Question: Are there specific mantras we can use to open up the different centres?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, inside each centre is a particular deity and we can invoke this deity by chanting his seed-sound. Each sound represents a different state of consciousness. At the base of the spine there is the muladhara chakra. For this centre, the seed sound is Lam. If you can repeat Lam while focusing your attention at the base of your spine, in the course of time you will be endowed with occult powers. A few inches higher there is the svadhisthana chakra. For this centre you can repeat the mantra Vam. This is a most powerful mantra. Then, at the navel, manipura, you can concentrate and repeat the word Ram. If you do it properly, you will see spiritual fire all around you. Next comes the heart. Here you can repeat Yam. Although for the previous mantras you could chant powerfully and forcefully, this mantra has to be chanted slowly and sweetly. However, if you want to concentrate on your heart but do not wish to follow the path of Kundalini Yoga, you can chant Supreme. Then we come to the throat centre, vishuddha. If you chant Ham, you will get the power of eloquence and expression. Finally we come to the ajna chakra. Here the seed word is Aum. No matter which mantra you repeat, you have to feel that a current is flowing through your spinal cord and that all the centres are being ecstatically vibrated.