The seventh Chakra, Sahaswara, is referred to as the thousand-petal lotus Chakra. This is the top Chakra of the seven and located at the crown of the head. Sahaswara is our source of enlightenment and spiritual connection to all that is. It is a connection to our higher selves, to every being on the planet, and ultimately the divine energy that creates everything in the universe.
True opening of Sahaswara means the realization that you are pure awareness. You are pure consciousness, undivided, and all expansive. Like a drop in the ocean, you are a part of that ocean that contains and encompasses every aspect of it.
Emerging From the Murky Waters
The lotus flower is a symbol in both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. It is nurtured, grows, and emerges in muddy waters. It blooms where there is no clarity. The beauty of the lotus is unique to its environment, which appears monotonous and lacks vibrancy.
When you reach the unfurling of the seventh Chakra, you emerge through the confines of the physical body, the ego, mind, and intellect. You even push beyond the individual soul that ties you to Samsara, the endless cycle of birth and rebirth. You are freed from the shackles of desire. White light surrounds your body and you appear to stand out in your murky surroundings.
Is This an Unattainable Beauty?
After reading the description of the seventh Chakra, it may seem out of reach. You may think, “Well, that sounds nice for monks and gurus, but not for me. I’m just an ordinary person with a normal life.”
While we have the demands of daily living and the busy minds that accompany these demands, reaching enlightenment may not be as far off as it appears. A worthy goal may be to live in a constant state of pure awareness. But how about living with moments of pure awareness? We have all experienced these moments at one time or another. Have you ever felt unconditional love for someone? Have you ever experienced a miracle?
Practicing meditation, prayer, and daily silence are disciplines that lead to increased moments of spiritual connection. In fact, these are the only means by which you will experience the essence of Sahaswara. Just as you would go to school for hours a day and study for exams to obtain a degree, meditation, prayer, and silence are your studies to obtain a spiritual degree.
Once you’ve established a daily practice of these activities that connect you to universal consciousness, you will see expansion of spiritual awareness in your outer world. You will begin to experience unconditional love on a consistent basis. You will be more compassionate, kind, and forgiving, and you will show more humility. Life will no longer be solely about you and your desires. Your life will become more about serving others because when you serve others, you are serving yourself.
Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems
While silence is the most powerful and important way to opening the seventh Chakra, there are some other practices that support this Chakra.
Two Pranayama breathing techniques you can do before meditation include Nadi Shodhana, or alternate nostril breathing, and Kapalabhati, or the skull shining breath.
Inverted yoga asanas such as headstand (Salamba Sirsasana) and down dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) can help stimulate the seventh Chakra, as well as any posture that brings the crown of the head to the floor such as fish pose (Matsyasana).
The color for the crown Chakra is violet or white and the mantra sound is the universal sound of OM. Gems you can wear or have in your environment to help open and align the seventh Chakra are amethyst, selenite, and sugilite.
Symbolism of the Image
Sahasrara, meaning thousand, is the “Lotus of the Thousand Petals” located four finger-breadths above the crown of the head. Sahasrara Chakra is the upper terminal point of Sushumna nadi, the central channel. From Saharara the nectar of immortality (Amrita) flows in a constant stream.
- Location: Top of the cranium
- Name: Thousand petaled
- Plane: Truth and reality
Sahasrara Chakra is the seat of the parabindu (supreme bindu). It is the location of the merging of Kundalini Shakti and Shiva. By this union the adept attains liberation while living which is considered in Indian life to be the highest experience: an union of the individual with the universe.
Sahasrara Chakra is located above Brahma-randhra, “the cave of Brahma”. It is a hole in the crown of the head through which the soul is said to escape at death. When the Yogi separates himself from the physical body at the time of death, this Brahma-randhra bursts open and the soul comes out through this opening (Kapala Moksha). This opening is also called the ‘Door to Pure Consciousness’ or door of liberation.
Once the Kundalini Shakti, also called “Serpent Power”, has ascended through Sushumna to Sahasrara, it is made to reverse its course and return to rest in the base center again. Immortality is achieved within Sahasrara Chakra. Before attaining to this Chakra the yogi is unable to reach the unconscious conscious state called asama-prajnata-samadhi. In this state there is no activity of the mind and no knower, no knowledge, nothing to be known: knowledge, knower, and known all become unified and liberated.
