For thousands of years, through exceptional spiritual practice, the yogis have identified and known about seven complex fundamental systems of emission-reception, which connect our inner micro cosmos with the outer macro cosmos's seven fundamental levels of vibration.
These centers of force are usually known as chakras. The following paragraphs will introduce you to the essential characteristics of each chakra, as well as their area of projection in the physical body.
1. First of the seven chakras, Muladhara chakra lies at the base of the spine, in the area between anus and groin.
This center of force symbolizes the objective consciousness and awareness in the physical, terrestrial universe.
On a psychic level, it controls the will to live, the state of inner safety, the desire for material goods, and the choice of profession.
The physical function assigned to this center of force is excretion, and the correspondent areas are the anus, the intestines, the muscular system and the adipose tissue.
When the energies characteristic to Muladhara chakra are not properly balanced with the other types of energies, the person to whom they belong may be quite pragmatic but may also irrationally waste his vital resources on unnecessary things.
"The person who experiences the activation of this chakra can easily succeed in overcoming any attachment to earthly matters and can become highly courageous, defeating for good his/her fear of death. Concentrating and meditating on Muladhara chakra leads to knowledge of this chakra and the means to awaken it." (Swami Shivananda)
2. The second center of force, Swadhisthana chakra is physically projected in the area above the sexual organs, represents the sensual consciousness, imagination, and is associated with the potential sexual energy.
On a physical level, this center of force is responsible for desire, imagination, hallucinations, sensuality, and the need to have a family. It is responsible for assimilation, procreation, the lymphatic system and menstrual secretions.
Yogic literature states that the disharmonious activation of this chakra may produce states of agitation and mental confusion.
The persons that are under the influence of this chakra may have a psychic "aspiration" effect in a downward direction.
The persons that have a dominant swadhisthana chakra are highly impressionable, have an active and fertile imagination, as well as the aptitude of verbalizing their perceptions - which makes them quite suited for guidance and healing.
"The person that focuses and meditates on this chakra and on the energies correspondent to it will not fear water. He may gain great psychic capacities, genius like creative imagination, intuitive knowledge and a perfect mastering over the sexual function and the 5 senses. Such a person can easily get to know the astral worlds. Imprisoning passions, anger, attachments, vanity, jealousy, and other psychical impurities are easily cast away. Such a person will be young-looking, will have a great regenerative capacity and will overcome death." (Swami Shivananda)
3. The third energy center is called Manipura chakra, whose area of perception in the physical body is the solar plexus. It represents expansive consciousness, and the desire for power.
This chakra symbolizes passionate consciousness and dynamism. On a psychic level, this chakra is in charge of will power, ego, individuality, expansiveness, self-control and intelligence.
On a physical level, it coordinates the digestive processes and the activity of the organs situated in the abdomen.
The disharmonious activation of this chakra makes a person struggle for personal power, and the recognition of one's rights, at all costs, even it it means hurting others.
"The person who focuses on and meditates intensely on this center will gain the ability of discovering hidden treasures, will never be touched by illness, will not fear fire, even if he sits inside the fire he will not be harmed. Such a person does not fear death and his inner strength and will power are amazing." (Swami Shivananda)
4. Anahata chakra is the fourth center of force and is located in the area of the cardiac plexus. It symbolizes love, empathy, selflessness and devotion.
On a psychic level, this center of force inspires a human being to love, be compassionate, altruistic, devoted and to accept the things that happen in a divine way.
On a physical level, it controls the circulatory, respiratory and immune system. The disharmonious activation of Anahata chakra is the source of all love-related problems, which appear in some tragic cases such as divorce and even death.
Furthermore, this disharmony can also lead to a disturbance of the endocrine gland corresponding to it, called the thymus. The activation of this fourth chakra brings about the mastering of poetry and prose.
"The person that meditates perseveringly on this chakra may easily have out-of-body experiences and fly to parallel universes in the astral realm. Such a person is the perfect instrument of the divine cosmic love and will easily obtain all other divine qualities." (Swami Shivananda)
5. The fifth center of force is Vishuddha chakra and its location is at the base of the throat. It symbolizes a pure consciousness and creativity.
On a psychic level, it governs expression, inspiration, eloquence in speech, and the perception of archetype models.
On a physical level, it controls the activity of the vocal cords, of hearing, of the pharynx and esophagus. Vishuddha chakra is the symbol of sound, dreams and purity.
The activation of its energy allows the understanding of non-verbal messages. The corresponding glands are the thyroid and parathyroid. All that seems miraculous, incredible possibilities, divine gifts and powers known as " siddhis " are connected to this throat chakra.
The effects of meditating on Vishuddha chakra are: calmness, serenity, a pleasant voice, awakening of your artistic inspiration, the ability of correctly interpreting sacred scriptures and of understanding the secret language and messages of dreams.
The person whose Vishuddha chakra is active and harmonious will seek true knowledge that is beyond time, cultural and hereditary limitations.
Resonating with this type of energy brings about freedom from the tempests of the world and the problems created by the ego. The idea of cosmic consciousness is also connected to this center of force.
"Intense focus and meditation on this chakra is referred to in the yogic texts as Akashi Dharani. The person that succeeds in this type of meditation will live forever in spirit. He will obtain the knowledge of the present, past and future and also gain control over the mysterious energies of time." (Swami Shivananda)
6. The sixth chakra, Ajna chakra, is located in the middle of the forehead, between the eyebrows.
It also bears the names, The Third Eye or Shiva 's Eye and it represents the superior mental consciousness that allows direct perception over the invisible worlds, and direct perception of the subtle aspects of manifestation.
If harmoniously activated, Ajna chakra gives great mental insight, self-control, clairvoyance, superior intuition and extrasensory perception.
On a physical level, it coordinates the activity of the pituitary gland and of the small brain. The hypophysis has a vital role in the organism, together with the hypothalamus they act as the command system of all other endocrine glands.
Consequently, Ajna chakra has a vital role not only in the spiritual awakening of a person, but also in the chemistry of the body.
"The person who concentrates intensely on this chakra gradually destroys all the negative effects of his past actions, from this life and from previous ones. He obtains the eight great paranormal abilities and the thirty-two minor ones." (Swami Shivananda)
7. The last of the seven energetic centers is Sahasrara chakra, placed above the crown of the head.
In oriental literature, it is known as "the supreme center of contact with God". Sahasrara chakra symbolizes detachment from illusion; a key element in obtaining supra-mental consciousness of the truth that one is all and all is one.
On the level of Sahasrara, the person gains the consciousness of the infinite. The corresponding psychical function is opening spiritually towards the creative force of the universe.
The person whose Sahasrara chakra is awakened and activated experiences a state of consciousness continuity, unity of the contraries and total union with God.
"When Kundalini is united with Shiva in Sahasrara, the yogi enjoys supreme consciousness. He reaches the state of supra-consciousness and achieves the highest knowledge. The systematic amplification of Sahasrara through concentration, meditation and other special techniques determines the appearance of paranormal capacities, physical healing and the disappearance of some pathological states." (Swami Shivananda)