Energy centres in the human body


06-July-2012

The concept of chakra originated in Hindu texts and features in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning". The chakras are believed to be a number of wheel-like vortices which, according to traditional Indian medicine, exist in the surface of the subtle body of living beings. The chakras are said to be "force centres" or whorls of energy permeating, from a point on the physical body, the layers of the subtle bodies in an ever-increasing fan-shaped formation. Rotating vortices of subtle matter, they are considered focal points for the reception and transmission of energies. Different belief systems consider a varying number of chakras; the best-known system has seven chakras.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia “the author Gary Osborn, for instance, has described the chakras as metaphysical counterparts to the endocrine glands, while Anodea Judith noted a marked similarity between the positions of the two and the roles described for each.

Stephen Sturgess also links the lower six chakras to specific nerve plexuses along the spinal cord as well as glands. C.W. Leadbeater associated the Ajna chakra with the pineal gland, which is a part of the endocrine system. Edgar Cayce said that the seven churches of the Book of Revelation are endocrine glands.”

It is typical for chakras to be depicted as either flower-like or wheel-like. In the former case, "petals" are shown around the perimeter of a circle. In the latter, spokes divide the circle into segments making the chakra resemble a wheel (or chakra). Each chakra possesses a specific number of segments or petals. Texts describing the chakras go back as far as the later Upanishads for example the Yoga Kundalini Upanishad an important Hindu scripture.

Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda describes a chakra as: a powerhouse in the way it generates and stores energy, with the energy from cosmos pulled in more strongly at these points situated along spinal cord and form strong energy centres known as chakras. In the human body there are three types of energy centres. The lower or animal chakras are located in the region between the toes and the pelvic region indicating our evolutionary origins in the animal kingdom. The human chakras lie along the spinal column. Finally, the higher or divine chakras are found between the top of the spine and the crown of the head.

Anodea Judith (1996) provides a modern interpretation of the chakras: A chakra is believed to be a centre of activity that receives, assimilates and expresses life force energy. The word chakra literally translates as ‘wheel’ or ‘disk’ and refers to a spinning sphere of bio energetic activity emanating from the major nerve ganglia branching forward from the spinal column.
Generally, six of these wheels are described, stacked in a column of energy that spans from the base of the spine to the middle of the forehead, the seventh lying beyond the physical world. It is the six major chakras that correlate with basic states of consciousness.

Susan Shumsky (2003) states a similar idea: Each chakra in the spinal column is believed to influence or even govern bodily functions near its region of the spine. Because autopsies do not reveal chakras, most people think they are a fancy of fertile imagination. Yet their existence is well documented in the traditions of the Far East. Chakras are described as energy centres along the spine located at major branching of the human nervous system, beginning at the base of the spinal column and moving upward to the top of the skull, through which, believers assert, pass major energy channels. Chakras are considered to be a point or nexus of biophysical energy or prana of the human body. Shumsky asserts that "prana is the basic component of your subtle body, your energy field, and the entire chakra system...the key to life and source of energy in the universe."
The seven primary chakras are commonly described as follows:

• Crown Chakra (top of the head; 'soft spot' of a newborn).
• Thai Brow or Third Eye Chakra (pineal gland or third eye)
• Throat Chakra (throat and neck area)
• Heart Chakra (heart area)
• Solar Plexus Chakra (navel area)
• Sacral Chakra (ovaries/prostate)
• Base or Root Chakra (last bone in spinal cord, the coccyx)
 
In addition, there are small chakras all over the body. The animals have eight major chakras in comparison to human beings (7). The Tibetan tantric tradition has the Fire Wheel between the heart and the throat, the Wind Wheel on the forehead, and below the navel they have three chakras; the Secret Place Wheel is located four fingers below the navel, the Jewel Wheel is located on the sexual organ, and the very tip of the sexual organ is the very last chakra, where the central channel ends. Other traditions, such as the Bihar school of yoga, add Bindu chakra, which exists at the back of the head, and is where the divine nectar or Amrit is stored, place Lalata chakra in the roof of the mouth, and place Hrit chakra below the heart.

Keeping these energy centres balanced means the body and mind are in equilibrium and perform efficiently and the person enjoys the good health and healthy mind with top quality of life.

Through yoga one can balance any or all these chakras by following certain exercises. These chakras or the energy centres run from top to bottom and have same sequence of colours as in white light i.e. red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. It is also believed that the stones of the same colour have beneficial effect on the particular energy centre and balancing can be achieved through the use of the coloured stones like ruby, sapphire, and garnet etc. to a large extent as well. All these energy centres are vibrating and transmitting the vibrations with particular frequency. The top most energy centre Crown Chakra vibrates fastest and the bottom most Root Chakra the slowest. If any of the energy centres is not balanced it affects the functioning of that particular region. For example the third Eye Chakra gives us strong will and intuition power and the sixth sense. One can easily foresee and anticipate the coming events in realistic manner. The Chinese tradition of acua puncture or acua pressure and ki is also based on the principles of these energy centres and helps balance these energy centres, but in order to keep these centres balanced regular yoga exercises together with praneyaam and meditation is essential.

For free demonstration of “significance of yoga in human life” Jeo Jyoti Foundation of India (JJ INDIA) can be contacted on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and seven days yoga sessions can also be organised. After the completion of the session the participants are expected to practice yoga independently without any assistance or help. 

Contributed by Surya Khanna
Jeo Jyoti Foundation of India (JJ INDIA)

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