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The Spiritual Anatomy of Yoga - Ajna

“Wherever you go, you carry your light with you”

~ Yogi Ashokananda, my Beloved Teacher

We have reached this next blog having covered an extraordinary amount of information and touched upon a diverse array of historical and philosophical facts relating to the spiritual anatomy of the human experience.

Whilst I could only ever offer a ‘light touch’ over a subject that is vast (and apparently contradictory), it is my fervent wish for you, the reader, to find out what all of this means for you.

Whether you practise yoga already, are no stranger to a meditation cushion or have stumbled upon these blogs and wish to know more, you’re exactly where you need to be in order to start the most enriching and fulfilling journey of your life - the journey towards knowing who you really are.

Ajna - The Third Eye Chakra

Within the canon of yogic philosophy, the fundamental trait to be cultivated by the yogi is that of ‘Viveka’; a Sanskrit term which translates as ‘discernment’ or ‘discrimination’.

This cultivation of ‘discrimination’ is not against anything or anyone, but rather a discernment between what can be considered spiritual truth and what can be considered spiritual falsehood. It is a discrimination between the real and not-real - between the True Self and the false self; between what is permanent and between what is but a fleeting vibration of the ego consciousness.

Cultivation of ‘Viveka’ can be said to lead to viewing the world through the ‘eyes of the spirit’ or ‘soul’; a viewing that sees all things as they truly are and rejects nothing through that seeing.

The channelling of one’s focused intention towards seeing the truth of the universe through a ‘single eye’ creates a vision of oneself as a whole - a whole that has no separation or distinction; indeed, this wholeness has no individual parts that make up its sum.

We can call this ultimate aim of ‘Viveka’ an example of ‘non-dualistic thinking’ or ‘non-dualistic seeing’. Our temporal, everyday consciousness experiences the world as day or night, light or dark, hot or cold - all fundamentally different aspects of the same reality, but experienced by our consciousness as opposites or as ‘this or that’.

The true experience of reality, often referred to as the ‘Ultimate Reality’, is one where such distinctions or separations are not present. There is no preference towards one or the other - there is simply acceptance; a welcoming of everything and a rejection of nothing.

It is a common phrase that ‘we have three eyes - two to look and one to see’, and it is the opening of this ‘third eye’ that has been the goal for spiritual aspirants across aeons; to see the Ultimate Truth / Ultimate Reality and to see ourselves for who we truly are.

And through this seeing, through this consciousness of being the ‘witnessing awareness’ of all things just as they are, unsullied by a single vibration of ego, the yogi attains ‘moksha’ - liberation from false perception.

The sixth of the chakras is called ‘Ajna’ or the Third Eye Chakra.

Energetically found in the centre of the forehead, just above the junction of the eyebrows, the characteristics of this chakra are are follows:

Associated Colour: Indigo (sometimes Violet)

Governs: True Spiritual Insight, Intuition and Connection to the Ultimate Reality.

Associated Element: Light

Mantra: Aum

The ‘Ajna’ chakra is considered to be the meeting place of ‘Ida’, ‘Pingala’ and ‘Sushumna’, the three main channels of Prana within the human spiritual anatomy. Prana unites with itself here and consciousness is transformed from the bland and mundane to the all-encompassing and radiant consciousness of the cosmos.

As the energetic centre of true spiritual insight, it is associated with the true connection to the godhead within and the great realisation that all is one with the universe.

Next week, we finish our exploration of the historical and modern interpretations of the chakras, examining the seventh and last of the chakras: Sahasrara aka the Crown Chakra.

Matt ~ The Bearded Naked Yogi

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