Prana, the vital energy in our bodies, flows through various energy pathways or matrices. The three most important paths of pranic energy are known as the ida nadi, pingala nadi and sushumna nadi.They are located along the length of the spinal cord. Ida and pingala nadis coil around sushumna nadi in three dimensions, like a spiral staircase.
The systematic study of the nature and mechanisms whereby these nadis influence every part of our personality forms the body of the coming articles, since a complete knowledge of them aids in understanding the inherent multidimensional energy of man that is prana. We here present the research material on the nature of prana and its relation to the mind as a series of postulates followed by their respective justifications.
Ida and pingala are flows of charged ions capable of exerting an influence upon the flow of prana.
Prana is a type of complex multidimensional energy consisting of a combination of electrical, magnetic, electromagnetic, photonic, ocular, thermal and mental energies.
It has been shown in experiments conducted with people who are considered psychic, that this ability can be increased or decreased by isolation of the sender, in the cases of telepathic senders especially, in a charged cage with a suitable ionised closed atmosphere. Before proceeding further, some terms in this statement need a little clarification.
To understand how it is possible to influence telepathic ability, and why this is enhanced or diminished by external influences, we have only to reconsider the two nadis, ida and pingala. The characteristics of ida are feminine, cooling, lunar, blue colour and negative; whereas those of pingala are masculine heat, solar, red colour, positive. This is how the nadis are explained in the ancient texts and classical yoga textbooks. In this context we can clearly see that ida and pingala may be thought of as negative and positive flows of ions.
Regarding postulate 2, we can state the following. The field of prana as shown from the above experiments is clearly influenced by the experimental constraints. It is possible also to block telepathic interactions by altering the factors involved. This points to the logical assumption which is backed up by experiences of yoga practitioners, mystics, sages and saints, that prana consist) partly of electrical energy, which is constantly varying in intensity.
The fact that prana has magnetic energy is inferred directly from the implications of postulate 1 as follows. If ida and pingala nadis are composed of ionic particles, then they must also be formed of dipoles - particles with a positive charge at one end and a negative charge at the other, resembling microscopic magnets.
Here we move to the topic of magnetism and to experimentally verifiable facts. In the manufacture of a magnet by electronic means, for instance a battery and insulated copper wire winding around a piece of iron, it is well known that the iron becomes a magnet when the current is switched on. This means that all the atoms align themselves parallel to each other along the length of the bar, if the windings are lengthwise, thus the atoms are ordered in the one direction. Conversely we may argue that if by some means we were to make the atoms of the iron align themselves in the correct way, we would be creating an electric current and a magnet. This is the dynamo principle, by which a magnet is rotated inside a coil and a current is produced.
In the body, there are numerous capillary or microscopic flows of prana. If by the mind alone, the ions and dipoles were made to align themselves in one direction instead of many different directions, then we would have a type of bio-generator or biological battery. We would also have created a human magnet in which the north pole is situated in the cranium and the south pole at the base of the spine where ida and pingala originate. Thus prana is composed of electrical, magnetic and mental energies.
Electromagnetic energy is produced by the combination of the above effects. Light or photonic energy is produced whenever there are electrical 'discharges'. When electrons at a high energy level of excitement jump back to lower levels, they emit light energy.
Since every system which is in motion emits radiations, it also emits sound energy or very subtle sounds. Thermal energy or heat is liberated by the force of impinging electrons, ions, dipoles, atoms and molecules against various membranes. These phenomena are well documented in the case of many yogis and meditators.
In postulate 1 we stated that ida and pingala nadis are composed of flows of charged ions, negative and positive respectively. Because of well known facts about ions, we formulated postulate 2 which is a natural outcome of postulate 1. As a further explanation of why mental energy is included as part of pranic energy, it can be easily shown that one can control one's health for the better or the worse by one's thinking, appetites or mood. It is thus of great importance that we should thoroughly understand how this great force within our body can be controlled, because this is the way to meditation and samadhi.
The five principle subdivisions of prana viz. prana, apana, samana, udana, vyana, exist in different parts of the body and have varying densities of ionic fields. These may also be visualized as swirling clouds of varying colours and hues.
