Sahaja Yoga Nadis

The human nervous system is divided into a central and an autonomic nervous system. The autonomic is divided into parasympathetic (PNS*) and sympathetic nervous systems (SNS). The parasympathetic nervous system is divided by a gap between the vagus nerve and the kundalini. This division is symbolised in the instrument as the void (IV).

The left and right sympathetic nervous systems (SNS) we use for our day to day physical, mental and emotional activity. Within the subtle instrument, Ida Nadi (Left Channel) manifests the left SNS* and Pingala Nadi (Right Channel) the right SNS. By-products of Ida Nadi activity create the balloon of superego in the head, beginning on the left at throat level and mostly covering the back and right side of the head. Pingala Nadi activity creates another balloon, of ego on the other side, covering the front and left side of the head.

The central channel of Sushumna Nadi manifests the PNS*. This system is self-governing. The Self or Spirit witnesses the action of the PNS which controls our involuntary activities such as heartbeat, breathing and reflex, that is, unconscious as opposed to conscious activity. Although we can to a degree control our sympathetic action, for instance we can make our hearts beat faster, we cannot consciously slow the heart down, which is parasympathetic action.

The Self existing at this level means that we cannot achieve Self-realisation through our own effort, only through God’s desire. Spirit is spontaneous; as natural and vital to us as our heartbeat. How long would we last if it were only our will that kept our hearts beating, or if we were to learn breathing from a book ? The spirit is infinite, while our rationality is finite, hence our efforts are also finite. Only Kundalini can bridge that great divide between illusion and reality. She is the trigger of divine bliss, that unites the attention to the Spirit, and carries you on into joy.

I. Ida Nadi (Moon Line, Left Channel)
Qualities: tamo guna, past, subconscious
Gross expression: left sympathetic nervous system
Place on hand: whole left hand
Manifestations: auspiciousness, emotion, existence, joy, desire.
Causes of catch: lethargy, habits, conditioning, superstition, blind faith, guilt, fear, self pity, day-dreaming, drugs, bad childhood, gross attachments to children, tantrism, sexual perversion, black magic.

The left side channel begins at the Mooladhara chakra and crosses at the Agnya Chakra (6) into the superego in the right side of the brain. It expresses the passive mood of the Virata and the power of desire (ichha shakti). Desire is our prime mover, the power by which we exist and the first cause of our creating or seeking. Emotion is born out of desire which is not yet materialised. Therefore the left is our emotional side.

Weakness in the left side leaves us prone to emotional extremism, where we are thrown between elation and depression. There is very little sense of self-discipline, and we become slaves to habits inculcated in us through conditioning. We become very lethargic, retreating into passivity and self-obsession. Eventually the pressure on the brain grows too much to bear and there is a breakdown, culminating in lunacy, epilepsy, senile decay.

To correct a weak left side we have to first balance it with the right (rajo guna). This means activity which develops the ego and pushes the over-developed superego back to the central area of the head. So we put more attention outside, on work and action. Discarding all ideas of self-destruction and self-pity, we materialise the emotional side which is attuned to our sustenance (dharma). By using the neglected right side, we bring the left into balance with the rest of the being. Now when Kundalini is raised she does not fall again.

The real and greatest quality of the left side is to give us joy (anand), which is beyond the duality of happiness and sorrow. The Spirit is always in joy. That joy is expressed in its purity when Kundalini enlightens the attention with the Spirit. Actually the joy which is latent in creation starts manifesting through our left side. Then you find joy radiating from any source of divine vibrations.

Your priorities change automatically. Old habits and addictions are over and done with, given up without difficulty. A sense of security is established and all guilt and imaginary fears disappear. ‘Everything created by nature gives a new meaning and one starts enjoying the genuine significance of every ripple of joy they emit.’

II. Pingala Nadi (Sun Line, Right Channel)
Qualities: rajo guna, future, supraconscious.
Gross expression: right sympathetic nervous system.
Place on hand: whole right hand.
Manifestations: self-respect, action, creativity, physical and mental activity.
Causes of catch: domination, mental egotism, high- handedness, temper, exploitation, cunning, certain dress, shamelessness, ‘do what you like’ attitude, vanity, austerity, asceticism, fanaticism, racialism, nationalism.

