Sahasrara Chakra

Sahasrāra = thousand, infinite

Sahasrara_Chakra

Sahasrara Chakra

The Seventh Chakra or the Crown Chakra, at the top of the “chakra ladder”, which connects us with the universe & the path to liberation is known as Sahasrāra Chakra. The gift of this chakra is experiencing unity and the selfless realization that everything is connected at a fundamental level. It is the last milestone of the evolution of human awareness. It is located four finger-breadths above the crown of the head. It is also known as the Thousand-petalled Lotus, Brahmrandhra (door to Brahma) and Source of Light (because a supernatural light as bright as the sun radiates from it). 

There is no intellectual knowing at the level of the Sahasrāra Chakra, but there is serenity, joy, and deep peace about life. The energy of this chakra allows us to experience mystical oneness with everyone and everything in nature. As the goal of yoga practices is samadhi or the superconscious union of the ego with the divine self, the crown chakra is the point at which the soul dissolves ego consciousness. When the seed matures it naturally sprouts. When the Kundalini reaches the Sahasrara, the lotus petals open and enlightenment takes place. You may feel a pulsation in the crown of the head, followed by a melting sensation and a flow of cool vibrations from the fontanel areas. The union of the ego with the divine self may be experienced as merging with a calm inner light. In the light, one can expand one’s consciousness to infinity. 

“But the man who is ignorant, who has no faith, who is of a doubting nature, perishes. For the doubting soul there is neither this world nor the world beyond nor any happiness” (BG 4:40). We must have a positive basis for life, an unwavering faith to discover the Truth which stands the test of life. “Kill therefore with the sword of wisdom the doubt born of ignorance that lies in thy heart. Be one in self-harmony, in Yoga, and arise, great warrior, arise!” (BG 4:42).

According to Tantric philosophy, the Sahasrāra Chakra is both a receiver and giver of energy and consciousness. It receives energy to sustain life and it gives back the personal energy to unite with the collective pool of consciousness. It is the meeting point between finite (the body and the ego) and infinite (the universe and soul). When we realize that everything is interconnected and that we are part of the larger scheme of life, we begin to live with gratitude, faith and trust, rather than filled with fear and anxiety.

Often referred to as a thousand-petaled lotus, it is said to be the most subtle chakra in the system, relating to pure consciousness, and it is from this chakra that all the other chakras emanate. No other light approaches the brilliance of the sun. In the same way the radiance of all other Chakras fades before the incomparable radiance of the Sahasrāra Chakra. The Sahasrāra possesses no special colour or quality. Its light contains all colour vibrations united in the incomparable brilliance of pure light. The energy of all Nādīs flows together here, just as the water of a thousand rivers comes together in the sea.

crown-chakra

Sahasrara Chakra Petals 

The root of the Lotus represents Ādi Shakti. The Blossom in the Sahasrāra Chakra is Ādi Shiva, the Divine Consciousness and Supreme Self. In Rāja Yoga these two primal principles are known as Jīvātmā and Paramātmā. When they become one it is said that we are “one with our Self”, whereas in reality there is no difference between them.

Sahasrara chakra is the upper terminal point of Sushumna nadi, the central channel. From Saharara the nectar of immortality (Amrita) flows in a constant stream. Once the Kundalini Shakti, also called “Serpent Power”, has ascended through Sushumna to Sahasrara, it is made to reverse its course and return to rest in the base center again. Immortality is achieved within Sahasrara Chakra. Before attaining to this chakra the yogi is unable to reach the unconscious conscious state called asama-prajnata-samadhi. In this state there is no activity of the mind and no knower, no knowledge, nothing to be known: knowledge, knower, and known all become unified and liberated.

The element of the Sahasrāra Chakra is ĀDI TATTVA or ĪSHVARA TATTVA . It is the source of creation, the pure light and one reality – God. This Tattva is Ādi Anādi. Ādi means “without beginning”, Anādi means “without end” – therefore infinite. As soon as this Tattva unites with a quality (Guna) it is bound and therefore limited – just as pure water has no taste of its own, but is modified by and takes on the taste of whatever is added to it. In the Cosmos there are diverse manifestations of this one Tattva with various qualities and functions – such as fire, water, air and earth – but the basis is always the same, the pure essence.

In each individual (Jīvātmā), the Self (Ātmā) resides with the Supreme Self (Paramātmā), appearing in the form of Ādi Shiva in the Sahasrāra Chakra. In essence Ātmā and Paramātmā are the same. When the consciousness of the Jīvātmā reaches Ādi Shiva in the Sahasrāra Chakra and merges with it, it is illuminated and freed from any shackles and limitations. Just as night gives way to sunrise, the darkness of ignorance fades with the opening of the Sahasrāra Chakra. We can attain this through Kriyā Yoga meditation and Guru Kripā. Our lifelong striving for happiness and fulfilment is, at its deepest level, the union of Jīvātmā and Paramātmā, which, translated in the symbolism of the Chakras, is the union of Shiva (in the Sahasrāra Chakra) and Shakti (located in the Mūlādhāra Chakra). The union of Shiva and Shakti occurs when the stream of energy in the two main Nādīs, Idā and Pingalā , unite and rise through the Sushumnā Nādī. The seat of the Ātmā is in the heart, and realisation of the Ātmā takes place only when a simultaneous awakening of the Anāhata Chakra and the Sahasrāra Chakra occurs. With this a direct connection from the Sahasrāra Chakra to the Anāhata Chakra through the Brahmā Nādī (also known as Gyāna Nādī) is established. If the Anāhata Chakra is blocked and the flow of Bhakti, love and devotion, has also dried up the Sahasrāra Chakra does not open.

The path of development through the Chakras, the process of change in the consciousness and the investigation of our own thoughts and feelings, is no easy undertaking. For all the errors that we committed in ignorance we can ask for forgiveness and pray: “Oh Lord, lead us from ignorance to wisdom, from darkness to the light of knowledge. May Your Divine Light always enlighten my heart and my consciousness”.

Exercises for the Sahasrāra Chakra

  • Shirshāsana (Headstand)
  • Vrikshāsana (Tree)
  • Khatu Pranam (Greetings to Khatu)
  • Singing OM
  • Kriyā Yoga
  • Meditation with visualization of the image of the chakra as described earlier 

 

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Āgyā Chakra

(I’ve already written one blog on this before, to read that also, please click here. Here I am giving some more information on the Third Eye Chakra)

Āgyā = Command, Knowledge, Wisdom

Agya_Chakra

Āgyā Chakra

Location: the sixth center of force, Āgyā Chakra is located on the physical level in the space in between the eyebrows, at the middle distance. It is also named “the third eye” or “Shiva‘s eye”.

Āgyā Chakra represents the superior mental consciousness, which allows the direct perception of the invisible worlds and the direct perception of the subtler aspects of the manifested universe.

On the physical level: it coordinates the activity of the pituitary gland (hypophysis) and of the cerebellum. The hypophysis has a vital role in the sense that together with the hypothalamus it constitutes the command system of the rest of endocrine glands.

