Part 6, continued from previous Sept/Oct issue
With the hope of facilitating the comprehension of Hahnemann’s concept of the vital force, this article is a continuation of the discussion of prana and the nadis as described in yoga. We will focus on the chakras, the energy channels or nadis, and the five functions of prana. Though western medicine has become more accepting of the mind-body theory, without knowledge of the subtler energy body, the pranic sheath, it is difficult to explain exactly how the mind and body interact. Yoga has given us a very elaborate and complex description of this interaction. According to yoga the actual focal point for intercommunication between the mental, pranic and physical bodies is provided by intricate vortices of energy called chakras, which, along with the nadis, form the structure of the pranic sheath. The chakras are psychophysiological centers that help to distribute and organize the prana that flows from consciousness through the subtle mental and pranic bodies to manifest as the physical body. There are seven main chakras aligned vertically in the pranic field in the area corresponding to the spinal axis of the physical body. In brief the locations are: 1. muladhara chakra, near the coccyx at the base of the vertebral column; 2. svadisthana chakra, near the genitals; 3. manipura chakra, in the area of the umbilicus; 4. anahata chakra, cardiac region; 5. visuddha chakra, throat; 6. ajna chakra, space between the two eyebrows; and 7. sahasrara chakra, crown of the head. The guna or the nature of the energy associated with each chakra is as follows: muladhara and svadisthana are tamasic; manipura and anahata are rajasic; vishuddha is both sattvik and rajasic; and ajna is sattvic in nature as it is of pure consciousness, as is sahasrara. The channels through which the chakras guide prana to its various functions and designations are called nadis, a network of very subtle invisible filaments that branch out in all directions from the chakras.
Prana becomes diversified into five main functions according to the forces it encounters (the chakras) and the structures through which it passes (nadis) and to which it is directed. These are: apana vayu, vyana vayu, samana vayu, prana vayu and udana vayu. These functions are concerned with taking in nutrients, assimilation, throwing off wastes, providing a defense mechanism for the organism, and maintaining proper functioning of the senses. They do not act separately or in isolation as the coordination of all is needed to maintain the physiochemical functioning of the entire body. An imbalance in one will be reflected as disturbance in the functionings of the organism.
Each chakra distributes prana in its characteristic manner, depending on the subtler governing forces of consciousness and the mind. From the point of view of yoga and homeopathy, illness is the result of the inability to distribute one’s energy in a balanced harmonious way. to be continued
Dr. Barbara Bova, HOD, Dept. of Homeopathy