[Advaita-l] praNava

Michael Shepherd michael at shepherd87.fsnet.co.uk
Tue Aug 11 04:52:48 CDT 2009


Namaste. The dictionary struggles with prana, mixing, I suspect, the three
worlds !
It is derived as pra-ana, the dhatu an itself being breath. And what appears
(to me) to emerge from the various references quoted, is that prana
is/refers to/ at the causal level, universal life entering the individual
jiva; at the subtle level, 'vital air' which is composed of the five
elements, apprehended by sound, touch, sight, taste and smell; and at the
physical level, enlivening the ears, nostrils, eyes, mouth and nose.. of
which, at the physical level, we tend only to notice the 'breathing'.

Intriguingly, the measure of a  breath is given by one source as the time
taken to enunciate ten syllables -- make of that what you will !

It's much the same problem of interpretation as encountered in Semitic
languages : that they speak simultaneously at all levels; they are languages
of parable and metaphor. We've lost that in European languages, though poets
struggle to re-establish it; it sometimes emerges in 'common expressions'
('He smelled deceit').

In that respect, dare I say , Sanskrita should be read as a simultaneous
three-level, three-world statement similar to the Semitic languages..

Now over to the pandits.


-----Original Message-----
From: advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
[mailto:advaita-l-bounces at lists.advaita-vedanta.org]On Behalf Of
Shrinivas Gadkari
Sent: 11 August 2009 06:45
To: Advaita-l List
Subject: [Advaita-l] praNava


Until now we have three additional interpretations of praNava as being
derived from:
1. pra + nava
2. pra + nu (praise)
3. pravaNa - to slide towars something
4. praNAma - surrender

To pin down the most relevant meaning, we also need to consider that
praNava and prANa are closely related.

To inquire from another angle, how do we dervive the meaning of prANa?


----- Original Message ----
From: Shrinivas Gadkari <sgadkari2001 at yahoo.com>
To: Advaita-l List <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2009 1:45:16 PM
Subject: praNava

Shri Bhattacharjya's interpretation of praNava = pra + nava is very
Any more comments/ references on this?
Yes "pra' prefix is for reinforcing or emphasising. For example in "Pranava"
the prefix of  "pra" is added to
"nava" ie new and the word "Pranava" means the Eternal or ever new or
ageless or beyond time ie.
the Brahman.
Sunil K. Bhattacharjya

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