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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-9  

Physio-anatomical resemblance of inferior hypogastric plexus with Muladhara Chakra: A cadaveric study


1 Department of Rachana Sharira, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS-BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Kayachikitsa, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS-BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Samhita and Sanskrit, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS-BHU, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication20-Apr-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. K M Sweta
Department of Rachana Sharira, Faculty of Ayurveda, IMS-BHU, Varanasi- 221005, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ayu.AYU_140_17

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   Abstract 


The present paper is aimed to ascertain the proper identity of Muladhara Chakra by a meticulous search. Proceeding in that direction, a review of the Muladhara Chakra was carried out in the texts of tantric literature, modern literature, journals and online publications. After going through various literatures, it is found that hindrance in normal body physiology may occur due to deactivation of Shat Chakra. Anatomically, each Chakra represents various plexus and sub-plexuses which are concerned with certain organs and its supply. Hence, there is a need to find each and every anatomical structure related to Chakras. Acharya Gananath Sen in his commentary Pratyaksha Shariram concluded that all the pelvic organs closely resemble with Muladhara Chakra. A cadaveric dissection has been carried out to correlate and establish that the anatomical structures which closely resemble the Muladhara Chakra can be thought of as inferior hypogastric plexus and its sub plexuses.

Keywords: Chakra, dissection, hypogastric plexus, Muladhara


How to cite this article:
Sweta K M, Awasthi H H, Godbole A, Prajapati S. Physio-anatomical resemblance of inferior hypogastric plexus with Muladhara Chakra: A cadaveric study. AYU 2017;38:7-9

How to cite this URL:
Sweta K M, Awasthi H H, Godbole A, Prajapati S. Physio-anatomical resemblance of inferior hypogastric plexus with Muladhara Chakra: A cadaveric study. AYU [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 May 25];38:7-9. Available from: http://www.ayujournal.org/text.asp?2017/38/1/7/230770


   Introduction Top


General description of Chakra

In literary text, Chakra means “Wheels of light.” These are the center of energy that are located throughout the body and provide a passage for energy to enter and exit our body and help to regulate all type of energy flow, i.e. physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Our body has seven major Chakra. These seven Chakra are situated along the spine and each has special function. These are psychic center of the astral body governing a group of functions. Anatomically, these Chakra may represent the nerve plexuses which is having different functions according to their area of supply. These plexuses are in the form of spokes around wheel.[1]

General description of Muladhara Chakra

The triangular part in between the anus and genitalia is called the Muladhara Chakra.[2] It is attached to the mouth of the Sushumna (spinal cord) and is placed below the genitals and above the anus. It has four petals of crimson hue. Its head (mouth) hangs downward. Its petals are the four letters, i.e. Vama, Sama, Shama and Shhama of the shining color of gold,[3] which is characteristics of each petal. The Chakra is situated at the base of spinal column. It forms nerve plexuses around the Sushumna (spinal cord). This region of Muladhara Chakra represents the pelvic organs, i.e. rectum, uterus, bladder and testis.[4] Hence, regarding location of Muladhara Chakra, it may be mid-perineum area.[5] It is the ground for Apana Vayu.[6],[7] The function of Apana Vayu is being excretion of semen, urine and feces and also delivering fetus.[8] Similar functions are allotted to Muladhara Chakra in Shat Chakra Nirupana.[9] In modern texts, these functions are carried out as a reflex action by pelvic plexuses (inferior hypogastric plexus).[10] The aim of this work was to ascertain the possible location of Muladhara Chakra as being described in ancient texts by a meticulous review and cadaveric dissection. A thorough review of modern literature was done for its anatomically correlated structure (or nerve plexus) to support the indications in the Ancient texts and bring focused clarity about the structure of Muladhara Chakra.


   Objectives Top


The study had the following objectives:

  • To locate the appropriate position of Muladhara Chakra in the body
  • To correlate the four petals of Muladhara Chakra with sub-plexuses of inferior hypogastric plexus.



