Preksha Dhyana: Perception Of Psychic Centres ► [5] Perception Of Psychic Centres: Benefits

Posted: 24.02.2010

Centre of Wisdom (Jñãna Kendra)

Brain, in general, and cerebral cortex, in particular, is the psychic centre of knowledge. This is also the centre of wisdom and one of the most important centres of consciousness. All mental states manifest themselves by the complex neuronal activity in various areas of the cortex. Brain (with the help of nervous system) is the medium of translating the coded imperceptible activity of the inner sub­tle body into a crude power which activates the conscious mind and the gross body. Intelligence, memory-store, capacity of purposeful planning—all these are found here. Sensations—coded messages—sent by the sense-organs and other sensory outposts are processed and interpreted here to become perceptions. It is the apex of the central nervous system. Cerebrum, cerebellum and brain stem are all associated with the centre of wisdom and hence concentrated perception of this centre will improve and refine all the mental functions stated above.

Perceptual meditation (Prekṣã) first awakens and then develops this centre. Its development improves intelligence, strengthens memory and reinforces perceptual activity. Perceptual meditation of the entire cortical area may result in higher levels of consciousness. This is an important aspect of the manifold para-psychological possibilities. In general a psychic centre, which is developed by the technique of "perception of psychic centres" (laid down in the previous chapter) develops para-psychological ability. In particular, the perception of cerebrum and cerebellum can develop one's extrasensory perceptive (E.S.P.) abilities. Memory of previous life (or lives), precognition, clairvoyance etc. are some of the E.S.P. possibilities which can be achieved by regular systematic perception of these centres.

Centre of Peace (Šãnti Kendra)

This centre is situated in the frontal lobe of the brain, and is an important source of nervous energy. It is closely associated with hypothalamus, limbic system and emotion. Whatever flows out from the subtle inner body in the form of emotional stream engages the conscious mind in this part of the brain. Then they become our mental states. Thus, this centre is the junction of the subtle and the gross bodies.

The preceptors of Ãyurveda have called this centre Adhipati Marma, that is 'commanding vital centre'. Modern science calls it 'hypothalamus'. It is the junction of the nervous and the endocrine systems, and, is therefore, the main centre of the integrated neuro-endocrine system.

According to Hathayoga system, this is the seat of Sahasrãra Cakra and Brahma Randhra. In the ancient literature, the term 'heart' is used to indicate and identify one's emotions and sentiments. This term does not refer to the heart which pumps the blood but the heart that is the core or centre of the brain and this is nothing else but hypothalamus or Šãnti Kendra. This part of the brain is the seat of emotions manifested in the mind.

It follows, therefore, that concentrated perception of this centre results in decontaminating the emotions and plays an important role in the development of the other centres. Thus for 'change of heart', meditation on and development of the centre of peace is inevitable.

Centres of Enlightenment and Intuition (Jyoti Kendra, Daršana Kendra)

Situated deep inside and in the centre of the head but at the centre of the forehead in the front view, is the centre of Enlightenment (Jyoti Kendra). Similarly, deep inside the head but between the eyebrows in the front view, is the Centre of Intuition (Daršana Kendra). These are the most important centres in the system, of Prekṣã dhyãna. Referring to the endocrine system, the former is associated with the pineal body and the latter with the pituitary gland. The excitation or inhibition of our passions - anger, haughtiness, deceit, and greed—and the psychological distortions - fear, hatred as well as sexual excitation—is controlled by the hypothalamus. Both these centres are very intimately connected in this process of regulation. Pineal and pituitary are directly and intimately interconnected with the hypothalamus.

Jyoti Kendra is the most important centre for inhibiting urges of anger, sexual excitement etc. Meditational perception of this centre is an efficient means of calming down raging anger. Perception of bright white colour on this centre is an excellent tool for subduing all sorts of urges, impulses and excitements.

We know that the pineal gland begins to slow down its functioning at the age of twelve/ thirteen years, i.e. just before adolescence starts. The withdrawal of this gland's control leaves the field free for sexual excitement. Criminal tendencies also begin to raise their ugly heads. If regular meditational practice is introduced at this age and continued through adolescence, it will keep the pineal-controls active and a well-balanced integrated personality can be developed.

