Q: What is Prana? I only know that it is subtler than the breath. Has science discovered something in this field? Are there other dimensions of our life that science also agrees to?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: : Yes.
I was recently reading this book called The Proof of Heaven, written by a neurologist. He writes about his experiences when he went into coma. He died clinically and had an out of body experience, and so he has written about his experience, and it is exactly what we have been saying.
He saw a big light and said that the name of this light is Om. He has no idea of Indian spirituality, but out of his own experience he said, it is known by a sound called Om. And it is so peaceful and so loving.
He describes exactly what the Gita says, ‘Urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham’. The roots are above and the branches are below (to signify that your origin is the Divinity; the consciousness. That is your roots).
He had this experience of going into the roots, and then going beyond the roots into the dark space, and then beyond the dark space into the Hiranyagarbha (the source of the creation of the Universe, or the manifested cosmos in Indian philosophy), what has been said in the Upanishads to be The Golden Egg; it is like a womb of shining gold.
People who have NDEs (Near Death Experiences), they have all experienced what has been said by people in this country for thousands of years. This is so interesting.
Also, the author is an atheist; he never believed in any religion or anything. He was a hard core scientist, and the book talks about how he found through his experience that the other world is so much more real than this one that we see.
This is what we have heard in all the Darshanas (Hindu philosophy is traditionally divided into six schools of thought, or Darshanas, which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures). It begins like that.
See, the knowledge that we gain through the five senses is inferior to the knowledge that we gain through the intellect. You see the sun setting and the sun rising, but the intellect knows that the sun is neither setting, nor rising.
So like this, knowledge of the senses is inferior to the knowledge of the intellect. But knowledge of something beyond the intellect; intuitive knowledge, knowledge from the pure consciousness is even superior to intellectual knowledge.
Intellectual knowledge can be proved and disproved, but a discovery which is beyond the intellectual calculation is something very different.