The wheels of life

By Jamuna Rangachari

May 2014

By realizing the significance of our chakras and meditating upon them, we ensure good health as well as onward spiritual progress, says Jamuna Rangachari

 

chakras

Chakras mirror our entire life, what we have gone through, and where we stand today. They reflect the level of our evolution. By working on them not only do we heal ourselves, but also progress faster on the spiritual path.

What are chakras?

Chakra in English means wheel. There are seven major chakras, each of which is located in a specific area, has a specific name, and a specific set of functions. They regulate the energy flow throughout our bodies, and also govern the seven major endocrine glands and thereby, various parts of our bodies. They show us where we are, at any stage in life.

The mooladhara chakra (root chakra)

Related senses: Smell

Colour: Red

Musical note: ‘Sa’ in the Indian system, ‘Do’ in the Western system

Bija mantra: Lam

Associated diety: Ganesh

This chakra represents the feeling of being grounded and secure. When out of sync, it can lead to a feeling of nervousness which is often encountered by people facing a new or challenging situation. Beginning at the base of the spine, our first chakra, mooladhara, translates from Sanskrit as root or foundation. This makes sense, because without a firm foundation one can feel unstable and unsafe.

The root chakra’s element is Earth. This chakra is located in the perineum, between the anus and the sex organs. The emotional issues related with this chakra are survival issues relating mostly to money and food. It controls the lymphatic and the skeletal system, sacral plexus which controls the bladder and elimination, and the legs. The symptoms of imbalance in the root chakra are disorders of the bowel and large intestine, eating disorders, depression, immunity-related disorders, chronic lower back pain, and lack of energy.

Affirmation: “I am always safe and secure.”

Meditation on this chakra

Meditate, telling yourself that your needs will be looked after and that all is well and safe. Visualise the colour red in the region of the chakra and play the note ‘sa’ if possible. Chant Lam at least three times.

Svadhisthana chakra (sacral chakra)

Related sense: Taste

Colour: Orange

Element: Water

Musical note: ‘Re’ in the Indian system, ‘Re’ in the Western system

Bija mantra: Vam

Associated diety: Vishnu

Svadhisthana is a Sanskrit word that literally translates into ‘one’s own abode’ and the root ‘svad’ also translates into, ‘to taste with pleasure’,  ‘to enjoy’, or ‘take delight’. The svadhisthana holds your connection to your emotions, desire and sexuality. Located in the centre of the abdomen, this chakra is associated with the parts of the consciousness concerned with food and sex. It is about the body’s communication to the Being inside, about what the body wants and needs, and what it finds pleasurable. This system controls the reproductive system, sexual organs and lumbar plexus. The sense associated with this chakra is the sense of taste and appetite. The imbalances in this chakra could cause frigidity, impotence or gluttony.

Affirmation: “I take pleasure in life.”

Meditation on this chakra

Meditate telling yourself that your needs will be looked after, and that all is well and safe. Satisfy your need but not your greed, yet do not deny yourself either. Visualise the colour orange in the region of the chakra and play the note ‘Re.’ Chant Vam three times.

3. Manipur  chakra (solar plexus)

Related senses: The sense of sight

Colour: Yellow

Element: Fire

Musical note: ‘Ga’ in the Indian system, ‘Me’ in the Western

Bija mantra: Ram

Associated diety: Maharudra Shiva

“She has a fire in the belly,” is a phrase we often hear. This is quite apt since this chakra, located in the belly region, is about power.

The organs associated with this chakra include the muscular system, the skin, the large intestine, stomach, liver, pancreas and endocrine glands that exist in the region of the solar plexus. It also impacts the eyes, as the organs of sight, and the face.  Consciousness associated with this chakra include power, control, freedom, and the ease with which one is able to be himself. Mental activity and the mental body is also associated with this chakra. The element associated with this chakra is fire and the sun. Imbalances in this chakra could result in diabetes or issues with eyesight.

Affirmation: “I own my power.”

Meditating on this chakra

Meditate on being your true self without the need to control or exercise power. Visualise the colour yellow in the region of the chakra and play the note ‘Ga.’  Chant the seed mantra Ram three times.

Anahata chakra ( heart chakra)

Related senses: The sense of touch

Colour: Green

Element: Air

Musical note: ‘Ma’ in the Indian system, ‘Fa’ in the Western system

Bija Mantra: Yam

Associated diety: Sada Shiva

While the first three chakras are entirely about one’s relationship with oneself,  from the anahata onward, the chakras begin to deal with our relationship with others, and our perception of the world.

