Every living being breathes. So, all these words in my blog are for living beings, and especially for living beings with awareness : humans! Breathe does not discriminate on divisions created by humans for their selfish motives : race,religion,caste,color or creed.So, these words for all who can read and who live on this mother earth under the same Sun and Moon.
You are alive because you breathe! The most significant factor to note is that the breath does not need you, it goes on despite of you : right from birth to death, from childhood, adolescence, married life, old age and the various events,circumstances, emotions and feelings that the body and mind experiences, there is one unchanging constant : breath. This is because breathing is an autonomous process.So, breath is the the most important factor to any human being and yet the least explored. People have conquered the moon and mars but are yet to discover the potential of this phenomenon within you, the very cause of your existence, which gives you a name. You breathe and you have a name, you stop and you are a dead body without a name.
We know so little of this magnificent resource because we spend very little time with our own Self. We are forever surrounded by things and people being a slave to our senses : the very senses which are powered by breath. The only time we are centered within is when we are in the state of deep sleep, but alas this centering is without awareness.
The breath is the vital link between the body and the mind. So, we can use breath for fulfillment of worldly desires as well as for realization of the self and liberation. For all worldly desires we use the mind and for self realization the mind is transcended. This is very important to know at the very start of this journey. Self realization does not need the mind and senses, because it the very Self (absolute consciousness) that powers the mind and the senses. We are so much driven by our unending desires that we are never centered in the SELF , and are forever on the periphery/circumference with I DO, I OWN, I HAVE, I FEEL and so on.
Before we go to use breath, we must know some fundamentals about the human being. The human body is just one layer of sheath called the Annamaya Kosha or the food body. There is a subtler sheath called the Pranamaya Kosha or the pranic body responsible for physiological functions like digestion. A more subtler dimension is the Manomaya Kosha or the mental body in charge of the mental and emotional processes. Now Prana or breath becomes the link between the body and the mind. Following the mental body is an even subtler sheath called the Vijnanamaya Kosha or the intuitive body responsible for psychic and causal aspects. The fifth and the subtlest sheath is the Anandamaya Kosha or the bliss body for transcendental awareness. These sheaths are directly related to the different states of the mind or the psychological aspect.
So, we now come to the four states mind. In the attached picture the white area represents the infinite substratum called super consciousness or God consciousness which is the basis for the other states. The conscious state of mind is when you are awake. In wakeful awareness most humans are slaves of their senses. Sub-conscious mind or the dream state is followed by deep sleep. These layers correspond to the Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta frequencies of the brain. The most important point to note is that there exists a gap between each state, where you are one with HIM. HIM, your true SELF.
Now, let us put this all together! The food body and the pranic body are associated with the conscious state of mind and form the Stula sharira or the gross body. The mental body and the intuitive body are associated with the dream state or the sub-conscious mind and form the Sukshma sharira or the astral body. Finally the unconscious and superconscious psychological dimensions of the bliss body and form the causal and cosmic body.