Religion is the relationship of human beings with what they consider divine and absolute. This gives them certain spiritual and moral obligations to act in certain ways. The followers or believers of a particular religion invest their time and effort in showing their devotion to their god through prayers, rituals, and other practices and norms.
From a scholastic standpoint, there is no consensus over what exactly makes up a religion. However, people define it as a social-cultural system in which devotees follow specific behaviors, ethics, and views. Religions vary across regions and traditions in terms of scriptures, teachings, beliefs, rituals, practices, and many other aspects.
The interest in the connection of religion with health and alternative medicine has increased over the years. Religion and spirituality have become significant in dealing with difficult situations and self-healing. Energy healing became popular, as many people attest to its positive effects on their overall well-being.
What religion is chakra? Chakra is a concept and belief in religions like Buddhism and Hinduism. Spelled “cakra” in Sanskrit, Chakra is an energy vortex that exists in our body, along with the channel where the prana energy flows.
Chakras or energy centers are an embodiment of a person’s subtle energies. Along with a hundred chakras in our body, there are seven primary chakras that encompass specific aspects of our lives on a physical, psychological, and spiritual level.
In this article, you will have a better understanding of:
- The chakras as subtle energy that rules the physical and non-physical aspect of one’s life
- How and where chakras originated and whether it’s considered as a religion
- The influence of chakras in alternative medicine
- The chakra system and the primary energy centers
The origin of chakras
Where did the concept of chakras originate? How did its use in meditation and energy healing become popular across the world? What religion is chakra?
To answer these questions, let’s dive into a little history and overview of the chakras. This way, we will better understand the chakras and the entire chakra system.
Belief in subtle energy
The chakra system emerged between 1500 and 500 B.C. in the country of India. We found the concept in the early forms of Buddhism and Hinduism, as part of esoteric traditions and the practice of meditation.
People found references to chakras in Hinduism’s philosophical-religious scriptures like Yoga-Shikha Upanishad, Shri Jabala, Darshana Upanishad, and Vedas. The belief and knowledge of chakras have expanded from eastern philosophy and become accessible to other regions.
The Sanskrit scripture speaks about chakras as part of our body, manipulating the flow of life force energy. In the ancient traditions of Hinduism, chakras are part of the visualization, mantras, yoga, and meditation.
People link chakras to the belief that human life exists in two parallel dimensions. One covers the physical aspect, while the other rules the subtle body. The subtle body pertains to one’s mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
People also refer to a subtle body as subtle energy that should smoothly flow to balance the physical and non-physical facet of one’s life. They believe that the subtle body comprises energy centers known as chakras.
History of chakra
Hindu Vedas, a large body of sacred text, mentioned the term chakra. It covers the story of a king who turns the wheel of his empire, from a center spreading in all directions. In this context, the chakra represents the king’s influence and power.
In the 16th century, a book called Sri-Tattva-Cintamini was published, talking more about the six energy centers. The book also covered each chakra’s powers and how to activate them. This book was eventually translated in 1919 and published as The Serpent Power.
During this period, the concept and stories about chakras and energy centers are being published in the Theosophical Movement. It is a monthly publication that talks about Theosophy and living a higher life. It had printed and electronic versions with subscribers from all over the world.
The modern age belief in chakras
In the traditional concept of energy centers, people believe that there are thousands of chakras in our body. It was not until 1880 that the concept of seven primary chakras came into play. People have associated the chakras with nerve plexus and glands.
This was when chakras became known in other regions and parts of the globe. Various authors interpreted the traditional concept of chakras, including C.W. Leadbeater. Leadbeater was the first to suggest that chakras can transform energies or one’s consciousness.
In the 1970s, there has been a significant shift in the history of chakras through the book Nuclear Evolution by Christopher Hills. Hills talked about the chakras’ relationship with colors and personality types. This ideology has now become the mainstream concept of chakras.
