THE NATURE AND FEATURES OF VITAL ENERGY, THE MAIN STRUCTURES OF SUBTLE BODY
One of the most important concepts of the ancient mysticism and magic, traditional healing systems is vital strength or energy. This is the main active element without which any pass and ritual turn into senseless performance. This is petroleum necessary for the normal functioning of our body and psychics; otherwise they are doomed to rapid degradation. The imagination of the nature of vital energy, its features, systems of our organism, connected with its transformation and redistribution laid at the basis of mystic practice of ancient Egypt, India, China, and Tibet. The most perfect systems of psycho-energetic exercises directed to activation of super-abilities of our organism, martial arts, healing and curing. Variable mechanisms and gadgets for concentration, focusing and accumulation of vital energy were created. Let us think of magic rods, knives, mirrors, crowns and famous Egyptian and Mexican pyramids.
However, up to the recent times the imagination of vital energy has been beyond the frames of scientific knowledge, seemed to be an anachronism and prejudice. Only the latest discoveries of modern physics and biology, the further development of the scientific paradigm finally allowed understanding the reality of the ancient imagination of vital energy. In order to understand what it really is we will first see what was understood as vital energy in the ancient times.
1.1. Vital energy
Let us examine what happens when vital energy is too much or not enough, what is the difference between it and usual kinds of energy (physical, chemical etc.). As any psycho-physical factor vital energy can manifest at the several levels of our reality.
1. At the physical level the lack of vital energy leads to the visibly
lower tonus, weakening of immune system, lessening of stamina resources
of our organism. As a result the weakest parts of our organism reject
functioning. These are usually those organs or systems which were in between
the norm and pathology in the case of that person. This might be liver,
kidneys, heart etc. Naturally in such situation a person becomes an easy
victim of variable infections and is unable to resist the influence of
negative physical and chemical factors of the environment. Generally the
symptoms of the lack of vital energy very much remind of the syndrome
of chronic tiredness, changes occurring during the chronic stress at the
stage of exhaustion. As the opposite, a person with the high level of
vital energy has incredible adaptability, making wonders in this sphere.
He or she is able to stand significant dozes of radiation, does not get
ill, being in the epidemic centers, can work for many hours and sleep
very little. The level of vital energy is not directly connected with
the delivery of physical or chemical energy to our organism. The same
person may demonstrate the whole spectrum of symptoms of falling vital
energy, nourishing well and living in comfortable conditions. And the
other way round, being in an extreme situation, at the edge of life and
death he or she can increase his or her potential.
2. At the level of psychics the lack of vital energy manifests in the
low stamina, sleepiness, bad movement coordination, slower reaction, worse
muscle tonus. The volume of active attention becomes smaller, the short-time
and long-time memory get worse. Intellectual potential goes down; the
'stucking' syndrome appears. The person becomes too slow, does not move
too much and does not think well.
3. A very important factor is the strict connection between vital energy
and the flowing of subjective time. When the level of vital energy is
too high the inner time seems to flow faster: during the same period of
time (an hour, a day etc.) a person manages to do much more than usually.
As the opposite the lack of vital energy slows the inner time down. The
day goes by and you have not done a thing, the time simply disappeared
somewhere. There are special psycho-techniques for making the inner time
flower faster in Tibet. With their help the warrior's time flows so fast
that the environment seems to stop as in a slow movie. To usual people
they look as thunders instantly replacing in space. Yet, the loss of vital
energy is so significant that the warrior is able to be in this state
no longer than ten minutes and then needs several days to recover.
If we try to find something common in all manifestations of excess or lack of vital energy which we have described we will see the following things: the lack of vital energy is characterized by the growing chaos misbalance in all parts of the complicated system, being our body, psychics, situation or object. Correspondingly the excess of vital energy leads to the growing order, balance and harmony. The same is proved by ancient Chinese and Indian texts.
This way the first feature of vital energy is connected with its anti-chaotic, anti-entropy influence. It is pretty close to the concept of nega-entropy (anti-entropy) brought to the modern physics by L.Brylluen (3). An astrophysicist N.Kozyriev used the factor of time directly connected with chaos and order as the analogy of vital energy (34). The discoveries, made during last years in Physics, Chemistry and Biophysics, prove that so-called unequilibrium systems, to which all alive organisms also belong, are especially sensitive to the growing chaos. This explains the importance of the huge role of vital energy in their existence. Its constant delivery guaranties the resist against the growing chaos. Otherwise the growth of chaos will lead to the quick self-destruction and death of the alive organism.
The second feature is connected with the law of reservation. In other words, vital energy is treated as a factor that can be spent and replace as physical energy. For instance if you have done some psychical work your amount of vital energy becomes smaller. If you have taken this energy from somebody his or her potential became smaller and yours bigger. This feature characterizes not all factors of our world. For example if you have read an interesting book you have got some new information but the amount of information in the book have not become smaller because of this and the next readers can get the same information you have.
