Sadhguru Explains The 7 Chakras And Their Significance

Collection of articles by Sadhguru on Chakras. Chakras are the major junction points of nadis in our system. He explains the significance of the 7 chakras.


What are The 7 Chakras in Our Body?

August 6, 2018

9 min read

Summary: There are actually 114 chakras in the body. These are the junction points for the nadis in the human system. Nadis are the channels of praana (life energy). Though a chakra literally means wheel, they are actually triangles. Out of these 114, 2 are outside the body, and only 108 can be worked upon, remaining 4 flower as a result. Sadhguru elaborates on the significance of the number 108. These 112 chakras are arranged in 7 dimensions; it is these 7 dimensions that are referred as the 7 chakras. Chakras, apart from the physical dimension also have a spiritual dimension. Sadhguru elaborates on the qualities of each of the seven chakras; Muladhara, Svadishthana, Manuparaka, Anahata, Vishuddhi, Ajna and Sahasrara.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

7 Chakras: Mystical Dimensions of the Body’s Seven Chakras

Sadhguru: There is too much of “chakra talk” going on everywhere. Especially in the West, wherever you go, there are “wheel alignment centers” where they claim to “align” your seven chakras. From yoga studios to chiropractics, everybody is talking about it these days. That has become a fad. But though everybody only talks about seven chakras, there are actually 114 chakras in the body.

What Are the 7 Chakras?

You can see them as 114 junctions or confluences of nadis. The nadis are the channels of prana in the energy body. These junctions are always in the form of triangles. They are called chakras because they embody movement from one dimension to another, and the word “chakra” means “wheel” or “circle.” But they are actually triangles.

It is these seven dimensions which are generally being referred to as the 7 chakras, which are in turn the basis for the seven schools of yoga.

Out of these 114 chakras, two are outside the physical body. Of the remaining 112, only 108 can actually be worked upon, the remaining four just flower as a consequence. The number 108 has manifested in the human system because it is a significant number in the making of the solar system. The diameter of the sun and the distance between the earth and the sun is 108 times. The diameter of the moon and the distance between the earth and the moon is 108 times. The diameter of the earth and the diameter of the sun is 108 times. And hence, 108 is significant in various spiritual practices.

Out of these 114 chakras, two are outside the physical body. Of the remaining 112, only 108 can actually be worked upon, the remaining four just flower as a consequence.

These 112 chakras arrange themselves into seven dimensions, with sixteen aspects in each dimension. Instead of going into 112, which is too much of a number for a lot of people, generally, only seven were spoken about because of these seven categories or seven dimensions. It is these seven dimensions which are generally being referred to as the 7 chakras, which are in turn the basis for the seven schools of yoga.

From 112 to 7 Chakras

For a human being to live a full-fledged physical and social life, he needs only twenty-one chakras in his body to be active. These 21 chakras are also connected with the number seven. Because of the three dimensions of energy of Pingala, Ida and Sushumna, there are seven sets, each with three chakras functioning as one. So if twenty-one chakras are functioning, physically, psychologically and emotionally, you will be complete. But energy-wise, you will be a cripple.

For a human being to live a full-fledged physical and social life, he needs only twenty-one chakras in his body to be active. These 21 chakras are also connected with the number seven.

If other dimensions have to become a living reality, the rest of the chakras have to be activated. Intelligence has to be empowered by energy. Otherwise, a sleeping intelligence is as good as being non-existent. A computer which cannot be turned on is as good as a slab of stone. It is the same with the human system too. This is a super computer, but most people are keeping it functioning only on the level of survival.

If twenty-one chakras are functioning, physically, psychologically and emotionally, you will be complete. But energy-wise, you will be a cripple.

If something more of what the human system is capable of needs to happen, it needs an activation. Hatha Yoga is that discipline which activates the whole system. Unfortunately, people think Hatha Yoga is an exercise or some kind of health regimen. Yoga never focuses on curing something. We only look at how this physical system can be made full-fledged. If it is full-fledged, everything will be fine. It will activate something that will lead to curative process by itself anyway.

The Location & Names of the 7 Chakras

The seven fundamental chakras are known as muladhara, which is located at the perineum, the space between the anal outlet and the genital organ; svadhisthana, which is just above the genital organ; manipuraka, which is just below the navel; anahata, which is just beneath where the rib cage meets; vishuddhi, which is at the pit of the throat; ajna, which is between the eyebrows; and sahasrara, also known as brahmarandra, which is at the top of the head, where when a child is born, there is a soft spot.

Chakras have more than one dimension to them. One dimension is their physical existence, but they also have a spiritual dimension.

We can speak in terms of lower and higher energy centers, but such language is often and too easily misunderstood. It is like comparing the foundation of a building to the roof. The roof is not superior to the foundation. The foundation of the building is more basic to the building than the roof. The quality, life span, stability and security of the building depends to a large extent on the foundation rather than the roof. But in terms of language, the roof is higher, and the foundation is lower.

If your energies are dominant in muladhara, then food and sleep will be the most dominant factors in your life.

If your energies are dominant in muladhara, then food and sleep will be the most dominant factors in your life. Chakras have more than one dimension to them. One dimension is their physical existence, but they also have a spiritual dimension. This means that they can be completely transformed. For example, if you bring the right kind of awareness, the same muladhara that craves food and sleep, can become absolutely free from the process of food and sleep.

Subtler Aspects of the 7 Chakras in the Body

These chakras have a manifestation in the body. And they also have a subtler manifestation. These manifestations are called kshetras. Kshetra means a place where someone resides. You may be in your office, but your residence is somewhere else. Just like that, there are kshetras that are external ones, called bahya kshetras, and there are internal ones called antar kshetras. There is a home and a holiday home!

These chakras have a manifestation in the body. And they also have a subtler manifestation. These manifestations are called kshetras.

When you are at home, you will be one way. Generally, the mundane occupies your time and life. Most of your time goes in cooking, cleaning, maintenance and fixing up things. When you go to your holiday home, even though there is cooking, cleaning and all the other stuff, the mundane does not occupy the whole of you. It is a more exuberant existence.

A holiday home in the mountain is a more exuberant existence, though it may be physically more taxing than being at home. Being at home is easier. Many people have given up and just stay at home because it’s easier. But the reason why you went to another home away from home is you still want to know the coziness of a home, you don’t want to stay in a hotel, but you want a more exuberant existence. The Creator provided for all that. You can be in the antar kshetra, not so vibrant and just sleeping, or you can be in the bahya kshetra. Any time you want to go back home, it’s not a problem, you can always step back.

The second chakra is svadhisthana. If your energies are dominant in svadhisthana, pleasures will be most dominant in your life.

The second chakra is svadhisthana. If your energies are dominant in svadhisthana, pleasures will be most dominant in your life – you seek pleasures, you enjoy the physical reality in so many ways. If your energies are dominant in manipuraka, you are a doer; you can do many things in the world. If your energies are dominant in anahata, you are a very creative person. If your energies are dominant in vishuddhi, you become very powerful. If your energies are dominant in ajna or if you attain to ajna, then intellectually, you are realized. Intellectual realization gives you peace. Experientially it has not happened yet but intellectual realization has come to you, which brings you to a certain state of peace and stability within yourself irrespective of what is happening outside of you. And once your energies hit sahasrara, simply like crazy you are ecstatic! There is no external stimulant, there is simply no reason, but you are ecstatic simply because energies have touched a certain peak.

7 Chakras, 7 Levels of Intensity

Fundamentally, any spiritual path can be described as a journey from the muladhara to the sahasrara. This journey is an evolution from one dimension to another; these are just seven different levels of intensity.

Fundamentally, any spiritual path can be described as a journey from the muladhara to the sahasrara.

To move your energies from muladhara to ajna, there are many spiritual processes and several ways, but to move from ajna to sahasrara, there is no path. There is no particular way. One has to either jump or fall into a bottomless pit. This is called “falling upward.”

In yoga, they say unless you are willing to fall upward, you won’t get there. This is why so many so-called spiritual people have come to the conclusion that peace is the highest possibility – because they got stuck in ajna. Peace is not the highest possibility. You can become ecstatic, so ecstatic that the whole world becomes a big joke in your understanding and experience. Everything that is dead serious for everybody is just a joke for you.

To move your energies from muladhara to ajna, there are many spiritual processes and several ways, but to move from ajna to sahasrara, there is no path.

But people come and stop at the ajna for a long time, just to make up their mind to jump. This is why in the spiritual traditions, so much stress was always laid on the Guru-shishya relationship – the master-disciple relationship. This is simply because if you have to take this jump, you need deep trust in the Guru. 99.9% of the people need trust, otherwise they cannot jump. This is the reason why so much stress is laid on this relationship, because without trust, one will never take that jump.


When Do The Chakras Manifest In The Fetus?

March 9, 2018

5 min read

Summary: Around the twelve week mark, only one chakra is formed in the fetus; the Muladhara. Then, in the first twenty eight to thirty two weeks, the first five chakras, upto Vishudhi, are formed. How much do Agna and Sahsrar (the remaining two chakras) get, varies for every human being. By observing an infant's eyeball movement, and the way they cry, you can tell if the Agna is established or not. Sahsrar is generally not developed for most. In the Indian culture, there were many traditions, during pregnancy and infancy to facilitate the chakra's development in the mother's womb.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

How the Chakras Form in a Fetus

Q: Namaskaram, Sadhguru. When a baby is formed in the mother’s womb, when and how do the chakras start manifesting?

