The heart chakra system (according to the nakshatras)
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The heart chakra is all about love, its consciousness and all the powers of love. From GV8 we come to the three at the central portion of the heart in the middle of the chest: GV9, 10 and 11. GV9-PurvaPhalguni is associated with a deity called Bhaga and GV10-UttaraPhalguni is associated with a deity call Aryaman. In Sri Aurobindo's mystical analysis of the Rig Veda he writes that they are used interchangeably. I am more interested in Bhaga's association with "bhakti" and Aryaman's association with "arya" - both have to do with worship of the Divine on the outside and becoming one with it as in Ramakrishna's own example. The Aryans of ancient times were associated with bhakti yoga and the term has come to mean noble action. This is precisely what happens in the heart chakra. Our feelings become more divine, we express the higher emotions here - like unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, and are now able to offer this as a healing energy, raising the vibration of our own immune system and offering it to others as a healing, uplifting and inspiring energy - straight out of our own conscious intent. And then GV11 Hasta has to do with the hands because the heart chakra is associated with the sense of touch - and this is what healers do. Healers who use life force energy channel it through the hands. They may be using the mind (brow chakra) to focus it (none of the chakras act in isolation - that's why Chandra is associated with all of them) - but that healing touch comes when the heart is open. That's why you can't offer someone healing energy with a closed heart - for example trying to do Reiki by just drawing the symbols and then you're thinking about something else and not sending your love to the person.
And the three associated more with hrit chakra GV8, 9, and 10 have to do with co-creative power, that we can manifest whatever we put our heart and soul into because we live in a wish-fulfilling universe that brings us whatever we desire (eventually and how and when the Divine determines it should manifest). We live in a universe that is ever protecting its ecosystem, caretaking for every part. Selfish desires may manifest in our lives but they will never bring lasting fulfillment. We only feel good when we produce win-win situations - and this is felt at a deep soul level because on that level we are all one.
The upper portion of the heart chakra system includes the 6-pointed star associated with the akashic - space and this is where throat chakra consciousness begins to manifest. Just as the lower portion of the heart connects with the navel chakra in the hrit chakra area, this is where the upper portion connects with the throat chakra. GV12 Chitra is smack in the middle of this akashic area, and is where divine inspiration or intuition begins to manifest very powerfully coming from the chakras above it. See my post on Chitra for details. And in GV13 Swati this area emphasizes the element air (Vayu) and now the inspired heart wants to sing on top of the mountain.
There is a lot of religiousity going on in the heart chakra. The Vishnu granthi knot concerned with worshipping the Divine on the outside begins in the manipura (navel) chakra and extends all the way up probably until GV15 Anuradha or perhaps GV16 Jyestha sitting on the top of the medulla point, where it opens and the Rudra granthis, where the soul's attention is taken more inward into the whirlpool of the mind (GV17 Mula).
Details and inconsistencies (my older musings)
I really don't want to say I have found four heart chakras! There is only one Anahata Chatra. It is also known as the "Solar Plexus"* (unless I'm getting two different things confused) and is associated with the second Dantien in the Taoist tradition that I believe is equivalent to the Vishnu Granthis. I am finding all kinds of things on internet getting me more and more confused. I keep changing these posts as I get more clarity. Here's what I have so far:
Hrit/Hridaya Chakra - 8 petalsThis one has eight petals and I think it's where Brahma-nadi begins (according to Paramahansa Yogananda). It's located between the heart and the navel on the right side beneath the rib cage. I have worked out that GV8-Magha, GV9 Uttara Phalguni, and GV10 Uttaraphalguni all have something to do with this one. (See individual posts.)
Anahata - 12 petals divided into 3 quarters?As the solar plexus*, the twelve petals at some point represented the twelve rays of the sun god, in the form of the 12 Adityas - many of whom are mentioned as deities associated with the nakshatras. Eventually these became the Greek Olympian gods also associated with the Zodiac. This association is probably more to do with the zodiac than the nakshatras since they are associated with the sun not the moon.
