The chakras are a fundamental energy system in each of our bodies, as discussed in a previous blog here, What is the Charka system? Here is a deeper look into each of the seven main chakras:
Muladhara-the root chakra, in the pelvis above the anus. This chakra is often associated with the color red.
- Svadisthana– the sacral chakra, is in close proximity to the sacral plexus nerve center. It is associated with the color orange.
- Manipura– the navel chakra, just above the navel, near to the adrenal glands. It is associated with the color yellow.
- Anahata– the heart chakra, near to the parathyroids. It is associated with the color green.
- Visuddhi– the throat chakra, close to the thyroid gland. It is associated with the color blue.
- Ajna– the brow chakra, between the eyebrows, near to the pituitary gland. It is associated with the color indigo.
- Sahasrara- the crown chakra, at the crown of the head. It is associated with the color violet.
Each of these charkas are developed in a sequential order, meaning first the development of Muladhara is begun and developed, and then the Swadhisthana chakras will be opened and developed, onward. The complete process of chakra system maturation is from before birth well into our adult years. This next section will take a snapshot of each chakra to give a more personal look at some of the reasons why they provide, a how they facilitate as body, mind, spirt connection for us. We will see how each chakras positioning in our body is connected to respective levels of consciousness.
Muladhara is Sanskrit for ‘root support’ (Best, 2010), it is associated with goals of survival, and our primal connection to Earth is here (Judith, 2004, 2009; Nelson, 1994). The location of Muladhara is at the base of our spine, where the perineu
m is, midway between the anus and genitals (Judith, 2009). It is believed that the serpentine energy of Kundalini shakti is coiled around this chakra keeping the contained until she is awaken. This chakra is commonly associated as our root charka, for is grounding role for this chakra plays.
Muladhara establishes a line of demarcation between the collective consciousness’s (perceived as unconsciousness at this stage) and the nascent stages of an individual and personal consciousness (Best, 2010). Carl Jung (Shamdasani, 1996) wrote about the Muladhara as being the location of our unconscious, laying dormant. The key to uncovering the unconscious is to awaken the dormant power of Kundalini. When the Kundalini is awaken it rises up the spinal canal to the top of the head. The concept of Kundalini energy was given to mainstream literature by Pandit Gopi Krishna, from Kashmire (Grof & Grof, 1989).
Svadhisthana is Sanskrit for ‘to taste sweet’, and is associated with sexuality as well as emotions, sensations, pleasure, movement and nurturance (Judith, 2009). The location of Svadhisthana is in the lower abdomen. Muladhara keeps individuals focusing on establishing the foundation of survival, while Svadhisthana brings about the transition in early childhood where our sense of Self is developed. This chakra is commonly refereed to as the sacral chakra, due to the commonly aged location of being near the sacrum. Nelson (1994) clarifies eight characteristics of the sacral chakra development process resides with the emergence of self-boundaries that, while still shared to a certain extent with parents, will nonetheless come to delineate a sense of “I-ness.” Individual consciousness is also beginning to differentiate itself from the collective consciousness; what Nelson referred to as “the Spiritual Ground.” The significance of this pre-egoic level of consciousness for transpersonal psychology as well as the model proposed here is crucial (Best, 2010). Jung was the first Western psychologist to identify this level of consciousness in relation to the development of the individual psyche (Scotton, 1996).
Svadhisthana is known as the transmental consciousness center of our virtual or instinctual nature, and to Haridas Chaudhuri, these instinctual centers corresponds to the prostatic or epigastric plexus, which are related to the key endocrine gland (gonads) (Tart, 1975).
Manipura is Sanskrit for ‘lustrous gem’, and is associated with an individual’s transformation (Judith, 2004), power and control (Nelson, 1994), high ambition and will power (Tart, 1975). The location of this chakra is within the solar plexus, over the adrenal glands. Best (2010) calls this chakra the navel chakra, because it presents a stage uniquely pivotal in the chakra system Barring any major life trauma, it is the last stage that one is presumed to be able to reach automatically. In fact, Hindu psychology and many complementary Eastern philosophies assert that, for most people in the West, this is the highest stage of development that they will ever reach (Anandamurti, 1990).
Anahata is Sanskrit for ‘Sound that is made without any two things sticking as well as ‘unstruck’ (Judith, 2004). Anahata is associated with attachments to material and social worlds, (Nelson, 1994), is the center of the soul (Tart, 1975), is the foundation for how to establish relationships with others (Judith, 2009), and is the representation of selfless form of a love and compassion for others (Best. 2010). It is located in the mid chest. The location of Anahata is in our cheats, close to our heart. Nelson (1994) noted, ascending to Anahata means that love is no longer manifested as a need or craving that involves the acquisition or control of the affection of others, rather it is manifested in the most pure form.
Visuddha, is Sanskrit for ‘purification’ (Judith, 2009). It is associated with communication, creative identity and self expressionism (Judith, 2004), powerful center of self projection (Tart, 1975), evokes inspiration (Nelson, 1994). The location of Visuddha is in our throat, close to our thyroid gland. Nelson referred to a feeling or a calling to service “as the self prepares to ascend to the fifth chakra” (p. 275). He further defined the throat chakra stage as a “fine balance of reason and intuition, self-control and surrender, discipline and freedom, individuality and unity” (p. 284). According to Chaudhuri an individual begins to realize the true Self as an unique individual, as an intrinsically valuable spiritual being (Tart, 1975).
Ajna is Sanskrit for ‘to perceive and command’ (Judith, 2004). Its association is with clairvoyance, intuition, and imagination (Judith, 2009). It is located in the head in the center of the brow line, in the center of forehead. the brow chakra, which refines the intellect in a way that integrates the emotions, relational concerns, and drives of the lower order chakras into a more intuitive form of interaction with the external world (Rama, Ballentine, & Ajaya, 1976). It involves a mastery of detachment from the objects that serve as barriers to growth because they operate as tethers to egoic concerns. By rising above these concerns, individuals who have ascended to the brow chakra stage not only evidence the hallmarks of wisdom, but they have balanced their feminine and masculine aspects and enlarged the opening to universal consciousness which prepares their ascent to the seventh and final chakra stage (Best, 2010).
Sahasrara, is Sanskrit for ‘thousand-fold’ (Judith, 2004). It is associated with attachments to material and social worlds, (Nelson, 1994), is the center of the soul (Tart, 1975), is the foundation for how to establish relationships with others (Judith, 2009), and is the representation of selfless form of a love and compassion for others (Best. 2010). It is located in the mid chest.
The pineal gland, has a close relationship with the Sahasrara chaka. It is situated in the center of the brain and its main function is to make neuro-hormones which affect both the brain and the body. The pineal works together with the pituitary through the hypothalamus controlling the endocrine system (Beshara, 2013). Rene Descartes says that the point of causal interaction is the pineal gland, which is between the two hemispheres of the brain: ” a certain very small gland situated in the middle of the brain’s substance and above the passage through which the spirits in the brain’s anterior cavities communicate with those in the posterior cavities” (Descartes &Voss, 1989).