An In-Depth Look At Chakras – Part 1

Chakra in Sanskrit means Wheel.  Most Eastern literature describes seven of the major as colorful wheels of spinning light or energy.  These seven chakras were also called the Seven Lotus Flowers of Life, for each chakra is made like a lotus flower with a certain number of petals.  

The Lotus flower is a universal symbol for life, harmony, purity, health and growth.  This plant was admired by many of the ancient cultures including, the Hindus, Buddhists, Egyptians, and the Japanese, and all traditions at one time or another used the lotus as a symbol of an unfolding life and coming into being.  

The chakras are the recordings of the soul’s journey to enlightenment.  They tell the story of the soul’s beginning (the creation of life) and the many life paths it has taken in order to return to its beginning.  Spirit, the Creator, or Universal Consciousness creates each soul in its own likeness and being.  

We each have the basic framework and knowledge of Universal Consciousness.  Universal Consciousness is Divine Love, Illumination, Presence and, most importantly, Realization.  This framework is contained in the chakras.  As we journey into the physical worlds, lifetime after lifetime, our responsibility is to connect to the Universal Consciousness and slowly unfold this Spiritual knowledge so that we can remember who and what we are, Self, and become one with Spirit again.  This is enlightenment.  This is Self-Realization. 

Chakra energy is an important gateway for spiritual transformation and can be used systematically to achieve higher consciousness.  It is through this holistic healing process that we can discover and understand our life’s purpose, why we exist, and how to use our unique gifts to live wonderful and fulfilling lives.  

According to many Vedic, Buddhist, and Hindu texts, the chakras are nerve plexuses or centers of force and consciousness located within the inner or spiritual bodies of man.  In the physical body there are corresponding nerve plexuses, ganglia and glands reflecting these centers of force.  There are 725 chakras in the physical body and, according to Hindu texts, seven of them are considered the principal chakras.  These seven principal chakras are located along the spinal cord from the base of the spine, or tailbone, to the cranial chamber, or top of the head.

Hindu tradition describes the seven chakras as follows.  

  1. The first chakra, called Muladhara, is located on the coccyx, the base of the spine.  It is linked to our physical needs, support and awareness.  Our physical survival, e.g, money, housing, loving relationships, sexuality, food, heritage, and safety is connected to this chakra.  
  2. The second chakra, called Svadhishthana, is located in the lower abdomen just below the navel.  It is linked to all forms of creativity, sexuality, and feelings of the self and others.
  3. The third chakra, called Manipura, is located on the spine opposite the navel.  It is connected to willpower, personal strength and intelligence.  
  4. The fourth chakra called Anahata, is located on the spine opposite the heart.  It is connected to insight, knowingness and healing.  
  5. The fifth chakra, called Vissudha, is located on the spine opposite the throat.  It is linked to selflessness, love and expression.  
  6. The sixth chakra, called Ajna, is located between the brows.  It is linked to Divine Sight and is our connection to clairvoyance.  
  7. Finally, the seventh chakra, called Sahasrara is located on the crown of the head.  It is connected to consciousness and the integration of the spiritual with the physical. 

Copyright © 2008, 2009 by Shirlyn Wright

Note:  An In-Depth Look At Chakras – Part 2  will appear on Monday, July 6, 2009.