Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Hymn to Prana

“As small sparks come forth from fire, thus do all Pranas(Rudras/maruts)) come forth from that Brahman(Rudra)” (Bri. Up. II.1.20).


Pranas(Life forces) are known as Rudras(maruts). They are popularly called as "Sons of Rudra(Atma)". Hence, Rudra(Atma) is called as 'Prana' of 'pranas'. Infact, there is only one 'Prana'. It performs several fuctions. So, depending on fuctions they are classified in several ways. The pranas are the Glory of Atman(Rudra). The popular life forces are prana,Apana,Vyana, Udana ..etc. But Samana is called as "Mukhya prana"( Vital life). The pranas perform several ancillary fuctions. if we count that too,there will be thousands and thousands of pranas. Just like
books in a library can be classified in several ways like subject,author,etc, the pranas can also be classified in several ways. in spite of all, there is only one Atman ( ie., Prana of pranas) which is lord of all.

The doubt, regarding the number of pranas, arises here owing to the conflicting nature of the scriptural passages.

In one place seven Pranas are mentioned, “The seven Pranas spring from Him” (Mun. Up. II.1.8).

In an other place eight Pranas are mentioned as being Grahas “Eight Grahas there are and eight Atigrahas” (Bri. Up. III.2.1).
In an other place nine “Seven are the Pranas of the head, two the lower ones” (Tait. SamhitaV.3.2.5).
Some times ten “Nine Pranas in deed are in man, the navel is the tenth” (Tait. Samhita V.3.2.3).
Some times eleven ,Ten are these Pranas in man, and Atman is the eleventh” (Bri. Up. III.9.4).
Sometimes twelve “All touches have their centre in the skin” (Bri. Up.II.4.11).
Some times thirteen “The eye and what can be seen” (Prasna Up. IV.8).

Thus the scriptural passages disagree about the number of the Pranas (organs)
But, All the statements are True. The number varies because of the method of classification adopted.

In addition to the seven Pranas scripture mentions other Pranasalso, such as the hands, etc. “The hand is one Graha (organ) and thatis seized by work as the Atigraha; for with the hands one does work”(Bri. Up. III.2.8), and similar passages, “ten are the Pranas in a manand Atman with these completes the number eleven” (Bri. Up. III.9.4),indicate that the hands etc., are additional organs. Therefore, fourother organs viz., hands, feet, anus and the organ of generation haveto be added to the seven organs already mentioned, viz., eyes, nose,ears, tongue, touch (skin), speech, and mind, the inner organ. The intellect, egoism, Chitta or memory are not separate organs. They are only modifications of the mind.Therefore, the number of organs is in all eleven. This is the number that is fixed. They are, the five organs of knowledge(Jnana-Indriyas), the five organs of action (Karma-Indriyas) and theinner organ, mind.
To unite all the diverse activities of the organs, it is necessarythat there should be an organ which must exist as a unifying agentwith the memory of the past and the present to gether with the antici -pation of the future, because without such an organ the activities ofthe organs would be unharmonised and discordant. This unifying organ is the inner organ or the Manas (mind). This one inner organ assumes four names such as mind, intellect, egoism and Chitta,according to the functions it performs (Vrittibheda).

In the passage “Nine Pranas in deed are in man, the navel is thetenth”, the expression “ten Pranas” is used to denote the differentopenings of the human body, not the difference of nature of thePranas. Because no Prana is known that bears the name of navel. Asthe navel is one of the special abodes of the chief Prana, it is here enumerated as tenth Prana.


Relation Between Atman(Rudra) and Pranas(rudras/Maruts)
The relationship between Pranas(Maruts/rudras) and Atman(Rudra) is very subtle. Since, Life forces sprang from Atman(Rudra) That's why the seers call Pranas(maruts/rudras) as Sons of Rudra(Atman).

