PS is practicing yoga since the age of 11. Her yoga retreats in India have helped her gain deep insights into self-awareness.
Manipura is made of two Sanskrit words i.e. Mani (‘jewel’) + Pura (‘city’). It literally translates to ‘city of jewels’. As per Tibetan tradition, this chakra is called Mani Padma, meaning ‘jeweled lotus’.
Manipura chakra is the center of energy, liveliness, achievement, and determination. It is often equated with the glaring heat of the sun and its immense power. Without the sun, life wouldn’t be possible on Earth. Sun plays a crucial role in radiating the continuous energy to the planets. Similarly, Manipura chakra is responsible for radiating as well as distributing Pranic energy (vital energy) across the different body parts. It regulates the activity of various organs and handles multiple processes to sustain life.
The lack of energy in the Manipura chakra leads to depression, poor health, lack of ambition, and fear of commitment. That’s why awakening the Manipura is extremely important not only for spiritual achievement but also for living a better life.
Location of Manipura chakra
Manipura chakra is present just behind the navel and its Kshetram is located at the navel. This chakra corresponds with the solar plexus and thus, also called solar plexus chakra. Solar plexus is responsible for the regulation of heat and digestive fire within the body.
Traditional symbolic representation of Manipura chakra
Manipura is represented by a ten-petalled lotus flower in bright yellow color. Each of the petals has these Bija mantras: dam, dham, nam, tam, tham, dam, dham, nam, pam, and pham. The center of the lotus has an inverted triangle in red color. It represents fire and shines like the rising sun.
This triangle contains the ram, who is the carrier of invincible endurance and dynamism. Also, there resides Lord Rudra and Goddess Lakini. The three-eyed Rudra is covered in white ashes. He appears to have a skin of vermilion color. The four-armed Lakini is a benefactress. She has a dark complexion and luminous skin. She wears yellow cloths along with ornaments and drinks nectar.
The Tanmatra (sense) of Manipura is sight. The Gyanendriya (sensory organ) is eyes and the Karmendriya (organ of action) is feet. Eyes and feet are closely related since vision and wilful action are interdependent on each other.
Manipura belongs to the fire element. It is a heavenly plane of existence, also called Swaha Loka. It majorly belongs to rajas guna, which highlights activity and intensity.
According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the moon at Bindu produces nectar (Amrit) that descends to Manipura. At Manipura, the nectar is swallowed by the sun. This causes the process of degeneration leading to old age, illness and then, death. The degeneration can be reversed by practicing yogic techniques, especially Viparita Kareeni. Through this, the pranic forces are sent back to the brain from Manipura, or else the vital forces can quickly disappear in the dull affairs of life.
When you concentrate on Manipura chakra in deep meditation, you gain the knowledge of your entire physical system. The purification of this chakra makes your body glowing and free from all sort of diseases. Awakening of Manipura also ensures that your consciousness doesn’t return to the lower levels.
Awakening of Manipura ensures steady higher consciousness
As per Buddhist beliefs, Manipura is considered to be the base chakra from which the awakening of kundalini actually takes place. They haven’t mentioned anything about Mooladhara and Swadhisthana at all. It is because these two chakras belong to animal consciousness. On the other hand, from Manipura, human consciousness starts to evolve.
In short, Mooladhara is the seat of the kundalini, Swadhisthana is its abode, and Manipura is the place where kundalini awakening takes place. Also, after awakening the Manipura, there’s a rare possibility of the downfall of your consciousness. At this level, you have ensured the permanent awakening of the three chakras and your kundalini is ready to move upwards to the higher chakras.
It isn’t easy to sustain and stabilize the awakening in Manipura. You need to be earnest and perseverant in your efforts. In most of the determined Sadhakas, kundalini stays in Manipura. If you are keen to live a life of spirituality, practice yoga regularly and passionate about your work, then your kundalini is not in Mooladhara. It must be in Manipura or higher centers.
Manipura chakra awakens after the heat produced by the union of Prana and Apana
Swara yoga, mentioned in Tantra, is very effective in awakening the kundalini. It is the science of breath. As per this branch of yoga, all the pranas in your body have five dimensions Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana, and Samana. In the navel area, two of these pranic forces (vital forces) - Prana and Apana, unite.
Prana moves up and down between navel and throat, while Apana moves upwards and downwards between perineum and navel. These forces are coupled together. During pranayama, when you exhale, Prana goes down from throat to the navel and Apana moves from Manipura to Mooladhara. This way, these two forces work together and change direction with inhalation and exhalation.
This movement can be observed by sensing breath awareness in the psychic passages located throughout the perineum, navel, and throat centers. The regular practice of kriya yoga makes Apana flow separate from Prana and its flow is reversed. During the exhalation process, Apana, instead of descending from Manipura, joins the forces with Prana. These joined forces enter the navel at the same time causing the awakening of the chakra.
Many yogis say the union of Apana with Prana, at the navel, causes immense heat to generate. This heat is responsible for the awakening of Manipura. This refines the Pranic flow in your body and Manipura becomes the new base of kundalini.
Manipura refines your personality
The active Manipura chakra gives you insights into the higher plane of existence. Your consciousness evolves and gains spiritual perception. The way kundalini rises through seven chakras, human evolution also needs to cross seven planes.
It is impossible to realize the existence of higher planes from Mooladhara and Swadhisthana. That’s why till Swadhisthana, your consciousness is called gross because you may intend to use this for wrong purposes. After Manipura, you gain infinite knowledge that goes beyond human logic. Your views totally change as you leave behind your prejudices and complexes. Your consciousness is enriched with the perfection and infinite beauty of the higher realms.
Your emotional and mental problems start to neutralize. You see the situations with a bigger perspective. Your potential to work and live is boosted. Your psychic enhancement becomes compassionate and you no longer feel scared or raged. Now, you are ready to gain experiences from the higher chakras.
© 2020 Prachi Sharma
Halemane Muralikrishna from South India on May 10, 2020:
Great reading of your article.