''Where is the end to the desires of life? Can you ever satisfy your desires? Even when you reach the age of 80 or 90 and your body can no longer enjoy pleasures, the mind still dwells on them constantly. You can leave all the sensual pleasures, but the taste will remain in the mind.
If the sadhaka understands this truth, that desires can never be satisfied in one lifetime, or even in thousands of lifetimes, then kundlaini can pass through swadhisthana safely and ..fast''
Satyananda - Kundalini Tantra.
'Swa' means ''one's own'' and 'Adhisthana' means ''dwelling place''. Swadhisthana means therefore ''one's own abode''. Swadhisthana is the level where we spend our whole lives motivated towards attaining pleasure - food, sex, stimulation, cravings. We have moved beyond Mooladhara's craving for security and now we are motivated by pleasure. It is said that most people in the world operate predominantly at this chakra level.
Swadhisthana can be depicted as black in colour - representing the unknowable unconscious, but more traditionally is shown as a vermilion lotus with 6 petals. This chakra is associated with the water element (apas tattwa) and the crescent moon and the eternal sea within the symbol signifies this. They also symbolise the unconscious dimension, the storehouse of endless karmas and instinctive drives that bubble up from Swadhisthana chakra.
The seed mantra is VAM - (again pronounced approximately V-ah-M, with the Ah somewhere between Aaaahhh and Aaawww.) The chakra is often depicted with a crocodile image. This is to represent the hidden, underground nature of the karmas. Crocodiles cannot be trained. In Europe this would probably have been depicted instead as a dragon. Crocodiles/Dragons in this sense can not be killed - we must instead balance the energy.
Swadhisthana chakra is associated with the sexual and urinary organs, and the sense of taste. The physical location is at the base of the spine - the coccyx.
According to tantra every experience and perception and association we have is recorded. A bitter exchange will be recorded more deeply than glancing at someone passing on the street - but nevertheless all is recorded. Swadhisthana chakra is the storehouse of all these recordings - the total unconscious. These recordings are beyond analysis - their form changes. They are sublimated and unrecognisable from the first impressions. Witness the often bizarre nature of dream imagery which is related to this unconscious storehouse.Therefore one can often be confused by the unconscious and subconscious material that is activated at the level of this chakra.
''...the last vestiges of karma are being thrown out and all the negative karmas express themselves and are expelled...you may be angry, afraid, or full of sexual fantasies and passion. You may also experience lethargy, indolence, depression......procrastination, an urge to sleep. This stage is known as Purgatory and if you read the lives of many of the great saints you will find that most of them encountered great turmoil and temptations when they were passing through this stage.''
(Satyananda - ibid)
When dealing with sexual desire at Swadhisthana note that not thinking about sex does not mean the desires have been ended. In fact because it is fueled by the primal energy sexual awareness will be present always. In higher centres it may be in a seed form, but in Swadhisthana there may be great turbulence. Bhakti, or the yoga of devotion, is an example of sublimated sexual energy.
God says to you, "I am the noise of the water in the ears of the
thirsty; I am rain falling from heaven.
Spring up, lover, show some excitement!
How can you hear the sound of water and then fall back asleep?!"
''Energy at different levels is known by different names. At the highest level it is called spiritual experience. On the emotional level it is known as love. On the physical level it is known as sex........The rishis say that the same energy which flows through passion, when channelized, manifests as spiritual experience. This is why spiritual aspirants love God in various manifestations. Some picture Him as a father, a mother, a child, a friend, a lover.In this way they can sublimate the form of the emotional energy and transform the primal energy into a divine experience.''
''And although most people confront difficulties when they are moving through the terrain of Swadhisthana, if one has the grace of God/guru and indomitable and invincible will power, and if (s)he has been sincere in their spiritual pursuits, if (s)he's clear about the goal and understands what these purgatory experiences are, (s) he can face the difficulties properly and overcome them'