An important theme of the throat chakra is Self-expression. And this doesn’t just mean saying what you need to say, it also means doing what you need to do and being who you need to be – expressing your fullest potential – actualizing your life. The throat is the bridge between the less evolved centers and the more refined spiritual centers. In many ways, the throat chakra is the bridge between the body and the spirit.
The throat chakra is the abode of ether. So from the air, we’ve moved up into the ether. What the heck is “ether” anyway? You can think about it as the space through which sound passes. So for example, if you yelled something to someone across the street, your words don’t jump on a particle of air and surf on over to that person’s ears. Instead they travel in a sense between the air particles to reach the other person. That space between the particles is the ether. Similarly, thoughts travel through the ether, which is why you sometimes know before you hear a ring, that your friend is going to call.
We have moved up from the expansiveness of air in the heart chakra to the almost unimaginable potential of ether. The yogis said that the throat chakra is where one acquires the “siddhis” which mean the “powers.” The person who is in control of the throat center, controls the ether. In other words, whatever is said by this person, will come to pass. An old Sanskrit shloka (aphorism) says, “Guru’s word is mantra” in other words, the Guru’s word is infused with power, it will manifest. And why? Because here the person has moved from the heart chakra question of “Who am I and what are my boundaries?” to “Everything is a manifestation of My mind.” So all that boundary stuff – which is so essential when establishing ourselves in the heart – gets chucked out the window here. It’s no longer necessary. Everything is a projecting of the cosmic mind, i realize that I am that cosmic mind, and therefore my will is done.
Now if you were to read that last sentence out of your fourth or third chakra, it would sound accordingly egotistical or power hungry. But in the throat, the ego and power centers have been purified – those needs are gone. There remains a deep desire for the welfare of all on an intra-personal level.
“Vishuddha chakra” means â€œpure center.â€ The purifying function of this chakra is physical, mental/emotional and spiritual. The throat is loaded with lymph nodes which perform a cleansing function in the body. It is also in close proximity to the thoracic inlet where the cleansed lymph dumps back into the venous system. The vrittis of this chakra have much to do with aesthetics and subtle emotions like surrender and universalism which purify our minds. The vishuddha is the center through which our spirituality takes off. We expand beyond the air and the planet, out into the vast reaches of the universe to become greater than we could have possibly imagined.
The expansiveness of the vishuddha is not limited to a distinct shape or color. The ethereal factor is beyond the realm of our earthly shapes and colors. The bija is â€œham.â€ The vrittis of this 16-petaled chakra are quite subtle. The yogis used animals to list the first seven vrittis in order to express the musical scale and the varied resonance each note creates within us. The next three vrittis are important spiritual sounds to the meditator: om, the root sound of creation, hum the sound of the kundalini rising, phat, the sound of putting theory into practice. The other six vrittis are the ability to express knowledge vaosat, desire for the welfare of others vasat, acting positively svaha, divine surrender namah, poisonous speech visa (not all a bed of roses here – you can hurt someone very deeply with words and the yogis recognized that the powers of the throat could be used in a non-benevolent way as well) and sweet speech amrta.
The throat chakra certainly is a place of expression, but it also is the center through which we actualize our lives, our purpose for being here on this planet at this time in history. It is the bridge through which the body/mind delivers the self to the doorway of its highest potential. When our understanding of our purpose aligns itself with the universeâ€™s purpose for our being, we can truly actualize our lives. We understand that we have come here on purpose, with a purpose, and the egoic needs which once drove us are no longer painfully compelling.
Check back next week for some thoughts on the 6th and 7th chakras.