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!

 

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Chakras: 7 Chakra Basic Introduction

Chakras – Introduction

7 Chakra

A ‘Chakra’ is a Sanskrit word meaning a wheel or a disc. There are total 7 chakras present in our body which moves with the Prana – The Life Force. If you wonder why 7 and not 8 or 6 chakras then read about it at the end of this article. The locations of our chakras correspond with the places in our body where essential systems use a lot of energy which means Chakra provides energy to the part they are located in. So you can also say that the 7 Chakras means ‘Wheels of spinning Energy’.

The chakras themselves are not physical; you can’t see them on an X-ray. They are aspects of consciousness, and they interact with the physical and energetic body through the endocrine system and the nervous system. Each of the seven chakras is associated with one of the nine endocrine glands, and also with a particular group of nerves, called a plexus, making them important elements in healing. No one chakra is better than the others or more important than any other in the process of energy body balancing and chakra healing.

In case any of the chakra has a problem of either spinning too quickly or too slowly, then you will have some health issue. In other words, if you know how to control chakra ’s movement, you’ll master your health too. To learn about chakras, you first need to know what is Prana or the Life Force which moves them. Read about it in my previous blog – here.

Dormant chakras are energetic potentials in the same way a bud is the possibility of a flower. As with a flower, a dormant chakra, given the correct conditions, matures and blooms — but the absolute open, complete state of creative potential is the disappearance of the “bloom,” leaving only free-flowing nadis and fields of energy.

Which are The 7 Chakras, Where are they?

humanenergychakrasystem

The Root ChakraThe 1st Chakra or the Root Chakra, is located at the tailbone area. The Sanskrit name is Muladhara. It represents the foundation or the ground. We can link this with our financial stability which should be strong enough for our survival.

The Sacral Chakra – The 2nd Chakra or the Sacral Chakra, is located in the Lower abdomen, about 2 inches below the navel and 2 inches inside. The Sanskrit name is Svadhisthana. It is related to our ability to feel creative, sexual, and accept changes.

The  Solar Plexus Chakra – The 3rd Chakra or the Solar Plexus Chakra, is located in the upper abdomen in the stomach area. The Sanskrit name is Manipura. It is related to our ability to be confident and in control of our lives.

The Heart Chakra – The 4th Chakra or the Heart Chakra, is located in the center of chest just above the heart. The Sanskrit name is Anahata. It is related to our ability to love.

The Throat Chakra – The 5th Chakra or the Throat Chakra, is located in the throat. The Sanskrit name is Vishuddha. It is related to  our ability to communicate.

The Third Eye Chakra – The 6th Chakra or the Third Eye Chakra, is located in our forehead between the eyes. The Sanskrit name is Ajna. It is related for Intuition, imagination, wisdom and the ability to think and make decisions.

The Crown Chakra – The 7th Chakra or the Crown Chakra, is located at the top of the head. The Sanskrit name is Sahasrara. It is the highest chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.

Yoga is one way that we can work to strengthen and enhance the flow of our chakra systems. Clearing out clutter in our lives, physically and emotionally, helps to strengthen the flow of our energy. Forgiveness greatly enhances our energetic health. Reiki too helps to strengthen the body’s energetic flow to bring back balance and promotes well being on all levels.

Why 7 numbers of chakras

The number seven is a symbolic representation of the earthly plane. Hindu scriptures declare that our earth is but one in a series of several planes of existence, some belonging to the higher regions and some to the lower. In all there are said to be 14 planes or worlds of which six are above the earth and seven below the earth.

In Vedas, the explanation for all 14 planes are given.

  • the earth (bhur or bhuloka) inhabited by mortal beings,
  • the middle world of air (bhuvarloka) inhabited by celestial beings, and
  • the heavenly world of the sky (suva, svara or svargaloka) inhabited by devas or gods ruled by Indra.

the remaining four worlds, situated above the heavenly world of Indra. They are

  • maharloka (the world of radiant beings),
  • janaloka (the world of deities),
  • tapoloka (the world of pure souls) and
  • satyaloka or Brahmaloka (the world of Truth).

These seven worlds also said to correspond to the seven planes of consciousness or sheaths in our bodies: physical plane (annamayya) with earth, breath plane (pranamaya) with bhuva, mental plane (manomaya) with svarga, the plane of intelligence (vijnanamaya) with mahar, the plane of latent divinities with janah, the radiant plane of spiritual fire with tapo and the supreme consciousness of Atman itself with Brahma.

While there are six planes above the earth, there are seven below:

  • atala
  • vitala
  • sutala
  • mahatala
  • tatatala
  • rasatala 
  • patala

These are darker worlds inhabited by demons and dark forces.

In the human body, which is considered as a symbolic representation of the earth itself, we can find these 14 planes. The higher seven planes also correspond with the seven chakras in the body and seven planets in the solar system. We can see this relationship in the following table:

Chakra Higher World Lower World Body Sheath Higher Organ Lower Organ
Muladhara Earth Atala Anna Navel Hips
Svadhisthana Bhuvah Vitala Prana Abdomen Thighs
Manipura Suvah Sutala Mano Heart Knees
Anahata Mahar Talatala Vignana Throat Calves
Visuddha Jana Rasatala Janah Mouth Ankles
Ajna Tapah Mahatala Tapo Brain Feet
Sahasrara Satya Patala Brahma Top of the skull Soles of the feet

The number seven appears very frequently in Hindu scriptures. The Mundaka Upanishad refers seven tongues (sapta jivhas) or seven flames of Agni, which are Kaali (black), Karaali  (fierce), Manojava (swift as mind), Sulohita (red as iron), Sudhumravarna (smoke-colored), Vishwaruchi  (universally pleasing) and Sphulligini  (sparkling). They are depicted as the seven hands in the iconography of Agni and probably correspond to the seven dhatus (sapta dhatus) of the human body and seven energies (chakras) that awaken during our spiritual practice.

