mani = jewel
pūra = place, city
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.
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.”
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.
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. ”
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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!