ayurveda, Blogs

Prana – The Vital Energies, Part III

Prana - Vital Energies

Prana is the air we breathe and connects to Vata. It resides in the heart and is responsible for our kinetic energy. While Ojas is Kapha, with earth and water and stabilizes us and keeps us in the river. Teja relates to fire called Pitta. It is the fire in our body to digest everything, and it is also the intelligence of our body. These three life energies determine our life and our body.

Prana is created by the oxygen that we absorb. It is important to understand that Oxygen also helps us to convert food into energy. It regulates our emotions and determines our entire state of mind. Prana is the usable energy that is guided by Tejas and provided by Ojas. Prana is kinetic energy, while Ojas is potential energy. Too much prana in the body leads to a lack of Ojas.

Nadis

Prana moves in our bodies through Nadis (channels). The old Indian sages counted 72,000 energy channels in our body, similar to the lymphatic system or the blood vessels. The centre of the Nadis is in the navel that once connected us to our mother in the womb. All Nadis originate from three main lines, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna.

  • Ida is the feminine aspect, the moon, its opening is in our left nostril.
  • Pingala symbolizes the male aspect, the sun, its entrance is the right nostril.
  • Sushumna is the central line and resides in our spine. It is the crucial line in our entire system. It helps you activate the Kundalini, where awakening starts and the divine energies move upwards. All the chakras are based along this line.

Ida and Pingala are part of our male/female aspect within our gender. The Shiva/Shakti aspect symbolizes our inner female and male qualities. Feminine qualities are intuition, sensitivity, reflection. Male qualities are outgoing qualities, logic, rationalism, ambition.

Healthy Prana

Healthy Prana makes you enthusiastic, creative, adaptable, energetic, motivated, and full of life. Prana is our breath and reflects our Atman (soul). The deeper your breath is, the more we connect to your true nature.

  • Balanced mind and spirit
  • Creative
  • Full of energy
  • Positiv outlook

Unhealthy Prana

Our breathing is very closely related to our state of mind and our emotions. When we are stressed, angry, fearful, our breathing is short and often shallow, while when we are peaceful it is deep and slow.

  • Nervousness
  • Stress
  • Cold
  • Relentless mind
  • Losing control over your emotions
  • Sleeplessness

How to Balance Prana

Awareness and meditation help you strengthen your prana. There are also techniques in various yoga practices that focus on the breath, such as Pranayama or Vinyasa.


Stay Tuned!

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Thank You!

Thank you for your interest. Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts and questions.

12 thoughts on “Prana – The Vital Energies, Part III”

  1. I learned to play Sarangi. Actually, the instrument came to my house in Switzerland and took me to Varanasi and to my Guru-Ji.
    It is nice to hear that you play an instrument as well. For me, music is the highest practice I can do, the most satisfying, and most difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry I may have confused you a bit. I will try to elaborate simplistically. In the mean time, you may refer https://ardentdisciple.wordpress.com/2016/09/07/astrology-and-karma-theory/ for more understanding.

    1) The glamour of “level” is imposed by us and not as is in nature. When a person leaves physical body, they do not carry with them the knowledge of music, howuch ever vast it may be. If so, we should have remembered what we achieved via many lives. Neigh! What we carry is the trait or Vaasana. The traits are seed principles which germinate through our behaviour. Our impulses, our likes and dislikes, etc. all are but seed manifestation of these traits. So, reincarnation needs to be understood properly.

    2) A Deva is a conscious being. We are made of millions of them. Take Hunger or Jathara Agni, or Vayu, or Angirasa or Time or power of sight etc. All are Devas. In us, except for I AM Ness, there is nothing we own. We live in borrowed cage. If we own something, we would be masters not slaves of body. Even when masters, we still rule or “use” body but can not identify with body. So body is not ours, but a net result of many Devas at work.

    Imagine an onion. It has many layers. If onion is we as a whole, the layers are many layers of our existence. But we take only some layers with us when we leave the body – the layers of subtle. For us, these layers are the imprints of Vasanas we earn via Karma through Body. These imprints exist on subtle layers of body. The goal of reincarnation is to nullify these imprints. Because it is these imprints that act as moulds for ever germinating nature in us and goal of God realisation is to be without nature (nirguna).

