The human aura extends out around the body from three to four feet, even from five to six feet in the case of more evolved souls. It is made up of a variety of vibratory rates or colors. Each area of the mind that awareness flows through reflects a change in these vibratory rates of colors in the human aura. When you have developed a certain psychic sight, by seeing through the eyes of the soul, you will be able to look at a person, see the aura around him and know immediately the area of the instinctive, intellectual or superconscious mind he is aware in at that particular time.
For instance, if someone's awareness was flowing through the realms of depression, that is, the area within the vast mind substance that contains the vibratory rate of depression, his aura would look rather gray, dim and dismal. If he was aware in the feeling of a beautiful love for all humanity, his aura would look light blue, fringed and tinged with yellow. However, if his love for humanity was of a superficial, emotional nature, being more idle talk and emotion than sub-superconscious compassion, his aura would be pink or reddish, telling you there was still a lot of instinctive fire, and should an upsetting circumstance occur, he could easily forget about universal love and become quite angry. Then the pink would turn to flaming red streaked with black. After this, if he were to feel remorseful about the emotional upheaval, the aura would turn to dark blue, and you could hardly see his face for the deep blue mist that would form around his body. If awareness was flowing through the area of the mind of inferiority and jealousy, the aura would be dark grayish-green in color. Someone with healing inclinations would have a pale green aura. A student increasing his intellectual knowledge would have an aura of brilliant yellow. The combinations are almost endless.
Several colors often appear in the aura at the same time. For example, the red of suppressed desire and seething anger might appear along with the yellow of intellectual involvement. This person's head would be surrounded in yellow, and the lower part of his body streaked in red. Even a touch of very dark green might appear, showing that jealousy caused his anger. A devotee sitting in meditation, diligently working within himself, will in the course of half an hour change the colors of his aura from three to four to five times, as he moves his awareness from the instinctive-intellectual areas into the brilliancy of subsuperconscious realms. His aura will take on shades of light blue and light yellow interlaced with white. Then as he moves into superconsciousness, rays of light from the central source of energy will begin to emerge from the core of his spine and flood out through his aura and penetrate the atmosphere of the room. You feel his presence as darshan. The sub of the subconscious mind, the home of deep-seated, often emotionally charged impressions, has an aura of its own deep within the outer aura that we have been describing. It is seen "within" the physical body itself and is different from the daily emotional-intellectual aura which appears around the physical body as a result of awareness being in one area of the mind or another. All the reactionary conditions of our past which are currently reacting in our subconscious mind are reflected in the colors of this inner subconscious aura.
The big question always arises, "How do we know whether or not we are seeing an aura, or if it is just our imagination?" The colors around the person are first seen within your own mind. You would not clearly see them around their physical body. Later, after becoming adjusted to this new form of sight, you may see colors around an individual's physical body. Where do these colors come from? All things in the mind are sound and color. Look around you and observe each vibratory rate of every physical object as having a sound as well as a color. Everything is sound. Everything is color. Everything is shape. Therefore, in the refined areas of the mind, all things are color and all things are sound, recognizable through the sixth sense of the all-seeing eye. This faculty is always awake. You only have to learn how to be aware of and use it, in a similar way an artist must learn to distinguish with his physical eyes between one shade of color and another and between the dimensions in a painting. The mystic learns how to use his already developed sixth sense, his third eye. It is used all the time, constantly, day in and day out, though not consciously. For example, someone may walk into your home. You look at them and say, "You are not feeling very well today. You seem disturbed." How do you know? Inside yourself you are seeing their aura. If they enter looking bright and shiny, you know how they feel inside because you see their aura.
Some people are born with psychic sight and maintain it throughout their lifetime. As this faculty was developed in a prior birth, the wisdom and understanding of its proper use comes naturally to them. But more commonly, psychic sight develops slowly, almost imperceptively, through an unbroken continuity of sadhana. Through the unveiling grace of Lord Siva we are allowed to see what needs to be seen at the proper time in our life when we can sustain the resultant reactions. Generally, if you do have this awakened inner perception of auras, you would only notice someone's aura if it were peculiarly dull or strongly radiant. A mystic who has control of this faculty does not generally see auras all of the time, but just when he wants to.