Sadhguru: Somewhere around the twelfth week, only one chakra is formed, which is the muladhara. Within the first twenty-eight to thirty weeks, depending upon the developmental quality of the fetus, the first five chakras up to vishuddhi are fully established. The other two, agna and sahasrar, do not establish to the same extent in every human being. This is why the moment a child is born, the first thing they do in this culture, after washing the baby, they put a little bit of vibhuti between the eyebrows. Just in case the agna is not yet developed, we want the child to start focusing in that direction.

Observing Agna

You should not make judgments about people based on this, but I would say in nearly thirty to thirty-five percent of newborn infants, the agna may not be developed. The sahasrar generally is not developed for most of them – that slowly evolves. If you observe the way their eyeballs move, you will know whether an infant’s agna is established or not. Traditionally, just by looking at the eyeball movement, people could say if the infant would become a sage. A sage need not necessarily mean someone who will go and sit in the jungle or a cave. In some way, a sage or a seer is someone who sees things that others do not see. It could also be a visionary businessman, or a visionary leader – someone who sees things more clearly than others.

In the first three months of a child’s life, we can distinctly see to what extent the agna developed in the mother’s womb – this will determine many things. This does not mean that those whose agna is not developed at birth cannot develop it in their lifetime – they can if they work on it. But they will need to do a little more work than others.

When a child is born, the first thing that you watch is how their eyeballs move. One indicator is the steadiness of the eyes, how a child observes and looks at things.

There were many prescriptions from preconception to delivery. What kind of atmosphere they should be in, who they should or should not meet, what kind of colors and forms they should or should not see – all these things were taken care of. The only other culture that has a similar kind of tradition is the Jewish culture. They may be maintaining it better today than the Indian people. Indians are too eager to drop their culture and get westernized, so most of them do not do all these things anymore.

When a child is born, the first thing that you watch is how their eyeballs move. One indicator is the steadiness of the eyes, how a child observes and looks at things. Certain infants have the look of an adult. Another thing is how a child cries. Intuitive people were able to say what this child will become by the way the child cries in the beginning. Some cry out of confusion of being in a new space, some cry in an angry way, because they are disturbed by this nonsense of birth. You can see the ways they cry are different. Particularly midwives, who have facilitated many births, were able to tell.

If we took care of certain things for the mother, the development of the child’s chakras within the mother’s womb could be determined to some extent. But today, our economic activity and social activity are such that heavily pregnant women are still going to office to work, still partying, eating, drinking, and smoking. That way, it is entirely left to nature – we do not have a role in how the chakras develop. But if we do the right things, there are ways to work towards specific qualities. The outcome is never one hundred percent in your control, but if you do all the right things, you will have a better outcome.

Improving the Next Generation

The idea behind all this is that the child that we produce must be of a better quality than we are. But that care, that kind of involvement to make it happen, is gone unfortunately, because our own lives have become too important. Recently, when I was in the US, we had hired a consultant for some project. She was a very skinny, small-built woman. She was heavily pregnant when she came to work with us, and I asked her, “When are you due?” She said, “Probably tomorrow morning.” Then I said, “What the hell are you doing here?” She said, “No, this is my second child. Even last time, I was working till two hours before I delivered.”

Our own lives, our economic matters, our parties, our social nonsense have become so important that we are not so interested in the next generation. We are not responsible enough to think in terms of how the next generation should be better than us, which is very important. If the next generation becomes less than us in some way, it is a crime against humanity. You are supposed to push it forward, not backwards. Maybe I should write a book on what different things you can do to influence the child. But then too many people may get pregnant – that is a problem. I think I will write it towards the end of my life. I do not want a population explosion when I am here – no baby boom!


What is Muladhara Chakra?

August 4, 2018

10 min read

Summary: Mul-adhar means foundation. This chakra is the foundation of the physical and energy structure of a human being. It is very important to have a stable foundation. Only if the Muladhara Chakra is stabilized, one will experience health and wellbeing in life. Sadhguru narrates a beautiful story about Allama Mahaprabhu, a great sage, and elaborates on three fundamental ways in which the secretions of the pineal gland can be used - to strengthen the body and make it like a rock; bring high levels of drunkenness and blissfulness within you; make yourself like thin air and super-hype your perception.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Muladhara Chakra: Stabilizing the Foundation

Sadhguru: The muladhara chakra is located at the perineum, the space between the anal outlet and the genital organ. This the most basic chakra in the body. Unfortunately, nowadays, many people think it is the lowest chakra and not worth working upon. Mula-adhaar means foundation. The muladhara chakra is the foundation of the physical structure and the energy body. Having a stable foundation is very important. Anyone who thinks the foundation is something we need not take care of is living in a fool’s paradise.

Muladhara Chakra – Foundation Matters

If you look at the human body – the fetus – just after conception, it is a tiny ball of meat. That tiny ball of meat has slowly arranged itself into what it is now. To arrange itself in this particular way, there is a kind of software which is known as pranamaya kosha or energy body. The energy body forms itself first and the physical body starts manifesting over that. If there are any distortions in the energy body, they will also manifest in the physical body.

The muladhara chakra is the foundation of the physical structure and the energy body.

So stabilizing the foundation is important. Unless the muladhara is stabilized, one will not know health, wellbeing, and a sense of stability and completeness. These qualities are essential for a human being to make an effort to climb high. You cannot make someone who is shaky on his legs climb a ladder, nor will he be willing. It takes a certain assurance in one’s body and mind to walk through life in an efficient and capable manner.

An entire school of yoga evolved out of the muladhara – from ways of doing things with the body to reaching one’s ultimate nature.

When we do yoga, we are more focused on the muladhara than anything else because if you stabilize this, the rest is easy to create. If the foundation of the building is loose and we try to hold up the building, it will be a daily circus.

That is what has happened to human life – holding themselves in some state of balance and wellbeing every day is a circus for most human beings. If the foundation is unstable, anxiety is natural. But if your muladhara is stable, life or death, you will be stable because your foundation is good and we can fix the other things later.

Muladhara Chakra & Extending One’s Lifespan

An entire school of yoga evolved out of the muladhara – from ways of doing things with the body to reaching one’s ultimate nature. One dimension of yoga that is related to the muladhara is referred to as kayakalpa.

Unless the muladhara is stabilized, one will not know health, wellbeing, and a sense of stability and completeness.

Kaya means body. Kalpa essentially means a long period of time – we could translate it as “eon.” Kayakalpa is either about establishing or stabilizing the body, or extending its lifespan. There have been many beings who practiced kayakalpa and lived for hundreds of years, because they took charge of the most fundamental ingredient in the system, which is the element of earth. It is the earth element that gives us substance.

Kayakalpa is about stabilizing aspects of the body, which naturally deteriorate with time, in such a way that the deterioration is at least slowed down to a point where it looks like you are ageless and timeless, that you have a kaya that will last for a kalpa, that is, a body that will last for an eon.

There have been many beings who have done that, but it takes an enormous amount of work. Kayakalpa uses the understanding of how a rock is structured, what gives it the integrity that makes it last for long periods of time, and tries to make the human body like that.

If your muladhara is stable, life or death, you will be stable because your foundation is good and we can fix the other things later.

In other words, if you do kayakalpa, you become like a rock. What is the point? We could make a statue out of you! On a social level, if you are like a rock, you can earn a living and act like a superman; you can fascinate people with your capabilities. Some people will be amazed by you because you don’t die. Some people will be frustrated that you don’t die! But we do not need a human being to become like a rock. There is a beautiful story about this kind of sadhana.

Sometime in the twelfth century, there was a great sage who was known as Allama Mahaprabhu in Karnataka. He became the guiding force for a fabulous group of mystics – this is why they called him Mahaprabhu.

He created an institution called Anubhava Mandapa – that means a place to experience something. One day, another yogi, Goraksha, challenged Allama Mahaprabhu, because people considered Allama as godlike and worshipped him. Goraksha said, “What is so great about you? Look at me.” People say Goraksha was 280 years of age at that time. He said, “I’ve lived forever, and I am like a rock. What is it that you can do?”

Allama smiled and said, “Is that so? You’re really like a rock?” Goraksha said, “Try if you want.” He pulled out a diamond-tipped sword, gave it to Allama, and said, “Smash it on my head with all your strength. You’ll see what’ll happen.” Allama took the sword in both his hands and smashed it on Goraksha’s head. The sword bounced off his head like it had hit a rock.

Allama said, “Well, that’s quite impressive. But what is the use? Even the purpose of the sword has gone waste on you. A sword is designed to cut, but it cannot cut you.” Then Goraksha demanded, “Now that you have hit me with the sword, I also have the right to hit you with the sword.”

Allama said, “Fine.” Goraksha took the sword and swished it. It went right through Allama, as if through thin air. He swished it again and again. It went right through him with no resistance. Then Goraksha had the humility to bow down and say, “Yes, I have made myself like a rock, but you have become nothing. At least you can touch me with the sword. I cannot even touch you with the sword.”

