Chakras, in Hondu metaphysical tradition and other belief systems, are centres of Prana, life force, or vital energy. Chakras correspond to vital points in the physical body i.e. major plexuses of arteries, veins and nerves. Texts and teachings present different numbers of chakras.

Their name derives from the Sanscrit word for ”wheel” or “turning”.

The concept of chakra features in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism.

While breath channels (nadis) of yogic practices had already been discussed in the classical Upanishads, it was not until the eighth-century Buddhist HevajraTantra and Caryāgiti, that hierarchies of chakras were introduced.

By examining the functions of these great force centers, we can clearly cognize our own position on the spiritual path and better understand our fellow man.

Tones and Frequencies

Stella Gateway is 6th dimensional, it’s tone =  Do +3

The Causal Chakra is 5th dimensional, it’s tone =  Do + 2

The Soul Star is 4th dimensional, it’s tone =  Do + 1

The Crown Chakra, it’s tone =   Do

The Third Eye, it’s tone =   Ti

The Throat Chakra, it’s tone =   La

The Heart Chakra, it’s tone =   So  

The Solar Plexus Chakra, it’s tone =   Fa

The Navel Chakra, it’s tone =   Mi

The Sacral Chakra, it’s tone =   Re  

The Base Chakra, it’s tone =   Do

The Earth Star, it’s tone =   Do –

Hindu Tantra

 Kundalini

Thousand Petalled Crown Chakra, Two Petalled Brow Chakra, Sixteen Petalled Throat Chakra (Nepal, 17th Century)

David Gordon White traces the modern popularity of the “Hindu” seven chakra system to Arthur Avalons The Serpent Power, which was Avalon’s translation of a late work, the Satcakranirupana. In actuality, there are several models and systems present in Hindu tantric literature, as White documents. Kundalini is a feature of Hindu chakra systems.

Buddhist Tantra

Vajrayana

Chakras play an important role in the main surviving branch of Indian Vajrayana, Tibetan Buddhism. They play a pivotal role in completion stage practices, where an attempt is made to bring the subtle winds of the body into the central channel, to realise the clear light of bliss and emptiness, and to attain Buddahood.

The Vajrayana system states that the central channel (avadhūtī) begins at the point of the third eye, curves up to the crown of the head, and then goes straight down to the lower body. There are two side channels, the rasanā and lalanā, which start at their respective nostrils and then travel down to the lower body. The apāna vāyu governs the lower terminations of the three channels. The lower end of the central channel ends in the rectum. The lower end of the lalanā ends in the urinary tract. The lower end of the rasanā channel emits semen.

The side channels run parallel to the center channel, except at locations such as the navel, heart, throat and crown (i.e. chakras) where the two side channels twist around the central channel. At the navel, throat and crown, there is a twofold knot caused by each side channel twisting once around the central channel. At the heart wheel there is a sixfold knot, where each side channel twists around three times. An important part of completion stage practice involves loosening and undoing these knots.

Within the chakras exist the ‘subtle drops’. The white drop exists in the crown, the red drop exists in the navel, and at the heart exists the indestructible red and white drop, which leaves the body at the time of death. In addition, each chakra has a number of ‘spokes’ or ‘petals’, which branch off into thousands of subtle channels running to every part of the body, and each contains a Sanskrit syllable.

By focusing on a specific chakra (while often holding the breath) the subtle winds enter the central channel. The chakra at which they enter is important in order to realise specific practices. For example, focusing on the subnavel area is important for the practice of tummo, or inner fire. Meditating on the heart chakra is important for realising clear light. Meditating on the throat chakra is important for lucid dreaming and the practices of dream yoga. And meditating on the crown chakra is important for consciousness projection, either to another world, or into another body.

A result of energetic imbalance among the chakras is an almost continuous feeling of dissatisfaction. When the heart chakra is agitated, people lose touch with feelings and sensations, and that breeds the sense of dissatisfaction. That leads to looking outside for fulfilment. When people live in their heads, feelings are secondary; they are interpretations of mental images that are fed back to the individual. When awareness is focused on memories of past experiences and mental verbalisations, the energy flow to the head chakra increases and the energy flow to the heart chakra lessens. Without nurturing feelings of the heart a subtle form of anxiety arises which results in the self reaching out for experience. When the throat chakra settles and energy is distributed evenly between the head and the heart chakras, one is able to truly contact one’s senses and touch real feelings.

