From Ajna Chakra to Sahasrara

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

To arrive at ajna chakra means sadhana, discipline, belief and persistent effort. When kundalini arrives at ajna chakra through sushumna, there is union between the three nadis when ida, pingala and sushumna unite. This union can be explained by the external example of sangam of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati at Prayag. Just as Ganga and Jamuna from above and Saraswati from underneath meet each other at Prayag and the water becomes holy, in the same way ida, pingala and sushumna unite at ajna chakra. Even now they are united, but there is a difference. Ida and pingala are active lines. The energy is flowing in ida and pingala. There is a current in them but there is no current in sushumna. When awakening of kundalini begins then sushumna becomes charged with higher energy and the real union takes place, the spiritual union of the three. Your consciousness is transformed, your perceptions are changed, your awareness becomes different, it becomes higher awareness.

With our low awareness we can cognize, see the sense objects and on the basis of these we understand everything, but nothing more than that. If you want to understand something beyond this, you cannot because your perception is not high. If you want to see a caterpillar with the eyes, you can. You can see a rat or cat, but if you want to see a bacteria or virus, you cannot see with these eyes alone; you have to use a microscope. If you want to see a distant object, you cannot see with your eyes alone; you have to use a telescope. If you want to understand radioactive waves, you cannot feel them with your body; you have to use a sensitive instrument. Even if you know and read about them, it is not possible to experience them. To experience them you need a higher faculty, and this higher faculty automatically emerges when ida, pingala and sushumna join in ajna chakra.

Once ajna chakra becomes active, your perception becomes a superior perception, and it is not necessary for you to know how to reach sahasrara. With this state of mind, it is not possible to know how to reach sahasrara, but when that superior higher mind and perception develops, then you know. In my opinion it is not important for us to know how to reach sahasrara through ajna chakra, but it is important for us to know how to awaken ajna chakra.

Ajna chakra is known by various names. One of these is ‘the third eye’, which represents the faculty of higher perception. Lord Shiva in mythology and the great yogis and seers are supposed to have opened the third eye. This is why they are known as ‘seers’, those who can see internally. If you have the third eye through which you can see subtle, internal, higher and spiritual things, it is not necessary for you to know which way to go. For example, if you are in the forest at night, you cannot move anywhere. What is the use of asking your friend how to go forward? He will say, ‘There is darkness, you cannot go anywhere, you do not know which way to go.’ If you have a torchlight, it is not necessary for you to ask. You just switch on the torch and walk off.

All of us are in the state of darkness. Darkness means tamas, avidya, lack of perception, lack of knowledge. The Upanishads, yoga shastras and Samkhya in particular, say that the lower states of mind in which we are is tamisra. Tamisra means darkness. There are stages of mind such as andhatamisra, animal state of absolute darkness. In the dark when the mind and the senses cannot see, it is not possible for anyone to know how to go beyond ajna chakra, from that state of awareness to higher states. Ajna chakra is an instrument through which you can develop your awareness and know how to reach sahasrara.

In the Gita Krishna says, “Arjuna, I present the yoga of higher perception. Then I give the state of higher perception.” ‘Then’ means after the completion of certain sadhana, after the practice of bhakti yoga, Samkhya etc. “After I give them the higher perception, they can reach me.”

Suppose there is a river or sea and you have to go to the other side, how do you go? First, you go by train, car or any other vehicle up to the bank of the river. There you will have to leave the vehicle, horse, car or perhaps motorbike, and take a boat across the river. Exactly in the same way, when you have come up to the shore with the vehicles of the mind and senses, there is an area where they cannot operate. Then you must have a boat, a higher vehicle, higher mind or higher tool by which you can reach the other shore of ajna chakra.

When the awakening of kundalini is complete, ajna chakra becomes illumined. You achieve buddhi yoga. According to the Gita, buddhi means higher perception, not intellect. Buddha means enlightened. Buddhi yoga is the yoga of higher awareness.

February 1982, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu