The hara is the centre from where a life leaves the body. It is the centre of death. The word ‘hara’ is Japanese; that’s why, in Japan, suicide is called hara-kiri. The centre is just two inches below the navel. It is very important, and almost everybody in the world has felt it. But only in Japan have they gone deeper into its implications. Even the people in India, who had worked tremendously hard on centres, had not considered the hara. The reason for their missing it was because they had never considered death to be of any significance. Your soul never dies, so why bother about a centre that functions only as a door for energies to get out, and to enter into another body? They worked from sex, which is the life centre. They have worked on seven centres, but the hara is not even mentioned in any Indian scriptures.
The people who worked hardest on the centres for thousands of years have not mentioned the hara, and this cannot be just a coincidence. The reason was that they never took death seriously. These seven centres are life centres, and each centre is of a higher life. The seventh is the highest centre of life, when you are almost a god.
The hara is very close to the sex centre. If you don’t rise towards higher centres, towards the seventh centre which is in your head, and if you remain for your whole life at the sex centre, then just by the side of the sex centre is the hara, and then, when then life will end, the hara will be the centre from where your life will move out of the body.
You were very energetic, but not aware of any higher centres; your whole energy was at the sex centre, and you were overflowing. Energy overflowing at the sex centre is dangerous, because it can start releasing from the hara. And if it starts releasing from the hara, then to take it upwards becomes more difficult. So I had told you to keep your energy in, and not to be so expressive: Hold it in! I simply wanted the hara centre, which was opening and which could have been very dangerous, to be completely closed.
You followed it, and you have become a totally different person. Now when I see you, I cannot believe the expressiveness that I had seen at first. Now you are more centred, and your energy is moving in the right direction of the higher centres. It is almost at the fourth centre, which is the centre of love and which is a very balancing centre. There are three centres below it, and three centres above it.
Once a person is at the centre of love, there is very rarely a possibility for him to fall back down, because he has tasted something of the heights. Now valleys will be very dark, ugly; he has seen sunlit peaks, not very high, but still high; now his whole desire will be….
And that is the trouble with all lovers: they want more love, because they don’t understand that the real desire is not for more love, but for something more than love. Their language ends with love; they don’t know any way that is higher than love, and love does not satisfy. On the contrary, the more you love the more thirsty you become.
At the fourth centre, of love, one feels a tremendous satisfaction only when energy starts moving to the fifth centre. The fifth centre is in your throat, and the sixth centre is your third eye. The seventh centre, the sahasrar, is on the top of your head. All these centres have different expressions and different experiences. When love moves to the fifth centre then whatever talents you have, any creative dimension, is possible for you. This is the centre of creativity. It is not only for songs, not only for music; it is for all creativity.
Hindu mythology has a beautiful story. It is a myth, but the story is beautiful, and particularly for explaining to you the fifth centre. Indian mythology says that there is a constant struggle between evil forces and good forces. They both discovered that if they made a certain search in the ocean they could find nectar, and that whoever drank it would become immortal. So they all tried to find it. But as life balances everywhere, there too…. Before they found the nectar they found poison which was hiding the nectar underneath it. Nobody was ready to test it; even the very sight of it created sickness. One of them thought that the first hippie of the world perhaps might be willing — he was the god Shiva. So they asked Shiva, “You test it.” He said, “Okay.” He not only tested it, he drank it all, and it was pure poison. He kept it just in his neck, at the fifth centre. The fifth centre is the creative center. It became completely poisoned, and Shiva became the god of destruction. So Hindus have three gods: Brahma who creates the world, Vishnu who sustains the world, and Shiva who destroys the world. His destructiveness came from his creative centre being poisoned. And the poison was so great that it cannot be a small destruction; he can only destroy the whole of existence…. Shiva became the destroyer of the world because his fifth centre had accumulated the whole poison of existence in it. It is our creative centre, that’s why lovers have a certain tendency to creativity. When you fall in love, you suddenly feel like creating something — it is very close. If you are guided rightly, your love can become your great creative act. It can make you a poet, it can make you a painter, it can make you a dancer, it can make you reach to the stars in any dimension.
The sixth centre which we call the third eye is between the two eyes. This gives you a clarity, a vision of all your past lives, and of all the future possibilities. Once your energy has reached your third eye, then you are so close to enlightenment that something of enlightenment starts showing. It radiates from the man of the third eye, and he starts feeling a pull towards the seventh centre.
