Chakra symbols are visual and symbolic representations of the chakras. These images do not actually represent how the chakras look like when they are seen as energy.
The chakra symbols are merely pictographs which interpret the aspects and symbolic connections of specific energy centers known as chakras.
Most often the chakra symbols are presented by a central geometrical symbol, surrounded by a multi-petaled mandala or lotus flower. Sometimes they also contain a syllable of the seed mantra of the specific chakra. More complex representations can include drawings or paintings of deities originating from Hindu tradition.
Each of the seven major chakras has its own symbol which holds many meanings.
1. Root Chakra Symbol
Root chakra symbol is represented by a red colored four-petaled lotus flower or mandala. In the middle of the symbol, there are two geometrical bodies. A square represents the element of earth and stability. The triangle represents the female aspect of the life-giving energy and is connected with the genitalia (yoni) of the goddess Kali and the principle of Shakti.
In the triangle, named the Mooladhar, there is a spiral illustrating the kundalini energy, a ‘sleeping serpent.’ This is the energy potential which once it is awakened climbs up through all the chakras and from the crown chakra connects with the universal energy.
Root chakra symbol often includes the syllable लं lam which is the root chakra seed mantra. If the mantra is vocalized and repeated during the root chakra meditation, it strengthens the energy of this chakra.
Additionally, the four petals contain the four Sanskrit syllables वं vaṃ, शं śaṃ, षंṣaṃ, and सं saṃ.
The animal aspect of the root chakra symbol is an elephant, often depicted as an elephant with seven trunks, each of these representing one of the seven chakras.
2. Sacral Chakra Symbol
Within the sacral chakra symbol, the syllable व vaṃ is also often depicted. This is the seed mantra of the sacral chakra. Other syllables, connected with the six surrounding petals are बं ban, भं bhaṃ, मं maṃ, यं yaṃ, रं raṃ and लं laṃ.
Animal symbols connected with the sacral chakra are sea and water animals, most often fish and crocodile.
On the material level, this chakra is connected with the blood and other bodily fluids. The water element in Svadhishthana chakra has two aspects. On the content side, its energy denotes movement and opposed to that the essence of this chakra is ‘unmoved’.
Deities associated with the sacral chakra which are many times depicted by the sacral chakra symbol are Vishnu and Rakini.
Vishnu is one of the highest three gods in Hindu tradition and is known as the ‘preserver’. Rakini also referred to as ‘Chakini’ is a female goddess which accumulates the power through the practice of tantra.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra Symbol
The symbol of solar plexus chakra is depicted as a ten-petalled mandala or lotus flower with ten leaves. The central geometric symbol is a triangle pointing downwards. This represents the energy of fire element. Deities connected to this symbol are Rudra and Shakti Lakini.
Rudra is the god of storms, a three-eyed deity with a silver beard, smeared with ashes. He is often depicted sitting on a bull or tiger skin.
Lakini is his wife. She is of blue color and has three faces and four arms. She is seating on a red lotus flower, representing the female aspect of the Manipura chakra.
Syllable ram is the seed mantra of the solar plexus chakra. If the mantra is repeated during the chakra meditation, it strengthens the energy of the third chakra. The Sanskrit syllables of the ten petals are ḍaṁ, ḍhaṁ, ṇaṁ, taṁ, thaṁ, daṁ, dhaṁ, naṁ, paṁ, and phaṁ.
The animal symbol of the third chakra is Ram, the riding animal of Agni, the god of fire.
The solar plexus chakra symbolism is connected with fiery moving energy which is filled with the power of the Sun.
4. Heart Chakra Symbol
Heart chakra symbol is depicted by a six-pointed star inside a twelve-petaled rosette or lotus flower. The central geometric symbol, the six-pointed star is in fact composed of two overlapping triangles which form a symbol known as Shatkona. This symbol represents the unity of male and female energy.
Hindu deity associated with the Anahata chakra is Vayu, a four-armed god often depicted riding an Antelope, which is a heart chakra animal symbol.
Furthermore, the triangles of the Shatkona symbol represent the union of Shiva and Shakti or also the union of Purusha, the supreme being, and Prakṛti, the mother nature. When these two energy aspects are in unity and balance, the energy can flow through the heart chakra and allow a person to perceive the world with the heart instead of with the mind.
When we perceive through the energy of Anahata, which means ‘unstruck’, there is no fear and nothing from the material based plane can hurt us. Thus the name ‘unstruck’, ‘pure’ or ‘clean’.
