Pranamaya kosa

The second sheath is the prana-maya-kosa, or sheath of “breath” (prana), which manifests itself in air and ether, the presiding elements in the Anahata and Visuddha-cakras.

There are ten vayus (airs) or inner vital forces of which the first five (1) are the principal – namely, the sapphire prana; apana the colour of an evening cloud; the silver vyana; udana, the colour of fire; and the milky samana.

These are all aspects of the action of the one Prana-devata. Kundalini is the Mother of prana, which She, the Mula-Prakrti, illumined by the light of the Supreme Atma generates. Prana is vayu, or the universal force of activity, divided on entering each individual into five-fold function. Specifically considered, prana is inspiration, which with expiration is from and to a distance of eight and twelve inches respectively.

Udana is the ascending vayu, Apana is the downward vayu, expelling wind, excrement, urine, and semen. The samana, or collective vayu, kindles the bodily fire, “conducting equally the food, etc., throughout the body.” Vyana is the separate vayu, effecting division and diffusion. These forces cause respiration, excretion, digestion, circulation.

1. See Sarada-tiaka. The Minor vayus are naga, kurma, krkara, devadatta, dhanamjaya, producing hiccup, closing and opening eyes, assistance to digestion, yawning, and distension, “which leaves not even the corpse.”