Chakras

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Gustav Jung The soul inhabits and intermingles with each chakra through tentacles like channels that come from the center of being at the right of the heart.  So that is why concentration in the chakras is useful in the quest of finding the soul. We can travel through each center to the back side of the body and take an observer position from behind each Chakra. The Chakras act as a doorway to the outside of the physical body.

The Sahasrara, or crown chakra, is located at the very top of the head, and is the center of bliss. When the Kundalini reaches the Sahasrara, and fully blossoms its thousand-petaled lotus, the result is full Enlightenment. This means the dawn of supreme peace and infinite compassion for all beings. All conceivable powers are gained at the fullest level of mastery, but since the ego has been destroyed in Enlightenment there will be no temptation to use those powers. The Enlightened state comes with the full revelation of the nature of the Divine Self: omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience… and complete transcendence. At that level what can mere ‘powers’ be other than tawdry illusions? Compassion alone matters to the Enlightened Sage. Each action of an Enlightened being is an expression of unconditional love for all beings.

The Sahasrara chakra is allied to the entire universe in a number of ways. When balanced, it amplifies the capacity of the aspirant to be aware with a wider perception. When the Sahasrara is functioning at a high level, the mind will be kept continuously informed of all kinds of information from the external cosmos and the hidden dimensions of spiritual power. Whatever knowledge is needed for the fulfillment of that being’s life mission will instantly appear in his or her mind.

Since this chakra exercises a profound influence on the ‘I’-thought of the individual, it is the key to self image, both positive and negative.  If the Sahasrara is functioning well, it will give self confidence, charm, enthusiasm and great clarity of purpose. If it is malfunctioning, however, despair, isolation, and failure to gain knowledge can plague the mind of the practitioner, and depression can spread throughout the whole system. Feelings of estrangement, hopelessness, lethargic mood swings, fatigue and boredom often have this root cause.

The color of the thousand-petaled Sahasrara is usually given as golden. In some books it appears as a radiant mixture of all the colors. It is represented by the seed syllables Aum or Eee. Associated with the pineal gland, this chakra governs the sense of touch; its element is air. It is connected with the planet Saturn and also with the Sun. The Sahasrara is considered to be ‘the cosmic chakra’, and contains all elements within itself.

 

The Ajna chakra (also called the brow chakra or ‘Third Eye’) is located in the center of the brain behind the central point between the two eyebrows.  It is related to clairvoyance, mental power, confidence, sympathy and the investigation of truth.  It influences the eyes and provides the individual with clear intelligence. Its chief purpose is logic and the processing and refinement of information received from the sense organs. It is also involved with memory and the arrangement of information.

When the Ajna chakra is awakened, it provides the sadhak with extraordinary insights and profound understandings, which help the aspirant leave behind all limitations of time and space, and soar into the timeless supreme Reality.

When this chakra is strained or out of balance, however, the mind becomes confused and disorganized.  Rather than seeing clearly in the present moment, such a mind will merely function via memory blueprints; this leads to unclear thinking, unnecessary complexity and over-intellectualization.  Problems with vision, nightmares and headaches can also be present.

The color of the Ajna chakra is indigo or violet, although some texts say it is white. It has two petals, which emanate horizontally from the center. A white inverted triangle rests in the central circle. It is represented by the seed syllables Aum or Mmm.  This chakra is associated with the planet Jupiter, and it is made of a perfect combination of all the elements.

 

The Bindu Visagra is a secondary chakra located behind the nasal cavity, and works in conjunction with the Lalana. The Bindu Visagra produces Amrita (the nectar of immortality); the Lalana then stores it, distils it, and sends it to the Vishudha chakra for its redistribution throughout the body.

 

Approximately two inches above the Vishudha, in the area behind the uvula, there is another secret and sacred secondary chakra called the Lalana, which is the seat of the female energy of the tongue.  It is also known as the Talu chakra. Some ancient tantric texts advise practitioners to bring the Kundalini to this chakra and let it stabilize there before attempting to bring it up into the higher chakras.

