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Root Chakra Meaning: Establishing Safety and Security

Root chakra meaning can be viewed on the physical, spiritual, emotional and symbolic levels. The name for the root or base chakra in Sanskrit is Muladhara. “Mula” means “root” and “adhara” means “base or support.”

This root chakra is at the base of the spine and can be viewed as establishing your connection to your physical body, the earth, and the environment. This is the chakra of safety and security. The root chakra is associated with survival instincts for food, shelter, safety, comfort and belonging.

Root Chakra Meaning Infographic

The root chakra is also connected with your history and ancestral energy, your ability to stand your ground and feel safe in the world. Understanding and mastering the root chakra is a great step towards self-mastery and ease in life.

This article is an introduction to useful tools for the root chakra. Additional information can be found in articles on Root Chakra Affirmations, Root Chakra Stones, and Root Chakra Essential Oils. More information about all of the seven major chakras and related topics can be found in Chakra Symbols, Chakra Flowers and Chakra Definitions.

Vowel Sounds for Root Chakra Meaning

Root Chakra Meaning through Sounds

In the West, there are vowel sounds associated with each chakra. The vowel sound for the root chakra is UH. In the Sanskrit musical system called  Sargam, the sound associated with the root chakra is SA (sah).

The musical instrument associated with the root chakra is the drum. The drum establishes the foundation and rhythm for a musical creation just as the root chakra creates the base for all of the other chakras. Learn about the musical instruments for all of the chakras in Chakras and Musical Instruments.

There is also a seed syllable or bija mantra associated with each chakra. The seed syllables are like one word mantras for each chakra. This syllable can be chanted to strengthen the energy of the root chakra. Other  bija syllables can be explored in One Word Mantras.

The seed syllable for the root chakra is LAM (pronounced luhm). A basic Vedic mantra for the root chakra using this syllable is “Om Lam Namaha.” This can be translated as, “I give honor to the energy of the root chakra.” Learn more about the sounds and mantras for all of the chakras in the article Chakra Sounds.

Root Chakra Symbol

Root Chakra Symbol by Rose Karlsen

Root Chakra Symbol Meaning

In the Hindu tradition, the base chakra is depicted as a lotus flower with four petals. Each of the petals represent one of the mental states associated with this chakra. The interpretations and translations of the meaning associated with each of these petals vary widely. 

The four petals of the base chakra are generally viewed as mind, intellect, consciousness and ego. The Sanskrit symbol in the center is the character for LAM, discussed above as the seed syllable for this chakra. This sound can activate and balance the root chakra.

Most interpretations of the typical Hindu symbol for the base chakra are that the central square represents stability. This chakra provides the foundation upon which the other chakras rest. The upside-down triangle is an alchemical symbol for the earth, often interpreted as a grounded energy. More details on the root chakra symbol can be found at Chakra Symbols.

Cloves Essential Oil Root Chakra Meaning

Essential Oils and the Root Chakra

Essential oils have an ancient history of use in religious rituals as well as for medicinal purposes. Essential oils are volatile, meaning they evaporate easily. They also affect into the sense of smell, which is part of the limbic system.

This is where memories and emotions are often stored in the brain. Imbalances in the root chakra can appear as anxiety disorders, nightmares, and fears about safety and security. A strong root chakra is also important for the health of the colon, bladder, lower back, legs and feet.

Although recommendations may vary, the following essential oils are generally associated with helping to balance and heal the root chakra. These oils can be diffused or used in conjunction with chanting, meditation, affirmations or prayer. Or learn more about essential oils for all of the chakras on this website in the article Chakras and Essential Oils.

Essential oils for the root chakra include:

  • Clove creates warmth and familiarity, dispelling fears
  • Rosemary energizes the environment and assists with mental and emotional clarity
  • Cypress stimulates ease, assists in the removal of mental blocks
  • Black Pepper soothes anxiety
  • Vetiver dispels negativity and restlessness
Bloodstone Root Chakra Stones

Bloodstone for the Root Chakra

Healing Stones for the Root Chakra

Stones believed to positively influence the root chakra are Bloodstone, Jasper and Red Coral. Bloodstone is a specific form of Jasper, originally called the Sun Stone and later Christ’s Stone, symbolizing the blood of Christ. In other traditions, this stone is associated more generally with blood as the fundamental energy of life.