When the Kundalini is raised up to Sahasrara Chakra, the illusion of individual self is dissolved. The yogi becomes realized, one with the cosmic principles that govern the entire universe within the body. One is no longer subjected to birth or death.
Samadhi is the pure bliss of total inactivity. Up to the sixth Chakra the yogi may enter a trance in which activity or form still remains within the consciousness.
In Sahasrara Chakra the prana moves upward and reaches the highest point. The mind establishes itself in the pure void of Shunya Mandala, the space between the hemispheres.
At this time all feelings, emotions and desires, which are the activities of the mind, are dissolved into their primary cause. The union is achieved. The yogi is sat-chit-ananda, truth-being-bliss.
He is his own real self, and as long as he stays in his physical body he retains nondual consciousness, enjoying the play of lila without becoming troubled by pleasure and pain, honors and humiliations.
The second Chakra, Svadhisthana, is also known as the creativity and sexual Chakra. It is located above the pubic bone and below the navel, and encompasses the genital region and the hypogastric plexus. The word svadhisthana can be translated as “the dwelling place of the self,” and the element of the second Chakra is water, which equals cohesiveness.
A balanced second Chakra leads to feelings of wellness, abundance, pleasure, and joy. When this Chakra is out of balance, a person may experience emotional instability, fear of change, sexual dysfunction, depression, or addictions.
You can open this Chakra with creative expression and by honoring your body. The energy of this Chakra is feminine, passive, and lunar.
Creativity: The Focus of The Second Chakra
As humans, it is part of our nature to create. This creativity can be expressed as procreation but the second Chakra energy is certainly not limited to making babies. When we cook, bake, or garden, we are creating. We create when we find a new solution to an old problem. Any time we take raw materials, physical or mental, and transform them into something new, we are using our creative energy.
The problem with creativity is that we are often discouraged from creative efforts, starting with education. Once we pass through the phase where coloring, painting, or cutting paper is completely acceptable, it seems that we must mold into less creative beings. In order to conform, follow the rules and fit in, we sometimes lose our creative energy and thus, our unique ideas in the process. Adults become used to following what’s right, the latest trend, or what’s acceptable to others. Then, when asked to abstractly invent something new, we might have a difficult time doing it.
Play Like a Child to Awaken Your Creative Energy
We might feel open and creative in some aspects of life, while self-conscious in others. Ask me to write a book or essay and I can perform with ease. But if you ask me to draw a picture, paint, or even create a great meal without a recipe to follow, I feel much less than skilled. But, if you told me I had to paint a nice picture because my life depended on it, I would most likely rise to the occasion. Why? Because I would take the risk to get the job done.
The reason, that we stopped being creative or stopped taking risks creatively, is because along the way, someone told us that we weren’t good or that we couldn’t do it. In opening your second Chakra energy, you must take risks and not be afraid of failure.
Play is a great way to begin this opening. Have you ever watched a child play? A child will spend several hours building a Lego tower, a sandcastle, or an exquisite dollhouse. Then, the same child will smash their masterpiece in an instant and start over from scratch as if it was no big deal.
Start to play like a child. If your gourmet meal doesn’t turn out, so what? If your potted plant dies in a week, plant another one. And yes, if your work project is a flop, it doesn’t mean your career is over. Like the child at play, start again. You have an infinite amount of creative energy within you, so use it.
How to Balance Svadhisthana
Besides being open to creativity in your daily life, you can balance the second Chakra by maintaining a healthy sexual life and honoring and respecting your body. Get in touch with your emotions and see if there are any feelings you’re holding onto. Make a commitment to process those emotions in a healthy way.
Left nostril breathing called Ida Nadi breathing will help to open up the second Chakra as it brings forth lunar energy. Simply close your right nostril with the first two fingers of your right hand and inhale and exhale through the left nostril, only for 8 to 10 breaths.
Meditation with focus on the second Chakra brings about personal magnetism, refinement in behavior, freedom from diseases, and longevity.
Asanas, Sounds, Colors, and Gems
Other ways to open a blocked Chakra include using yoga, mantras, colors, and gems.
