Panch Pran, vital energies and your Health

Ayurved is the intelligent energy of vitality. The concept of Panch-praan, the five types of vital energy, is one of the fundamental principles of Ayurved. The other being the Tri-dosh (Vaat, Kapha, Pitta) balance. The five important movements in the body are called the Panch-praan. These movements are called Praan, Apaan, Samaan, Vyaan and Udaan. These are intelligent energies of movement which run the body/mind. Here is how these work, logically.

Panch Pran, vital energies and your Health

Praan – You take in food, water, breathe-in, sensory inputs from your sense organs etc. Anything that you take in is with the intelligence of Praan. ‘Intake’ is Pran. It moves inwards and downwards from the top of the head till the navel. Praan protects the mind/body in all ways, it is a smooth flowing vayu, no turbulence. The deity ruling over Praan is called Vishishtha. Praan is linked to the Aakash tattva (ether).

If praan gets imbalanced, you will suffer from unexplained anxiety, worry, anger, shortness of breath, breathing related illnesses like asthama, heart and lung related problems, fears, a general dullness of the mind/body. You can try doing some of these things to help balance Praan vayu.

  • Mindful breathing exercises, pranayam
  • Retain the breath (kumbhak) for a few seconds mindfully after you inhale.
  • Visualise golden/silvery energy entering your body as you inhale
  • Take a vacation in high pran areas like hills, seashore, forests especially pine forests, wide open spaces with less human habitations, be with nature away from the pran depleted cities.
  • Keep an open mind and accept new impressions, learn new skills, read a new book!
  • Spiritual practice

Samaan – You then convert these things, you digest the food, you process the sensory inputs to gain information. These actions of ‘conversion’ are carried out by the intelligence called Samaan. This is concentrated around your navel area and moves in a continuous powerful turbulent spiral. Samaan brings things together, it is in a way, contraction, focus and interconnection. It creates new cells and tissues to replace the ones which have been damaged or dead. Its ruling intelligence/deity is called Jaya. Pruthvi tattva (solidity) is linked to Samaan.

If Samaan is out of balance, you will suffer from digestion related problems, metabolism will be affected, bloating, appetite related issues. Mind will be unable to think clearly, foggy mental processes, lack of concentration etc. To get it back into balance you can try,

  • Perform the Kumbhak after you exhale, i.e. maintain the lungs in their empty position for a few seconds before inhaling again.
  • Exercises which strengthen the abdominal muscles, simple exercises.
  • ‘Energy goes where the attention goes’, so focus on your navel and the abdomen, doing a self-massage on your stomach is also a good option.
  • Putting coconut oil in your navel, just a few drops as you go to bed at night.
  • Eat nutritious food, avoid junk food and practice fasting, maybe once a week/fortnight?
  • Spiritual practice, especially something as simple as Tratak which is simply focussing.
  • Breathing exercises, pranayam.

Vyaan – After this you absorb the nutrition, you understand the information, this ‘absorption’ is the work of the Vyaan vayu. This is mainly concentrated in the upper chest areas but moves throughout the body/mind for its ‘distributing’ function. It moves outwards from the chest area in pulsating movements. This is in a way ‘expansion’, moving outwards. Vyaan keeps the naadi system functional and governs the movement of vital energy in all these energy channels. The intelligence called Vishvayoni rules over Vyaan. Agni tattva (heat) is linked to Vyaan.

Imbalance of Vyaan will cause ‘blockages’, so medical conditions like, poor circulation, varicose veins, cardiac arrest, blocked arteries, water retention, blood pressure, nervous complaints, anaemia, etc. Some of the things you can do to balance the Vyaan vayu are

  • Doing Suryanamaskar is the best option, do one set a day to being with, increase one set every week if you can (maximum is 108 sets) or any of the more vigorous yogasan/yogic postures. This will help circulation of the blood, lymph and the vital energy in their respective channels in the body.
  • If your health does not permit you to do these yogasan do simple warm-up type of exercises at least.
  • Do things which give you joy, you ‘open up’ in your happiness.
  • Breathing exercises, pranayam.
  • Spiritual practice

Apaan – You then give out undigested food, urine, breathe-out, remove the things that you dont need. This ‘elimination’ is through the intelligent energy called Apaan. This energy moves downwards from your navel and out and is concentrated in your lower abdominal area. It is responsible for removal of toxins, cancerous cells, negative energies and influences on the body/mind and all possible wastes created in the body/mind. Its ruling intelligence/deity is called Vishvakarma. Apaan is linked to the Vayu tattva (movement).

If Apaan gets out of balance, the reproductive health, kidney and excretory system, intestinal health and functions of these lower pelvic area organs will be affected. Apaan is related to disease, ageing and its imbalance tends to lower the level of consciousness, it is a turbulent vayu. A simple example, too much Apaan will result in dysentry and too little Apaan will cause constipation!