In my research I read an article that said the anahata gets subdivided into three quarters(!) One source is Sri Mataji Mirmala Devi based on her personal experience (link), another is a research site based on Mantak Chia, C.W. Leadbeater and their own observations (link). Sr. Mataji Mirmala Devi groups Hridaya together with Anahata. To me the Anahata is a system of many parts, like the other chakras. The following information comes from these:
"According to Mantak Chia, the left side of the heart chakra is red and positively charged, the right side is dark green and negatively charged, and the core of the heart centre is pure white"This makes sense to me as people often associate heart energy with pink or green. The light shade is apparently produced by the middle portion which is said to be white:
"The red would clearly correspond to the rose light of love, while the green signifies the lower or gross emotional body functioning of the heart centre, which is focussed on self, security, and accumulation of and attachment to and pride in physical and emotional possessions. The white of course signifies spiritual purity."I have no idea if this is correct. My own experience contradicts this. I have seen the golden halo surrounding the pure white aura of enlightened beings. This is the gold of compassion, the "golden chain" Sri Vasudeva says is the only attachment that brings avataurs back into the physical world in order to help others.
Pink makes sense to me too. My personal association with this would be the pink of health, the pink of joy in the aura. And I associate green with the healing qualities of love that come from Anahata. Apart from this I can't verify whether or not these associations are correct.
Below however is an intriguing chakra Satya Sai Baba spoke about that I've never heard about before, that is the true gold of the heart:
Satya Sai Baba actually materialized this chakra in physical form and it was filmed. See for yourself:
I am kind of speechless about this, but if the entire universe is a physical manifestation of divine will, then anything is possible. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could all physically manifest our chakras, then put them under a microscope and study them? (LOL - what a thought!)
The Hiranyagarbha is the astral seed or egg (world egg) out of which all the universes are said to have formed. For this reason I associate it with GV12 Chitra (because the deity is the divine architect Vishvakarma). In his discourse (link) Satya Sai Baba said, ""This Hiranyagarbha is situated on the right side of the human body and the physical heart is on the left." He also said "This is present in everybody's Hridaya" (meaning, I presume the causal body that begins in the hyrdaya chakra - and the causal body contains the karmic seeds of attachment that produce reincarnation). He also said "The principle of Hiranyagarbha is spread all over the body." From Sri Vasudeva's teachings and my own experience, I have to assume he was talking about Divine Love, manifesting through the heart chakra. You will notice before this golden egg comes out, his hand is over the center of his chest, which is to the right of the physical heart. This is where I feel my heart chakra also. This also explains the golden aura - it emanates from the heart.
In one of Sri Vasudeva's lectures, he explained that when we feel a connection to the Source (and the sushumna connects us to the Source through any chakra) we can experience the infinite supreme love of the Divine emanating from the crown out through the heart (anahata chakra). I have experienced this and it is exactly as they say, like the love of a thousand mothers, the light of a thousand suns. It's just overwhelming. And I have experienced the love of Christ in my heart also. This is like burning, painful yet sweet, as St. Theresa of Avila described. This is what the anahata gives us when fully developed and open to the crown chakra experience. Bhakti yoga can take us there. The closest thing I can describe to the experience of the heart would be the beautiful feeling of holding one's newborn child, or falling in love for the first time, or sometimes orgasm when it is just love that you feel. It's the most amazing feeling and it expands the soul. You just want to hug everybody and love everybody - it expands us and connects us at the deepest level.
I wish I could say that I live in this space in every moment, but unfortunately I don't. Yet I am grateful to have had the experience of the expanded anahata chakra and can attest to this as very real. As Sri Vasudeva teaches, our heart needs to be open in order to enter the energy field of another - so reiki for example can only be done with an open heart.
Ghandikota V. Subba Rao, a Sai devotee, wrote an article specifying that Hiranyagarbha is associated with the astral body - so it is definitely a contender for a nakshatra:
"Each individual conscious entity is also linked to the cosmic level: the collective macrocosmic level of all physical bodies (vishvas) is called Viraat; the sum total of all subtle bodies is called Hiranyagarbha, and the sum total of all causal bodies (Praajna) is called Eeshvara."
I am sure there are more mysteries to explore with our heart chakra, but this is as far as I got with it.
[to be continued]
*The label "solar plexus" is often confused with anahata chakra and manipura chakra. Yoga refers to the manipura chakra as the solar plexus while in Taoism, this is the middle dantien in the centre of the chest. I believe that the dantien system is really more about the three granthis, not chakras individually. However, the sun god of ancient times related to the 12 months also relates to the 12 signs of the zodiac and the 12 suryia namaskar (see my post) so it makes sense to me that in the context of the second dantien it is the anahata chakra with its 12 petals. (I am still trying to figure this all out.)