Praise for THE POWER OF CHAKRAS
from Best Selling Authors
"Dr. Susan Shumsky is one of the most genuine, sincere spiritual teachers that I am privileged to personally know. She is a rare treasure who truly walks her talk, and he profound connection with inner divinity is obvious."
--Dannion Brinkley, author of Saved By the Light
"The concept of chakras, of vital energy centers, is an ancient and
revered idea throughout much of the world. For anyone wishing
examine ways of integrating knowledge of this area into their
and health, Exploring Chakras is a valuable guide."
--Larry Dossey, MD, author: Healing Beyond the Body, Reinventing
Medicine, and Healing Words
"Exploring Chakras is a magnificent companion book to Dr. Shumsky's Exploring Meditation. It links the practice of meditation to the highest attainment of self-realization by connecting it with the body's energy vortices--the chakras. Her scholarly and deeply researched book is, at the same time, easy to read and retain. The information within it is a much-needed guide to help seekers discover their own intelligence within."
--Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga, co-author, Yoga as a Form of Meditation and author,
Kripalu Yoga, Meditation in Motion, Books I and
"Exploring Chakras is a practical, well-researched and thorough explication of the spiritual energy centers that are basis of all lasting inner transformation. The book provides an important alternative to popular presentations that are often superficial or inaccurate, offering the reader a knowledge that reflects the deepest, oldest and most wholesome methods of the Yoga tradition. For those interested in how to really work with the chakras, Exploring Chakras provides a wealth of information and inspiration."
--Dr. David Frawley, author Yoga and Ayurveda and Tantric
Yoga. Director, American Institute of Vedic Studies.
"The ancient Indian yogic discipline recognises that man is but an inseparable constituent of, and identical with, the larger and higher Self which is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. Only the realisation of this identity is lacking in the ordinary human being. The yogis discovered that a limitless energy lay dormant in every human being, ready to be awakened. This dormant energy they labelled as Kundalini and likened it to a serpent lying coiled at the base of the spine, with its head turned downwards. The whole yogic discipline consists of the awakening of this Kundalini through regular practice of yoga, and directing it upwards. In due course, the Kundalini moves up the spinal cord wherein potent yet subtle energy centres, called the Chakras, lie in an inactive state. Each Chakra or energy centre has specific characteristics and its activation confers specific powers on the yogi. As the successive Chakras get activated, they confer on the practitioner of yoga immense mental and spiritual energy so that eventually nothing remains impossible for him to achieve. Exploring Chakras is a brilliant and comprehensive exposition of this system of Chakras by the author who has spent decades in her spiritual pursuits, learning the various concepts and techniques of yoga from direct contact with Indian masters of this discipline. Her depth of understanding of the intricate aspects of yoga springs from her prolonged and personal experience. The book is highly illustrated and makes an easy and absorbing reading."
--Dr. K.S. Charak, M.D., Vedic Astrologer and author of Esssentials of Medical
Astrology and Elements of Vedic Astrology, and editor of
the magazine Vedic Astrology.
Praise for THE POWER OF CHAKRAS
from Grateful Readers
Perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a
wonderful book. It explains everything in detail so you understand.
It's great for begginers who want to know the truth. Includes some
exercises. Just great. You won't waste your money if you buy
this.--Stephanie, Puerto Rico
"Digging Deeply into Ancient
Wisdom. This is most profound and complete chakras book I have ever
seen. I have looked everywhere for this information. Thank you,
Susan Shumsky, for digging so deeply to put together this book,
comprising the ancient wisdom of India, traditional yogic
practices, along with your amazing revelations and healing
--Samuel Robinson, New York, NY
"Best Book on Chakras Ever
Written. I have never read a better, more comprehensive book about
the chakras and kundalini. In fact, I have probably not read a
better book about Indian philosophy. I have read Susan Shumsky's
other books, which are also fantastic, but she has really done her
research on this one. She shows not only how the chakras relate to
the physical body, nervous system, etc., but also how they
correspond to the cosmic body--even to the creation of the
universe, Star of David, OM, Sanskrit alphabet, Hindu deities,
etc., etc. Amazing how she ties everything together. All the things
I thought I knew about the chakras were so much less than what this
book reveals. It may be easy to read, and the exercises are simple
to do, but its deep philosophy definitely gets my vote for extreme
profundity. If Exploring Chakras doesn't totally blow your mind, I
would be surprised."--Arnold Champion, Santa Barbara.
