Sri Matre Namaha
Ajnachakrantaralastha – The Hundred & Third name in Lalitha Sahasranamam.
ajnacakrasyantarale tistathi sa
She who dwells in the center of the ajnacakra
Ajnacakra has a lotus of two petals and it is situated between the two eyebrows (bromadyae). This is the place where the guru (who commands) resides; hence it is called Ajnacakra
or, a means – a little according to vrtti (angisadarthe) and jna means knowledge. A little knowledge is attained by one who controls that ajnacakra.
She resides in this chakra which is called third eye chakra. This is the last of the six chakras and this chakra belongs to one’s guru from where he gives his commands to the sadaka. In this chakra, a sadaka gains a little knowledge about the Brahman. In the previous five chakras, all the basic elements were identified. But this chakra is related to mind. Since mind is the reason for acquiring knowledge, it is said so.SL 36 describes this chakra. “I worship the supreme Shiva (‘param sambhuvam’ ) who shines like the brilliance of the light where millions of sun, moon and the fire unite, who is adorned with saguna and nirguna shakthis (meaning He is both formless Brahman and Brahman with form). The one who worships the Supreme Shiva gets your blessings”. This verse is one of masterpieces in the entire Soundarya Lahari. Shankara underlines the importance of worshipping Shiva. This could also be interpreted as Lalithambigai’s importance than Shiva, as Shankara says that unless one worships Shiva, blessings of Shakthi will not be forthcoming. Krishna tells Arjuna “You cannot see me with your physical eyes. I now give you divine eyes”. (Gita XI.8) A detailed study of ajna chakra will be taken up in the namas 521 to 528 You can also go through the ajna chakra in my further writings.
She who lives in between two eye lids in the form of she who orders.
The term in the form of she who orders is referred to the vision or the wisdom and the consciousness related to it.
“There is no eye equal to wisdom, no darkness equal to ignorance, no power equal to the power of the spirit, and no terror equal to the poverty of consciousness” – Talmud of Immanuel
Vision is perhaps the greatest gift to humans. The term vision is not merely restricted to the ‘act of seeing’ but also implies perception and interpretation by the brain. Vision, therefore implies the faculty of sufficient knowledge to interpret things in the right perspective. For example, initially though a baby can see all objects but cannot identify them due to lack of understanding.
Gradually the learning process enables him/her to perceive, identify and visualize things. What we see with the eyes is passed on as electrical signals to the brain and it is the interpretation by the brain that is more important. Similarly, a developed mind has the eye of Inner consciousness or ‘The Vertical Eye’, which enables us to see within. It symbolizes a vision of ones own self and surroundings. For true vision, the inner eye also needs to be developed through awareness, consciousness and understanding of our inner self.
The Vertical Eye, also called the Agna Chakra according to Psychedelic Yoga or Buddhi -The sixth yogic chakra is the focus of energies for our body. A stronger Agna Chakra provides a sense of direction to these energies. The Third Eye metaphorically symbolizes the totality of our Inner senses. The word Rishi means a seer, who sees the Great Beyond through the ‘Third Eye’. He sees in to all the causes behind all the effects, manifested in our particular plane of Being. Hence Acquisition of the Third Eye is the singular goal of all Advanced souls.We usually experience our past lives/future by activating our Third Eye or Agna Chakra, which represents Enlightenment. Experiencing our past lives and dropping the past and reaching a higher understanding is a giant step towards ones Enlightenment. Buddha had experienced 643 past lives before his enlightenment and told as Jataka Tales.Another example is that of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva according to Hindu mythology is the ‘Destroyer’ whose purpose is to destroy in order recreate.
The focussed energy through the vertical eye is therefore used for destructive purposes also but it would be incorrect to say that the vertical eye is the cause for destruction. The purpose or use of the focussed energy is equally important but has to be defined separately. Lord Shiva’s vertical eye is, therefore the perfect example of inner strength, awakening and focus of energy, which is so strong that it can enlighten the world and destroy it as well. The Agna Chakra is the means of enlightenment and focus of energy, which would be useful in achieving one’s sole purpose in life.The Physiological impact of the Agna centre is to energize the pineal gland which when open, becomes the organ of clairvoyance and higher vision, scientific reasoning, will and philosophical thought. The sixth centre having its seat in the region between the eyebrow sand is related to our life force. It is linked with the pituitary gland and the sub-cortical areas of the brain. This centre controls the sensual activities. The ‘Third Eye’ is an addition to the sensual perceptions and abilities. Hence, it is called the intellectual point to control the senses.
