72,000 nadis (energy pathways) – Myth or Reality?

I was told during my First Degree Reiki class way back in 1996 that the life force or Pranas as it is commonly known flows along 72,000 fixed pathways (also called as nadis or channels) in all human beings. This, I was told had been mentioned in the ancient texts – the shastras – and therefore could not be questioned. I just accepted this bit of information as being the holy truth and something that could not be questioned as no evidence existed to either confirm or deny it.

The following sketch was used to illustrate this:

We were also taught (in the Reiki workshop) that diseases happen because some blockages appear in the nadis which then disrupt the energy flow in that part of the body. These blockages, I was told, are a direct outcome of some mental and emotional issues and imbalances that crop up in life. The mantra to good health therefore was to work on the mental and emotional imbalances so as to get rid of these blockages which would then allow the energy to start circulating properly all over again. 

This logic made sense to me at that time and I assumed that it would only be a matter of time before I could attain great vibrant health. I am sure this is what majority of students/seekers also believe and take for granted.

I was hooked and the next few years were spent in some very serious learning and experiencing so that I could unblock these stupid blocks and be happier and healthier. I studied whatever I could about human minds, learnt about the thought patterns that contributed to diseases, attended seminars and workshops all with single minded dedication to achieve great vibrant health. I thought that I was making tremendous spiritual progress because I had attained so much of knowledge and so much of my past had been revealed to me. Each and every new revelation brought a lot of joy and happiness, to be followed with a newer quest and more discoveries to be followed with another and then another...

The belief system that had become ingrained was that my life, and that of all awakened human beings, was about learning about these mental, emotional and spiritual issues so that all the energy channels could be cleared up. I ended up doing this all the time as I was in a tremendous hurry to finish this job in this life itself. This was partly because of the knowingness that I will have to start from scratch next time that I was born which was in itself an overwhelming and very, very frightening realisation. This in turn also contributed to the stress in my life.

A few years down the line I realised that clearing up my channels was not as simple as it sounded and I realised that all this learning was not taking me anywhere. I felt that newer blocks were springing up to replace the ones that I had taken care of. The frustrations and everything else associated with it came back stronger than ever before. The Darkness within was the strongest and especially at a time, I felt, when the Light should have been shinier and brighter.

The reality is that the core issues remained the same while I pursued my past with a single minded devotion. At the same time, LIFE PASSED ME BY.

Looking back now, I wonder at the silliness of it all and how very stupid I had been! At the same time, I also believe that this was an important and relevant step in the overall process. 

Thankfully, I do not allow myself to get sucked back into this anymore.

Related Assumption:

The basic assumption that had started this search was that the life force was ORIGINALLY flowing in ALL 72000 nadis (or whatever number there is) when I was born and some had then had got blocked somehow to create the ‘problems’ that I had in life.

What I Now Believe:

I now believe that SOME channels are operational, and NOT ALL when we are born. These are the ones that facilitate the major work that we end up doing in this life.

For example, all children in the same age group get admitted to the same class simultaneously and are imparted the same knowledge and training. But there are some who are better at sports while there are others who excel in academics spontaneously. Logic dictates that the energy requirements for the former are more in the physical areas whereas the requirements of the latter category are more in the cerebral areas. It is also logical to assume that the two distinctly different groups of children have different sets of energy channels that are active.

There are exceptional cases that are good at both and I believe that those individuals have both sets of channels equally developed and functional.

Growth and Development of the rest of the energy channels is totally up to the individual concerned and directly dependent on the choices that are made in the current life which are then followed up with hard work, dedication and persistent efforts.

The tasks that happen easily and do not require too much effort for mastering are the ones that we might have been working upon in some previous lifetime. 

This too made sense and accepting the new belief system was therefore not too difficult. Certain events that occurred in my own life made the job of acceptance easy. I will be sharing these in my later posts.

I now understand that the development and growth of the energy system is indirectly linked to the process of Evolution which is an inherent process going on all the time in all parts of the universe that we are living in. We humans are in the process of Expansion of Consciousness which is again linked to Evolution.

We are becoming bigger, faster, stronger and more beautiful as a part of this evolutionary process. ‘Beauty and brains going together’ is happening much more frequently as compared to the reality not too long ago.

I look at it like I would look at the development plan for any under-developed region of the country. There first has to be a desire to start the process. This is then followed up by allocating sufficient resources like finances, manpower, planning etc. all of which is Energy, by the way. This is then followed up with making major paths to the interior of the region so that the basic material required for the infrastructure development activity can be moved. The major paths become wider roads over a period of time while narrow paths and roads start developing in the interiors. Further activity sees the major roads becoming State and then National Highways over time. Growth and Development then is obviously much, much easier as compared to what it was before.

Logically, it all now makes sense because ALL channels being active means that all humans are born equal. If that was true, then everyone should be equally good at all subjects: Maths, English, Hindi, Science, Geography, History, Grammar, Divinity etc. Each and every child should also be spontaneously good at all kinds of sporting activities be it cricket, table tennis, hockey, marbles, kite-flying, football etc. in addition to being equally good at music, singing, dancing, painting etc.

The reality however is different. All humans are unique. If energy was flowing equally in ALL the nadis in everyone then all humans should be developing and growing equally. But the fact is that we all have different life-plans and uniquely different journeys.

How has this information helped me in my journey?

The new belief system has made life simpler in the sense that it is relatively easier for me to keep on trying out what my heart wants to do. I am no longer attached to success the way I used to be as that stopped me at times from putting in my best. The process of learning and growth has become relatively easier. I am able to find the energy and time required to continue putting in efforts to master things that I want to do. Earlier there was a tendency to give up as the speed at which the results were coming did not match my expectations. It is now easy to let go of the expectations and not be attached to the results all the time. Living in the Now is  easier and Life is fun.

The unexpected bonus is in seeing some of the dreams getting fulfilled – dreams that I had long given up on. For example, I had this desire to have a stronger muscular body that just did not happen in spite of the long hours put in when I was a teenager. Now I see that dream being partially fulfilled due to a totally unrelated activity of learning to play the Tabla which I started a few years ago. Go ahead and LOL. I know its sounding a bit silly – Tabla helping develop muscles…But that indeed is my reality.

I will take it up in the next post.

That does not explain how diseases occur as the theory of blockages is no longer valid. Well that’s altogether a different topic that needs a bit of discussion, maybe another time when I am up to it...

And so it is.


  1. Thank you Sir for this follow up post.....after you commented on my post. It makes a lot of sense.

  2. Sir.. this post is so enlightening n explains quite a lot !! Thank you..


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