Psychic Dimensions of Chakras

Chakras are the different harmonics of personality that orchestrate the qualities of the personality in a specific fashion. They are the sites of the cosmic tattvas and their qualities, so they also represent centers of specific patterns of energy. Therefore Chakras have a specific sound frequency (mantra) and a form (Yantra). So each of these mantras represent the energy of the chakra. Through these mantras we evoke the energy of the tattvas through which Chakras interact with the gross and the subtle bodies.
Our conditioned being does not manifest only on the physical and psychological levels but the energetic patterns are also conditioned. The opening and the awakening of Chakras take place when we free ourselves from these conditioned patterns of energy and the moment this happens there is transformation in terms of psycho-physiological qualities.

Psychological attributes of Chakras


Represented by the Yantra of the earth element which is rectangle representing the stability, balance, staticity. Inside the rectangle there is a triangle with a lingam which has a boundary that is ill-defined and there is serpent coiled around the lingam, which represents the three guna and ego aspect of energy covering the consciousness of jiva. It is ill-defined because it is covered/veiled by the mayik (illusory; Mayarupa) aspect energy of Shakti. This truly represents our conditioned being or nature which responds to the instinctive levels of life activity. But both possibilities are present in the chakra; the Brahma granthi present in the chakra represent our limitations and conditionings with the most basic issues of life and when one?s energy is imbalanced at this level can cause extreme degree of pathology. Because this centre deals with the issues of survival and security; any imbalance at this level can result in the paranoid tendencies, unknown fear can direct itself for any specific objects or events in the environment. The person may cut the feeling of the body (not grounded in the body). The depletion of the energies of the earth element can manifest in the form of flighty, jumpy, oscillating, spacing out tendencies of the behavior. This is the center of the most fundamental fear; i.e. the fear of survival. Therefore it also governs the various facets of our behavioral expressions. Restrictiveness, fixity or the lack of flexibility in our nature is also because of the qualities of the earth element. The issues mainly deals with the issue of self preservation and when it is rajasika can manifests in the form of selfishness or lack of empathy and compassion but when it is in sattvika state it develops the quality of self reflection or self awareness. And the same energy of the tattva when handled properly; once tattva is purified it develops the quality of trust, security (when you are secured you can trust someone) grounding and stability in the personality. Grounding is one such quality associated with this chakra. It is the state of synchronicity with vibes/frequencies of the universe or immediate contact with the reality. When awareness is grounded properly it can heighten the self awareness or awareness of the body but when the energy is depressed can preoccupy the mind with body and then coping with the reality will be difficult.

This is the second lowest most chakra characterized by six petalled lotus; signifying 6 nerve endings, a Yantra constituted of crescent moon, representing the presence of water element and an animal which is a crocodile. This is the fertile ground of creativity which is the reflection of the flowing attribute of water element. This is the level where there is more freedom and the opportunity of wider range of expression; energy concerns here with the issue of the survival of species therefore it is less primitive than the fear of being annihilated. This is signifies the movement of consciousness from self protection to the protection of species.
Swadhisthana is the centre deals with the pleasure principle. This is the centre of sensuality, desires, and sexual drives. Located between the navel and the perineum it is pre rational, subconscious plane of consciousness. In the Yantra of the chakra there are two rings of petals in which outer layer or the ring of petal signifies the conscious aspect of mind and the inner ring symbolizes the unconscious realm. In between these two yantras there is crocodile floating which depicts the subterranean movement of samskaras. The animal itself is the creature which has the field of activities both on the surface and inside the water (represents here the deeper layers of mind). It is also the emblem of the sexual or the sensuous character in the individual. Moon in the Yantra represents the main drive force of psychic life in the individual as the gravitational pull of moon affects the energy of water on the surface it also has the effects on the unconscious and the subconscious energies of the mind. It has been observed by the mental health professionals that there are effects of moon on the moods and the psychic energies of the mental patients. Therefore from the psychotherapeutic aspects of study this centre occupies an important place.
From psychoanalytic point of view this centre is also very significant. According to this school of psychotherapy sexuality (libidinal energy is the underlying force of all motivations. In yoga also the same energy is used for creative, activity of self exploration and growth of personality by sublimating the energy and expressing it through higher centers i.e. seva, brahmacharya, and tapas. Tantrik manuals talk of direct channelizing of the energy of Swadhisthana through the process of urdhareta or leading upward.
Harmony at this chakra leads to the balanced emotional states, creativity, and ability to enjoy feelings, ability to change (quality of water), flexible thinking, high level of motivation etc.

