Unit I. Fifth Chakra Themes
1. Chakras as energy transformers
2. Symbols of the fifth chakra
Materials needed: Journal, crayons or colored pens or paints
Chakras: Energy centers of transformation*
Exercise: Fifth chakra diagram
* If you have been working with these guidebooks before, you may
have this book.
We go now to the symbolism
of the fifth chakra. You will remember that the ancient rishis drew pictures
for their students to illustrate their teachings as this was a time before
the written word had been invented. Symbols also tap into intuitive knowledge
and are the language of that domain. Each of the symbols in the fifth chakra
has a particular significance for spiritual development at this level. We
will see that the senses have become refined as have the elements. Usually
this means the vibratory levels have increased. Through spiritual practices,
we have been able to raise the frequencies. So now, what we do has an impact
on the more subtle bodies in our auras. A good example of this is the functioning
of homeopathy and flower essences that are used for healing. In both of
these healing techniques, the basic idea is that less is more potent. So
an extract of the basic physical remedy is made, then diluted six times,
or more often up to a thousand times. At this level of dilution, there may
be no molecules of the original remedy, but the action is much more powerful.
This is because such remedies act upon the subtle body or the causal body.
You̓ll remember the embedded model of the person you met in Book II. Activity in one of the higher levels of
consciousness impacts all the lower levels and may finally manifest on the
physical level. The difference between these levels lies in the frequency
Chakras are Energy Transformers
Chakras are energy transformers. They conduct prana or life energy into
the body from the outside environment if they are open and unimpeded. Since
they are in the energy body, they provide a link between the body and the
upper levels of beingness: the mental and spiritual bodies. Bodywork practitioners
and therapists work with the energy body to assist in opening and relaxation
of not only the chakras, but also the meridians and/or nadiis that connect
them. Chakras also represent increasingly higher levels of consciousness
and sensitivity/awareness as they ascend in the the body.
Visuddha Chakra. This is the visuddha chakra. Visuddha means purity.
The seeker is made pure by becoming united with the divine One. This entity
is called hamsa which in Sanskrit means “I am He.” In the fourth
chakra, hamsa was in the center. Now, in this chakra, we must acknowledge
our identity with the divine One. [Note: In what follows, only
the first time a Sanskrit word is used will it be italicized.]
of the Fifth Chakra
Blue Circle (Nabho-mandala). This is the ethereal region
and, as a circle, represents wholeness. In this case, wholeness means that
there is no independent existence. All that is, is part of the whole, the
divine unity. Therefore, in order to attain unity consciousness, we must
give up our illusion of a separate existence.
Trikona. This is the downward facing triangle which represents
the divine One reaching down for us. It is also an expression of the feminine,
so the focus here is one the maternal, loving care of the One who, it is
said, deeply wishes to be united with us. In my experience this is true of
Spirit who is constantly imploring, “Come to Me, Be Mine, Be Me, Be My Love.”
The Trikona also stands for healing through surrender to this Love.
Candra-mandala. This is the inner circle which is the full
moon, a lunar symbol that is associated with the goddess. The Candra-mandala
is the gateway of great liberation for those who have purified themselves,
those who realize that their Higher Self (Atman) is God (Brahman),
those who have achieved inner stillness and peace of mind. Such a person
is called a jnani, one who sees the three periods of time (past, present
and future) and who is free of disease and sorrow. This is a person who is
identified with his/her authentic Self.
Smoke. The petals on this chakra are a smoky gray. This represents
the confusion and unclarity that still exists in the individual. Confusion
is thrown up by the threatened ego to aid in its defenses. One is not yet
connected to and
listening to the inner guide. We will see that it also refers to the dark
night of the soul.
Red sanskrit letters and ruddy filaments. This aura of this chakra
is suffused with red, the color of fire. The substance of the fifth chakra
is tejas which is the fire that purifies, especially the intellect
and ego. Since the petals represent speech, we will be looking at how speech
and hearing influence and are influenced by the essential surrender.
Silver crescent. (Nada) This is the first movement in the
ideating consciousness leading up to the sound, Sabda-Brahman, which
is the creative vibration that formed the world and universe. (Woodroffe,
1973, p. 34) In other traditions, it is called the “word” or “logos.” We
also find this energy described
in modern physics.
