Spiritual Encyclopedia:
Definition of pranayama and meaning and purpose of pranayama

Pranayama is the combination of the Sanskrit words prana = lifeforce and ayama = control or mastering.

Hence pranayama is the art of mastering lifeforce within your being and body. Since a human being has many different levels and different natures / aspects of prana - we know many different pranayama techniques. knowledge of pranayama may lead to mastering of lifeforce to control and guide the flow of prana into particular nadis - *channels* to achieve particular goals or actions. Mastering pranayama leads to "siddhis" = divine powers. The truly loving one will receive all siddhis at the right time for free from God as a gift of love.

We may safely compare this to electrical energy. Knowledge of electrical energy in combination with all relevant physical laws gives us the ability to make radio transceivers and cellphones, music amplifiers, electric fans, refrigerators, heaters, solar energy driven cars or satellites and electric chairs to kill people as well ...

Knowledge of pranayama has the same scope of potential but infinitely larger than simple electric energy !!!

Hence we immediately recognize why knowledge about ALL pranayamas for mortal human beings on earth remains an eternal secret to be given by God ONLY after developing divine love above all and in all situations.

Kriya Pranayama
the first pranayama to learn and master before any other pranayama

For all humans on earth the first and only safe pranayama to learn, to know and to practice is Kriya Pranayama. A brief introduction of Kriya Pranayama is given in the chapter "The metaphysical physiology of Kriya Pranayama" and the full practice of Kriya Pranayama is explained in very detail including all prerequisites to successfully achieve mastering in this divine pranayama in the diksha section to the holy science of Kriya Yoga.

Kriya Pranayama is the absolutely ONLY pranayama needed to achieve ONENESS with God. All other pranayamas serve other purposes and are of highly dangerous and distractive nature to mortals who sincerely want to achieve oneness with God and thus God realization.

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