C(h)akra is a Sanskrit word for 'wheel'. The description is an old one and infers motion, a spinning, especially in three [or more] dimensions. This page will draw info from around the world to try to describe and expand upon the qualities and structure of the chakras and their functions.


Muladhara / Mooladhara / Base / Root / Huiyin / 1st 

Muladhara chakra is at the coccygeal point at the base of the spine, in the area of segment II of the coccyx (tailbone). This chakra is seated at the base of filum terminale, a threadlike connective tissue that links the bottom of the spinal cord to the coccyx (the spinal cord does not extend all the way down to the coccyx - it terminates in the lumbar region). Muladhara is just above Kanda Mula (root bulb), the base of the major nadis that run up the spinal column.
In the male, the location of muladhara chakra kshetram is in the perineum (yoni), between the legs, midway between the anus and penis, one centimetre underneath the surface of the skin. In the female, it is near the cervix, where the vagina meets the uterus.[4]
The first centre, or chakram, at the base of the spine, has a primary force which radiates in four spokes, making the centre appear to be divided into quadrants, with hollows between them, like a cross, a symbol which is often used to represent this centre.[5]
Muladhara is the centre of primal life energy and survival, the first chakra or base chakra, muladhara derives its name from Sanskrit, moola (root, base) and adhara (support). The root lotus is said to govern memory, time and space.[4]
When aroused into full activity, this centre is fiery orange-red in colour, corresponding closely to the stream of dark red and orange vitality which comes to it from the spleen centre. It may be mentioned that there is a similar correspondence between the colour of the stream of vitality flowing into a centre, and the colour of the centre itself.
In addition to the orange and darker reds, there is also some dark purple vitality flowing into this centre, rather as though the spectrum bent round in a circle and the colours began again at a lower octave.
From this centre the orange-red ray flows to the generative organs, energising the sexual nature: it also seems to enter the blood and keep up the heat of the body.[5]
(nb. may be a link here to acupuncture fire meridians V - circulation/sex and VI - triple heater)
The first chakra is associated with the earth element, represented by a yellow square surrounded by eight shining spears. The structure of earth element is maintained by the continuous spinning of the petals of muladhara chakra, radiating red rays. Muladhara, associated with the coccygeal plexus, is allied with the organs of excretion and the sense object of odour.
This sense of odour is of luminous yellow colour. Because the muladhara chakra is a wheel with four radiations from the central hub, it is likened to a lotus with four petals. these petals are described as either blood colour or shining gold. The first petal is in the northeast (upper right) corner, the second in the southeast (lower right) corner, the third in the southwest (lower left) and the fourth in the northwest (upper left).
The petals of each chakra are embedded with specific qualities called vrittis, which are thought-forms or emotions held in the chakra. The four vrittis in muladhara are four kinds of bliss:
1. Greatest or highest bliss (paramananda)
2. Innate or natural bliss (sahajananda)
3. Heroic bliss in the control of desires (virananda)
4. Bliss of divine union in meditation (yogananda) It seems significant that the ancient scriptures associate the root or base chakra muladhara with the highest bliss, because most teachers today instead connect it with the most base emotions. Muladhara is where luminous kundalini, the Shakti energy resides, it is indeed the cente of supreme bliss.[4]

Svadishthana / Sacral / Spleen / 2nd / Lower Tan Tien 

(Sanskrit sva = vital force/soul + adishthana = seat/abode {abode of the self})
Situated above the organs of generation.

