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Evolution of Chakras & Embryogenesis
Chakra Genesis, A Correlation Between
Evolution of Chakras & Embryogenesis
Acharya Balkrishna1,2, Vinay Kumar Sharma1, Niti Sharma1*
1 Patanjali Research Institute, Haridwar, India
2 University of Patanjali, Haridwar, India
Submission: January 19, 2018;Published: November 06, 2018
*Corresponding author: Nitti Sharma, Patanjali Research Institute, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India.
How to cite this article: Acharya B, Vinay K S, Niti S. Chakra Genesis, A Correlation Between Evolution of Chakras & Embryogenesis. J Yoga &
Physio. 2018; 6(4): 555694. DOI: 10.19080/JYP.2018.06.555694
The Chakras are energy hubs in the body which are important for physical, mental, and spiritual comfort. They are located on the spinal cord where flow of energy is intensified due to congregation of energies from various neuronal centers. Every Chakra is also related to a specific endocrine organ which is helpful in healing of a blocked energy center. Abundant literature is available on presence of Chakras but there is a little understanding how the Chakras are developed during embryogenesis in the human body. The spine is one of the first things to develop in the fetus and it is well known that the Chakra system is present in the spine, it make sense to study the Chakra system of fetus and see how it evolves and effects the development of the child. Hence in the present article we aim to gather knowledge on how Chakras evolve within the mother’s womb.
The Chakra (Sanskrit: “wheel”) - a swirling wheel of energy which provide vital force of life which are important for physical, mental, and spiritual comfort. They are not made of nerves but are powerful and subtle centers of energy. They are located on the spinal cord where flow of energy is intensified due to congregation of energies from various neuronal centers. Chakras are an integral part of Yoga  and get activated through Yoga practices particularly Pranayama (Controlled breathing) which help in directing spinal cord energy upwards by producing spark in motor and sensory nerves. The power of consciousness of the brain is also controlled by this flow of energy. Therefore, by achieving a command over the Chakra all glandular secretions and mental function can be controlled . Several research articles supports the physiological effects of Yoga on central nervous system [3-7], cardiovascular system [8-16], autonomic nervous system [17-21] and respiratory system [22-25].
The earliest known mention of Chakras is found around 1700-1100 BCE in the Brahma Upanishad, Yogatattva Upanishad and Vedas . These Vedic models were adapted in Tibetan Buddhism as Vajrayana theory, and in the Tantric Shakti theory of Chakras
. The number of Chakras varies in different traditions of Yoga. Old Buddhist literature mentioned four Chakras which later got extended . One hundred and twelve chakras were described  while others gave importance to seven Chakras [30-31]. The translation of two Indian texts, the Sat-Cakra-Nirupana, and the Padaka-Pancaka, by Arthur Avlon, in a book entitled The Serpent Power presented the idea of seven main Chakras in the West . Vedas, the oldest scripture of world defined the eight chakras ‘Astachakra navadvaradevanampurayodhya’. Out of the eight, five are situated on the spinal cord while the other three are related to brain . Every Chakra is also related to a specific endocrine organ  which is helpful in healing of ablocked energy center. Abundant literature is available on presence of Chakras but there is a little understanding how the Chakras are developed during embryogenesis in the human body. The spine is one of the first things to develop in the fetus and it is well known that the Chakra system is present in the spine, it make sense to study the Chakra system of fetus and see how it evolves and effects the development of the child. Hence in the present review article we try to gather knowledge on how Chakras evolve within the womb (Figure 1) Table 1.
During the initial stages of pregnancy, the embryo develops
three germ layers. The innermost layer is called the endoderm
which eventually forms digestive system, liver and lungs. The
middle layer or mesoderm is the source of sex organs, bones,
kidney and muscles. Ectoderm is the outer most layers, which
forms the nervous system, skin and eyes .
Chakra system begins to develop during the first two months
in the womb. The developing fetus at this stage is so attached with
the life force energy that the Chakras are united together under
one energy field i.e. at unanimity with the universe. As the embryo
develops into afetus (after 8 weeks of fertilization), nervous tissue
first develops as a flat sheet of cells called the neural plate. At an
early point, the side edges of the neural plate begin to fold toward each other, ultimately forming a tube that mature into brain and
spinal cord .
