7 Chakras Compared to Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs

7 Chakras Compared to Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs
  • Dec 23, 2022

7 Chakras Compared to Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs

Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and the Seven Chakras: How human motivation aligns with energy centres

Have you ever wondered why certain people have different priorities and motivations? Well, human psychology is indeed a complicated thing. Several theorists in the field have their explanations for this certain phenomenon.

A certain theorist stands out, and that is Abraham Maslow. His theory states that a person must satisfy a lower-level deficit need before progressing on to the higher growth level need. This theory is known as Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

A hierarchy is simply defined as a system or organization wherein items or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority. In the case of this theory, these needs are stacked according to which should be satisfied first.

While this theory stands as a great psychosocial view of human needs and their motivation to survive, there is another philosophical view that poses interestingly similar ideas as Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

The 7 chakras is a concept stemming back from India that is described as an energy source that helps individuals work at their best level.

How do Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and the 7 chakras seem to have a similarity when these ideas were formed decades apart? Read ahead as we're going to go in-depth about these two beliefs and how it impacts our society!

Maslows Hierarchy Of Needs

The Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow, 1943)

The Hierarchy of Needs is a theory on human motivation. Maslow (1943) has drawn several conclusions as to how this theory works. Here are some of the key points that he shared:

1 The integrated wholeness of the organism must be one of the foundation stones of motivation theory.

2 Such a theory should stress and centre itself upon ultimate or basic goals rather than partial or superficial ones, upon ends rather than means to these ends.

3 Practically all organismic states are to be understood as motivated and as motivating.

4 Human needs arrange themselves in hierarchies of pre-potency.

5 Motivation theory should be human-cantered rather than animal-cantered.

Essentially, Maslow believed that humans will constantly strive for a goal. His model is popularly shown as a pyramid with the five levels arranged in a hierarchy from bottom to upwards.

The bottom need (physiological needs) is described to be the most essential to satisfy before moving up to higher-level needs such as safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization.

Here are Maslow's needs explained in more depth and detail.

1 Physiological Needs

This is referred to as the starting point for motivation. These physiological needs are the material things that humans need to survive. These needs include food, water, sexual reproduction, and homeostasis.

Homeostasis refers to the body's ability to automatically maintain a constant state of function. According to Maslow, physiological needs must be satisfied, or else the human body cannot function optimally.

He refers to physiological needs as the "most pre-potent of all needs." This means that all other needs may be non-existent or pushed into the background if this need is not met.

For example, a hungry man will not think of anything else but food. According to Maslow: "for our chronically and extremely hungry man, Utopia can be defined very simply as a place where there is plenty of food."

2 Safety Needs

Right above physiological needs is safety needs.

Once physiological needs are well met, humans will need security and safety. This need now approaches a more general approach which depends on the individual.

What will make a person feel secure?

It could be a sense of financial security from a stable job. It can also be a sense of security from living in a safe and controlled environment (law and order). It may refer to feelings of safety from sickness or health-related accidents.

According to Maslow, a healthy and normal adult is largely satisfied with his safety needs. Ideally, this would mean that the person feels safe in a subjectively good society that is safe from wild animals, criminals, tyranny, or disasters.

3 Love Needs

After both physiological and safety needs are well met, the love needs will emerge.

Love needs are described as the need to feel affectionate relationships with friends, a significant other, or even affection from family.

At this level, Maslow emphasizes the importance of belongingness. This refers to the emotional need for interpersonal relationships and having a feeling of being part of a group.

Though, one thing Maslow would like to emphasize is that love is not synonymous with sex. According to him, sexual behaviour is studied as a physiological need. At the level of love and belongingness, it is important fact to consider that love needs involve both giving and receiving love.

4 Esteem needs

At the fourth level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, he expresses the needs that include accomplishments and self-worth.

This can be classified into two sets:

The desire for strength, achievement, adequacy, and confidence to face the world. Alongside this is the need for independence and freedom.

The desire for reputation or prestige, recognition, attention, and importance of appreciation.

Essentially, this level makes sure that there is satisfaction with self-esteem. This will lead to the strength and confidence to be useful and necessary in the world.

5 Self-Actualization

At the peak of Maslow's hierarchy, we have self-actualization. This refers to the realization of one's potential and the sense of self-fulfillment one has achieved after their journey of personal growth. What a man can be, he must be.

Of course, the specific form that self-actualization will take will vary from person to person. This is not necessarily a career-related form of self-actualization. It can manifest in forms such as "Am I a good person?" or "Am I happy after everything?"

All prior needs (physiologic, love, safety, and esteem) must be satisfied before reaching self-actualization. At this point, this is where Maslow would refer to these as the basically satisfied people with the fullest life lived.

7 Chakras and Meaning

The Seven Chakras

Chakra comes from the Sanskrit word meaning "wheel" or "cycle". In history, this belief was cantered around the idea that our body is entirely made out of energy. These chakras were believed to be the body's spinning energy discs that should be opened and aligned.

The seven chakras are located and arranged to start from the base of the spine to the top of the person's head. Here are the chakras summarized:

Chakra Location Colour Meaning

Root Chakra

Base of the spine Red Stability and Grounding

Sacral Chakra

Below the belly button and above the pubic bone Orange Sexuality, Pleasure, and Creativity

Solar Plexus Chakra

Upper abdomen and stomach area Yellow Self-esteem and Confidence

Heart Chakra

Centre of the chest, above the heart Green Love and Compassion

Throat Chakra

Throat Blue Communication

Third Eye Chakra

Between the eyes, on the forehead (brow chakra) Indigo Intuition and Imagination

Crown Chakra

Top of the head Violet or White Awareness and Intelligence

These energy centres of the body are helpful in keeping one's organs, mind, and intellect working at their best level. Spiritual energies have been followed by people many years ago, even if these are not best examined by medical studies.

Still, being aware of the energies in your own body is a healthy spiritual practice.

How are these ideas similar?

Writers and theorists of recent times have pointed out the similarities between these two ideas.

Abraham Maslow's theory is a more western and modern approach to looking at human motivation, while the chakras stem far back to Eastern ancient times way before psychology and medical studies were commonplace.

According to Anand (2019), the comparison shows that certain energies are needed within the body to attain the physical world's needs.

For example, Maslow's physiological needs requirement to be the "base" of his hierarchy correspond well to the Mooladhara or the root chakra. Both ideas pertain to stability and being grounded before being able to move forward.

Anahata (heart chakra) and Manipura (solar plexus chakra) are related to Maslow's love and belonging. Both these chakras emphasize the importance of love, compassion, as well as confidence.

Psychological theories and studies continue to evolve to this day. It's truly outstanding that ancient beliefs and spirituality still play a big role in discovering new ideologies!


Anad, S. (2019). The seven energy centres (chakras) and Maslow's hierarchy of needs. [Post]. LinkedIn.

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370-96.

Stelter, G. (2016). A beginner's guide to the 7 chakras and their meanings.
Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/7-chakras




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