Thursday, December 23, 2010

Monadic Body

Sanskrit Name = anama (nameless) 4 Also called Vishnuloka

The information available on the subject of the Monad is necessarily scanty. We are not at present in a position to supplement it to any great extent; but a statement of the case, as far as it is at present comprehended, may save students some misapprehensions.
That many misconceptions should exist on such a subject is inevitable, because we are trying to understand with the physical brain what can by no possibility be expressed in terms intelligible to that brain.
The Monad inhabits the second plane of our set of planes [ see 7 Planes chart ] - that which used to be called the paranirvanic or the anupadaka.
It is not easy to attach in the mind any definite meaning to the word plane or world [or body] at such an altitude as this, because any attempt even to symbolise the relation of planes or worlds to one another demands a stupendous effort of the imagination in a direction with which we are wholly unfamiliar. Let us try to imagine what the consciousness of the Divine must be - the consciousness of the Solar Deity altogether outside any of the worlds or planes or levels which we ever conceived. We can only vaguely think of some sort of transcendent Consciousness for which space no longer exists, to which everything (at least in the Solar System) is simultaneously present, not only in its actual condition, but at every stage of its evolution from beginning to end. We must think of that Divine Consciousness as creating for Its use these worlds of various types of matter, and then voluntarily veiling Itself within that matter, and thereby greatly limiting Itself. By taking upon Itself a garment of the matter of even the highest of these worlds, It has clearly already imposed upon Itself a certain limitation; and, equally clearly, each additional garment assumed, as It involves Itself more and more deeply in matter, must increase the limitation.
One way of attempting to symbolise this is to try to think of it in connection with what we call dimensions of space. If we may suppose an infinite number of these dimensions, it may be suggested that each descent, from a higher level to a lower, removes the consciousness of one of these dimensions, until, when we reach the mental plane or world, the power of observing but five of them is all that is left to us. The descent to the astral level takes away one more, and the further descent to the physical leaves us with the three which are familiar to us

In order [for us to] even to get an idea of what this loss of additional dimensions means, we have to suppose the existence of a creature whose senses are capable of comprehending only two dimensions. Then we must reason in what respect the consciousness of that creature would differ from ours, and thus try to image to ourselves what it would mean to lose a dimension from our consciousness. Such an exercise of the imagination will speedily convince us that the two-dimensional creature could never obtain any adequate conception of our life at all; he could be conscious of it only in sections, and his idea of even those sections must be entirely misleading. This enables us to see how inadequate must be our conception even of the plane or world next above us; and we at once perceive the hopelessness of expecting fully to understand the Monad, which is raised by many of these planes or worlds above the point from which we are trying to regard it. 19

For the time [being], at least, the Monad is our personal God, the God within us, that which produces us down here as a manifestation of him on all these all but infinitely lower levels. What his consciousness is on his own plane we cannot pretend to say, nor can we fully understand it even when he has put upon himself the first veil, and become the triple Spirit [the Atmic level]. The only way to understand such things is to rise to their level, and to become one with them. When we do that we shall comprehend, but even then we shall be utterly unable to explain to anyone else what we know. It is at that stage, the stage of the triple Spirit, that we who investigate can first see the Monad, and he is then a triple light of blinding glory, yet possessing even at that stage certain qualities by which one Monad is somehow distinct from another.

Often a student asks: “But what have we to do with it while we are down here - this unknown glory so far above us?” It is a natural question, yet in reality it is the reverse of what should be; for the true man is the Monad and we should rather say: “What can I, the Monad, do with my Ego, and through it with my personality?” This would be the correct attitude, for this would express the actual facts; but we cannot truthfully take it, because we cannot realise this. Yet we can say to ourselves: “I know that I am that Monad, though as yet I cannot express it; I know that I am the Ego, a mere fraction of that Monad, but still out of all proportion greater than what I know of myself in the personality down here. More and more I will try to realise myself as that higher and greater being; more and more will I try to make this lower presentation of myself worthy of its true destiny; more and more will I see to it that this lower self is ever ready to catch the sightest hint or whisper from above - to follow the suggestions from the Ego which we call intuitions - to distinguish the Voice of the Silence and to obey it.”
It is well that we should learn to distinguish this voice - this voice which speaks from above and yet from within; for sometimes other voices speak, and their counsel is not always wise. A medium finds this, for if he has not trained himself to distinguish, he often thinks that every voice coming from the astral [emotion/desire] plane must necessarily be all but divine, and therefore to be followed unquestionably. Therefore discrimination is necessary, as well as watchfulness and obedience.

Does the Monad, in the case of the ordinary man, ever do anything which affects or can affect his personality down here? I think we may say that such interference is most unusual. the Ego is trying, on behalf of the Monad, to obtain perfect control of the personality and to use it as an instrument; and because that object is not fully achieved, the Monad may well feel that the time has not yet come to interfere from his own level, and to bring the whole of his force to bear, when that which is already in action is more than strong enough for the required purpose. But when the Ego is already beginning to succeed in his effort to manage his lower vehicles, the real man in the background does sometimes intervene. 19

Of the condition of consciousness of the Solar Deity outside the planes of His system, we can form no true conception. He has been spoken of as the Divine Fire; and if for a moment we adopt that time-honoured symbolism, we may imagine that Sparks from that Fire fall into the matter of our planes - Sparks which are of the essence of that Fire, but are yet in appearance temporarily separated from it. The analogy cannot be pushed too far, because all sparks of which we know anything are thrown out from their parent fire and gradually fade and die; whereas these Sparks develop by slow evolution into Flames, and return to the Parent Fire. This development and this return are apparently the objects for which the Sparks come forth; and the process of the development is that which we are at the present moment concerned to try to understand.

It seems that the Spark, as such, cannot in its entirety veil itself beyond a certain extent; it cannot descend beyond what we call the second plane, and yet retain its unity. One difficulty with which we are confronted in trying to form any ideas upon this matter is that, as yet, none of us who investigate are able to raise our consciousness to this second plane; in the nomenclature recently adopted [1920's] we give to it the name of monadic because it is the home of the Monad, but none of us have yet been able to realise that Monad in his own habitation, but only to see him when he has descended one stage to the plane or level or world below his own, in which he shows himself as the triple Spirit, which in our earlier books we call the Atma in man. Even already he is incomprehensible, for he has three aspects which are quite distinct and apparently separate, and yet they are all fundamentally one and the same. 19

Etheric-Pranic Body

Composition and Structure

We shall find that the 'Etheric Double', while necessary to the life of the physical body, is not, properly speaking, a separate vehicle of consciousness: it receives and distributes the vital force which emanates from the Sun and is thus intimately connected with the physical health. 5
Physical matter exists in seven grades or orders of density;

1. Atomic: The medium of the transmission of thought from brain to brain.
2. Sub-Atomic: The medium of the "finer forms of electricity."
3. Super-Etheric: The medium of light.
4. Etheric: The medium of ordinary current electricity, and of sound.
5. Gaseous
6. Liquid
7. Solid

Every solid, liquid and gaseous particle of the physical body is surrounded with an etheric envelope: hence the etheric double, as its name implies, is a perfect duplicate of the dense form. In size it projects about one quarter of an inch beyond the skin. The etheric aura however, or Health aura, as it is frequently called, projects normally several inches beyond the skin. 5 In appearance the Etheric Double is a pale violet-grey, faintly luminous, and coarse or fine in texture according as the dense physical body is coarse or fine. The Etheric double has two main functions. Firstly, it absorbs Prana, or Vitality, and distributes this to the whole physical body. Secondly, it acts as an intermediary or bridge between the dense physical body and the astral/emotional body, transmitting the consciousness of physical sense-contacts through the etheric brain to the astral body, and also transmitting consciousness from the astral and higher levels down into the physical brain and nervous system.5 It is important to recognise that the Etheric Double, being merely a part of the physical body, is not normally capable of acting as a separate vehicle of consciousness, in which a man can live or function. It has only a diffused consciousness belonging to its parts, and has no mentality, nor does it serve as a medium of mentality, when disjoined from the dense counterpart. As it is a vehicle, not of mental consciousness, but of Prana or Vitality, its dislocation from the dense particles to which it conveys the life-currents is disturbing and unhealthy.
The Double may be separated from the dense physical body by accident, death, anaesthetics, mesmerism. The Double being the connecting link between the brain and the higher consciousness, the forcible extrusion of it from the dense physical body by anaesthetics necessarily produces anaesthesia.
Further than this, the etheric matter thus forced out usually wraps itself round the astral and dulls the consciousness of that vehicle also: hence after the effects of the anaesthetics have worn off, there is usually no memory in the brain consciousness of the time spent in the astral vehicle.
In conditions of weak health or nervous excitement, the Etheric Double may also in great part be extruded from its dense counterpart: the latter then becomes very dully conscious, or entranced, according to the lesser or greater amount of the etheric matter extruded.
Separation of the Double from the dense body is generally accompanied by a decrease of vitality in the latter, the double becoming more vitalised as the energy in the dense body diminishes.
It must also be borne in mind that etheric matter, though invisible to ordinary sight, is still purely physical, and can therefore be affected by cold and heat, and also by powerful acids.
Persons who have lost a limb sometimes complain that they can feel pain at the extremities of the amputated limb ie., at the place where the limb used to be. This is due to the fact that the etheric portion of the limb is not removed with the dense physical portion, and therefore, under suitable stimulus, sensations can be aroused in this etheric limb and transmitted to the consciousness.5
Prana or Vitality

Translated into more Western terms, yogic Prana, [Chinese Ch'i or Japanese Ki ] on the physical plane, is best described as Vitality, as the integrating energy that coordinates the physical molecules, cells etc., and holds them together as a definite organism. It is the life-breath within the organism, the portion of the universal Life-Breath, appropriated by a given organism during the period of bodily existence that we speak of as 'a life'. were it not for the presence of Prana, there could be no physical body as an integral whole, working as one entity; without Prana the body would be nothing more than a collection of independent cells. Prana links up and connects these into one complex whole, playing along the branches and meshes of the 'life-web', that shimmering golden web of inconceivable fineness and delicate beauty, formed out of a single thread of buddhic matter, a prolongation of the Sutratma, within the meshes of which the coarser atoms are built together.
Prana is absorbed by all living organisms, a sufficient supply of it seeming to be a necessity of their existence. It is not, therefore, in any sense a product of life, but the living animal, plant etc., are its products. Too great an exuberance of it in the nervous system may lead to disease and death, just as too little leads to exhaustion and untimely death.
HP Blavatsky 15 compares Prana, the active power producing all vital phenomena, to oxygen, the supporter of combustion, the life-giving gas, the active chemical agent in all organic life. A comparison is also drawn between the Etheric Double, the inert vehicle of life, and nitrogen, an inert gas with which oxygen is mixed to adapt the latter for animal respiration, and which also enters largely into all organic substances.
On the physical plane prana builds up all minerals, and is the controlling agent in the chemico-physiological changes in protoplasm, which lead to differentiation and the building of the various tissues of the bodies of plants, animals and men. They show its presence by the power of responding to stimuli.
The blending of astral with physical prana creates nerve-matter, which is fundamentally the cell, and which gives the power to feel pleasure and pain. The cells develop into fibres, as the result of thought, the prana pulsating along those fibres being composed of physical, astral and mental prana.
The Secret Doctrine 16 speaks of Prana as the 'invisible' or 'fiery' lives which supply microbes with 'vital constructive energy,' thus enabling them to build the physical cells, the size of the smallest bacterium relatively to that of a 'fiery life' (being as that of an elephant to the tiniest infusoria [single-celled organisms]. 'Every visible thing in this universe was built by such lives, from conscious and divine primordial man, down to the unconscious agents that construct matter.' 'By the manifestation of Prana, the spirit which is speechless appears as the speaker.' The whole of constructive vitality, in the universe and man, is thus summed up as Prana.5

