In all traditions, Spirit means breath or wind:
Our word Spirit is derived from the Latin Spiritus, which means breath. For the Greeks, the Spirit is known as Pneuma, a term which also means breath. The Hebrew word Ruah is synonymous with wind. Yahweh is derived from the root HWY, which also means wind.
The consistency in these different terms in not fortuitous. It results from the intuition of the Unconscious, which makes clear that to know the Spirit is to know the breath of God. This reminds on of the passages in the New Testament which describes the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost:
“Suddenly a sound came form heaven
Like the rush of a mighty wind
And it filled the house where we were sitting”
In India, this breath is known as Brahmachaitanya, the Breath of God. In the tradition of the Vedanta, the Prasana Upanishad(commented by Shankaracharia) declares: “in the heart resides the Atman, the Self. It is the centre of a hundred and one little channels….In these moves…the breath”.
Still in India, the Spiritis also associated with prana, a term which, in Sanskrit, means breath. TheMundaka Upanishad explains that this breath has its source in the Atman. The Kausitaki Upanishad tells us several times that the Atman (Brahman) is breath. And one of the oldest Sanskrit scriptures, the Atharva Veda, states that “whosoever be driven by the breath of life, he will be reborn”.