[This centre seems to be referred to as the Spleen chakra in western parlance - why? it is nowhere near the spleen!] The second centre, the splenic, at the spleen, is devoted to the specialization, subdivision and dispersion of the vitality which comes to us from the sun. That vitality is poured out again from it in six horizontal streams, the seventh variety being drawn into the hub of the wheel. This centre therefore has six petals or undulations, all of different colours, and is especially radiant, glowing and sun-like. Each of the six divisions of the wheel shows predominantly the colour of one of the forms of the vital force - red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.[18]
Said to be the seat of subconscious mind, ruled by the moon; sphere of emotion and procreation. Svadishthana, [in yogic tradition] the second chakra, the sacral point, lies inside the chitrini nadi in the vertebral column, in the area of sacral vertebra IV, within the filum terminale. The chakra kshetram (frontal trigger point) of Svadishthana is near your pubic bone, at the root of the penis in the male and the clitoris in the female. This chakra corresponds to the genital region and prostatic plexus. Therefore it is the seat of procreation.
Six petals form the lotus of svadishthana chakra. These petals are described as vermillion or whitish-red.
The vrittis (special qualities) on its petals are affection or indulgence, pitilessness, all-destructiveness, delusion, disdain and suspicion.
The petals of svadishthana radiate energies from the chakra's centre into Ida and Pingala nadis with six main radiations.
[This chakra is associated with] sexual vitality and regulates all bodily muscular movements, including voluntary muscular relaxation and inactivity, blood purification. Inside Svadishthana a bright crescent moon-shaped region of the water element. This is said to be white in colour. This chakra is associated with the gonads, and it represents the sense object of flavour. 4
The Sacral or Spleen centre has six spokes, and therefore the same number of petals or undulations. In appearance it is especially radiant, glowing and sun-like.[18]
This centre is unique in that it has the all-important function of absorbing the 'Vitality Globules' from the atmosphere, disintegrating them, and distributing the component atoms charged with the specialised and transmuted Prana, to the various parts of the body. (see Etheric Body/Absorption of Vitality)
The Vitality Globules are first drawn into the sacral/spleen centre: then they are broken up into the seven component atoms, each atom charged with one of the seven varieties of Prana: these atoms are then caught up by the secondary rotating forces and spun round the chakram.
The seven different kinds of Prana are coloured thus:-
Violet - Blue - Green - Yellow - Orange - Dark Red - Rose Red
It will be observed that the divisions are not exactly those to which we are accustomed in the solar spectrum, but resemble rather the arrangement of colours seen on higher levels in the causal, mental and astral bodies.
The indigo of the solar spectrum is divided between the violet and blue rays of Prana, whilst the red of the spectrum is split up into dark red and rose red of Prana.
Each of the six spokes then seizes upon one variety of atom and despatches it to the chakram or part of the body for which it is needed.
This accounts for six kinds of atoms only: the seventh variety, that coloured rose pink, is despatched through the hub or centre of the spleen chakra itself, whence it is distributed over the whole of the nervous system. These rose coloured atoms are the original atoms which first drew round them the six others to form the globule.
The atoms which bear the rose-coloured Prana are clearly the life of the nervous system, and it is this variety of Prana which one man may give to another (note to me see chapter XIII). If the nerves are insufficiently supplied with this rose-coloured Prana, they become sensitive and intensely irritable; the patient finds himself restless, and the least noise or touch is agony to him. Instant relief may be afforded him by some healthy person flooding his nervous system with a supply of rose-coloured Prana.[5]

