Millions and millions of tiny vital life forces whirling through the body are concentrated into centers called chakras. Chakra means "wheel" in Sanskrit. They are called wheels because energies spin at these points, rotating clockwise at a certain frequency. The activity resembles a galaxy of planets, each spinning on its axis. The seven main chakras that you will learn about are located in the spinal cord region and are reflected, and felt after Self-Realization, in various parts of our bodies. Each chakra is designed to supervise and maintain the perfect operation of the bodily systems under its control.
An understanding of what each chakra attracts and what can disturb it is important for our well-being. Every thought and action influences the sensitivity and performance of these centers. As a beginner, the initial task is to clear away the gross negativity; this may take time but the results will be felt from the outset. The source of all this information is available to you once you experience Self-Realization and your chakras are gradually cleared.
The Kundalini is the power of pure desire within us - a maternal, spiritual energy which resides in a latent state in the triangular sacrum bone at the base of the spine. (Sacrum means “sacred or holy bone,” from the ancient Greek, and is the medical term still used today.) The awakening of the Kundalini was always the goal of all the religions and all the spiritual traditions throughout the world. "The Kundalini cures you, improves you, and showers you with blessings. It keeps you free from all the problems of the material world," says Shri Mataji, the founder of Sahaja Yoga.
In the beginning of evolution, the first amoeba-like single cell organisms were formed. Thereafter organisms became more and more complex, with the development of multi-cellular plants and animals and ultimately humankind.
The Mooladhara Chakra is made of the earth element and represents the beginning of life. When awakened and nourished, this association with the earth element manifests as a magnetic force within the person. For instance, a person with a strong Mooladhara center has a good inner sense of direction (in more ways than one). This chakra is at the root or foundation of the subtle system, and the Mooladhara is situated below the abode of the Kundalini, at the very base of the subtle body. In Sanskrit, "moola" means root (which is the Kundalini) and "adhara" means the support—so Mooladhara translates into supporter of the Kundalini.
The fundamental quality of the chakra is innocence, which forms the basis of every righteous character. This innocence is the quality which is evident in babies and small children. It represents action without motive or desire for gross personal gain. This innocence is accompanied by the innate wisdom of a child. A baby knows fundamental aspects of nature instinctively—it knows how to show discomfort by crying or how to suck to obtain food. This root wisdom, if left undisturbed, would develop into a balanced set of priorities in the adult. Unfortunately, the influence of human society tends to muddy this innocence and so obscure the wisdom that goes with it.
By awakening the qualities of the Mooladhara through our meditations, we learn again to be more innocent beings, to be less motive-led in our actions and to make the correct decisions in our lives. Two good examples of the power of this child-like innocent wisdom are the tale The Emperor's New Clothes and the saying "out of the mouths of babes." The pure state of Mooladhara Chakra also manifests as the wisdom of the heart—that is the ability to perceive the true meaning of what people say and do (i.e. what is really in their heart). Children again naturally have this ability as they often tune in to the feelings and subtle signals communicated rather than the face value of what is said. This center contains the potential for us to become an eternal divine child who bubbles with enthusiasm, playfulness, and love.
The Mooladhara Chakra governs the excretory and reproductive organs, and as such has a direct bearing on the sexual aspects of the human being. Some seekers have attempted to awaken the Kundalini through sexual practice (also witness the tantric sexual ritual in practices such as witchcraft and voodoo around the world). This is obviously very dangerous and can cause great harm to the chakra itself. If one remembers that the Mooladhara provides the foundation for the Kundalini, then it is easy to understand how anything which is not innocent can harm it. Sex has its place in human life as the most sublime physical expression of love within the marriage.
Through the birth channel creation continues its course. However, it is something else to allow sex to dominate our lives and bring us out of balance.
After realization one learns to develop respect and proper esteem for one's own chastity and the chastity of others. This sense of right conduct is essential for the development of our own gravity and power. This power of incorruptible innocence is the foundation of all of us as human beings.
A weakened Mooladhara may show up in a number of ways: poor sense of direction, poor memory, poor sense of balance (gravity), certain "incurable" diseases, or mental problems.
