BY GURUCHARAN SINGH KHALSA, PH.D.
Part of the physical wisdom we find in the body comes from its connection to a subtle realm. The body is physical. We can see it with our eyes. But the body also has another field of energy and activity that we cannot see with the eye. Yogis who have trained themselves to see this energy field say it is like light radiating in complex patterns from each cell of the body. It is fluid and constantly moving. In that whirlpool of activity, there are subtle vortexes that interconnect the subtle and physical realms. These centers of transformation and connection are called chakras. These chakras interact with and influence our thoughts, moods, health, and other bodily functions. They exchange energy bi-directionally - from gross to subtle and from subtle to gross. They are doorways of consciousness.
There are seven major chakras. While they are associated with areas of the body, in actuality, they shift around like swirls in water. When the mind and body are healthy and vital, they tend to project through specific areas. The first chakra is near the base of the spine and anus. The second chakra is near the sex organs and the 3-4th vertebra. The third chakra is near the navel point. The fourth chakra is near the heart center and is associated with the thymus gland. The fifth chakra is near the throat and is associated with the thyroid gland. The sixth chakra is near the top of the nose, associated with the pituitary gland. The seventh chakra is near the crown of the head, associated with the pineal gland.
The eighth chakra is the circumvent field that surrounds the entire body. It is like a filter and shield which encloses the other chakras. There are hundreds of other smaller chakras attached to other organs and to meridian points, but they are commanded through this central system. All the main chakras are connected by a channel of energy called the sushmuna that travels up the center of the spine and around the brain.
The following meditations strengthen and tune each chakra as well as interconnect them into a fully functional system. Practicing these meditations can contribute to the healing of many illnesses-mental, emotional, and physical. You can practice them in any order. Each technique is complete and balanced in itself. It will open, adjust, and strengthen the chakra. You can have a great benefit from practicing any one of them for just one session or you may decide to do a meditation for one particular chakra for 40 days. The last meditation, Sodarshan Chakra Kriya, is a most beautiful technique. It balances the flow of energy through all the chakras so you make good decisions and attract appropriate resources to your purposes.
Kundalini Yoga opens, maintains, and develops the chakra system in the subtle body. It is the fastest and most potent approach discovered by the ancient sages. These techniques were closely guarded secrets. Yogi Bhajan, under the blessing of Guru Ram Das, has made all these techniques openly available without restriction. He said, "The Age of Aquarius is dawning and every person has the opportunity to elevate themselves through sadhana, techniques, and commitment. The old ways will quickly change in this fast, electronic age of light. I am just a postman for those souls that have earned the destiny to elevate themselves."
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