In the previous article of this series, we talked about “nadis”. Nadis are basically the pathways through which the pranic energy is moving in our system. The pranic energy and nadis are both in your pranamaya kosha, the subtle energy body. Totally, there are 727 million nadis in our energy body.
However, among the 727 million nadis, there is one nadi called “sushumna”. It starts from the base of the spine and goes all the way up along the spine to the crown of the head. When kundalini energy is awakened, it will go up through sushumna to the top of the head and eventually enlightenment happens. In this sense, sushumna is considered as the most important nadi within us.
Besides nadis, there are also many energy centers in your pranamaya kosha. These energy centers are called “chakras” in Sanskrit. These chakras begin from the toes of your feet, and extend all the way to the crown of your head. No one knows how many chakras exist in your body. The ancient texts have given us the names around 27 chakras. Out of these 27 chakras, seven are along the “sushumna”, the spiritual spinal column. These are considered as the major or principle chakras. And they are also the chakras we’re going to focus on here.
Basically, chakras perform two functions in our life. One is as energy centers. And the other one which a lot of modern literature ignores is as karmic centers. In other words, all the past memories, including those causing pains and pressures to us, are stored in the chakras. Therefore, ancient texts recommend us to purify the chakras of all the negative karmic energies before we do anything to awaken the kundalini energy. If kundalini energy is awakened without purification of chakras, the awakened kundalini will powerfully cleanse the chakras, which can be a very painful experience sometimes. To cleanse the chakras, meditation is one of the many ways.
Before we go into each chakra, one underlying concept should be understood. The concept is that an individual is also divine. The relationship between an individual and the divine is just like the relationship between a wave and the ocean. When the ocean rises above, we call it “wave”, but it’s essentially the ocean itself and it cannot exist without the ocean. Similarly, what we call as an individual is like a wave on the ocean of the divine.
Even though we have different existence, names, social status, social identities, etc., we’re all inseparably connected with the divine. We came from the divine and will go back to the divine. Inherently, we’re the divine. The divine energy is always presenting inside of us. That divine energy is called “kundalini”. As long as we forget that we’re the divine, we will have a lot of problems, pain, pressure, etc. in life. But once the kundalini energy is awakened, we’ll realize we’re divine, thus we’ll be beyond all the pains, problems, etc.
Accordingly, even though we’ll talk about the locations of the chakras, strictly speaking, chakras do not belong to the individual. Chakras are basically cosmic energy centers. We only find reflections of those chakras in each individual. Therefore, there is a close relationship between the planets or star constellations around us, and how chakras are functioning within us. In another word, there is a close relationship between astrology and chakra wisdom. For example, based on a person’s birth sign, we can tell which chakra will be predominant in this person’s life.
Now let’s look at each of the seven major chakras on sushumna. These chakras are also the ones that kundalini energy will pierce through to reach the crown of the head when it is awakened. From bottom to top, they are Muladhara (root) chakra, Swadhisthana (sacral) chakra, Manipuraka (solar plexus) chakra, Anahata (heart) chakra, Vishuddha (throat) chakra, Ajna (third eye) chakra, and Sahasrara (crown) chkara.
Root chakra, or muladhala chakra, is the first of the seven chakras. It is at the base of the spine and at the midpoint between the genitals and the anus, which is also known as perineum in terms of anatomy. It is where the sleeping kundalini energy is located. The kundalini energy wraps itself in three and a half coils here. The three coils symbolize sattva, rajas and tamas. And the remaining half coil symbolizes the ability to transcend sattva, rajas and tamas to divine. The kundalini energy is described as the color of lightening.
This chakra is visualized as a red color lotus flower with four petals. Earth element is the predominant energy in this chakra. And the sound for earth element is “Lam”. The chakra is associated with the sense of smell. And the organ of action is feet. Generally this chakra is predominant in a person’s life from birth to the age of eight.
Since earth element is in this chakra, this chakra influences the health of everything that is the representative of earth element in your body, such as bones, muscles, teeth, etc. This chakra influences your thoughts about how connected you feel to this existence. So when we meditate on the root chakra, it develops natural strength of the body and gives us long life.
The next chakra is swadhisthana chakra, or sacral chakra. It’s located at the genital organ. It is visualized as an orange color lotus flower with six petals. This chakra is the location for water element energy. “Vam” is the seed sound for water element. The sensory organ associated with this chakra is taste, and the motor organ is organ of reproduction. Generally, this energy becomes operational from age 8 onwards. Up to age 16, it will be predominant. This chakra is responsible for the pranic circulation within the body and influences the creativity part of us. When we meditate on this chakra, it frees us from diseases, produce a lot of vitality, sensitivity, and artistic ability, and makes one attractive to the opposite sex.
The third chakra is located in the navel region. This is known as manipuraka chakra. This is represented as a yellow color lotus flower with ten petals. The element related to this chakra is fire, and the mantra for fire element is “Ram”. The related sensory organ is sight, and the related motor organ is the organ of excretion. This chakra is about one’s personality. Meditation on this chakra increases one’s natural immunity. It also releases certain uncommon powers of authority, command, organization, and increases personal charisma.
The fourth chakra is at the heart region called heart chakra, or anahata chakra. it is visualized as a lotus flower consisting of twelve petals. Green is the color of this lotus. Air element is the predominant energy in this chakra. The bija for air element is “Yam”. Hands are the motor organ related to this chakra. And the sensory organ of touch is connected to this chakra. This chakra generally influences predominantly from age of 24 to 32. When we meditate on this chakra, this chakra will boost beauty and personal magnetism. Also meditation on this chakra also gives us extra sensory perception, poetic powers and extraordinary writing abilities.
The fifth chakra, vishuddha chakra, is at the throat region. This is the place of space element energy, and the mantra for space element is “Ham”. It is visualized as a blue color lotus consisting of 16 petals. The faculty of listening is the sensory organ related to this chakra. And the organ of action is speech. When we meditate on this chakra, we develop the power to go to the deeper state of meditation. We also receive extraordinary power to explain things and clarify things. Revelation of knowledge beyond words also happens when we meditate on this chakra.
Next chakra is third eye chakra, or ajna chakra. The location is a little bit above the midpoint of eyebrows. When kundalini ascends to this location, we’ve already transcended the five elements. So psychic mind is considered as the element for this chakra. The mantra for this chakra is “Om”. All sensory organs and all organs of action are related to this chakra. When we meditate deeply on this chakra, sometimes we get healing powers and a lot of intuitive wisdom. Some people even receive the power to see past, present and future. This chakra is visualized as a lotus flower consisting of two petals in indigo color.
The last one is the crown chakra, or sahasrara chakra. As we mentioned before, the pranic body within which chakras exist is slightly larger than the physical body. So the seventh chakra is located slightly above the top of the crown where is outside the physical body, but within the energy body. Even though the word “sahasrara” literally means “thousand”, it doesn’t literally mean the lotus representing this chakra has exactly one thousand petals, but rather it has infinite number of petals. Once kundalini reaches sahasrara chakra, we will experience what we call as “universal consciousness”. This is known as “self-realization”, “nirvana”, etc. All the organs, all the colors, all the principles, etc. are inside this chakra. Because “Om” is the source of all mantras, it is used as the mantra for this chakra. Although it has all the colors, for the sake of visualization, this chakra is visualized as a lotus flower in purple or violet color.
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