On a psychic level, it controls the superior intuition, clairvoyance, the capacity to anticipate certain events, the instantaneous capacity of perceiving all the qualities of any human being, the extra-sensorial perceptions.

Specific reactions in the case of the harmonious activation of Āgyā Chakra: the harmonious activation of Āgyā Chakra grants mental insight, telepathic capacities, self-control, mental understanding through intellectual identification, creative intelligence.

“The person who focuses intensely and meditates deeply on this charka will destroy gradually the negative effects of his or her previous bad actions, from this life and from the previous lives. The adept becomes a great yogi and a jivanmukta, a liberated person while still alive. He or she will obtain the 8 great paranormal powers (siddhis) and the 32 minor paranormal powers.” (Swami Sivananda)

The Agna is the source of knowing. It is the highest level of discernment. Agna is colorless. This is why Agna is related to vairagya, a state that is colorless or beyond color, which allows you to take on any color without it leaving a trace on you. Suppose we put red, blue or yellow light – everything looks different. Colorless light allows you to see everything clearly, the way it is. Similarly, if you are established in the Agna, you will see everything the way it is.

The meaning of Āgyā or Third Eye is ‘perception’, and it also means ‘become aware of’ and ‘control’. It is associated with the power of thought, imagination, and abstract ideas and controls the entire personality of an individual. A well balanced Third Eye (Āgyā) Chakra displays charisma and intuitive brilliance in a person. An individual with a balanced Third Eye (Āgyā) Chakra possess a calm mind and display clarity of judgment. Blockage in this Chakra may result in disharmony, aggression, stubbornness along with physical ailments like eyes and nose problems, headache and blood circulation issues in the brain.

Āgyā Chakra is located at the upper end of the spinal column, at the point of transition from the spine to the brain. Its radiation is, however, primarily perceptible in the centre of the forehead between the eyebrows. Therefore, it is also known as the “Eyebrow Centre” or “Third Eye”. Another expression for the Āgyā Chakra is “Guru Chakra – the Seat of the Master”.

We do not need to seek truth; it is always in front of us. But in order to recognise it a person needs an open, pure consciousness and clear thoughts. While our mind remains cloudy, like a dirty mirror, we see everything hazily and unclearly. It is only in a purified mind and mature consciousness that Gyānā – wisdom and spiritual knowledge – can be broadened. Until we are capable of anchoring our consciousness in the Āgyā Chakra our mind oscillates constantly between the human Chakras – the Mūlādhāra, Svādhishthāna, Manipūra, Anāhata and Vishuddhi. While we are still lacking in discrimination we should listen to the advice of the Master in order to avoid mistakes.

Scriptures, meditation and higher forms of thinking enable the person to distinguish lower impulses, thoughts and feelings, from nobler forms of thinking, emoting and intuiting, and so one’s thinking is quick and slow at the same time – slow because there is a silent ground of listening, and quick because the capacity to tell right from wrong is already highly developed.

On the other hand, despite all knowledge, understanding and discrimination, the open third eye is also deeply non-conceptual. Its center is in a state of spacious and unlimited listening. It is observant and lucid rather than automatic and reactive – a state which allows a person to be a receptor of “higher”, untainted inner guidance, as well as deep intuition and even super sensory perception.

The gifts of clairvoyance, intuition and telepathy lie in the Āgyā Chakra. When we strengthen the power of concentration and learn to perceive all the energy assembled in the Āgyā Chakra, our mind can receive or transmit knowledge through time and space. The function of the Āgyā Chakra is comparable to a searchlight, which can, through the concentration of light, make things visible at a distance. Those whose Āgyā Chakra is opened are at home in all three worlds – past, present and future.

An important symbol in the picture of the Āgyā Chakra is the SHIVA LINGAM – this is a symbol of creative consciousness. We also encountered this astral symbol in the picture of the Mūlādhāra Chakra, indicating the close relationship between the Mūlādhāra and Āgyā Chakras. In the Mūlādhāra Chakra the Shiva Lingam is black, but in the Āgyā Chakra it has a milky-white or smoky colour. This indicates that the consciousness has to a great degree been purified, but is still not completely pure. It is still pulled in two directions. If the consciousness is led by the intellect it goes towards the lower Chakras and the ego; whereas when guided by Bhakti and Viveka it goes towards the upper Chakras, the Ātmā. If the consciousness turns towards the world it becomes cloudy and dark, but if directed towards the Ātmā it is enlightened and illuminated.

This does not mean that we should withdraw completely from external life. Quite the opposite …. continue to lead your “normal” life; work, eat, sleep, live with your partner, live with your family and enjoy the beauty of life, just like everybody else. Yet, simultaneously remain conscious of your true nature and your divine origin. Perform your spiritual practices daily, and enjoy your existence with a pure mind and clear consciousness.

The Lotus in the Āgyā Chakra has two petals only. They stand for GU (darkness/ignorance) and RU (light/knowledge), the two syllables from which the word GURU (master) is formed. They also bear the Mantras HAM and KSHAM which represent the sun and the moon, the “masculine” and “feminine” principles, Shiva and Shakti, Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (nature). When Shiva and Shakti become one we become whole. The union leads to balance, liberation, desirelessness and contentment.

The Mantra syllables HAM and KSHAM also stand for Idā and Pingalā, the two main Nādīs, that are allied to the moon and sun principles in the body. The third, and central, Nādī, Sushumnā, represents the Divine Consciousness.

The Mantra of the Āgyā Chakra is OM, the original sound of creation. This Mantra is the sound of both the Āgyā Chakra and the Sahasrāra Chakra. OM is the sound of the Divine that we hear when the Ātmā expands into infinity and unites with the Supreme. God, the Supreme Self, cannot be comprehended by the intellect or described with words, but can be experienced as vibration – light, sound or energy. God exists as vibration in every atom. The vibration of the Supreme is A-U-M, or OM. This represents the beginning, middle and end; therefore, the whole of creation. When in meditation we become absorbed in this Bīja Mantra we are able to hear the omnipresent, divine vibration of creation.

Āgyā Chakra Opening

Opening the Āgyā Chakra takes place after we have learned the more basic skills of right concentration on truer thoughts and disassociation from disturbing thoughts. Following from these basic skills one can further develop a state of deep silence and listening.

When the mind is properly trained to shift completely from thinking to listening, the third eye becomes highly activated. For this, one needs to learn how to stop using the verbal interpreting and reacting mechanism of the mind and instead move to a state of pure, thoughtless observation.

The best Third Eye Chakra meditations are all about the development of different qualities, functions and states of the mind, starting from the most basic ones, such as concentration techniques. The known Yogic practice of focusing on the air coming in and out through the nostrils, or focusing on a candle-light, are good examples.