"The Ultimate Chakras Book. I
have read every book about chakras that I could find. However, I
have never seen one like this! The author has gone where no one has
dared to go before--into the microcosm within the macrocosm. This
is a breathtaking exposition of the universe that is your own body.
Having read this book, I feel I have just taken the ride of my life
into uncharted regions of time and space with the beloved Kundalini
Shakti as my chaffeur. Wow!"
--Allison Winters, Chicago, Illinois.
"An Awesome book!! A must-buy! My sister got me this book about 1 year-ago cause I had been interested in a wider ranged look at spirituality. However, what I found in this book was much more. This book offers an excellent source of information in an relatively easy & fun way to learn. It has also inspired me to search and question much more in life. I love this book!!"
"Part of a body of work. I bought this after reading 2 of her other titles 'Divine Revelation', followed by 'Miracle Prayer'. I found her so interesting that I bought another 4. She's the author of 7 books at this point. Having said all this, I have only skimmed this one. I found it quite as interesting as the rest, at least what I have read so far and fully expect to learn a good deal. It's because of the excellence of her other work that I have scored this high. Susan brought 'New Thought Christianity' to my attention, something unknown to me. It's a school of thought and spiritual practice. Apparently its first advocate was Swedenborg and there followed several hundred years worth of others that included Emerson. She is thorough and reads with clarity, something of an accomplishment given the rather hard-to-define fields she writes about: e.g in 'Ascension', the transmutation of the physical body to light through a progressive divinisation. Her school of thinking is sympathetic in my view, with 'A Course In Miracles', though whether she would agree I don't know. She's serious, draws well on wide life experience and has something to offer. Her body of work is something of a resource and I think for some people could be a contribution to their exploration. And it's not just cerebral, she's nothing if not about direct personal experience and cognition. There are people who will disagree with these views, but that's life isn't it." --Starlight Sky, United Kingdom
"A treasure trove of information about the human energy system. Very complete information about the chakras. Exploring chakras is a very detailed and complete description of the chakras and the human energy system as well as yogic practices. The most complete explanation that I've seen of the chakras including very detailed explanations of their qualities, and characteristics and how to lift and open the chakras. You can see in this book that Shumsky studied with an eastern master for 20 years. It is detailed to read and for me it is an awesome reference book." --Maggie Hux, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Reviews of THE POWER OF CHAKRAS
"Quintessential Reference on
Chakras: EXPLORING CHAKRAS firmly establishes itself as the
penultimate source on the subject of chakras, by providing an
abundance of quality information in a very organized and
easy-to-read format. Author Susan Shumsky studied for years with
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in his ashrams, and her more than 21 years of
working with chakras comes shining throughShumsky brings yogic
wisdom together with western practicality in such a way that every
chapter overflows with delectable Sanskrit words, beautiful
illustrations, and tables. I found the description of secret yogic
practices to be especially fascinating. I highly recommend
EXPLORING CHAKRAS to any serious student of chakras; it's the
quintessential reference on the subject!"--Cynthia Sue Larson,
reviewer, and author of Aura Advantage: How the Colors in Your
Aura Can Help You Attain What You Desire and Attract
"This is one of the best
explanations of the chakras and how to access them and benefit from
that access that I have ever read."--Michael Gleason, New Age
"The explanation of the chakras
Ms. Shumsky gives on page 15 is far more detailed than any I have
encountered before. The charts and illustrations contain in this
book offer a unique perspective on chakras.
The first chapter answers basic questions about the foundation of
belief in, and knowledge of, chakras is simple, easy to understand
ways. It contains less than dozen questions, yet succeeds in
setting the groundwork for what is to follow.
