Tantric tradition accords each individual with seven energy centers that serve as junction points between the body and consciousness, or between matter and mind. These spinning vortices, called chakras in Sanskrit, receive, assimilate and express our vital life energy. When the flow of energy in one or more of the chakras becomes blocked, physical and mental illnesses can easily develop.
Ancient seers perceived the chakra system as a column of energy centers, extending form the base of the spine to the top of the head. The location of each chakra loosely corresponds to an area of the body’s anatomy and is associated with a specific color. The the seven chakras and their Sanskrit names are described below:
First Chakra: Muladhara (red)
Bija Mantra - LAM
Located at the base of the spine, the first energy center, sometimes called “the root chakra,” relates to our most basic survival needs and our sense of belonging, whether to our family or a larger group. When this chakra is clear and energy flows through it freely, we feel secure and confident that we can easily fulfill our needs. On the other hand, blockage in this area can cause us to feel anxious and worried.
This chakra, which connects us to the earth, gives us vital information about whether actions we’re considering will nourish us or pose a threat. When we have a decision to make, we can listen to the signals of the root chakra: Uncomfortable sensations are a message to be alert and reconsider, while pleasant feelings indicate that a given course of action is likely to meet our needs for safety and nourishment.
Second Chakra: Svadhisthana (orange)
Bija Mantra - VAM
This chakra resides in reproductive area and is associated with birth and creativity – both literally to a new baby but also metaphorically to new aspects of ourselves, projects and ideas. When this chakra is healthy, we’re tapped into the source of higher energy that helps us write beautiful music, develop an innovative business, or create a loving family life. When this chakra becomes congested, we may experience a block in our creative powers and a sense of dryness or emptiness.
Third Chakra: Manipura (yellow)
Bija Mantra - RAM
The third chakra, which governs our will, self-esteem and sense of personal power, resides in the solar plexus. When energy flows freely through this center, we’re confident about our ability to manifest our intentions and desires. When the third chakra is blocked, however, we feel powerless and frustrated.
Fourth Chakra: Anahata (green)
Bija Mantra - YAM
This energy center is sometimes referred to as “the heart chakra” because it resonates in the heart and relates to compassion and love. When the fourth chakra is flowing and open, we feel deeply connected to everyone in our life. But when it’s obstructed, we experience loneliness and a sense of alienation.
Fifth Chakra: Vishuddi (blue)
Bija Mantra - HAM
This energy center is localized in the throat area and relates to communication and self-expression . . . the ability to voice our dreams. When our center of communication is clear, we can express our truth without concern about what others may think. In contrast, with a congested fifth chakra, we feel anxious about how other people will react to our views and are likely to censor ourselves.
Sixth chakra: Ajna (indigo)
Bija Mantra - SHAM
The sixth chakra, also known as the ‘brow chakra” or the “third eye” is located between the eyes. It’s the center of insight, where we integrate all the information and intuition in our life. When energy isn’t flowing easily through this chakra, we have a sense of self-doubt and distrust. When it’s open and clear, we feel deeply connected to our inner wisdom and trust that it guides us in our choices.
Seventh chakra: Sahasrara (violet)
Bija Mantra - AUM
This chakra resides at the crown of the head and is therefore sometimes called the “crown chakra.” It connects us to Divine consciousness and pure awareness. The seventh chakra is known as the “Thousand Petaled Lotus” that bursts open when we remember our true nature and experience enlightenment.
According to Tantra, each chakra possesses a specific vibration or primordial sound that we can repeat to release any energy that may be congested in that region. We can open up blocked energy by focusing our attention and intention on the location of a chakra, and repeating its associated sound or mantra aloud. The following lists the energy centers with their corresponding vibrational sounds:
Base of Spine: LAM
Reproductive Area: VAM
Solar Plexus: RAM
The practice of sound healing is known as chakra tuning and helps heal the body and enliven the energy centers. We can tune all of the chakras during a meditation session, moving up the spine. Alternately, it’s also useful to focus on a single chakra related to a physical or emotional difficulty we may be experiencing. For example, if we have a nervous stomach and feel powerless about some issue in our life, we can focus on the third chakra and repeat the sound RAM.
