Chakra Gods and Goddesses

Hindu Deities and Chakras

Chakra Gods and Goddesses

In the Hindu tradition, there are gods and goddesses associated with each of the chakras. The chakras are major energy centers in the body. Chakra deities in Hinduism embody the characteristics of their respective chakras. This relates to the psychological and emotional patterns for that particular chakra. In addition, the stories and adventures of the gods and goddesses of Hinduism remind us of the role of each chakra.

Understanding the Gods and Goddesses
The gods and goddesses of Hinduism can be viewed as religious parables. They can also be seen as mythology or as legends based on the lives of ancient historical persons. Perhaps the most significant aspect of relating to a god or goddess is the sense of a personal relationship. They exist at some level whether that be psychological, spiritual, or factual.

Characteristics of the Chakra Deities
Every tradition has heroes and heroines that are examples which others can emulate. In some cases, their stories are cautionary tales of pitfalls to avoid. They are like us in many ways. For example, they are often grouped in families. They have consorts and relationships with other divine beings. In addition, their stories are often highly memorable, making learning about the chakras easy!

Root Chakra Gods and Goddesses

The Hindu gods Brahma, Indra and Ganesha are associated with the root chakra. Shakti or Kundalini are names for the feminine energy or goddess of the root chakra. Extensive information about the root chakra can be found in the article Root Chakra Meaning.

Role of Root Chakra Deities
Root chakra deities help to establish a foundation: Brahma is the creative aspect of God, Indra is the god of the heaven above, and the elephant-headed god Ganesha helps to overcome obstacles here on earth. Shakti is the energy that enlivens all of life, the unformed energy of the universal. The goddess Kundalini is specifically the energy coiled at the root chakra that is drawn upwards to the crown.

Indra: Heaven God Associated with the Root Chakra

The Hindu god Indra is associated with the root chakra as well as lighting, thunder, storms, rain and rivers. Indra rides on an elephant, symbolizing compassion, intelligence, and ancient wisdom. An elephant with seven trunks is sometimes depicted, representing all seven of the major chakras or energy centers in the body. The elephant is a perfect metaphor for the root chakra: large and heavy, the elephant is a grounding influence to keep us tethered to the earth.

Indra as a Savior of the Age
Indra is the king of the devas or divine beings. He has defeated an evil being (asura) named Vrita, ensuring the prosperity and happiness of mankind. Some sources say that Indra is a title rather than a name. This means that every age has a new Indra or savior-like god. Indra holds a thunderbolt (vajra) in one hand and a trident (threefold spear) in the other. See a beautiful print featuring the god Indra.

Brahma: Master of the Root Chakra

Brahma is the Hindu creator god also known as the Self-Born, the Lord of Speech, and the creator of the four Vedas. Brahma is the consort of Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and wisdom. Brahma is traditionally depicted with four faces and four arms.

Symbolism of Brahma
Each face points to a cardinal direction. His hands hold symbols of knowledge and creation: sacred texts, mala beads symbolizing time, a ladle used to feed a sacrificial fire, and a lotus. Brahma is often depicted with a white beard and a sage-like expression. He sits on a lotus flower, dressed in white, red or pink, often with a swan or goose nearby upon which he can ride.

Ganesha Meaning

Ganesha: Beloved Hindu God of the Root Chakra

Ganesha, a beloved elephant-headed Hindu god, is another prominent figure connected to the root or base chakra. Ganesha is often invoked at the beginning of an undertaking or an event. This makes sense: the root chakra must be aligned and purified for the energy to rise to the other chakras. Thus, the root chakra is the beginning on the spiritual path.

Role of Ganesha
Ganesha is the patron of writers and learning. He is also known as Ganapati, Vinayaka, and Pillaiyar. In Hindu mythology, Ganesha is said to be the son of the goddess Parvati and Shiva, a member of the Hindu trinity somewhat akin to the Holy Spirit in Christianity. Ganesha became a popular deity in the 2nd to 5th centuries AD. He is found in various traditions including Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.

