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Mike Shreve was a teacher of yoga at four universities. (The portrait above was drawn by one of his students in 1970.) Then a spiritual rebirth brought him into a real relationship with God and drastically changed his heart, his life and his belief system.  Read his story here.

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Site Completed–10/15/01
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Mike Shreve.
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Do These Internal Energy Centers Called “Chakras” Really Exist?

      Many Far Eastern and New Age religious groups profess a belief in a number of internal, rotating energy centers called “chakras.” The traditional view numbers seven: five along the spine, one (the third eye) in the middle of the forehead, and the seventh chakra, called the crown chakra, at the top of the head. These are supposed to be “focal points where psychic forces and bodily functions merge and interact with each other.” Each chakra is “associated with a specific color, shape, sense organ, natural element, deity and mantra.”[1] Though advocating this concept as being true, strangely, the guru I studied under in 1969-1970 (Yogi Bhajan) insists chakras are “imaginary and nothing else.”[2] Through the years I have met some Christians who attempt to mingle Biblical beliefs and Far Eastern beliefs—and who claim to embrace this doctrine. Though as a yoga teacher, I once advocated a belief in chakras, I now feel strongly that it is impossible to truly accept a Biblical worldview and incorporate this concept into your belief system. Please consider the following points: 

Seven Reasons Why I No Longer Believe In Chakras 

(1)   Many teachers who believe in chakras cannot agree on the correct number. Some yogic models include 7, 8, 9 and 12 chakras. In Buddhism there are 4 chakras; in Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana) there are 5. If there really are rotating, internal energy centers in man, those who ‘discover’ them should agree on how many actually exist.

(2)   Each chakra (in Hinduism) is identified with a different Hindu god. These gods are no more than imaginary entities, man-made myths, full of human-like frailties and are essentially unreal. So it is only logical to deduce that the chakras with which these gods are associated are also essentially unreal.

(3)   The concept of chakras is inextricably connected to the concept of the kundalini (the serpent power) rising up through these ‘energy centers’ to bring a seeker to new levels of consciousness. Because the kundalini power is NOT the true power of God, but a demonic counterfeit, then the whole idea of chakras becomes absolutely unnecessary. The experience of God-consciousness (conscious awareness of the reality of God) comes through the entrance of Jesus Christ into the heart of man. This has nothing to do with the supposed rising of a ‘serpent power’ or the  ‘opening up’ of chakras. Many swamis and gurus warn that a ‘premature’ arousal of the kundalini can result in insanity or dark occult powers being awakened. However, there is NO ACCOUNT in the Bible of anyone having an experience with the TRUE GOD and experiencing negative or detrimental results. (See the article titled, “What really is the kundalini?” )

(4)   The concept of chakras is based on the idea that God is an internal, impersonal, energy force that can be controlled by the right incantation, mantra or ritualistic practice. Yet God communes with His people; he is not controlled by them. He is a personal God and he responds to prayer offered to him in a heartfelt, personal way. He is not impressed or motivated by repetitious utterances or magical rites.

(5)   Certain gurus have made sweeping claims about the power of meditating on certain chakras. For instance, Sivananda taught that meditating on the first chakra causes all sins to be wiped away; meditating on the second chakra frees a person from desire, wrath, greed and deception; and meditating on the sixth chakra (the third eye) wipes out all karma form previous lives. If these things are true then we do not need the crucifixion of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, nor the Holy Spirit entering and regenerating our hearts for a character change (which are both absolute necessities). Furthermore, the consequences of our past sins are taken out of God’s hands and placed in ours.

(6)    Some advocates say that Jesus taught the existence of chakras, because of a statement he made in Matthew 6:22-23—“The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” When taken in context, clearly this passage is not referring to a psychic energy center, but our ‘perception’—the way we look at life. In the verses immediately before and after this statement Jesus is warning against laying up “treasures on earth” and trying to serve “God and mammon” (material riches). He is just emphasizing that we should stay ‘focused’ on spirituality, though we live in a secular world. Also, it helps to see that other translations render the word single as Other Bible versions use words like, “sound,” “healthy,” “clear” or “unclouded” for the word “good.” The exact meaning becomes all the more obvious in these newer renditions. Very simply, if you ‘look’ at life with a good attitude—if your values are sound and healthy, and your perceptions, clear and unclouded—the light of truth radiates in you and through you. If Jesus were actually attempting to enlighten his disciples concerning the existence of internal psychic energy centers, he surely would not have been so vague.

(7)   The concept of chakras cannot be found in the Bible. Because the Bible alone is God’s inspired Word, concepts that are extra-biblical should not be included in our worldview. 


This is a more thorough presentation of thoughts that already appear In Search of the True Light written by Mike Shreve, In Search of the True Light, pages 227 & 265.

[1] “Chakra,” Miriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions (Springfield, MA: Miriam-Webster, Incorporated, 1999) p. 193. 

[2] Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, Kundalini Yoga, The Flow of Eternal Power (New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 1996) p. 61.

"In Search of the True Light" ©2002 copyright by Mike Shreve.
All articles unless otherwise noted are copyright by Mike Shreve.
Personal Stories are the work of the individuals.
All Rights Reserved.

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