By editor - 5.2 2021

The connection between subtle and gross bodies

            Many alternative forms of medicine in their analysis and treatment of disease now stress the connection between the subtle and gross bodies.  In contrast, modern conventional medicine generally does not recognize that disturbances in the mind can cause disturbances in the body and that disturbances in the body can cause disturbances in the mind.  In the allopathic system, for instance,  practitioners observe the symptoms of the disease, label them, and then try to alleviate the symptoms. The ayurvedic system, however, with a deeper understanding of health and disease, utilizes five basic principles in prevention and treatment of illness:  proper diet, proper physical activities or exercise, proper mental activities, cleanliness and a regulated sense gratification.  When I discuss the  gross body  I mean the external body as well as the five senses: hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, and touching.   The subtle body  means the mind, intelligence and false ego (identifying oneself with the material body and mind).

            To understand the connection between the gross and subtle bodies it is helpful to understand what are chakras.  Chakras are energy centers which accept prana ( subtle energy which gives life and vitality) and distribute it to different parts of the body. Each chakra also is connected to a person’s psychological and emotional characteristics. person. Within the body there are seven main chakras and many more minor ones.   If a chakra functions properly then the organs connected with it will be nourished with sufficient prana and thus will remain healthy.  On the other hand, if a chakra does not function properly then there will be disturbances or blockages in some organs or perhaps in some aspects of a person’s life.   At birth, the chakras are open and ready to accept prana for the growth and development of the gross and subtle body.  However, in order to protect itself from negative energy the chakra may close.   Especially experiences early in life influence the functioning of a chakra throughout the rest of one’s life.   Two types of people will especially find knowledge of the chakras can be of significant importance.   The first category are  parents who have children in the developmental stage of life, up to seven or eight years old. Although  childhood and its experiences are under the laws of karma, still problems may be ameliorated by knowledge of the chakras. Parents can learn these  principles to assure that their children’s chakras remain open. The others who could benefit from this information are those who have chronic physical or mental ailments which they know are caused by emotional or psychological problems. The diagram (see page [italics]) shows the position of the seven main chakras and the general areas of the body under their control.  Although healers do not always agree about the exact position of the chakras, the information given in this article is based either on my direct experience or on information from Vedic scripture.

            The first chakra, known in Sanskrit as muladhara [italics] which opens downward, is located at the bottom of the spine between the genitals and the anus.   This chakra is connected with basic life energies and with the adrenal glands. It controls the survival reactions of mammals.  During danger, the adrenal glands increase the production of hormones that stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. This increases one’s power and quickens one’s reflexes.

            The typical person who might have an afflicted first chakra are criminals.   People in animal consciousness usually think only in terms of survival and their next meal. It is important for children to feel protected. Otherwise, if children feel insecurity, their first chakra will close, at least to some degree, to protect them from any negative energies.   Unfortunately a chakra, once closed, tends to remain so. The person may then develop a negative attitude towards life, severely reducing his energy or perhaps causing him to become selfish or aggressive.

            The second chakra, known as the savadisthana [italics] chakra, is located by the upper beginning of the genital. This chakra deals with pleasure and sensual experiences. Although in the West it is called the sexual chakra and is connected with the gonads and the productions of sexual hormones, it has a broader area of influence. Children, who early in their lives have much physical contact with the parents, and especially with the mother, will probably have no significant problems in this area. However, children who grow up in an atmosphere without  much affection, will be susceptible to disturbances in this chakra. He or she will tend to go in either of two extremes. One extreme is thinking that sex is something disgusting or unnatural--something that should be hidden or  perhaps even feared. The other extreme is to think that sex is the most important thing in life. In terms of karma, in previous lifetimes these two types of people were  taking more energy than they were giving in their relationships. In the beginning of life they have had some negative experience that has forced that chakra to close, and now they have blockages in relationships, manifested either by a disgust for or overstressing of physical contact  with others. This type of person needs to try to please others without concern of their reciprocating.

            The third chakra, the manipura [italics] chakra, is located slightly above the navel and controls the energy flow to practically all the inner organs below the diaphragm. This chakra determines how children develops their desires for power and control. As they should gradually learn responsibility their desire to control is not necessarily a negative trait. If there is some problem in this third chakra, negative characteristics will develop. People whose third chakras are afflicted are not satisfied with their situation and think that they can obtain more satisfaction by expanding their power. If a soul had tried to control and make decisions for someone else or tried to usurp their position, in this life his third chakra will be disturbed.  Such jivas may take birth in families where someone is exerting excessive control, never allowing them to use their own intelligence or to make their own decisions. Perhaps such jivas may take birth in situations of chaos without an authority in control.  Under either circumstance the third chakra will close and the consciousness will develop in one of two extreme directions.  One extreme is that they become cowards thinking that they have no possibility of control over their life. In the other extreme, such people try to utilize their intelligence and influence to constantly increase their power.  The key to balancing this chakra is for one to be satisfied by whatever Supreme gives.

