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The Psychology of Enlightenment: Sahasrara - Pure Consciousness

Published: 20.02.2014

The higher we climb, the more panoramic is our view. We are able to see from a height things which are not visible to us from some lower vantage point. This is true in the physical world and on the spiritual plane as well. Height changes our perspective.

You may find it impossible to share what is now with your new range of vision from the sixth and seventh centers with people who still live from the viewpoint of the first energy center. Their scope is limited to the accumulation of possessions and to finding security in material things. Your talk is meaningless to them now. They cannot relate to what you are saying because they are dwelling in the basement and your view is from the top floor, from a higher level of awareness.

You will discover that many things are visible to you now that were unknown to you when you, also, were dwelling in the basement. You will experience life differently as a result.

For instance, the doubt which once engulfed you will have evaporated. That does not mean that from time to time it will not reappear; but it will be slight, and you will have the power to deal with it. From your new outlook you can see where all the old habits of negative thinking come from, and you can say to yourself with conviction, “This doubt is the old way of thinking and I won’t go along with it!” You will have tapped into your source of inner strength.

Your addiction to lust will now diminish as your ability to love increases. You will no longer have the need to bind someone to you, but will be able to allow and encourage his or her freedom.

When you love from your heart, those people around you who are closed begin noticing the difference in you. They start to question their own state of mind, their own emotional blocks. They will wonder why, in the presence of such a free outpouring of love, they remain so closed. Your genuine love will be the catalyst for their opening.

Even you physical well being is enhanced by your love because love is your natural state. On the other hand, the dark emotions of hatred, depression, and jealousy sap your energy, destroy your inner peace and joy, and bring on illness.

In meditation, you see the oneness of the universe. You no longer emphasize the outward differences between people because you are acutely aware of your unity with them. Seeing yourself in others, you endeavor to live in such a way as to make them comfortable in your presence.

With the sixth center, the inner eye of wisdom is opened. I have talked to you before about the two physical eyes through which we all gaze into the physical world, the world of changing forms. These eyes reveal only the ephemeral characteristics of one’s outer frame - rich and poor, tall and short, and so on. The inner eye however perceives the permanent reality behind the temporary form. It sees that nameless traveler who is born into the world, acquires a name behind. This insight changes your thought patterns. Problems which once loomed very large in you mid are not so intimidating now. The problems have not become any smaller, but you have become bigger in relation to them because you not have in your command a vast reservoir of power. You are connected to the permanent reality behind the passing from problems seemed insurmountable when you saw them through a veil of fear and insecurity; but now that you are fee of these limitations, you perceive with the clear eye of wisdom.

Seeing ourselves in a new light, we discover that we have a mission in life: to receive divinity and to share that divinity with our fellow beings. Until now, many of us have confined ourselves to a very limited circle of interest. We have thought only in terms of my nation, my community, my group, my religion, or even on a more limited scale, my house, my family, my children, my money, my car.

For many of us, our happiness depends solely on our children. If they acknowledge us and our efforts on their behalf, we are pleased, we are in heaven. On the other hand, one careless word from them and we are in hell. Why have we built so much attachment to these children? Why have we narrowed our affections to such an extent that our peace of mind depends on their response to us? As our children become mature, why do we insist on giving them what they do not want? Consider carefully what we are really doing.

In reality, we are giving, not to our children, but to ourselves in order to support our attachment. We have labeled a human being “my daughter” or “my son,” and concentrated all our generosity on that person. Why? Because he or she is stamped with our particular label. We give because that person carries our surname. We forget that these children do not belong to us. Ultimately, they must lead their own lives. They have their own mission to fulfill.

Meditating on the sixth center brings about a radical change in our understanding so that we no longer think as the majority does. We adopt a new outlook which puts us in touch with the whole of life. Now, we can look beyond the confines of family, community, religion, and nationality. Now, we can say with ease, “Why do I not accept all mankind as my children? There are so many children I am not doing anything for. There are so many people in the world who are in need. Why should I impose on my children who are not ready to receive from me?”

When we refuse to relate beyond the bounds of family or nationality, we ultimately clash with our fellowman. War and exploitation inevitably follow such limited focus. Thorough meditation, however, we learn to see all living beings as our brothers and sisters.

This brotherhood of mankind must be more than lip service to a fine ideal; it must be deeply experienced. We must not forget that we live, thanks to universal help. Consider the clothes you wear, the food you eat everything you use in your day-to-day life. Where did all these thing come from? Who harnessed the grain and constructed your house? How many farmers and weavers and carpenters have contributed to your comfort? We do not know whose hands have helped us. As you meditate on the sixth center, remind yourself of this with the following thought, “I am living with universal help; so, let me, in my turn, be universal. Let me give to the universe.”

