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The Hindu Conception of the Functions of Breath; A Study in Early Hindu Psycho-Physics
by:Arthur Henry Ewing
This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1901. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... The Hindu Conception of the Functions of Breath.--A Study in Early Hindu Psycho-physics.--By Dr. Arthur H. Ewing, Allahabad, India. INTRODUCTORY...
This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1901. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... The Hindu Conception of the Functions of Breath.--A Study in Early Hindu Psycho-physics.--By Dr. Arthur H. Ewing, Allahabad, India. INTRODUCTORY AND FUNDAMENTAL. The Yajur-Veda, the Atharva-Veda, the Brahmanas and the Sutras contain frequent references to a number of vital breaths. These are expressed either by the plural of the word prana, or by a series of words, formed by the combination of adverbial prefixes with the root /an "to breathe," viz.: prana, apana, vyana, udana, samana, and avana. These vital breaths or pranas are manipulated with especial frequency in connection with ritual practices. The exigencies of the ritual determine what and how many breaths shall be exploited. This exploitation of the pranas attains its most luxuriant form in connection with the building of the great Fire-altar (Agniksetra). The Fire-altar is conceived of under various forms. Sometimes its shape is supposed to be like a bird (cf. QB. Books vii.-x.); sometimes like a sacrificial animal (QB. viii. 1. 4. 3, etc.); sometimes like a human being (^B. iv. 1. 1. 1; vi. 1. 1. 5; vii. 4. 1. 23, etc.). The living organism (dtman), thus assumed, cannot exist without vital breaths, and, accordingly, under various arrangements of name and number, they hold a large place in its construction. When names are given, the reference is to breathing processes, real, or analogically assumed. When numbers are given, the emphasis is either upon the location of a separate breath in the several parts of the body (QB. viii. 3. 4. 4, etc.), or upon either the psychical organs, or their activities, both organs and activities being called pranas. This distinction between a plurality by names and a plurality by number is fundamental and divides the subject of the vital breaths into two well-def...
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