The Brain

Brain and cranial nerves are the chief parts of the whole nervous system. It is a mass of nervous tissues made up of soft grey and white matter. It occupies the whole of cranium. Cranium is like the iron safe to keep up the treasure ' brain'. It is surrounded by three membranes or Meninges, viz, (1) dura mater, the fibrous connective tissue by the side of the cranial bones; (2) pia mater, the connective tissue containing a network of blood vessels, which penetrates and nourishes all the parts of the brain; and (3) arachnoid, a very fine membrane around the brain. Below the arachnoid there is the space which contains the cerebro-spinal fluid that is intended to prevent any injury to the brain. The brain looks as if it is floating on this liquid.

THE BRAIN

1. Cerebrum 3. Medulla Oblongata

2. Cerebellum 4. Pons Varolii

The brain can be divided into two halves, right and left hemispheres, by a central Sulcus or tissue. There are several lobes or smaller portions in the brain such as the parietal and temporal lobes on the sides, the occipital lobe at the posterior portion of cerebellum, etc. There are many convolutions or Gyre in every lobe. Again, for the sake of study, we can divide the brain into four sections.

1. Cerebrum: It is the anterior, oval-shaped larger part of the brain. It is situated in the upper portion of the cranial cavity. This contains the important centres of hearing, speech, sight, etc. The pineal gland which is regarded as the seat of the soul and which plays a prominent part in Samadhi and psychic phenomena is situated here.

2. Cerebellum, the little or hind brain: This is the main portion of the brain, oblong-shaped, situated just above the fourth ventricle and below and behind the brain. Here the grey matter is arranged over the white matter. It regulates the muscular co-ordination. Mind rests here during dreams.

3. Medulla Oblongata: It is the beginning place of the spinal cord at the cranial cavity, where it is oblong-shaped and wide. It is between the two hemispheres. Here the white matter is placed over the grey matter. This contains the centres of important functions such as circulatory, respiratory, etc. This portion must be carefully protected.

4. Pons Varolii: It is the bridge that lies before the Medulla Oblongata. It is made of white and grey fibres that come from cerebellum and medulla. This is the junction where cerebellum and medulla meet.

There are five ventricles of the brain. The fourth is the most important one. It is situated in Medulla Oblongata. The fourth ventricle is the name of the central canal of the spinal cord, "Canalis Centralis' when it enters the cranial cavity. Here the tiny canal becomes bigger in size.

Every nerve of the body is closely connected with the brain. The 12 pairs of cranial nerves proceed from both hemispheres through the openings at the base of the skull to different parts of the body: Olfactory; Optic; Motor Oculi; Pathetic; Trifacial; Abducens; Facial; Auditory; Glossopharyngeal; Pneumogastric, Spinal accessory; and Hypo-glossal. These are the nerves that are connected with the eye, ear, tongue, nose, pharynx, thorax, etc. For a detailed study of this section refer to any book on anatomy. Here I have given you portions that are connected with Kundalini Yoga.

The Chakra Checklist

The Chakra Checklist

The chakras are described as being aligned in an ascending column from the base of the back to the top of the head. New Age practices frequently associate each chakra with a particular color.

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