It is important to note that although the nerves are in the physical body, it is not the physical body, as such, which has the power of feeling. As a sheath the physical body does not feel: it is a receiver of impressions only. The outer body receives the impact, but in its own cells does not lie the power of feeling pleasure or pain, except in a very vague, dull and 'massive' way, giving rise to vague, diffused feelings, such as those of general fatigue, for example.
The physical contacts are transmitted inwards by prana, and these are acute, sharp, keen, specific, quite different from the heavy, diffused sensations deriving from the cells themselves. It is thus in every case prana which gives the sense-activity to the physical organs, and which transmits the outer vibration to the sense-centres, which is situated in kama, in the sheath which is next to that of prana, the Manomayakosha [emotion body ??]. It is by means of the Etheric Double that prana runs along the nerves of the body and thus enables them to act not only as the carriers of external impacts but also of motor force, originated from within.
The student must carefully note that the prana which courses along the nerves is quite separate and distinct from what is called a man's magnetism, or nerve-fluid, which is generated within his own body. This nerve-fluid or magnetism keeps the etheric matter circulating along the nerves, or, more accurately, along a coating of ether which surrounds each nerve, much as the blood circulates through the veins. And just as the blood carries oxygen to the body, so does the nerve-fluid convey prana.
Furthermore, just as the particles of the dense physical body are constantly changing and being replaced by fresh particles derived from food, water and air, so are the particles of the etheric body being constantly changed and replaced by fresh etheric particles, these being taken into the body along with the food eaten, with the air breathed, and with prana, in the form known as the Vitality Globule. [to be expanded upon].
Prana, or vitality, exists on all the planes - physical, astral, mental, etc. Prana, the One Life, is 'the nave to which are attached the seven spokes of the universal wheel' (Hymn to Prana, Atharva Veda, XI., 4). We are here, however, concerned only with its appearance and methods of work in the lowest, the physical plane.
It must also be noted that prana on the physical plane is sevenfold ie., there are seven varieties of it.
Prana is quite separate and distinct from light, heat, etc., but nevertheless its manifestation on the physical plan appears to depend on sunlight: for when sunlight is abundant, prana also appears in abundance, and where sunlight is absent, prana also is deficient. 5
Absorption of Vitality

The 'vitality globule', though inconceivably minute, is so brilliant that it is often seen even by those who are not in the ordinary sense clairvoyant. Many a man, looking out towards the distant horizon, especially over the sea on a sunny day, will notice against the sky a number of the tiniest possible points dashing about in all directions with amazing rapidity. These are vitality globules, each consisting of seven physical atoms - the Fiery Lives, specks charged with that force [called] Prana. The best way to see them is to face directly away from the sun and focus the eyes a few feet away with a clear sky as background. Brilliant as the globule is, it is almost colourless, and may be compared to white or a slightly golden light.
It has been remarked that although the force which vivifies these globules is quite different from light, it nevertheless appears to depend upon light for its power of manifestation. In brilliant sunshine this vitality is constantly welling-up afresh, and the globules are generated in incredible numbers; but in cloudy weather there is a great diminution in the number of globules formed, and during the night the operation appears to be entirely suspended. During the night therefore, we may be said to be living on the stock manufactured during the previous day, and although it appears practically impossible that it should ever be entirely exhausted, that stock evidently does run low when there is a long succession of cloudy days.
But as soon as it is drawn into the vortex of the force-centre at the spleen it is decomposed and breaks up into streams of different colours, though it does not follow exactly our division of the spectrum. As its component atoms are whirled around the vortex, each of the six spokes seizes upon one of them, so that all the atoms charged with yellow flow along one, and all those charged with green along another, and so on, whilst the seventh disappears through the centre of the vortex - through the hub of the wheel, as it were.
These rays then pass off in different directions, each to do its special work in the vitalization of the body.
See adjacent plate.
The colours of the divisions of prana are not exactly those which we ordinarily use in the solar spectrum, but rather resemble the arrangement of colours which we see on higher levels in the causal, mental and astral bodies.
Vitality is thus sevenfold, but it flows through the body in five main streams, for after issuing from the splenic [sacral] centre the blue and violet join into one ray, and so do the orange and the dark red.
The violet-blue ray flashes upwards to the throat, where it seems to divide itself, the light blue remaining to course through and quicken the throat centre, while the dark blue and violet pass on into the brain. The dark blue expends itself in the lower and central parts of the brain, while the violet floods the upper part, and appears to give special vigour to the force centre at the top of the head, diffusing itself chiefly through the 960 petals of the outer part of that centre.
The yellow ray is directed to the heart, but after doing its work there part of it also passes on to the brain and permeates it, directing itself principally to the twelve-petalled flower in the midst of the highest force centre.
The green ray floods the abdomen, and while centring especially in the solar plexus, evidently vivifies the liver, kidneys and intestines, and the digestive apparatus generally.
The rose-coloured ray runs all over the body along the nerves, and is clearly the life of the nervous system. This is the specialized vitality which one man may readily pour into another in whom it is deficient. If the nerves are not fully supplied with this rosy light they become sensitive and intensely irritable, so that the patient finds it almost impossible to remain in one position, and yet gains but little ease when he moves to another. The least noise or touch is agony to him, and he is in a condition of acute misery. The flooding of his nerves with specialized prana by some healthy person brings instant relief, and a feeling of healing and peace descends upon him. A man in robust health usually absorbs and specializes so much more of this vitality than is actually needed by his own body that he is constantly radiating a torrent of rose-coloured atoms, and so unconsciously pours strength upon his weaker fellows without losing anything himself; or by an effort of his will he can gather together this superfluous energy and aim it intentionally at one whom he wishes to help.5

Visual Limitations

As to our senses. Let us take the sense of sight for example, and see how remarkably imperfect it is. Our physical world consists of seven sub-planes or degrees of density of matter, but our sight enables us to perceive only two of these with anything approaching perfection. We can usually see solid matter, if it is not too finely sub-divided; we can see a liquid that is not absolutely clear; but we cannot see gaseous matter at all under ordinary conditions, except in the rare instances in which it has an especially brilliant colour (as in the case of chlorine) or when it happens to be dense, to be much compressed, or to be moving in a particular way - as in the case of the air which may be seen rising from a heated road. Of the four etheric sub-divisions of physical matter we remain absolutely unconscious so far as sight is concerned, although it is by means of the vibration of some of these ethers, that what we call light is conveyed to the eye. Let us then commence the imaginary process of removing our limitations by considering what would be the effect if we really possessed fully the sight of the physical world. I am not taking into consideration the possibility in the increase in power of our sight, though no doubt that will come in due course, so that we shall be able so to alter the focus of the eye as to make it practically a telescope or microscope at will. I am thinking for the moment only of the additional objects that would come into our view if our sight were perfected. Nothing would any longer be opaque to us, so that we could see through a wall almost as though it were not there, and could examine the contents of a closed room or of a locked box with the greatest ease. I do not mean that by etheric sight a man could see through a mountain, or look straight through the earth to the other side of it; but he could see a good way into the rock, and he could see down to a considerable depth in the earth, much as we can now see through many feet of water to the bottom of a clear pool. One can readily see a score of ways in which the possession of such a faculty would be practically valuable, and it would manifestly add to our knowledge in many directions. All surgical work could be performed with an ease and certainty of which at present we have no conception, and there would be fewer cases of inaccurate diagnosis. We could see the etheric bodies of our friends, and so we should be able to indicate unfailingly the source and cause of any nervous affection. A whole fresh world would come under the observation of the chemist, for he would then be able to deal with ethers as he now deals with gases. Our sight would instantly inform us as to the healthiness or otherwise of our surroundings, just as even now our noses warn us of the presence of certain forms of putrefaction. We could see at once if we were in the presence of undesirable germs or impurities of any kind, and could take our precautions accordingly. But remember that even this would not take us beyond the physical world; it would simply enable us to see that world more fully. We should still be liable to deception, we should still be capable of error with regard to the thoughts and feelings of others. We should still be blind to all the most beautiful part of the life which surrounds us, even though we should see so much more of it than we do now.19

Emotional/Desire Body

Composition and Structure

Historically the Emotional Body has been known in the West as the Astral Body, due to its starry, shimmering, scintillating appearance. Therefore a lot of references will contain the word 'Astral'. Sanskrit name - linga-sarira.1 Briefly, the astral body is a vehicle, to 'clairvoyant' sight not unlike the physical body, surrounded by an 'aura' of flashing colours, composed of matter of an order of fineness higher than that of physical matter, in which feelings, passions, desires and emotions are expressed and which acts as a bridge or medium of transmission between the physical brain and the mind, the latter operating in the still higher vehicle - the mind-body. 6
Astral matter exists in 7 grades or orders of fineness, corresponding to the 7 grades of physical matter, which are solid, liquid, gaseous, 'etheric', 'super-etheric', 'sub-atomic' and 'atomic'.
No names for these 'astral' states have yet been devised, so it is usual to describe them, either by the grade or sub-plane; the finest being Number 1, the coarsest Number 7, or by the corresponding physical grade. eg., we speak of astral solid matter, meaning thereby the 7th or lowest variety: astral etheric matter, meaning the 4th from the finest, and so on. 6 [This] body of man thus being composed of matter of all seven grades, it is possible for him to experience all varieties of desire to the fullest possible extent, the highest as well as the lowest. It is the peculiar type of response posessed by astral matter which enables the astral matter to serve as the sheath in which the Self can gain experience of sensation. 6 Astral matter,being much finer than physical matter, interpenetrates it. Every physical 'atom', therefore floats in a sea of astral matter, which surrounds it and fills every interstice in physical matter. It is well known that even in the hardest substance no two atoms touch one another, the space between two adjacent atoms being in fact enormously larger than the atoms themselves. 6 {like a solar system!}.


