Exploring the Cakras

Ενημερώθηκε: 22 Σεπτ 2020

Cakras (where C is pronounced CH) came into our knowledge as a vast theory to explore the energetic body very much based in eastern traditional religions and ancient cultures. They were first mentioned in the Upanishads around 800BC. The word c(h)akrum has a Sanskrit origin and literally means ‘wheel’.

The way it’s been introduced to the West in the 19th century has something mystical and esoteric that has to do with the popularity of Theosophy in those times…and there you have the ‘New Age’ clairvoyants, psychic visionaries, auras readers, anyone who has developed these faculties is able to perceive these subtle energetic fields. I guess there is a slight difference with the Tantric view on Cakras as mental exercises and observation of own subtle body. In any case, there is an emphasis placed on the health of the C akras and consequently our overall health. They are connected with health, in its subtlest form, since they are associated with glands and their secreted hormones, organs and physiological functions. But if we want to be more aligned with their origin, it is better to imagine the nadis, another Sanskrit word, a complicated network that contains life force, thousands of tiny little lines that surround each one of us. The places where these nadis are produced or intersect are the Cakras. In most traditions there are 7 Cakras and they are located along the spine from its base to the top of the head. This circuit of energy (or Prana) flows constantly in our bodies and when we are healthy the flow of energy is smooth.

When we start working with the Cakras we become more aware of how past experiences affect us and how the great deal of information that we get from the present environment correspond to the 5 elements, the 5 senses, the actions of the senses, the organs, the glands, the fragrances. Thus they are worth thinking about. They are worth thinking about, because we are made of matter and that matter is composed of energy which is relentlessly on the move… This movement produces on a physical level a spectacular arrangement of tissues and emanates various electromagnetic frequencies of light which form the human energetic field. So we all agree that there is some energy pulsating and producing while we are alive…

Cakras literature differs from author to author and tradition to tradition, people depending on where they live and their era have different perspectives. So one could approach this fine subject in many ways, depending on what they are looking for, making interpretations and conceptualisations and see how they feel, what they see. I was reading somewhere lately (I can’t remember where..) that the symbols that we have for Cakras today were created for teaching purposes and they have chosen areas of the body where there is more metabolic activity (such as heart). I can’t be in the position to know that, something inside me tells me that it makes sense therefore I can only describe the Cakras as they were instructed and formed using colours, lights, flowers as mental images, influencing how the energy inside the body is flowing. When the mind is directed and absorbed into these images and visualisations, the movement of life force is changing direction and patterns, thus we are influencing positively our mental and physical health. I like to think about setting our body and bodily systems in motion, changing their behaviour while corresponding to our visualisations, refreshing their energy, and from this change and growth, healing may occur. However, talking about healing, I think there is a great deal of responsibility when these techniques are used and channelled in a particular direction in order to heal. People would do anything to heal themselves, so extra caution is needed to find the right approach depending on lifestyle and needs. When one is referring to ‘healing’ is it the case of ‘I just have a slight headache’? or ‘I have a severe mental disorder’? The movement of subtle energies is something that it can not been seen clearly at least from the majority of us, so we can not see the whole picture, but part of the picture. These techniques can bring more BALANCE in our everyday lives, however to HEAL (healing from maybe a chronic mental or physical issue..) is a different story. Loads of caution is needed there. Although the Cakra theory could be considered from many an elusive subject, I think the reference to them in every action is quite immediate. They are referring to movement of emotions, the movement of inherent embodied human life, the vibrations from our actions, our feelings, the connection with each other through the conditioning of the mind and habitual patterns we are attached to. They are so real and direct to all our experiences as long as we are open to new experiences, leaving behind the conditioned thinking and beliefs. And yes, when you are open to it, you might feel the vibration of the thousand – petalled lotus sitting upon your head..:-)

The majority of the traditions are talking about 7 major Cakras but this is not the same for all eastern traditions. Tibetans specify 6 Cakras, whereas others more than 7. In Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, the Cakras are associated with the 5 elements that make up the world (the 5 bhutas); earth (prithivi), water (apas/jala), fire (tejas/agni), air (vayu) and ether (akasha). As we move up the spine to the higher Cakras, the levels of energy are becoming more and more subtle.

The Seven basic Cakras that you find more in books and traditions are the following, starting from the base of the spine ~ to be continued…