The Chakras: How the Rainbow Colors came to be…
Did you ever wonder how the colors of the chakras found their way into our present culture? I did.
As an energy worker and certified teacher of yoga, I have been taught by a variety of systems how to activate my chakras. I invested time in private training with those who specialized in chakra activation. I’d spent numerous hours in meditative focus trying to activate my chakras based on their associated color. The reason for this effort I was told is that once I balanced the chakra’s colors I would enjoy a healthier body and mind. I was promised spiritual enlightenment would occur through the chakra’s activation process. After I put in considerable time and effort, I was disappointed. So I decided, I needed to do my own research into chakras. This is when I began to dig into a more historical understanding of chakras. The first thing I found out was that ancient chakras were basically colorless.
Let me share with you what I found in a brief historical review of the chakras with relation to color, including the eastern verses western view on chakras colors and lastly the current rainbow theory of the chakra system. I’ll keep this article on task, since I found no one source can be solely the authoritative end all on the topic of chakras. Let’s begin with the origin of the chakra colors or the term chakra which is varied according to what authorities repetitively write about them. What I’ve learned is that there is no mention of “chakra colors” in the Upanishads. For those of us that know little about The Upanishads, they are a collection of texts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upanishads that supposedly has secret and sacred knowledge.
One authority states, “I’ve come across “The Hindu religious texts, the Upanishads, dating from around the 7th-8th century BCE, first mentioned the existence of this cosmic energy called prana, which was received by all living creatures upon the Earth; however it was not until sometime between the 2nd century BCE and the 2nd century AD that the first mention was made of “chakras”. http://users.adam.com.au/bstett/SkepticsChakras137.html.
Still another authority states, “the first known mention of chakras appeared in a number of early Upanishads around 7-800 BCE. Later Upanishads around 200 BCE – 200 CE, namely Shri Jabala Darshana Upanishad, Cudamini Upanishad, Yoga-Shikka Upanishad and Shandila Upanishad, made reference to tantric concepts such as chakras and mantras, and gave both locations and symbolism. In the 10th century, the Gorakshashatakam, written by Guru Goraknath, gave information on the powers of awakening and meditating on the chakras as sited in the article “A Brief History of the Chakras“.
Then there are authorities such as this author in Wikipedia that discuss the color orientation of the “Chakras” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chakra. However, upon closer examination I saw that the references to the “color” claims are in need of a “citation”. This means their statement is in need of references to reliable sources which the author has not provided as yet per Wikipedia. Other Chakra articles, such as http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ray_Baskerville, points out “Despite everything you may have heard or read about chakras, there is no unified theory or explanation of exactly what the chakras are and what they do. Unfortunately, much of the information on chakras is simply a repeating of what has been said or written elsewhere and the basis of its authority is only from in their repetition. Very often components from different theories become mixed together adding to the confusion and misunderstanding”. I was beginning to see the repetitive way that chakra authorities state their position and meaning according to their unknown sources.
Here is one authority I believe sums the chakra current claims: “While all these references are suggestive and intriguing, they are ultimately only precursors to what we currently understand as the chakra system. Despite the extravagant claims made by some chakra enthusiasts, there is little evidence that the seven-chakra system as we know it today, is really any part of an unbroken tradition dating to antiquity.” http://chakras.egoplex.com/chapter1.html.”
We can understand based on this last author’s comments that the Chakra system has been transformed. The Chakras as the historical story tells had been ratified over time by the ancients who had interpreted the ancient Upanishads Vedic texts. This is even present in the chakras origin on the dual yogic and Tantric systems that founded and interpreted these subtle energy centers. If this wasn’t complex and fractured enough about chakras, it becomes more so as the west interprets the eastern view on chakras. First was an adaptation of the Kundalini chakra system with a western view, then a Theosophical view of chakras and lastly our present new age interpretations. It was Sir John Woodroffe complex body of chakra work called titled “The Serpent Power” http://www.scribd.com/doc/117167217/seprent-power-complete that took Kundalini to a new level. Later from this complex Kundalini body of work, came the now predominate western Theosophical view of C.W. Leadbeater in his book “The Chakras” that took strong hold of the western view of the chakras. www.anandgholap.net/Chakras-CWL.pdf look for Mahatma C.W. Leadbeater: Chakras.
Now this is where it gets interesting, the last influential person Christopher Hills, develops his own personal version of the rainbow colors of the chakra system. He published a book entitled “Nuclear Evolution” in the early 70’s, which probably did as much as Leadbeater to influence Western thinking about the chakras. Today this book is the western new age foundation for the Chakra Rainbow System. “In a very thick book, Nuclear Evolution, published in the early 1970s, Hills suggests that each of the chakras corresponds to one of the seven colours of the spectrum. He then associates each chakra and colour with a particular personality type. A great deal of his book “Nuclear Evolution” is devoted to explaining each of these personality types in detail. His typology is quite fascinating, and certainly equal in profundity to the personality typology of comparable systems of character analysis, such as Carl Jung and Humanistic Astrology. Although the psychological aspects of this theory did not catch on, the idea of matching the seven chakras with the seven colours of the spectrum was so appealing that just about every book on the chakras written since then show the chakras in rainbow colours.” 136_leadbeater-charles-the-chakras“ It would seem plausible to identify the rainbow chakras with the etheric body chakras in Barbara Ann Brennan’s formulation, and perhaps also the focal concentration points in Mantak Chia’s “Healing Tao” microcosmic orbit. The rainbow chakras therefore, if they have any validity at all, have validity inasmuch as they pertain to the etheric bodies.” 136_leadbeater-charles-the-chakras. Or as quoted in Wikipedia on the new age rainbow chakras “The convergence of these two distinct healing traditions and their common practitioners’ own inventiveness have led to an ever-changing and expanding array of concepts in the western world. According to medical intuitive and author, Caroline Myss who described chakras in her work Anatomy of the Spirit (1996), “Every thought and experience you’ve ever had in your life gets filtered through these chakra databases. Each event is recorded into your cells…”, in effect your biography becomes your biology.”
After studying all this research, I started to understand why trying to activate my color chakras had no effective change for my physical or emotional stability. Nor did I experience my greatest desire which was tuning more deeply into my spiritual self. Some of the side effects I experienced from focusing on chakra activations were very sleepy reactions and headaches, but I had no lasting significant expected changes from chakra training. These unfulfilled desires are what led me to the online School of Chi Energy. At The School of Chi Energy, I learned that chakras are bioenergy circuits that work like a vortex. These vortexes are activated with the student’s ability to make a bioenery form together along with taking it through that particular body part. I learned through practical application and practice that various repetitive flow patterns resulted in extraordinary experiences in consciousness along with emotional stability and better physical health. These results were more of what I expected. I learned to activate my (chakras) or seven vortexes in The School of Chi Energy Method. The School based all their chakra information on the latest scientific research of how energy actually affects your body. By going through the School, I was able to change what were metaphysical concepts into practical application. I learned that chakras were something that you could physically feel and sometimes physically see. Stay tune for the next article on Chakra training and information on how chakras really activate.
Be mindful and present of your spirit self,
Instructor Sifu Cicero
The Director of Operations at The School of Chi Energy