Someone once asked Buddha if he could convey his teaching in two words and he said, “Wisdom and compassion.” When he was asked to condense his teaching into just one word, he replied, “wisdom.” The Sanskrit word he chose was pragna, the wisdom of the third eye; because he knew that compassion would flow naturally from that man or woman whose perception was all-embracing, universal.

When you attain this level of understanding, all division between “mine” and “thine” disappears. You energy is no longer wasted in anxiety over what is yours and what is theirs; not do you concern yourself with winning a favor able opinion from others. When you meditate, you are content with your own self-knowledge. Meditation is self-revealing because it takes you beyond the conditioning of your mind. Other people do not see you with such clarity. They perceive from their own stage of life. Their understanding in colored by their own particular background. Why, then, accept their definition of you when you know that it is clouded by their own mental conditioning?

If you met a blind person out walking on a lovely, sunny day and asked him what the day looked like, he might answer, “Dark as night.” Would you accept his opinion as the truth or would you object and respond with anger saying “How can you see darkness? It is daytime and the sun is shining!” You would most likely do neither because you would understand that it is bright and sunny for you, but dark for him. You would be aware of his condition. You would neither fight with him, nor take what he says to heart. You would simply accept him as he is, knowing, that his perception is limited by his blindness.

Similarly, if someone criticizes you, that is fine. If someone praises you, that, too, is fine. You allow the one to criticize and the other to praise because that is the nature of each; but you rely on neither. Instead, you maintain your equanimity while looking into your own heart for the truth.

There is beautiful anecdote which exemplifies this sense of inner balance. Once there was a saint meditating under a tree in wintertime. As he was sitting peacefully with his eyes closed, a man who was passing by wearing a beautiful shawl caught sight of him. Thinking the old saint must be feeling the cold, the traveler offered him his shawl, the saint opened his eyes and blessed this generous man saying, “You will do it again and again.” The traveler went on his way.

After half an hour, a thief happened by and saw the shawl draped over the shoulders of the saint. He wondered to himself, “Why should a saint be wearing such a costly Shaw? I could get a lot of money for a shawl like that.” He quickly snatched the shawl away from the saint.

Now the saint again opened his eyes and blessed the thief saying, “Here is my blessing. You will do it again and again.” The thief went on his way.

Meanwhile, there was a man sitting in a nearby tree, watching all that went on. He was overcome with curiosity. “What kind of blessings are these?” He asked the saint. “The good man and the thief both received the same words –‘You will do it again and again.’ Doesn’t a saint make any distinction between these two men? Don’t you realize that one man gave you a generous gift and the other man stole it away from you?”

The saint answered, “The traveler who gave me the gift has a rich heart. Until the last day of his life, he will give over and over again. Inwardly, he is a wealthy man. The thief, in his turn, will steal again and again. He will know poverty until the last day of his life.”

“What does it all mean?” asked the man.

The saint replied, “People’s actions are dictated by the way they perceive themselves and the world. Men like the thief have lived in the same conditioned thinking - the same rut - until their inner sense of lack has become a part of their nature. They do not give up this acquired nature easily, but cling to it until the last day. Only pragna the light of inner wisdom can transform them; so it is pointless to criticize or be upset by them.”

When you understand and accept mankind as the saint in the story did, the pure flow of love from your heart will touch the hearts of all you meet. Your energy will no longer be consumed in criticism or in the pursuit of approval; for you know that the opinions of others are, at best, partial truth. Instead, you will use meditation to penetrate your own reality.

As you meditate, watch your day’s activities. Observe exactly how you live - how you act and react. See the mature of your relationship with those around you. Step back and take a look at yourself. If you need some further aid, then seek out a particular guide, a teacher, or a friend who understands you well - someone who sees you clearly and is capable of giving you good insight and unprejudiced advice. Eventually, through persistent observation and meditation, you will gain a new level of understanding and will be able to extend that understanding to the world around you. Wherever you go, you will exude warmth and love.