People added other attributes of chakras to the list of things that people associate with each energy center. People connect the chakras to one’s psychological attributes, diseases, state of consciousness, emotions, and behaviors.
Chakras and kundalini energy
In Hinduism, a kundalini is a form of divine energy coiled at the base of one’s spine. It derives the concept of Kundalini from Shaiva Tantra, a literature that talks about alternative forms of mantras, rituals, and yoga. Also called the life force energy, people believe that this energy spirals upward to activate the chakras along the way.
People associate kundalini with the supreme Goddess which they say lives in the chakras. When kundalini rises upwards activating all the chakras and reaches the top of your head (crown chakra), you will experience an intense transformation of consciousness.
In yoga, people point to energy vortexes as chakras that serve as a source of intangible energy. This powers specific aspects of one’s life. Blockages in these chakras can cause an imbalance in one’s physical, psychological, and spiritual health.
This is where the practice of yoga comes into play as it helps to pave the way for positive energy to flow smoothly. It involves the right gestures, postures, and breathing exercises to bring the kundalini up to the crown chakra.
Apart from restoring balance in all chakras, yoga and meditation help improve a person’s mindfulness. A person will become more attuned to herself/himself and focus more on the areas that need energy healing. Once you are healed and cleansed from within, it will have a rippling effect manifesting on the tangible and visible aspects.
Chakras as alternative medicine
Chakras also play an important role in some forms of medicine, like acupuncture.
This Chinese medical technique uses meridians and energies for healing, which also helps relieve pain. People believe that these energy centers handle a person’s physical, psychological, and spiritual functions.
Like other forms of alternative medicine including Reiki, aromatherapy, and reflexology, chakra balancing is a great way to keep all your energy centers in check. Balancing your chakras promotes healing on both physical and non-physical levels.
Apart from a person’s mind, body, and spirit, chakras also have something to do with our work and life experiences and the way we deal with people and situations.
The seven primary chakras
The Sanskrit word “cakra” means wheels, which pertains to chakras as wheels of energy. The seven key chakras are along the spine and we associate each chakra with specific organs, colors, elements, and gemstones. People believe that balanced and activated chakras have the power to make them live a happy and fulfilled life.
- 1st – Root chakra: For feeling secured and grounded, this chakra gives you a sense of stability. Referring to “the root of all things,” at the base of your spine, we associate it with the color red and the earth element.
- 2nd – Sacral chakra: This energy point governs your creativity and sexual drive. We associate it with the color orange and the water element.
- 3rd – Solar plexus chakra: Spinning around the abdomen part of the body, this chakra rules your source of personal power and self-esteem. Its bright yellow color represents positivity and lightness, and we associate it with the fire element.
- 4th – Heart chakra: This energy center deals with one’s emotional power and development. It is the chakra for love and compassion, making one more forgiving and compassionate. People associate it with air element and colors green and pink.
- 5th – Throat chakra: This chakra governs one’s self-expression. The throat chakra helps improve one’s communication, making one speak his or her mind. People associate this energy center with pure ether element and the color blue, which represents attentive listening and good communication.
- 6th – Third-Eye Chakra: This energy center is for one’s intuitive abilities and visionary perspective. People associate this chakra with the purple color, which represents wisdom.
- 7th – Crown chakra: The crown chakra is the highest chakra at the top of our head. It is the energy center that makes one get into the highest level of consciousness. People associate this chakra with the colors violet and white.
Related: Which Chakra Are You Strongest With?
Chakras are not physical, thus, their existence is hard to prove.
There have been positive references from people on how chakras boosted their immune system and improved their overall mind-body and spiritual health.
However, it is still up to a person to believe in the power of chakras.
For some, chakras work for a person if he or she is open to cleanse oneself from negative energies and blockages. Work with the energy centers for the healing and transformation to work.
The concept of chakras may have originated from Hinduism and Buddhism, but it has developed over the years and interpreted across different cultures and regions.
Learning more about chakras does not require religious adaptations, and people with different beliefs can still use the energy centers for self-healing.