Manipura Chakra

The header image for this article is a photograph taken by Johannes Plenio as found on Pexels.

Manipura

Solar Chakra

The purpose of this piece on the manipura chakra is simply to clarify, for my own reference, the notes that I have taken over the years from two primary sources, the books Kundalini Tantra and Kundalini Yoga for the West. There are slight differences in their interpretations of various aspects of the chakras, in these notes both interpretations are listed, more often than not.

These notes below are taken from the book Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Mani means jewel and pura means city so the translation of manipura can be “city of jewels”. In Tibetan it is known as “mani padma” the jewelled lotus.

This chakra is the centre of dynamism, energy, willpower, achievement. It is often compared to dazzling heat, the power of the sun. It is radiates and directs pranic energy throughout the body.

The location of manipura is directly behind the navel, on the inner wall of the spinal column.

The kshetram (contact, trigger) for manipura is located right at the navel, it is anatomically related to the solar plexus which controls digestive fire and bodily heat regulation.

It is symbolized by a 10 petalled bright yellow lotus, on each petal is one of ten letters – pham, dam, dham, nam, tam, kham, dam, dham, nam, pam – and they are inscribed in the colour of a blue lotus. At the centre of the lotus is a region of fire, symbolized by an inverted red triangle. This triangle has a bhupura / swastika in the shape of a T on each of its three sides.

In the lower apex is a ram, the manipura vehicle, symbolizing dynamism, endurance, and seated on the ram is the beeja mantra of manipuraram.

In the bindu reside the deva Rudra and the devi Lakini. Rudra is of a pure vermillion hue, smeared with white ashes, three eyed of ancient aspect. Lakini has four arms, a dark complexion, radiant body. Clothed in yellow rainment, decked in ornaments and exalted from drinking nectar.

The tanmatra, sense of manipura, is sight.

The jnanendriya, organ of knowledge of manipura, is the eyes.

The karmendriya, organs of action of manipura, are the feet.

These two organs – eyes, feet – are related in that vision and wilful action are closely inter-dependent.

Manipura belongs to the swaha loka, the heavenly plane of existence, the last of the mortal phases. The guna of manipura is predominantly rajas, activity, whilst the lower chakras are primarily tamasic. The tattwa is agni, fire element, and the vayu is samana which primarily digests and distributes the essence of food to the entire bodily system.

Both manipura and swadisthana are the seat of the pranamaya kosha.

solar-2533097_1920

Depiction of the Manipura Chakra.

Note: For a fully detailed depiction of Manipura please refer to one of the books listed as sources for these notes.

These notes below are taken from the book Kundalini Yoga for the West by Swami Sivananda Radha

Manipura is third chakra.

Its 62 rays relate to fire – Agni.

Manipura controls the sense of sight.

The colour of the ten lotus petals is of heavy rain clouds which prevent one from seeing clearly.

Within the lotus petals is the Agni mandala, the fire wheel, a red triangle pointing down with swastika marks on three sides.

The animal of this chakra is the ram which represents strong emotions which block clear sight.

Ram is the seed sound.

The male deity of manipura is Rudra, the male aspect of energy unmanifest, the preserver of life, Rudra, and is the aspect of powerful emotions. We have to preserve the body, through which we raise kundalini. When all exercises in meditation are completed the aspirant acquires the power to create worlds, through having power over the imagination and emotions.

In the hands of the four arms of Rudra are the following.

Rudraksamala / Rosary – powerful emotions need to be expressed and this can best be done through worship of one’s Istadevata (favourite deity).

Sakti / Fire Weapon – So called because of the fire of emotions which will manifest and which are inherent in Sakti power.

Gesture – Varada – granting boons / Abhayamudra – dispelling fears.

The devi of manipura is Lakini, the female aspect of energy manifest. She has three faces with three eyes to each face, the face is the seat of the five senses and the third eye is the increased power of inner sight which is available, clairvoyance.

In the hands of her four arms are the following.

Vajra / Thunderbolt – Symbol of power, a powerful expression of nature which can strike and set on fire that which it strikes. The aspirant has to decide if they wish to be set on fire for the desire of worldly success, name and fame etc or for the fire of seeking the most high. In this chakra the fire of passions can be strong and powerful, as presented by the next object.

Sakti / Fire weapon – Having an innate power of destruction.

Gesture – Varada – granting boons / Abhayamudra – dispelling fears.

mandala-1340066_1920

Depiction of the Manipura Chakra.

Note: For a fully detailed depiction of Manipura please refer to one of the books listed as sources for these notes.

These notes below are taken from the book Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati –

The awakening of kundalini in manipura means that it is ongoing, with practically no danger of downfall or devaluation of consciousness. Up until then kundalini may awaken and arise many times, only to recede again, but in manipura it is a confirmed awakening. To stabilize consciousness in manipura requires constant, persevering effort.

In tantra there is the practice of swara yoga, science of the breath, used to bring about the awakening of kundalini. In this system all pranas in the body are classified into five dimensions – prana, apana, vyana, udana and samana. The navel region is the important junction where prana and apana meet. Prana moves up and down between the navel and the throat. Apana moves up and down between the perineum and the navel. These two forces can be coupled so that they function together, changing flow with the direction of the inspired and expired breath. By gaining control of these two pranas through particular kriyas, apana is separated from prana and the flow is reversed so as to bring about the awakening of this chakra. Whereas prana normally descends from manipura during respiration the flow is reversed so that prana and apana both enter the navel centre simultaneously from above and below, the union of prana and apana.

The awakening of kundalini in the navel is then said to be like a blast as the prana and re-directed apana meet at the navel. They fuse together to create heat and energy force which is conducted back from the navel to the manipura within the spinal cord. This force awakens the manipura, causes the re-organisation of pranic flow within the body so that muladhara is transcended and the new base of kundalini is manipura. Then there is a new spiritual perspective, with glimpse of the higher lokas, planes of existence. From the muladhara and swadhisthana the higher planes cannot be seen, only in manipura can the sadaka visualize the infinite state of consciousness which is no longer gross and empirical.

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