Prana (Books)

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Chapters 1 - 6

BG 2.17, Purport:

In the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (3.1.9) the measurement of the atomic spirit soul is further explained:

eṣo 'ṇur ātmā cetasā veditavyo
yasmin prāṇaḥ pañcadhā saṁviveśa
prāṇaiś cittaṁ sarvam otaṁ prajānāṁ
yasmin viśuddhe vibhavaty eṣa ātmā

"The soul is atomic in size and can be perceived by perfect intelligence. This atomic soul is floating in the five kinds of air (prāṇa, apāna, vyāna, samāna and udāna), is situated within the heart, and spreads its influence all over the body of the embodied living entities. When the soul is purified from the contamination of the five kinds of material air, its spiritual influence is exhibited."

BG 4.27, Purport:

The senses interact with the sense objects, like the ear for hearing, eyes for seeing, nose for smelling, tongue for tasting, hand for touching, and all of them are thus engaged in activities outside the self. They are called the functions of the prāṇa-vāyu. The apāna-vāyu goes downwards, vyāna-vāyu acts to shrink and expand, samāna-vāyu adjusts equilibrium, udāna-vāyu goes upwards—and when one is enlightened, one engages all these in searching for self-realization.

BG 4.29, Purport:

This system of yoga for controlling the breathing process is called prāṇāyāma, and in the beginning it is practiced in the haṭha-yoga system through different sitting postures. All of these processes are recommended for controlling the senses and for advancement in spiritual realization. This practice involves controlling the airs within the body so as to reverse the directions of their passage. The apāna air goes downward, and the prāṇa air goes up. The prāṇāyāma-yogī practices breathing the opposite way until the currents are neutralized into pūraka. equilibrium.

BG Chapters 7 - 12

BG 7.19, Purport:

In the Chāndogya Upaniṣad (5.1.15) it is said, na vai vāco na cakṣūṁṣi na śrotrāṇi na manāṁsīty ācakṣate prāṇa iti evācakṣate prāṇo hy evaitāni sarvāṇi bhavanti: "In the body of a living being neither the power to speak, nor the power to see, nor the power to hear, nor the power to think is the prime factor; it is life which is the center of all activities." Similarly Lord Vāsudeva, or the Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is the prime entity in everything. In this body there are powers of speaking, of seeing, of hearing, of mental activities, etc. But these are not important if not related to the Supreme Lord.

BG Chapters 13 - 18

BG 13.5, Purport:

As stated in the Taittirīya Upaniṣad (2.9), brahma pucchaṁ pratiṣṭhā. There is a manifestation of the Supreme Lord's energy known as anna-maya, dependence upon food for existence. This is a materialistic realization of the Supreme. Then, in prāṇa-maya, after realizing the Supreme Absolute Truth in food, one can realize the Absolute Truth in the living symptoms or life forms. In jñāna-maya, realization extends beyond the living symptoms to the point of thinking, feeling and willing. Then there is Brahman realization, called vijñāna-maya, in which the living entity's mind and life symptoms are distinguished from the living entity himself. The next and supreme stage is ānanda-maya, realization of the all-blissful nature.

BG 13.5, Purport:

Thus there are five stages of Brahman realization, which are called brahma puccham. Out of these, the first three—anna-maya, prāṇa-maya and jñāna-maya—involve the fields of activities of the living entities. Transcendental to all these fields of activities is the Supreme Lord, who is called ānanda-maya.

BG 13.5, Purport:

The Vedānta-sūtra also describes the Supreme by saying, ānanda-mayo 'bhyāsāt: the Supreme Personality of Godhead is by nature full of joy. To enjoy His transcendental bliss, He expands into vijñāna-maya, prāṇa-maya, jñāna-maya and anna-maya. In the field of activities the living entity is considered to be the enjoyer, and different from him is the ānanda-maya. That means that if the living entity decides to enjoy in dovetailing himself with the ānanda-maya, then he becomes perfect.


