You’ve probably heard about chakras, and perhaps you’ve always been fascinated by the topic but find it hard to understand. We’re here to break it down for you.
Even if you’re familiar with the subject, you must have encountered discrepancies in the number of chakras; some say five while most say seven, and still, some say nine. What is the exact number?
Well, most of the discrepancies are due to the differences in tradition. While the overall concept is the same, there are slight variations in the number and locations of the chakras in the body.
We’ll explore the concept of chakras, a theme traceable to early Buddhism and Hinduism.
Regardless of the number of chakras, there’s something unique and global about chakras in that they are the various focal points in the body beneficial for meditation and health.
If you’re reading about the chakra system for the first time, let’s start from the beginning and look at what the chakras are.
What Are Chakras?
Originating from Buddhist and Hinduist traditions, chakras – which simply translates to the wheel, or cycle – refers to specific points in the body known to have unique energies.
It is in the form of a wheel, and so chakras allow for a flow of energy required for the body’s normal functioning.
Regardless of the tradition, chakras are focal points of energy, or, simply put, energy centers in the body that are located along the spine, from the head down.
All over the world, chakras have been used to successfully provide different types of medical and therapeutic care for people.
Although there is no strict support for the chakra system in medicine or science, it is interesting to note that there is no contradiction.
This is because the chakra system agrees with treatments, the functions of the central nervous system, and that specific parts of the body have special nerve bundles.
However, we must state that no conclusive scientific evidence proves the chakra system’s medical effectiveness.
The concept of chakras is based on the belief that the human consists of a physical and a spiritual body. In many cultures, it is believed that the spiritual, or subconscious body, controls the physical.
This means that what happens in the subconscious can affect the physical body. Therefore, the concept of the chakras can be used to improve one’s life, especially their health.
If the chakras, based on the invisible, subtle body, are in proper shape and flow without hindrance, then the result would be a physical body that is active, wholesome, and healthy.
If there is a problem with any of the chakras, and it is blocked, then issues pertaining to that part of the body would be noticeable, both physically and emotionally.
Of course, the physical body is also known to affect the subconscious, so it’s a two-way street.
As noted earlier, culture and tradition heavily influence the chakra system. The Hindu believes there are seven major chakras.
There is no controversy that the number may be more than seven; however, the belief is that those seven are the most important and prominent. It is believed that each of these seven chakras can be identified by its own color.
Let’s seek the answer to how many chakras there are next.
How Many Chakras Are in the Body?
There’s no simple answer to this question. Different traditions influence the chakra systems. However, simple research may find that seven is the overwhelming answer.
Still, even those in support of the seven chakras admit that those are the significant chakras rather than the only chakras.
The seven major chakras are the most widely accepted, aligning with their associated colors, frequencies, mantras, and symbols. Others believe the accurate number is nine, which is the system we’re looking into.
Many people also believe the answer is 12, which is seen as a unique number, considering the number of zodiac signs.
Although the 12-chakra system supports the idea of having seven major chakras, the belief is that there are five other minor chakras throughout the body.
There are researchers who say the number of chakras may be well over 100. Dr. Sri Amit Ray argued that the number might actually be 114, divided into the popular seven significant chakras, 21 minor chakras, and 86 other micro chakras.
An even larger number comes into play when looking at tertiary chakras, based on the well-known acupuncture points in the body.
All these acupuncture points make up well over six million in number and can also be regarded as chakras (although they are not major)!
In many other pieces of literature, it is believed that there are 13, 14, 16, or even 144 chakras. So, you can see why there’s no straightforward answer to the actual number of chakras.
Rather than contradict each other, they are complementary. For context, let’s compare the 9 Chakra System to the 7 Chakra and 12 Chakra Systems.
The 9 Chakra System Compared to Other Systems
Since we are considering the 9 Chakra System, let’s compare it to the other popular systems.
The 7 Chakra System is the most popular and refers to the major chakras in the body. The seven main chakras run along the spine.
They are located in specific areas in the body and have specific names, colors, frequencies, and functions. The seven chakras are:
- Root Chakra (Muladhara): Located at the base of the spine, with the identifying color of red, the Root Chakra stands for physical identity and grounding. When blocked, it can manifest in physical and emotional conditions such as arthritis and feelings of insecurity.
