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The speed of prANa/ Light - From Upanishads and Artha sAstra


The Universe is 'inside' a womb of 'dark energy'. The dark energy is distributed in a dark energy scalar field. This dark energy is the 'Shiva'. The scalar field is the 'Atmanas' or 'Manas'.

During the cosmic inflation epoch, the dark energy scalar field expanded greatly (Why and How it happened in another blog), creating 'space' with vacuum.  Visualize it as the dark energy expanding suddenly on all sides leaving out an empty space in-between. 

This vacuum space got filled with 'vacuum energy'. Some of the dark energy from scalar field manifested in the empty space or vacuum and became vaccum energy. The dark energy 'lost' some of it to vaccum energy. The external 'form' or 'rupA' of the vacuum energy are the different force-fields that manifest in this space or vacuum.

The creation of space and filling it with vacuum energy slowed down the expansion of dark energy scalar field. The expansion of dark energy came down, but continued.

The Universe can now be visualized as  a 'swarm' of vaccum energy inside an ocean of slowly expanding dark energy.    The dark energy interacts with vacuum energy, causes excitations in the force-fields of this vacuum energy and establishes radiation and matter particles.

This ocean of dark energy inside which vacuum energy, radiation and matter particles and beings evolve is the 'Golden womb' or Hiranya-garbha. This Hiranyagarbha is the four-dimensional 'spacetime' of the Universe or the 'Womb'  of the Universe.

The Eleven Rudras or force-fields

Manas is the dark energy scalar field. There are ten other force-fields. These ten force-fields  or rudras are the forms or 'rupA' of vacuum energy (stri).

In Standard Model, we can find these ten force-fields or the Rudras.

1. Unified Electro-weak-strong force-field that manifests in the early Universe
2. Electro-weak force-field
3. Strong force field
4. Higgs field
5. The field in which Cold Dark Matter manifests
6. Weak force field
7. Electromagnetic field
8. The field in which different types of Quarks manifest
9. The field in which different types of electrons manifest
10. The field in which Neutrinos manifest

Manas (or At-manas), the dark energy scalar field pervades all the force-fields and vacuum energy. In that way it binds all manifestations together.

Manas the dark energy scalar field that interacts with other force-fields, gives them 'energy', causes them to be lifted everlastingly. This 'lifting energy' is called 'Ananda'.

These ten force-fields produce their 'putrA' or 'offsprings'. This putrA or offsprings due to the reception of this 'lifting up' energy ('Ananda'). This is explained here (1).

Manas and prANa

Manas is dark energy scalar field which feeds energy to other nine force-fields (except Higgs field). prANa is the energy in these force-fields, that feed from Manas, the dark energy scalar field.

prANa (the energy of force-fields) is bound to manas (dark energy scalar field). Manas, the dark energy scalar field settles down on prANa, the energy of force-fields, like a bird that is bound by a rope.

Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.1-2

Chandogya Upanisha 6.8.1 and 6.8.2 says (2)
sa yatha sakunih sutrena prabaddho disam disam
patit-va anyatra ayatanam-alabdhva bandhanam
evopasrayate, evam eva khalu, saumya tan mano
disam disam patit-va anyatrayatanam-alabdhva
pranam evopasrayate prana bandhanam hi, saumya, mana iti.

As (yatha) a bird bound by rope (sutrena prabaddho sakuni) that flies in different directions (disam disam), descends (patit) without obtaining (alabdhva) any other (anyatra) residence (ayatanam) eva upazrayate (to take shelter) in the binding itself (bandhanam),  thus ofcourse (evam eva khalu), the energy filled mana (somya tan mano) in different direction s(disam disam), descends without obtaining any other residence, takes shelter in praNa, energy filled mana is bound to prANa thus.

Like a bird that is bound by a rope, flies here and there, not finding any other residence, takes shelter in that binding itself and descends to ground, the manas, the dark energy filled scalar field, flowing in different directions, takes shelter in the prANa, the energy of the force-fields. 

prANa, the energy of force-fields  is bound to manas, the dark energy scalar field in this way.

Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.4

Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.4 says (3)

prAno hi eSa yah sarvabhutair vibhAti
vijAnan vidvan bhavate nAtivAdi
atmakrida atmaratih kriyAvAn
esa brahmavidAm varisthah

prANa only (prANa hi) shines (vibhAti) in all these bhutA (esa sarva bhuta). The knower (vijAnan) vidvAn becomes (bhavate) not very talkative (na ativAdin). Playing with atma (Atma krida), reveling in Atma (Atma ratih), the work - performer (kriyAvAn), extensive (varishthah) of these knowers of brahma (esa brahmavidam),

prAna, the energy in the force-fields shines in all the bhutA, the matter forms. It is the knower of everything that does not talk much (or expressed explicitly). prAna (the energy of the force-fields) plays with Atma, the dark energy scalar field, revels in the energy from the dark energy scalar field, of all the extensive knowers of brahman, prANa (the energy of force-fields) is the performer of work.