SB Canto 2

SB 2.4.3-4, Purport:

Lord Caitanya, who is Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself, taught us in His Śikṣāṣṭaka (8):

āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām
adarśanān marma-hatāṁ karotu vā
yathā tathā vā vidadhātu lampaṭo
mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ

"Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is the lover of many devotees (women), may embrace this fully surrendered maidservant or may trample me with His feet, or He may render me brokenhearted by not being present before me for a long duration of time, but still He is nothing less than the Absolute Lord of my heart."

SB 2.4.21, Purport:

The pure devotee, by the grace of the Lord, absolutely loses all attraction for material enjoyment, and to keep free from contamination he always thinks of the lotus feet of the Lord. King Kulaśekhara, a great devotee of the Lord, prayed:

kṛṣṇa tvadīya-pada-paṅkaja-pañjarāntam
adyaiva me viśatu mānasa-rāja-haṁsaḥ
prāṇa-prayāṇa-samaye kapha-vāta-pittaiḥ
kaṇṭhāvarodhana-vidhau smaraṇaṁ kutas te
(MM 33)

"My Lord Kṛṣṇa, I pray that the swan of my mind may immediately sink down to the stems of the lotus feet of Your Lordship and be locked in their network; otherwise at the time of my final breath, when my throat is choked up with cough, how will it be possible to think of You?"

SB 2.5.31, Purport:

The living condition in material existence depends more or less on one's intelligence and powerful living energy. Intelligence to counteract the hard struggle for existence is assisted by the senses for acquiring knowledge, and the living energy maintains himself by manipulating the active organs, like the hands and legs. But on the whole, the struggle for existence is an exertion of the mode of passion. Therefore all the sense organs, headed by intelligence and the living energy, prāṇa, are different products and by-products of the second mode of nature, called passion. This mode of passion, however, is the product of the air element, as described before.

SB 2.9.42, Purport:

As confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (10.9):

mac-cittā mad-gata-prāṇā
bodhayantaḥ parasparam
kathayantaś ca māṁ nityaṁ
tuṣyanti ca ramanti ca

The Supreme Lord is unlimited, and His energies are also unlimited. No one can know them completely. Brahmājī, being the greatest living entity within this universe and being directly instructed by the Lord, must know more than anyone within this universe, although such knowledge may not be complete. Thus it is the duty of everyone to ask about the unlimited Lord from the spiritual master in the disciplic succession of Brahmā, which descends from Nārada to Vyāsa, from Vyāsa to Śukadeva and so on.

SB 2.10.28, Purport:

The prāṇa-vāyu continues the life, and the apāna-vāyu stops the living force. Both the vibrations are generated from the abdominal hole, the navel. This navel is the joint from one body to the other. Lord Brahmā was born of the abdominal hole of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu as a separate body, and the same principle is followed even in the birth of any ordinary body. The body of the child develops from the body of the mother, and when the child is separated from the body of the mother, it is separated by cutting the navel joint. And that is the way the Supreme Lord manifested Himself as separated many. The living entities are therefore separated parts, and thus they have no independence.

SB Canto 3

SB 3.6.7, Purport:

Consciousness is the sign of the living entity, or the soul. The existence of the soul is manifest in the form of consciousness, called jñāna-śakti. The total consciousness is that of the gigantic virāṭ-rūpa, and the same consciousness is exhibited in individual persons. The activity of consciousness is performed through the air of life, which is of ten divisions. The airs of life are called prāṇa, apāna, udāna, vyāna and samāna and are also differently qualified as nāga, kūrma, kṛkara, devadatta and dhanañjaya.

SB 3.6.9, Purport:

The movements of the body are first generated from the heart, and all the activities of the body are made possible by the senses, powered by the ten kinds of air within the body. The ten kinds of air are described as follows: The main air passing through the nose in breathing is called prāṇa.