According to the law of reservation, the strategy of economy, storage and accumulation of vital energy, a kind of vampirism, seems to be the most appropriate. However, it is not so. Sometimes mental effort leads not to exhaustion of energy resources but to their activation (let us think of the 'second breath'). It is not a paradox, our organism is an open system, constantly interacting with the environment and in certain states all losses are compensated by the delivery of the new portions of vital energy from the surrounding space. The exit into such states and not accumulation, storage of vital energy is an aim of the advanced psycho-energetic practices of India, China and Tibet.
The law of reservation has one more important consequence. If the order of an object or organism lessens, i.e. the growth of chaos takes place, vital energy radiates during this process and the other way round. For example, in the process of burning not only warmth but also vital energy should radiate. In China this feature has been known since the very ancient times and has been used in the famous wormwood cigars applied in acupuncture and healing. From this point of view a wormwood cigar is one of the first generators of vital energy. Naturally the flame also gives vital energy, other than electric fire-place or heating which mainly give warmth. The general principle is very simple: the greater is the difference between the primarily order of the fuel and its lessening at the moment of burning, the longer is the radiance of vital energy. In the case of wood this difference is greater than in the case of petroleum of flammable gas that is why it gives vital energy for longer time but its heating ability is much weaker. For this reason the food cooked on fire tastes much better than the one cooked on the gas stove.
A similar idea is used in some modern psychotronic generators, for example those based on laser. When the ray of light is generated in the laser's working body (gas or crystal) the abrupt change of its entropy (measure of chaos) takes place. That is why except of the coherent light nega-entropy (vital energy) is also radiated. A simple re-make of a usual laser can make its radiance many times stronger and then use such gadget in bio-energetic aims.
The third feature of vital energy is connected with its dynamic character; it is unable to stay conserved for a long time. In this respect it remind of rays of light which exist only in movement. As one cannot collect some light in the bottle and keep it there by sealing the bottle, one cannot keep or conserve vital energy for a long time. When it is fixed in the closed volume it quickly loses its positive qualities as the standing water in the pond gets moulded and inappropriate for drinking. For this particular reason ancient psycho-energetic systems have never tried to save vital energy for future and have oriented towards the insurance of its constant delivery.
And finally, the fourth feature of vital energy is connected with its ability to carry information. In this respect it works as electro-magnetic energy which can be modulated and then becomes able to transmit sound and image in radio waves. First of all vital energy carries information about its previous host who radiates it. For example in the process of burning the radiated energy carries information connected with the fuel its features and structure. The energy obtained from the food is modulated with the information about the creature we have eaten, its previous life and death. In this respect vital energy obtained from meet carries a lot of negative information connected with the habbits of its host and with suffering and fear at the moment of death. For those particular reason ancient peoples payed a great attention to the ritual of killing animals that were supposed to be eaten next, they did special passes, trying to insinuate, propitiate spirits of the killed animals. It has been believed since the very ancient times that if one for example eats a tiger's heart one may inherit its courage etc.
One of the most significant spheres of the ancient magic was an art to modulate and code vital energy. There was a special language, allowing describing the whole spectrum of the features which could be given to energy due to modulations. Usually this task was fulfilled due to the images of primary elements basic subtle substances of which, according to ancient people, the universe consists of. The European magic as a rule used the system of four primary elements (earth, water, fire and air). In China the elements were five (the element of wood was added and air was often presented as metal). In India the sixth primary element clay was also not rarely used. There even was a gradation of twelve primary elements.
Naturally the image of the primary element cannot be understood literally, it is a certain set of features typical for the corresponding chemical substance. When it is for example said that vital energy has features of fire this means that it is felt as heat, burst open, pressure etc. The most important thing is that the system of primary elements allows classifying all possible kinds of features of vital energy and describing their interrelations (mutual strengthening or antagonism). Due to this system one can precisely choose how to modulate and code vital energy to obtain the needed result during the same curing influence.
Variable mechanisms and gadgets have been used for modulating vital energy since the very ancient times. In the simplest case when the energy is radiated by human hands its modulation is conducted due to the visualization of certain images. This, for example, may be one of the five primary elements together with the image of aim, the final result of the influence. The use of magic signs and mantras is even more effective. The magic sign is drawn with the ray of vital energy with the simultaneous repetition of the corresponding mantra. In the other case the stream of vital energy goes through the drawn magic sign put on the influenced place. The energy of the primary element can be modulated with the help of special resonators (volume geometric figures, crystals. The energy can get some healing features from the curing substances, herbs, homeopathic medicines.
Naturally vital energy can be radiated not only by hands but also by special generators, the wormwood cigar is the simplest of them. The energy can be concentrated by special focusing systems, transforming the dispersed radiation in to the thin ray which makes the influence much more effective. This reminds of the focusing of the light of the lighting ball of the pocket torch with the help of a lenses or reflector.
During the work with vital energy it is convenient to use the analogy with liquid. From this point of view our body or any of its parts can be compared to a vessel and the volume of liquid v in it would correspond to the amount of vital energy (prana load q).
