[Advaita-l] How can prANa be Brahman?

Sujal Upadhyay sujal.u at gmail.com
Mon Sep 5 06:24:04 CDT 2016


Before we begin on the topic, 'How can prANa be Brahman?', let us pray to
Lord gaNesha (gauri pUtra -- need to clarify :) ... and no offenses please
in advance :) )

Let us pray to Lord gaNesha, the remover of obstacles who makes good
muhurata, auspicious for us to being any new work. Today (5th Sept 2016) is
also gaNesha chaturthi (Happy Birthday of Ganapati Bappa).

May Lord gaNesha remove the worms of authenticity which inject the venom of
doubt disguised as logic, which crushes our faith and so brings halt to our
spiritual progress. May Lord gaNesha uproot whatever is unnecessary, as it
is an obstacle on the spiritual path.


|| ॐ श्री गणेशाय नमः ||

|| Om shrI gaNeshAya namaH ||

May Lord gaNesha, by whose grace, auspicious muhurata becomes auspicious,
grant us intelligence, the discriminative power (viveka), as taught by

O gaNesha, bless us with AtmA-anAtmA-viveka. Let the right logic guide us
on spiritual path and not contrary to it.

o gaNesha, grant us vairAgya, which, along with viveka makes abhyAsa and
meditation easy.

O gaNesha, we pray to you, who resides in the mulAdhAra, from where our
spiritual journey begins, to direct the prANa (energy) of this chakra from
material obsession, to spiritual progress.

O gaNesha, those who do not find any need to control their lower three
chakra-s, and thik they can directly activate anAhata by chanting the holy
names of Ishvara, let them know that there is no way for them to ignore
controlling lower chakra-s, which needs thy grace.

o gaNesha, let them know that lower chakra-s are the base of spirituality
and can be regulated by right dhArmika conduct and by thy grace. Neglecting
them, is dangerous, as spirituality without the dharmic base, can be
anything, but not spirituality. It becomes center of ego, and an
opportunity of fulfilling vested interest. May you guide us properly on our
spiritual path that best suits us and that we are capable of.

O gaNesha, give us initiation into spirituality, as without thy grace,
nothing can be started, nothing started without grace can be fruitful.

O gaNesha, grant us the nature of thy elephant form, curiosity, the
curiosity to know thy Brahman

O gaNesha, grant us the quality of being ever alert and remove laziness and

O gaNesha, please grant us the quality of thy trunk, which is strong,
flexible, and sensitive.

O gaNesha, please grace us with the quality of alertness and constant focus
on Brahman, which is depicted in your eyes,

O gaNesha, grace us with the quality of thy ears, receptivity. Make us
receptive to spiritual teachings and hearing the inner voice, as they are
necessary for a disciple and spiritual progress.

O gaNesha, grace us with the quality of thy big belly, which is capable to
digest the teachings of Atma-vidyA that the sages and gurus teach.

O gaNesha, thou residing in mUlAdhAra, no work can be accomplished if
mUlAdhAra is not activated by thy grace. Please grant us thy blessings and
direct all our actions towards you, the unborn, of the nature of praNava,
the only creator, preserver and destroyer of the world.

O gaNesha grant us riddhi (success, accomplishment), on the spiritual path.
May we, at all times, remain focused on Brahman.

O gaNesha, bless us so that our heart always longs for Brahman, as longing
is the means to realise Brahman. Bless us riddhi (success) in longing.

O gaNesha, grant us dhyAna siddhi
grant us, Asana siddhi
grant us, dhyeya siddhi
and grant us, o guardian of Atma-vidyA, the best amongst all, Atma-siddhi

O gaNesha, the foremost of all deva-s, may we all know and abide in our
true nature in this life itself.

Om shAnti shAnti shAnti

Hari Om Tat Sat


(Corrections Welcome)

How can prANa be Brahman?

Many upanishads like BrihadAraNyaka, prashNa and kena mention prANa as
supreme. They also mention that the origin of prANa is Brahman. It is said
that, from Brahman, prANa manifested, from prANa, apAna and other four
vAyu-s and later another five secondary vAyu-s manifested.

Each body has different types of vAyu-s responsible for carrying out
different functions. Yoga Yajnavalkya (YY) mentions 10 different types of
vAyu-s. YY 4.47-49 says Ten vayus viz prANa, apAna, samAna, udAna, vyAna,
nAga, kurma, krkara, devadatta and dhananjaya. Among these, the five
vAyu-s, beginning with prANa are considered important. Among those [five
vAyu-s], these two - prANa and apAna are most important, [Gargi], best
among women! And of these two, prANa is the most important in all living
beings, always (YY 4.47-49). samAna vAyu spreads throughout the body and
carries the consciousness i.e. chetanA throughout the body via 72,000

Just as there are ten prANa-s there are also 14 nADI-s. They, as mentioned
in YY, are - suShumNA, iDA, pingalA, sarasvatI, kuhu, ghAndhArI, hastijivA,
vishvodara, vAruNI, yashasvinI, payasinI, pUShA, shankhinI, alambuShA

