Awakening Universal Energy – Prana
February 8, 2011 Comments Off on Awakening Universal Energy – Prana
The practice of pranayama forms the core of spiritual awakening. To most people pranayama means control of breath for physical health, but it
has been misinterpreted and wrongly explained. Prana is universal in
nature. The individual prana is a microcosmic representative of the
universal system and should not be mistaken for the air that we breathe.
A certain quantum of prana exists in each human body. By enlarging the
scope of prana we awaken the inner recesses of the brain. Prana flows in
the body on a superficial level to maintain our body and its organs. It
is a force or energy which is resonant throughout the physical system
of man. According to the science of hatha yoga, pingala nadi, which
flows on the right side within the framework of the spinal column, is
the channel of prana from mooladhara to ajna chakra. The distribution of
prana takes place throughout the physical structure by a different
system made up of thousands and thousands of nerve channels which carry
the force of prana to each and every atom in the body, for its growth
and maintenance. Pranayama attempts to extend the scope of prana beyond
the frontiers of the physical body. Force has many manifestations.
Energy can assume any dimension. It can be minimal as well as cosmic.
The brain is divided into ten compartments of which nine parts are silent.
Scientists have divided the brain into three sections: the new brain,
the middle brain and the primitive brain. This primitive brain is the
nine parts of the whole brain, which are existing but not participating
in the scheme of man’s life. These areas of the brain are called ‘the
silent areas’ and their qualities are unknown. If these nine silent
portions of the brain were operating, one’s human faculties would be
greatly expanded and they would not undergo degeneration.
In the course of man’s evolution the silent areas are slowly developing and
coming into active participation. Imagine a big city with beautiful
houses, roads and buildings, but without electrical energy. In the same
way these areas of the brain are not functioning due to the absence of
force or energy. The present amount of pranic energy is insufficient to
activate these silent areas. The prime objective of pranayama is to
create a greater quantum of prana, change the nature of the electrical
forces within this pranic body, and then transmit it to the silent areas
of the brain. The different forms of pranayama prepare the channels or
media through which the energy must flow.
Before this higher form of energy is conducted to the brain the channels must first be
purified. Pingala nadi is the vehicle which carries the pranic force
from mooladhara chakra to the higher centres in the brain. Ajna chakra,
known as the medulla oblongata, situated on top of the spinal cord is
the monitoring centre for the entire silent area. When this fantastic
amount of energy is regenerated in the system it is conducted through
pingala nadi up to ajna chakra and from ajna chakra this energy flows
into the silent areas of the brain.
Seat of pranashakti
The pranas which are universal in nature exist as dormant potential energy
in mooladhara chakra. This great pranashakti is also known by the name
of kundalini, and awakening kundalini means awakening of the great
universal pranic force in the individual human system. This tiny little
centre or gland in mooladhara chakra is not a myth, a story or a fable.
It is a scientific formula of utmost importance in man’s evolution.
Mooladhara is the centre of creation. It is not an impure centre because it is
situated in the sexual area. Many people feel hesitant and shy about
believing kundalini is in mooladhara and claim it to be in manipura,
because they don’t want to associate this holy kundalini shakti with the
unholy sexual system. But it has been scientifically shown that this
tiny gland in mooladhara chakra contains infinite energy. Many psychic
and spiritual experiences originate from mooladhara chakra.
Hindus believe that in mooladhara there is an oval-shaped shiva lingam,
resembling an egg. In modern physics we know about the egg which is made
up of proto-matter. In the centre of every matter there is a nucleus
and in tantra and yoga this nucleus is known as bindu, the centre of
matter, object and creation. In bindu the complete cosmos is compressed
in exactly the same way as a great tree is contained within one seed.
Around this nucleus is infinite proto-matter in the shape of an egg,
with two poles of positive and negative energies known as time and
space. This is how the whole scientific concept of kundalini has to be
understood. It is the point where infinite time and infinite space
unite. When these positive and negative energies join each other, an
explosion occurs either in the nucleus or in the matter.
