Vishuddha (Throat Chakra)
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Vishuddha (Sanskrit: विशुद्ध, IAST: Viśuddha, English: "especially pure"), or Vishuddhi, or throat chakra is the fifth primary chakra according to the Hindu tradition of tantra. Endocrine: Thyroid. The residing deity of this chakra is Panchavaktra shiva, with 5 heads and 4 arms, and the Shakti is Shakini.
According to Hindu tradition, this chakra is described as having a "white color" with sixteen "purple" or "smoke-colored petals." Within the pericarp is a sky-blue downward pointing triangle containing a circular white region like the full moon. This represents the element of akasha or "aether." This region is represented by the deity Ambara, who is also white in color and is depicted with four arms, holding a noose and a goad. He makes the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear while seated upon a white elephant. The silver crescent is the lunar symbol of nada, pure cosmic sound. The crescent is symbolic of purity, and purification is a vital aspect of Vishuddha Chakra.
The Bija Mantra is the syllable हं haṃ, and is written in white upon the chakra. In the Bindu, or point above the mantra, resides the deity Sadashiva, who has 5 faces, representing the spectrum of smell, taste, sight, touch, and sound and 10 arms. The right half of his body is a white Shiva, and the left half of the body is a golden Shakti. He is holding a trident, chisel, sword, vajra, fire, a great snake, a bell, a goad, and a noose, and is making the gesture of dissipating fear. He is clad in a tiger skin. His Shakti is Shakini, who is shining white, seated on a red lotus, and with five faces, three eyes each, and four-armed, with a bow and arrow, noose, and goad.
|अ a||आ ā||इ i||ई ī||उ u||ऊ ū||ऋ ṛ||ॠ ṝ|
|ऌ ḷ||ॡ ḹ||ए e||ऐ ai||ओ o||औ au||अः ḥ||अं ṃ|
NB: Some vowels listed above do not strictly correspond to the grammatical definition of a Sanskrit vowel, specifically ॡ ḹ, अः ḥ, and अं ṃ. See Sanskrit Phonology for details.
The petals correspond to the Vittis of the mantra Ong [Aum], the Sama-mantras, the mantras Hung, Phat, Washat, Swadha, Swaha, and Namak, the nectar Amrita, and the seven musical tones.
Vishuddha chakra is known as the purification center, where the nectar amrita drips down from the Bindu chakra and is split into a pure form and a poison. In its most abstract form, it is associated with higher discrimination and is associated with creativity and self-expression. It is believed that when Vishuddha is closed, a person undergoes decay and death. When it is open, negative experiences are transformed into wisdom and learning. The success and failure in one's life are said to depend upon the state of this chakra, whether it is polluted or clean. The feeling of being guilty is given as the most prominent reason for this chakra to block the Kundalini energy moving upwards. It is associated with the element Akasha, or Ether, and the sense of hearing, as well as the action of speaking.
Meditation upon this chakra is said to bring about various siddhis or occult powers: vision of the three periods, past, present and future; freedom from disease and old age; destruction of dangers; and the ability to move the three worlds.
Closely related to Vishuddha is a minor chakra, located in the roof of the mouth, called Lalana. It is described as having 12 red or white petals that correspond to the virtues of respect, contentment, offense, self-control, pride, affection, sorrow, depression, purity, dissatisfaction, honor and anxiety. Inside is a red circular moon region, which acts as a reservoir for the nectar Amrit. When Vishuddha is inactive, this nectar is allowed to run downwards into Manipura and consumed, resulting in physical degeneration. Through practices such as khechari mudra, however, the nectar can be made to enter Vishuddha, where it is purified, and becomes a nectar of immortality.
Associations with the body
This chakra is located in the neck and the throat. Due to its association with hearing, it is related to the ears, and due to its association with speaking, it is associated with the mouth.
Vishuddha is often associated with the thyroid gland in the human endocrine system. This gland is in the neck, and produces hormones essential for growth and maturation. Excessive stress, namely fear and fear from speaking out, are said to affect the throat chakra, and thyroid problems may occur. Singing is a harmless and beneficial way of stimulating the throat chakra, whereas rubbing or hitting the throat area is not and can be harmful.
In Kundalini yoga, Vishuddha can be opened and balanced through practices including asanas (such as shoulder-stand), pranayama, Jalandhara Bandha (throat lock), and Khecarī mudrā. This chakra can be cleaned or opened by meditation or vocalisation.
There are also special Meditations with Specific Influence on the Vishuddhi Chakra.
Comparisons with other systems
The throat wheel is an important center in the Highest Yoga traditions of Vajrayana. It is described as being circular, blue, with 16 upward-pointing petals or channels. It is of particular importance for the practice of dream yoga. Correctly meditating upon it before going to sleep is thought to produce lucid dreams, within which one can continue to practice yoga.
Western occultists make various differing Kabbalistic associations with Vishuddha. Some associate it with the hidden sephirah Da'at, where "wisdom" and "understanding" are balanced in the supernal realm by the aspect of "knowledge", a tangible idea which is then expressed, leading to the act of the creation. Others associate it with the sephirah Chesed and Geburah (mercy and strength) which are intimately associated with morality and the concept that both expansion, as expressed by Chesed, and limitation, as expressed by Geburah, are necessary for the creation of individual beings. In terms of ethics, this is expressed by the yamas and niyamas (do's and do not's) of yoga.
In the system of the Sufi Lataif-e-sitta, there are no Lataif in the throat, but there are three in the region of the heart that are arranged horizontally and not vertically. They are the Qalb, or heart, which is the battleground between the lower forces of the Nafs and the higher forces of the Ruh, or spirit; the Ruh, which is said by some to be situated on the righthand side of the chest; and Sirr, or secret, which is between them both in the middle of the chest.
In Taoism, the position of Lalana chakra in the roof of the mouth corresponds with a point known as "The Heavenly Pool".
In Hindu astrology or jyotish, the graha (planet) ruling the throat chakra is Buddha or Mercury. Afflicted Mercury, combust (conjunct with Sun) or conjunct with Saturn, in the native's birth chart can show problems related to the throat chakra, namely communication and the thyroid gland, especially during the Buddha dasha or antardasha (planetary period or subperiod of Mercury).
- Tantra: Akasha, Dwyashtapatrambuja, Kantha, Kanthadesha, Kanthambhoja, Kanthambuja, Kanthapadma, Kanthapankaja, Nirmala-Padma, Shodasha, Shodasha-Dala, Shodasha-Patra, Shodashara, Shodashollasa-Dala, Vishuddha, Vishuddhi
- Vedas (late Upanishads): Kantha Chakra, Vishuddha, Vishuddhi
- Puranic: Vishuddha, Vishuddhi
- Kundalini energy
- Shama (Equanimity)
- Metta (compassion meditation)
- Ahamkara (Ego)
- Dhyana in Hinduism (Self-knowledge)
- Prajna (Insight)
- Varenne, Jean (1989). Yoga and the Hindu Tradition (1st Indian ed.). Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 169. ISBN 8120805437.
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- Maheshwarananda, Paramhans Swami (2004). "Meditations with Specific Influence on the Vishuddhi Chakra". The Hidden Power in Humans: Chakras and Kundalini. Ibera Verlag. ISBN 3-85052-197-4.
- Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Tantric Grounds and Paths