Further Exercises that work specifically on the Āgyā Chakra –

  • Nādī Shodhana Prānāyāma (Purification of the Nervous System)
  • Bhūmi Pād Mastakāsana (Head and Feet on the Earth)
  • Yoga Mudrā (Forward Bend Sitting on Heels)
  • Shashankāsana (The Hare)
  • Shirshāsana (Headstand)
  • Nāda Sanchalana (Sound Exercise, eg singing OM)
  • Kapāla Bhāti Prānāyāma (Purification of the Frontal Sinus)
  • Ākāshī Mudrā (Looking to the Sky)

Vishuddhi Chakra

Visha = impurity,

poison Shuddhi = purification

 

Vishuddhi Chakra

VIshuddhi Chakra

 

 

Vishuddhi Chakra or throat chakra is the fifth primary chakra according to the Hindu tradition of tantra. It is located in the vicinity of the Larynx – and is therefore also known as the Throat Chakra. It is a center of physical and spiritual purification.

Location: the fifth energy center, Vishuddhi Chakra is located in the physical body in the area of the neck.

Represents: pure consciousness, creativity.

Symbolic representation: it is the dwelling of sound, dreams and the symbol of purity.

On the psychic level: it governs expression, awakening of inspiration, eloquence, archetypal models. This center of force is closely connected to the feeling of acceptance, superior receptivity, and subtle protection.

On the physical level: it coordinates the activity of the vocal cords, the hearing system, pharynges, oesophagus, as well as the spine. The corresponding glands are thyroid and parathyroid. This center of force is connected to the complex process of nourishment.

Specific reactions in the case of energetical disturbance: the person in which the energies characteristic to Vishuddhi Chakra are disturbed will have to face an imbalance at the level of the above-mentioned glands. The emotional factors are nonetheless extremely important in triggering this disease. These factors are translated in symptoms as insomnia, anxiety and depression.

Characteristic element: the subtle energies of ether.

Sense: hearing.

Intense focus and meditation on the subtle element corresponding to this center of force is defined in the Yoga texts as the special, beatific expansion Akashi Darana. The person who practises this form of meditation will not die, nor disappear at the dissolution of the world. This person obtains the knowledge of the past, present and future as well as the control of the mysterious energies of time.” (Swami Sivananda) – Meditation upon this chakra is said to bring about various siddhis or occult powers: vision of the three periods, past, present and future; freedom from disease and old age; destruction of dangers; and the ability to move the three worlds.

 

For the purification and balancing, the breath should flow through the chakra. Here at the throat it is a natural process. By using Prāna Shakti with help of the Yoga technique of Prānāyāma , one can have better breath control to remove the harmful residues from the breath and to clear thoughts as well. A wrong thought, emotion, idea, energy, or impulse can poison your life. An active Vishuddhi saves you from all these influences. In other words, once your Vishuddhi is active, whatever happens around you will not have an impact on you anymore. You will be established within yourself. And you tend to become a powerful being.

Vishuddhi Chakra 2

Lotus Blossom in VIshuddhi Chakra

The Lotus blossom in the Vishuddhi Chakra is described as having a “white color” with sixteen “purple” or “smoke-colored petals.”. These represent the sixteen Siddhis (supernatural powers) that a person can acquire through practising Yoga. Within the pericarp is a sky-blue downward pointing triangle containing a circular white region like the full moon. This represents the element of akasha or “aether.” The number 16 also refers to the sixteen days it takes for the half-moon to grow into the full moon. The moon denotes emotions, change and the female principle. In the Bhagavad Gita (15/13) the moon is described as “the giver of nectar” as it gives nourishment to vegetation. The colour of the Vishuddhi Chakra is VIOLET, the colour of wisdom and spirituality.

The element of the Vishuddhi Chakra is ĀKĀSHA (space). Space opens the possibility for expansion and distribution. This region is represented by the deity Ambara, who is also white in color and is depicted with four arms, holding a noose and a goad. He makes the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear while seated upon a white elephant. The silver crescent is the lunar symbol of nada, pure cosmic sound. The crescent is symbolic of purity, and purification is a vital aspect of Vishuddha Chakra.

Panchanana_SadaShiva

Sadashiva

The Lotus in the Vishuddhi Chakra carries the Bīja Mantra HAM – I am. SO HAM means “That am I”. In the Anāhata Chakra we frequently indulge in beautiful emotions, whereas in the Vishuddhi Chakra we begin to become conscious of who we really are. It is here that the real journey towards Self-Realisation and Self-knowledge starts. In the Bindu, or point above the mantra, resides the deity Sadashiva, who has 5 faces, representing the spectrum of smell, taste, sight, touch, and sound and 10 arms. The right half of his body is a white Shiva, and the left half of the body is a golden Shakti. He is holding a trident, chisel, sword, vajra, fire, a great snake, a bell, a goad, and a noose, and is making the gesture of dissipating fear. He is clad in a tiger skin. His Shakti is Shakini, who is shining white, seated on a red lotus, and with five faces, three eyes each, and four-armed, with a bow and arrow, noose, and goad.

The central symbol of the Vishuddhi Chakra is a peaceful white ELEPHANT. In India the white elephant is regarded as a symbol for luck, wealth, power, wisdom, purity and clarity.

Words are developed in three stages: ABDOMEN, THROAT & LIPS. The seat of sound is in the Manipūra Chakra; therefore the origin of speech is in the fire element. Through the energy of fire, sound manifests in the space of the Vishuddhi Chakra, and is articulated as words with the help of the lips (Vaikharī). Every thought, every emotion, should be filtered and purified by consciousness and clarity. In the lower Chakras we are led predominantly by our emotions; the real dawning of consciousness begins first in the Vishuddhi Chakra. In this Chakra we begin to articulate our emotions and desires and, at the same time, also learn how to control them. The process of maturation in the Vishuddhi Chakra governs the aptitude for patience. Through Prānāyāma and Āsanas that have an effect on the Vishuddhi Chakra we can quieten the thoughts and emotions and bring them into harmony. In this way we protect ourselves from rash actions and prevent our words being like knives or arrows and injuring others. Patanjali said that wise men formulate their words clearly and fully before speaking. The ability to be aware of words in their place of genesis – the Manipūra Chakra – is very valuable. Words possess a strong power regardless of whether the effect they create is intentional or not. We should speak fewer rather than too many words, and weigh them up in the heart and the Vishuddhi Chakra before we speak.A very effective Sādhana for learning control over words is silence (MAUNA). All exercises that have an effect on the Vishuddhi Chakra also have a beneficial influence on the voice and speech. That is why work on this Chakra is particularly recommended for writers, poets, journalists, teachers, politicians, actors and singers. VĀK SIDDHI, which bestows a remarkable influential power upon words, is hidden in the Vishuddhi Chakra. With the activation of the Vishuddhi Chakra and practising of the Hatha Yoga technique of TRĀTAKA (concentration on a point), one’s words and glances are given an effective and persuasive power.

