Physiology has recognized the importance of the middle brain and of endocrine glands. It has therefore set a value upon the pituitary and pineal glands. A special relationship unites the pituitary gland with the roof of the third ventricle on the one hand and on the other the whole system of ductless glands throughout the body. The third ventricle is a narrow slit lying near the base of cerebral hemispheres and separating the two thalami from each other. At the posterior end of this slit a small nodule of grey matter projects backwards and overhangs corpora quadringamina of the mid-brain. This is the pineal gland. It represents all that remains of the third eye which used to adorn the forehead of some of the lizard ancestors in far off times. This type of lizard is found only in New Zealand and it dates back to the end of the Paleozoic period in the Permian epoch. One of this lizard’s features is that it has a quite developed third eye behind and between the usual two. This is known as the pineal eye and is represented in man by the pineal gland.
The Pituitary gland is situated at the base of the skull with its two lobes, anterior and posterior. The pineal gland is connected with the posterior portion of the pituitary. The pineal gland is like a tiny pine cone about one eight of an inch in size and coloured grey, while the pituitary is about the size of a ripe cherry and attached to the brain by a stalk. The pineal gland is the negative pole being a counterpart of and complementary to the pituitary body which is the positive pole. It is for this reason Yoga science observes that the pineal is to the pituitary what Buddhi is to Manas, what intuition is to reason. The pineal is of considerable importance for it acts on the nerve endings within itself and through them on the whole middle brain. The function of the pituitary is to control the development of the body to suit the development of the consciousness. It exercises this function through the other ductless glands. The chief change which it brings into organism is the awakening of the genetic functions by stimulating the sexual glands. But the pineal gland is there to prevent the pituitary from awakening the sexual functions too soon and acts as a check on anterior lobe of the pituitary. This is why the pineal is associated with the spiritual nature of man.
The Pineal gland is the seat of cosmic thought. Human thought may be regarded as a result of suspended action, which the subject does not allow to proceed to its full realization. At each step new inhibitions intervene to prevent energy from immediately discharging itself in motive channels. This necessitates introversion or inward storings of energy until little by little thought is substituted for the inhibited action. It would therefore be a pity to confound introversion with an open retrogression, since the latter marks a stage backwards in the line of evolution. Introversion is an indispensable condition of self-realization. It is a rich and luminous simplicity which achieves the dispersion of analysis by surpassing and overcoming it. It is the fruit of the true intuition, the state of inner freedom. Hence in the complete introversion there is no loss of consciousness but a displacement of attention. Consciousness is dynamic, it is in fact something intensely mobile. When the exterior world has disappeared, the circle of consciousness contracts and seems to withdraw into the pineal where all organic functions and all psychic forces meet and there it enjoys unity. Herein lies the secret of Samadhi, herein lies an instrument for penetrating to the depths of functional consciousness or the supernal light.
All nervous energy which is connected with the pituitary is electro-positive and all somatic energy, that is, cellular and humoral which is connected with the pineal is electro-negative and the balance of these two polarized electricities is maintained by the electric ions in-breathed with the atmospheric air. The pituitary is physical in nature while the pineal is spiritual in nature; to raise up the physical to the spiritual constitutes the secret of Sadhana or worship, for by the meeting of the two energies which starts from the one and produce the other is enhanced and fulfills itself. This is how the union or the harmony between the two is achieved by Shiva-yoga.
The process is as follows: place the Linga on the palm of the left hand so raised as to come in a line with the centre of the eyebrows. Behind the back and just above the head an oil-fed lamp or candle should be placed so that the light of the lamp or candle is reflected in the coating of Linga. With half-closed eyes the devotee should fix his attention upon that light reflected in the Linga, the coating of which is blue-black or indigo serving to widen and deepen concentration. The concentrated gaze generates psychic heat or Tapas which stirs into activity the pineal gland. This produces psychic light or Tejas which, in turn, leads to the release of Ojas or thought force, which is at once a power of vision and power of execution. Shiva-yoga therefore lands one into a region of effective will and intuitive knowledge where to will is to create, to think is to see.
