Moola bandha is a psychic practice which manipulates the paradic body, especially apana, by contracting mooladhara chakra. It sends energy up to ajna and sahasrara chakras directly and thereby stimulates all the other chakras as it travels through the sushumna.
The chakras are whirling vortices of energy which exist in the pranic (etheric) body of man at the linking points between the body and the mind. They occur at the intersection of ida and pingala in sushumna, being psychosomatic points, where mind and body touch.
There are fourteen major chakras. The seven lower chakras are: atala, vitala, sutala, talatala, rasatala, mahatala, patala. They represent evolution from basic atomic structures to mineral life, then plant, lower animals, and so on. The seven main chakras (shat chakras) are mooladhara (perineal body/cervix), swadhisthana (tip of coccyx), manipura (navel), anahata (heart), vishuddhi (throat), ajna (eyebrow centre, and closely related to mooladhara chakras), sahasrara (crown of the head; not always included in the shat chakras because it does not lie within the merudanda spinal cord). Each higher chakra represents a more subtle frequency of pranic energy and a higher level of consciousness. They are like switches which turn on different parts of our psychophysiological mechanism. In 1927, the Reverend Charles Leadbetter, a noted Theosophist, wrote a book called The Chakras, based largely on his own psychic perceptions, in which he described the chakras as follows:
“When quite undeveloped they appear as small circles about two inches in diameter, glowing fully in the ordinary man; but when awakened and vivified they are seen as blazing, coruscating whirlpools, much increased in size, and resembling miniature suns. If we imagine ourselves to be looking straight down into the bell of a flower of the convolvulus type we shall get some idea of the general appearance of a chakra. The stalk of the flower in each springs from a point in the spine.
All these wheels are perpetually rotating, and into the hub or open mouth of each, force from the higher world is always flowing. Without this inrush of energy the physical body could not exist.”
The concept of chakra is common to many traditions. There also exists an interesting and exact correlation between the chakras and the kyo shos or pressure points in one branch of esoteric Japanese judo. They also correspond exactly to acupuncture points seated in the spine and acupressure points massaged in shiatzu, (a form of therapy from Japan). The chakras have been symbolized by many of the great religions and spiritual societies of the world: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Egyptian, Kabbalists, Rosi crucians, and so on.
The meaning of each chakra can never be fully explained in words, especially the higher chakras. They must be experienced to be understood, but at the same time, there are general attributes associated with each chakra. There is a great deal of symbology to be found in the ancient yogic texts which should not be misunderstood to represent the actual experience of the chakras. They symbolize and express the experiences one feels when the chakras are stimulated and awakened.
Mooladhara chakra marks the interface between two modes of evolution as it is the lowest chakra in man but the highest in animals. Man, therefore, stands one octave higher than the animal. By stimulating this chakra via the practice of moola bandha we can raise ourselves higher again as the kundalini rises through the psychic centres or chakras, lifting our consciousness to the level of the divine. The following are a few of the basic attributes associated with mooladhara chakra, which is stimulated and awakened through the practice of moola bandha. Mooladhara is the centre where one is concerned with obtaining personal security, the main motive of life being to obtain food, a place to live and so on. In this centre the individual fights the world and sees it as totally alien to him. According to Samkhya philosophy, mooladhara is symbolic of the earth element, and is closely related to the sense of smell and motion of the legs. Each chakra is said to have eighteen attributes.
Characteristics of mooladhara
- There are four petals which correspond to the number of nadis in this particular centre.
- The colour of the petals is red.
- The letters of the Sanskrit alphabet representing the four petals or the nadis are wam, sham, sham, sam, (¹)
- The tattwa, or element, of mooladhara is prithvi, earth. 5. The yantra or shape, which is the visual representation of the tattwa, is a square.
- The colour of the yantra is yellow. 7. The beeja mantra, the seed sound or vibration of the tattwa, is lam. 8. A seven-trunked elephant depicts the characteristics of the tattwa. The devi is pictured astride the animal, or the aspirant may picture himself upon its back. It is a vehicle of the consciousness at this particular plane. 9. The devi, representing the dhatus or bodily substances, is Dakini or Savitri, the creator, red-eyed and fearsome.
- The deva, male aspect of mooladhara, is Ganesha. 11. The loka, or world within, corresponding to the world without, is bhu, the world of death.
- The granthi, or psychic knot, which when broken releases intoxicating nectar, is brahma granthi. Associated with it is a linga symbolizing the male principle interlocked with the female and creative cause.
- The indriya, or sense, is smell.
- The jnanendriya, or organ of sense, is the nose. 15. The karmendriya, or organ of action, is the anus.
- The location in the sthula sharira or gross body is two fingers above the anus, between the reproductive and excretory systems.
- The physical correspondence of the chakra is the sacro
coccygeal plexus. 18. The powers gained through the awakening of the centre are full knowledge of kundalini and the power to awaken it, levitation, control over the breath, mind, semen, ability to produce any scent, fragrant or foul, for oneself and others.
Mooladhara chakra is the base chakra in man. It has, however, a direct link with ajna chakra situated in the mid brain. Thus, by stimulating this centre through moola bandha we also awaken our intuitive faculties associated with the third eye, the eye of intuition.
When we remember that mooladhara chakra represents the instinctive, animalistic side of man and that when man’s consciousness resides here he is unconscious of himself, then we can understand how an awakening in this chakra means an awakening of the individual to his instincts and animal propensities.
Animal consciousness is basically unconscious, as they are not aware, and do not know that they exist. Man, however, is able to know that he exists, and to experience the world at a conscious level, at least for brief periods of time. Those who are aware for longer periods are more evolved in terms of consciousness, and those who are constantly aware twenty four hours a day have completed their human evolution and can exist as conscious entities without the need for physical bodies. This stage is called jivanmukta and occurs when kundalini pierces sahasrara chakra.
By the practice of moola bandha, the unconscious, instinctive, uncontrolled, selfish, violent, animal propensities are transformed into intuition, control, selflessness, peace and divine qualities. This transformation takes place with the union of consciousness and prana, just as carbon becomes a diamond, shining with its own inner light. This is the potential that awaits us in mooladhara chakra in the form of kundalini shakti, when awakened under the expert guidance of a spiritual master.
When moola bandha is perfected, kundalini awakens. The apana which normally moves downward is reversed and is united with prana. Nada, the cosmic sound Aum, joins with bindu. Form and formless unify. The aspirant travels on the path of involution (nivritti) riding the serpent power until he pierces the bindu and enters into sahasrara chakra, thus achieving perfection in yoga. This is obviously the final stage for the yogi, culmination in expansion of consciousness to the cosmic sphere and liberation. He is freed from the bonds of life and death, gaining immortality. The wheel of karma ceases, which means that all movement ceases. When apana and prana merge the pranas of the body stop functioning, the fluctuations of mind cease, ego dissolves and ignorance is replaced by knowledge. The world stops, creation dissolves and we experience pure conscious ness, dynamic equilibrium, samadhi.