AN UNPARALLELED BOON FOR SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
The Centre of Purity certainly is the chaste pit of the throat,
Transmitting nectar through auspicious jalandhar-bandha!
The centre of high bliss, yielding joy absolute, is
The heart-chakra, for ever joined with heart consciousness;
Tejas Kendra, remover of all darkness, bejewelled, beautiful,
Located in the navel, opening ever-new dimensions!
The Centre of Health and Power, the great Muladhara;
By awakening it, men rise to Truth!!
Q. The great problem of the modern age is disequilibrium, lack of balance. One immediately loses one's balance in the face of a little opposition. Even. if one person allied with group consciousness, becomes unbalanced, he directly or indirectly influences the whole group. What kind of meditation do you suggest for a durable and certain resolution of the problem of mental imbalance?
Ans. From the physiological point of view, the thyroid gland is very important. The metabolic process is regulated by it. From the point of view of sadhana, it is the seat of the Centre of Purity. For the purification of feeling, meditation on this centre is very necessary. Problems arising out of meditation on the lower centres can be resolved through it. In the purification of intense emotions like anger etc. it is actively beneficial. The relaxation of the larynx and the perception of the Centre of Purity simultaneously make a rare harmonious and beautiful combination. The sadhak who attains such a combination, after surmounting many difficulties of life, reaches a point from where his goal is clearly, visible to him.
One of the processes of hatha-yoga is jalandharbandha. The chin is made to rest in the notch between the collar bones and at the top of the breast-bone. In that state, one has a feeling as if nectar is flowing down one's throat. It happens in the region around Vishudhi Kendra, the Centre of Purity. This centre has an important role in obviating the restlessness of the mind. A simple resolution of the problem of mental imbalance is the relaxing of the larynx and jalandhar-bandha. Meditation on Vishudhi Kendra, the Centre of Purity, and kayotsarg of the throat remove all uncertainty. Imbalance arises because the mind is caught in uncertainty. With the dissolution of uncertainty, the mind grows tranquil and the state of disequihbrium comes to an end.
Q. If a sadhak wants to undertake advanced exercises - in sadhana and wishes to avoid strong emotions that might arise during meditation, what psychic centre should he concentrate upon?
Ans. There is a centre of consciousness near the heart, called Anand Kendra, the Centre of Bliss. This centre represents feeling. The consciousness of the brain, and the consciousness of the heart--these two phrases are often mentioned. The brain is associated with logic and the heart with feeling. With the awakening of the Centre of Knowledge, a man becomes logical and argumentative, while the activation of the Centre of Bliss results in the development of faith. Consciousness is said to be directly connected with the brain, though our inner consciousness is connected with the endocrine system, too, through which our feelings manifest themselves. The consciousness of the heart is intimately connected with feelings. Our heart immediately gets hold of the sensations of pleasure or pain. The heart and the whole region adjacent to it, is influenced by the Centre of Bliss. Some people call it the Chakra of the Heart. In Hatha-Yoga, it is called the Anahata-Chakra. Meditation on this centre along with the recitation of mantras is a good beginning. Some specific spiritual disciplines are also practised through the medium of this centre. There is no room here for the risks and difficulties involved in the practice of meditation on the lower centres. From this angle, the Centre of Bliss is a typical and convenient centre for meditation.
Q. Manipur Chakra is said to be in the neighbourhood of Anahata Chakra. Where is this chakra located? What is its function? And for what psychic centre may it serve as a substitute?
Ans. Manipur Chakra known as Tejas Kendra (the Centre of Bio-Electricity) in Preksha Dhyana. The physiological term for it is adrenal glands. It is located in the region around the navel. It is said to be the centre which produces vital power. According to the physiologists, the adrenal glands are responsible for the transmission of energy. In certain special situations, these glands make typical secretions which result in an unthought-of increase in power. Meditation on Tejas Kendra, the Centre of Bio-Electricity, develops the vital power. From the point of sadhana, this centre is the principle source of making available abundant bio-electricity. Bio-electricity is the energy which a sadhak needs most. A man without energy is incapable of doing advanced exercises in the field of sadhana, nor can he succeed in them. Ordinarily, bio-electricity is to be found in the whole of the body, still there are certain principle centres, among which the rear part of the navel is important. Energy develops through meditation on this portion and this energy could be utilised in awakening the remaining psychic centres.
