The Crown Chakra Color, Location, Element and Meaning
The 7th Chakra, or the Crown Chakra (in Sanskrit, Sahasrāra; translated as “thousand-petaled”), is located at the center of the top of the head. It is associated with bright white and golden light and with the element of pure light. It is the Chakra of self-transcendence, loss of ego-boundaries and connection with the infinite source of life.
|Name||Crown Chakra, 7th Chakra, Sahasrara|
|Physical location:||The center of the top of the head.|
|Physical systems:||Pineal gland, gap between the two hemispheres, skull.|
|Psychological aspect:||None, as it is considered beyond the psyche.|
|Spiritual function:||Enlightenment, Unity and Liberation. According to the Yogic tradition, Shiva abides in this Chakra waiting patiently for Shakti, who resides in the first Chakra, until she would rise to meet and unite with him. This is therefore the Chakra of final liberation and God-consciousness.|
|Traditional Symbol:||A lotus with one thousand, or even infinite number of petals.|
|Element:||Cosmos. Pure light and source of creation.|
|Color:||Bright white and golden light. Sometimes considered multicoloured.|
|Energy body:||Anandamaya Kosha (the bliss body).|
|Ages of psychological development:||No natural development. Ideally, would flower from the age of 42 onward.|
|Quest:||The quest for returning to one’s original spiritual nature and home. The quest for final release from illusion and earthly bondage and identification.|
|Qualities:||Oneness, Bliss, Transcendence|
|Blocking Fears:||The death of the “I-consciousness”, being in the unknowable, leaving the world behind.|
|Stone:||Celestite, Clear Quartz, Spirit Quartz.|
|Foods:||In general, light raw foods and superfoods, fasting like water fast. Also, white and golden foods.|
The Crown Chakra Main Function
The Crown Chakra ist the last of the 7 Chakras and its main Function is transcendence into Oneness. Its gift is the transcendence of the individual self into true, mystical experience of unity and oneness. Through the Crown Chakra we can feel the connection to the whole Cosmos and are connected to the divine Source of creation.
It is very easy to understand the Crown Chakra’s main function when looking into its physical position: it resides just in between the top of the skull and the infinite space above it. In many respects it is like a meeting point Chakra that is shared by the individual and the cosmos.
Energetically, it serves as a bridge and an opening that allow the constant entrance of cosmic energy and nourishment through the upper end of the central subtle nerve channel called “Sushumna”. This cosmic energy, according to Yogic tradition, flows irregularly and minimally into this nerve tube through the seventh Chakra. However, when this center opens up, it becomes the center of union between the individual and the cosmos.
The open Crown Chakra
A human in a balanced and open state of the Crown Chakra is fully aware that true bliss and happiness lie not in any of the experiences available for the ego in the world of time and space but only in self-transcendence.
In such a state, the person becomes uninterested in the possible satisfaction of worldly experiences and shifts one’s attention, energy and ambition to the realm of spiritual union. One fully understands that real satisfaction takes place not in strengthening one’s ego but in its diminishing.
This person would be naturally inclined to mediation and silence. Meditation would no longer be an effortful duty but the love and passion of one’s soul. A natural, effortless attraction towards scriptures and the words of wise masters would lead the person to the ongoing experience that only this can quench one’s thirst.
One would seek knowledge not for gaining more concepts and intellectual broadening, but would rather seek the type of knowledge that promotes greater non-attachment and deeper liberation, including from all known concepts.
The level of resistance in mediation and spiritual practice would be very minimal and so, it would be extremely easy to prolong one’s stay in an intense meditative atmosphere such as retreats, fasting, learning from spiritual teachers and meditating. If anything, one would feel at the end of an intense learning a greater thirst and not a need to retire from spiritual engagement and to return to land in ordinary consciousness.
There would be an increasing sense of inner satisfaction that doesn’t come from externals, and so the incessant ego drive towards searching in the world would significantly diminish.
One would occasionally enter powerful spiritual experiences and would naturally find oneself busy, mentally and emotionally, with spiritual questions and focus. In this state one’s major center of gravity and identity would shift to the spiritual realm.
Crown Chakra psychological meaning and function
The Crown Chakra does not contain clear psychological aspects. Nonetheless, it can be blocked, open or wide open. To a certain degree we can find there the fear of the person, or individual ego, of coming to an end. Whereas the first or root Chakra contains the more instinctual fear of the cessation of the body, the Crown Chakra holds a much subtler fear: the very ending of the “I-consciousness”; the desire of continuity that our impermanent and perishable ego has.
