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Mooladhara Chakra, the Centre of Passion, Turmoil, and Sleeping Energy

PS is practicing yoga since the age of 11. Her yoga retreats in India have helped her gain deep insights into self-awareness.


Mooladhara translates into English as a ‘basic foundation’. Separately, Moola is a Sanskrit word that means ‘root’. That’s what exactly this chakra is about. Mooladhara is the root of the chakra system and human evolution. It’s the base of your whole existence. The stimulus of life ascends through the body and blooms the widest in the highest area called Sahasrara. It is a little conflicting to say the most basic of all chakras have the power to help reach the spiritual consciousness. But it’s true.

According to Samkhya philosophy, Mooladhara is responsible for every manifestation that occurs in the world in any form. It is also perceived as moola Prakriti. It is the transcendental basis from which the whole universe evolves, develops into its full potential, and then finally dissolves into the original state.

According to tantra, Mooladhara is the lowest plane of kundalini energy. From here, there’s a possibility of the awakening of higher understanding. This experience, initially, lies dormant at this chakra in the form of a coiled serpent. On awakening the Mooladhara, it rises upwards with the help of Sushumna Nadi present in the spine till it reaches the highest possible dimension i.e. Sahasrara. At Sahasrara, you gain the ultimate experience of enlightenment. That’s why awakening of the Mooladhara chakra is extremely crucial while practicing kundalini yoga.

Location of Mooladhara chakra differs in men and women

The base of Mooladhara is located inside the perineum in man, lying between the scrotum and the anus. It is within the nerve complex that handles all types of sensations. It is also directly connected with the testes. In woman, the root chakra is present on the rear side of the cervix.

In every human being, there’s a vestigial gland at the root chakra that resembles a knot. This is called Brahma Granthi. Till the time this knot remains, your energy is blocked in the area. But when this knot opens, energy releases. Only after this, you gain the possibility of rising to spiritual consciousness. The process of liberation starts within you.

There are many systems that say kundalini energy rises from Manipura chakra and not from Mooladhara. The reason is these systems don’t want to associate this pure energy with the sexual organs. But there’s scientific evidence that the tiny gland in the Mooladhara chakra is a reservoir of immense energy. Also, this center is responsible for the origination of spiritual and psychic experiences. It is wrong to consider this chakra impure just because it is located in the sexual region.

Traditional symbolic representation of Mooladhara chakra

Mooladhara chakra is represented by a four-petalled deep crimson lotus flower. There’s a Bija mantra written on each petal: vam, sham, sham, sam. These are written in gold.

There’s a yellow square in the pericarp. It is the symbol of the Earth and surrounded by an elephant having seven trunks. The elephant is the largest of all the land animals and is gifted with remarkable strength and firmness. These are the qualities of Mooladhara - a massive, dormant power, lying in a solid base. The seven trunks of elephant refer to the seven minerals crucial for the body functioning. In Sanskrit, these are called Sapta Dhatu. The elephant with seven trunks is said to be a carrier of great creativity and mental health.

In the center of the yellow square, there’s an inverted triangle, deep red in color. This symbolizes the creative energy, which causes multiplicity and productivity of everything. There’s a Dhumra linga within the triangle, smoky grey in color. This linga stands for the astral body. It is around this linga that kundalini is curled three and a half times. The number three stands for the three Gunas (tamas, rajas, sattvic) of an individual. As long as these Gunas are in action, your individuality is stuck within the boundary of ego. The number half stands for the transcendence.

According to tantra, this sleeping serpent is a Mahakala, meaning great and endless time. At this level, kundalini is lying unconscious and is beyond time and space. When kundalini is initiated, it enters into the dimension of your personality and lives within time and space. The awakened kundalini is the sign of spiritual power, while in a dormant state, it signals the basic instincts. These two polar opposite possibilities exist within the Mooladhara chakra.

On top of the deep red inverted triangle, there’s a Bija mantra called lam. Over the mantra, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Dakini reside. Dakini has brilliant red eyes and four arms. She glows like the brightness of the multiple suns. She possesses the purest form of intelligence.

The sense (Tanmatra) linked with Mooladhara is the smell. It is the origination point of the psychic smells. The sensory organ (Gyanendriya) is the nose and the vitality organ (Karmendriya) is the anus. The awakening of Mooladhara causes itchy sensations near the coccyx or anus. The resulting smell is so grave that the odor can be barely tolerated.

According to kundalini yogis, Mooladhara is responsible for the direct awakening of the Ajna chakra. Mooladhara is also the base of Annamaya Kosha, meaning the body of nourishment. It is connected with the process of digestion and excretion.

Your firm meditation on kundalini in the Mooladhara chakra can make you a powerful orator. You will be skilled in all types of learning. You become immune to all diseases and stay cheerful every time.

Balancing the negative and positive forces of Nadis (psychic channels)

From Mooladhara, three main Nadis emerge and ascend upwards through the spinal cord. These Nadis are also called psychic channels. These Nadis are:

  1. Ida: Ida is the mental force that originates from the left of the Mooladhara.
  2. Pingala: Pingala is the vital force that originates from the right of the Mooladhara.
  3. Sushumna: Sushumna is the spiritual force that originates from the center of the Mooladhara.

This initiation point is extremely volatile. When Ida and Pingala work in balance, the dormant kundalini becomes active. This balance happens occasionally and for short durations only. This can trigger a mild awakening. Through this, kundalini can rise to either Swadhisthana or Manipura and then returns back to the Mooladhara.

