y - The Seven Chakras
The Seven Chakras
The word ‘chakra’ means ‘wheel’ in Sanskrit. The yoga Upanishads (circa 600 A.D) refers to the chakras as psychic centers of consciousness. The seven chakras are located in the spine, in the subtle body surrounding the gross physical body. The subtle body is not visible to the ordinary eye.
Chakras are constantly moving, continuously absorbing, currents of energy. Each of the chakras resonate with a certain colour, sound and frequency. When the chakras function well, then energy flows unhindered through our system, which is utilized for our growth and development.
When these energy centers are awakened, they whirl in a clockwise direction and help to establish the inner balance, the key components for good health. When the energy flow in the chakras is clear and unhindered, then a person’s body, mind and soul experience a sense of well-being. But, if the energy flow in the chakras is blocked, then, there is an imbalance in the person’s being.
Yogis say that chakras are centers of spiritual energy. This energy is called prana or life force. Each chakra contains a definite number of nadis and these nadis possess a tone or vibration. The chakra centers circulate pranic energy and energy is activated through these centers. Each chakra sends energy to the particular part of the physical body and correspondingly, the mental body too. Prana is a link between gross body and subtle or astral body.
The union of prana and mind with the self is the goal of Hatha yoga. There are three important Nadis in the spine. They are: Ida, Pingala and Sushumna Nadi.
Ida nadi represents – negative force – flow of consciousness.
Pingala nadi represents – positive force – flow of vital energy.
Sushumna nadi represents – neutral force – flow of spiritual energy.
Nadis carry pranic currents to all parts of the body. It is said that there are 72,000 nadis in our body.
The Seven Energy Centers in Detail
The seven chakras correspond to the nerve plexuses in the physical body. They are:
Muladhara: corresponds to sacral plexus.
Swadhishthana: corresponds to prostatic plexus.
Manipura: corresponds to solar plexus.
Anahata: corresponds to the cardiac plexus.
Visudha: corresponds to the laryngeal plexus.
Ajna: corresponds to the cavernous plexus.
Sahasrara: corresponds to the pineal gland.
The chakras are sacred centers, which correlate to levels of consciousness. Simply stated, they are a reflection of our mental state. The chakras exert an important influence in our emotional life.
These energy centers relate to seven energy fields. The chakras are said to be balanced if they are vibrating at the required frequency-open, bright and clean. When the chakra gets blocked, then it affects our physical and mental health. It is important to know and balance the energies of these chakras. When the chakras are open, a person is vibrant and healthy. By meditating on the chakras, one can work on increasing the flow of pranic energy into the body.
First Energy Center - Muladhara Chakra
The Muladhara Chakra is located at the base of the spine. Supporting the kundalini or serpent power, this chakra governs the physical existence. The Hindu tradition reveres Lord Ganesha as its presiding deity.
This is the center for vitality and physical energy. This instills the virtues of innocence and wisdom. It provides the being with attributes of survival, stability, and self-sufficiency. This center is the driving force behind the will to succeed in life, whether it is acquisition of material possessions or success in business endeavors.
It is important to balance the energy radiated from this chakra. A proper balance endows us with immense physical energy, hope, health, joy, self-discipline and an abundance of positive traits.
On the other hand, if there is an imbalance in the energy radiated, the result is a feeling of discouragement, hopelessness, impurity and confusion.
Highlights of Muladhara Chakra:
It has four petals or sub-plexuses. It radiates the color red. It affects the adrenals, kidneys.
The gemstones for this center are ruby, garnet, diamond, pearl, smoky quartz, and bloodstone.
Second Energy Center - Swadhishthana Chakra
The Swadhishthana chakra, also called the seat of the soul, is located below the navel. The presiding deity for this chakra is Shri Brahmadeva.
A well-balanced Swadhishthana chakra ensures vitality. The balance achieved in this energy center pervades the being, making the person an extrovert, patient, and positive, with an ability to enjoy life in all its fullness. This chakra also endows the being with divine traits of mercy, forgiveness, warmth and compassion.
When the energy levels within the chakra suffer an imbalance, a lot of negative energy pervades the being, marked by an unforgiving nature, intolerance, and over ambition that can even border around manipulative tendencies. This energy center gets fatigued by excessive thinking, which can also harm the liver.
