Chakras are the seven centers of spiritual power housed within each human body. To depict the qualities and powers of these energy centers, chakra’s symbols play an important role.
Each chakra symbol is represented by geometric shapes like circles, squares, triangles with lotus petals on their circumference. Moreover, in some tantric texts, these symbols have been also associated with a symbolic animal, god, and Sanskrit syllable which portrays specific characteristics of a chakra.
All these geometrical shapes, lotus petals, symbolic animals & gods, and Sanskrit syllables used in symbols can be called elements of chakra symbols.
Understanding the meaning of chakra symbols can help open up the energy blockages in the body, that may occur due to a blocked chakra. Once we have clarity of these symbolic elements, it becomes easier to meditate on the symbol and open up the chakra to its fullest.
Key elements of chakra symbols
Before we dive into each of the 7 chakra symbols, let’s first know these commonly used elements in each symbol.
1. Square – The square in chakra symbols represents the laying foundation, physical aspect of a human, all our attributes of conscious awareness, and the need for stability. Usually, lower chakras symbols contain square geometry because they are more concerned about stability and our connection with the earth.
2. Triangle – The triangle shape usually represents the path or direction of energy flow. The three apexes of a triangle represent the union of three elements (mind, body, soul) that needs to be balanced. The downward-pointing triangle shows the connection with earth or matter and the upward-pointing triangle shows upliftment of consciousness.
3. Hexagram – It’s made from 2 opposite triangles. The intersection of the opposite triangle in the chakra symbol shows the union of the masculine and feminine aspects or earthly and heavenly qualities.
4. Circle – Circle is the most common symbol in all chakras. It’s the symbolism of the motion in vital life-force (Prana), transformation in life, and wholeness in everything. Because motion (energy) is the core quality of all chakras, a circle is used to represent that in all chakras.
5. Lotus flower – The Lotus flower is a symbol of becoming perfect and enlightened. The lotus petals present in the chakra symbol represent the number of nadis (energy channels) converging at the center of the chakra. The more the number of petals in the symbol, the more will be energy flowing through the chakra.
6. God – Each chakra is associated with a Hindu God and Goddess which resides at the core of chakra. Their combined qualities govern the specific characteristics of the chakras system.
7. Animal – Some animals symbolically represent the power of the chakras. Each chakra symbol is depicted with these animals. Meditating on symbolic animals can help gain balance, strength, and guidance need to align a chakra.
8. Sanskrit syllable – At the center of the mandala in each chakra symbol, there is a unique Sanskrit syllable called Bija or Seed Mantra of chakra. Chanting these seed mantras can help tap into the energies of chakra.
9. Color – All 7 chakra symbols have a unique color of visible spectrum which shows a particular range of frequency associated with a chakra. Colors again are one of the balancing techniques to heal chakra which can help overcome a blocked chakra.
1. Root Chakra Symbol Meaning
|Chakra||Root chakra (Muladhara)|
|Symbol Geometry (Mandala)||A red inverted triangle within a bright yellow square. And the triangle and the square further within a circle.|
|Lotus||4 Lotus petals are on the circumference of the circle.|
|God / Goddess||Ganesha and Goddess Dakini|
The Root Chakra is symbolized by a red-colored four-petaled lotus mandala that is centered by a red inverted triangle within a bright yellow square. It is the foundational chakra and its main functions are to keep one’s body grounded, survival, stability, safety, comfort, and self-identity in the physical world.
The Triangle and Square Symbol
The small inverted triangle in the center of the root chakra symbol indicates the direction of every human’s expansion and revolution. It points towards the earth and home of the Kundalini energy; reminds the body to stay grounded and connected to the earthy roots.
The square in this symbol metaphorically shows the foundational energy of the root chakra that helps in balancing the body physically and stabilizing its structure. As the figure has 4 sides, it is often associated with the four important seasons of one calendar year namely the spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Similarly, it is also correlated to the four important directions on Earth: North, South, East, and West.
