continued from last issue…
Nadi (Subtle Energy Channels)
The concept of Nadi
Ever experience being swept up in a mental tornado accompanied by a rushing torrent of emotions? Can you recall how you were feeling at the time? If not, could you create such a scenario right now? For a while, close your eyes, and think of a concept that will bring a flood of emotions. Please take a close mental note of where and how the body’s energy flow is moving at this time. Modern scientists would explain this energy flow using a nervous system-related idea. Nevertheless, our ancient sages, who were gifted scientists, have explained this occurrence with a different theory of a subtle energy network in the body, i.e. Nadi Network.
The way electricity, radio, or laser waves exist and flow despite being invisible, the life force runs through the nadis (subtle energy channels) described in yogic literature. These nadis are distinct from the nervous system known to the medical science since they are located in the auric body as opposed to the nervous system in the gross/physical body. Energy automatically flows to each organ and cell through a large, intricate, and well-organized network of conduits that can be framed only by the unidentified ultimate force of nature, and Nadis perform this gigantic task of moving the energy everywhere. These Nadis have immense power which can be understood from the fact that Tibetan monks (Lamas) melt snow on the Himalayan snowy mountains just by raising their body temperature through thorough control over these Nadis.
Three principal nadis make up the network of energy channels, and there are innumerable auxiliary ones as well. There are 72,000 nadis overall, according to one school of thinking; however, another school of thought places this number at 7,200,000. An agreement exists that there are only three major nadis, and all other nadis are their offshoots, despite there is conflicting information regarding the number of auxiliary nadis. Naturally, there are references to Nadis in the ancient literature of other Asian nations as well, but with different terminology.
The Nadi on the left of the body is known as Ida or Chandra(Lunar) Nadi, the one in the middle as Sushumna or Madhya Nadi (Central Channel), and the one on the right is Pingala or Surya(Solar) Nadi. Sushumna Nadi (Central Channel) runs from the perineum to the palate of the head, where the uppermost chakra (Sahasradhara/Crown chakra) is located; the other two nadis i.e. Ida and Pingala are spirally arranged on either side of Sushumna.
Ida Nadi is feminine, whereas Pingala is masculine. The terms feminine and masculine are used here to refer to the basic energy qualities of male and female, rather than gender. As a result, this concept should be understood as ‘duality in a single body,’ whether masculine or feminine.
The literature of many ancient civilizations bears a reference to Nadis, with different terminology. Thousands of years ago, China knew meridians(the energy-flowing channels). Acupuncture and Acupressure therapies are solely based on the theory of meridians.
Likewise, the well-known Shiatsu therapy in Japan is developed on the principle of Yin-Yang. Yin is the Ida Nadi and Yang is the Pingala Nadi. The origin of the Yin-Yang theory is in China.
People typically breathe through a single nostril, switching between left and right nostrils. Only rare people can breathe through both nostrils at the same time. When breathing continues from the left nostril, the body is influenced by the Ida Nadi; when breathing continues from the right nostril, the body is controlled by the Pingala Nadi. If a person is fortunate enough to breathe through both nostrils at the same time, his or her energy is moving through Sushumna Nadi (Central Channel) at that time. This stage is usually reached while meditating. Furthermore, if a person meditates regularly for an extended time, he or she may be able to stay in this stage.
Each person possesses varying degrees of Ida-Pingala qualities. That is why everyone is said to be a combination of Shiva and Shakti. The pinnacle of spirituality is a balanced combination of these two in one body. Many saints have a near-ideal balance of these two energies. That is why many male saints appear feminine in their body language and speech, indicating that they have spiritually advanced, resulting in a merger of both energies and that they spend the majority of their time in Sushumna Nadi. With the advancement of technology, Kirlian photography can provide a report on the level of these energies in one’s body.
One such graphical presentation can be found here, taken from the aura report of a divine Himalayan sage, H.H. Shri Shivkrupanand Swamiji.
The report mentions, “The graph is indicating that Yin and Yang, left and right parts are balanced.”
Let’s take a break now; will continue further understanding on Nadis in the following article.
(… to be continued)
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Also read Through the Lenses of Science, on the Wings of Spirituality (Chakra Samhita) – 4 – Kundalini