Chakra 5 – Vishuddhi (Throat chakra)

Vishuddhi ChakraVishuddhi chakra located at the pit of the throat is more often associated with communication, self expression, will power and choice. However, the actual sanskrit meaning of vishuddhi means deep purification; vi meaning very deep or extreme & shuddhi meaning purification. Although its function of purification is fundamental, being related to the higher mind it refers more to removing the subtle obstructions which prevent us from understanding and expressing our deepest feelings and personal truth.

The throat chakra (vishuddhi) is the chakra of communication, sound, creative expression and telepathy. The sense associated with it is hearing, the related organ of knowledge is the ears and its organ of action is the vocal cords. So this remarkable chakra is the centre of communication and self expression through sound and word. A challenge and life lesson here for the Vishuddhi Chakra is that we learn to go beyond the ego and express ourselves in the most truthful manner even when this goes against our peers ideas of acceptability. In terms of kundalini awakenings this will happen automatically for as you spontaneously bring together opposing tendencies it will ruffle feathers.

Other areas related to vishuddhi are the thyroid gland, throat, ears, jaw and mouth. If we have recurring problems in any of these areas it is possible that our throat chakra is out of harmony. Common reasons for this are suppressed feelings acting as blocks to honest communication, having our will thwarted or being dominated, lying, or feeling unable to communicate and express ourselves.

With its higher discriminative capacity vishuddhi chakra also provides greater freedom for personal choice and strengthens our will power. When choice and will power are thwarted for whatever reason, the throat and other related areas can develop problems. It is said that our voice resonates harmoniously when vishuddhi is strong and people are naturally soothed and attentive when we speak. It is very closely situated to the heart chakra and directly expresses our feelings through sound and song, with music being one of its greatest and artistic forms of expression.

The fifth element related to Vishuddhi is the final and most subtle of all elements, the space element (or ether). This gives it a vast, objective and impartial nature, which can accommodate everything and all opposing tendencies within itself. The level of awareness provided by vishuddhi views the notion of good and bad as relative perceptions and also relative to the constraints of time and cultural conditions. Its higher vibrational level affords a more refined awareness that can see both good and bad as providing the experiences in life which lead to a greater understanding of the whole. What seemed bad at one point in life is naturally viewed as a valuable learning experience which has brought us knowledge and also to where we are today as a person. This general flowing with the stream of events, rising and falling with them, is provided by the spacious & objective nature of the vishuddhi aspect of our personality.

The final and most subtle element of all, the Space element belonging to vishuddhi chakra contains all, acting like the canvas upon which the whole of creation is able to manifest and be painted. It is the vastness and subtle sensitivity of vishuddhi that enables it to pick up on the etheric vibrations from wherever we place our attention. When it is clear and balanced we can place our attention onto people, places and also ourselves and get accurate direct knowledge of everything at the subtle vibrational level. The truth seeking and vast space element of vishuddhi enables us to access our deep unconscious and express hidden intentions and emotional forces. It also provides a telepathic ability that enables us to read and pick up on the feelings and thought vibrations emanating from another persons being.

So our yoga asana, pranayama and mantra practice can open, stimulate and purify vishuddhi chakra and penetrate the hidden forces, conflicts and emotional blocks or struggles we feel and release them (Mantra is so good for this). Yoga practice has the potential to release this energy and then quite spontaneously we begin to understand ourselves at a deeper level; we can understand and express the inner truth of a situation, a relationship and what we feel and really need.

After this higher level of self realization in awakening vishuddhi chakra, the Spirit is able to interact with our consciousness much more clearly and directly. The universe can move through us with additional spiritual power as it will not be abused. The whole cosmos both within ourselves and all around us comes alive to perception, inspiring us to see the incredible beauty and divine nature of creation. We have access to deep intuitive insight now and can perceive the underlying patterns and cycles in ourselves and the lives of those around us. We perceive the journey and move with the stars and seasons of time and can help all those entrusted to our care for the moment, gently and unobtrusively guiding them home. When in tune with this higher vibration of perception we naturally see everyone as a spiritual being, a part and parcel of the whole, where everyone is essentially sacred and worthy of the same respect and loving treatment as any member of the family. We are filled with compassion and blessed with the ability to spontaneously awaken the truth in others and help elevate mankind to ease suffering.

When the kundalini awakens here we are moving closer to enlightenment and blessed with a a greater power to communicate and influence others. Also because of the ability to transform all events and experiences into a cause of growth and even joy, a person at this level of awakening always leads by example and is able to take upon themselves very difficult or what might appear on the surface as tragic circumstances in order to teach and inspire others to greater change. They are fearless pioneers because they have almost mastered their own mind, knowing that their experience of an external reality is based on pure perception. However these abilities belong to those with a kundalini awakening, as there is a difference between them and being a Vishuddhi type. We may be natural teachers, objective, impartial and highly intuitive as a vishuddhi type of personality, but those with a kundalini awakening are also blessed with great inner strength, a deep and real love for all people and they are spirtually alive and awake.

