Question: How does one open the third eye?

Sri Chinmoy: There are various ways to open the third eye. The easiest and most effective way to open the third eye is through japa. Japa means the recitation of a particular syllable, word, sentence or group of sentences. There are quite a few mantras that also help in opening the third eye. The Gayatri Mantra, for example, helps in opening the third eye, for it invokes the infinite knowledge, wisdom and light. Most effective is the chant Aum. Each centre has a secret sound which is most effective. For the third eye, the ajna centre, the chant Aum is most effective. The 'm' sound should last about three times as long as the 'au' sound. Also, when chanting, the seeker should focus his attention on the third eye.

The third eye can also be opened up by another process, by invoking the presence of the Divine, the consciousness of the Divine or the Divine Consciousness. The Divine may take form or it can remain formless. But you need intense aspiration.

There is a third method: purification of the entire being. Also, inside the body there is the subtle body, the vital proper, the subtle vital, the mind and the heart. If you can achieve the purification of your entire physical and inner existence and get inner illumination, then you can open not only your third eye but all the other major centres as well.

Again, if you can invoke the infinite Grace of the Supreme, if you can transform your whole existence into a living surrender at the Feet of the Supreme, then the third eye can easily be opened. On your part you have to work; your spiritual teacher will give you special exercises and special disciplines to follow. But the result comes only when the Grace descends. Personal effort is indispensable, but mere personal effort is not enough. Behind personal effort is the Grace of the Divine.

Grace can come from God directly or it can come through a living Master or from a Master who has left the body. A realised Master never dies; he only discards the physical garment. Realised Masters can come at any moment to inspire the seeker and tell him what to do. In the case of an ordinary human being, it is "Out of sight, out of mind." But with realised souls, time and space do not matter. Nor do they matter to a seeker if he has an inner connection with a true spiritual Master.