The Agnya Chakra, sometimes called the Third Eye, is situated at the centre of the brain. This is the level of the mind. Our mind has two lobes: the ego, which gives us our sense of separateness; and our superego, which has our conditionings and memory. The goal in Sahaja Yoga is to bring the light of the Spirit to the brain and so achieve enlightenment, Self-realisation. The Sahaja Yoga affirmations for the Agnya Chakra are, “I forgive everyone, including myself,” “Mother, by your grace I am forgiven,” “Mother, please make me a forgiving person,” and “Mother, verily You are the forgiveness.”
When the Kundalini passes through this chakra, the thought waves elongate so that the space between the thoughts grows longer. The present moment begins to fill the attention and we enter the state of meditation in thoughtless awareness. Then we can see without colouring or projecting – simply, innocently, like a child.
Jesus Christ, the personification or Deity of the Agnya Chakra is said to have explained, “Unless you be as little children, you cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.” This entry point is “the narrow gate” between the ego (ahankara) and superego (manas). This is the “now” point that remains clear and unpressured, beyond the mind’s remembrances of the past, and beyond the ego’s mental projections about the future.
The mind, like the body, gives us fairly convincing ideas of our existence. However, with an enlightened mind we find, as Shri Mataji has said, that we are not the body, the mind, ego and conditionings, but we are the Spirit. This was the essential revelation of Jesus Christ who fully manifested the Divine qualities of the Agnya Chakra – compassion and forgiveness. His testimony, of undoubted Oneness with His Father, is the Nirvikalpa experience of the Yogi, who has been cleansed and prepared by the Divine Mother, Kundalini. His assertion, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Light,” is the ultimate expression of this enlightened Agnya.
It is through deep meditation, forgiveness and humility that the process of crossing the Agnya Chakra is worked out. The left and right channels cross just below the Agnya. If either of these channels is overly active they create a burden and an imbalance in the subtle body that pressures and closes the narrow gate and has us again feeling alone and unconnected. The right channel is easily inflated with the idea, “I do.” Too much thinking, planning, projecting, over-activity, anger, competitiveness or superiority will cause blockage and also deplete the left side of the essential ability to feel and love. Becoming too “right-sided” means we can enter the hot realm of the supra-conscious, the realm of the future. The left channel can catch if we are overly emotional, too expressive, feeling victimised, wishing harm to ourselves, becoming immersed in the past, and too involved in unhealthy habits, subconscious images or dead ideas. This is the realm where everything from the past is placed, including dead spirits and the Collective Sub-conscious.
A central idea in spiritual evolution is the idea of being “born again”. This is not a process of self- or group-certification. It is the process of Self-realisation in which we break through, surrender the lesser senses of ego and conditioning, and become resurrected, identified with the eternal awareness, the Spirit. Here we go beyond the mind and often humorously witness the play of the ego and conditionings as they battle to have their way. We are still in the world, yet in a detached, joy-filled and loving way. We easily forgive, for not to forgive causes problems. We know and enjoy our own Spirit, the same Spirit in all, and witness the play of the Creation. We are humble before the ultimate majesty of the Creator and also spontaneously experience true love and compassion for the human condition.
Sahaja Yoga was founded in1970 by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. Shri Mataji developed a method by which people en masse could get their Self-realisation, in which they feel total peace and tranquillity, absolute oneness with nature and the universe and complete psychological integration. Self-realisation has been called “individuation” by Carl Jung, and “self-actualisation” by modern psychologists and psychiatrists. Previously, people wanting to obtain their Self-realisation had to spend many years with a guru in the Himalayas going through many hardships and privations in order to cleanse their chakras to reach this height of spiritual attainment.
Shri Mataji’s method, called “Sahaja” which means “spontaneous” and “born with you” takes just ten minutes and is very joy-giving. Self-realisation takes us into a state of meditation known as “thoughtless awareness” in which we are awake and alert but are not thinking and are not affected by what is happening in our environment.