Highlights of Swadhishthana Chakra:
It radiates the color violet. It has 6 petals and supplies us with the energy of creativity and thinking; it connects us to the inner source of inspiration. The parts of the body that it affects are ovaries, testicles, skin, spleen, and mammary glands. The gemstones that benefit this chakra are: amethyst, carnelian, coral, and aquamarine.
Third Energy Center – Manipura Chakra
The Manipura or Nabhi. The presiding deity of this energy center is Lord Vishnu.
A well-balanced Manipura chakra endows the being with inner strength that manifests in the performance of actions with ease and grace. It governs our material well-being and inner peace. The chakra embodies personal power, self-esteem and energy.
If the energy levels in the chakra suffer an imbalance, the negative energy fuels emotions of jealousy, distrust, ego, anger, fear and anxiety.
Highlights of Manipura Chakra
It has 10 petals.It radiates the color yellow. Parts of the body influenced by the third chakra: digestive system, skin, liver, pancreas, skin and the breath. The gemstones that benefit this chakra are: topaz, gold, amber, ruby.
Fourth Energy Center - Anahata Chakra
The Fourth Energy Center called the Anahata Chakra is located in the center of the chest. The essential quality of this chakra is to permeate love. This chakra ensures the production of antibodies till the age of 12. This chakra gives us a sense of security. It stands for love, compassion, acceptance and trust.
A well-balanced Anahata chakra expresses itself as love, compassion, charity, generosity, beauty, and friendliness. One is inspired to highlight the good in others when the energy levels flow unhindered, that doubly takes care of the related organs and systems. It helps in transcending the ego so that the finer elements of ones personality are manifest.
When the energy in the Anahata chakra faces blocks and suffers an imbalance, negative feelings of animosity, moodiness, self-pity and indecisiveness prevails.
Highlights of Anahata Chakra
It has 12 petals.It radiates the color green and pink. Parts of the body influenced by this chakra are the heart, thymus, lungs, and immune system.The gemstones that benefit this chakra are emerald, green jade, rose quartz.
Fifth Energy Center – Visuddha Chakra
The Visuddha Chakra is also called the throat chakra, by virtue of its location in the throat. This is the center for speech, sound, vibration, and inspiration.
A well-balanced Visuddha Chakra embodies the person with the skills of effective communication and expression of ideas. The person also experiences extreme serenity and devotion. Some of the positive energy influences of this chakra manifest as faith, protection, courage contentment and obedience.
The unbalanced energy seeks to express as arrogance, a desire to exert control over others, indulge in gossip and loose talk and even cowardice.
Highlights of Visuddha Chakra
It has 16 petals .It radiates the color blue. Parts of the body influenced by this chakra are thyroid, lungs, mouth, teeth, and throat. Gemstones that benefit this chakra are sapphire, turquoise, blue topaz, lapis lazuli.
Sixth Energy Center - Third Eye Chakra or Ajna Chakra
The Ajna Chakra or the third eye chakra is called the center of Christ consciousness. This chakra, located between the eyebrows is the center for forgiveness. The energy in this chakra represents psychic power, emotional intelligence and intuition.
A well-balanced Ajna Chakra endows the person with a keen observation of thoughts and feelings as also a sense of detachment in thoughts and feelings. There is certain charisma about the person who experiences the positive energy from this chakra. Additionally, the person embodies qualities of truth, clarity, non-attachment to material possessions, focus, and constancy.
When the energy flow in the chakra faces impediments, then it reflects as non-assertive tendencies, a lack of focus and vision making the person indisciplined, proud and even manipulative.
Highlights of Ajna Chakra
It has 96 petals.It radiates the color emerald green.Parts of the body influenced by the sixth chakra are pineal, pituitary, brain, eyes, ears, and nose.Gemstones that benefit this chakra are emerald, jade, and diamond.
Seventh Energy Center - Sahasrara Chakra
The Sahasrara Chakra or The Crown Chakra, located at the top of the head, is the ultimate destination of the soul. Endowed with an all pervading silence and bliss, this energy center bestows understanding, devotion, and inspiration on the being.
When this center is open, the person experiences spirituality, and a state of transcendence. A well-balanced Sahasrara Chakra manifests itself as attributes of self-knowledge, wisdom and illumination.
When the energy flow faces impediments, the person is full of intellectual pride, vanity, and ego.
Highlights of Sahasrara Chakra
It has 1000 petals. It radiates the color yellow, gold.
Parts of the body the affect this chakra are pineal, cerebral cortex, nervous system.
Gemstones that affect this chakra are yellow diamond, yellow sapphire, and topaz