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Heart Chakra and Healing N K Srinivasan Ph D Heart chakra is the fifth chakra from the bottom of spine.

It is the central chakra in our body. It is the seat of unconditional love and compassion.It is also called "the seat of soul". Since it occupies the middle position, it is the boundary between higher chakras and lower chakras [three above and three below}. You need the balance between the two sets of chakras. Mythology Let us take a peek at the Hindu mythology about this chakra. This is the seat of Lord Vishnu, the protector God of Hindu pantheon. He is supposed to be lying on a serpent bed in meditative mood, floating on the ocean of milk. His main role is to

bring joy and prosperity [ishwarya] to the world. What he is supposed to do--destroy demonic people, called 'asuras' who spoil things in this world. [Suras are angelic beings or devas; asuras are non-angelic beings or demons]. While the Hindus did not include a single devil, they introduced several 'asuras' who appear on Earth from time to time, ready to be destroyed by Lord Vishnu.Do not think of asuras as distant , invisible beings or living somewhere in hell. We have had our share of these

asuras in the last century--in the 20th century--Adolf Hitler and PolPOt dictators in Cambodia among others. But in the end,if an asura admits his crime and surrender to the Lord, Lord Vishnu would

forgive him and would give him liberation from this cycle of births and deaths {samsara} ---- give realization to him. To continue with the story of getting nectar, the milk ocean was churned using a mountain as a churning rod.The serpent would be the rope ; devas and asuras pulled the serpent wrapped around the mountain to churn the rope. From the milk, bad vapors and poisons emanated first. Lord Shiva elected himself to swallow the poison .But the poison would be lodged in his throat which would become blue colored due to the poison .He is called "Neelakanta" for this reason.[neela blue, kanta throat]. Note that the throat chakra is depicted as of blue color. It can hold all poisons or suppressed thoughts and 'words'---words which we don't tell.

Such mythical stories have been interpreted with allegorical meaning. These asuras are none but our bad thoughts which can lead to bad actions.There is a constant struggle between bad thoughts and good thoughts in our lives.!

This chakra is depicted with green color or pink color. It is invoked with the most important mantra for householders: "Om Namo Narayana" as the great mantra for this chakra meditation. [Those who lead an ascetic life,or yogis meditate on Ajna chakra with the chant" Om Nama Shivaya". There are those who mix up both forms of meditation too.] Psychological Aspects It is important to balance between our thoughts and feelings--this is best done

by focusing on heart chakra. This chakra is the anahata or unstruck sound chakra...Silence is the potent force for awakening the chakra when an internal sound would be heard emanating from this chakra.[This is not the palpitating sound of the heart pump.!] The Hindu yogis talk of the cave of the heart --'hridya guha'---where the Lord is seated. This Lord, depending on one's sectarian tradition, could be Lord Vishnu or Lord Karthikeya or Muruga [the second son of Lord Shiva, who was full of wisdom ,having been graced by his mother Parvati--the divine consort of Shiva who was full of wisdom.] Lord Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, repeatedly says in the Bhagavad Gita or Lord's Song that he is seated in the heart of all.

From a practical point of view, the meditation on this chakra is for compassion and forgiveness....forgive yourself and others...this leads to unconditional love. Replace judgement with acceptance; these qualities open up this chakra and lead to a balance of all chakras. What are the consequences of closed Anahata chakra? Physical ailments such as high blood pressure, insomnia and difficulty of breathing are direct results of a closed heart chakra. To open up this chakra and to do healing, many suggestions and practices are recommended. Yogis suggest pranayama and kechari mudra. Those in the devotional path or Bhakti

yoga would follow a daily practice of chanting and singing hymns.Music has great value in opening up this chakra. Acts of charity are very important to function well with heart chakra. When we do an act of charity or compassion ,it literally "touches our heart". Unfortunately there had been wrong interpretations in Hindu literature. Many scholars , traditional Hindu philosophers and half-baked jnanis took acts of

charity as a means of cleansing your mind and stepping stones for spiritual progress. Acts of selfless service and charity are means of opening up the heart chakra...Hold on to this view.

If one follows some of these means, heart chakra will be healed and the diseases

mentioned earlier could be cured. ----------------------------------------A simple meditation for heart chakra is to imagine a blossoming lotus flower or a small lamp in the heart region and chant "Hare Rama" or "Hare Krishna" or "Om Namo

Narayana", repeatedly for 108 times. -----------------------------------------