Amrita and the Pineal Gland

These capabilities come in many different ways. The symbolism of Shiva turning south stems from his Third Eye moving “south.” The moment his Third Eye shifted down between his two eyes, Shiva saw things that no one had ever seen. This is one aspect of kayakalpa. Though it is not quite right to say so, since we need to cater to today’s logic, let me put it like this: There are various aspects of sadhana that are about moving the pineal gland a little down, or “south,” as we say.

When we do yoga, we are more focused on the muladhara than anything else because if you stabilize this, the rest is easy to create.

If this happens in a certain way, the secretions of the pineal gland, which are referred to as amrita in yoga, can either be used to strengthen the system and extend its longevity, or to create blissfulness in the system – it can just blow you away. Or you can use this amrita to enhance your perception, to become like thin air, because everything passes through you.

Right now, air passes only through your nostrils, and you know if it does not pass, you are gone. But some of you may have experienced this in a moment when you were very carefree and joyful – you stood in the breeze, and it felt like the air was passing through you. If you use your amrita to bring sensitivity to the system, you can become one hundred percent transparent.

These are three fundamental ways to use the secretions of the pineal gland. One is to strengthen the body and make it like a rock, which will give you a kind of longevity that is considered superhuman by most people. Another way is to bring such a level of drunkenness and blissfulness within you that you don’t care how long you live. A third one is to make yourself like thin air, so that your perception is super-hyped, because there is absolutely no resistance in your system.

Mastery of the Muladhara Chakra

Kayakalpa largely uses this amrita to strengthen the body and to extend its longevity. Once you become like a rock, once you identify yourself with the physical reality, you will always think in comparison – who or what is bigger or smaller, superior or inferior, better or worse. You will be comparing yourself, because that is the nature of physical reality. Only if you transcend the physical reality, can you be free from this comparison.

The yogic systems always focused on the muladhara chakra.

But this amrita or secretion of the pineal gland can also enhance your perception. If you do not enhance your perception, your life doesn’t really get enhanced in any way. Only a human being is able to realize that just existing is not good enough. None of the other creatures, from an amoeba to an elephant, have realized this, because that is not in their nature. They think their existing is good enough. Only a human being can know – not that everyone actually does – that just existing is not good enough, that something else needs to happen. For this, the muladhara and the sadhana on it are very important for your existence.

Muladhara Chakra Brings Balance

If Grace has to transmit itself, you need to have an appropriate body. If you do not have an appropriate body and Grace descends on you big time, you will fuse out. Many people want big experiences but they are not willing to transform their body to be able to conduct those experiences.

This ability to venture and adventure into whatever you want at any moment will come to you if your muladhara is well-established.

Unfortunately, many in the world have lost their minds or broken their bodies because they went experience-hunting. In yoga, you do not chase experience, you only prepare. The yogic systems always focused on the muladhara chakra. It is only in recent times that non-practicing “yogis” have written books and say you must focus on higher chakras.

This high and low business is too entrenched in book-reading minds but that is not how life works. Some years ago, I used to conduct two or three-day programs in Hatha Yoga. Just doing asanas, people would burst out in ecstacy.

One dimension of yoga that is related to the muladhara is referred to as kayakalpa.

Most yogis just use a few simple postures to break the limitations of who they are. That is how Hatha Yoga is. Hatha Yoga means balance. Balance does not mean sanity. If you want your life to be exuberant, you need to have some madness in you. But if you become compulsively insane, you lost it.

When we talk about balance, we are not talking about sanity, we are talking about finding that perch between sanity and insanity where you can venture and adventure. Madness is an adventure. It is a most wonderful thing as long as it is in control. If you lose control it will become ugly. Similarly, sanity is a beautiful thing but if you become perfectly sane, you are as good as dead. This ability to venture and adventure into whatever you want at any moment will come to you if your muladhara is well-established.


What is Swadishtana Chakra?

November 9, 2018

10 min read

Summary: Sadhguru tells us that Swadhishthana means “abode of the self”. He describes the many possibilities that mastery of this Chakra offers. If Muladhara and Swadhishthana are stabilized in an individual then health will happen from within. He also tells simple ways to stabilize the Muladhara and Swadhishthana in our system. To impress upon the power of Swadhishthana Sadhguru narrates an incidence that happened with Ram Dass when he went to meet Neem Karoli Baba. Sadhguru elaborates how Swadhishthana can be used in three different ways: It can be done with rituals, or by using the body, or by using pure energy.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

The Swadhishthana Chakra – The Abode of the Self

Sadhguru: Swadhishthana means “abode of the self.” When one masters the Muladhara, it can either lead to a very stable body, or to a certain drunkenness of experience, or to heightened levels of perception. If one has used the mastery over the Muladhara for stability alone, then the Swadhishthana becomes a strong abode of regeneration and pleasure.

If one has used Muladhara for drunkenness, then the Swadhishthana becomes an abode of a sense of bodilessness – not in terms of becoming like thin air, but as an experience of a little distance from the body.

If one has used Muladhara for drunkenness, then the Swadhishthana becomes an abode of a sense of bodilessness – not in terms of becoming like thin air, but as an experience of a little distance from the body. If you take an orange, there is sweetness in the fruit that is not there in the peel; they are one inside the other, but there is a little distance. Likewise, when there is sweetness of the self, the body will sit a little loosely on it. This will give some freedom from physical drives that human beings tend to have.

If one has used the Muladhara or the amrita to heighten one’s perception, then the Swadhishthana also functions in this way and further enhances that possibility.

Swadhishthana and Systems of Health

Of all the things that we can do in the yogic system, working with the Swadhishthana is among the most complex and beautiful. There have been many cases where a combination of Swadhishthana and Muladhara has produced beautiful results for people. Many have been rejuvenated from almost deathlike situations and become vibrantly alive.

The schools of Muladhara and Swadhishthana created elaborate systems of medicine and ways of becoming healthy.

Our Rejuvenation Center is doing this to some extent. This can be done through various types of therapies, using Siddha and Ayurveda oils and medicines, herbs, substances, and metals. It is a complex process. But a better way to do it would be to activate your Muladhara and Swadhishthana by yourself, so that the body fixes itself. If Muladhara and Swadhishthana are stabilized, health will happen by itself, from within, because they are at the very basis of the body.

The schools of Muladhara and Swadhishthana created elaborate systems of medicine and ways of becoming healthy. This happened because of the demands of the marketplace. When they met a yogi, people only asked things like, “Can you cure my disease? Can you make me young again? Can you bring my grandmother back to life?” Very few people asked, “Can you take me beyond my limitations?”

Yoga got crafted as per people’s demands. Of course, in today’s world, people feel this is perfectly legitimate and the best thing about yoga. But using the yogic system only to attend to one’s health is the lowest way of using it. But that is considered the highest today. Only if there are health benefits, they think it’s for real.

For the Muladhara, you can use earth and herbs, because herbs are an outcome of the earth. For the Swadhishthana, mostly fire and akash are used. By using these elements and substances, one can acquire a certain capability so that things from outside do not touch you. There have been fantastic stories in this context.

Neem Karoli Baba & Ram Dass

When the young American man who is today referred to as Ram Dass came to Neem Karoli Baba in the sixties, the American youth believed LSD was the ultimate solution in life. Ram Dass came to Neem Karoli Baba with a supply of LSD.

Ram Dass was impressed, and either out of his own receptivity, or because of the drug, or because of Neem Karoli Baba’s compassion, certain things happened to him.

Neem Karoli Baba was sitting there, blissed out by himself. Ram Dass said that he had something else. Neem Karoli Baba asked what it is. Ram Dass gave him a handful of LSD pills. Neem Karoli Baba put them all in his mouth. This dosage could have killed a man, but he went about his activity as usual, and nothing happened to him.

Ram Dass was impressed, and either out of his own receptivity, or because of the drug, or because of Neem Karoli Baba’s compassion, certain things happened to him. Later on, he went back to the United States and dedicated his life to somehow bring this into people’s lives, or at least to open up the Western mind to the possibility that there is something beyond what they had imagined.

Plant Life and Mastery of Swadhishthana

If you have sufficient mastery over both Swadhishthana and Muladhara, then the plants will speak to you. The elaborate system of Ayurveda has over one hundred thousand formulations – more than the modern pharmacopeia. This did not come from someone who was sitting and experimenting in a laboratory. They just walked in the forest, and the plants spoke to them. When the sweetness of the self releases you from the compulsions of the body, the language of everything around you becomes yours.

If you have sufficient mastery over both Swadhishthana and Muladhara, then the plants will speak to you.

This does not mean the plants spoke to them and said, “I will cure your diabetes,” but the quality of each plant became apparent. Every plant, every life, and the earth have their own reverberation. To be able to receive that, you must be in a certain level of pleasantness and joy within yourself. Then the plants will speak to you. This is how the sages of the past discovered what thousands of herbs and roots can do to us. No one sat with a microscope and analyzed their structure and impact on our DNA or whatever. It is just that plants will speak to you when you shut up completely.