Bloodstone represents vitality, passion and courage. These characteristics relate directly to positive root chakra meanings. This stone’s connection to blood purification dates back five thousand years to Mesopotamia. According to folk medicine, bloodstone is particularly valued as a means to stop the flow of blood and to heal any wound. 

Other stones connected to root chakra meaning and function are Jasper, Red Coral, Carnelian, Tiger’s Eye and Obsidian. Explore these healing stones in the article Root Chakra Stones for Vitality, Optimism and Confidence.

Indra Hindu Deity Root Chakra Meaning

Indra, King of Heaven and the Sky
Illustration by Rose Karlsen

See art and gifts featuring Hindu deities.

Root Chakra Meaning and Hindu Deities

The deities Indra, Brahma and Ganesha are associated with the root chakra. These deities correlate directly with root chakra meaning: their qualities help to establish a foundation for the higher chakras. Brahma is the creative aspect of God, Indra belongs to the heaven above, and Ganesha helps to overcome obstacles here on earth. Learn more about the deities associated with all of the seven major chakras in Chakras and Deities: Keys to Experiencing God.

INDRA: Indra is the king of heaven. He is associated with lighting, thunder, storms, rain and rivers. Indra rides on an elephant, symbolizing compassion, intelligence, and ancient wisdom. 

BRAHMA: 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.

GANESHA: Ganesha is often invoked at the beginning of an undertaking or an event. This connects directly to the root chakra as the origin of the kundalini energy flowing to the upper chakras. Learn more in Ganesha Meaning: Hindu Deity of Overcoming & New Beginnings.

Back with Chakras Root Emphasis

Organs Associated with the Root Chakra

The physical organs and systems associated with the base chakra include:

  • feet
  • knees
  • the pelvis
  • skeletal system
  • muscular system

The base chakra governs the lower part of the body, including the legs, hips, lower back and lower spine. These areas of the body establish balance and stability. These are the organs and systems that provide a strong foundation for physical health and a platform for our presence in the world. This connects directly with root chakra meaning as the foundation for the chakra system. Learn more about the connections between all of the chakras and the physical body in Chakras and Organs of Human Anatomy

Hibiscus Sacred Flower of the Goddess Kali

Hibiscus Flower Symbolizing the Root Chakra

Root Chakra Flowers

The root chakra is often associated with the color red. Poppies, peonies and poinsettia are clear favorites as chakra flowers for the root or base chakra. In a purified state, the root chakra is thought to be white. Thus, white flowers can also symbolize the root chakra.

Since the root chakra also creates the base for all of the other chakras, flowers that have a strong root system are ideal choices as root chakra flowers. Thus, some root chakra flowers such as hibiscus and begonia grow on shrubs, bushes or trees. 

Learn more about the unique symbolic meanings of root chakra flowers and flowers for all of the chakras in the article Chakra Flowers.

More Chakra Resources

Chakra Definitions: The chakras have importance in both spirituality and health. The chakras also relate to psychology and emotional balance. An overview of the seven major chakras.

Root Chakra Affirmations: Root chakra affirmations are a powerful way to create safety and security in your world. Learn to ground yourself and gain healing release with affirmations. 

Chakras and Musical Notes: Chakras and musical notes have been paired in a number of ways. Learn about both Western and Eastern systems.

Chakra Names: Chakra names reveal the roles of the chakras in the body and on psychological, spiritual and emotional levels. Includes explanations of English and Sanskrit chakra names.

Chakra Art: Chakra art depicts the the unseen forces that govern the energy and strength of the seven major chakras. Learn about art as a reminder of the power of the body and spirit.

Chakra Transformation: Chakra are energy centers for transformation. Learn more about tools, experiences and how to work with the kundalini energy and chakra transformation in this article.

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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Chakra Art & Gifts

Chakra symbol artwork, coffee mugs and prints featuring meditative symbols based on the ancient Hindu tradition. Unique inspirational artwork. Produced in the United States. Flat rate shipping $4.95 per order (US only), unlimited items. See all Yoga Symbol Art.


The root chakra establishes a connection to the physical body, the earth and the environment. This is a place of security and safety. This article includes information about root chakra sounds, essential oils, healing stones, associated Hindu deities, the physical organs associated with root chakra meaning and other topics related to root chakra meaning.

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