The Seven Chakras

About the Seven Chakras

Chakra is a Sanskrit word that translates as “wheel” or “turning”. Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices which, according to traditional Indian medicine, are believed to exist in the surface of the etheric double of man. The Chakras are said to be “force centres” or whorls of energy permeating, from a point on the physical body, the layers of the subtle bodies in an ever-increasing fan-shaped formation (the fans make the shape of a love heart). Rotating vortices of subtle matter, they are considered the focal points for the reception and transmission of energies. Seven major chakras or energy centres (also understood as wheels of light) are generally believed to exist, located within the subtle body. It is typical for chakras to be depicted in either of two ways: Flower-like or Wheel-like. In the former, a specific number of petals are shown around the perimeter of a circle. In the latter, a certain number of spokes divide the circle into segments that make the chakra resemble a wheel or chakra. Each chakra possesses a specific number of segments or petals. Much of the original information on chakras comes from the Upanishads, which are difficult to date because they are believed to have been passed down orally for approximately a thousand years before being written down for the first time between 1200–900 BCE.
In Hinduism the chakras are a feature of Kundalini-Yoga and Hindu Tantra. Tantric practices, including chakras, also are an important part of the Vajrayana, practices found mostly in Tibetan Buddhism. Tantra and chakras are understood somewhat differently in Buddhism than they are in Hinduism, however. In Vajrayana Buddhism, enlightenment is understood to be already present in the body. Through various esoteric practices involving the chakras, one directly experiences the nature of existence.

Crown Chakra (Sahasrara)

Sahasrara is generally considered to be the chakra of pure consciousness. Its role may be envisioned somewhat similarly to that of the pituitary gland, which secretes emanuel hormones to communicate to the rest of the endocrine system and also connects to the central nervous system via the hypothalamus. The thalamus is thought to have a key role in the physical basis of consciousness. Symbolized by a lotus with one thousand petals, it is located at the crown of the head. Sahasrara is represented by the colour violet and it involves such issues as inner wisdom and the death of the body. Sahasrara’s inner aspect deals with the release of karma, physical action with meditation, mental action with universal consciousness and unity, and emotional action with “beingness”

Knowledge, Understanding and Oneness
Sanskrit: Sahasrara
Sanskrit Translation: Purification
Sound: Notes: “B”
Colour: Violet
Petals: 1000
Symbol: Lotus
Meridian: Central & Governing
Location: Cerebral cortex
Physical Component: Right brain hemisphere, central nervous system, right eye
Glands: Pineal
Emotional Component: Attachment
Mode: Knowing, Oneness
Action: The right to know and learn

Third eye Chakra (Ajna)

Ajna is linked to the pineal gland which may inform a model of its envisioning. The pineal gland is a light sensitive gland that produces the hormone melatonin which regulates sleep and waking up. Ajna is symbolised by a lotus with two petals, and corresponds to the colour white, indigo or deep blue. Ajna’s key issues involve balancing the higher & lower selves and trusting inner guidance. Ajna’s inner aspect relates to the access of intuition. Mentally, Ajna deals with visual consciousness. Emotionally, Ajna deals with clarity on an intuitive level. (Note: some opine that the pineal and pituitary glands should be exchanged in their relationship to the Crown and Brow chakras, based on the description in Arthur Avalon’s book on kundalini called Serpent Power or empirical research.)

Intuition, Mysticism and Understanding
Sanskrit Translation:
Sound: Notes:
“A” & “Bb”
Star of David
Triple warmer
Physical Component
Face, ears, eyes, nose, sinuses, nervous system
Emotional Component:
Intuition and imagination
I see

Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)

Vishuddha (also Vishuddhi) may be understood as relating to communication and growth through expression. This chakra is paralleled to the thyroid, a gland that is also in the throat and which produces thyroid hormone, responsible for growth and maturation. Symbolised by a lotus with sixteen petals. Vishudda is characterized by the colour light or pale blue, or turquoise. It governs such issues as self-expression and communication, as discussed above. Physically, Vishuddha governs communication, emotionally it governs independence, mentally it governs fluent thought, and spiritually, it governs a sense of security.

