This center establishes deepest connections with your physical body, your environment and with the Earth. Expression of life through this region is an outcome of basic survival needs, an instinctual animalistic nature driven by sense of security,territorial domination and sexual desires, our fight and flight response is initiated from this chakra.
Need for security & physicality are essential and should not be related to shame and guilt, the purpose of the whole act must be transmuted from a fear based approach to that of contentment and groundedness.
Sublimation of the intent behind the expression transforms the outward manifestation. Renunciation of these primary needs is an escape route, the only way is to understand and integrate with courage.
Common manifestations of awakening include movements or increasing warmth in the area of the coccyx, or a creeping sensation, like something moving slowly up the spinal cord. These sensations result from the ascension of shakti kundalini and can be accompanied by physical weakness and other related symptoms.
This is a crucial period in which all repressed emotions, especially those of a more primal nature, express themselves. Passions and rage mount and all kinds of infatuations ensue, making one extremely anxious, irritable and unstable at times. One may feel that this is a downfall, although this stage passes and brings in greater awareness.
This region is regarded as the substratum or basis of individuality of human existence. Its counterpart in the brain is the unconscious mind and its storehouse of mental impressions or samskaras. All the karmas, the past lives, the previous experiences, the greater dimension of the human personality that is unconscious, can be symbolized by this chakra.
The unconscious principle of swadhisthana is not an inactive or dormant process. Rather it is more dynamic and powerful than the surface consciousness. It is different from mooladhara, which is the overt manifest expression of that unconscious. At the level of swadhisthana, however, there is no conscious activity or manifestation. This is hiranyagarbha, the universal womb of passion and pleasure , where everything exists in a potential state.
In the collective unconscious, the samskaras and the karmas exist in a seed state. Experiences from the past which we do not consciously recall or analyse but nevertheless they are playing a part in determining our daily behavior, attitudes and reactions.
At the clearing of this center one may experience anger, fear or sexual fantasies and passions. Also lethargy, indolence, depression and all kinds of tamasic characteristics. The tendency to procrastinate is very strong and sleep is predominant. This stage of evolution is known as purgatory, and burns temptations situated at a very great depth of our personality which create illusion. Reconnecting intimately with oneself and ones creativity through detachment to external, understanding that desires and pleasure seeking are unsatiable outside of self is the way to progress.
Sex is only an expression of the energy, It is even present when one is in the highest state of consciousness. The only difference is that in swadhisthana it is in a primitive state, whereas in the higher centers of evolution it is well integrated and sublimated to fuel higher realms.
Up to this point, kundalini may awaken and arise many times, only to recede again to inertia, but awakening of manipura sets an ongoing dynamic chain reaction after we have passed through the levels of unconscious and subconscious – the Mūlādhāra Chakra and the Svādishthāna Chakra. This center is the core of our personality, our identity, of our ego. It functions through digestion and assimilation of thoughts and emotions into the perception of who we are.
The limitations of perception in the lower planes are responsible for the misuse of siddhis which begin to manifest there. Only when one cleanses manipura is he able to visualize before him the infinite state of consciousness which is no longer gross and empirical. Passion becomes pure selfless love devoid the need for recognition; through the light of wisdom, prejudice and aversion change to respect and understanding sans judgment and criticism; and envy and insatiable greed change to goodwill,respect and healthy moderation. With the gaining of self-confidence, pride and jealousy change to modesty and generosity, ignorance changes into clarity, and laziness into focused, consistent effort.
Decisions that are based only upon the Manipūra Chakra, the so-called “gut-feelings”, are often intuitively correct, but can be distorted by strong emotions and therefore be “irrational”. And judgements based only on intellect lack complete and integrated vision. Therefore both Chakras are important for clarity of purpose; with the “right feeling” of the Manipūra Chakra being guided and examined by “Viveka” (discrimination), a quality of the Āgyā Chakra.
The “firewood” for our digestive fire (Jatharāgni) is the food that we eat. Foods that have a strong, positive vibration aid this fire. Food of a lesser quality also generates less power and poorer health; and “heated” reactions such as rage, anger and aggression also draw energy from the Manipūra Chakra and as a result weaken it.
This is the zero point of our torus field, the center where the egoic structures of the individual awareness are materialized through laws of free will. The precedence of past Karmic actions lose their grip on the present equation, what one calls fate or destiny is molded with realisation of oneness with all creation.