When our thought tries to imagine what it would be like after death, it attempts to reach and get in touch with a state which our ego or self-consciousness cannot exist in. For this reason, the subtler fear of death is the one in which we simply cannot imagine or contain the possibility of the true and final ending of our very sense of existence.
The Crown Chakra deals with the deeper questions which strive to tap into the “unknowable”, as found in death and deep sleep. It invites us to experience states of self-transcendence in which our separate sense of self blends into a greater whole, while keeping a sweet secret in it that on the other side of our ego’s fear of death, there awaits a tremendous sense of liberation, limitlessness and bliss.
The Crown Chakra Imbalance
The unbalanced and blocked state of the Crown Chakra is characterised by a sense of intense earthly gravity, resistance to the spiritual realm and fear of self-dissolution.
This state of imbalance is first and foremost caused by a lower Chakras imbalance – when lower Chakras have still not awakened to their spiritual aspects and potential. When the lower Chakras, especially the three lower ones, draw all one’s attention to psychological and worldly matters, they keep one’s life-force busy and even drain it. Thus, there has to be some lower Chakras resolution and relaxation to allow the force of Kundalini to rise all the way to the Crown Chakra.
The presence of spiritual teachers or occasional experiences can make a person, even in a blocked Crown Chakra state, able to open it momentarily. However, as long as one’s major interest and engagement in life are worldly by nature, this prevents the sufficient energy needed for Crown Chakra balancing and opening.
There is yet another possible cause for Crown Chakra imbalance and that is a certain trauma that took place either in the spiritual realm, or in anything that is related to an unexpected loss of boundaries of the self-consciousness.
Here a trauma can range from a severe disappointment caused by a meeting with a spiritual teacher; a Kundalini crisis in which the spiritual energy became unexpectedly disruptive; a premature powerful spiritual experience (where we wished for some bliss and instead entered a state of nothingness which scared us); dangerously and prematurely opening of the Crown Chakra while consuming psychoactive substances (where we perhaps opened up both to light and darkness, or brought to the edge the capacity of our nervous system and brain), and a sudden loss of consciousness as in near death experience, surgery and near fatal accidents. All these incidents could imprint in us a warning signal whenever we reach a similar state of loss of self-boundaries and opening to the infinite source of life.
Psychological and spiritual Symptoms of a blocked 7th Chakra
The psychological and spiritual symptoms of a blocked state can be difficulty in mediation, resistance to silence and a general sense of intense earthly gravity, the feeling that we are physically heavy and grounded to earth. Any encounter with spiritual energy and knowledge are met with a sense of a barrier; an incapability of letting go of the mental, emotional and sensual realms.
Another type of symptom is intense fear that overwhelms us whenever we enter the depth of meditation. We identify depth as more scary and dangerous than bliss-promoting. Often our nervous system, brain and subtle anatomy would react with an overwhelmed physical and energetic state to any spiritual opening. Experiences would feel “too much” and would cause an overload rather than happiness and lightness.
Sometimes they would even lead to a sense of greater weakness and vulnerability, though this type of reaction usually involves imbalances in the lower Chakras – such as a third Chakra imbalance, in which we might not have a sufficiently integrated self, or in the first Chakra, where we haven’t yet entered willingly the earthly experience and so our initial ungroundedness would only lead to disorientation and further withdrawal.
Physical Systems affected by the Seventh Chakra
Since the Crown Chakra is the least physical amongst the Chakra system, it is less associated with actual physical systems. However, physically speaking it is definitely related to the pineal gland, as well as to the upper part of the skull and the gap between the two halves of the brain.
The pineal gland, which controls the wake/sleep modulation (through its melatonin production), is in this way related to the seventh Chakra, as this Chakra is the one that is responsible for our differing states of consciousness, including the transcendence of all states. The Yogis called it “Turiya”, the fourth state, as opposed to the three states of consciousness: waking, sleeping and dreaming. This fourth state awakens the dormant spiritual capacity of the pineal gland.
The gap between the two halves of the brain symbolises once again final transcendence of duality – moving to the state between and beyond any subject / object relationship towards a perfect “oneness consciousness”.
Physical Symptoms of a blocked Crown Chakra
A possible loss of balance in the different states of consciousness: from sleeping disorders (such as insomnia) to the ramifications of the loss of consciousness (such as traumatic anesthetization and cerebral concussion). In this one can include the long-term influence of psychoactive plants and psychedelic drugs and vertigo.