  • Perform the Kumbhak after you exhale, i.e. maintain the lungs in their empty position for a few seconds before inhaling again.
  • Do pranayam, breathing exercises.
  • Eat nourishing and proper food, avoid junk and processed food.
  • Do the Moola bandha, i.e. the Kegel exercise, where you exercise the muscles of the lower pelvic region.
  • Mentally release whatever has been holding you back, mindsets, emotions, thoughts, anything, in a gentle way.
  • Do not over-indulge in sexual activity. Too frequent and it will cause imbalances as it tends to drain the vital energy downwards and outwards.
  • Spiritual practice

Panch Pran, vital energies and your Health

Udaan – And finally you grow both in mind and body as you assimilate the information and the nutrition. This is the function of the Udaan vayu, this moves upwards throughout your body/mind. It regulates growth in all possible ways. e.g your body should grow as much it is supposed not keep on growing1 This is the intelligence of Udaan.

If the other four vayus are functioning properly Udaan automatically works as it is supposed to. However if there are imbalances here they will result in retarded or too much growth, dull mind, lack of creativity, no focus, no desire, no goals in life etc. Pranayam and spiritual practice, Dhyan, Mantra, Yantra, Tantra, Jaap, Tratak or any of the simpler regular mindfulness exercises and the re-balancing techniques of the other Vayus will help in re-balancing Udaan. Its ruling intelligence/deity is called Aja. Udaan is linked to the Jal tattva (fluidity).

Now these 5 types of praan are derived from the Mukhya-praan/main vital energy of Om. The Hindu/Sanatan dharm deity named ‘Maruti’ is a representation of these Panch-pran. He is often depicted with one single peaceful face but then often with 5 faces, each of a different color. The central face is peaceful and the remaining 4 are terrible, with fierce expressions. The central face represents Praan, the peaceful smooth flowing Vayu and the other four Vayu are really very turbulent, fierce and can be quite scary to look at/experience individually.

If you really wish to ‘see’ these vayu within you, here is a rather simple way, on any Saturday evening, recite any Maruti stotra/mantra of your choice in any language you want. Face east or north and sit on your asan. If it a Sanskrit mantra it needs to be recited 108 times and if it a longer stotra you should recite it 27 times at least, to entrain the mind. As always focus in your third eye, You will see the Panch-Praan roaring through your mind/body in their full majesty.

These 5 pran are the important ones of these the Pran and the Apan are the most important. (There are five more, Naag, Kurma, Krikara, Devdutt and Dhananjai, these are subtle ones.)

In addition to this classification of the vital energies there is another classification of sub-energies/Marut/upa-vayu. These are 7 types of 7 vital sub-energies thus a total of 49 classes. These sub-energies are linked to the tiniest of movements of your body from sneezing, to blinking, yawning etc.

For a spiritual aspirant, the equilibrium between the Praan and Apaan is vital. Praan is the upward moving energy which increases consciousness and dissociates from the bindings of the mortal shell. Apaan is the downward moving energy which binds more strongly to the body/mind and lowers the consciousness. If there is a perfect balance of these two you will realize the Ultimate, experience Moksh. So all the spiritual exercises finally culminate in Dhyan where we mindfully use the power of Om (mukhya-praan, the Ultimate vital energy) to balance these two, Praan and Apaan, within our Brahmanadi, the thinnest and subtlest energy channel of our energy body.


Panch Pran, vital energies and your Health

Aura and Pran are interconnected

There are a lot of sources on how to see auras and what do the various colors of the aura mean, it shape size etc. It is said that only living beings can have auras but then how do we see food, houses and cars having auras? And then a dead body is seen to slowly lose its aura?

Aura and Pran are interconnected

So here is the technical stuff. You are the ‘individual soul’ called Jivatma. You reside in this of five layered body called Panchakosh/ five-enclosures (lowest energy is Anna-mai-kosh, Pran-mai-kosh, Mano-mai-kosh, Vidnyan-mai-kosh and Anand-mai-kosh the highest energy layer). To maintain and operate this complex structure you/Jivatma take in pran/vital energy from the Universal source (Samashti pran). Pran is the real ‘food’ that your bodies need. This is the force which your soul uses to manifest everything that you see and do. The soul uses the pran through the agency of the mind (ajnya chakra creates the Moon). Thus the pran is ‘colored’ by the state of your mind.

Now the ajnya chakra, is from where the soul gives orders to the mind and also allocates the pran to various activities. Thus your mind and pran allocation is interlinked. If you are angry, the pran that you pull in from the Universe will be allocated to the lower Muladhar chakra. The instincts which will now arise from the muladhar chakra will be violent and disorganised. And your aura will get red streaks, the angrier you are the more red it will be.

