What is Prana? – The Basis of Ayurveda


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Do you know what prana is?  If you’re like most of us these days, you’ve heard the name. 

You may be thinking, “Prana is life energy.”  And you won’t be wrong in saying that, but how useful is your understanding? 

It’s common to talk of foods with more prana (fresh vegetables) or less prana (canned food), but again, this is a very limited understanding of prana.  If you are interested in health and in understanding how everything in your life can be used as a medicine, it’s important to fully understand what prana is.  Prana is the very heart and soul of Ayurveda.

In this 15 minute lecture, Vaidya Mishra explains in detail the Ayurvedic understanding of prana.  The knowledge you will gain from this short lecture forms a solid basis for understanding how any herb or food affects the body, mind, emotions, and consciousness of different individuals.  Without this complete understanding of prana, the pieces of Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia will remain disconnected for you.  The effects of herbs can be memorized, but without this key understanding, these herbs will not make intuitive sense to you.

If the knowledge of Ayurveda is a tree, and the many branches and leaves and fruits are all the protocols, herbs, foods and predictable results of this science, the knowledge of prana is the trunk, upholding, uniting and giving meaning to all the parts.

What You Will Learn in This Section of the Course

You will learn about the process of manifestation as it has been described in Ayurveda since ancient times.  You will learn how from the unity of pure consciousness this multi-faceted world emerges (including our own bodies and everything that we come in contact with in our lives).  In the language of Ayurveda you will learn how tattwa (unity) become tri-tattwa (soma, agni and marut) which becomes pancha-tattwa (five fundamental elements) which becomes tri-dosha (three doshas in the body).  One becomes three, and three become five. And from there the entire world of diversity including our own bodies can be understood.

With this understanding you will come to appreciate the specificity of Ayurvedic knowledge, which does not endorse the idea that one thing is good for everyone.  Ayurveda doesn’t recommend, for example, that everyone who has constipation should take triphala.  No, it is specific to each individual.  For one person it would be a good match, and for another it would cause a big problem. 

It is the core understanding of prana, contained in this lecture, which allows Ayurveda to make specific predictions about which herbs will be best for specific people.  The knowledge of prana contained in this lecture gives us a tool for making reliable decisions about our own health and about the health of others.  On this basis we can understand which herbs are good for us at what times, and under what circumstances.  Without this core understanding, Ayurveda becomes at best partially effective, and at worst a danger to health. 

We recommend that you study this section carefully.  Review the mp3 file several times and study the PDF file, with its elegant chart, until it makes sense to you.  All of the herb descriptions in the other short segments of this dravya guna course are based on this knowledge and will elaborate on the understanding you gain in this lecture.

How to Use the Course Materials

When you download the zip file for this section of the course (and unzip it using a free unzip program like 7-Zip), you will find a PDF file (which can be opened with the free Adobe Reader) and an MP3 file (which can be played on any MP3 player such as iPod or iTunes).  You can listen to the audio alone, but for the first time through (at least), we recommend that you follow along with the PDF documents to make sure that all of the concepts are clear.  The PDF’s sometimes contain visual diagrams in addition to the Sanskrit verses.  If you learn visually, reading along with the PDF will be helpful.

We also recommend reviewing the PDF, and re-listening to the MP3 file many times, so that you begin to recognize the knowledge and own it.  These MP3 files are especially good to put on your MP3 player so you can listen in the car.  Just as it is easy to remember songs you hear over and over on the radio, you will find that the knowledge in these lectures will stick to you with no effort when you hear them over and over.  You will also find that your understanding of the material deepens each time you hear them.


This product and statements have not been evaluated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and are not intended to be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All of the information above is intended for educational purposes only and may not be used to replace or compliment medical advice.


The sole purpose of this blog is to provide information about the alternative healing modalities of Shaka Vansiya Ayurveda (SVA) as practiced in Vaidya Mishra's ancestral family tradition. The information contained herein is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a licensed health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Otherwise, for more information, you may call Vaidya Mishra's Prana Center toll free in the USA at 1.888.3CHANDI (888.324.2634). or 1.818.709.1005 globally, or email us at: info@prana-center.com. You may also visit: www.vaidyamishra.com, or www.chandika.com

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