Bön

Chakras, according to the Himalayan Bönpo tradition, influence the quality of experience, because movement of vayu cannot be separated from experience. Each of the six major chakras are linked to experiential qualities of one of the six realms of existence.

A modern teacher, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, uses a computer analogy: main chakras are like hard drives. Each hard drive has many files. One of the files is always open in each of the chakras, no matter how “closed” that particular chakra may be. What is displayed by the file shapes experience.

The tsa lung practices such as those embodied in Trul Khor lineages open channels so lung (Lung is a Tibetan term cognate with vayu) may move without obstruction. Yoga opens chakras and evokes positive qualities associated with a particular chakra. In the hard drive analogy, the screen is cleared and a file is called up that contains positive, supportive qualities. A seed syllable (Sanscrit bija) is used both as a password that evokes the positive quality and the armour that sustains the quality.

Tantric practice is said to eventually transform all experience into bliss. The practice aims to liberate from negative conditioning and leads to control over perception and cognition.

Tenzin wangyal Rinpoche teaches a version of the Six Locas sadhana which works with the chakra system.

Qigong, the Dantian

Qigong also relies on a similar model of the human body as an energy system, except that it involves the circulation of  qi (ki, chi) energy. The Qi energy, equivalent to the Hindu Prana, flows through the energy channels called meridians, equivalent to the nadis, but two other energies are also important: Jing, or primordial essence, and Shen, or spirit energy.

In the principle circuit of qi, called the Microcosmic orbit, energy rises up a main meridian along the spine, but also comes back down the front torso. Throughout its cycle it enters various  dantians (elixir fields) which act as furnaces, where the types of energy in the body (jing, qi and shen) are progressively refined.  These dantians play a very similar role to that of chakras. The number of dantians varies depending on the system; the navel dantian is the most well-known (it is called the Hara in Japan), but there is usually a Dantian located at the heart and between the eyebrows. The lower dantian at or below the navel transforms essence, or jing, into qi energy. The middle dantian in the middle of the chest transforms qi energy into shen, or spirit, and the higher dantian at the level of the forehead (or at the top of the head), transforms Shen into wuji, infinite space of void.

Christianity, Hesychasm

A completely separate contemplative movement within the Eastern Orthodox church is  Hesychasm , a form of Christian meditation. Comparisons have been made between the Hesychastic centres of prayer and the position of the chakras.  Particular emphasis is placed upon the heart area. However, there is no talk about these centres as having any sort of metaphysical existence. Far more than in any of the cases discussed above, the centres are simply places to focus the concentration during prayer.

 Western esotericism

In Western culture, a concept similar to that of prana can be traced back as far as the 18th century’s Franz Anton Mesmer, who used “animal magnetism” to treat disease.

However it was only in 1927 that the shakta theory of seven main chakras, that has become most popular in the West, was introduced, largely through the translation of two Indian texts: the Sat-Cakra-Nirupana, and the Padaka-Pancaka, by Sir John Woodroffe, alias Arthur Avalon, in a book titled The Serpent Power.

This book is extremely detailed and complex, and later the ideas were developed into the predominant Western view of the chakras by C.W. Leadbeater in his book The Chakras. Many of the views which directed Leadbeater’s understanding of the chakras were influenced by previous theosophist authors, in particular Johann Georg Gichtel, a disciple of Jakob Böhme , and his book Theosophia Practica (1696), in which Gitchtel directly refers to inner force centres, a concept reminiscent of the chakras.

 Endocrine system

The primary importance and level of existence of chakras is posited to be in the psyche. However, there are those who believe that chakras have a physical manifestation as well.  The author Gary Osborn, for instance, has described the chakras as metaphysical counterparts to the endocrine glands, while Anodea Judith noted a marked similarity between the positions of the two and the roles described for each. Stephen Sturgess also links the lower six chakras to specific nerve plexuses along the spinal cord as well as glands. C.W. Leadbeater associated the Anja chakra with the pineal gland, which is a part of the endocrine system. Edgar Cayce said that the seven churches of the Book of Revelation are endocrine glands. However, these associations have never been scientifically verified.