Prānāyāma, Yoga & Mudra for Vishuddhi Chakra

  • Ujjāyī Prānāyāma
  • Jālandhara Bandha
  • SARVĀNGĀSANA Shoulderstand
  • MATSYĀSANA Fish
  • BHUJANGĀSANA Cobra
  • USHTRĀSANA Camel
  • SETU ĀSANA Bridge
  • SHĪRSHĀSANA Headstand
  • VIPARĪTKARANĪ MUDRĀ Half Shoulderstand
  • HALĀSANA Plough
  • YOGA MUDRĀ Forward Bend sitting on Heels
  • Khecharī Mudrā

Anāhata Chakra

Anāhata Nāda = unlimited, infinite sound

anahat-chakra

Anāhata Chakra

Location: the fourth energy center, Anāhata Chakra is located in the physical body in the area of the cardiac plexus.

Represents: compassion, emotional tranquility, detachment and unconditional love.

Symbolic representation: the consciousness of love and empathic communion with other beings, abnegation, self-giving.

On the psychic level: endless and everlasting love for your fellows, compassion, altruism, empathy, acceptance, self-giving.

On the physical level: it coordinates the activity of the circulatory system, respiratory system and immune system.

Specific reactions in the case of energetical disturbance: the person in which the energies characteristic to Anāhata Chakra are disturbed will suffer because of dramatic, even tragic situations. Such people will have problems with the thymus, the endocrine gland corresponding to this center of force.

Characteristic element: the subtle energies of air.

Sense organ: skin.

Sense: tactile sense.

In Sanskrit, Anāhata means “unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten”. Anāhata Nad refers to the Vedic concept of unstruck sound (the sound of the celestial realm). Anāhata is associated with balance, calmness, and serenity.

The Anāhata Chakra is the seat of love. When our heart opens to divine love, our love becomes infinite. Just as love is infinite, so also is the Anāhata Chakra. “The most beautiful love one can experience is the love of God. He is our eternal lover and our souls are his beloved’s, and when the soul meets the greatest lover in the whole universe, then the divine love begins.” (Paramahansa Yogananda)

The Anāhata Chakra is our inner temple in which the divine Ātmā, “the flame of life”, resides. In the Chandogya Upanishad it is written: “In the centre of the body there is a little shrine surrounded by a wall with eleven doors. Hidden within the shrine a Lotus blossoms, and within this there is a tiny, little room.” What does this tiny room in the heart of the Lotus mean? It is the Ātmā, our true Self. Just as the whole tree is already contained and present within a seed, the essence of the entire cosmos exists in the centre of the Heart Chakra.

Anāhata means “infinite” and “continuous”. In the Anāhata Chakra we hear Anāhata Nāda, SO HAM – “That I am, I am That”; the constant, fundamental sound of the Universe, the eternal vibration of the Self. The sound SO is produced when we inhale & HAM when we exhale.

anahat-chakra-2

Lotus with twelve petals in the Anāhata Chakra

We find a Lotus with twelve petals in the Anāhata Chakra. The twelve petals depict the twelve most important qualities that we are able to develop in the heart centre: Joy, peace, love, harmony, bliss, clarity, purity, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, patience and kindness. The twelve petals are inscribed with the syllables kam, kham, gam, gham, ngam, cham, chham, jam, jham, nyam, tam and tham in Sanskrit. They match the vrittis of lust, fraud, indecision, repentance, hope, anxiety, longing, impartiality, arrogance, incompetence, discrimination and defiance.

The divinities of the Anāhata Chakra are SHIVA and SHAKTI. Inside there is a smoky region at the intersection of two triangles, creating a shatkona. The shatkona is a symbol used in Hindu Yantra, representing the union of male (Purusha) and female (Prakriti). Shiva (or Purusha) is pure consciousness that steers us towards goodness and the Supreme Self. Shakti (or Prakriti) is the Divine power through which consciousness manifests.

The artistic talents like poetry, picture, sounds, etc. are coming through the awakened Anāhata Chakra in which continuous flow of universal love or the language of the heart manifests. The Anāhata Chakra bestows upon us the gift of expressing our thoughts and feelings in touching words, pictures or melodies and thus it is also known as CHINTĀ MANI.

Resentment, desire, obsession, fanaticism and dependency are negative qualities that also cause mischief in the Anāhata Chakra. Only when we have conquered these qualities does the entrance to divine love open for us.

While the Solar Plexus or Manipura chakra is self-oriented, the heart chakra is others-oriented. ‘Others-oriented’ can be explained as the predominant concern for what others want, feel and expect. To be successful and happy in life, both qualities are important. The Solar Plexus chakra and the Heart chakra need to be developed equally. This is called balancing loving-kindness with self-interest.

The gland related to the Anāhata Chakra is the THYMUS GLAND. It is located between the collarbones in the centre of the chest. If one taps this place lightly with the knuckles a few times, it quietens nerves affected by excitement or stress and brings us back into balance again.

The animal symbol of the Anāhata Chakra is a black ANTELOPE. The antelope is fast and powerful, and at the same time delicate and sensitive. With its refined senses it senses danger well in advance. It is vigilant day and night, just as we should be on our spiritual path – always attentive and careful.

In the Anāhata Chakra there are two more important symbols – a SIX-POINTED STAR together with a NEW MOON. Both relate to the changeability we experience in this Chakra. The six-pointed star is formed by two intersecting triangles. The triangle with the tip pointing upwards symbolises the energy (Shakti) that offers us the possibility of raising our state of consciousness. The inverted triangle implies that we can also very easily slip back into the lower Chakras again from the Heart Chakra.

The colour of the Anāhata Chakra is LIGHT BLUE. Blue means spirituality and unity. It is the colour of the clear, cloudless sky, the reflection of purity and infinity. Also, the colour of the flame of a candle is blue in the centre as it is not polluted by smoke. When we purify the fire of the Manipūra its reflection in the Anāhata Chakra is also clear and pure. Sometimes when we are meditating on the Anāhata Chakra we can perceive the radiance from the glow of the Manipūra Chakra as a yellowish-orange colour.

The Tattva of the Anāhata Chakra is VĀYU, the air element and who is smoke-like and four-armed, holding a kusha and riding an antelope. Air forms the basis for movement and expansion and symbolises the breadth and boundlessness of the heart, within which our consciousness is able to expand without restriction. Vāyu is connected physically to the sense of touch and the skin (the organ of touch), and emotionally to the level of feelings. When the heart is touched it can give us a feeling of becoming lost in an ocean of emotions or sinking into our feelings.

The Mantra of the Anāhata Chakra is YAM. It means to let go, to liberate, to give. By the grace of the Guru and through prayer, practising Mantra, Satsang and singing Bhajans we are not only able to clear blockages in the Anāhata Chakra, but also in the Manipūra Chakra and Vishuddhi Chakra.

Until the Anāhata Chakra opens it is not possible for the Āgyā Chakra, the centre of mental energy and power of thought, to develop its full potential. Every action, every word, all feelings and thoughts should be filtered through the Anāhata Chakra and be enlightened by Bhakti (Love) and Gyāna (Wisdom). Gyāna is unable to feel anything without Bhakti, and Bhakti is blind without Gyāna. Where love and knowledge join forces there is completeness. Understanding and kindness leads us directly to God, which is only possible by grace of a Guru.