To 'clairvoyant' sight one of the principal features of an astral body consists of the colours which are constantly playing through it, these colours corresponding to, and being the expression in astral matter of feelings, passions and emotions. All known colours, and many which are at present unknown to us, exist upon the higher planes of nature, but as we rise from one stage to another they become more delicate and more luminous, so that they may be described as higher octaves of colour.
As it is not possible to portray these octaves physically on paper, the above facts should be borne in mind when considering the coloured 'illustrations' of the astral body referred to below.
the following is a list of the principal colours and the emotions of which they are an expression:-
Black: in thick clouds: hatred and malice.
Red: deep red flashes, usually on a black background: anger.
A scarlet cloud: irritability.
Brilliant scarlet: on the ordinary background of the aura: noble indignation.
Lurid and sanguinary red: unmistakeable, though not easy to describe, sensuality.
Brown-grey: dull hard brown-grey: selfishness: one of the most common colours in the astral body.
Brown-red: dull, almost rust colour: avarice, usually arranged in parallel bars across the astral body.
Greenish-brown: lit up by deep red or scarlet flashes: jealousy. In the case of an ordinary man there is usually much of this colour present when he is 'in love'.
Grey: heavy leaden: depression. Like the brown-red of avarice, arranged in parallel lines, conveying the impression of a cage.
Grey, livid: a hideous and frightful hue: fear.
Crimson: dull and heavy: selfish love.
Rose colour: unselfish love. When exceptionally brilliant, tinged with lilac: spiritual love for humanity.
Orange: pride or ambition. Often found with irritability.
Yellow: intellect: varies from a deep and dull tint, through brilliant gold to clear and luminous lemon or primrose yellow. Dull yellow ochre implies the direction of faculty to selfish purposes: Clear gamboge indicates a distinctly higher type; Primrose yellow denotes intellect devoted to spiritual ends; Gold indicates pure intellect applied to philosophy or mathematics.
Green: in general, varies greatly in its significance, and needs study to be interpreted correctly: mostly it indicates adaptability. Grey-green slimy in appearance: deceit and cunning. Emerald green: versatility, ingenuity and resourcefulness, applied unselfishly. Pale luminous blue-green: deep sympathy and compassion, with the power of perfect adaptability which only they can give. Bright apple-green seems always to accompany strong vitality.
Blue: dark and clear: religious feeling. It is liable to be tinted by many other qualities, thus becoming any shade from indigo or a rich deep violet to muddy grey-blue. Light blue such as ultramarine or cobalt: devotion to a noble spiritual ideal. Luminous lilac-blue, usually accompanied by sparkling golden stars: the higher spirituality, with lofty aspirations.
Ultra-violet: higher and purer developments of the psychic faculties.
Ultra-red: lower psychic faculties of one who dabbles in evil and selfish forms of magic. Joy shows itself in a general brightening and radiancy of both mental and astral bodies, and in a peculiar rippling of the surface of the body. Cheerfulness shows itself in a modified bubbling of this, and also in a steady serenity.
Surprise is shown by a sharp constriction of the mental body, usually communicated to both the astral and physical bodies, accompanied by an increased glow of the band of affection if the surprise is a pleasant one, and by an increase of brown and grey if the surprise is an unpleasant one. The constriction often causes unpleasant feelings, affecting sometimes the solar plexus, resulting in sinking and sickness, and sometimes the heart centre, causing palpitation and even death.
It will be understood that, as human emotions are hardly ever unmixed, so these colours are seldom perfectly pure, but more usually mixtures. Thus the purity of many colours is dimmed by the hard brown-grey ofselfishness, or tinged with the deep orange of pride. The yellow of intellect, the rose of affection, and the blue of devotion are always found in the upper part of the astral body: the colours of selfishness, avarice, deceit and hatred are in the lower part: the mass of sensual feeling floats usually between the two.
Each quality, expressed as a colour, has its own special type of astral matter, and the average position of these colours depends upon the specific gravity of the respective grades of matter.
In order to realise the appearance of the astral body, it must be borne on mind that the particles of which it is composed are always in rapid motion: in the vast majority of cases the clouds of colour melt into one another and are all the while rolling over one another, appearing and disappearing as they roll, the surface of the luminous mist resembling somewhat the surface of violently boiling water. The various colours therefore, by no means retain the same positions, though there is a normal position to which they tend to return. 6

Types of body

Undeveloped man. - A very large proportion of sensuality: deceit, selfishness and greed are conspicuous: fierce anger is implied by smears and blots of dull scarlet: very little affection appears, and such intellect and religious feeling as exist are of the lowest possible kind. The outline is irregular and the colours blurred, thick and heavy. The whole body is evidently ill-regulated, confused and uncontrolled.
Average man. - Sensuality is much less though still prominent and there is some capability of deceit for personal ends, though the green is beginning to divide into two distinct qualities, showing that cunning is gradually becoming adaptability. Anger is still marked: affection, intellect and devotion are more prominent and of a higher quality. The colours as a whole are more clearly defined and distinctly brighter, though none of them are perfectly clear. The outline of the body is more defined and regular.
Developed man. - Undesirable qualities have almost entirely disappeared: across the top of the body there is a strip of lilac, indicating spiritual aspiration: above and enveloping the head there is a cloud of the brilliant yellow of intellect: below that there is a broad belt of the blue of devotion: then across the trunk there is a still wider belt of the rose of affection, and in the lower part of the body a large amount of the green of adaptability and sympathy finds its place. The colours are bright, luminous, in clearly marked bands, the outline is well-defined, and the whole astral body conveys the impresssion of being orderly and under perfect control. 6


The functions of the astral body may be roughly grouped under three headings:-

1. To make sensation possible.
2. To serve as a bridge between mind and physical matter.
3. To act as an independent vehicle of consciousness and action.

When man is analysed into "principles" ie. into modes of manifesting life, the four lower principles, sometimes termed the "Lower Quaternary" [they] are:-
1. Physical Body -2. Etheric Body -3. Prana, or Vitality - 4. Kama (Sanskrit), or Desire
The fourth principle, Kama, is the life manifesting in the astral body and [is] conditioned by it: its characteristic is the attribute of feeling, which in rudimentary form is sensation, and in complex form emotion, with many grades in between these two. This is sometimes summed up as desire, that which is attracted or repelled by objects, according as they give pleasure or pain.
Kama thus includes feelings of every kind, and might be described as the passional and emotional nature. It comprises all animal appetites, such as hunger, thirst, sexual desire: all passions, such as the lower forms of love, hatred, envy, jealousy; it is the desire for sentient existence, for experience of material joys.
Kama is the brute in us, the force which most avails to keep us bound to earth and to stifle in us all higher longings by the illusions of sense.
For our purposes desire and emotion are frequently used as practically synonymous: strictly, however, emotion is the product of desire and intellect.

Passing now to the second function of the astral body - to act as a bridge between mind and physical matter - we note that an impact on the physical senses is transmitted inwards by Prana, [and] becomes a sensation by the action of the sense-centres, which are situated in [the astral body], and is perceived then by Manas, or Mind. Thus without the general action through the astral body there would be no connection between the external world and the mind of man, no connection between physical impacts and the perception of them by the mind.
Whenever we think, we set in motion the mental matter within us; the vibrations thus generated are transferred to the matter of our astral body, the astral matter affects the etheric matter, this in turn, acting on the dense physical matter, the grey matter of the brain.
The astral body is thus a bridge between our physical and our mental life, serving as a transmitter of vibrations both from physical to mental and from mental to physical, and is, in fact, principally developed by this constant passage of vibrations to and fro. 6

Thought forms

>The mental and astral bodies are those chiefly concerned with the production of what are called thought-forms. The term thought- form is not wholly accurate, because the forms produced may be composed of mental matter, or, in the vast majority of cases, of both astral and mental matter.
A purely intellectually and impersonal thought - such as one concerned with algebra or geometry - would be confined to mental matter. If, on the other hand, the thought has in it something of selfish or personal desire, it will draw round itself astral matter in addition to the mental. If, furthermore, the thought be of a spiritual nature, if it be tinged with love and aspiration, or deep and unselfish feeling, then there may also enter in some of the splendour and glory of the buddhic plane.
Every definite thought produces two effects: first, a radiating vibration: second, a floating form.
The vibration set up in and radiating from the mental body is accompanied with a play of colour which has been described as like that in the spray of a waterfall as the sunlight strikes it, raised to the nth degree of colour and delicacy.
This radiating vibration tends to reproduce its own rate of motion in any mental body on which it may impinge: ie to produce thoughts of the same type as those from which the vibration originated. It should be noted that the radiating vibration carries, not the subject of the thought, but its character.
The power of the vibration to produce such effects depends principally upon the clearness and definiteness of the thought-emotion, as well, of course, as upon the amount of force put into it.
The distance to which a thought-wave can radiate effectively also depends upon the opposition with which it meets. Waves in the lower types of astral matter are usually soon deflected or overwhelmed by a multitude of other vibrations at the same level, just as a soft sound is drowned in the roar of a city.
If made of the finer kinds of matter, it will be of great power and energy, and may be used as a most potent agent when directed by a strong and steady will.