Because of these seven centres, India never bothered about the hara. The hara is not in the line; it is just by the side of the sex centre. The sex centre is the life centre, and hara is the death centre. Too much excitement, too much uncentredness, too much throwing your energy all over the place is dangerous, because it takes your energy towards the hara. And once the route is created, it becomes more difficult to move it upwards. The hara is parallel to the sex centre, so the energy can move very easily.
It was a great discovery by the Japanese: they found that there was no need to cut your head off, or shoot your brains out to kill yourself — they are all unnecessarily painful; just a small knife forced in exactly at the hara centre, and without any pain life disappears. Just make the centre open and life disappears, as if the flower opens and the fragrance disappears.
The hara should be kept closed. That’s why I had told you to be more centred, to keep your feelings inside, and to bring it to your hara…. If you can keep your hara consciously controlling your energies, it does not allow them to go out. You start feeling a tremendous gravity, a stability, a centredness, which is a basic necessity for the energy to move upwards….
Your hara centre has so much energy that, if it is rightly directed, enlightenment is not a faraway place.
So these two are my suggestions: keep yourself as much centred as possible. Don’t get moved by small things — somebody is angry, somebody insults you, and you think about it for hours. Your whole night is disturbed because somebody said something. If the hara can hold more energy, then naturally that much more energy starts rising upwards. There is only a certain capacity in the hara, and every energy that moves upwards moves through the hara; but the hara should just be closed.
So one thing is that the hara should be closed. The second thing is that you should always work for higher centres. For example, if you feel angry too often you should meditate more on anger, so that anger disappears and its energy becomes compassion. If you are a man who hates everything, then you should concentrate on hate; meditate on hate, and the same energy becomes love. Go on moving upwards, think always of higher ladders, so that you can reach to the highest point of your being, and there should be no leakage from the hara centre.
India has been too concerned about sex for the same reason: sex can also take your energy outside. It takes…but at least sex is the centre of life. Even if it takes energy out, it will bring energy somewhere else, life will go on flowing. But the hara is a death centre. Energy should not be allowed through the hara. A person whose energy starts through the hara you can very easily detect. For example, there are people with whom you will feel suffocated, with whom you will feel as if they are sucking your energy. You will find that, after they are gone, you feel at ease and relaxed, although they were not doing anything wrong to you.
You will find just the opposite kind of people also, whose meeting you makes you joyful, healthier. If you were sad, your sadness disappears; if you were angry, your anger disappears. These are the people whose energy is moving to higher centres. Their energy affects your energy. We are affecting each other continually. And the man who is conscious chooses friends and company which raises his energy higher.
One point is very clear. There are people who suck you — avoid them! It is better to be clear about it, say good-bye to them. There is no need to suffer, because they are dangerous; they can open your hara too. Their hara is open, that’s why they create such a sucking feeling in you.
Psychology has not taken note of it yet, but it is of great importance that psychologically sick people should not be put together. And that is what is being done all over the world. Psychologically sick people are put into psychiatric institutes together. They are already psychologically sick, and you are putting them in a company which will drag their energy even lower. Even the doctors who work with psychologically sick people have given enough indication of it. More psychoanalysts commit suicide than any other profession, more psychoanalysts go mad than any other profession. And every psychoanalyst once in a while needs to be treated by some other psychoanalyst. What happens to these poor people? Surrounded by psychologically sick people, they are continually sucked, and they don’t have any idea how to close their haras.
METHODS / TECHNIQUES TO CLOSE HARA
There are methods, techniques to close the hara, just as there are methods for meditation, to move the energy upwards. The best and simplest method is: try to remain as centred in your life as possible. People cannot even sit silently, they will be changing their position. They cannot lie down silently, the whole night they will be turning and tossing. This is just unrest, a deep restlessness in their souls. One should learn restfulness. And in these small things, the hara stays closed. Particularly psychologists should be trained. Also, psychologically sick people should not be put together.