Yoga & Mudra for Anāhata Chakra

Mountain Pose (Tadasana) With Hands in Anjali Mudra
Upward Salute Pose (Urdhva Hastasana)
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Child’s pose (Balasana)
Savasana
Cow Face (Gomukhasana)
Eagle (Garudasana)
Camel (Ustrasana)
Fish (Matsyasana)
Cat (Marjaryasana)

Manipūra Chakra

mani = jewel

pūra = place, city

Manipura-Chakra

Manipura Chakra

Location: the third energy center, Manipūra chakra is located in the physical body in the area of the solar plexus.

Represents: expansive consciousness, the will of power.

Symbolic representation: passionate consciousness, dynamism.

On the psychic level: it controls the will, the ego, the individuality, the expansiveness, self-control, practical intelligence.

On the physical level: it coordinates the digestive processes and the activity of the organs in the abdomen.

Specific reactions in the case of energetical disturbance: the person will strongly struggle for personal power and the recognition of one’s own rights even at the expense of other people’s well-being.

Characteristic element: the subtle energies of fire.

Sense organ: eyes.

Sense: sight.

Manipūra Chakra is Located above the navel or slightly below the solar plexus. Manipūra translates from Sanskrit as “resplendent gem” or “lustrous gem”. The qualities like clarity, self-confidence, bliss, wisdom and the ability to make correct decisions (popularly known as “Gut Feeling”)  are the jewels of Manipūra Chakra. It gives you the ability to rise to the occasion in times of need and difficulty or anytime you are challenged.

The person who focuses intensely and meditates on this chakra gains the capacity of discovering secret treasures. The great yogi Swami Shivananda says that “such a person will not be touched by any disease. He or she will not fear fire. Even if such a person stays in the middle of a burning fire, he or she will not die, nor fear death. His or her will and strength are amazing.”

7 chakra representation

Meditation and Chakra positions

The Manipūra Chakra is represented as being a vivid golden yellow in color. The vibrant yellow of this chakra is the magnetic core of the personality promotes creativity, self-confidence & personality, perfect health, increased awareness, intellect, clarity of thought, spirit of adventure, willpower, great curiosity, dynamism, correct assimilation of the food, a high energetic level and the capacity of working long without getting tired. The message of the third chakra is “I control”. The feelings of love and happiness that we feel in our heart actually originate in the Manipūra Chakra and rise from there to the Anāhata Chakra.

 

Element

The Tattva (element) of the Manipūra Chakra is TEJAS (fire), and therefore this Chakra is also known as the Fire or Sun Centre. It is said to govern digestion and metabolism as the home of Agni and the vital wind Samana Vāyu. The energies of Prāna Vāyu and Apāna Vāyu (inward and outward flowing energy) meet at the point in a balanced system. Manipūra is the home of the coeliac plexus, which innervates most of the digestive system. It promotes healthier digestion, elimination, pancreas-kidney and Adrenal function. Weak Agni (fire) in the coeliac plexus leads to incompletely digested food, thoughts and emotions, and is a source of ama (toxicity). The “firewood” for our digestive fire (Jatharāgni) is the food that we eat. Foods that have a strong, positive vibration are grains, nuts, fruit and vegetables. Apart from the fact that meat is detrimental for our physical health it is extremely harmful for our consciousness and has serious karmic consequences. Before we eat we should find out where the food has come from and what qualities it contains. It is not only the nutrients that are important but also the subtle vibrations of the food, which have a marked effect on the body, mind and our spiritual energy. These vibrations can considerably alter our physical wellbeing, our thoughts, feelings and vitality. Together with the meat that we consume we absorb the vibration of the fear of death, the pain and the despair of the animal. This fear sinks into the subconscious and comes to light again in our dreams and meditation.  A basic question we should put to ourselves is: “Is the food we are eating connected with the pain, suffering or death of any living being? A prayer said at the beginning of a meal still does not give us a “karmic licence”. It is unable to protect us from harmful substances or from the karmic consequences that arise from the consumption of meat, due to the slaughter, or from condoning the slaughter, of animals. God is the Creator of all living beings, so how can He be happy when we destroy His Creation?

With an active Manipūra Chakra the body is provided with sufficient energy, even if we have only eaten or slept a little. This is why the Manipūra Chakra is the most important energy centre for our physical well-being. ”

manipura chakra

Symbolic Representation of  Manipura Chakra

 

Symbol

A symbol of the Manipūra Chakra is the ten-petalled Lotus blossom. The petals represent the ten Prānas (currents and energy vibrations) that are regulated by the Manipūra Chakra. Here we are talking about Prāna in the first sense – life force, vitality, that we absorb with the oxygen that we breathe and the food that we eat. The ten Prānas are divided into five Prāna-Vāyus and five Upa Prānas. The five Prāna Vāyus are: PRĀNA, APĀNA, UDĀNA, SAMĀNA and VYĀNA. Prāna is responsible for inhalation, Apāna for exhalation, Udāna for ingestion of food, Samāna for digestion and Vyāna for circulation and nervous system. The five Upa Prānas are: NĀGA, KŪRMA, DEVADATTA, KRIKALA and DHANANJAYA. Nāga controls the function of burping, Kūrma the movement of the eyelids, Devadatta yawning, Krikala sneezing and Dhananjaya nourishes and strengthens the body and stabilises the function of the organs.

There are two basic functions within the body – reception of energy (Prāna) and elimination of waste (Apāna). Prāna is the “receiving power” that enables and controls the supply of energy to the body. Its seat is in the upper body. Through this Prāna we receive oxygen, which is essential for life, and the life force that exists within the air we breathe. Apāna is the “eliminating power” that brings about detoxification through excretion, secretion and exhalation. Its seat is in the lower abdomen. If Apāna Vāyu cannot flow freely then it results in toxicity within the body. The energies of Prāna and Apāna meet at the Manipūra Chakra. Both forces should be able to function freely; disturbances or blockages lead to illness and, in extreme cases, even to death. Through certain advanced Yoga techniques (Kriyās) the energy currents of Prāna and Apāna can be united in the Manipūra Chakra and guided into the Sushumnā Nādī (Central Nervous System). When this occurs the Kundalinī energy rises to the Sahasrāra Chakra and the meditator experiences the state of Samādhi, supreme consciousness.

The animal symbol of the Manipūra Chakra is the RAM, a fiery and lively animal. The animal symbol of a Chakra indicates that at this particular stage of development we are still connected to nature.

Another symbol of the Manipūra Chakra is an inverted TRIANGLE. This symbol is also encountered in the Mūlādhāra Chakra. The downward pointing tip of the triangle symbolises the origin, and the upward spreading sides of the triangle indicate growth and development. The triangle is also a symbol for the flame of the Manipūra Chakra that expands and rises upwards.