            The fourth chakra, the anahata [italics] chakra, is in the middle of the chest and is connected with the heart, chest and lungs. People whose parents have divorced or whose parents had negative a relationship, usually have a disturbed fourth chakra.    Because of negative relationships between parents, such children don’t have proper examples to follow  Later in life they will not know how to act properly in a relationship or what to expect from their partner. This brings insecurity, and doubts and confusion. Probably such people, in their previous lives neglected to provide others with affection, warmth, and security.   This is similar to that of an affliction to the second chakra, but it is more subtle.

            As a result of the negative atmosphere in the early years, his heart (and heart chakra) closes somewhat.  Therefore, these people need to open their hearts. First they need to accept and address their own feelings, and then try to communicate those feelings to others. Because the  heart chakra, is connected with motherly affection and instinct these people need to learn how to play the role of mother, regardless of their gender.

            The fifth chakra, the visuddha [italics] chakra, is located at the bottom of the neck, in the area of the thyroid gland. This chakra is connected with one’s opinions as well as communication and speech. Children who grow up believing that they shouldn’t have their own opinions will develop problems in this area. Everyone has intelligence and discrimination, and therefore opinions. A without parent negative motives say, "No, you shouldn't think like that, this is the way we do it";  or "This is what I think, and there’s no need to discuss it."  Such treatment may result the fifth chakra closing.

            Another cause of  the problem is when the mother loves the child, but she does not permit him to have his own opinions. The mother manipulates her love in a way that the child thinks, “My mother loves me , she is such a wonderful mother, but if she see that I have a different opinion from hers, then she’ll be hurt, and my relationship with her will be lost.” When this fifth chakra closes up, we either don’t say what we think, or we develop the attitude that everyone must listen to me and accept my opinion.  It is important  to allow children, especially after their fifth year to have their own opinion, even though the parents may try to guide them in a different direction.

            The sixth chakra, located in the middle of the forehead, slightly above the eyebrows, the position of the so called third eye. In Sanskrit this is called the ajña [italics]chakra. It´s connected with the head, eyes, and sight in general. On a deeper level it´s connected with insight and philosophical understanding. In a child, this chakra is connected with fantasy.  Once after determining that there was some block in a devotee’s sixth chakra,  I suggested to him that the problem is related to his father.   I was surprised to hear his response, "Oh yes, my father and I were best friends. We always used to

speculate together. Every month he would read a new book and then he would explain to me new principles of life contained in that book.”  The devotee explained that his relatives tried to explain to his father that this was not the proper way to treat a young boy. The problem was that being absorbed by his father's philosophical speculations, which were of a very scientific nature, this devotee never had any room for fantasy in his life. Therefore, his sixth chakra closed. After this chakra was close, this devotee found it difficult to grasp conceptual thoughts as this chakra is concerned with insight and intuition and has to do with subtle ideas. If a child's exercise of fantasy is blocked then he’ll grow up to be a scientist in the  negative sense of the word.  He will have difficulties accepting things that he can’t see and measure.   I once saw one child hold a paper flower to his father saying, "Smell the flower" and the father responded with a simple, "No, that’s simply paper.” This type of behavior blocks the child's imagination and can lead to future problems.

            The seventh chakra, the sahasrara [italics] chakra, is at located the very top of the head. It opens upwards. This chakra cannot be disturbed by itself. It depends on the other chakras to function properly before it develops at all. This chakra relates to God consciousness, self-realization, universal thinking and compassion without sentimentality. Many peaple mistakenly think  that since they are engaged in transcendental activities they can ignore their other problems.  With this understanding, we can see our personal health problems and can accept them the tests they give us as  friends that are helping us to make spiritual advancement.   I especially to chronic problems. For example, I should see that chronic problems in the throat area might be related to a weakness related with its governing chakra  This would be related to my early life experiences, perhaps something that I need to accept and learn to tolerate from my past. One of the important principles of ayurvedic medicine is to use the  symptoms of a disease as a diagnostic tool to adjust imbalances in the body and mind. Without attacking the symptoms directly and  killing germs to alleviate the symptoms the  imbalance in the body  is ascertained and then corrected. Symptoms will then naturally disappear because the body can resist negative influences. Similarly,  the same type of treatment is recommended for psychological problems. Certain symptoms will be detected. They may appear in the body as some disease or they may appear in dealings with others. In any case, the psychological abnormalities are different symptoms. The real problem lies deeper, and that’s what needs to be corrected.   Learning the lessons means changing a way of thinking.  The strength or the efficiency of the chakras can also be increased by therapy with stones, colors,  aromas, physical exercises od mantra joga.