These clouds of prana are free to expand or contract with or without the influence of any external factors.
For postulate 3, it is a well known fact in a branch of physics which deals with the behaviour of gases in high magnetic fields, that there are different densities of ionic or plasmic clouds. Prana may be thought of in much the same way as the plasma which is studied by the physicists, because the behaviour of prana is very much the same as plasma. Actually a better word to describe prana in these terms is bioplasma or bioplasmic field, since it is affected by strong electrical and magnetic fields.
Udana is the least dense of the pranas, and then comes prana, samana and apana. Vyana., which flows over the whole body, has a density which is the average density of all the others. The different colours of the pranic or bioplasmic clouds are due to the emission of photons when electrons change their energy levels from at higher to a lower state.
The nature of prana is cloudlike and has electromagnetic energy. This gives rise to electromagnetic radiations in which the wave form of the electric energy and the wave form of the magnetic energy are at 90 degree angles to each other, resulting in what looks like a spiral. These radiations have been seen, described and drawn by sages and savants from all parts of the world at different times during their spiritual practices. They have even been photographed about 4 decades ago by a process called Kirlian photography. It is the experience also of psychic healers that some force leaves body and is transferred to the patient. In the science of prana vidya, a yogic technique for healing oneself and others, the method is to concentrate prana by mental energy and then direct it to the exact point which is to be healed or relieved. This is done by contracting and concentrating the prana and then expanding it at will. In the experiments on the pranic or bio-plasmic field which were described earlier, telepathic communication took place because the bio-plasmic or pranic field expanded to include its presence in the field of the receiver. Thus there was communication between sender and receiver. In yoga, this particular phenomenon has been explained many thousands of years ago by the rishis and seers when they said that the pranas are not located in the gross physical body hut in a more refined and subtle body called the prana-mayakosha, the pranic sheath. This body was described as cloud-like in appearance with constant activity in its interior. Different colours were emitted depending upon one's diet, thinking, state of consciousness at the time of meditation and one's environment. This concept is totally acceptable to many serious students of plasma physics, metaphysics and parapsychology. It is also easy to understand since we have shown the interrelatedness of pranic, mental, emotional, spiritual and physical energies. A change in any one of these energies must consequently produce a corresponding change in the other. This can be easily verified in our day to day lives as, for example, when we are very concentrated on a particular subject, we may sometimes not feel hungry or sleepy. Similar events occur when there is an excess of emotional energy.
Pranas are capable of intermingling one with the other under certain circumstances and under certain restraints, e.g. due to dietary controls, excitement, shock, accident, yoga or spiritual practices.
Discharges of a primarily electrical nature may occur at different places between antagonistic ionic flows, especially between ida and pingala.
Due to the motion of the pranic clouds, it is natural that the more dense clouds tend to move to regions of lesser density. This is facilitated by the attraction for the less dense clouds by the dense ones. Thus there is constant activity within the pranic regions. Under the action of different yogic practices such as bandhas, mudras, hatha yoga, shatkarmas, kriya yoga, meditation techniques, this intermingling is greatly accelerated. Often the different pranic fields are forced to come together, giving rise to heat or sometimes cold in the body, also light-headedness, introversion, greater appetite, subtle perception of colours and sounds when practicing concentration or sense withdrawal. Many of these experiences happen more quickly through the practice of pranayama which is often too powerful a practice for absolute beginners in yoga.
Postulate 6 is largely a matter of individual experience, although it is scientifically quite correct as these discharges do occur in very similar circumstances in physics and chemistry. However now, they are not usually very intense or quantitative. Due to the extremely short duration of the discharges, about one thousandth of a millionth of a second, they are very difficult to investigate. Whenever such discharges occur, however, it can be shown that energy is liberated in the form of light, heat and electromagnetic radiation.
The ida nadi is a negatively charged flow of prana and pingala is a positively charged flow of prana. Consequently discharges occurring between them are very likely to influence all the dimensions of consciousness of the person who is meditating them. In fact, it is believed that the psychic centres, chakras, in the body are basically nothing more than areas of immense radiation caused by localized accumulations of pranic energy emitting various sub-atomic or 'elementary' particles.