There are several 'knowers of brahman', as they part of the brahman. They are annam, hrday, prANa, manas, cakSu and Zrotram. All of these are parts of the brahman or evolution.

Of these, prANa, the energy in the force-fields is the 'work performer'. It revels (ratih) in Atmanas (dark energy scalar field) as it draws energy from the Atmanas. 

The energy of the force-fields prANa is the 'knower' of everything, as it is the foundation on which Universe lies. prANa, the energy of force-field makes all the bhutA or matter forms 'Shine'. But the energy of force-fields does not 'talk' like the 'bhutA' does. It is internal.

Light is prANa

prANa, the energy in force-fields draws its energy from Manas, the dark energy scalar field.  There are ten prANas and one Atman /Manas (1).  

prANa is said to be in 'constant motion'. Though it is assumed to refer to the 'constant motion' of the 'breath', prANa, the energy in force-fields are at constant motion at same speed.

The ten prANas, the energy, propagates in their force-fields (rudras). Of the ten force-fields, except the Higgs, Weak and Dark matter fields, in other fields such as electromagnetic, strong, quarks, electrons and neutrinos, energy moves in their force-fields at a constant, same speed. This is called the relativistic speed or 'speed of light'.

The 'speed of light' is not just the speed of electromagnetic radiation, but speed of energy propagation in all force-fields. The default nature of energy is to propagate in all the force-fields at a constant speed.

Thus we can see 'Light' or Electormagnetic radiation as a 'prANa', energy propagation in the electromagnetic force-field. Indeed light or sUrya jyoti is the prANa of the earth.

The 'Speed' of prANa/Light

The nature of Higgs field is to impede movement of energy in its force-field and give this property of impeding energy to any other force-field it interacts with. The nature of Weak field is to 'remove' the energy from the force-fields from any other force-field it is able to interact with. The Dark matter is a field (whatever it is made of) that interacts with Higgs field and hence energy propagation is impeded like normal matter forms.

The 'speed' of prANa or energy in all the force-fields except the above three is always a constant. The 'speed' of prAnA or energy in force-fields can be found from how fast the energy in the electromagnetic field travels, namely the electromagnetic radiation or light.

Rgveda sloka 1.50

Soma is strong force. Sura is distilled from Soma and hence the residual strong force. sUra are the Quarks. sUryam are those that are made of sUra and hence nucleons (2). Surya is the process by which the nucleons are created and hence the nucleosynthesis process.

There are millions of sUrya (nucleosynthesis processes) in the Universe. Our sUrya (Sun) is one of them. Our sUrya also produces nucleons (suryam) through the nucleosynthesis process. Hence our 'Sun' is a 'sUrya'.

Agni is transfer of energy. It is called jAta-veda as transfer of energy is the basis of all that is born and has the knowledge of all that are born.

Rk Veda sloka 1.50 says

ud u tyaM jÀtavedasaM devaM vahanti ketavaH dRZe vizvÀya sUryam
apa tye tÀyavo yathÀ nakSatrÀ yanty aktubhiH sUrÀya vizvacakSase
adRzram asya ketavo vi razmayo janÀM anu bhrÀjanto agnayo yathÀ 
taraNir vizvadarzato jyotiSkRd asi sUrya  vizvam À bhÀsi rocanam


Indeed agni deva ("Knowledge of all that is born") (transfer of energy), they carry the brightness (ketavaH), the sUryam (nucleons) of Universe see/observeAway progresses like nakSatra that goes off by the night, the observation/sight of the Suras/Quarks. The suras/quarks become invisible.

The invisible (Quark's) brightness, the string/cord/rein of the born particles, they burn as in the agni. The quarks burn in the energy received and have become invisible becoming part of nucleons.

Surya/nucleons (nucleosynthesis process) produces the jyoti which crosses over swiftly the Universe. Universe is illuminated by that radiance.


The nucleons (sUrya) observe/see the agni, the transfer of energy.  The observation of quarks (sura) fades away like the nakSatra that fade away from the night.. The quarks/sura become invisible. They become the 'String' of all the born particles. They get burnt-up as if in agni.

The surya/nucleons produces the 'flames'/jyoti in nucleosynthesis process that crosses swiftly the universe, illuminating the universe with its radiance. Universe is filled with Surya/nucleons they come to dominate the Universe (not the sura/quarks which become invisible).

sAyana's translation

sAyana translates sUrya as 'Our Sun', which is not surprising.  He understands Rg veda 1.50.4 sloka as "Surya produces the jyoti which crosses over swiftly the Universe. Universe is illuminated by Sun's radiance".