Miscellaneous effects

A young child has a white or comparatively colourless aura, the colours beginning to show only as the qualities develop. The astral body of a child is often a most beautiful object - pure and bright in its colours, free from the stains of sensuality, avarice, ill-will and selfishness. In the case of intense anger, the ordinary background of the astral body is obscured by coils or vortices of heavy, thunderous masses of sooty blackness, lit up from within by the lurid glare of active hatred. Wisps of the same dark cloud are to be seen defiling the whole astral body, while the fiery arrows of uncontrolled anger shoot among them like flashes of lightning. These terrible flashes are capable of penetrating other astral bodies like swords and thus inflicting injury upon other people. A sudden shock of terror will in an instant suffuse the whole body with a curious livid grey mist, while horizontal lines of the same hue appear, but vibrating with such violence as to be hardly recognisable as separate lines. The result is indescribably ghastly: all light fades out for the time from the body and the whole grey mass quivers like a jelly. (A flood of emotion does not greatly affect the mental body, though for a time it may render it almost impossible for any activity from the mental body to come through into the physical brain, because the astral body, which acts as a bridge between the mental body and the brain, is vibrating so entirely at one rate as to be incapable of conveying any undulation which is not in harmony with it.) When an ordinary man falls 'in love', the astral body is so completely transformed as to make it scarcely recognisable as belonging to the same person. Selfishness, deceit and avarice vanish, and the lowest part of the oval is filled with a large development of animal passions. The green of adaptability has been replaced by the peculiar brownish-green of jealousy, and the extreme activity of this feeling is shown by bright scarlet flashes of anger, which permeate it. But the undesirable changes are more than counterbalanced by the splendid band of crimson which fills so large a part of the oval. This is for the time, a dominant characteristic, and the whole astral body glows with its light. Under its influence the general muddiness of the ordinary astral body has disappeared, and the hues are all brilliant and clearly marked, good and bad alike. It is an intensification of the life in various directions. The blue of devotion is also distinctly improved, and even a touch of pale violet appears at the summit of the ovoid, indicating a capacity of response to a really high and unselfish ideal. The yellow of intellect, however, has entirely vanished for the time - a fact which the cynical might consider as characteristic of the condition ! The astral body of an irritable man usually shows a broad band of scarlet as a prominent feature and, in addition, the whole astral body is covered with floating flecks of scarlet. In the case of a miser; avarice, selfishness, deceit and adaptability are naturally intensified, but sensuality is diminished. The most remarkable change, however, is the curious series of parallel lines across the oval, giving the impression of a cage. The bars are a deep brown in colour, almost burnt sienna. Deep depression produces an effect in grey, instead of brown, very similar to that of the miser. The result is indescribably gloomy and depressing to the observer. No emotional condition is more infectious than the feeling of depression. In the case of a non-intellectual man who is definitely religious, the astral body assumes a characteristic appearance. A touch of violet suggests the possibility of response to a high ideal. The blue of devotion is unusually well-developed, but the yellow of intellect is scanty. There is a fair proportion of affection and adaptability, but more than the average of sensuality, and deceit and selfishness are also prominent. The colours are irregularly distributed, melting into one another, and the outline is vague, indicating the vagueness of the devotional man's conceptions.
Extreme sensuality and the devotional temperament are frequently seen in association: perhaps because these types of men live chiefly in their feelings, being governed by them instead of trying to control them by reason. A great contrast is shown by a man of a scientific type. Devotion is entirely absent, sensuality is much below the average, but the intellect is developed to an abnormal degree. Affection and adapability are small in quantity and poor in quality. A good deal of selfishness and avarice is present and also some jealousy. A huge cone of bright orange in the midst of the golden yellow of intellect indicates pride and ambition in the knowledge that has been acquired. The scientific and orderly habit of mind causes the arrangement of the colours to fall into regular bands, the lines of demarcation being quite definite and clearly marked. 6

Mental Body

Composition and Structure

The mental body is composed of only four types of essence, whereas the astral [emotion/desire] and the physical are formed of seven types. 11 The mental body is built of particles of the four lower sub-divisions of the mental world, ie., of mental matter which corresponds to the four lower sub-divisions of astral matter, and to solid, liquid, gaseous and etheric matter of the physical plane.
The three higher grades of mental matter are used to build the Causal, or Higher Mental [which is expanded upon in Spiritual body page].
The mental body is the vehicle of the Thinker, who himself resides in the Causal body. But while the mental body is intended eventually to be the vehicle of consciousness on the lower mental plane, it also works on and through the astral and physical bodies in all manifestations that are usually called the "mind" in ordinary waking consciousness. The shape of the mental body is ovoid, [as are the astral and causal]. The matter of the mental body, however, is not evenly distributed throughout the egg. In the midst of the ovoid is the physical body, which strongly attracts astral matter: and in its turn the astral matter strongly attracts mental matter. Consequently, by far the greater part of the matter of both astral and mental bodies is gathered within the physical frame. To 'clairvoyant' sight, therefore, the mental body appears as built of dense mist, of the shape of the physical body, and surrounded by an ovoid of much finer mist. The portion of the mental body which projects beyond the periphery of the physical body forms the mental 'aura'.
The size of both astral and mental bodies is the same as that of the causal body, or more accurately, of the section of the causal body on the lower planes. Thus, unlike the physical body, which has remained substantially the same size [for aeons], the mental body grows in size as the man himself develops.14

Thought Process

The sympathetic nervous system is mostly connected with the astral body, while the cerebro-spinal system is more under the influence of the ego working through the mental body.
The process described above may be elucidated a little further. Every particle in the physical brain has its astral counterpart, and this in turn has its mental counterpart. If then, we suppose, for the purposes of our examination, that the whole of the physical brain be spread out so as to be one particle thick, we may further suppose that the corresponding astral and mental matter is also laid out in layers in a similar manner, the astral a little above the physical, the mental a little above the astral.
We thus have three layers of matter of differing density, all corresponding one to the other, but not joined in any way except that here and there wires of communication exist between the physical and the astral particles, and between the astral and mental particles.
That would fairly represent the condition of affairs in the brain of the average man.
When, therefore such a man wants to send a thought down from the mental level to the physical level, the thought - owing to many channels not being open - may have to go out of its way, as it were, going laterally through the brain of mental matter until it can find a way down, passing eventually through a [wire] not at all suited to it, and then, when it reaches the physical level, having to move laterally again in the physical brain before it meets the physical particles which are capable of expressing it.
It is obvious that such a method is awkward and clumsy. We can thus understand why it is that some people have no comprehension of mathematics or no taste for music,art etc. The reason is that in the part of the brain devoted to that particular faculty or subject the communications have not yet been opened up.
The particles of the mental body are in ceaseless motion. Moreover they are constantly changing, the mental body automatically drawing to itself, from the general storehouse, matter that can maintain the combinations already existing in it.
In spite of the intensely rapid motion of the mental particles among themselves, the mental body has yet at the same time a kind of loose organisation. there are in it certain striations which divide it more or less irregularly into segments, each of these corresponding to a certain department in the physical brain, so that every type of thought should function through its duly assigned portion. The mental body is as yet so imperfectly developed in ordinary men, however, [as mentioned above] that there are many in whom a great number of special departments are not yet in activity, and any attempt at thought belonging to those departments has to travel round through some inappropriate channel which happens to be fully open. The result is that thought on those subjects, is for those people, clumsy and uncomprehending. That is why some people have a head for mathematics and others are unable to perform a simple mathematical process - why some people instinctively understand, appreciate and enjoy music, while others do not know one tune from another.
Good thoughts produce vibrations of the finer matter of the body, which by its specific gravity tends to float in the upper part of the ovoid: wheras bad thoughts, such as selfishness and avarice, are always oscillations of the grosser matter, which tends to gravitate towards the lower part of the ovoid. Consequently the ordinary man who yields himself not infrequently to selfish thoughts of various kinds, usually expands the lower part of his mental body, and presents roughly the appearance of an egg with its larger end downwards. The man who has not indulged in those lower thoughts, but has devoted himself to higher ones, tends to expand the upper part of his mental body and therefore presents the appearance of an egg standing on its smaller end. All such appearances, however, are only temporary, the tendency being for the symmetry of the ovoid to re-assert itself by degrees.14

When a man thinks of a concrete object - a book, house, landscape, etc - he builds a tiny image of the object in the matter of his mental body. This image floats in the upper part of that body, usually in front of the face of the man and about at the level of the eyes. It remains there as long as the man is comtemplating the object, and usually for a little time afterwards, the length of life depending upon the intensity and the clearness of the thought. The form is quite objective and can be seen by another person possessed of mental sight. If a man thinks of another person he creates a tiny portrait in just the same way. 6

From a study of the colours and striations of a man's mental body, the 'clairvoyant' can perceive his character and the progress he has made in his life.
The mental body is more or less refined in its constituents, according to the stage of intellectual development at which the man has arrived. it is an object of great beauty, the delicacy and rapid motion of its particles giving it an aspect of living, iridescent light, and this beauty becomes an extraordinarily radiant and entrancing loveliness as the intellect becomes mor highly evolved and is employed chiefly on pure and sublime topics.
Every thought gives rise to vibrations in the mental body, accompanied by a play of colour described as like the spray of a waterfall as the sunlight strikes it, raised many degrees in colour and vivid delicacy. [A list of colours and their meanings are found on the Emotion/Desire body page.]
Where aspirational thought exists it invariably shows itself in a beautiful little violet circle at the top of the ovoid of the mental body, [eventually] it is a splendid glowing cap of the most lovely colour imaginable.
Below it often comes the blue ring of devotional thought, usually rather a narrow one, except in the case of the few whose religion is really deep and genuine.
Next to that there may be the much broader zone of affectionate thought, which may be of any shade of crimson or rose-colour according to the type of affection which it indicates.
Near the zone of affection, and frequently closely connected with it, there is found the orange band, which expresses proud and ambitious thought.
Again in intimate relation with pride comes the yellow belt of intellect, commonly divided into two bands, denoting respectively the philosophical and the scientific types of thought. The place of this yellow colour varies much in different men; sometimes it fills the whole of the upper part of the egg, rising above devotion and affection, and in such a case pride is generally excessive.
Below the group just described, and occupying the middle section of the ovoid, is the broad belt devoted to concrete shapes - the part of the mental body from which all ordinary thought-forms issue. [these will be described later]
The principal colour here is green, shaded often with brown or yellow, according to the disposition of the person.
There is no part of the mental body which varies more widely than this. Some people have their mental bodies crowded with a vast number of concrete images, whereas others have only a few. In some they are clear and well outlined, in others they are vague and hazy to the last degree; in some they are classified, labelled and arranged in the most orderly fashion, in others they are not arranged at all, but are left in hopeless confusion.
In the lower parts of the ovoid come the belts expressing all kinds of undesirable thoughts. A kind of muddy precipitate of selfishness often fills the lower third, or even half, of the mental body, and above this is sometimes a ring portraying hatred, cunning or fear. Naturally, as a man develops, this lower part vanishes, the upper part gradually expanding until it fills the whole body [as shown in Man visible and Invisible]
The general rule is, the stronger the thought, the larger is the vibration; the more spiritual and unselfish the thought the higher or more rapid is the vibration. strength of thought produces brilliancy, spirituality produces delicacy of colour.14
Thought forms

The principles which underlie the production of all thought-emotion forms are:-

1. Colour is determined by the quality of the thought or emotion.
2. Form is determined by the nature of the thought or emotion.
3. Clearness of Outline is determined by the definiteness of the thought or emotion.

The life period of a thought-form depends upon (1) its initial intensity; (2) the nutriment afterwards supplied to it by a repetition of the thought, either by the generator or by others. Its life may be continually reinforced by this repetition, a thought which is brooded over acquiring great stability of form. So again thought-forms of similar character are attracted to and mutually strengthen each other, making a form of great energy and intensity.
Furthermore, such a thought-form appears to possess instinctive desire to prolong its life and will react on its creator, tending to evoke from him renewal of the feeling that created it. It will react in a similar, though not so perfect manner on any others with whom it may come into contact.
The colours in which thought-forms express themselves are identical with the colours in the [emotional] aura.
The brilliance and depth of the colours are usually a measure of the strength and the activity of the feeling.
Each thought-form is a temporary entity. It resembles a charged battery, awaiting an opportunity to discharge itself. Its tendency is always to reproduce its own rate of vibration in the mental body upon which it fastens itself, and so to arouse in it, a like thought. If the person at whom it is aimed happens to be busy or already engaged in some definite train of thought, the particles of his mental body are already swinging at a certain determinate rate, and cannot for the moment be affected from without. In that case the thought-form bides its time, hanging about its object until he/she is sufficiently at rest to permit its entrance; then it discharges itself upon them, and in the act ceases to exist.
The self-centred thought behaves in exactly the same way with regard to its generator and discharges itself upon him when the opportunity offers. If it be an evil thought, he generally regards it as the suggestion of a tempting demon, whereas in truth he tempts himself. Usually each definite thought creates a new thought-form; but if a thought-form of the same nature is hovering round the thinker, under certain circumstances a new thought on the same subject, instead of creating a new form, coalesces with and strengthens, the old one, so that by long brooding over the same subject a man may sometimes create a thought-form of tremendous power. If the thought be a wicked one, such a thought-form may become a veritable evil influence, lasting perhaps for many years, and having, for a time all the appearance and powers of a real living entity. w1

For our present purpose we may classify thought-forms into three kinds:

1. Those connected solely with their originator.
2. Those connected with another person.
3. Those not definitely personal.

