The Sanskrit word ‘Chakra’ literally means wheel or circle. In the perspective of Yoga Chakra signifies the vortex or junction of energy channels. The chakras are storehouses of Ionoplasmic energy of the same nature as prana. They are also called psychic centres. According to some texts, there are so many Chakras in human body but seven of them are major ones. These seven Chakras are located in the astral body within the Brahma nadi which is the innermost nadi of Sushumna nadi. Their location is associated with spinal cord in the physical body.
Truth about Chakras – The Chakras are present in each human being but they are not developed. This simply means that possibility of Chakra unfoldment is there in each human but it is under development in most of us. Only with the sincere practice and disciplines of Yoga, the Chakras develop and eventually reflect. This is similar to a growing child whose certain organs begins to develop and function only after a certain age.
Myths about Chakra – Chakra balancing, Chakra aligning, Chakra blocking and unblocking, Chakra healing, Chakra purification and things like that are very modern and western intellectualization of the idea of Chakra including the identification of the colours of chakra with those of rainbow. Therefore, these terms do not have much relevance. However, the Chakra and their importance for physical, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual needs are always a relevant talk. The awareness of Chakra, locations and associated practices do have very deeper influences.
Reliable books on Chakras – There are so many books on the information about Chakras. We recommend an ancient text called Shiva Samhita which defines Chakras and many other associated topics in detail. Apart from this we do have so many books which describes Chakras such as books of Swami Sivananda, Swami Satyananda, Paramhamsa Yogananda and so on. About this the words of Scriptures and enlightened masters are the only reliable sources. Swami Vivekananda has given a very detailed and important talk on Kundalini, Nadis and Chakra on His commentary on Yoga Sutra of Patanjali entitled Raja Yoga in the chapter “Psychic Prana”. We can study them and receive valuable information.
Some common hints about Chakra – Each Chakra is symbolised with a lotus flower with certain number of petals. They are emissions of light particles representing the ionic intensity at that area of human body. Perhaps because of the petal like formation of the light discharge, the Chakras have been referred to as lotus flowers. In deeper states of meditation these petals can be seen, shining brightly. Swami Vivekananda once spoke to His friend that in Baranagar monastery, one day during meditation He had seen Ida, Pingala and Sushumna Nadis. Each Chakra corresponds to glands of endocrinal system. Each one has a ‘trigger point’ in the front of body on which if we concentrate helps to stimulate the Chakra. Athough Chakras are situated in the spinal cord but the trigger points are in the front of body because it is easier for us to concentrate on them compared to the corresponding places in spinal cord. The Nadis, trigger points and chakras are inter-connected. Each chakra is associated with an element and so on. Likewise, we have many associated things around which Chakras can be discussed and detailed. In clear terms we can say that Chakras are very mysterious in nature and they need to be studied from various points of view. Some of those important points related to each Chakra are the followings –
- Location – Each Chakra has a particular point within the system where it is situated.
- Petals (Nadis) – All petals of lotus are powerful and special Nadis that look like petals of a lots
- Element – Each Chakra relates to one particular element which is represented by a geometrical diagram.
- Sense organ – Each Chakra relates to one of the sense organs.
- Geometrical signs – Each chakra has different geometrical signs which represents energy of the Chakra.
- Animals – Each Chakra has an animal symbology which represents the developed state of the Chakra and the vehicle with movements.
- God and Goddess – Each Chakra has a presiding deity in pairs which represents the divinity of the Chakra and qualities associated with them.
- Sound vibrations and Bija Mantra – Each Chakra has a particular sound vibration. In this level the sound of the particular element of the Chakra becomes the main sound vibration and the Seed Mantra (Bija mantra) of the Chakra.
- Alphabets of Sanskrit language – Each petal of Chakras has Sanskrit alphabets inscribed on them. They form all the alphabets of Sanskrit language hence Sanskrit is considered as a divine language.
- Relevance to planes of existence – Each Chakra relates to seven higher divine planes of existence such as Bhu, Bhuvah etc. which are divisions of one universe consisting of 14 planes.
- Colour or aura – Each Chakra has aura or colour of its own which depends upon the aura or colours of all the components related to the particular Chakra.
- Area – Each Chakra corresponds to a certain are of physical body.
- Gland – Each Chakra is linked with endocrine glands.
- Physical organs and System – Each Chakra associates with certain organs and systems of physical body.
- Psychological aspects – Each Chakra relates to psychological traits of human personality such as stability, ambitions and sympathy etc.
- Spiritual dimension – Each Chakra relates to certain levels of spiritual progress and awareness.
- Positive and negative aspects – Each Chakra relates to positive and negatives aspects of personality which depends upon the particular evolution of the Chakra.
- Frequency – Each Chakra vibrates with certain level of frequency.
- Awakening experience – When Chakras open then they have their own awakening experiences.
