Life is a Billion Breath Package -1

According to ancient scriptures, each and every thing in the universe undergoes a cycle of birth and death, including the universe itself. It is told that all living beings (in the traditional sense – because there is no such thing called non-living thing) are endowed with a life span which can be calculated by the number of breaths we take. As a wise man said, “Language of the gods is mathematics”.

So, what if I tell you that the math about one’s life span is controlled by our breath and nature endowed count for every human being is the same? They say that the effect of Karma and the consequences of our action in this life impact this naturally endowed life span.

Not many realize that when we were born we have been given a current account which is filled with a billion breaths (approx) and we are programmed to continuously withdraw at some rate from this account and this program is called as “Life”. They say that when we manage to exhaust this current account then ‘death” occurs. The math goes something like this:

  • We are supposed to take 4 seconds for one breath, so it is 15 a minute and 21600 for a day (15*60*24).
  • The natural age endowed to a human being is 120 years.
  • So it is – (21600* 360*120) just about a billion breaths (0.933 billion to be precise) which is endowed to us by nature as our life span.

In our daily life we spend energy to get things done. When we spend energy we breathe heavily and hence withdraw from our current account of billion breaths. Now let’s get this little more nuanced. A breath has four components – Inhale, Retain, Exhale, Retain outside. In normal day today life there are only 2 components – Inhale and Exhale.

Against a budget of 15 a minute, we spend 12 a minute while sitting, 18+ while running, 25 while sleeping, 32 during sex and between 32 to 64 breathes a minutes during emotional upheavals like Anger, fear. Effectively it’s the rate of breath which changes with time. Now recollect that Swami Chinmayananda said “Time is nothing but a period between 2 thoughts”. Hence under extremely excited / tense situations we expend far larger quantity of breath than our budget.

Some key items to be noted as follows:

  • The very essence of saying that “Anger or Fear as emotions are suicidal or it is like holding a hot iron rod and it injures the self first before others” can be well understood since we are losing a part of our endowed life because of these emotions.
  • Irrespective what we do, we seems to be wasting our breath that includes sleeping. The thing that we need to be clear about is when we sleep; we recharge our body at the expense of larger breath counts than what is budgeted to us.
  • The importance of “Pranayama” can be better understood now which is stressed for the longevity and health. In Pranayama, all the 4 cycles of breath are effectively used and the mind is calmed for better health. Pranayama is the one of the ways for effective breath management and longer life.
  • The secret of youth and healthy life is effective breath management. The longer we retain the breath, the deeper our breaths, the younger we are and the longer we live.


Know thy Nature by Raguram Gopalan,

Author: Ganesh

A soul in the search of eternal peace... "Be True, Love All, Help Others Selflessly, Live in Harmony and Rest in Peace"

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