- esoteric anatomy
- Agamas or tantras (bodies of sceripture)
- Kundalini or "rising upward- Yoga practice
- Emanationist theory -Kundalini energy unleashed at creation -coiled and sleeping at the base of the spine--- Kundalini Yoga arouses it and it rises back up through the increasingly subtle chakras until union with G-d in the Sahasrara chakra They are therefore part of an emanationist theory, like that of the kabbalah in the west, lataif-e-sitta in Sufism or neo-platonism.
Chakra (derived from the Sanskrit cakraṃ चक्रं, Phonetic
pronunciation "chukr", Pali: chakka, Tibetan: khorlo, Malay: cakera) is a Sanskrit word
that translates as wheel or disc.
Chakra is a
concept referring to wheel-like vortices which, according to traditional Indian
medicine, are believed to exist in the surface of the etheric double of man. The
Chakras are said to be "force centers" or whorls of energy permeating,
from a point on the physical body, the layers of the subtle bodies in an
ever-increasing fan-shaped formation (the fans make the shape of a love heart).
Rotating vortices of subtle matter, they are considered the
focal points for the reception and transmission of energies. Seven major
chakras or energy centers (also understood as wheels of light) are generally believed to
exist, located within the subtle body. Practitioners
and New Age
Spirituality believe the chakras interact with the body's ductless endocrine
glands and lymphatic system by feeding in good bio-energies and disposing of
Much of the
original information on Chakras comes from the "Upanishads", which are
difficult to date because they are believed to have been passed down orally for
approximately a thousand years before being written down for the first time
between 1200–900 BCE.
Bhattacharyya's review of Tantric history says that the word chakra is used to mean several different things in the Sanskrit sources:
"Circle", used in a variety of senses, symbolizing endless rotation of shakti.
A circle of people. In rituals there are different cakra-sādhanā in which adherents assemble and perform rites. According to the Niruttaratantra, chakras in the sense of assemblies are of 5 types.
The term chakra also is used to denote yantras or mystic diagrams, variously known as trikoṇa-cakra, aṣṭakoṇa-cakra, etc.
Different "nerve plexus within the body".
In Buddhist literature the Sanskrit term cakra (Pali cakka) is used in a different sense of "circle", referring to a Buddhist conception of the 4 circles or states of existence in which gods or men may find themselves.
The study of the Chakras is central to many different therapies and disciplines. Subtle energy is explored through practices such as aromatherapy, mantras, Reiki, hands-on healing, flower essences, radionics, sound therapy, color/light therapy, and crystal/gem therapy, to name a few. Acupuncture, shiatsu, tai chi and chi kung focus on balancing the energetic meridians that are an integral part of the chakra system, according to Vajrayana and Tantric Shakta theories. Several models will be explored in the following sub-headings.
In Hinduism, the concept of chakras is part of a complex of ideas related to esoteric anatomy. These ideas occur most often in the class of texts that are called Āgamas or Tantras. This is a large body of scripture, most of which is rejected by orthodox Brahmins.
There are many variations on these concepts in the Sanskrit source texts. In earlier texts there are various systems of chakras and nadis, with varying connections between them. Various traditional sources list 5, 6, 7, or 8 chakras. Over time, one system of 6 or 7 chakras along the body's axis became the dominant model, adopted by most schools of yoga. This particular system may have originated in about the 11th century AD, and rapidly became widely popular. It is in this model where Kundalini is said to "rise" upward, piercing the various centers until reaching the crown of the head, resulting in union with the Divine.
The chakras are described in the tantric texts the Sat-Cakra-Nirupana, and the Padaka-Pancaka, in which they are described as emanations of consciousness from Brahman, an energy emanating from the spiritual which gradually turns concrete, creating these distinct levels of chakras, and which eventually finds its rest in the Muladhara chakra. They are therefore part of an emanationist theory, like that of the kabbalah in the west, lataif-e-sitta in Sufism or neo-platonism. The energy that was unleashed in creation, called the Kundalini, lies coiled and sleeping at the base of the spine. It is the purpose of the tantric or kundalini forms of yoga to arouse this energy, and cause it to rise back up through the increasingly subtle chakras, until union with God is achieved in the Sahasrara chakra at the crown of the head.
VAJRAYANA AND TANTRIC BUDDHIST CONCEPTIONS COME IN THE NEXT POST