Out of the seven chakras in the body, Anahata chakra is the fourth chakra, it is in the middle. Before this, we discussed the chakras. The first chakra Mooladhaar, second Swadishthaan, and Manipur below it and Vishuddhi, Ajnya, and Sahastrar above it. Anahata is a Sanskrit word which means unstruck sound. If you go by science, there has to be a collision or strike between two objects for sound to be produced. Two hand clasp together for a clap. A clap with one hand is not possible. The air from the lungs collides with our tongue and teeth to make our speech possible. The primordial universal sound AUM does not need the support of the tongue and teeth to be recited. But it is not the spoken AUM but AUM heard near the heart region, during the state of deep meditation and utmost silence.
An Interesting Story Behind AUM
There is an interesting story behind AUM, explaining a lot about Anahata chakra and why is known as seat of love and compassion.
When the first yogi- ADIYOGI SHIVA was first spotted by people, he was dancing in sheer bliss. They were intrigued because the dance was not a show but an expression of something that was simply beyond the reach of any language or pictorial depiction. Out of all the people, seven holy men stayed back and for years prayed to this divine dancer. They prayed to tell them what he knows. The aura of the ecstatic dancer was such as if all his queries have been answered and he is in a realm of completeness. After years of persuasion, the Adiyogi obliged and these seven holy men were given the teachings and practices to reach the Supreme reality. These holy men came to be known as SAPT RISHIS.
While practicing the silence of mind and body, taught by SHIVA, one of the sages-Vishwamitra noticed a vibration every time he went deep into the inner realm. He noticed whenever his consciousness reaches the heart region, he could connect to materiel and subtle universe simultaneously. In both worlds, the same vibration is pervading. Even the places that can be termed as Vaccum, this energy was present. Reverberating across each and every single atom, photon and space, this vibration seemed to exist before creation and after the destruction of everything. Vishwamitra discussed this observation with fellow Sapt Rishis and all of them agreed that they had the exact same experience. The pulsating AUM was unanimously declared the omnipresent vibration of existence and heart chakra as the place where this unstruck sound resides in human consciousness.
AUM is not considered a sound or syllable mantra in Ancient scriptures. It is an experience when Kundalini energy moves up the baser chakras and reaches the heart chakra.
The starting point of the spiritual journey is the body. The physical presence and individuality are what a person identifies himself. But as the practice grows and new dimensions of consciousness start opening for a person, he begins to explore various facets of his subtle identity. With Guru’s grace and virtuous karma, an individual finds his existence beyond body and mind. Being a part of the whole, starts to dawn upon him, and the concept of difference starts to fade.
YATR PINDE, TATR BHRAMANDE – whatever in body, that is in universe. The constituent and working of the cosmic machinery is one and the same. Once this knowledge has blossomed, even the iota of jealousy, malice, anger and hatred is erased. All that is left is love and compassion for all loving or nonliving around him.
As per SHAT CHAKRA NIRUPANAM, one the most credible text on chakra, ANAHATA is the seat of PURUSHA, consciousness the pervades entire existence. When the energies at Anahata chakra are balanced one becomes inclusive of the entire existence.
This energy Vortex is depicted by the intersection of an upwards facing and a downward facing triangle. It is a symbolic representation of the possibilities of lower and higher chakras.
Position of Anahata Chakra
Shining with a color of BANDHUKA flower this chakra is positioned in the heart region- HRIDI. It is depicted by a lotus flower with 12 petals and each petal corresponds to the following sounds: KAM, KHAM,GHAM,GAM,NAM, CHAM, CHHAM,JAM, JHAM,NYAM,TAM,THAM.
Just like KALP TARU or wish fulfilling tree, it fulfills all desire of a seeker. Here a MANDALA or a cyclical pattern o VAYU is situated in the form of a hexagon. The beej mantra or the root sound of the VAYU or wind is found here – YAM. YAM is depicted in smoke color.
On a black antelope, Lord of the wind is seated here. Also ISH, a form of Lord SHIVA is seated here in ABHAY and VARAD hand gesture. ABHAY is fear dispelling and VARAD is boon granting mudra.
Deity for Anahata Chakra
The auspicious feminine deity KAKINI with three eyes resides in the ANAHATA chakra. She shines like a quick lightening in sky and her complexion is yellowish. She provides health and wellbeing to righteous people. She is decorated with various ornaments, wearing a garland of the skull and said to be an intoxicated state of Ananda. KAKINI heart is full of SUDHA RAS or nectar of compassion. A noose and skull in her hands are symbolic of control and liberation associated with chakras.
Also within the lotus lies another triangle which has BAAN LINGA and SHAKTI in it. The top aperture on this lingam is a jewel of wealth.
Benefits of Anahata Chakra
When Kundalini rises to this chakra and there is a proper balance of energies at this level, a person becomes a proper yogi and Jnani. One gains control over his motor organs and senses. This allows him to into a great level of focus and concentration. The effortless flow of love and dearness for everything makes a person very affable, friendly and generous. A person starts to perceive knowledge beyond written texts and many miracles like acts can be performed by his sheer focus on particular form of energy.
Issues due to imbalance of Anahata Chakra
Lack of concentration, ego issues, heart ailments, respiratory problems, asthma, hatred , jealousy, animosity, enmity, lack of team effort etc are various physical and psychological issues as person faces due to imbalance in this chakra
Asana, Pranayam and Mudra for Anahata Chakra
ANAHATA is said to be ruled by element WIND and the color BLUE. VAYU and APAAN VAYU mudra are the best-suggested hand posture while sitting in cross-legged asana and meditating on color BLUE or reciting beej mantra YAM.
All PRANAYAM exercises are beneficial as they provide proper oxygen to the lungs and heart. Bhastrika Pranayama and ANULOM VILOM Pranayama can be extended for better results.
ABHYANTAR KUMBHAK and JALANDHAR BANDHA are also suggested for cardiac wellbeing.
A proper sequence of chest opening postures should be practiced to activate energies in this chakra. COBRA POSE, STANDING BOW POSE, BOW POSE, SLEEPING FISH POSE, CAMEL POSE are said to be most helpful
- COBRA POSE (Bhujangasana)
- STANDING BOW POSE
- BOW POSE (Dhanurasana)
- SLEEPING FISH POSE (Matsyasana)
- CAMEL POSE (Ustrasana)
While practicing pranayama, one must clearly understand that PRAN is not the BREATH. BREATH as a medium should be understood and then control on it should be practiced. Also while doing asana, a corresponding reverse asana should always be performed to body balancing. Any crystal or Jewel must be worn with proper consultation from a gemologist.