Symbolism of Ganesha
Ganesha symbolism gives a glimpse into the stories and spiritual meaning of this well-known Hindu god. Accordingly, many of the symbols associated with Ganesha relate to his role as the remover of obstacles and the patron of new beginnings. These symbols include his large belly (to hold the universe), his large ears (to create success through listening), his powerful trunk (mastery and strength), etc. Learn more about the history of Ganesha.

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Goddess Kundalini: Feminine Energy of the Root Chakra

The Sanskrit word “kundalini” means “coiled like a snake.” The snake is a common symbol of the kundalini, the energy curled at the base of the spine. As the kundalini moves upward, the energy flows through the seven major energy centers called chakras.

The Many Faces of the Goddess
The kundalini energy has been personified as a goddess in many different forms. The Goddess Kundalini is sometimes called Adi Parashakti. This literally means the “first and highest feminine energy.” Another goddess associated strongly with the kundalini energy is Durga. Learn more about Durga the Warrior Goddess.

Awakening the Kundalini
The awakening of the kundalini is viewed as one of the first steps on the spiritual path. Preliminary practices such as service, prayer, forgiveness, and purification are necessary to avoid becoming imbalanced as the kundalini energy surges. Goddess mantras are also effective in raising the Goddess Kundalini from her resting place. The goal of this goddess energy is to merge with the masculine energy in the upper chakras: throat, third eye and head.

Sacral Chakra Gods and Goddesses

The sacral chakra is associated with gods and goddesses including Vishnu, the goddess Rakini and the goddess Parvati. There are others, but these are three of the main sacral chakra deities. Vishnu is an incarnation of Krishna. In this incarnation, he is the consort of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. More about the sacral chakra can be found at Sacral Chakra Meaning: Healing Relationships.

Hindu Goddess Parvati Mother of Ganesha

Parvati: Sacral Chakra Goddess of Love

Parvati, also known as Uma, is the Hindu goddess of fertility, love and devotion as well as divine strength and power. She is the gentle and nurturing aspect of the goddess energy and the consort of Shiva. Parvati is part of a trinity of Hindu goddesses that also includes Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and learning. Hear a mantra to Parvati and learn more about this goddess in Parvati Mantra: Chant to a Beautiful Goddess.

Vishnu the Preserver: Sacral Chakra God

Vishnu is an incarnation of Krishna. In this incarnation, he is the consort of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Vishnu is known as the preserver or the one who maintains the cosmos. He is one of the three persons of the Hindu trinity: Brahma (creator), Vishnu or Krishna (preserver) and Shiva (destroyer).

Goddess Rakini: Sacral Chakra Hindu Goddess

Rakini is a goddess with two heads representing the duality between the external and internal worlds. This duality is also symbolized in light and dark, male and female, yin and yang, night and day, expansion and contraction and so forth.


Solar Plexus Chakra Gods and Goddesses

The solar plexus chakra is associated with the god Rudra, his consort Lakini, and the goddess Lakshmi. The solar plexus is the fire center, often symbolized by the color yellow or a sun-like image. Learn more about the Solar Plexus Chakra.

Rudra: Solar Plexus God in Hinduism

Rudra is a form of Shiva, usually depicted with a scarlet hue and three eyes. In this personification, Rudra is represented as an old man with a powerful bull as his vehicle. This is a form of Shiva that annihilates desire and wrong action. Rudra helps to dissolve worldly desires. He is covered with ashes, representing the final stage of matter when incinerated. This makes Rudra a symbol of immortality, dispelling all fear.

Rudra appears in the Vedas, ancient sacred scriptures. He has both destructive and beneficial aspects. Rudra is the divine archer, shooting arrows of disease and death. He is also a healer and source of remedies for ailments. This powerful Hindu god is associated with the solar plexus and the heart chakras.