The purification of opposing tendencies means that events normally tragic and dangerous are now absorbed into the vastness of being and transformed into the wisdom mind of greater enlightenment. Life is now experienced through innate spiritual perception and every single event and experience is accepted and understood in context with its goal of yoga, unity of self realisation. Far from being too serious, the enlightened nature of vishuddhi provides a joyous grace and freedom. A person at this level of development can truly let go and enjoy life to the full because they have understood and accepted themselves.

The true causes of all our anxieties and inner conflicts are due to a lack of true self awareness, creating the innate divisions, delusions and dependencies that pervade every aspect of our life. This division or the two aspects of our mind are the transient aspect of consciousness housed in this body and tied to the five senses, and the enlightened mind or eternal spirit beyond them. As we become more integrated and conscious of our true self, our mind and being also become more whole instead of dualistic and in conflict. Up until this point the ego drives have been operating on awareness, pulling it this way and that with one misguided, prejudice and impulse after another. We may recognize this aspect of ourselves in the part that is always analyzing and in some kind of constant inner dialogue. Instead of being empty and clear, imbued with wisdom and bliss, which is the uncluttered experience of our higher mind, we are constantly assessing and judging in every moment, like a subtle voice over narrative to a documentary of our life. Until we are in tune with our inner being and spiritually aware, this part of our mind has been our prisoner and not many people manage to break free in this life. Many people completely identify with this aspect of ego being, as it validates them with an opinion, a false sense of power and self importance.

It’s not easy to tame this mind because it will not remain quiet through suppression no matter how much we meditate. It will argue its case with reasoning and our essence will identify with it. As soon as we perceive our life not being the way we want it to be, the voice over starts with its mistaken assessments. It or we think this is me, this is the situation and this is what I want and this is what will make me happy. In most cases we do not yet have the tools to stop this rational part of our being, because we do not yet have the awakening to perceive ourselves way beyond this ego reasoning process. It will fight and has even killed to remain in power.

If we want the happiness within our grasp and to taste the bliss of our spiritual self, then we can practice yoga with confidence and slowly the truth will grow. The inner light will develop like a flower rising towards the sunlight and gradually the peaceful bliss gives rise to a beautiful inner silence. Here the mind is so clear and aware of everything, because the inner conflict and chatter has finally stopped. We are now awake to the present moment, fully aware with all our senses and able to see things in their naked clarity. In this state and in this moment, we are a divine loving presence of spontaneous wisdom.

It is wisdom that gives us the will power to endure, to hold to our values and principles no matter what is going on outside of us. It is wisdom and experience that can keep our mind fully present in the moment and relaxed, without attachment and without expectation. What people do or don’t do will no longer pull our mind because it is free. When we have fully integrated the level of consciousness provided by Vishuddhi, then whether we earn lots of money or have none, or whether that person returns our affection or not will make little difference because our mind is already complete and total. It is not distracted by desire, fear or doubt any more, because these states come from a mind not centred within itself.

Yoga philosophy states that in awakening this chakra, we have the ability to separate our true Self from the driving engine of our egos desires and ambitions. Where once we were completely pushed and pulled by our thoughts and impulses, we now have the capacity and space to stop and separate from them and rest in the vastness and deep inner peace of our true essence. Whilst we can join in more playfully and wholeheartedly with the play of life, we now take full responsibility for ourselves through understanding that our mind is the creator of all experience, the karma of every situation we find ourselves in, and all happiness and sorrow. The transitory nature of the world is enjoyed but now completely released from our mental and emotional grasping.

To reiterate then, purification, truth and communication are the central themes of Vishuddhi chakra. It is the centre of sound and responsible for speech and communication. It has the natural ability and instinct to understand and express the inner truth of something, whether symbolically through art, music and poetry, or through clear reason in the eloquent speech of a barrister or politician for example. Being situated between the heart chakra (the emotional mind) and the forehead chakra (higher intuition), the throat chakra is blessed with emotional intelligence and has excellent skills in expressing the power of feelings and ideas in sound and words, making them natural actors, singers and story tellers as well as psychologists and everything else mentioned. The nature of Vishuddhi is vast and affords us with many skills and possibilities.

Keyword Associations

Truth, Communication, Self Expression, Purification, Discrimination, Will Power, Choice – Sound, Voice, Neck, Throat, Thyroid, Parathyroid, Ears, Jaw, Mouth