Ether. Ether is the element of the fifth chakra and
stands for the mind. Yogis speak of mind as the sixth sense because it receives
information from the environment and, when it is properly trained, from higher
levels of vibration. Ether is the refinement of all the senses to their purest
essence which is akasha.
Bindu. This is the tiny drop or point above the crescent
moon. It denotes a state of active consciousness in which “I” identify with
the total “This.” (Woodroffe, 1973, p. 34) It is a point because there is
no longer any subjective “I.” Refer back to the idea that we exist as projections
of the lonely deity and are wending our way Home again (figure2.htm). The
space within the bindu also implies the void.
Hearing. Hearing is the sense of the fifth chakra, or perhaps sensation
is a more descriptive word. This manifests as hearing and listening on the
physical level and as intuition on higher levels of sensitivity. Communication
as well as communion are related concepts.
White elephant. We have seen that the elephant represents the mind.
In the first chakra, our elephant was gray and had five trunks pointing downward
indicating an orientation to the earth and the sense of smell. Now our elephant
is white and its trunk is pointing upward denoting a changed orientation
to sources of spirit. This increased sensitivity and refinement is due to
the increased purification and attunement to sources of divine power that
is brought about by ego surrender. You can think of it as a transmutation
of self-will to spiritual Will.
Bija. Bija is the essence of a thing, in this
case the essence of the fifth chakra. The bija here is depicted as a sanskrit
letter seated on the back of the elephant. It is Ham with a dot over
the “H.” This, when treated like a mantra and chanted, is said to open the
Two other symbols that do not appear in the diagram because of its smallness
are the deities Sadashiva and Shakti Sakini in the form of
Gauri. They are being mentioned here because they hold tools that assist
the aspirant at this level.
Sadashiva. This form of Shiva has half of his body in silver and
the other half in gold. He has five faces each with three eyes (third eye)
and ten arms holding the following tools or reminders of obstacles: noose
(pride of knowledge), goad (to keep the elephant mind moving), trident (physical,
subtle and causal bodies or past, present and future), battle ax (to cut
away personality aspects), sword (of discrimination), vajra or thunderbolt
(power), great snake (wisdom), bell (listening), fire (purification), gesture
of dispelling fears. He is seated on an elephant and wears a tiger skin to
insulate him from the earth energies and a garland of snakes. He is smeared
with ashes (fire has burned up all karma).
Gauri. She is the mother of the universe and is white and heatless
indicating purity. She has five faces each with three eyes and is holding:
bow (tension and alertness), arrow (clear direction), noose and goad (last
efforts and struggle with ego). She is clothed in yellow and seated on a
bed of skulls (empty mind).
The organization of this guidebook is based on the symbols and each unit
attempts to reveal the significance of that particular symbol for the spiritual
journey at this level of development taking into consideration relevant
materials from other spiritual disciplines and transpersonal psychology
Exercise: Fifth Chakra Diagram
Review your book on the Chakras by Harish Johari. You will notice that
his drawing of the chakra is different, but it contains essentially the same
symbology. The deities are more clearly represented though their tools are
different. Differences reflect the different orientations of the teachers
through which the information came. One of the values of a symbol is that
it is capable of carrying more than one meaning at a time. And they usually
do. Select the interpretations that are most cogent for you at this time,
yet remain open to the fact that they may change as you grow.
Consult and compare Johari̓s colors with those presented here and make
yourself a chakra that reflects your intuitive grasp of the symbols. It might
help to trace Johari̓s diagram in the essentials. You might want to use
your diagram as a cover for your journal.
Johari, H. (1987). Chakras: Energy centers of transformation.
Rochester, VT: Destiny Books.
Woodroffe, Sir J. (1973). The serpent power: Being the Sat-Cakra-Nirupana
and Paduka-Pancaka. Madras, India: Ganesh & Co.
We have seen how the visuddha chakra symbols suggest the tasks of spiritual
development at the fifth level of consciousness. Unit
II. Adult Development lays a foundation from psychology in adult