The word chakra literally means ‘wheel’, or ‘vortex’. A chakra is a psychic center in Tantrik language. According to the Tantric anatomy, there are seven chakras of the human body.
The muladhara chakra is located in the pelvic floor at a level corresponding to that of the coccygeal plexus of nerves. It controls the supersensible sensory organ of olfaction – the sense of smell (ghranendriya) and the supersensible motor organ of excretion (payvindriya; the word payu means ‘excretion’). The apana vayu (the prana vayu that governs the inward and outward flow of energy from the body) functions in excretory activities; its main area of action is between the navel and the anal region; it source is the muladhara.
The large intestine (caecum, colon, and rectum), the anal region including the anal sphincters – internal and external, the kidneys, the ureters, the urinary bladder, the urethra, the expiratory organs of the respiratory system and the sweat glands of the gross body are regulated by the apana vayu. The discharge of menstrual fluid and that of the vaginal secretion and semen ejaculation subsequent to sex-orgasm are also regulated by the apana vayu.
The Svadhisthana Chakra (The Sacral Chakra)
The Svadhisthana chakra is the second one from the bottom. It is located at the base of the penis. This chakra’s level corresponds to the sacral plexus of nerves. It controls the supersensible sensory organ of gustation – the sense of taste (rasanendriya) and the supersensible motor organ for reproduction (upasthendriya). The two testes, the accessory glands of the male reproductive system (seminal vesicles, prostate), the penis, the two ovaries, the two oviducts, the uterus, the vagina, the vulva, the clitoris and the mammary glands are controlled by the svadhisthana through the mediation of the subtle upasthendriya.
The vyana vayu functions in pervasive activities; its area of action is the whole body; the circulation of blood and lymph and the electrical conduction through nerve-fibres are done through the vyana vayu its source is the svadhisthana.
The Manipura Chakra (The Solar Plexus Chakra)
The third chakra from the bottom is the Manipura. It is located exactly at the level of the navel. This level corresponds to that of the solar plexus of nerves. It controls the supersensible, sensory organ of vision (darsanendriya) and the supersensible, motor organ of locomotion (padendriya). The samana vayu functions in digestion, oxidation of nutrients for the production of energy, and the utilization of nutrients in the synthesis of body tissues and in maintaining a balance in the metabolic activities. The stomach, the small intestine, the pancreas, the liver and all the upper abdominal digestive organs are regulated by the manipura.
Its main area of action is between the navel and the diaphragm, although it functions in all organs, tissues, and cells for regulating the metabolic activities. The source of the samana vayu is the manipura chakra. Both the legs function with the help of the samana vayu. Due to the relation between the legs and the manipura chakra and the origin of the vajra nadi inside the susumna, vajrasana activates the digestive processes. The pressure points on the legs and feet exert feedback effects on the
The pressure points on the legs and feet exert feedback effects on the manipura chakra. The bulb at the muladhara which is also the point of origin of the vajra nadi is pressed while doing vajrasana. This asana activates all the three lower chakras namely, the muladhara, the svadhisthana, and the manipura.
The Anahata Chakra (The Heart Chakra)
The Anahata chakra is the fourth one from the bottom. It lies behind the base of the heart, at the level of the depression in the sternum. This level corresponds to that of the cardiac plexus of nerves. It controls the supersensible, sensory cutaneous organ (sparsanendriya), containing tactile, thermal, pressure and pain receptors, including the receptors for the sensation of sexual pleasure. This chakra controls the supersensible, motor organ of prehension (hastendriya).
The prana vayu functions in the beating of the heart, inspiratory activities of the lungs and the thoracic muscles and all types of absorptive activities in the small intestine, skin and other organs and tissues. Its main area of action is between the diaphragm and the collar bone, although it acts in the absorption of nutrients and other substances in the stomach, small intestine and skin. The source of the prana vayu is the anahata chakra. The two hands are the motor organs that utilize the prana vayu in their functioning.
The Visuddhi Chakra (The Throat Chakra)
The Visuddhi Chakra is the 5th chakra from the bottom. It lies at the level of the throat-pit. This level corresponds to that of the cervical plexus of nerves. This chakra controls the supersensible, sensory organ of audition (sravanendriya) and the supersensible, vocal motor organ (vagindriya). The udana vayu functions in activities like vomition and hiccup. It also plays its role in pushing blood to the head against the gravity, in the functioning of the ears and in the overall functioning of the face and the head. Its area of action is above the clavicle (the collar bone).
The Ajna Chakra (The Third Eye Chakra or Brow Chakra)
The Ajna Chakra is located behind the spot between the two eyebrows. It lies in the brain directly above the spinal column at the level of the prefrontal area. The frontal lobe and especially the prefrontal area of the brain lie in its proximity. Evolutionarily speaking, the prefrontal area is the most evolved one in the human species. It is the center of wisdom, creativity, and judgement.
Nevertheless, both the pituitary and the prefrontal area are parts of the gross body whereas the ajna is part of the subtle body. The whole of the brain, including the two endocrine glands, namely, pituitary and pineal, located inside the cranium, is controlled by the ajna. The pituitary, being the master gland among the endocrine glands of the body, regulates all the others.
The mind is a composite subtle organ consisting of many subtle structures, out of which four are the most important ones. They are – citta, buddhi, ahankara, and manas. The ajna is the site for the last three. Buddhi is the subtle sub-structure for intellection and discrimination between good and bad, right and wrong, should and should not. Ahankara is the subtle sub-structure for individuation. It imparts the I-sense, as distinguished from the non-I. It safeguards the interest of the ‘I’.
The manas is the subtle sub-structure for mentation. It is the thinking substance. It receives messages from the external world and also from different parts of the body through the input (afferent) pathway and sends the order for action to different parts of the body through the output (efferent) pathway. It integrates and coordinates the actions of the sense-organs and the sensory and motor organs.
The Sahasrara Chakra (The Crown Chakra)
The Sahasrara Chakra, also known as the thousand-petalled lotus occupies the peak position in the subtle body of a person. Its primary association is with Pituitary Gland followed by the Pineal and the Hypothalamus. The pituitary gland controls the feminity, masculinity, thyroid, weight, bones and hair follicles. Due to its location, the Sahasrara Chakra is closely associated with brain and the whole nervous system.
When this chakra gets blocked, one may experience inappropriate self-control, migraine headaches, mystical depression or chronic exhaustion. They will also experience difficulty in concentrating with intention. A feeling of emptiness, nervousness and a sense of fear indecision and insecurity.
On the opening of the chakra, one would feel like a rebirth. One would experience complete inner peace and joy. You will act in harmony. Intuitively you will know what response is correct and what is not. You will not be in confusion or indecision. There will be a sense of absolute clarity in what you are doing or want to do. As you continue opening, your awareness will be doubled.
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