When you realize the limitations of your existence, you will have nothing to say. If you think you are big, you always have something to say. Just twenty-five years ago, most people in India would make a phone call maybe once a year. One day, they would go to the post office where this black monster was sitting. This was a big occasion. Some major event would have happened in their lives for them to use the phone. Today, suddenly everyone has so much to say, not because they all got enlightened and have a lot to share – they simply have a lot to say. And how much ever they say, it doesn’t seem to be enough now.

There is nothing wrong in using technology for our wellbeing. The problem arises when, empowered by technology, we believe we have become superhuman. If you think you are big because of a gadget, when the battery drains and there’s no place to recharge, suddenly, without your smartphone, you will look dumb.

Swadhishthana Sadhana Brings Freedom

When energies are dominant in the Swadhishthana, one becomes far more alert to life around. Swadhishthana sadhana gives you a certain freedom. The freedom movement in this country was referred to as Swatantra. Swa-tantra means “technology of the self” – a way to become free. The biggest bondage is in the way we are reproduced, and the biggest urge is that of reproduction. It binds people in body, mind, and emotion. Swadhishthana and swatantra are connected. Swatantra is a way to release the self from these kinds of troubles and compulsions.

Procreation or Creation of Gods?

There have been many beings who have used the Swadhishthana for specific goals. If your Swadhishthana is established at the lowest level, it is purely reproductive. At the highest level, you can create a god if you wish. The technology of god-making is based on having absolute control over the Swadhishthana.

If just your Swadhishthana is on, you may deliver a baby. But only if all the other six dimensions in your system are on, can you deliver a god.

The tantra of making the self free is about creating a certain flexibility of your life energies, in such way that they are not bound by the compulsions of the body anymore. To keep this body alive, healthy, and capable, you have to invest a certain amount of energy. Without that, it will lose its capabilities; it will lose its capacity to do things. If you want to deliver a god, you have to invest all you have into it. Otherwise, a divine entity will not be a possibility. Somebody delivered us – that is also important; that is why we are sitting here. But the most significant thing you can do with your Swadhishthana is to deliver a divine entity.

Creating that which you consider the Divine must be approached carefully. Many yogis who created divine entities felt that creating just one was good enough. They gave it their all and left with its completion. Or they gave it their all and became dissipated in the process. Some retained the possibility of doing more. If just your Swadhishthana is on, you may deliver a baby. But only if all the other six dimensions in your system are on, can you deliver a god. And only if all the other six are equally active can you live on and maintain potency after delivering a god.

Consecrating Human Beings

Delivering a divine entity, or in other words consecration, can happen in many ways. Of all the material in the world, the easiest to consecrate is the human body. Unfortunately, the human mind is also what turns around tomorrow morning most easily and does something else.

If someone has brought their mind to a state of unquestioned focus towards something, then consecrating that body to function like a divine entity becomes a possibility. But most people in today’s world are not able to maintain that kind of focus. Every other day, they start questioning if they are doing the right thing in life – whether it is their marriage, brahmacharya, or spirituality in general.

Another dimension of the Swadhishthana is that you can take it above its natural compulsions.

The worst calamity that has happened to modern society is that they cannot stay focused on anything. The entire culture has become about “What will I get?” Once “What will I get?” is the main criteria, the scavenging mind will keep on moving from one thing to the other.

Another dimension of the Swadhishthana is that you can take it above its natural compulsions. Whatever is referred to as sexuality is essentially nature instigating you to reproduce. In modern societies, people treat it as if it was a purpose by itself. People are using it to bind themselves to each other. But fundamentally, the longing in the body is to reproduce. If this was not there, we wouldn’t be here today. But if you want to go beyond the cycle of life, then transcending these dimensions becomes important.

The Three Fundamentals in Tantra

The use of the Swadhishthana is a very complex and fantastic process. There are three different ways of doing it: It can be done with rituals, or by using the body, or by using pure energy. Generally in tantra, there are three fundamentals, which are called kaula, mishra, and samaya – the lower, the middle, and the higher system. One uses external substances. If you have no control over your own system, you use other substances to generate an energy that functions at a higher level than you, which could be referred to as a divine entity.

The use of the Swadhishthana is a very complex and fantastic process. There are three different ways of doing it: It can be done with rituals, or by using the body, or by using pure energy.

Through ritualistic processes, tantrics have created various deities that stand up and walk in their own ways. The tantric himself may not be evolved in any way, but he understands the ritual and sticks to it. Because he sticks to the ritual the way it should be, a certain energy is created.

You can see this happening in certain temples in India. The priests may not be evolved beings – they just stick to the ritual. They have been taught to never alter the process. And suddenly, a burst of energy happens there. But if it is done in this way, it cannot be consolidated and made to stay alive for generations. If you want to create an energy form that lives for a longer period of time, one way of doing it is through your body. But if you want it to last for a very long time, you need to use pure energy. If you invest a certain amount of energy, it can live for a few thousand years.


What is Manipuraka Chakra?

November 30, 2017

4 min read

Summary: Manipura (or Manipuraka), is the 3rd chakra. It is the maintenance center of the body. In the human system, this is the only place where all the seventy two thousand nadis meet and redistribute themselves. This makes Manipuara chakra more mobile than other chakras. The ability to move manipura give you a different kind of power. Far Eastern martial art styles make use of this, and move manipura in many different ways. Sadhguru also tells us how the spiritual practices make use of manipura.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Manipura – The Maintenance Center

Sadhguru: The manipura is, in a way, a consequence of swadhishthana and muladhara. It is a maintenance center. Swadhishthana and muladhara together generate life – all that is fundamental and regenerative to the body. The manipura just maintains. This is important because whatever you create will be gone after some time if you do not maintain it. However beautiful a garden may look, if it is not maintained for a month, you can no longer call it a garden. Maintenance is vital. In that sense, the manipura is vital.

Moving Manipura

This is the only place where all the seventy-two thousand nadis meet and redistribute themselves. Because of that, one can move one’s manipura in many different ways. Every chakra can be moved, but particularly the manipura has more mobility.

For those who are into martial arts, being able to move the manipura is important. In order to move the manipura, your martial art has to go from movement to stillness. All these violent and difficult movements of martial arts are just to come to a place where you can be without any movement. When there is stillness in the system, then your ability to move the manipura will be enormously enhanced. In some Far Eastern movies, you may have seen scenes where an old man was sitting there, just did hoo, and everyone fell down. The ability to move the manipura gives you a different kind of power.

One thing that is done in Far Eastern martial art styles is to continuously knock the manipura in different ways. Every day, practitioners take hundreds of punches in the stomach to strengthen it in such a way that it is very stable. When it is sufficiently stable, you can move it where you want. Moving your manipura, or maintenance center, away from the navel greatly enhances the body’s ability to take a beating and injury, and to last through all that. It also gives a phenomenal capability to move your energy. There are many incredible stories about the manipura being manipulated by martial art experts in powerful ways.

When you move the manipura from its natural location, it is very important to keep your body still – otherwise, you will not last long. You will not cross thirty-five, thirty-six years of age. If any movement happens at that time, then the entire maintenance center will go into disarray. Once the maintenance center goes into disarray, you will simply die in a strange way, for no apparent reason. No one can diagnose what has happened with you.

Spreading Sound

Martial arts people are mostly looking for physical prowess. But people on the spiritual path who are on manipura sadhana bring sound to the manipura. If you bring any sound to the manipura, it spreads right across the body. Let us say you want the sound “Shiva” or “Shambho” to become a part of your system ­–­ then you do manipura sadhana with the sound so that it spreads to every part of the body, and your very body reverberates with this sound.

This happened with Palani Swami. He never told anyone his name. People referred to him as Palani Swami because they saw him in many fantastic states around the Palani Hills. Without doing anything, just sitting in one place, he drew such crowds that the temple priests became resentful. It irked them that people went to this man who did nothing and begged for his food rather than to them, though they did their rituals and duties at the temple from morning to evening. They wanted to find something against him.

One day, they accused Palani Swami of uttering “Shambho” while he was relieving himself in the morning, which was considered not right. When you take a shit, you should not say “Shiva,” to put it simply. He was brought before the village panchayat and accused of desecrating god’s name. He sat in front of this ignorant bunch of judges with his eyes and mouth closed. A loud reverberation of the sound “Shambho” rang out. That was the end of their prosecution efforts. With this incident, he got too much attention, which he did not want, so he left that place.

If you move a sound to your manipura, it will spread right across the system, and the very body will reverberate with that sound. If you utter it with your mouth, it is called japa. If you utter it with your heart, it is called tapa. If you bring it to your manipura, it is called ajapa. That means without doing japa, without opening your mouth, without using your vocal cords and air passages, your body reverberates with the sound.

These three chakras – muladhara, swadhishthana, and manipura – constitute the physical dimension of the body in many ways. The other four chakras are of a different nature. Whether one wants to live well physically, mentally, emotionally, or energetically, or one wants to enhance one’s capabilities, muladhara, swadhishthana, and manipura are most essential. Entire schools of yoga developed in permutations and combinations of these three.


What is Anahata Chakra?