The Swadisthan Chakra is suspended like a satellite on a cord from the Nabhi Chakra, and moves around the Void area giving sustenance to the ten petals of the Void (which represent the Ten Commandments). When the Kundalini rises, it passes into the Nabhi Chakra first and then along the cord to enlighten the Swadisthan and then returns to the Nabhi Chakra to continue the journey to the crown of the head.
In the course of evolution, man translated his need for shelter into the building of homes. As his sense of aesthetics developed he continued to improve on these forms of shelter until eventually architecture came about. This creativity evolved into abstract form, where he could imagine, project, and create an image which had no previous material counterpart. From this burgeoning aestheticism came the creative arts.
The fundamental quality of the Swadisthan Chakra is that of creativity. It is here that the energy for our creativity is generated. After our realization we discover that the true key to creativity is in achieving the state of thoughtless awareness (nirvichara samadhi) through our meditations. From this we discover that all the beauty of creation is reflected within us like a still and silent lake. Once we locate this pool of beauty we can become the channel for it. We become the creative instrument of the collective unconscious, without ego to distort the purity of the art. We become, as William Wordsworth observed, "a heart that watches and receives."
The process of creativity in any form draws on the qualities of the Swadisthan Chakra. If this process is accomplished in a balanced state (i.e. using the energies of the central or Sushumna Channel in the subtle system) then the result is spiritually enhanced; we can say the creation has "heart." After realization this is emphasized, and the resulting creation can be an inspired work. We can see this by looking at the classic works from artists of the past such as Mozart and Michelangelo who were born as evolved realized souls. Works of this quality are immortal and provide joy and beauty that define the whole epoch.
If artistic endeavor starts out "with heart," there can be a tendency for the artist to produce later works which are flat, lifeless, or even exploitative. The primary cause of this tendency is the ego of the artist. As the artist becomes more successful, he or she works harder to maintain or grow this success. This requires more exhaustive use of the right channel (the Pingala Nadi or channel of action). A by-product of the exhaustion of this channel is that the ego of the artist becomes inflated. Note that in subtle terms the ego is actually situated at the end of the action channel (in the balloon-like shape on the left hand side of the head). If the artist comes to believe that he is the creator of all his works (thus denying divine inspiration) the process is accelerated and the ego expands to such an extent that the spiritual content of these works is lost completely.
The most important physical function of this center is that it breaks down fat particles in the abdomen to replace the grey and white cells in the brain, and so generates the energy which fuels our thinking. Excessive thinking and planning overworks this process and exhausts this center. The Swadisthan also looks after the liver (along with the Nabhi Chakra). If the chakra is coping with excessive thinking, then the other organs it is supposed to look after are neglected. The liver is particularly susceptible to this neglect because it serves so many functions.
Problems here are indicated by tingling in the thumb and middle finger of the right hand, or by prickling sensations in the hands. The liver has particular importance because it is the seat of our Attention.
Attention should not be confused with thought, which comes from Ego (our I-ness) and Superego (our past conditionings and upbringing). Attention is pure concentration without thought or mental activity. For example, when we look at a flower we put our attention on it (i.e. observe it). However we will also think about it ("that's pretty… I wonder what it is called" etc.) Attention has no associated thoughts—it is pure concentration / observation / witnessing.A balanced liver sustains and nourishes our Attention and filters it by scanning out any impurities and external clutter. From this purified Attention comes the peace and stillness that we obtain in our meditation. The liver is susceptible to overheating (via alcohol or other stimulants) which has a detrimental effect on our Attention, which ultimately weakens our meditations.
A weakened Swadisthan may show up in a number of ways: diabetes, heart disease and associated problems, difficulty meditating, or irritability. Interest in spiritualism and occult practices will also have a detrimental effect on this center. If we delve into these realms we lead the Attention into the collective subconscious areas, and we leave ourselves open to increased lethargy, and possibly even hallucinations and increased overall negativity.
The evolutionary growth of humankind mirrors the ascending chakras of our subtle system, and our corresponding spiritual growth. The Nabhi Chakra represents the evolutionary point when man's shelter became "home," when the family unit became a source of satisfaction in itself rather then just a channel of reproduction. This domestic satisfaction translates into the satisfaction that we feel with life in general after our spiritual awakening through Self-Realization.