Ms. Shumsky does not claim to be able to convey all the necessary
knowledge in this one, relatively short, book. And she does
recommend finding a teacher to help you work through the rather
intense experiences you might expect to encounter if you decide to
pursue further studies in this area. Her book is intended as an
introduction (albeit an intense introduction).
This is not a book ONLY about Eastern thought. There are references
to quantum theory and other aspects of Western science as well.
These references are kept as simple as is practical, but a fair
understanding of current scientific terms would be a definite
Throughout the book Ms. Shumsky takes the time to explain the
foreign (mostly Sanskrit) words which are unavoidably part of the
explanations f this topic. She explains the roots of the word and
relates it to concepts anyone can understand. It won't make you
proficient in Sanskrit but, by the time you finish reading the book
you won't be staring blankly when you see or hear these
The book is abundantly illustrated with black and white drawings
and images of Eastern deities. Once again, it serves to make these
ideas and deities easier to relate to.
Unlike many authors, she continues to give short reminders of the
meanings of the foreign words throughout the book. She is also
adamant about pursuing the yoga she teaches with a qualified
teacher AND medical approval, both of which are very good pieces of
advice often overlooked in other books aimed at the general
This is one of the best explanations of the chakras and how to
access them and benefit from that access that I have ever read. Of
course, it can't replace personalized instruction, but if you take
the time to read this book, and let the concepts within work
through your various levels, you will more than amply rewarded.
This is NOT an 'instant' formula for learning about chakras. It
involves some serious study and some very hard work. The rewards
are definitely worth the effort in my opinion.
There are plenty of charts to help simplify the absorption of
information for those whose minds are attuned to that method of
The last 54 pages are composed of exercises and techniques designed
to help you begin the stimulation of your chakras, and you should
be well prepared to begin that work by the time you arrive at that
point."--Mike Gleason, Spiral Nature.
Chakras is a briliant, highly illustrated and comprehensive
exposition of the system of chakras-inside you will discover the 14
main chakras responsible for physical, mental, and spiritual
activity and evolution. A magnificent companion book to Dr
Shumsky's Exploring Meditation, this book links the practice of
meditation to the highest attainment of self-realisation by
connecting it with the body's energy vortices-the chakras.
Beginners and advanced students can benefit from the information
and methods, presented in Exploring Chakras. The book's authority
rests not only on Susan's personal experiences but also on ancient
scriptural sources. It makes for easy and absorbing reading.
The book will open the door to the potent, mysterious force called
Kundalini. It will also uncover the Chakra system, a network of
energy within your subtle body and will elevate your consciuosness,
because your attention will focus on the subtle chakra and
to Top of Page
THE POWER OF CHAKRAS
What's a Chakra, Anyway?
by Dr. Susan G. Shumsky
"The awakening of the inner Kundalini is the true beginning of
the spiritual journey." - Swami Muktananda.
Kundalini is a mysterious,
dormant, powerful, cosmic force within your body that, when
awakened, is believed to bring spiritual enlightenment. It is also
the potent energy within your body understood to be responsible for
sexual orgasm. Because of this, much misinformation has been
perpetrated in the name of kundalini.
The chakra system, consisting of energy centers within your subtle
body, is widely explored today through myriad books, seminars, and
gurus. Sincere individuals seeking kundalini experiences are led
into practices that may or may not produce genuine spiritual
evolution. Many authentic practices yield spectacular results in a
short time. Others are erroneous and ineffectual. Methods
undertaken sincerely and seriously, with proper training, can lead
to spiritual awakening. Others, attempted haphazardly and
carelessly, can cause confusion, harm, or worse, serious physical
or mental illness.
After taking a weekend seminar, many misguided people print a
business card, put up a shingle, and declare themselves the next
"master," "yogi," "sanyasin," or "chakra healer." Suddenly they
claim authority in a field that yogis spent lifetimes meditating in
caves attempting to master. Some so-called experts are sincere, yet
deluded. Sadly, much confusion is left in their wake.
For this reason, exploring chakras in a reliable, systematic way is
important. Gaining deep understanding about your subtle bodies,
energy field, and energy system is essential. Learning beneficial
spiritual practices that will not harm your body or confuse your
mind is necessary.
