Prana: The Vital Vibrating Energy
   Date :03-Dec-2023

Prana is a core concept in the Indian system. Yoga, Ayurveda, Tantra and philosophy talk very exhaustively about Prana. Prana is basically the life force, externally expressed as breath. In subtle form Prana permeates everything, both living and non- living. In this phenomenal world, Prana is constantly moving and sustaining all types of existence. This Prana is called Chi in Chinese medicine and Ki in the Japanese system. It is the belief in the Indian system that the proper flow of Prana ensures good health and bliss to human beings. The Vedas, Upanishads and Yoga texts are full of the description of Prana. They talk of five main PranasPrana, Apana, Udana, Vyana and Samana. The movement of Prana is inward and it rests in the upper part of the body. Apana has outward movement and resides in the lower abdomen. Udana centres in diaphragm and its movement is upward. Vyana is pervasive in the entire system. Samana is present in the navel.Thisisthe earliest description of the gaseous system of the human body.
It is described that there are seventy two thousand Nadis, different energy channelsin the human body through which different types of Prana flow. Diseases occur if the flow of Prana is disturbed. Hence Yoga and Ayurveda prescribe different techniques, medicines and foods to restore and vitalise Prana. In this context it will be pertinent to throw light on the concept of Chakras in the Yoga and Tantra traditions. Out of seventy two thousand Nadis, three are prominent - Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. The Ida channel of energy startsfrom the leftside of the base of the spine and reaches the Sahasrara Chakra, the crown centre after crisscrossing the Sushumna and the Pingala. The Pingala is the energy channel which starts from the rightside of the base of the spine and merges into the crown Chakra after crisscrossing both the Sushumna and the Ida. The Sushumna originates from the middle of the spine and goes straight to the crown Chakra. Chakras mean wheelsindicative of different energy centres in the body from down to upward.
The first Chakra is Muladhara at the base of the spine. It is related to survival instincts.The second Chakra is Swadhisthana based near the reproductive organs. This centre is associated with creativity, sensuality and pleasure. The third Chakra is Manipura based near the navel. It symbolises power, esteem and discipline. The fourth is the Anahad centre near the heart. It is related to love, empathy and compassion. The fifth one is Vishudhi based near the throat. It relates to purity of the mind. The Ajnaya Chakra is the sixth one and divides the physical from the psychic and based between the eyebrows. The last Chakra is the Sahasrara centred in the crown of the head. This Chakra system largely corresponds to the different glandular systems of human physiology. Yoga aims to move our consciousness from the lower Chakrasto the upper ones.The consciousness moves upward in the form of Prana. As Prana moves upward, the evolutionary process gets faster. All types of meditational techniques aim to raise the Pranic energy to the upper energy centres. When human consciousness moves upward, universal vision appears and the entire world becomes one family and one starts seeing oneself in all and all in oneself.

Dr bhushan Kumar upadhyaya 
(The writer is DG Police & CG, Homeguards, Maharashtra) ■