Chakras & Esoteric Associations

Chakras

Chakra - Its literal meaning is "circle". In this context, it refers to the seven esoteric, energy centers located along the spinal column beginning with the Muladhara Chakra (root/elimination) at the base of the spine, followed by Svadhisthana (sacral/reproductive), Manipura (solar plexus/creative energy), Anahata (heart/ love & healing), Vissudha (throat/right speech/truth), Ajna (third eye/connection to infinity), Sahasrara Chakra (crown/self-realization).

Root Chakra

1st Chakra: Muladhara ("root chakra")


Location: Base of the spine
Anatomy: Coccyx (tailbone)
Physiology: Elimination (esp. feces & urine); excretory
Endocrine Gland/Hormones: Digestive hormones
Tantra Tattva/Element: Prithvi/Earth (symbolized by a yellow square)
Esoteric Function: Elimination of all "root" or primal desires and fears; creation of firm foundations/root system (think of a tree and its root system or the proverbial lotus flower whose roots are immersed in murky water and yet its petals remain pure and clean)
Lotus Petals: 4; represents the four corners of the world; four archetypes of the chakra wheel of life which include: the sphinx/lion, the ox, eagle, and man; also four elements that make up creation: air, fire, water, and earth; or astrologically: Leo, Taurus, Aquarius, and Scorpio
Color: Blood red, as in the blood of life
Sense: Smell
Bij/Seed Sound: LAM
God: Child Brahma
Goddess: Dakini


Info Synopsis: The Muladhara Chakra is the foundation of all the creative Kundalini energy located at the base of the spine. This chakra controls the excretory and sexual instincts (not functions) of an individual. When this chakra is balanced, a person has strength and confidence. An unbalanced root chakra can lead to insecurities, fears, and perversions. The Kundalini is thought to be awakened at this chakra because this is where the energy is lying dormant. When it is awakened, the aspirant may receive siddhis (psychic abilities/heightened intuitions) that should not be abused or the focus of awakening the Kundalini. The focus should instead be on self-realization. One can meditate on the seed sound "LAM" mentally or aloud. The aspirant may know the Kundalini has awakened when the seed sound is heard as an internal humming. There are other symptoms that vary from person to person. 

Sacral Chakra

2nd Chakra: Savadhisthana ("sacral chakra")


Location: Sacral region/Pelvic girdle
Anatomy: Lower lumbar
Physiology: Procreation process, release of sexual hormones
Endocrine Gland/Hormones: Sexual organs; females: ovaries, estrogen (also progesterone and other homones in much smaller amounts); males: testes, testosterone (mainly)
Tantra Tattva/Element: Apas/Water (seen as a silver cresent)
Esoteric Function: Source of creative power (how your imagination/visualizations are being used to manifest your reality). Relates to water, impulses, ideas, imagination, and stimulation of the mind.
Lotus Petals: 6
Color: Vermilion
Sense: Taste
Bij/Seed Sound: VAM
God: Vishnu
Goddess: Shakti Rakini


Info Synopsis: In this chakra the yogi must gain control over his/her five senses. This chakra has control of sex and sexual reproduction, as well as mental creation (your imagination/visualizations). A balanced 2nd chakra results in improved ideas and imagination, energy, and balanced sexual life. An imbalance in this chakra can cause sexual obsessions, unhealthy desires, and perverted fantasies. When the Kundalini pierces this chakra the aspirant releases fears over liquid or watery elements and may gain intuitive knowledge.

Solar Chakra

3rd Chakra: Manipura ("solar plexus chakra")


Location: Dorsal
Anatomy: Solar plexus at navel point (where nerve endings meet)
Physiology: Digestive & homeostasis regulation
Endocrine Gland/Hormones: Adrenals (on top of kidneys): adrenaline, cortisol, other steroids; pancreas: insulin, glucagon, other regulatory hormones
Tantra Tattva/Element: Tejas/Fire (shown as a red triangle)
Esoteric Function: Control of diseases including physical, mental, and emotional
Lotus Petals: 10; sacred lotus
Color: Gray (like the color of heavy rain clouds); also depicted as yellow
Sense: Sight (emotional charge of what is seen)
Bij/Seed Sound: RAM
God: Vishnu
Goddess: Lakini


Info Synopsis: This chakra has control over judgments and your sense of identity; the fire of digestion. A balanced Manipura brings good physical health, control over sense of self-worth resulting in a more courageous and determined attitude. It gives the energy to accomplish goals and tackle obstacles with grace. An imbalanced solar chakra cause a person to think only of themselves, excessive greed and a desperate drive for power over others. When the aspirant gains control over this chakra he/she becomes free from all diseases.

Heart Chakra

4th Chakra: Anahata ("heart chakra")


Location: Heart center
Anatomy: Thorasic region including the heart, lungs, and diaphragm
Physiology: Regulation of respiratory and cardiac system
Endocrine Gland/Hormones: Thymus; main lymphoid organ of the immune system
Tantra Tattva/Element: Vayu/Air (represented by a blue circle)
Esoteric Function: Relates to air and the movement of air
Lotus Petals: 12; "The Celestial Wishing Tree"
Color: Vermilion or Green
Sense: Touch (feelings and spiritual experiences)
Bij/Seed Sound: YAM
God: Isa
Goddess: Kakini


Info Synopsis: This chakra is associated with love and compassion. The heart chakra is the midpoint between the lower and upper chakras. When this chakra is balanced true love and compassion will be experienced. The person will act from the heart with good will and intention; giving self-lessly and without expectations. When this chakra is out of balance, one can be highly emotional and confused with the emotions that are being felt. When the Kundalini pierces this chakra, the aspirant gains control over their heart. With this awakening one can hear the Anahat sounds including Aum/Om. The yogi gains control over all gaseous elements along with strong lungs, heart, diaphragm, etc., and is able to receive cosmic love.

