The First Chakra, Continued

The first three chakras are in Brahma Loka, the world of Creativity, and Hatha Yoga sadhana (sun-moon union practice). The guna (natural characteristic) associated with this world is rajas (passionate, intense). This is the realm of Prana (Life Energy), the third, fourth and fifth steps of Ashtanga Yoga (Eight-Limbs Union), asana, pranayama, and pratyahara, the awakening of Kundalini, and spontaneous bandhas (locks).

This and the previous post, The First Chakra, Muladhara, and upcoming posts on individual chakras, should help you to identify chakras experienced during meditation.

Determining Individual Chakras

Considering the name of each chakra, and the features of each chakra, can help you to determine with which chakra a phenomenon may be associated, thus giving you the chakra‘s identity. Also, the significance of chakra events, or experiences, is suggested not only by the name, but by the characteristics of a chakra, such as its location, the element associated with it, and so forth.

Characteristics of the First Chakra

The first chakra is located in Brahma Loka at the perineum, has four petals, four vibrational frequencies of the specific sounds of Sanskrit syllables, and is associated with the elimination of things passing out of the physical body. Its mystical diagram is the square, the color is red, the sense organ is the nose, the sense faculty is smell, the element is earth, the elemental color is yellow. 

When contemplating these features, ask yourself questions about them. For instance, the first chakra is located in Brahma Loka, the world of Creation. Think what that implies. Muladhara, the name of the first chakra, means “root holder”, so ask yourself, what is “root”? and what is “holder”? What does this name imply?

Mula means ‘root’, and adhara means ‘holder, support or foundation’. Think about it. A foundation is the support of a house, your house — your body. This attests to the importance of this chakra and even tells you why it is important. A root is usually found in the earth, so the muladhara chakra is associated with the element earth. But what does this mean for you? 

Earth is the material plane and everything that goes with it. This includes not only the planet and material substance, but your own personal, physical world — your body, your family and your ancestors, the desire for physical safety, the urge to have control over the environment, and the obtaining of material possessions. Your body and its roots — genetics, inherited assets and liabilities — are all associated with this chakra.

When this chakra has been evolved, these things no longer determine the way you act or live, they no longer preoccupy your mind, or run your life. I don’t mean that these things disappear, but that you are not driven by them. I don’t mean that you are in control of them either, but that they are not in control of you.

At a Pizza Parlor

From Living the Mysteries, © 1999

Some time before I began my spiritual practices, I was in a pizza parlor with my children, sitting on a bench at a picnic table.  In this pizza parlor, there was a big pipe organ, its huge pipes lining the entire back wall all the way up to the high ceilings. While I was there, the organist came out to begin playing.  He made a big deal of his entrance. The first thing he did after he sat down was to play the lowest tone on the organ at full volume and sustain it. The rumble of the low vibration began to vibrate the base of my spine and my first chakra began whirling. I experienced a tremendous thrill. My mouth fell open and I’m sure my eyes were as big as saucers. I was amazed and completely taken by surprise.

Since that time, I have known with a certainty that the chakras, and consequently the entire body, are affected by musical tones and other sounds generated from outside the body.

Mastery of the First Chakra:  You get what is desired; you get the vision of the Divine; the life energy enters the sushumna; the mind, the breath and sexual energy become introverted and their movement stops spontaneously.

The Seat of Yoga

The first chakra is the root, seat, and foundation of yoga. It is the place where the sun and moon unite to form kundalini and trigger the bandhas (locks). It is not going to disappear anytime soon — it will continue to be present during the evolutionary process of other chakras, so its benefits and its challenges will continue to manifest from time to time, even as you notice changes in your life.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God!),
Durga Ma

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Go to the list of posts on KUNDALINI.

Vibhuti — Supremacy and Powers

In the next few entries, we will take a brief look into Royal Union (Raja Yoga), which is what Sun-Moon Union (Hatha Yoga) leads to. The function of Hatha Yoga is to bring about sufficient clearing of the body to make it fit for Raja Yoga. The function of Raja Yoga is to clear the mind.

It may come as a surprise to some of you that Patanjali has placed the last three of the Eight-Limbs of Union (Ashtanga Yoga) in an entirely different chapter. Why do you suppose this is?

Consider the title of this third chapter.

This chapter is called Vibhuti, Superhuman Powers. I think we can safely assume by this that the last three of the eight limbs, or steps, of yoga are special in and of themselves, and manifest (develop) over time as a result of reaching the stage of sadhana that we call Raja Yoga.

III:1  Concentration (dharana) is the binding of the mind-stuff (chitta) to one place.

You can think of concentration as getting your attention to concentrate on something, or as the Life Energy (prana) becoming concentrated in one place in the body. It works either way—where the attention goes, the energy flows, and vise versa.

In this first sutra, we have the word chitta showing up right of the bat. Now you know why I went through those last three issues on “The Mind and How It Works,” where you learned that chitta, or mind-stuff, the ‘substance’ of the individual mind, consists of consciousness and energy. You might think of chitta as having coalesced ‘somewhere’ in the mind of God, as having become concentrated around You with your own view-point, and is now busy collecting all sorts of data at the beck and call of the senses and dancing around with all that stuff…collecting and collecting and thinking and remembering and trying to figure things out. So, even your own mind is “a binding of mind-stuff to one place.” Your own mind is made up ofa concentration of consciousness and energy—chitta—in one place.”

Consciousness and energy are not the same thing, but as mind-stuff, chitta, they are a team. When you try to concentrate on something, you attempt to establish a flow of consciousness, or attention, to that one thing, one object, one place, and the energy automatically goes with it: “Where the attention goes, the energy flows.” You’ve heard me say that a million times. Now you know why. But what has all this to do with Royal Union (Raja Yoga)?

In Sun-Moon Union (Hatha Yoga), union was of prana and apana, the up-trending warming energy in the body with the down-trending cooling energy in the body. The purpose of Sun-Moon was to prepare the body for Royal Union (Raja Yoga). Sun-Moon Union occurred at the base of the spine at the first chakra. This rattled the snoozing evolutionary force, Kundalini, into waking up so She could do what She was there to do in the first place: start moving up the central channel (sushumna nadi) so She could get you what you have been chasing after for so long, for so many lifetimes. So long in fact, that you’ve probably forgotten what it was: Home.

Home is God, God in the Absolute sense. Absolute God, absolute freedom and timeless bliss. Royal Union (Raja Yoga) is the union of you and God.

Now, someone will probably say something like this: “But we’re already in union with God, so what on earth are you talking about?” I’m talking about this as a shift of your sense of Reality as a result of having directly experienced this, not as something you know about from a book or a blog or a guru. You may already know about this, but it isn’t truly Real for any of us as long as we’re identified with our bodies and our minds. It isn’t truly Real for us as an idea that we believe to be true.

A direct experience only takes an instant and may only last an instant, but it is significant. This instant is but a knock on the door, but it will leave you with a mental impression of it, a memory, that you’ll never forget. As direct experience of Truth continues to crop up, you will begin to see through the door, and ultimately you will walk through the door and meet God face to face.

One has entered Raja Yoga when Kundalini moves house from the base of the spine (muladhara chakra) to the center between the eyebrows (ajna chakra). Like all moves, this can be quite a job and take some time—it’s a transitional process aided by Hatha Yoga until the job is done. This first sutra is about this move, this transition.

Once Kundalini is settled in, we get settled in. This is the subject of sutra number two, coming up next week.

Durga Ma

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