The Astral Spine
THE word ‘Chakra’ in Sanskrit means 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”.
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.
Chakras are centres of energy and their location can be imagined along the physical spine. The whole tubular (length wise) and spherical (chakra wise) arrangement can be termed as Astral spine. There are seven Chakras and their condition regulates our life in varied ways. This interplay of energy and the psychological aspects is reflected in the physical realm in the form of different issues/dis-eases. The chakras are also referred to as the psychic centres and work in tandem with the respective psychic senses.
The chakras can have various levels of activity. When they are “open,” they are considered operative in a normal fashion.
Ideally, all chakras would contribute to our being. Our instincts would work together with our feelings and thinking. However, this is usually not the case. Some chakras are not open enough (being under-active), and to compensate, other chakras are over-active. The ideal state is where the chakras are balanced.
There are many techniques to bring balance in the chakras. It makes no sense to try to make over-active chakras less active, as they are compensating for other chakras. To restore the compensation they’d be over-active again in no time. To stop them from compensating, the chakras they are compensating for must be opened.
We shall discuss all the chakras one by one in the coming months.