The Syllable which is often inscribed in the heart chakra symbol is yam, which is also the seed mantra of this chakra. The syllables of the twelve petals are kam, kham, gam, gham, ngam, cham, chham, jam, jham, nyam, tam and tham.
5. Throat Chakra Symbol
The symbol of the throat chakra is depicted as a downwards pointing triangle containing the geometric symbol of a circle. The circle represents the element of aether. Surrounding the central symbol is a sixteen-petaled rosette. Sometimes a crescent moon can be depicted within the symbol. This represents the cosmic sound and purity, the two aspects which are closely tied to the Vishuddha chakra.
Ambara is a Hindu deity who resides in the Vishuddha chakra. This is a four-armed spirit with white-colored skin, often depicted as sitting on a white elephant. The white elephant is an animal spirit of the throat chakra.
The seed mantra of the throat chakra is हं haṃ, and the mantras of the sixteen petals are अ a, आ ā, इ i, ई ī, उ u, ऊ ū, ऋ ṛ, ॠ ṝ, ऌ ḷ, ॡ ḹ, ए e, ऐ ai, ओ o, औ au, अः ḥ, and अं ṃ. When mantra haṃ is recited, it helps heal and balance the throat chakra.
In the ‘Bindu’, the point above the mantra syllable resides Sadashiva – a deity with five faces which represent the five human senses.
‘Vishuddha’ means ‘pure’. The primary function of this energy center is purification of a person’s energies, thoughts, expression, and emotion.
When the throat chakra is functioning properly, it enables us to transcend all the negative aspects and affections and connects us with the universal truth. Consequentially this allows us to freely express ourselves verbally and emotionally since we have no more egoistic blockages, but we speak in the name of the higher truth coming from ourselves but also from the external universal source.
6. Third Eye Chakra Symbol
Third eye chakra symbol is represented by a circle containing a downwards pointing triangle. On the left and right side of the symbol, there are two petals. These two petals represent the two nadis (energy channels), which meet in the brow chakra area. The Ida and Pingala channels are joined in the Ajna chakra from where the energy travels upwards to the crown through the Sushumna channel.
The two petals go by names ham हं, and ksham क्षं, and they represent Shiva and Shakti. When their energies unite in the triangle, which represents wisdom, they join in the sound of Om ॐ (AUM), which is the sound of the universe and contains all the sounds.
The mantra ‘aum’ is one of the most powerful healing mantras, which raises our energy vibration on all levels.
Hakini Shakti, a six-faced deity, is often depicted inside the circle symbol of the third eye chakra.
The word Ajna is translated as ‘command’ or ‘perceive’. When this chakra is fully open, we can telepathically perceive the thoughts and emotions of people and all living beings around us, as well as energies of surroundings and other manifestations. Furthermore, we are able to affect (command) these energies, wield, weave, and direct them with our intention.
As confirmed by personal experiences, the Ajna chakra acts as a thought and energy receiver and transmitter and actually allows two-way telepathic communication. When we perceive through the third eye, often worm-like energy can be seen connecting our own and other people’s brow centers.
7. Crown Chakra Symbol
The symbol of the crown chakra is represented as a lotus flower with thousand petals. Often there are no other symbols contained within the inner circle – which represents the ultimate realization of the void, which can be experienced once the consciousness rises through the crown chakra. Sometimes a central symbol of a circle can contain upwards or downwards pointing triangle.
The thousand petals are an illustration of the magnificent experience of the kundalini energy rising to the crown chakra. The experience actually feels and can be perceived as a lotus flower opening on top of a person’s head. Usually, this is accompanied by a strong energy flow of a pure white energy coming from the universe and flowing into one’s body through the top of the head.
There are rare occurrences of such events, so I just want to mention that I personally experienced this once in my life – and it was said to me that this is the last such experience for me in this life. The event was confirmed by around 40 people, present at the time, as they could all feel the telephatic connection and the highly increased vibration and energy which blessed us with its presence 🙂 …
There are not many ‘material’ associations with this chakra, as it is the ultimate gateway to higher dimensions. Its function resides in transcendence of all material existence.
While the goal of chakra balancing and healing is to reach the stability and serenity in the material world, and connect to higher self, the actual opening of Sahasrara will elevate a person to an utterly different impersonal frequency, a dimension where there is no more time, space or importance of the material substance.