By Yogi Ashwini

In the last article, we discussed about the prana-shakti, the universal force that drives all life in this Creation including our bodies. Our body, as shared is a combination of the varying prana frequencies in the form of the five elements or the Panch Mahaprana. And it is this frequency which differentiates one being from the other.

Panch Mahapranas, is the immediate force which governs the physical body and with this the mudras, i.e., the various movements of the hands and fingers by which we can alter the states of these Panch Mahapranas, which would again have a direct bearing on our etheric body (Pranamaya) and physical body (Annamaya).

Modern science tells us that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it only changes form. We all believe it. A fact known way back to the ‘Vedic Masters’, who said around fourteen-thousand years ago that there was no such thing as destruction, what seems to be destroyed actually only changes form. It is from here that the concept of re-birth stems. Just as the body would only change form after death, it is also a certainty that whatever force makes the body function would also only change form or maybe ‘move to another body’.

In the following section we examine how these elements are represented in the human hand and how they can be used to create a balance in the body.

These five elements are:

1) Fire: represented by the thumb of your hand.

2) Air: represented by the first (index) finger of your hand.

3) Ether: represented by the second (middle) finger of your hand.

4) Water: represented by the third linger of your hand.

5) Earth: represented by the little finger of your hand.

 These elements form the basis of the major chakras that govern the body; earth for Mooladhar, water for Swadhisthan, fire for Manipoorak, air for Anahad and ether for Vishuddhi. The controls for the various elements in our body lie at our fingertips.

The ancients also explained how, with bringing together the fingers in various permutations and combinations, the elements could be manipulated in the physical body. If any element touches the tip of the thumb, it expands and at the base it reduces. We can very easily increase or decrease the various bodily elements, depending on the situation, using mudras. For example, in extreme tension and anxiety, like when appearing for an interview, exam or an important meeting, the vayu tattva increases leading to uneasiness in the chest. Place your index finger at the base of the thumb (where you get a pulsating feeling), the air element will normalise and you will feel better. The gyan mudra, which involves touching the index finger to the tip of the thumb, has the diametrically opposite effect. If the body is unprepared for the increase in the vayu tattva, tension increases and nervous disorders happen. Hence it is inadvisable to sit in gyan mudra in the initial stages of dhyan. It is introduced by one’s Guru at a later stage, after the body has attained a specific balance. Mudras are a perfect and precise science, however, not taught en masse. It is given by the Guru to the shishya, as per individual needs and capacity. If used incorrectly, it can do more harm than good. The purpose of mudras is to bring the body in a state of balance. An incorrect mudra would create imbalance because an element which is not supposed to increase might do so.

As one moves up, lower elements merge with the higher. Ether contains air, fire, water and earth; air holds fire, water and earth; fire contains water and earth, and water contains the earth element. To effect a change, these can be easily controlled and modified by accessing the element that is above the five elements—the par-tattva or Shiva, governed by the agya chakra, in the sanidhya of Guru. A yogi has an association with the lower elements, too, but he controls them through the agya.

In the next issue, I will take you through Panch Mahapran Dhyan, a kriya that helps bring these elements in balance, preparing your body for dhyan as detailed in my book, Sanatan Kriya-Essence of Yoga.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing.Log onto to or mail to dhyan@dhyanfoundation. com for more.