During Self-realisation the residual life force which resides in every human being in the sacrum bone at the bottom of the spine rises up through the limbic area to the fontanelle bone at the top of the head. The limbic area is the “old” brain which controls our heartbeat, our digestion, our breathing – all the work done by the autonomic nervous system. This limbic area becomes enlightened and works more effectively, calming us down and normalising and slowing down our physical processes, so that everything functions more smoothly and efficiently.
After Self-realisation, in thoughtless awareness, we become more perceptive and are able to feel subtle differences in the state of our own being and in the beings of others. Shri Mataji calls this new awareness “vibratory awareness”. We are able to feel the state of our chakras on our fingertips. Each of the seven chakras corresponds to a different finger or part of the hand. When there is a problem with a particular chakra it manifests as a tingling or heat in the corresponding position on the hand. Problems with the chakras, known as blockages, can be cleared with simple techniques using the five elements. When the chakras are cleared the heat is replaced by a feeling of coolness.
Each chakra has a different sphere of influence in our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual lives. Any imbalance or blockage in a chakra will manifest as a problem in one of those four areas. For example, the chakra at the throat, known as the Vishuddhi chakra, corresponds on a physical level to all the organs governed by the major nerve plexus in the throat, that is, the neck, sound-box, mouth, tongue, teeth, lips, inside the ears and hearing, as well as the shoulders and fingertips, as the nerves from this plexus also travel down the arms to the fingers. So, a problem with this chakra could manifest as a physical problem with any of these organs, or it may manifest as an emotional, mental or spiritual problem.
On the emotional level, this chakra is concerned with feeling connected to others, self-esteem and feeling guilty. On the mental level it is concerned with feeling respect for others and being diplomatic. On the spiritual level it is concerned with maintaining purity in our relationships with others.
In effect, with Sahaja Yoga we are able to feel imbalances in our systems and to correct them before they get to the stage of developing into major illnesses. If we already have an illness Sahaja Yoga is helpful in the treatment of the illness and in alleviating symptoms. Sahaja Yoga also helps us to see ourselves clearly, to see our faults and failings as well as our positive traits, and allows us automatically to become better people, get rid of our bad habits and addictions and resolve our problems.
All of this information is freely available at Sahaja Yoga beginners’ classes. Everyone can achieve Self-realisation and the state of thoughtless awareness, and everyone can start to feel the vibrations on their hands and learn to decode the signals. According to the wishes of the founder, Shri Mataji, Sahaja Yoga is always taught free of charge.
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OM is the primordial sound of the universe, the first sound, the sound that was made at the Big Bang, the beginning of our universe, and it resonates within our being. OM has the power to take us into meditation, to make us one with the universe, to take us into the the silence and the peace that is the vastness and the power of the universe, like the stillness of a bottomless lake that has no ripples.
The sound, OM, was made when matter first started to divide and differentiate and to recombine. OM is actually made up of three separate sounds, A-U-M, that together make the sound, OM. The first is “A” which sounds like “ar” as in “car”. The second is “U” which sounds like “oo” as in “book”. The third is “M” which sounds like “m” as in “man”. These sounds can help to keep us in balance. How?
Human beings have within them a subtle body which consists of three channels and seven chakras. The three channels are connected to our emotions on the left, our physical and mental activity on the right and our integration and balance in the centre. If we are over-emotional we are operating too much on the left side, and if we are thinking and planning too much or are over-active physically then we are using our right side too much. These situations cause the imbalances which lead to physical and mental health problems.
The central channel is generally activated only when we achieve our Self-realisation. This happens when the residual life force (called the Kundalini) which resides in the sacrum bone in every human being rises up through the spine, through the limbic area in the brain and out the top of the head at the fontanelle bone area. It then connects us with the All-pervading Power of the universe, the force that created us, the force that keeps the planets in their orbits and makes the seeds sprout in the Mother Earth.
Once we have our Self-realisation we can go into “thoughtless awareness”, the state of true meditation in which we are awake and alert but we are not thinking. In thoughtless awareness the Kundalini flows through us, balancing our subtle systems and clearing our chakras, giving us good health and feelings of well-being. As we continue to meditate and to strengthen this connection, the Kundalini flows more strongly and we are able to enjoy the silence, the space between the thoughts, to be the pure consciousness, to feel one with the whole of creation.
