More about Chakras

These knowledge is presented in our website not for kundalini yoga practice but for the sake of the knowledge of our inner consciousness.

Chakra kshetram:
In many of the practices of kundalini yoga we have to concentrate or focus our
awareness on the chakra trigger points in the spinal cord. However, many people find it
easier to concentrate on the chakra kshetram located on the front surface of the body. In
kriya yoga particularly, the chakra kshetram are utilized in many of the practices. The
kshetram can be regarded as reflections of the original chakra trigger points, and when
we concentrate on them it creates a sensation which passes through the nerves to the
chakra itself and then travels up to the brain.
Mooladhara does not have a kshetram, but swadhisthana, manipura, anahata,
vishuddhi and ajna have physical counterparts directly in front of them on the same
horizontal plane. Swadhisthana kshetram is at the level of the pubic bone in front of the
body just above the genital organ. Manipura kshetram is at the navel, anahata kshetram is
at the heart and vishuddhi kshetram is located on the front surface of the throat pit in the
vicinity of the thyroid gland. Ajna kshetram is bhrumadhya, the mid-eyebrow center.


The granthis:
There are three granthis (psychic knots) in the physical body which are obstacles on
the path of the awakened kundalini. The granthis are called brahma, vishnu and rudra,
and they represent levels of awareness where the power of maya, ignorance and
attachment to material things is especially strong. Each aspirant must transcend these
barriers to make a clear passageway for the ascending kundalini.
Brahma granthi functions in the region of mooladhara chakra. It implies attachment to
physical pleasures, material objects and excessive selfishness. It also implies the
ensnaring power of tamas – negativity, lethargy and ignorance.
Vishnu granthi operates in the region of anahata chakra. It is associated with the
bondage of emotional attachment and attachment to people and inner psychic visions. It
is connected with rajas – the tendency towards passion, ambition and assertiveness.
Rudra granthi functions in the region of ajna chakra. It is associated with attachment
to siddhis, psychic phenomena and the concept of ourselves as individuals. One must
surrender the sense of individual ego and transcend  to make further spiritual
progress.


Conversion centers:
Besides functioning as control centers, the chakras work as centers of interchange
between the physical, astral and causal dimensions. For instance, through the chakras,
subtle energy from the astral and causal dimension can be transformed into energy for the
physical dimension. This can be seen in yogis who have been buried underground for
long periods of time. Through activation of vishuddhi chakra, which controls hunger and
thirst and enables one to subsist on subtle energy in the form of amrit or nectar, they have
been able to maintain their existence.
It is further contemplated that physical energy can be transformed into subtle energy
through the action of the chakras and that physical energy can be converted into mental
energy within the physical dimension.
Thus the chakras are seen to be intermediaries for energy transfer and conversion
between two neighboring dimensions of being as well as facilitating the energy
conversion between the body and mind. As the chakras are activated and awakened, man
not only becomes aware of the higher realms of existence, but also gains the power to
enter those realms, and then in turn, to support and give life to the lower dimensions.


Evolution through the Chakras:
All life is evolving and man is no exception. Human evolution, the evolution which
we are undergoing relentlessly, both as individuals and as a race, is a journey through the
different chakras. Mooladhara is the most basic, fundamental chakra from where we
commence our evolution, and sahasrara is where our evolution is completed. As we
evolve towards sahasrara, outer experiences come our way in life, and inner experiences
come to us in meditation, as different capacities and centers awaken progressively within
the nervous system. This occurs as energy flows at higher voltages and rates of vibration
through the different nadis in the psychic body.
Mooladhara is the first center in human incarnation, but it is the highest chakra that
animals have the capacity to awaken. It is their sahasrara. The higher chakras beyond
mooladhara are not present in the psychic physiology of animals and their nervous
systems reflect this relative deficiency.
Below mooladhara there are other chakras which represent the evolution of the
animal kingdom. They are only related to sense consciousness and not to mental
awareness. When your consciousness was evolving through these chakras your mind was
only associated with sense consciousness. There was no individual awareness, no ego; it
began from mooladhara. These lower centers are no longer functioning in us because we
have transcended them. The names of the lower chakras are atala, vitala, sutala,
talatala, rasatala, mahatala and the lowest is patala.


