What Is the Anahata? Importance of the Fourth Chakra

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Anahata is the fourth primary chakra located near the heart. In Sanskrit, the word anahata means unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten. It’s associated with love, passion, serenity, and equilibrium.

In the Anahata chakra, different energies confront, collide, and interact with one other. It connects the lower chakras with the upper charkas, and is associated with air, the color green, and the antelope. In the Bhagavad Gita, the Anahata chakra is represented by warrior Bhima.

The Anahata chakra contains the Anahata Nad, the sound produced without any touch. Saints and practitioners look at these contrasting sounds as an integral part of existence.  

Let’s take a closer look at the Anahata chakra.

The Design of The Anahata Chakra

Anahata chakra design meaning
  • The Anahata chakra features a twelve petaled lotus flower. The petals represent 12 divine qualities, which include: bliss, peace, harmony, empathy,  understanding, love, purity, unity, kindness, forgiveness, compassion and clarity
  • In the middle of the symbol are two triangles. One of the triangles point upwards, and symbolizes the transmission of positive energy, and the second triangle looks downwards, and represents the transfer of negative energy. The upward triangle is governed by the goddess Kundalini Shakthi. She’s a serene goddess, who represents the Anahata Nada orthe cosmic sound. Shakthi assists the practitioner in reaching an exalted state of intellectual and spiritual consciousness.
  • There’s a region in the intersection between the triangles, which holds the shatkona symbol. This symbol is represented by Purusha and Prakriti, to signify the union between man and woman. The region where this symbol is located is governed by Vayu, a four-armed deity who rides on an antelope. 
  • The very crux of the Anahata chakra holds the yam mantra. This mantra aids in opening the heart to empathy, love and compassion.
  • In the dot above the yam mantra, resides the five faced deity, Isha. The holy Ganges flows from Isha’s hair, as a symbol of self-knowledge and wisdom.  The snakes around his body are a symbol of the desires he has tamed.
  • Isha’s female counterpart, or Shakthi, is Kakini. Kakini has several arms in which she holds a sword, shield, skull or trident. These objects symbolize the various stages of preservation, creation and destruction.

The Role of the Anahata Chakra

The Anahata chakra helps an individual make their own decisions. Since it’s the fourth chakra, the laws of karma and fate don’t regulate an individual’s preferences and choices.  As the heart chakra, the Anahata kindles love, compassion, joy, charity, and psychic healing. It helps individuals connect with their immediate community and larger society.  

As the chakra of emotions, the Anahata aids in the growth of creative abilities. Artists, authors, and poets meditate upon this chakra for divine inspiration and energy. The Anahata also helps in the fulfilment of goals and desires.

Meditation upon the Anahata chakra can enable a greater mastery of speech, and it also helps to look at fellow-beings with empathy.

Activating the Anahata chakra

The Anahata chakra can be activated through postures and meditative techniques. The Bhramari pranayama is a breathing technique that practitioners use to awaken the Anahata chakra. In this technique, a deep breath must be taken in, and exhalation must be done alongside a hum. This humming helps create vibrations in the body, and aids in the flow of energy.

Ajapa Japa is another powerful method to awaken the Anahata chakra. In this exercise, the practitioner should concentrate on their breathing and focus on the sounds made during the process of inhalation and exhalation. This method will enable greater awareness and focus on the heart chakra.  

In tantric traditions, the Anahata chakra is visualized and imagined in the process of meditation. The practitioner concentrates on each part of the chakra and recites various corresponding mantras. This process will awaken and strengthen the energy within the Anahata chakra.  

Factors that Hinder the Anahata Chakra

The Anahata chakra becomes imbalanced when there are negative thoughts and emotions. Feelings of mistrust, dishonestly and sadness, can hinder blood circulation, leading to a malfunctioning of the heart and lungs. For the Anahata chakra to function to its maximum ability, the heart should be filled with positive energy and gentle emotions.

The Associated Chakra for Anahata

The Anahata chakra is strongly associated with the Hridaya or the Surya chakra. The Hridaya is  a minor chakra that’s situated below the Anahata. This eight petaled chakra, absorbs the suns energy and transfers heat to the body.

The inner most region of the Hridaya chakra is composed of fire, and contains a wish-fulfilling tree called the kalpa vriksha. This tree aids people in fulfilling their deepest desires and longings.  

The Anahata Chakra in Other Traditions

The Anahata chakra has been an important part of several practices and traditions. These include:

  • Tibetan Buddhism: In Tibetan Buddhism, the heart chakra aids in the process of death and rebirth.  The heart chakra contains a drop, which helps in the degeneration and decay of the physical body.  Once the body begins the process of decomposition, the soul moves on to be reborn again.
  • Meditation: The heart chakra plays an important role in yoga and meditation. Practitioners imagine a moon and a flame within the heart, from which emerge the cosmic syllables or mantras.
  • Sufism: In Sufism, the heart is divided into three broad regions. The left side is called the heart of mystic and it can contain both pure and impure thoughts. The right side of the heart contains a spiritual power that can counteract negative energy, and the innermost part of the heart’s  where Allah reveals himself.
  • Qigoing: In Qigong practices, one of the three furnaces of the body is present within the heart chakra. This furnace transforms pure energy into spiritual energy.

In Brief

The Anahata chakra is one of the most important aspects of the body that inspires divine sensibilities and creativity. Without the Anahata chakra, it’s believed that humanity would be less benevolent and sympathetic.

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