Common sights around Yoga Vidya

I’ve been here a month now, so last week I took my camera around with me to take photos of some of the more common sites around Yoga Vidya Bad Meinberg. These are things I pass everyday.

This is a slideshow so click on the first picture to get started.

Sahasrara Chakra

Sahasrara Chakra – ‘one thousand’

The sahasrara chakra is located at the top of the head corresponding to the pineal gland in the physical body.  This area is called the Brahmarandhra, or the “hole of Brahma.” At the time of death of an advanced yogi, the prana escapes the body through this hole. There are 1000 petals on this chakra, on which repeat the 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. Sahasrara chakra is the abode of Siva.

sahasrara chakra

When kundalini shakti reaches the sahasrara chakra the union of Siva and Shakti takes place. The active principal and the static principal unite. Individual consciousness and supreme consciousness become one and the yogi attains samadhi. Many mystical and religious traditions of the world describe this event with different names such as, nirvana, heaven, kaivalya, enlightenment, self-realization, etc.

“When Kundalina Shakti is united with Siva at the sahasrara, the yogi experiences extreme bliss. He attains the superconscious state and the highest knowledge. He becomes a fully developed jnani.” ~ Swami Vishnu-devananda, Meditation and Mantras

Some texts explain that the sahasrara is not a chakra in the same sense as the other chakras:

“Quote removed per request from Satyananda organization – copyright violation” ~ Swami Satyananda, Kundalini Tantra

Ajna Chakra

Ajna Chakra – ‘the command or monitoring center’

The ajna chakra is the chakra of the mind. It is located at the very top of the spinal cord at the same height as the space between the eyebrows. Ajna chakra is also called the trikuti, or third eye.

Om is the bija mantra, representing the seat of the mind. The white circle represents shoonya, or the void. There are two white or silvery petals with the letters ham and ksham. The inverted red triangle is the symbol for shakti, or creativity and activity.  The black siva lingam represents the astral body. The presiding deity is Paramasiva, the supreme Siva.

ajna chakra

In the ajna chakra the three main psychic channels, or nadis, converge and flow up to the sahasrara chakra at the top of the head. These three nadis are the sushumna, the ida, and the pingala. By concentrating the mind at the ajna chakra, transformation of the individual consciousness occurs and duality is transcended.

“He who meditates successfully on this center destroys the karma of all past lives, and becomes a liberated soul. Intuitional knowledge is obtained through this chakra, the seat of primordial power and soul. It is here that yogis consciously put their prana at the time of death. All yogis, particularly jnanis, concentrate on this center and OM.” ~ Swami Vishnu-devananda, Meditation and Mantras

In the ajna chakra is the third psychic knot, called the Rudra granthi, or Siva granthi. This knot symbolizes attachment to the siddhis, or psychic powers, which must be renounced before full kundalini awakening can occur and the shakti can continue on towards the sahasrara chakra.

The ajna chakra is associated with mind. The jnana-indriya or organ of knowledge and the karma-indriya or organ of activity, is the mind. Along with the vishuddha chakra it is the seat of the vijnanamaya kosha.

Vishuddha Chakra

Vishuddha Chakra – ‘purification center’

The vishuddha chakra is located in the sushumna nadi at the base of the throat. It corresponds to the laryngeal plexus. It’s element is ether, or akasha, represented by a white circle like the full moon inside a pure blue circle. It’s bija mantra is ham. There are 16 smoky purple petals which contain the Sanskrit vowels in crimson: am, aam, im, eemm, um, oom, rim, reem, lrim, lreem, em aim, om, aum, am, ahm. The presiding deity is Sadasiva, the ever-auspicious aspect of Siva.

vishuddha chakra

“He who concentrates and ultimately achieves meditation on this chakra attains high success. He enjoys complete knowledge of the four Vedas and knows the past, present and future.” ~ Swami Vishnu-devananda, Meditation and Mantras

In Indian mythology, the battle between good and evil is represented by the devas (gods) and rakshasas (demons). After one of these big battles Vishnu attempted to resolve the conflict by churning the ocean (representing the world and the mind). Many things came out of the ocean including the nectar of immortality and poison. The devas got the nectar but nobody wanted the poison. So Vishnu asked Siva for advice. Siva drank the poison which became lodged in his throat, giving him the name Nilakantha, or blue-throated one.

This mythological story means that at higher levels of awareness, when vishuddha chakra and higher chakras are awakened, the poisonous aspects of existence become powerless. Both internal and external negativities become neutralized. The nectar of immortality is stored and the body stays young.