The same volume of liquid may have variable pressure p. The similar characteristic of vital energy is its concentration k in some point of space or part of our body. The ability to focus vital energy and bring its level to very high values is a key to awakening of super-abilities in Eastern esoteric psycho-techniques. The thing is that when the concentration of prana achieves some critical value the character of the interaction between a human and environment qualitatively changes and when the next even higher barrier is overcome the space-time can bend and its rules may change. Naturally such level of concentration of vital energy is accessible only for the masters of the highest class.
The process of prana concentration can be compared with the achievement of the critical mass in the nuclear bomb when some critical mass value is overcome the avalanche chain reaction begins and the huge amount of energy is liberated practically instantly. In other words the critical mass is the barrier behind which the qualitative change of the system's energetic takes place.
In the same way the achievement of the critical value of vital energy concentration defines the passage of our psychics and organism to the qualitatively different energetic regime. If up to this moment our organism has been functioning as the closed conservative system, spending the limited resources of vital energy and needing its constant recovering after the overcoming of the critical barrier we switch to the open, nonequlibrium (dissipative) regime (17). As a result we get the access to practically inexhaustible source of vital energy, contained in the space around us. This reminds of the sportsmen's 'second breath'.
However, in order to switch to such open regime some primary amount of vital energy is needed when it is concentrated the process of transformation is started. This works as making fire. In order to make the wood burn one first has to fire the kindling that gives a birth to the greater flame. Yet, if this primary fuel (matches, bits of wood, dry spiritus) is missing the wood will remain cold.
Another extreme is the use of kindling as the main fuel. In this quality it is absolutely useless the amount of energy is too small. Imagine that you do not know how to make fire and try to get warm with the help of the box of matches. Unfortunately, the majority of us spend the small amount of vital energy present in our organism in this strange way.
At the same time we are surrounded by gigantic truly inexhaustible streams of prana. That is why the art of concentration of vital energy, opening our organism towards those oceans of energy, enabling the awakening of deep recourses of our body and spirit, is a basis of all ancient esoteric traditions.
Let us examine on the example of the hydraulic analogy how such concentration takes place. In the usual relaxed state the level of prana concentration (liquid pressure) should be minimal. The hydraulic analogy is the liquid spilt on the great surface in the flat reservoir (pressure p is close to 0, see picture 40a). Otherwise the small amount of energy present in our organism would be quickly exhausted and will not be enough to overcome the critical point. Still, such deep relaxation needs special preparation. A usual person is never completely relaxed (p>>0) and prana drips out of him as water through the holes in the water-pipe (see picture 40c). This is the reason of the constant deficit of vital energy, chronical stress and inability to break this circle (inability to accumulate the minimal amount of 'starting fuel').
In the opposite, being switched to the active regime, the concentration of prana should very quickly reach huge values. In the case of the liquid that is a narrow vertical vessel on whose bottom the enormous pressure can develop (see picture 40b). Here the most important condition is 'hermetic' systems of the subtle body, i.e. their ability to sustain very high pressures. This is obtained by the long years of training in Kundalini-yoga, Eastern martial arts and other esoteric systems. This includes special exercises for chakras and system of nadis (acupuncture channels). Some of those exercises are examined in Appendix 5.
Another important consequence of the use of the hydraulic analogy, i.e. comparing vital energy to liquid, is a tendency to flowing from the places with the higher concentration k (in the case of the liquid pressure p) to the places with lower concentration. The law of communicating vessels (the tendency to make the level of liquid in the communicating vessels equal) enables good description of dynamics of exchange of vital energy between organisms and an organism and environment.
Naturally this analogy can be used only in the case of the stable levels of vital energy. In nonequlibrium and unstable systems more complicated laws, described by nonequilibrium thermodynamics and synergetics, work. They allow understanding many effects occurring in the advanced techniques of work with vital energy (Indian and Tibetan Tantra, Chinese Taoism and Chi-gun).
The resistance against the growing chaos, maintaining the high level of order is one of the most important conditions of survival and normal functioning of our organism and psychics. It explains the importance of the ensuring of the constant delivery and proper circulation of vital energy. In our organism this particular task is fulfilled by the special system, called in ancient times 'the subtle body', the system of acupuncture channels and chakras. Chakras are a kind of organs accumulating, transforming and redistributing vital energy in our body. Thus acupuncture channels are vessels through which it gets in every part and organ of our body.
According to Indian tradition the subtle body of a human contains seventy-two thousand of channels (called nadis) penetrating all its parts and connected with chakras (24). Plenty of interlaced nadies form the subtle body. Among this enormous amount of nadies twenty-four especially important ones are distinguished. Ten of them have a very special meaning. They start in the root chakra Muladhara and end in certain parts of our body. The IDA channel (nady) ends in the left nostril, PINGALA in the right one, SUSHUMNA in the highest point of the head (Brahman Randra). The GANDHARI channel runs to the left eye, HASTIJIHVA in the right one, PUSHA goes to the right ear, YASHASVINI to the left one, ALAMBUSHA ends in the mouth, KUHU in genitals and SHANKHINI in the anus.
