According to ancient Indian teachings, in the beginning, the unmanifested Spirit, Brahman first projected Himself as Intelligent Cosmic Vibration, which is part of that universal soup bowl of energy. Cosmic intelligence caused cosmic vibration to manifest in five different aspects or Pancha Mahabhutas.
Cosmic energy can be seen in the third eye as the golden outer ring. This energy appears as Life Force inside us and is transferred to the body through the Chakras or energy centers which act like switching stations in electric circuits for the doshas (our intrinsic tendencies). There are also special channels called ‘nadis’ through which the doshas and life force travel to all parts of the body. In the Doshas, Chakras and Nadis lie the secrets of physical and mental health, knowledge, wisdom and spiritual development . The erudite monk Swami Vivekananda summed up the essence of all schools of ancient Indian philosophy when he said “Each soul is potentially divine; the goal is to manifest that divinity by controlling nature, external and internal”. The ability to achieve all things — physical or spiritual — through the unlimited supply of cosmic energy lies within us and not outside as is commonly but erroneously supposed. All that we have to do is to relearn how to make an effective connection to that eternal omnipresent and omnipotent source to meet all our wants. This is the basis of holistic healing. Putting this in to practice requires an understanding of Pancha Mahabhutas( Five Cosmic Elements), Chakras , Doshas, Nadis and Cosmic Sound of Creation and then to use them effectively. Pancha Mahabhutas and Doshas The entire universe is grouped into five mahabhutas, named as Akashya (Sky, ether or space), vayu (air), agni (fire), jal (water) and prithvi (earth). It is to be noted that the English translations are merely indicative and do not describe the full implication of what each mahabhuta is. For example, the force or cohesion with which each atom maintains itself is a characteristic of jala mahabhuta or water element. According to Ayurveda, (Note on Ayurveda), these five mahabhutas are present in the body and are represented in the form of doshas, dhatus and malas. There are three doshas viz-vata(or vayu) dosha, pitta dosha and kapha dosha, the nearest English equivalents being air, bile and phlegm respectively. Doshas are very important as they form the basis for the maintenance of sound health, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Each person is born with a particular relative proportion of each of the three doshas . These pervade over the whole body, though a particular dosha has specific organs or locations in which it is primarily found. Thus, the primary seats of kapha dosha are thorax, head, neck, upper portion of stomach and fatty tissues while sweat glands, lymphs, blood and stomach are pitta affected. Vata dosha controls the urinary bladder, intestines, pelvic region, thighs, legs and bones. The most important point is that, if the inherent prominent dosha(s), with which an individual is initially endowed with at birth, is maintained, he will be in harmony with his own nature or prakriti, and hence, also in relation to the external world. The person will then be holistically well — in body, mind and spirit. On the other hand, if due to food or life style or unsuitable attitudes or any other causes, the internal vata-pitta-kapha equilibrium is disturbed, unbalance or disharmony is created internally as well as with the external energy system and dis-ease will result. To put it simply: wrong life styles, habits, emotions, attitudes etc. causes disharmony and disease (dis-ease); right life styles, habits, emotions, attitudes etc maintains harmony and good health. Maintaining this balance of our inherent proportions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha involves first, an understanding our body type and then adopting life styles, food intakes, exercises, recreations, attitudes and habits that are consistent with this blue print. The Chakras or energy centers There are seven chakras in the astral body, corresponding to five locations in the spinal region and two in the area of the brain. The five cosmic elements or mahabhutas viz. Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether, from which all creation is manifested, are accessible through ‘Chakras’ located in the spinal area. Thus the cosmic energy available through Earth element is connected through the Muladhara Chakra located in the base of the spine. Each Chakra is endowed with the capacity to awaken certain powerful features e.g. Muladhara Chakra is the location of the dormant power of ‘Kundalini’ which when awakened leads to cosmic consciousness and self-realisation while the Ajna Chakra, between the eyebrows, is the centre for Intuition and Will force. The Chakras transmit cosmic energy to the endocrine system or parts of the body depending on the natural tendencies (Prakriti) of vata-pitta-kapha doshas with which we are born. The Cosmic Sound of Creation Another important aspect of the cosmos is the typical cosmic sound which emanates during the process of creation. The existence and importance of this cosmic sound, – expressed as ‘Om’ (A-U-M) in Indian thought , ‘Amen or the Word of God” in the Book of Revelations, ‘Amin’ by the followers of Mohamed and so forth, — has been long recognised by mankind. Patanjali, who explained the Yoga system, almost two centuries before Christ, said “Meditate on Om, for it is God’s symbol – it is the manifestation of creation” while St. John, in the Revelations, speaks of the cosmic sound Amen as the faithful witness of the force which projected and upholds creation. This cosmic sound of Om pervades the entire universe including our bodies. It has been long known that by special techniques of meditation one can listen in to this cosmic sound inside the body and in the Universe. Each Chakra receives and emits a specific cosmic sound. Thus from the Muladhara Chakra, at the base of the spine, the meditator hears the sound of a bee in flight while gong like sounds ( such as temple or church bells) is heard at the Anahata or Heart Centre. By listening in to the cosmic sound ‘Om’ of the Universe, the meditator is linked to Cosmic Consciousness and acquires enormous powers of the mind. One of the important benefits of tuning in to the Cosmic Sound Om is to be able to quickly focus the mind on any thought, physical, intellectual or spiritual, and focussing the mind, as has been discussed in Part 6, is essential for success in any endeavour. It is emphasised that all the healing powers we want rests in the Cosmic Sound Om. Hence before taking up the task of healing (self or others), we should first meditate and listen to the sound of Om, merge with it and then send out energy for healing with full faith and belief.
|Name of Chakra||Location||Symbol||Cosmic Element||Cosmic Sound||Functions|
|Muladhara Chakra||coccygeal region at base of the spine.||four petalled lotus, bright red colour||Earth||like a bee in flight||survival issues, vitality, seat of Kundalini, abundance.|
|Swadhisthana Chakra||About 50 mm above Muladhara||six petalled lotus,orange colour||Water||like a flute||sexual energy for life creation, feelings, emotion|
|Manipura Chakra||opposite the navel||10 petalled lotus,scarlet colour||Fire||like a harp||power and wisdom|
|Anahata Chakra||opposite the heart||12 petalled lotus, brilliant blue colour||Air||like a temple or church bell||love and compassion|
|Vishudha Chakra||in the throat||16 petalled lotus, grey colour||Ether||like running water||communication, self-expression|
|Ajna Chakra||between the eyebrows||2 petalled lotus,white colour||Om, like a roaring ocean||will power, intuitive powers|
|Sahasrara Chakra||crown of head||1000-petal lotus, brilliant white light||Om, like a roaring ocean||realisation of Self|
Kundalini and the Nadis Sages of the Tantra school of philosophy discovered that Kundalini, the seed of divinity normally lies dormant at the base of the spine, in the Muladhara Chakra. They propounded that all the different forms of energy that we conserve or manifest in our lives travel through three different channels or Nadis in the spine. The most important of these is the Sushumna Nadi, which runs from the base of the spine up to the centre in the brain. Encircling this central Nadi are the other two, Ida and Pingala, in the form of a figure of eight . Normally, the Sushumna channel is blocked (because of undeveloped spirituality) and life energy flows only through the Ida and Pingala in the form of figure of eight. By special exercises of Pranayama (control of life force) and Mudras (control of nervous system), and meditation the Kundalini is awakened, the Sushumna channel opens and the Kundalini travels upwards through the spine and unfolds higher and higher spiritual qualities as it passes through the various Chakras. Ultimately, it reaches the Sahasrara chakra when the person enters the superconscious plane into an infinite ocean of Light, Existence and Bliss (Sat-Chit- Ananda). The purpose of life and the ultimate destination of each one of us is to achieve this state of self realisation and though it may take several cycles of birth and death, a beginning should be made as early as possible. Even though we may not reach that state in this life, that should not discourage us, as any effort made in one life is not lost. It is through the mastery of Yoga involving Asanas (postures), Mudras (control of nervous system) and Pranayamas (life force control) and meditation that persons like Patanjali, Paul, Francis in ancient times and holistic healers in our times demonstrated their healing powers.