Knowledge, Health and Communication
Sanskrit: Vishuddha
Sanskrit Translation: Purification
Sound: Notes: “G” & “G#”
Color: Blue
Petals: 16
Symbol: Chalice
Meridian: Lung
Location: Throat
Physical Component: Jaw, neck, throat, voice, airways, upper lungs, nape of neck, arms
Glands: Thyroid
Emotional Component: Lies
Mode: Communication and creativity
Action: To speak and hear the truth

Heart Chakra (Anahata)

Anahata, or Anahata-puri, or padma-sundara, is related to the thymus, located in the chest. The thymus is an element of the immune system as well as being part of the endocrine system. It is the site of maturation of the T cells responsible for fending off disease and may be adversely affected by stress. Anahata is symbolised by a lotus flower with twelve petals. (See also heartmind). Anahata is related to the colours green or pink. Key issues involving Anahata involve complex emotions, compassion, tenderness, unconditional love, equilibrium, rejection and well-being. Physically Anahata governs circulation, emotionally it governs unconditional love for the self and others, mentally it governs passion, and spiritually it governs devotion.

Balance Love and Self Control 
Sanskrit: Anahata
Sanskrit Translation: Unstruck Sound, Fresh, Clean
Sound: Notes: “F” & “F#”
Color: Green
Petals: 12
Symbol: Cross
Meridian: Heart
Location: Chest
Physical Component: Heart, blood circulation, lower lungs, ribcage, skin, upper back
Glands: Thymus
Emotional Component: Grief
Mode: Love and Balance
Action: I love and I am loved

Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura)

Manipura or manipuraka is related to the metabolic and digestive systems. Manipura is believed to correspond to Islets of Langerhans, which are groups of cells in the pancreas, as well as the outer adrenal glands and the adrenal cortex. These play a valuable role in digestion, the conversion of food matter into energy for the body. Symbolised by a lotus with ten petals. The colour that corresponds to Manipura is yellow. Key issues governed by Manipura are issues of personal power, fear, anxiety, opinion-formation, introversion, and transition from simple or base emotions to complex. Physically, Manipura governs digestion, mentally it governs personal power, emotionally it governs expansiveness, and spiritually, all matters of growth.

Wisdom, Clarity and Self esteem
Sanskrit: Manipura
Sanskrit Translation: Lustrous gem
Sound: Notes: “E” & “Eb”
Color: Yellow
Petals: 10
Symbol: Circle
Meridian:Stomach, Spleen, Small Intestine, Gall Bladder, Liver
Location: Solar Plexus
Physical Component:Liver, digestive system, stomach, spleen, gall bladder,muscles,back
Glands:Pancreas and adrenals
Emotional Component: Shame
Mode: Poer and will
Action: To act and to be an individual

Sacral Chakra (Swadisthana)

Swadhisthana, Svadisthana or adhishthana is located in the sacrum (hence the name) and is considered to correspond to the testes or the ovaries that produce the various sex hormones involved in the reproductive cycle. Svadisthana is also considered to be related to, more generally, the genitourinary system and the adrenals. The Sacral Chakra is symbolized by a lotus with six petals, and corresponds to the colour orange. The key issues involving Svadisthana are relationships, violence, addictions, basic emotional needs, and pleasure. Physically, Svadisthana governs reproduction, mentally it governs creativity, emotionally it governs joy, and spiritually it governs enthusiasm.

Happiness, Confidence and Resourcefulness
Sanskrit: Swadhisthana
Sanskrit Translation: Sweetness
Sound: Notes: “D” & “C#”
Color: Orange
Symbol: Pyramid
Meridian:Bladder, Kidney and Large Intestine
Location:Lower abdomen
Physical Component:Pelvic area, sex organs, fluid functions, kidney and bladder
Glands:Testicles and ovaries
Emotional Component: Guilt
Mode: Emotions / Sexuality
Action: I Feel

Root Chakra (Muladhara)

Muladhara is related to instinct, security, survival and also to basic human potentiality. This centre is located in the region between the genitals and the anus. Although no endocrine organ is placed here, it is said to relate to the gonads and the adrenal medulla, responsible for the fight-or-flight response when survival is under threat. There is a muscle located in this region that controls ejaculation in the sexual act of the human male. A parallel is charted between the sperm cell and the ovum where the genetic code lies coiled and the kundalini. Muladhara is symbolized by a lotus with four petals and the colour red. Key issues involve sexuality, lust and obsession. Physically, Muladhara governs sexuality, mentally it governs stability, emotionally it governs sensuality, and spiritually it governs a sense of security.

Vitality, Courage and Self Confidence
Sanskrit: Muladhara
Sanskrit Translation: Root Support
Sound: Notes: “C”
Color: Red
Petals: 4
Symbol: Square
Meridian:Circulation / Sex and Large Intestine
Location: Base of spine
Physical Component:Spinal column, legs, feet, bones, teeth, large intestine
Glands: Adrenals
Emotional Component: Fear
Mode: Survival
Action: I am here