In the East, particularly in Japan in Zen monasteries, where they have become aware of the hara centre, there are no psychologists as such. But in Zen monasteries there are small cottages, far away from the main campus where Zen people live, but in the same forest or in the same mountain area. And if somebody who is psychologically sick is brought to them, he is given a cabin there and he is told to relax, rest, enjoy, move around in the forest — but not to talk. Anyway there is nobody to talk to! Only once a day a man comes to give food; he is not allowed to talk to that man either, and even if he talks, the man will not answer. So his whole energy is completely controlled. He cannot even talk; he cannot meet anybody. You will be surprised to know that what psychoanalysis cannot do in years, is done in three weeks. In three weeks time the person is as healthy as normal people are. And nothing has been done — no technique, nothing. He has just been left alone so he cannot talk. He has been left alone so he can rest and be himself. He is not expected to fulfill somebody else’s expectations.
You have done well. Just continue whatever you are doing, accumulating your energy in yourself. The accumulation of energy automatically makes it go higher. And as it reaches higher you will feel more peaceful, more loving, more joyful, more sharing, more compassionate, more creative. The day is not far away when you will feel full of light, and the feeling of coming back home. Man has lost contact with the solar plexus because of the fear of sex, because of the repression of sex, because of life-negation.
The solar plexus is the centre of life and death both. That’s why Japanese call it hara; ‘hara’ means death. And the Indians call it manipura. ‘Manipura’ means the diamond, the most precious diamond, because life comes from there. In the solar plexus is your seed. It is the first thing that is created in the womb of the mother; then everything else grows around it.
In the solar plexus your father’s seed and your mother’s seed are both present. The life cell from the father and the life cell from the mother create your solar plexus. That is your first blueprint; from there everything grows and it remains the centre forever and ever. You can forget about it, you can become oblivious to it, you can repress, you can start hanging in the head, but it remains in the centre. You just become less and less alive. The farther away you go, the less and less alive you become and the farther you are from the solar plexus. You live more on the periphery; you lose centreing, you lose grounding. It is very alive. Start living more and more.
That is the primitive mind, the most primal mind. The primal therapists are not yet aware that the primal scream comes from the solar plexus. It is the first mind. Then the second mind arises — the heart, feeling. Then the third mind arises — the head, thinking. Solar plexus is being, heart is feeling, head is thinking. Thinking is the farthest, feeling is just in the middle; that’s why when you feel you are more alive; just a little more alive than when you think. Thoughts are dead things: they are corpses; they don’t breathe. Feelings breathe, feelings have a pulsation, but nothing to be compared with the first, primal mind. If you reach the solar plexus and be there and live from there, you will have a totally different kind of life — the real life.
The few moments you feel that you are real are the moments when you are at the solar plexus. That’s why sometimes people seek danger, they go mountain climbing, because when danger is very real you simply go into the solar plexus. That’s why whenever you are in a shock your solar plexus has the first pulsation. In a shock you cannot think, you cannot feel: you can only be. If you are driving and suddenly you feel an accident is going to happen, your solar plexus is hit. That’s the reason why people like speed in driving, and the speedier your car becomes, the more alive you feel, thrilled. You are coming closer to the solar plexus. That’s why there is such attraction in war. People go to the cinema to see a murder story. It is creating a situation in which you can feel your solar plexus again. People read detective novels and when the story really comes to its peak they cannot think, they cannot feel: they are!
Try to understand it. All meditations lead to it. It is your elan vital, it is the source of your vitality. Go into it, and you can go easily, that’s why I am saying to go into it. Whenever you are sitting silently, be there. Forget the head, forget the heart, forget the body: just be a throb behind the navel. If you go deeper into it, it will become possible for you to understand the real concept of trinity — because your father is there, your mother is there. If you are also there, the trinity arises. That is the basic idea of the trinity — not God and the son and the holy ghost. If you are there, then the trinity, a triangle, the father and mother are already there. If you are also there then the Christ is born, the son is born. And when the son is born there is real unity. Two cannot meet: the third is needed to bridge the two. So your father and mother are there, consummated but not consumed, in a kind of union but not yet a unity. The feminine and the masculine are there but still not bridged, and that is the whole conflict — that you are two, dual. You are bound to be two; something has been given by the father and something has been given by the mother. They are both there, flowing together like two currents but still there is a subtle separation.
If your presence reaches there, if you become more and more aware of it, your very awareness will become the catalytic agent: the two will disappear and there will be oneness. That oneness is called universal consciousness.