There are seven chakras, energy centers, and each chakra is connected in a special way with its corresponding body. The chakra of the physical body is the muladhar. This is the ﬁrst chakra and it has an integral connection with the physical body. The muladhar chakra has two possibilities. Its ﬁrst potentiality is a natural one that is given to us with birth; its other possibility is obtainable by meditation.
The basic natural possibility of this chakra is the sex urge of the physical body. The very ﬁrst question that arises in the mind of the seeker is what to do in regard to this central principle. Now there is another possibility of this chakra, and that is brahmacharya, celibacy, which is attainable through meditation. Sex is the natural possibility and brahmacharya is its transformation. The more the mind is focused upon and gripped by sexual desire, the more difﬁcult it will be to reach its ultimate potential of brahmacharya.
On the one hand there is a need; on the other hand there is a suppression which causes the meditator to ﬁght the sex urge. Suppression is an obstacle on the path of meditation. This is the obstacle of the ﬁrst chakra. Transformation cannot come about with suppression.If suppression is an obstruction, what is the solution? Understanding will then solve the matter.
The second body, is the emotional or the electric body. The second body is connected to the second chakra – the swadhishthan chakra. This too has two possibilities. Basically, its natural potential is fear, hate, anger, and violence. All these are conditions obtained from the natural potential of the swadhishthan chakra. If a person stagnates at the second body, then the directly opposite conditions of transformation – love, compassion, fearlessness, friendliness – do not take place. The obstacle on the meditator’s path in the second chakra is hate, anger and violence, and the question is of their transformation.
Here too the same mistake is made. One person can give vent to his anger; another can suppress his anger. One can just be fearful; another can suppress his fear and make a show of courage. But neither of these will lead to transformation. When there is fear it has to be accepted; there is no use hiding or suppressing it. If there is violence within there is no use in covering it with the mantle of nonviolence. Shouting slogans of nonviolence will bring no change in the state of violence within. It remains violence. It is a condition given to us by nature in the second body. It has its uses just as there is meaning to sex. Through sex alone other physical bodies can be given birth. Before one physical body falls, nature has made provisions for the birth of another.
Fear, violence, anger are all necessary on the second plane; otherwise man could not survive, could not protect himself. Fear protects him, anger involves him in struggle against others and violence helps him to save himself from the violence of others. All these are qualities of the second body and are necessary for survival, but generally we stop here and do not go any further. If a person understands the nature of fear he attains fearlessness, and if he understands the nature of violence he attains nonviolence. Similarly, by understanding anger we develop the quality of forgiveness.
The third chakra revolves around doubt and thinking. If these are transformed doubt becomes trust and thinking becomes vivek, awareness.
The chakra pertaining to the third body is manipur. Doubt and trust are its two forms. When doubt is transformed trust is the result. But, remember, trust is not opposed or contrary to doubt. Trust is the purest and most ultimate development of it. It is the ultimate extreme of doubt, where even doubt becomes lost because here doubt begins to doubt even itself and in this way commits suicide. Then trust is born.
We cannot reach to the clarity of discrimination without going through the process of thinking. There are people who do not think and people who encourage them not to think. They say, ”Do not think; leave all thoughts.” He who stops thinking lands himself in ignorance and blind faith. This is not clarity. The power of discrimination is gained only after passing through the most subtle processes of thinking. What is the meaning of vivek, discrimination? Doubt is always present in thoughts.
Decision comes from a state of clarity which is beyond thoughts. Thoughts have no connection with decision.
The fourth plane is the psyche, and the fourth chakra, the anahat, is connected with the fourth body. The natural qualities of this plane are imagination and dreaming. This is what the mind is always doing: imagining and dreaming. It dreams in the night and in the daytime it daydreams. If imagination is fully developed, that is to say if it is developed to its fullest extent, in a complete way, it becomes determination, will. If dreaming develops fully it is transformed into vision – psychic vision. If a man’s ability to dream is fully developed he has only to close his eyes and he can see things. He can then see even through a wall. At ﬁrst he only dreams of seeing beyond the wall; later he actually sees beyond it. Now he can only guess what you are thinking, but after the transformation he sees what you think. Vision means seeing and hearing things without the use of the usual sense organs. The limitations of time and space are no more for a person who develops vision.
