By Sangeetha Rajah
Chakra in Samskrit literally means "wheel", "disk" or "centre". Chakra is a center of activity that receives, assimilates, and expresses life force energy and refers to a spinning sphere of bioenergetic activity emanating from the major nerve ganglia branching forward from the spinal column. There are seven of these wheels stacked in a column of energy that spans from the base of the spine to the top of the head. There are also minor chakras in the hands, feet, fingertips, and shoulders. Literally, any vortex of activity could be called a chakra. It is the seven major chakras that correlate with basic states of consciousness. Each chakra is a cosmic lotus with a certain number of petals which contain the different consonants of Samskrit alphabets. Each Chakra also possesses a specific colour, element, a beeja akshara (seed sound), a presiding deity, nourishes specific organs and controls specific functions of the body. Kundalini, the cosmic serpent representing the female principle is coiled in the root chakra. Awakening this dormant power and its ascend through the five energy centres to the crown chakra to unite with the male principle is Samaadhi or Moksha, according to Yoga. As energy rises, life progresses from earthly to spiritual, a step in human growth. Ayurveda helps awaken Kundalini by prescribing specific diet and regimen to open specific chakra. For instance, rice cooked with jaggery and ghee will help opening the Manipooraka chakra. Following the specific regimen accordingly, along with Yoga will give the desired result.
First Chakra - Moolaadhaara
Location: base of spine area of coccyx.
Presiding Deity: Saakinee
Part nourished: skeletal system
No. of Petals: four
Issues: survival, security, safety, ability to be grounded to earth plane.
Physical functions: excretion and digestion, small intestine and colon; kidneys, sex glands/drive, reproduction, hips, legs, lower back, rectum, uterus.
Ailments: Constipation, diarrhea, colitis, knees, sciatica, vaginal, hemorrhoids, prostate, ovarian, uterine, chronic fatigue.
Root Issues: Accidents, homelessness, suicidal tendencies, panic.
Blockages: Not belonging (no roots), not able to make a living, not able to materialize goals.
Second chakra - Svaadhishtaana
Location:just above genitals.
Presiding Deity: Kaakinee
Part nourished: adipose tissue
No. of Petals: six
Issues: sexuality, self esteem, personal power; need to control, extent hold onto emotions or let go.
Physical functions: influences ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, pelvis, lumbar spine, kidneys, bladder, and large intestine. Center for cleansing, purification, health
Endocrine function: liver, pancreas, spleen, metabolism, digestion, detoxification, immunity, balance of blood sugar.
Ailments: female reproductive, infertility, spinal disc, arthritis, urinary tract and kidney, diabetes, cancer.
Blockages: fear, difficulty with menstruation, menopause, need to mother or be mothered, relationship issues.
Third Chakra - Manipooraka
Location: two fingers above naval.
Presiding Deity: Laakinee
Part nourished: flesh and muscular system
No. of Petals: ten
Colour: golden yellow
Issues: when open, allows person to function normally even in time of distress, ability to connect, have long term relationships, love of family, home.
Physical functions: influences adrenal glands, profound effect on sympathetic nervous system, muscular energy, heartbeat, digestion, circulation, mood
Ailments: Excessive abuse of adrenaline from stress produces ulcer, nervous disorders and chronic fatigue.
Blockages: Prevents energy from moving past diaphragm, energy cannot be transmuted from more mundane frequencies to those of subtle bodies and spiritual awareness. Cuts a person off from awareness of I AM self, exclusive development of ego in consciousness.
Fourth Chakra - Anaahata
Location: eighth cervical vertebra of spine opposite region of heart.
Presiding Deity: Raakinee
Part nourished: circulatory system
No. of Petals: twelve
Issues: move beyond diaphragm, from outer courtyard to inner of body temple. Begin to recognize "self" is beyond definition, a source of light, love, human and divine. Allows one to sympathize with vibrations of other astral entities so can instinctively understand energies and atmospheres; can combine with Anja center and project rays of healing, manifest miracles; gateway to astral body and hence regulator of emotional life.
Physical functions: Influences thymus, located in center of chest behind upper breast bone, whose main function is proper utilization of amino competence factor which helps create immunity to disease.
Ailments: heart, lungs, circulation, shoulders, upper back, immunity, stroke, angina and arthritis
Blockages: distorted proportion of anger, pain and fear, abuse other people, feel unloved, rejected, jealousy, grief, loneliness, relationship difficulties.
Fifth Chakra - Vissuddhi
Location: base of neck by third cervical vertebra, just below throat by Adams apple.
Presiding Deity: Daakinee
Part nourished: skin
No. of Petals: sixteen
Colour: bright blue
Issues: When open, become aware of mental body, can separate mental from lower (astral, etheric and physical) allowing for detachment, perception of dharma. Awareness that internal worlds are real; controls ability of expression; heavier frequencies of anger, pain and fear are transmuted into unconditional joy.
Physical functions: Influences thyroid balance of entire nervous system, metabolism, muscular control and body heat production.
Ailments: headaches, migraines, sore throat, thyroid, gums and teeth, ears, stiff neck, flu.
Blockages: inability to express feelings/ability to listen, exaggeration or crying.
Sixth Chakra - Aagna
Location: between eyebrows/third eye.
Presiding Deity: Haakinee
Part nourished: bone marrow and production of RBCs
No. of Petals: two
Issues: see clairvoyantly, communicate telepathically, heal through mental projection, can create new realities consciously to conform to dharma and resulting unconditional joy, flow of prana meet and distribute, clairvoyance, paranormal knowing.
Physical function: pituitary master control center of mind/body affects all other endocrines.
Ailments: eyes, face, brain, lymphatic, endocrine systems; cataracts, vision, hormone, mental, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's
Seventh Chakra - Sahasraara
Location: at crown of head
Presiding Deity: Yakinee
Part nourished: male and female reproductive principles
No. of Petals: thousand
Physical function: pineal gland
Issues: merge personal energy field with universal, merge feminine and masculine principles, eternal presence, cosmic consciousness, enlightenment.