“Suddenly, the people in the street are covered with flames. Lavender, green, red flecks, golden orbs, white sashes. And it's no respecter of estate. A businessman driving a 4-wheel status symbol is covered in angry-red smoke. A servant without chappals and a faded sari has a brilliant and tall crown. But is it just people who are special? As I look at the trunk of the tree, it becomes transparent…wonderful bubbles of iridescent colour move within.”
Photographing is believing. Till a few decades ago, auras had been relegated to the status of creative license indulged in by medieval artists when painting saints. One of the biggest reasons for the greater respect accorded to the aura today is Dr. Kirilian's discovery and development of devices that can photograph and record some frequencies of the aura.
Says Jude Coelho, HR Consultant, “A few years ago, I had a compressed vertebra that most doctors said had to be operated on. A homeopath, using Kirilian photography pinpointed the problem as not rooted in the skeletal system but in another organ. Not only did the Kirilian photography help avoid surgery, but it really blew my mind.”
Most can learn to sense auras.The easiest way to sense the aura is to feel it. And most can be taught to sense it in just minutes or so. For it's what we all do naturally, like when we sit next to a seething boss and fell hot and bothered. While it takes just minutes to pick up, accurate sensing takes years to master. Another easy way to sense auras is through the pendulum. Again easy to learn, but challenging to master. “He kept going all around the house sensing the energies with the pendulum, then he got very baffled by the energy seeming to be most potent in the fridge” – said Sagarika Ghose about her husband (an IT pro) who'd just learned to dowse.
Most of course would have heard of the basic techniques of learning to see auras. Hold a hand out, fingers spread against a neutral backdrop, stare at the space exactly between the fingers. Ask a friend in either low or bright light to stand against a neutral background look at the space around the head. Sounds simple. But in reality only a few get a glimpse of it the first few times. So if you're one of the lucky few that actually sees the aura as opposed to an afterimage, pop the champagne.
The body of light. Yet perhaps the word aura is one of the bigger stumbling blocks to understanding the field. For it automatically seems to relegate the entire thing to a wispy phenomenon. A far clearer word is the Tantric & Yogic term of ‘Koshas' or bodies. For it clearly indicates a continuum, where the physical is a special case of the aura's many bands not the other way around.
So, how many layers are there? The most practical division for healers has 2, an inner and outer. Many mystics divide it into 3 – body, mind & spirit. The more accepted version today has 7.
The mind's x-ray. The ground level of aura sight is the meta-physical. For example, my wife Celia Cherian, on occasion, gets an inner vision of actual tissues, muscle and bone, these correspond closely to information confirmed later by x-rays etc. For example, the other day she said “I can see a silver-grey mist about your mouth and nostrils, what does it mean?” Since I was feeling wonderful and was spouting poetry I said, “I must be silver-tongued”. A week later, I had inflamed gums.
The first level of the aura is what's often called the etheric. It is the level photographable by today's devices. It's perceived often as crackling white or blue energy. Dr. Usha Abraham is adept at seeing at this level. “You've increased your thinking level now”, she says at the exact point I start shifting my mental mode.
Rainbow beings. The second level of the aura is the one where most see the traditional colours and chakra points. (It is also the zone that all of us are familiar through our dreams.) “The head's colourful, I can't see the throat only rope like things moving there…” Sunil Khemchandani, marketer and meditation student (learning to explore inner vision) said of someone just recovering from a sore throat.
The third level of thought or belief is often perceived as a yellow matrix or web. The 4 th level of feelings is cloud-like. After a deep psychic process one friend's aura became filled with these wonderful, multi-coloured streamers. The 5 th , termed as the akashic records, or the vibratory layer with greater access to other patterns of life, is most often seen as a black ocean. The 6 th level is usually experienced as a field of white light or crystalline brilliance. And is the level of deep inspiration and truth. There is a naïve belief that after the 7 th layer one encounters the deepest level of God. Perish the thought. This layer lights up at those rare times when one discovers at deep levels the oneness of life, or glimpses one's place in the pattern. Beyond that I've discovered are infinitely higher reaches.