November 16, 2017

11 min read

Summary: Anahata means the 'unstruck sound'. Anahata, the 4th Chakra is the mergin point for the lower 3 chakras and the higher 3 chakras. In a way, Anahata has these six qualities. Sadhguru explains the significance of the symbol of Anahata, six pointed star, merging of upward moving triangle and downward facing triangle. Before going into Anahata sadhana, it is essential that the person has sweetness of emotion and steadiness of the intellect. When your energies are dominant in Anahata, you will start hearing and perceiving sounds - the language of the birds, animals, earth, and the atmosphere. For those interested in the mystical, this is a must read. Sadhguru tells us about what one experiences when in Anahata.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Anahata Chakra – What Does it Take to Explore Anahata?

Sadhguru: The anahata chakra is generally symbolized by two intersecting triangles that form a six-pointed star with a dot in the center. This is a symbolism of how the lower three chakras and the upper three chakras merge at this point in a certain way. That means the anahata has six qualities in one. Many cultures use this symbolism with many different connotations, but essentially, it comes from this meeting of the upward-moving triangle and the downward-facing triangle. The upward-moving triangle indicates that fundamentally, every creature is trying to rise in some way, whatever their understanding of rising may be.

The Natural Urge to Rise

A little worm may want to climb up a tree. A bird may want to soar up in the sky. A human being may want to become rich, famous and powerful, or get enlightened. All these are efforts to rise. This is the nature of the creation – every creature is trying to rise to its fullest potential. Some will do it consciously, most will do it unconsciously, but everyone is trying to rise.

You may think that a man who is running after money is no good. But no, he is also trying to rise through whatever staircase he has found. His staircase is cash right now. You may think your staircase is energy, experience, whatever. Someone else may think their staircase is emotion. Different people may think of or use different means, but every creature, human or otherwise, is trying to rise. This is the nature of life and creation.

This wanting to rise comes because you are geostatic, in the sense that you are stuck in one place. When you are here, you cannot be there. Because you are stuck in one place, you think that, of all the directions, going up is better.

The Source Is Everywhere

That which we are referring to as the very source of everything is not limited to one place. It moves everywhere and percolates into everything. It has no direction and no location. Only if you are stuck in one place, will you have a direction to go to. If you are not geostatic, you are everywhere. There is nowhere to go, so you soak everything that is there.

In this context, yogic terminology has used these two triangles. The creature is trying to move up. The source is neither coming down nor going up – it just seeps into everything. We could say it is like air – air enters not only your nostrils but also your ears, your skin pores, and your mouth if you open it. It has no choice about that – wherever there is space, it will enter.

Similarly – this is only an analogy – that which we consider as the source of creation is moving everywhere. But right now as you sit here, from your perspective, “good” air is moving down your air passage, and “bad” air is going up and coming out through the same passage. Our definition of good is always in terms of what is good for us. Other creatures on the planet may disagree with us. This is only a contextual understanding. In reality, air is going through your pores too, but the air passage is the main source. If you deny your breathing, you will die, so you know that this is a must.

Possibilities and Perils

In this context, what we consider as the creature, that is you, is trying to move up – this is the upward-moving triangle. What we consider as the source of creation or the Divine is the downward-facing triangle. The anahata is a place where both triangles intersect in proper alignment, forming a six-pointed figure with a central point. This means it has many possibilities in one place. If there are too many possibilities in one place, most people will miss all the possibilities. There are too many things happening there, so if people pay attention to them, they may end up not realizing anything, but it keeps them very well-entertained!

It is like a lot of kids these days who join up American universities, which give them a lot of freedom to choose their subjects. The students who are focused and know clearly what they want to do, or those who have been conditioned in a certain way, take up particular studies. Either you must be clear-headed or you must be fanatical to know what you want to do. Otherwise, people join up their undergrad, do one subject for two months, then they do something else for the next two months. They do yet another thing for another few months, and after four years, they still do not know what the hell they want to do. This is because there are so many possibilities. When there is no clarity, you dabble with everything, but you cannot choose. This is why a whole lot of people on the planet depend on luck.

With the anahata, there are too many choices. I have always avoided putting people on anahata sadhana, except for a handful of them, because there are too many choices and too much confusion. To go into anahata sadhana, two things are needed: sweetness of emotion and absolute steadiness of the intellect. Intellect means discernment; there must be discernment between what is real and what is not real, what is memory and what is imagination, what is experience and what are psychological figments. Without this discernment, the anahata is not the place to go, because this is a place where you hear and see things in a way that even a reasonably stable person can go crazy. Someone who anyway has some tendency in that direction will go all the way.

Anahata – The Unstruck Sound

The word anahata means a sound without reverb. It is called anahata or “unstruck sound” because the first manifestation of the anahata is the occurrence of sounds. Most of the sounds on the planet happen because something strikes something. This is an unstruck sound – if you simply sit in silence, all kinds of sounds will happen – one hundred and eight different varieties of such sounds have been identified. Based on this, different deities in this culture have been associated with different sounds. For example, if you say “Shiva,” it is a damaru. For those of you who have no cultural exposure to these things, a damaru is a drum in the form of two equilateral triangles meeting at their tips.

When you come to the anahata, or when your energy is dominant in the anahata, you will start to hear sounds that you could not hear till now. The sound of a bell, a drum, or a wind instrument like a flute – these kinds of things may begin to happen. You will start to hear or perceive the language of the birds, the animals, the earth, and the atmosphere. Hearing these things comes from the anahata.

Hearing things is otherwise considered as a sign of psychological imbalance, and it is. Those who are psychologically imbalanced in one way may become perceptive in some other way. One dislocation enables them in another way, but this kind of enabling is not good for you. It is like putting a child, who has just began to walk, in a marathon race – for sure he would damage himself. Too much of a good thing turns bad if you are not prepared and ready for it.

This is why before you hear anything, your discernment must be crystal clear and your emotion must be sweet. Without a constant sense of sweetness of emotion within you, there are many things you cannot do; you are truly disabled. Without sweetness of emotion, you are denying yourself the universe, including everything here on this planet. Only if you master your emotion to become very sweet no matter what, can you go into different explorations and be fine. Otherwise, if you go into the anahata and see or hear something that you do not know, you may be terrified.

It is like watching what is considered a horror movie. From the bits I have seen, these movies are pathetic. They do not horrify me. For example, blood will suddenly come out of the eyes. Blood is always flowing in the body. If a little leak happens, what is so horrifying about it? What does it matter from where it leaks? This is only supposed to be horror because a whole lot of people are not aware that blood is flowing in their body. Similarly, for people who are ignorant, touching the anahata – where suddenly something from within happens and images come up – can be an absolutely terrifying experience.

Fierce Deities and the Anahata

In the yogic science, there is a dimension of yoga called tantra yoga. One important aspect of tantra is that the yogis create their own deities – they create a certain energy form and make it alive. That form – either he or she or whatever it is – walks with the yogi all the time. This is why he needs no company and does not get married, because he has constant company. Generally, these yogis created female forms with terrible attributes.

You may have seen images of Rakini, Dakini, Chinnamasta, Kali – these are all terrible feminine manifestations. One reason why they created these kinds of images is because they wanted them to be like that. They wanted someone next to them whom they cannot be drawn to for their physical beauty or whatever else. Another reason is, let us say we gave you a lump of clay and said, “Make an image of Adiyogi,” you know how it would turn out – not by choice; simply because you are clumsy with your hands.

For whatever reason, they created these kinds of forms. The yogis who created them are gone long ago. They fulfilled the purpose for which they created these deities, and they let them loose. Many of these forms are still around, and there are people who are still making use of them. If you hit your anahata, these forms think a welcome bell has been struck, and they tend to come to you. If they come, you will not play with them – you will be terrified, simply because they do not look like you.

Suppose somebody just had two holes instead of a nose – looking at him, you would be terrified. When you are in such a state, you should not go into anahata, because it will draw different types of subtle forms. The anahata has the power of creation; this is where a human being can create. Once you touch this dimension, such forms will be attracted to you. Before art, music, and other things, these subtle forms of creation will come to you, because they are the lightest forms in existence – they have least inertia. Kali will come to you. Some people spend their entire lives wanting to see Kali, but if she comes in your sleep, we will have to wash your bed tomorrow! It has happened to many people, people who thought they are perfectly normal and brave enough to explore different things – one little something and they are finished, for life.

If you leave the anahata, you will naturally end up in the vishuddhi. The vishuddhi is the center of occult. If you want to master the occult, you must first come to terms with other kinds of beings who do not look like you. Anybody who does not look like you seems weird to you. Kali, Chinnamasta, Dakini, Lankini will start coming in. It is a wonderful opportunity, but if you have not maintained the necessary sweetness of emotion and sharpness of intellect, this can become a terrible experience that may break your mind.

Predicament of the Times

If every day, something weird appeared in their dream, not even in reality, a whole lot of people would lose their mind because they do not have much of a mind anyway. I am not saying this to be sarcastic. Particularly the modern education systems have done humanity a huge disservice by not working on the mind but only on the memory. The focus of modern education systems is on producing a product that will fit somewhere into our economic engine, not on trying to produce a great human being. Society is not interested in great human beings because they may not follow instructions. They may not fit into the social milieu. Most of those who showed any sign of greatness were slaughtered in the past because the mediocre is safe, but greatness may turn things upside down.