Daršana Kendra is also a very important psychic centre. It has immense possibilities. Some systems regard this centre as the Centre of Omniscience. It is also known as Ãjñã Cakra i.e. 'commanding centre', and also 'the third eye'. Looking from the front, it is at the centre of the eye­brows but is actually situated deep inside at the centre of the skull. The mystics of occidental origin have regarded this as the place of the third eye, and have dealt with this aspect at length in the vast literature on this subject.

If a person can meditate on this kendra continuously for three hours everyday, i.e. he is able to concentrate and focus his full attention on this kendra, then after 'ten days' practice, he will find that there is no need to go about seeking a path or realising higher level of consciousness. In this period of three hours there must not be any distraction. Normally it is difficult to concentrate even for a period of ten minutes; to remain undistracted for three long hours is indeed extremely difficult. The performer who is able to concentrate for ten/fifteen minutes, however, would undoubtedly realise that if he could prolong his concentration without distraction for three hours, he would positively realise the path he has been seeking and he need not seek it any more. Development of precognition, intuition and other ESP capabilities could be realised.

Daršana Kendra is the field of pituitary activity. Pituitary is the so-called master gland which regulates the activities of the other glands. Rationality of our behaviour will depend mainly upon the activization of this gland. Failure of pituitary's control over adrenals and gonads would result in psychological distortions and irrational behaviour.

Daršana Kendra is closely associated with pituitary. Jyoti Kendra and Daršana Kendra are control-mechanisms for subjugating urges and impulses. Meditation on these psychic centres keeps the pineal and pituitary alert and vigilant, and establishes effective control over the functioning of adrenals and gonads. Sexual arousal, excitation and other urges are expressions of adrenals and gonads. As and when these glands are effectively controlled by the pineal and/or pituitary, conscious self-discipline takes command of the sexual and other urges. They are transmuted and a blissful state is realised. One who desires to practise celibacy as a way of life must necessarily establish the control of these two centres on the centre of sex; otherwise, the sexual urge will have to be repressed. The act of repres­sion is itself unconscious and the repressed urge goes into the unconscious mind and is not eliminated. And, so there will be a failure. Psychology also corroborates this doctrine. If anyone tries to practise celibacy without activating the vigilance of pituitary and pineal, it may result in deep depression and even lead to schizophrenia.

Centre of Purity (Višuddhi Kendra)

Situated near the Adam's apple in the throat, this centre is the field of influence of the thyroid gland. According to Dr. M.W. Kapp, M.D., "The thyroid is very necessary for the development and evolvement of higher consciousness and psychic powers. Thyroxin, the active principle of the thyroid, is pure iodine. The thyroid secretions are the controllers of the speed of living. The more active the thyroid, the faster one must live, i.e. there is a greater intensity and capability of living, when the thyroid is active. The 'cretin' is a person with a great lack of thyroid secretion and is slow of movement, clumsy and awkward and stumbles when going upstairs. The cretin seems to have no soul (by soul we mean mental and spiritual condition)"...... [1]

Physiologically too, thyroid is responsible for many important functions. Growth, metabolism, digestion, etc. are regulated by the hormones of this gland. By proper develop­ment and harmonization of this gland, all these functions would be properly regulated and carried out.

Meditation on this kendra will activate thyroid gland and enable one to control his urges and impulses. Not only will he be able to sublimate his passions, but to eradicate them completely from his behaviour. It is the dual action of the meditational practice viz. to enfeeble the passions and at the same time evolve stronger spiritual forces which would ultimately subjugate the weakened forces of passions. Incidentally, perception of this centre is an excellent means of learning high degree of mental concentration.

Centre of Bliss (Ãnand Kendra)

Located in the heart region in the middle of the lungs, this centre is the field of influence of the thymus gland. According to Dr. Kapp, "...It seems to be the dominating gland of child growth before the time of puberty. It inhibits the activities of the testicles and ovaries...It seems to be the child-body builder supplying many of the elements that build the structure. It begins to regress at puberty"....[2]. Activisation of the thymus gland by perception of this psychic centre enables one to get rid of one's carnal desires and withdraw from the sensul pleasures and begin to look inward. This centre also plays an important role in sublimating and subjugating one's libido, i.e. the sexual desires are not so dominant and demanding. It is after the regression of the thymus gland that the sexual forces dominate one's pleasures. Perception of this psychic centre is an efficient means of transmuting and purifying one's erotic emotions.

