Water represents one of the purifying elements for excellence in every tradition.
The innumerable symbolic aspects and the thaumaturgic properties attributed to water since ancient times, but even now the use of water in many therapeutic applications shows that water is more that a chemical element.
In ancient Egypt and in Persia, bathing was considered a sacred doing, hygienic and therapeutic at the same time. Ancient Greek used water therapies to treat many illnesses and it is thank to Hippocrates (Greek doctor of the IV century BC) the formulation of many cures with cold baths, showers, steams. Similar treatments came with ancient Romans.
In Christian tradition, water has always had a primary role: let’s just think of baptism as act of spiritual purification.
In India, then, water has always been considered as primary source of “prana”, the life force that allows the existence of all living beings; they have preserved may water therapies similar to those currently practiced in western countries.
In numerous scriptures, the spiritual aspect of water is mentioned ; we will quote a couple.
The living water
Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Gospel John (4, 1-14)
The way of water
The highest good is like water. Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive. It flows in places men reject and so it is like the Tao.
The spiritual light comes from our inner being. When men concentrate themselves in their inner being, then their inner organs are calm, their thoughts are quiet, their eyes and their ears are clear, and bones and muscles are strong. They are authoritative but not polemical, they are steady and strong but never tired. They are not extreme in any thing, neither they are inadequate.
In the world, nothing is more soft than water. The way of water is infinitely wide and incalculably deep; it extends indefinitely and flows endlessly. It embraces all life without preferences. It does not look for rewards.
It enriches the whole world without never exhausting. Its virtues are bestowed to farmers without never drying up.
No end can be found to its action. Its subtle nature cannot be grasped.
Hit it and you will not damage it; pierce it and you will not hurt it; cut it and you will not tear it; burn it and it will not make smoke. Soft and fluid, it cannot be destroyed.
It is defined supreme virtue. The reason why water personify this supreme virtue is because it is soft and flexible. So, I say that the softest things in the world dominate the hardest things; the not being has not gaps. The formless is the great ancestor of all beings; the soundless is the great source of all species.
The true men communicate with the spiritual power; those who participate to evolution as human beings preserve the mystic virtue in their hearts and they use it creatively as spirit.
So the Way is really great. It changes habits and customs without giving any order.
Quotes from Lao Tse’s work
Subtle Principles of the Water element
We know that the hydrogen element, because of its characteristics,corresponds to the left channel and the oxygen instead corresponds to the right channel; water, formed by hydrogen and oxygen joined together can be easily defined as a balanced element.
Differently from carbon (that corresponds to the Earth element (and to the Mooladhara chakra) and that acts as support of the central channel), water, being formed by molecules with opposite characteristics (hydrogen and oxygen), presents a polarity, that means an asymmetric distribution of charge, that allows it to interact with other molecules and confers it a great versatility of physical, chemical, biological behavior: it can be said that water is a dynamic element, that has the characteristics of dynamic balance of the chakra that corresponds to (the Nabhi chakra).
The Nabhi chakra, in its subtle side, is actually the one that preserves life and it also manifests one of the qualities that confers the capacity of being in peace and to give peace: that is the capacity of soothing all the tensions, to reduce the contrasts (cooling down or heating up, depending on circumstances), to intervene in the right way, with the qualities that are typical of water, to give comfort and relief.
The divine aspect working in the Nabhi chakra is Shri Vishnu, the Preserver, the one who makes the Creation evolve and that maintain the balance. So, water not only give origin to lie, but it is also a necessary element for its maintenance: it is the most abundant element on the Earth planet and in the living matter, intervene in all the chemical reactions that occur in organisms and moreover, in the human body it works as a solvent, as a thermal insulation or as refrigerating liquid (regulating the body temperature), it transports food and waste material, allowing the optimal working of our organism.
Water is also the element of Mahalakshmi (the power of evolution of the central channel) that derives from the combination of the two elements: hydrogen, element of the left channel (that is Mahakali or power of desire); oxygen, element of the right side (that is Mahasaraswati, or power of action).
Lakshmi was born or came out of the sea, the great sea, which was churned thousands and thousands of years back. And She came out of the sea because She is the daughter of the sea. That’s why She’s called as Neeraja. “Neera” means “water” and “ja” means “born out of.” This has happened thousands and thousand years back that She was born.
So what is that? What is this Lakshmi… see symbolically, what is it expressing? It is expressing the awareness.
Lakshmi expresses awareness, and She came out of the sea, you know that; the awareness first started growing in the sea. The life started existing in the sea, to begin with, and then it grew out. Without the life there is no awareness. First the life, because everything is jaDa [ed. “jaDa” definition: void of life , inanimate , unintelligent], everything is dead, and when it becomes life it means it has awareness. So the awareness started growing in the sea.
Diwali Puja, London November 1980
What is the Mahalakshmi principle within you?
You have got MahaLakshmi’s powers within you, do you know that?
You have the power to purify. How do you cure people? By purifying them. All right? Now just think how you purify others, by talking to others you can purify them. By touching others, you can purify them. By looking at them, you can purify them. One person who is a realized soul, purifies the whole atmosphere. The atmosphere is purified. Since I’ve come, it has been warm enough. You purify everything. You purify this light, do you notice that? You’ve awakened the light. Now what other powers you have?
Mahalakshmi is the water that quenches the thirst, the spiritual thirst. You can quench the spiritual thirst of people, tremendous power, because when you give realization that the seeking is over.
Another one is nourishment, you nourish. You give spiritual nourishment to people through your power; even if you are standing there you are nourishing others.
Then dissolvement, you dissolve their ego and you dissolve their super ego. All these powers you own after realization. Just think of it.
You become a cool down person very good, very good. You become cool, cool personality. You have cooling effect, water has.
Water has another very great quality that it permeates into the smallest particle. It goes the roots, I mean suck into the roots. So Mahalakshmi power, you just see the roots of the person. You just know where the problem comes from, just, actually it is the awareness, it is the intelligence, suck the truth part of it which gets enlightened. And you understand that now where is the problem, you just go near the root and you suck and you can be easily sucked, you permeate. The divine water is flowing into that being and the obstruction [in his chakras] is felt through that divine water and you can say that this is catching that is catching. So permeate, permeating and the another one is the glistening of the water is so your glistening your skin becomes very radiant.
And the last of all is the reflection. A person, who sees you, sees his own reflection. He gets frightened. This happens sometimes. So when they reach you, they see their reflection can be very aggressive because they see their reflection. They can be very hard on you because they see their reflection and if it is clear-cut water, then you see the depth of that person.
There are other powers of water that we know well: for example, when it comes out of your eyes, it express your compassion, your love, your emotions: it is the only one among the elements that expresses emotions.
Diwali Puja, London 1891
Treatments and techniques with the Water element
The clearing effect of water is applied in our daily ablution, when we drink, etc. It is known that drinking at least 2 liters of water (possibly far from meals), helps very much in keeping us in good health.
Anyway, here we are considering the “subtle effect“ of Water element on our chakras.
Release tensions from our channels. We have already see as a treatment, using the water element, the foot-soak. We can do it at home, better if we can do it in a river, or at the sea; even better if we can have a complete bathing in a river or in the sea. At home we will use a bowl, that will be only used for this treatment.
Strong treatment for the right side. We have not seen it yet, but a very effective treatment for right side is applying ice on our liver. We will see it in a next lesson, while talking of Swadhisthan chakra.