Auric cleansing: You as a devotee have often gone to the temple with your problems and placed them at the feet of the Deity. In the unseen world of the Devaloka what actually happens is that the Deity and His many devas work with your problems by working with your aura, most especially the inner aura, by disintegrating or clearing up any congestion they find. From the inner sanctum, they lighten the darker colors, which were created by traveling through troubled states of mind, infusing them with rays of white and violet light. We rarely see this happening, but we can certainly feel it, and we depart the temple feeling relieved and freed from congestion and worry.
You can also flood your aura with rays of white and violet light, just like the Deities and devas do. If you are in a negative mood because of having just become angry with somebody because you were jealous of them, there is a remedy that you can perform for yourself. Your aura is now brownish with murky, dirty green, possibly accented with black and red sparks. To counteract this heaviness, just add white. Visualize white light flooding out from the center of your spine into and through your aura. Visualize violet rays flooding into your new white aura, invigorating and cutting through the darkness. When you go, as pure awareness, right into the center of your spine and flood white mind-substance out into your aura, the white mixes with the black, and gray appears in your aura. Immediately you experience fear, but this emotion soon passes as more white enters the aura. The gray soon disappears. As still more white enters the aura, the flaming red of anger turns to the pink shades of tolerance and compassion. The dark browns and the murky dark green of jealousy turn to the emerald green of confidence and humility. A feeling of peace and contentment comes as the new colors react back on the emotions. It takes but a little effort on your part, a little concentration, persistence and faith in your ability to change your own mood by a positive effort of will. You have no doubt experienced difficulty in getting up in the morning. What is the remedy for this? Flood your aura with red, of course. A nice, bright red. It doesn't take much effort to visualize the color red. You will know that you have succeeded when all of a sudden your physical vitality awakens and you feel invigorated and ready to jump up for a wonderful day. All of us at one time or another experience mental laziness. What is the remedy? Simply flood your aura with yellow by visualizing yellow light all around you, and soon you will be drawn into the thinking area of the mind and be able to progressively pursue your studies. Visualizing orange strengthens your intellectual aggressiveness because red is added to the yellow.
If your child is crying uncontrollably and you can't get to sleep, what color would you bless him with? Would you get angry and yell, "Why don't you go to sleep! I told you, you're disturbing your father!" Flashes of red? The child would be terrified. No, you would harmonize the child's emotions with shades of blue and pale green. Beating, berating and insulting of children does permanent damage to their aura. C.W. Leadbeater described one case of a child tormented by a teacher. "The child's aura changed and twisted about horribly, and when it was still again, all the beautiful little shoots of lovely color had disappeared, and in their place were innumerable little scars, harm done which could not be cancelled in the present life." The colors of deep red, representing suppressed anger, and the grays and black of fear and hatred would now permanently predominate.
You can familiarize yourself with the individual physical, mental and spiritual effect of each color by simply looking at one color after another and experiencing the results. Each color and the emotions it reflects are like two sides of the same coin. Learn them so well that the thought of one immediately brings the idea of the other. For example, how do you feel when you enter a room that is painted blue? White? Yellow? Place before you a piece of paper of the color you wish to visualize. Look at the paper and then close your eyes and try to see the exact same color in your mind. Then open your eyes and look at the paper again and, with eyes still open, turn your head away from the paper and try to see the color in your conscious mind. Literally fill your mind with the color of the paper. After you have accomplished this exercise with one color, repeat it with another, then another and then another.
Protecting your aura: Each color has its own special protective qualities, which can be chosen to counteract or balance out the particular vibrations you are or will be experiencing. Let's take the example of protecting yourself from the auric emanations of persons who are ill, a condition you will encounter if you visit a hospital. You can easily counteract this influence by flooding your aura with colors of health and physical strength. This will not only protect you, but it will also improve the condition of those around you. How do you do this? Become aware of your spine and visualize a stream of white light in its center, from the base to the top of your head. Then mentally draw from this pure white light warm red and vibrant pink. As a healing power, visualize pale green surrounding the patient, a color many modern hospitals have adopted to invoke healing. To increase your vitality even more, visualize yourself effortlessly performing some strenuous physical or athletic feat, and you will soon feel the energy rising within you.
