Ajna Chakra is a point where the higher intelligence, the non-manifestation and the manifested intelligence, are both experienced at the same level. Therefore, the yogic traditions have called ajna chaltra the seat of intuition, the seat of the guru or the seat of the sixth sense. The five senses belong to the manifest dimension, the manifest experience. The sixth sense or the intuitive experience is the transcendental manifestation of the supreme intelligence. It is here that we have to focus our creativity, willpower and desire to either be a receiver of or a receptacle for the manifest or non manifest experiences.
Symbolism of the Ajna yantra
Ajna works like radar. What you receive depends on your direction of focus. If you focus downwards you will receive the experiences contained in vishuddhi, anahata, manipura, swadhisthana and mooladhara. The practice of chidakasha dharana is becoming aware of these different levels in ajna, with ajna focusing downwards. When you reverse the focus of ajna then it becomes the practice of ajna dharana. The practice of ajna dharana is a re-focusing of the antenna which receives information and vibrations from above.
There has to be a focus for that antenna. In order to channel the supreme consciousness in the form of a beam and direct it to ajna, so that the information can be received as a transcendental input into the human frame, we have to see the symbolism of the yantra. The yantra we will visualize is a crescent moon with a white circle. That crescent moon is the antenna, the dish which has to be focused in the direction of the white circle. The dish has to be focused in bindu, the white circle represents bindu in ajna.
That bindu in ajna is the shadow reflection of bindu above ajna. It is a mirror image. The bindu above ajna, which we try to see in the form of a blue drop of water, is the hole in the fabric of the supreme intelligence through which the supreme intelligence is actually filtered and pointed at ajna. So, being aware of this link between bindu and ajna is the first stage of ajna dharana.
Elimination of Input
In the subsequent practices of ajna dharana there is total elimination, total stoppage, of every kind of input which we receive from the five senses and the four mental aspects. This total stoppage can only happen if the normal awareness can be taken beyond the range of physical and mental perception. Until and unless we reach that point, this practice will be very dry because there is nothing to hang on to. We jump into the void from mooladhara to vishuddhi, where there is nothing to hold onto, and again it is a similar experience in ajna dharana.
In chidakasha dharana we acknowledged the sensory inputs, the mental inputs. Formation of a color is an input in chidakasha, whether we call it an input of the ocular nerves, of the sensory fields, of the samskaras, or of memory. We are free to associate that input with whatever we wish. It is not without a meaning.
When those inputs are blanked out then a re-focusing of ajna takes place. There are only two channels which the receiver of ajna can pick up, the lower and the upper. So, the moment you turn the dial, one channel goes fuzzy and gradually becomes totally blank. As the other channel comes in, the picture becomes fuzzy, then it gets an outline, a shadow and finally it becomes a clear image. The fuzzy picture, outline, shadow and clear image are the four stages of ajna dharana which come after the basic stage which is given here.
Kundalini Yoga approach
This symbolism has also been explained in kundalini yoga in a different way, namely as an actual experience which totally transforms the entire personality. Kundalini yoga states that bindu is the seat or the source of nectar. This is also the tantric belief. From this point, that drops of nectar falls down into the body. When it falls down into the body and is consumed by the fire of manipura, then one is subject to life, birth, death and decay.
However, by means of certain practices this bindu or drop of nectar can be retained at the level of vishuddhi, which is not solar in nature. When the nectar is not allowed to fall down to manipura but is maintained in the chidakasha region, one attains immortality. Hatha yoga goes one step further, using khechari mudra to stimulate that nectar to become active in chidakasha, thus transforming the experience of ajna into an experience of a transcendental nature.
Whatever approach you adopt, whether it is kundalini yoga, tantra or Vedanta, the practices differ only slightly. The method of each practice may differ, but the end results are similar, by the practice of khechari mudra.If you can retain this bindu or drop of nectar at the chidakasha level, then you can actually experience the taste of it physically. This retaining of the bindu in the higher region is a very powerful experience which can be converted into a physical, censorial kind of experience too.
It is like thinking about something sour. Imagine you are sucking a lemon right now. Those of you who have that intensity can actually feel a tightening up of the salivary glands and the production of saliva. Just by directing the awareness and concentration you can generate that taste so that it becomes a physical experience. If you can do this in a dissipated, distracted frame of mind, imagine what kind of taste you can create with all your mental energies focused on that experience.
It is at this level that both the gross mind and the higher mind combine to create a very deep transformation. We are talking about different levels, not only from the point of view of kundalini yoga, tantra or even from Vedanta. We are trying to combine all three, and that is how we have to understand the higher mental processes.
Changing the focus
Ajna dharana is a process through which intensity of concentration and awareness is developed to such an extent that the whole focus is changed towards bindu. We begin to receive inputs, long distance telephone calls, from heaven. At the level of ajna chakra, if you start receiving telephone calls from God and he says, “Listen, now you have to do this, now you have to do that,” then life becomes very difficult.
It is possible to lose our self-awareness at that time. The doubting nature crops up. The gross mind interferes with the transmission of the supreme mind and we begin to think, “Should I or should I not follow it? How can I be sure, that this is an intuitive message and not from the one with horns, tail and trident?” This kind of thing happens and often it is recognized by us as a mystical experience. However, once the consciousness reaches the intuitive level, then we no longer get telephone calls from the one with horns, tail and trident. There is only one hot line. But if there is a conflict of mind, a conflict of awareness, then that doubt becomes our own devil.
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Therefore, it is necessary to aim for that kind of progression in the practice where you can just take these experiences step by step and perfect them, so that there will be no conflict later on due to having crossed signals. That control over the mental faculty, over the censorial faculty is a must. It is the control over these faculties, known as tapasya and austerity, which leads to steadiness of the body and mind, and control over the body and mind.