An Ancient System
The origin of the chakras can be traced back to ancient roots. The very earliest mention of the chakras can be found in the Vedas, which are the oldest collection of writings in India. It is said that these ancient writings go back even further in time to the oral teachings of the Aryan race.
Moving on from the Vedas, the chakras are next mentioned in the Upanishads, (Yoga Upanishads). They are then mentioned in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
The chakras are intimately connected to the origin of Yoga. The word Yoga, means to yoke or to bind – a union with the body/mind and divine consciousness. It is also a method of discipline. A male who practices Yoga is called a Yogi. A female who practices Yoga is called a Yogini.
The Chakras (cakras) and the Kundalini are a significant aspect of the Tantric tradition of Yoga. The word Tantra, means to loom. There are many branches of the Tantric tradition of Yoga and each branch has different chakra systems aligned with them, all differing in the number of chakras and other significant factors depending on the style of teaching.
This large variety of chakra systems are therefore perfectly suited to their own nature and style of personal teaching/study. One is no more important than another and all are correct in their own right. This tells us that there is more than the traditional seven chakras that we in the West have adopted as the original chakra system. The seven main chakras that the Western World came to know about originated from Pūrṇānanda Yati’s 16th-century work, written in Sanskrit. A translation of this work was done by John Woodroffe, aka, (Author Avalon) in 1918, for the Western perspective.
Arthur Avalon (Western Perspective)
Arthur Avalon, was an Englishman who translated the Tantric texts and brought knowledge of the Chakra System to the Western World. His fascinating book is called, The Serpent Power. (Published in 1919). From this work came the likes of Theosophist C.W. Leadbeater’s ‘The Chakras,’ (1927). However, check out this fascinating article, which brings insight into how the chakras have been widely misinterpreted in the Western part of the World. It is called; The Real Story of The Chakras
What is completely fascinating to me about this article is that the author Christopher Wallis, mentions that the main function of the chakra system is to use sound/mantra and deity-energy associated with each one. This is very similar in the way that I work with the chakras from a non-yogic perspective, using sound/mantras via affirmations and prayers, and also through working with deity-energy in the form of archangels and their divine light frequencies. It has helped me to correlate a link between my own life’s work and this aspect of chakra yogic research. This realization can be perceived that all paths lead to the same conclusion – the expansion of consciousness and evolution of the human soul.
The article by Chris Wallis, is critical of Anodea Judith’s work on the chakras, especially of her classic book Wheels of Life, mentioning that her work (mainly psychological aspects) has no basis in the original Indian sources. While I cannot personally comment on this as I do not know her particular style of work with the chakras, I do however know the work of Barbara Ann Brennan a former NASA physicist, and can personally recommend her excellent books, Hands of Light, and Light Emerging.
The subtle energy work that Barbara Brennan has introduced to the West in her years of studies and writing is extremely valuable and she explains intricate information about the etheric body in which the etheric chakras exist, which connect to the nerve ganglia in the physical body. She explains how they do in fact have a direct correlation with the nervous system, endocrine system and blood. (I am in no way affiliated with Barbara Ann Brennan, or have personally met or studied with her. My comments are of a personal nature/opinion after reading/studying her insightful, helpful, and knowledgeable books).
My Own Life’s Work with the Chakras
I am passionate about working with the subtle energies of the spiritual and energetic anatomy (spiritual energy medicine). My specific style of work is spiritually tailored due to my life long connection with God’s Holy Angels and my personal alignment with the power of prayer. My life purpose is geared towards the evolution of the human soul and the ascension of consciousness. I personally believe that all sincere paths of healing lead to God – the One True Source of Light, and that no specific style of healing work is any greater or more important than another as they all have their unique value. Also, as we all exist at different degrees of consciousness, these numerous healing paths offer a common sense approach to meet a human soul exactly where they in their conscious awareness. Please visit my bio page for more information.
I have personally received and so have my clients/students, wonderful results from my healing work with the chakras, with the archangels and their divine light frequencies (transferring subtle/divine energies), and with the power of prayers and affirmations, that all help to evolve consciousness, improve vitality, bring greater clarity of mind, empower creative expression, and invoke the soul’s radiant joy. You can check out the endorsements from other healing experts/authors, as well as from my clients/students on my website.
Chakra Systems from Around the World (Not just a Yogic Perspective)
Multiple chakra systems can be found in numerous cultures and traditions around the world. Not only are there many different systems of chakras, there are also different numbers of chakras, and different disciplines of teachings. It is unenlightened (or dogmatic) to assume that only the Yogic perspective on chakras exists and is ultimately the most important. Universal knowledge reveals chakra insight and wisdom delivered through many unique sources – it is a mystical/spiritual experience.
While it is clearly important to honor and respect ancient tradition, there is also the dynamic evolution of the chakra systems to be considered. Rudolf Steiner considered the chakra system to be dynamic and evolving. To claim that one system holds greater precedence over another, or that it is the only system that is the true/real one, is to be spiritually ignorant, judgmental, and elitist. All systems are relative to their personal aspects of study/teachings, their culture, and their evolutionary progression. All systems are equally important for the specific needs of the individual student/practitioner/follower.
You do not need to be a Yogi/Yogini
It is important for us in the West to also study and develop the chakra system(s) that are adaptable and suitable for our cultural and evolutionary development and lifestyle. In the Western world, you certainly do not need to be a yogi/yogini to perform healing work or activate spiritual growth with the chakras. To thine own self be true – follow your personal path of soul evolution and spiritual study to help you: Amplify the light within you, listen to the voice of your heart, and let your soul sing. Shine your beautiful light and you will naturally help to lighten up the entire world!