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Prana and the root prefix
Prana is percieved in Yoga as an all prevading force in the material world similiar to the Brahmajoyti which fills the spiritual realms. The prefix "Pra-" in Sanskit refers to the act of creation, and prana is the raw energy of the universe which is the spark of creation. In the spiritual realm nothing is created or destroyed since time isn't a factor. Prana interacts with Kala to stir the Maya energy of the Parahtma, of which perceives that prana appears to move from one point to another. Movement of the prana coherses the Shakti to collect in time, percieved in the moment, which Purusha is symbolic of. The stillness and absoluteness of the Purusha, stimulates the Shakti which draws the Brahmajoyti into manifesting as prana the insubstantial energy, and matter, the condensed energy. These energies formulate to create reality as we know it, percieved by the subjective.
Prana and Qi (Chi)
Is prana the counterpart of qi or is its equivalence?
- AFAIK Prana and Qi (Chi) refer to the same thing. Prana is used in the Yoga tradition, while Qi (Chi) is used in the Chinese tradition. (ida and pingala ,sun and moon)
- There are more parallels between India and China in this respect. For example, the Chinese terms Yin and Yang are equivalent to the terms Sakti and Siva, respectively, in the Yoga tradition.
- added some connections i have heard others make a number of times. A simple search of the internet for zero-point and prana , or quantum vacuum or foam and prana will show a number of individuals that theorize on this subject. nowhere have i claimed that this is proven yet. and you yourselves claimed a superficial similarity between quantum foam and the Aether.
Prana and Pneuma
Ok, so we know Prana and Qi are the same. What about Prana and the Gnostic Christina idea of Pneuma?
Add: Manna, Mana, Seid, Magic, Orgone, Kraft, Power, Energy, Love, Life-force, Ether.....[unsigned]
Don't forget Lhoong! But seriously, the (pre-christian) concept of pneuma has a remarkable similarity to both qi/chi and prana. Remember that Greek and Indian history have a number of overlaps (Alexander the Great, Greco-Indian states, the spice trade etc...) not to mention shared protoindoeuropean roots. There are a couple of random folks who write about this, but none with any solid evidence that would lend itself to this article. And the Chinese culture is also heavily influenced by the Indian philosophies: "The first Shaolin Monastery abbot was Batuo (also called Fotuo or Buddhabhadra) a dhyana master who came to China from India in 464 AD or from Greco-Buddhist Central Asia to spread Buddhist teachings." Side note: it's important to remember that different Hindu (and Jain, Sikh, etc) groups have very different cosmologies and our modern understanding of Prana comes largely from the esoteric Yoga school and its sister Ayurveda, both derivative of Sankhya cosmology. One can compare the Jing and Shen of the dantians in Chinese Medicine, and tejas and ojas in Ayurveda. The popular new age view of prana (and atman) was pretty heavily reshaped by more contemporary yogis like Swami Vivekananda who blended Neo-Vedanta philosophy with western 'harmonialism' schools like mesmerism. Read Elizabeth DeMichelis for more about that. So it's often hard to tell what you think you know about prana from the orthodox concept.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 07:49, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
removed from article: Science: Some believe that Quantum foam or Quantum vacuum are prana being discovered by the scientific community, due to the similarities of the fact that both are universal energies with vast potential and that both are said to be all-pervading and have potential to be harnessed. But right now this is sheer conjecture until research has shown that quantum foam or vacuum energy can be tapped by a biological entity via the electromagnetic field, bio-photons, or the much debated supposed faculty of psychokinesis.
In addition to being, well, not encyclopedic, and pseudoscientific, that's just bad grammar. Sheer conjecture by not-scientists is not-science. Sheer conjecture by scientists is not science. WP:NOR.Hipocrite 19:54, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
The article in prana described is incomplete and in many cases improper. 1. Prana is essentially Vedic in origin. 2. The Scripture that is known as the base of prana concept --the prasna upanishad have not even been mentioned 3. Prana is a Cosmic principle. (See the vedic creation.) 4. Adoption of Prana in Yoga is just an application. 5. According to Vivekananda it is a unified energy/ force. He says all matter can be resolved back to Akasha and all forces to Prana. Refer to Jnana Yoga and complete works of Swami Vivekananda.
