The different forms of pranayama prepare the channels or media through which the energy must flow.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.
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. However, when you practise pranayama with concentration, as shown by scientific studies, the brainwaves undergo a significant change and the limbic system is also positively influenced. Before this higher form of energy is conducted to the brain the channels must first be purified. Pingala nadi is the vehicle which carries the pranic force from mooladhara chakra to the higher centres in the brain. Ajna chakra, known as the medulla oblongata, situated on top of the spinal cord is the monitoring centre for the entire silent area. When this fantastic amount of energy is regenerated in the system it is conducted through pingala nadi up to ajna chakra and from ajna chakra this energy flows into the silent areas of the brain.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. 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.
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. 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.
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 brain is divided into ten compartments of which nine parts are silent.Scientists have divided the brain into three sections: the new brain, the middle brain and the primitive brain. This primitive brain is the nine parts of the whole brain, which are existing but not participating in the scheme of man’s life. These areas of the brain are called ‘the silent areas’ and their qualities are unknown. If these nine silent portions of the brain were operating, one’s human faculties would be greatly expanded and they would not undergo degeneration.
Prana is not only the life force, it is also a very powerful healing force in the body that can even eradicate the most difficult physical problems. Moreover, the prana within us is a part of the universal prana. I am not talking about positive and negative ions now, I am speaking of a metaphysical substance. This is called universal prana and your prana is a part of that. If you can unite yourself with the universal prana, you can draw the required amount of prana whenever you need.In order to tune yourself to this universal prana, you must be able to reach a high state of meditation. When you control the breath, the mind is also controlled and the awareness becomes one-pointed. That one-pointed awareness is comprehended in the mid-eyebrow centre where the point is seen as a light.The light grows in intensity and becomes bigger and bigger until it completely envelops your consciousness. Then there is illumination all around you, and at this point you can connect yourself with the universal prana. It is very difficult for us to attune ourselves to the universal prana because our awareness is very limited. Most of us only know about deep breathing, and we think that by breathing deeply fifty to a hundred times, we will get more and more shakti. Of course we do, but we need a finer form of prana shakti which can be used for awakening the brain.The whole science of pranayama is based on retention of prana, known as kumbhaka. Inhalation and exhalation are incidental. Kumbhaka means pranayama and pranayama means kumbhaka. Those aspirants who are keen and working on this new project of awakening the silent areas of the brain should prepare themselves slowly by perfecting kumbhaka. From results of scientific studies on pranayama we have found that during kumbhaka an increased supply of blood is poured into the brain and at the same time extra heat is generated within the system. Pranayama also influences the cerebral fluid in the brain. When energy is generated it changes the chemical structure of the cerebral fluid surrounding the brain within the skull. When this fluid is chemically influenced it acts on the behaviour of the brain. For example when you take a narcotic drug it produces an immediate chemical reaction within this fluid. As a result you experience certain psychic phenomena. During the state of kumbhaka extra energy in an electrical form is generated and in the course of time it changes the chemical structure of the fluid in the brain. This is why one experiences the feeling of dizziness.