Up to mooladhara chakra evolution takes place automatically. Animals do not have to
practise pranayama and japa yoga. They don’t have to find a guru, take sannyasa and
become chelas. They don’t have to do anything and they can eat whatever they want.
Nature controls them completely. Because they don’t think, nature is benevolently
responsible for every phase of their evolution.
However, once kundaiini reaches mooladhara chakra, evolution is no longer
spontaneous, because a human being is not completely subjected to the laws of nature.
For example, animals only mate in particular seasons. At other times, even if they live
together they will not mate. But, because man is free from the laws of nature, he can mate
whenever he wants.


Discovering your point of evolution:
Of course, when the shakti awakens suddenly in mooladhara, it cannot rise
immediately. It may wake up and sleep again many times. You know how your children
are in the morning; you have to wake them several times because they keep going back to
sleep. Kundaiini behaves in the same way. Sometimes it even ascends to swadhisthana or
manipura only to return to mooladhara again to sleep. However, once the shakti goes
beyond manipura chakra there is no going back. Stagnation in a chakra only occurs when
there is an obstruction in sushumna or one of the chakras. Kundalini can remain in one
chakra for many years, or even for a whole lifetime.
Sometimes, when kundalini gets blocked in a chakra during transit, you begin to
exhibit some of the siddhis or psychic powers associated with that chakra. Then you may
not have self-control and understanding of the fact that you are only on the road. When
one attains siddhis he is tempted to display them. He may think he is using them for the
good of humanity, but this only feeds the ego and clouds him in a thick veil of maya or
ignorance, hindering his further progress.
If one is manifesting siddhis, he can assume that he has evolved to that chakra which
is associated with those siddhis. However, siddhis don’t usually manifest when kundalini
passes through all the chakras quickly, and if they do, they will not stay long. For a few
days you may be able to read the thoughts of others, but then that ability will pass away.
For a few days you may be able to heal people, but that will also pass. Psychic powers
usually only linger when kundalini gets blocked in a chakra.


Of course, some of our lower chakras may already be functioning without our
knowledge. We are all at different levels on the scale of evolution, and therefore it may
not be necessary to start the process of awakening from mooladhara. We say kundalini is
in mooladhara in order to explain the whole concept, but due to your progress in previous
lives, or the sadhana your mother or father may have done, you might have been born
with your kundalini in manipura. If that is the case, the ascension must take place from
there. However, as you can’t remember your previous life, similarly you also forget about
the state of your kundalini. That is why the gurus teach that it is sleeping in mooladhara.
It may be in anahata, but I will always tell you it is in mooladhara and make you do the
practices from mooladhara. You might not have any experience of it there. You may go
to swadhisthana and manipura and not have any experiences there either. But the moment you go to anahata you suddenly start having experiences.


Mooladhara Chakra: (Root)

In tantra, mooladhara is the seat of kundalini shakti, the basis from which the
possibility of higher realization arises. This great potential is said to be lying dormant in
the form of a coiled serpent. When aroused, it makes its way upward through sushumna
nadi in the spinal cord until it reaches sahasrara where the ultimate experience of
enlightenment occurs. Therefore, the awakening of mooladhara is considered to be of
great importance in kundalini yoga.

The location point
The seat of mooladhara in the male body is located slightly inside the perineum,
midway between the scrotum and the anus. It is the inner aspect of that nerve complex
which carries all kinds of sensations and is immediately connected with the testes. In the
female body, mooladhara chakra lies on the posterior side of the cervix.
In both the male and female bodies, there is a vestigial gland at mooladhara chakra
which is something iike a knot. In Sanskrit this is known as brahma granthi; the knot of
Brahma. As long as this knot remains intact, the energy located in this area is blocked.
But the moment the knot is opened, shakti awakens. It is only when the individual
awakens to the possibility of divine consciousness, to a greater force and purpose than
that of instinctive animal life, that the brahma granthi begins to loosen. Consciousness
begins to be liberated from the root center as the individual’s aspiration awakens.

