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Third Eye Chakra - Seat of Spiritual Vision, Prophecy & Visualization

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

The pineal gland is associated with this chakra. The third eye, usually connected with clairvoyant abilities, can be developed with yoga, meditation and the practice of chanting. The third eye can be viewed as the center of creation and imagination.

Third Eye Chakra Definitions and Symbol

Third Eye Meaning Table of Contents

Third Eye Chakra Mantra

Mantra yoga has powerful effects on the body, mind and consciousness. Scientists are studying these effects on individual well-being on many levels. This practice goes back thousands of years. In the Ayurvedic tradition, mantras can be used as a tool for optimal wellness. 

The lyrics for this mantra are “Om Grinihi Suryaya Adityom.” The literal meaning is “I salute the Shining One that heals the eyes.” OM is the creative energy of the universe. GRINIHI is an attribute of the sun that heals and strengthens the eyes. SURYAYA is a reference to Surya, the Hindu god of the sun. ADITYOM is an esoteric aspect of the sun (Aditya) for healing.

Watch a video of this mantra in the article on Healing Mantras.

Third Eye Chakra Sounds

The vibrations of chanting and singing are felt in the skull and can be consciously directed to the third eye chakra. The superficial location of the third eye is between the eyebrows at the bridge of the nose.

There are seed syllables in Sanskrit for each of the major chakras. These syllables can be used to create mantras to activate each chakra. The seed syllable for the third eye chakra is OM. The simple mantra “OM Namaha” means “I bow before the energy of creation.” There are also vowels sounds, notes of the musical scale, musical instruments and syllables for sacred toning associated with each chakra. 

The vowel sound for the third eye chakra is a long “a” sound (ay or aa). The note of the musical scale is the 6th note. In the Western system, this is the sound “LA.” In the Eastern sargam system, this is the sound “DHA.” Find the sounds for all of the chakras in the article Chakra Sounds.

Piano Third Eye Chakra Musical Instrument

The musical instrument associated with the third eye chakra is the piano (also harpsichord and other keyboard instruments). Piano is both a percussive (the strings are stuck by hammers) and a melodic instrument. The ability to play keys sequentially and simultaneously yields a tremendous amount of room for creativity and imagination.

Mantras to Krishna (or his childhood forms called Govinda and Gopala) and wonderful for activating the third eye. See more below in Deities Associated with the Third Eye.



Chakra Sounds and Sacred Toning

Third Eye Chakra Symbol

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.

Third Eye Chakra Symbol Meaning

The third eye is symbolized as a transparent lotus flower with two white petals representing the ida and pingala (mystical spiritual channels) or Shiva and Shakti on the left and right, respectively. The ida and pingala are sometimes considered to be the unconscious and conscious minds or the pineal and pituitary glands.

Third Eye Chakra Definitions and Symbol
Third Eye Chakra Symbol by Rose Karlsen

The pineal gland has been revered as a central endocrine gland for spiritual development. See more below in Physical Organs and the Third Eye Chakra. The pituitary is a master gland that monitors and regulates many bodily functions including growth, sexual maturity, metabolism and blood pressure.

The Sanskrit symbol in the center is the character for OM, the seed syllable for the third eye chakra. Learn more above in Third Eye Chakra Sounds. The downward pointing triangle represents the energy of the feminine in the material world.

The glyph and dot at the top of the third eye chakra symbol represents the moon, another form of feminine energy. The surrounding circle symbolizes manifestation as a whole.


Essential Oils for the Third Eye Chakra

An imbalance in the third eye chakra may appear as ear and eye issues, learning disabilities, inability to make decisions, or feeling stuck. A positive affirmation for the third eye chakra is “I trust my intuition.” Three of the essential oils that are helpful for the third eye chakra are lavender, helichrysum and cedarwood.

Lavender essential oil is one of most commonly used essential oils for calming the mind and body. This essential oil is steam distilled from the flowering top of the lavender bush. Lavender supports relaxation in the body and especially the mind. Perfect to use for a racing, anxious mind.

Helichrysum essential oil is steam distilled from the daisy flower. Known as the “Everlasting” or “The Immortal Flower,” the oil has been used in skincare anti-aging products for years. The floral scent of helichrysum is uplifting to the subconscious mind and can have a grounding and calming effect.

Cedarwood essential oil is steam distilled from the bark of the cedar pine tree. Researchers have discovered that cedarwood “stimulates the limbic region of the brain (the center of emotions) and stimulates the pineal which releases melatonin” (Essential Oils Desk Reference). Cedarwood is known for its calming and purifying properties and can help support deeper sleep. 


