CHAKRAS: TOOLS FOR TRANSFORMATION
by Anita Slotte
The chakras are the ancient depositories of all the divine energy given to humanity at the beginning of time. They are "The seven Spirits" guiding us on our path of transformation, our initiation into the mysteries of life.
The knowledge and use of chakras as a means to spiritual awakening has been recognised through the ages in all the great religions in one form or another. These powerful tools for transformation have become in our time a focus of great interest and fascination. Let us now take a step by step look at the meaning and purpose of the chakras, what we need to become aware of, how the "Spirit" of the first chakra guides us. In this issue I shall explain what the first chakra is about, how the energy of this chakra effects us.
THE FIRST CHAKRA, MOOLADHARA
The Sanskrit name of the first chakra is Mooladhara. It means root and support. It is situated in males midway between the anus and the genitals at the perineum, and in the female at the cervix, where the vagina and the uterus join
Mooladhara is the lowest chakra in human beings, but the highest in animals. It is the chakra of group consciousness, in which animals live, and also humans who identify themselves only by family, nationality, race and religion, not yet able to detach from the group-soul and embrace their own individuality and independence. It is an energy which, in its most negative aspect, is heavily at work in all ethnic wars.
In its positive aspect the first chakra inspires us to be loving, passionate and warm, compassionate to those with whom we share our identity in family relationships and in the context of community and nation. It creates unity, common goals and responsibilities between like-minded people.
The first chakra is depicted in Hindu teachings as a four petalled deep-red lotus flower. Its colour is red, the colour of passion and emotional love, and its number is four. Four is the number of manifestation, of matter, so we deal here with the energy of the material world. In fact, its element is earth.
GROUP CONSCIOUSNESS VERSUS "ALL IS ONE"
When the energy in this chakra is not activated and purified, when our consciousness has not developed beyond the three bottom chakras, we are unconscious of ourselves as individuals. We relate to the world out of our particular tribe at the exclusion of everything else. We are almost entirely self centred and concerned with issues of survival in the material world and the energy manifests in its negative aspects in anger, greed, revenge, collective hatred, lust for power and control. All passions of our lower nature. The need for material security and control is the dominant energy.
However, when an awakening takes place in this chakra, our understanding and awareness starts to enfold and we discover at this centre the great mystical truth underlying all of creation: "All is One".
THE THREE ENERGY CHANNELS
From Mooladhara three energy channels - called nadis in Sanskrit - make their ascent to Ajna (the sixth chakra) entwining around the spine, crossing each other at every chakra. Ida is the mental energy, related to the breath flow in the left nostril and to the parasympathetic nervous system. Pingala is the vital energy, related to the right nostril and to the sympathetic nervous system. The Chinese concept of Ying and Yang corresponds exactly to Ida and Pingala.
The main channel, which flows through a central canal in the spinal cord is called Sushumna and is responsible for spiritual awareness. Sushumna rises up to the crown chakra. Through this canal Kundalini rises. Kundalini is the divine creative energy in us which, when awakened, transforms us from unconscious into conscious human beings and gives us full control of our body, mind and soul. To fully awaken and raise the Kundalini, you have to live a very disciplined and pure life-style and undergo arduous training under the guidance of an advanced and wise master. It is well known that unsuccessful raising of the Kundalini energy instead of bringing enlightenment, throws the whole nervous system into unbalance and can cause madness.
Because Mooladhara is directly connected with Ajna through Ida and Pingala, awakening of Mooladhara awakens also Ajna, the centre of spiritual intuition and spiritual vision. And visa-versa.
CHAKRAS: GATEWAYS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The famous psychologist Carl Jung called the chakras the "gateways of consciousness". They are connected to our thinking, feeling and willing through our breath, through our etheric body, through our voice and through movement and our consciousness is developed and shaped by the dominant energy of our lower or higher chakras.
As long as we are not aware of our chakras, they operate on a subconscious level. If a person has no concept whatsoever of anything beyond the material level the chakras can be said to be dormant, they hardly rotate at all. When we start to question who we are, what our purpose is, and begin to consciously develop our divine nature, the chakras quicken, become active and our spiritual mind, heart and will start to develop.
Now, how do we activate and consciously influence the chakras? What does it mean to work on the chakras?
There are certain ways that we consciously can activate our chakras: through the breath, through yoga postures, meditation and prayers, through sound and colour, and through our singing voice, which is intimately connected to the chakras, through the powerful combination of thinking and feeling in visualisation, and through certain kind of music.
The lesson of the first chakra is "All is One". We are all part of the whole creation. We are part of a family - a genetic code - a tribe, a race, a nation and of everything that exists on this planet. We have our physical body in common with the mineral kingdom, we have our etheric body in common with the plant kingdom and our astral body in common with the animal kingdom. Our fourth body, our I AM - or Higher Self - is what distinguishes us from all the other life forms on this planet and makes our incarnation into the world a journey of developing consciousness.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE AND SPIRITUAL AWARENESS
While the soul is still in an undeveloped, unconscious state our freedom of choice is very limited. We can choose if we want our coffee with or without sugar, if we like this thing or that one. But as far as our destiny goes, we are like leaves on the ground, blown by the wind, victims of circumstances. We obey blindly the laws of the tribe and are concerned primarily with our physical survival.
Only when we wake up to the truth that we are spiritual beings, incarnating for a short while into a physical world and having physical experiences for the growth and learning of our souls, only then do we get some freedom of choice. At that stage it is of utmost importance to realise that our freedom of choice is about our allegiances: are we making the choices from a spiritual point of view, that will bring light, goodness, love and peace into the world, or do we choose to identify wholly with materialism and egoism, giving in to lust for power, control, judgement, hatred and divisive manipulations? This is the chakra where we discover our allegiances.
We can honour our oneness with all and serve all, each other and the world we live in, with respect, justice and compassion, or we can give in to tribal group consciousness. We can withdraw from each other, fear and hate what we do not know or understand, try to impose our will and our views on others without respecting their individuality, and continue to divide and fragment the world. But where will that take us in the long run - or short run?
Let us choose oneness in love and readiness to share, in respect for creation in all its magnificent manifestations throughout the mineral, plant, animal and human kingdoms. Let us serve each other, not destroy each other.
OUR TASKS: TO LEARN AND TO TEACH
We come into this world with just two main tasks:
1) TO LEARN and
2) TO TEACH
We all have our individual lessons to learn for our soul's growth and progress. As we learn these lessons, the entire planet learns them through us and greater balance is attained in the universe. Because remember, we are part of "All" - humanity, this planet, the whole of creation - and we have to learn that "All is One".
We all come here to be each other's teachers. Before we incarnated we made a contract and planned what we would work on and learn during this life-time. We promised to share with others our knowledge and wisdom and the energy that the universe has invested in us. Our only choice, once we enter the earth plane, is whether we share our gifts in a positive or negative way. We can share willingly and lovingly, or in such negative ways that others learn from us what NOT to do. If we choose the positive way, we will move faster and more effortlessly through all obstacles and difficulties. If we choose the negative way our life will deteriorate more and more into complete confusion and greater suffering.
<This article is reprinted with permission from emPower Magazine online.>