By Rudra Shivananda

The Anahata Chakra or heart center is the seat of human consciousness. It is the center of transition from the animal consciousness of the three lower chakras to the divine consciousness of the higher three chakras. Most of humanity is still struggling and have their base at the navel center and often fall to the lower passionate animal consciousness of lust and fear. Those operating from the navel center are primarily concerned with controlling others and accumulating wealth and possessions. The Navel center is the seat of power, possessions and position or status.

The heart center is in the subtle life-force or energy body which overlays the physical body. It is located at the back around the area between the shoulder blades along the subtle central spinal energy channel called the sushumna nadi. It is the center that stores, transforms and transmits the life-force energy that keeps the physical heart and the circulatory system in good health.

It is also the seat of that part of the soul called the prana-atma of life-force soul. The mind or manas is based at the heart center. The primary positive emotion is love and the negative emotion is hatred.  It is the center where we can transform our hatred into love. It is the degree to which we have developed our capacity of love that distinguishes a true human being from an animal. It is not enough that we love our children or spouse – that is something even some higher animals can accomplish – we need to extend our love to others to whom we have no family relationship, that is to friends and eventually even to strangers.

Reacting emotionally to events, situations and relationships is the mode of the navel center and is responsible for most of the problems of humanity. If we can move our consciousness to the loving mind of the heart center, we will act and react from the perspective of love and kindness. Development of the heart center is the key to earth peace.

The heart center also rules relationships and we can see how the world is mired in relationship problems because we cannot have a relationship of equality from the navel center. The navel center is of domination and submission. One party or the other will seek to dominate. A relationship can form when one party submits but it is not human nature to submit and there cannot be lasting peace in such a lop-sided relationship despite the literary pretensions of sado-masochistic psychology.  If both parties try to exert dominance, then the relationship ends abruptly. A solid foundation for a healthy relationship requires mutual respect and with both parties trying to operate from the heart center.

We can develop our heart center and bring our consciousness to this base with the help of the appropriate yogic techniques and I teach a workshop for this purpose. However, even without such techniques, it is the power of awareness that can awaken the heart center. It is the awareness of love. It is the awareness of tolerance. It is the awareness of our egotistical and selfish desires. It is the awareness and willingness to look at a situation from someone else’s perspective. It is awareness that can break through the barriers of the navel center and move us to the heart center.

The evolution towards higher consciousness begins when we take responsibility for seating ourselves in our loving heart center. It begins when we make the effort to act from the heart center. Peace begins when we operate from the heart center and if even a small portion of humanity activate their heart love, then there will be less and less violence and wars in this world.

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