Lavender Essential Oil for the Chakras
Lavender Illustration by Rose Karlsen

Learn more about the benefits of essential oil diffusion on the Essential Drops of Joy website. Buy essential oils at discounted rates (24% off) with Kathleen Karlsen as your mentor (Brand Partner #1043288) at Young Living Essential Oils. Or learn more about essential oils and the seven major chakras on this website at Chakras and Essential Oils.

Healing Stones for the Third Eye Chakra

Stones believed to positively influence the third eye chakra are amethyst, purple fluorite, and obsidian. 

Amethyst healing stones range from deep purple to dark blue. Amethyst has been used in religious ceremonies for years. This stone is also associated with Gautama Buddha. Tibetan prayer beads are often made from amethyst. Amethysts assists in clearing and cleansing energy fields, leading to greater concentration, awareness, insight, and enlightenment. 

Purple fluorite is a stone of discernment. This stone and enhances clarity and mental abilities. The ancient Chinese believed fluorite offered protection from evil spirits and the stones were considered to be “dream makers.” The purple fluorite brings structure to incoherent thoughts or energies and calms the mind-body system.

Obsidian balances human energy fields and encourages the releasing of the ego. This stone is formed in swiftly cooling lava with high silica content. Historically obsidian was used to make tools and weapons. Snowflake obsidian is best for supporting the third eye chakra as it can restore a deep sense of protection and reverence.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Read more in Chakra Stones and Meanings.


Amethyst for the Third Eye Chakra

Hindu Deities Associated with the Third Eye

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. 

Krishna, one of the deities 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. A simple mantra to Krishna is “Devakinandana Gopala.” This mantra means “Gopala is the joy or bliss (ananda) of his mother Devaki.”

Video Lyrics: Devakinandana Gopala, Gopala, Gopala, Gopala

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Learn more about Hindu Deities.


Krishna and Third Eye Chakra

Illustration of Krishna
by Rose Karlsen

The Third Eye Chakra and the Pineal Gland

There are several organs associated with the third eye chakra. These organs include the eyes, the ears, the brain, the pituitary gland and the endocrine system in general. First let’s take a deep dive into the role and functioning of the pineal gland.

The name pineal comes from the Latin pinea or pinus, meaning pine cone. Representations of the pineal gland are used symbolically in art of the Sumerians, Egyptians, Indonesians, Greeks, Romans and Babylonians. Some traditions say that the soul enters and leaves the physical body at birth and death through the pineal gland.

Third Eye Chakra and the Pineal Gland

Other sources say that there is a whirring sound heard by the individual when the pineal gland is activated. This is represented in mythology as a toy used by the god Bacchus as a child. A pinecone-shaped piece of wood wrapped with a cord gave out a humming sound as he spun the toy.

In most people, the degeneration of the pineal gland begins at the age of six or seven and continues until puberty. Some sources believe this is why children over the age of six or seven have a diminished ability to sense the spiritual world. They may no longer have “invisible playmates” or remember what happened “before they were born.”

Brain and Solar Plexus Chakra

The interior of the pineal body contains follicles surrounded by connective tissue. The follicles consist of epithelial cells and calcareous deposits. In some reptiles the pineal gland serves as a light receptor. This connection may account for the serpent extended symbolically out of the forehead in the headdress of many Egyptian statues. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Learn more about how mantras affect the brain and body in Mantra Yoga.


The Pineal Gland and Consciousness

The connection between the pineal gland and altered states of consciousness has been well-established in the traditions of yoga and meditation, but little scientific investigation has focused on this tiny gland. Long revered by mystics, the pineal gland has often been considered a useless, vestigial organ by medical doctors.

Yet the “eye of God” features prominently in many esoteric traditions and even appears on the American dollar bill. The pineal gland has occasionally been a focus of study in modern times, usually to determine a possible role in mental illness and psychotic states.

DMT Book, the Third Eye and Pineal Gland

One researcher, Rick Strassman, MD, spent five years conducting experiments with DMT, an endogenous, or naturally occurring, substance in the human body that causes psychedelic experiences when administered in large enough does.

DMT is reputed to be released in the body (some suggest by the pineal gland) at birth, death and during times of extraordinary or life-threatening stress. Strassman devotes a couple of chapters in his book DMT: The Spirit Molecule to theories and research related to the pineal gland.

In his experiments, subjects had very brief but very powerful out of the body experiences. Some believed that they met higher beings. Other had something more like an alien abduction experience.

Many likened their experience to a near death experience. Nearly all of the subjects felt the experience was life-changing though in some the duration was only about ten minutes long. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: See the section on Mantra Yoga and Consciousness in the article Mantra Yoga.


