Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The five Pranas and the physical body


Dear Readers,

Radhekrishna once again! Wish you all a very happy and noiseless Deepavaali.
As this is a festival that marks the supremacy of good over the evil, take a pledge today to remove evil representing Raavana that is present in the minds of all of us and install goodness representing Rama in the hearts.

As we promised in the previous article, let us see the link between the five pranas and the human body. It is the prana’s due to which the physical body is capable of moving, eating, speaking and doing all the other actions. Let us know how the pranas work exactly to design the body to perform various actions.

Just to refresh, Pranas are five in number and they represent five metabolic functions. Prana (respiration), apana (excretion), samana (digestion), vyana (reversal; e.g. cough, sneeze, hiccups, vomit etc) and udana (circulation).

How Pranas Create The Physical Body :

Without Prana the physical body is no more than a lump of clay. Prana’s sculpt this gelatinous mass into various limbs and organs. They do it by creating various channels. These channels (are called Nadis in Hinduism), through which the pranas can operate and energize gross matter into various tissues and organs.

Firstly Prana Vayu creates the openings and channels in the head and brain down to the heart. There are seven openings in the head namely, the two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and a mouth. These are called the seven Pranas or seven Rishis in Vedic thought. Udana Vayu assists Prana Vayu in creating the openings in the upper part of the body, particularly those of the mouth and vocal organs. The mouth, after all, is the main opening in the head and in the entire body. It could be said that the entire physical body is an extension of the mouth, which is the main organ of physical activity, eating and self-expression.

Let us see the functioning of the other prana’s also in the formation of the human body in the next article.

Coming to the second section of the article, we mentioned about the plant called as Mahua in our previous article. It is known as the Indian Butter Tree in English and Bassia Larifolia in Latin. Let us see some more uses of this plant in this article.

1. The paste of its flowers ground along with Strychos beans acts as an antidote to snake poison

2. The vapours of boiling mahua leaves relieve the pain of orchitis. Orchitis is the inflammation of the testicles.

3. Lastly, this plant is also used for production of intoxicating drink

The last use might seem very controversial but it is also important to know the harmful uses of the herbs so that such uses can be avoided.

That concludes the article of this forthnight. Till the next one after fifteen days, Radhekrishna!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

Monday, October 06, 2008

Example related to the concept of Prana


Dear Readers,

As mentioned at the conclusion of the first section of the previous article, let us look at the concept of prana by relating it to the example which even a layman can easily understand.

This is much like the working of a machine:
Prana brings in the fuel, Samana converts this fuel to energy, Vyana circulates the energy to the various work sites. Apana releases the waste materials or by products of the conversion process. Udana governs the positive energy created in the process and determines the work that the machine is able to do.

The key to health and well-being is to keep our Pranas in harmony. When one Prana becomes imbalanced, the others tend to become imbalanced as well because they are all linked together. Generally Prana and Udana work opposite to Apana as the forces of energization versus those of elimination. Similarly Vyana and Samana are opposites as expansion and contraction.

Now that “the Pranas as processes” has been properly explained, the next thing that we will discuss about as regards the five prana’s is the relationship between the five pranas and the physical body. But for that please wait till the next posting!

Section II: Information on Indian herbs

In this article let us see the herb named Mahua (Hindi) also called as the Indian Butter Tree in English and Bassia Larifolia in Latin.

1. It is a large tree with leaves resembling those of the mango tree.

2. Its dried flowers resemble dried grapes

3. The stone of its fruit yields oil used for various purposes

4. Flowers of its tree are very nutritive

5. It acts as an aphrodisiac and increases mother’s milk

We will continue to discuss on some other uses of this plant in our next article. Till then Radhekrishna!

Please let us know your thoughts about the newly introduced section of description of Indian herbs. Your feedback is highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Sarvam Guruvaarpanam

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