Development of the chakra awakens the ability to see and regulate astral and mental forces on the super-physical level.If you divide the brain into three parts, the front part is the intellectual part, having control over the sense organs. The middle part is the lobe of wisdom, the function of which is to increase and transform human material consciousness to God consciousness. The rear part is the lobe of universal secrets. It is also connected with the Pineal gland and, therefore, the universal secrets are revealed. Strengthening the Agna chakra shall hence lead to enlightenment through activation of the pineal gland.It is also interesting to note that the Great Indian Forehead Decoration of ‘Bindis’ also have significance that can be related to the Agna Chakra. The area between the eyebrows, where Bindis are placed, known as the ‘agna’ meaning ‘command’, is the seat of concealed wisdom. It is the centre point wherein all experience is gathered in a concentrated manner. According to the tantric cult, when during meditation the latent energy (‘kundalini’) rises from the base of the spine towards the head, this ‘agna’ is the probable outlet for this potent energy. The red ‘kumkum’ between the eyebrows is said to retain energy in the human body and control various levels of concentration also symbolising auspiciousness and good fortune.”
The same thought is expressed in Soundarya lahiri as well.
Mahim muladhare kamapi manipure huthavaham
Sthitham svadhistane hridi marutamakasam upari;
Mano’pi bhruu-madhye sakalamapi bhittva kula-patham
Sahasrare padme saha rahasi patyaa viharase.
Oh Goddess mine,
You live in seclusion with your consort,
In the lotus with thousand petals,
Reached after breaking through the micro ways,
Of the power of earth in Mooladhara,
Of the power of water of Mani poora,
Of the power of fire of Swadhishtana,
Of the fire of air in the heart,
And of the power of ether in between the eyelids.
Here is an interesting incident which needs to be mentioned because very often we do things without knowing the true essence of it.when I was taught Lalitha Sahasranama I was told to recite lalitha Trishati and many of you must be doing that like me. do you know why? here it is:
In the Lalithopakyanam chapter, Hayagreeva teaches Agasthya the famous Lalitha sahasranamam. But Agasthya does not get satisfied because he feels that his teacher has not taught him one another important stotra. Hayagreeva hesitates because that one stotra is extremely secret. Then Lalitha herself appears before Hayagreeva and asks him to teach Agasthya, the most secret of the stotras called Laltha Trishati. She also tells him that this is the Sarva Poorthikara stotra meaning “that stotra which completes everything.” Then Hayagreeva thanks his disciple for giving him an opportunity of seeing the Goddess Lalitha herself and teaches him The Lalitha Trishathi stotra.This stotra recounts the 300 names of the goddess. Twenty names each start from each of the fifteen letters which form the Pancha dasakshari manthra (the 15 letter manthra). This manthra isKa- aa-ee-la-hrimHa –sa-ka-ha-la-hrimSa-ka-la-hrimThe first five letters (vaag bhava Koota) given in the first line originate from the Mooladhara (Literally basic support or the support which is the root) which is situated below the vertebral column. This is supposed to house the baser instincts in man. This manthra (entire first line) is supposed to rise from Mooladhara like the fire in time of deluge and touch the anahatham (the basis for food)The second six letters (Kama raja koota) start from the anahatham with the power and brilliance of billions of sun and touches the Agna chakra(Literally the wheel of command).The last four letters (Shakthi koota) starts from the Agna chakra like the soothing light of billions of moon and touches the Lalata Madhya(The center of the forehead). This series of sounds is supposed to start from the baser instincts (Compared to a coiled serpent sleeping in The Mooladhara) lights one by one the Stomach , the chest and travels through the Sushmna Nadi and blossoms the unopened bud of the Lotus with thousand petals in the brain. Once this is opened the Yogis believed that there is no knowledge in earth and heaven that you did not know.Each line of Panchadasakshari manthra is considered equivalent to one Gayatri. Because of this the chanting of Lalitha Trishathi is supposed to lead to great benefits to the Sadhaka. It is supposed to give him all that is needed.So next time you recite Lalita trishati, think of what I said .