Lesson 22 – Topic 5 – The balance of life

If the pingala nadi is flowing during meditative practices then one will experience events that are concerned with the outside world. If the ida nadi is flowing then a state of mind will arise called lava, a state of unconsciousness or total absorption in thought processes. When the sushumna is flowing during meditative practices then one is more likely to experience those planes which are real, which are pure, which are on the path to real knowledge. Therefore, if you want success in your meditational practices make sure that the sushumna is flowing.

Swami Satvananda Saraswati


Topic 5

The Balance of Life (Part 1)

In this topic we will bring in many seemingly unrelated subjects. Yet, as you will see by the end, they are all intimately connected. Everything which we will discuss has the greatest relevance to the unfolding of your potential, whether physical, mental, psychic or beyond. We want to integrate and harmonize the opposing principles contained in the following concepts:

  1. Ida and pingala
  2. Flow of the left and right nostril
  3. Introversion and extroversion
  4. Knowledge and action (jnana and karma)
  5. Meditational practices and external work
  6. Prana and consciousness
  7. Shiva and Shakti


All these subjects may appear to be totally unrelated, but as we will show, they all constitute parts of a whole. If you understand them correctly, they will clearly show you the path which you must tread to spiritual awakening. If you misunderstand them, then it is possible that you will take the wrong path and either stay at lower levels of awareness or descend from a higher to a lower one. Many people have done this and are still doing it.

The central theme of this discussion is ida and pingala. These two principles were conceived and symbolized by the sages of the past. These wise men understood ida and pingala, the two currents of human aspiration, through personal experience. They clearly saw that the concepts of ida and pingala applied to all levels of being, from the grossest to the most subtle. The concept spans the apparent chasm between the physical and the spiritual.

Let us discuss the implications of ida and pingala at the different levels of meaning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *