Meaning and Symbolism
Anahata means "unstruck". The heart chakra is the origin of the silent sounds, the eternal cosmic sound. It is also the home of worldly love. Its yantra includes a twelve petalled blue lotus with the two interlaced triangles of shiva and shakti forming the 6 pointed star of David. At its centre is a candle flame signifying the eternal Jyoti which radiates a soft light from within the heart. Its tattwa is air (vayu), the diffuse and social element which connects us with others.
Anahata Chakra is located in the spinal column directly behind the centre of the chest at T- 8 vertebra. Its trigger point is the middle of the chest, in line with the nipples. Also associated with Anahata is Hridayakash or the space of heart consciousness, a psychic cave experienced inside the body between the chakra itself and the trigger point.
Anahata governs the cardiovascular system (cardiac plexus, heart, blood, arteries, veins); the lymphatic system (spleen); the muscular system; the respiratory system (trachea, bronchi, lungs); the skin and sense of touch; the thymus gland; the chest, upper back, hands and the arms.
The attributes of energy and consciousness as represented by Anahata Chakra are emotions and relationships involving love and devotion - be they friendships, marriage or devotion to guru or God. Love from within one's heart is still within the realm of dualism and therefore still contains an element of selfishness as opposed to the kind of supreme love, impersonal love, unconditional love, which is the realm of Sahasrara.
This may seem contradictory to what has been explained before since emotions like fear, aversion, anger, etcetera surely come from the lower chakras. And that is true. But the emotions arising from lower than Anahata are more instinctive, unconscious and animal in their nature. At Anahata one begins to awaken emotions which relate to dealing with others - beyond the
solitary ego self of Manipura. These feelings may well start off as procreative attraction, lustful attraction, as romance, companionship or as friendship, but as the heart matures these "needy" types of love deepen into what is called Bhakti or devotion, where one's needs become secondary to the act of loving. It is here that the god Shiva and goddess Shakti worship each other as spiritual husband and wife in the most pure and ideal way, merging into each other to go beyond themselves. But as was mentioned previously, it is their normal worldly nature to separate again into individuals after their act of procreation.
Since it governs the skin, hands and arms - and relates to the more non-rational areas of the personality - those with a well developed Anahata often express themselves in ways like poetry, fine arts, making music, craftwork, creative writing, massage (of the physical and psychic kinds), and compulsive hugging! Problems with the heart chakra relate to respiratory disorders, heart problems, diseases of the blood, low auto-immunity, muscular stiffness, skin disorders, emotional imbalances, co-dependency, fear of loneliness, insensitivity to others, emotional hyper-sensitivity, inability to make friends or maintain harmony within relationships.
The psychic faculties of empathy and compas-sion are the currency of Anahata - being able to metaphysically feel your inner self and what is inside others (all creatures in fact). Closely associated with Anahata is the faculty of wish fulfilment, where a pure heart and selfless motives are able to make the "heart's desires" come true.
The attributes of Anahata which relate to unfolding motherhood are the ability to bond with your child even prior to conception; being able to further establish that nurturing love and empathy during pregnancy; and being able to use that love to empower you during childbirth in assisting transcendence of the physicality of the process (that is the Manipura, Swadhisthana and Mooladhara elements of it all). Of course one's breastfeeding abilities are governed by Anahata. In the reverse way, the maternal activity of breastfeeding helps to further awaken Anahata by stimulating more and more love - that devotional food - for your baby.