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The Five Prana


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This presentation discusses the five types of forces that arise between the meanings. These forces are different from the notion of forces in modern science. These forces are called prana and the presentation discusses how they act within the body, as well as at the level of intellect or in society.

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The Five Prana

  1. 1. THE FIVE PRANA A S H I S H DA L E L A I N T R O D U C I N G V E D I C P H I L O S O P H Y — L E S S O N 7
  2. 2. WHAT IS PRANA?
  3. 3. SIGNIFYING F RO M U N I V E R S A L TO PA RT I C U L A R • Prana is described as part of a triad called manas, prāna, and vāk. Manas represents meaning, and vāk represents the word • Therefore, prana represents the process by which a universal concept is converted into an individual thing symbolizing that idea.The vāk is therefore a symbol, manas is the meaning of the symbol, and prāna is the process of signifying universal meaning into a symbol SIGNIFIED (MEANING) SIGNIFIER (WORD) MANAS (UNIVERSAL) VAK (PARTICULAR) PRANA
  4. 4. I N D I V I D UA L I S C R E AT E D B Y C O N S C I O U S N E S S • The consciousness of the soul focuses on a part of the universal conceptual possibility • Due to this focus, the possibility is transformed into a ‘reality’ or phenomena, which we call ‘conscious experience’ • Many observers can see the same possibility and create an individual experience from it • The experience is vāk, the possibility is manas, and prana converts manas to vāk The Universal Tree of Possibilities THE SOUL PRANA INDIVIDUAL REALITY
  5. 5. P R A N A “ L I G H T S U P ” A PA RT O F T H E U N I V E R S A L T R E E • The tree is hierarchical concepts, each soul lights up or sees a part of this tree • That is, the soul will first see the higher node, then see the lower node, and so forth • The higher node comes into consciousness before the lower node, due to which prāna appears to flow from some higher node to lower nodes The Universal Tree of Possibilities
  6. 6. PRANA FOLLOWS THE TREE • The heart represents the highest node in the tree where the consciousness has focused • The rest of the body is like a tree emanating from the highest node of the conscious part of the tree • Therefore, the body has to be studied like a tree with the heart as the root of the prāna – From the heart to the body parts it seems outward – But the heart denotes the whole, and the body is the parts of the whole, so it acts inwardly from whole to part VAK VAK VAK PRANA MANAS
  8. 8. TheConsciousTheUnconscious H OW D O E S P R A N A C H A N G E I T S F O C U S ? • Prana is controlled by three different types of agencies • The current set of available universal possibilities • The individual desires, choices, or preferences • The individual destiny that forces the circumstances • The prakriti, guna, and karma are constantly churned with time • The universal possibilities change, our desires change, and our destiny changes PRANA PRAKRITI GUNA KARMA THE UNIVERSAL POSSIBILITY INDIVIDUAL CHOICE INDIVIDUAL DESTINY TIME CHANGING FOCUS & TRANSMIGRATION
  9. 9. FORCE  CHANGE • The material possibilities are inert; matter is not the cause of change • The change is caused by prana which changes the focus of consciousness – As a result we see different things one after another • The succession of changes appear like “motion” to the consciousness – We think that the world is changing or moving – When the real change is shift in the focus of consciousness • The changing focus of consciousness is called ‘force’ in modern science – Our experience is changing, but the underlying reality is unchanging • Matter is inert but prana is the force causing the change
  11. 11. PHYSICAL VS. SEMANTIC FORCE PHYSICAL FORCE • Pushes and pulls things due to some physical properties like mass and charge • The magnitude of push and pull is defined by a mathematical “law of nature” such as gravity or electromagnetism • The laws of nature are supposed to be universal and unchanging with time SEMANTIC FORCE • Pushes and pulls things due to different kinds of interactions between meanings • Different forces can become dominant and subordinate at different times • The forces are universal but the dominant and subordinate position changes with time, place, and circumstance
  12. 12. S A M Ā N A – T H E F O R C E O F C O N S I S T E N C Y • Each individual strives for internal consistency within themselves; we accept those beliefs which are consistent with the other beliefs • This process of analyzing those beliefs which are consistent, assimilating them into our belief system is called “digestion” of the belief • Samāna is the force of consistency and digestion; emerges from hierarchy CORE BELIEFS
  13. 13. A P Ā N A – T H E F O R C E O F E X C L U S I O N • A person may hold competitive beliefs for explaining the same observation or facts • E.g. there are alternative views of atomic theory that portray different pictures of reality • The competing ideas may arise from the same experiences or different experiences • A person tries to evict one of the ideologies to regain the state of consistency COMPETITIVE BELIEF SYSTEMS
  14. 14. V Y Ā N A – T H E F O R C E O F C O O P E R AT I O N • Each belief system may be partially incomplete; they are like the lame and the blind; each belief system explains some experience but not all cases • The inconsistent belief systems cooperate to work together; e.g. democracy and determinism are incompatible but they support each other • This supportive force of mutual cooperation is called vyāna
  15. 15. U D Ā N A – T H E F O R C E O F E X P R E S S I O N • Consistency, competition, and cooperation occur within a shared belief system called language and culture • Even if we have competing ideas, we use the same language to express them; to cooperate we use the same language; we operate in a shared culture • The force of udāna is the power of symbolic expression and it manifests in speech and other cultural symbolism COMPETITIVE BELIEF SYSTEMS
  16. 16. P R Ā N A – T H E F O R C E O F T R A N S C E N D I N G P U R P O S E • Language and culture are created from a transcending purpose; E.g. culture is based on moral values and religion • The force that creates a transcending purpose is called prāna; it is the highest kind of force that manifests other forces as its subparts • Increase in prāna means increase in our transcending purposefulness in life COMPETITIVE BELIEF SYSTEMS
  18. 18. TRANSCENDENCE U N D E R S TA N D N G T H E F I V E - F O L D T Y P E D I S T I N C T I O N • Color is the basic type which contains all the colors • White • Cyan • Magenta • Blue • But white also contains • Cyan • Magenta • Blue • The idea color manifests the complete color (white) COMPLETION COLOR THE COMPLETE COLOR THE INCOMPLETE COLORS CONSISTENCY COMPETITION COOPERATION
  19. 19. T H E D O M I N AT I O N O F T H E M O D E S • The domination of the modes creates different kinds of phenomena and effects • E.g. when competition dominates, cooperation is next, and consistency is last, then society divides into competing groups, who cooperate within each other to compete better externally, and the cooperating divisions evolve their own internally consistent ideology CONSISTENCY COMPETITION COOPERATION CONSISTENCY COMPETITION COOPERATION CONSISTENCY COMPETITION COOPERATION CONSISTENCY COMPETITION COOPERATION CONSISTENCY COMPETITION COOPERATION CONSISTENCY COMPETITION COOPERATION
  20. 20. “The life force is the link between matter and spirit. Flowing outward it reveals the spuriously alluring world of the senses; reversed inward it pulls consciousness to the eternally satisfying bliss of God.” — ParamhamsaYogananda