Well, I'm assuming there are a lot of people here already familiar with the concept and theory of the chakra system. It is personally a system of spirituality that I apply to my own workings and have found it to be exceptional in promoting spiritual and emotional growth. My hope here today is to write a brief yet comprehensive guide to understanding the chakra system, so that anyone, be they experienced in meditation or completely new to the idea, can easily apply these theories to their own workings.
To begin, I would first like to introduce the key aspects of the chakra system, what it does and how it works. The term chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel, or turning. Chakra are hubs, or centers of energy. When multiple nadi, or channels, that allow the vital essence of the soul to flow merge into a single point, this point becomes known as a chakra. Within the physical form, there are a total of seven primary chakra, with a multitude of connecting points, the number of these secondary points differs from text to text but usually presented as being in the thousands. Just as the human circulatory system utilizes veins and arteries, the chakra system is similarly complex in that there are various channels in which spiritual essence can flow; these pathways are known as nadi, there are three primary pathways: The Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. The Ida is comparative the feminine energies of the spirit, while the Pingala is attributed the male energies. The Sushumna is the central channel that connects the lowest base chakra, the root, to the highest physical level chakra the crown along the spinal column, in some traditions it is said to continue further into the third eye (frontal extension of the ajna.) All of these three primary nadi are connected and unified below the base chakra and again at the frontal extension of the Ajna, or more commonly known as the third eye. The Ida and Pingala continue beyond the third eye and each extend into a nostril.
Now that the basic forms of the chakra system are covered I would like to talk about the forms of energy that transverse these nadi and chakra. First to begin, there are four primary types of spiritual essence in this system; Prana, the masculine force, Shakti, the feminine force, and Kundalini, the vital essence; In particular this form of energy is the most complicated and strange of all, It has two varieties, Kundalini force when it is combined with Shakti and prana, and again when the energies branch off between the Ida and pingala. Shakti travels through the system in the Ida, while Prana utilizes the Pingala. Kundalini force is relative to the Sushumna or central channel.
The next focus of this article will be on the primary physical chakra. There are seven primary chakra within the physical from; now to ease any confusion the chakra are separate from the physical body and create a spiritual form most commonly referred to as the subtle body. Within the entire subtle body there a great many number of chakra, as stated earlier this number is usually placed in the thousands. However, the most important chakra are the seven primaries which are aligned along the spinal column. In order ascending bottom to top the seven primary chakra are: Muladhara(root), Swadhisthana(sacral), Manipura(solar plexus), Anahata(heart), Vishudda(throat), Ajna(brow), and Sahasrara(crown.) Each of these chakra has their own unique properties, the properties I will be covering in this article are: color, petals, emotion, mantra and gland. There are other properties often ascribed to each chakra, however I consider these the most common and for this article the most appropriate. Color is related to the vibration of the spiritual energy at this chakra, there is a striking resemblance to electromagnetic light spectrum. The term petals have always affiliated with the chakra, it stems from the visualization of the chakra being related to lotus flowers. A common meditation to open the chakra was to visualize a lotus flower opening. Each of the chakra is related to the endocrine system of the physical body as well. The chakra also store emotional energy. A mantra is a set of vowels chanted or vibrated in relation to a chakra.
Muladhara : Root Chakra, Red, Four Petals, Survival instinct, Adrenal Glands. Mantra is Lam
Swadhisthana : Sacral Chakra, Orange, Six Petals, Sexual/Creative instinct, the testes/ovary and sex organs. Mantra is Vam.
Manipura : Solar Plexus Chakra, Yellow, Ten Petals, Fear anxiety and willpower stem from this chakra, the pancreas and other digestive organs. Mantra is Ram.
Anahata : Heart Chakra, Green, Twelve Petals, Love and Determination, Thymus. Mantra is Yam.
Vishudda : Throat Chakra, Blue, Sixteen Petals, Expression or Truth, The thyroid gland. Mantra is Ham.
Ajna : Brow Chakra, Violet, Two Petals, Intuition, Pineal Gland. Mantra is Ohm.
Sahasrara : Crown Chakra, Indigo/Light, Thousand Petals, Pure Consciousness/Enlightenment, Pituitary Gland. No Mantra.
Beyond these primary seven chakras there are five higher spiritual chakras that reside outside the physical form but within the subtle. I will not go into depth concerning these chakras as they relate to higher levels of spirituality beyond the physical and subtle forms and would better be saved for another article entirely. However it is important to be aware of their existence.
Well I hope this gives a basic understanding of the chakra system components.