    Now, that we understand what a Deva is, it is easily grasped that a Deva is necessary for any activity – gross or subtle relates to creation. So, the devas which help us digest food are group of Agnis (Jathara, Vaiswanara, Nachiketas, etc.) Of course it is Omnipresence who works through devas just like we work through our hands.

    Thus, Pitru Devas are the devas who aid in soul transportation. Not only via space but also via the Karmic and other subtle levels of existence. Now all they do is help a karmic soul (a soul with karma left to be nullified or imprints still exist) to transport but can never interact directly i.e., can never teach or increase the knowledge or polish or whatever.

    3) So No! They don’t have access. But what access they have to is the bank of traits from their past lives and the bank of conscious WILL that they took in this life whose result brought them to present grandeur of Music. Angels of Gandharvas will have effect on them as they are devas of music. But they can act as much as their Karma / imprints demand. No more no less. Just because Agni Deva combusts ALL does not help us digest all we eat. We eat limited. But still we have friends whose Agni in stomach is powerful that they eat more than us. Similarly Gandharvas, Angirasas, Indra, Saraswathi, all come into play in determining the learning and creative capacity of a Musician while, the content or Grandeur of it is only our self imposed glamour and not Reality in itself. For, what is awesome to us may not be awesome to everyone, but, everyone has something that they feel is Awesome and this is the clue!!

    4) Looking is via physical genes which is work of Pitrus, Viswakarma, Twashta, etc. These devas design, etch and carryout the construction of bodies. But which soul takes which body is determined by Karma and not them. Remember, Devas are conscious but have no free WILL. They abide by WILL of Omnipresence and that WILL is called divine will. It is what we call “Law/Dharma”.

    I will give example. In a family, let’s say there are identical twins. Twins look alike but behave differently. Why? If postulate that ancestors are born to us, then how do we explain twins? Also, does a soul has gender? If not, what we call our ancestors, what are they when they left physical body? Are they not genderless souls? In that stage can we know who our ancestors are?

    So, when the soul of an ancestor reincarnates, it may be born in same family or different or even different continent or may be another planet (given many lokas in Veda). So, Pitrus help it manifest physically but it’s place of manifestation depends on imprints which depend on its urge before it leafy the body which inturn depends on how it lead it’s life. One who always eats wants to eat one final ice-cream before leaving and one who wantsoney wants a final penny before leaving. “Such traits before leaving body determine next life” says Gita.

    This is my understanding on reincarnation as per Hindu scriptures. If not clear, I may write an article on it. Lemme know. Thanks!!

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  3. I have a background in Hindustani Classical Music. Hindustani music uses 22 Shrutis.

    The issue of reincarnation is very complicated. According to your explanation, these so-called reincarnations carry an angel within them.
    I can only speak of my observation while I was living in India. Take, for example, one of those incredible musicians who have vast knowledge. Most “normal” musicians have no chance of reaching their level. There is a saying that you need two lives to learn Indian classical music. According to you, do these people have access to divine powers that were given to them by “Pitru Devas”?
    The second thing that amazed me was how they looked like their ancestors. It can be argued that it comes from the limited gene pool that they have practised for hundreds of years, trying to keep their knowledge to themselves because it was their livelihood and not all Mughal leaders supported music.
    Reincarnation is an important belief in Indian culture. What is the Vedic opinion about this?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some more comments:

    1) —
    2) Looking forward
    3) I am still learning from your base articles. Once I am comfortable, will comeback.
    4) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melakarta
    Checkout this. I do not know what 22 notes you are speaking. I am a Carnatic Flutist and so spoke with that music as background. Indian classical has Hindustani and Carnatic. Sorry for not specifying explicitly. Also when I said 13 it is 12+ originating/culminating Sa included. In wiki link you will find 12 notes and their permutations as 72 ragas (7 ascending notes and 7descending notes combine a Janaka/Father raga).
    I do not know much of wester music so thanks for a point here. I will try to look into it further in relation to western structure.

    Yes, what you mean is called “Shruti”, the natural pitch. I do not know of Earth’s rotation and revolution had any sound. Interesting aspect to be meditate here.