Above all I cannot understand the sheer conjecture-pseudoscientific relation. Show me any branch of science that is independent of conjecture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sevenseas (talk • contribs) 10:01, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Re-edit + ref.material
I have done a small re-edit. As it stands, the article is informative, but I believe that it needs more reference material from Religious Studies, or parallell fields.--Hawol 12:59, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
I removed a link to Ruach after double-checking the removal with several practicing Hindus. My apologies if this was unjustified; we believed the link to have been placed because of the mentions of 'air' in the start of this article. Zakahori 21:05, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
i have hesitantly offered the following as indicative of the kind of thinking that was origionally conducive to my first contribution on the "rough"(=~) correllation of corresponding philos/theos/yogic/etc [[Kornukopea1 19:47, 3 November 2006 (UTC)]]
Suggest consideration of Yechidah in place of Ruach. It is, it seems to me,-(based on my limited understanding and decades of personal studies)-the closest and/or highest conception that we have in the qabballistic system/tradition that i am aware of thus far; Whereas the Ruach may compared to prana in the sense of 'vital' animal heat-("i dare say the distinction between heat and the waves produced thereby might be argued to be pretty much the same to an eastern yogin, hindu or otherwise")-, so too, the Ruach was usually written of as the vehicle and/or the animal 'soul' on the schemmatical diagramme OTZ CHIIM. The gist of this is that yechidah, much like that found in the definition(s) of LIEBNEZ's Monad(ology), is the Quintiessential 'spark', of which reference here i make to the former associations
=~ ? ? ? ....
There ARE, indeed, i am confident, many others...the important point, i submit, is to keep the planes of correspondences or levels of hierachical meaning on the same plane of 'associative congruence'-("i daresay this is hardly clear")-I do think it will nudge us a little closer to uncovering more in this area... User:Kornukopea1 15:11, 24 October 2006 Kornukopea1 20:22, 25 October 2006 (UTC) [[[User:Kornukopea1|Kornukopea1]] 19:52, 3 November 2006 (UTC)]
// There is no such thing as a mysterious entity "Eastern medicine" ( and "east" of whom/where, by the way ? ). That is an esoteric belief ( "All from a common VERY ancient source" etc. ), not a concept anyone would be allowed to use in a scholarly context !
- Inserted while I was still editing was the following:
- There is such a thing. Eastern is "the Eastern hemisphere", just as Western medicine is the Western hemisphere. "Eastern medicine" is recognisably different from the Western methods of pills, creams and antibiotics. --Firien § 14:13, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
-- To which I now reply, after it was shown to me:
.."Eastern hemisphere": Oh really, I could never have imagined... - you missed my point: it is a pretty Eurocentric term, isn`t it ?
..."recognisably different": your lines prove my criticism. That is a laypersons's idea, and pretty vague it is. Indian and Chinese Medicine do use drugs and ointments, including many poisonous substances ( e.g. mercury ). Homoeopathics, on the other hand, is a most European medical system, completely developed by one German physician and scientist, without any non-European "input" whatsoever ( hence "western" in every sense of the word, to use your preferred terminology ). And completely different from all others, by practice and underlying theoretical concepts ( and homoeopathic medical journals are kept by large University libraries, where I live, so don't tell my it is a "fringe phaenomenon" or something ).