In the Saubhagya-Lakshmi Upanishads (111, 6) the Lalana chakra is described as having 12 bright red petals.  Other texts say it has 64 silvery white petals and a bright red periphery called ghantika, where the energy of the moon exudes its nectar (bramhi or bhumi).  When this chakra opens, it gives the sadhak (practitioner) a glimpse of cosmic emptiness or the great Void.

The Eight Principal Siddhis If the sadak succeeds in raising the Kundalini to the Lalana chakra he will attain the eight principal siddhis or psychic-spiritual powers.  These powers are:

  • A?ima: the power to reduce one’s body to the size of an atom;
  • Mahima: the power to expand one’s body infinitely;
  • Garima: the power to become as heavy as gold;
  • Laghima: the power to become as light as a feather;
  • Prapti: the power to access all places and all dimensions;
  • Prakamya: the power to materialize any desired object or situation;
  • Ishtva: the power of absolute lordship over all;
  • Vashtva: the power to subjugate all.

The Lalana is obviously a very powerful and yet potentially dangerous center, since the sadhak may easily fall prey to the strong temptation of using the newfound spiritual powers acquired there for selfish gain, sensual pleasure, or enhancement of the ego. Those who get caught in this trap may find their quest for Self-realization delayed by many lifetimes. Even the most innocent use of siddhis can lead to a tragic downfall.

The Vishudha, or throat chakra, is located in the spine at the base of the throat, behind the thyroid gland. It is the seat of udana prana.[1] When the Vishudha is awakened by the Kundalini, the disciple will achieve the initial states of samadhi (absorption in the Supreme Consciousness). At that level all psychological concerns are discarded and physical and mental energies become completely purified.

The Vishudha chakra is related to communication, extrasensory perception and creativity; it is deeply connected to the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

If the Vishudha is out of balance, it can result in throat troubles such as frequent sore throats, laryngitis, tonsillitis, thyroid problems and stiff neck.  Other symptoms may include frequent ear infections and lack of motivation. Sometimes these warning signs indicate that something is not being communicated or expressed; this repression may be blocking the flow of energy through the Vishudha.

This chakra is also connected to the sexual organs; therefore, for the Vishudha to work properly the yogi has to transmute his sexual energy and redirect it to this point.

When this chakra is activated by the Kundalini, the mystical power of levitation is gained. It bestows upon the yogi the ability to shrink to the size of an atom and to increase in size infinitely, according to one’s desire. The awakened Vishudha gives one the capacity to look into the future.  It conveys the power to control all objects, animate and inanimate, and the ability to create matter through the power of thought.

The Vishudha is represented by a smoky purple lotus with sixteen petals. In the center of the lotus there is a blue arc, like a crescent moon. This chakra is represented by the seed syllable mantra Ham. It governs the power of speech, and its element is ether.

 


[1] The udana prana is the ascending power that arises from the heart and escorts the Kundalini to the center of the brain. This is the category of prana used in astral travel, and also assists one in the process of death. With the control of udana prana, the yogi gains the power to levitate and walk on water.

 

The Anahata, or Heart Chakra, is situated in the spine at the midpoint area of the chest. The Anahata chakra symbolizes stability, symmetry and love. It is the seat of prana, the universal energy, and it is where physical energy and spiritual energy meet. 

Related to the heart, lungs and diaphragm, the Anahata chakra gives us the capacity to transform and acclimatize. It also governs concern, sharing, interaction with others, discipline, individuality and all aspects of individual growth. When the Anahata is open and functioning in a balanced way, there will be a sense of stillness, unambiguousness, openness and forbearance.  We will be able to live without prejudice, and easily comprehend others and love them unconditionally.

