While it would be correct to say that I have been involved with the various forms of Divinity, especially the feminine form, for many decades, I have never spoken about one of the first forms of the Goddess I ever really experienced in a profound way. This little known Goddess is Prana Shakti or power of prana. Prana Shakti is the personification or physical form of the primal forces of prana that formed the universe. While many people are familiar with the term prana or life-force energy, a smaller number are familiar with the 10 primary forms of prana commonly found in yoga and Ayurveda. Yet, there are even references to much larger numbers of prana found in ancient texts. Within the Vedas it is said that there are as many as a thousand forms of prana. Hence, it is Prana Shakti that controls all these thousands of forms as the shakti or power of prana. While having a thousand forms seems rather large or expansive, she is as small as the bindu, and as expansive as the seen and unseen universe.
Despite the lack of recognition of Prana Shakti as a Goddess amongst the masses, many still work with her in a myriad of ways. Ranging from pranayam (breathing exercises) to various forms of pranic healing. It is through her slightly rajasic form that most students initially access her and her shakti, therefore, her color is slightly red or the color of the dawn. She is dressed in red, covered with a variety of beautiful jewels. The Goddess Prana Shakti has a potent ajna chakra that emits a powerful light, which is the directed shakti of prana. She is commonly seen with six arms holding the following:
1. A head.
The symbolism of the items is rather important as the head represents the transformation of the ego. The power (shakti) of prana has a transforming effect upon the ego and other layers of the mind. The trident represents the tri-guna (three gunas or attributes, commonly known as sattva-rajas-tamas), as well as past, present and future, and even the Vedic worlds of earth, atmosphere and heavens. The bow directs each of the five arrows through the chakras, as each arrow is also associated with an element (ether, air, fire, water and earth), indicating the relationship of the Goddess with the first five chakras, the five major forms of prana, and the five elements. The noose represents catching things that require transformation. Likewise, it also represents pulling one along toward truth. The gourd represents a vessel, as well as a mystery. Prana Shakti sits upon apas on the cosmic ocean. This could also be seen as the ocean of prana which supports and sustains life. Just as the prana is active within the universe, the prana shakti as the Goddess is active within our physical body and mind.
While prana is often associated with various functions of the body and mind, it is the healing quality that is often overlooked, especially via the personification of Prana Shakti. The healing attributes of Prana Shakti are significant, as yoga recognizes that the harmony and perfect balance of the pranas can almost eliminate disease. Obviously maintaining this level of balance requires a great deal of effort and is no small task, despite how simple it may sound. Or if the pranas are unbalanced, by returning the pranas to a state of equilibrium one can eliminate the fertile ground for disease. Therefore, Prana Shakti is an essential factor in homeostasis. But her ability to heal existing disease is even less known then her feminine form. The power of Prana Shakti could be equated with powerful healing mantras such as the Gayatri Mantra from the Rg Veda and the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra which is one of the most famous healing mantras from the Vedas. It is ones bhakti (devotion) that invokes the healing qualities of Prana Shakti to manifest; therefore, it is beneficial to cultivate a relationship with this form of Divinity prior to the need of healing. But it is possible to have access these energies prior to having cultivated a deeper relationship is ones karma or bhakti invokes the healing energy of prana!
My first experiences with Prana Shakti developed into powerful feelings of bhakti that manifested after many months of meditation upon the image of Prana Shakti. This resulted in receiving the darshan of Prana Shakti on several occasions and even receiving a power healing many years later. Meditation upon the image of Prana Shakti can be powerful and have transforming effects over time. For me personally, she opened up powerful new levels of bhakti (devotion). Bhakti can have powerful healing effects as it increases vitality (ojas) within the body and mind. This vitality can feed the vital fire (Agni) of the mind and body as well, as the vital fire is fed by the vitality and by the prana governed by Prana Shakti.
It was after having received the darshan of Prana Shakti on numerous occasions over several decades that the mantra for her invocation descended from the heavenly realms into the physical realm, this required many months work to acclimate to this invocation and verify the mantras consistency. To date, the opportunity to teach meditation on Prana Shakti has only occurred with two individuals. It is my hope and prayer that Prana Shakti will allow for this number to expand in the coming year of 2015, so that healing may expand throughout the world.
Jai (victory) to Prana Shakti!
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