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Aditya Hrdayam Again - Part 54 - prAna prathistha - Idol to mUrthy


Before I go on with slokas, as a corollary of saMkhya, I wanted to write about prAna pratishta.  Whenever we do any puja (Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Ganapati etc) we first do prAna pratishta.

The prAna pratishta mimmicks the Universal evolution process, invokes the establishment of biological functions in the idol, making it a living being and finally invokes the 'aham' in us, in the idol and making it a 'mUrti'.

The process of prAna prathisthA converts an idol into a 'mUrthi'.

'mUrti' means an embodiment. It is a manifestation of divinity in idol and not just the idol of divinity.

The Universal evolution process

The evolution process in Universe follows few steps

1. Fluctuations that lead to symmetry breaking (Rsi)

2. Symmetry breaking leading to building up of next level of matter complexity. For eg. force-fields to particles, particles to atoms and compounds, compounds to life. This classical matter world is guided by Potential Energy, Kinetic Energy and Entropy.

3. Establishment of living beings with biological functions of Creation, sustenance and Destruction processes. Establishment of five critical organ systems towards the three biological functions. These are the pancha-prAna.  Establishment of Indriyas, the pathways for senses. These are the ten indriyas.

4.  Finally we invoke the 'aham' (self) in us in the Idol and make it the mUrthi.

In the prAna prathistA mantra, the above are invoked in the following way

Standard Model
prAna prathishthA mantra
Fluctuations leading to Symmetry breaking
Brahma (spacetime), Vishnu (Mass, Higgs field), Mahesvara (Energy) are the RSi or symmetry breakers for thermodynamic potentials.
Symmetry breaking at each level leading to more complex matter forms including man-made objects
Rk (Quantum), yajur (Classical), sAma (Living beings), Atharvana (man made objects) are the Chandamsi (expressions) derived by Rsi (symmetry breaking)

The above two are invoked through RSyAdi nyAsa
Potential, Kinetic energy and Entropy
Aam, Hrim, krom - AntaH Karana

These are invoked through kara nyAsa, hrdyadi nyAsa.
Five organ systems for Creation, sustenance and destruction.
prAna sakthi devi or pancha prAna devi
sRshti, sthithi, samhAra kArini

-Three leading functions of pancha prAna devi - ‘tri-nayana lasita’ - Three eyed devi

Invoked through dhyAna mantra
Ten Indriyas
yum, rum, lam, Vam, zam, Sam, sam,Hum, Lam, kSam

Invoked through prAna prathistha mantra

Invoking the 'aham' in us, in the idol.
We recite "aham sah sah aham, aham sah, sah aham"

Let the self 'aham' be in it (in the idol).

Let the self 'aham' be in it (in the idol).

With this the idol becomes mUrthi.

With prAna prathistha mantra, the mUrthi is supposed to have the three leading functions of Creation, Sustenance and Destruction.


Brahman, the evolution, is the only reality of our Universe. Brahman, the evolution is in us.  This is conveyed by the maha vAkya 'aham brahma asmi"

In the prAna prathisthA process, finally we invoke the brahman in us, in the idol. That makes it a living entity.

This process of giving pancha-prAna to idol making it a 'mUrthi', mimmicking the Universal evolution process is prAna pratiShtha.

The prAna prathistha mantra

The prAna prathistha mantra has four parts.

1. RsyAdi nyAsa
2. Kara nyAsa
3. HrdayAdi nyAsa
4. dhyAna mantra
5. prAna prathista mantra

nyAsa means depositing or delivering.  We deposit/deliver our energies in the idol and invoke our self in the idol.
  • First we deposit the symmetry breakers (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesvara) to the idols
  • Then we invoke the potential energy, kinetic energy and entropy that guide the classical thermodynamic evolution of matter forms.
  • Then we invoke the endocrine system or chemical messenger/signaling system in the idol
  • Then we invoke the organ systems in the idol mimicking it as a biological being.
  • Then we recite the pancha-prAna dhyAna mantra that invoke the five critical organ systems required for any being. 
  • Then we invoke the 10 Indriyas in the idol.
  • Then we invoke the self in us, in the idol making it a mUrthi
  • Then we pray to the mUrthi to bestow us with goodness