It is said that when the Anahata chakra is opened through yogic practices, all of our desires will naturally and rapidly be fulfilled. Of course, this is a double-edged sword. If one’s desires are essentially healthy and spiritually wise, to have them fulfilled will be a wonderful blessing. But others may find themselves suddenly on a treacherous path, because if their desires are not grounded in wisdom, and their minds are filled with disorganized thoughts, feelings, emotions, doubts and aversions, the sudden fulfillment of their desires could result in a hellish life. This is one reason why meditation, prayer and the study of spiritual texts are recommended as adjuncts to the practice of Hatha Yoga; these help to cleanse the mind and purify our desires, so that when they are fulfilled we will find true happiness, instead of suddenly finding ourselves trapped in a web of wrong desires which have suddenly been empowered and the results manifested in our lives.

If the Anahata is inactive or out of balance, then the results may include symptoms of ill health such as asthma, high blood pressure, lung disease, heart disease, frequent colds, depression, claustrophobia or obsessive behavior. Others may feel chronically unworthy, or experience feelings of being trapped or restricted, or of being dominated by others.

When the Anahata is opened and supercharged by the Kundalini, this gives the practitioner amazing powers, such as the ability to fly like a bird and to instantly understand other languages.

The Anahata chakra has twelve red petals (although some texts say they are green). At the center of the chakra is a 6 pointed star, similar to the Star of David. It is represented by the seed syllable Yam.  This chakra governs the sense of touch, and its element is air.

 

The Ananda Kandha chakra is a secondary chakra which is not recognized by many sacred texts, but some scriptures claim it is an important center. Located approximately 2 inches above the Anahata chakra, some call the Ananda Kandha “the wish-fulfilling Chakra,” and claim it is an extension of the Anahata Chakra, which lets you effortlessly fulfill your desires.

 

The Manipura chakra is located in the spine at the level of the navel. This is the seat of samana prana, and is also said to be the root of egoic energy; the ego draws all of its energy from this area.  People who rise above the basic concerns of survival (Muladhara) and sex (Swadhishthana) will then arrive at this center, and if they succeed in harnessing the egoic energy of the Manipura chakra abundantly, they may become politicians, or CEO’s, famous musicians or movie stars.  They may even become presidents of their country. But if they become enthralled by the games of the ego and stuck in the Manipura chakra, they are unlikely to advance to the higher levels of spirituality.

This chakra expresses alterations in the way we live; it deals with how we utilize energy and the capacity to renovate it. The Manipura generates modifications within us and around us. It is a managing midpoint that bestows on us the capability and determination to direct our lives in a commanding and efficient way. It deals with numerous configurations of energy in the physical body, and specifically affects digestion, the stomach, the small intestine, the liver, the pancreas and spleen, and in addition influences the performance of the entire nervous system.

When the Manipura is functioning in a healthy way it will generate optimism, self-assurance, spontaneity, suppleness, sympathy, a sense of humor, delight, and the power to command and be an effective leader.

The Manipura is the heart of the fire element in us; if we can activate this region vigorously we will never feel cold.  The Manipura is the chakra used in the Buddhist practice of Tumo to generate heat, allowing the monks to be warm even in the frosty peaks of the Himalayas. Advanced practitioners of Tumo can even sit naked in deep snow, and by the power of their practice melt the snow and remain completely warm.

If the Manipura is out of balance, various symptoms of ill health may arise, such as ulcers, diabetes, indigestion, insomnia, panic attacks, headaches, allergic reactions, arthritis and chronic worry.

When the Manipura is fully opened, it will make the body shine with a red aura. The Manipura chakra is represented by a lotus with ten blue petals, at the center of which there is a red triangle with its apex pointing upwards.  This chakra is represented by the seed syllables Ram or Aum.  It governs the digestive system, and its element is fire.

 


 

 

The Swadishtana chakra is located in the spine approximately 2 inches above the Muladhara chakra, in the nerve nexus at the root of the sex organs. It is associated with sensuality and the childlike yearning for enjoyment and gratification, and is linked to the pursuit of happiness, progress, creative energy and vitality.

