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Chakra is Sanskrit for "wheel." They are described as being shaped like multicolored lotus petals or spoked wheels which whirl at various speeds as they process energy. They are described in Hindu and Buddhist yogic literature. Both systems describe them differently, and their descriptions vary in Western literature as well.
Scientifically chakras are not recognized as no evidence of them exists. It is only until recently that they have not completely been dismissed by Western medicine.
Their increased acknowledgment has came about from the use of acupuncture
meridians and other Eastern systems in healing the body. Evidence for the
existence of chakras, although controversial, was presented by Hiroshi
Motoyama of Japan. He hypothesized that if an enlightened individual could
influence the chakras, the energy output would be measured. Using a
lead-lined recording booth, Motoyama measured the energy field opposite
various chakras which subjects claimed to have awakened, usually through
years of meditation. His findings were that energy levels at those areas
were significantly greater than over the same areas of controlled subject.
The methods of diagnosing the health of chakras are by clairvoyance, by energy scans with the hands, and by dowsing with pendulums. Clairvoyants say that health disturbances often manifest in the aura, and thus in the chakras, months and sometimes years before they appear in the physical body.
There are seven major chakras and hundreds of minor ones. In the aura
the etheric, astral, and mental bodies are said to each have seven major
chakras. The seven major etheric centers, which are most directly
concerned with the physical heath, lie along the spinal column. Each is
associated with an endocrine gland, a major nerve plexus, a physiological
function, and a psychic function. The higher the position along the spinal
column, the more complex is the chakra and the higher are its functions.
The chakras are connected to each other and to the body through the nadis, channels of subtle energy. Of the thousands of nadis, three are the most important. The sushumna, the central channel, originating at the base of the spine and rising to the medulla oblongata at the base of the brain; its processes energy coming in from the etheric field. The ida and pingala likewise extend from the base of the spine to the brow and end at the left and right nostrils. They crisscross the sushumna in a spiral that resembles the caduceus. They wrap around, but do not penetrate the chakras, and manage the outflow of energy.
The universal life force, or kundalini, is said to enter the aura through the chakra through the top of the head, and is filtered down to the other chakras, each of which transforms the energy into the precise usable form of energy for the function it controls. When this universal force is aroused, it rises up the chakra system through the sushumna.
When the person is in good health, each chakra clearly shows its own coloration, the number of petal "spokes," and its speed of vibration is even. In poor health their coloration becomes cloudy and their rotation becomes irregular and sluggish.
The seven basic etheric chakras are the root, the sacral, the solar
plexus, the heart, the throat, the brow, and the crown.
1. The root- (muladhara) is located at the base of the spine and is the seat of the kundalini. It is concerned with self-preservation, oneís animal nature, taste, and smell. It is the least complex of all of the chakras, and is just divided by four spokes. Its color is orange-red.
2. the sacral- (svadhisthana) lies near the genitals and governs sexuality and reproduction. It has six spokes and is primary red. In some systems the root chakra is ascribed reproductive functions, and the sacral chakra is overlooked in favor of the spleen chakra, a rosy pink and yellow sun with six spokes located half way between the pubis and navel, It influences general health, and particularly governs digestion and the functions of the liver, pancreas, and spleen. In other systems the spleen chakra is seen as minor.
3. The solar plexus- (manipurna) rests just above the navel. It has ten spokes and is predominantly green and light red. It is associated with emotions and is the point where astral energy enters the etheric field. This chakra affects the adrenals, pancreas, liver, and stomach. Most trance mediums work through the solar plexus.
4. The heart- (anahata) has twelve glowing golden petals and is located midway between the shoulder blades, in the middle of the chest. It governs the thymus gland and influences immunity to disease. It is linked to higher consciousness and unconditional love.
5. The throat- (visuddha) is a sixteen-spoke wheel of silvery blue that is associated creativity, self-expression and the search for truth. It is predominant in musicians, singers, composers, and public speakers. This chakra influences the thyroid and parathyroid glands, metabolism, and is associated with certain states of expanded consciousness.
6. The brow- (ajna) located between the eyebrows and sometimes called the third eye because of its influence over psychic sense and spiritual enlightenment. Half of its 96 spokes are radiated in yellow-rose color while the other half are radiated in blue and purple. The chakra is associated with pituitary gland, the pineal gland, intelligence, intuition, and psychic powers called siddhis in Hindu yoga.
7. The crown- (sahasrara) whirls above the top of the head. Its 972 spokes radiate a glowing purple, the most spiritual of all the colors. It is not associated with any glands, but reveals the personís conscious evolution. The crown cannot be activated until all of the other chakras are refined and balanced; when activated it brings supreme enlightenment and cosmic consciousness. While other chakras rotate in slight depressions, the crown chakra whirls in a dome. At times, in religious art, crown chakras have been portrayed as halos surrounding the heads of deities, saints, and mystics.
Source: 29, 86-88.