“Knowing is not Doing, Doing is Doing”. Knowledge is of no value, unless you put it into practice. Till now, we have been discussing about philosophy and its relevance to understanding Reality. From today, we shall start discussing issues with a view to utilize it for practical gains.
The human body contains all the frequencies ranging from the frequency of Universal intelligence to the frequency of the human body. It is the goal or endeavour of each and every religion or spiritual practice to increase frequency. Teachings and processes in every religion and tradition – be it praying, rituals, scriptures, lifestyles, moral and ethical rules – each and every one is directed towards vertically increasing one’s frequency. That should be the goal of each of us.
The human body is the most powerful instrument of transformation and we need to understand it completely – if we desire to reach higher states. As mentioned earlier, the entire energy range beginning from the highest vibrations and slowing down to slowest, is present in each of us- Anandamaya (bliss), Vijnanamaya (knowledge), Manomaya (behaviour), Pranamaya (bio energy) and Annamaya (physical).
Today, I am going to write about the most important sheath – Pranamaya or bio energy or energy body, through which we can unfold and tap the evolutionary potential of humans. This commences by the entering of prana or bio energy or life force in the body at the time of birth and ends with the exit of prana from the body causing death. Prana should not be mistaken as breath, but as an electromagnetic energy of a range of a certain frequency pervading all over the body, which is supported by breath.
Like the complex human body, the prana body is equally complex and the source of life. It consists of 3 parts
1. The energy centres or Chakras,
2. The junctions between the energy and the physical body called the Marmas, and
3. The channels of energy transmission and reception called the Nadis.
The electromagnetic energy in all sheaths have electric as well as magnetic properties.The chakras act as receivers, transformers and distributors of the various forms of the prana. Through the nadis, they take up vital energy from the higher sheaths or higher frequencies as well as from his surroundings, the cosmos etc and transforms this energy into the frequency needed by various areas of the physical, mental and spiritual body for its sustenance and development. The junctions or marmas are the crossover points between sheaths. By means of the energy system, a human being is therefore in a state of continuous exchange at the levels of the environment, the universe and creation.
Let’s take the third component of the pranic or energy body – NADIS or channels of energy flow.
For those of you who might have gone to school ;), you might remember an experiment in which one kept a bar of magnet on a piece of paper and threw some small iron filings around it and then shook the paper. The iron filings arranged themselves in a pattern called the magnetic lines. Therefore each magnet has many magnetic lines – primary and tertiary.
Humans are made up of electromagnetic energy and each of our many organs have magnetic qualities and thus each of the organs have primary and tertiary magnetic lines. Therefore there are thousands of magnetic lines or nadis, which are not visible (like magnetic lines), but through which the electromagnetic energy flows and feeds energy to all organs. Indian texts mention a total of 72,000 nadis.
Nadis are linked to chakras. These nadis supply and transmit energy to the chakras and from the chakras to all organs, a bit like the arteries and veins supply and transmit blood to the heart. The physical, mental and spiritual energy work together on all levels, and it’s the dynamic interplay of these different vibrational energy that determines our existence.
If the goal of our life is to evolve, then in order to increase the frequency, one of the things that we need to learn is to open up blockages in the nadis, allowing energy to flow. It is akin to garbage being stuck in the kitchen sink pipe – it needs to be cleaned for water to flow. Blockages (physical, mental, psychological or spiritual) will never allow any evolutionary growth to take place. Yogis and tantrics (tantra practisioners) spend their entire lives cleansing their blockages and using scientifically designed practices to increase their energy. I will try, very briefly, to give an idea of the principles and practices to do so.
There are fourteen principal nadis which run across the main body, with the first ten ending on physical openings – Sushumna (the soft deep spot in the middle of the head – Brahma randhra), Ida (left nostril), Pingala (right nostril), Gandhari (left eye), Hastajivha (right eye), Yashasvini (left ear), pusha (right ear), Alambusha (mouth), Kuhu (genitals), Shankhini (anus), Saraswati (tongue), Payasvini (right earlobe), Varuni (near anus) and Vishodara (navel). Out of these, today we will deal with the three main nadis that intersect all the chakras :
1. Sushumna nadi – starting from near the anus on the lowest chakra (Muladhar chakra), this one is parallel / within the spinal cord and carries the maximum energy to the highest energy spot in the head (Sahasrara chakra) , passing through all the energy chakras. It is also the nadi through which the kundalini energy flows when awakened. It ends at the Brahma Randhra, the soft spot in the head, (the one you see throbbing in a small child) and in Hinduism, they try and allow the prana or life force to leave from there to attain higher frequency and therefore before burning the dead body, they try and break open the Brahma Randhra. Meditation, kundalini awakening practices, certain complex breathing processes are used to activate the sushumna. The highest state or the blissful state can be achieved by a powerful, activated sushumna.
2. Ida nadi – is the left channel, with the breath inhaled and exhaled from the left nostril. It carries the cool, lunar or feminine or life-producing energy. It feeds the opposite side of the brain i.e. right brain and thus the right brain is the intuitional, creative and feminine part. We breathe through alternate nostrils, with an average of 50 minutes from one side and then 50 minutes from the other. Specific left nostril breathing will excite Ida nadi and its nourishing chemicals released by the activation of the right part of the brain purifies the body chemistry, which helps in meditation, creative work, music, sleep etc. Yogis use the wooden T shaped apparatus, which they put below their arms to activate the opposite nostril.
3. Pingala nadi – is the right channel. Carrier of hot, solar energy, masculine in nature, it is purifying, but its cleansing is like fire. It feeds the left brain – the centre for an electrical, male, verbal, rational, dynamic and efficient action. Breathing through the right nostril is performed to increase vitality, vigour, stamina, debates, discussions and duels. You could put your finger below your nostril to feel, which nostril is operating and by putting a thick book or a pillow inside the opposite armpit, you could manipulate the breathing and subsequently, the working of your brain and action.
In Hinduism, they said that the highest state of man is the ardhanareshwar stage, one of Siva’s manifestation, which means that one is half male and half female. If you discard the symbolism, it means that the highest state of man / woman is to have both the sides of the brain – the left male side and the right female side working equally. More, next time….