   Materials and Methodology Top


Materials

  1. Available ancient and modern literatures
  2. Six cadavers
  3. Dissection kit.


Methods

Literature study

Considering the aim of structural anatomy of Muladhara Chakra, review of the ancient literature pertaining to Muladhara Chakra will be done and systematically arranged.

Cadaveric study

Dissection of six cadavers was done in dissection hall of department of Sharira Rachana, faculty of Ayurveda, IMS-BHU. First, markings were done on the cadaver regarding the position of Muladhara Chakra in the abdominal region and then in the pelvic region. These regions are dissected as per the guidelines given in ayurvedic texts by Acharya Sushruta,[11] the Cunningham's manual of practical anatomy,[12] and Human anatomy by Dr. B. D. Chaurasia.[13] Superficial and deep dissection was done with careful approach to study the structures present at the marked site.

The information gathered from various literatures is correlated with the findings from dissection and conclusion is drawn.

Observations

Physiological resemblance (literary study)

The inferior hypogastric plexus constitutes the sacral division of parasympathetic system which directly controls the excretion of feces, urine, semen and fetus and the execution of sex act and reproduction. These are the reflex functions. These functions are executed through its four subdivisions which are uterine, vaginal, rectal and vesical. These same functions are confirmed as belonging to Muladhara Chakra. Deity of Muladhara Chakra is Dakini. On the basis of its characteristics defined in Upanishada itrepresent sensory impulses in our body traveled through neuronal plexuses which always carry the illumination of information. This proves that the deity Dakini represents sensory afferent centers of reflexes or actions. Thus, Dakini consists of those peripheral ganglionic cells which receive the sacral parasympathetic afferents from all four petals or sub-plexuses of Muladhara Chakra.[14]

Anatomical resemblance (cadaveric study)

On dissection, we found that the location of inferior hypogastric plexus is somewhat similar to the location of Muladhara Chakra [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Triangular inferior hypogastric plexus with its comparative image (source of image; https://classconnection.s3.amazonaws.com/)

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The inferior hypogastric plexus was found nearly triangular in structure which shows similarity with the structure of Muladhara Chakra[15] [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Hypogastric nerves and its comparative image (source of image; https://classconnection.s3.amazonaws.com/)

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This cadaveric study showed the four subplexuses of inferior hypogastric plexus innervating pelvic visceras (rectal plexus; spermatic plexus/uterine plexus; Vesical plexus; Prostatic plexus/Vaginal plexus) which may be correlated to the four Dalas (petals) of Muladhara Chakra [Figure 3]. The four Dalas or petals of Muladhara Chakra can be correlated with four subsidiary plexuses of inferior hypogastric plexus [Table 1].[19]
Figure 3: Triangular inferior hypogastric plexus innervating pelvic cavity

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Table 1: Different authors' view regarding correlation of various plexuses of inferior hypogastric plexus with Dala of Muladhara Chakra

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   Discussion Top


Hence, from the above observations, we can say that the Sushumna (spinal cord) is the axis of all the Chakras. Muladhara Chakra is anatomically represented by inferior hypogastric plexus. Both are triangular in structure. This finding is coherent with the study of Mauroy et al.[18] Inferior hypogastric plexus works as axle of this Muladhara Chakra (wheel). It is a definite neuro-endo-vascular entity in the vicinity of pelvis, which governs, regulates and mediates the all pelvic functions through small plexus to all pelvic organs. The four Dalas, i.e. Vama, Sama, Shama and Shhama represent the four sub-plexuses of inferior hypogastric plexus which are uterine, vaginal, middle rectal and vesicle plexus.