That’s why hatha yoga practices along with pranayama are recommended for a promising kundalini awakening to the higher chakras. Pranayama, in particular, is said to be the most important exercise as it purifies the psychic flows and rebalances them. Once the negative and positive forces of Ida and Pingala become firmly balanced, kundalini in Mooladhara awakens like an explosion. Then, kundalini ascends with massive force and eliminating all the obstacles on its path until it reaches Sahasrara, the crown chakra.

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Pranotthana, a strong awakening but less powerful than kundalini awakening

Pranotthana is the early phase of awakening. It senses like an awakening of kundalini, but in reality, it is the release of pranic force. You must have experienced this state while meditating. It is the energy that comes from Mooladhara and goes to your brain through the spinal cord. It differs from kundalini awakening because it rises through Pingala Nadi and only partially purifies the chakras and when it reaches the brain, it disperses after a while.

The state of Pranotthana exists only for a short time. Still, it is an essential step to accelerate your path to the kundalini awakening. The awakening of kundalini is much more powerful and effective than the awakening of Pranotthana. When kundalini rises, your personality improves. It might fall back, but some changes stay with you.

Awakening of Mooladhara and its impact on sexual life

As it is the foundation of dormant kundalini energy, awakening the Mooladhara chakra is extremely important. It is also the base of tamas. Your every passion is stored here, every guilt, agony, and all the complex thoughts have its root in this chakra.

This chakra is associated with the sexual, urinary, excretory, and reproductive organs. It is inevitable for you to awaken this chakra and move beyond it. Your whole life, actions, desires, accomplishments, and everything else are the result of your sexual desires. Your sexual awareness impacts your choice of clothing, friends, food, home decor, and furnishing, etc.

People, who are schizophrenics or neurotics, are filled with guilt and complexities. They have not been able to move their kundalini energy out of the Mooladhara. This has made their life imbalanced.

Most of your life is controlled by sexual frustrations and fulfillment. Consider removing your sexual urges, and see how everything changes around you. Usually, your reaction to sexual life is based on bitter past experiences and you decide to never go on the same path ever again. You are deeply disturbed and you start saying, ‘No more’. But this is not the right solution. This is just a temporary reaction and not the permanent framework of your mind.

The purification of the Mooladhara chakra ensures the related center in your brain is no longer filled with tamas. You can continue to live the same life but in a much better way. Having sexual relationships is not an immoral act, but when the consciousness sparks, your purpose of having such relationships will be refined.

Regarding the sexual life, tantra says it has threefold purposes. The choice of one of these purposes, named below, represents the level of your mind.

  1. Procreation
  2. Pleasure
  3. Psychic awareness

Which of these three would you like to practice? Each of these represents your different mental level and awareness. If you are inclined to the higher consciousness and practicing to reach Samadhi, then you have risen above the need for pleasure and procreation. Through this, you can arise the higher centers. A female can reach higher centers only if her partner has partial or complete spiritual consciousness. On the other hand, a male must practice kriya yoga techniques such as Vajroli to push their kundalini to the higher centers.

Another important thing that you must know is, if you are practicing higher Sadhana and looking forward to living the life of a yogi, it isn’t necessary for you to give up your original life. You don’t need to ditch your partner or end your marital relationship. Just the way you would never think about giving up eating or sleeping? Or would you? Obviously not. Living a yogic life or practicing yoga doesn’t have anything to do with sacrifice. It is the means to transform your consciousness so that you can view the things with genuine perception and discover the real purpose.

The greatest conflict human beings have been going through, since ancient time, is fighting with themselves. They want to change their bad habits, they make resolves but always fail. That’s why it is important to awake the Mooladhara chakra so that their mind can be free from complexity.

Settling the results of Mooladhara awakening

The awakening of Mooladhara chakra, through yoga or spiritual disciplines, results in an explosive awareness. This happens because one of the unconscious areas of your brain is just brought to life.

The very common experience that the practitioners have is the levitation of their astral bodies. They say, there’s a strange sensation of drifting upwards into space and leaving their physical body behind. This happens due to the ascending of kundalini. As it moves upwards, your astral form also starts to rise from the bottom of your physical body. This is quite different from the actual relocation of your physical body.

Other experiences include the development of clairvoyance ability, growing warmth in the coccyx, or crawling sensation in the spinal cord. All these effects occur due to the waking up of kundalini energy.

It is seen that in most cases, the kundalini energy falls back to Mooladhara after reaching the Manipura chakra. You may feel that the energy has reached the higher centers, but generally, only a small portion reaches beyond the Manipura. You need to be relentless and must practice regularly for the further movement of kundalini. Once, you manage to take it beyond Manipura, you face very few obstacles.

After awakening the Mooladhara, when you try to reach the Swadhisthana chakra, all the repressed emotions may become active within you. You are grasped by immense passions and infatuations. This can make your Sadhana unstable and annoying at times. At one moment, you are thoughtful and at another, you are throwing objects here and there. You have sound sleep at one night, but next night, you are struggling to lie down. Sometimes you are very passionate and sometimes you are loud. You may also feel like singing at this stage.

To handle this upheaval, the guidance of an understanding guru is recommended. People may call this emotional turmoil the starting signs of mental crisis. But the guru will assure you that this is an inevitable part to make sure you have a healthy spiritual life in the future. If this emotional crash doesn’t happen at once, it may come little by little, but it’s sure to happen.

Mooladhara is a quite interesting yet disturbing psychic center. Thus, your guru may advise you to awaken your Ajna chakra along with Mooladhara. The energy you derive from Ajna makes you witness the events of Mooladhara with better understanding. This reduces the chances of traumatic experiences and boosts the chances of higher creative potential.

© 2020 Prachi Sharma

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