Shankhini Nadi | Pathway, Locations, and Function

Published: Aug 6, 2023 | Revised: Jan 21, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Shankhini Nadi | Pathway, Locations, and Function

Shankhini Nadi is one of the fourteen principal Nadis in Yoga, and is also written as Sankini, Shakini, Shamkini, or Sankhini Nadi.

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The Sanskrit word Shankhini can mean “mother of pearls,” “fairy,” “female spirit,” or even refer to one of the seven Yogini Goddesses.

In general, Shankhini Nadi is considered to have its main termination point at the place of the anus. Nevertheless, many classical texts also (or only) give the left ear as an ending point.

The Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati text additionally states that the Nadi goes through the genital organs. This reminds strongly of the Thai Sen Line Sen Nanthakrawat, which consists of two distinct Energy Lines: Sen Sikhini (note the linguistic similarity with the Indian name Shankhini), which starts at the navel and runs to/through the bladder and urethra, and Sen Sukhumang, which also starts at the navel but then runs over the intestinal colon to the anus.

Trajectory and Locations of Shankhini Nadi

Shankhini Nadi - Trajectory

In the chart of Shankhini Nadi displayed above, we have tentatively projected the main pathway going from the Kanda to the anus, and the extension pathway going from the Kanda to the left ear.

Below you’ll find an overview of descriptions of endpoints, locations, and trajectories of Shankhini Nadi in several Yoga scriptures:

  • Sankini goes to the end of the left ear (Darshana Upanishad);
  • Sankhini conducts through the generative organ (Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati);
  • Sankhini goes to the left ear (Shandilya Upanishad);
  • Sankhini originates from the throat cavity and heads down to fetch food and fills in the crest (Yoga Shikha Upanishad);
  • Sankhini stands in the anus (Yoga Chudamani Upanishad);
  • Shankhini is at the place of the anus (Goraksha Samhita);
  • Shankhini is between Gandhari and Sarasvati and extends upwards up to the left ear (Yoga Yajnavalkya);
  • Sankhini starts at Kanda, reaches the throat, divides into two branches, one branch going to the left ear and the other goes to the crown (Sat Chakra Nirupana);
  • Sankhini has stretched upwards up to the left ear (Vasistha Samhita );
  • Sankhini holds its position between Gandhari and Sarasvati (Vasistha Samhita );
  • Sankhini is in the anus (Shiva Swarodaya);
  • Sankhini, Vimarsanandanatha, on the left ear (Bhavana Upanishad);
  • Hail to the left side, Shankhini, the Sakti causing wantonness (Bhavana Upanishad).

Indication and Function of Shankhini Nadi

Shankhini Nadi is said to support the distribution of the energetic essence of food. It may also have its share in eliminating waste products of the body (urine and feces).

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