If you can hurl your conscious potential through the gravitational field of anahata, then it will no longer be pulled down by the earth’s magnetic forces which take form of latent samskaras that can drag one down in a whirlpool of emotions. In yogic consciousness you depend solely upon the power of your own creative potential rather than on anything that is external or concerning faith, the freedom to escape from a preordained fate and to determine one’s own destiny becomes a reality.
When anahata chakra blooms one develops deep bonds with other beings, sense of caring and compassion without expectaions and attachments, feelings of self-love, altruism, generosity, kindness, and respect. The unhindered flow of energy allows us to recognize that we are part of something larger beyond duality, that we are interconnected within an intricate web of relationships extending through life and the universe, this is devotion. ‘The whole world is in me’, or ‘I am in everyone’ is underlying all situations.
Anahata chakra can be aroused and awakened by the practice of devotion and selflessness, it is by opening the field with understanding and insight that we integrate and not by reproaching ourselves to further pains. Ego can never be removed by intellectual persuasion. It can never be subdued unless you develop the highest form of love which fills all spiritual wounds and dissolves the ego .
This space is a portal to communication, it not only allows you to express who you are with honesty and what you stand for, but also allows you to listen deeply to another, the two inherent qualities of space, expansion and contraction.
Within the bindu at the back of the head, the moon is secreting a vital fluid or essence known as nectar. This transcendental fluid drips down into the individual consciousness from bindu visarga. Bindu can be regarded in this context as the center or passage through which the individuality emerges from cosmic consciousness in sahasrara.
Between bindu and vishuddhi chakras there is another smaller psychic center known as lalana chakra or talumula, and it is closely related to vishuddhi chakra. When the nectar trickles down from bindu it is stored in lalana. This center is like a glandular reservoir, situated in the back of the nasopharynx, the inner cavity above and beyond the soft palate into which the nasal passages open. When you perform khechari mudra you are attempting to turn the tongue up and backwards into this cavity to stimulate the flow of nectar.
Although this fluid is known as ambrosia, it actually has a dual nature which can act as poison as well as nectar. When it is produced in bindu and stored in lalana it remains undifferentiated, neither poison nor nectar. As long as vishuddhi chakra remains inactive, this fluid runs downward unimpeded, to be consumed in the fire of manipura, resulting in the processes of decay, degeneration and finally death in the body’s tissues.
However, by certain practices such as khechari mudra, the ambrosia is secreted from lalana and passes to vishuddhi chakra, the purifying and refining center. When vishuddhi is awakened the divine fluid is retained and utilized, becoming the nectar of immortality. The secret of youth and regeneration of the body lies in the awakening of vishuddhi chakra.
Vishuddhi is the center responsible for receiving vibrations from other sources. It acts like a transistor radio tuning into a radio station, allowing the yogi to tune into the thoughts and feelings. The thought waves of others are experienced in other centers, but the actual reception and transmissions is vishuddhi. From vishuddhi they are relayed to the centers of analysis in the brain associated with the ajna chakra and in this way they enter into the individual awareness.
Associated with vishuddhi is a particular nerve channel known as kurma nadi, the tortoise nadi. When it is awakened, the practitioner is able to completely overcome the desire and necessity for food and drink. This capability has been demonstrated by many yogis in the past.
Vishuddhi is the legendary ‘fountain of youth’. It is said that when kundalini is in vishuddhi one enjoys eternal youth. A spontaneous physical rejuvenation begins to take place as this center awakens. The sense of hearing becomes very sharp, but through the mind and not the ears. One frequently experiences shoonyata, the void, and he overcomes all fear and attachment.
This is the point of confluence where the three main nadis or forces – ida, pingala and sushumna merge into one stream of consciousness, the bridge between the right hemisphere’s creativity and synthetic thinking is integrated and balanced with left hemisphere’s logical and analytical thinking. When the mind is concentrated at this conjunction, transformation of individual consciousness is brought about by the merging of the three great forces. Individual consciousness is mainly comprised of ego, and it is on account of ego that we are aware of dualities. As long as there is duality there cannot be samadhi; as long as you remember yourself you cannot transcend.
Although there are experiences of trance in other chakras, there is no merger of the individual ego with the cosmic ego. All throughout you find you are trying to assert yourself behind all the experiences you are having, but when ida and pingala unite with sushumna in ajna chakra, there is complete dissolution. The awareness expands and becomes homogeneous.
