PS is practicing yoga since the age of 11. Her yoga retreats in India have helped her gain deep insights into self-awareness.
The existence of chakra has been a controversial subject for centuries. So, this may not be an easy concept if you are hearing about it for the first time. Many renowned scientists and philosophers have dealt with this ancient concept and faced problems while explaining its existence.
It is quite unclear if chakras are present in the physical or subtle body. In case, they exist in the physical body, then what’s their exact location? On the other hand, if they are considered to be a part of the subtle body, then this is not the topic of the anatomy.
Hiroshi Motoyama, the Japanese scientist
Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama, a renowned Japanese scientist, invented sensitive machines to measure the vital forces of the body. One machine is used for measuring the activity of the Nadis and their related body organs.
Another machine is used for examining the chakras. It records the impulses emerging from the psychic centers in the spine. It can also register precise impulses from these specific areas in people who have been doing yoga practices for a very long time and have successfully activated psychic consciousness.
When the yoga aspirant practices Maha Bandha (a contraction of the thyroid, abdomen, and perineum) and pranayama, the machine records changes in the impulses emerging from the psychic centers. This experiment shows that energy can be stimulated through the prolong yoga practices. However, there’s still more research to be done to provide a detailed scientific explanation.
The science of chakras is interpreted in different ways by various philosophers. Even the color and location of each chakra is explained differently. These philosophers include people from theosophical movements, Rosicrucians, tantric texts, and so on.
Different viewpoints of chakras
The way the chakras, kundalini, and the mind influence the body vibration is pretty complex to explain as these experiences are highly personalized. Different people view these mystic events from varying points of view. Their activation of chakras appears in color relevant to their personal dispositions.
Some people focus on the mystical aspects, some on their pranic and energy manifestations, some on their psychological effects, some on their functional reality, and some on the physical effects. All of these aspects are fully correct. When they reach the focal point, they realize they all are talking about the same thing, but each one of them is looking from different angles. For example, when you look at an object through binoculars, it appears large. If you look at it with naked eyes, then it appears the normal size. If you see the x-ray of the object, you can see the internal structure. So, the same object, but different viewpoints.
Similarly, what a yogi describes as a spiritual center, a surgeon may describe it as bunches of nerve fibers and a clairvoyant may call it the psychic centers. They can have an intense debate, but they all are explaining the same thing i.e. chakras. This difference in language can be due to the difference in personal, educational, and cultural knowledge. This is a common problem when you try to convey your ideas and experience.
The chakras' explanation given in the tantric texts is highly revered. However, instead of understanding the written description given by others, you must experience this knowledge all by yourself and achieve your own personal understanding. Tantra is all about practicality, not theory and only practice can help you gain true experience and real consciousness.
Symbolic representation of chakras
If you decide to practice kriya yoga or kundalini yoga, you must understand the colors of chakras and their symbology. Their beauty is immense and they form a crucial part of the awakening of each chakra. Chakras are identified by unique colors, situations, mantra, and different experiences.
Many of the spiritual and mystic institutions use distinctive symbols to identify the chakras. In tantra and yoga, chakras are identified by the lotus flowers. The lotus is a very significant symbol.
A man needs to pass through three stages to enlighten his spiritual life. These three stages are the references to his existence on three unique levels:
- Aspiration and endeavor
Similarly, lotus also breathes on three levels i.e. mud, water, and air.
- It grows in the mud (ignorance)
- It puts efforts to go through the water and reach the surface (aspiration and endeavor)
- It stretches out in the air under the brightness of the sunlight (illumination)
This way lotus describes the man’s development from the lower consciousness to the higher consciousness. At its peak, lotus finally blooms into a beautiful flower. Similarly, when man’s consciousness reaches its peak, he rises to the spiritual awakening and develops the full human potential.
Each of the chakras can be illustrated as a lotus flower having a unique color and a specific number of petals.
|Chakras||English names||Mantra||Number of petals||Color|
Vermilion or orange
Solar Plexus Chakra
Blue or green
Violet or blue
Third Eye Chakra
Silver-grey or Indigo
Multi-colored or Golden or Violet
Each chakra is inclusive of:
- Number of petals of the lotus flower
- Geometrical shape
- Bija mantra
- Animal symbol
- Divine symbol
Each chakra equally belongs to the animal and divine beings. The animal represents your past evolution and the divine represents your higher consciousness.
If you are a dedicated yogic aspirant and you observe another color for a particular chakra, then that’s the truth for you. Your experiences are as true as everyone else. But one thing is certain, as you reach the higher chakras, the uniqueness of color becomes more subtle and powerful.
Location of the chakras and chakra Kshetram
Most of the kundalini yoga practices demand you to focus your awareness on the chakra focal points present in the spinal cord. Many aspirants find it convenient to focus on the chakra Kshetram present on the front part of the body. Chakra Kshetram is heavily used in kriya yoga practices.
A Kshetram is the reflection of the actual chakra focal points. When you focus on this reflected point, the generated sensation passes through the nerves to the chakra itself and finally reaches the brain.
Mooladhara doesn’t have a Kshetram chakra. Swadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddi, and Ajna chakras have physical counterparts located horizontally in front of them.
pubic bone above the genital organ in front of the body
throat pit near the thyroid gland
Brumadhya, eyebrow center
Psychic knots and their influence
Your physical body has three granthis (psychic knots). These granthis can interfere in the awakening of the kundalini. They symbolize varying levels of awareness linked to the deception, ignorance, and attachment to materialism. These are very strong barriers. You must leave behind these barriers to clear the passage for the kundalini. They are described as follows:
- Brahma granthi: It operates in the area of the Mooladhara chakra. It attaches you to selfishness, physical pleasures, and material objects. It indicates the strong influence of tamas. It makes you negative, lethargic, and ignorant.
- Vishnu granthi: It operates in the area of the Anahata chakra. It attaches you to emotions, people, and psychic visions. It indicates the strong influence of rajas. It makes you ambitious, passionate, and assertive.
- Rudra granthi: It operates in the area of the Ajna chakra. It attaches you to psychic powers, Siddhis, and egoism. You must kill your ego and go beyond the duality to develop higher spiritual consciousness.
Chakras are the energy conversion centers
The basic function of chakras is to control the particular psychic centers. On transcendence, chakras act as the centers of interchange between the physical, casual, and astral dimensions. Through these centers, you can inherit the subtle energy from the higher dimensions and bring it to the physical dimension. This supreme energy has been witnessed in yogis. The activation of the Vishuddhi chakra has enabled them to develop subtle energy in the form of nectar or Amrit. This manifestation has helped them maintain their existence.
Through the action of the chakras, the physical energy can be transferred into subtle energy as well as mental energy. This means chakras are the mediators of the energy transformation. They also connect different dimensions and facilitate the flow of energy between the body and the mind. The permanent awakening of the chakras makes the man aware of the higher realms of existence. It also gives them immense power and awareness to support the lower dimensions.
© 2020 Prachi Sharma
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 03, 2020:
Really a good one here. All the parts are my favorites. I like the idea of nerve bundles. I wonder if Kundalini is so simple as un-bundling them :-)