Function:

Awakening of mooladhara chakra is very important, firstly because it is the seat of
kundalini, and secondly, as it is the seat of great tamas. All the passions are stored in
mooladhara, all the guilt, every complex and every agony has its root in mooladhara
chakra. Man’s life, his desires, his actions and his accomplishments, are controlled by the
sexual desires, and whatever we do in life is an expression of that lower chakra. Our
lower samskaras and karmas are embedded there, as in lower incarnations, one’s whole
being is founded on the sexual personality.

All the schizophrenics and neurotics and many crazy people who are ridden with guilt
and complexes are people who have not been able to get the shakti out of mooladhara
chakra. As a result of this, their lives are imbalanced.
Sexual fulfillment and sexual frustrations control our life. If sexual urges are removed
from life, everything will change. Often we react to sexual life on account of bitter
experiences and we vow not to follow the same path again. We are fed up and on account
of that we say, ‘No more’. But this is no solution, it’s only a reaction and not the
permanent structure of our mind.
Unless mooladhara chakra is purified, its corresponding center in the brain will
always remain tamasic. We can live the same type of life as we do today, but we can
make it much better.

Experiences:

When mooladhara awakens, a number of phenomena occur. The first thing many
practitioners experience is levitation of the astral body. One has the sensation of floating
upward in space, leaving the physical body behind. This is due to the energy of kundaiini
whose ascending momentum causes the astral body to disassociate from the physical and
move upward. This phenomenon is limited to the astral and possibly mental dimensions,
and this differs from what is normally called levitation – the actual displacement of the
physical body.
Besides astral levitation, one sometimes experiences psychic phenomena such as
clairvoyance or clairaudience. Other common manifestations include movements or
increasing warmth in the area of the coccyx, or a creeping sensation, like something
moving slowly up the spinal cord. These sensations result from the ascension of shakti or
the awakened kundalini.

However, when kundalini is ascending from mooladhara to swadhisthana, the
sadhaka experiences a crucial period in which all his repressed emotions, especially those
of a more primal nature, express themselves. Passions mount during this period and all
kinds of infatuations ensue, making the sadhaka extremely irritable and unstable at times.
He can be seen sitting quietly in contemplation one moment and hurling objects at
someone the next. One day he may sleep deeply for hours together, another day he may
get up at one or two in the morning to take bath and meditate. He becomes very
passionate, loud and talkative, while at other times he is silent.


Swadhisthana Chakra : (Sacral )

 

The location point
Swadhisthana corresponds to the reproductive and urinary systems in the gross body
and is physiologically related to the prostatic or utero-vaginal plexus of nerves. The
location of swadhisthana is at the base of the spinal column, at the level of the coccyx or
tailbone. This is a small bony bulb which can be felt just above the anus. It is
anatomically very close to mooladhara chakra in both the male and female bodies.
Swadhisthana kshetram is in the front of the body at the level of the pubic bone.

In kundalini yoga, swadhisthana is often regarded as a hindrance in the sense that
these karmas lying embedded in the unconscious do not allow the rising kundalini to pass
through. After the initial awakening, kundalini returns to dormancy time and time again,
solely due to the karmic block at swadhisthana. These karmas are beyond the range of
analysis. They have practically no form but they are a great force. To give a crude
analogy, suppose there is a big water tank into which you drop all kinds of things. If you
were to empty the tank five years later and examine the contents, you would no longer
find those same objects which you put in. The matter would still be there but its form
would have changed. The collective karma of the unconscious exists in swadhisthana as a
form or force somewhat like the matter in this tank.
Therefore, the awakening of swadhisthana presents many difficulties to the sadhaka.
When the explosion takes place and swadhisthana begins to erupt, the aspirant is often
confused and disturbed by the activation of all this subconscious material. It is totally
impossible for him to understand these impressions, which are often attributed to a
disturbed mental condition.
Although the sadhaka may be duly apprehensive about entering this stage of
awakening, it is absolutely necessary for his spiritual evolution. Provided he has a
competent guru or guide who knows how to avoid all the pitfalls of this area,
swadhisthana can be traversed safely and without problems.

