Prayer to Prana
XI, 4. Prâna, personified as the supreme spirit.
From the Artharva Veda
1. Reverence to Prâna, to whom all this (universe) is subject, who has become the lord of the all, on whom
the all is supported!
2. Reverence, O Prâna, to thy roaring (wind), reverence, O Prâna, to thy thunder, reverence, O Prâna, to thy
lightning, reverence, O Prâna, to thy rain!
When Prâna calls aloud to the plants with his thunder, they are fecundated, they conceive, and then are
produced abundant (plants).
4. When the season has arrived, and Prâna calls aloud to the plants, then everything rejoices, whatsoever is
upon the earth.
5. When Prâna has watered the great earth with rain, then the beasts rejoice; (they think): ‘strength, forsooth,
we shall now obtain.’
6. When they had been watered by Prâna, the plants spake in concert: ‘thou hast, forsooth, prolonged our life,
thou hast made us all fragrant.’
7. Reverence be, O Prâna, to thee coming, reverence to thee going; ‘reverence to thee standing, and reverence,
too, to thee sitting!
8. Reverence be to thee, O Prâna, when thou breatbest in (primate), reverence when thou breathest out!
Reverence be to thee when thou art turned away, reverence to thee when thou art turned hither: to thee, entire,
reverence be here!
9. Of thy dear form, O Prâna, of thy very dear form, of the healing power that is thine, give unto us, that we
10. Prâna clothes the creatures, as a father his dear son. Prâna, truly, is the lord of all, of all that breathes, and
does not breathe.
11. Prâna is death, Prâna is fever. The gods worship Prana. Prâna shall place the truth−speaker in the highest
12. Prâna is Virâg (power, lustre), Prâna is Deshtrî (the divinity that guides): all worship Prâna. Prâna verily
is sun and moon. They call Prâna Pragâpati.
13. Rice and barley are in−breathing and outbreathing. Prâna is called a steer. In−breathing forsooth, is
founded upon barley; rice is called out−breathing.
14. Man breathes out and breathes in when within the womb. When thou, O Prâna, quickenest him, then is he
15. They call Prâna Mâtarisvan (the wind); Prâna, forsooth, is called Vâta (the wind). The past and the future,
the all, verily is supported upon Prâna.
16. The holy (âtharvana) plants, the magic (ângirasa) plants, the divine plants, and those produced by men,
spring forth, when thou, O Prâna, quickenest them.
17, When Prâna has watered the great earth with rain, then the plants spring forth, and also every sort of herb.
18. Whoever, O Prâna, knows this regarding thee, and (knows) on what thou art supported, to him all shall
offer tribute in yonder highest world.
19. As all these creatures, O Prâna, offer thee tribute, so they shall offer tribute (in yonder world) to him who
hears thee, O far−famed one!
20. He moves as an embryo within the gods; having arrived, and being in existence, he is born again. Having
arisen he enters with his mights the present and the future, as a father (goes to) his son.
21. When as a swan he rises from the water he does not withdraw his one foot. If in truth he were to withdraw
it, there would be neither to−day, nor to−morrow, no night and no day, never would the dawn appear.
22. With eight wheels, and one felloe he moves, containing a thousand sounds (elements), upward in the east,
downward in the west. With (his) half he produced the whole world: what is the visible sign of his (other)
23. He who rules over this (all) derived from every source, and over everything that movesreverence be to
thee, O Prâna, that wieldest a swift bow against others (the enemies)!
24. May Prâna, who rules over this (all) derived from every source, and over everything that moves, (may he)
unwearied, strong through the brahma, adhere to me!
25. Erect he watches in those that sleep, nor does lie lie down across. No one has heard of his sleeping in
those that sleep.
26. O Prâna, be not turned away from me, thou shalt not be other than myself! As the embryo of the waters
(fire), thee, O Prâna, do bind to me, that I may live.