Satisfaction is actually a key word for the Nabhi Chakra. Some "hot livered" people are naturally irritable. For them life without worry is an impossibility, and they will express their discontent at the slightest excuse. When our Spirit manifests, we can put things into their true perspective, and worry becomes an unusual occurrence. In the peace of thoughtlessness, we can only be content. We realize that the Spirit is not concerned with passing trends and fashions or a button missing here or there.
The Nabhi is the center of welfare, both physical and financial. As man developed his creative powers further he also learned to harness nature's resources to his advantage—and thus grew prosperous. Prosperity is a necessary step in evolution, and money is a valid medium of exchange in order to obtain the essential needs and desires of man. If we do not have the means of satisfying the basic needs then they will continue to preoccupy our attention, diverting us from the true direction. We have been blessed with intelligence and a versatile body through which we can work to raise the means to fulfill our needs. When these needs are satisfied, then these mundane matters no longer occupy us or block our growth.
However, sometimes we get lost. The desire for basic needs transforms into a cycle of insatiable desire for things in general—the start of a materialist existence. There is nothing wrong with being wealthy; the problem lies in becoming obsessed with money. The desire for money for the sake of money is greed. It crosses the boundary of need and becomes an obsession, a disease that retards growth. Miserliness and greed represent a selfish primitive mind which does not know the truth about the basics of life. In nature everything flows, because nature is one. Money should be no exception—the energy has to flow to every part of the creation. By sharing we learn. Being generous is so elevating, whereas hoarding leads to stagnation.
Another aspect of the Nabhi Chakra is that of Dharma (right conduct) in our lives. In order for us to maintain a state of satisfaction within, we have to exist in a state of satisfaction without, and this means appreciating the benefits of living an upright life. This cannot be an artificial process; it comes naturally through our Attention after our realization. Just as gold cannot tarnish, so Dharma cannot be altered. There is no relative state of Dharmic conduct. An act is either fundamentally right or not. Dharma is the code of evolution through which man has evolved from amoeba to the present stage. This code protects and nourishes our spiritual growth.
The most powerful evocation of the laws of Dharma is the Ten Commandments which were provided to us as evolutionary guidelines. Those who have always followed these basic principles of right conduct experience a powerful and lasting process of Self-Realization. Those who don’t understand the need for such conduct before realization become naturally aware of it afterwards. In fact, after our realization we can even experience our reaction to Dharmic conduct by the physical signals of the stomach region. Some people have been amazed to find how sensitive their stomachs become to any activity which is Adharmic (outside Dharma) and how it revolts against such acts. It is a fact, though, that the more one enjoys the beauty of becoming the Spirit, the less time one has for anything which is not Dharmic. The evolutionary laws of survival and growth start to manifest naturally within us.
Obviously, these guidelines are examples for us to follow. We are not forced to do anything. In Sahaja Yoga you are your own judge and jury. The vibrations state the case for you, and then it is up to you to give the verdict and pass the sentence. This is a direct benefit of receiving your realization, as you stop identifying with your weaknesses and become the witness to your true self.
This center governs the workings of the stomach area. If the functioning of the stomach becomes disturbed, then the process of digestion and assimilation of food is affected. The stomach is therefore very important. Our attitude toward food and how we eat affects the digestive juices and glands. If we are hurried or angry or worried while eating, then the food will not be properly digested because the stomach muscles are tense and cannot work properly on the digestive process.
The Nabhi can be weakened in a number of ways. The left side of the center can become imbalanced if we suffer problems in the household or if we worry too much about money. After Self-Realization, we gain the strength to face our responsibilities and start to enjoy the duties we must take on. We realize that the family as the most important unit in society has to be supported and must flourish in an atmosphere of love, respect, and unity. Too much thinking about food, whether in gluttony or fasting, also affects this center. It keeps the stomach excited and hinders the energy flow. Do not worry too much about food as long as it is wholesome and nourishing.The opposite extreme also applies: indiscriminate fasting disturbs the chakra. We cannot reach our Spirit through fasting.
Fasting can be undertaken with proper guidance for health purposes, but it has no spiritual significance. On the contrary, fasting serves to divert the Attention to food. When the body needs food it sends the signal. We should not practice self-denial or aggression with any chakra and its laws. Drinking alcohol is also harmful to the Nabhi Chakra.
