Today, for quick travel, the material world presents us the Railway, Steamers, Aeroplanes and so forth, but the Yogis claim that by Yogic culture the weight of the body can be so reduced that it can fly over the space to any distance in an instant. When we are anxious to know the welfare of our own relations in a distant or foreign land, we take recourse to writing letters sending ordinary or urgent cables. But the Yogis claim that they can, by meditation (Dyana), know anything that happens in other parts of the world by a projection of the mind or by mentally travelling the distance which is only a matter of few seconds. Today when a man is suffering from a disease the material world presents us with doctors, medicines, injections and so forth, but the Yogis claim that by a mere glance or by simple touch or by recitation of Mantras, not only the diseases can be cured but also life can be given to a dead man.
These Yogis by persistent effort in concentration get different Yogic powers that are known as ‘Siddhis’. Those who acquire these Siddhis, are known as Siddhas. The process through which they obtain Siddhis, is called Sadhana. Pranayama is one of the most important Sadhanas (spiritual practice). Through the practice of Asana, you can control the physical body and through Pranayama, you can control the subtle, astral body or the Linga Sarira. As there is an intimate connection between the breath and nerve-currents, control of breath leads to the control of vital inner currents.
Pranayama occupies a very important place in Indian religion. Every Brahmachari, and every Grihastha (householder) also, has to practise it three times every day morning, noon and evening in his daily worship during Sandhya. It precedes every religious practice of the Hindus. Before he eats, before he drinks, before he resolves to do anything, Pranayama should be performed first and then the nature of his determination should be clearly enunciated and placed before the mind. The facts of its preceding every effort of the will is a surety that, that effort will be crowned with success and the mind will be directed to bring about the desired result.
He who has grasped this Prana, has grasped the very core of cosmic life and activity. He who has conquered and controlled this very essence, has not only subjected his own body and mind but every other body and mind in this universe. Thus Pranayama or the control of Prana is that means by which the Yogi tries to realise in his little body the whole of cosmic life, and tries to attain perfection by getting all the powers in this universe. His various exercises and trainings are for this one end.
Why delay? Delay means so much of additional suffering and misery. Let us increase the speed, struggle harder until we succeed in bridging over the vast chasm of time. By doing proper Sadhana let us attain the goal at once in this body, right now in this very moment. Why not we get that infinite knowledge, infinite bliss, infinite peace and infinite power, now alone?
The solution of the problem is the teaching of Yoga. The whole science ‘Yoga’ has this one end in view, to enable man to cross the ocean of Samsara (birth-death cycle), to increase power, to develop knowledge and to attain immortality and eternal bliss.
The Science of Pranyama by Sri Swami Sivananda