For thousands of years, the yogis have identified through their exceptional spiritual practice seven complex, fundamental systems of emission-reception, which connect our microcosm with the outer macrocosm's seven fundamental levels of vibration.
These centers of force are usually known as chakras. In the following, we introduce you to the essential characteristics of each chakra, as well as their area of projection in the physical body.
1. First of the seven chakras, Muladhara chakra lies at the base of the spine, in the area between anus and sex.
This center of force symbolizes the objective consciousness, the awareness in the physical, terrestrial universe.
On a psychical level, it controls the will of survival, the state of inner safety, the desire for material goods, and the choice of profession.
The physical function characteristic to this center of force is excretion, and the correspondent areas are the anus, the intestine, the muscular system and the adipose tissue.
When the energies characteristic to Muladhara chakra lack balance in respect with the other types of energies, the person in cause will be quite pragmatic, and may even lead to an irrational exhaustion of one's vital resources.
"The person who experiences the activation of this center of force easily succeeds in overcoming the attachment for earthly matters and becoming highly courageous, defeats for good his/her fear of death. The concentration and meditation on Muladhara chakra leads to the knowledge of this chakra and of the means of awakening it." (Swami Shivananda)
2. The second center of force, Swadhisthana chakra has as area of physical projection the area placed above the sexual organs, represents the sensual consciousness, imagination, and is associated with the sexual potential energy.
On a physical level, this center of force is responsible for desire, imagination, hallucinations, sensuality, and need to have a family. It is responsible for assimilation, procreation, lymphatic system, and menstrual secretions.
The yogic literature says that the disharmonious activation of this chakra may produce states of agitation and mental confusion.
The persons that are under the influence of this chakra may have an effect of "aspiration" of the psychic in a downward direction.
The persons that have predominance in the activation of this chakra are highly impressionable, have an active and fertile imagination, as well as the aptitude of verbalizing their perceptions - which makes them quite suited for guidance and healing.
"The person that focuses and meditates on this chakra and on the energies correspondent to it will not fear water. He may gain great psychic capacities, genial creative imagination, intuitive knowledge and a perfect mastering over the sexual function and of the senses and easily knows the astral worlds. Imprisoning passions, anger, attachments, vanity, jealousy, and other psychical impurities are easily cast away. Such a person will be young-looking, will have a great regenerative capacity, and finally overcomes death." (Swami Shivananda)
3. The third energetic center is Manipura chakra, whose area of perception in the physical body is the solar plexus area. It represents expansive consciousness, and the desire for power.
This chakra symbolizes passionate consciousness and dynamism. On a psychic level, this chakra is in charge with will, ego, individuality, expansiveness, self-control, and intelligence.
On a physical level, it coordinates the digestive processes and the activity of the organs situated in the abdomen.
The disharmonious activation of this chakra makes a person struggle for personal power, and the recognition of one's rights even wrongfully and hurting his kind.
"The person who focuses intensely and who meditates on this center of force gets the ability of discovering hidden treasures, will never be touched by illness, will not fear fire, and even if that person sits amidst fire, he will not be harmed. Such a person does not fear death, and his will and power are amazing." (Swami Shivananda)
4. Anahata chakra is the fourth center of force and is located in the area of the cardiac plexus. It symbolizes the consciousness of love, empathy, selflessness and devotion.
On the psychic level, this center of force inspires the human being to love, be compassionate, altruistic, devoted and to accept the things that happen in a divine way.
On a physical level, it controls the circulatory, respiratory and immunity systems. The disharmonious activation of Anahata chakra is the source of all love-related problems that appear in some tragic cases (divorce, death).
Moreover, this disharmony leads also to the perturbation of the endocrine gland corresponding to it - the thymus. The activation of this fourth chakra brings about the mastering of poetry and prose.
"The person that meditates perseveringly on this chakra may easily have out-of-body experiences and fly thus to parallel astral universes. Such a person is the perfect instrument of the divine cosmic love and obtains all other divine qualities." (Swami Shivananda)
5. The fifth center of force is Vishuddha chakra and its location is at the base of the throat. It symbolizes the pure consciousness, and creativity.
On a psychic level, it governs expression, inspiration in speech, eloquence, and perception of the archetypal models.
On a physical level, it controls the activity of the vocal cords, of the hearing, of the pharynx and esophagus. Vishuddha chakra is the symbol of sound, dreams and purity.
The activation of its energy favors the understanding of non-verbal messages. The corresponding glands are the thyroid and parathyroid. All miraculous "possibilities", gifts, the powers known as "siddhis" are connected to this throat chakra.
The effects of meditating on Vishuddha chakra are: calmness, serenity, pleasant voice, awakening of the artistic inspiration, capacity of interpreting correctly the sacred scriptures, and of understanding the secret language and message of dreams.
The person whose Vishuddha chakra is active and in harmony will seek the true knowledge that is beyond time, cultural and hereditary limitations.
Resonating with this type of energy equals the freedom from the tempests of the world and the problems raised by the ego. The idea of cosmic consciousness is connected also to this center of force.
"Intense focus and meditation on this center of force is known in the yogic texts as Akashi Dharani. The person that succeeds in this type of meditation will live forever in spirit. He obtains the knowledge of present, past and future and also the control over the mysterious energies of time." (Swami Shivananda)
6. The sixth chakra, Ajna chakra, is located in the middle of the forehead, in between the brows.
It also bears the names The Third Eye or Shiva's Eye and it represents the superior mental consciousness that favors the direct perception over the invisible worlds, and the direct perception of the subtle aspects of manifestation.
In its harmonious aspect, Ajna chakra gives great mental insight, self-control, clairvoyance, superior intuition, and extrasensorial perception.
On a physical level, it coordinates the activity of the pituitary gland and of the small brain. The hypophysis has a vital role in organism, in the sense that together with the hypothalamus they act as the command system of all other endocrine glands.
Consequently, Ajna chakra has a vital role not only in the spiritual awakening of a person, but also in the chemistry of the body.
"The person who concentrates intensely on this chakra gradually destroys all negative effects of his past actions, from this life and from the previous lives. He obtains the eight great paranormal capacities and the thirty-two minor ones." (Swami Shivananda)
7. The last of the seven energetic centers is Sahasrara, placed above the head crown.
In the oriental literature, it is known "the supreme center of contact with God". Sahasrara chakra symbolizes detachment from illusion; an essential element in obtaining supramental consciousness of the truth that one is all and all is one.
At the level of Sahasrara, the person gets the consciousness of the infinite. The psychical function is spiritual opening towards the creative force of the universe.
The person whose center of force Sahasrara is awakened and activated experiences the state of continuity of the consciousness, unity of the contraries, and total union with God.
"When Kundalini is united with Shiva in Sahasrara, the yogi enjoys supreme consciousness. He reaches the state of supra-consciousness and realizes the highest knowledge. The systematic dinamization of Sahasrara through concentration, meditation and other special techniques determines the appearance of paranormal capacities, and the disappearance of some pathological states and physical healing even." (Swami Shivananda)