Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 17

Hare Krishna,



I have a few doubts from the purport of this verse.


1. This atomic soul is floating in five kinds of air (prana, apana, vyana, samana and udana)is situated in within the heart.


What does these five kinds of air represent.


2. Only the insane man can think of this atomic soul as all-pervading visnu-tatva.


What is meant by visnu-tatva here.


Thanks in advance for all your replies 

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  • Volunteer

    Hare Krsna,


    1. Please find below the explanations that come from the Prashna Upanishad II.13:


    The Five Pranas:

    Pranamaya kosha is composed of the five Pranas. The one primary Prana divides into five types according to its movement and direction.


    Prana, literally the "forward moving air," moves inward and governs reception of all types from the eating of food, drinking of water, and inhalation of air, to the reception of sensory impressions and mental experiences. It is propulsive in nature, setting things in motion and guiding them. It provides the basic energy that drives us in life.

    Prana Vayu governs the movement of energy from the head down to the navel, which is the Pranic center in the physical body.

    Apana, literally the "air that moves away," moves downward and outward and governs all forms of elimination and reproduction (which also has a downward movement). It governs the elimination of the stool and the urine, the expelling of semen, menstrual fluid and the fetus, and the elimination of carbon dioxide through the breath. On a deeper level it rules the elimination of negative sensory, emotional and mental experiences. It is the basis of our immune function on all levels.

    Apana Vayu governs the movement of energy from the navel down to the root chakra.

    Udana, literally the "upward moving air," moves upward and qualitative or transformative movements of the life-energy. It governs growth of the body, the ability to stand, speech, effort, enthusiasm and will. It is our main positive energy in life through which we can develop our different bodies and evolve in consciousness.

    Udana governs the movement of energy from the navel up to the head.

    Samana, literally the "balancing air," moves from the periphery to the center, through a churning and discerning action. It aids in digestion on all levels. It works in the gastrointestinal tract to digest food, in the lungs to digest air or absorb oxygen, and in the mind to homogenize and digest experiences, whether sensory, emotional or mental.

    Samana Vayu governs the movement of energy from the entire body back to the navel.

    Vyana, literally the "outward moving air," moves from the center to the periphery. It governs circulation on all levels. It moves the food, water and oxygen throughout the body, and keeps our emotions and thoughts circulating in the mind, imparting movement and providing strength. In doing so it assists all the other Pranas in their work.

    Vyana Vayu governs the movement of energy out from the navel throughout the entire body.


    2.From the Srimad Bhagavatam, First Canto:

    "The Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krsna, who is the original
    person of the Visnu categories, expands Himself in two different
    categories, namely integrated plenary portions and separated parts and
    parcels. The separated parts and parcels are the servitors, and the
    integrated plenary portions of visnu-tattvas are the worshipful objects
    of service.

    All demigods who are empowered by the Supreme Lord are also separated
    parts and parcels. They do not belong to the categories of visnu-tattva.
    The visnu-tattvas are living beings equally as powerful as the original
    form of the Personality of Godhead, and They display different categories
    of power in consideration of different times and circumstances. The
    separated parts and parcels are powerful by limitation. They do not have
    unlimited power like the visnu-tattvas. Therefore, one should never
    classify the visnu-tattvas, or the plenary portions of Narayana, the
    Personality of Godhead, in the same categories with the parts and
    parcels. If anyone does so he becomes at once an offender by the name
    pasandi. In the age of Kali many foolish persons commit such unlawful
    offenses and equalize the two categories."


    "The separated parts and parcels have different positions in the estimation of material powers,

    and some of them are like Kala-bhairava, Smasana-bhairava, Sani, Mahakali and Candika.

    These demigods are worshiped mostly by those who are in the lowest categories of the mode of
    darkness or ignorance. Other demigods, like Brahma, Siva, Surya, Ganesa
    and many similar deities, are worshiped by men in the mode of passion,
    urged on by the desire for material enjoyment. But those who are actually
    situated in the mode of goodness (sattva-guna) of material nature worship
    only visnu-tattvas. Visnu-tattvas are represented by various names and
    forms, such as Narayana, Damodara, Vamana, Govinda and Adhoksaja."


    Hari Bol,

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