The Etymology of Chakra
According to Yoga Shastra, practicing 7 chakras meditation is a failsafe way to bring mental steadiness. When the chakras are balanced, energy can freely flow throughout the entire body, as taught by Yoga. When your chakras are unbalanced, you generate energy from the inside but cannot connect your mind, body, and soul. Chakra Meditation on the seven-segment chakra cycle is a path to enlightenment. Going through this 7 segment cycle is the first step into a more spiritual existence. Performing a chakra meditation regularly can give the benefits of chakra healing to strengthen the connection between your mind and body and foster more autonomous energy flow. Awakening your horoscope through the chakra meditation cycle unites your mind, body, and soul to propel you towards enlightenment.
The Yoga Upanishads are historic Sanskrit writings that outline many Hinduism doctrines and practices. “Chakra,'' in Sanskrit meaning "wheel," refers to the spinning energy center in the body. The chakra system originated in India between 1500 and 500 BC in the oldest text called the Vedas. Evidence of chakras, spelled cakra, is also found in the Shri Jabala Darshana Upanishad, the Cudamini Upanishad, the Yoga-Shikha Upanishad and the Shandilya Upanishad. Even Rig Veda, the oldest Veda, mentions a reference to Kundalini Shakti and a precursor to the terminology associated with the chakras in the later tantric traditions.
Chakras were a part of early Buddhist belief systems too, but there were some changes, such as including only five bodily centers. Early Sanskrit texts discussing chakras refer to them as objective meditational visualizations and genuine bodily places.
Understanding Chakra Meditation for the Seven Chakras
Chakras refer to the focal points in the body where the universal life force (Vishwaprana) flows. It is traditionally believed that bodies would go dormant and eventually dissolve if they didn't receive that steady supply of positivity and energy. Chakras are not only portals through which cosmic life power can enter and leave the body but they also act as stores for it and function as focal points from which this energy can be intelligently channeled. The goal of many traditional yoga practices is to alter the way that energy flows through the chakras. They include asanas, poses, breathing techniques, imagery exercises, and mantras.
Chakras are imagined as energy centers throughout the body that resemble spinning discs or multicolored Lotus flowers. There are hundreds of these energy centers in the human body, but seven are essential for self-healing and spiritual development. Each chakra center is connected to different aspects of our being (emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental) and thus must be learned or understood to heal and grow.
The chakra meditation cycle, which is also known by the name of Sapta Chakra in the human body, is as follows:
1. The Muladhara Chakra is located at the base of the spine.
2. The Swadhisthana Chakra is located three fingers below the navel.
3. The Manipura Chakra is located in the upper abdomen.
4. The Anahata Chakra is located in the chest center where the heart is.
5. The Vishuddha Chakra is located in the hollow of the throat.
6. The Ajna Chakra is located at the point between the eyebrows–the "third eye".
7. The Brahmarandhra Chakra is located at the crown of the head.
Other disciplines within the Yogic Universe, like Taoism, Buddhism, and Nath Yogi, take into account 10, 5, 9 energy centers running through our body, some even follow 12 chakras. However, the 7 chakra concept is the most widely accepted.
The Nature and Function of the Seven Chakras
1. Root (Muladhara) Chakra - Concerned with the body's purely physical identity, structure, and grounding. As a result, its energies facilitate healing, correcting, and empowering the body's cells and organs. Positive points of this chakra manifest as insight and independence from all material phenomena; negative energies manifest as total material perceptions and impulses towards attachment to material things, disbelief in anything higher than matter, joint pains and arthritis.
2. Sacral (Swadhishthana) Chakra - The Swadhishthana chakra deals with sexual/amorous impulses, pleasure, and emotions related to the nervous system. It encompasses every aspect of an individual's narcissistic, selfish, and egotistical facets. The purification of this chakra helps correct our physical and emotional aspects. This chakra’s cleansing helps address abnormalities in our lymph and blood. When this chakra is open, one experiences sentiments of kindness, compassion, generosity, and even selflessness. However, when it is blocked, one experiences feelings of anger, resentment, hatred, jealousy, envy, and, most of all, lust.
3. Solar Plexus (Manipura) Chakra - The Manipura chakra governs the body's metabolic, assimilative and digestive abilities. It is also connected to wants, particularly the need to possess, command, and accumulate. The positive influences of this chakra are manifested in self-control, focus, self-esteem and determination, while the bad elements are seen in greed, possessiveness, negative ambition, and preoccupation with material risks.