Four lotus petals of the Root Chakra symbolises the Four important Nadis, which show the four functions of mind; manas, Chitta, ahamkara, and buddhi. These petals are also decorated with 4 golden-colored Sanskrit syllables (Vam, Śaṃ, Ṣaṃ, and Saṃ) which correspond to the 4 stages of human consciousness; Joy, Natural Pleasure, Delight in controlling passion and Blissfulness in concentration.
Sanskrit syllable “LAM” written at the center of the root chakra symbol is its seed mantra. Sound vibration created by chanting “LAM” promotes grounding, stimulating the energy of the Muladhara chakra, and is associated with stability & a sense of being rooted to the earth. The other four Sanskrit syllables which are written on lotus petals also get resonated whenever the seed mantra “LAM” is pronounced loudly.
2. Sacral Chakra Symbol Meaning
|Chakra||Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana)|
|Symbol Geometry (Mandala)||Circle with the crescent moon symbol in the middle.|
|Lotus||6 Lotus petals are on the circumference of the circle.|
|God / Goddess||Brahma and Goddess Rakini|
The Sacral Chakra Symbol is an orange mandala lotus patterned with six-petalled rosettes and centralised by two large concentric circles within the pericarp. These two circles together form a crescent moon shape representing the element of water which shows a person’s ability to experience pleasure and live a life full of joy.
Circle and crescent moon
The concentric circles in the Svadhisthana Chakra symbolize the cyclic nature of birth, death, and rebirth. They also refer to interminable transitions that change periodically and encourage every being to flow freely. The crescent moon depicts femininity in this chakra as it reflects the time that is continuously flowing without interruption or any change. Distinctive shade or phases of the moon are symbolised with infinity, immortality, and the illumination of the dark side of nature.
The Six petals of the Sacral Chakra are decorated with 6 vermillion-colored Sanskrit syllables: बं baṃ, भं bhaṃ, मं maṃ, यं yaṃ, रं raṃ, and लं laṃ. These syllables show six negative aspects of one’s nature: wrath, hate, jealousy, cruelty, lust, and pride. Opening of the sacral chakra is related to overcome these negative aspects by self-control on own nature.
Symbolic Animal and God
The crocodile (or Alligator) is the symbolic animal of the sacral chakra which is depicted behind the shape of the crescent moon. Just like a crocodile, a person with a dominant sacral chakra shows fierceness, authority, creativity, and relationship with the water element.
Brahma is the symbolic god of sacral chakra whose energy makes it the center of new creation and creativity. Along with Brahma, the goddess Rakini resides in this chakra sitting on a crocodile. She is considered the goddess of self-expression.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra Symbol Meaning
|Chakra||Solar plexus chakra (Manipura)|
|Symbol Geometry (Mandala)||The red inverted triangle is within a bright yellow circle. A dot is also shown at the center of the inverted triangle; it’s the place of the seed mantra.|
|Lotus||10 yellow-colored lotus petals on the periphery of the above circle|
|God / Goddess||Vishnu and Lakini Shakti|
|Animal||Ram (male sheep)|
|Seed Mantra||Sanskrit syllable ‘RAM’, written on the dot inside the triangle.|
The solar plexus chakra governs all aspects of personality, self-esteem, and ego. These qualities of this chakra come from the element of fire which is shown by yellow and dark red color elements in its symbol.
The Circle and Triangle
The symbol of the solar plexus chakra is made up of a yellow color circle containing a red inverted triangle. On each side of the triangle, 3 T-shaped arms combinedly depict a variation of Swastika; the symbol of auspiciousness. Its yellow circle has a common meaning as of other chakras symbols i.e. life, rebirth, and spiritual awakening.
The red triangle in the center of the solar plexus chakra symbolizes the triangle of fire or “Tejas” (in Sanskrit) that can be associated with the essence of power and strength. Tejas means sharpness and therefore, Manipura with its sharpness of fire holds the ability to burn, transform and purify the energy in the form of thought, emotion, and food.