After our Self-realisation, when we have that connection to the force that created us, the sounds of the OM (AUM) can help to clear and balance our channels. If we use as a mantra the sound, A (“ar” as in “car”), it will help to clear the left channel, the sound, U (“oo” as in “book”), will help to clear the right channel and the sound, M (“m” as in “man”) ,will work on the central channel. As a result, the whole system will come into balance.
The sound, OM, also has the power to clear each of the chakras when sung at the pitch which resonates with the particular chakra, and it can raise the Kundalini when sung up the musical scale.
So, sit comfortably, on the floor or on a chair, hands palm upwards on your lap. Take a few deep breaths, and relax. Now sing, “Aaaaoooommm,” and let the sound take you into meditation, into the stillness and the silence and the peace that is the vastness of the universe where you are at one with the whole of creation and are nothing but pure consciousness. Enjoy!
Before our physical birth we experienced a continuing sense of nourishment,
connectedness and security. After our physical birth we then experience our selves as separated, and so it is only natural that we seek and long for that sense of connection, nourishment and security.
This seeking finds expression in many ways. Sometimes we seek for gross, physical pleasures and external and material satisfactions in the world. Yet, these invariably do not fully satisfy us; they prove to be stormy, transient and therefore illusory. Perhaps this leads us to understand that the means to really satisfy ourselves, the Kingdom of Heaven, lies within us and so we may begin seeking in earnest for our inner or ultimate fulfilment.
There is a gap, between the separated and conditioned sense of self we experience ourselves as, and the eternal, spiritual core of our being which is completely secure, connected and joyful. This divide, between the illusory and relative nature of the world and the ultimate Reality, is manifest in a physical gap in the central channel, within the para-sympathetic nervous system. This gap actually exists physically between the sacral outflow and the vagus nerve, encompassing the Subtle area called the Void or the Ocean of Illusion.To cross this gap, this Ocean of Illusion, we need to develop balance, self-mastery and pure desire. We also require the help of a true Guru – someone who will awaken the Kundalini so that we can discern the correct Path and cross the Void to the heart, wherein lies the true Self, the eternal Spirit.
It is in this state of disconnectedness that seekers may search for a guide or Guru to help them to find the Way, a Path or process to cross the Void, the illusions, and connect with that Source of all satisfaction, joy and fulfilment – the Divine, the Source, Tao, or God. There have been many great incarnations of the principle of Guru or Spiritual Teacher who have incarnated to guide groups of sincere seekers towards their Self-realisation. The personifications or incarnations of this principle include Abraham, Moses, Muhammed, Zarathustra, Lao Tze, Confucious, Sai Baba of Shirdi, Guru Nanak, Raja Janaka and Socrates. Also, there have been false gurus who have plundered and damaged the seekers. The goal in Sahaja Yoga is to help the true seekers to find their Self-realisation so they can become their own gurus.
Most often for the seekers, so far, the only assistance has been to receive a set of guidelines, or rules, a dharmic way of behaving, that will help maintain individual and collective balance. So, we have sets of rules in the religions such as the Ten Commandments. Moses, as an example of the Guru principle, led his people out of slavery, across the ocean and to the promised land. Shri Mataji in this modern era holds a unique place in the tradition of Gurus because She has created a method for en masse Kundalini awakening and so facilitated the creation of so many potentially enlightened Gurus.
Only the Kundalini can bridge that great divide between illusion and Reality. On first awakening, Kundalini ascends the Sushumna (centre) nadi up to the Agnya chakra. It covers the lower plate (moordha) and then descends like melting clouds on the Ida (left) and Pingala (right) nadis to the Void. It fills the Void area, and then the three combined powers re-ascend the Sushumna nadi to open the lotus petals of the Sahasrara. The Spirit, which is said to be watching through the manifold subtle auras of the heart, has its seat at the top of the head in the centre. When the individual spark of the Spirit is raised and reunited in Union, or Yoga, with the all-pervading and all-powerful Source at the apex of the Sahasrara, then the Reality of the essential core of existence is realised. This enables a person to start to become his or her own Guru, based on a new enlightened awareness.
(Photograph courtesy of fromoldbooks.org)