Although mooladhara chakra is situated in a physical gland, energy is inherent
within it as in all matter. Matter is nothing but a different form of
energy and energy is nothing but a different form of matter. At every
stage of creation, matter and energy are inter-convertible. Therefore we
should not wonder how this physical organ could be the source of
Prana and pranayama
Through the practices of pranayama a certain amount of heat or creative force is generated in the entire body, which
influences the existing quantum of prana. For example, if you produce
heat in this room, it will heat the existing amount of air. There is a
certain amount of prana within us giving us life, and pranayama heats
that quantum of prana, which then makes its way through pingala nadi
into ajna chakra. When sufficient heat is generated within the system
ajna chakra monitors the message back to the base of kundalini and the
actual awakening of the great prana takes place. This in short is the
purpose of pranayama.
Pranayama is not specifically intended to awaken kundalini. Certain pranayamas are done to purify the carrying
channels, i.e. the nervous system. Some are intended to create heat in
the system while others stimulate ajna chakra to monitor. For example,
there is a very important pranayama known as ujjayi which clears pingala
for the ascension of prana.
The whole science of pranayama is based on retention of prana, known as kumbhaka. Inhalation and
exhalation are incidental. Kumbhaka means pranayama and pranayama means
kumbhaka. Those aspirants who are keen and working on this new project
of awakening the silent areas of the brain should prepare themselves
slowly by perfecting kumbhaka. From results of scientific studies on
pranayama we have found that during kumbhaka an increased supply of
blood is poured into the brain and at the same time extra heat is
generated within the system.
Pranayama also influences the cerebral fluid in the brain. When energy is generated it changes the
chemical structure of the cerebral fluid surrounding the brain within
the skull. When this fluid is chemically influenced it acts on the
behaviour of the brain. For example when you take a narcotic drug it
produces an immediate chemical reaction within this fluid. As a result
you experience certain psychic phenomena. During the state of kumbhaka
extra energy in an electrical form is generated and in the course of
time it changes the chemical structure of the fluid in the brain. This
is why one experiences the feeling of dizziness.
This dizziness occurs in the brain, and you have to superimpose this state on the mind.
All the great explosions of experiences take place in the firmament of
this dizziness and very few people know how to manage it. When awakening
takes place and dizziness comes, a visual aid is necessary. That is why
the practice of pranayama should be combined with the practice of
dharana, concentration. There are thousands of symbols for
concentration- a small dot, a candle flame, a star or the symbol Om.
When you have visualised the symbol you can immediately superimpose it
on the condition of the brain. When this internal awareness becomes
vivid, simultaneous awakening of kundalini takes place. Therefore the
practice of pranayama has to be done very intelligently and patiently.
Pranayama must be seen in relation to the awakening of yoga.
First perfect siddhasana, the best of all the postures. Then begin the practice of nadi shodhana pranayama. Inhalation, internal
retention, exhalation, and external retention in the ratio 1:2:2:1.
When you practice internal retention combine it with jalandhara bandha
and moola bandha. With external retention practice jalandhara, moola and
add uddiyana bandha, Gradually try to improve the quality of your
breath by controlling the inhalation and exhalation.
Breath is both gross and subtle. The gross breath is perceptible and the subtle
breath is imperceptible. Heavy and gross inhalation and exhalation is
not pranayama. When the breath becomes subtle it improves the quality of
awareness. The ingoing and outgoing breath should be uniform. It should
not be thick or thin, broken or in waves.
After practising one round of nadi shodhana sit down quietly and fix your awareness at the
mid-eyebrow centre. When everything becomes calm once again then
commence a second round.
Pranayama is very important in the role of yoga. You must have a well trained and experienced teacher. It cannot
be done from books alone. With the help of pranayama you can awaken
kundalini and accelerate the speed of individual evolution.
Tags: brain, chakra, kundalini, prana, pranayama
for meanings of Sanskrit words in the text
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Path/Religion : Hinduism