The chakras have been known in all parts of the world and throughout history by illumined and psychic people. They are not confined to one system, for they constitute the fundamental makeup of man. Sensitive people in the so-called primitive tribes and societies knew the chakras from their own experiences. They tuned in with the chakras when they tuned in with the more subtle aspects of their pranic body. They did not need to formulate a system or symbolize them, for the system existed already within their own being.
As more complex societies began to develop, organized systems simultaneously arose to unfold the potential of the mind and raise levels of consciousness. The chakras were symbolized according to social codes of language, art and convention. The chakras were depicted in different ways, though always referring to the same aspect of man’s being. Because of these differing symbols, many people regard the chakras as mere fanciful concepts and figments of the imagination. But this misses the whole point which is that the experience of the chakras cannot be represented in concrete words and diagrams. Words and symbols can only indicate the existence of the chakras. You must experience the chakras for yourself; you must awaken the potential of the mind for yourself. No one can ever experience them for you. They can tell you about them, but any description will be entirely inadequate.
So don’t be discouraged by the different symbols of the chakras; they are only pointers. They are not the reality of the chakras. All symbolic systems of the chakras are only a means, a convenient and scientific means of guiding and assisting you towards your own experience.
We will now discuss the chakras according to different religions and mind exploring systems.