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  • Where are the details about the 7 chakras mentioned in Hindu scriptures?
  • What is their significance?
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up vote 9 down vote accepted

There are seven chakras in a Human body as Yoga and Tantra prescribes. These are:

  1. Sahasrara (सहस्रार्)
  2. Agya (आग्या)
  3. Vishuddi (विशुध्दि)
  4. Anahata (अनाहत)
  5. Manipura (मणिपुर)
  6. Swadhisthana (स्वाधिशतान)
  7. Muladhara (मूलाधार)

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Chakras are supposed to be mystic power centres in human body along the spine. Kundalini Shakti (often called Serpent Power) is dormant in a normal human and has to be awakened to reach ultimate consciousness.

When the Kundalini awakens, it uncoils up breaking open these chakras and activating them untill the Shakti unites with her Shiva at Sahasrara Chakra. Tantric traditions give immense importance to awakening of Kundalini Shakti.

The awakening of each Chakra is supposed to elevate ones consciousness to higher levels along with providing certain siddhis to the yogi. The eight siddhis (Ashtasiddhi अष्टसिध्दि) are:

  • Aṇimā: reducing one's body even to the size of an atom
  • Mahima: expanding one's body to an infinitely large size
  • Garima: becoming infinitely heavy
  • Laghima: becoming almost weightless
  • Prāpti: having unrestricted access to all places
  • Prākāmya: realizing whatever one desires
  • Iṣṭva: possessing absolute lordship
  • Vaśtva: the power to subjugate all

This ascent through the chakras can be viewed as an upward journey through the self which refines and subtilizes the energy that is the kundalini, until at the sixth chakra, the Ajna, center of command, a qualitative change has taken place. The chakras are centers of transformation of psychic or mental energy into spiritual energy.

Further readings:

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Excerpts from a Q&A with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

You would have heard about the seven chakras (energy centers) ; it is One Energy that manifests itself in various forms.

In the first chakra (Muladhara), at the base of the spine, the energy manifests as enthusiasm or inertia.

When the same life force energy comes to the second chakra (Swadhisthana), it manifests as sexual energy or creative or procreative energy.

The same energy goes up to the navel region, the third chakra (Manipura), and manifests in four different forms, which relate to four different emotions - greed, jealousy, generosity and joy. That is why all these four emotions are depicted through the tummy.

Jealousy is an emotion that one feels in the stomach. Generosity is depicted with a large tummy, e.g., Santa Claus. Joy is also depicted with a big tummy, e.g., Lord Ganesha and the Laughing Buddha.

The same emotion comes to the fourth chakra (Anahata), the heart chakra; manifests as three different emotions which are love, hatred and fear.

When this energy rises to the fifth chakra (Vishuddha), at the level of the throat, it symbolizes grief and gratefulness. When you feel grief, the throat chokes, and when you feel grateful also, the throat chokes.

The same energy then goes in between the eyebrows to the sixth chakra (Ajna), and manifests as anger and alertness. Anger, alertness, knowledge, and wisdom are all related to the third eye centre.

The same energy goes to the seventh chakra (Sahasrara), at the top of the head and manifests as sheer bliss. That is why in any sanctuary experiences, when you feel total bliss, the mind immediately goes to the top of the head. Something shoots up to the top of the head and you feel blissful.

So, the upward movement and downward movements of energy are all the emotions in life.

http://www.artofliving.org/seven-centers-energy-chakras

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