It has always been a mystery to me how yogis just by "being" could have such intellectual clarity 5000 years ago, which collective human effort of "doing" has failed to achieve in thousands of years.
Most know about the categorization of prana, few know the techniques to manipulate them, even fewer have felt them and to even few are open the subtle mysteries of of prana.
This great samvaad from Prashna Upanishad is one such dialogue between those very few.
Kausalya, son of Asvala, questioned Pippalada: "O Bhagavan Pippalada:
Whence is this Prana born? How does it come into this body? How does
it abide after it has divided itself? How does it go out? How does it
support what is without? How does it support all within the body?"
He replied: "You ask questions about transcendental matters. I will
explain to thee because you are a great enquirer of Brahman.
This Prana is born of the Atman. As is this shadow in the man, so is
this Prana in the Atman. By the action of the mind this enters into
As a king commands his officers, saying to them: 'Govern these or
those villages', so does this Prana dispose the other Pranas, each
for their separate allotted work.
The Apana dwells in the organs of excretion and generation: the Prana
itself abides in the eye, ear, mouth and nose. In the middle is
Samana. It distributes the food supplied equally and the seven flames
proceed from it.
This Atman is in the heart. Here there are a hundred and one nerves
(arteries). Each of them has a hundred branches; again every one of
these has seventy-two thousand sub-branches. In these the Vyana
Again, through one other, the Udana ascending, leads us upwards to
the virtuous world by good work; to sinful worlds by sin: and to the
world of men by virtue and sin combined.
The sun verily is the external Prana. He rises and assists the Prana
in the eye. The goddess of the earth attracts Apana downwards. The
other (between the sun and the earth) is Samana. The wind is Vyana.
The external fire indeed is Udana. Therefore, he whose fire has gone
out, enters another body with his senses absorbed in the mind.
Whatever his thought (at the time of death), with that he attains
Prana: and the Prana united with Udana together with the Jivatma,
leads on to the world thought of. The learned man who knows Prana
thus-his offspring does not perish and he becomes immortal.
He who knows the origin, the entry, the seat, the fivefold
distribution of Prana and its internal state in the body, obtains
immortality, yea, obtains immortality".