Vishuddha: Speak your inner truth
Visha = impurity, poison Shuddhi = purification
The Vishuddha Chakra is found in the vicinity of the larynx, hence it is known as the throat chakra. It is a centre of physical & spiritual purification. A beautiful story of Lord Shiva purifying poison through the Vishuddha shows its power.
The Devas (gods) and Asuras (demons) wanted to capture the treasure of Amrita (the nectar of immortality), which was hidden deep in the depths of the Ocean of Milk (consciousness). They used Mount Mandara as the staff to stir her to the surface and Vasuki (Vasuki is the king of serpents who abides around Shiva's neck), as the rope. The gods held the tail of the snake and the demons held its head so that together they could churn the waters of the ocean and finally amongst precious treasures (Goddess Lakshmi, the moon, gold etc), the Amrita rose to the surface in a golden vessel. Unfortunately a deadly poison that was capable of the destruction of creation (including the gods), also arose with the treasures and it escaped from the mouth of the serpent king. The gods quickly caught the poison in a bowl so it couldn't do any harm, but then they had no idea of how to get rid of it. So they turned to Lord Shiva, the most gracious of all gods for help. Shiva took the bowl of poison and drank it but rather than swallow, he held it in his throat and purified it through breath and Jalandhara Bandha (a chin lock holding the energy). The world was saved from the poison. Shiva's throat turned dark blue from the poison which earned him the name of Neelkantha* (the blue throated one).
The reason for this story? There is deep symbolism in that the demons are our own negative thoughts, our fears and insecurities and the gods represent our love, our compassion and understanding. Both exist in is, good and bad, light and dark. The oceans of the world at times pushes us towards the gods within us and at others, the demons. The serpent is our Kundalini, our life force and power that is within us to connect Shakti, our energy & creation to Shiva, our consciousness.
Blockages in this centre are common (together with Manipura/the solar plexus centre/our power). When our Vishuddha is open and aligned, we speak, listen and express ourselves with a higher awareness, where the beauty of the air from the heart transforms with intellect into a symphony. Wayne Dyer once said 'Don't die with your music still in you'. And when we hold back our music, the truth of all we are, we feel it. We begin choking on words, our throat feels constricted and we battle to breathe, and this is a reflection of our emotional state. A blocked throat centre also creates problems with the thyroid causing disruptions in organ function, brain development and body temperature.
Our throat is an instrument for us to connect our heart and our brain and to send our melody out to the world. So open it up. Express yourself. Vishuddha gives you freedom. Freedom from restraint and a place for liberation. At times it is hard for us to express our truth, especially in a way that brings no harm to others but working on the lower energy centres help with this. When our first and second chakra are aligned, we overcome fear. Connecting to the third gives us permission to feel our power and have the confidence to express it. And knowing what is in your heart helps you communicate your desires and needs.
The element that lives in the Vishuddha is the akash tatva, ether or space and is the subtlest of the elements. The baja word for akash is Ham and sacred chanting of this and other mantras can help align the centre, letting the whispers of the heart be expressed through Vishuddha.
Dr David Simon often refers to an ancient teaching of the three gateways we should cross before speaking.
1. First, ask yourself 'Is what I am about to say true?'
2. If sp, proceed to the second gateway and ask 'Is what I am about to say necessary?'
3. If the answer is yes, go to the third gateway and ask yourself, 'Is what I am about to say kind?'
Speaking & expressing your truth doesn't give you free reign to be hurtful or critical. In Vishuddha, our essence comes across as kind and compassionate. Let your heart and soul sing your song. Let yourself be heard.
* I once volunteered in an orphanage in the foothills of the Himalayas and this area was known as Neelkantha - the energy of Shiva here was very powerful.