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Darshan with Swami Krishnananda
by Swami Krishnananda


14. Prana and Healing

(Darshan given on August 1st, 1995.)

A visitor: I am a healer. When somebody comes to me with a stiff neck or a back that's hurting, instead of adjusting them partially like a chiropractor would do, I simply follow their breath and then the body self-corrects.

Swamiji: What do you feel at that time?

Visitor: I feel an expansion, a widening and a narrowing, and at the same time a moving up and down.

Swamiji: When a patient comes to you, what do you feel at that time?

Visitor: I feel whatever is happening. Everyone has this primary rhythm; it's whether it is fully amplified, or whether it is moving through. It's called subtle osteopathic work.

Swamiji: So what is your question?

Visitor: I think what is happening is that I'm working with the prana, even though they don't call it that. They call it the primary breath, but I think it's the same as the prana. So there is the body, and the prana is the next subtle thing, and then the mind. Is that correct? Therefore, the mind would be influencing the prana. So my technique, what I do, is I simply follow what's happening there without trying to do anything, and just be in pure awareness, just try to be with whatever is happening, and then hopefully the plan is that things will just self-correct. What happens is it lends energy to the body. The prana goes back and just rests, instead of being drawn outward by the mind. The question is: Is the prana affected by the mind?

Swamiji: Prana moves according to the dictates of the mind. Whatever the mind thinks, that the prana will do. The breath moves in the direction that is indicated by the thought process. If you are in Rishikesh and you deeply think of a person in America, your prana will travel to that place because of your concentration on that person who is far away. Prana is all-pervading. It is not in one place. You are only communicating your prana with that cosmic prana, so it catches like a radio wave. It is exactly like a radio wave. It acts. You are only communicating your individual prana to the cosmic prana, which transmits your thoughts. It can spot where the other person is, and it gets retransformed into the individual prana of that person. You are actually coming in contact with the cosmic mind at the time of your contemplation on somebody else through distant space.

Visitor: What would be the best thing to hold in mind to let the prana sense the mind is affecting it that much?

Swamiji: The mind adjusts itself to the structure of the circumstance which you want to prevail at that particular moment.

Visitor: Which would be perfect health.

Swamiji: Okay, then it will work that also.

Visitor: But to get more specific than that, is that a good idea, or just to hold in general everything operating perfectly?

Swamiji: Ill health is an unsystematic operation of the system, and your mind, if it adjusts itself to a systematic, symmetrical pattern of thought, the prana also will work symmetrically; either it will be working in you, or you can transfer it to somebody else if you are thinking of the other person.

Visitor: Specifically, Swamiji?

Swamiji: Specifically in the sense of if you are not doing it for somebody's sake but only for your own health. You yourself adjust your mind in a systematic manner, in a very perfected, harmonious arrangement of your ideas; then it will bring strength to your person. But if you are thinking of another person, then you will superimpose that personality on your personality. You become that person at that time, and then it works. You cease to be whatever you are; you become that person, and so you think through the personality of that person. Then your mind works through that person, and your prana operates through that prana, and it is as good as if you are thinking that person. So it works because you have identified yourself with that person.

Visitor: Identify myself with the highest quality of that person?

Swamiji: Whatever quality you are wanting to think. You can think any quality.

Visitor: Perfection?

Swamiji: Okay, then it will be perfection. You can even make a person run away from you if you think in that manner. Intensely you think this person should leave this place. Like that if you go on thinking, that person will leave this place. And if you say that person should be always with you, they will be with you. And if you say that person is you only, then they will become you only. You will start thinking like that person, for whatever purpose.

What is your aim behind this?

Visitor: The aim is to help people get better.

Swamiji: So you are doing some practice for social welfare?

Visitor: No. I have a private practice in healing, and people come with their aches and pains and I get rid of them. But a lot of it is that I don't know what I'm doing, though it works.

Swamiji: If you have been successful in this practice, and it has not done you any harm, and everything is going on well, you can continue.

Visitor: And I've been teaching it also. I travel all around teaching this.

Swamiji: You teach the same technique as you are practising?

Visitor: Yes. I just teach what I do, but what I know is so limited.

Swamiji: Do you sometimes feel any harmful effect coming upon you by this practice?

Visitor: In general, no. I usually feel much better. I usually feel energised.

Swamiji: Do you feel depressed because of the introduction of the depression of the other person?

Visitor: Generally, no. Only occasionally I have been affected by other people, yes, and that's a barometer for me. That's when I know I'm not God-centred enough.

Swamiji: Because you are concentrating on the sickness of a person, do you also feel a little disturbed by that?

Visitor: I try to never ever focus on the condition. I try to focus only on God and the health and wellness of the person. I am trying to never look at anything of the illness of the person. Occasionally someone affects me, very occasionally. Then if that person comes to me again, I start playing music or listen to Swamiji's lectures early in the morning and get myself stronger, and then it doesn't affect me.

Swamiji: All right. You can go on with it. This is a very ticklish practice. There are two ways of thinking an object. You think the object as you see it with your eyes or feel it with your emotions. That is one way of thinking. You see it in the same way as it appears to your eyes, and feel it as you would like to feel its presence. But there is another way of thinking an object, from a transcendental point of view. You raise your position to the cosmic state, the cosmic level, and you are not sitting in America or Rishikesh, or any place. You are in the centre of the cosmos and from there, the centre of the universe, you are looking at the object, so it will assume a different connotation to you from that point of view than when you see that object through your sense organs, like an ordinary person sees somebody. Do you understand the difference? And if you think of anything from the centre of the cosmos, transporting yourself to that place, then no harm can accrue to you. You can think anything you like. But if you are coming down to the ordinary human physical level and psychological level and work like a psychoanalyst, that may sometimes react upon you and may do some harm. But it will not do any harm if you think from the centre of the cosmos where you are actually not thinking one person, you are thinking all persons and this is only one among them. One is the philosophical, metaphysical way, transcendental way, and the other is the ordinary psychological way. These are the two ways of encountering anything in the world. You can look at a thing transcendentally or you can look at a thing psychologically, either way, and they will produce two different effects. So you can go on.

Visitor: May I ask you one more question? When does the prana enter the body?

Swamiji: Which prana?

Visitor: The individual jiva, when it is born, the prana is there at what point?

Swamiji: You bring the prana with you when you are born. You have brought it from the previous birth. The very necessity for the individual to be reborn in a particular form immediately brings with it the required apparatus of the sense organs, mind and prana also. They all come together. The kind of life that you are expected to live in this world is determined in the womb itself because of the potencies that you are carrying with you right from the previous birth. That is what they call karma. The prana, the mind and the formation of your life pattern all come together and take effect right in the womb itself. So you come with the prana, you come with your mind and you also come with your pattern of life right from the beginning itself, which is finally determined by what you have thought and done in the previous birth.

Visitor: So at that same moment, mind and prana exist.

Swamiji: At the same moment, simultaneously they come.