In this first part of a series of 10, Osho speaks about the significance of the first and second chakras.
Q: In yesterday’s talk you said that the seeker should first worry about his own receptivity and should not go begging from door to door. But the very meaning of a sadhak is that there are obstacles on his path of spiritual growth. He does not know how to be receptive. Is it so difficult to meet the right guide?
To seek and to ask are two different things. Actually, only he who does not want to seek asks. To seek and to ask are not one and the same; rather, they are contradictory. He who wants to avoid seeking asks. The process of seeking and the process of begging are very different. In asking the attention is centered on the other – on the giver; in seeking the attention is centered on oneself – on the receiver. To say that there are obstacles in the path of spiritual growth means there are obstacles within the seeker himself. The path too lies within and it is not very difficult to understand one’s own hindrances. It will have to be explained at length what obstacles are and how they can be removed.
Yesterday I told you about the seven bodies. We shall talk in greater detail about these and it will become clear to you.
As there are seven bodies, so there are also seven chakras, energy centers, and each chakra is connected in a special way with its corresponding body. The chakra of the physical body is the muladhar. This is the first chakra and it has an integral connection with the physical body. The muladhar chakra has two possibilities. Its first potentiality is a natural one that is given to us with birth; its other possibility is obtainable by meditation.
The basic natural possibility of this chakra is the sex urge of the physical body. The very first question that arises in the mind of the seeker is what to do in regard to this central principle. Now there is another possibility of this chakra, and that is brahmacharya, celibacy, which is attainable through meditation. Sex is the natural possibility and brahmacharya is its transformation. The more the mind is focused upon and gripped by sexual desire, the more difficult it will be to reach its ultimate potential of brahmacharya.
Now this means that we can utilize the situation given to us by nature in two ways. We can live in the condition that nature has placed us in – but then the process of spiritual growth cannot begin – or we transform this state. The only danger in the path of transformation is that there is the possibility that we may begin to fight with our natural center. What is the real danger in the path of a seeker? The first obstacle is that if the meditator indulges only in nature’s order of things he cannot rise to the ultimate possibility of his physical body and he stagnates at the starting point. On the one hand there is a need; on the other hand there is a suppression which causes the meditator to fight the sex urge. Suppression is an obstacle on the path of meditation. This is the obstacle of the first chakra. Transformation cannot come about with suppression.
If suppression is an obstruction, what is the solution? Understanding will then solve the matter. Transformation takes place within as you begin to understand sex. There is a reason for this. All elements of nature lie blind and unconscious within us. If we become conscious of them, transformation begins. Awareness is the alchemy; awareness is the alchemy of changing them, of transforming them. If a person becomes awake toward his sexual desires with his total feelings and his total understanding, then brahmacharya will begin to take birth within him in place of sex. Unless a person reaches brahmacharya in his first body it is difficult to work on the potentiality of other centers.
The second body, as I said, is the emotional or the etheric body. The second body is connected to the second chakra – the swadhishthan chakra. This too has two possibilities. Basically, its natural potential is fear, hate, anger, and violence. All these are conditions obtained from the natural potential of the swadhishthan chakra. If a person stagnates at the second body, then the directly opposite conditions of transformation – love, compassion, fearlessness, friendliness – do not take place. The obstacle on the meditator’s path in the second chakra is hate, anger and violence, and the question is of their transformation.
Here too the same mistake is made. One person can give vent to his anger; another can suppress his anger. One can just be fearful; another can suppress his fear and make a show of courage. But neither of these will lead to transformation. When there is fear it has to be accepted; there is no use hiding or suppressing it. If there is violence within there is no use in covering it with the mantle of nonviolence. Shouting slogans of nonviolence will bring no change in the state of violence within. It remains violence. It is a condition given to us by nature in the second body. It has its uses just as there is meaning to sex. Through sex alone other physical bodies can be given birth. Before one physical body falls, nature has made provisions for the birth of another.
Fear, violence, anger, are all necessary on the second plane; otherwise man could not survive, could not protect himself. Fear protects him, anger involves him in struggle against others and violence helps him to save himself from the violence of others. All these are qualities of the second body and are necessary for survival, but generally we stop here and do not go any further. If a person understands the nature of fear he attains fearlessness, and if he understands the nature of violence he attains nonviolence. Similarly, by understanding anger we develop the quality of forgiveness.
In fact, anger is one side of the coin, forgiveness is the other. They each hide behind the other – but the coin has to be turned over. If we come to know one side of the coin perfectly, we naturally become curious to know what is on the other side – and so the coin turns. If we hide the coin and pretend we have no fear, no violence within, we will never be able to know fearlessness and nonviolence. He who accepts the presence of fear within himself and who has investigated it fully will soon reach a place where he will want to find out what is behind fear. His curiosity will encourage him to see the other side of the coin.
The moment he turns it over he becomes fearless. Similarly, violence will turn into compassion. These are the potentials of the second body. Thus, the meditator has to bring about a transformation in the qualities given to him by nature. And for this it is not necessary to go around asking others; one has to keep seeking and asking within oneself. We all know that anger and fear are impediments – because how can a coward seek truth? He will go begging for truth; he will wish that someone should give it to him without his having to go into unknown lands.
Osho, In Search of the Miraculous, Vol 2, Ch 4 (translated from Hindi)
Read the whole discourse: Seven Chakras