SB 3.26.54, Translation:

First of all a mouth appeared in Him, and then came forth the organ of speech, and with it the god of fire, the deity who presides over that organ. Then a pair of nostrils appeared, and in them appeared the olfactory sense, as well as prāṇa, the vital air.

SB Canto 4

SB 4.8.20, Purport:

Sunīti continued: The Supreme Personality of Godhead is so great that simply by worshiping His lotus feet, your great-grandfather, Lord Brahmā, acquired the necessary qualifications to create this universe. Although he is unborn and is the chief of all living creatures, he is situated in that exalted post because of the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whom even great yogīs worship by controlling the mind and regulating the life air (prāṇa).

SB 4.23.13, Purport:

This desire was also expressed by King Kulaśekhara in his Mukunda-mālā-stotra:

kṛṣṇa tvadīya-padapaṅkaja-pañjarāntam
adyaiva me viśatu mānasa-rāja-haṁsaḥ
prāṇa-prayāṇa-samaye kapha-vāta-pittaiḥ
kaṇṭhāvarodhana-vidhau smaraṇaṁ kutas te
(MM 33)

King Kulaśekhara wanted to give up his body while in a healthy state, and he thus prayed to Kṛṣṇa to let him die immediately while he was in good health and while his mind was sound. When a man dies, he is generally overpowered by mucus and bile, and thus he chokes. Since it is very difficult to vibrate any sound while choking, it is simply by Kṛṣṇa's grace that one can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa at the time of death. However, by situating oneself in the muktāsana position, a yogī can immediately give up his body and go to whatever planet he desires. A perfect yogī can give up his body whenever he desires through the practice of yoga.

SB 4.24.39, Purport:

Indeed, being the life air of every living entity, the Lord is the maintainer of the three worlds. Consequently He can induce every living entity to engage in his real life's duty with full bodily and mental strength. Thus every living entity should serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead by his prāṇa (life), artha (wealth), intelligence and words.

SB 4.25.21, Purport:

The vital force of a living entity includes the five kinds of air working within the body, which are known as prāṇa, apāna, vyāna, samāna and udāna. The vital force is compared to a serpent because a serpent can live by simply drinking air. The vital force carried by the air is described as the pratīhāra, or the bodyguard. Without the vital force one cannot live for a moment. Indeed, all the senses are working under the protection of the vital force.

SB 4.26.1-3, Purport:

The two wheels of the chariot may be compared to the two moving facilities—namely sinful life and religious life. The chariot is decorated with three flags, which represent the three modes of material nature. The five kinds of obstacles, or uneven roads, represent the five kinds of air passing within the body. These are prāṇa, apāna, udāna, samāna and vyāna. The body itself is covered by seven coverings, namely skin, muscle, fat, blood, marrow, bone and semen. The living entity is covered by three subtle material elements and five gross material elements. These are actually obstacles placed before the living entity on the path of liberation from material bondage.

SB 4.27.15, Purport:

When one is sleeping, the life air remains active in different dreams. The five hoods of the snake indicate that the life air is surrounded by five kinds of air, known as prāṇa, apāna, vyāna, udāna and samāna. When the body is inactive, the prāṇa, or the life air, is active. Up to the age of fifty one can actively work for sense gratification, but after the fiftieth year one's energy decreases, although one can with great strain work for two or three more years—perhaps up to the fifty-fifth year. Thus the fifty-fifth year is generally taken by government regulations as the final year for retirement.

SB 4.28.15, Purport:

In his Mukunda-mālā-stotra, King Kulaśekhara states:

kṛṣṇa tvadīya-padapaṅkaja-pañjarāntam
adyaiva me viśatu mānasa-rāja-haṁsaḥ
prāṇa-prayāṇa-samaye kapha-vāta-pittaiḥ
kaṇṭhāvarodhana-vidhau smaraṇaṁ kutas te
(MM 33)

"My dear Kṛṣṇa, please help me die immediately so that the swan of my mind may be encircled by the stem of Your lotus feet. Otherwise at the time of my final breath, when my throat is choked up, how will it be possible for me to think of You?" The swan takes great pleasure in diving within water and being encircled by the stem of the lotus flower. This entanglement is sporting joy. If, in our healthy condition, we think of the lotus feet of the Lord and die, it is most fortunate.

