Sunday, 30 November 2008


Last weekend I indulged in some Shirodhara. This involves trickling hot oil onto the forehead and is believed to awaken the third eye. Now I know that this sounds a bit like the Chinese water torture but it is actually very relaxing. I feel asleep 3 times and woke myself up with my snoring. Perhaps not quite the mystical effect that it is supposed to generate but nice nevertheless.

This trickling is followed by synchronised body massage - a terrifying prospect for the average Aussie male. It involves laying naked on a wooden table with raised edges (imagine a large baking tray), being lightly drizzled with baby oil and rubbed by two husky fellows. This episode will never be spoken of again.

Back to the third eye, this is the ajna chakra (sixth chakra) and is represented by a dot, mark or eye symbol on the forehead (called a Tilak or Tika depending where you are). According to followers of Tantrism, this chakra is the exit point for kundalini energy. The third eye is also called the "eye of wisdom."

In Hinduism, it is believed that the opening of Shiva's third eye causes the eventual destruction of the universe, so let's hope that he doesn't go to a Day Spa and have this treatment.

A variation of the Tilak is called the Bindi. Normally this represents a married woman (but can be just for decoration) and is often accompanied by a vermilion mark in the parting of the hair just above the forehead. The bindi is said to retain energy and strengthen concentration. It is also said to protect against demons or bad luck. Which can't be a bad thing.

There could be a link between the pineal gland and the mystical third eye. It is often referred to as "the atrophied third eye" and is in the right location. Interestingly, cells within the pineal gland are similar to photoreceptors in the eye. Amphibians and reptiles still sense light through a third parietal eye - which is associated with the pineal gland. The pineal gland excretes a hormone which induces dreams, near-death experiences, meditation, and hallucinations.

Some dudes believe that if you can switch on your third eye you will become clairvoyant and be able to see in the dark. Apart from massage, other techniques for opening your third eye include the application of an amethyst cleaned under flowing water or taking LSD.

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  1. Very cool information, and I never want to know about the two burly blokes ;c)

    Glad to know you were nowhere near the trouble in Munbai.

  2. Thanks BT - yes it has been all quiet here in Delhi. The NSG commandos are based here so that probably helps.