The pineal gland is an oval shaped body about the size of a pea lying in the middle of the head, behind and just above the pituitary. It contains pigment similar to that found in the eyes and is connected by two nerve cords with the optic thalamus. Since it controls the action of the light upon the body scientists have suggested that it is a remnant of the third eye. The third eye is an enigmatic organ having a universal history. It is the middle eye of Shiva, it is the eye of the Horas Egyptian tradition. It is the horn of the unicorn. The third eye is an organ apparently dormant but innately acquired by mankind, whose awakening is the right of every individual. It is an organ of inner vision which embraces eternity while our physical eyes look before us seeing neither past nor future. He who has opened this third eye can direct and control the energies of matter, see all things in the eternal now and therefore be in touch with causes, reveal the etheric records and see clairvoyantly. It is through medium of the third eye that an Adept can at any moment put himself in touch with his disciple anywhere.
The mechanism of the human body is composed of six systems, namely the nervous system, the respiratory system, the circulatory system, the digestive system, the excretory system and the endocrine system. The endocrine system consists of many glands situated at various places in the body. The pituitary and the pineal are in the head, the thyroid and parathyroid are in the neck, thymus in the thoracic cavity, the adrenals and gonads are in the abdominal cavity. They are called ductless glands because the hormones produced in them are thrown directly in the blood stream. Of all the glands the pituitary and the pineal are the foremost. Physiology and anatomy have already described the various functions of these two glands. But Yoga science goes a step further and says that the pituitary is the seat of individual consciousness while the pineal is the seat of the universal consciousness. In the normal man these two states of consciousness are not in harmony. To bring about the harmony between these two states of consciousness is the object of Yoga. In Shiva-yoga the cosmic consciousness descends to meet the individual consciousness through the optic thalamic nerve. The meeting takes place in the centre of the eyebrows or the Bhrumadhya.
Pituitary and Pineal location Pituitary Gland Pineal Gland
Image Courtesy — www.biomagnetictherapy.net/ pineal_gland.aspx, http://www.tcc.fl.edu/courses/psy2012/units/u03ca.htm
When the pituitary and pineal glands have become fully developed and stimulated, their vibrations fuse and stir into activity the third eye, the eye of the soul. This activity provides the mind with a sensitive instrument, a transmitter by means of which vibrations of very differing types can be translated, interpreted and rearranged. This gives man personal access to the wisdom.
During the embryonic development of the human race man’s only organ was the one eye, or the etheric eye, with which he used to see all non-solid matter. As the earth solidified man developed his two physical eyes which can see the solid world but his etheric eye or the third eye receded, its etheric sight spreading all over the nervous system and having its seat in the third ventricle of the brain. The earliest people used only that middle eye or the third eye and were known as cyclops.
As physical eyesight developed, the etheric eyed recessed, but although dormant as the pineal gland, it is only awaiting development and training to be reawakened. This training was a part of deliberate yogic process which was well understood and thoroughly provided for in the ancient wisdom. When the third eye is opened, the individual begins to see all the activities of the etheric plane, and he approaches much nearer to the causes and realities of life. He can see the thought-forms, entities and complex types of life which make up a vast world of teeming energies which the limited capacity of ordinary physical sight is unable to register.
The ancients knew all about the third eye and indicated it on the statues of their gods by a knob on the forehead. The Egyptians trained the people in the use of this psychic centre in the temple of Maat. The god Maat was vulture-headed, because the vulture has a sight so keen as to be almost clairvoyant. When people responded to this training they became seers. They could see with the trained third eye, right through the body, as the X-ray does and diagnose a disease. All over the East and India, we find statues of historic man of wisdom with a knob or other mark upon the forehead indicating this type of achievement.
– OM SHANTI | OM SHANTI | OM SHANTIHI –
This article ‘Shiva-yoga and Pineal Gland’ is taken from H.H.Mahatapasvi Shri Kumarswamiji’s book, – ‘Technique of Opening the Third Eye’.