Divinities

VISHNU and LAKSHMĪ are the divinities that reside in the Manipūra Chakra. Here Vishnu personifies the progression towards human consciousness, spiritual growth and creativity. Lakshmī is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. This does not refer only to the material, but primarily to health and spiritual prosperity.

Colour

The colour of the Manipūra Chakra is YELLOW-ORANGE and its radiation is GREEN, the complimentary colour of red. It has the colour of a pure flame that gives light and energy and removes all pollutants.

Bīja Mantra

The Bīja Mantra of the Manipūra Chakra is RAM. This sound developed from the vibration caused by the meeting of the Nādīs in this centre. If we sing RAM for some time and specifically allow the “R” to vibrate, we become conscious of a pleasant feeling of warmth and the flow of energy.

The seat of words is in the Manipūra Chakra. The sound begins in the navel, rises to the larynx, and manifests as sound from the lips. Exercises that strengthen and harmonise the Manipūra Chakra are therefore also beneficial for all types of speech impediments.

Simple ways to balance the Manipura Chakra

  • Meditate on the colour yellow
  • Take in a teaspoon of ginger juice
  • Sun bathing or going for a morning walk
  • Learning new things as stimulates your mind
  • Express and don’t repress
  • Be aware when you need to exert and when you need to let go
  • Get on your yoga mats
  • Visualization techniques

Yoga postures to balance Manipura Chakra

  • Naukasana
  • Agnisarkriya
  • Dhanurasana
  • Ushtrasana
  • Chakrasana
  • Paschimottanasana
  • Twists such as Ardha matsyendrasana
  • Uddiyana and Maha Bandha
  • Surya mudra

Affirmations to a content Sense-of-self

Since the solar plexus chakra is closely tied with strength and a healthy sense of self, affirmations that focus on self-acceptance and boundaries are most useful. Some sample affirmations include:

  • I love and respect myself
  • I think, speak and act with wisdom, serenity and courage
  • I live with integrity and respect for myself and others.
  • I am in alignment with the abundant of the universe.
  • I am empowered and empower others.

The gut is the second brain of the body. As, about 90% of the serotonin for the entire body is made and found in the gut. At the beginning of your meditation always concentrate firstly on the Manipūra Chakra. If this energy centre is relaxed then the Mūlādhāra Chakra and Svādhishthāna Chakra will also automatically relax. Then the energy can flow upwards unhindered, streaming outwards and upwards to the heart. Through this you experience a happy and deep meditation. Thus, so much of importance to Manipūra!

 

Svadhishthāna Chakra

Svā = Self

Adhishthāna = seat, residence

Svadhishthāna Chakra is located two finger-widths above the Muladhara Chakra and to the lower belly, a few inches below the navel. “Svadhisthana” holds the energy related to money, relationships and demonstrates compassion and creativity. It corresponds to the sacral vertebrae and the nerve ganglion called the sacral plexus. This plexus hooks into the sciatic nerve and is a center of motion for the body.

It is often called the “seat of life.” It is connected with the sense of taste, (the tongue) and with reproduction (the genitals). Its element is water. Therefore, the chakra corresponds with bodily functions having to do with liquid: circulation, urinary elimination, sexuality and reproduction. With a balanced chakra you will have all these in good health while you will have difficulties in these with a imbalanced chakra.

Swadhisthana_Chakra_2
Svadhishthāna is illustrated as a white lotus (Nelumbo nucifera). It has six vermilion-colored petals inscribed with syllables: बं baṃ, भं bhaṃ, मं maṃ, यं yaṃ, रं raṃ and लं laṃ and these symbols represents the six obstacles on the path of development: Anger, hate, greed, jealousy, cruelty, laziness

Swadhisthana

Inside this lotus is a white crescent moon which represents the water region presided over by the deity Varuna (god of water). The seed mantra, located in the innermost circle, is a moon-white वं vaṃ. Above the mantra that is within the bind, or dot, is the deity Vishnu. He is dark blue and wears a yellow dhoti. He holds a conch, a mace, a wheel and a lotus. He wears the srivatsa mark, and the kaustubha gem. He is seated either on a pink lotus, or on the divine eagle, Garuda. His strength is the goddess Lakini. She is black, dressed in red or white and seated on a red lotus. She is commonly depicted with one face and two arms, holding a sword and a shield, or two faced and four armed, and holds a trident, lotus, drum and vajra, or an arrow, skull, drum and axe.

Svādhishthāna Chakra is represented by ORANGE color which is also the colour for fire and denotes purification, activity, joy, hope and self-confidence.

Svadhishthana_Chakra

The element (Tattva) of the Svādhishthāna Chakra is WATER. Like water, the Kundalinī energy rests in the Mūlādhāra Chakra stiff and motionless, as if “frozen”, and only begins to flow when it reaches the Svādhishthāna Chakra. We need to clear our thoughts and should think in a positive way once the energy starts to flow to protect us from the negativity of imbalance of the mind and other psychic disturbances like aggression, nervousness, restlessness, etc. The idea is to go ahead one step at a time.

The animal symbol of the Svādhishthāna Chakra is the CROCODILE. It represents the Karma lying dormant in the subconscious. The crocodile is lazy and lethargic, but once it becomes active it develops enormous power and speed and can be extremely dangerous. We also should set all our powers into motion when we have a strong desire or longing for something and  should continue with this practise even after we reach to our goal so to prevent ourselves to sink back into the earlier idleness.

The Bija Mantra, the subtle vibration, of the Svādhishthāna Chakra is VĀM. Through concentration on the sound of this Mantra and its inner repetition we are able to awaken the energy of the Chakra, and also bring it back into balance when it has become the victim of impetuosity.

There are two special “jewels” hidden in the Svādhishthāna Chakra that we are able to put to good use: ICCHĀ SHAKTI (willpower) and KRĪYA SHAKTI (vigour/drive). ICCHĀ SHAKTI and KRIYĀ SHAKTI can be awakened and strengthened by Yoga practices. The following powerful energies help us to cultivate these:

PRĀNA SHAKTI – life force, vital force

DHĀRANĀ SHAKTI – power of concentration

CHETANA SHAKTI – power of consciousness

When these three Shaktis combine we are able to turn all our ideas, intentions and wishes into reality. Even though they are purely mental powers, they originate in the body. The free flowing of the Nādīs and the activation of the nerve centres (Chakras) play a big part in this, and Prānāyāma and concentration (eg Trātaka ) are also helpful. Concentration strengthens the mind and Prānāyāma strengthens and purifies the Nervous System. Here, purification means to remove blockages and thus improve and ensure the flow of energy. Concentration acts like a magnet on our consciousness pulling it in one direction only. Through this it is possible to utilise and guide the Prāna Shakti at will. With this our physical and mental nourishment also become very important. Therefore we should foster positive thoughts and only eat wholesome and pure food – no meat, fish, eggs or alcohol, and naturally no drugs.

