Question: Is the third eye the best place to focus one's attention during meditation, or can this lead to problems?

Sri Chinmoy: In the spiritual life, you should pray to God to grant you the inner sight only when He feels that it is necessary, not before. If the inner sight dawns when there is not sufficient wisdom, there can be serious problems. It is like having a horse which you cannot keep under control. Let me give you an example. Suppose you see somebody killing a chicken right in front of you. Your outer sight does not let you identify yourself with the consciousness or life-breath of the chicken. But if you have the inner sight and realise that you yourself were a chicken many, many incarnations ago, you will immediately identify yourself with the chicken and feel that you are being killed. You will be horror-struck. When the inner vision dawns, you become one with the reality that you see. And if it is a frightening experience, for years you may suffer. Many of you say, "Oh, if only I had my third eye open!" Yes, and if your third eye shows you that in your past incarnation you were the worst possible scoundrel, then what will you do? The inner sight should be open when there is inner maturity and when neither the past nor the future will disturb you.

Suppose you learn that your dearest friend is going to die, or that some catastrophe is going to take place which you are helpless to prevent. The third eye can tell you what is going to happen, but the third eye cannot prevent it. It is only aspiration, inner cry, that climbs up to the Highest and touches the Feet of the Supreme; and it is only the Supreme who can nullify the cosmic Law. If you see that a catastrophe is going to take place, you have to refer the matter to the Supreme. But if it is God's Will, you cannot prevent it from happening. Now, when a real seeker, a great spiritual seeker sees that something is going to happen to his immediate family — that someone is going to die, let us say — then immediately he will identify Himself with God's Will. But only a real seeker who is on a very high level of aspiration can consciously and spontaneously identify himself with God's Will without any difficulty. Real spiritual Masters are always one with the Supreme's Will; they can never have any individual will of their own. They may feel sorry when they see that something is going to happen, but their inner being remains undisturbed.

So in the case of a spiritual Master or someone who is on the verge of realisation, if his third eye is open he will not be in difficulty. But for an ordinary seeker who has just launched into the spiritual path, if he attempts to open his third eye when his nature is not purified and there is not much spiritual development, then there will be great danger. Many times the vessel is not ready, but by dint of the seeker's tremendous determination, he does succeed in opening up the third eye. Then the result is most discouraging and most damaging.

In your case, instead of opening the third eye, you should meditate on the heart and try to feel God's presence there all the time. You have to want only to be inside God's Heart and to keep Him inside your heart. Then God will make you into His own image and give you only what is best for you. He won't give you an iota of anything unnecessary in your life. Try to draw into your inner being Peace, Joy and Love from God. If you enter into the heart, you will be able to enter into your own inner sun. If you enter properly, you will see that it is all luminosity; no ignorance can stand in front of the inner sun. immediately this sun either illumines or transforms our ignorance-night. So if you want to realise the Highest and fulfil the Highest in your life, then try to aspire in the heart.

So if you are meditating on the ajna chakra or third eye, you should also practise concentrating on the heart. You will get all joy and all love in the heart, far beyond your expectation. Here you will become inseparably one with the Universal Consciousness. When you have achieved joy and love and have become well-established in your meditation, then you may want to have vision or wisdom from the third eye.

There are people who have opened up this centre between the eyebrows without having opened their heart centre and, by the Grace of the Supreme, have not made so-called mistakes. But most of the time, unless and until the heart centre, anahata, is opened up and the emotional part of your nature is totally purified, you will fall victim to merciless temptation if you open up the third eye. You will try to see something inwardly and immediately you will tell people, or you will try to enter into somebody to see what is happening in his nature. There are a thousand and one things which will eventually lead you far, far away from the path of spirituality.

Women, without exception, should try to meditate on the heart centre, the anahata chakra. It is easier for them to open the heart centre than it is for men. For men, it is easier to open up the ajna chakra or the third eye. But both men and women must open both centres eventually. There are other centres as well, but let us think of these two centres for now. While meditating, concentrate on the heart centre first, and then on the ajna.