Manipura(ka) / Solar plexus / Navel / Umbilical / Hara / Upper Tan Tien / 3rd 

The Sanskrit word manipura (city of lustrous jewels) derives from the roots mani (gem, jewel) and pur (city).[4]
The third centre, the umbilical, at the navel or solar plexus, receives a primary force of ten radiations, so it vibrates in such a manner as to divide itself into ten undulations or petals. It is very closely associated with feelings and emotions of various kinds. Its predominant colour is a blending of several shades of red, though there is also a great deal of green in it. The divisions are alternately chiefly red and chiefly green.[18]
It receives the green ray from the spleen centre, that ray flooding the abdomen,vivifying the liver, kidneys, intestines and the digestive apparatus generally, centering expecially in the solar plexus.
The centre is closely associated with feelings and emotions of various kinds. The corresponding astral centre, when awakened, gives the power of feeling, a sensitiveness to all sorts of influences, though without, as yet anything like the definite comprehension that comes from the faculties corresponding to seeing or hearing. When therefore, the etheric centre becomes active, the man begins in the physical body to be conscious of astral influences, vaguely feeling friendliness or hostility, or that some places are pleasant and others unpleasant, but without in the least knowing why.[5]
This chakra has the greatest concentration of intense pranic energy, because so many nadis (conduits of pranic energy) radiate from it.
Often compared to the dazzling power of the Sun, which gives life to the planets, manipura gives you life by distributing pranic energy throughout your body. It is also vital for directing prana from the base of the spine upward through sushumna into higher chakras. It is often associated with transmuting pranic energy into more subtle pranic energy called ojas, the substance that imparts lustre and charisma to your body.
This is the third [major] chakra, known as the navel or solar plexus, centre of willpower. Its esoteric colour is red.
Manipura chakra is seated at the lumbar point, in the vertebral column near lumbar vertebra IV, within the filum terminale internum, in the chitrini nadi on the same horizontal plane as your navel.
The fire element region inside manipura is triangular in shape and its colour is blood red. This chakra is associated with the pancreas and the abdominal organs.
The manipura chakra is like a lotus with 10 petals, described as the colour of dense rain clouds or black. This chakra has 10 radiations from its petals. [4]

Anahata / Heart / Cardiac / 4th 

(Sanskrit anahata = unbeaten as in unstruck) Situated in the cardiac region, said to be the origin of the 72,000 nadis (yogic energy lines) (Upanishads 7th-8th centuries bce). The concept was further developed in the later Upanishads - from 2nd [1]
The fourth [major] centre, the cardiac, at the heart, is of a glowing golden colour, and each of its quadrants is divided into three parts, which gives it twelve undulations, because its primary force makes for it twelve spokes.18
This chakram has twelve spokes or radiations, and is a glowing golden colour. It receives the yellow ray from the spleen centre; when the current is full and strong it produces strength and regularity in the heart action. Flowing round the heart chakram, the yellow ray also interpenetrates the blood and thus is carried all over the body. It also passes on to the brain and permeates it, though directing itself principally to the twelve-petalled flower in the middle of the seventh or highest centre. In the brain it confers the power of high philosophical and metaphysical thought.
The corresponding astral centre, when awakened, endows a man with the power to comprehend and sympathise with, and so instinctively understand, the feelings of other astral entities.
The etheric centre, therefore, makes a man aware, in his physical consciousness, of the joys and sorrows of others.[5]
The term anahata (unstruck sound) is the sound of oneness, made without contact of two objects. The heart centre is the soundless sound of silence, the cosmic sound known as shabda brahman. Anahata is the fourth chakra, seat of consciousness, sense of "I-ness", and point of contact between soul and body. It is centre of direct revelation and inner quietude. In many scriptures, anahata is described as the chakra from which all 72,000 nadis originate. The esoteric colour is violet, [it] governs the pumping action of heart and lungs. Anahata is the gateway to the infinite. Anahata, at the thoracic point, lies in the vertebral column within chitrini nadi, near the heart and cardiac plexus, in the area of thoracic vertebra IX, within the central canal of the spinal column. The form of anahata is a six-pointed star with 12 petals. This hexagonal shape is the region of air, which is said to be smoke-coloured. Here lies the sense object of touch [and] is ash-coloured. This chakra is associated with thymus and lungs. The air region is symbolised by the hexagonal star, where the upward pointing triangle represents higher understanding and spritual awareness. The downward pointing triangle indicates earthly pursuits.|
The upward path of the upper triangle is nivritti (return to the divine source). The downward path of the lower triangle is pavritti (entanglement in worldly illusion). Anahata is the perfect balance between the upper and lower regions, gateway to both spiritual and material worlds. Twelve petals surround the lotus of anahata chakra. The petals glow with a shining deep red colour. Twelve energies radiate from the centre of this chakra indicates the predominance of the vital air prana along with udana.[4]

Hrit / Hridaya  (Sanskrit = heart, or Hridaya = he who dwells in the heart)

Located in the vertebral column in the chitrini nadi in the region of the heart.
Hrit (heart) chakra or Hridaya (he who dwells in the heart) is also known as ananda kanda (root or bulb of bliss). Hrit is depicted as stainless, subtle and untouched by any physical impurities.
Hrit chakra is located in the vertebral column in the chitrini nadi in the region of the heart. Hrit chakra faces downwards and is seated just beneath the 12-petalled anahata chakra. In fact Hrit is the lower part of anahata (the fourth [major] chakra).

