Muladhara Symbol – History And Meaning
A red lotus with four petals bearing the Sanskrit characters va, scha, sha, and sa is the symbol for Muladhara. LAM, the syllable at the center encompassed by a yellow square, is its corresponding mantra. This yellow square represents the prithvi tattva or earth tattva.
The Muladhara symbol represents the root chakra, one of the 7 primary chakras in Hindu tantrism. Associated with the element of earth, the Muladhara is the lowest of these primary Chakras. Associated with the element of earth, this chakra is said to be the foundation of our personality growth.
The Muladhara chakra also creates the border separating animal and human consciousness. It is deemed the most instinctual chakra of all, having no link to the way of intellect and being purely motivated by survival.
Muladhara Symbol – History And Meaning
If you want to learn more about the Muladhara symbol, read on to find out the meaning, history, and significance of this Buddhist and Hindu symbol.
The chakra system originated in India between 1500 and 500 BC, first appearing in the Hindu Vedas, considered to be the oldest religious texts. However, this was not exactly in the sense of the so-called “psychoenergetic centers” but as chakravartin.
The chakravartin in this sense was the king who “turns the wheel of his empire” in every direction from the center, denoting the monarch’s power and influence. Later proofs of chakras appear in the Upanishads.
The images and symbols that are popularly used to represent the Chakras are believed to trace back to the 5 symbols of yagna. These symbols used in yagna, a Vedic ritual performed in front of a sacred fire, are “square, circle, triangle, half moon, and dumpling.”
The knowledge of the chakra system is said to be passed down through oral traditions by the Aryan people. This system was customarily an Eastern philosophy, but New Age authors started to relate with the concept and wrote about the chakras. They expanded on the earlier texts, giving more people access to the knowledge of this ancient system.
In the 8th century CE, the psychic-energy chakra theories were introduced in Buddhist texts as “hierarchies of inner energy centers.” Only four chakras appear in these texts. In later Hindu texts, the list of chakras was expanded to a lot more.
The chakra system has always been interlaced with yoga since the very beginning. But what exactly is a chakra?
The term “chakra” is from the Sanskrit cakra. which means “mystical circle” or “vortex” or “spinning wheel.” Chakra and cakra are pronounced the same way, the former being generally used in the West. Chakra refers to psychic energy centers in the lingadeha or the ethereal body.
The chakra system is prominent in the occult physiological practices of Tantric Buddhism and some certain forms of Hinduism. A chakra is a wheel of energy that runs along a person’s spine and inside the skull.
Although some claim there are as many as 114 chakras all over the body, it is generally believed that there are 7 primary chakras. These are the Muladhara (root chakra), Swadhisthana (sacral chakra), Manipura (solar plexus chakra), Anahata (heart chakra), Vishuddha (throat chakra), Ajna (third-eye chakra), and Sahasrara (crown chakra). The chakras’ health has direct links to our physical as well as mental and emotional health.
The first chakra is Muladhara, also called the root or base chakra. It is near the coccygeal plexus, below the sacrum. Its activation point or kshetram is found between the perineum and the pelvic bone. Muladhara is associated with the anus because of its location and connection with the act of defecation.
The Muladhara Symbol
The Muladhara symbol is a red-colored lotus with four petals encompassing a yellow square and an inverted triangle.
In the tradition of Hinduism, red is the color of Shakti. It connotes a lot of things like power, energy, strength, ability, effort, capability, evolution, movement, and awakening.
The Muladhara is thought of as the birth of human consciousness, marking the passage from animal consciousness to human awareness or self-awareness. That being said, the four petals in the Muladhara symbol represent the four main aspects of the human psyche: mind, intellect, consciousness, and ego.
The four petals in the Muladhara symbol are interpreted to denote the purusarthas or the four goals of human life as well. The purusarthas are the following: dharma (a life of virtues), artha (a life of meaning and purpose), kama (a life of cosmic desire or creative impulse) and vimoksha (a life devoted to enlightenment).
These petals are also thought to signify the four vrittis or thoughts that surface in the mind: utmost joy, intrinsic pleasure, delight in subduing passion, and happiness in concentration.
The yellow square in the Muladhara symbol is representative of the tattva of Earth—tattva, meaning “element or aspect of reality.”
The inverted triangle in the representation is said to be symbolic of the opening of consciousness from the seed to the fully blooming apex of human potential.
Muladhara Symbol Meaning
“Muladhara” is the Sanskrit term for the root or base chakra. The word is a combination of the syllables “mula” meaning root and “adhara” meaning “base” or “foundation.” The Muladhara or the root chakra is the foundation—the ground supporting all human evolution.
The seed syllable LAM in the center of the Muladhara symbol is a sacred syllable said to be capable of rousing the root chakra.
Each petal in the Muladhara symbol contains one of the Sanskrit syllables va, scha, sha, and sa written in gold. These syllables denote the four vrittis and the purusarthas.