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Located in the area of the solar plexus, navel, and the digestive system, the fiery third chakra is called Manipura, the "resplendent gem." Associated with the color yellow, this chakra is involved in self-esteem, warrior energy, and the power of transformation; it also governs digestion and metabolism. A healthy spirited third chakra helps overcome inertia and jump-starts a "get-up-and-go" attitude so it is easier to take risks, assert one's will, and assume responsibility for one's life. This chakra is also the location of deep belly laughter, warmth, ease, and the vitality received from performing selfless service.
Manipura is represented by a downward pointing red triangle, the fire region, within a bright yellow circle, with 10 dark-blue or black petals like heavily laden rain clouds. The triangle has a t-shaped swastika on each of its sides. The fire region is represented by the god Vahni, who is shining red, has four arms, holds a rosary and a spear, and is making the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear. He is seated on a ram, the animal that represents this chakra.
The seed mantra is the syllable 'ram'. Within the bindu or dot above this mantra resides the deity Rudra, who is red or white, with three eyes, of ancient aspect with a silver beard, and smeared with white ashes. He makes the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear. He is either seated upon a tiger skin, or upon a bull. His Shakti is the goddess Lakini. She has a black or dark-blue vermillion color; three faces, each with three eyes; is four-armed; holds a thunderbolt, the arrow shot from the bow of Kama, fire; and makes the gesture of granting boons and dispelling fear. She is seated upon a red lotus.
The ten petals are dark-blue or black, like heavily laden rainclouds, with the syllables dda, ddha, nna, ta, tha, da, dha, na, pa, and pha upon them in a dark-blue colour. They correspond to the vrittis of spiritual ignorance, thirst, jealousy, treachery, shame, fear, disgust, delusion, foolishness and sadness.
Manipura is considered the center of dynamism, energy, will power and achievement (Itcha shakti), which radiates prana throughout the entire human body. It is associated with the power of fire and digestion, as well as with the sense of sight and the action of movement. Manipura is "the center of etheric-psychic intuition: a vague or non-specific, sensual sense of knowing; a vague sense of size, shape, and intent of being." As such, some psychics recommend "listening" to it since it may help in making better decisions in one's life on many different levels.
Through meditating on Manipura one is said to attain the siddhis power to create (save) or destroy the world.
Association with the body
The position of Manipura is stated as being either behind the navel or the solar plexus. Sometimes, when it is located at the navel, a secondary chakra called Surya (sun) chakra is located at the solar plexus, whose role is to absorb and assimilate prana from the sun. Being related to the sense of sight, it is associated with the eyes, and being associated with movement, it is associated with the feet.
In the endocrine system, Manipura is said to be associated with the pancreas and the outer adrenal glands; the adrenal cortex. These glands create important hormones involved in digestion, converting food into energy for the body, in the same way that Manipura radiates prana throughout the body.
In kundalini yoga, different practices for arousing and balancing the energies of Manipura include various asanas which work on that part of the body, pranayama, Uddiyana bandha (exhaling and pulling back and up the abdomen and diaphragm, respectively) and agnisara kriya (practicing jalandhara bandha, and moving the abdomen in and out), as well as the practice of nauli (stomach churning), and a pranayama called the union of prana and apana, where the lower and higher winds are made to unite together.
Comparisons with other systems
In the Vajrayana Highest Tantra traditions, the navel wheel is extremely important as being the seat of the 'red drop'. It is triangular, red, with 64 petals or channels that extend upwards. Inside of it is the short syllable 'Ah'. Meditation on this syllable is the key component of the practice of Tummo, or inner heat, where the subtle winds are made to enter the central channel, and rise up to the top of the channel, in an experience akin to that of 'raising the kundalini' in Hindu terminology, melting the subtle white drop in the crown, and causing an experience of great bliss. This practice is considered the first and most important of the six yogas of Naropa.
In Chinese qigong, there exists three Dantians, acting as furnaces to convert different energies in the body. The lower Dantian exists in the region of the stomach. Its function is to convert sexual jing energy into Qi energy (a concept similar to Indian prana).
Within the system of the Sufi Lataif-e-sitta, there are a number of Lataif on the torso, but they are not distributed vertically, like chakras, but some are to the left and some to the right. The nafs, or lower self, is a centre situated below the navel.
Western occultists make different kabbalistic associations with Manipura. For some, it relates to the sephirot of Hod and Netzach, Netzach being that quality of energy to overcome different obstacles, and Hod being the tendency to control and break down energy into different forms, the two being contending and balancing forces, like the forces of anabolism and catabolism in the human body. Hod and Netzach are associated with the left and right legs and feet of the body.
- Tantra: Dashachchada, Dashadala Padma, Dashapatra, Dashapatrambuja, Manipura, Manipuraka, Nabhipadma, Nabhipankaja
- Vedas (late Upanishads): Manipura, Manipuraka, Nabhi Chakra
- Puranic: Manipura, Nabhi Chakra
- Asanas for the Chakra System
- "The Solar Plexus Chakra". Retrieved 2007-09-21.
- "You Deserve To Have Your Dreams Come True: Personal Power". Retrieved 2009-03-12.
- "Solar Plexus Chakra". ASIS Massage Education. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Kundalini Grounds and Paths
- Leonara Leet. The universal kabbalah