In my book I talk about 14 main chakras that are mentioned in the ancient scriptures of India. 7 major chakras that we all know and love, and 7 others that we might not be aware of. Many of these chakras are in our skull or above our head.
Okay, let us begin by learning to pronounce the word "chakra." I know this is challenging, considering that you can't hear me. But right now, say the name "Chuck." As in "Chuck E. Cheese's" Pizza. Now say the word, "run." Okay, now put the 2 together but eliminate the "n" at the end of the word "run," and replace it with an "h." "Chuck-ruh"-that's (approximately) how to say the word "chakra."
There is no such pronunciation as "shock-rah" in the Sanskrit language, or in the English language. That's how most people mispronounce the word. I'm now on a worldwide campaign to teach everyone how to pronounce this Sanskrit word "chakra" correctly-"chuck-ruh." Just remember, Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza, when you want to pronounce the word.
"Chakra" is a Sanskrit word, meaning "wheel." Why is it a "wheel"? Because it has a hub, and it has spokes. The hub is where many conduits of subtle energy intersect, and the spokes are the radiations of subtle energy. So a chakra is a concentrated center of subtle energy.
What subtle energy are we talking about?
There is a subtle form of energy that gives life to you as a living human being and also to the universe. The fundamental component of your being is consciousness. The life force energy called "prana" is the medium through which consciousness expresses.
The life energy in prana flows through your subtle bodies, sustaining all levels of your being. Prana is what gives you life. Without prana, you would cease to live. Prana is also known as "chi" in China and as "ki" or "reiki" in Japan.
What do I mean by "subtle bodies"?
You are a multidimensional being of light, living in a multidimensional universe. Although this statement sounds fantastic, it entirely concurs with the latest findings of modern physics-this universe consists of vibration and light in multiple dimensions.
Similarly, your own body is made of light and sound. And this physical shell is not the only form you inhabit. In fact, your body is multi-layered and multi-dimensional.
According to yogis of ancient India, several sheaths (called "koshas" in Sanskrit language) surround and permeate your physical body. They are called "sheaths" because they cover up your true higher self, called the "atman."
These sheaths are invisible to ordinary human sight but visible to clairvoyant sight. These radiant, brilliant, multicolored sheaths of pure crystalline light make up your "aura" or "auric field."
1. Your "annamaya kosha" (physical body or food sheath), so-named because it is a product of food, requires food, dies without food, and, after death, becomes food for plants and animals.
2. Your "pranamaya kosha" (vital sheath), through which your vital life energy ("prana") flows.
3. Your "manomaya kosha" (mental sheath), a mental body that stores your thought-forms, habits, conditioning, beliefs, and experiences.
4. Your "vijnanamaya kosha"(intellect sheath), which consists of higher mind, your intellect, as well as your ego, or sense of I-ness.
5. Your "ananadamaya kosha" (blissful sheath), a mere reflection of the true radiance of your real "atman" (higher self).
Each subsequent sheath is larger than and permeates the former sheaths. In addition to these five sheaths, you also have three higher bodies of immeasurable beauty, bliss, truth, and glory: your "'I AM' body," your "God
body," and your "Absolute body."
Pranic energy flows through your pranic sheath (pranamaya kosha) in fixed pathways called "nadis" (conduits or channels). (Some of these nadis are also known in China as the acupuncture meridians.) In your pranic body there are hundreds of centers of concentrated vital energy where many nadis intersect, called "chakras" (literally "wheels"). (Some of these are known as the acupuncture points.) However, the nadis and chakras are by no means physical. If you dissected a corpse, you would detect no nadi or chakra anywhere.
The three most important nadis through which prana flows are "sushumna," "ida," and "pingala." Sushumna is the median channel reaching from the base of your spine, near the tailbone, all the way up to the top of your skull. Ida and pingala coil around this central canal . "Pingala nadi" and "ida nadi" govern the sympathetic and parasympathetic aspects of your autonomic nervous system. Sushumna nadi is the conduit of "kundalini," often called "serpent power" or "mystic coil"-a special spiritual cosmic pranic energy that remains dormant until it is awakened, usually through spiritual practices.
The term "kundalini" derives from the Sanskrit root "kundal" (curled up), because, in ordinary humans, it remains dormant, coiled at the base of your spine. As kundalini wakes up and rises up your spine, it opens specific chakras while traveling to its destination at the top of your skull. Opening your chakras brings greater health, well-being, energy, and, ultimately, spiritual enlightenment.
