Swadhisthana Chakra or the Sacral Plexus is connected to our unconscious mental impressions and also to our sexual urge. In Sanskrit, Sva means Self, Adhishthana means base location and Chakra means a wheel or vortex or energy. Swadhisthana chakra is located close to Muladhara and is also involved indirectly in the awakening of the Kundalini Shakti, the inner dormant energy, which when awakened, gives great spiritual, mental and physical benefits. According to tantric texts, there are seven chakras or plexuses. Swadhisthana is the second plexus.
Location of Swadhisthana Chakra
Swadhisthana chakra is located at the base of the genital organs and is placed at the level of the pubic bone in both males and females. This is the trigger point for Swadhisthana. But the actual location of the chakra is at the base of the spine at the level of tailbone. It is located inside the Sushumna Nadi or the central meridian. The chakras are more connected to the pranic body. Swadhisthana chakra is not part of the physical body but does influence the urinary and reproductive organs. The prostate gland and the utero-vaginal plexus are related to this chakra.
Traditional symbolism of Swadhisthana Chakra
In tantra, every chakra is depicted as a flower with many petals. There are many texts that symbolically describe the chakras. The most vivid among them is the Shad Chaka Nirupana, which has been translated to English by Sir John Woodroffe in his book, The Serpent Power.
Swadhisthana Chakra is described as a flower with 6 petals. The petals are vermilion or orange-red in colour. On the petals are found the Sanskrit letters – Bam, Bham, Mam, Yam, Ram and Lam written in the colour of lightning.
Inside the pericarp is a white region of Varuna, the deity for water element. It is like a crescent shaped moon. There, seated on a crocodile is the seed letter of the chakra Vam. Varuna is seated on the crocodile and caries a noose (Pasha). Inside the Bindu of the seed mantra is Lord Hari, blue in colour, dressed in yellow raiment and four armed.
Inside the lotus is another red lotus in which the presiding deity of Swadhisthana sits. She is called Rakini. Rakini is blue in colour and holds in her four arms – a spear, a lotus, a drum and a sharp battle axe. She is in the fierce aspect with red eyes and projecting fangs.
Seed Mantras associated with Swadhisthana Chakra
Seed Mantras or Bija Mantras are one letter syllabled mantras with hidden power. The mantra for Swadhisthana Chakra is Vam. Practitioners use the repetition of this seed mantra to activate the chakra.
Apart from this, the petals of the chakra also have seed letters associated with it. The petals of Swadhisthana chakra has these 6 letters – Bam, Bham, Mam, Yam, Ram and Lam written on it. These are also used by practitioners while visualising the chakra.
Presiding Deity of Swadhisthana Chakra
Each chakra has a presiding divinity or deity, also known as Chakradhistadhatri. Goddess Rakini is the presiding deity of Swadhistana. Rakini is blue in colour and holds in her four arms – a spear, a lotus, a drum and a sharp battle axe. She is in the fierce aspect and has red eyes.
Sense Organ connected with Swadhisthana Chakra
In tantra, Swadhistana Chakra is related to the tongue and the sense of taste.
How to Activate Swadhisthana Chakra?
There are many ways of activating a Chakra or plexus. One way is the use of Bija Mantras (One syllabled sacred sounds). The bija Mantra of Swadhisthana Chakra is Vam. Chanting of the seed syllable Vam can be used to activate Swadhisthana chakra.
Practice of Ashwini mudra or upward contraction of the anal sphincter muscles is another practices used by yogis to activate this chakra. In Hatha yoga, the practice of Vajroli mudra (for males) and Sahajoli mudra (for females) also activates Swadhisthana.
Apart from this, concentration and meditation on the chakra location and other visualisation techniques can also be used.
Swadhisthana and Chakra Psychology
Each plexus is associated with a certain quality of the mind and the evolution of the person. Swadhisthana is the second chakra in the evolution of man and deals with pleasure and the psychology of sex. It embodies all the latent subconscious and unconscious mental impressions ready to be manifested. These impressions can become a block for the kundalini to go up along the spine. When the kundalini reaches swadhisthana chakra, many of the subconscious impressions come to the surface. Only after this cleansing process is completed, the kundalini raises beyond the swadhisthana. The block due to the sexual urge particularly has to be mentioned. This affects men more than women. Men have to learn the science of sublimating the sexual energy and taking it upwards towards the brain using techniques like Vajroli mudra, Vipareet karani mudra, etc. Women too can use Sahajoli mudra to sublimate their sex energy. This is more a subject of tantra than yoga. At muladhara chakra too one has to deal with unconscious impressions, but it is more related to insecurity and fear; while in swadhisthana, it is more related to desires and pleasure.
Thus, clearing the Swadhisthana is very important for taking the Kundalini Shakti upwards along the spine.