THE SEVEN CHAKRAS — What are these 7 Chakras and their significance?

The word Chakra has originated from the Sanskrit language. In Sanskrit, the word Chakra means a wheel, circle or a cycle. Its application in the meditation practice denotes several focal points on the body in the shape of a circle. These are the yogic-energy-centres that control several aspects of the body and mind in which they are present. There are 7 Chakras embedded at different positions in the upper torso and having different features. Each circle is responsible for controlling distinct spiritual and mental fields with the complex electromagnetic waves they generate. When all of these are in a balance, the body, mind and the environment function in harmony. When even one of these is disturbed, some aspect of life faces challenges and repercussions of that disturbance. The Kundalini Yoga describes following lifestyle practices that can maintain the desired balance.

 

Breathing exercises
Physical postures
Chanting of mantras
Activities
Visualisations
Positions

 

The psychic energies of the Chakras remain unused until evoked with the help of the above mentioned practices. The ancient theories state that these inner energies have the potential of converting the most negative situation into a highly positive one just with the help of one positive thought called Sankalpa. The seven Chakras are in the form of lotuses with different number of petals for each Chakra. They all are connected with a single flow called Nadi. The Nadi helps the energy to freely move between these circles. This system would function only when the entire psycho spiritual passages are clean and free of any blockages. The texts also state that this energy AKA Kundalini resembles a coiled serpent which is hooked to the vast source of knowledge. As the Kundalini rises the eight points or the petals of the eight Chakras are unfolded.

 

Positioning

The seven chakras are aligned along the spinal cord right to the top of the head. The first Chakra is positioned at the base of the spine the point that touches the ground when we are seated on the floor with folded legs. The second one slightly above the first one and so on vertically till the top of the head.

 

Effects

Each chakra is associated with a specific kind of sound, taste, physiological capacity, element, colour, Mantra or holy letter, deity and other motifs.

 

List of the 7 Chakras

 

Root Chakra

or

Muladhara/ Adhara/ Bhoomi Chakra

Red coloured Lotus with four petals

Position: At the base of the spine

Beej Mantra: lam

Associated letters: va, scha, sha and sa

Element/Tattwa: Earth

Deity: Indra and Ganpati

 

Meditation

The easiest way is to do a deep breathing exercise with closed eyes and focus on the point under the pelvic area. Since the chakra is associated with excretion and anus, the practitioner can also contract and loosen the muscles around the area. The other way is to chant the beej mantra lam 100,000,000 times but it has to be done very carefully, in an absolutely hygienic environment and cleansed body.

 

Benefits

The awakening of Muladhara will make the practitioner free from all diseases, will bring charisma to his/her personality and the person will be able to control the earthy elements.

 

Sacral Chakra

Or

Svadhishthana/Adhishthana/Medhra

White lotus with six vermilion-coloured petals

Position: In tailbone, two-finger-width above the Muladhara/ Root Chakra

Beej Mantra:vam

Associated letters: ba, bha, ma, ya, ra, and la

Element/Tattwa: Water

Deity: Vishnu

 

Meditation

Do a deep breathing while your eyes are close and focus on the Sacral Chakra. It is related to the reproductive system. Hence, the meditator must exercise absolute control over his/her sexual desires. Chanting of the Beej mantra vam can also help.

 

Benefits

The patients suffering from prostate problems, female reproductive organs problems and sexual behaviour problems can benefit from the meditation of this point. It will also provide clarity of thought and reduction in enemies.

 

Solar Plexus Chakra

or

Manipura

Position: above the navel

Beej Mantra: ram

Associated letters: ḍa, ḍha, ṇa, ta, tha, da, dha, na, pa, and pha

Element/Tattwa: Fire

Deity: Rudra

 

Meditation

The person must contract his/her muscles towards the naval and do deep breathing while chanting ‘ram’. The person should also control his/her appetite and craving for certain foods.

 

Benefits

You will gain better will power, better digestion and dynamism in physical activity. You will also improve on metabolism.

 

Heart Chakra

Or

Anahata/Hridaya Chakra

Light blue coloured lotus with twelve petals

Position: At the spine between the two lungs

Beej Mantra: Yam

Associated letters: kam, kham, gam, gham, ngam, cham, chham, jam, jham, nyam, tam and tham

Element/Tattwa: Vayu

Deity: Ishana Rudra

 

Meditation

For meditation, the breathing must be done evenly and should be felt at the Chakra. The pranayamas must be deep. You can also do a few asanas related to this point or chant the beej mantra.

 

Benefits

It is best for anger management. It brings calm and balanced decision making. It is highly beneficial suffering from problems related to senses of touch and Multiple Sclerosis.

 

Throat Chakra

or

Vishuddhi

White lotus with sixteen purple-coloured petals

Position: In the pit of the throat near the spine

Beej Mantra: ham

Associated letters: a, aa, i, iee, u, uoo, ri, ree, la, lri, ay, aye, o, au, ah, am

Element/Tattwa: akash, aether

Deity: Sadashiva

 

Meditation

This meditation will bring the Amrit from the head down and the individual can taste it. A specific kechari mudra is described to awaken the Vishuddhi point. The person also must meditate by feeling the beej mantra ham at this point.

 

Benefits

The person will excel in hearing and speaking abilities. People suffering from thyroid and endocrine problems must practice on this one.

 

Third Eye Chakra

Or

Ajna

Transparent lotus with two white petals

Position: between the eyebrows where Hindus place a bindi

Beej Mantra: Om

Associated letters: ha, ksha

Element/Tattwa: none

Deity: Ardhanarishvara/Shiva-Shakti

 

Meditation

This is the most important point of meditation. The position of Bindu is right at the middle of the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain responsible for solving puzzles, learning new languages and doing new complex things. Thus, meditating on this Chakra will not only improve intelligence and common sense but will also help in balancing emotions. The person will also get a higher insight into both his/her inner workings of the mind and workings of his/her environment.

 

To meditate, chant Om and focus on the point and read your thoughts.

 

Benefits

The person will obtain very high intellect and will be able to communicate through the mind. He/She will develop sharp intuition.

 

Crown Chakra

Or

Sahasrara

Luminous lotus with different coloured 1000 (Sahasra) petals

Position: In the top of the crown

This is the place of Nirvana or absolute emancipation. It is not limited to one deity, element or seed mantra. At this stage the learner is in pure consciousness, thus knowing all and everything with an impartial view. He/She becomes divine.

 

Meditation

Meditation is the key to open every chakra but here the learner has to exercise truth, unbiased attitude, impersonalisation and many more lifestyle practices along with breathing exercises and kriya yoga (activity).

 

Benefits

This brings you to the stage of absolute bliss. Here you will feel neither pain nor pleasure and you will be able to do whatever you wish for.

 

According to the ancient texts, these seven points are the focus of the energy that runs through the universe. This energy has the capacity to do anything, destroy or heal. It remains untapped due to our own ignorance. Not only does this energy remain untapped, but it also becomes destructive due to negative thoughts and attitude. Meditation helps an individual to address that negativity and utilise these energy centres for bringing a positive change to their bodies and their environment.

 

This type of Meditation must always be done under the guidance of a guru. It is a highly sensitive practice that should never be done without proper knowledge and understanding of the concept.