SB 4.29.6, Purport:

The living entities are merged into the air of life, which acts in different ways for circulation. There is prāṇa, apāna, udāna, vyāna and samāna, and because the life air functions in this fivefold way, it is compared to the five-hooded serpent. The soul passes through the kuṇḍalinī-cakra like a serpent crawling on the ground. The life air is compared to uraga, the serpent. Pañca-vṛtti is the desire to satisfy the senses, attracted by five sense objects—namely form, taste, sound, smell and touch.

SB Canto 5

SB 5.20.28, Translation:

(The inhabitants of Śākadvīpa worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of Vāyu in the following words.) O Supreme Person, situated as the Supersoul within the body, You direct the various actions of the different airs, such as prāṇa, and thus You maintain all living entities. O Lord, O Supersoul of everyone, O controller of the cosmic manifestation under whom everything exists, may You protect us from all dangers.

SB Canto 6

SB 6.4.34, Purport:

As Lord Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya: (BG 7.7) "There is no truth superior to Me." Aham ādir hi devānām: (Bg 10.2) "I am the origin of all the demigods." Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ: (BG 10.8) "I am superior to everyone, even Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and the other demigods." These are the conclusions of the śāstra, and one who accepts these conclusions should be considered a first-class philosopher. Such a philosopher knows that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the Lord of the demigods (deva-deveśvaraṁ sūtram ānandaṁ prāṇa-vedinaḥ).

SB Canto 7

SB 7.15.42, Purport:

Ten kinds of life air always flow within the material body. They are called prāṇa, apāna, samāna, vyāna, udāna, nāga, kūrma, kṛkala, devadatta and dhanañjaya. They are compared here to the spokes of the chariot's wheels. The life air is the energy for all of a living being's activities, which are sometimes religious and sometimes irreligious. Thus religion and irreligion are said to be the upper and lower portions of the chariot's wheels. When the living entity decides to go back home, back to Godhead, his target is Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)

SB 10.84.32-33, Translation:

The Supreme Lord's awareness is never disturbed by time, by the creation and destruction of the universe, by changes in its own qualities, or by anything else, whether self-caused or external. But although the consciousness of the Personality of Godhead, who is the supreme one without a second, is never affected by material distress, by the reactions of material work or by the constant flow of nature's modes, ordinary persons nonetheless think that the Lord is covered by His own creations of prāṇa and other material elements, just as one may think that the sun is covered by clouds, snow or an eclipse.

SB 11.2.49, Translation:

Within the material world, one's material body is always subject to birth and decay. Similarly, the life air (prāṇa) is harassed by hunger and thirst, the mind is always anxious, the intelligence hankers for that which cannot be obtained, and all of the senses are ultimately exhausted by constant struggle in the material nature. A person who is not bewildered by the inevitable miseries of material existence, and who remains aloof from them simply by remembering the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is to be considered bhāgavata-pradhāna, the foremost devotee of the Lord.

SB 11.3.39, Translation:

The spirit soul is born in many different species of life within the material world. Some species are born from eggs, others from embryos, others from the seeds of plants and trees, and others from perspiration. But in all species of life the prāṇa, or vital air, remains unchanging and follows the spirit soul from one body to another. Similarly, the spirit soul is eternally the same despite its material condition of life. We have practical experience of this. When we are absorbed in deep sleep without dreaming, the material senses become inactive, and even the mind and false ego are merged into a dormant condition. But although the senses, mind and false ego are inactive, one remembers upon waking that he, the soul, was peacefully sleeping.

