There are many chakras in the body, vortices of pranic and psychic energy. The chakras are also physiological centers. The chakras are associated with major nerve junctions or plexuses and also all the endocrine glands of the immune system.
Where are the main chakras located?
The principal chakras are located within the interior walls of the spinal column. Acting like junctions, tracts of nerve fibers emanate from the chakra locations. These nerve fibers are responsible for communication for different physiological functions and locations.
These nerves correspond to the nadis. Nadi means “flow”. Nadis are the channels for the flow of consciousness within the human body.
Each chakra is just like an electricity pole, running electricity through wires to different locations within. The nadis emerging from each chakra carry prana in both directions — just like an alternating current.
The Chakras also step down the level of intensity of prana, life-force energy, that comes into the body via the breath, and distributes the prana to all the internal organs so they can function.
Each chakra is connected to a different area of the brain, acting as a switch to each part of the brain.
CS: Sahasrara: The Crown Chakra
Beyond the beyond, unlimited in magnitude and significance, contains all the other chakras. Located at the crown of the head, it is associated with the pituitary gland, the master gland controlling every gland and system of the body.
CB: Bindu: Source of Creation
Bindu is a point at the top back of the head. It is the origin for the whole visual, nasal, auditory and tasting systems. Bindu, a dimensionless center, is the point where the evolutionary potential of the universe is contained. Bindu is the seat of nectar—amrit—which falls to Vishuddhi permeating the whole physiological system.
C6: Ajna: The Command Center, Eye of Intuition
Ajna, the sixth chakra, is located in the brain directly behind the eyebrow center, at the top of the spinal cord in the area of the medulla oblongata. Associated with the pineal gland, ajna controls the onset of sexual activity. It also controls all muscles in the body. Duality ceases to exist at ajna and it is essentially the chakra of the mind, representing a higher level of awareness.
C5: Vishuddhi: The Center of Purification
Vishuddhi, the fifth chakra, is situated in the cervical plexus, directly behind the throat pit, and is related to the element of ether. This center represents a state of openness. Vishuddhi prevents toxins circulating through the body and controls the thyroid complex, upper palate, epiglottis and some articulation systems. The tanmatra (the sense activity) is hearing, the gyandriya (sensory organ) is the ears and the karmendriya (organ of action) is the vocal chords.
C4: Anahata: The Unstruck Vibration of Eternal Nada or Inner Sound
Anahata, the fourth chakra, is situated in the spinal column on the inner wall directly behind the center of the chest. It is related to the cardiac plexus of nerves. Anahata contains the air element and is directly connected to that part of the brain responsible for all creative sciences and fine arts. It is the root of all emotions. This chakra controls the functions of the heart, lungs and diaphragm. The tanmatra is touch, the gyandriya is the skin and the karmendriya is the hands.
C3: Manipura: The City of Jewels
Manipura, the third chakra, is situated in the spinal column on the inner wall directly behind the navel and is related to the solar plexus. Manipura containing the fire element is the center of vitality and dynamism like the dazzling power and heat of the sun. From this point pranic energy is distributed through the entire human framework. Manipura controls the processes of digestion, assimilation and temperature regulation in the body. The tanmatra is sight, the gyandriya is the eyes and the karmendriya is the feet.
C2: Swadhisthana: One’s Own Abode
Swadhistana, the second chakra, is located at the base of the spinal column at the level of the sacral plexus, two fingers above Mooladhara. Swadhistana, closely linked with Mooladhara, corresponds to the reproductive and urinary systems. This chakra is related to the water element and the unconscious mind with its storehouse of mental impressions. The tanmatra is taste, the gyandriya is the tongue and the karmendriya is the sex organs, kidneys and urinary system.
C1: Mooladhara: The Root Center
Mooladhara, the first chakra, is located is located in the pelvic floor and corresponds to the coccygeal plexus of nerves. It is the direct switch for awakening ajna chakra. In tantra it is the seat of kundalini shakti. This chakra is related to the earth element, and controls the entire range of excretory and sexual functions. The tanmatra is smell, the gyandriya is the nose and the karmendriya is the anus.
Awakening the Chakras
In most people these psychic centers are dormant, inactive and so human potential is totally underutilized. The majority of the brain is dormant — untapped faculties being disconnected to conscious processes.
Through systematic guided practices one can energize and awaken each chakra, connect to these silent areas and awaken them. This eventually leads to the continuous experience of higher consciousness and full expression of our human capacity.
The chakras are depicted symbolically as lotus flowers. Each chakra has a specific number of petals that correspond to the nadis and major nerve fibers at that location within the spine.
The lotus is an archetypal symbol of the unfolding of self and expansion of consciousness. It symbolizes the journey from the lowest states of awareness to the highest. This is the human journey that passes through the phases of ignorance, aspiration and endeavour, illumination and ultimately enlightenment, in spiritual life.
The lotus also exists on three different levels. Sprouting in the mud (ignorance); growing up through the water in an effort to reach the surface (endeavour and aspiration); and eventually reaching the air and sunlight (illumination and enlightenment.)
Including an All Chakra banner, Individual Chakra Art
* The Chakras, A Tantric Perspective ebook: Includes six color plates of each Chakra, and color plate of bindu and sahasrara with a simple explanation of location and influence.