We understand our physical framework, i.e. our body, as an energy body but not just muscle and bone. Situated with the body is a complex network through which the energy flows. This network consists of channels called nerves, which distribute vital energy to each and every part of the body.
Within this network, there are some major centres called energy centres or chakras which help in the distribution of energy. For example, the solar plexus is the energy centre which is called ‘Manipura Chakra’. This chakra helps in distributing energy to the organs around the area of its influence, i.e. liver, pancreas, stomach etc. Hence Manipura chakra helps in burning of food. Kidneys and the adrenal gland are also associated with this chakra. If this centre is unable to distribute energy properly, the person may show malfunction of the digestive system, i.e. indigestion. In fact, all the chakras are connected to particular organs and responsible for their respective functions.
Each chakra is connected to several organs and also to other chakras, and all the chakras are connected to the brain. The brain acts as the main power-station of the whole energy system. The chakras are active all the time though we are not conscious of them. The chakras draw the cosmic energy from the universe and the organs draw energy from their respective chakras.
Chakras depict the lotus. Each chakra is like a lotus with a fixed number of petals. If the chakra is in a healthy condition, it will be like a lotus in full bloom. The Crown chakra is opened towards the sky for the intake of the cosmic energy. It connects us to the universe by a ‘spiritual chord’. The Mooladhara chakra is opened towards the earth connecting the body to the earth. It acts like an earthing.
The chakras exist on each layer of our ‘AURA’ also. These chakras appear on both the frontside and backside of the body. The energy is taken by each chakra and is sent to the parts of the body located in the major nerve plexus area close to each chakra. This energy helps in the healthy functioning of the ‘Auric’ field and the physical body. This energy is called ‘PRANA’. If a chakra stops functioning properly, it will not be able to take energy properly. This means that the body organs served by that chakra will not get the required energy. If this continues, normal functioning of the organs and other body parts attached to that chakra will be disrupted. Hence, that part of the body will weaken and become diseased.
Several Upanishads have depicted the number of chakras as 212, 189, 144, 108,24 and 7 (in fact only six major chakras). There are five types of chakras, namely Major, Minor, Macro, Mini and Micro. The significance of the number mentioned above can be explained as follows: The reason why the ‘Gayatri Mantra’ (hailed as the ‘Maha Mantra’) is so popular, is that it contains 24 bijaksharas, which on chanting will activate the major and minor chakras. The reason why people of all religions chant a hymn or a mantra with the help of a chain of 108 beads is to activate all the five types of chakras that exist in a human body both at the physical and Auric levels. I would like to concentrate only on the seven major chakras.
Each chakra is like a funnel both to the frontside and backside of the body. Each funnel has its water opening on the outside of our body about six inches in diameter, one inch from the body. The other end of the chakras is like a tip attached to the spine.
The first major chakra, ‘Mooladhara’, is located at the tip of the spinal cord opening towards the earth. It is related to our will to live and supplies the body with physical vitality. It supplies energy to the spinal cord, the adrenal gland, and the kidneys.
The second chakra, ‘Swadhisthana’ , is located just above the pubic bone on the front and back side of the body. This chakra helps us to sense emotions. It is related to our sensuality and sexuality. It supplies energy to our sex organs and immune system.
The third chakra, ‘Manipura’, is located in the solar plexus area on the front and back side of the body (at the junction between the last thoracic vertebra and the first lumber vertebra). It supplies energy to the organs in this area like stomach, spleen, liver, gall bladder and pancreas.
The fourth chakra, ‘Anahata’, is located in the heart area. It supplies energy to our heart, circulatory system, thymus and upper back. It is the chakra which is related to love and will. It is this centre through which we express our unconditional love to fellow beings. It is a very important chakra in the healing process. All energy that we get and send to others goes through heart chakra into our hands.
The fifth chakra,’ Vishuddha’ , is located in the front and backside of the throat, supplying energy to the thyroid, bronchi, lungs and the elementary canal. If this chakra is opened, one is successful in his communication skills which help a person in his daily life and work-place.
The sixth chakra, ‘Ajna’, is located on the forehead and back of the head, supplying energy to the pituitary gland, lower brain, left eye, ears, nose etc. It is associated with the capacity to visualize and also develop intuition and clairvoyance.
The seventh chakra, ‘Sahasra’, is directly related to the spirituality, a state which is beyond the physical world. It is the state of experience of directly knowing one’s own inner self. It supplies energy to the upper brain, right eye, etc. We are connected to the universe with the help of this chakra through a spiritual chord.
It is important to open the chakras and increase our energy flow because the more energy we let flow, the healthier we are. The imbalance in the energy causes illness. Our sense organs and the senses are also associated with our chakras.