A S Dandekar elaborates on the two types of energy inherent in us and how we can maximise their potential
All of us desire good health, abundance, peace, and a good life. In the last one hundred years, science has made tremendous progress in various fields including medicine, where several inventions have helped to eradicate or cure various diseases. We have also tapped many sources of energy. All this has made our life more comfortable while improving our standard of living.
Despite this, we find that life has become very stressful and devoid of peace. Diseases like cancer, heart trouble, and diabetes, are rampant. To overcome all this and live a healthy, peaceful, and purposeful life, we need to tap two God-given sources of energy of which we have little knowledge. These are pranic energy and energy of the mind or thought energy. We can illustrate this by giving the example of a poor man who does not know that in his courtyard there are two big boxes. One contains a huge amount of gold and the other contains several jewels and pearls! Likewise, our pranic energy and energy of the mind are God-given treasures lying within us.
Let us first consider pranic energy. According to yogic theory, we have a pranic body which carries pranic energy. Important bodily functions such as respiration, filtration, blood circulation and digestion require energy, which is provided by prana. Even thinking utilises some pranic energy. If we are facing a difficult problem and think about it for a long time, we get tired even though we have not done any physical work.
Nature has provided us with this energy. It is channelised through the seven chakras placed in our spinal cord. We get this energy from several sources, the most important being our breath. When we inhale, we draw air which provides us with oxygen. At the same time, it also provides us with pranic energy. We also get this energy from the sun as well as from food. Fresh, well-cooked, hot food provides us with more energy than stale, half-cooked cold food.
The pranic energy is supplied to all organs through seven chakras and a network of a large number of very fine, minute nerves (nadis).
Flow of pranic energy
If for any reason the flow of pranic energy is reduced or stopped to a particular body part, it will suffer and become diseased. Severe negative thoughts and emotions can cause blockage in the flow of energy. Sometimes, it happens that after hearing about the sudden death of a near and dear one or because of loss of business or property, a person may get a heart attack or suffer from a paralytic stroke. This is due to a sudden reduction of pranic energy in the body. People who are always under the influence of negative thoughts and emotions are likely to develop physical symptoms over a period of time. In fact, medical science now says that about 80 per cent of the diseases are psychosomatic i.e. mind-related.
To cure some diseases, pranic healing and reiki are used. These healing methods send pranic energy to the affected parts and in some cases, prove beneficial.
There are other medical treatments like acupressure and acupuncture, where blockages in the free flow of pranic energy are cleared so that pranic energy can reach the affected parts in sufficient quantity. Some spiritual organisations have developed energisation techniques too.
Awareness of our pranic body and the flow of pranic energy and the role it plays in our physical and mental health is very important. How can we increase the supply of pranic energy and ensure its proper distribution? The science of yoga helps us very well in this. Yogasanas (yogic postures), bandhas (body locks), mudras (hand gestures), and various types of pranayama (breath regulation) can help in the proper supply and circulation of pranic energy through various channels. Out of these techniques, pranayama is very important since most of the pranic energy we derive is from our breath.
Try this simple exercise when you feel tired. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and start inhaling slowly. Inhale as much as you can, without any strain. Hold the breath for a few seconds. Exhale slowly. Perform this simple deep breathing for five minutes and see the result. You will feel refreshed.
This is why the practice of yoga is extremely useful in enjoying good physical as well as mental health. A person full of pranic energy looks young and radiates joy.
Now let us consider the power and energy of the mind.
We are aware of our mind but know very little about its nature and power, or how it can help us achieve what we want and take us to greater heights or destroy us if it is misused.
According to the yogic theory, mind, matter or substance is called chitta. The action of the pranic force on chitta creates vritta which we call it thought. The mind in repose is called chitta. It can be compared with the sea in which there are no waves. Just as waves arise in the sea, thoughts arise in our mind. Maharshi Patanjali has defined yoga as yoga chitta vritti nirodha. It is total control of the mind. This is the basis of Rajyoga.
The power of the mind
Actually, mind substance or chitta is all-pervading. We all are connected to it. Hence, thoughts generated in our minds affect others, particularly those at whom they are directed.Thoughts are very fine forces, full of energy. We are aware of energies like electricity, heat, light, and gravitation. However, we are not aware of thought energy, which is a very dynamic force.Thoughts attract similar thoughts and assume greater force.
Our mind can be compared with Kalpavriksha, a mythological tree. It is said that whatever we wish sitting under that tree is materialised. To some extent, this is true of our mind too. If we desire a thing very strongly, our thoughts travel all over and try to generate circumstances to help us get what we want. We get unexpected help. Sometimes, we think strongly about a person and they meet us or we get a phone call from them!
Effects of negative thoughts
Thoughts of anger, resentment, hate, fear, undue worries,and remorse are like slow poison. Do not entertain them. They negatively affect our pranic energy field as well as our mental field and cause damage to the person at whom they may be directed. Hence, these should be discarded as soon as possible.
There are so many things that happen against our wishes—the way people behave or the way situations turns against us—that such thoughts are bound to arise. It is true that we cannot stop them. However, having fully realised the evil effects of all negative thoughts on our well-being, the intensity of our negative thoughts can reduce.
Some practical suggestions
We cannot change people. We have little control over them. This is also true of many circumstances. We have to accept these. We have to accept the present situation as it is. Many things happen due to our past karmas and the karmas of those who come in contact with us. Things happen as per unknown karmic laws. This is true for all of us. We do the best we can and leave the matter in the hands of God. The understanding of evil effects of all negative thoughts will help us to control them.
Look at our mind as a very fine, extremely important, unseen organ or instrument. For example our eyes are very important organs of our body. But we are not the eyes! How do we care for our eyes? We protect them from any damage or if there is any damage, we try to rectify it. Our mind is a very fine instrument, almost inseparable from us. But we are not the mind! We are not thoughts and feelings. They arise in our mind. A poor mind receives kicks from several quarters and gets hurt. If our hand is bruised and starts bleeding, do we apply salt and chillipowder on it? No, we clean it and apply medicine. If our mind is hurt, we go on brooding, accusing, and remembering the cause of the hurt. It is as good as applying chilli powder. Let us do our best in a given situation and then forgive and forget.
Here are some ways to make our mind strong and powerful:
• Meditation helps in many ways. It clears our mind of negative thoughts and improves our power of concentration. It puts us in contact with the Universal Mind.
• The regular practice of japam (mantra repetition) has also many benefits to offer.
• Last but not least is sincere prayers said regularly.
All these put together, help us physically as well as spiritually. We may get spiritual experiences unknown to us which may seem like miracles!
Let us become aware of our pranic energy and the energy or power of the mind for a happy, peaceful,and successful life.
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