In an earlier article, 7 Chakras, 7 Sacred Directions – part 1, I discussed the meaning of the word ‘chakra’ and its origins. The word ‘Yoga’ also has Sanskrit roots. ‘Yuj’ which means to join and in its most spiritual sense, yoga attempts to facilitate the process through which a yogi can identify the Jivatma and Paramatma. Through proper practice of yoga the human soul is said to be brought into conscious communion with God. Yoga is designed to inhibit the distractions or ‘monkey mind’ and this leads to knowledge of the universal spirit in its true nature. This is achieved through Abhyasa and Vairagya or Yoga Sutras.
One type of yoga is Kundalini. According to the Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association for Australia and New Zealand, “Kundalini Yoga is a transformational practice which uses mantra, mudra, dynamic posture, breath and meditation to relax and heal you physically, mentally and spiritually so that you may live a life of health, peace and harmony”.
The New Age Spirituality Dictionary extract on the Global Oneness website defines ‘Kundalini’ as: “A coiled female serpent. The elemental, creative force of the astral body which, like a serpent, rests coiled at the base of the spine.” Within the body, the male and female forces are balanced exactly in the subtle energy channels known as Ida, Pingala and Sushumna . Everyone uses the power of Kundalini to think and to maintain consciousness,however it very rarely travels up the spinal channel (Sushumna) further than the first chakra. A variety of disciplines or yogic techniques claim to arouse the energy of the “sleeping serpent” and cause it to rise to the higher chakra centres.
Sri Chinmoy states that, “Kundalini yoga is also known as ‘Prana’ yoga and carries the meaning of life-energy or life-principle of the universe.
By providing this introduction to what Kundalini is asserted to be, I have shown the spiritual connection to universal energy. This energy is the same energy that empowers the chakras within our bodies. Kundalini yoga recognises that universal energy is admitted to the body through one of 3 nadis or energy channels mentioned above as Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. Ida controls the left side of our bodies, Pingala the right and Sushumna carries the universal life-energy or universal light-consciousness down our spine to connect with the mother-goddess or ‘Kundalini’ sleeping at the base of our spine. These energy channels meet in 6 major places providing the basis for 6 of the 7 major chakras in a human body.
There’s that number 7 again. These energy centres all have individual names and attributes. They are connected to musical notes, elements, worlds, mother-power, colours, lotus flowers and deities. These heptads will be discussed in later parts of this article. Suffice to say for now that the number 7 continues to raise its head and hold sway over human consciousness.
Returning to the energy channels or nadis, I will finish this introduction by identifying their planetary connections and attributes.
- connected to the Moon and Mercury
- handles coolness and mild emotions
- connected to the Sun and Mars
- handles powerful emotions, bodily dynamism and heat
- receives and transmits universal consciousness to our subtle physical bodies
Major intersections from the bottom up:
- Base or root chakra – Muladhara
- Spleen or internal genital region chakra – Svadhisthana
- Navel or centre of gravity chakra region – Manipura
- Heart or chest region chakra – Anahata
- Throat or communications chakra – Vishuddha
- Brow or third eye chakra – Ajna
The 7th and final major chakra is known as Sahasrara and is located variously in the brain or the crown of the head.
At each of these intersections, the nadis come together creating 7 chakras or power centres within the body. In the next article I will be discussing the attributes of the heptads linked to the chakras.
Source: Kundalini – The Mother-Power by Sri Chinmoy (1992) ISBN 0-88497-104-x