Swadhisthana and purgatory
When kundalini is residing in swadhisthana chakra, the last vestige of karma is being
thrown out and all the negative samskaras express themselves and are expelled. At this
time you may be angry, afraid or full of sexual fantasies and passion. You may also
experience lethargy, indolence, depression and all kinds of tamasic characteristics. The
tendency to procrastinate is very strong and you just want to sleep and sleep. This stage
of evolution 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.
When Lord Buddha was sitting beneath the bodhi tree waiting for enlightenment, he
was visited by Mara. Mara is a demonical mythological force, the same force which the
Bible refers to as Satan. Just as Satan is a tempter, so Mara is a temptress. This demonical
force is not external; it is an internal force which can be found in everybody. It is situated
at a very great depth of our personality and is capable of creating illusion. In the Buddhist
tradition Mara is represented by a big snake, a grotesque looking person with big teeth
and a horrible face, or as beautiful naked women hovering around waiting to embrace an
aspirant who is involved in his sadhana. These are all mythological symbols no doubt, but
they are realities.
Only those who are fearless and of strong willpower can survive through the
temptation. Every great man and every saint has had to undergo this peculiar experience,
which is like the ultimate explosion of the seed of life. It seems that the seed of man’s
cycle of birth and rebirth is situated in swadhisthana chakra. And although most people
confront difficulties when they’re moving through the terrain of swadhisthana, if one has
the grace of guru and indomitable and invincible willpower, and if he has been sincere
and not hypocritical in his spiritual pursuits, if he’s very clear about his goal and he
understands what these purgatory experiences are, he can face the difficulties properly
and overcome them.
If one fluctuates even slightly, kundalini will return to mooladhara and the real
awakening will be more difficult. Therefore, in the first stages of sadhana and awakening,
one must have a supreme kind of vairagya (detachment). It should not be intellectual
vairagya, but the outcome of a thorough analysis of the situations of life. Where is the
end to the pleasures 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 kundalini can pass through swadhisthana
safely and relatively fast, and make its way to manipura chakra. Without this
understanding, swadhisthana becomes like an impenetrable iron curtain and perhaps only
one in thousands can transcend it. Many people awaken kundalini quite easily, but
passing the swadhisthana border is another thing; you can’t get through without a visa.


Manipura Chakra:(Solar Plexus)

Manipura is a very important center as far as the awakening of kundalini shakti is
concerned. It is the center of dynamism, energy, will and achievement and it is often
compared to the dazzling heat and power of the sun, without which life on earth would
not exist. In the same way that the sun continually radiates energy to the planets,
manipura chakra radiates and distributes pranic energy throughout the entire human
framework, regulating and energizing the activity of the various organs, systems and
processes of life. When deficient, it is more like the glowing embers of a dying fire rather
than a powerful intense blaze. In this state the individual is rendered lifeless, vitality
deficient and devoid of energy. He will be hindered by poor health, depression and lack
of motivation and commitment in life. Therefore, the awakening of manipura is an
important precedent, not only for the sadhaka, but for anyone who wishes to enjoy life
more fully.

The location point
Manipura chakra is located directly behind the navel on the inner wall of the spinal
column. The kshetram is situated right at the navel. This chakra is anatomically related to
the solar plexus, which controls the digestive fire and heat regulation in the body.

The center of awakening
According to the Buddhist tradition and many of the tantric texts, the actual
awakening of kundalini takes place from manipura and not from mooladhara. And in
some tantric traditions, mooladhara and swadhisthana are not referred to at all, as these
two centers are believed to belong to the higher realms of animal life, whereas from
manipura onwards higher man predominates. So mooladhara is the seat of kundalini,
swadhisthana is the abode, and the awakening takes place in manipura. This is because
from manipura the awakening becomes ongoing and there is practically no danger of a
downfall or devolution of consciousness. Up to this point, kundalini may awaken and
arise many times, only to recede again, but awakening of manipura is what we call a
confirmed awakening.
To stabilize the awareness in manipura and sustain the awakening there is not easy.
The sadhaka must be very earnest and persevering in his effort to bring about further
awakenings. I have found that in sincere sadhakas, kundalini is mostly in manipura. If
you are exposed to spiritual life, practise yoga, have a keen desire to find a guru and to
pursue a higher life, side by side with the work you are doing, it means kundalini is not in
mooladhara. It is in manipura or one of the higher centers.

