Symbolism of anahata chakra

There are various ways of symbolizing the anahata chakra. The diagram that we have given is one. The central figure is a blue lotus with twelve petals. In many traditional diagrams the petals are inscribed with the following Sanskrit letters: ^ (kam), TsT (kham), ^ (gam), (gham), (nam), ^f (cham), (chham), (jam), ff (jham), ^f (nam), Z (tam) and (tham). We have omitted these letters in our diagram for the sake of simplicity. In the centre of the lotus there are two interlaced triangles, which together form a hexagon (Star of David). The upward pointing triangle indicates the direction of higher understanding and awareness – the spiritual path. The downward pointing triangle indicates the direction of descent into lower states of awareness and understanding. The anahata chakra is a midway point on the path between mundane levels of existence at the mooladhara chakra and transcendental levels at the ajna and above. The upward pointing triangle indicates Shiva (consciousness) and the downward triangle represents Shakti (the power of manifestation and creator of limitation and individuality). At the level of the anahata there is perfect balance between these two aspects of existence in the individual. The upward pointing triangle indicates the path of nivritti, the return to the source of being; the downward facing triangle means the pravritti path, the path of entanglement in the world of illusion. There are also many other meanings behind the two triangles.

At the bottom of the lotus there is the mantra (yam). This is the bija (seed) mantra of the anahata chakra.

In the centre of the diagram there is a candle flame, which symbolizes the spark of life and consciousness that exists in all things and which is particularly luminous in man. It represents thejivatman (the divine light in man). In some traditional diagrams of the anahata chakra the flame is represented by a lingam instead. It is called the bana lingam, and is said to be golden in colour and lustrous like ten thousand suns. Both the lingam and the flame have the same meaning as the akhanda jyoti (eternal flame) that is kept burning day and night in many ashrams. The light of consciousness spreads out in all directions – it is unlimited. This is symbolized in the diagram by the four rays radiating out in four directions.

The anahata chakra is the centre of devotion; therefore, the colours of the given diagrams have been printed to convey an emotional tone. Incidentally, one of the greatest symbols of the anahata chakra is Hanuman, the monkey deity of the Indian scripture called the Ramayana. It is he who shows total devotion to Rama in every action and thought. It is this devotion and identification that leads directly to transcendence.

Much more can be said about the symbology of the anahata chakra, especially with regard to deities etc. We leave you to see more in the symbolic diagram.

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