According to yogic text at the very beginning, there was nothing, not even creation. What existed was all pervasive, unmanifested consciousness. It contained within all qualities and components for creation. In this utter stillness, there was then a movement. In the utter stillness of consciousness, a desire arose” I am one, let me become many” – in order to experience itself. This desire was the first creative impulsive, which resulted in “willing”. This willing of unmanifested consciousness gave rise to vibration, leading to energy. Hence from “being” to “becoming” a movement occurred, this was the beginning of creation and manifestation of Prana.
Prana was never separate from consciousness, but now it assumed itself. Thus energy (Prana) and consciousness began to interact with each other – in cosmic play called “Lila”, causing the creation of the physical universe to occur.
Consciousness is just “is”, the beingness. In order to experience itself it separated “becoming”, or energy, or Prana from itself. Since then all creation, manifestation of Prana, exists in a cycle of life and death till it evolves, recognizes its source in consciousness and finally dissolves back in it.
The interaction of Prana (Energy) and Chitta (Consciousness) is the purpose and practice of all spiritual practices, the ultimate result being involution to the state where all exists in pure consciousness what motivates Prana in this journey is “Vasana “(inherent desire).
To understand better, consciousness is” being”, awareness is”intelligence/knowledge”. Prana is “becoming”, manifestation through physical manifestation. Consciousness is a dormant experience whereas Prana is active principle of manifested energy.
The entire Universe, creation and existence are an interplay between consciousness and energy,” Shiva” and” Shakti”, Yin and Yang, Female and Male. The life force and mental force permeate every atom and cell of the Universe, though remaining at different degrees of separation.
All beings are composites of Prana, which gives them life and existence. The quantum of Prana of each individual is indicated by the power of personality. Some persons are successful, commanding and fascinating than others due to their level of Prana.
Though everything is born with certain quantity of Prana, its quantity and quality changes continuously. One receives Prana from the environment, food, water, sun and air. For example food can be classified into three categories depending on the amount of Prana they have. Sattvic food (examples: Fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, ocean fish and shell fish) have the highest amount of Prana. Rajasic Food (examples: Eggs, peanut oil, wine, boiled vegetables, cane sugar and cooked fish) have the next level of Prana. Tamasic food is the third category with very little Prana (examples: cooked meat, sausages and bread). Examples of food with no pranic value are margarine, alcoholic spirits, overcooked vegetables, pasteurized milk, refined white sugar and bleached flour.
Air not only statisfies the requirement of oxygen but also the need for Prana. Air near a waterfall or high in mountains have significantly high level of Prana. Polluted and recycled air has much less Prana. In general where one inhales negative ions, if increases the level Prana in the body.
Working with Prana:
Prana is not only received from external sources, it can be generated from within. It can then also be distributed/directed to required centers of our body, enhancing the quality of health and life manifolds.
Breath is external manifestation of Prana. Prana is sustained by deliberately decreasing the distance of exhaled air. The longer is the exhalation, lesser is the distance of exhaled air. This principle is the foundation of Pranayama and Prana vidya. A significant of benefit of working with Prana is to be able to control the mind. By developing sensitivity to Prana one becomes more aware of the subtle forces of the mind, which arise in the form of thoughts, feelings, emotions, responses, impressions and knowledge. Prana is grosser than mind and hence easier to control to ultimately attain mastery over the mind.
As one works with Prana and its quantum and quality improves, dormant areas of brain awaken. Normally less than one tenth of human brain is active as it requires a lot of Prana for the entire brain to be active. Sustained practice of Pranayama achieves this, it leads to larger quantum of generation and its equitable distribution to various energy centers of the body called” Chakras”. This makes perfect health possible – the optimal combination of body, mind and spirit.