Chakras: the hidden talents

Because the kingdom of heaven is like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability; and then he went on his journey. The man who had received 5 talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five talents more. So also, the one with two talents gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five talents brought the other five, and said: Master, you entrusted me with five talents; see, I have gained five more. And his master replied: Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; come and share your master’s happiness. The man with two talents also came, and said: Master, you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more. His master replied: Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; come and share your master’s happiness. Then the man who had received one bag of gold came and said: Master, I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. so I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground; see, here is what belongs to you. His master replied: You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance; and whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness; where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, (Matthew 25.14-30).

Yoga teaches us that we have a wealth of growth at our disposal, that we can be much more than what we are at birth. The Siddha made deep discoveries about our physical and subtle anatomies. We mentioned earlier the existence of five layers or bodies: physical body, energetic or vital body, mental body, intellectual body and casual body.

The vital body is dotted with energy channels called ‘nadis’. The nadis correspond with the ‘meridians’ of Chinese acupuncture. It is said that there are about 70,000 nadis, nourishing and supporting the functions of the physical body with their activity. Apart from the nadis, in the physical body there are seven main energy centers, called ‘chakras’. The word chakra means, literally, ‘wheel’. These seven energy centers are related, each one, with a different state of consciousness:

- First chakra, situated in the perineum – state of sexual impulse.
- Second chakra, in the coccyx – state associated to the capacity for survival and obtaining the basic needs.
- Third chakra, in the solar plexus – state associated to willpower and desire.
- Fourth chakra, in the heart – state of love and compassion.
- Fifth chakra, in the neck – state of creative expression.
- Sixth chakra, on the forehead – visionary and intuitive state.
- Seventh chakra, on top of the head (crown) – state of pure consciousness and fusion with the Absolute.

Our state of consciousness will correspond to the chakra where we have more vital energy accumulated. Chakras are represented by flowers of different colors that point downwards. When they are activated, they point upwards.

Our vital and sexual energy accumulates in the first three chakras; in puberty, with the awakening of sexuality, they activate more and more. The rest of the chakras open up very slowly, depending on our life's activities; very few people present – naturally – any activity in the sixth or seventh chakra.

This means that the main worry of 70% of the Humanity is sex, physical survival and self gratification, since the vital energy is concentrated naturally in the first three chakras.

Yoga, the same as other spiritual paths, prescribes specific practices to awaken and activate all chakras. These are, in Jesus’ words, our talents, a potential that has been given to us, that we can work on or ignore them and bury them in the earth. In this latter case – following Jesus’ Talents Parable, (Matthew 25.14-30) – our life is fruitless, and the owner of the talents, our Superior Being, ends up wanting them back, considering that the present incarnation is barren. However, the one who cultivates the chakras is told: 'Come and share your master's happiness’. Such person experiments the divine joy when experiencing his awakening and spiritual development.

Our life, then, is an opportunity that we have been given to develop all our worth, to experience the Divinity that we all potentially have, it is like our birthright. Through our spiritual practice we can reclaim and recover our birthright, our right of being called “children of God.” Otherwise life is fruitless, sterile, and this incarnation will pass without a trace, like another lost opportunity to reencounter the Kingdom of God:

Then Jesus told them this parable: A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard: ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down,' (Luke 13.6-9).

Yoga tells us that consciousness and energy go together, and that by working on one we can increase the other one. The 'Samadhi' or fusion with the Absolute, the state corresponding to the crown chakra, is the experience of the pure consciousness, our true nature. This, in the vital body, entails a very high level of energy. So the vital body, that supports our nervous system, needs to be prepared for this. Otherwise there can be problems.

Working on the energy of our bodies allows us to experiment higher states of consciousness; this work is the base that supports the experience of the Samadhi, the opening of the seventh chakra on top of our head.

To build our inner temple we need to cleanse the nadis and activate the chakras.

The practice of asanas, or yogic postures, starts to work on both functions. It is very important to cleanse the subconscious and to liberate physical and emotional constraints, which are the resistances that stop the energy – and with it, the consciousness that it supports – from flowing freely in our system. These practices constitute the base for the construction of our temple.

The role of the chakras in the construction of the Samadhi experience is paramount. Each one would be like the transmitter in an electrical circuit (our vital body), which needs to be activated for a fully functioning system. The more activated are the chakras, the more energy levels will the circuit admit, and therefore, it will admit higher and more expanded levels of consciousness.

Certain practices of ‘pranayamas’ (breathing exercises) can mobilize the energy from the first chakra and distribute it through all the chakras, activating them. Yoga also offers certain syllables or mantras. Their constant repetition activates different chakras. The practice of mantras activates and purifies the energy system, eliminating constraints and blockages.

For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance; and whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.

Various Yoga teachers comment on how the aperture and full activation of the chakras can make the aspirant remember other lives, and even acquire certain powers. The classic Yoga mentions eight powers or mayor ‘siddhis’, that include the power to heal others, clairvoyance, invisibility, changing into another body, and more. However, it has always been pointed out that such powers can be an insurmountable obstacle for the yogi’s spiritual advancement, who can be tempted to use them for his own benefit.

Jesus himself was tempted to use his powers for his own benefit, to become master of the Earth. This happened after having spent 40 days in the desert, fasting (a good yogic sadhana!). Traditionally, after a very intense sadhana, the yogi comes out strong, full of energy and power – and that is the time when he can be tempted by his own power:

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said:
- If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.
Jesus replied:
- It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple, and told him:
- If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. Because it is written: ‘He will command his angels to lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a Stone.’
- It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’- Jesus replied.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
- All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me.
- Away from me, Satan! - said Jesus - because it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him,
(Matthew 4.1-11).

The yogi passes the powers test when he renounces to use them for his own benefit and offers them up to serve the Divinity. He only uses them when he feels that the Spirit is asking him to. Jesus passed the test easily.