According to the yoga tradition, every one of us has five bodies, each made of increasingly finer grades of energy. Human beings consist of a material body built from the food they eat. Those who care for this body are nourished by the universe itself.Inside this is another body made of life energy. It fills the physical body and takes its shape. Those who treat this vital force as divine experience excellent health and longevity because this energy is the source of physical life.Within the vital force is yet another body, this one made of thought energy. It fills the two denser bodies and has the same shape. Those who understand and control the mental body are no longer afflicted by fear.Deeper still lies another body comprised of intellect. It permeates the three denser bodies and assumes the same form. Those who establish their awareness here free themselves from unhealthy thoughts and actions, and develop the self-control necessary to achieve their goals.Hidden inside it is yet a subtler body, composed of pure joy. It pervades the other bodies and shares the same shape. It is experienced as happiness, delight, and bliss.These five bodies are called koshas, or “sheaths,” in Sanskrit, because each fits in the next like a sword in a scabbard. Only the densest is made of matter as we know it; the other four are energy states invisible to the physical eye, though we can easily sense their presence inside us when we pay close attention. Since the inner bodies are the source of our well-being during life and are the vehicles we travel in after death, India’s ancient yogis developed specific exercises to strengthen and tone each one in turn.The pranamaya kosha, or vital energy body, interpenetrates the physical body but is much larger. When you feel energy expanding into your heart or head during meditation or asana practice, or when waves of heat ripple through your body, you are in contact with the vital energy body. Feeling energized, sleepy, dull, restless, or calm are all attributes of the vital energy body. Just as you have a physical “look,” you also have a personal energetic signature. Once you become sensitive to the energy within and around you, you will start to recognize the vibration signature that you and others leave in a room, or even on a piece of clothing. (Remember how comforting it was the first time you wore your partner’s shirt to bed?)You may also notice how much of your communication with the world happens on an energetic level.To get into the physical body, try this exercise. Notice your feet in your shoes. Tighten and relax the muscles in your calves. Touch your face and sense the contact between the fingers and the skin. Put your hand over your chest and feel your heartbeat, or feel the contact between the hand and the flesh. Then pick an inner organ—your liver, heart, or kidneys—and try to find it with your attention. Really sink your attention into that organ. Just as you would in meditation, notice when you become distracted by thoughts. When this happens, note “thought” to yourself and come back to sensing the organ. Notice the settling and grounding effect of this practice.
The first kosha is annamaya, the physical body. Annamaya kosha can be sattwic, rajasic or tamasic. The word sattwa means harmony, balance and tranquillity, where you create a balance between activity and peace. Rajas means dynamic, active, violent. Tamas means dull and inert. Through the hatha yoga shatkriyas, you develop a sattwic annamaya kosha and when annamaya kosha becomes sattwic, then the bouncing of energy is much greater.In modern science it is said that all the time, the whole day and night, atomic energy is bouncing in and out from this physical body like a pendulum. Of course, you cannot see it, but scientifically it has been seen that just like a pendulum swings from left to right, left to right, in the same manner everybody is emitting or throwing away these atoms. The sattwic body creates a longer bouncing, a tamasic body perhaps no bouncing at all, while a rajasic body has a bouncing but it has no limitation.Now when these atoms or atomic particles bounce off your body and come back, there is a period of rest. That period of rest is always in the pendulum also. When it goes to the left and then turns to the right, there is a moment of rest. In the same way, when you do pranayama, in between inhalation and exhalation there is a point of rest. That is called timelessness and it is very short. Sometimes it can be a one-thousandth part of one second and sometimes a ten-thousandth part of a second. In that short period, the body transmits energy which is sattwic, rajasic or tamasic. Therefore, annamaya kosha, which is the container of the other koshas, is tackled through the practices of the hatha yoga shatkriyas.
Throughout your body there is a pranic field which is known as pranamaya kosha. You must know how to tune this pranamaya kosha with the universal prana. Your pranamaya kosha can be awakened by practising pranayama correctly, by fasting or eating properly, and by perfecting meditation on the mid-eyebrow centre. Then, when you are able to see that great enveloping light, you become the medium of the universal prana. Thereafter, you can distribute this prana to those who are in short supply.
The second kosha is pranamaya, the kosha composed of prana, or life force. This prana is a part of cosmic life. Each and every creature, each and every thing in this world is a part of cosmic life. Prana is the force or energy for all kinds of motion. Prana is a Sanskrit word meaning movement, motion or vibration.Pranic energy is in constant motion throughout life. It is not only in human beings, animals, herbs or trees, not only in oceans and mountains, minerals and bacteria. The tiniest part of an atom has prana. This prana is both visible and invisible. We need not talk about invisible prana now. Visible prana is manifesting before you. Wherever there is prana there is movement, growth, change and activity and where there is no prana there is no activity. When we die the body dissipates because it has become completely bereft of prana.Prana is one item of your total composition and should also be dealt with in yoga. If the pranas are agitated or there is a pranic imbalance, there is imbalance everywhere. To understand prana you need to know a little about positive and negative atoms. The pranas are in the atmosphere in the form of positive and negative ions, which keep on bouncing, migrating and reintegrating. A balance has to be created between them.If you study the science of the behaviour of positive and negative ions, you will understand the importance of balancing the prana in the body, because prana represents the positive energy in the body, and mind represents the negative energy. When there is a balance between positive and negative energy, then you can see illumination and everything is in harmony.This prana is responsible for the action of the karmendriyas, the organs of action, just as electrical energy is responsible for the functioning of a microphone or light bulb. If the electricity which is being supplied somewhere in 220 volts becomes 440 volts, everything will burn. If the electricity becomes 120 volts, then there will also be a crisis. Therefore, the electricity has to be adjusted according to the capacity of the microphone or the bulbs. Similarly, there has to be coordination between the prana and the indriyas or sense organs. If there is too much prana, then your children are sometimes hyperactive. Hyperactivity in the body is due to hyperactivity of the prana.
