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The Spiritual Anatomy of Yoga - Anahata

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

~ Yogi Ashokananda, my Beloved Teacher

Our journey through the key principles of human spiritual anatomy advances this week and I sincerely hope you are enjoying these blogs as much as I am enjoying writing them.

This week we continue our examination of the Chakra system with the fourth chakra and continue to dive in and examine some of the finer points of our spiritual anatomy and the fascinating history associated with the yogic sciences.

Anahata - The Heart Chakra

It is here in our discussions that we reach the middle of the chakra system with the fourth chakra, known in Sanskrit as ‘Anahata’ or ‘the unstruck sound’.

Throughout history, the myths, legends and poetry of humanity have shown the high regard which our species holds for the emotional and physical strength of the heart, and the traditional yogic sciences have no less of a regard for the energetic chakra located alongside the bodily organ.

One of the less well known (and most fascinating) pieces of lore comes from the Tantric tradition, in which the ‘Anahata’ chakra is said to be the meeting place within the body of the powerful and primordial energies of Shiva and Shakti.

Shiva and Shakti are the names of two of the best loved deities within the Hindu religion. Shiva in particular is loved by many yogis due his title of the ‘Adiyogi’ or ‘the first yogi’, while Shakti is a name given to the ultimate expression within Hinduism of the ‘Divine Feminine’.

The terms Shiva and Shakti also refer to two powerful points of energy within the human body. Shiva is the powerful vibration of our supreme cosmic consciousness which resides in our Crown Chakra (more on that in a few weeks time), while Shakti is the form of a wilder, more primal vibration located at the base of the spine.

Tantric tradition and philosophy centre on the divine attraction between the two polarities of Shiva and Shakti within the body and the ultimate goal of uniting these two powerful forces within the heart.

It is through this divine union of energies within the human body, as well as a deep misunderstanding of language, that Tantra has gained its more salacious reputation in modern times. The divine attraction within the human form of the Shiva and Shakti energies is an expression of what we call ‘eros’ in the West. ‘Eros’ is an ancient Greek word meaning ‘desire’ or ‘love’ and is the root word for ‘erotic’, etc.

The Shiva and Shakti vibrations have an ‘eros’ for each other; a divine desire to be united within all hearts and, to some extent, we are conscious of this ‘divine yearning’ for union within us - a kind of inner longing and desire for something, but not something we are capable of quantifying very well in our poor human language systems.

The fourth of the chakras is called ‘Anahata’ or the Heart Chakra.

Energetically found in the centre of the chest, the characteristic of this chakra are are follows:

Associated Colour: Green

Governs: Love, Emotions and Compassion for all beings

Associated Element: Air

Mantra: Yam

The ‘Anahata’ chakra is said to be the true residence of the ‘Atman’ or ‘the true Self’.

In realising this ‘true Self’, the yogi is unconditional in their love; an unconditional love that is only achieved when the ‘Anahata’ chakra is harmonious and balanced through the consistent and regular practice of yoga.

The ‘Anahata’ chakra is also the source of ‘Anahata Nada’, a sound that has not been created or made, but one that can only be heard through achieving the highest levels of meditation.

Next week, we will continue to explore the historical and modern interpretations of the chakras, examining the fifth of the chakras: Vishuddha aka the Throat Chakra.

Matt ~ The Bearded Naked Yogi

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