Throughout humanity’s evolution, there has been a constant battle against ignorance and illusion. This state of ignorance is something that has to be overcome before man can actually experience the beauty of the Reality of the Spirit. The area which represents this struggle to cross over from illusion to Reality is known as the Void, or the Bhavasagara (Ocean of Illusion).
The Void is the center of our own mastery. As the Kundalini energy enlightens this area we become our own guru. The word guru means weight or gravity, and this grounded state is one of the primary ways that we maintain balance in the midst of our turbulent existence. When the Kundalini rises and fills the Void, our Attention is led out of the confusion and illusion and into the awareness of the higher Reality. In this way we can take control of our own evolution without relying on external forces; eventually our own introspection will provide the answers and keys during our meditation. In a lot of cases the key will be to recognize a solution to our problem presented to us externally, and as we become our own master we are able to discern right from wrong, and Truth from fiction. The other side of this coin is, of course, the principle of the disciple. It is as important for us to recognize Truth in a humble and open-minded way as it is to give advice with the gravity of a Master.
The greatest Masters throughout the ages have been the most humble disciples of God. In this way they surrender their ego to the Divine and are able to teach with absolute authority, even when directly challenging the established wisdom of the time. Since the Void is directly connected to the Nabhi Chakra, it is no coincidence that the principle of Dharma is a fundamental aspect of this area. All of the great Masters and Prophets who have taken their birth on the earth to guide us have made Dharma (or righteous conduct) a key tenet of their teachings. We can only become better beings by not abusing ourselves or debasing others, in other words, by living properly and in accordance with the laws of nature.
All of the great Prophets who have come to act as role models for the human race and to give knowledge of the higher Reality are associated with the Void. The great Prophets such as Abraham, Moses, Lao-Tse, Janaka, Guru Nanak, Mohammed Sahib, Sai Nath of Shirdi, Zarathustra, Confucius, and Socrates are simply embodiments of this Primordial Master. It is they who have taught us the ways of righteous living that maintain codes of conduct by which anarchy is avoided. The Disciple Principle also resides within us in this area, and this principle has been represented on the earth as Luv and Kush (the children of Shri Rama and Shri Sita), as Markendaya, as Adi Shankaracharya, David, John the Baptist, Buddha, Mahavira, Kabir, Michelangelo, Kahlil Gibran, William Shakespeare, William Blake, and others.
The Void is the gap between the Kundalini and the vagus nerve of the parasympathetic system. It represents all space and time from the beginning of creation to the peak of our evolution in human awareness. It is the vacuum which separates our awareness from the Absolute while we are still in the unenlightened state. The Void is actually created by the outermost circular movement of the Swadisthan Chakra around the Nabhi Chakra. We can tell when we are disturbing the Guru Principle within us by the upset to our digestive system. This can manifest as nausea or any other symptoms emanating from the stomach area.
If for instance we are witness to any Adharmic activity or indulge in abuse of our physical or subtle system we can easily determine the effect on our system by the feeling that we experience in this area. Nervous tension in our stomach or butterflies before an exam or test are simply expressions of our Mastery Principle being challenged. Similarly we are able to discern false teachings from Truth by detecting the condition of the Void.
The combination of vibratorial awareness and signals from our Void area can be a powerful pointer to the legitimacy of any practice whether it is spiritual or material. We learn to become attuned to our subtle system in this way and eventually can respond rapidly to avoid that which will do us harm and to embrace that which will be of benefit to our being. The Guru Principle within us is a very powerful force for our benevolence, but we must learn to recognize the signals.
When a child is born, the first thing that it responds to is the Spirit of its mother. At the moment of his birth he is not aware of his body or that of this mother, but he is aware of the Spirit. The moment he comes out of the womb he suffers a shock, and his first reaction is to get back to the womb. At this stage his mind, conditionings, and ego aspects are not developed. He is pure Spirit, and it is this pure Spirit that finds comfort in the Spirit of this mother and through that comfort, sustenance in the new alien environment. This response is true love or unconditional love; it is not a conditioned response, but the sheer joy of the fusion of two Spirits.