Centre of Bio-electricity (Taijasa Kendra)

The naval region is the field of action of this psychic centre. It is associated with the adrenal glands which are situated over the kidneys. According to Dr. Kapp, (while on the one hand) "adrenal secretion is the energisisng secretion supplying the base for saliva, pepsin, hydrochloric acid, liver, pancreatic and intestinal juices, on the other hand it raises our jealousies, hates, fears, our lusts and superstitions, etc...."[3].

According to ancient Indian philosophy of Yoga, all primal instincts emanate from the actions of this centre. Their manifestation in our behaviour can be eliminated by transmutations of our emotional forces.

This centre is the seat of fire element and, therefore, generates heat and radiates it. Wherever there is heat, everything boils over. Meditation on this centre will excite and stimulate instincts and passions. It is, therefore, essential to meditate also on Višuddhi Kendra (No. 5), and seek its regulatory power. Both these centres are closely related and both must be activated simultaneously. If this is done, one is endowed with brilliance, is full of vitality and his responses to instincts are well regulated and controlled.

Centres of Health & Vitality (Svãsthya Kendra & Šakti Kendra)

The bottom end of the spine is called múlãdhãra or Šakti Kendra. It is the centre of vital energy. All our vital energy is stored here. It is generated and distributed from this centre. Concentration of conscious mind on this centre will cause the muscles around the anal opening to contract. By pulling the rectum inside and contracting the muscles, the flow of vital energy is directed upwards. This is the root centre.

Svãsthya Kendra is situated in the lower abdomen. It is the field of gonads or sex-glands. It is the centre for manifestation of sexual vitality—libido. It is also respon­sible for maintaining general health and vitality of the body. The hormonal output from gonads together with the sexual virility controls and regulates the general health. The men­tal and emotional health of a person depends upon the proper regulation and harmonization of this centre.

If these two centres—Svãsthya and Šakti Kendras—are peroperly activated and kept under strict control of self-discipline, then grwoth and development will be natural and adequate. This will also help in the development of the highest centre by receiving proper bio-energy and adequate­ly rich vascular supply. It is, therefore, necessary to activate these centres by meditation. Perception of these two centres must always be followed by the perception of the upper centres so that the instincts are controlled and notoverstimulated.

Centre of Celibacy (Brahma Kendra)

The tip of the tongue is the field of this centre. Meditation on this centre assists one to observe celibacy without problem. As a rule, each of our sense-organs is related to one of the motor-organs and their relative moto

nose

bowels

tongue

sex-organ

eyes

feet

skin

hands

ears

speech

In this way, the tongue is closely related to the genitals and both are related to water element. Sexual activity will be enhanced if the tongue is pampered with tasty food and drinks. Fluids particularly stimulate both organs. Discipline in the intake of food and drinks in general and in spicy ones in particular coupled with perception of the tip of the tongue will go a long way to maintain sexd-discipline. During the perception-exercise, the tongue is kept hanging in the oral cavity without touching anywhere in the mouth. The attention is focused on the tip and sensations are experienced.

  1. Discipline of oral intake,
  2. Motionless state of the tongue,
  3. Relaxation of the tongue,
  4. Observance of silence, and
  5. Perception of these centres.

All these are conductive to a higher degree of self-discipline.

Centre of Vigilance (Apramãda Kendra)

Our ears and the area surrounding them is the field of this centre. Meditation on this centre enhances vigilance and inhibits pramãda (remissness). Addiction results from pramãda. Hence perception of this centre is an excellent menas of becoming free from addiction. Russian scientists have made successful experiment of giving electric impulses in this area for riddance of addiction. Popular gesture of admitting forgetfulness is to pull one's ear(s). "Catch him by the ears", is the standard punishment for petty mischief. All these are subtle ways of influencing this centre. Perception (prekṣã) of this centre strengthens the nerve-centre in this area, and increases the memory power. Transmutation of the delusive pleasures of addiction results in permanent freedom from addiction.

