Ajna chakra in different traditions | Part 1

The awakening of ajna chakra is the heart of all mind expanding, religious and mystical traditions. Sometimes it is widely described and symbolized, as in India; often it is hardly mentioned at all. But always, in mystical circles, its existence and significance has been known; without awakening ajna it is impossible to gain wisdom and open up the deeper layers of one’s being.

Because of its importance, ajna chakra is widely mentioned in texts and teachings throughout the world. The following are a few obvious examples.

Many people, such as the ancient Egyptians and the American Indians, wore special head raiments that symbolized the third eye at the eyebrow centre. Often a snake is shown emerging from the forehead, indicating that the kundalini rises through ajna via sushumna.

Ajna chakra is clearly mentioned in the Bible: “The light of the body is the eye (ajna); therefore, if thine eye be single, the whole body shall be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22) There is a lot of information within this short verse. First of all it explains that ajna chakra is the psychic centre which connects man to the source, sahasrara. If one’s mind is concentrated (thine eye be single) then one can perceive the more subtle aspects of being through ajna chakra. The result will be illumination and wisdom.

The medieval mystic Eckhart similarly stated: “The eye with which I see the supreme is the same as that with which it sees me.” This statement also has many implications. Ajna chakra is the bridge between the microcosm and the macrocosm, between the finite and the infinite, and between man and pure consciousness. Like a bridge over a river, it can be traversed from either side. Thus ajna chakra is the means by which consciousness manifests into individual man and activates man’s actions and thoughts (pravritti path). Conversely, ajna is man’s means of making the return journey (nivritti path) and communing with the source. Ajna is the door of subtle perception, and is what William Blake referred to when he said: “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is … infinite.” This verse implies that when the mind becomes harmonized, one-pointed and a perfect instalment, then one can gaze through the window of ajna into the infinite.

The mystics of ancient Greece knew of the ajna chakra. Plato wrote: “In all men there is the eye of the soul, which can be re-awakened by the correct means. It is far more precious than ten thousand physical eyes.” There are many methods of helping to open up the ajna. Plato was initiated by a mystical sect and was the disciple of Socrates; he therefore utilized the appropriate methods that he was taught.

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