To control and consciously guide Prāna is a science, similar to higher Mathematics. This energy is like an instrument with whose help we can attain our goal. When the nerve centres have been purified the Chetana Shakti, it develops its full potential and enlightens our consciousness. Once we have awoken this power within us we should also put it to good use, aligning it with our willpower and actions towards the goal of Self-Realisation.

In the course of our life the Kundalinī occasionally awakens and rises to the Svādhishthāna Chakra. However, here it comes up against the barrier of our negative qualities such as envy, desire, jealousy, rage and greed. These block the energy so that it again returns to the Mūlādhāra Chakra. And in this way the consciousness of many people continues to oscillate between the two lowest Chakras without ever being able to rise higher.

People influenced mainly by Svadhishthāna chakra are quite impressionable, have an active and vivid imagination, as well as the aptitude of verbalizing their perceptions, which makes them excellent in the professions involving guiding and healing.

Basic Yoga Asanas, Pranayama, Mudra & Bandha for the Sacral Chakra

Yoga to stimulate and balance energy flow through the Sacral Chakra:

Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana) — As this pose stimulates the abdominal organs it also strengthens the spine.

Cow Face (Gomukhasana) — This seated and twist position stretches your chest, arms, shoulders, legs, and core.

One-Legged King Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) — This variation of the pigeon asana stimulates the abdominal organs while stretching the chest, shoulders, and abdomen. 

Bound Angle (Baddha Konasana) — Bound angle stimulates the abdominal organs to dispel energy imbalance.

Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana) — A variation of triangle, this asana stimulates the abdominal organs.

Full Boat (Paripurna Navasana) — This seated asana strengthens your core. 

Chair (Utkatasana) — Adopting this standing pose, which strengthens the abdomen and stimulates abdominal organ function, allows for the opening and activation of the Sacral Chakra.

Pranayama: Dirga (the three part breath) and Kapalabhati

Mudra: Yoni

Bandha: Uddiyana Bandha (upward flying)

Chakra: Understanding (Part 2)

7 Chakra

chakras_2
A chakra is like a whirling, vortex-like, powerhouse of energy. Since they are connected with the universal energy, they can be controlled or balanced by applying some laws and principles defined under spirituality. If you wonder what is spirituality then read below:

Spirituality Definition

  • Christina Puchalski, MD, Director of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health, contends that “spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred.”
  • According to Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary, researchers and authors of The Spiritual Brain, “spirituality means any experience that is thought to bring the experiencer into contact with the divine (in other words, not just any experience that feels meaningful).”
  • Nurses Ruth Beckmann Murray and Judith Proctor Zenter write that “the spiritual dimension tries to be in harmony with the universe, and strives for answers about the infinite, and comes into focus when the person faces emotional stress, physical illness, or death.”

According to  Deepak Chopra each of the seven chakras are governed by understanding and practicing spiritual laws & principles of consciousness. When the chakra are balanced the internal energy known as Kundalini Shakti flows into them and meets the universal energy and affects us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The learning of balancing chakras includes understanding of our own energy, physical sensations, and emotional states. For this we need to know each chakra in detail and ways to control their spinning to balance them.

The awakening of the Chakras does not proceed in rigid, isolated steps, but takes place on all levels of consciousness simultaneously.

Chakra in details

Even though the 7 chakras are associated with specific parts of the body, they are not “physical” entities per se, but belong to the realm of “subtle energy”.  They can be described at the crossroad of the material and the immaterial, the biological and the spiritual, and pertain to the body, mind, and spirit all together. The mainstream chakra system is based on a Hindu chakra system that recognizes seven distinct “wheels” or “centers” of energy that are perpetually in motion along the human body’s spinal column. Each possessing its own color and vibrational frequency, these wheels are the catalysts of consciousness and human function. They govern various emotional issues, from our survival instincts and self-esteem to our ability to communicate and experience love. A large part of getting to know how to work with your chakras involves chakra balancing. A chakra blockage and imbalance in one or several of 7 chakras can initiate mental, emotional, physical and/or spiritual ailments. Regardless of whether you use chakra stones, crystals, reiki, or another form of vibrational healing to restore chakra balance, being well-versed about chakra systems, their function, and the areas they govern can be invaluable.

Balancing chakras and healing with the chakra energy system requires a working knowledge of chakras and their functions. So we shall start understanding one by one from this point and then in following blogs.

7 Chakra

The first Chakra: Mūlādhāra Chakra (root chakra) –

Mūla = Root, Origin, Essence, Ādhāra = Basis, Foundation

Symbolic representation: a four petals lotus flower, symbolizing the four nadis or energetical channels coming from here.

Controlled psychic function: the will to survive, controls the survival instinct, the inner state of safety, self-confidence on a physical level, desire for material possessions, the chosen profession or job, the feeling of security, the belonging to a group and the group (family) identity.

Essential fears: fear of physical survival; abandon from the part of the group, losing the physical order, fear of being attacked or aggressed.

Characteristic reactions in cases of energetical disturbances: fear or runaway.

The element resonating with: subtle energies of earth.

Sensorial organ: nose.

Sense: smell.

Characteristic color: clay-yellow.

The Sanskrit word Mūlādhāra is combination of ‘Mūlā’ & ‘Ādhāra’ words. ‘Mula’ meaning “root,” and ‘Adhara’ meaning “support” or “base.” This the foundation chakra, means it helps to build foundation for the higher spiritual development, just as the womb of the mother creates the basic requirement for the growth of the embryo.

Muladhara_Chakra

Muladhara Chakra is the center of self-preservation. Self preservation is an instinct required in every field of life. The Basic chakra or Root chakra is also the focal point of dynamic activities. To sum it up, the Basic chakra is the chakra of action. A person with a highly activated chakra will be successful in his business or whatever profession he embraces. A person with a depleted basic chakra on the other hand will only plan but not be able to implement. A Basic chakra plays a crucial role in one’s youthfulness and health.

In the Muladhara Chakra the form of divine energy (Shakti) is said to be located. This energy form is known as Kundalini (Sanskrit – kuṇḍalinī). Kundalini , or “coiled one”, in Hinduism refers to a form of divine energy (Shakti) said to be located at the base of the spine (muladhara). It is for the spiritual liberation. It can be cultivated and awakened through tantric practice. When awakened, Kundalini is said to rise up from the muladhara chakra, through the central nadi (called sushumna) inside or alongside the spine reaching the top of the head. The progress of Kundalini through the different chakras is believed to achieve different levels of awakening and a mystical experience, until Kundalini finally reaches the top of the head, Sahasrara or crown chakra, producing an extremely profound transformation of consciousness.

The existence of the Kundalini energy is further emphasized in this quote by John the Baptist’s statement (Matthew 3:11, Oxford Bible), “I baptize you with water…but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” The Holy Spirit symbolizes the divine energy that is coming down. And the fire stands for the fiery serpent at the base of the spine.

