Primary Chakras

A distinction has to be made between primary and secondary chakras, as these are very often confused.

The Seven Primary Chakras

The primary chakras, as here defined, are the chakras as described by original Tantra (Shaktism, Nathism, etc), which can only be accessed through deep yogic practice.  These chakras are archetypal and do not have a form; the form they are represented as in tantric literature is stylised and symbolic.   Now do they have a precise location.  They are associated with specific correspondences including mantric vibrations, elements, gods, etc.

The primary chakras are represented in a vertical axis (the microcosmic "Mount Meru" - world mountain), and are polarised according to Shiva (pure unmanifest Consciousness, the Godhead) and Shakti (the power of manifestation).  Shakti is represented by the Kundalini energy at the base of the spine, or more strictly speaking, in the Muladhara chakra (which as with all the Primary Chakras does not have a strict physical location).  Shiva is located in the crown chakra (Saharsrara) at the crown above the head.  This vertical polarisation represents the major planes of existence

As microcosmic archetypes the primary chakras can be equated with the ten sefirot of Kabbalah, which are arranged, significantly, in seven rows.  Various schemes and suggestions have been made to equate the two, but none are completely satisfactory.

It is possible that the primary chakras pertain to archetypal octaves of the successive emanated levels of Inner Consciousness and Being.  Through contemplation on the mantric seed syllables, colours, deities, etc, one moves progressively inward, towards the spiritual-divine center and essence of one's being. In Sant Mat for example there is the meditation (Surat Shabd Yoga) on inner lights and sounds, which allows the soul to transcend each of the successive spiritual regions in turn. But in traditional tantra, the path of Kundalini (which can be considered pertaining to the "subtle reality) involves the ascent along the vertical axis to the Crown Chakra, and thence (so the traditional texts say) to liberation.

Types of Chakras

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 3 January 2000, last modified 26 November 2005