Right now, the human mind is not being developed to handle both sweetness of emotion and sharpness of intellect together. Most commonly, people who have a reasonably sharp mind are in a bitter emotional state within themselves. You will see very few people with a sharp mind and sweetness of emotion. Those who have a sharp mind think they have to cut everyone. Those who have sweetness of emotion are considered as fools. This is almost a given in the world: If you are intellectually sharp, you will not be emotionally sweet. If you are emotionally sweet, you are considered a fool. This kind of categorization is happening in the world, which is not a good thing at all. The anahata is a fantastic place, but I find in today’s world, getting people to sharpen their mind and turn their emotion sweet is quite a job.

Anahata Sadhana Takes Balance

Certain traditions see the entering of the anahata as the meeting of two dimensions of yourself. Others, who are more tantric in nature, see it as a human being meeting his divine potential in the anahata. The anahata is a tremendous place, but it can become terrible if you are not ready for it. The core of the universe must be a tremendous place, but are you ready to go to that place? Your system needs to be equipped to go there.


What is Vishuddhi Chakra?

January 8, 2018

2 min read

Summary: Vishuddhi, the 5th Chakra, means a filter. If your Vishuddhi is active, you will filter out all poisons that enter your system. Poison not necessarily in form of what you consume, a wrong thought, a wrong idea, energy, impulse can also poison you. If your energies are in Vishuddhi, you will not be impacted by whatever is happening around you.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Vishuddhi Chakra – The Power of Blue

Vishuddhi and Occult

Sadhguru: Vishuddhi, or Vishuddha, essentially means filter. If your Vishuddhi is active, it filters everything. Poisons can enter you in many ways – a wrong thought, emotion, idea, energy, or impulse can poison your life. An active Vishuddhi saves you from all these influences. In other words, once your Vishuddhi is active, whatever happens around you will not have an impact on you anymore. You will be established within yourself. And you tend to become a powerful being. We normally skip the Vishuddhi when people do sadhana because one aspect of activating the Vishuddhi is that you become competent in the occult. Vishuddhi is the center of occult. There are two types of occult – Muladhara type of occult and Vishuddhi type of occult. Adiyogi is the master of Vishuddhi occult. That is why his throat has turned blue.

Vishuddhi and Adiyogi

If you have reasonable mastery over your Vishuddhi, you will function on a different level of competence. People around you will think you are super human, though all that has happened is that you have accessed other ways of functioning. In many ways, Adiyogi is a representative of that, so much so that there are many names, such as Vishakantha, Neelakantha, and others, that describe him as an embodiment of Vishuddhi, not because that is the only quality he had, but because people recognized him for those things that were beyond their understanding.


What is Agna Chakra?

January 20, 2018

4 min read

Summary: Agna, the 6th Chakra, is the highest level of discernment and is the source of knowing. Agna is without any color, that is why it is related to vairagya. When your energies move into Agna, your perception will go beyond the normal limitations, and you will see everything the way it is. If this happens without any sweetness of emotion within you, you may completely lose interest in everything. Balance of clarity and sweetness of emotion is essential before touching Agna.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Agna Chakra – Clarity beyond Color

Agna and Vairagya

Sadhguru: The Agna is the source of knowing. It is the highest level of discernment. To use an analogy, you know white light is made up of seven basic colors. If light had only one color – let us say it was purple – it would be useful only for certain purposes, whereas colorless light is useful for everything. We generally call it white light, but actually, it is colorless – you do not see it. You can see the source of light, and you can see an object that reflects the light, but you cannot see the light as such. Only when something stops the light, you can see it. As such, light is colorless. This colorless light can be refracted into seven colors. Agna is colorless. This is why Agna is related to vairagya, a state that is colorless or beyond color, which allows you to take on any color without it leaving a trace on you. Suppose we put red, blue or yellow light – everything looks different. Colorless light allows you to see everything clearly, the way it is. Similarly, if you are established in the Agna, you will see everything the way it is.

Inner Freedom

The level of freedom it gives you when external things do not decide what happens within you is tremendous, and the amount of energy you have to invest in things that matter within you is phenomenal. Outside things do not matter to you, because you have seen it the way it is. Imagine you see a man or a woman with all the organs, the intestines, the liver, and so on. Many people who have studied medicine have told me that after doing anatomy lessons and dissections, they did not want to get married. They did not want to have anything to do with any body, because they have seen what is inside. At least that is how they felt initially. Maybe later on, they succumbed to their bodily needs.

It is very important that seeing things the way they are comes with sweetness of emotion. This balance of clarity and sweetness of emotion is needed if you want to touch the Agna.

If you start to go beyond the normal limitations of perception and you begin to see everything the way it is, without counterbalancing this clarity with sweetness of emotion, you will not want to be involved in the world anymore. When you see everything the way it is, you may completely lose interest in everything. You just look at everything and nothing means anything to you. But it would be a misconception to think vairagya means non-involvement. Non-involvement happens when you start seeing things the way they are, but without sweetness of emotion. Then you will either be disgusted, frustrated or uninvolved – you become aloof. If pure discernment comes without a sense of ecstasy, you cannot involve yourself in life. It is very important that seeing things the way they are comes with sweetness of emotion. This balance of clarity and sweetness of emotion is needed if you want to touch the Agna.

The Agna and Isha

The symbol of Isha Yoga Center is a triangle with a circle around it – this is the symbol of the Agna. If you meet someone, the first thing that you show to them is your face. Generally, people recognize you by the face. This does not mean your face is all that matters – the real things that make this life work are within you. Even at the Isha Yoga Center, the first thing that we show people is the Agna, because that is most accepted in the world. People who are doing sadhana on the Agna will always be revered. If we put the Vishuddhi in the front, we would get labeled as weirdos. If we put the Anahata in the front, people would think we are a confused lot. But if we put the Agna in the front, people consider it as nice and really spiritual. The face is always the Agna, because Agna is clarity. I am valued in this world for my clarity. People do not even know many other aspects of who I am. I am not saying clarity is not important, but it is not everything. By itself, clarity will create disinterest, aloofness and withdrawal from life. If you see everything the way it is, you will not want to play the game, unless you have sweetness of emotion. You must be dripping ecstasy within you. Then even if it does not mean a thing, you still play.


What is Sahasrar Chakra?

February 10, 2018

8 min read

Summary: Sahasrar, the 7th chakra, is not a physical space. You can not stay there for too long. If you do, you can't hold onto the body. When your energies are in Sahasrar, you will simply float around in ecstasy. In that state, you cannot be functional in terms of human activity. Sadhguru also tells us about the third day's moon, and the symbolism of why it adorns as an ornament on Shiva's head. Sadhguru also elaborates on what is soma rekha, the tradition of pradosham in South Indian temples.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Sahasrar Chakra – Inebriation and Ecstasy

Q: Sadhguru, can you tell us what is the path of Sahasrar? What would it be like? Is there an example of someone who belongs to that tradition?

Sadhguru: Sahasrar is not a path. When we use the word “path”, it means a demarcated way, an established way. If there has to be demarcation, you need a physical space. Sahasrar is not a physical space. It has a presence in the geography of the body, but it does not represent a physical space. Because of this, there is no path.

There are any number of indications about this in the tradition but one dramatic example would probably be of Totapuri and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Ramakrishna, who was a bit too much into Sahasrar, wouldn’t have lasted long because that is not a space where one can hold on to the physical body and exist. As ecstatic and fantastic as it is, it is not a living space, it is a “going” space. Once in a way, you can touch it and be back. When someone stays there for too long, the body will not hold.

Sahasrar is not a physical space. It has a presence in the geography of the body, but it does not represent a physical space. Because of this, there is no path.

You may have heard of Totapuri taking a piece of glass and cutting Ramakrishna’s Agna to bring him down to clarity and knowing, rather than simply floating around in ecstasy. Is floating around in ecstasy not good? It is great but you cannot work and manifest something in that condition. That condition is like inebriation. It is wonderful and existentially fantastic, but in terms of human activity, you cannot be functional in those states. Even if you are functional, you are not very effective. It is a fuzzy world between physical and non-physical.

So, the less we say about Sahasrar the better because right now we are on a mission – we cannot afford fuzziness. Here and there, we party a bit – we have our Bhava Spandanas and satsangs, but then we want to be focused on what we need to do. That will not be possible if everyone is in Sahasrar. And if everyone starts inhabiting there, they will not be here for long, they will be gone.

About examples from the tradition – there is no such thing. You may have heard about Shiva being in ecstatic states, where he is inaccessible and unavailable. Someone who is so focused and intense is suddenly all oozy-woozy and not available. That is because these are “Sahasrar times”, when even someone as intense and focused as him is too drunk and inebriated for action.

Of all divine entities, Shiva is the most athletic. That means he signifies action, but even he gets woozy sometimes because he is in Sahasrar. So it is not a path. You go to Sahasrar because you want to get lost, not because you want to find yourself. When you feel like getting lost – Sahasrar. When you feel like finding yourself, you need to be on some path. Is there a tradition of getting lost? Yes there is, but you cannot make a form out of it.

Q: In one of your talks, you had mentioned the Soma Rekha. Could you please explain the nature of this line, its significance and experiential dimension?