The Heart Chakra is the home of the Self, the Spirit, Atman—all mean the same thing. Time and again Shri Mataji has stressed that "You are nothing but an eternal Spirit." In this way she is telling us that we have to realize and become our Spirit, and leave behind the futility of the illusion we live in. We start the process of becoming our Spirit after realization, as we start to lose our false identifications with our body, mind, and feelings. Only after this enlightenment can we take our Attention to our heart and cleanse it. The Spirit can only manifest when our heart is open and clean, at which point we feel the eternal joy of creation and the meaning and purpose of our place in it. We clean our heart through our pure desire and through our Attention. Saying affirmations such as "I am the Spirit" are effective in this process, but it must be from the heart and not a mechanical action.
Pure love, which enlightens us all, is the real quality of the Heart Chakra. In the unrealized state we rarely love for love's sake. Because of our conditionings we confuse feelings of love with those of possession, sex, and selfishness. Pure love is detached, it gives without interest. Like the tree which gives shade to one and all, it is without prejudice or motive. True love is the quality that emanates from the Spirit and not from the body or mind. When we talk of loving someone, we should understand the direction in which this love is flowing. Bodily attraction is physical. It can arise out of sex appeal or even from an artist's or marketer’s projection. There are even those who exercise seductive arts to ensnare a good "catch." We can see this in those who indulge in excessively trendy fashions. These people are especially at risk in their relationships because they relate not as two Spirits, but as two fashionable physical forms. This kind of physical attraction is not true love because it comes from the mind, and the mind does not love—it merely wants. When the want of the mind is attained, the novelty wears off and the mind just wants something else.
Love is often mistakenly thought of as being restricted to male-female relationships. In fact, love is the flow of life in all limbs, between children and parents, brothers and sisters, friends, old people, etc. Where many people share and care, then the whole society opens up its heart center. It becomes a collective society and changes the world. This is the power of love. Love is the principle behind all creation, all vibrations. We say that God is love and love is God, because in its depths we cease to be. In true love there is no "I" and "You," there is simply the merging in the Spirit. Where there is love there is growth, celebration, joy, and evolution.
Most problems arise from fear. If we live in fear, then our natural immune system is weakened and we become vulnerable to allergies and disease. If we have self-confidence, the basis of which is love, we have strong defenses which protect against base desires and negative outside influences. Our personality grows and shines when our heart is strong, and we approach life with a will to win like a warrior. It is the love which becomes compassion which makes us reach out without thinking to help mankind. This is a spontaneous act, not an intellectual decision, and arises when fear is healed by love.
Our relationships with our parents have their place in the Heart Chakra. Our physical mother has her place in the left heart, and our father has his place in the right heart. Once we realize that our parents have this place within us, we don't try to run away from any problems in any way and we face our responsibilities. At all times we should treat our parents with the love and respect which is their due.
Parents should likewise raise their children in a pure life, which will encourage their spiritual development. They should love them without attachment and fear, knowing that they are the trustees of their children. If parents do not practice what they preach, they cannot set a proper example to their offspring. How we get along with our spouse is also a matter of the heart. If one partner dominates the other or is possessive, then the love is stifled and the relationship is disturbed. Vibrations of the Spirit's love must have the freedom to flow, and each partner must respect one another and not block the other's growth by force of personality or will.
The family unit is important to society, and the foundation of this unit is respect, love, and duty between the members—parents and children. If the family ideal collapses, society is soon to follow. We just have to witness the problems of violence and substance abuse amongst children in societies where the family has been neglected to see this connection. The seat of the Heart Chakra is located in the Brahmarandra at the crown of the head (in the Sahasrara chakra). This is where the Kundalini energy unites with the all-pervading energy of the universe.
The Vishuddhi Chakra represents that time in the evolution of humanity when the need for harmony and collective living became important. It represents everything to do with the cohesive nature of the human race and the ability of human beings to rise above petty differences and strive to experience the unity of the Spirit.
One of the qualities that we need to develop for our spiritual growth is that of staying detached from the problems we face every day while trying to survive in the modern world. The flowering of the Vishuddhi Chakra provides us with a sense of detachment which lets us witness the "play" of life to survive in the modern world. As a result we can avoid being brought down by things which seem traumatic, but are in fact simply "events" which we pass through to reach the other side. This does not mean that we stop accepting responsibility for our actions or that we "give up" on life. It simply gives us a means to maintain a sense of perspective when we are faced with overwhelming emotional situations. We become a witness of the game, and can keep a distance from our involvement and thoughts, from our planning and conditionings, and from our emotions.
