Brahma Sutras
by Swami Sivananda


Section 4: Sreshthanutvadhikaranam: Topic 6 (Sutra 13)

The minuteness of the chief Prana.

Anuscha II.4.13 (282)

And it (chief Prana) is minute.

Anuh: minute; Cha: and.

The description of the characteristics of the chief Prana is continued.

The chief Prana is also minute like the senses. Here also we have to understand by minuteness that the chief Prana is subtle and of limited size, not that it is of atomic size, because by means of its five functions it pervades the whole body.

Prana is subtle because it cannot be seen when it goes out of the body. It is limited or finite, because the scripture speaks of its passing out, going and coming. Had it been all-pervading, there could have been no movement on its part.

Therefore Prana is also finite or limited.

It may be objected that it is all-pervading according to the text "He is equal to a gnat, equal to a mosquito, equal to an elephant, equal to these three worlds, equal to this universe" (Bri. Up. I.3.22). But the all-pervadingness of which this text speaks is with respect to Hiranyagarbha, the cosmic Prana, the Prana of the macrocosm. It is all-pervading in its universal aspect; in its individual aspect it is limited.

The statements of equality "equal to a gnat", etc., declare the limited size of the Prana which abides within every living being.