    5) *again, may be you are speaking in terms of Hindustani. But I agree on mood and raga having cyclical relation.

    I need to clarify one aspect. Indians may believe that their ancestors are born as their child, but that is not correct. Just because many people believe something does not make it right. To understand ancient Indian thought, one needs to go to the roots of it. But being esoteric in nature many are veiled from truth.

    a) What you say is related to “Pitru Devas”. Many of us think that “Pitrus” means ancestors. But Pitrus are devas or angels or conscious intelligences who are believed to help in progination and carrying of soul from one body to another. Thus, it is these angels that people indirectly speak of and mistaken them to be their ancestors. That is why you see a contradiction. It is natural that given the esoteric nature of Hindu scriptures.

    I saw in one of your articles that you wanted to understand the myths of our scriptures. You will understand when you dissociate normal terms of Sanskrit and understand the so called Myth from intuitive and meditative point of view, for, Hindu scriptures are 7fold in their wisdom (you will understand more if/after you are comfortable with my blog articles).

    b) Also in Vedic culture it is stated that “Atmaa Vai putra naamaasi” meas, “I am born as my child”. What does that mean? Does it negate our existence? No. It means that the same “I AM” in us is being now born as my offspring. There is no difference between the sense of “I AM” of my child and me. This is essence.
    c) Now, coming to music and liberation. Yes music liberates. Intact the saying comes from SamaVeda which is birth place of Carnatic music. One is liberated not just by playing/listening but by dissolving one’s self in music. Intact, one should dissolve the triangle of (subject-object-predicate or Jnaata (Knower)-Jneya(Known)-Jnaanam(Knowledge), etc). Music helps in this as it has direct link to Mind and it is hard to dissolve mind of all! But any passionate work helps.

    e) Wow you are lucky. Neigh! Blessed! Such guru is rare and I am happy you took shelter under one such divine soul!

    Hope I did not add too much. Anyways, tc! And Thanks!

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  5. Thank you again for your great inputs and for sharing your wisdom. May I asked where you get all these Infos from?
    1) I understand that Prana is not the oxygen we breathe. It is a life force which is created partly by the oxygen we breathe.

    2) I will check your article. Looking forward to learning more and having an interesting exchange.

    3) Ojas, Tejas, and Prana are related to the three Doshas, Vata, Pitta, Kapha. With the food, thoughts, and impressions we eat, we take in Ojas, Tejas and Prana. These then converts into the Doshas. If we eat a lot of spicy food, we increase Pitta. Depending on your Dosha, this might be good or less good.

    4) Actually, Indian Music counts 22 different notes. In Western terms it means, they not only use half notes but quarter notes as well. There are only 2 notes in ‘singularity’. The main tone SA (DO (C or D) in Western term) and PA (SO (G or A) in Western term). Further, SA is not based on a singular frequency, but, It reflects our natural tone, the tone which is the easiest note for one to sing. Therefore, for a man this note lies somewhere between C and D, for women between F to A. It is said that the male main note refers to the sound, the earth produces travelling around the sun. The female main note relates to the sound the earth creates turning around in its own axis.

    I also learned about the connection to the Nadis. The ragas are divided between the different day and night times, using specific notes for certain daylight, i.e. moonlight. Each note has an effect on our mood and on our Chakras. Minor notes are commonly used in Morning Ragas, while full Notes are used at Sunset. A lot of Night Ragas don’t use the full scale of 7 notes. Further, they usually use the most strange combination of notes (at least for Western ears :-)). The Indian Musician belief they can reach Moksha (liberation from the circle of rebirth) through music. In contradiction, they also believe that their firstborn is their own grandfather and Guru-Ji. Maybe, their incarnation is partly by will. I personally need to add, that my Guru-Ji in Indian Music was the most enlighted and caring person, I met in my life. One can find a lot of truth in Indian Classical Music.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you again for your great inputs and sharing your wisdom. May I asked where you get all these infos from?
    1) I understand that Prana is not the oxygen we breath. It is a life force which is created partly by the oxygen we breath.

    2) I will check your article. Looking forward to learn more and having an interesting exchange.