Throat Chakra

5th Chakra: Vissudha ("throat chakra")


Location: Throat
Anatomy: Neck/cervical vertebrae: two lobes connected by an isthmus
Physiology: Responsible for metabolic rate, protein synthesis, and calcium homeostasis
Endocrine Gland/Hormones: Thyroid & parathyroid/triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), output is regulated by thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) which is released by the anterior pituitary gland.
Tantra Tattva/Element: Akasa/Ether (symbolized as a black egg)
Esoteric Function: Center of ether element. Ether vibrates through the words or thoughts one speaks or thinks, respectively. Right speech and truth help to purify this gland/chakra area.
Lotus Petals: 16
Color: Smoky purple; also represented as blue
Sense: Hearing
Bij/Seed Sound: HAM
God: Sadasiva
Goddess: Gauri (Eternal)


Info Synopsis: The Vissudha Chakra represents speaking truthfully and with love as learned through the Anahata. This also includes what a person hears and the vibrations associated with spoken words whether negative or positive. Positive speech and thought patterns raise the vibrations of the throat chakra and keep it balanced. An unbalanced Vissudha could result in a person being overly vocal and highly opinionated; being blunt and thoughtlessly outspoken.When the Kundalini pierces through this chakra the aspirant is free from earthly desires, gains full knowledge of the Vedas; past, present, and future become known to the aspirant through meditation and awakening of this chakra.

Third Eye Chakra

6th Chakra: Ajna ("third eye chakra")


Location: Forehead
Anatomy: Pineal Gland: In the brain centered between the left and right hemispheres
Physiology: Regulates sleep, circadian rhythm, and seasonal cycles; also has photon receptors that are found in the eyes; may be reponsible for images produced in the mind, imagination, visualization, and it is believed to be responsible for dreams as well.
Endocrine Gland/Hormones: Pineal/secretes melatonin and seratonin
Tantra Tattva/Element: Akasa/Ether
Esoteric Function: Takes care of all the functions of the chakras below it, center of command; also known as the "Eye of Shiva". It is considered the gateway to Cosmic Consciousness.
Lotus Petals: 2
Color: White; also seen as indigo
Sense: All six senses, including the mind; the rays penetrate through the four corners of the world
Bij/Seed Sound: AUM/Om
God: Sakti Hakini
Goddess: Sakti Hakini (union of energy manifest and unmanifest)


Info Synopsis: The third eye chakra is the gateway to communion with the Divine Cosmic Essence. This chakra allows an individual to experience heightened intuition and is a direct link to the infinite source of wisdom. When the third eye is "open" and balanced an aspirant can "see" the "unseen" and "know" the "unknown". This chakra is activated by frequent and dedicated meditation practice. Meditation causes the pineal and pituitary glands to secrete actively. An imbalanced third eye results in the "eye" being closed and the aspirant to wander in the dark. When the aspirant meditates on this chakra, he/she begins to remove the karmas of past lives. When the Kundalini pierces this chakra the aspirant becomes a liberated soul in their current lifetime.

Crown Chakra

7th Chakra: Sahasrara ("crown chakra")


Location: Above the head in some literature; alternatively the top of the skull
Anatomy: Base of the hypothalamus, which is also at the base of the brain
Physiology: Controls all body systems
Endocrine Gland/Hormones: Pituitary/releases many hormones among these groups: somatotropes, corticotropes, thyrotropes, gonadotropes, lactotropes. *The pituitary gland is sometimes thought of as part of the 6th chakra, however, it is actually located at the base of the brain in the hypothalamus which is where the neck and head would articulate. The pituitary gland receives the hormones of the pineal gland and controls all the glands and hormones below it. It is the powerhouse that regulates all the chakras above and below it.*
Tantra Tattva/Element: No tattva, but called Hiranyagarbha, "the womb of Consciousness"/Cosmic Life Force
Esoteric Function: This is the dwelling house of the soul; the "Hole of Brahman" which is beyond the constraints of space and time, sometimes compared to a black hole that leads to a point of singularity. Life force may be released in cases of emergency to sustain the human body.
Lotus Petals: Thousand-Petalled Lotus known as the "Tenth Gate"
Color: White or violet
Sense: Supreme Consciousness
Bij/Seed Sound: AUM/Om
God: Brahman
Goddess: Brahman


Info Synopsis: This chakra is only experienced after the other chakras have been pierced by the Kundalini energy. When this energy is activated, the aspirant will experience bliss that comes from the union with the infinite cosmos. Enlightened souls are thought to exit through the seventh chakra upon death to become reunited with Brahman. For many yogis, this is the ultimate intention of yoga, to obtain supreme consciousness (psychic, supersensory, or transcendental powers). This is considered the highest possible manifestation in our human evolution.


Mantra: Aum/Om (repeated over and over)

Chakra Energy

8th Chakra: Aura (protective shield of the chakras) The aura, or 8th Chakra as it is sometimes called, surrounds our outer physical body and extends beyond the body by a few or several feet (depending on the health of one's chakras) enclosing all of the chakras and the physical body. One's aura can change in size, shape, brightness, and color. The aura is dependent on the health of a person's mind, body, and spirit.

Om

 Chakra seed sounds (bij): By chanting these sounds of the chakras, the aspirant starts to gain control over the effects of the particular chakra.


LAM - Muladhara


VAM - Svadhisthana


RAM - Manipura


YAM - Anahata

 

HAM - Vissudha


OM - Ajna - focus on this seed sound can relieve the aspirant of all past "karmas" and is considered one of the ten Anahat sounds.