Ten petals of Manipura have a Sanskrit syllable pha, pa, na, dha, da, tha, ta, nna, ddha, and dda. These represent the ten blocking qualities that hinder the spiritual awakening of a person and must be overcome to fully open this Chakra. These respectively are; sadness, foolishness, delusion, disgust, fear, shame, treachery, jealousy, ambition, and ignorance.
There is another meaning too associated with these petals. Solar plexus chakra is considered the place of meeting 10 Pranas (5 Prana Vayus and 5 Upa Prana Vayus). Ten petals show convergence of all pranas, therefore, the solar plexus governs the whole body’s metabolism, vitality, and immunity.
Since the Solar Plexus Chakra nourishes the body, it is believed to be associated with preserver or sustainer god Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. He represents the evolving human consciousness that leads the person to self-realization. Goddess Lakshmi represents material and spiritual prosperity.
4. Heart Chakra Symbol Meaning
|Chakra||Heart Chakra (Anahata)|
|Symbol Geometry (Mandala)||Inside the lotus circle, two triangles creating a hexagram.|
|Lotus petals||12 mental vrittis and divine qualities of the heart|
|God / Goddess||Rudra and Kakini shakti|
|Animal||Deer or antelope|
Anahata or heart chakra symbol is a lotus with 12 petals of rich color red or vermilion. Inside the lotus circle, two triangles (one pointing up and one pointing down) intersect creating a six-pointing star, known as shatkona or hexagram. It’s a type of Yantra symbol used in Hindu rituals.
The intersecting triangles of Anahata symbolize the heart chakra is the meeting place of Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (matter) or the feminine and masculine aspects. Indeed, the lower 3 chakras (Muladhara, Swadhisthana, Manipura) and upper 3 chakras (Vishudha, Ajna, Sahasrara) are respectively the “chakras of matter” and “chakras of consciousness”. Triangles of Anahata chakra represent the connection of the “Matter” and “Consciousness”.
12 petals of heart chakra have a Sanskrit syllable: syllables kam, kham, gam, gham, ngam, cham, chham, jam, jham, nyam, tam and tham. The sound of these syllables corresponds to twelve mental states or “vrittis”: fraud, lustfulness, indecision, hope, anxiety, repentance, possessiveness, incompetence, discrimination, impartiality, arrogance, and defiance. Overcoming these vrittis opens up the divine qualities associated with the heart chakra.
At the center of the heart chakra symbol, there is the seed syllable “YAM” which on chanting can regulate the air element in the body. Hindu deity “Vayu” governs this area and his presence is shown by the dark-gray smoky region representing air/clouds. However, Shiva’s Rudra form is the main god of the heart chakra and goddess Kakini is his manifest shakti (power).
The deer or antelope is a symbolic animal of the heart chakra. Antelope represents shyness and vulnerability, but also attentiveness, innocence, gentleness, and grace.
5. Throat Chakra Symbol Meaning
|Chakra||Throat chakra (Vishuddha)|
|Symbol Geometry (Mandala)||A triangle inside a large lotus circle. Inside the triangle, there is a small circle and on it, the seed mantra HAM is written.|
|God / Goddess||Sadashiva and Shakini Shakti|
|Seed Mantra||HAM हं|
The throat chakra symbol has a “blue” lotus with sixteen “purple-colored” petals. Inside the lotus circle, there is a sky-blue downward pointing triangle containing a circular white region like the full moon. The triangle is fixed with the moon or the circular region in such a way that the circle is allowed to touch the middle point of each side of the triangle. This represents the expansion; the element of Akash or “ether.”
The inverted triangle is an important symbol in the Throat Chakra that directly expresses a body’s higher self and acts as a channel to that same body’s soul and consciousness. It is affiliated with the knowledge that leads to enlightenment. In simple terms, such a triangle in the chakra gives a meaning that the energy is flowing upwards in a body.
