Last week, we delved into the opening of the higher aspects of the Svadhisthana Chakra through the sex act. We will return to this topic sometime in the future. This week, we will examine the Manipura chakra.
My guru, Mr. Tavaria, has spoken of two chakras in the solar plexus area – Manipura and Kundali (not kundalini). He said that the Manipura was a negative chakra and the Kundali a positive one. However, for our study, we will take them not as two separate chakras but as the positive and negative parts of the same chakra.
The Manipura chakra is the largest of all the chakras. It is located behind the stomach in the solar plexus area. It is very powerful and radiates seven centimeters in all directions. This is the easiest chakra to feel and sense. During moments of stress, we feel this chakra as a knot in the solar plexus area. This is the area of all our fears, seen and unseen.
The Manipura chakra is the seat of reaction. It is the area of animal passion and has gathered a considerable amount of combustible material over many lifetimes. My guru would talk of the energy of sensitiveness in this area. We are quickly inflamed when we are hurt or insulted. This is the energy which causes us to react easily. It causes man to live in a state of identification.
Mr. Tavaria said that the Manipura chakra has to be closed and the small chakra situated on its right side has to be opened. This small chakra, called Kundali, is a positive chakra and holds the energy of sensitivity. As opposed to the energy of sensitiveness, the energy of sensitivity is a powerful energy which brings patience, endurance and awareness in our lives.
Sensitiveness is akin to the search for excitement, the indulgence of the senses. Man continually seeks new things to excite him and keep his attention involved. In sensitivity, the search for excitement drops and there is a newfound joy in what is and the small, simple acts of life. For the student of spirituality, it is very important to realize this because if he cannot rise above excitement, then his consciousness will be stuck at the Manipura chakra and he will not be able to rise above it.
The element associated with the Manipura chakra is fire. We have seen that the element of the Svadhisthana chakra is water. While water expands horizontally, fire in the Manipura expands vertically and this takes our consciousness to higher levels. However, as long as we hold patterns of revenge, retribution, violence and egoism, the fire in the Manipura chakra will just explode and burn out. This transformation has to take place through conscious effort, through a movement from sensitiveness to sensitivity. Once the student has passed the Manipura chakra, he is free of reaction.
The chief prana or vital force in the Manipura chakra is samana and it is yellow in color. It is the prana of instinctive intelligence, what we refer to in the world as being ‘street smart’. The endocrine gland associated with this chakra is the pancreas. The Manipura chakra is like a major railway junction, where several nadis, pranas, the ganglia of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems all gather.
The samana prana of the Manipura performs the function of digestion. It controls all the digestive organs, the diaphragm, the middle spine, small intestines, parts of the kidney and the adrenals, particularly the adrenal cortex. The pancreas is an endocrine gland as well as an exocrine one. That is, it directly releases hormones into the bloodstream and also releases enzymes for digestion.
Lie down and try to feel a pulse in the navel region. If we feel a pulse in the center of our navel, it tells us that the pancreas is balanced and properly placed. If the pulse is felt a little above or to the left, we will have respiratory problems. If the pulse is felt to the right or below, we will have digestive problems. This pulse is the beat of the universe in our navel. The way to balance the pancreas is to do right nostril breathing.
Vibrations start in the navel, rise to the larynx and then are produced as audible sound. So we can say that the Manipura has already said the mantra before we utter it. That is, the lips are only repeating what has already been said. If we were to place our thumb on the navel while saying something, we would feel the Manipura vibrate before the larynx produces the words.
The Manipura is very responsive to sound, especially the Omkar. When we say the word ‘Kshanti’ three times, we are cleansing the Manipura. We understand this better if we realize that all animalism, and its accompanied violence, comes from the Manipura chakra. Thus, we can use sound energy to balance the Manipura, free it of knots and activate the chakra’s higher potential.
Most health issues related to the Manipura chakra are those of the digestive system. Diabetes, pancreatitis, kidney problems, low blood pressure, colitis, ulcers in the stomach, hepatitis, fatigue and muscular disorders.
The element or tattva in the Manipura is Agni or fire. From fire comes light, so the sense organ associated with this chakra is the eye. Its organ of action is the anus.
Psychologically, the Manipura chakra is the seat of power. The power of personality. It dictates our ability to carry out decisions. But it is also the storehouse of past samskaras or memory patterns. So, we have to consciously decide to be free from the grip of these old patterns.
The past comes in the form of anger, pride, fear, prejudice and revenge. We may be very sensitive to criticism, leading to a lot of sensitiveness and buildup of combustible material. We may be very critical of others. Those who are aware of our reactive tendencies may manipulate us without our knowledge. To counter this, we must put in conscious effort to make decisions free of beliefs and prejudices.
All worry is controlled by the Manipura chakra. This is because it is the seat of fear and anger. We will examine this in detail in the next article.