Ajna Chakra

I remember an old man from Austria who lost his father during early childhood. He attended the funeral ceremony which was a most solemn occasion, and he was so pained by the sadness of the occasion that he never visited his father’s grave again. The old man had fought in the Austrian army in the First World War and stayed in his mother country until Hitler’s army forced him out in 1939, when he went to England. He fought with the British army and at the end of the Second World War migrated to Australia where he finally settled down to become firmly established in that country. In 1965, sixty years after the death of his father, he made the pilgrimage back to his motherland. The pangs of his conscience were strongly telling him to visit his father’s grave so that he could pay his respects to the memory of his dead father.

After some enquiries with relatives he found the cemetery, but alas, the records were incomplete and no trace of the whereabouts of his father’s grave could be found in the files. His country had been ravaged by two world wars and little indeed was left from the pre-First World War era. So he set out with strong determination to systematically examine each gravestone of the huge cemetery. He started his quest in the morning and by late afternoon, in spite of his persistent efforts, he had no success. Dejected, fatigued and exhausted he sat down, and his body fell so that it was supported by his arms with his hands covering his face.

In a flash he was not an old man any more, but a young boy walking behind his father’s coffin. He could see his brothers, the inscription on the coffin, the coffin bearers and all the other mourners which made up the procession. This young boy followed in the procession until it came to a hole in the ground. Then, as if coming out of a dream, he returned to waking consciousness and there he was, looking down at the gravestone which bore the inscription of his father. We can understand that this experience had exploded from the unconscious mind, but the eye which had witnessed the experience and coordinated all the movements in the physical body was his third eye or ajna chakra.

I take up this task of rewriting Ajna Chakra (first published in 1973) as an offering to my guru, Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Originally, around 1972, he told me to write an article and armed with some one-sided paper, a pencil and some books on kundalini yoga I just wrote down whatever I could and gave him the result. At the time he said, I asked you to write an article and you have written a book!❠At a first reading of my old work I am quite astounded at the quality of my effort then and I can only attribute this to the high level of enthusiasm I carried in my early years as a swami, the result of living with the greatest man I have ever met.

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