Sadhguru: Soma means the moon or an intoxicating form. Soma Rekha means they trace the path of the third day moon. In India, there is a symbolism of amrita coming out of the ocean, Shiva drank up the poison part of it and everyone else wanted to drink the amrita or the elixir of life and make themselves immortal. Essentially, amrita is immortality in the sense that your experience of life rises beyond the physical. When your experience of life rises beyond the physical, you are obviously immortal in some way. Immortality does not mean we will have to endure you forever, it means that we don’t have to endure you at all because your physical nature is almost gone.

What you see as a third day moon is a drip of this. Three drops of amrita dripped out of Shiva’s Sahasrar and everyone is trying to access it.

To put it in terms of chakras, it is Sahasrar. What you see as a third day moon is a drip of this. Three drops of amrita dripped out of Shiva’s Sahasrar and everyone is trying to access it. He is wearing it as an ornament. This is important. He is wearing it as an ornament on his head. That means there is a tinge of ecstasy always, but he is not immersed in it. Sometimes he goes into it but otherwise, there is always a tinge of ecstasy.

If this tinge of ecstasy is not there, one cannot sit. One can simply sit here without any need to do anything outside, without the need to pursue pleasure or fulfilment because there is a tinge of ecstasy. That means you are mildly buzzed out. If you are fully immersed in it and drunk, then you will be useless. When I say useless, I mean in terms of the world, not in terms of life. In terms of life, that is also okay. But in terms of activity in the world, you could become incapacitated. But with a tinge of ecstasy, you can do any amount of things and still feel that you have done nothing. It is like people who get a little drunk, they dance and dance and dance till their legs fall off because there is a tinge of ecstasy. They would not be able to do that at other times. So you can either dance or work or do whatever without any sense of burdensomeness because there is a tinge of ecstasy. Adiyogi is representative of this, that always, there is a tinge of ecstasy.

When we create a certain form – not all lingas but most of them – if they have been done properly, there is a tinge of ecstasy. If you do not bring this tinge of ecstasy into your own form and also the forms that are consecrated, then there is no inspiration. When I say there is no inspiration, people cannot come under the influence of a form – they will keep thinking about what they want.

The reason why people are conscious of this only in the South is because we owe it to Agastya Muni.

This happens in many well-consecrated temples in India. People go there with the intent of praying and asking for all kinds of things, but when they go there, they forget these damn things and simply stand. This happens because of the tinge of ecstasy.

The shadow of a consecrated form – when I say shadow, don’t take it literally as light and shadow – in some way, the energy shadow of the form will naturally be there on the floor. If we mark that out, people can walk that. I think it is only in southern India that people are still actively aware of the third day moon, which is called pradosham.

The reason why people are conscious of this only in the South is because we owe it to Agastya Muni. He got a little too chatty with people and told them too many things! Out of his love for them, he spoke and told them that there are places where if you touch, there is ecstasy. So people made a tradition out of that and they want to walk that. This is very much there in the southern temples – parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. These are the only places where people are aware of it – maybe not individually aware, but in the tradition it is there.

I don’t think people would have discovered this by themselves. Someone must have spoken about it. We could blame Agastya for this or maybe some other yogi spoke about it because the one who creates the form will not generally speak about it because he does not want all the other aspects of the form to go waste. It is like serving food and a sweet to a child. He may just eat the sweet. This is why in India, we serve sweets only at the end of the meal. In the beginning they will serve a half spoon of payasam, just to taste so that you eat well, hoping that they will serve payasam in the end again! You have to eat all the other food which is nourishing and in the end, they will serve payasam again but by then your stomach is so full, you can’t eat too much sweet!

Similarly, if you just show people where that tinge of ecstasy is, people may start walking just that and miss out on everything else. As I said, if you are well established and there is a tinge of ecstasy, it is fantastic. But if you only seek that, it is still fantastic but a bit too fantastic and you may move from reality to lala land. You may be a little lala – wonderful for you – but it needs to be rooted in this world because there are things to be done here too.


The Significance of Indian Classical Music, And Activating The Chakras

March 1, 2019

10 min read

Summary: Modern science tells us that the entire existence is a reverberation of energy - or in other words - an amalgamation of sounds. The human ear can hear only a small band of the spectrum. But in certain states - Rithambhara Pragna - you can hear the sounds beyond this limited spectrum. The whole existence can be experienced as sound. When sounds are arranged in a certain pattern, they impact our system in a certain way - this is the science of mantras. Indian classical music is a modification of the mantras - where both aesthetics and technical arrangements are important. Indian classical music can activate the chakras and evolve a human being into higher levels of consciousness.

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Indian Classical Music and Activating the Chakras

Sadhguru: Today, it is common scientific knowledge that the whole existence is a reverberation of energy. The source of all that is physical in existence is a reverberation or a vibration. And where there is a vibration, there is bound to be a sound. Or in other words, the entire existence is a complex amalgamation of sounds. This was recognized by the yogic sciences many millennia ago. We call this Nada Brahma, which means that the creation and creator is just sound.

“If everything is sound, why don’t I hear it?” The full spectrum of sound that the reverberations of creation throw out is usually not available to the human ear. What you are able to hear is just a small band of frequencies – the sonic range of sounds. Anything above this range is called ultrasonic. What is below is subsonic. Both subsonic and ultrasonic sounds are normally outside the hearing range of the human ear.

The entire existence is a complex amalgamation of sounds. This was recognized by the yogic sciences many millennia ago. We call this Nada Brahma.

However, it is possible to move into certain states that we refer to as Rithambhara Pragna, where you can hear sounds beyond the usually audible spectrum. In such a state, if you look at any form, the sound attached to it becomes clear to you. The whole existence can be experienced as just sound.

Many years ago, I used to travel alone for a month or two every year in the Himalayas, and I happened to go to Kedarnath. Kedar is a very powerful and wonderful place. Above Kedar, there is a place called Kanti Sarovar, where people don’t generally go because it is a tricky climb. I trekked up to Kanti Sarovar and sat on one of the rocks there.

It is very difficult to put this into words, but after some time, everything turned into sound in my experience. My body, the mountain, the lake in front of me, everything had become sound. It had taken on sound form, and was just going on in me in a completely different way. My mouth was closed – I am very clear about that – but my own voice was going on loudly, as if it was on a microphone singing a song – and it was in Sanskrit.

NADA BRAHMA

Nada Brahma Vishwaswaroopa

Nada Hi Sakala Jeevaroopa

Nada Hi Karma Nada Hi Dharma

Nada Hi Bandhana Nada Hi Mukti

Nada Hi Shankara Nada Hi Shakti

Nadam Nadam Sarvam Nadam

Nadam Nadam Nadam Nadam

Translation: Sound is Brahman, the manifestation of the universe, sound manifests itself in the form of all life, sound is bondage, sound is the means for liberation, sound is that which binds, sound is that which liberates, sound is the bestower of all, sound is the power behind everything, sound is everything.

If you just give yourself to that song, there is a kind of power to it. It has a power to dissolve a person, if you really throw yourself into it.

Mantra

If you arrange sounds in a certain pattern, it has a certain kind of impact. In this culture, we explored different patterns and came up with mantras. A mantra is a technically correct arrangement of sound, but it need not necessarily be aesthetically pleasing. With a mantra, the technical correctness is more important than the aesthetic enjoyment that one may have. Mantras neither belong to any religion or sect, nor are they a form of worship. They are just key sounds that can open up every realm in the universe. In the yogic sciences, there is a way to hold and incubate a mantra within yourself. Many yogis spend their whole life just incubating one particular mantra within themselves. So the mantra is not something that you say, it is something that you are striving to become. If you become the key, it will open up a different dimension of life and experience within you.

Classical Music

Indian classical music is a modification of mantras, where aesthetics become as important as the technical arrangement of sounds. Music is a more refined harmonious arrangement of sound. The very body is reverberating with wonderful music if you listen. Shiva carried a damaru (a drum) because it is symbolic of the rhythm of life. Whatever sound emanates from anything, there is a certain rhythm to it. If there is a rhythm to every sound that you hear, obviously there is a rhythm in the reverberation that causes the sound.

Indian classical music comes from a very deep understanding of the human system because all our experience of life is essentially happening within us. Light and darkness, sound and silence, joy and misery happen within us. Every human experience happens within, never outside of ourselves. We are the basis of our experience. Because of this, we identified certain dimensions of the body that are responsive to sounds. If you know how to use sounds, a proper arrangement of sounds can do incredible things.

Music is just a pleasant arrangement of sounds. We may add words to the music. These words have meanings, but the meanings are not existential. We make up the meanings. They are psychological and cultural. They are not existentially true. But sound is an existential reality. It is a reverberation that exists. Every kind of arrangement of these reverberations has different kinds of impacts on the human system and on our surroundings. There are some experiments that have been conducted to show how cows produce more milk if you play a certain kind of music. This is just one silly usage of it but it is actually true. Sound patterns, if used properly, can have a tremendous effect because physical existence is essentially a complex amalgamation of reverberations or sounds.

Indian classical music is the only form of music that has a formula behind it, which can be used in many permutations and combinations.

If you arrange sounds in a certain pattern, it has a certain kind of impact. In this culture, we explored different patterns and came up with mantras. A mantra is a technically correct arrangement of sound, but it need not necessarily be aesthetically pleasing. With a mantra, the technical correctness is more important than the aesthetic enjoyment that one may have. Indian classical music is a modification of mantras, where aesthetics become as important as the technical arrangement of sounds.

