12 Nov The Seven Chakras of Change
The Hindu Epic, Mahabharata, is the gospel of change. Every character in the epic symbolizes a human characteristic and it contains stories, essentially case studies, on how we can nurture our uplifting tendencies and overcome our degrading tendencies towards personal and social change.
The warring cousins in the epic, the Pandavas and the Kauravas, are our uplifting tendencies and our degrading tendencies, respectively. The five Pandava brothers, all born of immaculate conceptions, are the result of our disciplined mind (King Pandu) and our discriminating intellect (Kunti and Madri). They represent righteousness (Yudhishthira), strength (Bhima), courage (Arjuna), kindness and compassion (Nakula and Sahadeva). The one hundred Kaurava brothers, all cut from the same lump of flesh, are the result of our blind mind (the blind king, Dhritharashtra) and our blindfolded intellect (the blindfolded queen, Gandhari). They represent the degrading tendencies in ourselves, beginning with material desire (Duryodhana).
Before the battle begins, God in the form of Lord Krishna, has a long conversation with Arjuna (Courage), imploring him to fight the battle and not succumb to apathy. This is the Bhagavad Gita, the gospel of action. Without courage, none of us can overcome our degrading tendencies and fight the battle for personal and social change. But it isn’t just fear that we need to overcome in order to effect that change. Overcoming fear opens up just the Root Chakra, while there are six other chakras that need to be opened in order to truly effect that change.
The second chakra, the Sacral Chakra, is opened when we overcome our guilt associated with that change. The third chakra, the Stomach Chakra, is opened when we overcome the shame and the fourth chakra, the Heart Chakra, is opened when we overcome the grief associated with that change. Next is the Throat Chakra, which is opened when we acknowledge the lies that we have been telling ourselves and the sixth chakra, the Third Eye Chakra, is opened when we see through our delusions, the lies that others have been telling us about that change. Finally, the seventh chakra, the Crown Chakra, is opened when we let go of our attachments to our previous behaviors.
Please note that in order to open all seven chakras, we need to welcome the negative emotions associated with overcoming the chakras, something that our current culture discourages us from doing. But when all seven chakras are opened and we truly embrace the change, then Lord Krishna can begin to play beautiful music through us. This is why Lord Krishna is usually depicted playing a flute with seven open holes. The flute represents each of us with all our chakras opened.
Climate change calls for this personal and social change. We are called to change our relationship with each other and with nature, while engineering a new regenerative civilization in which ordinary people lead their ordinary lives and the planet thrives. Our current materialistic civilization is like the Titanic in which ordinary people lead their ordinary lives and the planet dies. It has already hit the iceberg and it is sinking rapidly, flooding the lower decks. The people from the lower decks are caravaning up the stairs and those in the upper deck are threatening to throw them in jail or shoot them up. Meanwhile, the cocktail parties in the upper deck are being rudely interrupted by wildfires, floods, hurricanes and extreme weather (Would you believe that it is colder in Austin, TX, in November than it is in Toronto, Canada?). Those of us privileged to be in the upper deck of the Titanic must originate the necessary changes.
The task is immense, but as Lao Tzu said, “When we are loved deeply, we find the strength (Bhima) and when we love deeply, we find the courage (Arjuna).” Our children, grandchildren, the animals and our beautiful Earth give us the deep, mutual love connection that we need to perform this task.
Let’s get to it.