In Psalm 46:10 of the Bible, there is the oft-quoted statement, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Usually this is interpreted as “sit still” or “be quiet.” But there is a deeper and more profound explanation. The yogic meaning is to still the prana, or life force, and then you will know God.

Be Still and Know that I am God Bible Meaning Yoga and Yogananda interpretation

“Meditation on the Spiritual Eye” painting by Nayaswami Jyotish

I have been reading a very interesting biography of Lahiri Mahasaya, called Yogiraj Sri Shama Churn Lahiree. Lahiri Mahasaya put a great deal of emphasis on the process of stilling the prana and focusing at the Kutastha, or spiritual eye. In fact, he said that this is the essence of all spiritual practice.

The book explains that there are two forms of prana: still and dynamic. Prana in its still state is equated with the consciousness of God beyond creation. In order to manifest creation, prana is vibrated and becomes dynamic. God in this active state is also called Divine Mother, or the AUM vibration. The more restlessly the prana vibrates, the more solid does the dream of maya seem, and the more captivating.

In our bodies, the dynamic form of prana is expressed most obviously as the breath, which begins at birth and continues unceasingly until death. Prana also vibrates in each of the various chakras. In the book it is stated that the agya chakra (the medulla and its positive pole, the spiritual eye, or Kutastha) has a rate of vibration of nine or less, which is slow enough for us to perceive our unity with the vibrationless Creator. The rate gets progressively faster at each successive chakra going down the spine, until it is vibrating at one hundred thousand in the muladhara or coccyx center. The goal of all sadhana is progressively to calm the prana until it again becomes still. The techniques of pranayama, including Kriya Yoga, are all meant to accomplish this, and to bring our awareness to the Kutastha. If we can do this completely and devotionally, we will find that all restlessness of prana, including the ever-moving breath, ceases. Then we experience samadhi, or God union.

This concept gives me a very clear goal for my meditations. I try to still the prana through the use of techniques, and then focus completely at the spiritual eye. Paramhansa Yogananda said that looking into the light there changes the very cells of the brain. Lahiri Mahasaya teaches that holding our consciousness there will purify us from both delusion and past karma. As it says in the Gita, “Even a little practice of this inward religion [stilling the prana] will free one from dire fears and colossal suffering.”

In joy,
Nayaswami Jyotish


  1. Blessings Nayaswami Jyotish,
    When write “(the medulla and its positive pole, the spiritual eye, or Kutastha) has a rate of vibration of nine or less”…….it that per second or minute?
    Thank you for your weekly letters. They have been very helpful to me.
    Blessings and Joy,

    1. The book didn’t say what the rate was, so I am assuming it to be vibrations per second. The more important point is the concept that the rate of vibration increases as one goes down the chakras. As the restlessness increases so also does the immersion in maya. The solution is to concentrate in the higher centers, especially the kutastha, where the stillness is sufficient for us to realize our unity with God.

  2. Om Kriya Babaji Nama Aum!!!
    Thank you Nayaswami Jiotish! This is most helpful.

    1. Sorry, I made a mistake on your name Nayaswami Jyotish. Blessings to both of you.

  3. This helps one understand the vibrations at each chakra, and it clarifys the importance of technique. The mental image is really helpful. Blessings and gratitude!

  4. This information is so exciting!! I just finished the Understanding the Chakras course and this expands wonderfully the understanding I got from that course. Before taking that course I had no idea the chakras are so important and so fascinating, so vital to life, so intrinsic to transformation and spiritual awakening not to mention the very means to the goal of enlightenment. Please give us more jewels from this book.

    1. Thanks you. I plan to talk more on the subject during Inner Renewal Week in March. Our talks will be available on the internet, either live streamed through Online with Ananda, or a bit later on

      1. That’s wonderful to hear about the content of Spiritual Renewal Week. I will be looking forward even more to listening to the events. My order has also already been placed at Amazon for the book. :)

  5. Very nice, Jyotish; this is very helpful. I’m going to keep this in mind as I meditate. Thank You.

  6. Thank you, Jyotish, for this clear explanation of how stilling the breath brings us closer to union with God! Blessings, Elaine

  7. There is a book on entitled, “Purana Purusha Yogiraj Sri Shama Churn Lahiree: A Complete Biography” Hardcover – November 30, 2004, by Dr. Ashoke Kumar Chatterjee (Author). I am wondering if this is the same book?! There is also another book listed there by the same author, entitled, “Who is this Shama Churn?” Hardcover – August 1, 2009 .
    In any case, thank you very much, Jyotish, for such valuable information!

    1. Dear Jim,
      Thanks for catching this. A couple of other people have pointed out that the book, ( “Purana Purusha Yogiraj Sri Shama Churn Lahiree: A Complete Biography” Hardcover – November 30, 2004, by Dr. Ashoke Kumar Chatterjee (Author) is available on Amazon. The copy I have from India is a more recent edition, 2012, but probably is not very different in substance. It will be much easier for interested readers in the US to order it from Amazon. Thanks again.

  8. That book sounds like a great find! Thank you for sharing that with us, Jyotish. I really appreciate this column. It is always so inspirational and helpful. Many blessings to you and Devi and all your good work.

  9. Thank you, Jyotish,
    This is so valuable and inspiring. Hearing the pathway to freedom described in such a specific way focuses the meditation and devotion.
    Blessings and love,

  10. This is so interesting! It is a clear explanation of why emphasizing the upper body in dance is helpful and important. Most dance today predominately stimulates the lower chakras and therefore must reinforce their faster vibratory rate. If the upper chakras are given primary focus then dance can help to center, raise and still the energy in the spine.
    Thank you so much, Jyotish and Devi, for these inspiring weekly letters!
    Blessings and Joy, Pavani

  11. Thank you!
    This was inspirational for me. Walking the way of Bhakti as I do there I am happy to “find” new ways of looking at the One.
    In Love

  12. Gee Whiz Jyotish,
    That was really a powerful and clear way to express the detail and subtlety of Prana. Thank You.
    We were meant to be beings of Light and Energy and learning ways to understand and master Pranayama and integrate it into Meditation is invaluable. Bless you and Thanks again for sharing.
    ~~~Peace, Josette

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