By learning from ancient sources that have stood the test of time,
you can be assured of deeper comprehension and better experiences.
By delving into scriptures of antiquity that have, until recently,
been locked in secret hiding places in forests and caves of India,
now you can uncover new, unexplored, and as yet unrevealed
If you are curious about chakras, yet claim no prior knowledge or
experience, then it is wise to begin slowly and practice
step-by-step. If you know about chakras, you may want to rethink
what you think you already know. Perhaps you can learn deep wisdom
from the ancient sages.
Now it is smart to learn and grow spiritually in a safe, precise
way. In a phrase: It is time to "practice safe spirituality."
This book will show you how.
What Can this Book Do for
Perhaps you picked up this book
because of an interest in spiritual development. You may have heard
about chakras or kundalini, or previously read about them. Maybe
you studied Kundalini Yoga, Tantra Yoga, or Laya Yoga for years,
but want to learn more. Or you faced disaster while playing with
kundalini without supervision.
In every case, this book has something to offer. Beginners as well
as advanced students can benefit from the information and methods
presented here. That is because this book's authority rests not
only on personal experience but also on ancient scriptural
Through more than three decades of teaching spiritual disciplines,
I have often heard the following complaints, to which solutions are
found in this book:
1. "I've tried to meditate and awaken kundalini, but it just
doesn't work for me."
This book provides easy step-by-step ways to gently awaken
kundalini safely, reliably, and systematically, through
time-tested, proven yogic practices.
2. "My negative beliefs, mental blockages, and limitations get
in the way when I try to meditate or get spiritual
Here you will learn specific healing affirmations to help you
overcome past negative patterns and attain the experiences you
3. "My kundalini experiences are so strange, and no one
In this book you will find examples and explanations of
kundalini, and a roadmap to your spiritual experiences.
4. "I get totally confused by this energy running through my
body. What am I supposed to do with it?"
This book provides not only understandings about kundalini
energy and chakras, but also methods to help you master the
5. "I get frightened by negative kundalini experiences."
This book offers specific ways to handle any situation, no
matter how strange or frightening it might be.
6. "I feel overly sensitive to people and influences around
In this book you will learn techniques for healing negative
influences and for preventing harm from future influences.
7. "I've been deceived by the false promises of gurus."
The information in this book helps you become more self-reliant
and less dependent on gurus.
8. I'm offended by rules and regulations, cults, and coercive
The universal techniques offered here impose no restrictions
and are compatible with other religious philosophies, lifestyles,
and personal beliefs.
9. "I don't want to work at difficult, strict, hard-to-follow
This book is understandable, logical, and practical, with
simple-to-learn methods requiring no previous experience,
background, training, or knowledge.
FAQ's about Chakras and
Perhaps you have already studied
subtle energy fields, the aura, prana, chakras, or kundalini.
Whether or not you are already familiar with these topics, you
might be surprised at what you can learn here. Let us begin with
the basics and answer a few questions you may have.
Q: What is subtle
A: Just like physics
tells us the universe is made of subtle constituents invisible to
the human eye, similarly, your body is made of subtle energy. Let
us try an experiment right now. Clench both your fists and place
them next to each other, as shown in Figure 1a. Then vigorously rub
your left fingers against your right fingers back and forth (not up
and down) for forty-five seconds. Then unclench your fists and face
your palms toward each other a few inches apart. You might feel an
invisible ball of energy between your palms. This sensation of
vibrant activity is subtle energy.
By entering a dilapidated house,
a hospital, prison, bar, mental institution, or a crowed bus, you
can sense bad vibrations. By hiking in the woods, boating on a
lake, hearing inspiring music, or reading uplifting poetry or
scriptures, you can feel elated. These are all indications of
In this book you will learn to energize your body, enhance your
energy field, heal energy blockages, and prevent energy
Q: What is the aura?
A: The subtle energy
field in and around your body is the "aura" (meaning "breath of
air" in Greek). Just as the Earth has a magnetic field, so your
body has an auric field. Your aura consists of several bodies, such
as your mental body, emotional body, and subtler bodies that
constitute higher self. Your subtle bodies are invisible to human
eyes but visible to your inner eye or clairvoyant ("clear-seeing"
in French) sensory perception.