Inside the inverted triangle, a small circle in the center of the Vishuddha Chakra symbolizes the cosmic sound called ‘Nadam’. Nadam is defined as the great cosmic vibration present in the inner silence during deep meditation.
“HAM” is the seed syllable of the Throat Chakra. It is written in white color and is centralised within the small circle or sphere of the chakra. The syllable is associated with ether or swirling dark grey akasha (sky) and other metaphysical energy centers along the spine. This is because they are believed to activate the energy of their specific chakras with calmness.
The sixteen petals in the Vishuddha Chakra are corresponding to the sixteen vowels in the Sanskrit alphabet also called Vrittis. Vishuddha Chakra impacts the communicating ability because the association with the vowels is very much correlated because of their light, airy, easy pronouncing communicative nature.
The symbolic animal of Throat Chakra is White Elephant (Airavata) because both the chakra and the animal carry the sound mantra “HAM” while epitomizing the Hindu thunder God Indra. The white elephant is regarded as the symbol of strength, luck, and prosperity.
6. Third Eye Chakra Symbol Meaning
|Chakra||Third eye chakra (Ajna)|
|Symbol Geometry (Mandala)||Purple circle with two petals on its periphery|
|God / Goddess||Sadashiva and Shakini Shakti|
The Third Eye Chakra is associated with clarity and wisdom. Its symbol has two petals on either side of the purple lotus, with a downward pointing triangle inside of it. The symbol represents self-intuition and intellectuality, which helps in gathering expandable knowledge to attain enlightenment.
The two petals of Ajna represent two major nadis (left & right sides nadis) Ida and Pingala meeting with the central Sushumna nadi before rising to the crown chakra, Sahasrara. Sanskrit syllable “ham” (हं) and “ksham” (क्षं) written on these two petals represents the Shiva and Shakti.
The inverted triangle symbol in Ajna Chakra represents enlightenment while connecting the body with the divine. The symbol also denotes the summarised knowledge gathered from all the lower six chakras which help in expanding one’s divine consciousness.
The seed syllable of Ajna is OM, also known as “Pranava Om”. The sound of OM is believed to be the supreme sound of the universe. Chanting OM aloud activates the Ajna chakra and opens us to both conceptual and intellectual understanding needed for spiritual development.
The Black Antelope is the symbolic animal of Ajna Chakra suggests honest idiosyncrasies such as positivity, integrity, or trustworthiness. Its presence is more likely to connect visions with intuition and introspection instead of an ordinary or physical vision where the brain sees while eyes are still closed.
7. Crown Chakra Symbol Meaning
|Chakra||Crown chakra (Sahasrara)|
|Symbol Geometry (Mandala)||A circle in the center, inside of which a seed symbol OM. And around the circle, 1000 petals in layers.|
|God / Goddess||Shiva / Kundalini shakti|
The Crown Chakra is associated with infinite space which possesses the transcendental meaning of merging into the one infinite source of the whole creation.
The symbol of the crown chakra is depicted with the violet-colored 1,000-petaled lotus flower. It symbolizes the power of kundalini energy in the form of fully blossomed consciousness and violet color adds intuition over consciousness. Lotus petals graphically are arranged in 20 layers in such a way that each layer contains 50 petals.
Circle and Seed Symbol
The golden color illuminated circular region in the center of the crown chakra symbol seems empty, however, in some illustrations, it includes the seed syllable ‘OM’ or ‘Aum’. This region is a symbolism of open-mindedness and receptiveness. At times, this hollow domain is referred to as a bright full moon that indicates to let go of all types of negativities from the body and accept the art of kindness & forgiveness.
Cosmic Egg is a symbolic animal to Sahasrara that acts as a primitive source to every cosmos and divine exuberance. It is implemented to nurture and transform an atom into a dynamic living substance.
Shiva in his ultimate form resides in the crown chakra and Maha Shakti becomes Kundalini Shakti as she unites with Shiva.