The right side channel begins at the swadisthan chakra, crossing at the agnya chakra into the balloon of ego. It expresses the active mood (rajo guna) of the virata and the power of action (kriya shakti).

Pingala nadi is the side which creates, by which we think and act, work and plan for the future. When the demand for energy on this side is too great, the left side is neglected, the desire to know the spirit evaporates. Heart failure can be the ultimate result as the ego develops to the detriment of the spirit, which, in such circumstances may depart from its home in the heart. When natural desires are suppressed, the ego becomes even stronger in the personality.

Right side personalities become very dry, aggressive and cunning. They lose all feelings, concerned only for their material advancement and power over others. Any degree of trickery or exploitation can be justified by their rationality. Blinded by ego, they are proud to think they are fooling the world. They identify only with ego, the heart is just a stone. They believe in the power of their own intelligence, but wisdom and logic soon part company and stupidity and idiocity becomes a common symptom of this type of personality.

If we suffer from over developed ego, we bring ourselves into balance by moving the energy towards the centre, to Sattva guna. Problems on Pingala nadi result largely from our presumption that is actually we who are doing something, when in fact all living work is done only by God Almighty. He germinates the seed, He changes the flower into fruit. All we do is change one dead form into another. We ask his forgiveness for being so foolishly egoistical and then we can remember the mantra to correct Pingala nadi, “I’m not doing it.”

Any extreme physical or mental activity can paralyse the emotional side. Even in seeking the Spirit, our efforts may move us so far on to the right side that we move into supraconscious areas where we see visions, like those induced by hallucinogenic drugs. After realisation, our attention becomes centred on the Spirit without effort, and the two sides are brought into balance. When the powers of desire and action are equal, and that balance is established through the understanding of human sustenance (dharma), then Kundalini remains constant and we establish ourselves in Sattwa guna (sushumna).

II. Sushumna Nadi (Central Channel)
Qualities: Sattwa guna, present, unconscious.
Gross expression: parasympathetic nervous system.
Place on hand: both hands.
Manifestations: sustenance, revelation, religion

The central channel begins at the mooladhara and passes straight up into the highest chakra of sahasrara. Only partly active up to the human stage, it expresses the evolutionary power of the virata (Sattwa guna), virtue and righteousness (dharma) and the power of awareness (jnana shakti).

On first awakening, Kundalini ascends Sushumna nadi up to agnya chakra. It covers the lower plate of the brain (moordha) then descends like melting clouds on the Ida and Pingala nadis to the void. It fills this area and then the three combined powers of the three channels re-ascend the Sushumna to open the lotus petals of the Sahasrara. The Spirit, residing in the heart, has its seat at the top of the head in the centre. All the chakras have their seats in the Sahasrara. This is the fontanale area that is pierced by the Kundalini, the point of yoga at which the attention is united to the Spirit, the bramharandhra, the gate into the Brahman.

The Sushumna is the central channel for our evolution. It is through this channel that we become collectively conscious and all the disparate factors of our being are integrated in one whole. It makes the connection between our conscious mind and the ‘auto’ of the autonomic nervous system, the Spirit, which is the reflection of God. Sushumna is the way of dharma, the straight and narrow path by which we pass through the gate of the Agnya Chakra to enter into the Kingdom of God in the Sahasrara.

So with the Sahasrara open and the connection with Sushumna established, we are open to the source of all awareness where all knowledge dwells, and sustained by the primordial source of all power (Adi Shakti). Meditation in thoughtless awareness is the key to the development of a strong sushumna. Another basic requirement is to enjoy a virtuous and dharmic life. After realisation, try to keep in thoughtless awareness as much as possible, with attention centred in sushumna nadi, the channel of the eternal present, where the only time is ‘now’. In this way, with Kundalini awakening, we transcend time and space.

SNS:  Sympathetic Nervous System
PNS: Parasympathetic Nervous System
Ida Nadi: Left Channel – Goes from right temple crosses through Agnya Chakra in the forehead down left side to left Mooladhara Chakra (base Chakra)
Pingala Nadi: Right Channel – Goes from left temple crosses through Agnya Chakra in the forehead down right side to Right Swadishtan Chakra (2nd Chakra) close to right hip.
Sushumna: Central Channel