Let us continue studying the Muladhara Chakra.
We have seen that every element or tattva manifests the form, color and action of its particular vibration. The yellow square within the chakra represents its vibration of the earth element. Yellow is also the color of the adrenal glands. So there is a significant connection here.
Within the yellow of the earth is its vibration, the seed mantra Lam. A seed mantra has no meaning, it is just the sound of the vibration. For instance, when we light a match, the fire makes a sound of ‘sssss’. We can call it the seed of fire. Similarly, Lam is the vibrating earth element. The bija or seed itself is a shining yellow color.
Within this Lam is the Lord Indra, the energy of the five senses. He is seated on his elephant Airavata. He has four arms, one of which holds his weapon of lightning.
The elephant was born from the churning of the ocean. When the child cries, the all-pervading spirit enters the child to give it life. The spirit is represented as electricity (lightning) and the elephant is its form. He is the cause of fertility. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says, "Of horses, know Me to be the nectar-born; Uchaishrava, of lordly elephants, Airavata and of men, the monarch."
In a more detailed visual representation of the Muladhara Chakra, Lord Indra is shown as mounted on the elephant Airavata and in his lap is the Creator Brahma, but in child form.
Physically, the muladhara chakra sits right behind the perineum, which is located between the reproductive organ and the anus. If one were to superimpose this visual depiction on the physical plane, Indra’s knees lie just below the perineum and the child, Brahma, sits behind the reproductive organ, just above the perineum. The child has four arms and four faces. The four faces represent the four functions a child is born with — thinking, feeling, moving and sensing. In old yoga terminology, that would be the manas, the buddhi, the chitta and the ahamkara. The four arms depict the action emerging from the four functions.
Also, within the chakra resides the Goddess Dakini. We have already described her in a previous article as the consciously awakened power of the chakra to pause negative emotions. By awakening her, one acquires the power of using the earth element. She is red-eyed and strikes terror in the hearts of Pasus or animalism. We see here that she is the power to transform our lower psyche — our aggressiveness, animalism, anger and violence. Her weapons are a spear representing speech and a sword to cut off evil. She also holds a cup of wine, representing her aim of drinking in the divine by cutting off negativity. She is fond of Kheer, a milk pudding made from boiled rice. My teacher, Mr. Tavaria, used to sometimes tell people to eat only kheer for three months. With this practice we are able to awaken the power to not express negative emotions.
The Sushumna nadi starts in the muladhara chakra. It is further divided into three parts — the Vajra, the Sushumna and the Citrini. Near the mouth of the Vajra nadi is the triangle called Tripura. It is Kamarupa or the form given to the sexual impulse. It is deep red in color.
In the last article, we examined the eight urges. On the four petals of the muladhara chakra, we have seen the four letters. They constantly vibrate together in tandem with the vibrations of the earth element. From here emerge subtle nerves or nadis which connect the four petals to the center of the triangle. On a physical level, the four petals represent the reflex for passing urine and stools and the two urges to stop them (the pause).
The sexual impulse is red, full of the active force. It is balanced in this triad of three forces. But it has been put in the muladhara chakra to imprison the soul as soon as it enters the human organism. Through knowledge of the three forces (triangle) and the art of manipulating the nadis that come from the four petals, we learn to transform and transmutate the sexual impulse that lies in the triangle.
Within the triangle are also the four other urges — the seminal, the emission, the erection and the ejaculation responses. By using scientific mantra yoga and chanting the sound of the petals of the chakras (the letters), we can manipulate these nadis and the nerves they control.
Inside the triangle is the formless Shiva in his linga form. The linga is Swayambhu, that is self-originated, self-existent. He is shining like molten gold. The linga is upside down and has to be turned through conscious effort, by awakening the Shakti of the chakra. At a very physical level, we can interpret the word Swayambhu to mean that the linga is self-lubricating. In man, the penis is lubricated by the seminal fluid. The linga is moved by the sexual impulse. Because the head is downward, man finds supreme bliss in the sex act. But if he can consciously turn it upward, he will find bliss from within himself. As we know, the Muladhara is the seat of apana vayu. All the sex impulses are controlled by apana vayu.
Finally, we see that wrapped around the linga in three and a half coils is the sleeping kundalini Shakti. She is reclining in a way that closes the Brahmadvara or the opening to the Sushumna nadi. This is the passage to a rise in consciousness and the serpent is telling us that only by us awakening it, can we rise in consciousness; this is the only gate. The serpent is breathing in (inspiration) and out (expiration). This is the breath of the earth element, which has its source in the Sun.
We will try to go deeper into this next time.