Centre of Vital Energy (Prãṇa Kendra)

To meditate on 'the tip of nose' is an ancient ritual. It is the main gate of prana—vital energy. Meditating on this centre enhances control on the flow of vital energy. Precognition, telepathy and such other extra-sensory-perceptions are some of the other benefits derived from meditation on this centre. It is an important centre for learning deep concentration. Memory power can also be developed and increased.

Centre of Vision (Chãkṣusa Kendra)

This centre is very powerful for effortless concentration of mind. Direct contact with the brain-electricity can be established. It is also a centre of vitality, and meditation on this centre increases longevity.

Conclusion

These are some of the benefits derived from meditation on individual centre. We shall now discuss the effect of meditation on the whole chain of psychic centres collectively.

Physical Benefits

Perception of psychic centres will bring about changes in the chemistry of the body. For integrated development of personality, it is necessary to bring about radical changes in the body-chemistry, i.e. the chemical secretions in the body should be more balanced. The hormones of pituitary and adrenals are mainly responsible for this. When the mood and emotion-producing hormones from the adrenals are properly regulated and harmonized by those of pituitary, the equilibrium of the body-chemistry is more balanced. If the practice of meditation does not bring about desired equilibrium, then it must be concluded that the technique is not properly followed.

Secondly, there are hundreds of electro-magnetic fields in our body that excite our consciousness. All of them must be decontaminated. If they are not free from contamination and remain soiled up, the rays of knowledge cannot emanate from them, and one's knowledge can't be included in the category of wisdom. Wisdom becomes active when the areas in the body activating consciousness are totally unstained.

Mental Benefits

Next to the chemical equilibrium is the mental equilibrium. Normally, any condition of stress or excitement upsets the mental balance. For instance, one is puffed up with the slight public admiration one may enjoy. If there is no mental equilibrium, even a minute event may assume mountainous proportions. On the other hand, with the mental equilibrium, gravest situations can be tackled peacefully. Mental equilibrium will become more and more balanced with meditational practice. This is an important benefit derived from the perception of psychic centres.

Psychic Benefits

Change in Habits

Next, we consider the psychic benefits derived from meditation. The basic improvement is the change in habits, i.e. transmutation of attitude and behaviour. If one practises meditation systematically and regularly, it must have profound effect on one's emotional nature. The psychological distortions such as cruelty, retaliation, greed, hate, jealosy, deceit, haughtiness and aggression are sure to be reduced in intensity as a result of meditation.

The change is due to the harmonization of the endocrines. When the flow of psychic attention is diverted from navel, lower abdomen and genitals towards heart, throat, nose tip, forehead and cranium, there is blissful hormonal influence on our mental states and behaviour as a result of which the bad habits begin to disappear. There is a natural subsidence in the intensity of the bad habits, because the hormonal synthesization which nourished them is withdrawn and the psychological dynamite is defused.

The perception of psychic centres does eradicate psychological distortions. But this does not mean that the total change is instantaneous. The long process of eradication of the evil commences with the commencement of the practice.

Change of Heart

As stated above, the effect of meditational practice is 'change'. It is not a mere superficial change like the change of dress or wearing a face-mask, but it is profound—it is the 'change of heart'.

The change of heart, thus, positively results from the perception of psychic centres. There are a number of centres in our body. The meditational exercise could be in the form of perception of individual centre or in the form of collective perception or cyclic perception. In any case, as soon as our psychic attention is focused on a centre, its activity begins to become balanced and its chemical output is changed.

To use an analogy—what used to be the special agents or spies of the enemy (karma šarīra) change side and de facto become the agents of the psyche. The change is primal and in the root itself.

Since all the primal urges are endocrine expressions, transmutation of the hormonal synthesization must bring about a fundamental change in the attitudes themselves. Let us consider the history of a chain-smoker who participated in a prekṣã dhyãna šivira (a ten-day residential course). Before coming to the šivira, whenever he was told about the dangerous risks of cigarette-smoking such as lung-cancer, emphisema, etc., he used to argue (illogically, of course), "whatever is produced in the world is surely for our pleasure, otherwise why are they produced at all? If all stop smoking, the cigarette factories would have to be closed down and it will be a great national loss", and so on. It is clear from such illogical arguments that any amount of logic would not succeed in convincing him to abstain from smoking. Fortunately, he joined a training šivira, learnt the prekṣã system of meditation, and made good progress in learning the technique of perception of psychic centres. His hormonal synthesization began getting transmuted. This had a profound effect on his nervous system and mental state. The insistence of the demand of the addiction weakened and was ultimatly destroyed. Not only did he stop smoking, but got nauseated when others smoked in his vicinity. This can illustrate change at the root—the change of heart.