The colour of consciousness? Living things have auras, is a stock phrase many use, particularly those who rely on aura devices. Yes, but life isn't just limited to what we think is life.
For example at a performance deep in the well at Vistaar, one could see not just the three dancers but also the energy being of the well.
A crystal appeared to engineering student, Chaitanya Vembar as “wisps of violet light”.
Objects can be charged too. Like on two occasions Celia has had to ask people to remove a Sai pendant and Sufi charm hidden beneath their clothes, because they were brilliant with light.
By converse not all energy beings have bodies. For example, our thoughts can under circumstances spin off into primeval globs of consciousness. Most often those who talk to spirits in oui-ja board séances are often communicating with their own self-fragments.
Glimpses…not omniscience. To many aura seeing can be threatening. If you meet a peeker-tom psychic and don't want him peering into your thoughts, just erect a grey screen in your mind between the two of you. Remember later to mentally dissolve that screen.
Many equate auric sensitivity with omniscience, nothing's further from the truth. Usually it takes fair concentration to see accurately. Also a psychic who is permanently open to auras would find it difficult to cross the road or stay out of the mental asylum.
Interpreting an aura is as, if not more, difficult than interpreting an ultrasound scan, the same image may indicate the presence of a physical problem, the scars of an old one or just a passing cloud of emotion.
Next, a psychic may miss a lot. A crystal ball gazer, we went to didn't spot half of a friend's ailments, but she kept insisting that she saw a bad back. Since the friend had many things but not a bad back, we laughed at what a fraud she was. Six months later, the friend developed a slipped disc. Why did the psychic see one problem and miss out on more obvious issues?
Also, even two genuine psychics will view the same phenomenon differently. For example, to my eyes, a friend who has been shouldering deep responsibility has a dark cavity on the left shoulder, to my wife's eyes it is a sort of murkiness, to a third what's significant lies in a weakening of the liver. American Shamans like Castaneda see the aura as a globe with 4 sectors. Relatively distinct from most Tantric descriptions of it.
The fact is aura seeing and for that matter all perception happens through biological and cultural conditioning. A child may accurately view Einstein's notes of E=MC squared, yet conclude he's learning the alphabet. To a 15 th century shaman it could be a spell. Also the underlying consciousness one is viewing isn't passive, but often reacts actively. When we usually look at trees they don't usually say hello, but through aura eyes they may smile or scowl depending on what they think of you!
Like most talents in life, most psychic gifts take years to grow. Given the distrust to all things psychic, the initial phases can be fairly disturbing, and at the core of true seeing lies the development of inner trust. This can be fairly easily thrown off balance, severely distorted or even permanently impaired by stifling environments, weird world views, strong scepticism, strident beliefs.
Not for spies. Today, many are taken up by the spook possibilities of auric vision and remote scanning. Especially the purported CIA project that was aborted. It reportedly had a 20% effectiveness. The fact is these are extraordinarily silly. A psychic is merely one who wears a few less clothes of conventional assumptions than us and so is more sensitive to the weather. Using him in a war situation is like throwing a half-clad child into ice. At best he'll go numb in days, worse, the picture he'll receive could be dangerously distorted.
Most discussions on auras are often tied up with being able to predict illness, sense hidden purposes, delve out secrets…I believe that all that is tertiary. It's more truly a reminder of what virtually every religion would like to remind us, that we are beings of spirit, that our thoughts and feelings are wings, that our prayers have force... that we are not grey beings in a grey world. A friend who had just conceived has this brilliant spiral in her womb. The ultrasound may track its development better than our visions. But the aura sight will help remind her of how precious the gift she bears.
There is a magical and mysterious world populated by creatures that are made of flame. But it's not floating up there in heaven. Or there in the planet next to Alpha Centaurii. But right out there in the street where you live. In your family. And you know one of these magical creatures intimately. Yourself.