As the third regulative system (alongside with the nervous and humoral ones) chakras and channels are not substantial structures, consisting of molecules as usual organs of our body. They are formed by invisible fields of the whirl nature. The word 'chakra' itself translated from Sanskrit means 'wheel', 'spinning' and its shape reminds of a tornado, a cone placed in the horizontal surface. Its basis is placed on the front body surface and its top is on the spin, or rather on the central channel Sushumna, going through more or less the middle of the spin. There are two more main channels except of Sushumna: the left one Ida and the right one Pingala they form loops in four points of Sushumna. These loops block the central channel, making it look as a bamboo pipe. That is why vital energy or prana, as it is called in India, of a usual person circulates only in Ida and Pingala and does not let the whole potential of our psycho-energetics manifest. The untying of those knots and opening of the central channel is an aim of many esoteric schools of India and Tibet. Nevertheless, the achievement of this goal demands many years of the strictest monk practice.
Let us first concentrate on the system of chakras described in Indian Tantra. In the simplest case nine or six-seven chakras are examined (see pictures 41, 42). The system including thirteen chakras is more complete (picture 43).
Usually during the awakening of chakras and other exercises with them the Ida channel is presented on the left side of the body and Pingala is on the right, the loops they make around Sushumna are not taken into account. Such simplified image can be also often seen at the pictures (see picture 41).
The lowest or root chakra is situated at the basis of the spin. It goes outside the body between the rectum and sexual organs. Some ancient texts place it on the back surface of vagina in female body and in prostate gland in male body.
The Muladhara chakra is believed to be the root basic center, reservoir of enormous potential energy, symbolized by the sleeping snake Kundalini. The awakening of Kundalini and it rise to the upper chakras is one of the main aims of yoga. This chakra is treated as the element connecting the physical and subconscious worlds. Besides some ancient sources claim that the occultistic ability to of levitation, i.e. flights due to neutralization of gravitation, is also connected with it.
The first chakra corresponds with the primary element of earth and planet Saturn. Its mantra (sound formula) is LAM. It has four petals with bijas (petal mantras or matrika letters as they are usually called in Hindu tradition.) va, sha (palatal), sha (lingual) and sa (dental) (bijas are given starting with the upper right petal in the direction of clock hands). At the physiological level Muladhara corresponds with the sacral nervous plexus, its gland is prostate. It is the most strictly connected with male sexual organs, large intestine and rectum. Its sense organ is nose and active organs are legs. When Muladhara lacks balance the following diseases may occur: hemorrhoids, constipation, sciatica, prostate diseases, ovaritis.
The first chakra is connected with psychological abilities, ensuring survival, protection of an individual. Its proper functioning gives confidence and stability. The lack of balance leads to the weak will, self-consciousness, sadness, depression. Such people cannot find the goal in their lives, lack roots and are preoccupied with satisfying their own bestial needs.
The geometrical symbol of the lowest chakra, its mandala is presented at the picture 41, 42. It is used in meditative techniques of the opening and balancing of the chakra together with its main mantra and petal mantras. In the simplest cases during the meditation on Muladhara one can visualize it as a red-orange spot. It is associated with the mythic elephant Lam Airavata and a tortoise. In Indian mythology the lowest chakra is connected with god Brahma and goddess Dakini. Their images symbolize the main features of the chakra and are also used in meditation.
God Brahma is on of the six Shivas, the higher beings incarnated in shape. They all are headed by the Highest Shiva or Parama Shiva, symbolizing the highest truth. According to Hindus' beliefs, Brahma is connected with the process of development and creation. During the meditation on Muladhara he symbolizes fearlessness being a result of the development of spirituality.
Each of the six Shivas is connected with a certain force, presenting some features of mind and symbolized by the corresponding goddess. In chakras they also have six forms and are called portresses, for they protect the chakras from penetration by an underdeveloped practitioner.
It is believed that concentration on Dakini wakens spiritual qualities and helps to elaborate the fear of death. An undeveloped person is horrified by her because she appears as an image of death and destruction. As the opposite a spiritual person sees her as a wonderful girl.
This chakra goes outside the body between the navel and sexual organs. Its central point is placed in the point Guanyuan (CV4) situated on the middle line of the stomach three cun (fingers) below the navel. Its padma is between the fourth and the fifth lumbar discs.
According to the ancient imaginations, Svadhishthana rules the inner vitality; its functions are getting prana out of food and energy accumulation. Besides it is connected with sexual functions and creative potential of a human. The great attention is paid to Svadhishthana in Eastern martial arts and variable psycho-energetic techniques common in China, Japan etc. Chi is accumulated here and then is directed to limbs or inner organs. In India it is believed that the awakening of Svadhishthana ensures health and long life.
The primary element of the second chakra is water, its planet is Jupiter, and mantra is VAM. It has six petals with bijas: ba, bha, ma, ya, ra, la.
The Svadhishthana chakra corresponds with prostate, lumbar and plexus. Hormonal functions are manifested in adrenal glands, liver, spleen. It is strictly connected with female sexual organs, kidneys and urinal bladder. Its sense organ is tongue and active organs are arms. The lack of balance in the second chakra may lead to impotence, under-sexuality, hyper-sexuality, diabetes, diseases of kidneys and urinal bladder.
