Chakras, Colors & Hindu Gods: A Closer Look at the Hindu System

Chakras, their colors and position on the body

Chakras, their colors and position on the body

The word chakra is derived from Sanskrit, meaning “wheel”, or “circle of life”. They consist of seven main energy centers found in the body and is associated with a variety of colors, symbols and Hindu gods. In Hinduism, the continuous flow of energy throughout the chakras is referred to as “Shakti”. The concept of chakra was first mentioned in the ancient sacred Hindu text, The Vedas, but also plays an important role in Tibetan Buddhism.
Chakras are located along the spine and influence different nerve systems, organs and glands with their energy. These vortexes of energy are originated from Brahman, according to Hindu beliefs. It is presumed that as Shakti flows from one chakra point to another it exhausts the body and soul. The energy that becomes coiled in the base of the spine (root chakra) is called Kundalini. The spiritual goal is to awaken and release the Kundalini in order to attain a greater consciousness and merge it with the Infinite consciousness of Brahman. Through meditation and Kundalini yoga, the energy can pass back up the spine until it reaches the top of the head (crown chakra), producing a mystical experience.

“Kundalini yoga consists of active and passive asana-based kriyas, pranayama, and meditations which target the whole body system (nervous system, glands, mental faculties, and chakras) to develop awareness, consciousness and spiritual strength.” –Yogi Bhajan

Chakras & Colors:
1. Muladhara: The Root Chakra – located at base of the spine. Associated with red. It affects your confidence, trust in life and self-esteem. It is from here that our base instincts arise; the need to survive or the fight or flight reflex. Hindu God –Lord Ganesh and Brahman.
2. Swadhisthana: The Sacral Chakra – located below the navel. Associated with orange. It affects sexual desires, attractions and the need to procreate. Other emotions, such as, anger, fear and hatred stem from this chakra. Hindu God –Lord Vishnu
3. Manipura: The Solar Plexus Chakra – located at the bottom of the breast bone. Associated with bright yellow. It affects the lower back, digestive system, liver and gall bladder. Feelings that are associated with this chakra, include, determination, self-acceptance and will power. It is here that instinctual emotion translates to more complex emotions. Hindu God –Maharudra Shiva
4. Anahata: The Heart Chakra – located at the center of the chest. Associated with green. Feelings associated with this location are love, compassion, emotional security, forgiveness and loving kindness. Hindu God –Ishvara
5. Vishuddha: The Throat Chakra – located at the throat, over the larynx. Associated with blue. It is the source of our ability to communicate, and express creativity and individuality. Hindu God – Sadashiva
6. Ajna: The Third Eye Chakra – located at front of the head in between eye brows. Associated with indigo. The mind, as the sense organ and action organ are associated with this chakra. Feelings associated with this chakra are spirituality, awareness, and sense of time. Hindu God -Ardhanarishvara –an androgynous form of Hindu god Lord Shiva and Parvati, also known as Devi and Shakti
7. Sahasrara: The Crown Chakra – located at the top of the head. Associated with purple, or gold. It is from this chakra that all others emanate. It relates to pure consciousness. In Hindu literature, it is known as “the supreme center of contact with God.” Here liberated ones abide in communion with the Self. Hindu God – Lord Shiva

The Hindu Gods and Chakras

The Hindu Gods and Chakras

“Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul the work of the soul, and good for either the work of the other”. –Henry David Thoreau

The Hindu Goddess Shailputri, Uma Parvati

“Worship of Shailaputri gives Stability, Health, Spiritual Awareness, Love, Compassion and Dignity.”

The Hindu Goddess Shailaputri, Uma Parvati

View Statues of the Hindu Goddess Shailaputri, Uma Parvati. Above is a stunning bronze of Parvati with her two sons Ganesh and Murugan.

The first form of the Hindu Goddess mother Durga among her nine forms is Shailaputri. ‘Shail’ means mountains. ‘Putri’ means daughter. As such she is the Daughter of the Mountains, popularly known as Uma-Parvati in Puranic mythology.

The Hindu Goddess Shailputri is venerated on the first day of the Navaratri prayers. She is said to be the embodiment of the power of the Hindu Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. She is described as Hindu Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva and the mother of Ganesha and Murugan.

Shailaputri was born to Daksha Prajapati. Once Daksha had organized a big Yagna and did not invite Shiva. But Sati being obstinate, reached there against Siva’s advise. Thereupon Daksha insulted Shiva. Sati could not tolerate the insult of husband and burnt herself in the fire of Yagna. Shiva carried her and shook the world with his Thandava. Seeing his agony, Lord Vishnu used his sudharsana chakra to dismember the corpse. They fall on to the earth and became Shakti Peeths. In her next birth, Sati, became the daughter of Himalaya as Parvati. In the Nava Durga pantheon she is referred as Shailaputri.

Hindu God Nataraja, Shiva as the Lord of Dance

 

Statues of Hindu God Shiva the destroyer

View our statues of the Hindu God Shiva

Shiva, Hindu God of Destruction, is also known as Nataraja, Lord of Dancers, in one of his most popular forms.  He is depicted as sacred dancer, dancing to restore the universe of its fatigued nature making way for Brahma to create within the universe.  He has a restorative power revitalizing the universe and preparing for growth.  Shiva as Lord Nataraja is his most popular within Hindu temples. His likeness is often sculpted in bronze as Shiva dances around a ring of flames.  His left leg is often raised balancing over a lesser being that stands as a metaphor for the ignorance of the world.  Shiva as Nataraja is a powerful symbol of Indian culture for its spirit and energetic nature.  He represents the precise flow and generation of the universe.  Shiva as Nataraja is perhaps the most renowned symbol of Hindu art.

