Ajna (Sanskrit: आज्ञा, IAST: Ajna, English: "command"), or third-eye Chakra, is the sixth primary Chakra, or energy point in the body, according to Hindu tradition. It signifies the conscience. While the physical eyes see the present, Ajna is believed to reveals insights about the future.
The Ajna Chakra is located in the pituitary gland, directly behind the center of the forehead. Its kshetram, or superficial location, is between the eyebrows at the position of the "third eye". The location makes it a sacred spot where Hindus apply vermilion to show respect.
Ajna has two white petals and is transparent. Inside the pericarp is the Shakti Hakini. It is depicted with a white moon, six faces and six arms holding a book, a skull, a drum and a rosary, while making the gestures associated with granting boons and dispelling fears. The downward-pointing triangle above her contains a moon-white lingam. In some systems, the deity Ardhanarishvara, a hermaphrodite from Shiva-Shakti, symbolizes the primordial duality of subject and object, and resides within the lingam. Above that triangle is another smaller triangle, containing the bija mantra and the Om.
Beej or Seed mantra
Ajna has two white petals, said to represent the psychic channels, (nadis), Ida and Pingala, which meet the central Sushumna nadi before rising to the Crown Chakra, Sahasrara. The letter "ham" (हं) is written in white on the left petal and represents Shiva. The letter "ksham" (क्षं), written in white on the right petal, represents Shakti. These two petals also represent the manifest and the un-manifest mind, and are sometimes said to represent the pineal and pituitary glands.
Ajna translates as "command," being considered the eye of intuition and intellect. When something is seen in the mind's eye, or in a dream, it is being seen by the Ajna. It is a bridge that links gurus with disciples, allowing mind communication between two people. The sense organ and action organ associated with Ajna is the mind.
As Hindus believe that spiritual energy from the environment enters their body through the Ajna chakra, they take great care to protect it with spiritually positive protecting forces. The various religious marks on the foreheads of men and women belonging to the Hindu faith, (such as holy ash, namam, vermilion, etc.), are the blessed spiritual prasadam of their respective forms of the Hindu gods.
Meditation upon Ajna supposedly grants siddhis, or occult powers, to quickly enter another body at will and to become omniscient. The beholder of these powers realizes unity with Brahman, who has the ability to create, preserve and destroy the three worlds.
Directly above Ajna is a minor chakra known as Manas. It possesses six petals, one for each of the five senses and one for sleep. These petals are normally white, but assume the color of the senses when activated by them, and they are black during sleep. This chakra's function is sending sense perceptions to the higher chakras.
Association with the body
Ajna is associated with the third eye on the forehead. It is also sometimes associated with the pineal gland, which regulates the circadian rhythm, and is related to an actual light-sensitive 'third eye,' (Parietal eye), found in some lizards, amphibians and fish. It is also sometimes associated with the pituitary gland, which is a major endocrine gland.
In kundalini yoga, the practices said to stimulate the Ajna chakra include: Trataka (steady gazing), Shambhavi Mudra (gazing at the space between the eyebrows), and some forms of Pranayama (breath exercises).
Comparisons with other systems
In Tibetan Buddhism, this chakra is at the end of the central channel, which runs up the body to the top of the head, and then over and down, terminating at the forehead. The two side channels continue inward towards the two nostrils and end there. This center is frequently depicted in artwork as the third eye and is used in various meditations.
There is also a forehead center above the third eye, which corresponds to the position of Manas, one of the ten chakras in the Mahayoga tantra traditions.
In Qigong, the highest Dantian is located at this position. This is one of three furnaces that converts the different types of energy in the body. In this Dantian, the spiritual shen energy is converted into wuji, the infinite space of void.
According to the Kabbalah, there are two sephiroth located on the sixth level, associated with the left and right parts of the face. They are called Chokmah (wisdom), and Binah (understanding); it is at these points that the two side pillars of mercy and severity terminate, while the central pillar carries on rising to kether, the crown.
- In Tantra: Ajita-Patra, Ajna, Ajna-Pura, Ajna-Puri, Ajnamhuja, Ajnapankaja, Bhru-Madhya, Bhru-Madhya-Chakra, Bhru-Madhyaga-Padma, Bhru-Mandala, Bhru-Mula, Bhru-Saroruha, Dwidala, Dwidala-Kamala, Dwidalambuja, Dwipatra, Jnana-Padma, Netra-Padma, Netra-Patra, Shiva-Padma, and Triweni-Kamala
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- In the Puranas: Ajna, Dwidala, and Trirasna
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- 1 page 268, Kundalini Yoga for the West, Swami Sivananda Radha, Copyright 1978, Shambala Publications, Inc.
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- Andy James. The Spiritual Legacy of Shaolin Temple
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