Chakra Sounds and Kundalini

The Pineal Gland and Architecture

The pineal gland has also been featured in architectural structures. A magnificent example of the pineal gland in art and architecture is the ancient temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The temple of Angkor Wat graced the civilization of the Angkor people from about 800 AD until the fifth century.

Angkor Wat literally means the “City of the Temple.” The political hierarchy included a god-king surrounded by priests and high dignitaries. The civilization was based on agriculture and an irrigation system that controlled the water of the Mekong River.

Ankor Wat Pineal Gland Architecture
Temples at Ankor Wat

Another fascinating place where a large statue topped by the pinecone-shaped pineal gland appears is in the Vatican. If the pineal gland is the seat of consciousness, did the early Catholics know the mystical teachings about the pineal gland? If so, has the knowledge been lost?

All of these symbols indicate that the pineal gland has been revered as significant in numerous  civilizations. The ability to predict the future would clearly be an advantage for any civilization. In any case, the idea of third eye has become mainstream, whether taken seriously or viewed as a strange and far-fetched phenomenon.


Story: The Third Eye and Telepathy

I’ve had a number of experiences with visualizing that seem to be connected to the third eye chakra. At one point as a young teenager I attended a poorly funded public school in Prattville, Alabama. The school had only one bus and a very small cafeteria. This resulted in a full two hours of waiting in the gym sitting on the bleachers each day.  

During those hours of daily waiting, I convinced a friend to play a game based on an experiment I had read about. In the experiment, a researcher created a set of five cards with different geometric shapes: a star, a circle, a triangle, a square and a diamond. One participant would look at the shapes and try to mentally send the image to someone else.

Third Eye Chakra and Telepathy

I created a set of the cards. My friend would look at a card and send me the image mentally. I discovered that if I closed my eyes, relaxed for a few seconds, and then opened them again, the symbol would appear on the wall across the gym.

There was no guessing and no struggle. The image simply appeared. When I tried to send the images to her, the success rate was very low. Perhaps I was a good receiver but not a good sender. Or maybe she was a great sender and not a good receiver. 

Prophetic dreams are also associated with the third eye. Prophetic dreams appear throughout history, especially in the context of spiritual texts such as the Bible. Many kings and rulers depended on those who had visions or dreams and those could interpret them to help them make significant decisions.


Story: Visualization and the Third Eye

Years later I tried another experiment. I was pregnant with my daughter and was taking breaks from work regularly to get a snack. I’ve never been patient with all the time that it takes to eat enough food to keep body and soul together. Now I was eating for two!

Someone suggested I use the time for visualization. I started imagining a beautiful yellow-pink rose. It was one of those roses that blends from yellow to peach and then to pink at the edges of the petals. I would hold that image in my mind while I ate several times a day.

Soon afterwards, I received a gift of a dress with pink and yellow roses and then a similar pair of pajamas. When my daughter was born, she had beautiful red hair and a gorgeous peach complexion, courtesy of her Norwegian heritage on my husband’s side. We named her Rosemarie. That experiment yielded plenty of beautiful roses.


Rosemarie and Kathleen

Story: Meditation and the Third Eye

I took an online meditation course years ago that recommended focusing on the third eye. While taking the course and practicing daily, I started having an increased level of unusual experiences. For example, one night I woke up just after midnight and had the distinct feeling that I should go to sleep on my office floor.

I was not excited about the prospect. My office is in the basement, complete with the potential for spiders crawling on the floor. Nevertheless, I could not shake the feeling and could not go back to sleep. I gathered up my covers and pillow and headed for my office.

Within minutes of lying down on the floor, the phone rang. This was back when the phone was connected by a cord to a specific location! I jumped up and grabbed the phone. Someone was calling from India with services for my business. They had neglected to consider the time zone difference. I informed the caller that it was the middle of the night! I was not interested in talking business.

My entire family could have been woken up by the phone if I had not been lying on the floor in my office when the phone rang. Although I did not “see” anything, this was a type of knowing that felt connected to the third eye rather than the kind of gut level knowing associated with the solar plexus. I had a clear sense of something to do or some place that I had to be.

My conclusion was that activation of the third eye could have immediate practical benefits. I also felt strongly that I wanted to keep my spiritual path as heart centered as possible. I trusted that other spiritual gifts, such as the activation of the third eye, would grow naturally out of that focus.


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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.

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The sixth chakra is the third eye, the seat of spiritual vision. The third eye is associated with perception, intuition and insight. Third eye chakra meaning is closely connected to the pineal gland and clairvoyant abilities. The third eye can be viewed as the center of creation and imagination. This article includes information about the third eye chakra symbol, healing stones, essential oils, Hindu deities and spiritual abilities that are associated with third eye chakra meaning.

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