- Sacral Chakra (Swadhisthana): This chakra is located above the pelvic bone, is orange in color, and is associated with feelings of self-worth, pleasure, and creativity.
- Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura): Located in the upper abdomen and identified by the yellow color, this chakra is related to self-confidence and self-esteem. An imbalance in this chakra causes digestive problems and a lack of emotional self-worth.
- Heart Chakra (Anahata): Located at the center of the chest, above the heart, is the Heart Chakra. It is green in color, it is in the middle of the chakras, and it’s manifested in the ability to love others and feel appreciated. When not in balance, it can cause physical insecurity.
- Throat Chakra (Vishuddha): The blue-colored Throat Chakra is located, as the name suggests, in the throat and is related to our ability to communicate. When this chakra is blocked, it manifests in speaking troubles.
- Third-Eye Chakra (Ajna): This chakra, represented by the indigo color, is located at the center of the forehead and is responsible for intuition. When it is not fully functional, it manifests in a lack of concentration.
- Crown Chakra (Sahasrara): This violet-colored chakra is located at the very top of the head, coordinating with all other chakras, and connects with life purpose and spirituality. It also keeps the mind enlightened. When blocked, this chakra may result in narrow-mindedness.
The 12 chakras have the seven main chakras, plus five other chakras (1st, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th). The 12 chakras are:
- Earth Star (1st Chakra)
- Root (2nd Chakra)
- Sacral (3rd Chakra)
- Solar Plexus (4th Chakra)
- Heart (5th Chakra)
- Throat (6th Chakra)
- Third Eye (7th Chakra)
- Crown (8th Chakra)
- Soul Star (9th Chakra)
- Universal (10th Chakra)
- Galactic (11th Chakra)
- Divine Gateway (12th Chakra)
The 1st Chakra, known as the Earth Star Chakra, or Vasundhara, is located below the feet and is often referred to as the body’s energy center.
It is thought to be some inches below the feet and outside the physical body. It is associated with a magenta (purplish red) color and is believed to be significantly related to the Root Chakra as it gives the feeling of being grounded and stabilized.
The Soul Star Chakra, which is the 9th Chakra (or sometimes referred to as the 8th Chakra, if you’re using the 13 Chakra System), is referred to as Sutara and is located just inches above the head and is known to represent a halo above the head.
It works with the Crown Chakra and is a gateway into the spiritual. Just like the 1st Chakra, this is located outside the body. Represented by a fern green color, the Soul Star Chakra, when activated, gives purpose and direction in life.
Next is the Universal Chakra, also known as the 10th Chakra. This chakra, with a pearl white color, is located just above the Soul Star Chakra and the spiritual chakra (highlighted in the 13 Chakra System as the gateway to accessing spiritual communication).
Its function is to connect the body to the perfect harmony of the universe as well as the ability to tap into the unique energies of both sexes.
Then, the Galactic Chakra, which deals with issues related to metaphysical transportation, time travel, and teleportation, when activated, is known to give the individual the supernatural power existing beyond the limits of time and space.
Known to have multiple colors, the 11th Chakra can remove boundaries and barriers that are known to limit the human body.
Finally, the 12th Chakra is known as the Divine Gateway Chakra. This is the highest point a mortal being can reach, in perfect harmony with the divine being. This chakra is the master of all and is known to have golden and multicolored energy.
When activated, this chakra offers the person full access to the spiritual world and moves the person from physical to spiritual.
As listed here, the only difference between these two systems is that the 12 Chakra contains five other chakras that work with the seven main chakras and offer gateways to even deeper manifestations.
It is essential to highlight the interconnectivity of all the chakras, major or minor.
All the chakras work together to align the body with the universe and allow the individual to fulfill purpose while living a healthy, balanced life physically and emotionally.
Now that we have explored these two systems, let’s look at the 9 Chakra System.
9 Chakras Explored
While comparing the previous systems, you must have noticed that the seven main chakras are consistent. These are the chakras that deal with the physical body.
On close observation, you’ll notice that there are two extra chakras in the 9 Chakra System: Surya and Vajradhara. These two chakras were initially hidden but are now revealed.
Both chakras are located around the heart, and we’ll consider how they affect the body.
