According to the scriptures of Yoga there are 72000 or more Nadi (astral channels) made up of astral matter that carry Pranic currents. Among all the Nadi, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are the important ones. Sushumna is the most important of all. When the two Nadi, Ida and Pingala are balanced, then the third Sushumna becomes active. When Sushumna is active, the breath flows through both nostrils. Generally, this happens only for a few minutes when the active breath changes from one to the other nostril. Only after continuous practise of Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha, Prayer and Meditation, Sushumna flows actively. During the flow of Sushumna, the whole brain operates.
Sushumna description by Swami Sivananda – According to Great Yogi Swami Sivananda from Rishikesh, Sushumna is the most important of all the Nadi. It is the sustainer of the universe, the path of the universe and the path of salvation. Situated at the back of the anus, it is attached to the spinal column and extends to the Brahmarandhra of the head and is invisible and subtle. The real work of a Yogi begins when Sushumna begins to function. Sushumna runs along the centre of the spinal cord or spinal column. Above the genital organs and below the navel is the Kanda, of the shape of a bird’s egg. There arise from it all the Nadi 72,000 in number. Of these, seventy-two are common and generally known. Of those the chief ones are ten and they carry the Prana. Ida, Pingala, Sushumna, Gandhari, Hastijihva, Pusa, Yusasvini, Alambusa, Kuhuh and Sankhini are said to be the ten important Nadis. The Yogis should have a knowledge of the Nadi and the Chakra. Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are said to carry Prana and have Moon, Sun and Agni as their Devata. When Prana moves in Sushumna then sit for meditation. You will have deep Dhyana. If the coiled-up energy, Kundalini, passes up along the Sushumna Nadi and is taken up from Chakra to Chakra, then the Yogi gets different sorts of experiences, powers and Ananda.
Sushumna purification – In order to let the Prana flow freely, Nadi must be purified. Sushumna purification becomes more important as it is the pathway of Kundalini; the most powerful force. Therefore, before a practitioner aims to awaken Kundalini, he needs to purify Nadi by the practices of Pranayama like Nadhi Shodhana Pranayama and some special kind of Pranayama with the addition of Mudra and Bandha. This purification of Sushumna Nadi becomes more important in order that Kundalini energy may ascend easily.
Sushumna awakening – The word Sushumna literally signifies the state of happy mind. When the breath flows through both nostrils, the mind attains a state of happiness and calmness. Such a mental state helps one to travel the deeper states of consciousness. Kundalini awakening precedes Sushumna purification and Sushumna awakening. Through Meditation practices Sushumna awakening is possible. Hereunder are some helpful techniques which can help awaken Sushumna after Sushumna purification –
- Concentration on the meeting of the two nostrils
- Pranayama (Nadi Shodhana) practice with application of Jalandhara Bandha (the chin lock)
- Meditation on Chakra
- Japa or Mantra Chanting in a prescribed manner
Lesson from Katha Upanishad – In the great scripture Katha Upanishad, the King of Death (God Yama) says, “There are countess nerves in the physical system. The most important of them is that which goes upward through spine called Sushumna. It travels through the spinal column and goes until the highest heaven as realized by the Yogi. One who can enter Sushumna at the time of death can attain Brahman. All other paths lead to rebirth. By Yogic practice, the Yogi can unite with Parama Shiva enthroned on the sacred throne of the thousand-petalled-lotus. Sushumna is key to liberation. From the Sahasrara Chakra, he rises to the abode of the absolute Brahman.”
With Love and Gratefulness (Founder Rohit Kumar)
Source – Ancient texts of Yoga, words of Swami Sivananda, Swami Satyananda, Swami Niranjanananda Sawaswati and personal study.
Hari Om Tat Sat!