According to the Durga Saptashati, during a fight with one of the demons by name Raktabija, the Mother Goddess, Durga manifested herself into seven forms who are popularly known as saptamatrikas or seven little mothers. They are Brahmani, Maheswari or Sivani, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Chamundi or Narasimhi, and Aindri. As their names suggest they are the energies of Brahma, Siva, Skanda, Vishnu, Varaham, Narasimha and Indra respectively.

According to the tantras these seven shaktis correspond to seven subtle energies in our beings. They are shown below:

Deity or Shakti Energy Form
Brahmi The awakening power that is latent in the Pranava Nada or the primal sound AUM
Vaishnavi The organizing power that creates beauty and symmetry in the beings
Maheswari The concealing power that creates the sense of individuality in the beings
Kaumari The awakening power that creates aspiration for spiritual liberation in the beings and leads them to a guru for enlightenment
Varahi The assimilating power that lets beings enjoy foods and energies of all kinds
Aindri The conscientious power that destroys all the sensory opposition to the perceived moral code
Chamundi The controlling power that destroys all distractions of the mind and facilitates withdrawal and inward concentration.

More about Tantra will be taken in the coming up articles. Here I want you to understand that our body is connected with the Universe (Brahmand) with universal energy and this energy is channeled in our body through our 7 chakras. So to activate and balance these chakras, we need to understand each of them along with the universal energy more deeply. I will try to cover all these topics in my blog one after another.

Prana – Life Force

What does Prana or Life Force mean?

As per Yoga there are two types of energy that are present in all beings: 1) Prana or the Life Force & 2) the Mind or Consciousness

Prana is thought to be responsible for maintaining all the physical functions of the body including life, heat & health. It means when one’s body has plenty of Prana, it is in perfect health & Vice Versa. One of the earliest references to prana is from the 3,000-year-old Chandogya Upanishad. The other Hindu texts including other Upanishads and Vedas have described similar ancient concept of prana. The concept is elaborated upon in great detail in the literature of haṭha yoga tantra, and Ayurveda.

The yogic practice of pranayama is one way in which the Prana energy can be sustained and enhanced. Pranayama is one of the eight limbs of yoga and is a practice of specific and often intricate breath control techniques. Many pranayama techniques are designed to cleanse the nadis, allowing for greater movement of prana. Deep meditation is possible through pranayama effectively. Yoga postures like cat pose, cobra pose, etc. are all thought to stimulate more life force and leave the yogi feeling energized. Life force is also considered to be the body’s natural healing energy.

The image is a simplified diagram of the mode of action of Mudras and Bandhas on the Sushumna, leading to liberation in Hatha Yoga philosophy. The subtle fluids affected have numerous names including prana, bindu, and amrit.

Prana flows in nadis (channels). The three most important nadis are the Ida on the left, the Pingala on the right, and the Sushumna in the centre connecting the base chakra to the crown chakra, enabling prana to flow throughout the subtle body.

A simplified view of the subtle body of Indian philosophy, showing the three major nadis or channels, the Ida (B), Sushumna (C), and Pingala (D), which run vertically in the body

Divisions of Prana

Though the antahkarana, the inner instrument, is one, yet it assumes four forms: i) manas, the thinking mind, ii) buddhi, intellect, iii) chitta, memory or consciousness and iv) ahamkara, ego, according to the different functions it performs. Likewise, though prana is one, it assumes five forms: i) prana, ii) apana, iii) samana, iv) udana and v) vyana according to the different functions it performs – this division is termed as vritti bheda.

Of these five, prana and apana are the chief agents. The seat of prana is the heart, its function is respiration; of apana, the lower abdomen to the anus, its function is excretion; samana, in the region of the navel, performs digestion; udana, in the throat, is responsible for swallowing and takes the jiva, the living being, to sleep, and separates the astral body from the physical body at the time of death; while vyana is all-pervading, it moves all over the body and is responsible for the circulation of blood.

Naga, koorma, krikara, devadatta and dhananjaya are the five sub-pranas. Naga is responsible for the functions of eructation and hiccup. Koorma performs the functions of blinking and opening the eyes. Krikara induces hunger and thirst. Devadatta is the prana which causes the action of yawning. Dhananjaya causes decomposition of the body after death.

Use of Prana

The Sanskrit term Prana, often translated as “breath”, is considered the vital power of the Supreme Self that manifests everything in the universe and permeates all created things. This vital power is what gives rise to and sustains the incoming and outgoing rhythm of our physical breathing. The great sages of the Upanishads teach that by paying close attention to our breath, especially through a steady practice of meditation, we connect with prana. This vital power in turn, leads our mind into the luminous space of the Self, which is the Heart and essences of our being.

We use power of prana through nervous system by thinking, willing, acting, moving, talking and writing. The excess is stored in the brain and nerve centres. It is stored in the brain in the form of spiritual energy.

In Ayurveda and therapeutic yoga, pranayama is utilized for many tasks, including to affect mood and aid in digestion. A. G. Mohan stated that the physical goals of pranayama may be to recover from illness or the maintenance of health, while its mental goals are: “to remove mental disturbances and make the mind focused for meditation”.

In other cultures

Similar concepts exist in various cultures, including the Latin anima (“breath”, “vital force”, “animating principle”), Islamic and Sufic ruh, the Greek pneuma, the Chinese qi, the Polynesian mana, the Amerindian orenda, the German od, and the Hebrew ruah.