The Anahata

I've been meaning to write about this one since a real long time, but its not something you casually talk about. I've kept this with me for quite some time sharing with a couple of close satsangis, but today I do feel like letting it out, mixing it with a lot of deviations here and there, ahem, as usual if I may add! :)

Anahata is the chakra at the level of the heart. Its also the 4th or the middle chakra among the seven, not only because its mid way when mapped onto the body, at the heart level, or middle of the count, but also because its the centre of the worldly and spiritual worlds. This is an interesting point that I haven't really come across elsewhere. Its something that occurred to me over the years and this blog is basically trying to express that.

Any kundalini practitioner knows that after the kundalini begins its rise, it needs to be guided up or held at the current level with constant practice, failing which, it will begin its downward journey back into the muladhara. Anahata is interesting because its midway to sahasrara, or from sahasrara in case of Aurobindo's downward count. I suppose in some kriyas, it is considered other way. (To my imagination, its like the calculation of electric current conventionally thought of from positive to negative poles but later on understood to be really from -ve to +ve because electrons move towards the +ve causing an electric current. However, the conventional symbol continued). Similarly, in tantra, its either thought of as the Shakti moving upwards to Shiva or in a balancing act Shiva moving towards Shakti in some explanations. The latter, I reckon, is symbolic and not actually a movement. At least in my learning I haven't come across it followed thoroughly. I'll return to this downward movement towards the end, which is truly an original contribution of Ramana Maharshi to the Kunadalini world.

Heart is the seat of emotions in the poetic, even psychological, expressions. In science, its the main organ of the body. In other expressions, anything in the centre is referred to as the heart of the system. To me, when the kundalini rises from Anahata upwards, one is crossing the bridge from the worldly pursuits to the spiritual one. Its not as easy as crossing a concrete bridge though. I think it takes a lot of commitment to actually reach the anahata, but to cross it is the true milestone what Swami Krishnananda would call the human to divine change. All the lower chakras till the anahata are so tied to bodily impact that they will, if not used well, lead to make the person baser, lowering from human to animal levels. In fact, a person who cannot handle animal instincts is best kept away from kundalini because the muladhara, surely the svadhisthana and even at times the manipura will deepen the animal instincts in human if not channelized well. There are many great souls and masters lost in this world of lower chakras. Thats also where, I imagine, tantra splits into the dark world. So its obvious that reaching the anahata itself is a great place to reach.

Now this place is so crucial that it can make or break a yogi, not necessarily into dark world, but into the emotional crisis. Opening the anahata chakra brings along a heightened perception of others' sufferings, humans or not. Great masters have an anahata that perhaps maps across many anahatas of several beings that they knowingly or unknowingly help. My Guru Sridhara says that even equating such a heart to butter that melts on applying some heat is incomplete justice. He says that a sadhu's heart doesn't even need any heat to melt. It beats to others' benefit, so to say! Now imagine such a feeling of another's pain to someone who is incapable or isn't mature enough to bear. He would surely get stuck, burdened or even lost. That is the strength of anahata. Even with the great powers that come with each chakra, anahata can bind a person down into not only one's own emotional issues but others' emotions. If the person is capable enough to handle the additional load over and above one's own, the learnings can be well used to streamline, analyze even, and march upwards for the vishuddha. But where such focus is lost into using those emotional peeks into others for personal benefit, or for neutralizing their karma, which is against their prarabdha, instead of the personal goal of yoga, the union that the person is born for, it will lead to more sanchita for the yogi. This point cannot be stressed enough that a person may get carried into living others' lives at this point. It also cannot be overstated that helping others directly curing their prarabdha affects not only the subject's karmic path but also the yogi's. Such yogis become yogabhrashtas, restarting the yogi's path from perhaps nowhere!

Anahata is special that way. Emotions make us more human, but its also an animal instinct that most people forget. You can't possibly think an animal loves its young ones any lesser than parents love their children. Humans, however, can analyze those emotions while animals can't. Thats what has the seed to take the human away from the inbuilt animal instincts into tapping the divinity within. Its a true test that anahata opens up with itself opening. Where a yogi manages to spend more time in anahata0, trying to understand its wonderful feelings, with its embedded traps, he can pass through into vishuddha. And it surely is a beautiful breakthrough. I'm not saying the path is any easier then on, but its a major hurdle crossed over. It reassures one's own commitment from not wanting to be either a bhogi, a sevak, or even an egoistic guru, but lights the hope for union with the divine, the true aim of human birth.

Before closing on this topic, I'd like to touch upon another thing that happens at the level of anahata, which is not the anahata though. Its also possible for one to confuse that particular feel with anahata or vice versa. Its what Bhagavan Ramana calls the right heart or the spiritual heart. This is where, He said, the kundalini has to be brought down to, from after opening the sahasrara. Kundalini, as a practice, is taught and written about to end on the opening of sahasrara, the thousand petaled lotus. But the Maharshi says that it may be the most blissful feeling not necessarily leading to moksha. One may get stuck into the sahasrara forever, not knowing anything about. There are yogis that have voiced that the body will drop off in keeping the sahasrara open for twenty days. When, however, the kundalini is brought down from sahasrara, it has the potency to break open the hridaya granthi that binds the human into his karmic bandhana, the root of endless cyclical births and deaths. I understand that the effort of actually trying to run the kundalini by unfocused means into this granthi, not unlike trickle charging a battery, will have a painful effect. It will likely cause immense bodily pain at the anahata level and the kundalini will feel stuck, burning, not being able to move either way. At this moment, one must either struggle and commit to the path regardless of the pain and confusion, thereby pumping in more kundalini energy with immense focus or give up for a while and restart when comfortable. Its not a complete failure, nothing is. Its a learning that nothing happens in a day in matters of the world; in this case, nothing happens in a life time!

om tat sat
ramanArpaNamastu
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