July 19, 2006

When I first heard of chakras, I spent quite a bit of time learning about their functions, symbolism and meanings. If you had asked me back then, I would have talked very confidently about these. And you certainly would have heard me rattling on about “my chakras” and “my energy body.” Now I know it would be more accurate for my chakras to refer to me as “my person.”

When I write about different phenomena, I try my best to stick to what I’ve learned from my teachers and confirmed through experience. What I’ve learned about chakras after more than twenty years is how little I know. So I’ll share this with you, and I’ll also attempt to convey a feeling for the enormity of the topic.

Chakras are not things. They are not “nerve plexuses” or energy “vortexes.” The physical sensations, such as streaming, whirring, swirling and tingling, or the emotions that arise while doing practices such as kundalini yoga and chakra purification, are really effects of the life processes being mediated by the chakras.

So what are chakras?

If you meditate quietly on the chakras, or learn to consult their wisdom in the course of daily life, you might discover nothing and something. You discover nothing because chakras are subtle gateways to the infinite potential that pervades and gives rise to all life. You discover something because through these gateways, life is continually moving in and out of manifestation. This includes you.

To use a crude analogy, chakras are translators. A signal comes from one dimension and is translated to another dimension. In the process, the signal gets expressed differently. Human chakras are those interfaces, or junctures, that mediate the expression of the human “signal” out of the reservoir of infinite potential. They mediate signals from less manifest dimensions and can also send signals in the reverse direction.

Life has many modes of appearing. Light, sound (mantra), symbol, deity and objects, including human objects, are all differing appearings of the Self-same Reality whose base is infinite potential. Traditional Tantrik pictures of chakras show them packed with Sanskrit letters, animals and other symbols. Your eyes may glaze over at this profusion, but these symbols, colors and sounds are more than just cultural representations. They are actual expressions of cosmic virtues or wisdoms as they translate into the human realm.

The short version of what I have just written is that you are an elaboration or an ornament of your chakras, and that your chakras are the junctures that mediate the expression of cosmic wisdom virtues as a human being and generally serve as translators to and from other dimensions. This state of affairs may be cognized directly, but it takes time, effort and correct View.

People often associate chakras with light and color. Light and color are experienced differently at different points in one’s practice. From all reports, the most unbound perception vouchsafed to human beings is that of the cosmos appearing as the lights of primordial awareness, not just as a light display.

It isn’t so difficult to perceive auras or manifestations of light associated with chakras for instance. But this is only a pale reflection of Reality appearing as the lights of primordial awareness. If one were truly established in this mode of appearing, walking through walls would present no problem, and you would be able to see and participate directly in processes of manifestation and demanifestation.

The light of infinite potential or primordial awareness is evident everywhere, giving rise to everything, without exception. When a person is less identified with solid-appearings, this intelligent light begins to glimmer and shine. A highly realized person can “sit behind” the elements and watch them in their subtle intelligent light form as their streamings create a world. The human chakras mediate this process of the lights of awareness continually giving birth to the human body and experience.

In Ma’s love,