The Chakras

The earliest written account of the Chakras are believed to be part of the Vedas, an old written tradition in Indian said to have originated between 2,000 - 6000 B.C. and started by the Indo-European invaders of India known as the Arians.  The Aryans were said to have entered India on chariots, and the original meaning of the word Chakra is "wheel", which refers to the chariot wheels of the invading Aryans. (The correct spelling is cakra, though pronounced with a ch as in church.) The word was also a metaphor for the sun, which "traverses the world like the triumphant chariot of a cakravartin." (ruler) and denotes the eternal cycle of time called the kalacakra, or wheel of time. In this way, it represents celestial order and balance. There is also some mention of the Chakras as psychic centers of consciousness in the Yoga Upanishads (circa 600A.D.) and later in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (circa 200 B.C.).  These vedic models were later adapted into Tibetan Buddhism as Vajrayana theory, and in the Tantric Shakta theory of chakras.

The Chakras were first introduced to the west in a translation by the Englishman Arthur Avalon, in his book, "The Serpent Power" published in 1919.  The texts: the Sat-Cakra-Nirupana, written by an Indian pundit in 1577, and the Padaka-Pancaka, written in the 10th century, contain descriptions of the Chakras and related practices. There is also another 10th century text, called the Gorakshashatakam, which gives instructions for meditating on the Chakras. These texts form the primary basis of our understanding of Chakra theory and Kundalini yoga today.

Although the existence of the Chakras are accepted in the east it is not so readily recognized in the west.  In fact it is not so uncommon to be greeted with a look of bewilderment at the very mention of the word, followed by utter scepticism and scorn when attempting to explain their purpose.  This, in my opinion,  is largely because the Chakras are mentioned in the Buddhist and Hindu religions which are popular in the east but are never mentioned by orthodox western religion, thus they are not part of our social psyche.  Furthermore, the Chakras are tied into psychological issues; western orthodox religion tends to be primarily based on the worship and and reverence of a God, whereby Buddhism and Hinduism tend to be more psychologically based, therefore in the west, anything concerned with psychology tends to be viewed as part of science and superfluous to spiritual practices.  This being said, knowledge of the Chakras are spreading at an unprecedented level.

The Chakras are, generally speaking, concerned with the heightening of the consciousness in an individual.  The term consciousness is really just another way of referring to an individuals state of mind and therefore the Chakras are tied into psychological issues and the mental development of a being.  They are concerned with helping us attain enlightenment.  We often look at the other species and refer to them as animals in order to affirm our perceived superiority, but in essence we are all beings.  What makes mankind special is our ability to rationalise and understand the existence of things, and in this aspect we truly are unique.  The ability to develop a higher state of mind is an ability only, not an actuality for all.  Developing a higher state of mind means moving beyond a primitive existence but before we can do this we need to advance our understanding on the important issues of life.  It is ignorance that keeps us shackled to a mundane dysfunctional life and it is truth that sets us free.

Each and every one of us posses seven primary Chakras (some claim there are other subsidiary ones)  and through the awakening of their Chakras an individual is said to awaken to the realisation of the eternal absolute reality.  Each Chakra is said to exist within the subtle body, overlaying the physical body. Through modern physiology we can see that these seven Chakras correspond exactly to the seven main nerve ganglia which emanate from the spinal column.  There is even some scientific evidence of their existence, however science has been very slow to take up the gauntlet.

One can look at our existence from two viewpoints.  The first is that everything exists because of some freak cosmological accident, and the second is that we and everything else was predestined to happen (although it does not require the belief in a God).  To believe in the Chakras would require we believe the latter to be true.  If you are looking for a precise, consistent and accurate description of what each Chakra does however, you will be greatly disappointed.  We exist in a new age where everyone and anyone can proclaim to be an authority on a particular spiritual subject, and give there opinions accordingly.  As such there are a number of conflicting viewpoints.  Like everything else in life we are left to decipher out the meaning of events and this results in conflicting viewpoints and this will no doubt continue until science begins to investigate Chakra theory.  However, there are thousands upon thousands of people actively using the Chakras on a regular basis therefore we do know they exist.  Indeed, the Chakras can be activated and the effects experienced by anyone therefore the proof of their existence is there for anyone to witness.

Few understand that Yoga was originally developed to assist in the opening of the Chakras.  These days, Yoga tends to be promoted as simply a physical activity in order to cater for the mass market appeal. It is commonly accepted that when an individual manages to activate all Chakras they will obtain an innate understanding of the eternal absolute reality, and by doing this one becomes enlightened and akin to their own divinity.  I for one can testify to this supposition and I will give my reasons for this during my personal account (see The UM Description).  Obviously developing an understanding on the eternal absolute means developing  knowledge on a number of psychological issues which is why there are several primary Chakras, each associated with a particular aspect of universal knowledge.  The first Chakra is found at the base of the spine and is believed to be related to the survival aspects.  As we ascend up the Chakras we achieve a higher level of consciousness to the point where we voluntarily release ourselves from the bondage of the greed, hate and anger that was originally brought about by our confused state of mind.  When we reach the very top we begin to understand our connectivity to all things and realise the purpose of our existence.

There are basically two type of Chakra activation.  The first is a natural process and is brought about by an individuals advance in consciousness gained through developing an innate understanding of the things around them (i.e. through contemplation).  The second is to force them to activate through Yoga and/or mental exercises.  Although popular in the east, forcing them to activate is a somewhat unnatural process and many who have done so have suffered adverse affects as a result, however, if approached in a mature and controlled way there is no need to encounter difficulties.

This page is concerned with providing you with a rudimentary explanation of the Chakras, you can find a detailed description of each Chakra by clicking on each description listed in the left hand column. With regards to this website I have tried to include both new and old age thought on the subject in order to provide a running account of the current thought processes on this subject.  There has however, been little scientific investigation into the Chakras, therefore we must rely on ancient and new age philosophers for our primary knowledge.  Personally, I find following instruction difficult for I am always looking for explanations with justifications.  I therefore do not necessarily endorse (or contest) everything that is written, I am simply trying to provide an informative and detailed explanation of current Chakra theory.  A more detailed description of how the Chakras tie into the Universal Mind principle and mankind's development can be found in my book: The Universal Mind & I. I have however, provided a brief account of my own personal experiences of the Chakras which I hope will prove beneficial (see The Universal Mind Description).

Human Form with Chakra energy points. Click on chakra location for description.

Mūldhāra

Root Chakra

Svādhishthāna

Hara

Manipūra

The Navel Chakra

Anāhata

The Heart Chakra

The UMO Philosophy Excerpts:

 

Vishunddha

The Throat Chakra

Ānjā

The Forehead Chakra

Sahasrāra

The Crown Chakra

 

 

The Universal Mind Description of the Chakras

Leadbeaters Description

Sankrist Image shown Chakra system

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Ever wondered why the Chakras exist and what purpose they serve in the evolution of mankind? Read the ancient truths that were revealled as a result of full Chakra activation.The Universal Mind & I - Intelligent Spiritual Philosophy.

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18th century Nepalese painting - Source Ballabene's Paranormal Pages