If you stare at a person standing in front of a white wall, you
might see energy vibrations or colors around the person's head. By
looking into a mirror at night in the dark, you may see a subtle
glow around your own head. These experiences are indications that
In this book you will learn about your subtle bodies and auric
Q: What is a mental
A: Your mental thoughts
and emotions have physical counterparts in your subtle body. These
thoughts consist of subtle substance not yet measured by science,
but visible to clairvoyant sense perception. Thought-forms are
habitual thought patterns taking concrete shape in and around your
body. You might wear some old encrusted thoughts like an armor.
Others might seem like a jail cell. These old thought-forms and
habits can be healed.
You will learn how in this book.
Q: What does the word
A: In the ancient
Sanskrit language, in which the East Indian scriptures were
originally written, the word chakra translates as "wheel."
This word is pronounced phonetically as "chukr": chu, as in
the English word "chum," plus cr, as in the English word
"crumb," but the "r" is rolled.
Because chakras are centers of vital energy in your subtle body,
they are not observable by your gross senses. However, they can be
experienced through subtle sense perception.
Seven main chakras are described in the ancient East Indian
Tantric scriptures. Each chakra in your spinal column is believed
to influence or even govern bodily functions near its region of the
spine. Because autopsies do not reveal chakras, most people think
they are a fancy of fertile imagination. Yet their existence is
well documented in the traditions of the Far East.
In this book you will discover and explore these
Q: What is kundalini
A: Kundalini shakti is a spiritual cosmic energy hidden in
the human body. The term derives from Sanskrit roots, kundal
(curled up) and shakti (energy). Shakti is also known as the
goddess, the mother of this universe.
Kundalini is a vast reservoir of untapped, potential energy. When
fully awakened, this spiritual energy is said to bring
self-realization and enlightenment. However, in most people, it
lies dormant at the base of the spine near the tailbone, lodged in
the subtle body. Kundalini is often called "serpent power,"
"serpent fire," or "mystic coil," because it resembles a sleeping
snake coiled in spiral shape. Many yoga practitioners attempt to
awaken this serpent, uncoil it, and nudge it to rise up towards the
In this book you will learn about kundalini and how to rouse
Q: What is prana?
A: Prana is universal
energy that breathes life into matter. It is formless, ubiquitous,
potent energy that sustains both living individuals and also the
cosmic order - the power within everything, animate and inanimate.
Individual prana is the vital life-principle in all animate life.
Cosmic prana is a universal energy that unifies the living and
non-living in a coordinated whole.
The word prana comes from the Sanskrit, pra (forth)
and an (to breathe, move, live). Therefore prana is the life
force in your breath. It is the key to life - electromagnetic fuel
that energizes every tissue and cell. Without prana, your body
could not function.
Gopi Krishna in The Dawn of a New Science describes prana as
"a living electricity, acting intelligently and purposefully,
that controls the activity of every molecule of living matter. It
carries the life principle from one place to the other."
In this book you will discover how prana functions in your
Q: What is yoga?
A: The Sanskrit word
yoga comes from the root yuj (to yoke). The purpose
of yoga, therefore, is to unite the individual soul with universal
Spirit. Each path of yoga takes a different approach to attain this
goal. Since the most visible, popular path today is Hatha Yoga,
which uses physical postures called asanas, most people
think yoga is nothing more than physical exercises performed
on a floor mat. However, yoga is not an exercise routine. It is a
profound science for experiencing union with the divine.
In this book you will learn how yoga can enhance your life, and
you will learn some yogic practices to gently awaken
Q: What's the purpose of
raising kundalini energy?
A: When kundalini shakti
travels up the spine to the brain, the goal of yoga is achieved as
Shakti (female principle or inner Goddess) merges with
Shakta (male principle, the inner god Shiva) in divine
union. This results in a state of higher awareness called
nirvikalpa samadhi, the superconscious state of spiritual
enlightenment. Here the individual is fully unified with universal
Spirit, and all sense of separateness dissolves.
You will learn more about what that means in this book.
