Chapter 17: The Deathless One
“There are one hundred and one nadis, energy-channels, from the heart. Only one goes towards moordha, the crown of the head, and it is called sushumna. By moving into the higher realms through this channel, man becomes immortal. If this does not occur, at the moment of death, the other one-hundred energy-channels will be the cause of endless births and rebirths.”
“Divine being, knower of all inner thoughts and feelings, only the size of the tip of a thumb, is eternally seated in the heart of man. The seeker must courageously know it to be separate from the body, like the kernel of a coconut shell. He must know it to be the elixir of deathlessness, the immortal essence.”
Imbibing this wisdom and thus receiving the science of the soul and the methods of yoga from Yama, the Lord of Death, Nachiketa became the deathless one. Unfettered by desire, he became one with the divine, the ultimate reality.
All who realize this science of the soul will also become free of desire and of death. They too will know the ultimate reality.
“There are one hundred and one nadis, energy-channels, from the heart. Only one goes towards moordha, the crown of the head, and it is called sushumna. By moving into the higher realms through this channel, man becomes immortal. If this does not occur, at the moment of death, the other one-hundred energy-channels will be the cause for endless births and rebirths.”
Yoga has a special science of its own concerning energy-channels, but modern physiology does not agree with it. Scientists have not found the energy-channels described by yoga anywhere inside the human body, and the channels which they have found are not in agreement with the ones mentioned by yoga. Yogis have made much effort in this, especially yogis that have been educated in the West. Also physicians and physiologists who know yoga have tried their best to find some similarity between the energy-channels of yoga and the ones discovered by modern science, but their effort could not succeed because it is based on a basic misunderstanding. It will be good if we can understand this misunderstanding.
The energy-channels that yoga has spoken about are not of the physical body, hence they cannot be found in this physical body. And the people who try to prove the similarity between the energy-channels of the physical body and the energy-channels of yoga are not doing yoga any good: they are harming it, because yoga is talking about another body altogether - the subtle body, the energy-body which is hidden within the body. It is not gross, it is subtle. By “subtle” is meant that it is made of energy; it is the energy-body. Russian scientists have called it “bio-electricity”: it is their name for this energy-body.