Nataraja statues

View our statues of Nataraja the Lord of Dance

Shiva’s dance is often said to come in two forms.  The first form represents the gentle, or the nature associated with creation upon the earth, while the second from is said to be that of violence as he destroys the tired and suffocating ways of the universe.  Shiva terminates what is weary in order to create what is profound. He tears down the old in order to make way for the new.

Legend has it that one day Shiva journeyed to a thick forest in the South of India in order to confute with the multitude of heretical sages that lived within.  Traveling with him was Hindu God Vishnu, The Preserver, disguised as a woman.  Upon arrival, the sages became very angry towards Shiva and attempted to destroy him via powerful incantations.  They first induced a violent tiger which was no match as he skinned it in one foul swoop and draped it around his body like a blanket. Next appeared a deadly serpent of which Shiva quickly overtook and hung like a necklace about his neck.  Through all their confrontation simply Shiva danced about their ring of fire laughing, destroying everything they threw his way.  Thus, Shiva became the lord of dancers, a symbol of the divine.

Hindu God Dattatreya, Synthesis of Shiva, Vishnu & Brahma

HIndu God Dattatreya statue

View this statue of the Hindu God Dattatreya

Dattatreya or Datta is considered by Hindus to be god who is an incarnation of the Divine Trinity, the three main Hindu Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The word Datta means “Given”, Datta is called so because the divine trinity has “given” themselves in the form of a son to the sage couple Atri and Anasuya. He is the son of Atri, hence the name “Atreya.”

Dattatreya is recognized as an Avatar or incarnation of the Lord Shiva and as the Adi-Guru (First Teacher) of the Adinath Sampradaya of the Nathas. Although Dattatreya was at first a “Lord of Yoga” exhibiting distinctly Tantric traits, he was adapted and assimilated into the more devotional Vaishnavite cults; while still worshiped by millions of Hindus, he is approached as a benevolent god and a teacher of the highest essence of Indian thought.

In sculpture Dattatreya statues have some distinct characteristics. He always has three faces, one for Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Vishnu faces forward with Shiva on the left of Vishnu and Brahma on the right. He has six hands where he holds a drum (damru), discus (chakra), conch shell (sank), japa mala, water vessel (kamandala) and a trident (trishul). All these attributes of the Lord have their esoteric meanings. The trident is used for killing the ego, and the drum is used to awaken those souls who are still sleeping in the slumber of ignorance. Lord Datta’s conch shell is used to make the sacred sound OM. Lord Dattatreya is also holding a rotating discus -chakra. It is a round circle with no beginning and no end. Like the universe, it too is constantly moving, always in a flux. He uses this chakra to destroy all kinds of karmic bonds of His devotees. His right hand holds a rosary -japa mala. With this the Lord counts His devotees, liberating them by merely thinking of their name. In another hand the Lord is carrying the water pot -kamandala. This holds the nectar of pure wisdom. With this He revives the souls thirsty for knowledge, liberating them from the endless cycle of life and death.

Bronze Hindu God Dattatreya statue

View this Bronze Hindu God Dattatreya statue with 4 dogs and Kamadhenu the gift giving cow

Accompanying Dattatreya are 4 dogs and a cow. The four dogs surrounding Datta represent the four Vedas. The dogs are both wild and tame and symbols of fidelity and devotion. The cow is Kamadhenu the gift giving cow. She grants all wishes and desires. She is the cow of plenty, which emerged from SAMUDRAMANTHAN (the churning of the ocean) and and was claimed by Indra as his property. She is the mother of all cows.

Why are there no Temples Dedicated to the Hindu God Brahma

Brass Hindu God Brahma Statue

View all our statues of the Hindu God Brahma

In the Shiva Purana, at the beginning of time in the Cosmos, Vishnu and Brahmā approached a huge Shiva Lingam and set out to find where Shiva began and where he ended. Vishnu was appointed to seek the end and Brahma the beginning. Taking the form of Vishnu’s 3rd avatar; the boar Varaha, Vishnu began digging downwards into the earth, while Brahma took the form of a swan and began flying upwards. However, neither could find the end or begining to Shiva. He was infinite. The Hindu God Vishnu, satisfied, came up to Shiva and bowed down to him as a swarupa of Brahman. Brahmā did not give up so easily. As He was going up, he saw a ketaki (Sanskrit – Kaetakee) flower, dear to Shiva. His ego forced him to ask the flower to bear false witness about Brahmā’s discovery of Shiva’s beginning. When Brahmā told his tale, Shiva, the all-knowing, was angered by the Brahma’s ego. Shiva cursed Brahma that no being in the three worlds will worship him.

Another story in connection with Brahma’s lack of worship is when Brahma was creating the universe, he made a female deity known as Shatarupa (one with a hundred beautiful forms). Brahma became immediately infatuated with his creation.  Shatarupa moved in various directions to avoid the gaze of Brahma. But wherever she went, Brahma developed a head.  Thus, Brahma developed five heads, one on each side and one above the others.

In order to control Brahma, Shiva cut off the top head. Also, Shiva felt that Shatarupa was Brahma’s daughter, being created by him. Therefore, Shiva determined, it was wrong for Brahma to become obsessed with her.  He directed that there be no proper worship in India for the “unholy” Brahma.  Thus, only Vishnu and Shiva continue to be worshiped with temples all over the world while Brahma only has two temples dedicated to him. Ever since the incident, Brahma has been reciting the four Vedas in his attempt at repentance.