The Nadi, the subtle energy channels of the life force

The human being consists of several subtle energy systems, having a different vibration frequency, starting from the lowest, which defines the human physical body, to the highest, which defines the last subtle shell – the one that allows us to experience the state of bliss, and which connects with the Immortal Supreme Self ATMAN.

According to the Oriental spiritual tradition, the human being is made up of five bodily shells called KOSHA’s, their ensemble being generally called PANCHA – KOSHA, or the five shells. Literally the Sanskrit word KOSHA means “wrapper” and PANCHA, signifies the number five.

These five coatings are:

1. ANNA-MAYA-KOSHA, the coarse shell or in other words in thephysical velis,

2.PRANA-MAYA-KOSHA, bio-energetic shell or PRANA-ic,

3.MA NO-MAYA-KOSHA, the mental shell,

4.VIJNANA-MAYA-KOSHA, the shell of higher knowledge,

5.ANANDA-MAYA-KOSHA, the most subtle shell, which allows us to experience the state of bliss.

The way of revealing the Supreme Immortal Self ATMAN is the path of the progressive movement of the individual consciousness inwards, as if it were passing, analogically speaking, by each shell, in order to finally experience the divine purity that is in the eternal center of our being, the Supreme Self (ATMAN). At the same time, the process of Self-discovery allows the awakening and harmonious activation of the five shells (KOSHA), making it possible for the state of spiritual purity to gradually animate our individuality, at all levels of our being.

In ancient Indian medicine, the Nadi are the subtle energy channels through which life energy flows, known as PRANA. According to the sacred texts, these energy channels form a fine, extremely complex network, which counts no less than 72,000 nadi-s. At the major intersections of the nadi,eergetic vortices are formed, known as chakras or centers of force.

The main centers of force are:

chakra_map1. MULADHARA CHAKRA – It is located at the base of the spine, between the anus and the sex (in the subtle, energetic plane) and is the seat of the fundamental energy of being, kundalini Shakti. Attributes: the source of life, vitality.

2. SWADHISTANA CHAKRA– It is located above the pelvic area, in the subtle plane. Attributes: sexual energy, sensitivity, social mimicry.

3. MANIPURA CHAKRA- It is located immediately below the navel area, in the subtle plane. Attributes: solarity, expansion, willpower, dynamism.

4. ANAHATA CHAKRA- It is located in the cardiac plexus area, i.e. in the central area of the chest, in the subtle plane. Attributes: affectivity, harmony, altruism, love.

5. VISHUDDHA CHAKRA – It is located in the neck area, in the subtle plane. Attributes: refinement, intuition, elevation, sublime experiences, aesthetic revelations, inspiration.

6. AJNA CHAKRA – It is located in the central area of the forehead, in the subtle plane. Attributes: genius, extraordinary mental power, clairvoyance, superior intuition.

7. SAHASRARA – It is located in the crest area, in the subtle plane. Attributes: detachment, connection with eternal Truth, pure spirituality, contact with God, wisdom.

The chakras are inserted along the spine on the ascending path of the energy axis of the body called Sushumna Nadi.

Sushumna Nadi can be visualized as the central energy channel located at the level of the spinal cord. The traditional yogic texts state that Sushumna has the appearance of fire (AGNI) and contains inside it another demunite NADI VAJRA NADI that is of solar essence and is glossy like the Sun (SURYA).

Inside this NADI there is another NADI called CHITRA (or CHITRINI NADI), through which the silver nectar of the moon (CHANDRA) circulates, having a pale color.

The lower extremity of CHITRA NADI is called BRAHMADVARA or, in translation, “brahma’s gate” in which is located kundalini, the one coiled three and a half times and who kills when he is awakened passes through this “gate”. CHITRA NADI is also called the Supreme Way of Happiness. The CHITRA NADI are suspended all the NADI’s from the subtle body by some extremely thin “strands” as much as the thousandth of a hair.

Inside CHITRA NADI there is a very fine energy channel called BRAHMA NADI through which when kundalini shakti wakes up, it ideally crosses all seven centers of force, starting with MULADHARA CHAKRA, to the last center – SAHASRARA CHAKRA.

On both sides of SUSHUMNA NADI there are two other important NADI’s, IDA NADI – the subtle lunar energetic channel and PINGALA NADI – the subtle solar energy channel. Traditionally, it was stated that IDA NADI has a pale color like the Moon (CHANDRA), and PINGALA NADI is red, similar to the Sun (SURYA). They start from the base of the central shushumna channel, in a spiral movement, similar to human DNA, intersecting next to each chakra or main force center.

In order for Sushumna Nadi to be open and to be able to allow the ascension of the Kundalini energy, it is necessary that the two subtle energy channels Ida and Pingala be clean and balanced, so that the purification of these three subtle energy channels is imperative to obtain a good state of health but also to obtain effective results in the practice of yoga and meditation.

The purification of these nadi is carried out with the help of Pranayama, which aims at controlling the energy through the suction processes. Practicing Pranayama, the control exercised over the respiratory breath will determine in time the stabilization of the mind but also the purification of the body and subtle bodies.

We end with a quote from the famous Indian work Hatha Yoga Pradipika from which we learn then: “When the NDADs are purified, the signs of certain transformations appear: the body becomes bright and bright”; AND “By eliminating impurities, the yogi will be able to retain his respiratory breath easily for a longer period of time, the gastric fire will activate, NADA (the subtle divine sound) will become audible and the yogi will enjoy perfect health.”


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