RSyAdi nyAsa

In RSyAdi nyAsa we invoke the RSi and Chanda and deposit/deliver them to the idol. RSi are symmetry breakers

The Rishi, Chanda and Devata

asya Sri Prana Pratishtha Mantrasya 
Bramha-Vishnu-Maheshwara RSaya
rjyajussama atharvani chandAmsi
sakala jagat sRSti sthiti samhAra kArini prAna sakti parA devatA

Pancha-prAna or the five biological organ systems are the invoked in this procedure. This pancha-prAna is the devata, invoked in this procedure.

Any devata (deva or devi) including the pancha-prAna devi is established in three steps. They are

1. Originated by a Rishi (Symmetry Breaking)
2. Having a specific form or expression (Chanda)
3. The devata with a purpose (Devata)

1. Symmetry breaking - RSi

    In science 'Symmetry breaking' occurs when small fluctuations acting on a system break the symmetry of the system, bringing it to a more dis-orderly state. A dis-orderly state is a newer form of expression with more information, more knowledge and it leads to further evolution of matter and beings.

   For eg. fluctuations in Spacetime fabric, Energy and Mass of matter establish the potentials of Zero-point energy, Internal Energy, Unavailable Energy, Available Energy and Work done energy.

  Thus Brahma (Spacetime), Vishnu (Mass) and Mahesvara (Energy) become the Rsi (symmetry breakers) for the pancha-prAna and establish this devi in all matter and beings.

2. Acquiring a new form or expression of matter - Chandamsi

    When symmetry breaks in a system, it leads to a newer form of expression. The form of expression is called Chanda.  There are various forms of expressions possible and hence various 'chandas'

    When these expressions get together they form several levels of complex forms. These levels of complex forms are called 'chandmsi'
  1.     Forces and Particles at Quantum level are Rk. 
  2.     Elements, Compounds that sacrificed to evolve higher order of matter and beings are Yajus.
  3.     Organic compounds that sustain signaling and biological life are sAma. SAma is the song of life.
  4.     Materials that human beings create are Atharvana. 
   Fluctuations in Energy (Mahesvara), Mass (Vishnu) and  Spacetime (Brahma) establish the five potentials in all domains of Quantum, Classical, Biological and Man made matter.

3. The pancha-prAna devi is present in all levels of complex expressions (chandAmsi),  from Quantum (Rk), Classical (Yajus), Biological (sAma) and man-made (Atharvana). In biological beings (sAma) she is present as five organ systems (pancha prAna) that does creation, sustenance and destruction. She is established through this procedure of prAna prathisthA.

Defining the Seed, Action and Support

The procedure itself starts with invoking the three 'antaH-karana', the three internal instruments in every thermodynamic matter and biological system.
Aam Bijam
Hrim Sakthi
Krom kilakam

The sound 'Aam' or more precisely 'Aa' represents the 'seed' (bijam).  The sound 'Hri' represents the momentum/power (sakthi) that arises from the seed. The sound 'kro' represents the central support (kilakam) between the seed and action.

In Thermodynamic parlance, potential is seed. Kinetic is the action. Entropy is the central support that connects potential to Kinetic.

In biological parlance, seed is the organ that originated first. Hri are those that execute some important actions. Kro is those that connect the Seed organs and action executing organs.


nyAsa means depositing or delivering.  Now we start depositing or delivering our biological functions into the idol.

kara nyAsa

The very first function that we deliver or deposit to idol are the signaling systems which is the basic necessity of life.

Life and Matter differ in that, that life has signaling. Matter has no signaling.

But how does our hand denote the signaling..? Why are hands used to deposit the Signaling onto the idol..?

Hands represent pre-natal development of signaling

Our palm, fingers and their lengths represent some of the pre-natal developments in our body.  An example is digit ratio of our hands.

