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Chakra Names: Meaning, History & Pronunciation

Chakra names reveal the roles of the chakras in the body and on psychological, spiritual and emotional levels. The English and Sanskrit chakra names as well as brief descriptions of the unique aspects of each chakra are outlined below.

Chakra Names in Sanskrit and English

Muladhara = Root Chakra
  “Mula” means “root” and “adhara” means “base or support”

Svadhisthana = Sacral Chakra
Svadhishthana means “one’s own abode”

Manipura = Solar Plexus Chakra
Manipura translates as the “city of jewels” 

Anahata = Heart Chakra
 Anahata means “unhurt, unstruck, unbeaten, pure or clean”

Vishuddha = Throat Chakra
 Vishuddha means “especially pure”

Ajna = Third Eye Chakra
Ajna means “perceive,” “authority” or “command”

Sahasrara = Crown Chakra
Sahasrara means “thousand-petaled”

Sanskrit Pronunciation

This video is a quick pronunciation guide to the Sanskrit chakra names. Thanks to Jake Fleming for the pronunciations and to Rose Karlsen for the chakra illustration. There are sixteen vowels, nine intermediate sounds and twenty-five consonants in Sanskrit.

Some English approximations are not exact replications of the Sanskrit sounds. An “r” is rolled, sometimes only slightly and sometimes more extensively. The following are examples of some basic pronunciation rules for Sanskrit vowels:

  • Short “a” is pronounced “uh” like the “a” in about
  • Long “a” is pronounced “ah” as in father
  • Short “i” is pronounced like the “i” in it
  • Long “i” is pronounced “ee” as in seat
  • An “r” is rolled, sometimes only slightly

Names Reveal Chakra Purpose and Functions

The focus and purpose of each chakra revealed in the chakra names are given in order from the lowest chakra to the highest. This guide begins with the root chakra (situated near the organs of elimination and reproduction) and moves upwards to the crown chakra (at the top of the head). 

Root Chakra Symbol

Muladhara Chakra by Rose Karlsen
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Root Chakra Names:

Muladhara and Base Chakra

The lowest chakra in the body has several chakra names: root chakra, base chakra and Muladhara Chakra. The root or base chakra establishes your connection to the earth and to the “roots” embedded in your ancestral history.

The root chakra is the place of the Divine Mother or the feminine energy. This energy, known as the kundalini in the East, rises to meet the masculine energy of the crown chakra. Another English term for this chakra is the “base chakra.” The base chakra is the foundation upon which the other chakras rest, similar to the foundation of a house.

Muladhara in Sanskrit is a combination of “mula” meaning “root” and “adhara” meaning “base or support.” The Hindu symbol for the base chakra includes a square as a stable geometric form. This solid base represents the four directions, four seasons and the earth element. Related articles: Root Chakra Meaning; Root Chakra Affirmations; Root Chakra Stones; Root Chakra Essential Oils

Sacral Chakra Definitions and Symbol

Svadhisthana Chakra by Rose Karlsen
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Sacral Chakra Names:

Svadhisthana, Sacral Chakra, Seat of the Soul

The second chakra has three different chakra names: the sacral chakra, the seat of the soul chakra and the Svadhisthana Chakra. In Sanskrit, the name Svadhisthana means “one’s own abode.” The sacral chakra is focused on relationships. This includes one’s relationship with oneself.

The sacral chakra represents the spiritual potential that goes beyond the survival instincts of the root chakra. The sacral chakra is the realm of communication, exchange and finances. In addition to being the center of reproductive ability, the sacral chakra is also the seat of artistic creation. Related articles: Sacral Chakra Meaning; Chakra Definitions

Solar Plexus Chakra Meaning and Symbol

Manipura Chakra by Rose Karlsen
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Solar Plexus Chakra Names:

Manipura, Navel Chakra

The third chakra names are the solar plexus chakra or the Manipura Chakra in Sanskrit. The name translates as the “city of jewels.” “Mani” means “gem” while “pura” means “city.” When purified, this is the chakra of inner peace. In English, other chakra names include the navel chakra. 

