Fourth Chakra: Anahata or Heart
The fourth chakra, the chakra of the heart, is the place where resides our Spirit, our true Self, which is eternally pure and unaffected by anything, like a shining diamond hidden within us which witnesses all our actions. After Self-Realization, our attention becomes for the first time connected to our Spirit and we gradually become aware of it.
“The fourth centre is called as the Anahath Chakra, meaning the heart centre. It has twelve petals and is placed behind the sternum in the spinal cord. This centre produces the anti-bodies till the age of twelve years and then these anti-bodies are circulated in the whole body to be ready to fight any kind of attack on the body or on the mind. If there is any attack on the person these anti-bodies are informed through the sternum, which has a remote control of information. Heart centre caters for the cardiac plexus.”
When a child is born, the first thing that it responds to is the Spirit of its mother. At the moment of his birth he is not aware of his body, but he is aware of the Spirit. The moment he comes out of the womb he suffers a shock, and his first reaction is to get back to the womb. At this stage his mind, conditionings and ego aspects are non-existent. He is pure spirit, and it is this pure spirit that finds comfort in the spirit of his mother and through that comfort, sustenance in the new alien environment. This response is true or unconditional love. It is not a conditioned response, but the sheer joy of the fusion of two spirits.
The Heart Chakra (Anahat) is the home of the Self, the Spirit or Atma – all mean the same thing. Time and again Shri Mataji has stressed that,” You are nothing but your eternal Spirit.”In this way She is telling us that we have to realize and become our Spirit, and leave behind the futility of the illusion we live in. We start the process of becoming our Spirit after Self-Realization, as we start to lose our false identifications with our body, mind and feelings. Only after this enlightenment can we take our Attention to our heart and cleanse it. The Spirit can only manifest when our heart is open and clean, at which point we feel the eternal Joy of Creation and the meaning and purpose of our place in it. If functioning properly, it enables us to feel our Self-Transcendence, generate and radiate love. The state of vibrations maintains and revitalizes our own human systems as well as those of others.
Pure love, which enlightens all, is the real quality of the Heart Chakra. In the unrealized state we rarely love for love’s sake. Because of our conditioning we confuse feelings of love with those of possession, sex and selfishness. Pure love is detached and gives without motive. True love is the quality that emanates from the Spirit and not from the body or mind. Bodily attraction is physical and the mind does not love – it merely wants. When the want of the mind is attained, then the novelty wears off. For instance a child is excited and attached to a new toy, but after a few days, as the novelty wears off, the excitement dies. The same occurs with relationships which are based simply on physical attraction. That which is illusory cannot love or be loved.
Love is often mistakenly taken as restricted to male and female. In fact Love is the flow of life is all limbs, between children/parents, brothers/sisters, friends, senior citizens etc. Where many people share and care, then the whole society opens up its Heart centre. It becomes a collective society and changes the world. This is the power of Love. Love is the principle behind all Creation. We say that God is Love and love is God because in its depths we cease to be. In true Love there is no”I”And no”You”- there is simply the merging of the Spirit. In this state we experience true human unity, the true oneness of life. Physically we can appear as different colors, shapes, characteristics, but as we become the Spirit the drop becomes the Ocean.
The seat of the Heart Chakra (Anahat) is located in the Brahmarandhra at the crown of the head (in the Sahasrara). This is where Shri Gauri (Kundalini) in Her form of Shri Parvati is united with Shri Shiva. Shri Shiva presides as the Witness in the left Heart Chakra, controlling our very existence. This centre, therefore, has to be treated with the greatest respect and understanding. In the centre Heart Chakra resides Shri Jagdamba, The Mother of the Universe. Here, in our faith in The Mother aspect, rests our sense of security and protection. Lord Rama inhabits the right Heart Chakra. He exhibited the ideals of behavior as a husband, son, brother and ruler. He re-established the status of women in the household, and clarified the principles of Dharma. He also exemplified the boundaries of conduct within which we should operate in order to deepen our spiritual growth. These guidelines show us the power of discrimination and help us protect the protocol of the Spirit.
GROSS PHYSICAL ASPECT
Using the body as an instrument of athletic display fatigues the Heart centre. Excessive athletic competition simply develops into an ego-oriented thing, with no real gain at the end of it. In a similar way modern Hatha yoga is a form of athleticism which has no correlation with the Spirit, and this too can harm the centre. Unfortunately today Hatha yoga is mistaken for spirituality and people spend hours doing all kinds of asanas (positions). By standing on our heads (or wearing white/saffron robes or being vegetarian or whatever) we are not going to know the Almighty Creator.
The mantra sound corresponding to the fourth chakra is the sound YUM. A special mantra to help expand love and compassion is OM MANI PADME HUM. You can repeat this mantra in meditation to gain greater access to the qualities of this chakra.