...."Eastern medicine": again ( but for the last time ): that is an "entity" ( a "one-thing" ) which exists in your head ( and that of others, no doubt ), based on very vague ideas, very superficial information, and a tradition of esoteric thinking and marketing ( "Wisdom from the East etc.", the whole story of romanticism, the theosophist movement etc., "New Age", religious sects with their marketing branches, and what I term "alternative markets/capitialism" with their advertising professionals... ). The differences between various medical traditions, practices, concepts and theories, and above all underlying philosophies, are many and huge over space and time, when seen with a scholarly critical mind, with a comparative and "non-ahistoric" approach. The one correct "neutral" term to use here is "Medical traditons in Asia" or "~Southern and Eastern Asia".
You might wish to inform yourself before posting - I recommend "The Journal of the European Ayurvedic Society", Meulenbeld`s "giant" "A history of Indian Medical Literature", "The transmission of Chinese Medicine" by Elizabeth Hsu ( Cambridge UP 1999 ) and the journal "Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity" by Brill Publishers ( Leiden, Netherlands ), all by "professional scholars", but a joy to read ( for me, at least... ).
End of reply. ---
> There is not a single reference to an ancient source text where the "wisdom" contained in the article is supposed to originate.
> The discussion is not any better either ( or most of it ): all ( most ) so naive, mixing terms and concepts regardless of culture, time, contexts, connotations etc..
- I give up. This is a hobby style project, all a collection of hearsay and bits of contents taken from very few secondary sources, far removed from any scholarly standarts. - Bye. 126.96.36.199 15:23, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
( The same writer added a minor correction to these statements from the same library today: )188.8.131.52 11:40, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
No, prana is life/ether (not spirit,) bois (not pneuma,) and 'coach ha guf,' or 'zoe,' (not yeshidah, it is at least rauch if the latter terms are not used.) However, it is chi.--Dchmelik (talk) 07:44, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Entry should be deleted or completely rewritten!
This is not an encylopedia entry and the "references" are pseudoscientific tomes with no scholarly or factual basis. The entire entry is phrased as just another pseudoscientific or pseudocultural parade of gibberish and nonsense. Strictly speaking it has no place on Wikipedia, although lord knows Wikipedia is virtually 100% total nonsense as it currently stands. It needs to be redone by someone who is not earning some or all of his or her living peddling fake "oriental" wisdom.Cokerwr 20:08, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
- Hello angry fellow-men! Your posts are old and many things has happened to the page since 2007. First, prana is definitely deserving a place on Wikipedia. You don't have to believe in the concept of prana, but as it is fundamental to Hindu philosophy and the understanding of yoga for example, it certainly deserves to be explained and described in an Encyclopedia. Secondly I totally agree that the article need much better sourcing. I have just written the new section on "Early references" as I did on Nadis and it appears that many ancient and well-known Hindu texts use the concept of prana. These are sources as solid as they get. Now I hope to find, or that someone can hopefully contribute with, proper scholarly sources that explains and discuss the prana concept from a Hindu philosophical but neutral perspective. RhinoMind (talk) 22:38, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
The "references" on this article are a horror to look at! They contain links to unreliable arbitrary websties and even other wikipedia articles. At best books written by people in the recent past after (supposedly) studying the ancient scriptures. If the concepts described in the article really derive from the Upanishads and other Vedantic texts or Patanjali's writings etc., why are those not included? I am not saying references to prana don't exist, but they need to be directly referenced so that there is some accuracy in the article. Otherwise it's just a bunch of OR. It's better to blank the article immediately and redo it. ReluctantPhilosopher (talk)
- i deleted the section on "Pranashakty", added 19 august 2009, and removed the 'self-published' notice, as the remaining ones seem ok to me. there may have been some valuable info in the removed section, but if so should be re-written with better references. k kisses 21:38, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Merge from Pranic Healing
Pranic Healing should not be merged into this article for a couple of reasons (User:JRBC1) 05:45, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
1) Because Pranic Healing is a particular specific form of energetic vibrational medicine developed by a specific organisation
2) Prana is a very broad subject, far wider than Pranic Healing. It would be confusing and misleading to merge these two subjects
- I think you are a bit late, the article was merged / deleted last week some time. We could certainly create a new article if we could find sufficient reliable resources for the subject. --Salimfadhley (talk) 09:56, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
Problem at the end of first para
I know nothing about this topic so cannot even suggest a fix.