He explains it as (5)

"hey surya, tvam dharaNi taritA anyena gantum zakyasya mahato dhvanao gantasi  tathA cha smaryata yojanAnAM sahasram dve dve shate dve cha yojane | ekena nimiShArdhena kramamANa namo.astu te"

Hey surya, you leader of others in earth, possible/capable of greatly enveloping it and as you go, it is to be remembered 2202 yojanas by one/by itself, by half nimiSa progress, salutations be to you".

Surya is the leader of others in the dharaNi, the earth. It is capable of greatly enveloping the earth. It progresses 2202 yojanas in half nimesha.

Since the Rg veda sloka talks about 'Surya' jyoti switfly crossing the Universe, sAyana remembers the speed at which sun envelopes the earth by crossing 2202 yojanas in 0.5 nimisha.

Irrespective of what its value is, this shows that there was a 'specific' value assigned for light to reach the earth.

This 'jyoti' is the 'prANa', the energy propagated in the electromagnetic field. This speed of prANa is constant.

'Curve fitting' with Artha sAstra alone

There are various definitions of Yojana and nimisha in various scriptures. Instead of taking one measurement from one text and another from another text, let's stick to Kautilya's artha sAstra. It has definitions of space and time in Chapter 20 (4).
Since space and time are related, the idea is definition of space and time from a single scripture will be consistent.

ArthasaAstra's space measurement

Kautilya's arthasastra says in Chapter 20 (3), '4 aratnis are equal to 1 danda, 1 dhanus, 1 nAlika and 1 paurusha', thus equating danda and dhanus.

Then says in Chapter 20 (6) " 192 angulas are 1 danda, used in measuring such lands as are gifted to equal to Bráhmans" and "1000 dhanus is 1 goruta, 4 gorutas are 1 yojana".

It also says "14 angulas are equal to sama, sala, pariraya or pAda". From these we can say 1 Yojana is equal to 768,000 angulas.

Since pAda continues to be used and used as 30 cms, 1 angula is 30/14 = 2.14 cms. This means 1 Yojana = 768000 *2.14 cm = 16.4 kms.

ArthasaAstra's time measurement

With respect to time artha sAstra says "5 nimesa is 1 kAstha, 30 kAsthas are 1 kAla, 40 kAla are 1 nAlika, 2 nAlikas are 1 muhurta, 15 muhurta is 1 day or 1 night".

1 day is 12 hours. So 1 muhurta is 12/15 = 48 minutes. 1 nAlika is 24 minutes or 1440 seconds.

1 kAla is 1440/40 = 36 seconds. 1 kAstha is 1.2 seconds. 1 nimisha is 1.2/5 = 240 milliseconds. So half nimisha is 120 milliseconds..

From arthasAstra alone Yojana is 16.4 kms, nimisha is 120 milliseconds.

Using that data to fit 2202 yojana in 1/2 nimisha, we get 36,112 kms in 120 milliseconds. This leads to a value of 300,933 kms per second.

From artha sAstra alone, the values of Yojana and nimisha seem to match the modern value of speed of light.

Why I call it curve-fitting..?

Though my entire definition of Yojana and nimiSha is from artha sAstra and straight forward, I termed it as curve-fitting. The reason is 1 pAda, I assumed as 30 cms. Now this is my mapping, based on how we use pAda now (as 30 cms).

Artha sAstra defines angula as equal to the breadth of middle-finger of an average man or 8 yavas, where 1 yava is size of a barley. These are difficult to translate into current metric measurements. The only nearest measurement I could get is pAda which is used till now as 1 foot or 30cms. This could be wrong.

Points to be noted

sAyana uses the phrase 'smaryata yojanAnAm", which means it is to be remembered/recollected.. So somehow in some text sAyana got the information that surya jyoti travels 2202 yojanas in ardha nimisa. He recollects it when talking about the Rg veda sloka which talks about surya jyoti swiftly spreading in the Universe.

Thus sAyana does not define the yojana or nimisha or the numbers 2202 and 0.5 nimisha. He is merely recollecting that number.

The light is also a prANa, the propagation of energy in force-fields/rudra, in this case the electromagnetic field. But energy propagates in all force-fields/rudras in the same velocity, which is the velocity of light, unless it is impeded by a Higgs field.

Upto this, whatever I have defined is strictly within the standard Model. So how the Higgs field interaction accelerated the expansion of Universe..? This answer is from quintessence model. Let's see in the next blog..