Vishuddhi Chakra

The header image for this article is a photograph taken by Johannes Plenio as found on Pexels.


Throat Chakra

The purpose of this piece on the vishuddhi chakra is simply to clarify, for my own reference, the notes that I have taken over the years from two primary sources, the books Kundalini Tantra and Kundalini Yoga for the West. There are slight differences in their interpretations of various aspects of the chakras, in these notes both interpretations are listed, more often than not.

These notes below are taken from the book Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

The vishuddhi chakra is known as the “purification centre“. The Sanskrit word means “to purify“. In this chakra the purifying and harmonizing of all opposites takes place. It is also known as the “nectar and poison centre“. Nectar, which drips down from bindu, is said to split into pure form and into poison, the latter is discarded, the pure nectar however enriches the body, ensuring health and longevity.

Vishuddhi represents an openness in which life is regarded as the provider of experiences that lead to greater understanding, no longer avoiding the unpleasant and seeking the pleasant but flowing with life, allowing things to happen in the way they must. Both poison and nectar are consumed in vishuddhi and they are understood to be parts of the greater cosmic whole.

The more abstract aspect of vishuddhi is that it is the faculty of higher discrimination, it differentiates between information coming into our consciousness through higher levels of knowledge and the mere babblings of the unconsciousness mind, wishful thinking.

The location of the vishuddhi chakra is the cervical plexus directly behind the throat pit.

The khestram (contact, trigger point) for vishuddhi is the front of the neck at the throat pit or thyroid gland.

It is represented as a purple lotus of sixteen petals, which correspond to the number of nadis associated with this chakra. On each petal one of the Sanskrit vowels is inscribed in crimson – am, aam, im, eem, um, oom, rim, reem, lrim, lreem,em, aim, am, aum, am, ah.

In the pericarp of the lotus is a circle, white like the full moon, representing ether or akasha. It is an ethereal region which is a gateway to liberation for one whose senses are pure and controlled. Within the moon shape is a snow white elephant, symbolic of the akasha element. This is the vehicle of consciousness for this plane, the aspirant can picture themselves on the back of the elephant.

The beeja (seed) mantra is ham, pure white, the seed sound or vibration of the etheric element.

The presiding deity of vishuddhi is Sadashiva, snow white, three eyed, five faced, with ten arms and clothed in tiger’s skin. The goddess is Sakini, purer than an ocean of nectar which flows down from the moon. Her rainment is yellow and in her four hands she holds the bow, arrow, noose, goad.

Vishuddhi belongs to the fifth loka, the plane of janah (knowledge). The vayu is udana which lasts until the end of life and then rises upwards. Along with the ajna chakra vishuddhi forms the basis for the vijnanamaya kosha which initiates psychic development.

The tanmatra, or sense of vishuddhi is hearing.

The jananedriya, organ of knowledge, of vishuddhi is the ears.

The karmendriya, organ of action, is the vocal chords.


Depiction of the Vishuddhi Chakra.

Note: For a fully detailed depiction of Vishuddhi please refer to one of the books listed as sources for these notes.

These notes below are taken from the book Kundalini Yoga for the West by Swami Sivananda Radha

Vishuddhi is the fifth chakra.

Its 72 rays relate to ether.

Vishuddhi controls the sense of hearing.

The colour of its petals is a smoky purple.

The circle is the akasamandala, the ethereal region and the gateway to liberation.

The beeja, seed sound, is Ham.

The white elephant is Airavata and it symbolizes will subdued because of surrender. The triangle with point down symbolizes divine energy now properly used and understood, available to a greater extent than before. With mind and emotions under control this chakra promises constant, steady peace of mind.

The devi of this chakra is Sadasiva, the male aspect of energy unmanifest. Sadasiva is the three eyed deva in the lap of Ambara on a white elephant, the third eye is the eye of wisdom. He has five faces and ten arms, clothed in tiger skin with a garland of snakes. The five faces represent the presence of the qualities of omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence and the sublimation of the five senses. The ten arms imply efficiency and the power used with wisdom, symbolized by the snakes.

In the hands of the ten arms of Sadasiva are the following objects.

Pasa / Noose – warns of being caught in the pride of knowledge.

Ankusa – Goad, shows that goading / pushing is still needed.

Gesture –¬† Abhayamudra – dispelling fears.

Nagendra / Snake king – symbolic of temptation or wisdom.

Sula / Trident – symbol of trinity, the physical, ethereal and casual body.

Dahana / Fire – Fire of ambition.

Ghanta / Bell – symbol of listening.

Vajra – awareness of power.

Krpana / Sword – sword of discrimination.

Tanka / Battle axe – cutting away of old personality aspects.

The goddess of vishuddhi is Gauri / Sakini, the female aspect of energy manifest. Intelligence on this level is symbolized by Gauri Eternal, half of Lord Siva’s body.

In the hands of her four arms are the following objects.

Pasa / Noose -not to be caught in sound.

Ankusa / Goad – goaded on to make last efforts.

Arrow – direction should be clear.

Bow – tension, alertness is necessary.


Depiction of the Vishuddhi Chakra.

Note: For a fully detailed depiction of Vishuddhi please refer to one of the books listed as sources for these notes.

These notes below are taken from the book Kundalini Tantra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati –

In nada yoga, the branch of kundalini yoga concerned with sound vibration, vishuddhi and muladhara are considered to be the two basic centres of vibration. Vishuddhi is the fifth level of vibration integrated with the musical scale, whilst muladhara is the first. It produces basic sounds or vowels around which the music of the chakras is constructed. The vowel sounds pictured on the sixteen petals of the yantra are the primal sounds, they originate from vishuddhi and they are directly connected to the brain.

Meditation on vishuddhi makes the mind pure, like akasha.

It is said that within bindu at the back of the head the moon is secreting a vital fluid or essence known as nectar. This transcendental fluid drips down into individual consciousness from bindu. In this context bindu is a centre or passage through which individuality emerges from the cosmic consciousness in sahasrara. The divine fluid has many names different names – ambrosia, amrit, soma, madya. It generates an unspeakable and indescribable feeling of bliss.

Between bindu and vishuddhi is another smaller psychic centre known as the lalana chakra or talmula, closely related to vishuddhi. When nectar trickles down from bindu it is stored in lalana, it is like a glandular reservoir situated in the back of the naso-pharynx, the inner cavity beyond the soft into which the nasal passages open. Kechari mudra involves attempting to turn the tongue up and backwards, into this cavity, to stimulate the flow of nectar. This fluid has a dual nature and it can act as poison as well as nectar. When it is produced in bindu and stored in lalana it remains undifferentiated, neither poison nor nectar. As long as vishuddhi remains inactive this fluid runs down unimpeded, to be consumed in the fire of manipura. By certain practices however, such as kechari mudra, ambrosia is secreted from lalana and diverted to vishuddhi, the purifying and refining centre. When vishuddhi is awakened the divine fluid is retained and utilized, becoming the nectar of immortality. So, the secret of youth and regeneration lies in the awakening of the vishuddhi chakra.

In vishuddhi it is possible that not only internal poisons  but also external poisons can be neutralized and rendered ineffective. At higher levels of awareness poisonous and negative aspects of existence become integrated into the total scheme of being, absorbed and transformed into a state of bliss.


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