Wesak Night

Namaste all

The following mail is mainly a narration of a ‘driving’ contemplation on the topic of prana.. which i thought might be useful for current ttc students revision and contemplation of the topic (i missed a lecture session with them).. but since all in this mail group are previous ttc students or retreat students, i am forwarding to all.. perhaps it will be of use..

ttc students.. i will cover concepts of karma in the following days..

And be forewarned.. this might be long as it covers some serious concepts.. Here goes

Just the other day, I was driving my car..

traffic was slow..

decided it was good time for contemplation..

What is happening? Who is driving? posted a question..

‘I’, the ego promptly announced.

I, Who? a counter flash. And this time i looked at buddhi (intellect) for the answer..

Buddhi said,
‘An organism, which is a composite of 11 organ systems, is what which is driving..’
What are these organ systems? the ego, asked..
Each of these organ systems, buddhi answered, have no independent reality, but are merely aggregates of millions of cells, which when stripped, will show itself as trillions of atoms..
What are atoms?
Buddhi pokes at the memory part of my brain, and some fuzzy thoughts come out, such as, protons, electrons, neutrons, Neil Bohr etc. Ego starts to feel a bit accomplished, when buddhi steps in and says, of what use is the memory of such thoughts? what insight does it give? ego goes silent again. and buddhi continued,
Modern science says that everything is constituted of atoms, but know that atom is not a thing, as you would normally conceive a thing.. it is basically empty space or atleast 99.9999 empty space..
this car also is constituted of uncountable number of atoms..as with this body.. or in other words, both are space

And space cannot be fragmented.. and hence this body, the car, the road, the sky, the trees… dont see them as entirely separate physical objects, but rather a incredible web of relations between various parts of a unified whole, a singular space..
But, the ego interrupts, everything from space and in space.. but space is nothing.. nothing is happening in space.. so how?
buddhi smiles and says,
nothing in this space is still.. there is movement everywhere, whether seen (drshta) or unseen (adrshta)… Ancient yogis who perceived this omnipresent energy called it prana.
‘prana’.. what does that mean? ego asked. Buddhi says,
The prefix ‘pra’ denotes ‘to project forth’, ‘to draw out’ etc.. the ‘an’ of pr-an-a standing for ‘to live, to exist’.
Thus prana means that which brings forth life, or draws out life etc. All entities in this universe of prana are called ‘pranis’.. meaning that which partakes of the great prana..
So prana simply can undulate, and the undulations become sub atomic particles, which again go on and on to become organism? the ego jumps in.
Patience, the buddhi said.
prana or energy doesn’t simply project itself or bring forth itself into perceivable objective matter… (know that in tantric terms, where energy is more commonly called sakti, the universe in its non manifest, merely energy state is called ‘saktyavastha’, and in its manifested state, such as the earth, our body etc, is called ‘prapanchavastha’)
For specific manifestations to happen, such as our five elemental world, to be perceived through 5 senses etc, it has to undulate in specific ways, or rather, in specific lines of energy. The entire space is permeated by lines of energy, which the tantric yogis artistically termed as hairs of shiva (shiva just stands for universal consciousness). And only when prana is channelled in these specific ways that organized life such as in earth can happen.

O buddhi, why dont you say this to the modern people? ego asks..
I have, the buddhi answered. I have revealed it to many, such as John Wheeler in 1955, and then he proposed the theory that the fabric of universe is merely a quantum foam, a universal soup of energy where subatomic turbulence occurs at extremely small distances which allow the minute particles of energy to briefly come into existence or manifestation and then sink back into un- manifest state without violating conservation laws.

Such that though millions of atoms are manifesting and un-manifesting at the same time in this body which is driving, the mind cannot sense a discontinuity in the apparent objective solidity of it.
I am overwhelmed. And look at the trees, birds.. a sense of heart swell.. almost feel a sense of interconnectedness.. starts to smile, when i am interrupted by sharp honking. perhaps in my contemplation, i was shifting from lane to lane, which irritated the prani in the car behind. the honking prani overtakes, and shows some mudra at me with the fingers.
Interconnectedness is lost. A flash of anger. Almost honk back. Then just heard the faint, disappointed sigh of the buddhi. I immediately try to shift back into the yogi mood, but buddhi is no more there. Connection error.. network error..
how to get the mind’s link back with buddhi?
Remembers that the great teacher Svatmarama said that mind is the ruler of the senses, prana is the ruler of the mind.. by regulating prana, mind can be regulated too.. and then in that serenity, perhaps can get connection back
how to regulate?
here comes pranayama..
started taking some measured deep breaths.. also focussed on sensation of touch of upper back or shoulder blades again the car seats backrest.. felt how the shoulderblades gently pressed outward on the chair..
‘how are the lungs expanding.. how is the diaphragm contracting.. how is the medulla sensing the oxygen-carbondioxide ratio in the blood…’, questions started forming again
energy.. intelligence.. prana…

Then, even as i thought i was doing pranayama, i remembered one of buddhi’s earlier teachings.. where it said that

pranayama is commonly confused with breath stretching.. similar to how asanas are confused with limb stretching..
the scriptures say that only once the student is proficient in asana should one commence pranayama..
the implicit teaching being that through asanas, one has to connect to the subtle energy behind the manifested form.. meaning one has to enter saktyavastha (state of energy) rather than only prapanchavastha (state of objective existence).. and once you are connected with that aspect.. then you can try to connect to prana, which is hidden in the breath
Anyway, i dedicate each breath .. each thought.. each action of arm on the steering..and right now to each word being typed..to that which makes it possible…prana
Aum pranaya svaha…
till next time i talk to buddhi,