Yoga asanas that help to open and align Svadhisthana are …
- Seated pelvic circles: Sitting in a cross-legged or half-lotus pose with your hands on your knees, make circles with your torso. Go around in one direction 5 or 6 times and then switch directions.
- Baddha konasana (butterfly pose) with forward fold: In a seated position, bring the bottoms of your feet together. Let your knees drop to the sides and bring your heels in close to your pelvis. Lengthen the torso and fold forward.
- Bhujangasana (cobra pose): Lie on your stomach with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands under your shoulders and slowly lift your head, chest, and abdomen while keeping your naval on the floor. Be sure to press down through the pubic bone toward the mat.
The mantra sound that corresponds to the Sacral Chakra is the sound VAM. By chanting VAM, the vibrations will open and align this Chakra. The color for the second Chakra is orange and the gemstones for this Chakra are amber, calcite orange, carnelian, or hematite.
Symbolism of the Image
Svadhisthana, the second Chakra, is situated in the genital region, it has six vermillion lotus petals. The moon-shaped crescent is the yantra of this Chakra. The Chakra governs the principle of taste, Its element is water.The vital relationship between water and the moon is shown by the crescent yantra within the white circle of the water Chakra.
The seed mantra is Vam and the vital breath of the Chakra is Prana.
Above the mantra is seated the presiding deity Vishnu, the lord of preservation, the all-pervading life-force in the universe. Vishnu is in shining dark-blue, and he wears a dhoti of golden yellow. A green silk scarf covers his four arms. He is seated on a pink lotus, four-armed, holding a conch, a mace, a wheel and a lotus. He is ornamented with the crown, jeweled earrings, anklets and wears the wanamala on his neck.
- Number of petals: 6
- Location: Above the genitals
- Name: Dwelling place of the self
- Plane: The Astral plane
- Sense Organ: Tongue
- Work Organ: Genitals
- Sense: Taste
- Element: Water
- Shape: Circle
- Sound: Vang
Vishnu is seated on the Garuda, the king of birds. Garuda is the concentrated vayu power developed from the highest form of kumbhaka (breath-suspension) which is under full control of Vishnu. Garuda represents the five vayus within us: Apana, Prana, Samana, Udana and Vyana. From the Garuda process has been developed the practice of Uddiyana control, the control of the lower abdomen.
This means the Great bird of Prana, the life force is constantly forced to fly upward, ascending along Sushumna nadi the central channel. By concentration, control over the five prana forces is increased through the release of Kundalini Power, and consequently pranayama develops. Then Lord Vishnu begins to be awakened.
His energy is Rakini or Chakini Shakti, two-headed, four armed, holding an arrow, a skull, a drum, and an ax, seated on a red lotus. Rakini is one of the forms of Kundalini Shakti. She wears a red sari, and jewels encircle her neck and four arms.
The Chakra’s associated animal is the light grey or green makara (crocodile), an emblem of the waters and the vehicle of the god Varuna, lord of the sea. Varuna has full control over the water principle and the celestial ocean (the milky way), the medium through which the five prana forces exhibit their functional activities.
This subtle water in its essence is Amrita, the deathless substance, and in its gross form is blood and various external and internal secretions.
While reading Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith, I came across a wonderful series of meditations. They read a little like a story, and some of them more like poetry, and they really give a wonderful in depth understanding of the various chakras and their deeper meanings. Each one builds on the one before, so they are best read in order, from Root to Crown.
Here is a list if you’d like to explore them:
Quietly you lie at peace, alive against the Earth. The Earth that is still, solid, unmoving. You are still, yet for every ebb and flow of breath there is movement in your body. There is change. From inner to outer and outer to inner, the path between the worlds is woven through you. The path of change.
As your chest rises, the breath moves through your nose, throat, and lungs. It ebbs and flows, as evenly and gracefully as waves upon a shore. Back and forth … empty and full … in and out.
Inside, your heart beats, your blood pulsates, a river of life connects each and every cell within you. Blood flows outward … blood flows in toward the center again. Your cells expand and contract, ever reproducing, dying. Wiggle a finger back and forth. Impulses of nerves run down your arms. Your breathing continues … in … out … in … out.