Q: What is Kundalini
A: Kundalini Yoga, Laya
Yoga, and Kriya Yoga are systems of yoga that seek to awaken the
slumbering kundalini. Practitioners engage in various methods to
rouse the sleeping energy until it moves up the spine, pierces the
chakras, moves through the brain, and finally reaches the crown
chakra or thousand-petaled lotus above the skull.
Kundalini Yoga is an aggressive path of rigorous asanas
(physical postures), intense pranayama (breathing
exercises), bandhas (muscular locks) mudras
(gestures), meditation using mantras and imagery, and strict
dietary and behavioral control. Kundalini Yoga masters generally
agree that celibacy is essential to this path.
If you are serious about deep involvement with Kundalini Yoga,
then study with an enlightened spiritual master who can guide you
personally through the sometimes-bizarre experiences that occur
when the force of kundalini is unleashed in the body.
In this book you will learn basic, gentle meditations, physical
practices, and breathing techniques to begin your exploration of
kundalini energy without the benefit of a teacher. However, you can
study a spiritual practice called Divine Revelation® or even
embark on a serious study of yoga or take a yoga retreat. For more
information, visit the web site mentioned on page 284 of this
Q: What's the purpose of
reading about this stuff?
A: You might think
chakras have no bearing on your everyday life. After all, what can
they do for you?
Learning about the subtle body, chakras, and kundalini can
transform your life. You can heal mental, physical and emotional
problems for yourself and others. You can develop intuition, ESP,
and subtle sensory perception. You can attain greater sensitivity,
manifest extraordinary powers, fulfill your desires, and unfold
greater awareness. You can even reach the ultimate goal of
self-realization and spiritual enlightenment in cosmic
consciousness or even higher levels of consciousness.
You will discover more by reading this book.
What You will Learn
As you read this valuable book,
· Discover your subtle bodies and their purpose.
· Learn about prana and how it functions in your body, mind,
· Gain understanding of kundalini energy and the chakra
· Learn details about the energies and purpose of each
· Use easy meditation techniques to experience and awaken
· Learn how to heal blockages in your subtle body.
· Learn how to maintain health of your energy field.
· Use gentle yoga practices and breathing methods specifically
designed to safely awaken kundalini energy.
· Empower yourself as a multidimensional being.
By practicing the simple, easy-to-learn techniques offered here,
you can begin to experience depths of spiritual awareness
comparable to what many seekers have sought for generations.
In this book you will explore subtle realms of mind, spirit, time,
and space, and how they relate to your body. You will chart
previously unknown regions of your inner being. A map of your life
will emerge - a roadmap providing deep understanding of yourself
and how you fit into the cosmos. You will travel through worlds
upon worlds and times beyond time in a multidimensional
This is the time for action. So let us get started now!
Above is an excerpt from
EXPLORING CHAKRAS, published by Career Press.
Copyright 2003 by Susan Shumsky
to Top of Page
YOUR SUBTLE ENERGY
To write my award-winning book
called Exploring Chakras, I went back to the original Vedic
and Tantric scriptures of ancient India to find the most authentic
information about the subject.
In my book I talk about 14 main
chakras that are mentioned in the ancient scriptures of India. 7
major chakras that we all know and love, and 7 others that we might
not be aware of. Many of these chakras are in our skull or above
Okay, let us begin by learning to
pronounce the word "chakra." I know this is challenging,
considering that you can't hear me. But right now, say the name
"Chuck." As in "Chuck E. Cheese's" Pizza. Now say the word, "run."
Okay, now put the 2 together but eliminate the "n" at the end of
the word "run," and replace it with an "h." "Chuck-ruh"-that's
(approximately) how to say the word "chakra."
There is no such pronunciation as
"shock-rah" in the Sanskrit language, or in the English language.
That's how most people mispronounce the word. I'm now on a
worldwide campaign to teach everyone how to pronounce this Sanskrit
word "chakra" correctly-"chuck-ruh." Just remember, Chuck E.
Cheese's Pizza, when you want to pronounce the word.
