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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Editor’s Note: Sadhguru tells us about the 7 chakras, which are the major junction points of the nadis in the body, and explore various mystical aspects of these seven fundamental chakras. Read the article to find out more.