subtle body psychic-energy centers in the esoteric traditions of Indian religions

Chakras (Sanskrit: चक्र, IAST: cakra, Pali: cakka, lit. wheel, circle) are energy centers in our bodies associated with the endocrine glands, which are considered in a variety of meditation practices.

These seven force-centres are frequently described in Sanskrit literature, in some of the minor Upanishads, in the Puranas and in Tantric works. They are used today by many Indian yogis. ~ C.W. Leadbeater
Chakras ― Energy centers (vortices) in the etheric body related to the spine and the seven most important endocrine glands. There are seven major chakras and 42 lesser ones.


  • The evolution of the centres is a slow and gradual thing, and proceeds in ordered cycles varying according to the ray of a man's Monad. (p. 173) The centres in physical matter are recognised as being simply focal points of energy located on the etheric body, and having a definite use. This use is to act as transmitters of certain forms of energy consciously directed by the... Self, with the intent of driving the physical body (which is not a principle) to fulfil egoic purposes. (p. 1155).
  • Only one in a thousand aspirants is at the stage where he should begin to work with the energy in the centres, and perhaps even this estimate is too optimistic. Better far that the aspirant serves, and loves, and works, and disciplines himself, leaving his centres to develop and unfold more slowly, and therefore, more safely. Unfold they inevitably will, and the slower and safer method is (in the vast majority of cases), the more rapid. Premature unfoldment involves much loss of time, and carries with it often the seeds of prolonged trouble. (p. 590).
  • I teach no mode of awakening the centres, because right impulse, steady reaction to higher impulsions, and the practical recognition of the sources of inspiration, will automatically and safely swing the centres into needed and appropriate activity. This is the sound method of development. It is slower, but leads to no premature development, and produces a rounded unfoldment; it enables the aspirant to become truly the Observer and to know with surety what he is doing; it brings the centres, one by one, to a point of spiritual responsiveness, and then establishes the ordered and cyclic rhythm of a controlled lower nature. (p. 261/2)
  • The word Chakra is Sanskrit, and signifies a wheel. It is also used in various subsidiary, derivative and symbolical senses, just as is its English equivalent; as we might speak of the wheel of fate, so does the Buddhist speak of the wheel of life and death; and he describes that first great sermon in which the Lord Buddha propounded his doctrine as the Dham­machakkappavattana Sutta (chakka being the Pali equivalent for the Sanskrit chakra) which Professor Rhys Davids poetically renders as “to set rolling the royal chariot-wheel of a universal empire of truth and righteousness”. That is exactly the spirit of the meaning which the expression conveys to the Buddhist devotee, though the literal translation of the bare words is “the turning of the wheel of the Law”. The special use of the word chakra with which we are at the moment concerned is its application to a series of wheel-like vortices which exist in the surface of the etheric double of man.
  • These seven force-centres are frequently described in Sanskrit literature, in some of the minor Upanishads, in the Puranas and in Tantric works. They are used today by many Indian yogis. A friend acquainted with the inner life of India assures me that he knows of one school in that country which makes free use of the chakras - a school which numbers as its pupils about sixteen thousand people scattered over a large area... It appears also that certain European mystics were acquainted with the chakras. Evidence of this occurs in a book entitled Theosophia Practica by the well-known German mystic Johann Georg Gichtel, a pupil of Jacob Boehme, who probably belonged to the secret society of the Rosicrucians. It is from this work of Gichtel’s that our Plate III is reproduced by the kind permission of the publishers.
  • Let me take the example of a man who is filled with fear... The vibrations radiated by an astral body in that state will at once attract any fear-clouds that happen to be in the vicinity; if the man can quickly recover himself and master his fear, the clouds will roll back sullenly, but if the fear remains or increases they will discharge their accumulated energy through his umbilical chakra, and his fear may become mad panic in which he altogether loses control of himself... In the same way one who loses his temper attracts clouds of anger, and renders himself liable to an inrush of feeling which will change his indignation into maniacal fury - a condition in which he might commit murder by an irresistible impulse, almost without knowing it. Similarly a man who yields to depression may be swept into a terrible state of permanent melancholia; or one who allows himself to be obsessed by animal desires may become for the time a monster of lust and sensuality, and may under that influence commit crimes the thought of which will horrify him when he recovers his reason. All such undesirable currents reach the man through the navel chakra.
  • Fortunately there are other and higher possibilities... there are clouds of affection and of devotion.. he who feels these noble emotions may receive through his heart chakra a wonderful enhancement of them, such as is depicted in Man Visible and Invisible in Plates XI and XII.
  • The kind of emotion which affects the navel chakra in the manner before-mentioned is indicated in Dr. Besant’s A Study in Consciousness, where she divides the emotions into two classes, those of love and those of hate. All those on the side of hate work in the navel chakra but those on the side of love operate in the heart.
  • The force of kundalini.. We hear much of this strange fire and of the danger of prematurely arousing it; and much of what we hear is undoubtedly true. There is indeed most serious peril in awakening the higher aspects of this furious energy in a man before he has gained the strength to control it, before he has acquired the purity of life and thought which alone can make it safe for him to unleash potency so tremendous.
  • It’s interesting to see how your body’s energy chakras are closely correlated with the endocrine glands.
  1. Base chakra (Mooladhara chakra) This chakra keeps the energy vortex connected with our basic needs of survival (food and waste elimination), and procreation. The gonadal glands are associated with this chakra.
  2. Sacrum chakra (Svadhisthana chakra) It controls our emotions and response to fear. It is most closely associated with the adrenal glands. It also balances water in the body....
  3. Navel chakra (Manipura chakra) It’s connected to the pancreas and the transformation of food into energy. If this energy chakra is blocked, it could lead to diabetes or liver and digestive disorders. It also creates mental energy and will power.
  4. Heart chakra (Anahata chakra) The thymus is the gland most closely linked to this chakra. This chakra is for courage, faith, family, love and community. The thymus gland is the seat of immunity cells.
  5. Throat chakra (Vishuddhi chakra) The thyroid gland is most commonly associated with this chakra. The vishuddhi chakra is for clarity of communication between the mind, heart and soul and the ability to understand situations clearly without fear or doubt.
  6. Third Eye chakra (Agya chakra) Associated with the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. This chakra is the master instructor, responsible for giving instructions to the whole body. If this chakra is blocked, there could be multiple hormonal imbalances.
  7. Crown chakra (Sahasrara chakra) Associated with the pineal gland...
  • Shikha Sharma, What you must know about your body and its chakras, Hindustan Times, (2 August 2014)

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