The Fifth Chakra

Chakra: Wheel, discus, circle, mystical diagram. Chakras are energy centers, intersections of nadis (channels) in the body. When activated, chakras spin, open out, expand, and present their good qualities along with their less desirable characteristics.

The fifth chakra is located in the region of the throat, has sixteen petals, sixteen vibrational sound frequencies identified by specific Sanskrit syllables, and is associated with purification. Its mystical diagram is the sphere, the color is blue (or smokey), the sense organ is the ears, the sense faculty is sound, the element is ether (space), the elemental color is green.

The name of the fifth chakra is vishuddha. The word vishuddha is from shuddha, meaning ‘cleared, purified’, with the prefix, vi, which intensifies the idea of purity, so ‘vishuddha‘ then, means ‘completely cleansed and purified’. Prana’s function is purification.

Prana’s function is purification.
Kundalini’s function is evolution.

Kundalini’s function is evolution. The word ‘evolution’, from the Latin, evolvere, ‘to roll out of’, means ‘unrolling, wheeling around, opening out, unfolding”. (Sound familiar?) Evolution is gradual. Things don’t happen all at once. The chakras are first activated by prana, spinning and opening out in any order for the purpose of purification. After prana has achieved a sufficient degree of purification, they are dealt with by kundalini in serial order for the purpose of evolution.

At the fourth chakra you had contact with the adepts; here, at the fifth chakra, you become one yourself. Once the energy can pass this chakra, patterns and conditionings that have run your life and affected your body can begin to change and lose their influence.

Vishnu Loka

After we pierced the Brahmagranthi, we moved from Brahma Loka, the World of Creation, into Vishnu Loka, the World of Sustenance. Vishnu is the Sustainer-Maintainer and this is Her world. Not only does She sustain and maintain life, but She also sustains our progress, so we definitely want to reach this landmark in our journey. Once here, She opens our hearts at chakra number four, and now, at chakra number five, this unconditional love becomes expressed through anahata nada,’unstruck sound’.

Anahata nada takes place when the energy arrives at the fifth chakra, with vocalizations, chanting and singing. What is meant by ‘unstruck’ here is that these sounds are not made by you, but are spontaneously generated in meditation.

Khechari Mudra 

The piercing of the fifth chakra allows for the energy to rise up through the throat to the sixth chakra. This stimulates the glands underneath the tongue, and the pituitary gland, so that the hormones of the pituitary begin to flow. At a certain stage, the hands will come up in cup fashion, and the tongue will roll up and go into the phaynx and block it. This is khechari mudra, the ‘flying-up seal’. It stops the breath completely.

Khechari (flying in the air) mudra (seal), is not the same as the breathless state that we talked about earlier. With khechari, one could actually die. If it is not done in a surrendered state, it is dangerous, but done fully surrendered, shakti handles everything, and shakti makes no mistakes. With the piercing of the Brahmagranthi, khechari mudra can take place and ‘upward flow’ can begin. By stimulating the pituitary, the nectar of immortality (amrita) coming from the pituitary, can be absorbed into the body. At this point, the transformation of the physical body begins.

When the energy flows upward, it must be pure, otherwise impurities will go up with the energy, and if the flow is intense enough, this can be dangerous. This is why willful kundalini techniques must be avoided. The use of willful techniques cannot bring the degree of purity necessary for upward flow to be safe.  

The solution to this is to practice Surrender Meditation until your surrender is adequate, and to have thoroughly gone through the preliminary steps (i.e., yama, niyama, asana, etc). Then, the whole body can be pervaded with the nectar and become transformed naturally into the Divine Body form. This is the last phase of kundalini.

Aches and Accomplishments

When the throat chakra is being pierced, your inherent power will become completely available to you. Latent talents will begin to turn on, and you will be able to sway and control people, make money, and get what you want. You have a choice at this point: you can either get caught up in these things, or you can give them back to God and continue with Surrender Meditation until you have purified these temptations out of existence. Then the flow of the energy through the throat chakra can get as intense as it wants until it is resolved.

With mastery of the fifth chakra, you will understand the scriptures and their mysteries, enjoy the bliss of the inner world, and thousands of years will appear as so many moments.   

Durga Ma

Phoenix Metaphysical Institute
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Go to the list of posts on KUNDALINI and the chakras.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika 14 — Virile Asana

Chapter One — Virasana

Continuing from The Cow’s Face Asana with one more verse.

