The Seven Chakras
The One is revealed within the effulgent golden light.
The Absolute Brahman, who is Self-luminous, pure consciousness, who is the light of lights and whose supreme reality is known to men of Self-realization.
(Mundaka Upanishad, II-II-19)
A myriad books have been written on the mysteries of the chakras and how they can be used for healing oneself. This is not one of those books, it rather focuses on detailed insights which clarify how working on each one of these centers of energy, may influence the seeker's spiritual awakening. Some books depict the chakras as lotuses with a varying number of petals withholding strange powers, other books decry them as mystical non-sense and completely lacking any actual physical basis. Other sources warn of the dangers involved in arousing the kundalini energy which is said to be stored in serpent form at the base of the spine.
Rather than dwell on the metaphysical subtleness of the chakras or on intricate descriptions of their forms, on the number of petals in each lotus or on other useless information, this book focuses on the various human qualities associated with each energy centre and points out how to recognize, control and direct the peculiarities of each chakra so that the seeker may travel safely towards the goal of absolute happiness.
The main aim of this book is to stress the practical benefits one may derive from developing one's chakras through spiritual endeavors fulfillment, creative inspiration and finally spiritual realization by understanding and energizing the chakras.
Each chakra is a storehouse of immense potential, which can fulfill our deepest desires or plunge us into the deepest despair. Once we learn the art of controlling these chakras through the process of meditation, there is no limit to the infinite possibilities for physical, material, emotional, and spiritual success.
Although it is true that these chakras or energy centres cannot by anatomically pinpointed, it is also true that there are seven main chakras along human spine formed by the myriad of nerve channels flowing down from the brain when they get very close to each other at certain points along the spine. When this happens, new circuits of magnetic fields are created. These magnetic fields or chakras are subtle energy centres in the spine.
There are seven major energy centres, which are called either chakras or lotuses and, in modern times, have also been referred to as plexuses. They are:
Muladhara chakra, coccygial or money centre in the coccyx (base of the spine).
Swadhisthana chakra, sacral or second centre in the sacral region.
Manipura chakra, lumbar or naval centre in the lumber region.
Vishuddha chakra, neck or cervical centre in the cervix.
Ajna chakra or soul centre close to the pituitary gland.
Sahasrara chakra, crown centre at the top of the head.
The spinal canal or the backbone is formed by a total of 33 vertebrae out of which four are joined together. The Muladhara is located at the base of the spine or coccyx where five bones fuse together with the sacrum. The 24 vertebrae represent the 24 principles in the body. One who can control these vertebrae with his concentration can likewise control the 24 principles which consist of the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and sky), ten senses (five of perception - tongue, skin, nose, ears and eyes; five of action - mouth, legs, hands, genital organs and anus), five vital breaths and four inner instruments (mind, intellect, ego and memory).
Rather than going into an elaborate technical discussion of the properties of each chakra, I will focus on the immediate benefits we can derive from knowledge of what each chakra controls and how we can maintain control over all the chakras, thereby gaining immeasurable peace and happiness. The chakras are the medium of human evolution and emancipation.
Source: The Universe Within - The Journey Through The Chakras, Pages: 25-28, Chapter 3