Thus the Sahasrara Chakra (Crown Chakra, the 8th Chakra)
is the first to become active . Meditation is the best way for
the mother to support developing infant’s Crown Chakra. During
week 4, the forebrain, middle brain, hind brain, and the optical
stalk begin to develop . The differentiation of midbrain from
forebrain would make the physical base of the Sahasrára Chakra
. The brain hemispheres start to form at week 6, and the brain
waves begin. The hind brain develops during week 8, and controls
the heart rate, breathing, and muscle movement. The nervous
system is ready for functioning at 9th week and the brain develops
approximately 25 million neurons per minute. During 15th week
the spinal nerves emerge from the spinal cord and by week 19,
the brain is able to form motor neurons, which allow the body to
produce movement voluntarily. By the end of week 26, the brain’s
surface area increases due to folding.
After the formation of brain, motor and sensory neurons start
functioning. The development of the fetus brings it closer to the
material world even though they are engrossed in the spiritual
world of the womb. The body organs began to differentiate, blood
cells and hormones start forming and the fetus continues to grow.
Along with that the Chakras also began to segregate. The heart is
the first organ to be formed by day 22 or 23 after conception (week
five of pregnancy), the heart begins to beat and can be noticed in
vaginal ultrasound as a weak flicker. Initially heart is formed as a
tube which later becomes fully functional by the end of week eight
of embryonic development . In four weeks after conception,
the neural tube along fetus back is closing and heart is pumping
blood. Embryo does not experience any kind of pain during first
three months of pregnancy. It starts experiences consciousness
after three weeks. It suggests that the soul (Atma) enters the body
at this time  during the formation of Anahata Chakra (Heart
Chakra, 4th Chakra). It lies at the center of the chest and includes
the heart, cardiac plexus, thymus gland, lungs, and breasts besides
ruling the lymphatic system.
Manas Chakra (7th Chakra) lies directly above Ajna Chakra
and mostly considered as a minor Chakra. It consists of six petals,
one for each of the five senses and one for sleep. These petals are
normally white but adopt the color of the senses when stimulated
by them, and turn black at the time of sleep. This Chakra is
responsible for sending sense perceptions to the higher Chakras.
The Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra, 6th Chakra) becomes
active around 7 weeks after conception. It is a bridge that permits
mind communication between two people. According to the Hindu
belief the spiritual energy enters the body through this gateway
and sometimes called ‘seat of soul’ . Ajna has two petals,
represent the pineal and pituitary glands, said to represent the
psychic channels (nadis) Ida and Pingala, which meet the central
Sushumna nadi before rising to the Crown Chakra. Pineal gland,
which regulates the circadian rhythm, is light-sensitive gland that
is why it is called the ‘third eye’. It is also sometimes linked with
the pituitary gland, the chief endocrine gland. This gland produces
a melatonin and a powerful psychedelic chemical called DMT (N,N
dimethyltryptamine). In normal human DMT is released in large
amounts during two times in life: once at birth and at time of death
. From an embryological point of view, the most likely site of
Ajna Chakra is the highly studied isthmus organizer that controls
the differentiation of midbrain from hind brain structures .
Mother can develop this Chakra of her unborn baby by reading
and speaking with her child on a mental level.
The Vishuddhi Chakra (5th Chakra) is located in the vicinity of
the Larynx- and is therefore also known as the Throat Chakra. It
regulates the functional regions of the thyroid, parathyroid, jaw,
neck, mouth, tongue, and larynx. The thyroid is one of the initial
endocrine organs to differentiate and has an important hormonal
role in embryonic development. The thyroid gland is formed from
two groups of embryonic cells by first dividing to form two lobes
parted by a narrow connecting isthmus . These two structures
became obvious by 16 to 17 days of gestation. However, by 20
weeks only the fetus is able work through feedback mechanisms for
thyroid hormones production . Development of larynx starts
during the 4th week and is closely connected with the development
of trachea. The development starts in the form of laryngotracheal
groove in the ventral wall of the pharynx. The groove steadily
deepens and its edges fuse to form a septum which splits the
laryngotracheal tube from the pharynx and oesophagus. This tube
is lined with endoderm from which the epithelium of the airway
develops. The cranial end of this laryngotracheal tube forms the
larynx and the trachea while the other end of tube produces two
branches from which the two main bronchi develop. This is also
the place from which the two lung buds starts to develop.
The Pranayama has tremendous effect on the Vishuddhi
Chakra, at both the physical and spiritual levels. The harmful
materials are release from the body on a physical level, and
spiritually the beliefs, sentiments, conscious and subconscious are
cleansed and synchronized. To boost cognizance in the developing
baby the mother can communicate with the baby by speaking or
by playing music etc.
The third Chakra is called Manipura (Solar Plexus Chakra),
which is located around the navel and extends up to the breastbone
. It is a source of personal power that governs self-esteem
and also has the power of transformation. This Chakra has role in
controlling metabolism and digestion too. Through this Chakra we
absorbs solar energy with revitalize our etheric and physical body
. Manipura is “the center of etheric-psychic intuition” that is
why listening to ‘gut feeling’ may help in making better decisions
in life .
