Ancient Indian Science of Prana

What is Prana?

We have heard about Yoga and Pranayama. Prana is a Sanskrit word and the translation in English is still not apt or possible in a single word or a bunch of statements. Prana is mostly translated in English as ‘Life Force’ and many also refer Oxygen as Prana.

I am not a Sanskrit scholar to give translation. However, by reading different texts, I tried to grasp what the ancients mean by Prana. Prana means Energy and my Explanation for the same is as below:

Light is a source of Energy as we say. But Light contains Photon which are particle in nature. Science also says that Photon contains quantum of Energy. By this, Photon carries Energy is the understanding.

In a similar sense, Oxygen is a matter(gas) but it in-turn will carry Energy(assume). The Matter is of Four State as identified(solid,liquid,gas,plasma) and these are all the manifestations of Energy and in-turn will carry Energy as well. A Photon is a manifestation of Energy and it in turn will carry Energy.

We intake air,Water and Food. We also have Vision, Sound, Taste and Smell has Inputs. The Energy from Air, Water and Food will be referred to as Prana.  In other sense, If we breathe Pure air, we intake more Prana and if the air is impure and polluted, the prana will be less. Same with  contaminated and polluted water and food. In that sense, Vegetarian Food will have more Prana than non-vegetarian food.

Air(Oxygen),Water and Food are important for our survival. Lets see How it works,

We drink Water(Prana) and it forms the blood and We eat food(Prana) which gets mixed in the blood and We breathe Oxygen(Prana) which burns the Food and supplies Energy as well as revitalizes the Body. There is a Channel for the Prana Flow in the Body. These Channels are called as Nadis.

What are Nadis?
Nadis are the nostrils, esophagus and Blood vessels. These are the channels in which the prana(Energy) flows.
There are two nostrils called as Ida and Pingala and the connecting point of the two nadis is called sushumna. If there are any blocks in the nostrils, the flow of Energy may get hindered and hence techniques like Pranayamana are of help.
Just like sushumna is a connecting Point for two nostrils, there are in total 72,000 connecting points in the blood vessels as well which are called as Chakras.

What are Chakras?
Chakras are the junction points for the Energy flow. If we connect two pipes for the flow of water and in case there is a block or hold in the junction, the flow or speed of water might get reduced. In a similar way, if there is any blockage in the blood vessel connecting points, the flow of prana could get affected. Pranayamana technique will be effective in the nostril and esophagus and it cannot be as effective in the blood vessels. Precaution is needed to maintain the blood(which carries prana) and this can be done by taking hygienic food which doesn’t contain any cholesterol and other junk. A fresh green vegetable has more prana than the dead meat. A fruit has more prana than the cooked food. A Fruit Juice has more prana than tea or coffee.

Seven Chakras and its Significance:
Of the 72,000 connecting points in the nadis(blood vessels) the Seven are the main Chakras. This number as such 72,000 may be associated with the heart beat(72 times) and the pulse rate(about 72 times). These are the termed as Main chakras as they are in line with the nervous system of the spinal cord. Hence whatever you think(mind), you will likely to spend the energy on that thought. For example, if you think about eating ice cream, you will use your energy thinking about icecream and focus on them to start an action with or without conscious. You may satisfy the thought by buying an ice cream and even if you don’t buy it now, you would have this thought pending which can affect your other routine works and in spending enough energy on them or concentrating.

The Seven Chakras will correspond to the endocrine glands in the human body and if there is any thought in the mind, the brain will command the endocrine glands to produce hormones. If the Mind is in fear, the brain would command the adrenal glands to secrete androgen and you would likely to spend your energy on fear and survival. This is True because when there is someone coming to kill you with a knife and we are hiding under a bed, we feel a sudden rise in Energy level in the body and there will be heavy breathe to supply more prana for the exhausting energy.

-END

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Heart is the symbol of love?

Heart is treated as a Symbol of Emotion.

  • Do What your Heart says
  • Follow your Heart
  • Don’t take it to your Heart
  • You are in my Heart
  • You stole my Heart
  • You made me a broken Heart

The above sentences are always referred by people and if we think deeper, Mind is the one which is related with thoughts.

So, What is the function of the Heart?

The Heart is just another organ in the body just like Lung or Kidney.

The Heart is just a pump to supply oxygenated Blood(Blood contains 92% water by volume) to all parts of the body where the primary task of lung is to supply oxygen to the blood and that of kidney to purify the blood where the nutrients can be sent to all the body cells for their normal functions.

Hence, Emotions don’t arise from the Heart.

Run Lola Run:

Suppose we run, the Heart beats faster and we breath faster than normal. The more we run, more the energy is used and the body needs more nutrients and thus heart beats faster to supply necessary nutrients. When all the nutrients in the blood are exhausted, there is no more energy left and we would slow down or  sit for relaxing and drink a glass of glucose since it can directly dissolve in the blood for instant energy.

Mind the Real Symbol of Emotion:

The Mind represents the Individuality while rest of the organs are same in every person. Its the Mind that distinguishes from one person to another. The Other bodily differences such as hair color, body shape are due to genes in the DNA.

Hence, Emotion is an experience from the Individual mind based on the external influences.

Scenario where Mind causes Emotions:

Person-A is happy 🙂 to hear a pop song and Person-B likes rock song.

Person-B is Sad 😦 due to the death of a friend and Person-B is happy that his enemy is dead.

Outcome of the Emotions from Mind:

Crying is an indication of Sadness where the outcome of the emotion is tears in the eyes.

This means emotions arise from the mind will be expressed in the body.

  • When we are Happy, we Jump.
  • When we are Angry, we shout.

So, if mind is responsible for Emotion, why does Heart come into picture?

Consider a scenario, its raining heavily outside and your partner is waiting for you near railway station

Now what does your heart say?

Even if it rains, I don’t care and all I wanted is to meet my partner and hence I would follow my heart!!

The Above Scenario is a Decision making process such as Mind needs to take action based on a condition

IF it had not been rained, I would have gone to meet my partner and now that I don’t even have an umbrella.

IF it rains, my partner asked me to stay, ELSE I could have gone.

There are two or more actions from the Mind and its a human tendency to view that one of the action comes from the heart.

Relation between Mind and Heart:

WHEN the rich person turns that side, let me snatch his purse.

The Thief is now thrown into an situation where his Mind is tensed and his heart beats faster and the Mind turns to be alert and active.

Now the Mind might take a decision, “Don’t take risk” which is viewed by the thief that the heart says,”Don’t take risk”

The Simple relationship between Mind and Heart is that,” Nerves connected to the Heart regulate the Speed of the Heart” just like the nerves that connect each and every part of the body(Connection between Mind and Body is through Nerves).

Relation between Love and Heart:

In Case of Love such as Lust, attraction or attachment, the mind causes the nerves to activate the glands and hormones(testosterone or estrogen, Adrenaline,Dopamine) are secreted in the blood and its the heart which pumps this blood all over the body and its the human tendency to believe that Heart is choosing a partner.

Its the Mind which goes out of control and claims that the Heart is in Love.

If we can control the Mind, the Heart will do its duty properly.

So How to control the Mind?

Coffee lover thinks that, “Drinking too much coffee is not good for health” and he plans to avoid drinking coffee.

Suppose, he comes across the aroma of coffee, he will never drink coffee if he asks his mind to not drink coffee.

The more clearer the mind, the more its easy to control!!