Chakra 6 – Ajna (brow chakra)

Ajna ChakraAjna comes from the Sanskrit root which means ‘to know & command’. Unlike other chakras below this one, ajna does not have a related element, because its nature is the higher mind beyond form and residing as pure intuition.

It perceives directly and needs no information from the five senses to validate its perception. Some believe that ajna chakra relates to the brain, because like the brain it is the command centre of our system. Others believe ajna is related to no physical organ or thing and is purely transcendental.

According to the bihar school of yoga, ajna chakra is located in the brain at the top of the spinal cord above the medulla oblongata. It governs the pineal gland which is called the master gland acting as a very complex switch for all the other glands in the body. In diagrams ajna chakra is located directly above and between the eyebrows, hence symbolically it is often shown as a large single eye, known as the divine or third eye that can see beyond the veil or surface appearance of things and into the heart of the matter.

Ajna chakra provides a psychic and intuitive ability that allows for a ‘knowing of something’ without being able to prove it; but we can feel it with gut instinct.  People with a highly developed ajna chakra can have psychic gifts called siddhis in yoga, such as having the ability to read another persons thoughts and feelings or even see into the future but this ability of seeing into the uture I feel is being very sensitive to inner patterns and sensing where things are going. Its not magic. When often faced with a problem or councelling a person, a well informed yoga practitioner can use the spontaneous and organizing principle of ajna chakra to perceive information which tells them about the person, their past and the cause within the situation or problem presented before them.

With understanding our mind through Yoga, we can learn how to empty and relax our mind to become more expansive and sensitive and in our mind we can ask them to tell us what we need to know so that we can better understand and help them. We don’t voice it we just hold that intention and connect as we relax into witness mode to perceive the intuitive impressions that will come if they want our help. With experience it becomes easier and easier to decipher the meanings. Its not anything super psychic but the natural qualities of a mind that is more balanced, focused, relaxed and more sensitive. Everyone has this ability but not all of us have been trained to use and develop it.

By going into a state of meditation, turning consciousness away from the external world and inwards, the mind is made quiet and open to receive the truth and insights available through the medium of ajna chakra. Like vishuddhi chakra, ajna chakra is also objective, but more impersonal with the sheer function of psychic ability. It is the objective witness of events and silent commander. It is the wisdom of our dreams trying to teach our conscious ego and anchor to its divinity. It is our deep intuition and always there for awareness to tap into through reflection and meditative practices.

Ida and Pingala (female and male) channels arise from the root chakra mooladhara and they wrap around the central channel Sushumna to help form chakras at various points along the spine. They finally come together and finish their ascent in ajna chakra situated at the mid brain. The main aim of yoga is to eventually unite these two forces at ajna chakra and achieve liberation from the suffering of duality and our projected mind; or our mental habits of attachment to the world of the senses projected outwards.

Until the transitory ego is more connected to its eternal soul, it always suffers as its seeks for refuge outwardly instead of inwardly and moves between joy as it get what it wants and then suffering when it meets with what it doesn’t want; and its all based on the perception of our reality and its this very perception of reality that Yoga is primarily focussed on changing with it being the fundamental cause of all human suffering in every instant. I havent mastered it by any means but I am aware of it and working on it.

In meditation the energy of the mind can be momentarily released from bondage to the transitory of life, people, places and things and is somewhat withdrawn but at the same illumined to the eternity of its essence, blissful, all encompassing and totally free. In this very high level of awakening a person has united with their eternal essence in stabilized concentration and now perceives life purely from a spiritual perspective and is no longer pulled and pushed by desires and attachments to people or the transitory of lifes ups and downs.

However when we come out of our tantric meditations and eneter normal life again, because of our habitual patterns we once again begin to look at life conventionally and get involved with the drama, get caught up in the dream and we forget that moment of awakening. But we now have an experience and a practice to help us find greater liberation and freedom from suffering.

So we are given the 8 limbs of Yoga and the 8th limb means unity of the ego self with its divine self, where the transitory self unites with its eternal self and the other 7 limbs are the stepping stones to help us maintain and stabilise this experience so that when we leave our tantric meditation practice we can step by step and day by day strengthen and maintain this Unity…and one day hopefully we can maintain it in every day life, and see and experience life from this awareness and live in joy and freedom from suffering having accessed the deepest parts of our being, integrated them, experiencing life as the projection of our own mind.

We can no longer blame other people, places and circumstances because in reality it is our own creation and only we can create a new reality by changing from within.

Although such a state may seem far off to us right now, every journey must begin with a starting point and its possible through yoga practice and perseverance to cause the union of these two forces to take place. Many of the tantric techniques are trying to purify the ida and pingala nadis and cause the kundalini in mooladhara to awaken & rise up into ajna chakra & eventually sahasrara for the true satisfaction of all possible desires in the fully awakened mind. We can start right now and get results. They may be small but if we focus our practice energy and will to opening up ajna chakra and uniting the male and female essence then we can have some small achievments and breakthroughs.

Ajna chakra then is the point of confluence where the three main energy pathways, ida, pingala and sushumna nadi merge into one stream of consciousness and flow up to Sahasrara, the crown centre of creation. In Indian mythology these 3 pathways (nadis) are represented by its three great rivers. Ida relates to the river Ganga (feminine), pingala relates to the river Jamuna (Masculine) and sushumna to the subterranean current flow called Saraswati. They all converge at a place today known as Allahabad, where every twelve years a huge spiritual festival takes place with the astrological alignment of the sun rising in aquarius. During this auspicious period, many devotees will come and bathe at the rivers point of confluence, symbolically represented by ajna chakra, believing they are being purified. Perhaps through the blessing and power of belief, many healings have taken place there.

Keyword Associations

To Know, Command, Truth, Balance, Objective Witness, Intuition, Divine Eye – Pineal Gland, Brain, Endocrine & Nervous system (sympathetic, parasympathetic)