Sahasrara chakra or the crown chakra is the final chakra located on the top of the head. This chakra is a mysterious yet beautiful centre of energy. It is the most subtle chakra of the chakra system which helps us to evolve and reach the zenith of the spiritual path. When our mind reaches this centre, it merges with the non-attributional consciousness. The human mind, then, flows and merges into the ocean of bliss, peace and knowledge.
Sahasrara in Sanskrit means one thousand petals. The lower chakras have a number of Vrittis or expressions. Vritti refers to the thoughts that surface in the mind. There are 50 of these expressions in the chakras below the crown chakra. The third eye chakra has two vrittis, the throat chakra has sixteen, the heart chakra has twelve, the solar plexus chakra has ten, the sacral chakra has six, and the root chakra has four. Summing them all up gives us 50 expressions or vrittis that can be manifested externally or internally. If you multiply 50 by 2, it becomes 100 and they can flow in from 10 different directions.
Sciences like Vastu Shastra in India and Feng shui in China study how the directions affect our minds due to the external energies that each direction depicts. For instance, according to Vastu Shastra if you construct your house and different parts of it along with specific directions there will be a certain impact on your mind. Every direction has its own form of energy. Similarly, Feng Shui in China also provides certain specific rules and regulations for building a house or any other building. These specifications or rules are based on the energies that different directions and objects carry and emit in their environment. Multiplying the 100 (calculated above) by 10 becomes 1000, exactly the number of petals present in the symbol of the crown chakra.
Sahasrara symbolizes the controlling point for multiple expressions of the mind. Ajna chakra is the king and the Sahasrara chakra is the king of the king. The pineal gland is the physical expression of the Sahasrara chakra- epiphysis while hypophysis, which is Ajna Chakra, is below. The pineal gland is a small, pea-shaped gland in the brain. Its function isn’t fully understood but researchers know that it produces and regulates some hormones, including melatonin which is best known for the role it plays in regulating sleep patterns.
This hormone is able to switch the hypophysis off and on. In case the hypophysis is switched off, all the other glands will slowly calm down and will be switched off. This is when we enter into a very calm introverted state of mind and sleep. In meditation, something similar happens when you meditate- at a certain point you feel that everything has become calm, and your body is no more.
There was a lot of research done on the melatonin hormone and some scientists believe that it is the hormone of youth or the Fountain of Youth. It is a very powerful antioxidant- it is more powerful than vitamin E, and vitamin C. It protects the cells and the more the release of melatonin the longer one can be youthful. Various experiments were carried out on animals like rats and it was observed that an increase in the levels of melatonin also increased the lifespan of the rats by 20%. 20% is a lot- if you live 100 years, then 20 years more with the regular intake of melatonin. However, generally, if you inject something into the body, then the body will adjust and will not secrete its own hormone. That is why Yogis favour producing the body’s own hormones than injecting them artificially through medicines.
Yogis in the past mentioned a mysterious thing called Amrita. Amrita means elixir of immortality, and in tantric scriptures, it is said to be like wine flowing from the top of the head. When you drink that wine, you become intoxicated and blissful. Intense love towards the cosmic consciousness, due to intense longing for infinity, can help one reach this elixir.
The melatonin hormone not only makes you more youthful but is also a powerful substance to relieve stress. Another experiment was carried out on rats with some injected with the melatonin and others not. Both the groups were left among electric wires. The ones that were not injected with the melatonin hormone ran around in panic and experienced high levels of stress. But those rats, which were injected were peaceful as if everything is fine.
Melatonin increases when the Sun sets, with darkness. When the light enters our eyes, stops the production of melatonin. With the rising sun human bodies become active with a predominant dynamic force. At night when the Sunsets, the levels of melatonin secretion increase and normally people just go to sleep. However, according to Yogis the time from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock is called the time of Shiva. This is the time when meditation has mystical properties. It is believed that their appearances and behaviour are more youthful.
Further, melatonin stimulates and thus improves the immune system. But on the other hand, it is also said that when the mind focuses on the materialistic part of life and strays away from the infinite, it creates such a chemical environment in the brain that this hormone is immediately destroyed.