In India properly functioning Svadhishthana is connected with such psychological features as patience, stamina and self-confidence. The lack of balance results in frustration, worry and fear.
The domination of the female element and water is symbolized in Svadhishthana mandala by a half-moon or crescent (see pictures 41, 42). During the meditation on it one can also visualize a rosy spot or circle. Its animal is a mythic sea monster Makara that looks as a huge crocodile. The male gods of this chakra are Waruna and Wishnu and the female is goddess Rakini. The meditation on Varuna gives control over the purifying strength of water and sexual energy it also liberates a person from such psychological qualities as disgust, fear, sadness, anger, nationalism. All this prepares the opening of the spiritual nature of the personality connected with the meditation on Vishnu.
The meditation on the goddess Rakini and her strength, according to ancient Hindus, helps spiritual purification and deeper concentration. It allows getting reed of the deeply rooted unspiritual qualities.
The Manipura chakra is situated in the sphere of the Solar plexus, above the navel and under the ribs. Its padma is between the second and the third lumbar discs.
The third chakra is believed to be responsible for accumulation and storing of prana. It is connected with intellect and super-abilities. According to the ancient beliefs, the awakening of this chakra ensures insensitivity of the body to heat and cold. That is an ability to walk bare-foot on the hot coals and spend many hours naked on the ice surface. Some texts prove that the third chakra plays a very significant role in the process of interaction with astral levels.
Manipura corresponds with the primary element of fire and planet Mars, its mantra is RAM. This chakra has ten petals with bijas: da, dha, na (lingual), ta, tha, da, dha, na (dental), pa, pha.
The third chakra corresponds with Solar plexus; its hormonal functions are connected with liver, adrenal glands, pancreas and spleen. Manipura's energy directly influences the following organs: liver, spleen, stomach, small intestine, and gall-bladder. Eyes are its sense organ and active organ is anus. Malfunctions of Manipura may lead to stomach ulcer, jaundice, hepatitis and gallstone disease.
The proper functioning of the third chakra ensures the following psychological features: decisiveness, independent behavioral motivations, personal energy, strong will bright individuality. Disbalanced Manipura may result in nervousness, lack of confidence, avidity, and complex of guilt.
During the concentration on Manipura the image of the earthy circle can be used. Its animal is ramming. Manipura's god is Rudra and goddess is Lakini.
The ram symbolizes the strength of concentration, activation of the controlled sexual energy. Indian esoteric treats Rudra as a specific manifestation of god Ishvara creator, guardian and distracter in one. The meditation on Rudra helps absorption, dissolution of those cosmic principles which attach us to the earthy existence, neutralization of all deformations of mind. It is believed that Rudra gives great yoga power.
Goddess Lakini is Manipura's portress. The concentration on it removes all previous mistakes and ensures effectiveness of the meditation on Rudra. According to Laya-yoga, Lakini gives an opportunity to awaken Manipura without special difficulties.
The fourth chakra Anahata is placed in the center of the breast, more or less at the level of the nipples. It is located in the point shanzhong (CV17). Its padma is between the fourth and the fifth breast discs.
Anahata is believed to be the center of emotion and spirituality. In ancient times many peoples placed there the human soul. Indian and Tibetan Tantra supposes that the fourth chakra contains the root of the human self, separating and parting a given personality from all other human beings. That is why variable religions connect spiritual practice and meditation on the feeling of the higher love with this chakra. According to ancient ones, the development of the fourth chakra awakens inner beauty, makes body very attractive, and activates super-abilities of perception and teleportation (movement in space, also through variable barriers).
Besides Anahata regulates and maintains biologic rhythms of prana circulation. Each of its petals is connected with one of twelve acupuncture channels, whose day and night rhythm is regulated by this chakra (see picture 44).
The primary element of the fourth chakra is air, its planet is Venus and its mantra is Yam. It has twelve petals with bijas: ka, kha, ga, gha, n, cha, chha, ja, jha, na, ta, tha (lingual).
Anahata corresponds with heart plexus. Its gland is thymus. It has the strictest connection with heart, Pericardium and lungs. Its sense organ is skin and active organs are sexual organs. Anahata's malfunctioning may lead to heart and blood vessels diseases, arthritis, high blood pressure and lungs diseases.
Properly functioning heart chakra gives such features as love, compassion, friendliness, responsibility. When it lacks balance a person becomes insensitive, emotionally closed, passive, stuck in sadness and spleen.
The mandala of the fourth chakra is presented on the picture 42. Picture 44 shows chakra's connections with acupuncture channels, defining the law of their day and night rhythm (the day-night law). The simplest concentration form of Anahata is a golden yellow spot. Antelope is an animal image of the fourth chakra. Its god is Isha and goddess is Kakini.
Isha is one of the six Shivas connected with the higher yoga power. When he manifests during the Anahata meditation he dissolves all fears rooted in the lack of spirituality. Concentration on Isha helps to get skilled in the highest stages of Pranayama, among others levitation in subtle body.