Amongst 14, three are superior viz - IDA, pingalA and suShumNA. Amonst
three, suShumNA is the best. Hence Atman enters body, gets situated in
center of heart [chakra] (not physical heart). In order to make use of body
it manifests itself into prANa and then further splits up into 9 more to
spread throughout entire body via nADI-s. During kuNDalini meditation or
rAja yoga or laya yoga, etc, these different prANa-s are pulled back and
again merge into prANa vAyu, nADI-s merge back into IDA and pingalA and
they both merge into suShumNA. The entire prANa is now concentrated in
suShumNA. This prANa along with other form of it i.e. kuNDalini arises
through meruDaNDI or brahma nADI or suShumNA, passes through various
chakra-s reaches crown and finally merges into Atman in heart. This is one
way to get enlightened. After kuNDalini reaches and pierces sahasrAra
chakra, it enters into empty space. After this only by will i.e. Atma-bala
directed by knowledge of Self  i.e. Jnana, everything merges into oneness.
Then only one 'I' remains. This 'I', the first person, which one thought of
as jIva or Atman is realised as Brahman. No second exists to witness this
unity or awareness of oneness. This is the supreme non-dual state where
eyes, ears, etc cannot reach as the prANa-s have already been withdrawn
from the body. This supreme state is beyond mind and so cannot be
perceived. It is breathless-pulse-less state. When the consciousness
returns back to body, it again spreads via various prANa-s thereby making
one aware of the body. As prANa leaves a particular area or nADI, this area
sa hand or leg cannot be perceived or felt. as if they are motioneless,
dead. When all prANa-s entirely retire and accumulate into IDA and pingalA,
then the breathing occurs via them. This breathing is not physical
breathing, but breathing of prANa.  Similarly when prANa-s retire into
suShumNa, breathing happens in sushumNA. After kuNDalini reaches sahasrAra
and pierces it, then wise say one has to be aware of other 3 bodies -
manomaya, viGYAnamaya and Anandamaya koosha. Finally one transcends subtle
bodies too and pure consciousness is what remains. This method does not
involve finding Atman inside anAhata chakra. Some texts also mention
presence of jIva in AGYA chakra. No matter whichever method one adopts, the
object used for contemplation, be it any chakra or flame or kuNDalini, they
loose their independent existence and dissolve in paramAtmA i.e. Brahman.
In the language of yoga, Atman is taken as jIva, and one (jIva) has to
achieve union (yoga) with paramAtmA.

We must note that upanishads claim -
1. In the beginning, there is only one Brahman
2. One Brahman became many
3. We must return back to our source.

In the world of yoga, the manifestation of Brahman as jIva is mentioned as
1. jIva enters body and resides in heart
2. jIVa or Atman manifests as 72,000 nADI-s, IDA, pingalA and suShumNa are
the best amongst them.
2. It then manifests prANa-vAyu and other vAyu-s
3. vAyu-s spread through entire body and give it consciousness

The yogic journey is to return back to our source. The backward journey is
1. Pull back all vAyu-s inside iDA, pingalA and activate kuNDalini. vAyu-s
merge into prANa-vAyu
2. Then pull all prANa in suShumNA and arise kuNDalini through suShumNA
3. After kuNDalini rises upto sahasrAra and pierces it, there is experience
of unity with paramAtmA.
4. By will and knowledge, dissolve into paramAtmA, thereby abiding into
non-dual state.

We should note that prANa does not simply mean prANa-vAyu, it is in general
energy present in prANamaya kosha and other kosha-s. Everything is made up
of prANa (energy), be it nADi-s, chakra-s or subtle bodies. Similarly, the
prANa is omnipresent and is the power or potency of Ishvara as
prANa-shakti. This shakti is called by many names like Adi Sakti, mAyA,
yoga-mAyA, etc. At times trinity (brahmA, viShNu and rudra) are also
mentioned as shakti of Brahman. A yogI surrenders to this omnipresent prANa
or kuNDalini devI, the divine mother, who is not just inside, but also
outside and present everywhere. Hence it is mentioned in the upanishads
that once there was prANa and this prANa is Brahman. Here Brahman refers to
saguNa Brahman. In gIta, two types of Brahman are mentioned. At one time,
Brahman is to be taken as garbha pr prakruti. I think, upanishads talk
about this Brahman. Entire universe is filled with this prANa (energy).
Energy has vibrations. These vibrations produce sounds.

Another interpretation of prANa being Brahman is that like saguNa Brahman,
one may surrender to omnipresent prANa-shakti for spiritual progress.
Another way is to surrender to one's IshTa devatA / devI and pray to
him/her to grant his/her grace and guide you to ultimate state of union
with paramAtmA by activating kuNDalini and enter into nirvikalpa samAdhi.

Great ancient rishis tapped into this prANa, got tuned into their
vibrations and formulated mantra-s which would stimulate prANa. Hence we
have different mantra-s to activate different chakra-s. We have different
mantra-s which have special names like rAma, kRShNa, Siva, etc. By
repeatedly chanting them, one gets in tune with the vibrations of our
chakra-s and subtle bodies. These mantra-s cleanse nADI-s, chakra-s,
kosha-s, kuNDalini and raises them to sahasrAra chakra. For a yogI,
everything that exists is made up of prANa. Every yogI, every tAntrika is a
scientist, expert in science of prANa, of vibrations and of sounds. By
controlling one's prANa one can achieve mastery over mind. By tapping into
universal prANa, one can get in tune with 5 tatva-s, earth, water, etc and
can achieve mastery to control them. It is this energy that is worshipped
in every form of God. prANa can appear as rAma, kRShNa, Siva and as devi.
Emotions and thoughts also a kind of energies that vibrate at a particular
frequency. One who can slow down their chakra-s, can even hear their sound
or feel it's vibrations. chakra-s are not steady. They keep spinning
(slowly) in clockwise and counter-clockwise direction to pull-up positive
prANa from atmosphere and throw out negative, used-up prANa back in
atmosphere. chakra-s breath prANa. They control various emotions and
certain parts of boies, some chakra-s control internal organs like spleen,
heart, thymus gland, etc. Imbalance in prANa leads to disease, harmony
leads to healthy life.

|| ॐ गम गणपतये नमः ||

|| Om gam gaNapataye namaH ||


Sujal Upadhyay

"To disconnect from the self and to become Aware of anything else is
nothing but unhappiness" - Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi

He who has faith has all
He who lacks faith, lacks all
It is the faith int he name of lord that works wonders

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