For eg. the digit ratio, the ratio of Index finger to Ring Finger represents the exposure of testosterone levels in the pre-natal period. Thus the digit ratio represents several things like Autism, Masculinity, mathematical, spatial abilities etc.

A lower digit ratio, which means Ring finger is much longer than the Index finger. This indicates higher levels of testosterone exposure in the end of first trimester of pregnancy. That's why males have a lower digit ratio compared to females.

But when the digit ratio becomes much lower than average of males, such an excess testosterone exposure is correlated with Autism and ADHD. When the digit ratio is average or slightly lower digit ratio than average, such people excel in mathematics, sports etc.

People with average or slightly lower digit ratio, with slightly excess testosterone levels also make good 'lovers'. This could be the reason why Ring finger is often associated with 'Love'. They myth of Vena amoris might have started from this mis-understanding.

In females, women with lower digit ratio tend to have more masculinity, due to higher levels of testosterone exposure.

The five types of signaling

There are five types of signaling in a human body. They are
  1. Intracrine signaling produced by the target cell itself for internal purposes
  2. Autocrine signaling produced by target cell for it self, but they signaling goes out to neighboring cells also. 
  3. Juxtacrine signaling produced for all adjacent cells (often called “contact-dependent” signaling).
  4. Paracrine signaling produced for those in the vicinity of the original emitting cell (ex. synaptic signaling in brain).
  5. Endocrine signaling produced for long range communication, transmitted through blood.
The kara nyAsa procedure invokes these five signaling in the idol, through the five fingers and the palm that connects all of them.

Aam angushtabhyam Namah
Hrim Tarjanibhyam namah
Krom madhyamApyam namah

Aam anamikabhyam namah
Hrim kanishtikabhyam namah
Krom karatala karaprShthabhyam namah

The endocrine signaling is represented by the ratio of Index finger (Shakti) to Ring finger (Seed). If  'Seed/Ring' finger is longer, the person has higher levels of testosterone. 

With Thumb, Index finger and Middle finger, With Ring finger, little finger and Palm, we deposit/deliver/invoke the signaling system in the idol.

The Signaling system is the first system to be established in any biological being.

HrdyAdi nyAsa

Aam Hrdayaya namah
Hrim Sirase Swaha
Krom ShikhAyai vaSaT

The Circulatory system (Heart/Hrdaya), Peripheral Nervous system (Siras), Central Nervous system (Shikha)  are then established in the idol.
Aam kavasaya hum
Hrim netra tryaya vauSat
Krom astrAya phatt

The Integumentary system/Skin (Kavasa), the triple metabolic function of Respiration/Digestion/Excretion (tri-netra) and locomotor or musculoskeltal system that helps in movements (astra) are then established in the idol.

Bhur Bhuvas Svar Aum
Iti digbandha

Let all the bhu, bhuva, Svar and all the directions be bound to this (idol/mUrthi).

pancha-prAna dhyAna mantra

A dhyAna mantra describes the divinity that we want to invoke in us. pancha-prAna dhyAna mantra describes the pancha-prAna devi.

Raktambodhistha Potollasadrunasarojadhiruda Karabjai:| 
Pasham Kodanda mikshudbhava Gunam apya amkushum PanchabaNan| 
BibhraNashrk kapaala trinayanalasita pIna Vak shoruhaDhya | 
Devi BalakarvarNa Bhavatu Sukhakari Prana Shakti Para Na:|

Situated (Sta) in the awakening (bodhi) of the plasmic blood (raktAm) - Circulatory system
Becomes visible (ullas) in rectum (poTa) - Excretory system
Seated (sad) in digestive fire (aruNa) - Digestive system
Born (ja) in the fluid (saras) - Respiratory system
Ascending (adhiruda) on the elephant trunk-born/Brain (karabjai) - Central Nervous system

Situated in Circulatory system, becomes visible in the excretory system,  Seated in the digestive fire, born in the respiratory system, ascending on top of the central nervous system

These five organ systems are the fundamental organ systems for living beings.