After realization our ability to be a witness matures, and we see all of these things as existing outside ourselves. These things, these events, are not of our Spirit, they are of the external world. In this way we strip away the layers of identity to reveal our fundamental and indivisible essence, the Spirit. Shri Mataji says that "we see our own acting, and the whole world becomes like a drama," in the same way that Shakespeare likened the whole world to a stage, and us as actors on it.
The truth is that our problems are only really solved when we can "see the forest for the trees." It is a fact that most people find that they cannot solve their own problems because they are too involved in them. That is why they seek advice from their friends (who can give a detached view of the best course of action) or in extremes from counseling agencies who may act as dispassionate witnesses. After our realization we develop this ability within ourselves, and no matter what tests we face we start to see our role in the drama and the possible solutions with that much more clarity.
The Vishuddhi Chakra also embodies those qualities which govern our relationship with other members of the human race. Our diplomacy in word and action is directly affected by the state of this center, as is our sense of respect, both for others and for ourselves. If we do not respect others, then we will not be able to practice a relationship of brotherhood and diplomacy with them, and so it is a very important chakra for our growth into a collective spiritual being.
Lack of respect for ourselves (which manifests as guilt) lodges itself deep in our left Vishuddhi if we let it, and this can be very harmful to our growth. A lot of guilt is the result of our upbringing, whether through moralistic or pious pressures. These external pressures are not us. We must learn to not cling to guilt or hide ourselves in its cloak and thereby put off the day when we must face up to our weaknesses and do something about them. The Spirit does not accumulate guilt, it is Pure. After realization we learn to face and overcome our weaknesses, and thus conquer guilt once and for all. The affirmation for the left Vishuddhi is "I am not guilty."
Our growth into a collective being is very easy to chart through our deepening awareness of vibrations. As we start to become one with the whole (as the microcosm awakens and becomes an integral part of the macrocosm) we begin to feel the direct evidence of the subtle system or our chakras and on the chakras of others. This is what is meant by the actualization of Sahaja Yoga, this actual evidence of our enlightenment which we experience on our fingertips and in our bodies. It is a fact that as we become a collectively conscious person, we can work on the spiritual systems of others simply by recording the state of their chakras on our fingers and directing our vibrations to their areas of need as required. It is rather like acquiring a new perception, a natural new sense—that of subtle vibrations. This brotherhood of humanity is the goal that seekers have been searching for over many lifetimes, and it is starting its manifestation at this point in time, not just as myth or concept, but through direct evidence.
The Vishuddhi Chakra has sixteen petals, each with different qualities and functions. On the physical side it looks after the throat, arms, face, mouth, teeth, etc. These should therefore be taken care of properly. For instance, we should protect ourselves from extremes of cold and avoid tobacco and other pollutants which can damage the throat. We should take proper care of our teeth and ensure that we respect everything we do in our communication with others. Our hands, also, can be a source of grace and beauty or coarseness if used improperly. We should therefore take care to exhibit sweetness in all our actions.
The Agnya Chakra is situated in the center of the brain area, and represents the sixth stage of man’s evolution. We can identify its position as the middle of the forehead. It is the gateway to the Sahasrara Chakra, and so will not allow the Kundalini to rise above if there are any impurities in the mind. When the Kundalini passes through this Chakra, our thought waves elongate so that the space between the two thoughts grows wider. This space is silence, and as the petals of the Chakra open up, silence blossoms in the center and spreads outwards, pushing our thoughts to the periphery of our awareness. This is where the state of "thoughtless awareness" happens. In this state we actually feel the beautiful silence, the stillness, which is at the heart of creation.
The primary quality of the Agnya Chakra is forgiveness. At this point in our evolution man had developed a sophisticated society, but with this sophistication came the problem of ego - the idea that he was doing it all. This problem of I-ness was accelerated by the continuing success of these material gains - flourishing civilizations, world trade routes and other such trappings. The natural result of this could only be an inflated Ego, and this arrogance was further fuelled by the conditionings of upbringing and environment (e.g. from parents and friends), the perils of the Superego.