There are five karmendriyas: feet, hands, vocal cords, urinary and excretory systems. Indriya means vehicle, tool or sense. Karma means action. Through these five karmendriyas you perform five gross actions. Prana is the force behind them. You have seen how old people become slow due to lack of prana. Pranamaya kosha is the energy in annamaya kosha.There are five main pranas: prana, apana, udana, samana and vyana. These forms of prana control various functions in the physical body. For example, urination, excretion, insemination and childbirth are consequences of apana. Then there are five auxiliary or secondary pranas.Prana is not a mechanical outcome of the body as it is understood in modern medical science. According to the classical tradition prana enters the womb in the fourth month of pregnancy. When an embryo is developed in the mother’s womb, it is part of the mother’s body and prana. After the third month, the independent or individual pranas manifest in the foetus. That is to say, from the fourth month, the mother’s prana and the prana of the embryo become two different pranas. Therefore, remember that prana is universal energy.Pranamaya kosha is purified through the practice of pranayama, because pranayama makes the pranic energy penetrate into each and every cell and fibre of the body. Pranayama does not literally mean breathing exercise. The word pranayama is composed of two ideas, prana and ayama, meaning field, dimension or area. Pranayama means extending the field of prana. In this physical body you have a field of prana. It is the subtle form of energy and can be measured. This prana shakti can also get blocked. It can be in excess in some parts of the body and sometimes there is an imbalance in the prana.
The third kosha is manomaya, the kosha composed of the mind. Mind is consciousness. It is a field of energy by itself. Even as prana is the positive field of energy, mind is the negative field of energy. In Sanskrit, the mind is known as manas, and has three dimensions. In fact, in Samkhya philosophy, they say that the mind has ten dimensions. Here they mean the mind of everyone, not only of human beings but of lower animals, the vegetable kingdom, the mind of each and everything in this world.There are ten stages in the evolution of the mind from the most crude to the most fine. If you want to study those ten stages, you should read the Samkhya Sutras. However, out of those ten stages of mind, three are known to human beings: the conscious mind, the subconscious mind and the unconscious mind. Now these three stages are divisions of the human mind. The literal meaning of manas is ‘that by which you cognize, perceive and understand’. Perception, cognition and understanding are the basic and primary qualities of the mind.This mind is connected with time, space and causality. What are past, present and future? They are the three so-called divisions of the same mind. What is the form of the mind? It is said that the mind moves at the greatest speed. Do you know the speed of an object? French trains run at 240 kilometres per hour. You know the speed of sound and of light, but do you know the speed of the mind. If only you could create a mental train! The mind is a very subtle unit and when it goes to the subconscious level, it begins to go into the unknown past.Carl Jung used to talk about archetypes, dreams and visions. He said there is no known source of these things. Whether they are transferred to you from your parents or from a super space, from your previous incarnations or from some unknown transmissions, there is a primitive stock of archetypes within you. This is called samskara. It is known as the seed body or the unconscious. These are the three broad divisions of the mind.Now this mind can be brought closer, that is to say, time, space and causality can be brought closer. When we are on the external conscious plane, the distance between time, space and causality is long and when you are in meditation, then the gap between time, space and causality is very short. In fact, if the mind can sometimes stop, time stops. A lot of work has been done on this by modern physicists.The mind which I am talking about is part of the cosmic mind. Of course, I think that I have an individual mind. Everyone thinks this, but it is ignorance because we do not know, just like an ignorant person may feel that the light burning in the light bulb is individual, but another person understands that the energy is coming from the powerhouse. In the same way, this mind is part of the universal mind. How can we put this mind in touch with the cosmic mind? Through raja yoga practices.
