Anahata Chakra

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


Heart Chakra

The purpose of this piece on the anahata 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

Anahata is an important chakra because kundalini has to stay in anahata forĀ  a long time. The word means un-struck, unbeaten, it alludes to the non-physical, non-empirical sound which is endless and unbroken in the same way that the physical heart beats continuously from birth up until death.

It is located in the spinal column on the inner wall directly behind the centre of the chest.

The kshetram (contact, trigger point) is the heart but although anahata is known as the “heart centre” it should not misinterpreted to mean the biological heart.

In yoga anahata is known as hidayakasha, the “space within the heart where purity resides” and it is connected to the part of the brain that is responsible for the creative sciences.

Anahata is crimson / blue in colour. It has twelve petals with the following Sanskrit letters inscribed in vermillion – kam, kham, gam, gham, nyam, cham, chham, jam, jham, nyam, tam, tham.

The inner region is hexagonal in shape, representing the air element, vayu tattwa. The two interlaced triangles represent the union of Shiva and Shakti. The inverted triangle is creativity, Shakti, the upward triangle is consciousness, Shiva.

Within the hexagon is the vehicle, a black antelope, known for alertness, fleetness of foot. Above is the beeja mantra, yam, dark grey.

Within the bindu is Isha, the presiding deva, lustrous like the sun.

The devi is Kakini, yellow, three eyed, four armed, auspicious and exhilarated.

Within the pericarp of the lotus is an inverted triangle within which burns the akhanda jyotir, the eternal flame representing the jivatma or individual soul. Some tantric texts also say that within the triangle is a shivalingam, called the lana linga and it is like shining gold.

Below the anahata lotus is a subsidiary lotus which contains the kalpa taru, the wish-fulfilling tree. It is recommended to visualize the kalpa taru, or of a still lake within the anahata hexagon and upon this lake is a beautiful blue lotus.

Anahata belongs to the maha loka, the first of the immortal planes.

The vayu is prana which passes through the nose and mouth.

The tanmatra is touch / feeling.

The jnanendriya is the skin.

The karmendriya is the hands.

Anahata represents the manomaya kosha, controlling mind and emotions.

The Vishnu granthi, the second psychic knot is located at the heart centre and represents the bondage of emotional attachment. It is untied as emotions harmonize and enhance rather than oppose spiritual awakening.


Depiction of the Anahata Chakra.

Note: For a fully detailed depiction of Anahata 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

Anahata is the fourth chakra, the heart lotus, celestial wish-fulfilling tree.

Its 54 rays relate to vayu, air.

Anahata controls the sense of touch, feelings.

The colour of the twelve petals is vermillion.

The animal is a black antelope, similar to a deer, a very shy, fast, graceful moving animal. Symbolic of spiritual experiences which go before the self can grasp them, moving quickly from the eye of ego. Black antelope represents fleetness.

The beeja (seed sound) is yam.

Isha is the male aspect of energy unmanifest. Intelligence on this level is symbolized by Isha, the Lord of Speech on a black antelope.

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

The goddess is Kakini, the female aspect of energy manifest.

In the hands of her four arms are the following objects.

Pasa / Noose – representing being caught in expectation of spiritual experiences.

Skull – pure mind.

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


Depiction of the Anahata Chakra.

Note: For a fully detailed depiction of Anahata 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 –

In anahata thoughts and desires are materialized and fulfilled. Up to manipura the individual thinks dependently but when shakti pierces anahata independent thinking holds true. In the lower chakras, if that is where consciousness is centred, you remain dependent on what fate has enjoined for you, your fate / destiny, your parabdha karma. Those who accept their fate as inevitable are those who have not transcended mooladhara and swadhisthana. Manipura is still considered earthly although it lies at the boundary of the mortal and immortal planes. Those who can actively shape their destiny through strength of will channelled in a positive direction are in the realm of manipura. Anahata however is almost completely beyond these empirical dimensions, one can go beyond the dictates of fate, consciousness is accelerated in anahata to the speed of free will in order to transcend the pull of latent samskaras (imprints).

Only at anahata do you become a yogi, because you are completely established in yogic consciousness; you depend solely on the power of consciousness rather than on anything external or concerning faith. This wish-fulfilling process is known as chintamani, the wish-fulfilling gem, the jewel of correct and positive thinking. Anahata is described in one tantric text as the garden of the devas. At the centre is a small divine lake inside of which is the chintamani.

Anahata can be aroused and awakened through the practice of bhakti yoga in which there is no place for ego. When kundalini is established in anahata there is absolute devotion, it is also a way to complete unity and harmony in family life.

With the blooming and awakening of anahata you must be extremely optimistic and positive, always full of hope, you must always feel deep peace throughout your being, even if the world is full of conflict, contradictions and animosities. Thoughts such as “The whole world is in me” and “I am in everyone” help you develop this universal attitude so that kundalini will shine forth and pierce the fifth chakra, visuddhi, centre of immortality. This is the important and significance of anahata, and perhaps the best mantra for the heart is om shanti.

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