Chakras in the human body depicted with theirresiding deities.
(derived from the Sanskrit
] inHindi; Pali:
) is a Sanskrit word that translates as "wheel" or"turning." It is a concept and term originating from Hindu texts andused in Hindu practices.Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices which, accordingto traditional Indian medicine, are believed to exist in the surface of theetheric double of man.
The Chakras are said to be "force centers" orwhorls of energy permeating, from a point on the physical body, thelayers of the subtle bodies in an ever-increasing fan-shaped formation.Rotating vortices of subtle matter, they are considered the focal pointsfor the reception and transmission of energies.
Different systemsposit a varying number of chakras; the most well known system in theWest is that of 7 chakras.It is typical for chakras to be depicted as either flower-like orwheel-like. In the former, a specific number of "petals" are shownaround the perimeter of a circle. In the latter, a certain number of spokes divide the circle into segments that make the chakra resemble awheel (or "chakra"). Each chakra possesses a specific number of segments or petals.Texts describing the chakras go back as far as the later Upanishads, forexample the Yoga Kundalini Upanishad.