   Conclusion Top


Earlier studies have already given the detailed description of Muladhara Chakra, but the above study reveals some scientific explanation to the position of Muladhara Chakra which is being either side of superior hypogastric plexus, i.e., inferior hypogastric plexus. The four petals of Muladhara Chakra correspond to four pelvic subplexuses, i.e., uterine plexus, vaginal (seminal plexus) plexus, vesicle plexus and middle rectal plexus. This study also reveals the triangular-shaped similarity of Muladhara Chakra with inferior hypogastric plexus. However, still more studies are required to throw light on other attributes related to Muladhara Chakra.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Gupta A. A Critical Study on Manipura Cakra, its Anatomical Correlates and Clinical Significance (Unpublished Master's Thesis). Varanasi: Banaras Hindu University; 2014.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Kunhan Raja C. Dasopanishadas; 1935. Available from: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/./108-upanishads-pdf-downloads-in-english -sanskrit-hindi/. [Last retrieved on 2017 Nov 11].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Krishnaraj V. Sat-Chakra-Nirupana-Kundalini-Chakras. Available from: https://www.bhagavadgitausa.com/sat_chakra_Nirupana.pdf. [Last retrieved on 2017 Nov 18].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Garnath S. Pratyaksha Shariram, Swatantra Naadi. Part-III. Ch. 11. Varanasi: Chowkambha Krishnadas Academy; 2007. p. 164-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Joshi BC. Neurology in ancient India: Muladhara cakra – A physiological reality. Indian J Hist Sci 1986;21:2.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Kunhan Raja C. Dasopanishadas (Yogakundalini Upanishada); 1935. Available from: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/./108-upanishads-pdf-downloads-in-english-sanskrit-hindi/. [Last retrieved on 2017 Nov 11].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Joshi BC. Neurology in ancient India: Muladhara chakra – A physiological reality. Indian J Hist Sci 1986; p. 149.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Acharya YT, editor. Caraka Samhita of Agnivesha, Chikitsa Sthana. 8th ed. Ch. 28, Ver. 11. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Bharati Academy; 2009. p. 778-79.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Purnananda S. Sat Chakra Nirupana Kundalini; 3 July, 2016. Available from: https://www.bhagavadgitausa.com/sat_chakra_Nirupana.htm. [Last retrieved on 2017 Nov 19].  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Learning Modules – Medical Gross Anatomy Autonomics of the Pelvis; 2002. Available from: http://www.med.umich.edu/lrc/coursepages/. [Last retrieved on 2017 Nov 24].  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Ambikadatta S, editor. Susruta Samhita of Sushruta, Sharir Sthana. Sharir. 11th ed. Ch. 5, Ver. 61. Varanasi: Chowkhambha Sanskrit Sansthan; 2011. p. 66.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Romanes GJ. Cunningham's Manual of Practical Anatomy. 15th ed. Vol. 2. NewDelhi: Oxford University Press; 2010. p. 91-7.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Chaurasia's BD. Human Anatomy. 6th ed., Vol. 2. New Delhi CBS Publisher; 2013. p. 419-21.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Joshi BC. Neurology in ancient India: Muladhara cakra – A physiological reality. Indian J Hist Sci 1986;p. 148  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Vasu Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra, editor. Siva Samhita. 1st ed. Ch. 5, Ver. 22. Allahabad: The Panini Office, Bhuwaneshawari Ashrama; 1914.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Athwale PG, Drishtartha Shariram Uttamangiyashariram. Part-II. Ch. 13. Rohtak: Nath Pustak Bhandaar; 2012. p. 460-1.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Mahendra S. Rachana Sharir Vigyana Tantra Sharer or Nadi Vigyana. 1st ed., Ch. 6. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Orientelia; 2009. p. 254.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.
MauroyB, Demondion X, Bizet B, Claret A, Mestdagh P, Hurt C, et al. The female inferior hypogastric (= pelvic) plexus: Anatomical and radiological description of the plexus and its afferences – Applications to pelvic surgery. Surg Radiol Anat 2007;29:55-66.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
19.
Joshi BC. Neurology in ancient India: Muladhara cakra – A physiological reality. Indian J Hist Sci 1986; p. 153.].  Back to cited text no. 19
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1]



 

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