Spectrum of light

A development in Western practices dating back to the 1940s is to associate each one of the seven chakras to a given colour and a corresponding crystal. For example, the chakra in the forehead is associated with the colour purple, so to try and cure a headache a person might apply a purple stone to the forehead. This idea has proven highly popular and has been integrated by all but a few practitioners.

Mercier introduces the relation of colour energy to the science of the light spectrum:

As humans, we exist within the 49th Octave of Vibration of the electromagnetic light spectrum. Below this range are barely visible radiant heat, then invisible infrared, television and radiowaves, sound and brain waves; above it is barely visible ultraviolet, then the invisible frequencies of chemicals and perfumes, followed by x-rays, gamma rays, radium rays and unknown cosmic rays.

Understanding existence and physical form as an interpretation of light energy through the physical eyes will open up greater potential to explore the energetic boundaries of color, form and light that are perceived as immediate reality. Indian Yogic teachings assign to the seven major chakras specific qualities, such as color of influence (from the 7 rays of spectrum light), elements (such as earth, air, water & ether), body sense (such as touch, taste, and smell), and relation to an endocrine gland.

Description of the chakras

Higher Chakras

The Stellar Gateway

The Stellar Gateway’s function is to receive, filter and harmonize the extra-physical bodies with the energy from the stars, or other Solar Logos. This is approximately twelve inches (30 cm) above the top of your head. This chakra is called the “grand portal” because it is believed by some mystics, magicians and yogis to provide access for soul travel into other parts of this universe, into alternate universes, to higher planes of existence, to the past or future history of our own timeline or alternate timelines via time travel forward or backward in time, or to other cosmoses.

Soul Star

The element of this sacred grail functions as the receptacle of higher energies and it is responsible for the expression of higher wisdom, as a primarily element of human essence. This chakra contains the energetic connections necessary so the individual can manifest advanced spiritual skills, such as travel beyond the limits of time and space, teleportation, bi-location, telekinesis and instantaneous precipitation of thoughts into matter. Activation of the Soul Star allows us to understand the interconnectedness of all things and can give us feelings of unconditional love and compassion, for the dark as well as the light, the good and the bad.

Causal Chakra

This is located behind the centre of the  back of the head. This chakra connects you to the Spiritual Realm. The left Causal body Chakra sits outside of the left side of the head, above the Crown Center, and represents what is left of the negative Ego. It controls the right side of the physical body. This Center is the source of desire for harmony. The right Causal body Chakra sits outside of the right side of the head and above the Crown Center. It represents what is left of the Ego. It controls the left side of the physical body and regulates creative talents. It is the Center where love and compassion originate. This centre enables the individual to achieve advanced out-of-body projection, etheric projection, spiritual perception, and spiritual wisdom. I use the word spiritual here because these abilities and ideas are larger than the self and the earth and is where the ability of remote viewing resides.

 Sahasrara: The Crown Chakra
 Sahasrara, which means 1000 petalled lotus, is generally considered to be the chakra of pure consciousness, within which there is neither object nor subject. When the female kundalini Shakti energy rises to this point, it unites with the male Shiva energy, and a state of liberating samadhi is attained. Symbolized by a lotus with one thousand multi-coloured petals, it is located either at the crown of the head, or above the crown of the head. Sahasrara is represented by the colour white and it involves such issues as inner wisdom and the death of the body.Its role may be envisioned somewhat similarly to that of the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones to communicate to the rest of the endocrine system and also connects to the central nervous system via the hypothalamus. According to author Gary Osborn, the thalamus is thought to have a key role in the physical basis of consciousness and is the ‘Bridal Chamber’ mentioned in the Gnostic scriptures. Sahasrara’s inner aspect deals with the release of karma, physical action with meditation, mental action with universal consciousness and unity, and emotional action with “beingness.”
In Tibetan buddhism, the point at the crown of the head is represented by a white circle, with 32 downward pointing petals. It is of primary importance in the performance of phowa, or consciousness projection after death, in order to obtain rebirth in a Pure Land. Within this chakra is contained the White drop, or Bodhicitta, which is the essence of masculine energy.

