Chakras are just another in the lengthy list of mandalas, and we have Hinduism to thank for this. The word “chakra” is Sanskrit for “wheel”, meaning that like mandalas, they are also representative of the circular and cyclical nature of life. However, chakras are more than just aesthetically pleasing symbols: they directly correspond to specific nerve networks and centers as well as bodily organs.
Chakras serve to remind us that our physical energies are just as important as our mindset when concerning spiritual growth and that we must channel these energies in order to balance ourselves. Each chakra mandala symbol, though, affects individuals differently, and some are certainly stronger for you personally than others. When we understand the function and capabilities of each of our own physical energy centers, meditation, deeper understanding, and healing are more easily facilitated.
These seven energy centers (depicted with images of wheels) are the physical manifestations of our chakras and form a perfectly straight vertical line up our bodies, kind of like a spiritual spinal cord. You can explore the specific chakra mandala meanings, as well as both the English and Sanskrit names, for each below.
The Seven Chakra Mandalas
Root Chakra Mandala
The first chakra, Muladhara, concerns the set of nerves at the base of the spine. Also called the “root” chakra mandala, this area is the bottom base of the body. It rules over the body’s excretory system as well as many of the adrenal glands. Oddly, it also has an influence on our sense of smell. In addition to the physical energies that the root chakra governs, it also controls the primal instincts that are present within each of us. Each chakra is also associated with an element and color and is in possession of its own unique mantra. The root chakra’s element is earth, its color red, and its mantra “lam”.
Sacral Chakra Mandala Symbol
Moving up the body only slightly, the next chakra is located in the genitals. Swadhisthana, or sacram, is the sacral chakra mandala that governs the reproductive organs of our bodies, whether male or female, in addition to influencing our sense of taste. This area’s element is water, even though its color is orange. With the mantra, “vam”, sacram allows us to access our fiery creativity.
Solar Plexus Chakra Mandala
Manipura, or solar plexus, sits at our navel area, appropriately reigning over the organs in the abdominal cavity. Less obviously, it is linked with our sense of sight. On an emotional level, Manipura Chakra mandala controls our will power and overall sense of personal identity. This means that an ideal time to call upon it is when we wish to connect with our subconscious emotions and desires – Freud would refer to this as the “ego”. The solar plexus is paired with the element of fire and the color yellow, with a mantra of “ram”.
Heart Chakra Mandala Symbolism
The nerves surrounding the heart area collectively referred to as Anahata. This chakra is in charge of the most crucial of bodily organs: the heart, the lungs, and the thymus. It also deals with our sense of touch. Anahata chakra mandala symbolism fittingly appeals to our emotions as the seat of love and compassion. With the element of air, a peaceful green color, and a “yam” mantra, we can use this energy to access and be open to love.
Throat Chakra Mandala
Continuing up the body, we find our next energy center in the throat area. Vishudha regulates our thyroid and sense of hearing, emotionally assisting us in expressing ourselves through oral speech. This chakra mandala symbol is associated with the ether element and has a blue aura around it. The throat’s mantra is “ham”, which helps us with communicating creatively.
Third Eye Chakra Mandala Symbols
Above the throat, we can find our third eye mandala, Ajna, located between our eyebrows in the center of our forehead. This symbolic third eye governs our crucial pituitary gland and the spiritual sixth sense – that of the evolved mind. Here, our intuition is controlled. Ajna goes beyond the basic physical senses and allows us to connect with our primal and celestial side. Our third eye is concerned with time, the color indigo, and perpetuates the mantra, “aum”.
Crown Chakra Mandala Symbol
The final chakra area sits at the top of head. Sahasrara, or the crown chakra mandala, influences the body’s pineal gland. It’s focus goes far beyond the sensory realm, focusing on the divinity around us and the enlightenment that we seek to achieve. It is associated with the abstract element of space and is shown as having a violet color. Rather than having a vocal mantra, Sahasrara utilizes silence in meditation in order for the practitioner to gain access to a more peaceful world. Here, we are separated from the chaos and trivial nature of our everyday lives and instead face the bigger picture- that of eternity.
As you can see, the chakra colors, ascending from the bottom, form a rainbow, which has its own symbolism and spiritual value. Chakra Mandalas are important for us to consider in our spiritual journeys, as they take physical stimuli into account. When we take all areas of our being into equal consideration, we are much more prone to balancing ourselves and utilizing our higher energy.