Astronomy and Prana

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    Akhil Babu

    Hare Krishna Prabhu. Could you please explain the relationship between Prana and Astronomy. Recently I have read an article on Astronomy in which the author says that “Time means Prana”. He says that Prana is the basis of Indian astronomy. We also have prana as a unit of time. 21600 times of breath cycles create an ahorathram at the microcosmic level. This is said in Hamsabindu Upanishad, Tantra, Ayurveda and Yoga texts. Ayurveda also relates flow of time to breath cycles. Out of 21600 breaths 10800 is for Inner Surya and 10800 for Inner Soma. Interestingly this number 21600 also comes in Astronomy. There are 21600 minutes in a complete circle. (1 Circle= 360 degree =360*60 minutes =21600 minutes). A normal human being will take 4 seconds to complete a breath cycle and for 1 day he will take 21600 breath cycles. (1 Day =86400 Sec, 1 breath cycle = 4 sec. No: of breath cycles per day=86400/4 =21600). So there is a link between Movement of celestial bodies and our breath cycles. But the time flow at microcosmic level is stretchable. The macrocosmic/outer time may or may not match with the inner time/microcosmic time because a yogi can extent the time of breath cycles. The flow of Prana through microcosm is easy to visualise. But how prana flows from the Dhruva Nakshatra to all other planets and turns the outer/cosmic wheel of time. Also can we say that our Astronomical model is neither heliocentric nor geocentric but pole star centric?

    Ashish Dalela

    You can read Mystic Universe for all these questions. There is a chapter on the calculation of time from atomic time to the lifetime of Brahma. There is a difference between clock time and conscious time. That is also discussed in the book. The conscious lifetime of demigods is 100 years but the clock time is much longer. Each day of a demigod is 6 months and the night is also 6 months. All these things require a lot of detailed discussion and progression from one topic to another.

    Prana is not breathing. However, Prana can be regulated by breath control. Your blood circulation doesn’t stop if you hold your breath. Your digestion and immunity don’t stop by holding your breath. Prana is responsible for everything including blood circulation, digestion, and immunity. However, there are regulatory practices by which Prana can be controlled by breath control. Lord Krishna describes in the Bhagavad-Gita that the yogi feeds the incoming breath into outgoing breath and the outgoing breath into incoming breath. When such control is obtained, the air comes out of one nostril simultaneously as the air is going into another nostril. That is not what people call “breath control” where you can breathe in or breathe out but you cannot do both simultaneously and you cannot force the outgoing breath into the incoming breath. Hence, breath control is not prana control. However, by some regulatory practices of breath control, one can obtain prana control.

    There is no such thing as a “normal human being”. Demigods are also classified as “human beings”. This is why there are 400,000 species of humans, out of the 8,400,000 species of life. We cannot normalize human beings to what we are. There are many advanced species of humans. The current “human beings” are at the bottom of the ladder of human beings. Human beings in previous ages were much higher up the ladder of human beings. But the science of breath applies to all species, just not in the way we imagine it currently and just not to what we call “human beings”. For that, we have to spend time understanding the science.

    To understand the Prana movement, one has to understand the first important verse in Bhagavad Gita, where Lord Krishna describes how the soul moves from one body to another within a body. The soul is moving but the body is not moving. That body movement is an illusion. You can read this post to understand how the illusion of body movement is created without any real motion. You can also read the book Time and Consciousness to understand this problem from a scientific perspective.

    Due to these factors, there is no such thing as “astronomy”. When you see the sun moving in the sky, the sun is not moving. Rather, the sun is revealing a different aspect one after another and that revelation is perceived as “motion”. That revelation of different aspects of the sun is the movement of the sun soul from one sun body to another within the same body. If we start doing “astronomy” without understanding the first statement in Bhagavad-Gita, then we will get nothing.

    Whatever we call “Indian astronomy” is not a Vedic science. It was invented by the likes of Aryabhatta and Bhaskaracharya during the Gupta and Maurya periods for the purposes of temple construction. The West took it from these Indian mathematicians and created their version of astronomy divorced from astrology.

    In many astrology software, you will find an option to set the calculation methods either to “Drik Siddhanta” or “Surya Siddhanta”. They produce different charts. Most people are relying on Drik Siddhanta rather than Surya Siddhanta, which means they disregard the Vedic cosmology method and focus on sense perceptions.

    Bottomline, try to understand how the soul moves from one body to another while the body does not move. This is called “change of body” rather than “motion of body”. This motion of the soul is governed by Prana, which means it is moving in a quality space and not the space you see with your eyes. Once this is understood, then you can understand the meaning of sun movement, which is also the soul moving from one body to another. Then we can understand the meaning of conscious time which can go fast or slow regardless of whether you hold your breath or not. Then based on the understanding of conscious time, governed by the movement of Prana in a quality space, we speak about personal lifetimes.

    At all times, try to resist the temptation of multiplying numbers to get some answer and then thinking that because two numbers match therefore there must be something to it. If you read the above post end to end then you will understand what is wrong with so-called mathematics. Mathematics is also a recent invention and it is not a science. 1 + 1 does not equal 2 in real science. Rather 1 + 1 = 1. Likewise, 1 – 1 = 1. This is why it is said that you can take out the complete from the complete and the remainder is complete. According to quantity science, 1 – 1 = 0 which means the statement of the Upanishads must be false. So, try to understand basic concepts in Vedic philosophy and don’t try to do mathematics.

    That 1 + 1 = 2 is not a science. It is an illusion. But that illusion works in some cases, even if it is not true. If you rely on this illusion to get to the truth, you cannot get to it. These fundamental facts are however ignored by many “Vedic scholars” who cannot explain why the world is called an illusion even though it exists. They disregard that illusion statement, which is a basic and fundamental statement, and focus on secondary things like the calculation of time. The result of such disregard will be that nothing of value can be achieved in any amount of time.

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