"This prana is born of Atman. As a shadow is cast by a person, so this prana is, by Atman. Through theactivity of the mind it comes into this body".( Prasna Upanishad III-3)

katame rudrā́ iti. daśeme puruṣe prā́ṇā́ḥ ā́tmaikā́daśaḥ; te yadā́smā́t śarīrā́nmartyā́d utkrā́manti, atha rodayanti, tad yad rodayanti, tasmā́d rudrā́ iti. ( Brihadaranyaka Upanishad III-9-4)

Meaning:
“Who are the Rudras?” "The ten Pranas and the Atman make eleven. These are the Rudras.” When the pranas and the atman leave the body, they make one cry in anguish. that's why they are called "Rudras”

katama eko deva iti. prā́ṇa iti, sa brahma, tyad ity ā́cakṣate. ( Brihadaranyaka Upanishad III-9-9)
Meaning:
‘Which is the one god ?’ ‘The Prana ( ie., Atma) is the only God; it is Brahman, which is called Tyat (that).’

Here Multiplicity of Gods came to an end. All gods are various facets of this supreme being only. The One Atma( Prana or Rudra) alone appears as several deities. The Rudra(Atman) is the Only Reality (ie., Sath) who is called with various names. All gods are parts(ie., facets) of Rudra(atman) only.


eko hi rudro na dvitīyāya tasthur
ya imāṃl lokān īśata īśanībhiḥ
pratyaṅ janāṃs tiṣṭhati sañcukocānta-kāle
saṃsṛjya viśvā bhuvanāni gopāḥ ( Svetasvatara Upanishad III-2)

Meaning:
"Rudra is truly one; for the knowers of Brahman do not admit the existence of a second, He alone rules all the worlds by His powers. He dwells as the inner Self of every living being. After having created all the worlds, He, their Protector, takes them back into Himself at the end of time."

yo devānāṃ prabhavaś codbhavaś
caviśvādhipo rudro maharṣiḥ
hiraṇyagarbhaṃ janayāmāsa pūrvaṃ
sa no buddhyā śubhayā saṃyunaktu ( Svetasvatara Upanishad III-4)

Meaning:
He, the omniscient Rudra, the creator of the gods and the bestower of their powers, the support of the universe, He who, in the beginning, gave birth to Hiranyagarbha—may He endow us with clear intellect!

“Which then is that deity?” ‘Prana(Rudra)’ he said. Regarding theUdgitha it is said (Chh. Up. I-10-9), ‘Prastotri’ that deity which be longsto the Prastava etc.

“For all the beings merge in Prana(Rudra) alone and from Prana(Rudra) they arise. This is the deity belonging to the Prastava” (Chh. Up. I-11-4.)

Prana(Rudra) indeed is Brahman’ (Kau. Up. III-3)

A Hymn To Prana ( Atharva Veda XI-4 )

prāṇā́ya námo yásya sárvam idáṃ váśe
yó bhūtáḥ sárvasyeśvaró yásmint sárvaṃ prátiṣṭhitam 1

Reverence to Prâna, to whom all this (universe) is subject, who has become the lord of the all(sárvasya eśvara) , on whom the all is supported!

námas te prāṇa krándāya námas te stanayitnáve
námas te prāṇa vidyúte námas te prāṇa várṣate 2

Reverence, O Prâna, to thy roaring (wind), reverence, O Prâna, to thy thunder, reverence, O Prâna, to thylightning, reverence, O Prâna, to thy rain!

yát prāṇá stanayitnúnābhikrándaty óṣadhīḥ
prá vīyante gárbhān dadhaté 'tho bahvī́r ví jāyante 3

When Prâna calls aloud to the plants with his thunder, they are fecundated, they conceive, and then are produced abundant (plants).

yát prāṇá r̥tā́v ā́gate 'bhikrándaty óṣadhīḥ
sárvaṃ tadā́ prá modate yát kíṃ ca bhū́myām ádhi 4