The first translation and the Titles are from Swami Kripalu’s, Revealing the Secret, a commentary on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

The second translation is from the Pancham Sinh edition.

Things in (parentheses) are from the edition concerned.
My own input amidst verses is in [brackets] and in color when commenting.

For persons using other editions, in this blog we are taking up at 21 in the Kripalu translation, which is 23 in the Sinh translation.

The Virile Posture

Firmly place the first foot on the second thigh, and the second foot on the first thigh; this is called the virile posture.

One foot is to be placed on the thigh of the opposite side, and so also the other foot on the opposite thigh. This is called Virasana.

Kripalu Commentary — Revealing the Secret

Someone will call out, “But that is the lotus posture! How can it be called the virile posture?”

This uncertainty is quite proper, but that lotus posture which has been called the virile posture is different from the lotus posture ordinarily found in meditation.

When a natural triple lock composed of the root lock, the flying-up lock, and the water-holder lock occurs in the lotus posture, and the palms are firmly placed on the soles of the feet, then, from the viewpoint of the sentiment (the emotional state, the mental state), the yogi appears to be a virile warrior, because at that time valor has spread throughout his body and mind.

This naturally occuring triple lock is composed of: 

1. The root lock—mulabandha, a lock at the first chakra, the muladhara, root-holder…

2. The flying-up lock—uddhiyanabandha, the flying up of prana and the contraction and locking of the diaphram at the third chakra…

3, The water-holder lock—jalandharabandha, the locking of the throat at the fifth chakra…

You can see all of this in the asana:

When this triple lock occurs in the lotus posture with the palms firmly placed on the soles of the feet, pressure is created, restricting the flow of blood.

From the yogi’s point of view, he feels virile—he experiences strength and energy—because at that time, he experiences this throughout his body and his mind.

Just as under the influence of defeat or misery, the mental tendencies slacken and the person becomes dejected and empty (down and out), so under the influence of victory or joy, the mental tendencies strengthen and the person becomes cheerful and virile.

When the yogi comes under the influence of despondency, misery, defeat, etc, there is a reduction of the level or strength of the energy of the body (consider the word, “depression” in a literal sense). We talked about this in the previous post.

“Dejected and empty” refers to a mode of purification. When the yogi feels successful and joyful, strength is regained and the mode of purification is tapas, heat.

The fire is called “the virile one”. When the fire of yoga is kindled in the body of the aspirant by means of continued practice, he receives the name “the virile one”.  Yoga is the best sacrifice of all. Indeed the fire of yoga is the sacrificial fire.

Now we find that “sacrifice” is not what we may previously have believed.  This is Good News. 

From the point of view of the followers of the Tantras (the scriptures that form the basis of the tantric system of yoga), the triple lock is the trident. Trident-bearing beloved Lord Kind Dissolver [Shiva] and trident-bearing Mother Black One [Kali] are incarnate in the body of the aspirant in which the triple lock occurs.

This is why it has been called the virile posture.

There is also another posture called the virile posture. In it, one foot is in the middle of the buttocks and, the knee being bent, the other foot is placed standing (with its sole on the ground). Lastly, the wrist of one hand is held firmly by the other hand.

Great singers of Indian scriptural music (the music that accords with the principles given in ancient Indian scripture) sit in this virile posture with their tanapura [or tambura] (four-stringed musical instrument made from a gourd).

I am reminded of one of Swami Kripalu’s writings in which he made an interesting opening statement that went something like this: For the last two years I have been studying yoga and music. This was written decades after he had begun yoga; he had been a musician during his lifetime, so there was special meaning to this statement. Some of my earlier entries address this pairing of music and yoga.

In illustrations, Great Virile Beloved Crusher (the monkey god) is portrayed in this posture.

In this picture, the monkey god, Hanuman, instead of holding his wrist, is displaying his ardent devotion to the divine couple, Rama (you) and Sita (your shakti) to whom he was deeply devoted. His “crusher” (lower left) represents the crushing of the mentally based desires that stood in the way of their union. This story is told in Valmiki’s Ramayana.

_________ ♦ ♦ ♦ _________

I think this is a good time to remind you that you are, and have been, reading about and looking at asanas in their final forms. For instance, the triple lock associated with virasana, consists of three locks that initially occur independently of each other.  It is only later in sadhana that they occur together. Their simultaneous occurrence is the final form of the triple lock (tribandha) as demonstrated in virasana.

Durga Ma