Psychic Energy Circles (Chakra) & Chakra Dharna
Researchers have theorized the chakra system with modern science. In Hinduism, chakras find mention in the later Upanishads, including specifically the Brahma Upanishad and the Yogatattva Upanishad. Chakras are used to denote the energy centers in the spinal region of the body and the mystic diagrams (yantras) which are also used in ritual worship. It is believed that the chakras vitalize the physical body and influence the physical, emotional and mental movements of the mind and body. They are considered to be the loci of life-energy (known as prana, shakti or chi), which also flow through them along the pathways called nadis. The main function of the chakras is to draw in the prana by spinning around their own axes and hold it in their respective spheres to maintain and balance the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of the mind and body.
Loizzo, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York has linked the chakras with central nervous system (CNS): the crown chakra with the neocortex, the third eye with the prefrontal cortex, the throat chakra with the limbic system, the heart chakra with the midbrain, the solar plexus with the pons, the sacral and root chakras with the medulla oblongata. Anodea Judith, New York relates Maslow’s need theory with the chakras, physiological need with the root chakra, safety with the sacral chakra, belongingness with the solar plexus, self-esteem with the heart chakra, self-actualization with the throat chakra, and transcendence with the third eye and crown chakras.
Acupuncture system of healing is actually based on the control and manipulation of the chakras. The practice includes about seven hundred chakras located throughout the entire body. These chakra points are stimulated by needles on specific areas of the skin surface. This physical stimulation induces changes in the more subtle chakras, which in turn bring about positive changes in the state of health of specific internal organs.
What are Chakras:
The word “chakra” means “wheel” in Sanskrit. Chakras or psychic (also called pranic or life) energy centres are certain masses of nerve ganglia on the interior walls of the spinal column. The chakras are whirlpools of pranic energy along the spine which controls circulation of prana. Chakras are visualized as lotuses, with a different number of petals and colours in every chakra. The physical base of a chakra would be a hub in typically dormant or subordinate electrical circuitry that becomes accessible to conscious control, providing the potential for subtle influence over the activities of the central & autonomous nervous system and endocrine system.
Biologically, in human nervous system, the spinal cord, at the brain, ends in a sort of bulb, in the medulla, which is not attached to the brain, but floats in a fluid in the brain, so that if there be a blow on the head the force of that blow will be dissipated in the fluid, and will not hurt the bulb. At the lower end of the hollow canal is what the Yogis call the "Lotus of the Kundalini", in triangular in form in which, in the symbolical language of the Yogis, there is a power called the Kundalini, coiled up.
These chakras are charged and awakened by yogic practices involving mantras, breathing, asanas (postures) and meditation. By focusing on chakras, psychic powers may be developed. A chakra can become blocked, which slows the energy wheel, or it can become overactive which causes the energy to flow too fast.
Types of Chakras:
In each person, there are myriad of chakras. These chakras are both real and symbolic. There are seven principal chakras: Muladhara, Swadhistana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddhi, Ajna and Sahasrara. The fifty letters of the albhabet in the classical language are distributed amongst these seven centres, and correspond to the sound vibrations associated with these chakras. The fifty first is that of the primal sound (Om, the pranava mantra). Lower chakras:
There are also lower chakras, below mooladhara – atala, vitala, sutala, talatala, rasatala, mahatala and patala. These chakras relate to less developed forms of life in the animal and insect kingdoms, in plant life and in inanimate objects such as rocks and minerals. All lack self-awareness, even the potential. But in human being this potential exists.
Attributes of the chakras:
Each chakra is a switch which turns on specific levels of the awareness in mind. The awakening of each chakra is inseparably related to both prana and consciousness. The Mooladhara and Swadhisthana chakras are considered to be pre-dominantly instinctive, with little awareness and discrimination. The higher chakras represent higher levels in the range of understanding, harmony, bliss, identification and knowledge. Ajna chakra is associated with more intuitive realms. The opening of the chakras is indeed full of wonders.
Location – directly behind the eyebrows centre; Shape - white two-winged globe; Patel in Lotus – two; Guna – Sattva; Tattva – nil; Kosha – Manomaya; Bija Mantra – Om; Loka – Tapah (abode of enlightened siddhas or perfect beings).
In the human organism, the Potential energy lies locked in central nervous system. This potential or dormant energy is called Kundalini and is symbolized by a snake coiled three and a half times. The coil of three represents the three states of energy (positive, negative and neutral), while the half coil represents kundalini as always on the verge of changing from static to kinetic manifestation. Kundalini lies at the root of the spinal column.
Chakra Dharna (concentration)
Chakra dharna is meditating on the seven chakras & Kundalini with unwavering mind. The practising person should sit in meditative asana, bring awareness on the location of the chakra (starting from muladhara to upward), rhythmically contract the muscles of the region and silently chanting the bija mantras. The person should do the chakra dharna according to the instructions of the realised spiritual teacher. With the awakening of the chakras come many pleasant and sometimes fantastic experiences.
The process of awakening of chakras should be slow so that there is gradual adjustment between one’s inner realization and the relationships with the outer world. On awakening, kundalini ascends Sushumna, awakening various chakras (vital centres) situated on the way and finally uniting with the top centre, Sahasrara which represent the union of Shiva and Shakti. This union may develop eight siddhis (Anima – power to be small; Mahima – power to expand; Karima – power to be heavy; Laghima – power to be light; Prapti – power to know past, present & future and to reach everywhere; Prahamiyam – power to achieve all one’s desire; Esathuvam – power over animate & inanimate objects; Vasithuvam – power of command over all by thought or word.)