Psychic Centre, Karaa and Clairvoyance

It has already been stated that the whole body is full of psychic centres. A special benefit accruing from the perception of body and that of psychic centres is clairvoyance—an E.S.P. capability. A clairvoyant 'sees' with the whole body or some specific portion(s) of the body which is called karaṇa. The instrument of all perceptions—sensory as well as extra-sensory—are situated within the body. That is, the special capability of clairvoyance must also manifest itself from within the body (not outside). Our normal perceptive ability is restricted to the use of our sense-organs, sensory outposts and nervous system, the karaṇa centres of the body being not activated. As a result of the meditational practice the karaṇa centres become purified and active. Theoretically each specialised cell is a potential karaṇa. If decontaminated and grain-oriented, it has the capacity to act as a karaṇa. For example, if the special senory cells situated in the left shoulder (or the right one) are activated, the clairvoyant would be able to 'see' with his left (or right) shoulder as the case may be. If, on the other hand, the front portion of the body or some psychic centre in the spinal cord is activated and converted into a karaṇa, he would be able to 'see' from the front or the back respectively. Similarly, if the top of the head—cerebral cortex—becomes a karaṇa, he would 'see' by the top of his head. All these are instances of partial clairvoyance. In full clairvoyance, one is able to perceive by the whole body—right, left, back, front and top.

Various Shapes of Karaṇa

We come across two terms—Kamala (lotus) and cakra (wheel) in the ancient Yoga philosophy. That is, we have nãbhi kamala (navel-lotus), hṛdaya-kamala (heart-lotus), maṇipúra cakra, anãhata cakra and so on. According to the Jain Philosophy, when a portion of the body is purified to become a karaṇa, its shape is symmetarised to become not only kamala or cakra, but many other auspicious beautiful shapes also, such as svastika, nandyãvarta, kalaša, etc. So long as they are contaminated, their shapes are a symmetrical and ugly, but as soon as they are purified and activated, they change their shapes and become symmetrical and beautiful.

Three-fold Benefits of Perception of Psychic Centres

  1. Decontamination of psychic centres.
  2. Stimulation of Centre of Joy.
  3. Release of the flow of the vital energy which is blocked up or not free-flowing.

(i) Decontamination of Psychic Centres

In the ancient folkore, we read about bejewelled blanket (ratna-kambala). This could not be washed with water, but had to be steam-cleaned (dry-cleaning). Our psychic centres are also like this mythical blanket. They can be purified not by ordinary washing, but by fire. When one concentrates and focuses full attention on a centre, the flow of vital energy through the vascular mechanism and an electric current through the ennervating one are so powerful that all contamination is wiped out and the centre is electro-magnetically grain-oriented. Thus purified, the centre is able to radiate the psychic energy which has E.S.P. capabilities. In day-to-day life also, we know that whenever a source of light, be it a lantern, an electric bulb, or a tube-light, is covered with dirt, the light emitted is not bright and powerful. Again, if a red or yellow-coloured cellophane paper covers the bulb, the emitted light is also red or yellow. In the same way, as long as our phychic centres are contaminated, the psychic brilliance is not revealed. Hence it is essential to wash out the contamination from these centres. Perception of psychic centre is more powerful because the flow of vital energy is stronger and the centres are cleansed further.

(ii) Stimulation of the Centre of Joy

We now come to a very important benefit, viz. stimulation of the Centre of Joy, i.e. producing a state of euphoria without the use of harmful habit-forming drugs. Centres of pain, pleasure, euphoria, bliss etc. are located in the brain. Stimulation of each centre will produce pain, pleasure etc. These centres have been scientifically mapped out [4]. Stimuli from an injured or affected part of the body will reach and stimulate the centre of pain through electrical impulses and chemical neuro—transmitters. The result is suffering. Thus the perception of pain occurs in the brain and not in the skin or at the site of the injury. Similarly, when other centres are stimulated, the result is pleasure, euphoria, bliss, etc.[5]

Now, it has been well established by the recent research efforts that chemical substances, having the same effect as powerful pain-killers, such as morphine, are secreted internally and block out the pain. That the brain manufactures hormones to regulate its own emotions, moods and drives is a recent dramatic discovery. [6]

The pain-killing action of morphine is produced by endorphine and its concentration in PAG [7] and amygdala can soothe pain and produce euphoria. An experienced practitioner, can produce this internal pain-killer at will and direct its concentration at proper regions either to soothe the pain or produce euphoria.