If a mans thought is about himself, or based on a personal feeling, as the vast majority of thoughts are, the form will hover in the immediate neighborhood of its generator. At any time then, when he is in a passive condition, his thoughts and feelings not being specifically occupied, his own thought-form will return to him and discharge itself upon him. In addition, each man also serves as a magnet to draw towards himself the thought-forms of others similar to his own, thus attracting towards himself reinforcements of energy from outside. People who are becoming sensitive have sometimes imagined, in such cases, that they have been tempted by the 'devil', whereas it is their own thought-desire forms which are the case of the 'temptation.' Long brooding over the same subject may create a thought-form of tremendous power. Such a form may last for many years and have for a time all the appearance and powers of a real living entity.
Most men move through life enclosed literally within a cage of their own building, surrounded by masses of forms created by their habitual thoughts. One important effect of this is that each man looks out upon the world through his own thought-forms, and thus sees everything tinged by them.
Thus a man's own thought-forms re-act upon him, tending to reproduce themselves and thus setting up definite habits of thought and feeling, which may be helpful if of a lofty character, but are often cramping and a hindrance to growth, obscuring the mental vision and facilitating the formation of prejudice and fixed moods or attitudes which may develop into definite vices.
"Man is continually peopling his current in space with a world of his own, crowded with the offspring of his fancies, desires, impulses and passions." These thought-forms remain in his aura, increasing in number and intensity, until certain kinds of them so dominate his mental and emotional life that the man rather answers to their impulse than decides anew: thus are habits, the outer expression of his stored up force, created, and thus is character built.
Moreover, as each man leaves behind him a trail of thought-forms, it follows that as we go along a street we are walking amidst a sea of other men's thoughts. If a man leaves his mind blank for a time, these thoughts of others drift through it: if one happens to attract his attention, his mind seizes upon it, makes it its own, strengthening it by the addition of its force, and then casts its out again to affect somebody else. A man therefore, is not responsible for a thought which floats into his mind, but he is reponsible if he takes it up, dwells upon it, and then sends it out again, strengthened.

The vast majority of thought-forms are simply copies or images of people or other material objects. They are formed first within the mental body and then pass outwards and remain suspended before the man. This applies to anything about which one may be thinking: persons, houses, landscapes, or anything else.
A painter, for example, builds out of the matter of his mental body a conception of his future picture, projects it into space in front of him, keeps it before his 'minds's eye', and copies it. This thought- and emotion-form persists and may be regarded as the unseen counterpart of the picture, radiating out its own vibrations and affecting all who come within its influence.
Similarly a novelist builds in mental matter images of his characters, and then, by his will, moves these puppets from one position or grouping to another, so that the plot of the story is acted out before him.

Considered in the mass[es], it is easy to realise the tremendous effect that these thought-forms or artificial elementals have in producing national and race-feelings, and thus in biasing and prejudicing the mind: for thought-forms of a similar kind have a tendency to aggregate together and form a kind of collective entity. We see everything through this atmosphere, every thought is more or less refracted by it, and our own astral bodies are vibrating in accord with it. As most people are receptive rather than initiative in their nature, they act almost as automatic reproducers of the thoughts which reach them, and thus the national atmosphere is continually intensified. This fact obviously explains many of the phenomena of crowd-consciousness.
The influence of these aggregated thought-forms extends still further. Thought-forms of a destructive type act as a disruptive agent and often precipitate havoc on the physical plane, causing "accidents", natural convulsions, storms, earthquakes, floods, or crime, disease,social upheavals and wars. 6
Thought type

All these which have been described are the ordinary unpremeditated thoughts of man. A man can make a thought-form intentionally, and aim it at another with the object of helping him. This is one of the lines of activity adopted by those who desire to serve humanity. A steady stream of powerful thought dircted intelligently upon another person may be of the greatest assistance to him. A strong thought-form may be a real guardian angel, and protect its object from impurity, from irritability or from fear.
An interesting branch of the subject is the study of the various shapes and colours taken by thought-forms of different kinds. The colours indicate the nature of the thought, and are in agreement with those which we have already described as existing in the bodies. The shapes are of infinite variety, but are often in some way typical of the kind of thought which they express.
Every thought of definite character, such as a thought of affection or hatred, of devotion or suspicion, of anger or fear, of pride or jealousy, not only creates a form but also radiates an undulation. The fact that each one of these thoughts is expressed by a certain colour indicates that the thought expresses itself as an oscillation of the matter of a certain part of the mental body. This rate of oscillation communicates itself to the surrounding mental matter precisely in the same way as the vibration of a bell communicates itself to the surrounding air.
This radiation travels out in all directions, and whenever it impinges upon another mental body in a passive or receptive condition it communicates to it something of its own vibration. This does not convey a definite complete idea, as does the thought-form, but it tends to produce a thought of the same character as itself. For example, if the thought be devotional its undulations will excite devotion, but the object of the worship may be different in the case of each person upon whose mental body they impinge. The thought-form on the other hand, can reach only one person, but will convey to that person (if receptive) not only a general devotional feeling, but also a precise image of the Being for whom the adoration was already felt.
Any person who habitually thinks pure, good and strong thoughts is utilizing for that purpose the higher part of his mental body - a part which is not used at all by the ordinary man, and is entirely undeveloped in him. Such a one is therefore a power for good in the world, and is being of good use to all his neighbours who are capable of any sort of response. For the vibration which he sends out tends to arouse a new and higher part of their mental bodies, and consequently to open before them altogether new fields of thought.
It may not be exactly the same thought as that sent out, but it is of the same nature. The undulations generated by a man thinking of Theosophy [for example] do not necessarily communicate Theosophical ideas to all those around him; but they do awaken in them more liberal and higher thought than that to which they have before been accustomed. On the other hand, the thought-forms generated under such circumstances, though more limited in their action than the radiation, are also more precise; they can affect only those who are to some extent open to them, but to them they will convey definite Theosophical ideas. w1
Food and Drugs

In view of the fact that the seven grades of mental matter correspond respectively to the seven grades of physical (as well as to those of astral) matter it would seem that the mental body would be more especially affected by the physical solids, liquids, gases and ethers, ie., by the four lower orders of physical matter.) it will of course, be clear to the student that a mental body composed of the coarse varieties of mental matter will respond to the coarser types of thought more readily than to the finer varieties.
Coarse food and drink tend to produce a coarse mental body. Flesh foods, alcohol and tobacco are harmful to physical, astral and mental bodies. The same applies to nearly all drugs.
Furthermore, a body fed on flesh and alcohol is especially liable to be thrown out of health by the opening up of the higher consciousness; nervous diseases in fact, are partly due to the fact that the higher consciousness is trying to express itself through bodies clogged by flesh-products and alcohol.
Dirt of all kinds is often more objectionable in the higher worlds than in the physical. Thus for example, the mental and astral counterparts of the waste matter which is constantly being thrown off by the physical body as invisible perspiration are of the most undesirable character.
Loud, sharp or sudden noises should, as far as possible, be avoided by any one who wishes to keep his astral and mental bodies in order. The cumulative effect of noise on the mental body is a feeling of fatigue and inability to think clearly.
7th Sub-plane

The ordinary person uses matter of the seventh or lowest [mental] sub-plane only; that being very near to the astral plane, all his thoughts are coloured by reflections from the astral or emotional world. Very few people can as yet deal with the sixth sub-plane [this is from a book dated 1926]; great scientific men certainly use it a good deal but unfortunately they mingle it with the matter of the lowest sub-plane and then become jealous of other peoples' discoveries and inventions. The matter of the fifth sub- plane is much more free from the possibility of astral entanglement with astral vibrations.14

Spiritual - Causal Body

Composition and Structure

Also known as Karana Sarira(causal-seed body) or, Anandamayakosha (bliss-joy sheath), Higher mind body, Ego, Causal body, Superconscious, Soul, Buddhic body, Intuitional body.
The Causal body consists of matter of the first, second and third sub-planes of the mental plane.
In ordinary people the Causal body is not yet fully active, and consequently only that matter which belongs to the third sub-plane is vivified.
It is difficult to describe a Causal body fully, because the senses belonging to the causal world are altogether different from and higher than those we employ at the physical level.
Such memory of the appearance of a Causal body, as it is possible for a clairvoyant to bring into his physical brain, represents it as an ovoid, that being, in fact, the shape of all the higher bodies, and as surrounding the physical body of the man, extending to a distance of about 18 inches from the surface of the physical body.
In the case of a primitive man, the Causal body resembles a bubble and gives the impression of being empty. It is a mere colourless film, just sufficient apparently, to hold itself together and make a reincarnating entity, but no more. Although it is filled with higher mental matter, this [body] is not yet brought into activity, and so it remains colourless and transparent.
As the man develops, this matter is gradually stirred into alertness by vibrations which reach it from the lower bodies. This comes but slowly, because the activity of man in the early stages of his evolution are not of a character to obtain expression in matter so fine as that of the Causal body. But when a man reaches a stage where he is capable either of abstract thought, or unselfish emotion, the matter of the Causal body is aroused into response.13


The vibrations thus aroused show themselves in the Causal body as colours, so that, instead of being a mere transparent bubble, it gradually becomes a sphere filled with matter of the most lovely and delicate hues, an object beautiful beyond all conception.
The student will be familiar with the meaning of the various colours, from his study of the same phenomenon in the astral [emotional] and mental bodies. Thus pale rose expresses unselfish affection; yellow indicates high intellectual power; blue betokens devotion; sympathy is expressed by green; and luminous lilac-blue typifies the higher spirituality. These same colours in the denser bodies are, of course, far less delicate and also less living.
Although in the course of his evolution in the lower worlds, a man often introduces into his vehicles qualities which are undesirable, and entirely inappropriate for his life as an Ego - such for example, as pride, irritability, sensuality - yet none of these can be expressed in the Causal body.
Each section of the astral body acts strongly upon matter of the corresponding mental sub-plane. Hence, as the coarser vibrations of the astral body are expressed only in the lower [4] sub-planes of the astral world, they will affect the Mental body only, not the Causal body.
The Causal body, therefore, is affected only by the three higher portions of the astral body, and the vibrations in those portions represent only good qualities.
The practical effect of this is that the man can build, into his Ego, that is, into his true self, nothing but good qualities. The evil qualities which he develops are, from the point of view of the Ego, only transitory, and must be thrown aside as the man advances, because he no longer has within him matter which can express them.13


It might perhaps have been thought that the causal body of a primitive man would be very small at first; but this is not the case; his causal body is the same size as any other; it does at a later stage increase in size, but not until it has first been vivified and filled with active matter.
In the case of an average man, there is a distinct increase in the content of the great ovoid film. A certain amount of exceedingly delicate and ethereal colour now exists within it, though it is still less than half filled. Something of the higher intellect is visible, and something of the power of devotion and unselfish love. There is also a faint tint of that exceedingly delicate violet which indicates the capacity of love and devotion turned towards the highest ideal, and also a faint hint of the clear green of sympathy and compassion.

