life force, lifetrons; vital energy;
Sparks of intelligent finer-than-atomic energy that constitute life, collectively referred to in Hindu scriptural treatises as prana, which Paramahansa Yogananda has translated as "lifetrons." In essence, condensed thoughts of God; substance of the astral world (q.v.) and life principle of the physical cosmos. In the physical world, there are two kinds of prana:
(1) the cosmic vibratory energy that is omnipresent in the universe, structuring and sustaining all things;
(2) the specific prana or energy that pervades and sustains each human body through five currents or functions. Prana current performs the function of crystallization; vyana current, circulation; samana current, assimilation; udana current, metabolism; and apana current, elimination.
The universal prana underlying all combinations in creation is the basis of unity that has prevented the One Spirit from being irrevocably split into many. It pervades all atoms of the universe and every place in the cosmos. It is the primal, direct, subtle link between matter and Spirit—less spiritual than the Great Spirit, but more spiritual than the material atoms. This universal prana is the father of all so-called forces, which Spirit (in Its immanent form) utilizes to create and sustain the universe.
Prana is an intelligent force, but has no consciousness in the empirical, nor transcendental, sense. It is the basis of the empirical consciousness, but soul is the conscious unit. Soul through ego dictates, and prana, its servant, obeys. Prana, neither grossly material nor purely spiritual, borrows from the soul its power of activating the body. It is the power lodged between soul and matter for the purpose of expressing the former and moving the latter. The soul can exist without prana, but the prana in the body cannot exist without a soul as its substratum.