I read in different sources about different locations of the manipura chakra. Two finger-width under the navel, secondly the navel and thirdly the solar plexus with is two or three finger width above the navel. Do different traditions locate it differently or how does the term work?
Manipura is present in Solar Region. It is also known as Nabhi Chakra. Nabhi in Sanskrit means Navel. But as the location of Chakra is in backbone region of subtle body, hence Manipura Chakra is present just at back side of Navel in the region of backbone (in the subtle body).
But the entire Navel region is in the range of Manipura Chakra.
Srimad Bhagvatam also calls the Manipura Chakra by the name Navel Chakra.
कृत्वा समानावनिलौ जितासना सोदानमुत्थात्य च नाभिचक्रतः ।
Then she carried the life air upwards and placed it in the position of equilibrium near the Nabhi Chakra/ Navel Chakra [Manipura Chakra.] (S.B. 4.4.25)
Guru Gorakhnath who is incarnation of Lord Shiva also calls Chakra present in Navel region is called Manipura in Goraksha Shataka:
तं नाभिमण्डलं चक्र प्रोच्यते मणिपुरकम् । Chakra present in Navel region is called Manipura.
Devi Bhagvtam in this chapter talks about Nadi and Chakra in detail
There are the 350,000 nâdis in this body of man; of these, the principal are ten. Out of the ten again, the three are most prominent. The foremost and first of these three is Susumnâ, of the nature of the Moon, Sun, and Fire, situated in the centre of the spinal cord (it extends from the sacral plexus below to the Brahmaradhra in the head at the top where it looks like a blown Dhustûra flower). On the left of this Susumnâ is the Idâ Nâdî, white and looking like Moon; this Nâdî is of the nature of Force, nectar-like. On the right side of the Susumnâ is the Pingalâ Nâdî of the nature of a male; it represents the Sun. The Susumnâ comprises the nature of the all the Tejas (fires) and it represents Fire.
31-41. The inmost of Susumnâ is Vichtrâ or Chitrinî Bhûlingam nâdî (of the form of a cobweb) in the middle of which resides the Ichchâ (will), Jñâna (knowledge) and Kriyâ (action) S'aktîs, and resplendent like the Millions of Suns. Above Him is situated Hrîm, the Mâyâ Vîja Harâtmâ with "Ha" and Chandravindu repesenting the Sound (Nâda). Above this is the Flame, Kula Kundalinî (the Serpent Fire) of a red colour, and as it were, intoxicated. Outside Her is the Âdhâra Lotus of a yellow colour having a dimension of four digits and Comprising the four letters "va", "s'a", "sa", and "sa". The Yogis meditate on this. In its centre is the hexagonal space (Pîtham). This is called the Mûlâdhâra for it is the base and it supports all the six lotuses. Above it is the Svâdhisthâna Chakra, fiery and emitting lustre like diamond and with six petals representing the six letters "ba", "bha", "ma", "ya", "ra", "la". The word "Sva" means "Param Lingam" (superior Male Symbol). Therefore the sages call this "Svâdhisthân Chakram. Above it is situated the "Manipura Chakram" of the colour of lightning in clouds and very fiery; it comprises the ten Petals, comprising the 10 letters da, dha, na, ta, tha, da, dha, na, pa, pha. The lotus resembles a full blown pearl; hence it is "Manipadma." Visnu dwells here. Meditation here leads to the sight of Visnu.
Manipura Chakra is exactly located at Nabhi (Navel) but in Subtle body along the Spinal cord. All Chakras are located in Straight line (in Subtle body).
Here is how to identify the location of chakras in your body. Use your right hand if you are right-handed and left hand if you are left-handed.
- Place the little finger of your hand on the navel. Your navel is the solar plexus or the manipura chakra.
- Stretch your hand fully upwards and see where the tip of the thumb touches. This is your heart plexus or the anahata chakra.
- Place your little finger exactly where your thumb touched on the heart plexus and stretch your hand fully once again to see where the thumb touches now. This is your throat plexus or the vishuddhi chakra.
- Once again, put your little finger exactly where your thumb was and move one full hand-measure up. Your thumb is now touching your brow plexus or the agya chakra.
- Place your little finger where you just found your brow chakra and stretch your hand fully again. Your thumb will be now touching your crown chakra or Sahasrara.
- Go back to the navel. Put your thumb on your navel, stretch your hand and go one full hand measure down. Your little finger is now touching your sacral plexus or svadhishthana chakra.
- Place your thumb where your little finger just was and stretch your hand fully downwards one more time. Your little finger is now touching your root plexus or muladhara chakra.
Make sure to take your hand measure from the tip of your little finger to the tip of your thumb. Just like if you stretch your arms, the distance from the tip of one middle finger to the other is same as the height of your body, the distance between one chakra and the other is exactly one hand. Only your hand can accurately pinpoint the location of your chakras.