According to the 9 Chakra System, each chakra represents a means by which the physical body can manifest the realities of the spiritual body. Similar to the seven, the nine chakras also have specific colors, locations, and frequencies.
Let’s begin with the chakra at the base of the spine.
The MULADHARA Chakra
Located near the base of the spine, Muladhara, also known as the Root Chakra (just like in the previous chakra systems), is responsible for our connection to Earth and stability on it.
It is strongly responsible for the desire to remain and survive on Earth. As every human is known to have some similarities to animals, it is believed that this chakra is responsible for maintaining the relationship between human and animal consciousness.
Because this chakra is connected to and represented by the earth, being blocked would result in a lack of purpose, laziness, and bowel problems.
The exercises that can keep the Muladhara open include anything that better connects you to the ground.
Spending some time barefoot on the beach or maintaining a posture of quietness in the garden and imagining yourself bonding with the earth is a means of opening this chakra.
The idea is to imagine your legs as channels for the earth to conduct its energies to your body. Some mantras can be chanted in a bid to open the chakra, notably LAM.
The SVADHISHTHANA Chakra
Svadhisthana, when fully opened, is responsible for being attractive and desired by the opposite sex.
Represented by the power of water, this chakra, located between the navel and the Muladhara (more appropriately around the prostate or ovaries) functions as the receptor of sexual energy.
It is this chakra that sees people being sought-after and receiving everything they ask for without stress from their partners.
This chakra also serves as a storage of most activities that have occurred to a person from birth. When opened, this chakra results in being favored and extremely attractive. When closed, a person may lack favor and be physically repulsive.
You can imagine cool, calm waters and imagine the waters flowing into your body, transferring energy into it.
To open this chakra, some relevant exercises include focusing on its location while letting all your worries float away and while sitting in a relaxed position.
Mantras can be chanted while performing these exercises or may be played to enhance the experience. The mantra that is associated with this chakra is the VAM.
The opening of the Svadhisthana should bring feelings of calmness and ease, not stress. Once you feel uneasy while attempting to open this chakra, you should take it easy and try again.
The MANIPURA Chakra
Manipura is located just above the belly button and around the body’s center and is regarded as responsible for stability. Similar to the Svadhisthana, this chakra is essential in attracting favor, although not of a sexual nature.
When fully opened, an aura radiates which makes a person delightsome, and when closed, it produces the opposite.
Manipura is depicted as a lotus flower with eight blue petals and a red triangle in its center. A person who manifests good things and gifts from people must know how to keep this chakra always open.
The best exercise is to choose a very simple, relaxed position, and as with other chakras, let your thoughts float away while focusing on the location below your solar plexus.
Mantras can be chanted or sounded if that frequency is listened to as this exercise is carried out. The mantra used is RAM.
This chakra is directly connected with the energies of fire, so while meditating, you can imagine a gentle flame flowing through you. It is not unusual to notice some warmth during the exercise.
However, if the heat becomes too intense, you are not doing it right. It should be warm and soothing rather than discomforting.
The SURYA Chakra
The next chakra, Surya, is one of the earlier concealed chakras. Surya is located in the solar plexus region, around the adrenal glands. It is the chakra that defines an individual and also has self-healing properties.
Like the Manipura, and being so close, this chakra plays a significant role in self-confidence and self-esteem.
Everyone has a set of beliefs or principles that form their life’s basis. This chakra is responsible for defining the nature of each person. It is represented by a golden circle and ten orange petals.
The depiction is fairly accurate of the power of the sun, from which it draws its energy when opened. The exercises that can aid its opening include adopting a simple standing position in a quiet place where the thoughts can flow away easily while imagining basking in the sun.
The idea is to receive the sun’s power in the body and transmit it to other parts of your body.
When this chakra is closed, the person lacks self-confidence and finds it challenging to receive favors from people. Since this chakra is related to the sun, it is believed that when fully opened, it dramatically influences other chakras.
The mantra that works with this chakra is the SUM, and it can be helpful while exercising.
The ANAHATA Chakra
Anahata is located around the heart or the center of the chest. This chakra is responsible for feelings, emotions, and love.
When this chakra is opened, a person can live everyday life without hindrance. It’s represented by a circle of twelve brown petals and a plain center.