"Chakra" is a Sanskrit word,
meaning "wheel." Why is it a "wheel"? Because it has a hub, and it
has spokes. The hub is where many conduits of subtle energy
intersect, and the spokes are the radiations of subtle energy. So a
chakra is a concentrated center of subtle energy.
What subtle energy are we talking
There is a subtle form of energy
that gives life to you as a living human being and also to the
universe. The fundamental component of your being is consciousness.
The life force energy called "prana" is the medium through which
The life energy in prana flows
through your subtle bodies, sustaining all levels of your being.
Prana is what gives you life. Without prana, you would cease to
live. Prana is also known as "chi" in China and as "ki" or "reiki"
What do I mean by "subtle
You are a multidimensional being
of light, living in a multidimensional universe. Although this
statement sounds fantastic, it entirely concurs with the latest
findings of modern physics-this universe consists of vibration and
light in multiple dimensions.
Similarly, your own body is made
of light and sound. And this physical shell is not the only form
you inhabit. In fact, your body is multi-layered and
According to yogis of ancient India, several sheaths (called
"koshas" in Sanskrit language) surround and permeate your physical
body. They are called "sheaths" because they cover up your true
higher self, called the "atman."
These sheaths are invisible to ordinary human sight but visible to
clairvoyant sight. These radiant, brilliant, multicolored sheaths
of pure crystalline light make up your "aura" or "auric
Your fivefold sheath consists
1. Your "annamaya kosha"
(physical body or food sheath), so-named because it is a product of
food, requires food, dies without food, and, after death, becomes
food for plants and animals.
2. Your "pranamaya kosha" (vital
sheath), through which your vital life energy ("prana")
3. Your "manomaya kosha" (mental
sheath), a mental body that stores your thought-forms, habits,
conditioning, beliefs, and experiences.
4. Your "vijnanamaya kosha"
(intellect sheath), which consists of higher mind, your intellect,
as well as your ego, or sense of I-ness.
5. Your "ananadamaya kosha"
(blissful sheath), a mere reflection of the true radiance of your
real "atman" (higher self).
Each subsequent sheath is larger
than and permeates the former sheaths. In addition to these five
sheaths, you also have three higher bodies of immeasurable beauty,
bliss, truth, and glory: your "'I AM' body," your "God body," and
your "Absolute body."
Pranic energy flows through your pranic sheath (pranamaya kosha) in
fixed pathways called "nadis" (conduits or channels). (Some of
these nadis are also known in China as the acupuncture meridians.)
In your pranic body there are hundreds of centers of concentrated
vital energy where many nadis intersect, called "chakras"
(literally "wheels"). (Some of these are known as the acupuncture
points.) However, the nadis and chakras are by no means physical.
If you dissected a corpse, you would detect no nadi or chakra
The three most important nadis through which prana flows are
"sushumna," "ida," and "pingala." Sushumna is the median channel
reaching from the base of your spine, near the tailbone, all the
way up to the top of your skull. Ida and pingala coil around this
central canal. "Pingala nadi" and "ida nadi" govern the sympathetic
and parasympathetic aspects of your autonomic nervous system.
Sushumna nadi is the conduit of "kundalini," often called "serpent
power" or "mystic coil"-a special spiritual cosmic pranic energy
that remains dormant until it is awakened, usually through
The term "kundalini" derives from the Sanskrit root "kundal"
(curled up), because, in ordinary humans, it remains dormant,
coiled at the base of your spine. As kundalini wakes up and rises
up your spine, it opens specific chakras while traveling to its
destination at the top of your skull. Opening your chakras brings
greater health, well-being, energy, and, ultimately, spiritual
The 14 main chakras through which
kundalini energy flows are as follows:
1. Muladhara, which means "base"
or "root," because it is the lowest chakra in the body. The root
chakra, located at the base of your spine near the tailbone, is
responsible for excretion, sense of smell, and earth element. It is
associated with the adrenal glands.
2. Svadhishthana, which means
"one's own self," because it is where the individual comes into
being through procreation. The sacral chakra, in the coccyx region,
governs sexuality, procreation, sense of taste, and water element.
It is associated with the gonads.