Hrit chakra is described as a delicate, beautiful lotus, red as the morning sun. The petals are characterised as golden or white.[4]

Visuddhi / Throat / Laryngeal / 5th  (Sanskrit visuddhi = purity)[1]

The fifth centre, the laryngeal, at the throat has sixteen spokes and therefore sixteen apparent divisions. There is a good deal of blue in it, but its general effect is silvery and gleaming, with a kind of suggestion as of moonlight upon rippling water. Blue and green predominate alternately in its sections.[18]
In colour it shows a good deal of blue, but its general effect is silvery and gleaming, not unlike moonlight on rippling water. It receives the violet-blue ray from the spleen chakram. This ray then appears to divide, the light blue remaining to course through and vivify the throat centre, while the dark blue and violet pass on to the brain. The light blue gives health to the region of the throat, the strength and elasticity of the vocal cords of a great singer or speaker, for example, being accompanied by special brilliance and activity of this ray. The dark blue expends itself in the lower parts of the brain, while the violet floods the upper part and appears to give special vigour to the chakram at the top of the head, diffusing itself chiefly through the 960 petals of the outer part of that centre. Ordinary thought is stimulated by the blue ray, mingled with part of the yellow (from the heart centre). In some forms of idiocy the yellow and blu-violet flow to the brain is almost entirely inhibited. Thought and emotion of a high spiritual type seem to depend largely upon the violet ray.[5]
Vishuddha (purity) chakra, referred to as the throat chakra, is the seat of purification, which harmonises all diversity. It is responsible for creative expression and communication. its esoteric colour is indigo. Vishuddha chakra, at the cervical point, is situated in the area of cervical vertebra IV of the spine, in chitrini nadi within the central canal of the vertebral column in the neck region. It is associated with the cervical plexus and thyroid gland. Vishuddha kshetram is located on the front surface of the neck in the region of the Adams apple. This centre is considered the centre of udana vital air (udana vayu). From its petals, 16 radiations vibrate akasha energy and udana vayu into ida and pingala. Within the centre of vishuddha, a pure white void circular region blazes like the full moon. The void is also known as the ether element, associated with the sense object of sound, and principles of hearing and speech. [4]

Talu(ka) / Lalata

(Sanskrit = uvula) Also called Lalata or Taluka. Lies near the junction between the front end of the central spinal canal in the medulla oblongata and the lower part of the brains fourth ventricle., within chitrini nadi, behind the uvula.

Ajna / Brow / 3rd eye / Pineal / 6th
(Sanskrit = command, order) [1]
The sixth centre, the frontal, between the eyebrows, has the appearance of being divided into two halves, one chiefly rose-coloured, though with a great deal of yellow about it, and the other predominantly a kind of purplish-blue, again closely agreeing with the colours of the special types of vitality that vivify it. Perhaps it is for this reason that this centre is mentioned in Indian books as having only two petals, though if we are to count undulations of the same character as those of the previous centres we shall find that each half is subdivided into forty-eight of these, making ninety-six in all, because its primary force has that number of radiations. This sudden leap from 16 to 96 spokes, and again the even more startling variation from 96 to 972 between this and the next chakra, show us that we are now dealing with centres of an altogether different order from those which we have hitherto been considering. We do not yet know all the factors which determine the number of spokes in a chakra, but it is already evident that they represent shades of variation in the primary force.[18]
The ajna (command, order) chakra is so-named for several reasons: As the distribution centre for distributing prana to various areas of the body, it commands prana. This is the third eye of higher mind, the eye that looks inward rather than outward, centre of divine sight, clairvoyance, wisdom, divine experiences, insight, spiritual discernment, revelation, and higher voice. Ajna is the primordial power of everything and Atman (higher self). [4]