However, the first paragraph ends like this:
"from which all the other vāyus arise.vikas"
Clearly a problem with that dangling "vikas" which is not capitalized so is it the beginning of a new sentence that has disappeared, or just a brain fart?
Complete Reversion of important edits
Greetings @RhinoMind:. I do not understand your removal of cited material for earlier non-cited material. Your accusations of yoga centrism appear to be backwards. The article currently suffers from hindu centrism. 'Pranic theory' (for lack of a better term) is not original research. Prana is not in any way exclusive to hindu philosophy or yoga (although its generally agreed to come from the 'yogic milieu' of non-vedic ascetic traditions before its assimilation into mainstream Brahmanism). Prana is utilized in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, New Age practices, etc and predates the modern notion of 'hinduism' (the Vratyas mentioned in the article are just one example of an early non-vedic group that utilized Prana in 'shamanic ritual'). A more general term should be utilized. Pranic theory just means the worldview that posits the existence of prana. How is that in any way original research? If you have another generic term you would rather use please introduce it as 'hindu philosophy' is simply inaccurate. Also, the description of Pranayama was too specific and its citations too flimsy (internet articles instead of books or journals). Using pranayama can be for nadi cleaning in many if not most extant traditions, but as is clearly demonstrated in the Eliade and Feuerstein references elsewhere in the article, pranayama was often used just to arrest respiration with no specific conceptions of energy work. We do not replace the broad definition with the specific, especially when there is an actual pranayama page for these detailed descriptions. This is actually you replacing the broader Indic concept with the contemporary yoga-specific concept of Prana that as it was eventually absorbed into mainstream Brahmanism (again, see Eliade for an entire chapter on this subject). Please let me know if you understand these points and why the listed items were altered. If you agree, please take the time to self revert or better defend your changes and accusations (especially as this page desperately needs to be cleaned up and defensive editing can prevent us from achieving any progress).
I would ask for a review by fellow editors @Joshua Jonathan: @Ms Sarah Welch: @VictoriaGrayson: to restore my clean-up efforts and ask user:rhinomind to be less defensive of uncited and poorly sourced material on this page so it may be effectively cleaned. And if you're going to accuse me of yogic centrism, defend that accusation as I was undoing POV and verifiability issues.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 16:41, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
- and in defending the view of prana not always being used in connection with nadi shuddha, here is a much clearer definition of the mechanism of pranayama "The statement that a connection always exists between respiration and mental states seems to us highly important. It contains far more than mere observation of the bare fact that, for example, the respiration of a man in anger is agitated, while that of one who is concentrating (even if only provisionally and without any yogic purpose) becomes rhythmical and automatically slows down, etc. The relation connecting the rhythm of respiration with the states of consciousness mentioned by Bhoja, which has undoubtedly been observed and experienced by yogins from the earliest times this relation has served them as an instrument for 'unifying' consciousness. The 'unification' here under consideration must be understood in the sense that, by making his respiration rhythmical and progressively slower, the yogin can 'penetrate' that is, he can experience, in perfect lucidity certain states of consciousness that are inaccessible in a waking condition, particularly the states of consciousness that are peculiar to sleep. For there is no doubt that the respiratory rhythm of a man asleep is slower than that of a man awake. By reaching this rhythm of sleep through the practice of pranayama, the yogin, without renouncing his lucidity, penetrates the states of consciousness that accompany sleep." Pulled from http://www.adolphus.nl/xcrpts/xceliade.html, but on page 56 of Eliade's Yoga Immortality and Freedom. While most accounts from the Upanishads onward refer to at least sushumna, it is often to do with conscious projection of the soul at the time of death. Pranic practices are often concerned with directing and controlling the mind with little concern for the health of the body. Early breath control efforts are described as a technique of arresting all fluctuations of the mind (based on the connection of prana