Kakini, Anahata's portress, presents a strength form of Isha. Meditation on her prepares a pupil and develops his strength of concentration on Isha, elaborates the feeling of piece and unattachment to material level.
The Vishuddha chakra is situated in the sphere of throat, its padma is between the sixth and the seventh neck discs. This chakra is connected with the ability to penetrate past and future. In ancient Japan it was believed that it rules dreaming. According to Laya-yoga, the awakening of this chakra gives control over the mind and body, allows to develop unbelievable physical strength.
The fifth chakra corresponds with the element of ether and planet Mercury, its mantra is HAM. It has sixteen petals with bijas: a, aa, i, ii, u, uu, ri, rii, lri, lrii, e, ai, o, au, am, h.
Vishuddha is connected with the throat plexus, thyroid and para-thyroid glands. It is strictly interrelated with the blue line point inside the central channel of the spinal cord. Malfunctioning of this chakra can lead to throat inflammation, diseases of thyroid gland, flues and colds.
The proper functioning of the fifth chakra manifests in such features of psyche as communicativeness, expression high creative potential, inspiration. If it lacks balance a tendency to obsessive ideas occurs, expression is missing, and behavior becomes stereotypic.
God Sadashiva is present in Vishuddha as an aspect of higher strength at whose level the male and female elements cannot be separated that is why his body is shown as half male and half female. The meditation on Sadashiva helps to develop super-abilities of concentration and control of mind and unbelievable physical strength.
Goddess Shakini is a separate manifestation of Sadashiva's power. The concentration on her is a necessary preliminary stage for Vishuddha opening.
The sixth chakra, Adjna, is also known as the third eye and is placed on the forehead between the brows. Its padma is between the second and the third neck discs. It is believed to be the center of wisdom and is treated as the most important meditative chakra of the human body. Adjna is also connected with will and para-psychological abilities. In ancient times 'the third eye' was supposed to be particularly well developed in the case of strong magicians and cams and defined their ability of clairvoyant, psycokinesis, opportunity to influence others at a distance.
The sixth chakra corresponds with the main Tantra mantra OM. Adjna has two petals with bijas ha and ksha. Nadis Ida and Pingala are believed to confluence with Sushumna at the level of this chakra, while Ida goes through the left petal Pingala goes through the right one.
Adjna is strictly connected with hypophysis, the neck nerve plexus and brain. The normal functioning of this chakra activates intellect and psychic abilities, imagination, possibility of bright visualization.
Disbalance of the sixth chakra makes concentration more difficult, mind stiff, communicativeness bad, can provoke schizophrenia. Its malfunctioning may be the reason of head aches.
Besides the mandala shown on the pictures 41 and 42 during the meditation Adjna can be visualized as indigo spot. This chakra corresponds with the power of Hakini who plays a significant role in the process of development of the higher meditative abilities. Shiva appears here not as one of manifestations of the higher god but as Itara linga the phallus image symbolizing the greatest creative power of the universe. Indian Tantra claims that the highest power of Kundalini is placed here too.
Sahasrara is the top chakra. According to esoteric sources, it is situated beyond the body over the top of the head. It more or less corresponds with the point bay-huey.
The seventh chakra is believed to be the center connected with higher spiritual level. The opening of this chakra removes all limits of space and time, allows achieving samadha the greatest stage of enlightenment. Many ancient peoples believed that the sphere of Sahasrara contains the place where the soul leaves the body. In Tibet, in order to make this exit after death easier, the hair of a person who has just died is removed from this place.
According to the Tantra tradition, Sahasrara has thousand petals, placed in twenty layers fifty in each. The same number, fifty, is a sum of the petals of the six lower chakras. This is not occasional: all petal bijas together give fifty letters of Sanskrit alphabet (24, 50). They are also written in every of the twenty layers of Sahasrara (twenty is the number of subtle and material layers (worlds) in our universe). These fifty vibrations (letters) are believed to be wave 'atoms' of which our universe is built. Correspondingly, according to the principle of similarity, the whole universe is reflected in our body. The control over subtle levels of those vibrations and their energies in chakras leads to spiritual enlightenment and opens magic super-abilities sidhi.
As the highest chakra Sahasrara does not have the sound mantra, yet it is connected with the subtle vibration of mantra OM that cannot be heard.
Sahasrara is connected with conarium, places in the brain. The malfunctioning of this chakra may lead to brain-growth, the growth of the inner scull pressure.
In India the properly functioning seventh chakra is associated with ability for enlightenment, universal love, contact with universal mind, having universal energy. If it lacks balance depression, isolation, worry, psychosis and more serious psychic diseases can occur.
The Sahasrara mandala is presented at the pictures 41 and 42, other than the rest of mandalas it is visibly asymmetric. This stresses the simultaneous earthy and cosmic nature of this chakra, its liaison function between earthy and spiritual levels of reality. During the concentration on the seventh chakra it can be visualized as the amaranth or purple spot. It corresponds with the highest unincarnated in form being Paramashiva. As the higher being Paramashiva contains non-differetiated male and female elements. That is why images of male and female gods are missing in the meditation on Sahasrara.
