In the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, Lord Bhairava states:

वायुद्वयस्य सम्घट्टाद् अन्तर् वा बहिरन्ततः ।
योगी समत्वविज्ञानसमुद्गमनभाजनम् ।।

From the fusion of both Vayus (Prana and Apana), inside or outside the body, the yogi attains equlibrium and becomes fit for the proper manifestation of consciousness.

At least fusion of prana and apana inside the body is understandable as pranas flow inside nadis which is inside the body, but what is meant by fusion of Prana and Apana outside the body?

  • 1
    This should be tagged with Yoga too.
    – Rickross
    Dec 4, 2017 at 6:39

1 Answer 1


I think it has to with offering prAna to apAna and so on. This is mentioned in one of the commentaries of GeetA by Yogananda Paramahansa in his book God talks with Arjuna.

A muni—he who holds liberation as the sole object of life and therefore frees himself from longings, fears, and wrath—controls his senses, mind, and intelligence and removes their external contacts by (a technique of) making even (or "neutralizing") the currents of prana and apana that manifest (as inhalation and exhalation) in the nostrils. He fixes his gaze at the middle of the two eyebrows (thus converting the dual current of the physical vision into the single current of the omniscient astral eye). Such a muni wins complete emancipation. — The Bhagavad Gita V:27-28

In his commentary on Bhagawad Gita, "God talks with Arjuna"; Sri Paramhansa Yogananda has explained Kriya Yoga in details. In Bhagawad Gita, Kriya Yoga is mentioned specifically by Bhagwan Krishna in Verse 29 of Chapter IV.

Other devotees offer as sacrifice the incoming breath of prana in the outgoing breath of apana, and the outgoing breath of apana in the incoming breath of prana, thus arresting the cause of inhalation and exhalation (rendering breath unnecessary) by intent practice of Pranayama (the life-control technique of Kriya Yoga)

Paramhansaji explains this stanza in following words:

By the concentrated practice of Kriya Yoga Pranayama-offering the inhaling breath into the exhaling breath (prana into apana) and offering the exhaling breath into the inhaling breath (apana into prana) -the yogi neutralizes these two life currents and their resulting mutations of decay and growth, the causative agents of breath and heart action and concomitant body consciousness. By recharging the blood and cells with life energy that has been distilled from breath and reinforced with the pure spiritualized life force in the spine and brain, the yogi stops bodily decay, thereby quieting the breath and heart by rendering their purifying actions unnecessary. The yogi thus attains conscious life-force control."

Prana and Apana

Paramhansa Yogananda further adds that this Gita verse deals with two specific functions of life force in its differentiations as prana and apana. As there is a "tug-of-war" the macrocosmic scale reflecting Spirit's projecting wish to create and His opposing attracting wish to bring the many back into the One, so does this same contest in duality take place on a microcosmic scale in man's body. One expression of this positive-negative duality involves the interaction between prana and apana. There are two main currents in the body. One, the apana current, flows from the point between the eyebrows to the coccyx. This downwardly flowing current distributes itself through the coccyx centre to the sensory and motor nerves and keeps the consciousness of man delusively tied to the body. The apana current is restless and engrosses man in sensory experiences.

The other main current is that of prana, which flows from the coccyx to the point between the eyebrows or the Kutastha . The nature of this life current is calm; it withdraws inwardly the devotee's attention during sleep and in the wakeful state, and in meditation unites the soul with Spirit in the Kutastha Centre in the brain.

There is thus an opposite pull exercised by the downwardly flowing current (apana) and the upwardly flowing current (prana). Human consciousness is pulled downward or upward by the tug-of-war between these two currents to bind or release the soul.

The vital current flowing outward from the brain and spine to the cells, tissues, and nerves becomes attached to and clogged up in matter. It is used up, like electricity, through bodily motor movements (voluntary and involuntary) and mental activity. As the life in the cells, tissues, and nerves begins to be exhausted by this motor and senseperceptive activity-especially through excessive, inharmonious, nonequilibrated actions-prana works to recharge them and keep them vitalized. In the process of consuming life energy, however, they give off waste products, "decay." One such product is carbon dioxide excreted by the cells into the blood stream; the immediate purifying action of prana becomes necessary to remove the accumulation of this "decay" or death would soon occur. The physiology of this exchange is breath.

According to Paramhansa Yogananda, from the opposite pulls of the prana and apana currents in the spine, the inhalations and exhalations of breath are born. When the prana current goes upward, it pulls the vital breath laden with oxygen into the lungs. There prana quickly distils a quantity of necessary life force from the electronic and lifetronic composition of the oxygen atoms. (It takes a longer time for prana to distil life force from the grosser liquid and solid foods present in the stomach.) That refined energy is sent by the prana current to all bodily cells. Without such replenishment of pure life force, the cells would be powerless to carry on their many physiological functions; they would die. The life energy distilled from the oxygen also helps to reinforce the life-force centres in the spine and at the point between the eyebrows, and the main reservoir of life energy in the cerebrum. The surplus oxygen from the inhaled breath carried by the blood throughout the body, where it is utilised by the five vital pranas in various physiological processes.

Yogananda states that respiration, activated by the dual currents of prana and apana, accomplished physiologically through a series of complex nervous reflexes-chemical and mechanical-involving primarily the medulla oblongata and the sympathetic, or involuntary, nervous system. The intricate sympathetic system, in turn, is empowered by the prana and apana currents working through the vital branches of astral life current that correspond to the physical sympathetic nervous system-the main branches of which are called ida and pingala. Inspiration and expiration go on largely involuntarily through one's life. So long as the life current (prana) pulls the inhaling breath into the lungs, man lives; whenever the downwardly flowing current (apana) in the exhalation becomes more powerful, man dies. The apana current then pulls the astral body out of the physical body. When the final breath leaves the body through the action of the outgoing current apana, the astral body follows it to an astral world.

It is thus accepted that the human breath is responsible for tying the knots between soul and the body. It is the process of breathing resulting from the two opposite spinal currents that gives man perception of the external world According to Paramhansaji these sensations also produce body consciousness and duality and thus obliterate the unified soul consciousness.

Even though it does not speak about fusing outside the body directly but I think it talks of the same principle. It has to do with the bahya kumbhaka where the breath is held outside the body. which slowly transforms into kevali kumbhaka which is higher stage of yoga.

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