The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
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Prana (प्राण, prāṇa) is the Sanskrit word for "life force"; in yoga, Oriental medicine, and martial arts, the term refers to a cosmic energy believed to come from the sun and connecting the elements of the universe.
This life energy, prana (प्राण) has been vividly invoked and described in Vedas. In Ayurveda, tantra and Tibetan medicine "praṇā vāyu" is the basic vāyu (wind, air) from which all the other vāyus arise.
Ida relates to the right side of the brain, and the left side of the body, terminating at the left nostril and pingala to the left side of the brain and the right side of the body, terminating at the right nostril.
In most ancient texts, the total number of nadis in the human body is stated to be 72,000. When praṇā vāyu enters a period of uplifted, intensified activity, the Yogic tradition refers to it as Pranotthana.
While not all early sources agree on the names or number of these subdivisions, the most common list from the Mahabharata, the Upanishads, Ayurvedic and Yogic sources includes five, often divided into further subcategories.
This list includes:
A.G. Mohan says the physical goals of pranayama may be to recover from illness or the maintenance of health while its mental goals are "to remove mental disturbances and make the mind focused for meditation".
Swami Yogananda writes that "The real meaning of Pranayama, according to Patanjali's, the founder of Yoga philosophy, is the gradual cessation of breathing, the discontinuance of inhalation and exhalation". See also
|Prāṇa||Beating of the heart and breathing. Prana enters the body through the breath and is sent to every cell through the circulatory system.|
|Apāna||elimination of waste products from the body through the lungs and excretory systems|
|Uḍāna||sound production through the vocal apparatus, as in speaking, singing, laughing, and crying. Also it represents the conscious energy required to produce the vocal sounds corresponding to the intent of the being. Hence Samyama on udana gives the higher centers total control over the body.|
|Samāna||the digestion of food and cell metabolism (i.e. the repair and manufacture of new cells and growth). Samana also includes the heat regulating processes of the body. Auras (paranormal) are projections of this current. By meditational practices one can see auras of light around every being. Yogis who do special practises on samana can produce a blazing aura at will.|
|Vyāna||the expansion and contraction processes of the body, e.g. the voluntary muscular system|