In some cases, like Kundalini crisis or manic-depressive disorder, there appears the phenomenon of a hyperactive Crown Chakra, which is experienced as an overly open Chakra with a sense of intense vibrational agitation. This could mean that the borderline separating the individual has become disrupted and does not lead to a state of uninterrupted bliss. This can be then followed by symptoms such as hypersensitivity, disorientation, disconnection, and a highly ungrounded feeling that one lacks defined boundaries.
Crown Chakra healing
There are no clear healing processes in this Chakra as its issues are not psychological by nature. More subtly speaking, we can think of a healing process in terms of allowing ourselves to heal the wound of our separate self and to let our inherent connection with the rest of existence be resumed.
The sense of a separate self is the subtlest form of psychological imbalance and it is the general feeling of an individual consciousness and organism caged in its own limitation and mortality. This brings forth all other psychic imbalances.
When we begin to trust and deeply believe that we are, after all, inseparable part of existence and divine reality, that brings us to experience the deepest form of liberation: liberation from our basic sense of limitation, including the physical outline in which we are packed.
This process of increasing unification with the rest of existence and the divine reality can be a major source of healing for our other systems – the mental, emotional and psychosomatic. Gradually, it can help balance other types of imbalances such as loneliness in the heart Chakra, the need for individual recognition in the third Chakra, excessive desire and addiction in the second Chakra, and the desperate attaching to possessions and objects in the first Chakra.
Opening the Crown Chakra
The first stage of opening the Crown Chakra is the initial healing that takes place as we learn to trust that we are part of the greater reality. This happens usually as a result of transcendental experiences that remind us of our true nature. This can range from psychedelic experiences to meeting a spiritual master, but this could also be achieved by a spontaneous and unexpected awakening, an extraordinary encounter with nature, or a near death experience.
Such happenings make us begin to follow the path of opening the Crown Chakra for good, which usually leads us to seeking initiations by spiritual teachers who embody this irreversible state of openness. The gradual opening occurs through mediation, silence, the effect of the presence of a spiritual teacher, scriptures, and the momentum generated by an ongoing spiritual focus. All these make our being slowly diminish the thick borderline distinguishing us from the rest of existence.
Thus, the stages of opening begin with some initial awakening experience, while the second stage consists of an ongoing chain of many experiences that still come and go. This means that the Crown opens and closes interchangeably, until a certain point in which a deeper type of experience marks a shift in which our very identity moves from the individual to the cosmic. The more we establish ourselves in this cosmic, universal identity, the more we move to abide in the Crown Chakra.
After years of establishing our new home in the seventh Chakra, we finally fix it as our abode, which is traditionally regarded as liberation; the final release of our self-consciousness.
Crown Chakra Meditation
Any spiritual practice that helps dissolve the boundaries of the ego could lead to an opening of Sahasrara Chakra. All of the traditional types of meditation can cause at a certain point a shift, in which one goes beyond the experience of individuality and suddenly finds oneself in the expansive state of limitlessness, bliss and universal self-knowing.
More specifically, the best way to open the Crown Chakra has been traditionally the presence of a spiritual teacher. Since a teacher is the embodiment of the merging of the individual into divinity, the energy field of the teacher can easily affect the opening of our own Crown Chakra. Some teachers transmit Shakti, divine energy, more directly through touch, gaze or object that can affect the person’s consciousness as soon as they receive it. Deeper teaching of spiritual enlightenment, like the ones we can find in the Upanishads or Christian mysticism, can provoke in us too an attraction towards unity-consciousness.
Long periods of silence and fasting, meditation and contemplation, can easily lead to the opening of the Crown Chakra, as it responds to any form of intense and passionate spiritual engagement. This is the reason many seekers of the greater truth used to retire for long times of reclusion in forests, caves and mountains. Being away from the human sphere, eating very lightly, affected by the harmony of nature, while meditating and striving for enlightenment, all these attract the Crown Chakra to open up and to break the barrier separating the person from the infinite source of life.
Lastly, self-inquiry – the deep and intense questioning of one’s own identity – can easily melt away the boundaries of our self-consciousness.
Sahasrara Chakra Summary
The opening of the Crown Chakra is the last stage and culmination of the journey of the Chakras that is meant to lead us from identification with material existence to the full remembrance of our nature as the limitless, universal soul. For the spiritual aspirant, all lower six Chakras are considered preparation for this final leap.
In this context, all other six Chakras are meant to be resolved in order to give way for final transcendence of the very notion of psychological existence and personal journey. When our aim is spiritual enlightenment, the Crown Chakra serves like a bright sun that illuminates our way along the Chakra-line. It is the reminder that the personal journey does have an end and is not meant to go on forever. At a certain point, we walk into the sun that illumined our way and become that sun.