Shatchakra nirupana mentions three main channels or pathways of energy present in our subtle body Ida, Pingala and Sushumna.
Ida And Pingala are nadis through which Prana Vayu passes, they represent the feminine and masculine characteristics or what we also call left and right hemisphere of the brain. Sushumna is the central passage through which prana flows to all different organs and parts of the body.
The Ida nadi begins and ends on the left side of Sushumna. Ida is regarded as the lunar nadi, cool and nurturing by nature, it is said to control all mental processes and the more feminine aspects of our personality. Ida manifests itself (when seen through meditation) as a pale white thread. It is closely linked to the sympathetic nervous system which stimulates the body to “feed and breed” and to (then) “rest-and-digest”.
Pingala, the solar nadi, begins and ends to the right of sushumna. It is warm and stimulating by nature, controls all vital somatic processes, and oversees the more masculine aspects of our personality. Pingala manifests itself as a red coloured thread. It is closely linked to the parasympathetic nervous system which is described as being antagonistic to the sympathetic nervous system where primary process is to stimulate the body’s fight-flight-or-freeze response.
Sushumna is the Conduit of life it begins at the base of the spinal chord at the Muladhara Chakra and ends at the top of the head at the Bhramrandra in Sahasrar Chakra. It is also called Vajra which means a shining beam of lightening. This is how it manifests itself, as a bright luminous golden tube in the centre of the spinal cord. The mind becomes steady, when the breath flows through Sushumna, some yogis consider this the beggining of Meditation or Dhyan. This state of the steadiness is termed “Unmani Avastha”, the highest state of Yoga. Deep meditative state can be achieved by meditating when Sushumna is active.
Inside the Sushumna nadi is Chitrini Nadi described as the destination of all yogis. It is the embodiment of primordial sound AUM. It is described to be fine and subtle like a spider’s thread. This thread like nadi penetrates all lotuses or Chakras present along the spine. By opening the Chakras that exist in this Nadi, the Yogi destroys all karma and rids himself of Samsara acquired through many lives.
Even further inside the chitrani nadi is a more subtle nadi called the Bhrama Nadi it is the channel through which self/bhraman enters and exists the physical body. At the top of the bhrama nadi is Bharmarandhra from where the nectre of pure consciousness flows, which is the giver of pure knowledge and eternal joy.
The kanda in Muladhara chakra is the meeting place of these three main nadis and is known as Yukta Triveni (Yukta: “combined”, tri: “three”, veni: “streams”). In Muladhara, the static Kundalini Shakti, is symbolized by a serpent coiled three and a half times around the Svayambhu-linga. The serpent lies blocking the entrance to Sushumna Nadi, the central channel with its mouth. Only once Kundalini is activated it enters Sushumna and with repeated Abhyas and Sadhana it continues its journey upwards piercing through all six chakras ‘Shat Nadi Bhedan’ before it finally meets its counterpart Shiva at the Saharar chakra.
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