The fourth kosha is vijnanamaya. Vijnana means psyche. The fourth of the five koshas is vijnanamaya kosha—the wisdom sheath. Vijnanamaya encompasses intuition and intellect. It can be thought of as the witness mind, or that aspect of our consciousness that is not entangled in what we are doing or thinking, but rather, acutely aware of what we are doing and thinking. Vijnanamaya kosha is awareness, simply put.Vijnana is a Sanskrit word from the prefix vi and jnana meaning knowledge or awareness, inner perception or experience. Vijnana has two meanings: external science and also inner experience. Therefore, whenever you have any experience which is subjective in nature, it is a consequence of vijnanamaya kosha. Whatever you are dreaming is a projection of vijnanamaya kosha, and in your meditation, concentration or mantra yoga, when you see lights and flowers, figures, angels or saints, smell perfumes or hear sounds, it is the consequence or result of vijnanamaya kosha.Vijnanamaya kosha is related to a very unknown part of the universe and it is a link or sutra between the conscious mind, the individual mind and the universal mind. Universal knowledge comes to the conscious mind through vijnanamaya kosha or the psychic mind. Vijnanamaya kosha does not depend on time, space and causation factors.You may not have seen Peking, but vijnanamaya kosha can give you a complete film of Peking because it is not limited by time past, present or future. The mind has its eyes on the object, but vijnanamaya kosha has its eye on the universe, and therefore Hindus say that vijnanamaya kosha has a thousand heads and a thousand eyes, a thousand hands and a thousand feet. This means it can see anywhere and think anything.How can it be developed? It can be developed through tantra because tantra is related to vijnanamaya kosha. The tantric practices act as a catalyst because it is in you, just as curd and butter are in milk, but cannot be seen as separate unless they are released. Matter has energy in it, but when you look at matter, can you see the energy? No, you cannot. Even if you believe that there is energy in matter, still you cannot see it. Then you adopt a method to separate the energy from the matter. That is what nuclear energy is. All energy is inherent in matter. In the same way, vijnanamaya kosha is inherent within you but it is hidden in you like butter is hidden in milk. You have to separate it; you have to release your vijnanamaya kosha.Vijnanamaya builds on the foundation of the previous, outer sheath—manomaya kosha. Manomaya lays the groundwork for reaching vijnanamaya. We must first navigate the seas of our turbulent and busy minds before we are able to rise above the waves of thoughts that pull us away from our center. With this practice, we develop a steady mind and are able to view ourselves from a distance, so to speak. Vijnanamaya allows us to step back from our current situation and view it from a better perspective. This is where insight comes from.
The fifth organism is anandamaya kosha. It is not possible to translate the word ananda. Some translate it as bliss or happiness, but ananda is when there is no happiness and no unhappiness. In happiness you are jumping, in unhappiness you are dull – sometimes low, sometimes high. So your mind is swinging. In ananda there is no swinging. There is unified experience and that experience does not change.Death cannot change that experience; birth cannot change it; love and hatred cannot make your experiences swing. When your mind has become steady in experience and does not fluctuate under any condition, that is ananda. So we call it homogenous experience. The experience which you have in your life every day is not homogenous. It is divided and that is why swamis have ananda in their name, to remind them that they must achieve the state of mind where there is no swinging. So, anandamaya kosha means the kosha which comprises homogenous experience.In many books, anandamaya kosha is translated as the blissful sheath. But I have thought about ananda for many years and have come to the conclusion that there is a state of mind which does not change, despite anything that happens in life. With that state of mind you can live with all the conditions of life. You can live with a good partner or a bad partner, prosperity or poverty, disease or death, in a discotheque, on a beach, a hotel, everywhere, because nothing affects you. You are where you are, firmly rooted in your own self, but at the same time you can interact with everyone. You can even fight, but still not be affected.