and manas or later Pranamaya and Manomaya kosha, the energetic and mental bodies). Hence Vivekananda, Iyengar and many others' descriptions of Prana and Citta as intimately connected. This is described in the Tibetan (and non-hindu) image of Citta as the crippled rider and Prana as the blind horse (The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep By Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, p. 49). Vivekananda also describes prana work as universal, not Hindu: "We see sects in every country who have attempted this control of Prana. In this country there are Mind-healers, Faith-healers, Spiritualists, Christian Scientists, Hypnotists, etc., and if we examine these different bodies, we shall find at the back of each this control of the Prana, whether they know it or not. If you boil all their theories down, the residuum will be that. It is the one and the same force they are manipulating, only unknowingly. They have stumbled on the discovery of a force and are using it unconsciously without knowing its nature, but it is the same as the Yogi uses, and which comes from Prana." (http://hermetic.com/vivekananda/raja-yoga/prana.html, quoting from Raja Yoga chapter 3). This clearly demonstrates the diversity of pranic practices by Hindus and others with a multiplicity of different aims.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 17:24, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Hi. While I do not have all the time in the world, I do appreciate that you engaged here in the TalkPage about these issues. But to spare time, let me get to two central point:
- Prana and Hindu philosophy As the article already explains and refs, Prana was first described in Hindu philosophical texts. Buddhism, and all the other religious traditions that you list, came much later. I mean thousands of years later. Even the religious traditions of Hinduism came later. Hindu philosophy is not the same as Hinduism by the way, an important point in this context - and many others - and we should try to separate the two from now on. I agree with you, that the article could be greatly improved - especially the quality of the sourcing. And I suggest that it is explained how specific religious traditions also incorporates and uses the concept of Prana. At least they should be mentioned (and sourced), as you mention them here. It would probably also be a good idea to say a bit about how these religious traditions interpret Prana, how they differ from each other and how they are alike. This will all fit nicely with the Chi, etc, that is already included in the article. I am not very knowledgeable about how these traditions make use of Prana, but I would not stand in the way, being Hindu-centric about it. It is important though who came first and what they made of it.
- Pranic theory Ok, it was perhaps a bit harsh to term it Original Research, but I have never encountered this wording in the literature. Besides, and much more importantly, it is essential to refer to the origin (or the cultural context) of prana in the sentence at hand, instead of just going forward with something like "pranic theory", as if it is something that exists and everybody talks about. It would perhaps make some sense to use this wording later in the paragraph, but not in the introduction. Another issue with this phrase is the word "theory". It is word lend from science and I do not think it belongs to a metaphysical subject like prana. That is why I introduced the phrasing "concept of prana". If it is very important to use a phrasing like "pranic theory", it would be a good idea to find a substitute for the word "theory". Apart form "concept", I do not have a substitute to put up by the top of my head, but I am sure something could be dug up, if it is that important.
- Prana and the human bodies (yoga-centrism) You encourage me to defend my reverts. I do not know if you mean all of it, but one issue that made me act, was that all information about prana outside the human bodies was deleted by you. It is important to explain and understand, that in Hindu philosophy (from which yoga philosophy originated) Prana is thought to pervade the entire Universe. This also means animals and even inanimate objects. Yoga normally cultivates Prana in the human bodies specifically, and that is one reason I sensed the edits and deletions as yoga-centric.
I have more to say and haven't replied to all the issues you are raising either. I will be back when time permits. Now there is a constructive dialogue and perhaps even a loose agenda for what to improve upon?
We have both recently improved upon the article and I am glad to see that we both agree that it is vital to encompass the concept of prana in as broad a way as possible. Cheers. RhinoMind (talk) 23:26, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
- Ah. It is all becoming clearer.