Those twelve petals represent the twelve virtues of an emotionally balanced person: bliss, peace, harmony, love, empathy, compassion, shrewdness, purity, unity, mercifulness, kindness, and forgiveness.
When Anahata is closed, it manifests in a joyless life without fulfillment. There’s also a lot of bitterness, difficulty in forgiving and moving on, and a life full of fear. People who find it difficult to empathize with others have this chakra closed.
To open it, connect with the air, the energy that Anahata represents. Relax until all your thoughts flow away, and then imagine the cool breeze flowing through you.
As this happens, the air empties you of burdens as you become purer and lighter. Mantras can help while exercising, and the recommended mantra is JAM, which can be chanted or listened to as you connect with the air and the earth.
The VAJRADHARA Chakra
Represented by a gold-colored flower with fourteen purple petals and a silver Vajra symbol in its center, it is located around the center of the chest, between the heart and throat, and functions in a slightly advanced way.
It is one of the hitherto unknown chakras related to the power of healing and magic. This chakra was kept secret for ages because of the enormity of its ability to help individuals summon and control hidden powers within themselves.
With such capabilities, individuals can stay protected against foreign forces, physical and spiritual.
Vajradhara is regarded as the chakra of those with special powers but is also responsible for protection and healing. It is believed to be the chakra that keeps the immune system functioning and separates the physical from the spiritual body.
Because so little is known about this chakra, it is unknown just how its closure affects the body. When opened, though, a person is in control of both the physical and spiritual states around them.
To open this chakra, the individual should connect with the universe by letting all thoughts float away. Since this chakra is related to health, imagine love for all living beings, and chanting the GRIM mantra can help.
The VISHUDDHA Chakra
Vishuddha is located around the thyroid gland at the back of the neck and is the chakra of creativity. When opened, this chakra helps us to better appreciate talents.
When this chakra is closed, the individual finds it challenging to appreciate talents or perceive beauty.
This chakra is represented by sixteen purple petals surrounding a sky-blue center, which is known by the ether energies of the universe. There are so many beautiful experiences that the balancing of this chakra will unlock.
Opening this chakra involves being in a very relaxed state outdoors and focused on the location of the chakra while soaking in the energies of the universe.
By having your worries and thoughts flow away quickly, this chakra allows the individual to open up to the hidden beauties of the earth.
Chanting the CHAM mantra helps to improve the opening of this chakra.
The AJNA Chakra
This chakra is located in the pituitary gland around the middle of the forehead.
Ajna, also known as the Third Eye Chakra, is known for purity, consciousness, and critical thinking. It is related to creativity and helps the body imagine better when fully opened. It is represented by two blue petals with an eye-shaped white center.
Those with a problem in creating images, thoughts, and creativity need to have this chakra opened.
However, it is the only chakra whose opening may also lead to an extreme reaction, which is what happens when individuals find themselves hallucinating.
Since it is located in the middle of the eyes, it is believed to help with intuition and inspiration. Opening this chakra involves imagining the infinite sky in a very relaxed position where all thoughts float away.
When fully opened, creativity can improve. This chakra is connected to the infinite sky and so its powers are believed to be massive.
The SAHASRARA chakra
Sahasrara is the last and 9th Chakra, located at the very top of the head. Its full opening allows for an entire understanding of one’s surroundings and situations.
Represented by a lotus flower with 1,000 petals of violet color, this chakra, when opened, symbolizes full consciousness of the environment and surroundings.
Sahasrara represents truth and purity, and it is the link between the physical and divine.
To open this chakra, you must maintain a quiet posture and focus on the crown of your head.
You should also raise your hands and make seven circles over your head while imagining the universe’s energy passing through you as you travel through it.
When fully opened, you can easily connect with God, providing oneness with the spiritual in a way that keeps the body healthy and functional.
Understanding the chakras is essential in knowing how they function and affect individuals’ health. These chakras, when opened, have different benefits depending on location.
Moreover, we have noted how to open each chakra when closed and the importance it bears, both physically and emotionally.
Music also plays a prominent role in allowing the body to be in the right frame to activate the opening of the chakras. For a start, you can listen to these tunes. You’ll also find great vibrational tunes here that can help in your improvement.