Lakshmi Hindu Goddess of WealthGoddess

Lakshmi: Solar Plexus Goddess of Wealth

Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity. Her name is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning goal, aim or sign. In addition, Lakshmi is usually shown seated or standing on a lotus. The lotus symbolizes creation, beauty, harmony, diversity, stability, and support. The benefit of maintaining equilibrium and peace in the solar plexus is the ability to acquire and retain great wealth. Learn more about this goddess in the article Lakshmi Mantra to the Goddess of Wealth.

Lakini: Solar Plexus Chakra Benefactor Goddess

Lakini is a benefactor goddess and the consort of Rudra. Lakini has four arms. Three of her hands hold symbolic items (a thunderbolt, an arrow, and fire). Her fourth hand is held in the gesture or mudra of granting wishes and dispelling fears. Lakini is associated with the solar plexus, seat of the sun and the power of the emotions, intuition, and gut feelings.

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Heart Chakra Gods and Goddesses

Mantras for the heart chakra emphasize the heart as the seat of love and devotion. The heart expresses charity, compassion, and kindness. The heart is a focus for beauty and culture. The heart brings the awareness of community and compassion for others. Learn more about the heart chakra in Heart Chakra Meaning. One of the main deities associated with the heart in Hinduism is Hanuman, the monkey-faced god who features prominently in the Hindu epic the Ramayana.

Hanuman Hindu Monkey God

Hanuman: Heart Chakra God of Hinduism

Hanuman is a key deity in the Hindu tradition associated with the heart chakra. Hanuman is the monkey god, hero of epics and stories in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Hanuman is the ardent devotee of Lord Rama, and he plays a central role in the epic poem Ramayana.

Hanuman is sometimes depicted as the patron of martial arts, wrestling, and acrobatics. I think of Hanuman as an Eastern superhero, somewhat akin to Superman or Spiderman or Batman. He is also the patron of meditation and scholarship. Learn more about the superpowers of Hanuman and watch two mantra videos in the article Hanuman Mantra

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Kuan Yin: Heart Chakra Goddess 

The goddess Kuan Yin appears in Indian sutras (scriptures) as well as in Chinese or Tibetan Buddhism. She is associated with compassion, the primary quality of the heart. Kuan Yin symbolizes mercy and compassion. She is a bodhisattva. This means she has taken a vow to save all beings from suffering, foregoing full Buddhahood until all sentient beings are free. Kuan Yin comes as a Divine Mother to dispel all illusion.

A beautiful legend is that Kuan Yin was on the threshold of heaven when she paused and heard the anguished cries of the world. She then returned to earth to help all who are suffering. Kuan Yin’s full name is Kuan-shih-yin. This means “one who regards, looks on and hears the sounds of the world.”

Kuan Yin Heart Goddess

Kuan Yin originally had the name and form of Avalokitesvara, a male name and masculine being. Avalokitesvara means “the lord who sees or hears the sounds of the world.” Avalokitesvara was a Buddhist deity who evolved in Tibet into the female buddha Kuan Yin. Learn more about her history and mantras in Kuan Yin Healing Mantras.

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Throat Chakra Gods and Goddesses

The throat chakra is connected to creativity and self-expression as well as the actions of speaking, chanting and singing. Mantras are an ideal tool for supporting the thyroid and related organs. One of the central Hindu gods associated with the throat chakra is Sadashiva. Other deities for the throat chakra are Ishvara and the goddess Saraswati.

Sadashiva Throat Chakra Hindu God

Sadashiva: Throat Chakra God

Sadashiva is the highest form of Shiva, the Hindu god of dissolution, somewhat akin to the Holy Spirit in the Western tradition. Sometimes Sadashiva is depicted with five faces representing five emanations of God or the four directions plus upward movement. Other sources view Sadashiva’s five faces as symbolizing the forces of the universe: creation, preservation, destruction, obscuration and grace.

Sadashiva wears a tiger skin indicating his victory over animal instincts. The snake around his neck represents the endless cycle of birth and death. The trishula held in one hand is a three-in-one symbol representing the divine as a trinity. 

