chakra logic
Chakra Logic

I'm sure all of you have heard the word chakras. Some of you may believe in their existence, while some might think it's all trash. There might be some of you for whom, they are an experiential reality, while some may be lost in hallucinations.
In this article, let's look at the scientific basis for the existence of chakras, and how their existence makes logical sense, even if they are not physically visible, like other body organs.

human body temperature difference
human body temperature difference

In this article, let's move from what we know, towards what we do not know.

jnAtAt ajnAtam prati

 as it's called in sanskrit. We know, that in a human body, warmth, represents life. If life moves out, the body get's cold. So, what is the source of this warmth, the source of life ? Is it the food we eat, the water we consume ?
It is actually the air we breathe. This air, known by the name prANa vAyu, is literally what sustains life, or prANa in the body.
Now, let's pay closer attention to this air we breathe. The single most important process that keeps us alive. Hold your nose for 2 minutes, and poof light's
out ! Such a crucial function, happening almost unnoticed, even fainter than a heart beat. The air we breathe goes in, through two channels in our nose, the right and the left nostrils. This right left division, is not just at the level of the nose, it is also at the level of the lungs, the right half and the left
half, at the level of our brain, at the level of our limbs, infact the entire body seems to be a combination of two halves.

cross spine
cross cut of spine

Have you ever wondered why this particular
left, right symmetry, why are our bodies, not just an asymmetric blob, like an amoeba perhaps ? This right left, is not just a physical demarkation, this duality, is infact much more profound. Each one of us, is differently capable of employing our right and left halves. Some of us are right handed, some are left. Some are more intuitive and artistic, while some are more logical.
Despite all this differentiation between the right and the left, what you consider, as your self, is independant of this duality. If god forbid, you lose your right or left limb, your sense of I called ahamkara is still going to remain the same.
So there are two halves of the physical existence, and there is a non-physical sense of existence within you.
Let's get back to the concept of prANa. We also know, that not every part of the body
is at the same level of sensitivity. Not all of them, are at the same level of
warmth. Not all of them receive the same amount of prANa. For example, pit of the throat, under the armpits, palms of your hand, are significantly warmer than, let's say, your earlobes, or your knees and elbows. So, the prANa that goes in, is going in as two halves, and is concentrated more at a few parts of the body, than others. Neither do we see the air that we breathe, nor do we see the warmth that it causes, but their presence is felt. Even if the air that we breathe physically stops at the lungs, it's essence, is carried throughout the body.
This is the invisible power circuit, that
powers up all the body organs. While the flesh, blood and bone structure is physically manifest, and can be seen growing and reducing in the body, the life force, is at a subtler level of existence and can only be felt. However we can increase and decrease the intensity of both the breath, and correspondingly the warmth, of the body, either by physical activity, or other yogic means.
The breath is not completely involuntary,
if we wish to, we can bring it under our control. These spots where warmth can be felt strongest, where prana, or the life force gathers, and redistributes across the body, are called chakras. "cha represents chalan or movement and kr represents karOti or doing". Chakra, is something that enables movement. It is also the name given to a wheel, for the exact same reason!
There are 7 major chakras, 100 plus minor
chakras, and many more smaller ones throughout the body.
Let's make sure that we are on the same page so far, because here is where it get's interesting. I've spoken about the importance of spine, and kundalini in a different article. Make sure you read it, if what I’m going to say doesn't make sense to you.

human body
left right symmetry of human body

If we look at the cross section of the spine, we clearly see two parallel tubes running on each side. Modern day scientists understand these channels as a housing for nerve bundles that carry information across from the brain to various body organs. The yogic science sees these pipes, as the channels or nAdis that carry the life force across the body.
The left channel, is called as Ida, and the right channel, is pingala. What the Yogic science also recognizes, is a third channel. The one different from the dualities of left and right. This middle channel is spiritually significant, to cross the dualities of physical existence. This nAdi, is called as sushumna. The name itself suggests that this is in a state of sushupti, or dormancy.
The objective of yoga, is to energize sushumna, using the prAna brought into the body through ida and pingala.
It is when we start to energize sushumna, that the 7 major chakras along the spine,start getting activated. There are many ways of doing this, But the most efficient, and direct method of activation, is through kriya yoga, which employs almost forceful breathing techniques, to channel prANa in the desired direction.

As these 7 chakras start getting activated, various capabilities, which seem almost super human, start becoming a reality. These have been clearly listen down in ancient sanskrit works on tantra.

I must tell you that there are also cautionary warnings that if not handled properly, activating these chakras, might lead to an imbalance in the prANa, which is really hard to rectify. So, I'd suggest you use these articles only as a source of information, and inspiration. These are not intended to serve as tutorials on how to activate your chakras.