Prana Vayu, the vital breath is regarded as the element of air at a material level. In Vedas it is mentioned that Vayu includes the concept of Aakasha (Space). Space in motion is Air, while air at rest it is Ether. These are the two sides of Vayu, which is the unity of air and ether. Ether is the field in which Vayu as a force operates. Vayu is the power through which everything comes into manifestation and into which everything eventually returns. Hence it has in it the entire energy present in the universe.
Whichever that has life is a manifestation of Prana. It is through Prana we are able to hear, feel, taste, see and smell. Everything that we observe and regard in this Prapancha (World) is an expression of Prana. The mellow harmony of music, the commanding talk of an orator or the charming words of the beloved is relished due to Prana. It is Prana which pumps the blood from the heart into every cell in the body.
Prana is an evolutionary energy which carries out the survival and sustenance by coordinating involuntary process like digestion, excretion and secretion without the intervention of Manas (Mind). Our ancient Rishis have taught us the techniques to make our Mind Jagratha (Awake) of the “Wisdom of Prana” so that the evolutionary energy level is elevated. This is called “Pranotthana” the elevation of Pranic force within the body. For this “Prana Vidya” is a must.
Prana Vidya is “Knowledge of the Vital Breath” Just as electricity powers mechanical machine like motor; Prana empowers the Deha (Body) and Manas (Mind). The supply of the Prana can be amplified, just as the voltage of the electricity is increased. In Electrical field we use Transformers to Step Down the capacity to make a small bulb to glow as bed lamps and Step Up to increase the power to operate huge machinery. Prana too can use the psychic energy which is like the Electricity to get distributed through definite Pranic channels in the body to produces huge amounts of Prana Shakti. Prana Shakti is the primordial cosmic energy that governs all physical functions.
Prana Dhyana is a part of Prana Vidya where the individual observes the moment of air which takes place while inhaling and exhaling. This gradually develops awareness of the governance over the arena of Prana. This in turn brings about a realization of that boundless potential which lies latent within the depths of one’s being. This is Prana Dharshana, the visualisation of the Prana Shakti.
Knowing about Prana and then concentrating on its movements and from there getting to know how it governs the body is important. Manas (Mind) and Prana (Breath) are like two planks on a See-Saw thus interconnected and pivoted at Chaitanya (Consciousness). It can be observed when we are agitated or nervous our breath pattern is altered. Manas is very volatile and hard to control so Prana can be trained and this restrain of Prana is in the method called Pranayama.
We know that it is difficult to calmed down an agitated mind, it is easy to try and calm it down by altering our breathing. If it is hard to get one See-Saw plank down use the other so that the tough one automatically is under control. Pranayama is a unique way of Mind Control. A hare breaths very rapidly and a tortoise has low respiratory rate. If the respiratory rate decreases the heart need not work hard to pump blood throughout the body and our nervous system too calms down. Application of the technique of Prana Dhyana to control Mind is “Prana Anusandhana”
Prana connects the astral and physical body by what is called “Sutratma” (Silver Chord). When this delicate thread link of Prana is severed, the Sukshma Deha (Subtle Body) disconnects from the Stula Deha (Physical Body) and Mruthyu (Death) takes place.