Friday, May 20, 2011

Prana is all: from the ones who knew it intimately....

(Left Sw Nadabrahmananda, from this site) 
Prashnopanishad, an ancient Indian philosophical treatise, states simply `the knower of prana will become immortal'.  What is this thing, which yogic breathing exercises, seek to expand? Life force, chi, Ki, whatever... For long while scientists were in denial about gravitation simply because they could not measure it... so also, there is a lot of skepticism about prana as the life force.... and lot of sniffs when there is reference to it as more than the breath... 

Swami Brahmanadananda, tested by American universities, could control his breath for hours. .. Check him out over the net. He was Swami Vishnudevananda's  (founder of Sivananda yoga school) contemporary. In fact, these swamijis (including Sw Rama) blew the mind of  western scientists with marvels of control they executed over what was always regarded as the automatic functions of the body: brain wave, breath, heart beat. Swami Rama it was said could move blood at will to parts of the body (blood flow, though constant throughout the body, shifts in strength towards the part which may need it just then -- and this is controlled by the autonomous nervous system, which is self-regulatory).  They did it by controlling their mind first. If u are mad about yoga, the way I am, u mussst read about Swami Rama and Sw Nada Brahmananda... both were researched intensely by western scientific institutes, and the researches will be available online. On Swami Rama, books on him must be read ... to understand his appeal...

 (Swami Rama)
  "Prana springs from the Self (Atman). Prana is inseparable from the Self, as is the shadow from   he who casts the shadow. Prana enters the body through the mind," says the Prashnopanishad. The Kathopanishad also says: "He (Brahman) enters as breath and He exists also beyond."

Swami Niranjananda Saraswati of the Bihar School of yoga in his book Prana Pranayama Prana Vidya writes: " Cosmic prana or mahaprana is the essential energy of life and of all that exists. As such, it is the life force that is present in all beings, whether sentient or insentient." According to him the word Prana itself is an oxymoron, where Pra means `constant' and `an' means `motion'. The vibratory principle which gives the illusion of solidity can be likened to it. And if we must draw parallels, this prana is very much like the constant vibration of energy of quantum physics. In this world of illusion, created by dancing particles of energy , reality assumes dimensions that even boggles scientists. In yoga, this dancing energy that creates and destroys the entire universe is actually prana. 

  As Hatha Yoga Pradipika states: "When prana moves chitta (mental force) moves. When prana is without movement, chitta is without movement. By this steadiness of prana, the yogi attains steadiness."    

Seek steadiness:) Happy sadhana! 

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