The chart below summarizes the seven major chakras:
1st Chakra … Source of life force, grounding.
Sanskrit Name: Mulhadara
Means: “Root” or “Support”
The seat of collective unconsciousness.
Color: Red – Black
Endocrine System: Kidneys, Liver
Organs: Large Intestine, Vertebral Column, Skeleton
Function: Survival, Physical Vitality, venue of the Kundalini, imaginative expression.
Possible Dysfunctions: Lack of vitality, mistrust, negative attitudes
Crystals: Agate, jasper, garnet, coral, ruby, Black tourmaline, hematite, onyx
Keyword: « I am »
2nd Chakra (Sacral / Spleen)
Self Confidence, Sexual Energy Center
Sanskrit Name: Swadhisthana
Means: Place of our inner self
the seat of individual unconsciousness Color: Orange
Endocrine System: Reproductive System, ovaries, prostate, testicles
Organs: Genitals, Kidneys, Gall Bladder
Function: Sexual Energy Center, Center of Emotions and Sensations.
Possible Dysfunctions: Lack of Confidence, Relationship difficulties
Crystals: Carnelian, Sun Stone, Red Coral, Zircon, Orange Calcite
Keyword: « I Feel »
3rd Chakra (Solar Plexus)
Connecting point of Earth and Cosmic Energies. Joy of living
Sanskrit Name: Manipura
Means “the City of happy ones”.
the transmission point of consciousness, physical energy, and temperature.
Endocrine System: Pancreas (Liver)
Organs: Stomach, Liver, Gall Bladder, Digestive and Nervous Systems
Function: Power Center of Wisdom
Possible Dysfunctions: Anxiety, Nervousness, Fatigue, Tension
Crystals: Citrine, Amber, Tiger’s Eye, Rutilated Quartz, Smokey Quartz, Pyrite
Keyword: « I Want»
4th Chakra (Heart Chakra)
Sanskrit Name: Anahata
Means “The point of Life” or “What life is all about”
the seat of the soul and center of the heart
Color: Green / Rose – Spiritual Heart
Endocrine System: Thymus
Organs: Heart, Lungs, Liver, Sanguine Circulation
Function: Love , Compassion
Possible Dysfunctions: Emotional Hardness, Selfishness, Lack of acceptance
Green- Emerald, Jade, Tourmaline, Malachite, Aventurine, Agate Mousse, amazonite, Calcite
Rose- Quartz, Rhodochrosite, Rhodonite, Kunzite, Agate from Botswana, Tourmaline
Keyword: « I Love »
5th Chakra (Throat)
Communication and Self Expression Center
Sanskrit Name: Vishuddi
Means Purity or Purification
the seat of human sound
Color: Sky Blue
Endocrine System: Thyroid
Organs: Throat, Lungs
Possible Dysfunctions: Lack of Communication, Agitation, Instability
Crystals: Aqua-marine, Chalcedony, Turquoise, Pearls, Moonstone, Opal, Fluorine, Calcite Blue
Keyword: « I Communicate »
6thChakra (Third Eye)
Sanskrit Name: Ajna
informs our direct interior knowledge and reality
Color: Indigo Blue
Endocrine System: Pituitary Gland
Organs: Sympatic Nervous System / Hypothalamus
Function: Center of Intuition, Venue of Will and Clairvoyance
Possible Dysfunctions: Lack of Initiative, Does not feel her inner self, Fuzziness
Crystals: Lapis-lazuli, Blue Sapphire, Azurite, Sodalite, Blue Quartz, Falcon’s Eye
Keyword: « I See / I Understand »
7th Chakra (Crown)
It is the center of immediate perception of the essential.
Sanskrit Name: Sahasrara
also called the “Thousand Petal Lotus”
the venue of human achievement
Color : Violet, White
Endocrine System : Pineal Gland
Organs: Brain Cortex
Function: Unification of Spiritual Activities
Possible Dysfunctions: No sense of belonging, Lack of Spiritual Growth, Isolation
Crystals: Amethyst, White Quartz, Herkimer Diamond, Fluorine
Keyword: « I Know »
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