SB 11.11.43-45, Translation:

My dear Uddhava, one should worship Me within the sun by chanting selected Vedic mantras and by performing worship and offering obeisances. One may worship Me within fire by offering oblations of ghee, and one may worship Me among the brāhmaṇas by respectfully receiving them as guests, even when uninvited. I can be worshiped within the cows by offerings of grass and other suitable grains and paraphernalia for the pleasure and health of the cows, and one may worship Me within the Vaiṣṇavas by offering loving friendship to them and honoring them in all respects. Through steady meditation I am worshiped within the inner space of the heart, and within the air I can be worshiped by knowledge that prāṇa, the life air, is the chief among elements. I am worshiped within water by offerings of water itself, along with other elements such as flowers and tulasī leaves, and one may worship Me within the earth by proper application of confidential seed mantras. One may worship Me within the individual living entity by offering food and other enjoyable substances, and one may worship Me within all living entities by seeing the Supersoul within all of them, thus maintaining equal vision.

SB 11.21.36, Translation:

The transcendental sound of the Vedas is very difficult to comprehend and manifests on different levels within the prāṇa, senses and mind. This Vedic sound is unlimited, very deep and unfathomable, just like the ocean.

SB 12.11.14-15, Translation:

The club the Lord carries is the chief element, prāṇa, incorporating the potencies of sensory, mental and physical strength. His excellent conchshell is the element water, His Sudarśana disc the element fire, and His sword, pure as the sky, the element ether. His shield embodies the mode of ignorance, His bow, named Śārṅga, time, and His arrow-filled quiver the working sensory organs.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

CC Adi 2.22, Purport:

From the Ananta-saṁhitā:

ya eva bhagavān kṛṣṇo
sṛṣṭy ādau sa jagan-nātho
gaura āsīn maheśvari

"The Supreme Person, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, who is the life of Śrī Rādhārāṇī and is the Lord of the universe in creation, maintenance and annihilation, appears as Gaura, O Maheśvarī."

CC Adi 4.217, Purport:

It is said that the gopīs are divided into five groups, namely the sakhīs, nitya-sakhīs, prāṇa-sakhīs, priya-sakhīs and parama-preṣṭha-sakhīs. All these fair-complexioned associates of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, the Queen of Vṛndāvana-dhāma, are expert artists in evoking erotic sentiments in Kṛṣṇa. The parama-preṣṭha-sakhīs are eight in number, and in the ecstatic dealings of Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā they side sometimes with Kṛṣṇa and at other times with Rādhārāṇī, just to create a situation in which it appears that they favor one against the other. That makes the exchange of mellows more palatable.

CC Adi 5.58, Purport:

Elsewhere in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.63.26) the ingredients and cause of the material cosmic manifestation are described as follows:

kālo daivaṁ karma jīvaḥ svabhāvo
dravyaṁ kṣetraṁ prāṇa ātmā vikāraḥ
tat-saṅghāto bīja-roha-pravāhas
tvan-māyaiṣā tan-niṣedhaṁ prapadye

"O my Lord! Time, activity, providence and nature are four parts of the causal aspect (māyā) of the external energy. The conditioned vital force, the subtle material ingredients called the dravya, and material nature (which is the field of activity where the false ego acts as the soul), as well as the eleven senses and five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether), which are the sixteen ingredients of the body—these are the ingredient aspect of māyā. The body is generated from activity, and activity is generated from the body, just as a tree is generated from a seed that is generated from a tree. This reciprocal cause and effect is called māyā. My dear Lord, You can save me from this cycle of cause and effect. I worship Your lotus feet."

