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

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Play/Manifestation of Prana Explained by Swami Vivekananda




In an ocean there are huge waves, like mountains, then smaller waves, and still smaller, down to little bubbles, but the background of all these is the infinite ocean. The bubble is connected with the infinite ocean at one end, and the huge  wave at the other end. So, one may be a gigantic man, and another a little bubble, but each is connected with the infinite ocean of energy, and this is the common birthright of every animal that exists. Wherever there is life, the storehouse of infinite energy is behind it. Starting from some fungus, some very minute, microscopic bubble, and all the time drawing from that infinite storehouse of energy, the form is changed slowly and slowly, until in course of time it becomes a plant, then an animal, then man, ultimately God.This is attained through millions of aeons, but what is time? An increase of speed, an increase of struggle, is able to bridge the distance of time. That which naturally takes a long time to accomplish can be shortened by the intensity of action, says the Yogi. A man may go on slowly drawing in this energy from the infinite mass that exists in the universe,and perhaps he will require a hundred thousand years to become a Deva, and then, perhaps, five hundred thousand years to become still higher, and perhaps five millions of years to become perfect. Given rapid growth the time will be lessened. Why is it not possible, with sufficient effort, to reach this very perfection in six months or six years? There is no limit. Reason shows that. If an engine, with a certain amount of coal, runs at two miles an hour, add more coal,and it will run in quicker time. Similarly why shall not the soul, by intensifying its action, attain to that goal in this very life? All being will at last attain to that perfection we know.But who cares to wait all those millions of aeons? Why not reach it immediately, in this body even, in this human form? Why shall I not get that infinite knowledge, infinite power, now?

That is the ideal of the Yogi; the whole science of Yoga is directed to that one end, to teach men how to shorten the time by adding power, how to intensify the power of assimilation, and thereby shorten the time for reaching perfection, instead of slowly advancing from point to point,and waiting until the whole human race has come out, and become perfect. All the great prophets, saints, and seers, of the world, what are they? In that one span of life they lived the whole life of humanity, bridged the whole length of time that it will take ordinary humanity to come to the state of perfection. In this life they perfect themselves; they have no thought for anything else, breathe for nothing else, never live a moment for any other idea, and thus the way is shortened for them. This is what is meant by concentration, intensifying the action or assimilation, and thus shortening the time; and Raja Yoga is the science which teaches us how to gain the power of concentration?

What has this Pranayama got to do with spiritualism? That is also a manifestation of Pranayama. If it be true that the departed spirits exist, only that we cannot see them, it is quite probable that there may be hundreds and millions living here that we can neither see, feel, nor touch. We may be continually passing and re-passing through their bodies,and it is also probable that they do not see or feel us. It is a circle within a circle, universe within universe. Those only that are on the same plane see each other. We have five senses, and we represent Prana in a certain state of vibration.All beings in the same state of vibration will see each other,but if there are beings who represent Prana in a higher state of vibration they will not be seen. We may increase the intensity of light until we cannot see the light at all, but there may be beings with eyes so powerful that they can see such light. Again, if the vibrations are very low, we do not see light, but there are animals that see it, as cats and owls. Our range of vision is only one plane of the vibrations of this Prana. Take this atmosphere, for instance; it is piled up layer on layer, but the layers nearer to the earth are denser than those above and as you go higher the atmosphere becomes finer and finer. Or take the case of the ocean; as you go deeper and deeper the density of the water increases,and those animals that live at the bottom of the sea can never come up, or they will broken into pieces.

Think of this whole universe as an ocean of ether, in vibration under the action of Prana, and that it consists of layer after layer of varying degrees of vibration; in the more external the vibrations are less, and nearer to the center the vibrations become quicker and quicker, and each range of vibrations makes one plane. Think of the whole thing as one circle, the center of which is perfection; the further you get from the center the slower the vibrations. Matter is the outermost crust, next comes mind, and spirit is the center.Then suppose these ranges of vision are cut into planes, so many millions of miles one set of vibrations, and then so many millions of miles still higher, and so on. It is perfectly certain, then, that those who live on the plane of a certain state of vibration will have the power of recognizing each other, but will not recognize those above or below them.Yet, just as by the telescope and the microscope we can increase the scope of our vision, and make higher or lower vibrations cognizable to us, similarly, every man can bring himself to the state of vibration belonging to the next plane,thus enabling himself to see what is going on there. Suppose this room were full of beings whom we do not see. They represent certain vibrations in the Prana, and we represent other vibrations. Suppose they represent the quicker, and we the slower. Prana is the material of which they are composed; all are parts of the same ocean of Prana, only the rate of vibration differs. If I can bring myself to the quicker vibration this plane will immediately change for me; I shall not see you any more; you vanish, and they appear. Some of you, perhaps, know this to true. All this bringing of the mind into a higher state of vibration is included in one word in Yoga -Samadhi. All these states of higher vibration,superconscious vibrations of the mind, are grouped in that one word, Samadhi, and the lower states of Samadhi give us visions of these beings. The highest grade of Samadhi is when we see the real thing, when we see the material out of which the whole of these grades of beings are composed, and that lump of clay being known, we know all the clay in the universe.

Thus we see that this Pranayama includes all that is true of spiritualism even. Similarly, you will find that wherever any sect or body of people is trying to search out anything occult and mystical, or hidden, it is really this Yoga, this attempt to control the Prana. You will find that wherever there is any extraordinary display of power it is the manifestation of this Prana. Even the physical sciences can be included also in Pranayama. What move the steam engine? Prana, acting through the steam. What are all these phenomena of electricity and so forth but Prana? What is physical science? Pranayama, by external means. Prana, manifesting itself as mental power, can only be controlled by mental means. That part of the Pranayama which attempts to control the physical manifestations of the Prana by physical means is called physical science, and that part which tries to control the manifestations of the Prana as mental force, by mental means, is called Raja Yoga.

-An Excerpt from Swami Vivekananda's 'Raja Yoga'.


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