Sound and the Chakras
By Jonathan Goldman
In 1980 I first began my study of the uses of sound and music as therapeutic and healing modalities. This study ultimately manifested with a Master’s Degree in Independent Study of the Uses of Sound and Music for Healing from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My initial investigation into the area of sound healing was the relationship between sound and the chakras.
The word chakra is a Sanskrit term meaning “wheel”, for chakras are seen as spinning wheels of light by those with the ability to see subtle energy. The chakras are found in many traditions, including Hindu and Tibetan. Many esoteric and occult “Mystery School” describe these energy centers. While the chakras have been incorporated in many spiritual practices, their existence seems to be based, not upon religion, but upon awareness of energy. There is even scientific instrumentation that is beginning to record and validate them.
There are seven main chakras. These chakras are transduction points– places where subtle energy from higher planes begins to become denser. The energy from the chakras then becomes more dense as it comes into the body. It next becomes the acupuncture points and meridians and finally, this energy transduces into the density of the physical body. Imbalances in the physical body can be detected through the chakras. Frequently, healers who work with subtle energy can detect imbalances before they manifest in the physical body by feeling imbalances in the chakras. By balancing the chakras, imbalances in the physical body will often disappear.
There is a feedback loop occurring with the energy of the chakras. The physical body interfaces with this energy and vice versa. Frequently, an imbalance in a chakra will manifest later in the physical body. It is possible, such as through a traumatic injury, for both the physical body and the chakras to be simultaneously imbalanced. Healing of the physical occurs much more rapidly when the subtle anatomy–particularly the chakras–are aligned after physical injury. Frequency shifting through resonating the chakras allows us to help create balance and alignment within ourselves.
There are seven main chakras, seven spinning balls of energy that are located centrally in the front and the posterior of the body. The following is a brief description of the chakras:
- The first or “base” chakra located at the bottom of the trunk is involved with the physical process of elimination and the organs which work with that function. It is the chakra associated with the energy of survival. This chakra is also associated with grounding to the physical plane.
- The second or sacral chakra, located about three inches below your navel. This is associated with sexual energy, the reproductive organs and with much of the life force. The sexual energy is a divine energy utilized in the spiritual practice of tantra.
- The third or navel chakra is located at the navel and a little above. Its energy is associated with digestion and the digestive organs. It is also associated with power and mastery of self.
- The fourth or heart chakra is located in the center of the chest between the nipples. On the physical, it works with the lungs and the heart. On the emotional, it works with the energy of compassion and love.
- The fifth or throat chakra is located at the throat, at the base of the neck. It is a chakra that is associated with the process of communication; speech and hearing. The ears are associated with this chakra, as is, of course, the vocal apparatus.
- The sixth or brow chakra is located in the center of the forehead above the eyes. Often called “The Third Eye”, it is associated with imagination and psychic abilities. Mental activity and brain function are also associated with this chakra.
- The seventh or crown chakra, is located at the top of the head. It is associated with the induction of spiritual energy into the body. It is said to control every aspect of the body and mind and is associated with full enlightenment and union with God. This chakra is normally not fully open in most humans, though pictures of saints and other spiritual beings with “halos” are depictions of activated crown chakras.
These are the seven main chakras found in the various traditions. These seven chakras are the focus of the sonic resonance I first utilized on CHAKRA CHANTS and now, on CHAKRA CHANTS II. In my study of the relationship between sound and chakras are many different systems of sound that worked to resonate, balance and align the chakras.
There are numerous sounds that seem to resonate the chakras. Among the most popular are the use of vowels and the use of mantras. This use of vowels seem to be highly effective in balancing the chakras. The Sacred Vowel are considered sacred in many different traditions and Mystery Schools throughout the planet, including ancient Egyptians, Hebrew, Islamic, Tibetan, Japanese and Native American. There are a number of different systems of Sacred Vowels to balance the chakras. I have utilized a system of sounding the sacred vowels that came to me many years ago and that I have shared effectively with thousands of people.
An alternative method of resonating the chakras is to use the Bija Mantras, the Sanskrit letters from the Vedic traditions, which by themselves are said to balance and align the chakras. There are silent Bijas and spoken Bijas. These are the spoken Bijas that are chanted aloud in order to resonate the chakras. As with all systems of using sound, there are variations. Such is the case with the Bija Mantras. I utilize a specific system of Bija Mantras that Dr. Deepak Chopra helped bring to public awareness.
There are many other aspects of using sound to resonate the chakras as well. Each chakra in the Vedic tradition is also associated with a particular element. In addition are sounds from the Shabd Yoga, the science of the Audible Sound Current. These sounds are considered to be Divine Emanations of the Creator.
Another aspect of sonic chakra resonance has to do with the actual frequency or keynote of each chakra. There a multitudinous different keynotes and scales with regard to this. I often will simply sound the vowels on a monotone (in the same key) and let the harmonic (and the specific formant of the vowel) create the chakra resonance.
When I do use different frequencies (or keynote) to use for each chakra, I prefer a diatonic major scale, starting on the note C. This is one of the most popular systems utilized to resonate the chakras. It is, as I have said, merely a system and there are others.
Of particular note is that the fundamental frequencies used for this system are harmonically related–that is the notes are the natural result of the geometric vibrations of a given string (brought within a single octave). The tuning is different than that of a keyboard (which utilizes a C that vibrates at 261 Hz). The notes that are created from this harmonically related scale are based upon the harmonics created from the fundamental notes of the note C that vibrates at 256 cycles per second (and then having the harmonics transposed down so that the fit within the octave of that C note). 256 Hz. is a harmonic of 1 cycle a second. Many believe this keynote to be in natural resonance with many of the frequencies of the Earth itself. Some belief it is a harmonic of the actual frequency of the Earth.
The following is the system that I have utilized for the CHAKRA CHANTS and it’s follow up recordings:
Root – Muladhara
Frequency: 256 Hz.
Vowel: Uh (as in “cup”)
Shabd Sound: Thunder/Earthquake
Sacral – Svadisthana
Frequency: 288 Hz
Vowel: OOO (as in “you”)
Shabd Sound: Ocean
Energy: Life Energy,
Navel – Manipura
Vowel: OH (as in “go”)
Frequency: 320 Hz.
Shabd Sound: Roaring Fire
Heart – Anahata
Frequency: 341. 3 Hz.
Vowel: AH (as in “ma”)
Shabd Sound: Wind
Energy: Compassion, Love
Throat – Vishuddhi
Frequency: 384 Hz.
Vowel: EYE (as in “my”)
Shabd Sound: Crickets
Energy: Communication, Creation
3rd Eye – Ajna
Frequency: 426.7 Hz.
Vowel: AYE (as in “say”)
Shabd Sound: Bells/Space
Energy: Insight, Wisdom
Crown – Sahasrara
Frequency: 480 Hz.
Vowel: EEE (as in “me”)
Shabd Sound: Om