Understanding the difference between Prana and the Soul


What is the difference between Prana and Soul?

—Nathan, India


Prana is the life force or energy that animates every aspect of life within creation. The conscious control of this prana (life force) is known as pranayama, which is one of the stages referred to in Ashtanga Yoga, in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The technique of Kriya Yoga, as taught by Paramhansa Yogananda, is regarded as the highest form of pranayama.

The Soul is the individualized expression of omnipresent Spirit. Yogananda gave the image of a gas stove top burner as a way to understand this. The little jets of flame appear to be all separate but upon closer inspection we discern that they are all coming from the same source.

Our role as humans is to identify with our true nature as the Soul and merge back into the infinite consciousness of Spirit.