praa.na and sun
Jan E.M. Houben
j_e_m_houben at YAHOO.COM
Fri Feb 8 21:56:52 UTC 2002
Q: Which texts on yoga and tantra identify or
link the sun and praa.na?
1. It seems a quite widespready idea to link
these two in modern presentations of yoga and
meditation, see a few quotes under (6) randomly
selected from the internet (first two suitable
hits after search on "prana sun").
2. Several vedic texts identify, directly or
indirectly, praa.na and the sun, e.g. Ath.Veda
11.4.12, S'atapatha Braahma.na 10.4.1.23,
Aitareya Braahma.na 1.19 and 5.31.3, Ait.
Aara.nyaka 2.2.1, and Pras'na Up. 2.5ff. Most
massively, and most convincingly to common sense,
these texts present as the cosmic counterpart of
praa.na not the sun (suurya, aaditya, savit.r)
but the wind, vaayu.
3. Some of these late Vedic texts link praa.na
and knowledge/insight/consciousness (prajnaa)
(Kau.siitaki Up) -- the Brahma Suutra seem
S'ankara's commentary (2.4.15-16) are unwilling
to accept this.
4. The Yoga-vaasi.s.tha presents a much closer
link between praa.na and knowledge -- cf.
Dasgupta in his hist. of indian philosophy,
1922:259: "From the movement of praa.na there is
the movement of citta, and from that there is
knowledge (sa.mvit)." In Jaideva Singh's
text+transl. of S'iva Suutras with K.semaraaja's
comm. I find, apart from ref. to a "bodily"
praa.na beyond which the aspirant should try to
go, a quoted statement according to which, in the
transl. of Singh, "consciousness is, at first,
transformed into praa.na" (praak sa.mvit praa.ne
pari.nataa). According to Singh (p. 227), here
"praa.na ... does not mean life-breath. It means
the universal Life-force which brings about both
subject and object." There is a link with three
breath-channels associated with sun, moon and
agni, but there is no convincing link with the
5. As far as I could see, the link between
praa.na and the SUN is not made in the classical
sources on yoga (yoga-suutra and major
commentaries). Nor in the few tantric sources I
looked at. Did anyone encounter an "afterlife" in
later sources of any Sanskrit or Indic knowledge
system of the link sun-praa.na which we find in
vedic texts which in their formulation seem too
distant to be a direct source for the "popular"
ideas referred to under (6)?
- http://home.att.net/~uy/page14.html an article
of a certain Yogi Baba Prem on "a little known
text called the Shiva Svarodaya":
"Hamsa usually means swan. It can also mean the
supreme soul, individual soul, prana, sun, Shiva,
the list could go on and on."
- quote from a link which seemed defective:
"Solar prana - this is that vital and magnetic
fluid which radiates from
the sun, and which is transmitted to man's
etheric body...It is... emitted ... "
Thanks for following my query till here, Jan
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