Before beginning any journey, you must know where you are starting. Learning to recognize the different chakras within yourself and others will help you transform the way in which you live in this world. But in order to recognize, to heal, and balance the chakras, it’s important to know exactly what you’re studying. In that case, let’s first start with a brief history of the chakra system.
The Vedas, written during 2,000 to 600 B.C., depict the Aryans invading India on chariots. The original word “chakra” or “cakra” is written in this text, meaning wheel, and referring to the wheels of the chariots that this people group used. The wheel is significant because it represents the eternal, cyclical nature of time. The sun, whose path is also cyclical, is the center of balance for our planet. In this way, the wheel, or “chakra”, is symbolic of celestial order and balance in our personal lives.
Chakras are again mentioned in the Yoga Upanishads (circa 600 A.D) and in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (circa 200 B.C). In the tenth century the text known as Gorakshashatakam was written, explaining various meditation techniques relating to the chakras. The main texts explaining chakras, however, were the Sat-Cakra- Nirupana, written in 1577, and the Padaka-Pancaka, written in the 10th century. Both texts describe the seven chakra centers and practices related to maintaining and restoring balance. Arthur Avalon translated these texts into English in 1919 in his book The Serpent Power. It is through this book that the Western World was introduced to the idea of chakras.