Indian classical music is the only form of music that has a formula behind it, which can be used in many permutations and combinations. All the other forms of music are just playing it by the ear. There is no technical perfection. But with Indian classical music – especially in southern India – there is so much mathematics involved. A musician is always counting, and eventually learns to count without counting because there is a mathematical formula over which the entire musical structure is built.

When I say a mathematical formula, we must understand the entire physical universe can be reduced to mathematical formulas. This is what modern science is endeavoring to do. Mathematics is not something that we made up. Mathematics is the backbone of creation itself. It is one way of interpreting physical creation. This is why a mathematical backbone is expected for any new theory that comes up. Otherwise it is not considered real because there is a fundamental geometry in the universe. Music is an arrangement where initially, if you are learning, it feels like numbers. After some time, it feels like geometrical patterns. After that, it just flows like a river, depending on how much mastery you have over it.

The Music of Life

How do you get this from within? Whoever it was who first began this entire musical process did not have a tape recorder or someone to teach them. Someone allowed it to happen within themselves. Allowing it to happen means if you become silent – and by silent I mean not just shutting your mouth but that there is no static in your mind – you will hear the very music of life. This is because the human system is a certain design and pattern. There is a certain geometry to it and there is a reverberation attached. Similarly, if you look at a tree, there is a certain reverberation attached to it. If you can feel that reverberation, we call this state as rithambara pragna.

If you want to know music, don’t look at music. You must know silence.

Rithambara pragna means you become conscious of the relationship between form and sound. If you perceive the sound from a form, you learn to use this sound in different ways to describe this form, and to touch and experience this form just by uttering a sound. This sound, in its technical manifestation, is called a mantra. In its aesthetic manifestation, it is called music. But the important thing is, if you want to learn from within, you must become silent.

If you want to know music, don’t look at music. You must know silence. If there is no silence, sound is just a jumble of nonsense. If you want to paint, first you need an empty canvas, isn’t it? Similarly, because there is silence, there is the possibility of sound.

Activating the Human Body with Music

In yoga, we see the human body as made up of five koshas, or five sheaths or layers: annamaya kosha or food body, manomaya kosha or mental body, pranamaya kosha or energy body, vigyanamaya kosha or etheric body and anandamaya kosha or bliss body.

Pranamaya kosha, or the energy body, is very significant. It is made up of 72,000 nadis, which are energy channels or pathways through which the energy in the body flows. These nadis meet and redistribute at 114 chakras or junction points in the human system. Of these 114, two are outside the physical body and 112 are within. Out of these 112, four are dormant to a large extent.

This leaves 108 active energy centers in the body. These 108 are divided on the right and the left as 54 each in the form of ida and pingala. Based on this, we formed a Sanskrit alphabet of fifty-four sounds, each in two manifestations of feminine and masculine.

Indian classical music has never been just a form of entertainment. It has been a way of evolving an individual human being into a universal entity.

Indian classical music has, to a mathematical precision, recognized which sounds can activate these 108 chakras, and lead to a natural evolution of the human being to a higher level of consciousness. Indian classical music has never been just a form of entertainment. It has been a way of evolving an individual human being into a universal entity. In this culture, music, dance or whatever else a person does are not entertainment, they are also a spiritual process. Entertainment was not the attitude in life. Everything was a sadhana to reach a higher level of consciousness.

The dimension of activating the human system and allowing the human system to evolve to its ultimate possibility by using these 108 sounds is called Nada Yoga. Indian classical music is an evolution of this fundamental process of Nada Yoga. If one listens to music with the necessary involvement, or if one involves themselves in the process of what we refer to as classical music, it is not just about the pleasantness of the body or emotion that one goes through, it is a method to move out of compulsive cycles of life. It is a method to transcend those cycles to achieve freedom and liberation.

Cultivating the Audience

Cultivating the audience is an important part of nurturing this wonderful form of music. Without cultivating the audience and without allowing expression for budding talent, this art form cannot live. This is one of the most wonderful ways through which one can transcend one’s limitations and arrive at an ultimate possibility. There are many ways to do this but Indian classical music is a wonderful and beautiful way to do it.


Are There Really 7 Chakras?

November 2, 2017

5 min read

Summary: Many people refer to yoga as a philosophy. Philosophies are made up - they have nothing to do with reality. In yoga, there is no philosophy. Yogis are not a product of philosophies or scriptures. When they shared their experiences, people around them wrote it down. Whenever something is written down, the writer's mind also goes into it. So, these 7 chakras are not like 7 segments, this is just a certain classification for the intellect to grasp. Otherwise, life is happening as one big whole!

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article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org

Are There Actually Seven Chakras?

Sadhguru: We need to look at the seven chakras, and how yoga evolved out of that, in a certain context. We have always referred to yoga as a science and a technology because we are working with the existential. In today’s world, a whole lot of people wrongly refer to yoga as philosophy. A philosophy can be made up – it need not have anything to do with reality. Most of the time, philosophies are fantastic explanations about things that you know nothing about. Everyone can come up with their own philosophy, because anyway, there is no one around who knows anything about it. Philosophies have endured in many societies for a long time.

Codified, not Captured

What is unique about yogic culture is that there is no philosophy of any kind – philosophies are scorned. Some people are trying to raise a debate, saying, “Do you have scriptural validation? Which scripture validates what you know?” What most human beings do not understand is that scriptures are a product of the realization that happened in yogis and sages. Yogis and sages are never a product of a scripture. What an individual human being knew and what he spoke, expressed, or transmitted in some way, the people around him who did not know, tried to record and codify into a book. It may have a few gems here and there; the rest is ignorance – sanctified ignorance.

Gautama and Anandatirtha are a classic example – what we know about Gautama is only because of what Anandatirtha noted down. Everything that you know about me through YouTube is only because of the videographers’ recordings. I trust them because they cannot put their mind into the camera and record it the way they want it. But if they wrote it down, they would put their mind into it. As they grew more confident, they would put more and more of themselves into it, because a lot of things that an enlightened being says do not make sense to a whole lot of people. So someone codified what they said the way people like it.

Whatever the nature of someone’s experience, even something as simple as seeing the full moon, no one else can ever capture it. When even a basic experience cannot be captured, how will you capture an experience that is phenomenal? You cannot capture that – so people only codify it. So people will say that the moon means you see a round object and you feel good. And reading this, different people will see different things, depending upon their own consciousness. Footballers will see a big ball out there. Those who are hungry will see a ball of butter – as Indian children were always told.

Discernment and Intellect

These seven dimensions are not a philosophy, but a little bit of classification. Fundamentally, any classification of life is wrong, but this classification is done for the sake of understanding. The 7 chakras are not to be understood as seven segments. Life is happening as one big whole. But the intellect needs classification. Without classification, your intellect cannot perceive. The nature of the intellect is to discern. Without the ability to discern, your intellect is a useless piece of machinery.

Discernment is a very important instrument to survive in the world, but it is not at all a good thing if you want to swallow the cosmos, which means you want the cosmos to become a part of you or to disappear into you. If you are discerning, which planet would you like to leave out? Discernment is about what you want and what you do not want, what you like and what you do not like; what is good and what is bad; what is high and what is low; what is god and what is devil.

Enlightenment is when you light up everything in such a way that everything looks the same to you. You do not want to discern anything. Light and darkness are the same experience to you. There is no distinction for you. Enlightenment means that you are lit from inside, so you cannot see darkness anywhere.

Beyond Color

We are talking about a dimensionless dimension, but for the sake of the intellect, we are categorizing. You should not start taking positions, in the sense of, “I’m the Anahata kind,” or, “I’m the Vishuddhi kind,” like people say, “I’m a coffee person,” or, “I’m a tea person.” Or when they wake up in the morning, they say, “I’m a morning person.” This is not about getting identified. If you want to do specific things, you can discern different qualities. But if you want to know the very nature of existence, there is a dimension called vairagya or vairaga. “Vai” means beyond, and “raga” means color. Something that is beyond color is colorless. The word “colorless” in English has negative connotations, such as being lifeless or lacking vibrance, but vairagya is not colorless in that sense.

We are talking about colorless as being beyond color. That which has no color is transparent. Transparency enables you to see. It is colorless air that sustains you. Suppose the air turned blue, you would not be able to see anymore. You may like the blue color in the air for some time, but then you would want to clear the blue and see again. Becoming colorless, or being beyond color, means to have a clear vision. Your vision is not clouded by colors. There are many things which are referred to by their color – rivers for example, such as the Blue Nile, the Yellow River, or the Red River. This does not mean the water as such is blue, yellow, or red – it is the soil that it carries that makes it appear as being of a certain color.

If you are beyond color, you fit into any place perfectly well, because you yourself are colorless, without attributes. Now, if there is a blue background, you turn blue; if there is a red background, you turn red. You will not be felt anywhere as a resistance. You are absolutely merging with whatever is there at any given moment. So we are talking about seven dimensions that are like seven colors. There is nothing wrong with refracting the light, but if you are in refracted light all the time, you will have a distorted vision of life.


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