Though known as the Heart cakra, 'Anahata' actually means 'unstruck'. Its association with the heart makes sense, as the heart beats continuously, with an unimpeded beat from birth to death.
The nature and function of Anahata coincides, to a large degree, with the nature and activities typically associated with the heart, eg. creativity, intuition, and compassion. Similarly, it corresponds with skin and touch, as well as with the arms and hands, those aspects of our physical selves with which we, literally, reach out to embrace one another.
When this cakra is opened completely, we know, spontaneously, love and joy, and authentic compassion for all others. The previous cakra, Manipura, enabled us to expand and elevate our perspective, allowing us to see innate beauty in the world around us. Here, at Anahata, our perspective soars even higher, sparking spontaneous, unconditional, and universal love through direct, non-analytical awareness of the greatness of every being.