When the season has arrived, and Prâna calls aloud to the plants, then everything rejoices, whatsoever is uponthe earth.

yadā́ prāṇó abhyávarṣīd varṣéṇa pr̥thivī́ṃ mahī́m
paśávas tát prá modante máho vái no bhaviṣyati 5

When Prâna has watered the great earth with rain, then the beasts rejoice; (they think): 'strength, forsooth, weshall now obtain.'

abhívr̥ṣṭā óṣadhayaḥ prāṇéna sám avādiran
ā́yur vái naḥ prā́tītaraḥ sárvā naḥ surabhī́r akaḥ 6

When they had been watered by Prâna, the plants spake in concert: 'thou hast, forsooth, prolonged our life,thou hast made us all fragrant.

námas te astv āyaté námo astu parāyaté
námas te prāṇa tíṣṭhata ā́sīnāyotá te námaḥ 7

Reverence be, O Prâna, to thee coming, reverence to thee going; 'reverence to thee standing, and reverence,too, to thee sitting!

námas te prāṇa prāṇaté námo astv apānaté
parācī́nāya te námaḥ pratīcī́nāya te námaḥ sárvasmai ta idáṃ námaḥ 8

Reverence be to thee, O Prâna, when thou breatbest in (primate), reverence when thou breathest out!Reverence be to thee when thou art turned away, reverence to thee when thou art turned hither: to thee, entire,reverence be here!

yā́ te prāṇa priyā́ tanū́r yó te prāṇa préyasī
átho yád bheṣajáṃ táva tásya no dhehi jīváse 9

Of thy dear form, O Prâna, of thy very dear form, of the healing power that is thine, give unto us, that we maylive!

prāṇáḥ prajā́ ánu vaste pitā́ putrám iva priyám
prāṇó ha sárvasyeśvaró yác ca prāṇáti yác ca ná 10

Prâna clothes the creatures, as a father his dear son. Prâna, truly, is the lord of all, of all that breathes, anddoes not breathe.

prāṇó mr̥tyúḥ prāṇás takmā́ prāṇáṃ devā́ úpāsate
prāṇó ha satyavādínam uttamé loká ā́ dadhat 11

Prâna is death, Prâna is fever. The gods worship Prana. Prâna shall place the truth-speaker in the highestworld

prāṇó virā́ṭ prāṇó déṣṭrī prāṇáṃ sárva úpāsate
prāṇó ha sū́ryaś candrámāḥ prāṇám āhuḥ prajā́patim 12

Prâna is Virâg (power, lustre), Prâna is Deshtrî (the divinity that guides): all worship Prâna. Prâna verily is sunand moon. They call Prâna Prajâpati.

prāṇāpānáu vrīhiyavā́v anaḍvā́n prāṇá ucyate
yáve ha prāṇá ā́hito 'pānó vrīhír ucyate 13

Rice and barley are in-breathing and outbreathing. Prâna is called a steer. In-breathing forsooth, is foundedupon barley; rice is called out-breathing.

ápānati prā́ṇati púruṣo gárbhe antarā́
yadā́ tváṃ prāṇa jínvasy átha sá jāyate púnaḥ 14

Man breathes out and breathes in when within the womb. When thou, O Prâna, quickenest him, then is he born again.

prāṇám āhur mātaríśvānaṃ vā́to ha prāṇá ucyate
prāṇé ha bhūtáṃ bhávyaṃ ca prāṇé sárvaṃ prátiṣṭhitam 15

They call Prâna Mâtarisvan (the wind); Prâna, forsooth, is called Vâta (the wind). The past and the future, theall, verily is supported upon Prâna.