4. Heart (Anahata) Chakra - Anahata Chakra oversees the metabolic processes and the regulation of the cardio-pulmonary system. Its focus lies on emotions, albeit more advanced forms of compassion, benevolence and affection. (It is, however, lower in the levels, so its influence on true spiritual movement is limited) But, it governs the faculty of sight and basic perception and the lesser intuition that comes with it. Located in the middle of the chest, the thymus gland plays a vital role in the body's immune and circulatory systems. The positive qualities associated with this chakra include acts of kindness, generosity, and selflessness performed for the benefit of others. In contrast, bad qualities include a desire to exert power over others and exploit them for gain.
5. Throat (Vishuddhi) Chakra - The Vishuddhi chakra governs speech, expression, insight, intellect, and power. Also, it influences the thyroid. It has a significant impact on your will and a higher degree of intuition comes under its purview as well. Positive energies of this chakra manifest as wise, uplifting, and healing speech, words that can manifest what is being spoken; negative energies manifest as foolish, meaningless words, lies, manipulative, negative, and harmful speech and insecurity.
6. Third eye (Ajna) Chakra - Also known as the “Third-eye”, Ajna Chakra focuses on purity, critical thinking and consciousness. The Ajna chakra oversees and participates in all lower chakra activities. It focuses on the intuitive and purposive aspects of spirituality. Clear intuition, spiritual perceptions, and spiritual willpower are the positive manifestations of this chakra's energies, whereas chaotic or negative psychic experiences and arbitrary, capricious, and destructive uses of willpower are its negative manifestations.
7. Crown (Sahasrara) Chakra - The energy of pure consciousness resides in the Crown Chakra. It's the body's most subtle energy core. This chakra's rays spread out in all directions, uniting the soul with the divine ONE spirit. Our awareness is concentrated in the seventh chakra as an individual expression of cosmic energy. Our finite spirit and the Infinite Spirit, from which we derive our existence, are the only two impacts on the energies flowing through the Sushumna crown chakra. It can only be reached and empowered by the Kundalini to establish the precedence of these holy powers over the lower levels of our existence.
Unlike the physical entrances in the body, the seven chakras are the spiritual gateways of the body mentioned in ancient texts (see Bhagavad Gita 5:13). The seven chakras are significant factors in the subtle energy system of a human being, the ruling power centers. However, there are many minor chakras throughout the visible and subtle bodies of each of us.
What are the Seven Chakra Mantras / 7 Beeja Mantras?
Chakra meditation through mantra intonation has the power to intensify and purify the energy flowing through each Chakra by increasing or decreasing the rate of that energy associated with the mantra. There is a one-syllable beeja (seed) mantra associated with each of the seven chakra energy centers in the body, which releases its dormant energy and potential.
To get the most out of these Beeja mantras it is best to do so while focusing on that chakra's location along the spine. By focusing our attention on a particular part of the body and repeating a Beeja Mantra in our Chakra meditation, we can move and harmonize the flow of energy within us, resulting in a sense of belonging, radiance, joy and help achieve chakra balance.
See the following table for the seven chakras mantras or the 7 Beeja mantras:
How to Facilitate Chakra Balance with Chakra Meditation?
Your chakras may be out of harmony if they are either underactive with blocked or restricted energy flow or hyperactive with too free-flowing energy. This lack of equilibrium can impact the area of life it controls, leading to physical and mental health problems. For instance, feeling shy or lonely could result from a weak heart chakra. Yet, an overactive heart chakra can lead to harsh judgment or unrealistic expectations of other people. These are but a few of the outcomes it may have.
Not only may an imbalanced chakra affect your emotions, but also nearby body parts and their functions. No evidence supports this, but many people think chronic chakra imbalance can cause disease and a decline in mental well-being. Chakra Balance is an' ideal state'. Think of your spine's chakras as wheels. They ought all be whirling simultaneously. Energy cannot move up from one wheel to the next if it is spinning too slowly, too quickly, or not at all. The chance of both physical and mental sickness is decreased by maintaining this flow in balance. Imbalance is linked to experiencing bodily discomfort, having health problems, and having unfavorable feelings like anxiety.
Like physical illness, mental illness can also cause the chakras to get out of balance.
Here is a quick Awakening of Chakras meditation by Saqib Razvi that can help you activate your 7 chakras.
It's crucial to achieve alignment in both your physical and mental states to maintain chakra balance. You can accomplish this alignment and gain the 7 chakra meditation benefits with regular chakra meditation practice. Chakras that correspond to yoga poses can be opened and balanced as well.
Guided chakra meditations can help you align your thoughts. For instance, you can meditate while repeating affirmations for your heart chakra to prepare yourself to receive love. If you want to channel your energy and relieve tension, you could try a Kundalini or chakra meditation.
If you are still wondering where to begin, Idanim offers guided chakra meditations curated and instructed by our globally renowned teachers.