Our reflection on the psychic centres, begins from ajna chakra. According to traditions, mooladhara chakra is generally designed as the first chakra since it is the seat of kundalini shakthi. However, there is another system in which consideration and study of the chakras commence from ajna.
Ajna chakra is the point of confluence where the three main nadis or forces - ida, pingala and sushumna, merge into one stream of consciousness and flow up to sahasrara, the crown centre. In mythology, these three nadis are represented by the three great rivers - Ganga (ida), Jamuna (pingala) and Saraswati (a subterranean current which represents sushumna). They converge at a place called Prayag or Triveni, which is near present day Allahabad. Indians believe that every twelve years, when the sun is in Aquarius, if one takes dip at the point of confluence, he or she will be purified. This place of confluence corresponds symbolically to ajna chakra.
When the mind is concentrated at this conjunctions, transformation of individual consciousness is brought about by the merging of the three great forces. Individual consciousness is mainly comprised of ego, and it is on account of ego that we are aware of dualities. As long as there is duality, there cannot be samadhi; as long as you remember yourself, you cannot get out of yourself.
Although there are experiences of trance in the other chakras, there is no merger of the individual ego with the cosmic ego. All throughout you find you are trying to assert yourself behind all the experiences you are having, but ida and pingala unite with sushumna in ajna chakra, you lose yourself completely.
By this I do not mean that you become unconscious. Your awareness expands and becomes homogeneous. The individual awareness falls flat and you completely transcend the realm of duality. Therefore, ajna chakra is a very important centre, which you must experience in order to bring about purification of the mind. Once the mind is purified, the experience and awakening of the other chakras can proceed.
There is a certain problem with the awakening of the other chakras. Each of these chakras contain within it a store of karmas or samskaras, which may be both good and bad, positive or negative, painful or pleasant. The awakening of any chakra will bring to the surface an explosion or an expression of these karmas, and not everybody is prepared or ready to face them. Only those who are equipped with reason and understanding can cope. Therefore, it is aid that, before you start awakening and manifesting the great force, it is best to purify the mind at the point of confluence. Then, with the purified mind, you can awaken all the other chakras. Therefore, we begin our exposition of the chakra with ajna.
The centre of command
The word ajna comes from the Sanskrit root which means 'to know, to obey or to follow'. Literally, ajna means 'command' or 'the monitoring centre'. In astrology ajna is the centre of Jupiter, which symbolizes the guru or preceptor. Amongs tge deities, Jupiter is represented by Brihaspathi, the guru of the devas and preceptor of the gods. Therefore, this centre is also known as 'the guru chakra'.
Ajna is the bridge which links the guru with the disciples. It represents the level at which it is possible for direct mind to mind communication to take place between two people. It is in this chakra that communications with the external guru, teacher or preceptor takes place. And it is here that the directions of the inner guru are heard in the deepest state of meditations, when all the sense modalities are withrawn and one enters the state of shoonya or void.
This is a state of absolute nothingness, whee the empirical experiences of name and form, subject and object, do not penetrate. In this completely static state, the light of the mind is extinguished; the consciousness ceases to function, and no ego awareness remains. This void state is the same as the death experience, and in order to traverse it the voice or command of the guru must be heard in ajna chakra.
Of course, if you are new to spiritual life you will not be facing this problem yet, but when it comes you will find it very difficult to manage. At the moment your problems are just mental - dispersion of mind, worries, anxiety, restlessness etc., but when the night is dark and you have gone very deep in meditation, losing your individual awareness, the only thing that can guide you at this point is the instructions or command of your guru heard through ajna chakra.
It has also been called 'the eye of intuition', and it is the doorway through which the individual enters the astral and psychic dimension of consciousness. Perhaps, the most common name for this chakra is 'the third eye', and the mystical traditions of every age and culture make abundant references to it. It is portrayed as psychic eye located midway between the two physical eyes and it looks inward instead of outward.
In India, ajna chakra called divya chakshu the divine ye), jana chakshu or jnana netra (the eye of knowledge because it is the channel through which the spiritual aspirant receives revelation and insight into the underlying nature of existence. It is also called 'the eye of Shiva', for Shiva is the epitome of meditation, which is directly associated with the awakening of ajna chakra.
It is interesting to note that ajna chakra is more active in females than in males. Women are more sensitive, psychic and perspective and they are often able to predict coming events. However, in most people this inner ye remains closed, and though they see the events of the outside world, knowledge and understanding of truth cannot be gained. In this sense, we are blind to the real possibilities of the world, unable to view the deeper levels of human existence.
Meaning of world Ajna Chakra
The Sanskrit word ajna means 'command'. Ajna chakra is the guru chakra. It is the centre through which the guru communicates with his disciples. It is also the place where the inner guru resides and directs.
Ajna chakra has many other names such as the eye of intution, the eye of Shiva, the third eye, to name but a few.
The location point of ajna chakra is in the centre of the brain at the top of the spine. However, this is a difficult area to locate, so in yogic practices bhrumadhya, the eyebrow centre is utilized. Ajna and bhrumadhya are directly connected by psychic passage. Ajna is also directly linked to the pineal gland.
Ajna chakra is the confluence of the three great forces (ida, pingala and sushumna) which link all the chakras. Thus ajna is a very important centre which must be greatly purified before one commences to awaken the other chakras. It is directly connected with mooladhara chakra and if any awakening take place in ajna it is first experience in mooladhara. Both these chakras contain the inverted triangle shakti.
Ajna is the centre of wisdom and intuition. When this chakra is awakened the mind becomes a perfect instrument, steady, reliable and free of all attachments. Willpower becomes very strong and all goals are achieved. One gains full control of his prana and can distribute it to all parts of his body and outside at will. With the awakening of ajna, siddhis (psychic powers), are likely to manifest in accordance with one's mental tendencies.
The tattwa [principle] and karmendriya of ajna is mind [manas].
A silver coloured lotus with two petals represents ajna chakra.
The yantra is clear circle.
The bija [seed] mantra is Om.
The vehicle of ajna is nada, unbroken sound.
Whether directly or indirectly, almost all yogic practices are concerned with awakening ajna chakra. The following will simultaneously develop sensitivity to the location of ajna and bhrumadhya; trataka (steady gazing) on a candle flame, chidakasha dharna, shambhavi mudra (gazing at space between eyebrow).
Shambhavi Mudra (eyebrow centre gazing)
Sit in any comfortable meditative pose.
Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
Look forward at a fixed point.
Then without moving the head, look upward and inward, focusing the eyes at the eyebrow centre.
Hold the gaze for only a few seconds at first.
Release at the slightest sensation of strain.
Close your eyes and relax them.
Concentrate on this centre and let your thoughts dwell on teh supreme consciousness, your inner guru.
Start with 5 rounds and gradually increase upto 10 over a period of time.
Source: Excerpts from the book on "The Sure ways for self-realization" by Swamy Satyananda Saraswati.