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November 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.         November 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:November' 2018

YOGA IN DAILY LIFE

Vishuddhi Chakra

R C Ganjoo

The Vishuddhi Chakra is located in the vicinity of the Larynx and is also known as the Throat Chakra. It is a centre of physical and spiritual purification . A story from the Puranas clearly illustrate the immense purification power of the Vishuddhi Chakra. The Devas (Gods) and Asuras (demons) wanted to raise the treasure Amrita ( the nectar of immorality), which was hidden in the depth of the ocean , to the surface. They used Mount Mandara as the stirring stick and the world serpent, Vasuki, as the rope . The gods held the tail of the snake and the demons held its head. In this way were able to churn the ocean of the world with their combined power . Numerous treasure and precious objects emerged from the ocean and finally, the longed -for Amrita rose to the surface in a golden vessel.
But the serpent they had used to churn the oceans spat out a deadly poison that was capable of destroying the whole earth. Quickly the Devas caught it in a bowl so it was not able to do any harm. But as they had absolutely no idea what to do with it or how they could permanently "dispose" it of, they turned to Lord Shiva for help.
Lord Shiva is the most gracious of all the gods, and will never refuse a request from anyone. He took the bowl of poison and drank it down to the very last drop. However, in the process he did not swallow the poison but held it in the Vishuddhi Chakra and purified it by means of Ujjayi Pranayama and Jalandhra Bandha. In this way he rid the world of deadly peril. The poison in his throat was coloured dark blue. That day he has borne the nickname Nilakantha ( the blue-throated one) There is a deep symbolism in the story . Our own negative thoughts and qualities are the demons. The Devas, however, have good qualities of understanding , compassion, mercy, love , devotion and wisdom. Both qualities exist within us, just a the nectar of divine wisdom and immortality and the poison of ignorance. Earthly mortality exist simultaneously in the world . The ocean of the world propels us in two directions - one towards the Devas, that is, towards goodness and light, and other towards the destructive powers, the Asuras. The serpent (Kundalini) represents both the lifetime that is at our disposal. The power ( Shakti) that brings the hidden treasure up from the depths of the our inner being.
Nowadays numerous poisons are endangering the world. The destructive influence of humans on this planet increases daily through exhaust fumes, waste, radioactivity, poisonous chemicals and much more . We urgently need the help of Lord Shiva to neutralise these poisons. This means that we humans should become conscious of our divine origin and protect and purify the environment with our " Shiva consciousness " If we would like in a healthier way, we must first recover fields, meadows, forests, rivers, lakes and oceans. This is why Yogis value a healthy lifestyle in harmony with nature and a vegetarian diet. To live as a vegetarian is an ethical principle, a question of responsibility for all living beings. The Bible it also says : "Thou shall not kill" and this commandment does not exempt animals .
With the help of the Vishuddhi Chakra we can rid ourselves of the toxic substances that are absorbed from the environment, as well as mental impurities. An important and life-supporting function of the Chakra is the purification and detoxification of harmful substances that accumulate in the body and primarily come from the food we eat and the air we breathe . This detoxification is brought about by Udana Prana, which has its seat in the throat.
Udana Prana enables us to swallow, the food that is broken down by saliva is purified of toxic substances by this prana and is then passed on to the digestive system. An active Vishuddhi Chakra united with a strong Udana Prana contributes substantially to the preservation of health.

Just as Lord Shiva neither spat the poison out, nor swallowed it. We should not swallow our problems as we harm ourselves through this. We should also not spit them out as this can cause another type of damage. Like Lord Shiva , who purified the poison in his throat, we can also resolve our problems with the help of the Vishuddhi Chakra .

It is not just the external world that is extremely polluted, but also psyche and consciousness of many people. For, as long as the pernicious, toxic qualities of discord, rivalry, envy and resentment eat away at our mind, the light of God consciousness cannot sine through. Just as Lord Shiva neither spat the poison nor swallowed it, we should not swallow our problems as we harm ourselves through this. We should also not spit them out as this can cause another type of damage. Like Lord Shiva, who purified the poison in his throat, we can also resolve our problems with the help of the Vishuddhi Chakra .
The Vishuddhi Chakra is a place of purification and balancing. The breath that flows through the throat, and therefore through this Chakra, plays a big role in this. The Yoga technique of Pranayama (Conscious guidance and regulation of the breath) exerts it strong influence on the Vishuddhi Chakra , at physical and astral levels. Through the power of the breath (Prana Shakti) in the Vishuddhi Chakra, harmful residues are removed from the body on the physical level. In the mental sphere the thoughts, emotions, consciousness and subconscious are purified and harmonised.
We gain conscious access to different levels of consciousness in Self-Inquiry . In the process of self- investigation we come across numerous jewels and pearls within our consciousness, but also old residual issues and insidious poisons.
Remaining with the simile of poison, until we have mastered the Vishuddhi Chakrawe have only two possibilities - either to spit out or swallow the mental poison that penetrates from outside or rises from within.
We spit out hurtful words , mean thoughts and bad behaviour, and swallow bad treatment, insults, doubts and complexes. Both infect our consciousness and subconscious. Numerous psyche disturbances are the result of things we have swallowed . We undergo our first formative experiences in the womb. There are many things we must digest in the course of our life , many things "to swallow".
In childhood, we are unable to express many emotions due to fear or helplessness. Much of that which still causes us difficulty today has been bottled up within us from this time. How are we able to cope with the disappointment and insults that we have experienced in the past , particularly in childhood.

His Holiness Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Sri Swami Maheshwarananda Puri of Panchayati Maha Nirvani Akhara is the disciple and successor of Hindu Dharmsamrat Paramhans Sri Swami Madhavananda. Since 1970 he has been living and working in Europe. Through his long lasting activities in the West, Swamiji has become familiar with the way of life and the problems people face in the modern world. Swami Ji can be contacted at : swamiji@vienna.at