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Kundalini and Chakras

Kundalini is the sleeping dormant energy in human beings situated at the base of the spinal column. In most of us Kundalini resides as a static or potential energy. However, using various yogic techniques it can be made dynamic or kinetic.

A piece of wood has inherent energy of fire. That means wood already has static energy. If you ignite it this static energy gets converted to another form i.e. it becomes dynamic. Similar thing can be said about water. Water has inherent potential of steam energy. We need to supply required temperature and this transformation happens. In case of Kundalini this transformation is brought by means of various yogic practices.

The word Kundalini literally means “the one who is coiled”. There is another meaning of the word Kundalini that refers to “the one who sleeps in a pit or cavity”.

Awakening Kundalini

In most of us the Kundalini is sleeping at the base of spine in a region called Mooladhara Chakra. Through Yogic techniques the Kundalini is made to ascend through Sushumna nadi piercing all the six chakras. When the Kundalini reaches Sahasrara Samadhi is attained. Thus for practitioner of Kundalini yoga taking the Kundalini in the Sahasrara is the key goal.

It is often believed that Kundalini energy can be used only for spiritual purposes. It is true that spiritual enlightenment is the prime purpose of Kundalini yoga. However, the same energy can be used to achieve balance in every sphere of life. Personal improvement, professional relationships and stress free life to name just a few.

Kundalini is often equated with serpent. However, this is to be understood symbolically. Ascend of the Kundalini can be symbolized in the form of moving serpent. Serpent also sleeps by coiling its body. Hence, Kundalini is symbolized in the form of a serpent. Kundalini is energy. It can’t be seen with naked eyes. Hence for the purpose of visualization this symbolism proves to be useful.

Kundalini and Siddhis

Kundalini is often talked in relation to Siddhis or supernatural powers. In ancient texts it is often mentioned that as chakras start awakening such powers come to the practitioner. I will not go into the debate whether such Siddhis are real or not. I would only say that one should focus on the ultimate goal of self-realization rather than such intermediate experiences. Siddhis might be lucrative but they can’t take you to liberation. In fact they can create obstacles in your spiritual progress.

Chakras

The Sushumna nadi runs through the spinal column. Along the way it has six energy centers often called as Chakras or lotuses. The six chakras are named as Mooladhara, Swadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddhi and Ajna. There is one more important area that lies in the brain. It is called as Sahasrara. Sahasrara is not actually a Chakra by itself but rather the final destination. Let’s see in brief the significance of each of these Chakras.

Mooladhara

It is the first chakra. The word Mooladhara means root or foundation. It is this chakra where Kundalini resides in sleeping state. In males, it is located inside the perineum region whereas in females it is located at the base of uterus. It controls sexual, excretory and urinary functions of human body. In ordinary people this chakra represents ignorance, inertia and animal consciousness. However, for spiritual development it must be activated so that the sleeping Kundalini is awakened. This chakra gets activated by red color. Its Bija mantra is Lam. This chakra is related to earth element. The way earth provides solid foundation to other structures it provides foundation and firmness to all the spiritual practices.

Swadhisthana

It is the second chakra and literally means “home of self”. It is located in the region of tailbone opposite to genital organs. It controls sexual and urinary functions of human body. Swadhisthana represents store house of all experiences and tendencies. All our experiences get recorded here. It gets activated by orange color and its  Bija mantra is Vam. It is associated with water element. The way water shows fluidity and flexibility this chakra helps us to develop fluidity and flexibility needed to cope up with external world. Swadhisthana is related to Apana.

Manipura

It is the third chakra. Manipura refers to “city of jewels”. It is located directly opposite to navel on the spine. It is also called as Surya chakra. It performs important function of digestion and temperature control. It provides energy, will and power to perform all the activities. Bright yellow color activates this chakra. Its Bija mantra is Ram. It is related to Fire element. The way fire provides energy in the form of heat and light it provides energy to the entire body. It is considered as store house of Prana. Manipura chakra is associated with Samana.

Anahata

It is the forth centre and located opposite to the center of the chest. The word Anahata means “un-struck”. This chakra produces un-struck sound. It controls heart and lung operations. It represents love, harmony, creativity and compassion. It gets activated by blue color. Its Bija mantra is Yam. The wind element relates to this chakra. Wind has qualities of freedom, expansion and subtleness. Similarly this chakra frees you from worldly bondage and expands your consciousness. Anahata chakra is associated with Prana.

Vishuddhi

It is the fifth chakra. It is located in throat region. Vishuddhi means “centre of purification”. It controls thyroid operations. It also stimulates secretion of mystical “Bindu” which is supposed to be nourishing and rejuvenating the body. Discrimination and consumption of dualities in life are provided by this chakra. It gets activated by violet color. Its bija mantra is Ham. It corresponds to Space element. The prana and kosha related to Vishuddhi chakra are Udana.

Ajna

It is the sixth chakra. It is extremely important energy center. Ajna means “command”. It is located in the brain opposite to eyebrow center. It controls function of pineal gland. Spiritual commands are received from this center. It is considered as the seat of mind and thus controls all the mind activities. Intuition, will power, control are provided by this center. Here at Ajna chakra all the three nadis (Ida, Pingala and Sushumna) unite and go to the highest center – Sahasrara. It gets activated by white color and its mantra is Om. Vyana.

Sahasrara

Sahasrara is not actually a chakra but the destination of Kundalini. The word sahasrara means “one thousand”. It is located just above the top of the head. The ascend of Kundalini finally stops when it reaches sahasrara. It is believed that sahasrara is the seat of Lord Shiva or the supreme consciousness. The Kundalini or Shakti unites with Shiva and Samadhi is attained. It is colorless and its mantra is Om.

Granthis

In addition to the chakras mentioned above there are three Granthis or knots that must be pierced so that Kundalini can flow through Sushumna easily. These Granthis are – Bramha Granthi, Vishnu Granthi and Rudra Granthi. The Bramha Granthi is located in Mooladhara. Vishu Granthi in Anahata and Rudra Granthi is located in Ajna chakra. These three Granthis hinder the spiritual progress of an aspirant and try to bind him to the material world. The Bramha Granthi binds you to the material pleasure. The Vishnu Granthi binds you with emotional feelings and Rudra Granthi binds you with the desire to subdue and overpower others.

Colors, Petals and Mantras

The Kriya Yoga practices open up the Chakras and Granthis and make Kundalini flow through Sushumna. When the Chakras are opened you start experiencing a new level of consciousness. It is often said that Kundalini "pierces" the chakras and granthis. What you mean by piercing? Certainly it is not a physical activity of piercing any bodily part. Piercing simply means that your level of consciousness goes up or evolves. You break the barrior of limited consciousness and go to a higher state.

As per classic Yogic texts each chakra is described as a "lotus". Each lotus has certain color and number of petals. Each chakra also has a Bija Mantra. Though there are no physical lotuses in our body these lotuses aid in visualization and focusing your awareness. We know that colors influence our mind. For example, colors such as blue and green induce calmness in our mind. Similarly, white color induces feeling of peace. The petals of each chakra actually correspond to the nadis carrying prana in that region. 

Chakra Location

Various chakras (Mooladhara to Sahasrara numbered from 1 to 7 respectively) and their locations are shown below:




Tags : Yoga Shiva Hatha Yoga Mantra Yoga Laya Yoga Raja Yoga Kundalini Chakras Kriya Yoga Natha Shakti Courses
Posted On : 11 Jan 2007

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