The ﬁfth chakra is the vishuddhi chakra. It is located in the throat. The ﬁfth body is the spiritual body. The vishuddhi chakra is connected to the spiritual body. The ﬁrst four bodies and their chakras were split into two. The duality ends with the ﬁfth body.
The difference between male and female lasts until the fourth body; after that it ends. If we observe very closely all duality belongs to the male and the female. Where the distance between male and female is no more, at that very point all duality ceases. The ﬁfth body is nondual. It does not have two possibilities but only one.
This is why there is not much effort for the meditator to make, because here there is nothing contrary to develop; here one has only to enter. By the time we reach the fourth body we develop so much capability and strength that it is very easy to enter the ﬁfth body. In that case how can we tell the difference between a person who has entered the ﬁfth body and one who has not? The difference will be that he who has entered the ﬁfth body is completely rid of all unconsciousness. He will not actually sleep at night. That is, he sleeps but his body alone sleeps; someone within is forever awake. If he turns in sleep he knows it; if he does not he knows it. If he has covered himself with a blanket he knows it; if he has not then also he knows it. His awareness does not slacken in sleep; he is awake all the twenty-four hours. For the one who has not entered the ﬁfth body, his state is just the opposite. In sleep he is asleep, and in the waking hours also one layer of him will be asleep.
Therefore, after the growth of the fourth body we can call the individual a buddha, an awakened one. Now such a man is awake. Buddha is not the name of Gautam Siddharth but a name given him after his attainment of the ﬁfth plane. Gautama the Buddha means Gautam who has awakened. His name remained Gautam, but that was the name of the sleeping person so gradually it dropped and only Buddha remained.
There is another important difference between a sleeping man and an awakened man which we should bear in mind. A sleeping man does not know who he is, so he is always striving to show others that he is this or he is that. This is his lifelong endeavor. He tries in a thousand ways to prove himself. Sometimes he climbs the ladder of politics and declares, ”I am so and so.” Sometimes he builds a house and displays his wealth, or he climbs a mountain and displays his strength. He tries in all ways to prove himself. And in all these efforts he is in fact unknowingly trying to ﬁnd out for himself who he is. He knows not who he is.
Before crossing the fourth plane we cannot ﬁnd the answer. The ﬁfth body is called the spiritual body because there you get the answer to the quest for ”Who am I?” The call of the ’I’ stops once and for all on this plane; the claim to be someone special vanishes immediately.
The sixth is the brahma sharira, the cosmic body, and the sixth chakra is the agya chakra. Here there is no duality. The experience of bliss becomes intense on the ﬁfth plane and the experience of existence, of being, on the sixth. Asmita will now be lost – I am. The I in this is lost at the ﬁfth plane and the am will go as soon as you transcend the ﬁfth. The is-ness will be felt; tathata, suchness will be felt. Nowhere will there be the feeling of I or of am; only that which is remains. So here will be the perception of reality, of being – the perception of consciousness. But here the consciousness is free of me; it is no longer my consciousness. It is only consciousness – no longer my existence, but only existence.
Some meditators stop after reaching the Brahma sharira, the cosmic body, because the state of ”I am the Brahman” has come – of ”Aham Brahmasmi,” when I am not and only the Brahman is. Now what more is there to seek? What is to be sought? Nothing remains to be sought. Now everything is attained. The Brahman means the total. One who stands at this point says, ”The Brahman is the ultimate truth, the Brahman is the cosmic reality. There is nothing beyond.”
It is possible to stop here, and seekers do stop at this stage for millions of births, because there seems to be nothing ahead. So the Brahma gyani, the one who has attained realization of the Brahman, will get stuck here; he will go no further.
The seventh plane is the nirvana kaya, nirvanic body, and its chakra is the sahasrar. Nothing can be said in connection with this chakra.
Those who seek the Brahman will meditate on the agya chakra which is between the eyes. This chakra is connected to the cosmic body. Those who work completely on this chakra will begin to call the vast inﬁnite expanse that they witness the third eye. This is the third eye from where they can now view the cosmic, the inﬁnite.
One more journey yet remains – the journey to nonbeing, nonexistence. Existence is only half the story: there is also nonexistence.
Therefore, the seventh plane in a sense is an ultimate death, the extinction of the ﬂame. That which was I is extinct; that which was am is extinct. But now we have again come into being by being one with the all. Now we are the Brahman, and this too will have to be left. He who is ready to take the last jump knows the existence and also the nonexistence.