The three columns of The Caduceus are called “nadis”.   In Sanskrit “nadi" means “tube” or “pipe”.  Nadis are energetic channels that operate within the human body and in all living beings.  They comprise of two opposing channels called “ida” (white column – meaning “moon” or “the inspirer”) and pingala (red column – meaning “sun” or “fire”).  These two energetic channels spiral up the central column called “sushumna” (yellow central column – meaning “the very blissful”1.   The channels conclude at the left (ida) and right (pingala) nostrils.  This has a functional purpose because as we breathe, the prana (Life Force energy) in the atmosphere is taken up through the nostrils and into the ida & pingala channels, thus supplying the energetic body with a constant source of Life Force/Prana.  If we have no breath, we have no life.  This is because breath is life (“Prana” meaning “Life Force” or “energy”).  Breath is also Consciousness.

The three columns/nadis represent the three universal principles of light, energy and matter.  According to Vedic philosophy, these are the three forces (sattwa, rajas and tamas) that govern our physical world and are the three strands from which the material universe is woven: light (sattwa); energy (rajas); and matter (tamas).   These qualities are called gunas.  In Sanskrit guna means "string" or "thread".  String theory is alive and well in Vedic Science!   Each of these universal qualities or gunas, produces an effect in the physical world that can be correlated to science, mathematics, medicine, healing and the attainment of wisdom.

Note:  There are no words in the English language to explain the principles of nadis, chakras, gunas, sattwa, rajas and tamas.  It is important that these ancient Sanskrit terms are kept in their original form.  Just as the Eastern and European countries have adopted many English words into their culture, so too must the English language adopt these words that describe the different aspects of energy into its common vocabulary.  By doing so that we can truly live with a vocabulary that more truly reflects the reality of our energetic world.

The nadis are the energy channels that connect three different sections of the subtle body as follows:

Chakra to Chakra

Subtle body to Subtle body

Subtle body to Physical Body

The word “nadi” also comes from the Sanskrit root word nad meaning “motion” or “vibration”.  From an energetic viewpoint, the understanding of the nadis and their relationship to the chakras is imperative for a full comprehension of how The Caduceus operates, which is the one of the aims of this text.

Just as the physical body has a collection of physical channels ranging from the major channel of the gastrointestinal tract to the subtle channels of the nervous system, so too does the subtle body have channels that carry energy.  These energy channels are the “nadis”.

A nadi can be perceived as somewhat like an electrical cable that carries the “electricity” of the life force along its circuitry, delivering energy as well as the energy’s vibrational quality to the different parts of the subtle bodies (i.e. etheric, emotional, mental, causal bodies). 

There are 72,000 nadis.  Of these, fourteen are significant and directly correlate to the orifices or apertures that represent their main sites for reception and transmission of energy.  These openings or energy sites are as follows: 

 Crown of the head 

  1. Crown of the head(Sushumna nadi)

  2. Right nostril (Pingala nadi)

  3. Left nostril (Ida nadi)

  4. Right eye

  5. Left eye

  6. Right ear

  7. Left ear

  8. Mouth

  9. Urethra

  10. Anus

  11. Navel

  12. Feet

  13. Hands

  14. Skin

All 14 nadis end at the above apertures of the body, to which they supply energy.  Most of the nadis arise from the base of the spine – that is why the lumbar vertebrae are so easily damaged since there are a large number of nadis converging at this area of the body. 

All acupuncture points represent the convergence point of 14 nadis in the physical-etheric interface.  The convergence of 21 nadis represents a chakra.  Of the above fourteen nadis, three are of primary importance.  I will now discuss these....

Please refer to Sushumna, Pingala & Ida sections below: 


This is the most important and central of the nadis or energy channels in the body.  It means “the very blissful” and corresponds to the central spinal canal of the physical body and to the mode of sattwa or purity and goodness.  It controls all the functions of the chakras that are strung like beads on a string upon it.  This nadi is the energy flow of the entire mental field or stream of Consciousness itself and is the conduit of information and light from higher dimensions above the human head.   The sushumna can be viewed as the conduit for information direct from the manufacturer (Pure Consciousness/God) to the individual consumer – i.e. the mental and physical planes of a human body on Earth.   In the image of The Caduceus the sushumna nadi is represented by the central golden channel.  From a modern day physics perspective the sushumna nadi corresponds to the unitary symmetry group of U(1) and corresponds to the state of direction of the propagation of light and the superposition state of EMR.  I believe that it is the sushumna nadi that receives information at the pineal gland of the quantum particles of neutrinos (specifically electron neutrinos of dark light) that are then directed through the spinal column and into each chakra to be distributed throughout the body.  The pingala nadi directs the muon neutrinos (SU(3)) and the ida nadi directs the tau neutrinos (SU(2)).


This nadi is one of a pair of the central nadis (ida and pingala) that entwine themselves in a figure of eight fashion, one on top of each other around the central sushumna.  Ida  means  “moon” or “the inspirer”.   Ida and Pingala are similar in concepts to the Chinese idea of Yin and Yang – the pair of opposites that eternally juxtapose themselves and which cannot exist in isolation.  They describe a state of transition and are only in balance for a moment in time. 

The ida nadi starts its journey from the base of the spine and ends at the left nostril.  Ida has feminine, cooling, soothing, watery qualities and is indrawn in its nature.  It is perceived as the silvery whiteness of the moon and is also known as the lunar nadi.  It corresponds with the guna or universal quality of tamas of materiality and inertia.  In the image of The Caduceus it is represented in the spiralling, white vertical channel.  From a modern day physics perspective the ida nadi corresponds to the unitary symmetry group of SU(2) and corresponds to the particle state of EMR and the phenomenon of magnetism.  From a quantum perspective the ida nadi is the principal channel for what is currently termed the "electroweak" force, which in Unified Field Theory is termed quantum time or QT that governs the particles of W bosons and charged leptons.  It is also related to the tau neutrino that is the quantum time particle of the weak force.


This nadi is the twin of ida.  It also arises at the base of the spine and moves from side to side from chakra to chakra and ends at the right nostril.  Pingala has masculine, hot, fiery, dry, stimulating, active qualities and is outgoing in its nature.  It corresponds to the rajas guna of passion and action.  It is perceived as the red energy of the sun and is also known as the solar nadi.   Ida and pingala are deeply potent energy systems.  Suffice to say that these two nadis govern all the other 11 main nadis and are responsible for left brain/right brain dominance – i.e. rational/logical thought processes1 or creative/emotional ones.  From a modern day physics perspective the pingala nadi corresponds to the unitary symmetry group of SU(3) and corresponds to the wave state of EMR and the phenomenon of electricity.  From a quantum perspective the pingala nadi is the principal channel for QCD or quantum chromodynamics which governs the particles of quarks and gluons.  It is also related to the muon neutrino that is the quantum gravity particle of the strong force.






  1.  Frawley, David Dr, Yoga and Ayurveda – Self-Healing & Self-Realisation, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, USA, 1999, pp 157-159

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