Manipura in perspective
Human evolution takes place through seven planes in the same way that kundalini
awakens in the seven chakras. When the consciousness evolves to manipura, the sadhaka
acquires a spiritual perspective. He gets a glimpse of the higher lokas or planes of
existence.
From mooladhara and swadhisthana the higher planes cannot be seen. Therefore, the
limitations of perception in the lower planes are responsible for the misuse of siddhis or
powers which begin to manifest there. Only when the sadhaka reaches manipura is he
able to visualize before him the infinite state of consciousness which is no longer gross
and empirical. It stretches before him endlessly, full of beauty, truth and auspiciousness.
In the face of this vision, all his views are completely changed. The personal prejudices,
complexes and biases drop away as the endless beauty and perfection of the higher
worlds dawn within the consciousness.
As long as the evolution is in the planes of mooladhara and swadhisthana, one has his
own mental and emotional problems and he sees the whole world correspondingly. But as
soon as he transcends these planes and goes to manipura, he will see all the bliss, noble
views, perfect ideas and greater possibilities of human consciousness. Then, naturally,
whatever he thinks and does will be influenced by this higher vision.

This is why the psychic powers that come to the sadhaka after having awakened and
established the kundalini in manipura are really benevolent and compassionate, whereas
those which manifest in mooladhara and swadhisthana are still tinged by the dark aspect
of the lower mind.


Anahata Chakra: (Heart)

In kundalini yoga, anahata chakra is a center of great importance. This is because
although awakening from manipura is constant, kundalini has to remain in anahata for
quite a long time.
It is said that in this present age the consciousness of mankind is passing through a
phase of anahata. It means that in many people anahata chakra has started to function, but there is a difference between functioning and awakening. In most people, anahata is not completely active, but it functions slightly. Mooladhara on the other hand is very active and almost awake in the majority of people today.

The location point
Anahata chakra is situated in the spinal column on the inner wall, directly behind the
center of the chest. The kshetram is at the heart, and although anahata is known as the
heart center, this should not be misinterpreted to mean the biological heart, the muscular
pump within the chest.

Vishnu granthi, the second psychic knot, is located at this heart center. It represents
the bondage of emotional attachment, the tendency to live one’s life making decisions on
the strength of the emotions and feelings rather than in the light of the spiritual quest.
Vishnu granthi is untied as the emotions harmonize and enhance, rather than oppose the
spiritual awakening.

 

It is said that he who meditates on the heart lotus is foremost among yogis . He is preeminently wise and full of noble deeds. His senses are completely under control and his mind can be engrossed in intense concentration.

Fate and freewill
In the tantric scriptures it is said that anahata chakra is where the thoughts and desires
of the individual are materialized and fulfilled. There are basically two ways of thinking –
dependently or independently. Up to manipura chakra the first approach holds true, but
once the shakti pierces anahata, the second approach takes precedence.
This means that as long as the consciousness is centered in the lower chakras, you
will remain completely dependent on what is already enjoined for you, your fate or
destiny. This is called prarabdha karma. Even the awakening of the lower chakras does
not make much difference. Once the consciousness ascends through manipura chakra,
you become master over some of the situations of life, but you are still influenced and
bound by your prarabdha karma. You know that you can escape it, but you don’t know
how.

Become a yogi:

It is only when you reach anahata chakra that you become a yogi. Up until then,
whether you are in mooladhara, swadhisthana or manipura, you are a yoga practitioner. In
anahata you become a yogi because you are completely established in yogic
consciousness and you depend solely upon the power of your own consciousness rather
than on anything that is external or concerning faith.

Wish fulfillment
In anahata chakra, the freedom to escape from a preordained fate and to determine
one’s own destiny becomes a reality. According to the tantras, at the root of anahata there
is a wish fulfilling tree known as the kalpa taru or kalpa vriksha. When this tree starts to
fructify, whatever you think or wish comes true.

