"As the nadis become filled with prana, the body becomes rejuvenated from within. It becomes strong and firm, with all the suppleness of a child." P.28, ~ Swami Muktananda, Kundalini, The Secret of Life

Prana is a Sanskrit word literally meaning 'life-force' the invisible bio-energy or vital energy that keeps the body alive and maintains a state of good health. Prana is similar if not identical to Wilhelm Reich's orgone energy, which he believed to be in constant motion, nonentropic and responsible for the creation of matter, and serves as a medium for electromagnetic and gravitational phenomena. There are many terms for subtle energy, including Od, orgone, scalar waves, prana and tachyon and etheric energy. In various places around the world the lifeforce has been called: Japan--Ki, China--Chi, Greece--Pneuma, Polynesian--Mana, Hebrew--Ruah--Breath of Life, Egypt--Ka.

In Hinduism, Prana is the infinite matter of which energy is born. Also interpreted as the vital, life-sustaining force of both the individual body and the universe. The word first arose in the Upanishads, where it is part of the worldly, physical realm, sustaining the body and is the mother of thought and thus also of the mind. Prana, as the fuel for all energy and motion, is said to be what distinguishes a living body from a dead one. In the Yogic tradition a period of increased Prana is known as Pranotthana, this is no doubt referring to a kundalini awakening.

Prana suffuses all living form but is not itself the Atma or individual soul. According to the Eastern worldview prana is understood to flow through a network of channels or meridians, so-called nadis. The three main channels are: the ida, the pingala, and the sushumna. The ida and pingala channels are said to correlate with left and right uninostril breathing. The control of Prana is achieved (initially) from the control of one's breathing (Pranayama). In yoga, pranayama techniques are used to control the movement of these vital energies within the body, which is said to lead to the increased vitality of the practitioner.

Prana constitutes the second sheath (kosa) of a human being (the Atman or the Self). Kundalini is energy but it has an impact on and is generated by (cause and effect of) all the koshas:

  1. Annamaya Kosa (Gross Body)

  2. Pranamaya Kosa (Vital Air Sheath)

  3. Manomaya Kosa (Mental Sheath)

  4. Vigyanamaya Kosa (Intellectual Sheath)

  5. Karanamaya Kosa or Anandmaya Kosa (Causal Sheath)
In his book Yoga, Immortality and Freedom, Mircea Eliade said that in the Shamanistic, Hindu and Buddhist traditions there is emphasis on generating the "inner fire" by various means—“one of the most typical yogic-tantric techniques consists of producing mystical inner heat.” One of the ways this is achieved is through both breathing (pranayana) and the suspension of breath (kumbhaka). Another is through meditation on the very nature of the "fire." By insight meditation on glowing coals and seeking deeper meaning of fire on the physical, astral and causal planes—one gets the sense that ones own internal fire is not separate from the manifest fire of the universe. The ancients knew that life itself is a process of burning or of oxidation. Through fire meditation the aspirant gains lucid penetration into the essence of fire beyond symbols, imagination and associations. We would call this the breakthrough epiphany of going from doing/thinking to Being/Presence.

Eliade talks about Tapas (heat or ardor) through which the acetic becomes clairvoyant and even incarnates the Gods; for when the small self is transcended we see with the Eye of the Universe. Eliade tells us that Kundalini moves in the central channel of the spine (susumna) by the force aroused by the mind, the prana is draw upward through the susumna as a needle draws a thread. Kundalini is awakened by yoga positions and breath withholding until the prana becomes absorbed in the Void (Sunya); that is in mahasukha, the Great Bliss which destroys all sins. The Mahayana Buddhist scripture, The Heart Sutra, explains that all things are Sunya or Emptiness because they are unborn, uncreated, unproduced, not annihilated, not impure, and not pure, not increasing and not decreasing.

Obviously here the Hindus and Buddhists are not saying that energy (prana) is absorbed back into the vacuum (Void), but that consciousness enters Absolute Unity Being—otherwise known as Samadhi. Atoms in a high spin state do change their relationship to spacetime and zeropoint energy, so there is probably some profound quantum changes at this most extreme of all bio-conditions. Other meanings for Samadhi are: union, totality, Absolute Unitive Being, meditative absorption or enstasis and conjunction; subject and object become One. There is an excellent article by Michael Comans on Samadhi here:

The one thing that does have to be elaborated is the difference between the physical Void and subjective Emptiness...while they are metaphorically similar they are not the same thing. And yet the highest states of consciousness may indeed be drawing on zeropoint energy. When in Samadhi one is not "contacting" the zeropoint energy void so much as transcending thought because a brain so lit up with energy is not capable of thinking...with the thinking mind gone, then the Witness comes to the fore, and one realizes that there is Consciousness Without Thought. This consciousness of course is unbounded, infinitely spaceous, completely without identification and encompasses total freedom, and so is spoken of as Emptiness.

However while in Samadhi or inner-conjunction one's physical form is in its highest rev state and has a different orientation and interaction with the physical Void/Zeropoint energy. The quantum realm cannot be denied in any kundalini theory, and we can say things for sure like proteins are rapidly ordered by quantum tunneling processes. It is apparent that the physical world is the encrustation of quantum reality. And so we can say that we are going back to our SOURCE within during inner-conjunctions/Samadhi. We are in a sense experiencing as far as the human organism is possible to experience both the impact of the physical Void and subjective Emptiness.

Kundalini does not necessary move “up” the body, for it is all happening in the brain...and "felt" in the body as a consequence. The idea of blockages to the flow of kundalini can instead be interpreted as insufficient, immature and nascent tissue. Metamorphosis is a process of death, reconstruction and upgrading to greater efficency at conveying energy and consciousness. Since you can have the full charge of 10,000 orgs up the spine with little could there be "blockages." In reality there is ripeness, fruition and the resistance to that! If the nerves are ready and resourceful and person surrendered enough then the inner-conjunction will occur. The initiation spark will be lit and the inner fire will begin its transformative work.

The Greek meaning of ecstasy is to stand outside oneself. To stand outside oneself and thus turn subject into object is Samadhi.

back to Light

Continue to Time