Now, once we have thoroughly experienced the inner wisdom of the sixth center, through which we observe the world and our lives from a fresh viewpoint, we come at last to the seventh center. This is the highest level of consciousness, the crown center. Here we arrive at the pure consciousness of self. This state of being is experienced when all resistance, all heaviness, has dropped away. Meditating on the previous six centers, we have gradually been transcending the gravitational forces that pulled us downward. These are the forces of our fluctuating desires, or our negative thinking and emotion. They have kept us in the arena of loss and gain and have imprisoned us in a state of imbalance. With awareness of the seventh center, we win without even the desire to win. Free and light, we naturally attain our highest goal; we come to our Real Nature.

From this point on, we live each moment according to our “suchness,” our true essence, remembering that our whole future is contained in the present moment. How we live right now has repercussions even on the day of our departure. Living from the realm of the real and the permanent Self, we have no need to worry about the outcome of our future. All insecurity and inner conflict are dissolved in the light of pure consciousness of Self.

Many students of yoga attempt to raise their kundalini, their inner energy, to this center at the top of the head by force thorough various heavy-breathing techniques. What they do not realize is the kundalini will not remain at this peak unless they have worked on their inner world as we are doing. A violent surge of energy to the top of the head is very dangerous. It would be like a cardiac patient winning the lottery and dying of a heart attack in his excitement. What should be a positive experience can be overwhelming to someone unprepared for it. We should, therefore, move gradually, refining our energy and mastering first one center and then another until we reach the highest point of awareness.

The Sanskrit name for the seventh center is sahasrara which means “a thousand petals.” Symbolically, there are a thousand rays emanating from the center of the chakra, like a thousand spokes radiating from the hub of a wheel. We can think of it as the petals of a lotus opening to receive the light of the sun.

Meditating on this center, you will experience all your duality merging into oneness with the universal life force. Even at the sixth point of meditation and awareness, we still see separation between me and you. At the highest level, however, there is no otherness, there is no separation, no subject and object. There is only oneness.

We are familiar with the Biblical expression “Be still and know that I am God.” These are not the words of ego, but of the experience of the seventh center. In the stillness, all the waves and ripples of life’s surface subside until nothing remains but. “I am.” Those who reach this awareness become vessels bearing the divine energy to their fellow beings they are truly initiated into a new way of life.

Are you aware of how helpful you can be to a divided world once you have fully received the divine energy which is released by your realization of your oneness with the life-force? Your help will come from true knowledge, from you Inner Light it will come from the experience of “Be still and know that I am God.”

Mankind thirsts for this kind of awareness. Now at the seventh center, you are initiated - by your teacher, by this energy, by your vision, or by your commitment - into a life of sharing this divine energy with those who are in need. Now is the best opportunity to fulfill this mission. You have everything you need: a beautiful body and brain and five sense all intact. All these fine attributes help you receive and share this energy. Just as a millionaire may share his wealth, so you now share yours. Yours is the wealth of your inner life, the wealth of your thinking, and the wealth of your body which is given in service. When you serve mankind out of love from the fullness of your awareness, you never tire. Only when you work for a selfish purpose do you exhaust your resources. Serving through love, your vitality is always replenished.

To meditate on the seventh center, visualize the thousand rays as the petals of a beautiful white lotus turning upward to welcome the sun. Similarly, you are opening yourself at the crown of the head to receive the pure energy of the sides, all those souls who have reached perfection.

See yourself bathed in bright, white light. All the colors representing all the different costumes of life, the different manifestations of our energy, are ended at this level. There is only pure white light.

Now, silently repeat the mantra om arhum namah. Arhum means “I am the worthiest energy, pure energy; I am nothing but absolute energy.” With this mantra you are saying, “I bow to that absolute energy which I am.”

You no longer see separation; no longer will you divide into “I” and “Thou.” From the moment you experience this oneness, you are initiated into a new life. Inwardly, you are convinced that your life has a mission; to receive and to share the divine energy.

In reality, we are that absolute energy. We are truly the “That” of sohum. We are love, the Worthiest Energy. Arhum is the climax, the culmination, of sohum. God Love expanded, and we are this Love, this expanded Love. As we continue working on these seven centers, we may glimpse for a fraction of a moment in our stillness, the pure consciousness of Self, the Oneness, the egoless experience of “I am God.” This powerful experience will illumine all the days of our lives.

Title: The Psychology of Enlightenment Publisher: Jain Pub Co Edition: 1994 HN4U Edition: 2014

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
  2. Body
  3. Brain
  4. Buddha
  5. Chakra
  6. Consciousness
  7. Equanimity
  8. Fear
  9. Kundalini
  10. Mantra
  11. Meditation
  12. OM
  13. Pragna
  14. Sanskrit
  15. Sohum
  16. Third Eye
  17. Yoga
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