A chakra is a spiritual “power point” used in Yoga and Eastern mysticism. The word chakra describes one element in a highly complex system of thought about the energies of the body.
The following terms are associated with the chakra. The definitions reflect beliefs held by many Hindus, Buddhists and practitioners of Yoga:
Prana – life energies found in parts of the body, also called “subtle winds.”
Subtle body – similar to a soul, this is a body of energy containing the chakras.
Nadis – energy channels, or meridians, that run like veins through the subtle body and serve as conduits for the prana. The central Nadi runs alongside or inside the spine and is associated with the central nervous system.
Chakras – the points of energy on the surface of the subtle body. Located along the Sushumna or the central Nadi. This and two other primary Nadis run through the core of the body, twining around one another and penetrating the chakras. In some traditions, each chakra is a central hub for thousands of Nadi. Each chakra is associated with a mantra “seed-syllable” (usually a Sanskrit word), and often with a particular color and deity.
The chakra, or chakras, play a role in certain types of medicine. Acupuncture, for example, and other types of Chinese medicine claim to use body energies and meridians to promote healing. Whether or not chakras exist, many people have found acupuncture to provide relief from pain. So, there may be a physical benefit to acupuncture independent of the spiritual philosophy behind it.
The chakras are central to a meditation technique known as Kundalini, which literally means “that which is coiled.” Kundalini is also the name of a goddess. The belief is that Kundalini is a divine force which resides at the base of the spine and, when “awakened,” travels up the spine (the central Nadi) and through each chakra until it reaches the crown of the head. Along the way, this uncoiling “goddess” brings spiritual awareness to the individual. When it reaches the uppermost chakra, this force is said to generate an ineffable, highly mystical experience.
People who have engaged in this type of meditation will testify both to its power and its danger.
Mantra meditation is so very seductive because it generates a very powerful, seemingly supernatural experience that can make one feel as if they are actually encountering God.
The spiritual experience achieved through this type of meditation is undeniably real, and it may feel like a connection to the divine. Eastern mystics assert that man can, via various techniques involving chakras and Nadi, attain a godlike state or connect with the divine.
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