3. Manipura, which means "city of jewels," because it has so many conduits of pranic energy intersecting there, and because it is the place where the fires of digestion burn. The navel chakra in the lumbar region, oversees digestion, sense of sight, and fire element. It is associated with the pancreas.
4. Anahata, which means "unstruck sound," because the unstruck sound is the sound of silence. And Anahata is where the silence of your divine consciousness resides. The heart chakra, in the thoracic region, is the seat of consciousness and your soul. It is the gateway to higher consciousness. This chakra manages the sense of touch and air element. It is associated with the thymus gland.
5. Hrit chakra, which means
"heart." Right below the anahata chakra, it is the seat of devotion
to God and fulfillment of all desires.
6. Vishuddha, which means
"purification," (and I'm not sure why). The throat chakra, in the
cervical region, deals with sense of hearing, and ether element,
and creative expression. It is associated with the thyroid
7. Talu, the nectar chakra, in
medulla oblongata, is related to the uvula, the current of pranic
energy, and the flow of "soma" (nectar of immortality).
8. Ajna, which means "command
center," because it is situated in the area of the glands that
regulate the entire endocrine system. The third eye chakra, in the
pineal gland/hypothalamus area, seat of the higher self (atman), is
responsible for higher wisdom and clairvoyant sight.
9. Manas, which means "sensory
mind." In the upper part of ajna chakra, it is the center of your
lower mental vehicle: instincts, impressions, and
10. Indu, which means "Moon." In
the front part of the brain, it is the seat of your intellect and
11. Nirvana, which means
"dissolution." At the top of your brain, it is associated with the
annihilation of your ego.
12. Guru, which means
"light/darkness" or "teacher." Above your head in the lower part of
sahasrara chakra, it is the center in which divine light dispels
the darkness of ignorance.
13. Sahasrara chakra, which means
"thousandfold." The thousand-petaled lotus above your head, itis
the center of divine union, integration, and
14. The Bindu, which means
"point." In the upper sahasrara chakra, it is a center of
infinitely concentrated energy, the fountainhead from which your
entire subtle energy system springs.
You might be interested to know
the colors, planets, days of week, and gemstones associated with
the seven major chakras. These colors and planets are based on
ancient Vedic astrology, called "Jyotish."-not based on modern New
1. Day of week: Sunday ("Day of the Sun"). Planet: Sun. Solar (Sun) plexus chakra: Color: red. Gem: ruby. Associated with vital energy and the fire of digestion.
2. Day of week: Monday ("Day of the Moon"). Planet: Moon. Sacral chakra: Color: orange. Gem: pearl or moonstone. Associated with emotions, fecundity, and fertility.
3. Day of week: Tuesday (Mardi or Mars day in French). Planet: Mars. Root chakra: Color: yellow. Gem: red coral. Associated with primal needs and survival instincts. Mars is God of war.
4. Day of week: Wednesday (Mercredi or Mercury day in French). Planet: Mercury. Thousand petalled lotus chakra above head. Color: green. Gem: emerald. Associated with the brain-nearly an infinite network of interrelated communication. Mercury is planet of communication.
5. Day of week: Thursday (Jeudi or Jupiter day in French). Planet: Jupiter. Third eye chakra. Color: blue. Gem: yellow topaz or yellow sapphire. Associated with higher mind, wisdom, and intuition. Jupiter in Sanskrit is literally translated as "Guru." Jupiter is associated with higher learning.
6. Day of week: Friday (Vendredi or Venus day in French). Planet: Venus. Throat chakra. Color: indigo. Gem: diamond. Associated with creative expression. Venus is goddess of beauty and creativity.
7. Day of week: Saturday ("Day of Saturn"). Planet: Saturn. Heart chakra. Color: violet. Gem: blue sapphire or amethyst. Associated with contraction and expansion (beating of the heart) and also highest vibration. Heart is the key to the entire chakra system. It is the seat of consciousness and therefore has the highest vibration. Saturn is the deepest in space and therefore subtlest of the 7 inner planets.
You can learn much more about your subtle energy system in Dr. Susan Shumsky's book, THE POWER OF CHAKRAS.
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