The Vital Link – Pranic energy

The electronic device (Computer, laptop, tablet, mobile phone, etc.,) through which you are reading this post is a gross physical instrument perceivable by your senses.

This post and trillions of other data that is stored in it is in a very subtle form and not perceivable by your senses unless the device is functional.


The vital link that connects these two making the device functional is the electric power/charge. You will be able to make use of this device as long as it is charged. The moment the battery is discharged, it becomes useless. The electric charge is the life force making it functional.

We charge the device and make use of it as long as there is a need for it. Once we see the need for the device is fulfilled we let go of the device. This need is the cause motivating us to keep it in a functional condition.

Similar are the gross, subtle and causal bodies we have as described by the yogic science.

The gross body is the physical body (annamaya kosha) perceivable by the senses.

The subtle body comprises of the mind and intellect (manomaya kosha and vijnanamaya kosha) which functions through the physical body but not perceivable in its absence.

The vital link is the life-force or prana (pranamaya kosha) powered by the breath. Devoid of this life force the physical body becomes useless and the subtle body leaves it in search of a new one based on the composition of the causal body comprised of past memories and impressions – vasanas.

It is the past unfulfilled memories and impressions that direct our life and hence they are described as the causal body. Modern psychological science and hypnotherapy also recognise this. Brian Weiss in his book Many Masters Many Lives describes how he helped several of his patients develop a proper perspective about life by making them aware of past memories and impressions from previous births.

Let us get back to the vital link – the prana which keeps us alive and mobile. There are set rules to charge your device for its optimal functioning. Similarly we need to charge our body with the pranic force in a proper and regular way to make optimal use of this physical body.

How Vital is this Vital Link?

All the energy healing techniques like pranic healing, reiki, accupressure, accupuncture, etc., are aimed for optimising the flow of pranic energy in our body. The most comprehensive and ancient method for management of pranic energy is described in Patanjali’s ashtanga yoga. While all the limbs of ashtanga yoga help in managing prana, pranayama section deals with this in more detail.

While breathing happens involuntarily, we can also manage it voluntarily. The other life-systems like circulatory system, nervous system, digestive system, endocrine system are involuntary and cannot be controlled by us directly. However, by voluntarily managing the breath we can to an extent control all the above life processes. This is another reason it is vital.

The vital energy also helps in managing our thoughts, emotions and function at higher levels of intellect. Research has proven this and it is common sense today that one can manage anger by deep breathing.

It is also widely understood that the pranic energy flows through subtle channels in the body called nadis and these correspond to the nerve centres in the physical body. The pranic centres or chakras in the pranic body are also the psychic centres connecting to the mental and intellectual sheaths.

English: A description of the major chakras an...

A description of the major chakras and minor chakras in the body. Chakras are energy centers of the subtle body which absorb, digest and distribute prana to the different parts of the body to ensure the proper functioning of the whole physical body and its organs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To summarise, the features that make Pranic body a vital link:

  1. It links the gross and subtle bodies making us alive
  2. Through the chakras / pranic centres it acts like a perfect bridge ensuring smooth flow of traffic between the gross and subtle bodies
  3. Being voluntarily manageable, the pranic force is the most easily manageable part through which we can try to keep up a state of homeostasis in the physical body and attain a state of equanimity in the mental, emotional and intellectual domains. Thus it is the ideal balancing tool in our hands.

Various tools and techniques available to hone this essential life-skill shall be shared in future posts. However, it is important to note that this is a skill that cannot be learnt on-line or by reading books. It has to be learnt in a systematic way directly from an expert. The information shared on-line or in books are only for reference to quench our intellectual thirst.

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