The Neck centre is the centre of creativity and of the intellect. Our best creative work, including literature, art, music, philosophy and theology emerge from the activities of this centre.
|Location||: The base of the throat|
|Number of Petals||: Sixteen|
|Colour||: Smoky white|
|Presiding Deity||: Shiva|
|Quality of Nature (Guna)||: Sattva (Tranquility)|
|Seed Syllable||: Sham|
|Sense organs||: Ears (Organ of hearing and Mouth (Organ of speaking)|
|Benefits due to Concentration||: Purification of the mind and Intense joy.|
|Name of Fire||: Samidbhavana (Ritualistic fire)|
|Vrittis (Tendencies)||: Poison, Nector, Happiness, Sacrifice, Calmness, Vociferation, Dynastical pride, Noble nature, Truthfulness, Forgiveness, Knowledge, Self control, Compassion, Straightforwardness, Vanity and Pride.|
|Loka (Plane of Existance)||: Jana|
|Vital breath||: Udana (helps for evolution)|
|Glands||: Thyroid and Parathyroid|
|Virtues||: Titiksha (Perseverance)|
|Zodiac||: Gemini and Sagittarius|
|Ruling Planet||: Mercury|
The Vishuddha Chakra is the centre of religious and intellectual activities. The intellect can be used for material success as well as spiritual progress. Most intelligent people use their skill and talent to achieve fame and fortune, but only a few realize the intellect's potential for inner evolution and develop love, compassion, detachment and understanding. The expression of these qualities through speech and the written word, results in the development of philosophy, which is an art as well as a science that probes deeply into the meaning of life.
Concentrating in this centre seekers acquire devotional love for God. They study and listen to the scriptures, intellectualize them and practice religion. Religion is the practical aspect of philosophy. But over a period of time, religions become overly do dogmatic and, as a result, fanaticism, erupts, blinding their followers up to the point of forgetting their religion's true significance. Religion is a means to evolve from the lower centres to the higher ones. All the religions of the world are petals of the same lovely flower; the flower of life and, in truth, they all complement one another.
Here is a story of three different religious representatives who were traveling in an over-crowded Indian train. They were a Hindu priest, a Muslim teacher and a Christian minister. The three of them were seated on same row of seats, in the same compartment, and as each one of them believed to be superior to the others and obviously thought his own religion was greater than any other, they were rigidly trying to keep their distance and not even looking at each other. In front of them was sitting a journalist who was amused by their behaviour and was wondering how people could become so narrow-minded and dogmatic. It was late at night and sleep was overpowering the three men. When one is on threshold of sleep, the gross body becomes inactive, the subtle body becomes weak, and the causal body takes over. The three men started dozing and falling on each others, but would quickly check themselves and sit straight again. Finally they all went asleep and ended up lying with the head touching the feet of each other. The journalist, seize the rare opportunity and with his instant Polaroid camera, took a picture of the three men. Next morning, when they got up. They quickly moved away from each other and once more tried to maintain their air of superiority. The journalist quietly showed them the photograph with a smile.
It is our body consciousness. Which creates so many differences. Religions based on such difference become compartmentalized and create only division. People who meditate deeply understand the spirit behind all religions and the inner harmonious unity that links all faiths.
The cleansing and purification of the mind are the main activities of the neck centre, which is located in the spine behind the throat. According to the Vedas, there are eight holy places within the throat, the region of purity, liberation and knowledge. Hindus believe that by taking a dip in holy rivers like Ganga or Yamuna they become pure. The body undoubtedly gets cleansed and, due to the aspirant's strong belief, also the mind may result purified to a certain extent, but this is only a temporary cleansing.
A Dip in Ganga
Once a disciple asked the great saint Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa: "People believe that they will be totally free from sins and negative qualities by taking a dip in the river Ganga. Is it true?" Ramakrishna replied: "there is no doubt about it." The disciple argued: "My master, I have seen people daily taking dips in Ganga, yet committing the same sins again and again." Sri Ramakrishna smiled and answered: "When a person enters Ganga, all the sins do leave him because at that time he is immersed in his love for God. The sins leave his body, but patiently sit on a nearby tree or on top of a roof. When the devotee comes out of the water and he returns to his old self again, all the sins descends on his head and he starts committing again and again the very same mistakes."
If we look at our own life, we can see the same pattern emerge. We vow to reform ourselves; we make new resolutions at least once a year, we begin with great zest and spirit, but how easily we resume our bad habits, our addictions, and our faiths. There is a simile in Sanskrit, gaja snana vat, which means 'like the bath of an elephant' and this suggestive expression is used to describe those who never drop their bad habits. An elephant takes an elaborate bath, filling its trunk with plenty of water and repeatedly pours it over its body to cleanse it thoroughly, but as soon as it emerges from river, it rolls in mud again. Rather than bathing in external holy rivers, what the Vedas extolled was inner purification through bathing in the internal oasis of the self, located in the Vishuddha chakra. The eight Vishuddha tirthas (holy places) are described as: non-violence, truthfulness, forgiveness, compassion, knowledge, straightforwardness, purity of the Self, and liberation.
All these eight virtues are in the nect centre. When we dive into these eight types of human bondage. The causes for human bondage include: shame, hatred, fear, sorrow, jealousy, pride, ego, and prejudice. All human beings are strongly bound by these eight negative qualities, which are like strong ropes keeping us tied down. By bathing or filling ourselves with the eight divine qualities, we can purify our minds and escape the state bondage.
Nikakantha - Bluethroat
The Hindu God Shiva is the presiding deity of the throat centre. Shiva, in order to save the world, once again drank a deadly poison, which was threatening to engulf the entire universe. As Shiva knew that if he swallowed the poison, he too would be destroyed, unable to swallow and unable to spew out the venom, Shiva kept it locked within his throat. His throat, which held the poison, took on a permanent blue hue, earning Shiva the name of Nilakantha or the one with the blue throat.
Hindu myth always contains an underlying metaphor. Here, the throat is the centre of speech, which can be extremely powerful. With our speech, we can either create a state of harmony, love and understanding or one of hatred, bitterness and pain. The throat this has the potential to contain poison or nectar. We need to speak with understanding and love. Like Shiva, we need to contain the bitter poison and refuse to hurt others through our words.
Source: The Universe Within - The Journey Through The Chakras, Pages: 63-68, Chapter 3