Author: Rene Hug
The Seven Chakras
Chakra is a Sanskrit word that literally translates to “wheel”. When trying to describe, where a Chakra is, one is in a dilemma. Common language suggests that they are physically located in the spine but the reader should keep in mind that this both true and false. For example, “heat” is a real experience that indeed seems centered in the heart, but that is not where the feelings are. Though it is true that the Chakras have a physical correspondence, they are even more than physical. Bear this in mind when reading about where a Chakra is. Don’t be limited by only physical conceptions.
Though there are various different interpretations to what exactly a Chakra is, the following features are common in all systems:
They are part of a subtle every body, along with the every channel, Nadis, and the subtle minds, Pravas.
They are located along a central Nadi, which can also be called Sushuwna when it runs alongside or inside the spine.
Two other Nadis, Ida and Pingala also run through the Chakras, and alongside Sushumna. They occasionally cross Sushumna at the location of the Chakras.
They posses a number of Petals. In similar Tibetan traditions, these Petals branch off into thousands of Nadis that run through the human body.
They are generally associated with a mantra see-syllable and often with a variety of colors and deities.
There are seven major Chakras in the spine and they are traditionally located as follows:
The First Chakra – Muladhara (Root Support and Base of Spine):
Muladhara is the base Chakra, also known as “the root Chakra”. Its location is found at the base of the spine in the vicinity of the coccygeal plexus beneath the sacrum, while its Kshetram (which is the superficial activation) is located on the perineum. It is slinked to our survival instincts and our ability to stand ourselves in the physical world. Blockage manifests as a defense.
Muladhara Chakra is the meting place of the three main Nadis: Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. This Chakra focuses on foundation and therefore is also related to our ability to connect to our body. Ideally this Chakra can bring us health, prosperity, security and dynamic presence. It is responsible for prompting our desire for survival.
The syllable for the Mantra is “Lam”. The element connected to the Muladhara Chakra is “Earth”, with the nose as the sense organ; the colors are red and black.
The Second Chakra - Swadishstan (Vishnu and Self-awareness):
Swadishstan is located just beneath the navel in the abdomen, the lower back and the sexual organs. It is related to our sexual and reproductive capacity as well as our emotions. Blockage manifests usually as emotional problems or sexual guilt. Swadishstan Chakra helps us to connect to other people through feeling, desire, sensation and movement. Ideally this Chakra can bring us fluidity and grace, depth feeling, sexual fulfillment, the ability to accept change and moreover it prompts our feelings of sensation.
The syllable for the Mantra is “Vam”. The element connected to the Swadishstan Chakra is “Water”, with the tongue as the send organ and the genitals as mark organ; its colors are white, orange and brown.
The Third Chakra – Manipur (Rudra and the Solar Plexus):
Manipur is located at the spine directly behind the navel or on the solar plexus. Blockage manifests as anger or a sense of victimization. Manipur Chakra is also known as the “Power Chakra”. It rules our personal power, our will, as well as our metabolism. When healthy, this Chakra can bring us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, as well as non-dominantly power. The syllable for the Mantra is “Ram”.
The element connected to the Manipur Chakra is “Fire”, with the eyes as the sense organ and the feet and legs as the mark organ. The colors belonging to the Manipur Chakra is Yellow.
The Fourth Chakra – Anahata (Isha and the Heart):
Anahata is the “Heart Chakra”. It is positioned in the central channel behind the spine and close to the heart region, which gives us the ability to express love. Blockage can manifest as immune system or heart problems as well as a lack of compassion. Anahata is the middle Chakra in a system of seven Chakras. This Chakra is related to love and the opposites of the psyche (such as mind and body, male and female personal and shadow, ego and unity). A healthy Anahata Chakra allows us to love deeply and feel compassion; it helps us to develop a deep sense of inner peace and centeredness.
The syllable for the Mantra is “Yam“. The element connected to this Chakra is “Air”, with the skin as the sense organ and the hands as mark organ. The colors belonging to the Anahata Chakra are Green and Red.
The Fifth Chakra – Vishuddha (Sadashiva and the Throat):
Vishuddha is located in the throat and is directly tied to activity and communication. Blockage manifests problems like Laryngitis or Sore throats, as well as creative blocking and general problems in communication with others. Vishuddha, also known as the “Throat Chakra”, can be seen as the purification centre. Here the nectar amnit drips down from the “Bindu Chakra” and is split into a pure from and a poisonous form. Or being more abstract, on the one hand it is associated with higher discrimination and on the other hand associated with creativity and self-expression, when Vishuddha is closed, we undergo decay and death. On the opposite when it is open, negative experience is transferred into wisdom and learning.
The success and the failures in one’s life depend upon the state of this Chakra, whether it is in a polluted or in a clean state. Guilty feelings are the most prominent reason for this Chakra to block the Kundalini energy waving upwards. Vision of the Three periods, namely the past, present and future; freedom of disease and of age; destruction of dangers and the ability to move the three worlds.
The syllable for the Mantra is “Ham” and the vital breath is “Udana”. The element connected to this Chakra is “Akash”, with the ears as the sense organ and the mouth and motor organ. The colors belonging to the Vishuddha Chakra is Sky Blue.
The Sixth Chakra – Ajna (Sadastiva, between the eyebrows):
Ajna or “The Third Eye” is located between the eyebrows. This Chakra is the seat of intuition and awareness. Blockage manifests as Sinus or eye problems. Ajna translates as command and is considered as the eye of intuition. This Chakra is a bridge that links Gurus with disciples, allowing mind communication to occur between two people. The send organ as well as the action organ associated with Ajna is the mind in both cases.
Hindus believe that spiritual energy from the external environments enter their body trough this gateway and hence take utmost precaution in protecting it with spiritually protectively forces. The various religious marks, such as a red dot (bindi), are seen on the foreheads of men and women belonging to the Hindu faith (like Holy Ash) are thus the blessed spiritual “Passadam” of their respective form of the Hindu Gods.
The syllable for the Mantra is “Aum” or “Om”. The sense organ as well as the mark organ connected to this Chakra is the mind. The colors belonging to Ajna Chakra is indigo.
The Seventh Chakra – Sahasrara (Shiva or Crown of the Head):
Sahasrara is known as “the crown Chakra” and it is located at the top of the head. This Chakra is related to one’s personal spiritual connection to the universe. Blockage manifests as Psychological problems.
Sahasrara Chakra symbolizes detachment from illusion and is an essential element in obtaining a super mental higher consciousness of the truth, namely that one is all and all is one. Often referred to as Thousand-petaled Lotus, it is said to be the subtlest Chakra in the system, since it relates to pure consciousness.
When a yogi is able to raise his or her Kundalini (meaning the energy of consciousness) up to this point, then the state of Samadhi or union with god is experienced. It is said that meditating on this point brings about the Siddhis or occult powers of transforming into the divine, and being able to do whatever wishes to do.
The syllable connected to the Mantra is the repetition of the powerful Bijan Mantra “Om”. The color belonging to Sahasrara Chakra is Violet.
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