pAsam - pAsam means the binding one. Internal energy is one that binds and makes a system in the thermodynamic potentials
kodanda  is bow. Bow represents the Work done Energy, which is pressure * volume. Bow works by applying pressure, expanding volume, which is the work done to release the arrow.

mikS udbhava gunam - Generating/Sprouting from a mixture - This is the Gibbs free energy that sprouts from mixture of chemical reactions.

apya  agkushum - The agKusha (controller) of photonic fluid (apya). Apa are photons or bosons. Apya are photonic /bosonic fluid. The controller of Bosonic matter is zero-point energy.

bibhraNa asrk  kapAlam - Holder of bloody skull -  Skull or Skeleton is the energy that cannot be used. It is the unavailable energy.

Having the Internal energy, Handling the Work done energy, Characteristics of Gibbs free energy,  Controlling energy of Bosonic matter (Zero point energy) and Carrying the unavailable energy as the five arrows/missiles

Playing three leading functions of Creation, Sustenance, Destruction (tri-nayana lasita)

Richly endowed with round breasts/nourishing mounts (pIna vaksa ruha Adhya)

The devi glowing as a young light before the sun (Devi Bala arka varna), Pleasant doer (sukha kari), the prAna sakthi the best in us (prAna sakthi parA nah)

pancha-prAna devi is young light before the sun. She is the seed of the fire rather than the fire itself. She is the pleasant doer. That prAna sakthi is the best of all things we possess. She has the five energy potentials as her weapons. She exists in five biological functions. She does Creation, Sustenance and Destruction. She nourishes all matter and beings.

prAna prathistha mantra

Aam Hrim Krom| am yam rum lum wam Zam Sham Sam Ham Lum Ksham Aah:  
Hamsa: Sa aham: Sa aham Hamsah

There are 10 Indriyas or sense organs which are denoted by yam, rum, lum, Zam, Sham, Sam, Ham, Lum, Ksam.

'Aham Sah - Sah Aham', means the 'Self' in me, let it become that in the Idol. We are invoking our 'self'  in the idol and making it a mUrti.

asyam murthau jIvasthistathu
asyam murthau sarva indriyani vAg manas tvac cakSu Zrotra grhAna vac paNi pAda pAyu upasthAni iha agatya 
svasti sukham ziram thistanthu svAha

Let life come into my mUrthi
Let all indriyas including 5 organs of entropy, 5 organs of karma, Manas come here auspiciously.
Let the pleasant consciousness existing here consume it

What was an idol now has become mUrthi with life. An idol is just made of a material. A mUrthi is supposed to have 'life'  due to prAna prathistha. To this mUrthi we offer flowers and water.

(saying it we offer flowers and water to the mUrthi).

asunite punar asma asu cakSu punah prAnam iha no dhehi bhogam
jyok pasya ima sUrya mucarantam anumate mRLaya nah svasti

Return us (punah asma) Internal energy (asu - is a type of prAna), return (punah) our sigh (indriya) (cakSu), prAna (prAnam), our body of enjoyment (dehi bhogam). Long may we see (jyok pasya ima) the Sun's rising end (sUrya mucar antam), allowing us (anumate), favors (mRLaya) to our well being (nah svasti).

Return us our prAna, oh prudent one, return our sight, our prAna our body of enjoyment; Long may we see the Sun's beginning and end, allowing auspiciousness and favors to us.

The above is from Rk veda Mandala 10 Hymn 59 Verse 6. We recite it asking for our prAna to be returned us with favors for body of enjoyment from the mUrthi.

We invoked in the idol our 'Self', our 'Indriyas', our 'organ systems', our 'pancha-prAna'. The idol has become mUrthi and come to life.

Now we are asking the Self, Indriyas, Organ systems to be returned to us, as the mUrti has become all powerful.