This is the centre of vitality, due to the fiery tejas of fire elment it is symbolizes as lustrous gem, therefore it is known as manipura (city of jewel). This is symbolized as 10 petalled blue lotus, here blue represent the most fiery/luminous part of the fire. This is the plane of self esteem, self confidence, ambition, authority and achievements; also known as power center. This is also the level where consciousness is entangled with the territory of power, achievement and ambitions.
The element of fire is the main driving force here; directs the consciousness towards more ego fulfilling activities. Therefore most of the problems related with the power and ego trips are associated with this center. Swadhisthana is center of feelings of pleasure mainly centered in ones own body or self but at this plane of consciousness one starts to direct this feeling towards others. Interpersonal relationship finds expression through this centre of consciousness. This is the centre of personal power and authority recognition. The drive for self recognition also manifests in the form of spiritual pursuits and ultimately culminates into the drive of self discovery. Concept of self identity, self discovery and self concept are dealt here. Therefore consciousness here finds the possibility to stretch power consuming plane of consciousness to the plane of self discovery that is nothing but the process to find ones identity or better to say the true identity. The plane of ego is subtler than the levels of the first two levels.

Anahata chakra
Here at this level energy takes larger patterns from the focus on ego and its desires and activities. This is a growth towards more refined form of expression. This is the seat of balance; balancing the energies of both lower and the higher realms. Consciousness moves from the personal self centered dimension to the transpersonal dimension of consciousness. So the transcendence of ego takes place here.
Symbolically speaking this chakra is presented as 12petallled lotus. This chakra is situated between the 7 main Chakras, is also the centre of balance and harmony. Represented by a hexagon signifying the harmonious movement of consciousness and this harmony expresses itself in the form of some very refined qualities like universal unconditioned love and compassion. This plane represents the shift or a departure from instinctual realm of consciousness to more humane plane of existence. Here rationality of manipura is transcended and hence is also the centre of intuitive mind (Buddhist tantra). Even Hindu tantra studies this center as the centre of very refined feeling. Sensitivity also gets refined here to the extent that is transcends the personal boundary and one gets attuned to the feelings or suffering of others. The energies of the healer which heals others have also this chakra as the main source of healing energies. Awakening of this centre helps one to get attuned with the feelings of others. Therefore self oriented service finds expression as the selfless service (Nishkama seva). Vehicle of this centre is antelope; signifies freedom in movement of energy, heightened sensitivity, purity, alert and innocence.
This is also the centre of bliss and immense joy. Consciousness finds the source of satisfaction inside (ananda kanda). Kalpataru; wishfulfilling tree is found here. Desires are fulfilled here (transcendence of desires i.e. personal desires).

Literally this is the centre of purification. This is the centre of activities of the most subtle tattva (Akasha). This is also the centre responsible for reception, assimilation and creative expression of information. Reflective consciousness and the heightened receptivity find expression here. Spaciousness of the ether expresses itself in the form of creativity in thinking and behavior. Thoughts or the patterns of thinking are free from the ego-constricting tendencies. Therefore here the individuals can move beyond the fixedness in thinking and enjoy freedom and spontaneity. Ether is the field medium which wires the information which is beyond the grasp of senses and the lower mind. Therefore after ?entraining? oneself into the vibrations of this chakra the wider range of connectivity is possible. This can happen only after purification of the self. At the subtle level there is universal connectivity, having tuned into that realm one can have uninterrupted flow of information and creativity. Synchronous mind is the example of this connectivity.

Unadulterated information (vibration) —– symbolization of patterns —– plane of concepts, ideas, established thoughts, desires ——- expressions.

Awakening of Vishuddhi refers to tuning into the field/realm of unconditioned information. The element of ether is represented by a sphere filled with the dots inside suggesting expansive nature of the element.

Also known as guru chakra. As this is the chakra where the inner guru tattva is actualized and the command is received. This is the point of confluence of two opposite forces, causing dual experiences. This is also the realm where individuality is dropped and the individual consciousness merge into the field of eternal consciousness. The illusory field of Maya is weakened here resulting in the providence of knowledge that knows no boundaries. The third eye associated with the centre signifies the added understanding of the causal realm of existence. The lingam that is found here is Itarakhya/Itara with consolidated outline, signifying the clear perception of reality as it exists. So the distortion of reality is absent here.
Rudra granthi stands for this state of consciousness where there is shedding of individuality and attachment to life, therefore the last trace of conditioning is diluted here. Here one established the person is free from the restrictiveness of tattva, also becomes the controller of tattvas, known as the state of tattvatita. So the person, who is established here can have no compulsion, is a liberated soul. The individual directly experience the reality and the only idea that exists in relation to the reality is ?Iam That? (Aham Idam). Because consciousness flows in the causal realm, once being established here there is the knowledge of causality and time (

About Author

I started yoga teaching 10 years ago after completing my Post Graduation in Yoga Psychology from Bihar Yoga Bharati (Deemed University). After completing the study there I started sharing my learning with yoga aspirants, in the same university as Lecturer in the Dept. Of Yoga Psychology. The field of yoga has been an awakening and life transforming experience for me. It opened a completely new perspective to see the reality and participate in the flow of life! And I do believe that every particle in the UNIVERSE is participating and contributing to the eternal flow of life..

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