In this article, we’ll not discuss the function, pathway or location of Pingala Nadi in the body, but instead we’ll look at the meaning and interpretation of the name and synonyms of this Yoga Energy Channel.
The synonyms of Pingala Nadi, found in the classical Yoga scriptures, are Surya Nadi, Dumbhini Nadi, Yamuna Nadi (or Yamina), Aksara Nadi (Akshara), Kalagni Nadi, Rudri Nadi, Mihira Nadi, and Candi Nadi.
Here further below we discuss each of these distinct names and synonyms.
In the ancient Sanskrit language of India, the word Pingala can mean many different things, which include brown, tawny, reddish-brown, brass, the sun, yellow, or fire, among other significations. In the sense of the Yoga Nadis, Pingala Nadi is often translated as the “tawny current” or “tawny channel.”
It’s most important synonym is Surya, which means “Sun” (also being a Indian solar deity) relating to the characteristics of the Sun, such as heating, dynamic, and active. Not for nothing, Pingala Nadi is associated with the Sympathetic Nervous System.
About the meaning of the synonym Dumbhini Nadi I couldn’t find any further information — unfortunately. In any case, this synonym is mentioned in the classical Haṭha Ratnavali text.
Another well-known synonym for Pingala is Yamuna Nadi, which refers to the Indian Yamuna river, but then in the symbolic sense of the confluence of the Yamuna river, Ganga river — stands for Ida Nadi — and Sarasvati river — stands for Sushumna Nadi — which at their meeting point create the Triveni Point (Triveni meaning “three streams”), being located at the Ajna Chakra (Third Eye).
Aksara or Akshara is a synonym for the Hindu God Shiva, one of the connotations of Pingala Nadi in the three unity Shakti (Ida Nadi), Shiva (Pingala Nadi), and Brahma (Sushumna Nadi). The Sanskrit word Aksara can literally mean imperishable, indestructible, fixed, sword, unalterable, to just give some examples.
Kalagni in Sanskrit means “The destructive fire at the end of the world” or “Final burning of the world,” which is an epithet of Rudra (Rudri Nadi, another synonym for Pingala Nadi), who’s an Indian deity associated with Shiva. It’s clear that Kalagni refers to the aspects of “fire,” “heat,” and “energy,” and to Lord Shiva.
The word Mihira in Sanskrit primarily means “Sun.” As such, it will carry the same significance as Surya Nadi, which we discussed in the beginning of this post.
And finally, Candi Nadi. I think this should haven been Kandi Nadi, because the Sanskrit word Kandi means root-colored, brownish, whitey-brown, or dust-colored, which would coincide with the literal meaning of Pingala meaning reddish-brown, brown, or tawny.
The Sanskrit word Candi, however, means “hurt,” “injury,” or even “a passionate or angry woman,” the latter an epithet of the Hindu Goddess Durga, and I see no correlation with the synonyms mentioned earlier above.