Last Updated: July 26, 2017

Definition - What does Granthi mean?

Granthi is a Sanskrit term meaning "doubt" or "knot;" more specifically, it denotes "a difficult knot to untie." The term is found in yogic literature and refers to knotted areas of energy, which can block the flow of prana in the body. In Kundalini yoga, it is said that granthis can be responsible for preventing prana from rising up through sushumna nadi (the central channel of the energetic body). As such, these knots prevent one's full potential from being unleashed and restricts spiritual development. They are barriers to freedom and spiritual liberation (moksha).

It is said that these difficult knots are what keep an individual entangled in their preferences, desires and fears. Both knowledge and action are needed to work out the knots and transcend their restrictions.

Yogapedia explains Granthi

In yoga, there are various methods for untying granthis. For example, the bandhas ("energy locks") of Hatha yoga aid the flow of prana, so the practitioner may transcend the knots and their habitual, restricted ways of thinking and behaving.

It is said that there are three main granthis:

  1. Brahma granthi: The first and lowest knot, located in the area of the muladhara ("root chakra") and svadisthana ("spleen/sacral chakra"). It is sometimes called the perineal knot. It is caused by anxiety about survival, food and shelter. It is also associated with a fear of death and a lack of grounding or stability. Brahma granthi is transcended through the mula bandha ("root lock").
  2. Vishnu granthi: This second knot is between the manipura ("navel chakra"), anahata ("heart chakra") and visuddha ("throat chakra"). It is sometimes called the navel knot. This granthi is caused by clinging to the ego and having a preoccupation with seeking personal power. It is said that clinging to and accumulating possessions can also perpetuate this granthi. Transcending vishnu granthi requires surrendering to love and letting go of any desire for power. Uddiyana bandha ("upward abdominal lock") is said to help untie this knot.
  3. Rudra granthi: The third and highest knot is located around the ajna (third eye chakra) and sahasrara (crown chakra). It is sometimes called the forehead knot. It can manifest when we get caught in service to others and lose sight of the goal of transcending separation and experiencing unity with all beings. Jalandhara bandha ("chin lock") is associated with making this transition to higher consciousness and oneness.

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