ātharvaṇī́r āṅgirasī́r dáivīr manuṣyajā́ utá
óṣadhayaḥ prá jāyante yadā́ tváṃ prāṇa jínvasi 16

The holy (âtharvana) plants, the magic (ângirasa) plants, the divine plants, and those produced by men,spring forth, when thou, O Prâna, quickenest them.

yadā́ prāṇó abhyávarṣīd varṣéṇa pr̥thivī́ṃ mahī́m
óṣadhayaḥ prá jāyanté 'tho yā́ḥ kā́ś ca vīrúdhaḥ 17

When Prâna has watered the great earth with rain, then the plants spring forth, and also every sort of herb

yás te prāṇedáṃ véda yásmiṃś cāsi prátiṣṭhitaḥ
sárve tásmai balíṃ harān amúṣmiṃl loká uttamé 18

Whoever, O Prâna, knows this regarding thee, and (knows) on what thou art supported, to him all shall offertribute in yonder highest world.

yáthā prāṇa balihŕ̥tas túbhyaṃ sárvāḥ prajā́ imā́ḥ
evā́ tásmai balíṃ harān yás tvā śr̥ṇávat suśravaḥ 19

As all these creatures, O Prâna, offer thee tribute, so they shall offer tribute (in yonder world) to him whohears thee, O far-famed one!

antár gárbhaś carati devátāsv ā́bhūto bhūtáḥ sá u jāyate púnaḥ
sá bhūtó bhávyaṃ bhaviṣyát pitā́ putráṃ prá viveśā śácībhiḥ 20

He moves as an embryo within the gods; having arrived, and being in existence, he is born again. Havingarisen he enters with his mights the present and the future, as a father (goes to) his son.

ékaṃ pādaṃ nót khidati salilā́d dhaṃsá uccáran
yád aṅgá sá tám utkhidén náivā́dyá ná śváḥ syāt
ná rā́trī nā́haḥ syān ná vy ùchet kadā́ caná 21

When as a swan he rises from the water he does not withdraw his one foot. If in truth he were to withdraw it,there would be neither to-day, nor to-morrow, no night and no day, never would the dawn appear.

aṣṭā́cakraṃ vartata ékanemi sahásrākṣaraṃ prá puró ní paścā́
ardhéna víśvaṃ bhúvanaṃ jajā́na yád asyārdháṃ katamáḥ sá ketúḥ 22

With eight wheels, and one felloe he moves, containing a thousand sounds (elements), upward in the east,downward in the west. With (his) half he produced the whole world: what is the visible sign of his (other) half?

yó asyá viśvájanmana ī́śe víśvasya céṣṭataḥ
ányeṣu kṣiprádhanvane tásmai prāṇa námo 'stu te 23

He who rules over this (all) derived from every source, and over everything that moves. Reverence be to thee, OPrâna, that wieldest a swift bow against others (the enemies)!

yó asyá sarvájanmana ī́śe sárvasya céṣṭataḥ
átandro bráhmaṇā dhī́raḥ prāṇó mā́nu tiṣṭhatu 24

May Prâna, who rules over this (all) derived from every source, and over everything that moves, (may he)unwearied, strong through the brahma, adhere to me!

ūrdhváḥ suptéṣu jāgāra nanú tiryáṅ ní padyate
ná suptám asya suptéṣv ánu śuśrāva káś caná 25

Erect he watches in those that sleep, nor does lie lie down across. No one has heard of his sleeping in thosethat sleep.

prā́ṇa mā́ mát paryā́vr̥to ná mád anyó bhaviṣyasi
apā́ṃ gárbham iva jīváse prā́ṇa badhnā́mi tvā máyi 26

O Prâna, be not turned away from me, thou shall not be other than myself! As the embryo of the waters (fire),thee, O Prâna, do bind to me, that I may live.

1 comment:

  1. i rtead a tretise on energetic truth . i am confused as they state that prana is an inferior energy source to ecessing enrgy direct from god by seeing oneself as a divine son of god...that our perception as sepaarate is what denies us this energy /divine energy that throughout history man has attempted to substitute this with techniques to pump up prana which causes us to contract from the energy fromsoul etc blah blah ..what are your thoughts on this i would appreciate your opinion...

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