Ishvara: Hindu Lord of the Throat Chakra

Ishvara is sometimes viewed as the embodiment of the Higher Self rather than a particular deity. In other schools of Hinduism, Ishvara is equivalent to Shiva. In other movements, Ishvara is synonymous with Brahma. The name “Ishvara” means “ruler of blessings” or “chief suitor.” In Buddhism, Ishvara is associated with Avalokitesvara, a bodhisattva that originated in a male form but is sometimes referred to as female (Isvari). This is a variation of Kuan Yin, also associated with the heart chakra.

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Saraswati: Throat Chakra Goddess

Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of wisdom, music and the arts. Her name means “the flowing one.” Her mantras often contain the seed syllable AIM, a feminine counterpart to OM. The bija syllable AIM is purported to strengthen the voice, clear the senses and open the lungs. 

In ancient times, the ability to recite poetry and memorize Vedic scriptures was a highly honored skill. Saraswati is credited with granting this gift to her devotees. She is appropriately the goddess for the throat chakra since she governs speech, singing, and music. 

Goddesses often have multiple names reflecting all of their qualities and powers. Many have a thousand names! Saraswati is known by several lovely names including the following: Saraswati Mata: Mother of Water and Lakes; Bharadi Mata: Mother of Wisdom and Science; and Bilvani  Mata: Mother of the Woods. learn more about Saraswati in the article Saraswati Mantra: Goddess of Music & Wisdom.

Third Eye Chakra Gods and Goddesses

The third eye is associated with several deities and combined forms of deities. For example, Shiva is often depicted as having three eyes because of his powerful development of this chakra. Other deities associated with the third eye include Vishnu and his incarnations as Krishna and Rama. The goddess Shakti is also associated with the third eye as the consort of Shiva.

Krishna and Third Eye Chakra

Krishna: Third Eye Chakra Hindu God

Krishna, one of the Hindu gods most closely associated with the third eye chakra, is the son of Devaki and her consort Vasudeva, king of the Chandravanshi clan. Devaki’s brother was Kansa, an evil tyrant. He was told that a child of Devaki would kill him, so he set out to murder the young Krishna. For his own protection, Krishna was sent to live in the country with Nanda and his wife Yasoda. Krishna’s childhood was spent among their cow herds. This is the origin of Krishna’s childhood names, Gopala and Govinda. Learn more and listen to a Krishna Mantra. 

Shiva the Destroyer: Power of the Third Eye Chakra

Shiva is one of the three persons of the Hindu trinity. There are many forms of Shiva, including the one (Sadashiva) associated with the throat chakra and Nataraja (associated with the crown chakra). Shiva is the aspect of God that strips the devotee of all illusions. Thus, he is the god of the third eye or spiritual vision. Shiva is said to possess enough power in his third eye to send out a deadly beam at will.

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Rama the Healer: Third Eye Chakra God

Rama is a god of protection, one of the nine incarnations of Vishnu. Rama is the most popular avatar of Vishnu, a paragon of virtue and chivalry. Rama is the central character in the Hindu epic the Ramayana. He is the consort of Sita. Rama, also known as Ram, and Sita have many adventures and trials together in this ancient story.

Ram and Sita are sometimes viewed as symbolizing the unmanifest and the manifest minds or the pineal and pituitary glands. Sita and Ram are the ideal spouses. While Sita represents courage, dedication and purity, Ram (or Rama) represents  truth, the soul and virtue. Learn more about Rama as well as his goddess Sita and listen to a Sita Ram Mantra.

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Shakti: Third Eye Chakra Goddess

The third eye chakra is symbolized by a central circle and a right and left lotus petal. The two petals of the 3rd eye symbol represent the ida and pingala (mystical spiritual channels). The petals also represent Shiva (a masculine deity) and Shakti (feminine form of God) on the left and right, respectively. In addition, the ida and pingala are sometimes viewed as the unconscious and conscious minds. Finally, the two petals also  represent the pineal and pituitary glands.