    3) Ojas, Tejas, and Prana are related to the three Doshas, Vata, Pitta, Kapha. With the food, thought, and impressions we eat, we take in Ojas, Tejas and Prana. These then converts into the Doshas. If we eat a lot of spicy food, we increase Pitta. Depending on your Dosha, this might be good or less good.

    4) Actually, Indian Music counts 22 different notes. In Western terms it means, they not only use half notes, but quarter notes as well. There are only 2 notes in ‘singularity’. The main tone SA (DO (C or D) is Western term) and PA (SO (G or A) in Western term). Further, SA is not based on a singular frequencies, but, It reflects our natural tone, the tone which is the easiest note for one to sing. Therefore, for a man this note lies somewhere between C and D, for women between F to A. It is said that the male main note refers to the sound, the earth produces travelling around the sun. The female main note relates to the sound the earth creates turning around in its own axis.

    I also learned about the connection to the nadis. The ragas are divided in different day and night times, using specific notes for certain day light, i.e. moon light. Each note has an effect on our mood and on our Chakras. Minor notes are commonly used in Morning Ragas, while full Notes are used at Sunset. A lot of Night Ragas don’t use the full scale of 7 notes. Further, they usually use the most strange combination of notes (at least for Western ears :-)). The Indian Musician belief they can reach Moksha (liberation from the circle of rebirth) through music. In contradiction, they also belief that their first born is their own grandfather and Guru-Ji. Maybe, their incarnation is partly by will. I personally need to add, that my Guru-Ji in Indian Music was the most enlighted and caring person, I met in my life. One can find a lot of truth in Indian Classical Music.

    Like

  7. Ah! Here you link Kundalini stuff a bit. Thanks, when I commented earlier, did not see this. I wish to go deeper in subject, but I will see how your linkup here helps me further.

    Some suggestions asusual:
    1) Prana is not the air we breathe. It is the life force in us. It is called Ashwa (horse in normal wording) by Veda. The prana in us is borrowed from Pranamaya Kosha ( one out of 5 sheaths of existence: Annamaya – Body, Pranamaya -Life force, Manomaya – Mental, Vijnanamaya – Buddhi/Will, Anandamaya – Bliss) this Pranamaya sheath is formed due to Solar consciousness i.e., it descends on Earth via Sun. Therefore Sun is called Ashwapathi – lord of horses/Prana.

    Now, Prana is sustained by oxygen i.e., oxygen is fuel for Prana which is already in us. Therefore, to think oxygen sustains our prana is misleading. For example take those sages who perform breathless peanences. In autobiography of a yogi, you find many such sages. They could retain their prana not by eating/breathing but withdrawing from the bank within. That is why Pranayama is not control of breath but control of prana/lifefore within

    Well, a suggestion on the lines to explore further.

    2) In regard to chakras and Kundalini, please refer my article on Kundalini. We will have a dialogue then again.

    3) In summary I understood that Ojas, Tejas and Prana rule different aspects of our everyday life and one needs to maintain them in balance. Excess of either is dangerous. Diet plays imo role along with exercises or yoga asanas or pranayama etc. They are related to Sun, Moon, Fire the primary triad of existence. I hope I am right in what I understood from your three articles. Correct me if I am wrong.

    4) There is an intimate connection of 72000 with Music. Your blog’s title NADA Yoga is aptly linked here. NADA is basis of audible sound. It descends as 7 musical fundamental notes. Each of 7 undergo transformation and have sibling notes i.e., close but not completely different. It’s like minor or sharp in western music. There are thus 13 different notes in Indian music. A set of 7 notes ascending+descending form a Raga. All such permutations give 72 ragas (called father ragas). When you take only 4 or 5 notes and make permutations, you get plethora of daughter ragas. These plethora are symbolised by Sahasra = 1000. Thus total music is encoded by number 72000. Now, 7 musical notes have their origin in 7 chakras and the music within is Prana. Many Nadis are linked to chakras for flow as channels. Thus, 72000 Nadis imply the infinite variety flow of music of life within us by the 7 chakras. The base of all this is Nada and the wisdom of achieving a perfection in this is Nada Yoga.

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