Avahito bhavah
sthApitho bhavah
san nihito bhavah
san nirudho bhavah
avakuntitho bhavah
suprito bhavah
suprasanno bhavah
sumukho bhavah
varadho bhavah
prasiddha prasiddha

Let (the pancha prAna) be Invoked.
Let (the pancha prAna) be established.
Let (the pancha prAna) be fixed.
Let (the pancha prAna) fill up
Let (the pancha prAna) surround/cover
Let (the pancha prAna) become dear
Let (the pancha prAna) be well expressed
Let (the pancha prAna) be giving cheer
Let (the pancha prAna) be giving boons

Let (the pancha prAna) be accomplished; accomplished.



  1. Chance brought me to your blog and found it very illuminating. Thanks Rajaram ji

  2. A good blog on Prana Prathista. But one small detail disturbed me.

    Spatial/Mathematical ability is not a "male" skill. Nor are linguistic/social ability "female" skills.

    Males and females show preferences to these sex-specific skills not because of genetic sex differences, but because of epigenetic/developmental. Moreover, testosterone directly doesn't give higher spatial skills.

    Testosterone aromatises in the brain into oestrogen that masculinises the brain (contrary to the perception that testosterone is a "male" hormone, the steroids are no longer sex-specific when it comes to the brain). Females are not exposed to any hormones in the prenatal period, that's why their brain doesn't masculinise.
    And spatial ability is not a direct consequence either. It is because preferences are tuned to take more spatial stimuli, so people with masculinised brains engage in more aggressive and rough-and-tumble activity that causes them to learn good spatial skills.

    Actually, I say this because I have a female brain (as evident from my digit ratio) and as it is, I wasn't so much interested in sports and other spatial-related activities in my childhood. But now, I actually learnt to develop my spatial skills by a substantial margin.

    Superior Mathematical/Spatial skills is not a "male" ability, but a consequence of "maleness", that can be easily made up for by environmental interventions. There are hundreds of studies detailing how playing video games like Tetris, and taking certain spatial courses can bridge the gender gap.

    I feel you need to correct that thing alone. Like, here is a study that found that injecting oestrogen inside the brain of a female mouse completely masculinised it, showing that it is not brain "sex" (unlike body sexual dimorphism due to chromosomes) but brain "gender", which is flexible. It is not genes, but developmental interventions, that may be hormonal or environmental, but nothing to do with what we call "blood testosterone" or "blood oestrogen".

    You can look out for many studies that have shown to completely eliminate gender differences in spatial/mathematical abilities by training and other external stimuli. Of course, if these studies are legitimate, then there is no reason to believe in genetic sex differences, though developmental differences may exist.

    1. Simon Baron Cohen, a reputed autism researcher, is the father of the "extreme male brain" theory of autism. He is right to a degree- testosterone and oestrogen obtained from aromatised testosterone play an important role in extreme aggressive behaviour that may predispose a default empathising (female) brain to systemise. But he is wrong about two things:
      1. Sex differences in brain cognition are genetic/evolutionary which is clearly wrong because video games and courses in spatial ability have found to eliminate the gender gap to a large degree, if not completely (refer Sheryl Sorby's spatial visualisation course).
      2. The sex differences in systemisation/empathisation is flexible. For instance, middle school girls in an American girls school who took Sheryl Sorby's spatial visualisation course started to opt for more courses related to Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Architecture, Engineering, etc. which suggests the possibility of SQ/EQ being flexible to a large degree.

    2. As usual some great thoughts from you SS.

      Just to be doubly clear:

      I wrote that development of fingers seems to be correlating to levels of exposure of testosterones in the pre-natal period. This leads to myths of Ring finger being associated with love.

      The point is the 'digit ratio' (which is pretty much fixed at birth) seem to be correlating with levels of testosterone exposure in the pre-natal period and hence could be used to represent 'Autism', "mathematical' and 'spatial' abilities.

      This does not discount in any way development of abilities by people irrespective of their gender.

      The reason why I brought it up here is to show that hands have a significance of representing the pre-natal development.

      In the pre-natal stage, from single cell zygote to embryo to fetus to a fully formed baby, the potential energy, kinetic energy and entropy (information growth) play a huge role.

