The Sahasrara Chakra, also known as the Crown Chakra, is the seventh chakra system. Its physical and subtle meaning connects us to our self-knowledge and wisdom, drawing us along the path to divine knowledge, spiritual awakening and the experience of oneness with the cosmos. Balancing and activating the Sahasrara Chakra is thought to lead to unity and oneness, which opens the individual to profound states of enlightenment and inner peace. In this state, there is no distinction between the observer and the observed, the seer and the seen, the meditator and the object of meditation. There is only oneness, wholeness, completeness of being.
It is often depicted as a Thousand-Petaled Lotus. This lotus is often shown as a fully bloomed, radiant and multi-layered flower. The thousand petals represent the infinite nature of consciousness and the boundless possibilities of spiritual awakening. Each petal is said to contain a unique aspect of wisdom or divine knowledge. The lotus is often portrayed as white or violet, signifying purity, clarity and spiritual illumination.
At the centre of the thousand-petaled lotus, there is often a circle or void, representing the unmanifested or formless state of pure consciousness. It is the point of union between the individual self (Atman) and the universal consciousness (Brahman). Illuminated emptiness or Illuminated fullness. This void signifies the state of unity and oneness.
The lotus is a symbol of transcendence. It rises from the mud at the bottom of a pond, grows through the water, and eventually blooms above the surface. This process mirrors the spiritual journey, where an individual transcends the limitations of the physical world and the ego to reach higher states of consciousness. “No mud, no lotus” is a phrase that conveys the idea that challenges and difficulties (the “mud”) are necessary for personal growth and transformation (the “lotus”). It suggests that often, in order to achieve something beautiful or meaningful in life, one must first go through difficult or challenging experiences. Just as a lotus flower grows out of muddy waters, the idea is that the process of facing and overcoming difficulties can lead to personal discovery, resilience, and ultimately, a more positive loving outcome for ourselves and others around us.
The Crown Chakra is the gateway to spiritual growth and self-realisation. At the centre of the thousand-petaled lotus, there is often a bindu (dot), which represents the unmanifested or formless state of pure consciousness. In meditation and chakra work, practitioners often visualise and focus on the thousand-petaled lotus to activate and balance the Sahasrara Chakra. This symbol serves as a powerful reminder of the limitless potential within each individual for spiritual growth, enlightenment and the realisation of the highest states of consciousness. Which is the desired state of a Yogi’s spiritual journey.
The sacred sound is silence or it is also associated with the mantra “Om.” Chanting “Om” is believed to resonate with the energy of the Crown Chakra and facilitate a connection to higher states of consciousness. Yet the sound for the chakra is of silence. Bathing in the residue of OM.
In our Yoga and meditation practice we can work on clearing the path along the Sushumna Nadi. Recognising how Rudra Granthi affects the Crown Chakra by distorting the mind in seeing the path. When the Pingala Nadi is over active in a Rajasic way we become over intellectual, fundamentalist, spiritually addicted, causing an attitude of superiority over others and their beliefs. If the Ida Nadi is dominate there tends to be a Tamasic reaction in getting stuck in the material world, spiritually skeptic and reinforcing limiting beliefs or being lead in blind faith. Both are fear based trying to control the unknown. This is why practices guide the student in a Sattvic way to an equanimity in body, mind and energy to bathe in the I-ness that is sensing, breathing, loving and experiencing you. Opening up to universal wisdom, knowledge and spiritual connection to the Divine grace that is behind all creation.
In yogic and spiritual traditions working with the chakras it becomes a preparation towards death. This is considered a crucial aspect of the spiritual journey. The Sahasrara Chakra, or the Crown Chakra, is often associated with the final stages of spiritual realisation and the transition beyond physical existence. The yogic preparation towards death involves various practices and perspectives, aiming to help the individual transcend the limitations of the material world and attain a state of spiritual liberation. Yogic philosophy emphasises the importance of detachment from material possessions and worldly attachments. This is not a rejection of life but rather a recognition that true freedom and liberation come from letting go of the ego’s identification with transient and impermanent aspects of life.
- How well did you live?
- How well did you Love?
- And how well did you learn to let go?
Non-Attachment or Vairagya is a key concept in yogic philosophy. It involves cultivating a mindset of letting go, recognising the impermanence of the physical world, and understanding that the true self is eternal and unchanging. Leading a life based on ethical and moral principles is essential. Practicing virtues such as non-harming, compassion, truthfulness, and selflessness as well as finding peace, acceptance and forgiveness contributes to the purification of consciousness, creating favourable conditions for spiritual evolution. The yogi learns through practice, to accept the natural flow of life, including the inevitability of death. To understand the nature of reality beyond the physical and perceives death as a transition rather than an end. Surrendering to the divine will and recognising that life and death are part of the cosmic dance fosters a sense of peace and equanimity.
In certain yogic and Hindu traditions, there are practices known as “prayopavesa” or “conscious dying.” This involves a conscious decision by an advanced yogi to withdraw from food and gradually transition from the physical body. It’s considered a sacred and intentional process of leaving the physical realm. Whether a formal process or a natural process of death it is said that we begin the death process the element of earth at Muladhara Chakra. As death approaches, the physical body loses its solidity, and the sense of grounding or stability associated with the earth element diminishes. This phase is often described as the body becoming heavy, difficult to move, or unresponsive.
The water element, Svadhisthana Chakra, undergoes a process drying up or loss of fluids in the body. The individual may experience symptoms such as a decrease in bodily fluids, including saliva and tears.
The next phase involves the fire element, Manipura Chakra. This is not necessarily about the body temperature but is more metaphorical. The warmth associated with the fire element diminishes, and the body may become cold. The individual may experience a decrease in vitality and energy.
After the fire element, the wind element, Anahata Chakra, undergoes the change as the breath and life force becomes increasingly subtle and erratic. Breathing may become more challenging, and the breath eventually ceases altogether.
The final stage is the element of space, Vishuddha Chakra. It is often described as the moment of transition when consciousness is no longer bound to the physical body. The space element represents the boundless, unconditioned nature of consciousness.
Throughout this process, it’s important to understand that these elements are not seen as external substances but rather as symbolic representations of the qualities and characteristics associated with the physical body. Regular meditation practices, especially those focused on the Sahasrara Chakra, are crucial for a yogi’s preparation towards death. Meditation helps in quieting the mind, Anja Chakra, transcending the ego, and realising the oneness of the individual soul with the universal consciousness.
It’s important to note that the preparation towards death in yogic philosophy is not about fear or escapism but about embracing the spiritual journey with a deep sense of understanding, surrender, and realisation of the eternal nature of the self. It’s a profound process that requires consistent spiritual practice, refining the ability to harness the power of each chakra, connecting to the ability to inner transform and ascend Kundalini Shakti to the crown. Through practice there is a direct knowing and understanding of the source of Truth of all reality. Explore this area with wonderment, curiosity and expansiveness of the mystery of life and all it creates.
“May my life force be linked to my heart, may my heart be linking to the truth within me, may that truth be linked to the eternal, that eternal Grace of Consciousness that surrounds me, is within me, as me. That works for me and with me to awaken me to its presence in everything and everyone.” Namaste.