If the consciousness awakens in anahata, but you do not know the
powers of your mind, or you possess negative, pessimistic attitudes, dark approaches to
life, apprehensions, fears and many other negative mental tendencies, then you will
immediately fall prey to them. If this happens, you risk the possibility of falling back
from anahata. And if you fall from anahata, there is hardly any chance of making a
second start. To avoid a downfall at this point, it is necessary to always remain as alert as
the antelope, which is sensitive to each and every sound. The antelope is the vehicle of
anahata for this reason; it is not the symbol of restlessness, but of alertness.

The first preparation, therefore, with regards to awakening anahata is to change your
entire way of thinking. If you are the type of person whose thoughts and wishes often
come true, even when conditions seem to be opposed to that outcome, then it is necessary
to develop a certain amount of caution along with a new way of thinking.
You must become extremely optimistic and positive, always full of hope. You must
never dwell in the negativity of the mind. Physically, mentally and spiritually, you must
be completely at peace with yourself, with people outside and with the whole community
at large. Though the world is full of conflicts, contradictions and deep animosities, you
have to always feel deep peace throughout your being. Never be negative about any
situation in life. Even if you meet a murderer, hopeless gambler or a debaucher, to you he
is a good man. Every situation is a good one for you and the future is always bright. In all
circumstances this must be your attitude. It makes no difference whether you are amidst
poverty, suffering, disease, conflict, divorce, emotional crises and discord. It is all part of
the good, therefore you accept it.

Love overcomes ego
Anahata chakra can be aroused and awakened by the practice of bhakti yoga, in
which there is no place for egotistical consciousness. Your devotion can be for God or
guru. It is easy to practise devotion to God because he does not check your ego, or even if
he does, you don’t know it. But when you practise devotion to guru, the first thing he
does is ‘egodectomy.’


Vishuddhi Chakra: (Throat)

The location point
Vishuddhi chakra is in the cervical plexus directly behind the throat pit. Its kshetram
is in the front of the neck, at the throat pit or thyroid gland. The physiological
concomitants of vishuddhi are the pharyngeal and laryngeal nerve plexi.

 

By meditation on vishuddhi chakra, the mind becomes pure like the akasha. One
becomes a great sage, eloquent and wise and enjoys uninterrupted peace of mind. Amrit
can be felt as a cold fluid flowing into the chakra and the aspirant becomes free from
disease and sorrow, he is compassionate, full of bliss and long lived.

Nectar and poison

In the tantric scriptures it is said that within bindu at the back of the head, the moon is
secreting a vital fluid or essence known as nectar. This transcendental fluid drips down
into the individual consciousness from bindu visarga. Bindu can be regarded in this
context as the center or passage through which the individuality emerges from cosmic
consciousness in sahasrara.

Between bindu and vishuddhi chakras there is another smaller psychic center known
as lalana chakra or talumula, and it is closely related to vishuddhi chakra. When the
nectar trickles down from bindu it is stored in lalana. This center is like a glandular
reservoir, situated in the back of the nasopharynx, the inner cavity above and beyond the
soft palate into which the nasal passages open. When you perform khechari mudra you are attempting to turn the tongue up and backwards into this cavity to stimulate the flow
of nectar.
Although this fluid is known as ambrosia, it actually has a dual nature which can act
as poison as well as nectar. When it is produced in bindu and stored in lalana it remains
undifferentiated, neither poison nor nectar. As long as vishuddhi chakra remains inactive,
this fluid runs downward unimpeded, to be consumed in the fire of manipura, resulting in
the processes of decay, degeneration and finally death in the body’s tissues.
However, by certain practices such as khechari mudra, the ambrosia is secreted from
lalana and passes to vishuddhi chakra, the purifying and refining center. When vishuddhi
is awakened the divine fluid is retained and utilized, becoming the nectar of immortality.
The secret of youth and regeneration of the body lies in the awakening of vishuddhi
chakra.


Ajna Chakra: (Third Eye)

Ajna chakra is the point of confluence where the three main nadis or forces – ida,
pingala and sushumna merge into one stream of consciousness and flow up to sahasrara,
the crown center.

