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Sahasrara (crown) Chakra

Location: Crown of the head
Definition: Sahasrara means "one thousand"


Sahasrara is visualised as a shining lotus of one thousand petals. It is in Sahasrara that the mystical union of Siva (divine consciousness) and Shakti (divine energy) takes place. The individual soul merges with the supreme soul. When matter and energy merge into pure consciousness- a state of pure intoxicating bliss is experienced and it is this experience that lies in the awakening of the sahasrara chakra.

 

Ajna (third eye) Chakra

Location: In the midbrain behind the eyebrow centre, at the top of the spine.
Definition: "Ajna" means "command". Once it is awakened, the aspirant receives commands and guidance from the guru, divine, or higher self through this chakra

Ajna is depicted as an Indigo lotus with two petals which represent the sun and the moon. The sun represents Pingala (the positive force), the moon represents Ida (the negative force). These two flows which are responsible for the experience of duality, converge at this centre with Sushumna (the spiritual force). In the centre is the mantra Aum and the element of this chakra is the mind (manas). When Ajna is awakened, the mind becomes steady and strong. Stimulation of Ajna chakra develops such faculties as intelligence, memory, concentration, and intuition.

To concentrate on Ajna focus on the eyebrow centre and visualize a tiny point of light or an Aum symbol and let the thoughts dwell on the inner guru.

Vishuddhi (throat) Chakra 

Location: At the back of the neck behind the throat pit.
Definition: "Vishuddh" means "purification".

This chakra is symbolised by a blue or violet lotus with sixteen petals. In the centre is a white circle representing "Akasha Tattwa" - the element of ether. At this level, right understanding and discrimination develop as well as an enhanced clarity of communication and thought. Here the dualities of life are accepted allowing one to flow with life and let things happen as they will without distinguishing between good and bad.

For concentration on this centre, visualize a glowing turquoise light at the throat pit which awakens and enhances all these qualities.

Anahata (heart) Chakra

Location: In the spine behind the sternum, level with the heart
Definition: "Anahata" means "unstruck" referring to the eternal and endless vibration, the pulse of the Universe, which manifests from the heart centre. 

This chakra is symbolised by a green or pink lotus with twelve petals. The two interlacing triangles represent the air element (Vayu Tattwa). Anahata is the centre of unconditional love, alertness, and compassion. At this level, feelings of universal brotherhood and tolerance begin to develop and all beings are accepted and loved for what they are.

For meditation on Anahata, visualize a green/pink lotus with a tiny bright flame burning at its centre. This flame is steady and unflickering as if in a windless place. The flame is the symbol of the "Jivatma",the individual soul, the indwelling spirit of all beings which is undisturbed by the winds of the world.

Manipura (solar plexus) Chakra

Location: In the spine, behind the navel.
Definition: "Mani" means jewels and "Pura" means city. Therefore "Manipura" means "City of Jewels" as it is like a lustrous jewel radiant with vitality and energy.

This chakra is depicted as a bright yellow lotus with ten petals. Within the lotus is a red triangle symbolising the element of fire (Agni Tattwa). Manipura is the centre of self-assertion, dynamism, and dominance. Those who suffer from depression and sluggishness, or malfunctions of the digestive system (eg diabetes; constipation) should focus on this area.

For concentration on this centre, visualize the blazing sun or a ball of fire. Experience energy in the form of light radiating from this region and permeating the whole body.

Swadhistan chakra

Mooladhara (root) Chakra

Location: Situated in the perineum in the male body, and the cervix in the female body.
Definition: "Mool" means root and "adhara" means place. Therefore it is known as the root centre and is the lowest of the chakras.

This chakra is depicted by a deep red lotus with four petals. In the centre is a bright yellow square symbolising the earth element. In the centre of the square a red downwards facing triangle represents "shakti" or creative energy. Mooladhara chakra is the dwelling place of the primal kundalini energy. This energy (represented by a sleeping serpent) is the source of all energy in mankind, be it sexual, emotional, spiritual, mental, physical etc. The aim of all yoga practice is to awaken the dormant kundalini so that it may rise up through the spinal column awakening all the chakras, and finally merge with sahasrara (crown chakra) so that pure energy (shakti) can unite with pure consciousness (siva).

Lotus Flower

The lotus symbolises the 3 stages the aspirant must pass through in spiritual life:

Ignorance: represented by the mud and murky waters from which the lotus grows. 

Aspiration: represented by the thin and vulnerable lotus stem. The path of the aspirant is often arduous, but perseverance will have its rewards. 

Illumination: represented by the flowering and unfurling of the lotus petals. The culmination of all one’s practice and devotion.

Aum

The Universe exists as particles of energy which are vibrating. The sound of this vibration is AUM. Chanting AUM connects us with this vibration - the vibrational energy of creation.

In the written sign of “Om” the central shape represents the 3 gunas (qualities) – the upper curve being tamas (inertia), the larger lower curve being rajas (activity) and the right tail being sattwa (illumination).  The crescent shape above the sign represents bindu - the cradle of consciousness and the dot is the individual soul, infinity.


Bodhi Tree

After six years of practicing severe austerities, the Buddha realized that he would not be able to achieve enlightenment in this way and abandoned his practices. A girl from a nearby village noticed his decrepit state and gave him some milk pudding to eat. Fortified, he resolved to sit under a nearby tree and not move until he had attained enlightenment. The tree under which Buddha became illumined is called the Bodhi Tree.

Bhuddha Eyes

The all-seeing eyes of buddha help to remind us to have compassion towards all living creatures and to exercise vigilance on our spiritual paths.

   
   
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