Deep in your belly you become aware of a warm glow of orange, pulsing through your pelvis, through your abdomen, through your genitals. Pulsations of orange light move in rivulets down your legs, up again through your thighs, flowing through your belly, and up through your back to nourish all of you.
You are alive. You are a wave of motion. Nothing within you is truly still. Nothing around you is still. Everything is constantly changing at each and every moment. Every sound, every ray of light, every breath is an oscillation, back and forth, constantly moving, swaying, flowing. A flow of constant change, changing every moment from the last. By the time you finish this meditation, both you and the world will be different.
Within your body is a river of change. Find the subtle inner flows of movement and thought, moving up, down, around, and through. Find them and follow them. Allow them to gain momentum – removing obstacles by easing any tension you may find. Exaggerate their flow with outward movements: sway in your chair, rock back and forth, creating a rhythmic motion. Let the rhythm build until you feel like getting up – get up and move around, swaying on your feet, circling with your hips, bending your knees, always keeping the flow even and steady … remembering roots below. You sway, back and forth … up and down … in and out … expanding, yet ever returning to your core self once again.
You move with the flow of water, sometimes slow like a great river, sometimes quickly like a spring stream, sometimes languishing like a quiet lake, sometimes passionate like the waves of the sea. Raise an arm and imagine water flowing down through it. Feel the wet fluid run down your back, your buttocks, your toes.
Think of the water as it flows from the sky, caressing the mountains, running in rivulets to its various pools. Imagine water raining down on you, caressing your body, running in rivulets down your pelvis and legs, down to soften the Earth below. You are the rain as you fall effortlessly from Heaven to Earth.
You are many droplets as your thoughts fall from your mind. In tiny movements, the tides within you grow and move – faster as they plunge downward, cascading over pinnacles of earth – then slowly as they slither serpentine across great valleys of your fertile fields.
Until, as one, you ebb and flow with the ties of the sea, pulled by the moon in its dance of dark and light. Your oceans, vast and deep, abound with life. Your passion reaches outward, spills onto the shore, and returns again within you. You drink in all the change around you, pulling its movement through you as your life ebbs and flows. In … and out … you breathe.
From the vast depths of ebb and flow, you reach. You touch. You find your body. Sensation flows into your hand across your skin. Sensation known to none but you. Your hand moves across curves of flesh and follows lines of movement. You sway to the sensuality of your touch. Inside you rise emotions – churning, yearning, flowing, bubbling. They reach and touch and rise, becoming movements, waves change, the water flows, within, without.
You are alone, yet others are around you. They, too, ebb and flow, and change and touch and yearn. Your movements flow to join them, desiring to unite, to merge, to move toward something new. Your hands long to touch, to pull the oceans closer, to feel the flow of other tides mixing with your own.
Your belly heaves, your sex awakes, you thirst for touch, and reach beyond yourself. You find your “other” – different yet the same. Exploring, you begin to merge. The movements build within you, exalting you, expressing you, caressing you. Your passions swell in ocean waves to crash upon the shore and satisfy your needs. The waters ebb and flow, nurture, cleanse and heal, as they flow with each yearning, each movement, each breath. Ecstatic in uniting, you merge complete within yourself and completed once again within another. You dance, and rise and fall … and rest.
You are water – the essence of all forms, yet formless. You are the point from which each direction flows, and you are the flow. You are the one that feels, you are the one that moves. You are the one that embraces the other.
Shall we flow together and join our souls in this journey down the river of life? Shall we flow together to the sea?
From: Wheels of Life
The Sacral Chakra is located along the spine behind the naval region. It is associated with the color orange, is directly affected by physical concerns, and is connected with the reproductive organs. It is the second lowest energy vibration, correlating to the emotional plan of existence.
When the sacral chakra energy is balanced you feel comfortable with who you are sexually, you are able to express your inner power and beauty, you will have a lot of physical energy,healing energy and you will experience the joys of life.
Emotional and Physical Dysfunction’s bring the following: unbalanced sex drive, instability, feelings of isolation, impotence, frigidity, bladder and prostate problems, lower back pain
The sacral chakra is connected to our sweetness, allowing pleasure and creative expression.
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