The Ancient Science of Hinduism – Part 2

SPINAL COLUMN:

Before proceeding to the study of Nadis and Chakras we have to know something about the Spinal Column, as all the Chakras are connected with it.

Spinal Column is known as Meru Danda. This is the axis of the body just as Mount Meru is the axis of the earth. Hence the spine is called ‘Meru’. Spinal column is otherwise known as spine, axis-staff or vertebral column. Man is microcosm. (Pinda – Kshudra-Brahmanda). All things seen in the universe,—mountains, rivers, Bhutas, etc., exist in the body also. All the Tattvas and Lokas (worlds) are within the body.

The body may be divided into three main parts:—head, trunk and the limbs, and the centre of the body is between the head and the legs. The spinal column extends from the first vertebra, Atlas bone, to the end of the trunk.

The spine is formed of a series of 33 bones called vertebrae; according to the position these occupy, it is divided into five regions:—

1. Cervical region (neck) 7 vertebrae
2. Dorsal region (back) 12 vertebrae
3. Lumbar region (waist or loins) 5 vertebrae.
4. Sacral region (buttocks, Sacrum or gluteal) 5 vertebrae.
5. Coccygeal region (imperfect vertebrae Coccyx) 4 vertebrae.

The vertebral bones are piled one upon the other thus forming a pillar for the support of the cranium and trunk. They are connected together by spinous, transverse and articular processes and by pads of fibro-cartilage between the bones. The arches of the vertebrae form a hollow cylinder or a bony covering or a passage for the spinal cord. The size of the vertebrae differs from each other.

For example, the size of the vertebrae in cervical region is smaller than in dorsal but the arches are bigger. The body of the lumbar vertebrae is the largest and biggest. The whole spine is not like a stiff rod, but has curvatures that give a spring action. All the other bones of the body are connected with this spine.

Between each pair of vertebrae there are apertures through which the spinal nerves pass from the spinal cord to the different portions and organs of the body. The five regions of the spine correspond with the regions of the five Chakras: Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata and Vishuddha.

Sushumna Nadi passes through the hollow cylindrical cavity of the vertebral column and Ida is on the left side and Pingala on the right side of the spine.

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