Ajna: The Brow Chakra

Ajna is symbolised by a lotus with two petals, and corresponds to the colours violet, indigo or deep blue. It is at this point that the two side nadis Ida and Pingala are said to terminate and merge with the central channel Sushumna, signifying the end of duality. The seed syllable for this chakra is the syllable OM, and the presiding deity is Ardhanarishvara , who is a half male, half female Shiva/Shakti. The Shakti goddess of Ajna is called Hakini.Ajna (along with Bindu), is known as the third eye chakra and is linked to the pineal gland which may inform a model of its envisioning. The pineal gland is a light sensitive gland that produces the hormone melatonin which regulates sleep and waking up. Ajna’s key issues involve balancing the higher and lower selves and trusting inner guidance. Ajna’s inner aspect relates to the access of intuition. Mentally, Ajna deals with visual consciousness. Emotionally, Ajna deals with clarity on an intuitive level. (Note: some believe that the pineal and pituitary glands should be exchanged in their relationship to the Crown and Brow chakras, based on the description in Arthur Avalon’s book on kundalini called Serpent Power or empirical research.)In Tibetan Buddhism, this point is actually the end of the central channel, since the central channel rises up from the sexual organ to the crown of the head, and then curves over the head and down to the third eye. While the central channel finishes here, the two side channels continue down to the two nostrils.

Vishuddha: The Throat Chakra

 Vishuddha  (also Vishuddhi) is depicted as a silver crescent within a white circle, with 16 light or pale blue, or turquoise petals. The seed mantra is Ham, and the residing deity is Panchavaktra shiva, with 5 heads and 4 arms, and the Shakti is Shakini.Vishuddha may be understood as relating to communication and growth through expression. This chakra is paralleled to the thyroid, a gland that is also in the throat and which produces thyroid hormone, responsible for growth and maturation. Physically, Vishuddha governs communication, emotionally it governs independence, mentally it governs fluent thought, and spiritually, it governs a sense of security In Tibetan buddhism, this chakra is red, with 16 upward pointing petals. It plays an important role in Dream Yoga, the art of lucid dreaming.

Anahata: The Heart Chakra

 Anahata, or Anahata-puri, or padma-sundara is symbolised by a circular flower with twelve green petals. (See also heartmind.) Within it is a yantra of two intersecting triangles, forming a hexagram, symbolising a union of the male and female. The seed mantra is Yam, the presiding deity is Ishana Rudra Shiva, and the Shakti is Kakini.Anahata is related to the thymus, located in the chest. The thymus is an element of the immune system as well as being part of the endocrine system. It is the site of maturation of the T cells responsible for fending off disease and may be adversely affected by stress. Anahata is related to the colours green or pink. Key issues involving Anahata involve complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection and well-being. Physically Anahata governs circulation, emotionally it governs unconditional love for the self and others, mentally it governs passion, and spiritually it governs devotion.
In Tibetan Buddhism, this centre is extremely important, as being the home of the indestructible red/white drop, which carries our consciousness to our next lives. It is described as being white, circular, with eight downward pointing petals, and the seed syllable Hum inside. During mantra recitation in the lower tantras, a flame is imagined inside of the heart, from which the mantra rings out. Within the higher tantras, this chakra is very important for realising the Clear Light.

Manipura: The Solar Plexus Chakra

 Manipura or manipuraka is symbolised by a downward pointing triangle with ten petals, along with the color yellow. The seed syllable is Ram, and the presiding deity is Braddha Rudra, with Lakini as the Shakti.Manipura is related to the metabolic and digestive systems. Manipura is believed to correspond to Islets of Langerhans , which are groups of cells in the pancreas, as well as the outer adrenal glands and the adrenal cortex. These play a valuable role in digestion, the conversion of food matter into energy for the body. The colour that corresponds to Manipura is yellow. Key issues governed by Manipura are issues of personal power, fear, anxiety, opinion-formation, introversion, and transition from simple or base emotions to complex. Physically, Manipura governs digestion, mentally it governs personal power, emotionally it governs expansiveness, and spiritually, all matters of growth.