Located in the centre of the chest, this chakra is associated with the heart, the circulatory system, and the cardiac plexus, the lungs and the entire chest area. The gland associated with this chakra is the thymus gland that controls the immune system.

Perceptions of love, relationships, relating with people close to your heart, like your partner, siblings, parents, children, are identified with this chakra. Difficulty with breathing, or with the lungs, the organ of air, indicates tension in the heart chakra. A person’s relationship with air reflects his relationship with love. AIDS is a problem with the person’s perceptions of love, since it is the immune system which is affected. The person feels that their lifestyle separates them from those they love, often because of societal judgment.

Affirmation: “I give and receive love”

Meditating on this chakra

Perceive the love around you and release all feelings of feeling unloved. Visualise the colour green in the region of the chakra and play the note ‘Ma’ if possible.

Chant Yam at least three times.

Vishuddha chakra (throat chakra)

Chakra: Vishuddha or cornucopia centre

Location: Base of the throat

Related senses: Sense of hearing

Colour: Blue

Element: Ether

Musical note: ‘Pa’ in the Indian system, ‘So’ in the western

Bija Mantra: Ham

Associated diety: Ishwara

This chakra relates to expressing and receiving. Expression can be in the form of communicating one’s needs and desires, or it can pertain to creative self-expression such as art, dance or music. This chakra controls the throat, neck, the arms, hands, and the bronchial or cervical plexus. Symptoms of its imbalance include thyroid and throat infections. The gland associated with it is the thyroid gland. Metaphysically, this chakra is related to creativity, and manifesting in the physical world the fulfillment of one’s goals.

Affirmation: “I express myself freely.”

Meditation on this chakra

Perceive a sense of abundance with the confidence that your voice will be heard. Visualise the colour blue in the region of the chakra. Play the note ‘Pa.’ Chant the seed mantra Ham three times.

Ajna chakra (third eye chakra)

Chakra: Ajna or consciousness awareness

Location: Centre of the forehead

Related senses: ESP or intuition

Colour: Indigo

Element: An inner sound – which is related to spiritual experience.

Musical note: ‘Dha’ in the Indian system, ‘La’ in the western techniques

Bija Mantra: Om

Deity: Ardhanareshwara

The Ajna chakra, our sixth chakra, translates to the command and perception centre, and is where our intuition and inner voice resides. Represented by the element of light and tied to our power of perception, yogic poses can directly stimulate its physical location, which is centred just above and between the eyes. Ajna chakra controls the pituitary gland or the master gland of the entire endocrine system. It stands for the deep sense of being called spirit.

Problems in the third eye chakra can include problems with the facial nerves, and tumours in the pituitary gland on a physical level. Tensions at this level can include tensions about religion or spirituality (too many rules, spiritual addiction to an organisation).

The element that corresponds to this chakra is ether, which is the crossover between the physical world and the world of spirit.

Affirmation: I sense all that I need to sense.”

Meditation on this chakra

Perceive the creator in you to reach a higher level of understanding. Visualise the colour indigo in the region of the chakra and play the note ‘Dha.’

Chant Om and think of both the masculine and feminine aspects of our personality.

Sahasrara chakra (crown chakra)

Chakra: Sahasrara or cosmic consciousness

Location: Top of the head

Related senses: Empathy

Colour: Violet

Element: Inner light

Musical note: ‘Ni’ in the Indian system, ‘Ti’ in the western

Bija Mantra: Om

Deity: Shiva

Sahasrara, means thousandfold, and represents our higher connection to the Divine. Its location at the crown of the head defines this chakra. Sahasrara chakra controls the entire nervous system and it stands for our perceptions of unity or separation. An imbalance in this chakra relates to one’s equation with people in authority and could lead to issues in the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.

Affirmation: “The Divine will always show me the right path and direction.”

Meditation on this chakra

Work on a balanced attitude towards authority, making your feelings heard and owning your power. Visualise the colour violet in the region of the chakra and play the note ‘Ni,’ if possible. Chant Om and think of Shiva. It is important that we maintain a firm foundation in our lower three chakras. They signify safety and stability which need to be in place before we route this energy to the upper chakras that represent wisdom and higher order of things.

Yet chakras are not a magic wand for all ailments. We have to battle with our karma, the package that has been given to us now.  My guru, Promila Gurtu, who taught me chakra meditation, passed away due to cancer. Promila led a complete, wholesome life till the very end, despite battling cancer. Through the chakras, she had reached a higher dimension of living, and guided many people towards the same path. She peacefully passed away to another world having kept all her chakras in balance till the end.

Like music, where all notes have to be in perfect symphony for a melodious rendition, our chakras too need to stay in balance for us to enjoy a blissful life. And the secret of it is regular practice.

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