Building a Chakra Mala
The concept of the chakra system originated in Hindu culture and is deeply intertwined with Hinduism. The history of the Hindu people reaches back more than 5000 years and has given rise to one of the most profound spiritual traditions in the world.
Most of what we understand about chakras comes from one of the sacred Vedic texts, the Upanishads. The word "Veda" means "knowledge." The four collections or earliest texts, the Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva, are referred to as sruit: knowledge that was revealed to the great seers. Since the Vedas were passed down orally for nearly a thousand years before being written down in 1200 - 900 BCE, it's difficult to put an exact date on them. The earliest Upanishads were written in the 7th century BCE. In total, there are 108, just like the beads on a mala. Most commentators identify 13 key texts within the 108. The term Upanishad literally means, "those who sit near" and suggests the practice of listening closely to the secret doctrines of a spiritual teacher. The primary message of the Upanishads is that enlightenment (and even immortality) can be achieved by meditating with the awareness that your soul is one with all of creation. The two Upanishads that deal specifically with chakras are the Brahma Upanishad and the Yogatattva Upanishad.
The Brahma Upanishad describes four places occupied by the soul: the navel, heart, throat and head. Each location is characterized by a particular state of consciousness: the navel or eye is waking consciousness, the the heart is dreamless sleep, the throat is dreaming and the head is the transcendent state. The Yogatattva Upanishad relates five body parts to the cosmic elements: earth, water, fire, air and space. Each element corresponds to a particular mantra causing internal vibration. The text refers to the siddhis: super-normal powers obtained through the mastery of yoga. Tying and wearing a mala based on a particular chakra will draw your attention back to that chakra throughout the day so that you can meditate on it specifically. For example, if you are wanting to boost your confidence and learn how to express yourself, you may want to meditate on the second and sixth chakras so a mala with blue stones and a yellow cord might be an ideal pairing. Or if you're looking to expand your intuition, deepen your creativity or sharpen your decision making, a mala of rich purples might be just what you need. Keep in mind that each chakra is affected differently by different stones. The stone's color doesn't necessarily correlate directly to the chakra of the same hue. Some white stones, for example, can be deeply grounding although they share the same color as the crown chakra. Order your custom chakra mala here.
In subsequent blog posts, we will break down each chakra in more detail. For now, here is a quick overview of the main, seven chakras:
First / root chakra: foundation & feeling of being grounded
represents: survival issues such as financial independence, money & food
Second / sacral chakra: connection & ability to accept others & new experiences
represents: sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure & sexuality
Third chakra / solar plexus: ability to be confident & in control of our lives
represents: self-worth, self-confidence & self-esteem
Fourth / heart chakra: love
represents: love, joy & inner peace
Fifth / throat chakra: communication
represents: communication, self-expression of feelings & the truth
Sixth chakra / third eye: ability to focus on & see the big picture
represents: intuition, imagination, wisdom & the ability to think & make decisions
Seventh / crown chakra: highest chakra, represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually
represents: inner & outer beauty, our connection to spirituality & pure bliss