Mastery of the solar plexus chakra is largely the mastery of emotions. This often leads to success in life on many levels. Thus, the solar plexus chakra is associated with wealth and abundance. This is also the place of transformation: food is digested here as well as less tangible ideas. Related articles: Solar Plexus Chakra Meaning; Chakra Symbols

Heart Chakra Definitions and Symbol

Anahata Chakra by Rose Karlsen
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Heart Chakra Names:

Anahata, Threefold Flame

The chakra names for the fourth chakra are the heart chakra and the Anahata Chakra. The heart chakra is the focus of love and devotion. The heart expresses charity, compassion, and kindness. In addition, the heart is a focus for beauty and culture. The heart brings the awareness of community and compassion for others. The Sanskrit word “anahata” means “unhurt, unstruck, unbeaten, pure or clean.”

The heart chakra is believed to house an inner chakra or chamber where the spark of life resides. In the Western tradition, this is known as the three fold flame or the inner chamber of the heart. In the East, this is sometimes called “Brahma’s Cave. Related articles: Heart Chakra Meaning; Chakra Symbols

Throat Chakra Definitions and Symbol

Vishuddha Chakra by Rose Karlsen
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Throat Chakra Names:

Vishuddha, Power Chakra

The fifth chakra is the throat chakra or the Vishuddha chakra. In Sanskrit, Vishuddha means “especially pure.” The throat chakra is connected to creativity and self-expression as well as the actions of speaking, chanting and singing. The throat and thyroid are where emotions, intentions, praise and criticism are expressed.

The throat chakra is the place where energy is qualified through sound for blessing or bane with every word spoken. Thus, the throat is the place of greatest vulnerability and greatest strength. The throat chakra and thyroid are also connected to creative expression.

The thyroid gland plays a major role in metabolism, growth and vital body functions such as heart rate and body temperature. Chanting is an ideal tool for supporting the health of the thyroid gland since the vibrations of chanting and singing pass directly through the thyroid. Related articles: Throat Chakra Meaning; Chakra Symbols

Third Eye Symbol Print

Ajna Chakra by Rose Karlsen
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Third Eye Chakra Names:

Ajna, Psychic Chakra

The sixth chakra is called the third eye in English, the seat of spiritual vision. The third eye is associated with perception, intuition and insight. The Sanskrit name for this chakra is the Ajna Chakra, which means to “command” or “perceive” or “authority.”

The third eye chakra is the door to prophetic vision, psychic intuition and seeing the future. This sacred spot is sometimes marked in the East on the forehead by the red dot known as the bindi. The third eye is symbolized as a transparent lotus flower with two white petals representing the ida and pingala (mystical spiritual channels). The ida and pingala are sometimes associated with the pineal and pituitary glands. Related articles: Third Eye Chakra Meaning; Chakra Symbols

Crown Chakra Definitions and Symbol

Sahasrara Chakra by Rose Karlsen
Symbolic Art Prints & Chakra Coffee Mugs

Crown Chakra Names:

Sahasrara, Thousand-Petalled Lotus

The seventh chakra is the crown chakra, the seat of enlightenment, known in Sanskrit as the Sahasrara chakra. “Sahasrara” means “thousand-petaled.” In English, the crown chakra is a reference to the top of the head. The crown chakra is related to god-consciousness (samadhi) and the transforming powers of the divine. 

On the physical level, the crown chakra is related to the nervous system and the brain. Some people who believe that human hair is an extension of the nervous system. Hair has cultural significance around the world. Shaving one’s head can be a sign of renunciation or a sign of accepting the authority of another over your life. Related articles: Crown Chakra Meaning; Chakra Symbols

Author Kathleen Karlsen

Kathleen Karlsen is a musician, artist, writer and speaker. She is the author of two books (Flower Symbols and Vocal Medicine) and over 200 articles. Kathleen, her husband Andrew and their five children live in Bozeman, Montana. More about Kathleen Karlsen.

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The chakra names reveal the roles of the chakras in the body. The chakras also function on psychological, spiritual and emotional levels. The importance of each chakra is covered. This article also includes a video that serves as a quick pronunciation guide to the Sanskrit chakra names. 

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