Q. The psychic centres which you have discussed so far, are all located above the navel. Some people think that only these centres above the navel are good for meditation, that meditation on the lower centres is fraught with risk. Is it so? What psychic centres are found below the navel? Should one meditate upon them or not?
Ans. The psychic centres are mainly connected with our spinal cord and some other typical parts of the body. All the psychic centres in the body have not yet been discovered. The physiologists know about these even less. All the same it is correct that the centres situated above the navel are pure and clean. Normally, prolonged meditation is practised on these centres. The lower centres are not so pure. In the system of preksha dhyana so far only two lower centres have been used for meditation---the Centre of Health and the Centre of Energy.
The psychic centre located between the navel and the pubic region is the Centre of Health. In Hatha-Yoga it is called Svadhisthana Chakra (the hypogastric plexus). In the language of physiology, this region is influenced by the gonads. From the point of view of brahmcharya, this centre is of great utility. The relationship between brahmcharya and health is not yet fully known to modern physiology. However, the ancient masters of spirituality gave it a good deal of attention. According to the discoveries made by them, from the points of view of both sadhana and health, the practice of brahmcharya has a special importance in the acquisition and preservation of energy.
Below the Centre of Health is the Centre of Energy. In Hatha-Yoga it is called the Muladhara Chakra. It is the lower most of the fundamental centres. It is connected with sushumna or the nervous system. The energy which is created by Tejas Kendra, the Centre of Bio-electricity has its source in Shakti Kendra, the Centre of Power. From this viewpoint, it is also called the Centre of Energy. The electricity or energy required by our brain, is supplied by this centre. That is indeed the objective of the exercise of the internal trip during which consciousness is made to move up and down, form the Centre of Energy to the Centre of Knowledge and back. During that trip our consciousness becoming the vehicle of energy, conveys it to the Centre of Knowledge in the brain. Thus, all the psychic centres make an unparalleled contribution to our physical, mental and emotional health and spiritual development.
Tejas Kendra (the Centre of Bio-electricity) in the rear part of the navel, Swasthya Kendra (the Centre of Health) located between the navel and the pubic region, and Shakti Kendra (the Centre of Energy) below are not so important from the point of view of spiritual development, but they have their utility from the physical point of view. Tejas Kendra is the centre of vital power (bio-electricity); it is, therefore essential for survival and health. To meditate upon Swasthya Kendra (the Centre of Health) and Shakti Kendra (the Centre of Energy) is not that essential. Generally, one should meditate upon and above Anand Kendra (the Centre of Bliss). In the preliminary stages, sadhaks are made to meditate upon the lower centres, too, for a little while. But along with these, it is necessary to meditate upon the upper centres. If Darshan Kendra (the Centre of Intuition) and Jyoti Kendra (the Centre of Enlightenment) get activated, there is then no need to concentrate upon the lower centres at all. As to what particular psychic centres and in what condition should a sadhak meditate one should seek guidance from experienced people.
Q. Some people have been practising meditation for years together and other are novices. Whose psychic centres get awakened early? Does a sadhak come to know clearly that his psychic centres have been activated?
Ans. There is no fixed rule about the time taken for the awakening of the psychic centres. Some sadhaks do not experience any change within themselves even after practising meditation for long period. Their psychic centres also remain inert. However, some sadhaks make good progress within a short time. Such a transformation takes place in them as to fill themselves with surprise. No one in the beginning has direct intimation of the activation or otherwise of the psychic centres, but it may be definitely asserted that the psychological and intellectual development, the diminution, of egoism, higher instincts, the sublimation of personality, the resolution of mental confusion and diseases, are strong proofs that the psychic centres are very much alive.