As soon as the man begins to develop in spirituality, or even higher intellect, a change takes place. The real individual then begins to have a persisting character of his own, apart from that moulded in each of his personalities in turn by training, and by surrounding circumstances. this character shows itself in the size, colour, luminosity, and definiteness of the causal body, just as that of the personality shows itself in the mental body, except that the higher vehicle is naturally subtler and more beautiful.
In the case of the spiritually developed man, an enormous change is noticed. the glorious iridescent film is now completely filled with the most lovely colours, typifying the higher forms of love, devotion and sympathy, aided by an intellect refined and spiritualised, and by aspirations reaching ever towards the divine. Some of these colours have no place in the physical spectrum.13

Buddhic Consciousness

The student will scarcely need to be told that all description of buddhic consciousness is necessarily and essentially defective. It is impossible in physical words to give more than the merest hint of what the higher consciousness is, for the physical brain is incapable of grasping the reality.
It is difficult enough to form a conception even of astral plane phenomena, there being four dimensions in the astral world. In the buddhic world there are no less than six, so that the difficulties are enormously enhanced.
There is an ingenious diagram (for which the [author] is indebted to the unknown designer) reproduced below, which illustrates graphically the fundamental difference between the buddhic plane and all the planes below it.
The diagram [Unity in Diversity] is seen to consist of a number of spikes or spokes which overlap at a certain point. That point of overlap is the beginning of the buddhic plane. The tips of the spokes represent the physical consciousness of men: they are separate and distinct from one another. Passing up the spokes towards the centre, we see that the astral consciousness is a little wider, so that the consciousness of separate men approach a little nearer to one another. The lower mental consciousnesses aproach still more nearly to one another, whilst the higher mental consciousnesses, at their very highest level, meet at the point where the buddhic consciousness commences.

It will now be seen that the buddhic consciousness of each individual and separate "man," overlaps that of the other separate consciousnesses on either side of him. To the left is a graphic illustration of the "overlapping" aspect of buddhic consciousness, where a sense of union with others is experienced.
As the consciousness rises still further up into the higher plane, it will be seen that it overlaps those on either side of it more and more, until eventually, when the "centre" is reached, there is practically a complete merging of consciousness. Nevertheless each separate spoke still exists and has its own individual direction and outlook. Looking out towards the lower worlds, each consciousness looks in a different direction: it is an aspect of the one central consciousness. Looking inwards, on the other hand, these diverging directions all meet together, and become one with one another.
The sense of union is characteristic of the buddhic plane. On this plane all limitations begin to fall away, and the consciousness of man expands until he realises, no longer in theory only, that the consciousness of his fellows is included within his own, and he feels and knows and experiences, with an absolute perfection of sympathy, all that is in them, because it is in reality a part of himself.
On this plane a man knows, not by mere intellectual appreciation, but by definite experience, the fact that humanity is a brotherhood, because of the spiritual unity which underlies it all, though he is still himself, and his consciousness is his own.13

Unselfish Thought

High unselfish affection and devotion belong to the highest (atomic) astral sub-plane, and these reflect themselves in the corresponding matter of the mental plane. They thus touch the causal (higher mental) body, not the lower mental. This is an important point of which the student should take especial note.
The Ego, who resides on the higher mental plane, is thus affected by only unselfish thoughts. Lower thoughts affect, not the Ego, but the permanent atoms. [this subject is not addressed here on this website - see the referenced book].
Consequently, in the Causal body there would be gaps, not bad colours, corresponding to the lower feelings and thoughts.
Selfishness, for example would show itself as the absence of affection or sympathy: as soon as selfishness is replaced by its opposite, the gap in the Causal body would be filled up.
An intensification of the coarse colours of the astral body representing base emotions, whilst finding no direct expression in the causal body, nevertheless tends somewhat to dim


Composition and Structure

The word nadi is derived from Sanskrit nad meaning hollow stalk, sound vibration and resonance. Nadis are tubular organs of the subtle body through which energy flows. Nadis are ducts, channels which carry air, water, blood, nutrients and other substances throughout the body. They are our arteries, bronchioles, veins, capillaries and so on. In our so called subtle and spiritual bodies, which cannot be weighed or measured, they channel cosmic, vital, seminal and other energies as well as sensations, consciousness and spiritual aura. From the Atma dwelling in the heart, and the size of a thumb, radiate 101 nadis. From each of these 101 nadis emanate 100 subtler nadis, each of which branches off into another 72,000.
They are called different names according to their functions. Nadikas are small nadis and nadichakras are ganglia or plexuses in all three bodies.
It is said in the Varahopanisad that the nadis penetrate the body from the soles of the feet to the crown of the head. In them is prana, the breath of life, and in that life abides Atma, which is the abode of Shakti, creatrix of the animate and inanimate worlds.
All nadis originate from one of two centres; the Kandasthana - a little below the navel, and the Heart. Though yoga texts agree about their starting points, they vary about where some of them end.
Twelve digits above the anus and the genital organs and just below the navel, there is an egg-shaped bulb called the kanda. From it 72,000 nadis are said to be spread throughout the body, each branching off into another 72,000. They move in every direction and have countless outlets and functions.
The Siva Samhita mentions 350,000 nadis of which 14 are stated to be important. The three most vital are Sushumna, Ida, Pingala. BKS Iyengar. 8
Your Subtle Energy System

A slightly different angle:-
Pranic energy flows throughout your pranic sheath via fixed pathways, called nadis (conduit, channel or artery), derived from the Sanskrit root nada or nala (motion.) So nadi is energy in motion. At various focal points within your pranic body, networks of nadis intersect to form chakras (plexuses of subtle energy centres.
As wireless mediums, the subtle energy tubes (nadis) are not physical nerves or arteries, and the vortexes (chakras) are not physical nerve plexuses. If you dissected a corpse, you would not locate one nadi or chakra anywhere, because they are composed of non-physical substance. In fact, even under an electron microscope they are undetectable. Yet these subtle energy tubes and centres give the very breath of life to your body. Without them, your heart would not beat and lungs would not move. Because they are not readily discernable for scientific investigation, their existence is rejected by Western medicine. However, the nadi system is the essence of Chinese acupuncture and Ayurvedic medicine.
Why are nadis and chakras discounted as myth? Consider a man who never saw a radio or television. If you told him these instruments could pick up signals originating many miles away, he would laugh at you. No wire transmits the signal, yet invisible electromagnetic waves carry it.
Similarly, your body is akin to a radio that receives pranic energy. A healthy body receives these energy waves as a clear, well-tuned radio. An unhealthy body is an old dilapidated radio that distorts the signal.4

The Five Pranas

Prana, in its capacity of the life force in breath, takes five separate forms. These five vital forces (pancha prana) breathe life into your body:
1. Prana (up-breathing) is inward and downward motion. Seated in the heart (anahata chakra), it governs respiration, swallowing, and movements of the gullet. Prana resides in the eyes and ears, operates in the heart and lungs, and moves in and out of your nose.
2. Apana (down-breathing) is downward and outward motion. Seated in the anus (muladhara chakra) it governs excretion and the kidneys, bladder, genitals, colon and rectum. It is responsible for flatulence, ejaculation, conception, childbirth, defecation and urination. It regulates the sense of smell, makes the body stable, and its range of influence is from the navel to the rectum.
3. Samana (on-breathing) is horizontal motion. Seated in the navel (manipura chakra), it maintains digestive fire and regulates stomach, liver, pancreas and intestine. its realm of activity extends from the heart to the navel. Samana carries the grosser product of food to Apana for excretion, and brings the subtler material to the extremities. The word samana means "equaliser".
The ancient scripture Yoga Sutras says "By conquering the vital force called Samana, effulgence is acquired." By developing Samana Vayu (current, impulse, vital air), all parts of your body are properly nourished, and the energy supplied by food is evenly distributed. By controlling Samana, you gain charisma and a powerful aura. It is said in the scriptures that "seven lights" proceed from Samana.
4. Udana (out-breathing) is upward and outward motion. Seated in the throat above the larynx (vishudda chakra), it regulates falling asleep, controls all automatic functions in the head and maintains body heat. Udana is responsible for speech, music and humming. At the time of death Udana separates the astral body from the physical body. By controlling Udana, levitation can occur. Udana is responsible for "kundalini" rising up your spine.
5. Vyana (back-breathing) is circular motion, a combination of Prana and Apana, by which these two are held. All- pervading and moving through all the nadis, it controls the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems, directs voluntary and invountary movements of muscles, joints, tendons and fascia, and keeps the body upright through unconscious reflexes. Vyana is responsible for blood flow and lymph detoxification, sweating and coordination of all systems. The word Vyana means "pervading one".4

Some nadis

AlambusaConnects the mouth and anus.
Chandra (see Ida)
Chitra One of the nadis emanating from the heart through which the creative energy (Shakti) of Kundalini passes to reach the Sahasrara (crown).
[Of the 101 nadis, only the Chitra splits into two parts at the root of the Sushumna.] One part of the Chitra moves within it, extending upwards to the aperture of (randhra) of Brahma at the crown of the head above the Sahasrara chakra. this is the gateway to the Supreme Spirit (Parabrahman). The other part of Chitra moves down to the generative organ for discharge of semen. It is said that at the time of death, yogis and saints consciously leave through the brahmarandhra. Since the aperture is in the spiritual or causal body (karana sarira) it cannot be seen or measured. When the prana rises upwards, via the Chitra, through the chakras, it takes with it the radiance (ojas), a creative energy latent in semen. The Chitra is transformed into the Brahma nadi or Para (supreme) nadi.
Gandhari One of the nadis said to be behind the Ida nadi, terminating near the left eye, regulating the function of sight.
Hastijihva located in front of the Ida nadi, terminating near the right eye, regulating the function of sight, seeing.
Ida starting from the left nostril, moving to the crown of the head and descending to the base of the spine. In its course it conveys lunar energy and is therefore called Chandra nadi. Its function is cooling (tamas), inertia.
Kausiki One of the nadis terminating at the big toes.
Kuhu One of the nadis said to be located in front of the Susumna, its function is to evacuate faeces.
Kurmasubsidiary nadi whose function is to stabilise the body and the mind.
Payaswini One of the nadis terminating at the right big toe, said to be located between the pusa (which is behind the pingala nadi and the Sarasvati (behind Susumna).
Pingala (= tawny or reddish) starting at the right nostril moving to the crown and down the spine to the base. As the solar energy flows through it, it is also called Surya nadi. Its function is burning (rajas), action.
Pusa nadi situated behind Pingala, terminating at the right ear. Function is hearing.
Raka nadi creates hunger and thirst and collects mucus at the sinuses.
Samkhini terminates at the genital organs, is situated between Gandhari and Sarasvati. It carries the essence of food.
Sarasvati nadi which is behind Susumna nadi, terminating at the tongue, controlling speech and keeping the abdominal organs free from disease.
Soma see Ida.
Sura nadi which is between the eyebrows.
Surya the nadi of the Sun, see Pingala.
Susumna from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, up the centre of the spine. Its function is Agni, Fire (sattva), illumination.
Varuni nadi which flows throughout the body. Its function is the evacuation of urine. Its position is between Yasasviniand Kuhu.
Vijnana nadis are vessels of consciousness.
Visvodhari nadi having the function of absorption of food. Its position is between Hastijivhaand Kuhu.
Yasasvini nadi. (before Pingala, between Gandhari and Sarasvati situated between the left ear and the left big toe. NB. In addition to the various primary and minor nadis, the Shakta Tantra and Kundalini/Laya Yoga traditions' emphasis was placed on the central nadis which represented concentric (hence increasingly subtle) channels along or in front of the spine, and along which are strung the 7 chakras. These 4 'central' nadis are;

Susumna-nadi starts from the Kanda-mula, lying just below the Mulhadara chakra and goes upward centrally within the vertebral column.
Vajra-nadi starts from the starting point of Susumna and goes upwards, lying within Susumna.
Chitrini-nadi starts at the starting point of the Vajra nadi and goes upward, lying within the Vajra nadi.
Brahma-nadi or Brahmarandra-nadi starts from the orifice of Swayambhu-linga in the Muladhara chakra and goes upwards, lying within Chitrini.


MAJOR CHAKRAS Muladhara / Mooladhara / Base / Root / Huiyin / 1st
Muladhara chakra is at the coccygeal point at the base of the spine, in the area of segment II of the coccyx (tailbone). This chakra is seated at the base of filum terminale, a threadlike connective tissue that links the bottom of the spinal cord to the coccyx (the spinal cord does not extend all the way down to the coccyx - it terminates in the lumbar region). Muladhara is just above kanda mula (root bulb), the base of the major nadis that run up the spinal column.
In the male, the location of muladhara chakra kshetram is in the perineum (yoni), between the legs, midway between the anus and penis, one centimetre underneath the surface of the skin. In the female, it is near the cervix, where the vagina meets the uterus.4
The first centre, or chakram, at the base of the spine, has a primary force which radiates in four spokes, making the centre appear to be divided into quadrants, with hollows between them, like a cross, a symbol which is often used to represent this centre.5
Muladhara is the centre of primal life energy and survival, the first chakra or base chakra, muladhara derives its name from Sanskrit, moola (root, base) and adhara (support). The root lotus is said to govern memory, time and space.4
When aroused into full activity, this centre is fiery orange-red in colour, corresponding closely to the stream of dark red and orange vitality which comes to it from the spleen centre. It may be mentioned that there is a similar correspondence between the colour of the stream of vitality flowing into a centre, and the colour of the centre itself.
In addition to the orange and darker reds, there is also some dark purple vitality flowing into this centre, rather as though the spectrum bent round in a circle and the colours began again at a lower octave.
From this centre the orange-red ray flows to the generative organs, energising the sexual nature: it also seems to enter the blood and keep up the heat of the body.5
(nb. may be a link here to acupuncture fire meridians V - circulation/sex and VI - triple heater)
The first chakra is associated with the earth element, represented by a yellow square surrounded by eight shining spears. The structure of earth element is maintained by the continuous spinning of the petals of muladhara chakra, radiating red rays. Muladhara, associated with the coccygeal plexus, is allied with the organs of excretion and the sense object of odour.
This sense of odour is of luminous yellow colour. Because the muladhara chakra is a wheel with four radiations from the central hub, it is likened to a lotus with four petals. these petals are described as either blood colour or shining gold. The first petal is in the northeast (upper right) corner, the second in the southeast (lower right) corner, the third in the southwest (lower left) and the fourth in the northwest (upper left).
The petals of each chakra are embedded with specific qualities called vrittis, which are thought-forms or emotions held in the chakra. The four vrittis in muladhara are four kinds of bliss:
1. Greatest or highest bliss (paramananda)
2. Innate or natural bliss (sahajananda)
3. Heroic bliss in the control of desires (virananda)
4. Bliss of divine union in meditation (yogananda) It seems significant that the ancient scriptures associate the root or base chakra muladhara with the highest bliss, because most teachers today instead connect it with the most base emotions. Muladhara is where luminous kundalini, the Shakti energy resides, it is indeed the cente of supreme bliss.4

Svadishthana / Sacral / Spleen / 2nd / Lower Tan Tien
(Sanskrit sva = vital force/soul + adishthana = seat/abode {abode of the self})
Situated above the organs of generation.
[This centre seems to be referred to as the Spleen chakra in western parlance - why? it is nowhere near the spleen!] The second centre, the splenic, at the spleen, is devoted to the specialization, subdivision and dispersion of the vitality which comes to us from the sun. That vitality is poured out again from it in six horizontal streams, the seventh variety being drawn into the hub of the wheel. This centre therefore has six petals or undulations, all of different colours, and is especially radiant, glowing and sun-like. Each of the six divisions of the wheel shows predominantly the colour of one of the forms of the vital force - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.18
Said to be the seat of subconscious mind, ruled by the moon; sphere of emotion and procreation. Svadishthana, [in yogic tradition] the second chakra, the sacral point, lies inside the chitrini nadi in the vertebral column, in the area of sacral vertebra IV, within the filum terminale. The chakra kshetram (frontal trigger point) of Svadishthana is near your pubic bone, at the root of the penis in the male and the clitoris in the female. This chakra corresponds to the genital region and prostatic plexus. Therefore it is the seat of procreation.
Six petals form the lotus of svadishthana chakra. These petals are described as vermillion or whitish-red.
The vrittis (special qualities) on its petals are affection or indulgence, pitilessness, all-destructiveness, delusion, disdain and suspicion.
The petals of svadishthana radiate energies from the chakra's centre into Ida and Pingala nadis with six main radiations.
[This chakra is associated with] sexual vitality and regulates all bodily muscular movements, including voluntary muscular relaxation and inactivity, blood purification. Inside Svadishthana a bright crescent moon-shaped region of the water element. This is said to be white in colour. This chakra is associated with the gonads, and it represents the sense object of flavour.4
The Sacral or Spleen centre has six spokes, and therefore the same number of petals or undulations. In appearance it is especially radiant, glowing and sun-like.18
This centre is unique in that it has the all-important function of absorbing the 'Vitality Globules' from the atmosphere, disintegrating them, and distributing the component atoms charged with the specialised and transmuted Prana, to the various parts of the body. (see Etheric Body/Absorption of Vitality)
The Vitality Globules are first drawn into the sacral/spleen centre: then they are broken up into the seven component atoms, each atom charged with one of the seven varieties of Prana: these atoms are then caught up by the secondary rotating forces and spun round the chakram.
The seven different kinds of Prana are coloured thus:-
Violet - Blue - Green - Yellow - Orange - Dark Red - Rose Red
It will be observed that the divisions are not exactly those to which we are accustomed in the solar spectrum, but resemble rather the arrangement of colours seen on higher levels in the causal, mental and astral bodies.
The indigo of the solar spectrum is divided between the violet and blue rays of Prana, whilst the red of the spectrum is split up into dark red and rose red of Prana.
Each of the six spokes then seizes upon one variety of atom and despatches it to the chakram or part of the body for which it is needed.
This accounts for six kinds of atoms only: the seventh variety, that coloured rose pink, is despatched through the hub or centre of the spleen chakra itself, whence it is distributed over the whole of the nervous system. These rose coloured atoms are the original atoms which first drew round them the six others to form the globule.
The atoms which bear the rose-coloured Prana are clearly the life of the nervous system, and it is this variety of Prana which one man may give to another (note to me see chapter XIII). If the nerves are insufficiently supplied with this rose-coloured Prana, they become sensitive and intensely irritable; the patient finds himself restless, and the least noise or touch is agony to him. Instant relief may be afforded him by some healthy person flooding his nervous system with a supply of rose-coloured Prana.5

Manipura(ka) / Solar plexus / Navel / Umbilical / Hara / Upper Tan Tien / 3rd
The Sanskrit word manipura (city of lustrous jewels) derives from the roots mani (gem, jewel) and pur (city). 4 1
The third centre, the umbilical, at the navel or solar plexus, receives a primary force of ten radiations, so it vibrates in such a manner as to divide itself into ten undulations or petals. It is very closely associated with feelings and emotions of various kinds. Its predominant colour is a blending of several shades of red, though there is also a great deal of green in it. The divisions are alternately chiefly red and chiefly green.18
It receives the green ray from the spleen centre, that ray flooding the abdomen,vivifying the liver, kidneys, intestines and the digestive apparatus generally, centering expecially in the solar plexus.
The centre is closely associated with feelings and emotions of various kinds. The corresponding astral centre, when awakened, gives the power of feeling, a sensitiveness to all sorts of influences, though without, as yet anything like the definite comprehension that comes from the faculties corresponding to seeing or hearing. When therefore, the etheric centre becomes active, the man begins in the physical body to be conscious of astral influences, vaguely feeling friendliness or hostility, or that some places are pleasant and others unpleasant, but without in the least knowing why. 5
This chakra has the greatest concentration of intense pranic energy, because so many nadis (conduits of pranic energy) radiate from it.
Often compared to the dazzling power of the Sun, which gives life to the planets, manipura gives you life by distributing pranic energy throughout your body. It is also vital for directing prana from the base of the spine upward through sushumna into higher chakras. It is often associated with transmuting pranic energy into more subtle pranic energy called ojas, the substance that imparts lustre and charisma to your body.
This is the third [major] chakra, known as the navel or solar plexus, centre of willpower. Its esoteric colour is red.
Manipura chakra is seated at the lumbar point, in the vertebral column near lumbar vertebra IV, within the filum terminale internum, in the chitrini nadi on the same horizontal plane as your navel.
The fire element region inside manipura is triangular in shape and its colour is blood red. This chakra is associated with the pancreas and the abdominal organs.
The manipura chakra is like a lotus with 10 petals, described as the colour of dense rain clouds or black. This chakra has 10 radiations from its petals. 4

