Birth and Death are the two terminals between which life travels on this earth plane. One short period of life on this earth is called “Jivana Kaala” (Life Span). The Jeevi (Mind & Intellect) who is the voyager here starts the journey on this earth from the day of birth and ends it at death on a vehicle called Deha (Body). The Jeevi and Deha are connected by Prana (Vital Breath). Life Span is the period measured as long as Prana maintains the connection between the body and the mind. Further the body has Five Sense organs namely Eyes, Ears, Nose, Skin and Tongue with which the Jeevi is able to See, Hear, Smell, Feel and Taste. Along with these five senses there is another organ which is the Mind without which these five are of no use.
Although we say all the five sense organs are important and Mind is ultimate, there is one which is superior to all the six. To illustrate this we have a small anecdote in Chandogya Upanishad, Chapter 5, Verse 1. This is just to make us understand nothing to be serious about the senses and mind fighting among themselves.
Once the five sense organs and the mind quarreled among themselves claiming superiority. Unable to decide they went to Prajapathi, He asked each of the sense organs to take a year off. If the Jeevi cannot survive without the particular sense organ, the matter is settled. One after the other each sense organ left the Jeeva for a year; let’s observe what happened.
First was the organ of speech to depart. After being away for a whole year, it came back and asked “Have you been able to live without me?”
All the other organs replied, “Yes we could manage as a person who is dumb, without speaking. We could see, breath, hear feel and also think. The organ of speech re-entered the body again.
Next was it was the eyes which departed. After being away for a whole year, it came back and asked, “How was life without me?”
The other organs replied, “We lived just like a blind person, without seeing, but breathing, talking, hearing and thinking went on as normal. The eyes re-entered the body.
Ear walked out of the body. After a year it came back and asked, “Was there any difficulty without me in the body?”
All the other organs replied, “Not at all we could not hear otherwise breathing, speaking seeing and thinking were are up to standard.” Ear came back again into the body.
Now it was the time for the Mind to go out of the body for a year. After being away for a whole year, it came back and said, “I know without me you must have missed a lot?”
All the other organs told, “No, we lived like a child. We really enjoyed the innocence and those playful gestures we cannot forget. We could breath normal, hear, see, and talk as usual.” Mind too returned back to the body.
Finally it was time for Prana (Vital Breath) to leave the body. Just as it left the body it uprooted the other organs too. Just as the racing horse heaves off the pegs to which it is tied, the other organs too started to follow the Prana. The other organs could not stay in the body for a single second without Prana. They could not see, hear, feel and talk without breath.
Automatically Prana had the privilege of being superior to all the organs (both Karmendriyas and Jnanendriyas) as well as Manas (Mind). Prana is Mukhya (Essential) hence referred as Mukhya Prana, Hanuman. When Prana (Vital Breath) is Hanuman the Chetana (Consciousness) is Sri Hari. Consciousness leaves the body and become lifeless if breath goes out of the body.