Tantra - Into the Vortex
by Santosh Sachdeva
Chakras are very subtle and high-powered vortices of energy, which receive the cosmic prana and act as transformers to reduce the voltage, so that it can be used by the different organs and parts of the body. As well as providing the prana for specific areas and functions of the body, they can also be used as trigger-points for awakening the higher faculties and dimensions of consciousness,” says Swami Niranjan-ananda Saraswati in Prana Pranayama Prana Vidya.
Chakras are located in the etheric body. The etheric body is a transmitter and receiver of telepathic impulses of an intuitive, mental or emotional nature; and it provides the channel for the physically focused consciousness to register the subtler worlds. “The etheric body is a body composed entirely of lines of force and of points where these lines of force cross each other and thus form (in crossing) centers of energy,” says Alice Bailey.
The seven major force centres of the etheric body are called chakras. Traditionally they have been depicted in the shape of lotuses at different levels and each level has a certain number of petals of a specific color.
As the chakras are activated and awakened, one becomes aware of the higher realms of existence and consciousness. Given here are some of the illustrations depicting the way I experienced their functioning:
The way I experienced the chakras in my body. I visualized them in the element they represent. Muladhar, with its center in the physical body, at the base of the spine, is located at the perineum. It is symbolized by a serpent, coiled into three-and-a-half circles. Swadhisthan is located in the genital region and I experienced it as water. Manipura is located at the navel and I saw it as fire. Anahata, located in the centre of the chest, I experienced as a soft gold and pink glow. The wings in the visual symbolise the vibrations of the Anahata or the heart chakra. Vishudha is located at the epiglottis in the throat. It is smoky purple. When active, its vibrations gave me the sense of a fluttering of tiny wings. Ajna as the third eye and located between the eyebrows, is indigo in color. Lastly, I experienced the Sahasrara as gold with its vibrations swirling in all directions creating the shape of a dome.
Each chakra has a mantra (word), the sound of which activates it and an element to which it is related. The mantra for Muladhar is ‘lang’, its element is earth and sensory perception is smell. Swadhisthan’s mantra is ‘vang’, its element is water and sensory perception is taste. Mantra for Manipura is ‘rang’. Its element is fire and sensory perception is sight. Anahata’s mantra is ‘yang’, its element is air and the sensory perception is touch. The mantra for Vishudha is ‘hang’, its element is akasha (cosmos) and the sensory perception is sound. The mantra for Ajna is ‘aum’. Here consciousness, super-consciousness and the sub-conscious mind flow together. The mantra for Sahasrara is ‘Aum Satyam Aum’. The flowering of this chakra leads to enlightenment.
My experience of the chakras did not follow the traditional pattern and I visualized them as discs, rings or at times like a pendulum. It is said that if the Kundalini is to travel up to the higher brain centers, Ajna must already be functioning. That would also mean that the person is living a balanced existence without being ruled by intense emotion.
Each of the seven main chakras has its counterpart in the physical body in the form of the vital organs. The efficient functioning of these physical organs depends upon the functioning of the chakras, which are located in the subtle body.
The more congested a chakra, the denser the related organ. Congestion of the chakra is related to the physical, mental and emotional baggage an individual body-mind organism carries throughout its evolution. Therefore, the chakras not only energize the physical body but also affect the individual’s emotional and mental body.
The chakra can change its size, shape and movement according to the situation and its requirement. Its quality and definition would also be determined by the flow of thought. The movement can change from rhythmic to chaotic. It can move like a flipped coin, up and down, like a pendulum of a clock, it can move clockwise or anti-clockwise. The rhythm changes according to the circumstance, situation or mood. Also, a highly sensitive individual who is into the practice would by the movement of his chakra be able to identify who was approaching him—man, woman, bird or beast.
It’s the rhythm and vibration of the chakra that indicates whether the event is related to a person, place or thing. In other words, when a person has a premonition, we say that his sixth sense is working or that he is intuitive. What it means is that the person has become sensitive to vibrations and because of this he is able to sense what is to unfold.
The Ajna chakra in motion is going into different patterns of movement; the crown center is also in motion. This figure shows the colors and movement of a chakra when assimilating the information it received. It starts rotating in a standing position, then twirls like a flipped coin before settling into its natural flat position.
The Anahat chakra is functioning like a coin placed on its edge. It moves in a half rotation in perfect balance. The same chakra that is standing on edge and is going back and forth; drops to a flat position and starts moving like a pendulum from right to left and so forth.
For the Ajna chakra, while sitting in meditation, I became conscious of a strange movement in my forehead. Putting my attention to it, I realized that it was a pendulum, moving back and forth across the forehead. As soon as I focused on it, the movement accelerated, which in turn created the same movement at different levels of the body at the locations of the major chakras. All the chakras at different centers moved at the same speed and in a rhythmic pattern.
During different phases and from time to time the chakras go through their tuning. This probably happens in order to access and assimilate the knowledge that is forthcoming during sadhana. The Sahasrara (crown center) and the chakras at the finger- tips are also active. The outline of the etheric body is also seen.
Vibrations of Chakras
Each chakra has its vibration and depending on the need, it expands to that capacity. There are occasions when the chakras have to work in unison, that is, in the same rhythm and intensity of vibration. The chakras deflect their vibrations. Vibrations emanate from the Ajna chakra in the form of silver dust. The revolving of the crown chakra throws out rays of light and the sparks that fly out look like stars. The vibrations of the crown chakra that give an impression of a bird over the head with a gentle movement of the wings. Vishudha chakra and Swadhisthan chakra operate in unison. The dimension of the vibration depends on the speed and to what extent the chakra is developed. Vibrations of the heart chakra. Manipur chakra’s vibrations resemble the structure of the intestines but as they catch momentum they rotate in the circular motion of a cone, expanding as they rise.
It is always preferable for the chakras to open naturally, as and when they are ready to open, which means, as one moves through life gaining wisdom and knowledge the process of chakra development automatically occurs.
Awakening of chakras should not be misunderstood for mysticism or occultism, because with the awakening of the chakras, our consciousness and our mind undergo changes. These changes have significant relevance for our day to day life. Our consciousness becomes very receptive because the frequency of the mind changes. The higher qualities of love, compassion, charity, mercy, are the expressions of a mind, which is influenced by awakened chakras.
If, however, an aspirant has not attained a balance between the trinity of the physical, mental and emotional bodies, conscious effort to open the chakras such as visualizing them and repeating the beej mantras, may cause one or more of them to open prematurely thus creating an imbalance between the three bodies.
Considering how precariously balanced the human body is, any self-attempt can lead to a permanent damage. Until a proper balance is achieved it is best to stay within the energy of the guru.
What I have written above is my personal experience of the chakras. Needless to say no two aspirants’ experience would be the same. Therefore, the information presented herein is only for guidance to help aspirants understand their experience.
Any aspirant interested in having an in-depth knowledge about each chakra could read Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
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