The vishuddha chakra is associated with the sense of hearing. The jnana-indriya or organ of knowledge is the ears. The karma-indriya or organ of activity is the vocal chords. It is the seat of the vijnanamaya kosha.

Anahata Chakra

Anahata Chakra – ‘unstruck’

Often called the heart center, the anahata chakra is located in the sushumna nadi in the region of the heart. It has twelve deep red petals with the vermilion letters kam, kham, gam, gham, ngam, cham, chham, jam, jham, nyam, tam, and tham. The bija mantra of the anahata chakra is the dark grey letter yam. The inner region represents the air element vayu. It is the color of smoke and hexagonal, like the Star of David. The two triangles symbolize the union of Siva and Shakti. Within the inverted triangle in the center burns the eternal flame (akhanda jyotir) which represents the individual soul or jivatma. The presiding deity is Isha (the Lord in His all-pervading form).

anahata chakra

Anahata means “unstruck”; it is from the anahata that the unstruck sounds are sometimes heard during meditation.

This chakra is also connected with the part of the brain which is related to fine art and creativity such as painting, poetry, dance, singing and music.

“The anahata sound, the primal sound of Sabdabrahman [Brahman manifesting as sound], is heard at this center. Meditation on the anahata chakra bestows pure qualities, cosmic love and various psychic powers.” ~ Swami Vishnu-devananda, Meditation and Mantras

Within the anahata chakra is located the Vishnu granthi. This is the second of three psychic knots within the sushumna which must be opened, or pierced, in order for the kundalini to continue it’s ascent to sahasrara.  The Vishnu granthi:

“Quote removed per request from Satyananda organization – copyright violation” ~ Swami Satyananda, Kundalini Tantra

The anahata chakra is associated with the sense of touch. The jnana-indriya or organ of knowledge is the skin. The karma-indriya or organ of activity is the hands. It is the seat of the manomaya kosha which controls the emotions and the mind.

Manipura Chakra

Manipura Chakra – ‘jeweled city’

The manipura chakra is located in the sushumna nadi at the level of the navel. It corresponds to the solar plexus which controls the digestive fire and regulation of heat in the body. In its center is a red triangle which contains the fire element. Each side of the triangle has a bhupura in the shape of a T. Its bija mantra is ram. The ten dark purple petals contain the mantras dam, dham, nam, tam, tham, dam, dham, nam, pam and pham. The presiding deity is Rudra, an aspect of Siva.

“He who concentrates successfully on this chakra has no fear of fire and is free from disease.” ~ Swami Vishnu-devananda, Meditation and Mantras

manipura chakra

There is a branch of tantra called swara yoga, the science of breath, which is used to help awaken kundalini. In the swara yoga system, there are five major Pranas in the body, prana (here it means upward moving Prana), apana (downward moving Prana), vyana, udana and samana. After practicing a lot of sadhana, the prana (upward moving Prana), and apana (downward moving Prana), meet in the muladhara chakra. Here they fuse together, heat is created, and the manipura chakra is awakened.

When manipura is awakened, the higher planes of perception are opened:

“Quote removed per request from Satyananda organization – copyright violation” ~ Swami Satyananda, Kundalini Tantra

Manipura chakra is associated with the sense of sight. The jnana-indriya or organ of knowledge is the eyes. The karma-indriya or organ of activity is the feet. Along with the swadhishthana chakra, it is the seat of the pranamaya kosha, or pranic body.

Swadhishthana Chakra

Swadhishthana Chakra – ‘one’s own dwelling place or residence’

The swadhishthana chakra is located in the sushumna nadi in the genital area. In the physical body it controls the kidneys, lower abdomen, and sex organs. Its element is water. There is a white crescent moon in its center within which is the bija mantra vam.  It has six vermilion petals which have the mantras bam, bham, mam, yam, ram, and lam written on them in the color of lightning. The presiding deity is Vishnu.

swadhishthana chakra

The white crescent moon in the center of the chakra is formed by two circles which also have lotus petals on them. On the outer circle the petals turn out; this represents the conscious dimension. Within the inner circle the petals face inward; this represents the unconscious dimension and the store of karma.

“Quote removed per request from Satyananda organization – copyright violation” ~ Swami Satyananda, Kundalini Tantra

Swadhishthana chakra is associated with the sense of taste. The jnana-indriya or organ of knowledge is the tongue. The karma-indriya or organ of activity is the sex organs. Along with the manipura chakra, it is the seat of the pranamaya kosha, or pranic body.

“Meditation is fixed on the crescent moon in the chakra. It gives control over the water element and confers psychic powers, intuitional knowledge and knowledge of astral entities. Many impure qualities are annihilated.” ~ Swami Vishnu-devananda, Meditation and Mantras