|Image from Mashable – The Fuzzy line between life and death is an Upaprana|
Researchers wrote in a study published this week in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences that they observed brain activity for ten minutes after a patient was declared clinically dead. Scientists are unable to posit a physiological basis for the EEG [electroencephalographic] activity. Doctors normally declare a patient clinically dead when they notice a cessation of breathing or of blood circulation. The new data about brain activity has brought some confusion. It is making a case for new studies. It is interesting that ancient Yogis knew about the continuation of some functions in the body after death and the the role of Prana after death! This relates to the five major Pranas and the five minor Pranas Upaprana).
Ayurveda and other Yoga texts classify life force in the body into five major Pranas and five minor Pranas. Most students of Ayurveda and Yoga know the names and the actions of the five major Pranas. The major Pranas are, Prana, Apana, Udana, Vyana and Samana. However, only a few know the names of the minor pranas. Their names Naga, Krikara, Kurma, Devadatta and Dhananjaya. The last of these is responsible for the opening and the closing of the heart valve. But more esoterically, it is associated with near death situations, such as coma, trance. It does not subside until after death. The Prana after death is the interesting Dhananjaya. The functions of the other four minor pranas are also interesting. Yogis used their knowledge about Pranas in many practical ways.
Link to the article in Mashable.