All the sense modalities are withdrawn and one enters the state of shoonya or void.This is a state of absolute nothingness, where the empirical experiences of name and form, subject and object, do not penetrate. In this completely static state, the light of the mind is extinguished; the consciousness ceases to function, and no ego awareness remains. This void state is the same as the death experience, and in order to traverse it the ajna must be turned inwards.
When ajna is awakened, fickleness of the individual mind disperses and the purified buddhi (subtle intelligence or higher perception) manifests as a pure witnessing awareness. Attachment, which is the cause of ignorance and lack of discrimination drops away. One becomes the detached observer of all events, including those within the body and mind. Here the level of awareness is developed whereby one begins to ‘see’ the hidden essence underlying all visible appearances. The meaning and significance of symbols flashes into one’s conscious perception and intuitive knowledge arises effortlessly.
Chakras are within the realm of the psyche. Consciousness manifests at different levels according to the chakra that is predominantly active. Sahasrara acts through nothing and yet again, it acts through everything. Sahasrara is beyond the beyond (paratparam) and yet it is right here. Sahasrara is the culmination of the progressive ascension through the different chakras. It is the crown of expanded awareness. The power of the chakras does not reside in the chakras themselves, but in sahasrara. The chakras are only switches. All the potential lies in sahasrara.
Sahasrara is both formless (nirakara) and with form (akara), yet it is also beyond, and therefore untouched by form (nirvikara). It is shoonya, or in actual fact, the void of totality. It is Brahman. It is everything and nothing. Whatever we say about sahasrara immediately limits and categorizes it, even if we say it is infinite. It transcends logic, for logic compares one thing with another. Sahasrara is the totality, so what is there to compare it with? It transcends all concepts and yet it is the source of all concepts. It is the merging of consciousness and prana. Sahasrara is the culmination of yoga, the perfect merging.
When kundalini shakti reaches sahasrara, that is known as union between Shiva and Shakti, as sahasrara is said to be the abode of higher consciousness or Shiva. Union between Shiva and Shakti marks the beginning of a great experience. When this union takes place, the moment of self-realization or samadhi begins. At this point the individual man dies. That doesnt physical death occurs; it is death of the mundane awareness or individual awareness. It is death of the experience of name and form. At this time you don’t remember the ‘I’, the ‘you’ or the ‘they’. The experience, the experienced and the experiencer are one and the same. The seer, seeing and and seen are merged as a unified whole. In other words, there is no multiple or dual awareness. There is only single awareness.
When Shiva and Shakti unite, nothing remains, there is absolute silence. Shakti does not remain Shakti and Shiva is no more Shiva, both are mingled into one and they can no longer be identified as two different forces.
Every mystical and religious system of the world has its own way of describing this experience. Some have called it nirvana, others – samadhi, kaivalya, self-realization, enlightenment, communion, heaven and so on. And if you read the religious and mystical poems and scriptures of the many cultures and traditions, you will find ample descriptions of sahasrara. However, you have to read them with a different state of consciousness to understand the esoteric symbology and terminology.
In the raja yoga of Patanjali, emphasis is placed on the development of a state called samadhi. Samadhi actually means supermental awareness. First comes sensual awareness, then mental awareness, and above that is supermental awareness, the awareness of your own self. The awareness of forms, sounds, touch, taste, smell, is the awareness of the senses. The awareness of time, space and object is mental awareness. Supermental awareness is not a point; it is a process, a range of experience.
Therefore, Patanjali classifies samadhi into three main categories. The first is known as savikalpa samadhi, that is, samadhi with fluctuation, and it has four stages – vitarka, vichara, ananda and asmita. The second category, asampragyata, is samadhi without awareness, and the third category, nirvikalpa, is samadhi without any fluctuation.
These names only indicate the particular state your mind is in during the samadhi experience. After all, the erosion in mental awareness does not take place suddenly; the normal mental awareness does not come to an abrupt end. There is development of one type of awareness and erosion of another. The normal consciousness fades and the higher awareness develops, and therefore, there is a parallel interaction between the two states.
The whole process occurs in continuity, each stage fusing into the next and transforming in a very graduated way. This seems logical when you consider that it is the same consciousness which is undergoing the experience.
From mooladhara up to ajna chakra, the awareness is experiencing higher things, but it is not free from ego. You cannot transcend ego at the lower points of awakening. It is only when kundalini reaches ajna chakra that the transcendence begins. This is where the ego is exploded into a million fragments and the ensuing death experience occurs. At this point savikalpa ends and nirvikalpa begins. From here, the energies fuse and flow together up to sahasrara, where enlightenment unfolds.