A person with a depleted Swadishtana may show signs of muscular and skeletal inflexibility, digestive turmoil, weakness, impotence, troubles with the uterus, bladder or kidneys, or a rigid lower back.  There may also be lack of concentration, constrained emotions, feelings of insufficiency, possessiveness, envy, self regret, despondency, victimization, or the sense of being trapped in the past. Anti-social behaviors may also manifest, such as uncontrolled lustfulness, egoism, conceit, aggression, lack of consideration for others,  masochism, and addictive behavior of various kinds.

When the Swadishtana has been opened and animated by the divine Kundalini power, the subtle and gross conduits in the body will become illumined, purifying the physical, astral and causal bodies of superfluous emotion, illnesses, feelings, and any supplementary blockages that are obstructing the free surge of energy.

When the Kundalini rises into the Swadishthana, it confers upon the aspirant the power to live for a long period without food or water, and makes the body shine with a silver aura.

In most texts the color of the Swadishthana is given as vermillion, while according to other traditions it is said to be silvery white or orange. It has six petals, and the seed syllable mantra associated with it is Vam. It governs the  sex organs. and its element is water.

 

The Muladhara, or base chakra, is located in the perineum area, at the base of the spine, and is considered to be the seat of the Kundalini. Some classical tantric texts (such “The Serpent Power”[1] by Sir Arthur Avalon), state that the Kundalini actually resides below the Muladhara, in the form of a snake that is coiled 3 ½ times around a black syambhu lingam.[2]  The snake is the color of lightning, and when awakened, its head pushes through the Muladhara chakra, and then rises through the center of the spine, and thereby through each chakra successively, causing each lotus to bloom in turn. If the Kundalini completes its work of decontamination and development in this lifetime, it will culminate in full Enlightenment.

I personally believe that for the Kundalini to rise in this way, the fundamental force of sexual energy must first be awakened in us.  If the sexual energy within us is repressed, it seems to me unlikely that a full Kundalini awakening can occur.  Sexual energy is the energy of life itself, and it is amazing.  Miracles sprout from it; in fact, it can be considered the very essence of life, for only through sexual energy can we procreate and bestow new life, and thereby regenerate the human species.  Sexual energy’s culmination in the birth of a child is mesmerizing, beautiful and powerful; it is the most amazing miracle I have ever seen.

For purposes of spirituality, our sexual energy must first be awakened and then transmuted; from a thing of mere pleasure, it can be transformed into a potent tool to attain the highest goal of Yoga. Specifically, we can use our sexual energy to arouse and awaken the Kundalini by concentrating all our attention in any chakra, and letting the sexual energy completely suffuse that chakra—although for this to succeed it is essential to first awaken the vital force in the all-important base chakra, the Muladhara.

The Muladhara chakra stands for vitality and vigor. It is associated with our most basic instinct: the will to survive and to be nourished. Through this chakra we experience a connection to the environment, and gain a deep understanding of life’s rhythms and patterns.

However, when this chakra is inactive or out of balance, there will be a general lack of vigor, together with feelings of futility, of not belonging and of not being capable. If the energy in the Muladhara is stagnated, you may feel chilly, congested, uncoordinated or fatigued. You may lack dynamism or have deficient enthusiasm, even in your areas of interest.  You may also feel drained and depressed by your contact with people.

An overactive Muladhara might be revealed through hyperactivity, redness in the face or body, fear, rage, bewilderment, inability to unwind, mood swings or intolerance.

By activating and balancing this chakra, tremendous powers can be obtained, including the ability to make the body as light as air for astral travel, to draw abundance from the universe, and to shine with a golden aura. An awakened Muladhara can bestow perfect health, coordination, enthusiasm and peace, and you will feel grounded and centered in your life.

In most yogic texts the color of the Muladhara is given as red, although in some it is described as yellowish brown. The Muladhara lotus has 4 petals, and the seed syllable mantra associated with it is Lam. This chakra governs the adrenal gland. Its element is earth.


[1] First published in 1919.

[2] The shyambu lingam, or Shiva lingam, is a form used in the worship of Lord Shiva, and represents the Supreme Consciousness

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