Shakti is the unformed energy of the universe much like the kundalini in the root chakra. However, the Goddess Shakti is uncontained and unbound where the Goddess Kundalini remains coiled at the base of the spine until awakened. It is Shiva or the masculine energy which provides a container or sets parameters for the expression of the Shakti energy. This is why the Goddess Shakti must be balanced by the intensity of Shiva. 

Crown Chakra Hindu Gods and Goddesses

One of the presiding deities for the crown chakra is Shiva— often depicted in a dancing form known as Nataraja—Lord of the Dance. Shiva is one of the principal gods of Hinduism, part of the trinity composed of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The goddess for the crown chakra is Chamunda, often interchanged with the goddesses Kali or Durga.

Nataraja and the Crown Chakra

Nataraja: Crown Chakra Cosmic Dancer

Nataraja is the dancing form of Shiva, a joyful being spinning and dancing through creation. Shiva is often shown with a serpent around his neck, a crescent moon as an adornment, the river Ganges flowing from his hair or flowing nearby, the trishula as his weapon, and a damaru (drum) nearby. Learn more about the sounds and seed syllables for the crown chakra in the article Chakra Sounds

Shiva: Crown Chakra God

Shiva is the destroyer of evil, akin to the Holy Spirit in the Christian trinity. Shiva is alternately depicted both as benevolent and fearsome. Shiva is often shown with a serpent around his neck, a crescent moon as an adornment, the river Ganges flowing from his hair or flowing nearby, the trishula as his weapon, and a damaru (drum) nearby. Learn more and listen to a Shiva Mantra.

Chamunda: Crown Chakra Goddess

The Goddess Chamunda is a fearsome form of the goddess Chandi. She is the goddess of war, time, death and disasters.  Chamunda may have originated as a tribal goddess and been assimilated into mainstream Hinduism  at a later date. Chamunda is often viewed as interchangeable with the goddesses Kali and Durga.

Kali is a more well-known version of this fierce goddess. She is an intimidating figure, brandishing multiple weapons with her many arms. Kali wears a skirt of severed arms and a gruesome garland of heads. These grisly body parts are symbolic of the demonic forces that she slays to protect her devotees. Learn more in Kali Mantra: Goddess of Time and Death.

Durga is a principal form of the Divine Mother in Hinduism. She personifies the vibration of the fierce mother, moving into battle to protect her own and never simply for the sake of violence. The name Durga means a fort or a place that is difficult to overrun. This is appropriate for a goddess representing the crown chakra. Once the goddess energy has reached this level, the chances of being overcome with worldly desires or ambitions is relatively low. More in Durga Mantra & Stories of the Goddess.

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Understanding the Chakra Gods and Goddesses

There are several ways to develop a deeper understanding of the Hindu deities. You can strengthen your own chakras through developing this connection. The following are some ideas and spiritual practices that can assist in this process:

  • Study the stories of the chakra deities in Hinduism to understand the qualities that they possess. These could be yogic siddhis (powers) or admirable personal characteristics such as fearlessness, compassion or loyalty.
  • Investigate the iconography or symbolism in depictions of one or more of the gods or goddesses for a chakra. Many gods and goddesses hold symbolic objects in their hands or use their hands in mudras or symbolic gestures.
  • Meditate on an image or statue of the chakra deity. Deepen your connection to your own qualities and virtues embodied by that deity.
  • Use mantras or chants related to the chosen chakra deity. Mantras help to activate the qualities of the deity within yourself.

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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.

Chakra Deities Article Summary

This article covers the chakras and associated gods and goddesses in the Hindu tradition. Pairing together the functions of the chakras and the personifications of the chakra energies helps to clarify the purpose of particular chakras. Each of the seven major chakras are associated with one or more of the gods and goddesses in the Hindu pantheon. These deities include Ganesha for the root chakra; Parvati for the sacral chakra; Lakshmi for the solar plexus chakra; Hanuman for the heart chakra; Sadashiva for the throat chakra; Krishna for the third eye chakra and Nataraja for the crown chakra.

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