Shakti means strength, power and energy. Shakti is the womb for all creation and is therefore expressed as the mother aspect of the Divine. Shakti is the seed for all dynamism, radiance, beauty, equanimity, peace and nourishment. Shakti is the life-force.
There are five aspects of creation.
Asti – Is-ness
Bhati – Knowledge and Expression
Preeti – Love
Nama – Name
Rupa – Form
Matter has two aspects, Name and Form.
Consciousness has three aspects, Asti – it is, Bhati – it knows and expresses and Preeti – it is loving. Maya – ignorance or delusion is not being aware of the three aspects of the consciousness and getting caught up in the name and form.
Different functional aspects of this divine energy, Shakti, have different names and forms. The “i” (ee) in Shakti is energy. Without the “i”, “Shiva” becomes “shava” which in Sanskrit means lifeless.
There are seven centers of energy or Shakti in the body called Chakras in Sanskrit. In the Saktha system of worship, there is focus on all the energy centers. The Sri Chakra is thought to represent the whole body with the Devi in different forms, residing in different Chakras.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, in his discourse, has spoken in detail about the Chakras. He says, “Different emotions are linked with each of these energy centers.”
The first Chakra, Muladhara, is located in the base of the spine. Here, the energy manifests as inertia or enthusiasm. The Devi residing in this chakra is five-faced representing the five sense organs. Musical instruments are also associated with these energy centres. The sounds vibrations produced by the bass drums are connected to this chakra.
The second Chakra, Swadhistana is the sex center just four inches above the base of the spine. Here energy manifests as pro-creativity or creativity. Here, the Divine mother has four faces representing the four Vedas.
The third Chakra, Manipura, is the navel center where energy manifests as four emotions: Generosity, joy, greed and jealousy (two positive emotions and two negative emotions). In the Manipura, She has three faces representing Sristi (creation), Sthiti (maintenance) and Laya (dissolution). Wind instruments like trumpets and clarinets are connected to this energy centre.
The fourth Chakra, Anahata, is located in the chest region. Here, the energy manifests as three emotions- love, fear and hatred. Here, she is represented with two faces, signifying inward and outward focus. This energy centre is influenced by the sound vibrations of string instruments like the violin and harp.
The fifth Chakra, Vishuddhi, is located in the throat region and is the center where energy manifests as two emotions – gratitude and grief. In the Vishuddhi Chakra, Her form has a single face. She is beyond all duality. The melody of the flute connects with this chakra.
The sixth Chakra, Ajna, is located between the eyebrows and is the center where energy manifests as anger and alertness. In this chakra, the Devi is six-faced, representing the five senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste) and the mind. Cymbals, chimes and bells connect with this energy centre.
The seventh Chakra, Sahasrara, is located on the top of the head and is the center where energy manifests as bliss. The Sahasrara is also called Brahmarandhra. In the Sahasrara, She is represented as a fully blossomed lotus of thousand petals. All the qualities in creation belong to her and are blossomed to their complete potential. The conch is the musical instrument connected with this energy centre.
When we lead a Sattvic (pure and disciplined) life, the Chakras are properly activated and the presence of the different qualities of the Devi is felt through their functioning For instance, creativity, sweet speech, being noble, joy, awareness, gratitude- these qualities are enlivened through proper focus on Sadhana (spiritual practises).
Divine intelligence is a combination of intelligence and intuition. Ojas is the intuitive power – the Sattvic field of energy which is present or developed only by Sadhana.
When the Kundalini Shakti is invoked, the Ojas travels through the Sushumnanadi (channel for energy flow) along the six chakras to the Brahmarandhra giving rise to Siddhi or a state of perfect equilibrium.
The upward and downward movement of energy through these Chakras gives rise to the play and display of consciousness as the various positive and negative emotions. Sadhana, self-effort or practice, and Satsang, the company of the wise, facilitates the upward movement of the energy through the various Chakras and enables us to maintain a pleasant state of mind.
Read more talks by Sri Sri.