Initially, the digestive system is a series of tubes starting from
mouth and terminating at anus. By about 8 weeks of gestation
stomach starts forming and by 10th week start to produce
gastric juices. The complete development of digestive system
takes 32 weeks. The rudimentary structure of the eyes, ears, and
smell develops early in gestation along with sensation for touch,
position, and motion detection. Brain development includes
sensory systems, motor systems, social/emotional systems, and cognitive systems. The motor development occurs during six to
ten weeks, in which the fetus starts to move its limbs and mouth.
Sensory development begins at 8 weeks and progresses rapidly.
The first sense to develop is touch followed by taste at 14 weeks.
The ear is fully developed at 24 weeks, even though the fetus can
react to sound by 16 weeks. The eyes open at 26 weeks but the
ability to focus is developed toward the end of the pregnancy .
All of these systems are related and work together throughout
late fetal and early neonatal life. All exogenous or outside sensory
stimulation has an emotional component as well as the sensory
The pineal gland becomes visible at 49th day or 7th week
after conception. During this time only sex differentiation takes
place and gender is determined. The pineal gland influences the
pituitary glands secretion of Follicle Stimulating Hormone and
Luteinizing Hormone through some other transmitting molecule
. During this period the Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana Chakra,
2nd Chakra) begins to develop and determine the sexuality during
physical development. It is located above the pubic bone – below
the navel, incorporating the genitals and the hypogastric plexus.
The mother should engage in creative activities (writing, painting
and paying music) to convey that verve to the baby.
The Muladhara Chakra (Root Chakra, 1st Chakra) is the
foundation of the energy body. The root chakra is also associated
with what is referred to as a psychic knot. Specifically, Muladhara
Chakra is known as the Brahma granthi. This is like a knot of
energy in the body. When this knot of energy is released, it allows
us to enter Brahma Loka. It also purifies and balances energy in
the urogenital region. The root Chakra becomes active when the
baby changes its position and places the head in the birth canal.
The child is ready to emerge from mother’s womb and greet the
material world. Thus in other words the Root Chakra relates to
the survival needs, will to live, and sense of trust. Children with
enough Root Chakra energy will be less prone to illness and have
a stronger chance for survival. Mother’s contentment and sense of
security during this time will have a deep influence on the child’s
The urogenital system starts developing during the fourth
week from urogenital ridges in the intermediate mesoderm on
each side of the primitive aorta. Both urinary and genital systems
are interwoven and develop together. The nephrogenic ridge is
the part of the urogenital ridge which forms the urinary system.
Urine formation begins towards the end of the first trimester
(weeks 11 to 12). Three sets of kidneys also develop consecutively
in the embryo. The pronephros is nonfunctional and disappears
very early; the structural elements of the mesonephros mostly
degenerate, but the gonad is developed in their place, with which
the Wolffian duct remains as the duct in males, and the Müllerian
as that of the female.
Maxwell proposed a gap junction theory according to which
physical systems related to a Chakra have three key features: (i)
a physical base present in the dorsal CNS, (ii) a concentration
point activating the physical base, (iii) and impact of that physical
base on secretions from a particular gland which in turn affect
the brain function. The gap junctions in the autonomic plexuses
may become activate in the dorsal CNS, once energized. Moreover,
gap junctions also modulate glandular functions, apparently by
autonomic nerves linked with these dorsal CNS positions.
Previous efforts to correlate physical body and Chakra were
inadequate. Additional information about stages of embryogenesis
along with the formation of Chakras may be helpful in proposing a
different aspect of Chakra theory. This is backed by the gap junction
concept proposed by Maxwell according to which Chakras must
have physical connection in addition to the apparent metaphysical
features.Chakras have more than one dimension to them. One
dimension is their spiritual while other is physical existence. The
literaturehas described the Chakras as metaphysical equivalent
of the endocrine glands, as noticeable similarity between the
positions of the two has been observed . Sturgess also linked
the lower six chakras to specific nerve plexuses along the spinal
cord as well as with the glands . Likewise, the Ajna Chakra
is linked with the pineal gland which is a part of the endocrine
system . These associations remain speculative, however, and
have yet to be empirically validated. Initially, all Chakras are fused
under one powerful energy source which gradually separates and
develops along with the fetal development. The mother need to
focus on meditation, creative activities, and positive thinking etc.
all have tremendous role in strengthening the Chakras of growing
fetus in the womb.