Anahata / Heart / Cardiac / 4th
(Sanskrit anahata = unbeaten as in unstruck) Situated in the cardiac region, said to be the origin of the 72,000 nadis (yogic energy lines) (Upanishads 7th-8th centuries bce). The concept was further developed in the later Upanishads - from 2nd 1
The fourth [major] centre, the cardiac, at the heart, is of a glowing golden colour, and each of its quadrants is divided into three parts, which gives it twelve undulations, because its primary force makes for it twelve spokes.18
This chakram has twelve spokes or radiations, and is a glowing golden colour. It receives the yellow ray from the spleen centre; when the current is full and strong it produces strength and regularity in the heart action. Flowing round the heart chakram, the yellow ray also interpenetrates the blood and thus is carried all over the body. It also passes on to the brain and permeates it, though directing itself principally to the twelve-petalled flower in the middle of the seventh or highest centre. In the brain it confers the power of high philosophical and metaphysical thought.
The corresponding astral centre, when awakened, endows a man with the power to comprehend and sympathise with, and so instinctively understand, the feelings of other astral entities.
The etheric centre, therefore, makes a man aware, in his physical consciousness, of the joys and sorrows of others. 5
The term anahata (unstruck sound) is the sound of oneness, made without contact of two objects. The heart centre is the soundless sound of silence, the cosmic sound known as shabda brahman. Anahata is the fourth chakra, seat of consciousness, sense of "I-ness", and point of contact between soul and body. It is centre of direct revelation and inner quietude. In many scriptures, anahata is described as the chakra from which all 72,000 nadis originate. The esoteric colour is violet, [it] governs the pumping action of heart and lungs. Anahata is the gateway to the infinite. Anahata, at the thoracic point, lies in the vertebral column within chitrini nadi, near the heart and cardiac plexus, in the area of thoracic vertebra IX, within the central canal of the spinal column. The form of anahata is a six-pointed star with 12 petals. This hexagonal shape is the region of air, which is said to be smoke-coloured. Here lies the sense object of touch [and] is ash-coloured. This chakra is associated with thymus and lungs. The air region is symbolised by the hexagonal star, where the upward pointing triangle represents higher understanding and spritual awareness. The downward pointing triangle indicates earthly pursuits.|
The upward path of the upper triangle is nivritti (return to the divine source). The downward path of the lower triangle is pavritti (entanglement in worldly illusion). Anahata is the perfect balance between the upper and lower regions, gateway to both spiritual and material worlds. Twelve petals surround the lotus of anahata chakra. The petals glow with a shining deep red colour. Twelve energies radiate from the centre of this chakra indicates the predominance of the vital air prana along with udana.4

Hrit / Hridaya (Sanskrit = heart, or Hridaya = he who dwells in the heart)
Located in the vertebral column in the chitrini nadi in the region of the heart.
Hrit (heart) chakra or Hridaya (he who dwells in the heart) is also known as ananda kanda (root or bulb of bliss). Hrit is depicted as stainless, subtle and untouched by any physical impurities.
Hrit chakra is located in the vertebral column in the chitrini nadi in the region of the heart. Hrit chakra faces downwards and is seated just beneath the 12-petalled anahata chakra. In fact Hrit is the lower part of anahata (the fourth [major] chakra).

Hrit chakra is described as a delicate, beautiful lotus, red as the morning sun. The petals are characterised as golden or white. 4

Visuddhi / Throat / Laryngeal / 5th (Sanskrit visuddhi = purity)1
The fifth centre, the laryngeal, at the throat has sixteen spokes and therefore sixteen apparent divisions. There is a good deal of blue in it, but its general effect is silvery and gleaming, with a kind of suggestion as of moonlight upon rippling water. Blue and green predominate alternately in its sections.18
In colour it shows a good deal of blue, but its general effect is silvery and gleaming, not unlike moonlight on rippling water. It receives the violet-blue ray from the spleen chakram. This ray then appears to divide, the light blue remaining to course through and vivify the throat centre, while the dark blue and violet pass on to the brain. The light blue gives health to the region of the throat, the strength and elasticity of the vocal cords of a great singer or speaker, for example, being accompanied by special brilliance and activity of this ray. The dark blue expends itself in the lower parts of the brain, while the violet floods the upper part and appears to give special vigour to the chakram at the top of the head, diffusing itself chiefly through the 960 petals of the outer part of that centre. Ordinary thought is stimulated by the blue ray, mingled with part of the yellow (from the heart centre). In some forms of idiocy the yellow and blu-violet flow to the brain is almost entirely inhibited. Thought and emotion of a high spiritual type seem to depend largely upon the violet ray. 5
Vishuddha (purity) chakra, referred to as the throat chakra, is the seat of purification, which harmonises all diversity. It is responsible for creative expression and communication. its esoteric colour is indigo. Vishuddha chakra, at the cervical point, is situated in the area of cervical vertebra IV of the spine, in chitrini nadi within the central canal of the vertebral column in the neck region. It is associated with the cervical plexus and thyroid gland. Vishuddha kshetram is located on the front surface of the neck in the region of the Adams apple. This centre is considered the centre of udana vital air (udana vayu). From its petals, 16 radiations vibrate akasha energy and udana vayu into ida and pingala. Within the centre of vishuddha, a pure white void circular region blazes like the full moon. The void is also known as the ether element, associated with the sense object of sound, and principles of hearing and speech. 4

Talu(ka) / Lalata
(Sanskrit = uvula) Also called Lalata or Taluka. Lies near the junction between the front end of the central spinal canal in the medulla oblongata and the lower part of the brains fourth ventricle., within chitrini nadi, behind the uvula.

Ajna / Brow / 3rd eye / Pineal / 6th
(Sanskrit = command, order) 1
The sixth centre, the frontal, between the eyebrows, has the appearance of being divided into two halves, one chiefly rose-coloured, though with a great deal of yellow about it, and the other predominantly a kind of purplish-blue, again closely agreeing with the colours of the special types of vitality that vivify it. Perhaps it is for this reason that this centre is mentioned in Indian books as having only two petals, though if we are to count undulations of the same character as those of the previous centres we shall find that each half is subdivided into forty-eight of these, making ninety-six in all, because its primary force has that number of radiations. This sudden leap from 16 to 96 spokes, and again the even more startling variation from 96 to 972 between this and the next chakra, show us that we are now dealing with centres of an altogether different order from those which we have hitherto been considering. We do not yet know all the factors which determine the number of spokes in a chakra, but it is already evident that they represent shades of variation in the primary force.18
The ajna (command, order) chakra is so-named for several reasons: As the distribution centre for distributing prana to various areas of the body, it commands prana. This is the third eye of higher mind, the eye that looks inward rather than outward, centre of divine sight, clairvoyance, wisdom, divine experiences, insight, spiritual discernment, revelation, and higher voice. Ajna is the primordial power of everything and Atman (higher self). 4

Sahasrara / Crown / Coronal / Baihui / 7th
(Sanskrit sahasrara = thousand) Situated in the top of the cranial cavity. Known as the Crown chakra or 'the thousand-petalled lotus.1
The seventh centre, the coronal, at the top of the head, is when stirred into full activity the most resplendent of all, full of indescribable chromatic effects and vibrating with almost inconceivable rapidity. It seems to contain all sorts of prismatic hues, but is on the whole predominantly violet. It is described in Indian books as thousand-petalled, and really this is not very far from the truth, the number of radiations of its primary force in the outer circle being nine hundred and sixty. Every line of this will be seen faithfully reproduced in our [image], though it is hardly possible to give the effect of the separate petals. In addition to this it has a feature which is possessed by none of the other chakras - a sort of subsidiary central whirlpool of gleaming white flushed with gold in its heart - a minor activity which has twelve undulations of its own.18
This chakra is usually the last to be awakened. In the beginning it is the same size as the others, but as the man progresses on the Path of spiritual advancement it increases steadily until it covers almost the whole top of the head. Another peculiarity attends its development. It is at first a depression in the etheric body,as are all the others, because through it, as through them, the divine force flows in from without; but when the man realizes his position as a king of the divine light, dispensing largesse to all around him, this chakra reverses itself, turning, as it were, inside out; [becoming a halo?] it is no longer a channel of reception but of radiation, no longer a depression but a prominence, standing out from the head as a dome, a veritable crown of glory. In this form it is to be found upon the heads of thousands of images of the Lord Buddha all over the Eastern world. In many cases it will be seen that the two tiers of the Sahasrara chakra are copied - the larger dome of 960 petals first, and then the smaller dome of 12 rising out of that in turn.18

21 MINOR CHAKRAS - less well known

1 and 2 - Two behind the eyes
3 and 4 - Two below the ears, at the maxilla/mandibular juncture.
5 and 6 - Two at the inferior clavicular fossi.
7 - One where the breastbone and sternum meet.
8 - One closely connected to the Vagus nerve - near the Thymus gland.
9 - One closely connected to the Stomach.
10 - One closely connected to the Liver.
11 - One closely connected to the Solar plexus.
12 and 13 - Two associated with the Spleen and Pancreas.
14 and 15 - Two at the palms.
16 and 17 - Two connected with the Gonads.
18 and 19 - Two within the knees.
20 and 21 - Two in the soles of the feet.2.

Others known of:
LALATA (= forehead). Situated at the top of the forehead.
MANAS (= mind). Situated in the region between the navel and the heart, possibly relating to No. 7 above.
SURYA (= Sun). Again situated in the region between the navel and the heart. Maybe relating to No. 9 above.
SOMA (= Moon). Situated in the centre of the brain. This may relate to the pineal gland.
ATALL - (1st below Muladhara - root chakra, may be named Omega - see below)
VITAL - (2nd below Muladhara)
SUTAL - (3rd below Muladhara)
RASATAL - (4th below Muladhara)
DHARATAL - (5th below Muladhara)
MAHATAL - (6th below Muladhara)
PATAL - (7th below Muladhara)

8 above the Crown centre:
(from this Rajasthan 18th Century print.)
1. Eight inches above the Crown Centre named Alpha, linked to one eight inches below Muladhara (base of spine) named Omega. The circuit between these known as the Unified Field.
2. above 1. linked to the Emotional/Desire Body.
3. above 2. linked to the Mental Body.
4. above 3. linked to the Causal/Spiritual Body.
5. above 4. linked to the Oversoul.
6. above 5. linked to the Christ Oversoul.
7. above 6. linked to the I AM Oversoul.
8. above 7. linked to the Source's Presence.9