Sahasrara / Crown / Coronal / Baihui / 7th
(Sanskrit sahasrara = thousand) Situated in the top of the cranial cavity. Known as the Crown chakra or 'the thousand-petalled lotus.[1]

The seventh centre, the coronal, at the top of the head, is when stirred into full activity the most resplendent of all, full of indescribable chromatic effects and vibrating with almost inconceivable rapidity. It seems to contain all sorts of prismatic hues, but is on the whole predominantly violet. It is described in Indian books as thousand-petalled, and really this is not very far from the truth, the number of radiations of its primary force in the outer circle being nine hundred and sixty. Every line of this will be seen faithfully reproduced in our [image], though it is hardly possible to give the effect of the separate petals. In addition to this it has a feature which is possessed by none of the other chakras - a sort of subsidiary central whirlpool of gleaming white flushed with gold in its heart - a minor activity which has twelve undulations of its own.[18]
This chakra is usually the last to be awakened. In the beginning it is the same size as the others, but as the man progresses on the Path of spiritual advancement it increases steadily until it covers almost the whole top of the head. Another peculiarity attends its development. It is at first a depression in the etheric body,as are all the others, because through it, as through them, the divine force flows in from without; but when the man realizes his position as a king of the divine light, dispensing largesse to all around him, this chakra reverses itself, turning, as it were, inside out; [becoming a halo?] it is no longer a channel of reception but of radiation, no longer a depression but a prominence, standing out from the head as a dome, a veritable crown of glory. In this form it is to be found upon the heads of thousands of images of the Lord Buddha all over the Eastern world. In many cases it will be seen that the two tiers of the Sahasrara chakra are copied - the larger dome of 960 petals first, and then the smaller dome of 12 rising out of that in turn.[18]

21 MINOR CHAKRAS - less well known

1 and 2 - Two behind the eyes
3 and 4 - Two below the ears, at the maxilla/mandibular juncture.
5 and 6 - Two at the inferior clavicular fossi.
7 - One where the breastbone and sternum meet.
8 - One closely connected to the Vagus nerve - near the Thymus gland.
9 - One closely connected to the Stomach.
10 - One closely connected to the Liver.
11 - One closely connected to the Solar plexus.
12 and 13 - Two associated with the Spleen and Pancreas.
14 and 15 - Two at the palms.
16 and 17 - Two connected with the Gonads.
18 and 19 - Two within the knees.
20 and 21 - Two in the soles of the feet.[2]

Others known of:

LALATA (= forehead). Situated at the top of the forehead.
MANAS (= mind). Situated in the region between the navel and the heart, possibly relating to No. 7 above.
SURYA (= Sun). Again situated in the region between the navel and the heart. Maybe relating to No. 9 above.
SOMA (= Moon). Situated in the centre of the brain. This may relate to the pineal gland.
ATALL - (1st below Muladhara - root chakra, may be named Omega - see below)
VITAL - (2nd below Muladhara)
SUTAL - (3rd below Muladhara)
RASATAL - (4th below Muladhara)
DHARATAL - (5th below Muladhara)
MAHATAL - (6th below Muladhara)
PATAL - (7th below Muladhara)

8 above the Crown centre:

(from this Rajasthan 18th Century print.)
1. Eight inches above the Crown Centre named Alpha, linked to one eight inches below Muladhara (base of spine) named Omega. The circuit between these known as the Unified Field.
2. above 1. linked to the Emotional/Desire Body.
3. above 2. linked to the Mental Body.
4. above 3. linked to the Causal/Spiritual Body.
5. above 4. linked to the Oversoul.
6. above 5. linked to the Christ Oversoul.
7. above 6. linked to the I AM Oversoul.
8. above 7. linked to the Source's Presence.[9]