According to Tantra’s writings, in Samadhi, first, you will see the light within your heart- beautiful light of brilliant white with a little golden colour. Then, you will see that light is everywhere and you will see that you are merging with the ocean of bliss. The moment you start meditating the hormone is secreted and you go into that beautiful state of bliss. With all this, it becomes pertinent to know how to take care of our pineal gland. Research also shows that this gland is full of beautiful scent and calcium. This calcium becomes almost like a stone and then slowly it dissolves. During childhood, it is bigger but it gradually evaporates from the brain with age. It is an internal rhythm of the biological clock.
It’s like a clock in our body- it first regulates the rhythms of light and dark, so that we know when is the day and when is the night in order to sleep at night and work and stay active in the daylight. Similarly, there are seasonal rhythms that regulate the seasonal adjustment of the body with the seasonal clock. In this way, there are three types of clocks- day to day clock, seasonal clock and lifetime clock. When the final time arrives, the life clock tells us.
All of this shows how important it becomes to take care of this gland. In order to do so, one can follow very basic things like:
- First of all, we must maintain a strict daily routine. Staying up late at night damages the pineal gland as it disturbs the rhythm of the body. From 9 o’clock the night till 12 o’clock, the melatonin levels will go high. The hormone will be secreted so you can sleep efficiently but if you do not sleep during this time then you will gradually start feeling tired as if you are not getting enough sleep. Your brain will not get enough rest. That is why early to bed early rise helps us to maintain good health of the pineal gland.
- It was also found that hunger increases the melatonin hormone. Practising yoga promotes hunger- fasting without food and water, which will further boost the secretion of the melatonin. Many times, people experience a state of bliss after and this is because of the increased amount of melatonin hormone. It was also found that vegetarian food affects the production of melanin positively and non-vegetarian food depresses it.
- All kinds of meditations will improve melatonin production but there is one particular type of meditation where you meditate and focus at the point on top of the head- this meditation is called Dhyana. It is the highest form of meditation. When done over a period of time, one will go into Samadhi or into the trance. One feels that Dhyana is the greatest process where you enter into the spiritual flow, it develops unconditional love for the supreme, and you don’t want to open your eyes for 30 minutes or one hour. This is because you are flowing with that consciousness. There is a saying in tantric scriptures – ‘Chaduktam Parama Brahma Nirvikaram Niranjanam, Tasmin Pramadanagyanam Tanmadhya Parikirtitam’
It means – that intense love for the formless, unblemished supreme consciousness leads one to the dissolution of thoughts, and ego, and expresses as the divine intoxication which is called Madhyasadhana. You charge yourself with a spiritual wave and then you cannot control yourself as you feel drunk. Sometimes that little feeling is okay, but sometimes that goes beyond your control making you behave a little abnormal. Mystic poets such as Rumi have also described this state of divine drunkenness. For instance, he writes ‘I am so drunk in the divine that I have forgotten the way to my home. It is described by the mystics as a beautiful serene state of spirituality, it is the enjoyment of the elixir of love and immortal bliss.
- On the physical level, you can also help your Sahasrara chakra by doing various yoga poses. There is one asana called Shashankasana which improves memory and concentration and it is a reverse position where you press the Sahasrara chakra. It will stimulate the nerves around it, it will stimulate the Sahasrara chakra. Similarly, reverse positions such as Sarvangasana or shoulder stand, Halasana or plough posture, Matsya mudra or fish posture- will improve the functions of the Sahasrara chakra.
- Expand your knowledge by educating yourself as much as you can. For this, you can read more books, and watch videos, all to enhance your knowledge. This practice will tell you the areas where you need to work on to ensure a better understanding of yourself and your actions. This will gradually help you to develop humility towards fellow beings expand the horizons of the crown chakra and connect you more to spirituality.
- We have dealt extensively with the significance of our surroundings and environment in the beginning. It shows that our surroundings are also the sources of energy that our body absorbs. And for our surroundings to radiate more and more positive energy we must keep them neat and clean. It has a substantial impact on the mind and its overall functioning.
- Another way is to immerse yourself positively in praying. Praying to any god or goddess opens up your crown chakra and open you up for receiving the positive energy from the world. In fact, prayers have proved to have significant health benefits.
- You can also explore herbs and plant medicines. Plant medicines have proved highly effective in opening up the crown chakra. But do ensure that you research properly and find a good shaman who has experience with plant teachers such as San Pedro cactus, Psilocybin mushrooms, or Ayahuasca.