While most of us mere mortals are trying to develop a true and clear path through our energetic bodies and chakra system to the awakening of the crown chakra, or Sahasrara, there are other chakras that exist as a means of advanced spiritual awakening. With all the talk of spiritual ascension there has been much focus on realizing our connection to the divine source, but once you have been able to master this connection, what lies beyond? Do we stop ascending? Does our spiritual evolution stop with this mere awareness of the divine, or the Atman, the eternal center of consciousness, as it is described in yogic terms?
Different cultural systems have a different conceptualization of the basic chakras. The Buddhists, Tantrics, and Hindus believe in the basic seven-chakra system starting in the root of the spine and traveling up its corridor, or the Sushumna, with Ida and Pingala acting as secondary methods of directing source energy to the crown, or the seventh chakra, called Sahasrara. In the esoteric forms of Judaism, (such as the Kabbalistic) interpretations of the chakra system include the tree of life, which depicts four levels of spiritual attainment, with nine chakras on a grid, including Assia, the world of action, Jetzirah, the world of formation, Briah, the world of creation, and Atziluth, the world of the supernaturals.
In the Far East, we have the conceptualization of a chakra system, which includes the dharmachakra or ‘wheel of law’ or ‘wheel of life’ that represents, symbolically, the layers of awareness we must sift through in order to reach the higher realms of transcendent, omniscience. It is in Tibetan, Pali, and Jain concepts of an eight-fold path, or an infinity-bound circle with eight spokes, which lead to realization of an enlightened self via right beliefs, aspirations, speech, conduct, livelihood, right effort, mindfulness and finally rightful meditational attainment.
Ultimately, Kundalini Shakti, or dormant pranic energy with a natural evolutionary thrust upward will move through the chakras to its connections to ‘silent centers in the brain,’ according to Swami Satyanada Saraswati in Kundalini Tantra, in order to allow these dormant areas in the brain to blossom like flowers. As each chakra is awakened, the individual will experience life through the lense which the chakra governs, for example, an opening of the Swadhistana chakra will awaken you to an experience of more joy, Manipura will increase your ability to assert yourself, and when vishuddi chakra awakenings ensue you can look forward to better discrimination and greater wisdom. Anahata chakra openings lead to a greater experience of love and once our crown chakras are awakened we understand our connection with Divinity, or no longer feel a sense of separation with the rest of the world.
Beyond these basic chakras, are the energy centers of higher awareness. These include a possible infinite number of chakras, but for now, we can concentrate on the 8th through 12th chakras, which exist in the etheric body, instead of being positioned in the physical body.
It is understood that in the 8th chakra, your karmic residue is contained, as well as spiritual compassion and the ability to be completely selfless – this is the level of the bodhisattva in Buddhist terms – one who delays their own experience of Nirvana in order to help other beings reach enlightenment.
In the 9th chakra, you have a complete awareness of all the skills and knowledge you have ever had in every lifetime on this planet, or others. Imagine being a virtuoso in multiple arenas, an artist, a mechanic, an expert swimmer and farmer, etc., etc. You begin to tap into your collective wisdom here.
In the 10th chakra, it is said that the feminine and masculine merge completely. There is no sex, no gender, just divine union between Shiva and Shakti, so that there is no longer a separation. In Hatha yoga, this would be the union of Sun and Moon principles, or the balancing of energy in Ida and Pingala nadis. When this chakra is awakened, it is said that the skills you become aware of in the 9th chakra, can come into full fruition.
In the 11th chakra, you begin to transcend the laws of this world. That includes, space-time, gravity, etc. Gurus of this level of awareness are known to be able to bi-locate, and commit telekinesis with ease. Many of the siddhis, or advanced yogic powers are contained in this level of awareness.
Once the 12th chakra is awakened, you have returned home. This is often referred to as the Monadic level of awareness. You are completely joined with Cosmos, there you are unborn, but forever being. You are indivisible, all-knowing awareness.
While many of us are still learning to ‘awaken the silent centers of the brain’ through just the lower seven chakras, there is still much more room to grow. Our spiritual evolution takes on a constant process of returning to the indivisible, such that we increasingly become aware that we were never ‘split’ or ‘less-than’ at all. Allness contains Everything. This is our true state.
About the Author
Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture.
pic credit: http://www.wisdomsdoor.com/hb/images/hhb2001.gif