1.3. General information on the system of thirteen chakras
The conception of seven chakras is greatly simplified and is used only at the primary stages of psycho-energetic work. Yoga, Indian and Tibetan Tantra normally use the system of thirteen chakras. Besides the system of Adjna chakra and the system of Sahasrara chakra are mentioned. (64). These additional chakras play particularly important role in spiritual transformation, learning the techniques of work in altered states of consciousness and awakening of the higher magic abilities. The work with those chakras is conducted only in the case of the constant contact with the Teacher that is why we will give only the most general information concerning them.
The position of the six additional chakras is given on the picture 43 but their numbers are given in brackets. The main seven chakras have two numbers: one is for the system of seven and another in brackets is for the system of thirteen chakras.
The chakra is placed in the heart sphere under Anahata. It has eight petals and is often treated as the inner aspect of Anahata.
The blocked Hrit chakra leads to the development of the self, selfishness, opposition of the bestial and spiritual elements and conflict between them. That is why variable mystic traditions pay great attention to elaboration of this chakra. It is responsible for integration and harmonization of upper and lower chakras.
The majority of people have this chakra blocked today, at the somatic level this leads to different heart and vessel diseases.
(7) Talu (Lalana)
The chakra is placed in the upper palate where it meets the small tongue. Kundalini goes up to Adjna from Vishuddha through this center. For that reason Kundalini-yoga pays great attention to the concentration on Talu. The special secret Hamsa mantra is used to activate Kundalini. However, the process of work with the Talu chakra is available only for advanced pupils and is transmitted only directly by the Teacher.
As the secret chakra Talu has variable descriptions in different texts. So according to Saubhagya-lakshmi-upanishad, it has a dozen of bright-red petals. Nevertheless, other texts prove that it has sixty-four silvery-white petals and bright-red center which contain the sphere of lunar energy (chandra-kala) the source of the energy of bliss (24). When the pupil achieves this sphere the nectar starts to dorp on his tongue.
Talu chakra is very important, for it lays at the edge of enlightenment and gives to a wanderer the experience of the great emptiness (Maha-Shunya). Its sixty-four petals are dwellings of sixty-four yoginis, practicing with them one can achieve eight super-abilities (sidhi). Yet, many great magicians, who had wonderful magic skills, stopped here and did not go higher than Lalana.
Manas chakra belongs to Adjna system and is situated right over it. It has six petals and is believed to be the center of the sense awareness. Five petals are connected with five primary elements and senses (smell is for earth, taste is for water, sight is for fire, touch is for air, hearing is for akasha). Their colors are correspondingly: yellow, white, red, smoky-gray and white, they are active in awakening state. According to Indian imaginations, the interaction of mind and environment goes through them.
The sixth petal is black it is active in dreams and altered states of consciousness; the interaction with subtle levels of reality takes place through it. That is why this chakra is very important for the control over dreams and learning techniques of work in the altered states of consciousness.
This chakra belongs to the Adjna system and is placed directly over the Manas chakra. It has sixteen petals and is treated as the center of the higher intellect (buddhi). At its level the power of Shakti Shiva manifests. It is connected with the higher forms of knowledge, giving the holistic perception of the world without our usual dividing in separate elements and connections between them. Such perception is typical for higher levels of human creative activity.
(11) Nirvana (Kalachakra)
This is the highest chakra among those ones placed in the human body. It also belongs to Sdjna system. The central nadi Sushumna ends at the level of Nirvana chakra, then the energy flows beyond the human physical body and connection with the next beyond-scull chakra Guru is conducted with the help of special power Wisarga.
Nirvana chakra is associated with higher forms of concentration, leading to dissolution of personal self and transformation of mind into super-mind.
Guru chakra is situated over the scull and belongs to Sahasrara system, being its lower part. It has twelve petals.
The concentration on Guru chakra opens the way to Samadhi the highest form of integration with divine levels of reality.
1.4. The system of chakras in Tibetan Tantra
The subtle body and all its structures present an extremely complicated object. Naturally each tradition describes it from different point of view the complete description does not seem to exist and it is hardly possible at all. Hence, different systems of imaginations of chakras and subtle channels complete each other and allow going deeper into essential matters.
In this respect Tibetan tradition is especially interesting. Tibet has been practically isolated from the surrounding world for many centuries because of its geographical position and some other factors. That is why the most ancient knowledge, which came there from India in the first millenium, has survived in Tibet while in India itself some part of it was lost. The most ancient esoteric imaginations of Tibetans themselves was added to this knowledge and this way the basis of one of the deepest religious and magic traditions of our planet was established. That is a famous Tibetan medicine, variable miracles, demonstrated by Tibetan monks and the highest religious practice. One of the foundation stones of this is Tibetan conception of vital energy and structures of the subtle body. The famous practice of the awakening of inner fire (Too-mo), creating preliminary conditions for enlightenment and developing such super-abilities as insensitivity to heat and cold, levitation etc. (49, 65), is also based on it.
