“With the syllable Aum as their sole support, the wise person attains that which is peaceful, unageing, deathless, fearless – the Supreme.”
– Atharva Veda, Prasna Upanishad 5.7
The Yogatattva Upanishad states that the five lower chakras are related to the five elements. There are said to be five great elements that make up the world;
earth (prithivi) :: water (apas/jala) :: fire (tejas/agni) :: air (vayu) :: ether (akasha)
Each element has a bija mantra associated with it, when this mantra is sounded it resonates in the chakra and purifies the nadis (subtle channels of energy). The nadis the link the higher spiritual aspects of our being with our mind, emotions and our body.
The third eye chakra is created from ‘Mahattva’, the great or supreme element out of which all the other elements are formed. The bija mantra for the Third Eye Chakra is AUM.
The Crown Chakra is beyond all elements and contains all sounds. The mantra AUM is generally used for this chakra as it is the source of all sounds and is the primal cosmic sound Anahata Nada.
LAM – Base Chakra
Visualize a square shape in the base chakra. The bija mantra (seed sound) for this chakra is LAM sounded as LANG. The ‘L’ sound in the bija mantra LANG is produced by placing the tongue behind the upper teeth. The mantra is made up of two sounds that are roughly equal in length LA and NG. The duration of the two sounds is the same for all the bija mantras The NG sound is produced with a nasal intonation creating a resonant humming sound half way between an ‘M’ and a ‘N’. The mantra LANG is focused in the base chakra.
VAM – Sacral Chakra
Visualize a circular shape in the sacral chakra. The bija mantra for this chakra is VAM sounded as VANG. The ‘V’ sound in the bija mantra is VANG produced by the lips as though making a ‘FF’ sound before the VA. The mantra VANG is focused in the sacral chakra.
RAM – Solar Plexus Chakra
Visualize a triangular shape in the solar plexus chakra. The bija mantra for this chakra is RAM sounded as RANG. The ‘R’ sound in the bija mantra RANG is produced with the tip of the tongue curling up to touch the roof of the mouth. The main point of concentration when producing this seed sound is on the third chakra. The sound originates from the navel when repeated in a proper manner.
YAM – Heart Chakra
Visualize a six-pointed star in the heart chakra. The bija mantra for this chakra is YAM sounded as YANG. The ‘Y’ sound in the bija mantra YANG is produced with the tongue pressed against the soft palate at the front of the roof of the mouth. The mantra is focused in the heart chakra.
HAM – Throat Chakra
Visualize a crescent shape in the throat chakra. The bija mantra for this chakra is HAM sounded as HANG. The ‘H’ sound in the bija mantra HANG is produced at the back of the throat. The mantra is focused in the throat chakra.
AUM – Third Eye Chakra
Visualize a circle with two petals on either side. The bija mantra AUM is created from three sounds, A, U and M. The mantra AUM is focused in the third eye chakra.
AUM – Crown Chakra
The sounds associated with this chakra are all the vowels and consonants of the Sanskrit alphabet. The mantra AUM can be used for this chakra as it contains all the sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet. The bija mantra AUM is sounded in the crown chakra.