Upanishads describe the concept of Chakras. They can be referred to as energy centres of the body. The study of Chakras is the study of the nature of energy. One thing to note is that their location is said to be found not in the physical body. They are found in the astral body.
Their corresponding physical locations can be found in each body. The medical field gives a mixed reaction to the presence of chakras. Some practitioners deny their existence. However, it is important to ask, how can we find a physical evidence of an energy system that exists in the astral body?
Among the 114 chakras, there are seven major chakras namely: muldhara chakra, svadhistana chakra, manipura chakra, Anahita chakra, vishshudhi chakra and sahsrara chakra. Interestingly, each of these energy points correspond to seven ‘lokas’ or worlds. These worlds are bhuv, bhuva, swaha, maha, jana, satya and lok. I will detail each chakra below:
Muldhara Charkra (Seat of destiny): Muldhara chakra supports other chakras. The kundalini which is the energy which gives power and energy to all chakras lies at this chakra. This is the chakra from which important nadis emerge as petals of the lotus. Nadi is a Sanskrit word which means energy channels that travel throughout our body. There are three main nadis: a) Ida b) pingala and c) Sushumna nadi.
Further up is Svadhisthana chakra (Dwelling place of the self). The yogi who meditates on this chakra has no fear of water. This person attains intuitional powers, psychic powers and has perfect control over his senses. This yogi becomes the conqueror of death (Mrityunjaya).
Above the svadhisthana chakra (City of Jewels and awakening of consciousness) is the Manipura chakra. The yogi who concentrates at this chakra gets Patala Siddhi and can acquire hidden treasures and will be free from diseases. This yogi has no fear from ‘agni’ (fire). According to Greanda Samhita, even if this yogi is thrown into burning fire, he will remain alive without fear of death.
The fourth chakra is Anahata Chakra (Infinite sound and awakening of self through love). The yogi who meditates on this chakra has control over his air (vayu) tattva. The yogi achieves cosmic love along with other sattvic qualities.
The fifth chakra is Vishuddhi chakra (purification of the body, mind and spirit) and the concentration on the tattva of this chakra is called akasa dharana. And the yogi who practices this dharana will not be affected even in very difficult situations such as ‘pralaya’ which is the process of dissolution and destruction of the universe. This yogi is referred to as the knower of the past, present and the future (Trikala gyani). Thus, this individual has a clear communication with himself, his past life and of that of the other forces of the universe.
The sixth chakra is Ajna chakra (Darkness of ignorance and light of wisdom and liberation). And the yogi who concentrates on this chakra is capable of burning all the karmas of his past life.
The sahasrara chakra (Knower, act of knowing and the known are one) is the subtle center which is above and beyond all centers. At death, when an advanced yogi is separated with his physical body, the sahasrara chakra bursts open and the prana escapes. When a yogi’s kundalini Shakti is in union with Shiva at this chakra, he experiences a state of elation. Each chakra has a seed sound, also known as “Beej Mantra”. Several practitioners use the beej sound to invoke the energy channels corresponding to the sound used to pray.
Note: The above article is a description of Chakras according to various ancient texts on yoga. Hence, the certainty in the lines above is purely a reflection of the certainty about the chakras among the several age old yogis and their disciples.