The different organs of the body have their specific auras depending on the health status of the organ. If the organ is healthy its aura will be the same as the general body aura. But if it is diseased it will be black, brown, grey, red etc murky colors. And how does it get diseased in the first place? e.g. when you are angry, the entire body does not get red, there are temporary vivid streaks of red within the body. These streaks correspond to the brain, heart, adrenal etc organs. It takes some time for you to cool down and even longer for the ‘normal’ pran flow to be restored, during which the organ and its energy suffers. If you get angry frequently, the organ gets damaged more and more at the higher energy levels till ultimately the illness filters down the energy layers of your 5 layered body and manifests in the actual physical organ.

In its ‘resting state’, the aura is colorless which is often perceived as a pale transparent/whitish, this is seen only in newborn babies or persons about to leave their bodies. At this point of time, there are no thoughts, no mind in the body. The soul is busy settling into the body or exiting it so the mind as such does not exist.

When the soul leaves the body, the pran stops circulating in it but there remain impressions/ traces which diminish within a few hours. So a dead body has no aura. Preserved vegetables also have no pran/aura, try seeing the aura of preserved olives. But a freshly plucked mango vibrates with energy.

Aura and Pran are interconnected

If you look closely the aura, is not a smooth layer, it is like tiny spikes which protrude from your skin. In a healthy, spiritually inclined individual these tiny spikes are rigid and straight out. Also this entire layer is quite sparkly. Tiny sparkly particles move around and also out. They look like a ‘heat-wave’, a pulsating movement in a 1-2 inch layer around the body if you observe it carefully. If someone is mentally/emotionally or physically not fit then these spikes droop and twist, there are lesser sparkles and their movement is also less vigorous. You can see this with your normal eyes with a bit of practice.

Then when in contact with other objects, like a chair or another person, these sparkles get detached from you and attached to these other things/people. That is how a non-animate object gains an ‘aura’. Your favourite chair has the sparkles from your aura adhering to it, thus seems to have an aura the same as yours! A house reflects the nature of its occupants. A temple has a beautiful aura, created by successive generations of people who have prayed there with faith, ‘heaven’!. And its exact opposite is a hospital where people are in pain or dying all the time.

The aura is never still and neither is it egg-shaped as shown in popular images. Imagine a wash of water on a paper and you put drops of different water colors in it, they gently swirl, merge, cancel out each other, move in different shapes, etc our aura is just like that. The transparent ‘resting’ aura gets its color from the myriad thoughts, emotions, actions that we perform at every instant, changing. When we are excited the aura throws out flares and swirls and its shape is further influenced by presence of other living beings nearby, or electricity in the air e.g during a thunderstorm etc. Depending on the mood of the person the aura can be very beautiful or extremely horrifying to see. These temporary moods are seen as swirls of different colors superimposed on the background of the person’s natural state of mind.

Now determined and strong thoughts are seen as defined shapes within the aura boundary of the person. But when the thought takes the form of ‘intention’, it can leave the aura boundary and move out. E.g. while doing Reiki, you intend healing and use the reiki symbols to push this thought from your aura to the client. You can see the energy of this thought moving. If you get emotional about the client even for a bit, you will see your personal energy moving from your aura to his. If this happens too often you will drain yourself. And how do you know it is your personal energy? If you have learnt to see auras by now, I hope you have first of all examined your own self and aura and know its ‘flavour’!

During Reiki initiation too there is a permanent change in the aura as the Reiki symbols are inserted deep within the energy body. My advice would be to just stick with the basic Usui Reiki. You cannot predict what can happen if you get too many symbols inside your body (karuna, etc variants).

You can enhance your aura’s strength and vibrational quality. Spiritual practice is nothing but entraining your mind to a perfect high energy pattern. Doing this regularly, you are flooding your energy body including your aura with a distinct desirable idea. Your mind ‘holds on’ to this idea. And if you can ‘color’ your idea with a golden/silvery/pearly color your practice will be even more effective.

Creating an energy shield is also important. Always visualise yourself surrounded by a golden/silvery/pearly cocoon of light. You can see out from this but nothing can see you or get in it. These colors will protect your mind and emotions from being disturbed by outside influences. And if your mind is still, you have achieved it all.



Can babies see auras?

Our bodies are electromagnetic and this is proved beyond doubt by kirlean photography. Our electric field is powered by the 7 energy vertices located inside the chitrini nadi, inside the vajrini nadi inside the shushumna nadi, located along our spine. The vital energy/praan flows along channels called naadis in Sanskrit. There are minor chakras located in the palms and the soles of the feet which we can sense sometimes as a whirring feeling.

So this layer of electricity which projects beyond the boundaries of the physical body is called the aura. The aura is composed of energies derived from the 7 separate energy vortexes/chakra which spin at different energies. Thus the composite of these 7 can have all colors varying from white/gold to brown/black depending on which chakra is the dominant. A sage will have white-gold aura while a criminal will have a muddy aura.