CC Madhya-lila

CC Madhya 8.204-205, Purport:

The actual business of the sakhīs is described thus in Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi (Sakhī-prakaraṇa 88–91):

mithaḥ prema-guṇotkīrtis tayor āsakti-kāritā
abhisāro dvayor eva sakhyāḥ kṛṣṇe samarpaṇam
narmāśvāsana-nepathyaṁ hṛdayodghāṭa-pāṭavam
chidra-saṁvṛtir etasyāḥ paty-ādeḥ parivañcanā
śikṣā saṅgamanaṁ kāle sevanaṁ vyajanādibhiḥ
tayor dvayor upālambhaḥ sandeśa-preṣaṇaṁ tathā
nāyikā-prāṇa-saṁrakṣā prayatnādyāḥ sakhī-kriyāḥ

In the conjugal pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is the hero (nāyaka), and Rādhikā is the heroine (nāyikā). The first business of the gopīs is to chant the glories of both the hero and the heroine. Their second business is to gradually create a situation in which the hero may be attracted to the heroine and vice versa. Their third business is to induce both of Them to approach each other. Their fourth business is to surrender unto Kṛṣṇa, the fifth is to create a jovial atmosphere, the sixth to give Them assurance to enjoy Their pastimes, the seventh to dress and decorate both hero and heroine, the eighth to show expertise in expressing Their desires, the ninth to conceal the faults of the heroine, the tenth to cheat their respective husbands and relatives, the eleventh to educate, the twelfth to enable the hero and heroine to meet at the proper time, the thirteenth to fan the hero and heroine, the fourteenth to sometimes reproach the hero and heroine, the fifteenth to set conversations in motion, and the sixteenth to protect the heroine by various means.

CC Madhya 15.100, Translation and Purport:

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja, is my life and soul." By this statement I am sold into the hands of the descendants of Guṇarāja Khān.

The full verse referred to here is:

eka-bhāve vanda hari yoḍa kari' hāta
nandanandana kṛṣṇa—mora prāṇa-nātha

"With folded hands I offer my prayers unto Kṛṣṇa, Nanda Mahārāja's son, who is my life and soul."

CC Madhya 19.178, Purport:

As far as rāga is concerned, the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (3.2.87) says:

snehaḥ sa rāgo yena syāt sukhaṁ duḥkham api sphuṭam
tat-sambandha-lave ‘py atra prītiḥ prāṇa-vyayair api

"That stage at which affection for the beloved converts unhappiness into happiness is called rāga, or attachment. When one has such attachment for Kṛṣṇa, he can give up his own life to satisfy his beloved Kṛṣṇa." Anurāga, bhāva and mahābhāva are described in the Sixth Chapter of the Madhya-līlā, verse 13. The purport to that verse explains adhirūḍha-mahābhāva.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Krsna Book 2:

The taste of these material fruits is accepted through five senses. The five sense organs through which knowledge is acquired are subjected to six kinds of whips: lamentation, illusion, infirmity, death, hunger and thirst. This material body, or the material manifestation, is covered by seven layers: skin, flesh, blood, marrow, bone, fat and semen. The branches of the tree are eight: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego. There are nine gates in this body: the two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, one genital, one rectum. And there are ten kinds of internal air passing within the body: prāṇa, apāna, udāna, vyāna, samāna, etc. The two birds seated in this tree, as explained above, are the living entity and the localized Supreme Personality of Godhead, Paramātmā.

Sri Isopanisad

Sri Isopanisad 17, Purport:

The highest development of one's spiritual sense is described in this mantra: One should give up the material body, which will be turned to ashes, and allow the air of life to merge into the eternal reservoir of air. The living being's activities are performed within the body through the movements of different kinds of air, known in summary as prāṇa-vāyu. The yogīs generally study how to control the airs of the body. The soul is supposed to rise from one circle of air to another until it rises to the brahma-randhra, the highest circle. From that point the perfect yogī can transfer himself to any planet he likes.

Facts about "Prana (Books)"
Compiled byAlakananda +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryJuly 21, 0010 JL +
Date of last entryJuly 23, 0010 JL +
Total quotes40 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 7 +, SB: 25 +, CC: 6 +, OB: 2 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 0 +