The theory of chakras emerges in the tradition of Tantric Yoga, which flourished between 600 and 1300 CE. After the year 900 every one of the many branches of the tradition articulated a different chakra system. Five-chakra systems, six-chakra systems, seven, nine, ten, fifteen, twenty-one, twenty-eight and more chakras are taught. Today’s system of 7 basic chakras, which is used by western yogis, became dominant after the 16th century.
Wheel of energy
The word chakra literally means “a wheel of energy” in Sanskrit. The chakras are concentrated areas in the body that are responsible for the flow of energy. They are input and output at the same time and affect the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our lives, whether or not we are aware of them.
To date, the common belief is that there are 114 chakras throughout the body, including 7 main ones, located along the spine, right up to the top of the head. Each of the seven chakras has a front and back aspect to it. According to some eastern sources, the front aspect of the chakra is what is given outward from the person, and the back aspect of the chakra is what is being received by the person.
Related to these chakras are the so-called Nadis, or translated from Sanskrit – Rivers. They are responsible for transferring energy from the chakras to the rest of the body. In the eastern teachings, there are three such channels in which the energy flows — the Sushumna, the Ida and the Pingala.
As energy centers, the chakras collect, store and distribute energy. In ancient writings they are defined as a map of our life journey — growing from basic needs to spirituality.
Kundalini — the blood of the etheric body
Kundalini is the energy that passes through the chakras. It could be described as the blood of our etheric body. The root chakra, located at the bottom of the spine, is where the kundalini energy resides, according to most teachings.
As the kundalini is released, a cleansing on all levels begins to become evident. Sometimes physical ailments or clearing of ailments occurs, emotional upsets or clearing of upsets occurs, and mental changes in the way a person thinks may occur, including the healing of depression. The kundalini will most likely also bring up flashes of past events, which can be cleared from the emotional-memory banks, especially if they are traumatic in nature. All who experience kundalini cleansing will change the ways in which they think, feel and act.
One who has completely awakened the kundalini would be very vibrant physically, emotionally harmonious, and mentally clear.
There are many studies examining the potential existence of an etheric body. Dr. Walter Kilner has great contribution in this area as he managed to photograph the first three layers of the human aura. Dr. Semyon Davidovich Kirlian later invented Kirlian photography — a technique which involves a high-frequency electric field that causes the objects to emit colours and be bio-luminescent in the photos.
Metaphysicians continue to study our etheric body, observing the evolutionary changes. Initially, there might have been just 4 chakras, increasing to 7 over time. We evolve not just physically but mentally and spiritually, too.
And as the great Nikola Tesla says: “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence. If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”