Energy is said to accumulate in the muladhara, and the yogi seeks to send it up to the brain transforming it into ‘Ojas’, the highest form of energy.

muladhara_chakra

The muladhara chakra is the foundation of the physical structure and the energy body. So stabilizing the foundation is important. Unless the muladhara is stabilized, one will not know health, wellbeing, and a sense of stability and completeness.

The Muladhara Chakra forms the border between animal and human consciousness. It is linked to the unconscious mind, where our actions and experience from past lives are stored. Therefore according to Karmic Law, this Chakra contains the course of our future destiny. This Chakra is also the foundation for the development of our personality.

The positive attributes of the Muladhara Chakra are vitality, vigour and growth. The negative qualities are laziness, inertia, self-centredness and domination by one’s physical desires.

The Bīja Mantra (Seed Mantra) of the Mūlādhāra Chakra is LĀM, the sound of spiritual awakening. It releases tensions and removes blockages in this Chakra and activates its energy.

The main symbol of the Mūlādhāra Chakra is an ELEPHANT WITH SEVEN TRUNKS. In Indian mythology the elephant is the carrier of Brahmā, the creator, who brought forth knowledge and creation. The seven trunks of the elephant represent the seven basic materials of the body, as well as the SAPTDHĀTUS, the seven minerals and the seven precious gems that are found in the earth .

The Lotus blossom of the Mūla Kamala has four petals depicting the four points of the compass. They represent the four fundamental psychic functions of mind (Manas), intellect (Buddhi), consciousness (Chitta) and ego (Ahamkara)  – all of which originate in this Chakra.

The divinity of the Mūlādhāra Chakra is Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva represents consciousness and liberation. Liberation can also mean the elimination and destruction of anything negative and harmful; Shiva destroys all negative tendencies. As “Lord of the Animals” Lord Shiva keeps the animal forces under control. At Shiva’s side there are two female divinities. Their names are ĀSURĪ SHAKTI and DEVĪ SHAKTI. Āsurī Shakti represents the destructive, divisive energy within us, and Devī Shakti the positive, constructive and uniting power. Through a positive lifestyle, confident attitude to life, keeping spiritual company (Satsang), good thoughts, understanding, forgiveness, helping and giving, Āsurī Shakti is gradually transformed into Devī Shakti.

shiva&shakti

An important symbol in the Mūlādhāra Chakra is the SHIVA LINGAM, an astral symbol for creativity, creative power and consciousness. In this symbol a snake winds around the Shiva Lingam three and a half times. The three rotations of the serpent represent the first three levels of consciousness – unconscious, subconscious and conscious; and the half turn refers to the awakened super-consciousness. As the head of the snake is pointing downwards this is an indication that the evolutionary process can also again go downwards. Wisdom does not develop by itself; it needs constant, conscious effort to purify the thoughts and steer the actions towards the good.

The evolution of consciousness is connected with time, and the snake is also known as KĀLA (time, past or death). Therefore, the winding of the snake around the Shiva Lingam can also represent time – past, present and future.

Another symbol of the Mūlādhāra Chakra is an inverted triangle, which has two meanings. One meaning suggests that the Cosmic energy is pulled in and guided downwards, as if into a funnel. The other meaning indicates an upward expansion of consciousness.  The tip pointing downwards indicates that we are at the beginning of our spiritual development; and the sides that spread upwards and outwards show the direction of the developing consciousness.

The Mūlādhāra Chakra is affiliated with the SENSE OF SMELL. The awakening of the Mūlādhāra Chakra can lead to a heightening of sensory perceptions, especially the refinement of the senses of smell and hearing, so that we become aware of aromas and sounds that are not perceptible to others. Some people can see auras or feel the thoughts and moods of others.

The colour assigned to the Mūlādhāra Chakra is RED, the colour of Shakti. Shakti means energy, movement, awakening and development. Red symbolises awakening of the sleeping consciousness to active, alert consciousness. It indicates the existence of a strong, dense energy and is connected to the earth. Our existence has its roots in the earth and therefore the EARTH element (Tattva) is assigned to the Mūlādhāra Chakra.

The Mūlādhāra Chakra is the mother who nourishes and raises us. It is the seat of our dormant wisdom, the stronghold of our hidden spiritual powers and abilities. By awakening this Chakra – under the care of the spiritual Master – we accomplish the first step on our path towards a fully developed human consciousness, and beyond to God-Realisation.

When the Mūlādhāra Chakra becomes active qualities that we had not suspected were within us, such as destructive rage, all-consuming passion, excessive desires or deep-seated anger, can surface and astound us. Or, on the other hand, we can also experience wonderful feelings of freedom, joy, harmony and closeness to God.

Yoga is the best method of taking the decisive step to work through the contents of our unconscious with complete awareness. One dimension of yoga that is related to the muladhara is referred to as kayakalpa. Kaya means body. Kalpa essentially means a long period of time – we could translate it as “eon.” Kayakalpa is either about establishing or stabilizing the body, or extending its lifespan, in such a way that the deterioration is at least slowed down to a point where it looks like you are ageless and timeless. The guidance of a Realised Master who has already successfully dealt with this process is essential. He knows the dangers and obstacles on the spiritual path, and also understands our feelings and is aware of our condition. He can make us attentive, advise and help us when we still do not know which way to go. Confidence in the Master (Shraddhā) is an essential requirement for success. At this stage of our spiritual development we are like tender little plants that must be supported and protected from the rigours of the weather. The Master gives us the necessary support, for he is as unshakeable and firm as the Mountains.

Spiritual_KayaKalpa

Exercises for the Mūlādhāra Chakra

Kriyā Yoga

is the best practice to awaken the Mūlādhāra Chakra and purify the Karmas. The initiation into Kriyā Yoga is given to the aspirant by the spiritual Master.

Āshvinī Mudrā

is a very effective exercise to raise the unconscious into consciousness. Āshva means horse, and Mudrā means a position of the body. With this exercise the anal muscles are repeatedly contracted and relaxed (just like a horse when it sheds its droppings).

Mahāmudrā

Starting Position: Sit on the floor. One leg is straight and the other leg is bent so the heel is beneath the buttock. Exhaling bend forward and take hold of the toes of the straight leg with both hands. Raise the head and look upwards. Remain in this position for a few minutes breathing normally.

Mandukī Mudrā (also known as Bhadrāsana)

Starting Position: Vajrāsana (sitting on the heels). Separate the legs far enough so that the buttocks can rest on the floor. Exhaling and keeping the back straight, bend forward and place the hands on the floor between the knees. Arms can be straight or bent – whatever is comfortable. The fingers point outwards and you look towards the tip of the nose. Remain in this position for a few minutes breathing normally.

This exercise protects us against harmful emissions, detoxifies the body and has a grounding influence, as well as improving the sense of smell and concentration.

Other helpful exercises are:

  • Mūla Bandha (Root Lock)
  • Yoga Mudrā
  • Shalabhāsana (Locust Pose)
  • Paschimottānāsana (Seated Forward Bend)
  • Dhanurāsana (Bow Pose)
  • Tādāgī Mudrā (Raised Lotus)