And as with electrical charges, repulsion/attraction takes place among auras of individuals. People whose auras are compatible like being physically close to each other and people with repelling auras prefer keeping a social distance between them. In very crowded buses/trains where everyone sort of sticks to each other, it can be hell for someone of very clean aura energy. The lower level auras subconsciously request the higher level person to help them and he does it by depleting his own energy reserves. Dead bodies have no aura thus we feel uncomfortable as there is no interaction on the aura levels.

So what is this got to do with babies? Babies can see auras clearly. In fact babies eyes are unfocussed and they tend to focus/unfocus around you rather than at you, this is because they are observing the auras. They can see ‘colors’ of your voice, your thoughts! Babies are highly vulnerable and auras never lie so it is safer for them to interact with others using auras as a guide. And in my personal opinion, babies are still on the border of the supernatural and mundane life. Especially babies who are still exclusively on their mother’s milk have no ego. Their sense of “me” has not developed, they are still unformed in a way and have access to other subtler sources of information. So in India, very young babies are not taken out of the house, to strange houses/ places, to protect them.

Can babies see auras?

Learn to see auras (step-wise post here). Just remember you could see auras as a child and then gradually forgot to see. Seeing auras is very easy like re-learning to ride a cycle. If you want to see auras with your open eyes, remember that you will have to pay attention to your peripheral vision, let your eyes unfocus. With open eyes the aura is seen densest at the shoulder/neck area and your conscious mind is working for you. If you want to “see” auras with your eyes closed it is even more easier. You close your eyes and ‘think’ of the person, a color or a name of a color may flash in your mind. Here you have made your subconscious mind to work for you. On bare skin, interactions of auras is felt as a warm or cold sensation, your hair stands on end if a negative energy is near you! Sometimes you ‘smell’ auras, your nose tells you that some person is smelling ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Sometimes you get a ‘taste’ for no reason, ‘metallic tastes’ indicate negative energy auras.

Back to the aura and babies, small children, till they are sent to school and till they ruin their extra-vision by focussing on mobile and TV screens, can see auras. In schools, the children are forced to focus their eyes and look only at what is in their direct vision. So they gradually forget seeing out of their peripheral vision. Also small children are not aware that they are doing something different, it is routine for them, so they never mention and we adults never ask. If you want to really check if this is true, ask a 2-3 year old child (who doesn’t watch too much TV/mobile screens) “what color am I?” and be prepared to hear a really fantastic answer, from blue to pink to yellow to red! But if you do make a child conscious about this ability, please remember that now you have a responsibility too. Because small children can see everything that has an aura, which includes spirits/pretatmas and other undesirables. Generally these spirits do not bother with humans, but if they realise that some human is aware of their presence and can see them then you have had it. They will not leave you, and this is how children get their childhood “imaginary friends”. There is nothing imaginary about them and they are certainly not friends.A incident, last year.

One of my client’s mother died, he went with his family including a 4yr old son to his native place, completed the anteyshti/cremation by fire, and 13th day tarpan/funeral rituals and came back. All routine. But then his house suddenly became “heavier”, random thuds and wind inside the house got him all concerned. So I and my brother went over to his house, The house was full of black energy, with shapes flying around. We went in and noticed the 4yr old talking animatedly alone in a room. He saw us and came to talk to us. He told us that he was talking to “chhota bhim” (cartoon character) and that it was a secret. So we talked some more till the entire storyline became clear to us.

At the 13th day tarpan/funeral rites, the pandit calls all the departed spirits from the family for taking their share of the pinda/funeral offerings. This incompetent pandit did call them but could not send them back. So they were lingering around. Our 4yr old could see them and he recognised his dead grandmother and they talked. Then the others joined and even more randomly roaming spirits realised here was someone alive who could interact. So they all became friends and asked permission to go with him. As they then looked like cartoon characters (pretatmas/spirits can change shapes to suit/soothe the victim) he said ok. And they all came to his house in the city. This incident was quite a shock and then it was a terrible clean up process because we had to send every single spirit away, to clean up the black energies, set up guards so they couldnt come back and to counsel an innocent 4yr old about talking to “strangers” and inviting them home.

A note of caution again, if you choose to work with energy remember that all energies are not clean and safe, there are evil and very strange things going on too. But working with energies is also very liberating and you can help your own self better. Its just like learning to drive a bike, you wont get on without your helmet would you? So here your spiritual practice and your tools from reiki, black threads, mantra, salt, lemons to amulets are your helmets. Suit up and practice something new. Well, not so new as you could do it when you were a child, it is just that you have forgotten. All of us, as babies and young children, could see the astral dimension with our eyes! So today, make an attempt at seeing auras again.


Can babies see auras?