The Chakra concept
has a long tradition, especially in India. The chakras are mentioned in the early Yoga Upanishads, but we get the first detailed information in 10th-centuary texts and above all through Sat-Chakra-Nirupana by Swami Purananda from the 16th century. Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe) in the early 20th century made a translation of it titled "The serpent Power". With introduction and comments it´s still a good, though not so simple, source of information on Indian philosophy, the Indian Yoga system and the chakra system. Somewhat later the theosophist C.W. Leadbeater wrote "The Chakras", which has become a great classic.
Besides in Tantric-Indian tradition chakra knowledge is also to be found in other Indian traditions, in Tibetan Buddhism and in Taoist Yoga. Our subtle flow of energy is also clearly described in the very old "The Teachings of the Yellow Emperor" which is the basis of Chinese medicin. In Europe as well, there are early indications that the subtle constitution of Man has been taken into account. As early as the 3rd century Plotinos described the many levels of consciousness of Man. In the 13th century we find for example the mystic Jacob Böhme, later his "disciple" Johann George Giechtel and many other well known names like Paracelsus, Francis Bacon and Spinoza.Up