What is Prana?

यथा सर्वे प्रभिद्यन्ते हृदयस्येह ग्रन्थयः । 
अथ मर्त्यो’मृतो भवत्येतावद्ध्यनुशासनम् ॥ १५ ॥

yathā sarve prabhidyante hṛdayasyeha granthayaḥ | 
atha martyo’mṛto bhavatyetāvaddhyanuśāsanam || 15 ||

Kathopanishad Verse 2.3.15

When in this worldly life the knots of the heart are shattered, only then, the person attains liberation. This is the message of this Upanishad. Life has to be lived. Living this life, fully, one can attain Liberation. For this, the relative, value systems called Avidya or Maya about one self-has to be removed. So that, the hidden (to the senses and mind), inner Absolute SAT CHIT ANAND is realized. This relative value system and untruth about the Absolute is known as the knot of the heart or Hridaya Granthi.

प्राणस्येदं वशे सर्वं त्रिदिवे यत्प्रतिष्ठितम् । 
मातेव पुत्रान्रक्शस्व श्रीश्च प्रज्ञां च विधेहि न इति ॥ १३ ॥

prāṇasyedaṃ vaśe sarvaṃ tridivey yatpratiṣṭhitam | 
māteva putrānrakśasva śrīśch prajñāṃ ch vidhehi na iti || 13 ||

Prashnopanishad Verse 2.13

Whatever is there in the three worlds, all of these and those, are under the control of Prana. O Prana, please nourish us and protect us as the mother nourishes and protects her children. Bless us with wisdom and wealth.

प्रणो ह्येष यः सर्वभूतैर्विभाति विजानन्विद्वान्भवते नातिवादी । 
आत्मक्रीड आत्मरतिः क्रियावानेष ब्रह्मविदां वरिष्ठः ॥ ४ ॥

praṇo hyeṣa yaḥ sarvabhūtairvibhāti vijānanvidvānbhavate nātivādī | 
ātmakrīḍa ātmaratiḥ kriyāvāneṣa brahmavidāṃ variṣṭhaḥ || 4 ||

Mundaka Upanishad Verse 3.1.4

It is Prana only, which shines as the soul in all beings. Spiritual seekers with wisdom, realize Him and do not argue too much. He becomes God realized, sporting always in the Soul; remains engrossed in the bliss of the soul and becomes expert in the practice of Kriya Yoga. Such a spiritual Master becomes the greatest Knower of God.

May you remember your divinity and divine inheritance.

With Love and Best Wishes,
Paramahansa Atmananda Ji

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