Although there are experiences of trance in other chakras, there is no merger of the
individual ego with the cosmic ego. All throughout you find you are trying to assert
yourself behind all the experiences you are having, but when ida and pingala unite with
sushumna in ajna chakra, you lose yourself completely. I don’t mean that you become
unconscious. Your awareness expands and becomes homogeneous. Then individual
awareness falls flat and you completely transcend the realm of duality. Thus ajna chakra
is a very important center, which you must experience in order to bring about purification
of the mind. Once the mind is purified the experience and awakening of the other chakras
can proceed.
There is a certain problem with the awakening of the other chakras. Each one
contains a store of karmas or samskara, both good and bad, positive and negative, painful
and pleasant. The awakening of any chakra will definitely bring to the surface an
explosion or expression of these karmas, and of course, not everybody is prepared or
ready to face them. Only those who have reason and understanding are able to cope.
Therefore it is said that before you start awakening and manifesting the great force, it is
best to purify the mind at the point of confluence. Then, with a purified mind, you can
awaken the other chakras. For this reason we begin our exposition of the chakras with
ajna.

The location point
Ajna chakra is located in the brain directly behind the eyebrow center. It is at the very
top of the spinal cord, at the medulla oblongata. Initially it is very hard to feel the exact
location point of ajna, so we concentrate on ajna kshetram, at the mid-eyebrow center,
bhrumadhya.

It should also be mentioned here that ajna chakra and the pineal gland are one and the
same thing. The pituitary gland is sahasrara, and just as the pituitary and pineal glands are
intimately connected, so are ajna and sahasrara. We could say that ajna is the gateway to
sahasrara chakra. If ajna is awakened and functioning properly, all the experiences
happening in sahasrara can be managed well.

The pineal gland acts as a lock on the pituitary. As long as the pineal gland is healthy,
the functions of the pituitary are controlled. However, in most of us, the pineal gland
started to degenerate when we reached the age of 8, 9 or 10. Then the pituitary began to
function and to secrete various hormones which instigated our sexual consciousness, our
sensuality and worldly personality. At this time we began to lose touch with our spiritual
heritage. However, through various yogic techniques, such as trataka and shambhavi
mudra, it is possible to regenerate or maintain the health of the pineal gland.

Experience:

Often, the experience one has when awakening takes place in ajna is similar to that
induced by ganja (marijuana) or any other drug of that type. He who meditates on this
awakened chakra sees a flaming lamp shining as the morning sun and he dwells within
the regions of fire, sun and moon. He is able to enter another’s body at will, and becomes
the most excellent amongst munis, being all-knowing and all-seeing. He becomes the
benefactor of all and is versed in all the shastras. He realizes his unity with the Brahman
and acquires siddhis. Different results accruing out of meditation on the various centers
are collectively realized by meditating on this center alone.

When ajna is awakened, fickleness of the individual mind disperses and the purified
buddhi (subtle intelligence or higher perception) manifests. Attachment, which is the
cause of ignorance and lack of discrimination drops away, and sankalpa shakti
(willpower) becomes very strong. Mental resolves are almost immediately converted into
fruits, provided they are in accordance with individual dharma.

This is the center of extrasensory perception where various siddhis manifest
according to one’s samskaras or mental tendencies. For this reason, ajna chakra is said to
resemble a knot directly on top of the spinal cord. According to tantra this knot is called
rudra granthi, the knot of Shiva. This knot is symbolic of the aspirant’s attachment to the
newly developed siddhis which accompany the awakening of ajna. The knot effectively
blocks the spiritual evolution until attachment to psychic phenomena is overcome and the
knot in consciousness is freed.


Sahasrara : (Crown)

Sahasrara is not a chakra as is often thought. Chakras are within the realm of the
psyche. Consciousness manifests at different levels according to the chakra that is
predominantly active. Sahasrara acts through nothing and yet again, it acts through
everything. Sahasrara is beyond the beyond (paratparam) and yet it is right here.
Sahasrara is the culmination of the progressive ascension through the different chakras. It
is the crown of expanded awareness. The power of the chakras does not reside in the
chakras themselves, but in sahasrara. The chakras are only switches. All the potential lies
in sahasrara.


By: Swami Satyananda Saraswati

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