"In Wonders We Sail, Questing for the Answers in Veil"

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Prana And Akasha By Swami Vivekananda




According to the philosophers of India, the whole universe is composed of two materials,one of which they call Akasha. It is the omnipresent, all penetrating existence. Everything that has form, everything that is the result of compounds, is evolved out of this Akasha.It is the Akasha that becomes the air, that becomes the liquids,that becomes the solids; it is the Akaca that becomes the plants, every form that we see, everything that can be sensed,everything that exists. It itself it cannot be perceived; it is so subtle that it is beyond all ordinary perception; it can only be seen when it has become gross, has taken form. At the beginning of creation there is only this Akasha; at the end of the cycle, the solids, the liquids, and the gases all melt into the Akasha again, and the next creation similarly proceeds out of this Akasha.

By what power is this Akasha manifested into this universe? By the power of Prana. Just as Akasha is the infinite omnipresent material of this universe, so is this Prana the infinite, omnipresent manifesting power of this universe. At the beginning and at the end of a cycle everything becomes Akasha, and all the forces that are in the universe resolve back into the Prana; in the next cycle, out of this Prana is evolved everything that we call energy,everything that we call force. It is the Prana that is manifesting as motion; it is the Prana that is manifesting as gravitation, as magnetism. It is the Prana that is manifesting as the actions of the body, as the nerve currents, as thought force. From thought, down to the lowest physical force,everything is but the manifestation of Prana. The sum-total of all force in the universe, mental or physical, when resolved back into its original state, is called Prana. “When there was neither aught nor naught, when darkness was covering darkness, what existed then? That Akasha existed without motion.” The physical motion of the Prana was stopped, but it existed all the same. All the energies that are now displayed in the universe we know, by modern science,are unchangeable. The sum-total of the energies in the universe remains the same throughout, only, at the end of a cycle, these energies quiet down, become potential, and, at the beginning of the next cycle, they start up, strike upon the Akasha, and out of the Akasha evolve into various forms, and,as the Akasha changes, this Prana changes also into all these manifestations of energy. The knowledge and control of this Prana is really what is meant by Pranayama.

This opens to us the door to almost unlimited power.Suppose, for instance, one understood the Prana perfectly, and could control it, what power on earth could there be that would not be his? He would be able to move the sun and stars out of their places, to control everything in the universe, from the atoms to the biggest suns, because he would control the Prana. This is the end and aim of Pranayama. When the Yogi becomes perfect there will be nothing in nature not under his control. If he orders the gods to come, they will come at his bidding; if he asks the departed to come, they will come at his bidding. All the forces of nature will obey him as his slaves, and when the ignorant see these powers of the Yogi they call them miracles.

-Excerpt from Swami Vivekananda's 'Raja Yoga'


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