The Manipura Chakra

Chakras
Sahasrara chakra
Guru chakra
Nirvana chakra
Indu chakra
Manas chakra
Ajna chakra
Lalana chakra
Vishuddha chakra
Anahata chakra
Hrit chakra
Manipura chakra
Swathisthana chakra
Muladhara chakra
 In the Indian Tantric tradition, the Manipura chakra, or "place of gems", is described as having ten petals, red in colour with a downward pointing triangle, representing the tattwa of fire.  This chakra is traditionally located at the navel (hence the alternative name of nabhi (navel) chakra), but in many modern (especially Theosophical- and New Age - orientated) chakra formulations it is placed at the Solar Plexus.  This latter however seems to refer to a distinct (minor) chakra - the Solar Plexus chakra.

Deities within the Manipura Chakra

deities in the Manipura chakra
counterclockwise from the bottom: Vahni, Rudra, Lakini

Chakra table 3

MANIPURA

Terminology Tantric manipura, manipuraka, dashapatra, dashadala padma, dashapatrambuja, dashachchada, nabhipadma, nabhipankaja
Vedic (late Upanishads) manipura, manipuraka, nabhi chakra
Puranic manipura, nabhi chakra
Position externally, navel region
Petals number ten, arranged from right to left
colour black, dark-green or dark-blue
Matrika-letters on petals ten in number: Dang Dhang Nang Tang Thang Dang Dhang Nang Pang, Phang, arranged from right to left
colour dark-blue, black, lightning-like
Vrittis on petals ten in number, arranged from right to left
name 1 spiritual ignorance; 2 thirst; 3jealousy; 4 treachery; 5 shame; 6 fear; 7 disgust; 8 delusion; 9 foolishness; 10 sadness
In the pericarp triangular 'fire'-region
colour of the Fire Region red, deep red
Fire-bija in Fire Region Rang
colour of Fire-bija red
Form of Fire-bija deity Vahni
Concentration form of Vahni Vahni is shining red; four-armed, holding a rudraksha rosary and a spear, and showing the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear; seated on a ram
In the bindu of Rang deity Rudra
Concentration form of Rudra Rudra is red or white; three-eyed; two-armed, showing the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear; seated on a bull
Presiding divinity power Lakini
Concentration of Lakini Lakini is black or dark-blue vermilion, pale-red, or deep red in colour; three-eyed, or three-faced with three eyes in each face; four-armed, holding Vajra and a spear, and making the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear; or two-armed holding a noose and a goad, as showing the gestures of granting boon and dispelling fear; dressed in yellow raiment, or white raiment; seated on a red lotus


reference reference Layayoga - an Advanced Method of Concentration by Shyam Sundar Goswam, p.277-8.  colour plate above from same book


Further Associations

In addition to the front (navel) and rear (kidney) "Manipura" Centres, there is a third Centre, red in colour, located in the central "Thrusting Channel" that links the Perineal and Crown Chakras.  In Tibetan Buddhism this centre is called the Wheel of Emanation (corresponding to the Nirmanakaya or manifest physical body), it is said to have sixty-four petals, a central triangle, and is the source of the Red Drop or Tumo that when activated ascends and unites with the descending White Drop in the central Heart Chakra.  This centre links to the Pubic and Perineal chakras.  It is not part of the normal microcosmic orbit, but is associated with higher yogic consciousness.

This centre is equivalent to what Barbara Brennan calls the Tan Tien, and describes it as the one note that holds our physical body in manifestation [Light Emerging, p.289].  She describes it as being one and a half inches below the navel - about the position of the Sea of Chicentre, and is linked downward to the molten core of the Earth.  This inner Tan Tien or central Muladhara would in fact stand behind and suport the outer Tan Tien or Lower Elixar Field, just as the entire chakra system supports the physical body.

Perhaps it is this central Manipura or Lower Tan Tien centre that represents the red or Fire-polarity usually associated with the central part of the Tantric Manipura chakra; remember that in Tantra, the central and the rear chakra-series are confused.

Astrologically (in terms of the etheric body of the solar system), the planet or Celestial Sphere that links with the Manipura in the Geocentric astrological arrangement, is Venus, and hence the Lower Emotional Body.  The spiritual philosopher Oscar Marcel Hinze, in his essay "Understanding Archaic Astronomy", relates Mercury to the Swadhisthana chakra (which however I would associate with the Moon), and Venus to the Manipura, which does match this association.

However, in the Heliocentric arrangement, (which might reflect the actual macrocosmic sequence of Chakras or Celestial Spheres), this centre might be said to correspond to the astrological planet Venus; in the linear Qabalistic series the sefirah Netzah, representing spontaneity and joy (hence the link with adrenal excitement).  Ann Ree Colton associates this chakra with Jupiter [Kundalini West, p.298], which is in contemporary astrology ghenerally considered the "higher octave" of Venus.

But in terms of Geocentric astrology (which reflects the path of the Soul to and from the Earth sphere), this centre corresponds to the macrocosmic chakra or planet Mercury, and for this reason this chakra is often said to mental chakra [Barbara Brennan, p.75] and is associated with the mental body or rational intellect [Hills].  Qabalistically also, in terms of the Holistic Tree of Life diagram, the Diaphramatic Centre represents the upper part of the Sefirah Hod.

The Christian Theosophist Ann Ree Colton puts Buddha - obviously the Divine or Avataric principle, not the human Buddha - in the "solar plexus" chakra [Kundalini West, p.350].  This would be a strange association with Jupiter, which she has already matched with Chakra.  But it makes more sense in terms of the Geocentric symbolism, which would link this Buddha-principle to Mercury or the archetype of the Intellect or Mental Body.  Both Blavatsky and Steiner associate the figure of Buddha with the sphere of Mercury, although Steiner makes the rather bizaare statement elsewhere that Buddha went on to become the "Christ" of the Martians!  Perhaps there is a link here with the Vishuddha or Base of the Neck Centre, representing the microcosmic equivalence of the Celestial Sphere of Mars.



Correspondences:

 Status: Primary Chakra
Spokes/Petals: 10 (Shakta); or 64 (Tibetan).
Colours: Red (petals: black, dark green, or dark blue); .
Element: Fire
Psyche: Will-power
Occult faculty: Centre of tu-mo (inner fire)  (Tibetan)
Correspondence: corresponds to emanation body (Nirmanakaya) in Tibetan Buddhism
Geocentric Astrological Correspondence: Venus
Kabbalistic Sefirot - Hod and Netzah


Third Chakra


Associated minor chakras

Diaphragmatic
Solar Plexus
Kidney
Navel

major and minor Chakras



Web links Links Web links

web page The Manipura Cakra according to the Satcakra-Narupana of Purnananda Swami (Translated by Arthur Avalon in The Serpent Power)

web page Manipura Chakra

web page Manipura Chakra - Alfred Ballabene (in German)



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page by M.Alan Kazlev
chakra image and table from Layayoga - an Advanced Method of Concentration by Shyam Sundar Goswami
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page uploaded 29 November 1998, last modified 28 July 2004