Thus it is possible not to suffer the misery of pain or grief by activating appropriate centres. Thousands have demonstrated this state of bliss [8] under most painful conditions, both physical and psychological.

Perception of psychic centres can activate the centres of euphoria and bliss. An addict can get rid of this hideous affliction by regular practice of this exercise.

(iii) The third benefit is the reinforcement of the vital energy. We can stimulate the Centre of Vital Energy in our body by the perception of psychic centres.

Centres of Vital Energy, General Health, Bioelectricity and Purity are all related to our subtle electrical body. The premeditational exercise of internal trip and the perception of spinal cord directs the flow of vital energy upward, and brings it to the centre of wisdom from the centre of energy via the spinal cord.

Thus the bio-energy generated in the nether centres can be tapped by meditation of psychic centres and utilised for spiritual uplift.

All the above-mentioned benefits accrue from the regular and systematic perception of psychic centres.

Anger, haughtiness, sexual arousal, selfishness, jealousy, fear and hatred—all these emotional urges are aroused when our psyche roams about the navel region. It is quite normal for this to happen because we do not know the outcome of this. But we know that it is beneficial to keep psychic attention in the upper regions above the heart and throat and up in the crainum. If our attention is repeatedly concentrated in these upper regions, our urges and distortions would be regulated, amenable to control and can even be transmuted. Our 'libido' can then be put to creative activity. This results in attitudinal change and development of an integrated personality. This then is the key for change of attitude and behaviour, and building up of character.

Social Health

Meditational practice also changes moral and social values and standards.

If the attitude and behaviour of a practitioner and a non-practitioner are identical, meditation would be futile. But the change in attitude and behaviour must also change social outlook.

He who practises the perception of psychic centres regularly, would positively adopt an attitude of equanimity, and his behaviour would radically change. Having got rid of psychological distortions, his behaviour would be free from irrational fear, lust, cruelty, vindictiveness etc. His way of life—personal as well as social—would be full of compassion modesty and honesty.

When we consider social health, it is necessary that the harsh treatment meted out to some unfortunates such as drug-addicts and anti-socials, should be replaced by com­passion. Actually, they are sick people and like any other sicks, have little control over their malady. The injustice done to them causes an irreparable damage to their psyches. The root cause of the suffering body by the anti-socials and the society is the imbalance of the neuro-endocrine system of the unfortunate victims. The obvious remedy is to restore the equilibrium.

The society must, first of all, change its attitude towards the so-called anti-socials from cruelty to compas­sion. The victims should instead of being sent to the prisons be sent to health-centres where they could be treated with the psycho-therapy based on the meditational practice such as Prekṣã dhyãna.

One cannot over-emphasize the simple fact that the social health is the result of emotional health of the constituents of the society. The practice of the perception of psychic centres is a simple remedy for restoring the emotional health of the constituents of the society. There is no other remedy as simple and as economic as meditational therapy. Some pessimists may insist that it is impossible to subjugate the forces of the primal drives, and eradicate the distortions from one's attitude and behaviour. But such pessimism is proved to be baseless and irrelevant by the actual results obtained by the meditational therapy. It is true that the social health cannot be restored overnight. Regular and constant practice is needed not only to restore but to maintain it. It would require establishment of proper facilities where the emotionally sick members of society can be taught to heal themselves and maintain their emotional health by the development of the inherent potency by knowing how to live properly which includes eating, drinking, and breathing properly as well as thinking properly.

Footnotes:
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Published by:
Jain Vishva Bharati
Ladnun-341 306 (Rajasthan)

Editor: Muni Mahendra Kumar

© Jain Vishva Bharati

Fourth Edition: July, 2001

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