Lord Krishna in his divine ancient text SRIMAD BHAGVADGEETA teaches the disillusioned warrior –Arjuna about qualities of a true Yogi. He says one who sacrifices his PRANA in APAAN and APAAN in PRANA, makes a stable and steadfast progression in the spiritual journey. PRANA VAAYU being the life energy controlling the inhalation or intake while APAAN VAAYU being the life energy responsible for exhalation or excretion. The point where both unite is the place of life energy that takes care of digestion, absorption, and assimilation. This life energy is known as SAMAAN VAAYU. We associate it with JATHAR AGNI or Digestive Fire in our body. SAMAAN VAAYU moves from just below the navel known as MANIPURA CHAKRA. This is the third chakra. Earlier we read about the first chakra, the second chakra, in this article we will go deep to the third Manipura Chakra or The Solar Plexus Chakra.
MANI means JEWEL and PURA means CITY or PLACE. As the name suggests this chakra provides countless jewels to the seeker, not materiel but physical and spiritual.
As described in ancient Sanskrit treatise on Kundalini Power- SHAT CHAKRA NIRUPNAM, MANIPURA or SOLAR PLEXUS chakra has the following characteristics:
- ELEMENT FIRE is associated with this chakra
- Residing male deity at MANIPUR is Lord Rudra, The most ancient Form of SHIVA. Rudra is described as covered in white ash, adorned with various ornaments and showering fearlessness and prosperity to all.
- The Complimenting Female deity is called LAKINI. Intoxicated in divine bliss, she is said to be dark complexioned, wearing beautiful yellow robes and carrying weapons in her hands.
- VAHNI, the Fire God resides here in his full resplendent form. He rides a divine RAM.
- Described as a blossomed 10 petal lotus each corresponding with the syllables ḍaṁ, ḍhaṁ, ṇaṁ, taṁ, thaṁ, daṁ, dhaṁ, naṁ, paṁ, and phaṁ upon them in a dark-blue color.
- The BEEJ MANTRA of solar plexus chakra is RAM. This Beej mantra in within a downward triangle just like root chakra. The down point symbolizes origin while upper two ends denotes growth in health and consciousness.
- Color of the Chakra is Bright Yellow-that of Blazing Fire
As this third chakra Manipura or the solar plexus is situated just behind and below the navel, one can easily suggest all organs in that area are under the influence of this energy wheel. Intestines, pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands are mostly regulated by the level of equanimity in this chakra.
Whatever we eat gives us energy to work, move and think. If the process of digestion does not happen properly, it lead to toxicity in body. Various issues due to solar plexus imbalance includes Constipation, gout, migraine, UTI, ulcers etc. When these are not attended in proper manner, may cause serious diseases like gall stones, diabetes, hyperglycemia, hepatitis conditions and piles.
Since digestion is the key to vigor, vitality and growth of body, the entire body takes a beating. Sufficient nutrients do not get absorbed in blood stream leading to problems in other organs too. In today’s time, Diabetes is known to be the most dangerous and silent killer. The secretion from Pancreas and adrenal glands gets severely affected when MANIPUR chakra is blocked or imbalanced.
Solar Plexus vortex is responsible for joy, happiness and contentment. Wisdom, clarity, agility and balance are gifts or jewels, one gets from the third Manipura or Solar plexus Chakra activation.
Blocked MANIPURA leads to:
- Negative thoughts
- Anger, irritation, frustration
- Gloominess and a deep feeling of melancholy
- Sleep issues
- Obsessive behavior
- Compulsive tendency
- Mania, paranoia
- Personality disorder
Story about the third Chakra Manipura or Solar Plexus
To understand the third Manipura or solar plexus chakra, the food we eat, and the concept of digestion better, let us look at a story that the teachers used to tell. Story of a yogi who stole GOD. This Yogi lived peacefully in a temple of a small village. People use to provide him with home-cooked SATVIK or pious meal and he uses to spend his time singing bhajans, cleaning the temple, and attending to patients at a free dispensary within the temple. People from different walks of life use to come to him for blessings and ayurvedic medicines. He led a very joyous and energetic life and taught people the same.
A thief in the village wanted his blessings too, so he went to him with delicious sweets. The Yogi on knowing the profession of the thief, very gently denied to eat the costly delicacies. But he gave his blessings to the thief. Thief being a person of negative character, was very livid at this kind of treatment.
The clever thief
He paid a local restaurant to pack a sumptuous meal and anonymously parcel it to the yogi. The food had animal flesh mixed amidst vegetables and grain dishes. The Yogi, taking it as a present from some distant devotee, ate gladly. The same night, Yogi had an uncontrollable urge to steal the Krishna Idol in the temple. At first, he tried to control his evil want but the greed and lust just grew stronger within him. As if in a state of hypnosis he found himself in front of the Idol. He felt attracted to the Asthdhatu and all the gold ornaments that adorned his revered.
He started to dig the idol from its place but other caretakers heard the sound of hammer and shovel. They saw the yogi running away with the Idol in his arms. They woke up the entire village and ran behind.
The yogi got scared that people will catch him, he jumped into the river. Splash of cold water brought him back to his senses. Being quick on his wits, he started washing the deity idol as if he is preparing it for a decoration ritual in the morning. People seeing it as an act of love and devotion felt apologetic about their misjudgment.
The yogi, after returning, sat in deep meditation to retrospect the entire turn of events. He realized the negative vibrations of the thief, greed for money of the cook and delivery boy, pain, and suffering of animals killed were all mixed in the food he ate. Consequently, the digestion of such food led to RAJASIC energy being transmitted to his physical and subtle body. A prayer of gratitude to his Lord that he recited just before taking the first bite, gave him the necessary shock to come out of the evil effects of such energy.
Agni at Manipura Chakra or Solar Plexus
Fire or Agni, the commanding element at third chakra MANIPUR or solar plexus should not be mistaken as a burning catalyst but as a purification agent. Purification of any object surrendered to it is the main work of AGNI at MANIPURA. Good or bad, divine or evil, light or heavy, moist or dry, pure or toxic, whatever we intake physically or mentally, solar plexus chakra breaks it into its constituent elements and makes it fit to be absorbed and assimilated into the body. The undigested and digested leftover is excreted too, so that the possibility of toxic formation is nullified.
If for any reason the fire in the vortex is diminishing or chakra is imbalanced in your body, it means it is allowing toxic to collect over time and is allowing the flow of TAMASIC energy. This same energy manifests itself as various ailments at the physical and mental levels.
Ways to balance Manipura Chakra Or Solar Plexus
- Boat pose- Nauka Asana
- Toe to Nose pose- Paad Angusht Nasa Sparsh Asana
- Frog Pose- Manduk Asana
- Child pose- Baalak Asana
- Seated hand to toe- Janushirasana
- Downward dog- Adho much Svan asana
- Seated Abdominal Twists like ard matseyndra asana or Bhardwaj asana
- Butterfly Pose or Badhh Konasana
- KAPALBHATI PRANAYAMA
- UDDIYAN BANDH
- AGNISAAR KRIYA
Panchkarma- Nauli Kriya
AGNI and PRITHVI mudra are most beneficial in balancing solar plexus energy center. One should practice it at least 21 minutes a day for good results. Know more about Yoga Mudras.
Under the guidance of an accomplished teacher, one shall start working on this chakra. If a person is following only HATHYOGA, then one should remember most of the asanas are compressing the navel center. Or balancing of body, few backbends should also be practiced like camel pose, etc. Also, one should practice sitali or sheetkari pranayama if in case of excessive body heat or sudden anger issues.