The 14 main chakras through which kundalini energy flows are as follows:
1. Muladhara, which means "base" or "root," because it is the lowest chakra in the body. The root chakra, located at the base of your spine near the tailbone,is responsible for excretion, sense of smell, and earth element. It is associated with the adrenal glands.
2. Svadhishthana, which means "one's own self," because it is where the individual comes into being through procreation. The sacral chakra, in the coccyx region, governs sexuality, procreation, sense of taste, and water element. It is associated with the gonads.
3. Manipura, which means "city of jewels," because it has so many conduits of pranic energy intersecting there, and because it is the place where the fires of digestion burn. The navel chakra in the lumbar region, oversees digestion, sense of sight, and fire element. It is associated with the pancreas.
4. Anahata, which means "unstruck sound," because the unstruck sound is the sound of silence. And Anahata is where the silence of your divine consciousness resides. The heart chakra, in the thoracic region, is the seat of consciousness and your soul. It is the gateway to higher consciousness. This chakra manages the sense of touch and air element. It is associated with the thymus gland.
5. Hrit chakra, which means "heart." Right below the anahata chakra, it is the seat of devotion to God and fulfillment of all desires.
6. Vishuddha, which means "purification," (and I'm not sure why). The throat chakra, in the cervical region, deals with sense of hearing, and ether element, and creative expression. It is associated with the thyroid gland.
7. Talu, the nectar chakra, in medulla oblongata, is related to the uvula, the current of pranic energy, and the flow of "soma" (nectar of immortality).
8. Ajna, which means "command center," because it is situated in the area of the glands that regulate the entire endocrine system. The third eye chakra, in the pineal gland/hypothalamus area, seat of the higher self (atman), is responsible for higher wisdom and clairvoyant sight.
9. Manas, which means "sensory mind." In the upper part of ajna chakra, it is the center of your lower mental vehicle: instincts, impressions, and habits.
10. Indu, which means "Moon." In the front part of the brain, it is the seat of your intellect and higher mind.
11. Nirvana, which means "dissolution." At the top of your brain, it is associated with the annihilation of your ego.
12. Guru, which means "light/darkness" or "teacher." Above your head in the lower part of sahasrara chakra, it is the center in which divine light dispels the darkness of ignorance.
13. Sahasrara chakra, which means "thousandfold." The thousand-petaled lotus above your head, itis the center of divine union, integration, and
14. The Bindu, which means "point." In the upper sahasrara chakra, it is a center of infinitely concentrated energy, the fountainhead from which your entire subtle energy system springs.
You might be interested to know the colors, planets, days of week, and gemstones associated with the seven major chakras. These colors and planets are based on ancient Vedic astrology, called "Jyotish."-not based on modern New Age ideas.
1. Day of week: Sunday ("Day of the Sun"). Planet: Sun. Solar (Sun) plexus chakra: Color: red. Gem: ruby. Why Sun? Associated with vital energy and the fire of digestion.
2. Day of week: Monday ("Day of the Moon"). Planet: Moon. Sacral chakra: Color: orange. Gem: pearl or moonstone. Why Moon? Associated with emotions, fecundity, and fertility.
3. Day of week: Tuesday (Mardi or Mars day in French). Planet: Mars. Root chakra: Color: yellow. Gem: red coral. Why Mars? Associated with primal needs and survival instincts. Mars is God of war.
4. Day of week: Wednesday (Mercredi or Mercury day in French). Planet: Mercury. Thousand petalled lotus chakra above head. Color: green. Gem: emerald. Why Mercury? Associated with the brain-nearly an infinite network of interrelated communication. Mercury is planet of communication.
5. Day of week: Thursday (Jeudi or Jupiter day in French). Planet: Jupiter. Third eye chakra. Color: blue. Gem: yellow topaz or yellow sapphire. Why Jupiter? Associated with higher mind, wisdom, and intuition. Jupiter in Sanskrit is literally translated as "Guru." Jupiter is associated with higher learning.
6. Day of week: Friday (Vendredi or Venus day in French). Planet: Venus. Throat chakra. Color: indigo. Gem: diamond. Why Venus? Associated with creative expression. Venus is goddess of beauty and creativity.
7. Day of week: Saturday ("Day of Saturn"). Planet: Saturn. Heart chakra. Color: violet. Gem: blue sapphire or amethyst. Why Saturn? Associated with contraction and expansion (beating of the heart) and also highest vibration.
Heart is the key to the entire chakra system. It is the seat of consciousness and therefore has the highest vibration. Saturn is the deepest in space and therefore subtlest of the 7 inner planets.
You can learn much more about your subtle energy system in Dr. Susan Shumsky's book, EXPLORING