The sixth Chakra, Ajna, is in the area of the third eye, which is found in the space between the eyebrows. It encompasses the pituitary gland, eyes, head, and lower part of the brain. An invisible yet powerful third eye, this is your center of intuition. A spiritual Chakra, which means “beyond wisdom,” Ajna leads you to an inner knowledge that will guide you if you let it. An open sixth Chakra can enable clairvoyance, telepathy, lucid dreaming, expanded imagination, and visualization.
The Sixth Sense
Your world is experienced through the five senses. Even before you passed through the womb, you heard noises like your mother’s voice and heartbeat, and listened to muffled sounds outside. You experienced touch, taste, and even perceived light. And since the moment of birth, you’ve attributed your experiences to what you perceive through the senses. You’ve learned to trust your senses in what you can taste, smell, touch, see, and hear. While sense perception is great in life experience, it limits you when it comes to expanding your awareness.
At one time, you had to count on your sense of intuition and inner knowing. Before modern technology, we had to rely on signals from the environment and a more primal instinct to guide us. Just like birds can sense when a tsunami might hit, or squirrels know when it’s time to gather food for the winter, humans too have an intuitive sense. We’ve simply lost touch with it as well as our ability to trust in it.
Feeling Your Way to Intuition
Your physical senses can give you clues as to how to follow your intuition. For example, have you ever had the feeling that a carton of milk was bad? You smell the milk, look at the expiration date that’s still a couple weeks away, and even ask everyone in the house, “Is this milk bad?” Then, not detecting anything concrete, you go ahead and drink it but experience severe stomach pain as a result? That’s because on a very subtle level, your sense of smell detected something wasn’t right and gave you a cue that you doubted.
Here’s another example: you’re making a business deal with someone and everything adds up. The person seems great and honest. But when you shake hands you feel something just isn’t right. When the deal goes through, you find out it was corrupt.
You receive these clues through your senses, but when something isn’t visible you tend to ignore it. The good news is that you can learn to trust these clues and make better decisions based on your intuitive sense. When your decisions turns out right, write them down to reinforce that your intuition guided you in the right direction. Remember that just like the animals in the forest, you too have always had this sixth sense; you simply need to find it again.
Ask Your Inner Knower for Guidance
You can also use your inner sense to ask for guidance to make the right decisions. Taking into account your mind, intellect, and ego, you are now including your soul in the decision making process. Just as you turned to the third Chakra in the area of the solar plexus to guide you with comfort or discomfort, you will pay attention to a hunch or a subtle feeling of moving forward or holding back. If you are conflicted, ask for your sense of intuition to be opened to you in order to help you make the right choice.
How to Balance Ajna
Just like any of the spiritual chakras, Ajna is best balanced through meditation. Often, new meditators will report having a tingling feeling in the third eye or equate it to a headache. A tingling or pulsating sensation around the area of the third eye during or after meditation is a sign that you are opening this blocked Chakra.
A great Pranayama breathing technique is called Brahmari or the bee breath. Bring both hands to your face. Place the two middle fingers over your eyes. Allow the index fingers to rest on the eyebrow line and the pinky fingers under the cheekbones. Close your ears with your thumbs. Take a deep inhalation and exhale the word AUM with the emphasis on the “M” sound while creating a buzzing sound like a bee. Do this for two minutes or more. You can alleviate tension in the head and it works to open the sixth Chakra.
Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems
Any yoga Asana where the forehead is pressed down is a good one for the sixth Chakra. Try child’s pose (Balasana) with your forehead pressed to the floor or a yoga block. Dolphin pose is another helpful pose when you lift the head up to look toward the floor.
The color for the sixth Chakra is indigo and the mantra sound is SHAM. Gems that help open the Ajna Chakra are amethyst, lapis lazuli, and azurite.
Ajna Chakra is the location of the third eye which is the conscience. The two physical eyes see the past and the present, while the third eye reveals the insight of the future. The seed syllable is Aum, or “Pranava Om”, the supreme sound.
- Number of petals: 2
- Location: Between the eyebrows
- Name: Command, authority
- Plane: Plane of austerity
- Sound: AUM
When one establishes himself in the place between the eyebrows he goes beyond all the kinds of desires that motivate life and impel one to move in many directions. All experience and ideas serve only to clarify one’s perceptions in Ajna Chakra. The plane of neutrality (Sarasvati) appears as a balance between solar and lunar energy within the body.
Ida (river Ganga, feminine, lunar) and Pingala (river Jamuna, masculine, solar) nerve energies separate from the Sushumna channel at the Muladhara Chakra, intertwine up through all chakras and meet with the Sarasvati, becoming one at Ajna Chakra. This brings the sense of oneness and of unity with the cosmic laws that appear in the plane of austerity. They then again separate, running into the left and right nostrils. Negative and positive, the components of duality, become equalized in Sarasvati, leaving a state of pure music and neutrality. One now becomes one-pointed; he becomes knower of past, present and future.
Ida and Pingala are time-bound; up to the fifth Chakra the yogi also is time bound, but as Ida and Pingala end here, the yogi moves into Sushumna, beyond time. He is now in a state of nondual consciousness. The activation of Ajna Chakra is said to lead to psychic powers (siddhis) such as clairvoyance.
The presiding deity is Ardhanarishvara, the half-male, half-female Shiva-Shakti, symbolic of basic polarity; the right side is male and the left side, female. Ardhanarishvara stands in a lingam known as Itara Lingam. The lingam is shining white, like the color of light. The male half of Ardhanarishvara has camphor-blue skin. He holds a trident in his right hand, representing the three aspects of consciousness: cognition, conation, and affection.
The female side of Ardhanarishvara is pink. She wears a red sari, and about her neck and arms are wound shining golden ornaments. She holds a pink lotus, a symbol of purity. All duality has ceased. Shiva has total command over all aspects of the self in this plane of liberation, or moksha.
The third eye of Shiva is called sva-netra, the organ of clairvoyance. Becoming Sada-Shiva, the eternal one, Shiva is no longer separate from Shakti as a separate male entity. Devata Shiva is the granter of knowledge. This knowledge brings the breath (prana) and the mind under control of Ardhanarishvara.
The energy is Hakini. Hakini Shakti has four arms and six heads. Her skin is pale pink, and her jewelry is golden and shines with gems. Wearing a red sari, she sits on a pink lotus with her left foot raised. She imparts theknowledge of unconditional truth, the awareness of nonduality. In her hands she holds the following objects: Shiva’s damaru drum, which maintains a steady drone and leads the aspirant in his way, a skull, as symbol of detachment, a mala for japa as a centering device. her remaining right hand is posed in the mudra of granting fearlessness.