Swadhisthana: The Sacral Chakra

 Swadhisthana, Svadisthana or adhishthana is symbolised by a white lotus within which is a crescent moon, with six vermillion, or orange petals. The seed mantra is Vam, and the presiding deity is Brahma, with the Shakti being Rakini (or Chakini). The animal associated is the crocodile of Varuna.The Sacral Chakra is located in the sacrum (hence the name) and is considered to correspond to the testes or the ovaries that produce the various sex hormones involved in the reproductive cycle. Swadisthana is also considered to be related to, more generally, the genitourinary system and the adrenals. The key issues involving Swadisthana are relationships, violence, addictions, basic emotional needs, and pleasure. Physically, Swadisthana governs reproduction, mentally it governs creativity, emotionally it governs joy, and spiritually it governs enthusiasm.

Muladhara: The Root Chakra

 Muladhara or root chakra is symbolised by a lotus with four petals and the color red. This center is located at the base of the spine in the coccygeal  region. It is said to relate to the gonads and the adrenal medulla, responsible for the fight or flight response when survival is under threat.Muladhara is related to instinct, security, survival and also to basic human potentiality. Physically, Muladhara governs sexuality, mentally it governs stability, emotionally it governs sensuality, and spiritually it governs a sense of security. Muladhara has a relation to the sense of smell.
This chakra is where the three main nadis separate and begin their upward movement. Dormant Kundalini rests here, wrapped three and a half times around the black Svayambhu linga, the lowest of three obstructions to her full rising (also known as knots or granthis). It is the seat of the red bindu, the female drop (which in Tibetan vajrayana is located at the navel chakra).
The seed syllable is Lam (pronounced lum), the deity is Ganesh, and the Shakti is Dakini. The associated animal is the elephant.

Lower chakras

Atala

This chakra is located in the hips, it governs trepidation and passion. The opposing attribute to balance this chakra is governed by the right to be sexual. This controls the state of mind called fear, which is truly a bottomless abyss. Someone in this consciousness fears death, fears life and fears of other people. This center is also the home of lust and promiscuity.

Vitala

Located in the thighs, it governs anger and resentment. The opposing attribute to balance this chakra is forgiveness. Here anger predominates, and burning resentment. Anger comes from despair, confusion, frustration or lack of understanding. People in the consciousness of this chakra, centered in the thighs, are always wrathful, mad at the world, even angry at God.

Sutala

Located in the knees, it governs jealousy. The opposing attribute to balance this chakra is the right to be self-confident. This chakra dominates jealousy, wanting what one can’t have. Jealousy is a feeling of inadequacy, inferiority and helplessness. People in sutala consciousness covet everything, often deny the existence of God and are contentiously combative.

Talatala

Translated as ‘under the bottom level’, it is located in the calves, and it is a state of prolonged confusion and instinctive wilfulness. The opposing attribute to balance this chakra is the right to be conscious. Disorder dominates here, giving rise to instinctive willfulness: to get rather than give, to push others around and pursue materialistic advancement over all else. Greed and deceit prevail in this dog-eat-dog state of mind, centered in the calves.

Rasatala

Located in the ankles, it is the centre of selfishness and pure animal nature. The opposing attribute to balance this chakra is the right to be charitable. This chakra of the ankles is the true home of the animal nature. Unmitigated selfishness prevails, of seeing to the well-being of “number one” first. The suffering of others is of no concern. Jealousy, anger and fear are intense, even high, states of consciousness.

Mahatala

Located in the feet, this is the dark realm ‘without conscience’. The opposing attribute to balance this chakra is the right to be expansive and unimpeded. This is the realm of consciencelessness, or inner blindness to the effect of one’s actions, of negativity and deep depression. Those living in this chakra of the feet steal freely, taking what they justify as theirs anyway, feeling that the world “owes them a living.

Patala

Located in the soles of the feet, this is the realm of malice, murder, torture and hatred, and in Hindu mythology it borders on the realm of Naraka, or Hell. The opposing attribute to balance this chakra is the right to be empathetic and understanding. Here, in the soles of the feet, lies the abode of destructiveness, revenge, killing for the sake of killing, torture and hatred expressed through harming the properties, minds, emotions and bodies of others. Hatred and scorn abide here. Malice reigns supreme. Reason seldom reaches this state of mind.

An easy way to learn more about Chakras is by watch the fabulous Spirit Science, grab a cuppa and get comfy!

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