Eastern traditions teach that the physical body contains 7 main energy centers called Chakras. Each of these centers holds our universal spiritual life lesson we need to transcend as we evolve into higher consciousness. This means that as we face a life lesson or challenge and we accept and learn this lesson, we heal, transmute and move towards understanding and connecting with Spirit or Universal Consciousness.
The above chart represents the 7 main chakras and the relationship with their respective endocrine gland, body organ/system, mental and emotional experiences. This is not a complete list but a summary of the major factors that can help us balance and heal our chakras and some of the challenges that may come up as well depending on the life lesson being experienced at the moment.
The following are profound insights from Sri Aurobindo on the Chakra System and prana, the vital force giving life to our physical experience. I hope it amplifies your understanding in the importance of the Chakra System and feel empowered to work through your life lessons. Enjoy!
Maria Laura Rainer
Holistic Body Talk, Miami
This mental or psychical body, which the soul keeps even after death, has also a subtle pranic force in it corresponding to its own subtle nature and substance, – for wherever there is life of any kind, there must be the pranic energy and a substance in which it can work, – and this force is directed through a system of numerous channels, called nādī, – the subtle nervous organization of the psychic body, – which are gathered up into seven centers called technically lotuses or circles and which rise in an ascending scale to the summit where there is the thousand-petalled lotus from which all the mental and vital energy flows. Each of these lotuses is the centre and the storing-house of its own particular system of psychological powers, energies and operations, – each system corresponding to a plane of our psychological existence, – and these flow out and return in the stream of the pranic energies as they course through the Nadis.
This arrangement of the psychic body is reproduced in the physical with the spinal column as a rod and the ganglionic centres as the Chakras which rise up from the bottom of the column, where the lowest is attached, to the brain and find their summit in the brahmarandhra at the top of the skull. These Chakras or lotuses, however, are in physical man closed or only partly open, with the consequence that only such powers and only so much of them are active in him as are sufficient for his ordinary physical life, and so much mind and soul only is at play as will accord with its need. This is the real reason, looked at from the mechanical point of view, why the embodied soul seems so dependent on the bodily and nervous life, –though the dependence is neither so complete nor so real as it seems.
The whole energy of the soul is not at play in the physical body and life, the secret powers of mind are not awake in it, the bodily and nervous energies predominate. But all the while the supreme energy is there, asleep; it is said to be coiled up and slumbering like a snake, – therefore it is called the kuņdalinī śakti, – in the lowest of the Chakras, in the mūlādhāra. When by Pranayama the division between the upper and lower Prana currents in the body is dissolved, this Kundalini is struck and awakened, it uncoils itself and begins to rise upward like a fiery serpent breaking open each lotus as it ascends until the Shakti meets the Purusha in the brahmarandhra in a deep Samadhi of union.
[Sri Aurobindo, Synthesis of Yoga, Chapter 28, Raja Yoga]
The navel-centre (nābhi-padma) is the main seat of the centralised vital consciousness (dynamic centre) which ranges from the heart level (emotional) to the centre below the navel (lower vital, sensational desire centre). These three make the domain of the vital being. It is therefore clear that it was your inner vital being which had this experience, and its intensity and vehemence was probably due to the whole vital (or most of it) being awake and sharing in it this time. The experience itself was psychic in its origin, but was given a strong emotional-vital form in its expression. I may add, for completeness, that the centre of the psychic is behind the heart and it is through the purified emotions that the psychic most easily finds an outlet. All from the heart above is connected with the mental-vital and above it is the mind with its three centres. One in the throat (the outward-going or externalising mind), one between the eyes or rather in the middle of the forehead (the centre of vision and will) and one above, communicating with the brain, which is called the thousand-petalled lotus, and where are centralised the highest thought and intelligence, communicating with the greater mind planes (illumined mind, intuition, overmind) above.
[Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, Experiences of the Inner and the Cosmic Consciousness]
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