      Hands (fingers, thumb, palm) by representing the happenings at that time represent these (PE, KE, S) apart from what I wrote as writing abilities (precision/radial and power/ulnar side).

      Please do feel free to feedback.

    3. Yes, uncle, I completely understand your point now. In fact, as I was reading this from the beginning, I understood the Potential-Kinetic-Entropy link very well (thanks to your earlier blogs on Samkhya), until I stumbled onto this statement, and then, somehow, I got offended. Well, guess I was a bit reckless there, that I wasn't able to follow from then. Apologies for actually going off-topic there.

      Actually, I have encountered and still continue to encounter many statements like this around Internet. Once, they told me about the digit ratio and you must have seen the look of horror on my face when I noticed my digit ratio pointed to a female brain! I got charged up like "Yennapa Ithu? Digit Ratio -> Female brain -> Poor Spatial/Mathematical skills -> My brain is unfit to do Mathematics/Physics? Noooo, there is something really fishy here." Even worse, I noticed my little sister's digit ratio which pointed to a male brain, and my mouth gaped wide in bewilderment. I was thinking "Innum she struggles in integer addition and subtraction, just how can she become interested in mathematics?" My ego got in the way, but it was all for a good cause.

      I switched into research mode, looked for paper after paper, from Steven Pinker to Richard Haier to Nora Newcombe to Elizabeth Spelke. Until I was convinced that brain "gender" is something that occurs due to developmental reasons like differential hormonal exposure, which causes epigenetic variations, thus leading to sexual dimorphism, not because of X-Y genes. And then, I learnt that spatial ability was not "fixed" but surprisingly substantially malleable by environment. So, for me, the chart went like lower prenatal T exposure -> lesser T and E aromatised from T in infant brain -> female brain -> lesser aggression -> lesser systemising -> not involved in spatial activities -> poor spatial skills -> but don't worry, you can change it -> take the course -> developed spatial skills -> now I love physics even more.

      Overall, a really great blog. Especially, the analogy with Gibbs Free Energy was amazing. I could totally relate the definition with statistical (quantum) thermodynamics.

      However, can you give me more clarity on the 10 form of internal energy that goes by "Aam.. Hreem.. Hrom... Hrum... "?

    4. Ha ha ha..

      Yes, digit ratio may represent the testosterone level in the pre-natal period and in the way brain development happens in that time. But that's the pre-natal time where Sarasvati (information transfer) is limited.

      Post-natal, development of your brain (Ganapati, the lord of the ganas ) is subjected to Saras-vati devata, information transfer that occurs to you in various ways. Based on it, it develops the eight attributes or eight lakshmis. The eight lakshmis you develop are Vidhya lakshmi (Knowledge), Vijaya lakshmi (Refusing to be beaten), Veera lakshmi (Truth in expression), Santana lakshmi (treating Universe as one family), Gaja lakshmi (Self Control and rulership), Anna lakshmi (being food/use of each other), Dhana lakshmi (desiring materials), Maha lakshmi (Conscience).

      Hence the concept of Laskhmi Ganapati Sarasvati in biological domain.

      Ganapati can also be seen as the 'Potential energy' of matter which bestows 'saras-vati' (flow of information across beings, entropy) and facilitates the eight core characteristics. The eight core characteristics of matter are Entropy/Information/knowledge (Vidhya lakshmi), Velocity (Vijaya - refusing to be beaten), Having non-zero Temperature/average kinetic energy (Maha lakshmi, the consciousness), ability to bear pressure (Veera lakshmi), ability to expand in volume (Sanatana lakshmi), Carrying energy (Dhana lakshmi), physical/chemical reactions (Anna lakshmi).

      Hence the concept of Lakshmi, Ganapati, Sarasvati in matter domain.

      On the internal energy forms, I will come back in a later blog.


    5. oops I left out Gaja lakshmi in matter - the property of mass. So the properties of matter become mass, velocity, carrying energy, temperature, pressure, entropy/information content/disorder, having volume and having ability to interact with other matter and evolve into more complex forms.


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