Guna means quality, faculty or attribute. You are composed of these five sheaths or koshas, but you are not that. These five koshas belong to the lower existence, not to the range of supreme knowledge. They are controlled by the three gunas: sattwa, rajas and tamas. The three gunas belong to nature. In this context nature does not mean beautiful places, mountains and hills.In philosophy nature means prakriti, the universal law. There is a universal law which controls all, from biggest to tiniest, and it is inherent in the thing itself. Take a tree, for example. It is controlled by the laws inherent in the tree. In the same way every human being and every animal is controlled by a law which is inherent in it. My controller is inherent in me and that is the law. That is prakriti, and it controls, maintains or manages each and every law by the three gunas.These three gunas again control the five koshas. The three gunas work in unison. Nothing is controlled by one guna. The body is controlled by tamoguna, but there is also a little bit of rajas and sattwa. In the same way, anandamaya kosha is controlled by sattwa guna, but there is a trace of the other two gunas. The mind is controlled by rajoguna, but there is a trace of the other two gunas. The three gunas control the five koshas in cooperation with each other. They all have a share. In one kosha, one guna may have a major share and in the others a very minor share, but the proportion changes from time to time.Where can we place yoga here? First of all, the various practices of yoga purify the mechanism of these koshas. Thereby they can change the quantum of the gunas in each kosha. For example, the body is predominantly tamasic, but by the practices of hatha yoga, sattwic food and a good daily program, you can increase sattwa guna in the body. In the same way you can change the quantum of the gunas in each kosha.When you change the quantum of the gunas in these five koshas through the yoga practices, a balance is created and when balance is created, then greater awareness takes place. These five koshas are separate classifications. You can experience them during your yoga practice. When you meditate, you pierce through or penetrate each and every kosha.There are many books on the koshas. One is Vivekachudamani, a very famous book by Adi Shankaracharya, the second is Panchadashi, a very famous book in fifteen chapters dealing with terminologies in yoga and vedanta, and the third is Samkhya Sutras. These three are authentic classical texts.The five koshas, five tattwas, three gunas and various forms of yoga should be studied in conjunction with each other because they are related to everyone. Even animals have koshas, but the nature of evolution is different. Animals have a well developed annamaya kosha and pranamaya kosha, but their manomaya kosha is in a rudimentary state of evolution, while their anandamaya kosha is not at all manifest. In little insects, annamaya kosha is there but pranamaya kosha is not fully developed and manomaya kosha is unmanifest there.
In order to develop prana shakti, certain practices have been formulated in many parts of the world. In India, our ancestors developed the science of prana which we call prana vidya. This is a very ancient and effective science which is still practised in India today.
Some people are born with excess prana, and they are able to transmit that prana out of the body to other people. Although you may not have sufficient prana to be able to do this, you can definitely awaken your own prana and conduct it to any part of the body that requires it.
Wherever sickness occurs in the body, there is a deficiency of prana. If you can supply more prana to that part of the body, the process of healing becomes quicker.
I will describe one practice of prana vidya which is not very difficult. While practising pranayama, visualize pingala nadi within the spinal cord. As you inhale, follow the structure of pingala and feel the prana traversing every chakra and finally merging in ajna chakra. In the same way, feel the prana descending within pingala nadi. The colour of pingala is red. So as you inhale and exhale, imagine breathing along a red path. At the end of each inhalation, practise kumbhaka at ajna chakra.
In order to practise this ascending and descending of prana, you have to perfect ujjayi pranayama. Practise sending prana up and down the spinal cord through pingala nadi 40 times. Then start distributing prana from ajna chakra with exhalation. You can send it to any part of the body you choose. If there is a problem with your fingers or your feet or any other part of the body, start sending prana there from ajna chakra. Either with the help of the breath or with the help of your mind, try to push your prana to the affected part of the body. Before long, you will find that healing is taking place.
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.
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. “Life Energy or prana is all around us. It is pervasive; we are actually in an ocean of Life Energy. Based on this principle, a healer can draw in Pranic Energy or Life Energy from the surroundings.”
Pranic Healing requires no drugs, gadgets, not even physical contact with the subject. Physical contact is not required because the practitioner is working on the bioplasmic or energy body and not directly on the physical body. This energy body, or aura, is the mold or blueprint that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body. It is the energy body that absorbs life energy and distributes it throughout the physical body, to the muscles, organs, glands, etc. The reason Pranic Healing® works on the energy body is that physical ailments first appear as energetic disruptions in the aura before manifesting as problems in the physical body.
This pervasive energy that surrounds, interpenetrates and sustains the physical body, also affects our emotions, our ability to handle stress, relationships and even finances.
“In Ancient times, Pranic Healing could only be practiced by an elite.