In the previous article, we mentioned that there are five layers or dimensions of our existence. The first one is Annamaya Kosha, which is the physical body. Next is Manomaya Kosha, the mental body. Manomaya Kosha includes the mind and all the senses. The third one is Vijnanamaya Kosha, the intellect body. It consists of all of our past memories, spiritual ignorance and spiritual knowledge. The next layer is Anandamaya Kosha, the blissful body.
在前面的文章里，我们讲到人类存在的五个层次或五个维度。其中第一个维度是“肉身层”（Annamaya Kosha），它是我们物质层面的身体。接下来是“精神能量层”（Manomaya Kosha）。它是精神层面的身体，它包括了头脑和所有的感官。第三个维度是“智慧层”（Vijnanamaya Kosha），它是我们智慧层面的身体。它是由我们对于过去的记忆、无明和灵性知识组成的。接下来的一层叫做“喜悦层”（Anandamaya Kosha），即喜悦层面的身体。
Among these four koshas, the first one, Annamaya Kosha, is physical, whereas the rest of the three are subtle. However, there is a link between the physical layer and the three subtle layers. It is known as Pranamaya Kosha, the energy body. Because of its special relationship with all the other koshas, Pranamaya Kosha is very important for maintaining the health and well-being of all the five dimensions of our existence. So now let’s take a look at this Pranamaya Kosha in more details.
The Sanskrit word “prana“ means “life force”. Prana is the life sustaining energy. The existence of prana distinguishes living beings vs. non-living beings. If prana exists in someone, the person is alive; if prana leaves, the person is dead. The concept of “prana” also exists in many other cultures. In Chinese medicine, for example, we call it as “qi”.
Prana exists at two levels. Since pranic energy is present all around us, it is known as universal pranic energy. However, this energy around us does not help us live. To survive, we need to withdraw the pranic energy from the universe and fill our individual system as individual pranic energy. There are many ways of receiving pranic energy from the universe. For example, taking food or water, breathing and sun bathing are some ways of receiving the pranic energy. Even walking on the ground of earth with bare feet can receive the pranic energy from the ground.
In the universe, there is only one pranic energy, but once you receive the pranic energy in your system, it is divided into ten based on the different biochemical functions it’s controlling. Five of them are considered as principle pranic energies, and the other five are considered as secondary pranic energies. Now let’s take a look at what functions these pranic energies are managing in our system.
Among the five principle pranic energies, the first one is also called “prana”. This pranic energy is in the chest and lung area. This energy manages critical functions such as cardiovascular activities and respiratory activities. Second one is called “apana”, which is in the lower abdomen region. It is responsible for release of all excretions. In the case of men, it is also responsible for release of sperm. And in the case of women, it is also responsible for child delivery and release of sexual and menstrual fluids.
The third one is called “samana”. Samana is in the stomach area, and it controls our digestive activities. Digestive activities mean release of digestive hormones and acid, absorption of nutrients, release of energy, etc. The next one is “Udana”. It is in the face and throat region, responsible for self-expression. The last one is called “vyana”, which is present all over the body. Vyana governs skin and creates sweat. It is also responsible for blood flow and taking oxygen and energy to each and every cell in the body.
Among the five subsidiary pranic energies, “naga” is in the mouth. Naga is what causes burping, hiccups, vomiting, etc. It is also the carrier of mind or consciousness through nerves to all the cells of the body. Next one is called “Kurma”. It is in the eyes. Kurma causes movement of the pupils and blinking of eye lids. Then comes “Krukara”, which causes hunger, thirst, coughing and sneezing. Next is Devadatta. It is what causes fatigue, tiredness, yawning and sleeping. The fifth one, Dhananjaya, is present all over the body and holds the body in its structure. In the case of women, dhananjaya works with apana specifically in child delivery process.
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