- Regarding the term hindu philosophy, it feels like an inadequate term since we cannot be certain if Prana came first from Vedic, Shramanic, Dravidian or even Indoaryan Shamanic origin. All we know is it was utilized by the ascetics of ancient India outside the fold of Brahmanism and according to Eliade and Feuerstein (among others) was absorbed into Brahmanism at a later point. This is my point with the vratyas who are an extra-vedic group that would not be considered part of the astik or nastik traditions. So really if it developed outside of Hinduism and was used by many people who would not identify as Hindu, it seems like Hindu Philosophy is only one of its homes in the larger field of Indic Philosophy. That said, I may be failing to grasp your argument fully.
- The term 'pranic theory' is an attempt at an etic term that felt about as objective as 'the theory of gravity' -- both phenomenons where we can see the effect but only theorize about the underlying mechanism. But you are right, I did not pull that term from the literature and I'm open to other ideas. I just worry hindu philosophy is an inadequate retronym for something that may or may not have shared origins with Hinduism.
- As for removing the idea of prana outside of the human body, it was not my intent to undermine that concept. A lot of what I removed was for wording and readability. You're absolutely right that prana must be construed as a cosmic force rather than merely a human force, especially within Jainism that ascribes life to otherwise inanimate objects, ayurveda that describes the pranic and gunic qualities of plants and minerals, or those ontologies like Trika that use...um...'pranic theory'. Which reminds me: we might add some mention of spanda and shakti concepts of energy in Hinduism as well.
- And lastly, I hope you see why I revised the overly simplified pranayama explanation which was perhaps too emic from the tantric and hatha (hathic?) perspective with goals of nadi cleansing. It is just one of many ways pranayama is utilized and possibly not its original use.
I agree that we should be able to make some great progress on this page together and get that pesky issue box removed. These pages seem to get a higher proportion of eagerly opinionated yoga neophytes making poorly worded and uncited claims, so I apologize if my editing feels a little destructive. I'd often rather remove bad information temporarily than leave it until it can be reworded. ॐ Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 00:28, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
Do any of the books listed in further reading have anything directly to do with Prana? None of their titles suggest so. Recommend removing or replacing with more appropriate titles like Vivekananda, Prasna Upanishad, Sivananda or Satyananda's books on kriya, et cetera... Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 20:27, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
- Quick reply. It appears that some earlier version of the page was written by someone knowledgeable about prana in a Kundalini yoga context and the "further reading" sources are about the modern forms of Kundalini yoga. If we should uphold the goal to make the description much more universal, it would be a good idea with more broadly founded sources. On top of that, I suggest to build a (small) pool of relevant literature. If a solid backbone of fundamental literature about prana can be build, it will be much easier to write up a balanced page on the subject, instead of the other way round. RhinoMind (talk) 00:48, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
- I absolutely agree that Kundalini needs to be represented and Sivananda, for example, would meet that criteria. I definitely want to add a kundalini section as well as a marma section, though I'm wary to use the Feuerstein references I've been finding since I've cited him so many times here already. I think that the books in the further reading section appear to be etic works from a psychological perspective and, to make an educated guess, may not address the ideas of kundalini, near-death-experiences or the yoga sutras from the perspective of prana, yoga or hinduism. It almost seems like all of these titles would be too rationalist to engage the subject fairly as self described psychology texts. Additionally for the book on the yoga sutras, the sutras themselves only address pranayama (and not in much detail) but do not really explore prana in any serious way besides a poorly understood line about the 'kurma nadi'. A book about the psychology of the yoga sutras would undoubtedly make very little reference to prana. At any rate, they all come from a western view which we should at least broaden to include emic works by practioners. To begin a new pool of relevant literature is definitely part of what I've been working on here. Note I've added Georg Feuerstein, Mircea Eliade, A. G. Mohan, Swami Sivananda, Swami Yogananda, Gerwhal, the Mahabharata, Mallinson and I think Avalon to this page so far, all of whom would seem to be more appropriate to the further reading section. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 06:47, 25 October 2015 (UTC)