A human is not just made up of a physical body. Superimposed on the Homo-sapiens skeleton is what’s known as the astral body. The astral body of Man is like a cloud-based body comprised of color, electrical conductivity, and emotions. This astral body is considered the second of a three-layered system of bodies that we are born with.
When we talk about chakras, we have to understand the astral body because the vortex-like energy centers are not seen in the physical — only the astral. However, we can and do feel these centers; evolve into and out of them; get stuck in them; become affected by them; and eventually transcend them altogether. Understanding the chakras can explain quite a bit about our psyche, a human’s stages of growth, where depression and illness might stem from, and a host of other life concerns that humans go through.
This astral body—and the chakras—should be considered a mental/emotional system; the physical body, an instinctive system; and the third body, a system of cosmogony known as “Causal.”
These centers have a color, functionality, and vibrational rate at which they spin. The amount of awareness we have in a given area of our psyche will determine the rate at which the chakra spins and is active. The names and functions, according to my guru, of the chakras are as follows:
Universal or divine love is the faculty expressed by the vishuddha chakra. This center is associated with the pharyngeal plexus in the throat and possesses sixteen “petals” or attributes. Whereas the first two centers Muladhara and Svadhishthana are predominantly gross forces in nature, and the third and fourth, Manipura and Anahata, are mixtures of gross and subtle force, vishuddha is almost a purely subtle force structure.
Whenever people feel filled with inexpressible love and devotion to all mankind, all creatures large and small, they are vibrating within vishuddha. In this state — either spontaneous, drug-induced or brought on by a dedicated meditation practice — there is no consciousness of a physical body, no awareness of being a person with emotions, no consciousness of thoughts. Yogis in or near the vishuddha center are fully aware of themselves as a vibrant and otherworldly force flowing through all forms.
Vishuddha means “sheer purity.” This center is associated with blue, the color of divine love. The yogi who has awakened this center is able to withdraw awareness totally into the spine, an area in meditation that holds a great deal of stillness and contentment. When well-practiced and going in and out of these meditative areas is no longer a challenge, the yogi begins experiencing the real spiritual being.
The success of striving
Who wouldn’t want to achieve these higher states of consciousness? The attraction is undeniable — enhanced metaphysical vision, control of the mind and body, the annihilation of stress-induced anxiety. We all want to be the yogi sitting atop a mountain and seeing the landscape of life as a mere game, and you can strive for these lofty attainments. The challenge is in establishing a systematic process that we can practice daily.
Once the vague aspects of meditation are clarified, the yogi stops seeing oneself as both an outer and inner being. This perspective of non-distinction allows for enhanced yogic training due to all of life being a stage for growth. As you become stronger in this newfound love of being, your eyes feast upon the reality that all of life is a miracle. All of existence is nothing but a reflection of Self, of being, of you. Classical yoga deems this state of Vishuddha as “The Watcher.”
As the yogi watches, observes, and stands back from interacting with this cosmic interplay of time, memory, and thought patterns held together by reason, she comes to terms with the perfection of existence. The pains were a lesson for growth, the cycle of young are now the pupils in the classroom, and the old can now teach wisdom to those that seek answers.
“The outer shell dissolves and he lives in the blissful inner consciousness that knows only light, love and immortality.” Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
From throat to the third eye, Vishuddha to Ajna, we first know love absolute before witnessing direct insight and knowing of past, present, and future. If the order is out of place then we won’t be able to understand why the pain and suffering of life are but lessons in the strand of samsara.
Balance, time, and patience
Going from the bottom to the top chakras is not something we can force safely. We cannot disobey the laws of ancient yoga and demand our spirit evolve ahead of its time. The young soul evolves from memory to reason asking, “Why, why, why,” before going to willpower, understanding, compassion, vision, and ultimate clarity. Adults can see the reasoning faculty in the growing intellect of the child, observers can see willpower in the student, and the old can see the fleeting nature of the ignorant repeating those cycles without ever looking up for deeper truths.
Before we can climb out of willpower and into cognition we must understand our own trauma. Before climbing out of cognition to love we must resolve anger. Before climbing up to intuition from love we must have compassion for all that exists. And, before going from intuition to enlightenment we must be able to detach from the notion of power and being above anyone else.
Don’t try to balance a chakra, see a past life, wish for global-enlightenment, or attain powers of clairvoyance. Let go of anger, laugh more than you cry, treat others with acceptance and love, and let the rest come on its own. That’s Vishuddha.