Once we come to the Anahata, we are at the central point in our chakra system.
The heart is the centre of things. There is an expression – ‘get to the heart of the matter’. This is where matter and spirit meet, the lower meets the higher, without meets within. Once centered at the Anahata, we are both integrated and balanced. The heart centre balances all aspects of our being. It gives us a feeling of wholeness and wholeness gives us inner peace.
This is the place where we make choices not conditioned by past karma. The heart is the centre of love. But this love is different from the passionate love of Svadhisthana. Sexual love is brought about by excitement, stimulated by the presence of a person. At the Anahata, love is a state of being not stimulated from outside. It is free of the need of the other or the desire for passion. It just radiates upon everything that enters its field. Here, love is eternal without ups and downs.
The weakness of the Anahata chakra is moha or delusion and so when we rise above it, our love is free from attachment and desire. This chakra has two parts – the left and right. The left moves anticlockwise and the right clockwise. With the practices, we change the movement of the left from anticlockwise to clockwise and then we bring both parts into rhythm, balance and harmony. Once the left stops moving anticlockwise, we are free of the weaknesses of this chakra and can enjoy its higher properties.
In the depth of the Anahata chakra, a deep void can be experienced. When we enter the silence of this void, we detach from everything in life. We are free of duality. Duality requires two but now we have consciously merged the two parts of this chakra into one.
This void in the Anahata is an uncreated void that vibrates and produces a sound. This same sound is experienced in the backbone at the sushumna nadi, which is aligned with the Anahata. (Later, when we study the circulation of the prana, we will see that there is a miniature sushumna in the Anahata itself.)
The word Anahata comes from ‘ahata’ or ‘to strike’ (like the clapping of hands). So Anahata means the unstruck sound or the uncreated.
The Anahata is also called the Hridhay Gufa or the cave of the heart. It is the seat of the soul. it is the spiritual heart in which the jivatma or soul resides. The Upanishads describe this soul as a tiny flame.
The Anahata chakra technically divides the body into the lower and upper halves. We share the lower with the animal world. It is the seat of our primitive impulses. Here we are identified with our basic urges and impulses. As we move higher, we are free of identification. We leave behind aggressiveness, violence, anger, jealousy and selfishness.
This chakra is located in the heart region between the two breasts. Its element is the wind and its subtle element is touch in action. Its sense organ is the skin.
The main colour of the Anahata Chakra is green, the secondary colour is pink. The vital breath at the Anahata is prana.
Two organs, the heart and the thymus, are associated with this chakra. The thymus is connected with immunity. The Anahata controls the heart, circulatory system, blood, lungs, ribcage, breasts, shoulders, arms, hands and, along with other chakras, the diaphragm and esophagus.
Illnesses related to the Anahata are diseases of the heart, lungs, breasts, pericardium and ribs, including heart disease, asthma, cancers and pneumonia; thoracic spinal issues; and issues with the thymus, upper back and shoulders.
Anahata is a long lesson in balance. We learn to balance our needs with the needs of others. We become self-caring but generous at the same time. We learn to balance all the opposites of life – male and female, body and mind, ego and non-ego.
We confront the opposites, as jealousy is to love. We find our true spiritual identity.
The Anahata rules a person’s emotions, On the positive side, it makes one want to help, serve and heal others. On the negative side, there is an exaggeration of things, where one loves to seek attention, say by talking about traumatic experiences.
Deficiencies in the Anahata energy center include the inability to forgive, loneliness, lack of empathy, lack of self-love, apathy, indifference and withdrawing or becoming aimless. Excesses in this center lead to jealousy, codependency, martyrdom, self-aggrandizement, egotism, self-centeredness and tribalism.
As this chakra opens, we develop a deep acceptance of life as it is. In the third chakra (Manipura) there was aggressiveness. Now everything is soft and beautiful.
The Anahata in balance creates a sense of wholeness and a host of love-centered abilities, including empathy, compassion, friendliness, motivation, nurture and acceptance.
The element in the Anahata is wind. This is the least dense of the other three elements. It brings expansion in the positive qualities of life and consequently, results in an expansion of consciousness. There is expansion in knowledge and understanding. Wind or air represents freedom. Wherever man goes on earth, he leaves his footprints. But when the birds fly in the sky, they do not leave a residue or footprint. Thus, in this chakra, there is freedom from memory and karma. Here we drop all that we are clinging to. The more we cling to things and people in life, the more we suffocate, but here we breathe freely. Even if we live in a small room, we feel we are in a vast space.
Air or the wind element brings a new freshness in our lives, a lightness, a simplicity, a softness. Earth is rigid and fixed, water sits at the bottom of a bowl, fire rises but is always attached to its fuel. Air disperses and is everywhere in the room at the same time. And if it is carrying a perfume then the perfume is also present in the room everywhere at the same time.
When we transform our sex energy, it takes on the properties of a perfume and becomes so light that it can ride on air. That is, it is everywhere at the same time.
In the Bhagwad Gita, it is said that Krishna danced with more than a hundred Gopis at the same time, but each Gopi felt that Krishna was with her only. Here lies the secret of transmuted sex energy.