According to tantra yoga, all of the entities that are present in creation are present in the body, and each tattva (entity) has its own center of activity, which is called a chakra.
These chakras receive, assimilate and manipulate prana, which is the basic source of the bodys energy.
Chakras are not anatomical locations within the physical body that can be seen by dissection.
They are subtle centers of Consciousness (Shakti) located within the spinal cord, originating in the lower end of the spinal column and continuing to the top of the brain.
Each of the chakras radiates thousands of nadis of prana (vital force) in different directions. The chakras are seen as a lotus flower, with the nadis forming the petals of the lotus. These chakras or psychic centers interact with the physical body, especially the endocrine glands and lymphatic system, through the exchange of prana or bio-energy.
There are six major chakras or centers of Consciousness described in the tantric texts. Each of these chakras is the center of a particular entity; a tanmatra (basic element) and the related indriya (organ) are connected to it. Apart from different regions of the body, the organism as a whole has a distinct Consciousness called the jiva.
The muladhara chakra represents the earth element, the root or support of sushumna and the resting place of kundalini. The muladhara chakra is also at the root of all chakras. It is located at the perineum, midway between the genitals and the anus. It is also the place where the sushumna nadi and the roots of all of the nadis meet. It has four petals bearing four Sanskrit letters.
The swadishthana chakra represents the water element. This chakra is located at the root of the genitals. This chakra is placed within the sushumna nadi. It has six petals with six Sanskrit letters.
The manipura chakra represents the fire element. Located in the navel region, above the swadishthana chakra, it has ten petals with ten Sanskrit letters. These are the three centers that form the virat (gross body).
The anahata chakra represents the air element. This chakra is located in the heart region. Anahata means the sound that is produced without the striking of two things together. It has twelve petals with an equal number of Sanskrit letters.
The vishudha chakra represents the space element. This chakra is located at the base of the throat. It has sixteen petals with sixteen Sanskrit letters. Lord Sadashiva in the form of Ardanarishwara with Gouri is present here. Here the yogi becomes trikaladarshi, seer of the three forms of time: past, present and future. The jiva (Self) attains purity here.
The agya chakra is beyond all elements. Located between the eyebrows, here the sadhaka (practitioner) receives the command of the Guru in the form of Shiva. It has two petals with two Sanskrit letters.
There are three granthis (knots) where the mayashakti (the power of nature) is particularly concentrated. They are: Brahma granthi between muladhara and svadhistana, vishnu granthi between manipura and anahata, and rudra granthi between the vishuddha and ajna chakras. These granthis are to be loosened and undone for yogic liberation to be possible.
According to the classical tantric texts, there are two minor chakras above the ajna chakra. One chakra is the manasa chakra with six petals. It is the seat of sensations for hearing, touch, sight, smell, taste and centrally initiated sensations in dreams and hallucinations. The second chakra is the soma chakra with sixteen petals. Above the chakras, at the end of the sushumna nadi is the lotus of sahasrara, or the thousand petal lotus. This white lotus has all the tattvas or letters on it. Its head is turned downwards from brahmarandhra (door of God), this is the abode of Para Shiva (Brahman).
THERAPEUTIC ASPECT OF CHAKRA
Different schools of yoga are highlighting chakra healing or cleansing techniques, which are explained in the tantric texts of India.
These methods mainly focus on balancing the chakras or energy centers, to ensure that the flow of energy (prana) in the nadis is continuous and regulated.
Any imbalance in the prana or among the chakras results in stress in the mind, and manifests as disease in the body.
Imbalanced chakras affect the endocrine system, and disturb the secretions of the ductless endocrine glands, resulting in disorders related to the hormones and the metabolism of the body.
- The muladhara chakra governs the skeletal and muscular system; it influences basic human instincts, survival and potentiality. Physical health is highly dependent on this chakra. Imbalance in this chakra results in weakness and body pain.
- The swadishthana chakra governs the reproductive and excretory systems, creativity, pleasure, joy and emotions. Infertility, premature ejaculation and manic desires. are the symptoms of an imbalanced svadhsthana chakra.
- The manipura chakra controls metabolism, the digestive system and formation of energy. Imbalanced prana in the manipura chakra can manifest as obesity and diabetes.
- The anahata chakra governs the respiratory and circulatory systems, positive emotions, immense love and well-being. Cardio-vascular disorders and auto immune disorders are the results of disturbed prana in the anahata chakra.
- The vishudha chakra balances growth and expansion. It governs the immune system, self-expression and creativity. Dullness, improper growth and metabolic disorders are related to a disturbed vishudha chakra.
- The ajna chakra controls all of the above chakras; it governs intuition and the endocrine and nervous systems. It gives clarity and self control. Disturbed prana in the ajna chakra manifests as neuro-psychiatric disorders.
- The sahasrara chakra is related to pure consciousness. It governs wisdom and spirituality.
Summary of Chakras
Submitted by admin on Fri, 2009-06-05 08:31
Chakra literally means wheel or circle. Physically, the location of the seven chakras is directly associated with the endocrinal glands in the body. This relationship is evident when observing the various benefits of the asanas. As we explore the science of chakras, we shall find in-depth explanations that are associated with the human body, mind and psyche. Ancient yogis used the subtle inter-relation of the body, mind and psyche as a tool to explore the bank of unlimited human abilities.
|Nature||Root lotus||Ones own abode||City of jewels||Source of unbroken sound||Center of nectar||Center of command|
|Location||Perineum, cervix||Coccyx||Behind navel||Behind heart||Behind throat||Centre of the eyebrow|
|Kshetram (Reference Point)||Perineum, cervix||Pubic bone||Navel||Centre of chest||Pit of throat||Centre of the eyebrow|
|No. Of Petals||Four||Six||Ten||Twelve||Sixteen||Two|
|Shape||Yellow square||Silver / white crescent moon||Red inverted triangle||Smoky six-pointed Star||White circle||Clear or grey circle|
|Prana Vayu||Apana||Vyana||Samana||Prana||Udana||All five|
|Dhatu (Body tissue)||Bone||Fat||Flesh||Blood||Skin||Marrow|
|Karmendriya (Action organ)||Anus||Sex organs, kidneys, urinary system||Feet||Hands||Vocal chords||Mind|
According to tantra yoga, an understanding of all chakras or centers of consciousness can help one live in harmony with ones self and with ones surroundings.
Yoga teaches us systematized techniques that help to balance chakras which are in need of activation. Ask your traditional yoga consultant to assist you in activating the chakras and prana.