The basis of Tibetan psycho-energetics is the concept of winds and red and white drops. Winds are power fields, energies awakening movement, resisting chaos. They can be treated as analogy of prana or nega-entropy. The movement of winds in the structures of subtle body (channels and chakras) is a condition of any change and development. White and red drops are thick and subtle substances, germs of any structure, also material one. Red drops are strictly connected with blood, energy of fire; they are in the navel center (Manipura chakra). White drops are connected with inherited substance, sperm and at the same time with higher subtle energies. They are in the top head center (more or less corresponds with Shasrara).
Wheels or doors are Tibetan analogy of Indian chakras (in Sanskrit 'chakra' means 'wheel'). The term 'door' is used as a metaphor, according to which the wind (vital energy) can penetrate the central channel through one of those centers as a person enters the house through the door. The aim of the majority of Tibetan esoteric practices is the opening of one of these doors and enabling the entrance of the wind to the central channel. The winds of a usual person wander in the system of subtle channels of the body, activating organs connected with them and corresponding low desires and fears (greed, eros, hunger, selfishness etc.). Only the movement of the winds to the central channel liberates the person from passions and discovers his or her super-abilities. Tibetan tradition distinguishes ten doors all together. Their location and approximate correspondence with Indian chakras are shown on the picture 45. The special feature is their presentation in the horizontal dimension. In this sense chakras and wheels (doors) are different sections, projections (vertical and horizontal) of the same psycho-energetic system and are complementary to each other. This once again proves the multi-dimensional nature of psycho-energetic centers.
According to Tibetans, the central cannel goes in the middle of the body but a bit closer to the spin, penetrating the centers of all wheels. It starts in the sphere of 'the third eye', goes up to the top of the head and then goes down, ending in the perineum sphere. It is blue and in the center becomes scarlet as arterial blood. The central channel is also called 'the channel of life' and 'the channel of consciousnesses', Rahu. It could be easily noticed that it more or less corresponds with Sushumna.
To channels corresponding with Indian Ida and Pingala run on the left and right sides of the central channel. The right channel is red and the left one is white. They begin in the corresponding nostrils and end up in the perineum, they go along the body, being parallel to the central channel and making knots around it in four points. More or less at the level of the navel the left channel slightly goes away from the central one and comes back below, ending up in sexual organs. The right channel goes the same way ending up in rectum.
The scheme on the picture 45 shows that knots are formed in four wheels: the navel center Manipura, the heart center Anahata, the throat center Vishuddha and the top of the head center. In three centers they form a single knot and only in the heart center make a triple one that is why the heart center is paid special attention. The left and right channels, when they make knots, bend around the central channel from the front first.
'Untying knots' is a very important Tibetan esoteric practice. Only this enables awakening of the germs of white and red drops and gives the wind a chance to move in the central channel freely (this process reminds of the awakening of Kundalini in Indian yoga).
The main wheels are those with knots. As it has already been mentioned, they all are presented in the horizontal dimension with their petals or needles turned up or down. Petals are red or white. Their position is shown at the picture 45. Two wheels the top of the head and the navel ones have triangles in their centers, the rest have circles.
The number of petals doubles if to count from the heart chakra up. So the heart wheel has eight petals, the throat one sixteen, the top of the head one thirty-two and going down to the navel center we get sixty-four. It can be easily seen that the numbers vary from the Indian tradition. Only the throat chakra has the same number of petals in both cases. Yet, there is no any contradiction here. The thing is that these two traditions describe the same system of chakras but from different points of view. In Indian Tantra we look at chakras from the front body surface (we see their section by the vertical dimension). In Tibetan tradition we look at chakras from above and see their horizontal section. If we remember that chakra is a multi-dimensional object everything goes right. Let us imagine that we look at the pyramid with the square basis. We will get a square (four 'petals') from above in the horizontal section and if we cut the pyramid vertically, from the side we will get a triangle (three 'petals').
There is an indestructible drop, the reservoir of the indestructible wind or soul in the center of the heart wheel. This wind 'blows' from life to life, carrying the human soul after the death to the next birth. It is the most important part of us that does not disappear after death. It is interesting to notice that nearly all traditions of our planet place the human soul in the area of the heart center.
Hence, the triple, the most complicated knot is situated in this center not occasionally. Each of the eight petals or needles of the heart wheel is associated with one of the geographic directions and the primary element (see picture 46). Three channels go from each petal. The first one is blue and is connected with consciousness it mainly contains winds. The second one is the channel of speech it is red and contains red drops. The third channel is the channel of body it is white and contains white drops. All of them end up in twenty-four points of body, forming the body mandala. Each of these twenty-four body areas corresponds with twenty-four holly places of our planet accessible only for initiated ones. Each of the twenty-four channels parts in three which all together gives seventy-two.
Each of those seventy-two, in its turn, parts in a thousand channels. This way seventy-two thousand channels are formed. The control over all these channels, winds, drops, flowing through them, is one of the most significant conditions of higher esoteric Tibetan practices.
© Evgueny Faydysh. 1999.