The human mind is divided into an Ego and Superego. These are located at the uppermost endpoints of the channels of Ida Nadi (the Moon Line or Left Channel) and Pingala Nadi (the Sun Line or Right Channel). These two channels cross over at the Agnya Chakra. Everything which relates to the past (such as memories, conditionings, and emotions) accumulates as a residue in the Superego on the right - having crossed over from the Left Channel. Everything which relates to the future (such as thinking, planning, action, etc.) likewise accumulates as a residue, but in the Ego on the left side of the brain. We can liken these residues to hot exhaust gasses which come from too much activity in the particular channel.
So, for instance, as we overexert ourselves in planning for the future (next years holidays, next years birthdays, etc.) we generate an excess of energy in the Right Channel. This is actually a process of exhausting the channel as it takes away the natural balance of the channels by emphasizing one at the expense of the other. This excess energy rises like a smog obstructing our Spiritual growth. Before our Realisation each of us are in varying states of imbalance in our channels, and the result is a varied smog consisting of Ego and Superego exhaust, which drift together to obstruct our Spiritual ascent up through the Central (Sushumna) Channel. The Kundalini simply cannot penetrate the combined smog to complete our Yoga at the Sahasrara Chakra.
It is because of this state of affairs that the fontanel area (the soft area on our skull that we are born with) calcifies and hardens at a fairly early age, and we begin to develop our separate identities and our concept of I. As the Heart then starts to become enveloped by the Ego, we lose sight of the Spirit and identify only with the one we call I. It is not that we should want to destroy our Ego, it has a very useful place in our being. Without it we would not be able to act at all. But we need to bring it into balance with the Superego in order to create a space through which the Kundalini can ascend to pass into the Sahasrara. And controlling Ego is a hard task to master.
Forgiveness (and forbearnance) and humour are perhaps the most effective methods. The Ego is a creature of action. It thrives on doing - on punishing for a wrong, on effecting a change, on obtaining a desire. By practising forbearance, we slow down the fuel of the Ego, we force the Ego to wait. By so doing our Spirit then has the time to shine through in our action, and the true course becomes manifest.
Humour also provides a strong dose of medicine for an Ego in full flight. It is easy to deflate the balloon of Ego and pull it back into proportion by pricking it with a pin of humour. By watching the Ego as a witness, we can begin to see its subtle tricks and manipulations, and then we see the joke of it all. We can never fight the Ego, that is a contradiction of terms (fighting requires action, the action is Ego, Ego fights Ego...?) We can only bring it down with our laughter, and then our Heart will break through its stranghold.
The Ego and the Superego border the outlying regions of the subtle universe. The Superego is in the Individual Subconscious realm, where all of our past knowledge and experience is stored. Beyond this is the Collective Subconscious, which is the area where spiritualists and mediums ply their trade of the past. The Ego is in the Individual Supraconscious, the realm of the future. It is in the Collective Supraconscious that clairvoyants, visionaries and seekers of power conduct their business of the future. Exploration of any of these realms is extremely dangerous. Shri Mataji says they are essentially the same: "It makes no difference if it is the black fumes of the coal (subconsciuos), or the yellow fumes of the Benzol (supraconscious). Both are equally suffocating."
Amongst other things, the Agnya Chakra governs our sight. We should therefore respect our eyes as a gift with which the beauty of the Divine creation is revealed to us. We should not waste or abuse that gift. To stop the eyes from wandering, or from suffering from attention on gross things, we should look at the natural things like sky and grass.
When the Kundalini reaches the Sahasrara, the lotus petals open and enlightenment takes place (samadhi). You may feel a powerful pulsation in the crown of the head, followed by a melting sensation and a flow of cool vibrations from the fontanel area. This is the baptism by which you know that you are truly born again.
Vibratory awareness begins at this point. As the Kundalini unites our individual consciousness to the universal consciousness, we are suddenly tuned in to the universal wavelength of vibrations. These vibrations pervade the cosmos, but before realization, while we are still in the egg form, we know nothing of them. When the Kundalini breaks the shell of the egg, we emerge into God's Kingdom, the collective unconscious. At this point we are singing the song of the unconscious, the vibrations are playing through the instrument that we have become.