- Psychic powers – When a Chakra opens then certain level of psychic powers manifest to an individual.
The above explanations about each of the points can be explained in many other ways. One can find this in different books. Like the above points and the meaning, there are more things related to Chakras are available. Actually, Chakras are highly mysterious and they can be described in various ways. Now we discuss each Chakra in brief. Please note that we have taken the help of Prof. John Woodroff’s book “The Serpent Power” and Swami Satyananda’s book “Kundalini Tantra” for the images of Chakras.
Mooladhara Chakra (Root Chakra) – The Chakra in the male body is between the anus and the genitals (perineum) and in the female body at the junction of the uterus and vagina (mouth of cervix). It has four petals with deep red colour. It relates to the element earth. It is said to be the seat of the sleeping Kundalini.
Swadhisthana Chakra (Sacral Chakra) – The Chakra is located in the front of the body at the level of the pubic bone. It has six petals with vermilion colour. The element of the Chakra is water.
Anahata Chakra (Heart Chakra) – The Chakra is at the level of the heart behind the breast bone. It has 12 petals with blue colour. Its element is air.
Vishuddhi Chakra (Throat Chakra) – The Chakra is at the base of the throat where there is a small depression. It has sixteen petals with violet/purple colour. Its element is ether/space.
Ajna Chakra (Third eye Chakra) – The Chakra is situated at the eyebrow centre, where Indian ladies and many men make a red mark or some mark (traditionally called Tilak). It is at the top of the spinal cord, the point where Ida, Pingala and Shusumna merge and become one. It has two petals with silver blue colour. From Ajna Chakra these three nadis travel as one up to the Sahasrara Chakra. The element of Ajna Chakra is ether which is also called as ‘subtle mind’.
Bindu Chakra – This is not a Chakra actually but a point between Ajna and Sahasrara Chakra. In Kundalini and Kriya Yoga it is considered as one of the most important Chakras. The point of location of Bindu is a small depression at the back of the head where traditional Hindu Brahmins traditionally wear a tuft of hair. The element of Bindu is also ether.
Sahasrara Chakra – The Chakra is the most subtle of the Chakras. It is situated at the crown of the head. Sahasrara Chakra has shining red lotus with an infinite number of petals or one thousand petals as the name itself suggests (Sahasrara means a thousand). The element of Sahasrara Chakra is ether.
Bija mantras of the Chakras – Mantra means a sound revealed in meditation or in a higher state of awareness. Mantra has two qualities. In Sanskrit it is termed as ‘Varna’ and ‘Akshara’. Varna means colour and form and Akshara means that which does not destroy and stays beyond the time and space. Therefore, mantra is imperishable with an individual’s consciousness. Bija Mantras were the first syllables which appeared in deep meditation. The ionic emissions which form the petals of the Chakras, produce different inner sounds which were heard by ancient sages during meditation. The sounds of the petals form the letters of the Sanskrit language which explains why Sanskrit has been considered a meditational and transcendental language. Each Bija mantra is the essence of its associated mantras. Some examples of Bija mantras are –
Hraum – the symbolic sound of Lord Shiva
Dum – The mantra of Durga
Kreem – The mantra of Kali.
Likewise, we have so many Bija mantras in Tantra scriptures. These mantras are sounds and thought forms existing within space. They have no literal meaning. In order to gain knowledge of a Bija mantra there is a prescribed method through which only it can be experienced and known. The Mantra itself may be repeated in three ways – aloud, whisper or mental. Each mantra and especially each Bija mantra has energy, musical note, colour, gem and astrological significance. The Bija mantras of the Chakras represent the master key for full understanding and realisation of the significance of Chakras. The following are the Bija mantras for the Chakras –
|Chakra||Bijamantra & Pronunciation||No. of petals|
|Bindu||Om (aum)||none; it is like a crescent moon|
Meditation on and repetition of the Bija mantras with concentration on the respective Chakras has a profound psycho-physiological. These effects have been documented by researchers such as Dr Hiroshi Motoyama in Japan.
Benefits and implementation of Chakra Practices – The practice of Yoga according to the scheme of Chakra is a very skilled approach. This enhances the impact of the practices and accelerates the process of evolution. These schemes of practices have healing effects as well. But they should only be done under the guidance of an expert. Chakra meditation is also not a common practice that anyone should do in regular life. Rather this has to be implemented very carefully. Chakras are very powerful tools. They release tremendous amounts of psychosomatic responses which sometimes become overwhelming. Therefore, Chakra practices are special ones to be learnt properly first then slowly incorporated in daily practices.
With Love and Gratefulness (Founder Rohit Kumar)
Source – Ancient texts of Yoga, words of Swami Sivananda, Swami Satyananda, Swami Niranjanananda Sawaswati and personal study.
Hari Om Tat Sat!