Bright oranges and yellows will bring a new energy which will enhance your intellect and protect you from being overpowered by the intellectual force of someone else. This is also a way to help overcoming shyness. Surrounded by a vibrant aura, charged with bright orange and yellow, you are a secure and confident individual, able to enter into discussion with a new self-assurance. The vibrations of others tend to rebound from your aura. You are relaxed and friendly, and intelligence pours forth uninhibitedly from you.
The colors used to harmonize and protect the emotional nature are light blue and violet. By flooding your aura with beautiful sky blue and vivid violet, you quiet your own lower emotions and feelings and become impervious to the negative feelings and moods of those around you. With the advent of these colors, your individual awareness is transported into the more refined, uplifting realms of the superconscious mind. Always remember that by flooding your aura with bright sky-blue and lavender you are automatically building an armor to protect yourself from their lower feelings and passions, such as anger, jealousy, hatred and lust. So, now make a study of bright, clear blues and violets and select the ones that appeal to you the most. Intuitively you will know which shades are best for you. Beautiful shades of blue and violets will always be found in the auras of successful teachers, missionaries, social workers and those who work among those of lesser emotional and mental refinement than their own. When someone becomes angry at you, or you become angry with someone, they are actually cursing you astrally, or you them. This is because powerful vibrations of red and black, grays and muddy, brownish greens are being sent from one person to another. Truly, this hurts, and bad karma is made.
Our holy scriptures tell us that we must purify our intellects. That means that we must lighten up the colors that are within our subconscious and sub of the subconscious mind. When the intellect is finally purified, the outer aura shows many pastel colors in and through it. The permanent, inner aura will be filled with beautiful patterns of golden yellow, blue and lavender. But once the intellect is purified, good mental maintenance must occur daily so that congested areas are not recreated out of habit. This is the great value of a regulated religious life and daily sadhana.
To keep the colors of our subconscious and sub-subconscious refined, our religion tells us to go on a long pilgrimage once a year. This means we take our inner aura that has been building up through the year and place it at the feet of the Deity at some far-off temple. While on the pilgrimage, we are able to collect all its colors, emotions and deep feelings and leave them, along with our offering of fruit and flowers, at the God's holy feet to be disintegrated by Him. To keep the colors of our subconscious and sub-subconscious refined, our religion tells us to read scriptures daily because their high-minded thoughts and concepts bring purple, lavender, pink and yellow into our aura.
To keep the colors of our subconscious and sub-subconscious refined, our religion tells us to perform puja daily to personally invoke the higher beings in the Devaloka at our own home shrine and obtain their blessings. It may interest you to know that such blessings lighten not only the aura of each one in the household but also the physical building itself. To keep the colors of our subconscious and sub-subconscious refined, our religion tells us to provide the essential sacraments in life for the children so that the permanent impressions of these special combinations of color and sound are placed into the inner aura of the sub-subconscious mind and added to the ones that are already there from previous impressions.
As a child, Barbara Brennan would practice walking blindfold in the woods of her family's Wisconsin farm. "I would feel the trees long before I could touch them," she recalls. "They were larger than they appeared to the visible eye." She learned to see this energy field, as well as that around small animals. Later in life she earned a master's degree in atmospheric physics and then worked for NASA for a number of years. Unsatisfied, she trained as a counselor and started helping people. Her forgotten ability to see energy fields returned. "I became skeptical and confused. Were they really there? Did they have meaning? Was it wishful thinking, or was I experiencing another dimension of reality that had meaning, was orderly and was very helpful in understanding my present life circumstances and, in fact, life as a whole." She persevered and sought out the esoteric literature, such as that of the great theosophist, C.W. Leadbeater, which confirmed her experiences.
Her clairvoyant ability to see auras helped her counseling work immensely, for she was able to diagnose physical, emotional, mental and spiritual difficulties just by observing the aura of her patients. Especially she could see how a person's disease was actually caused by emotional and mental blocks. Some of what she has seen is depicted in the paintings below. As with other clairvoyants, who can always be found among the general population, she teaches that anyone can develop the ability; indeed, everyone already possesses it to some extent.
In his book Man visible and Invisible, published in 1925, the great psychic and theosophist, C.W. Leadbeater, illustrated and explained at length his profound experience of the human aura. His was not a new discovery. But in the past such psychic revelations, which have been experienced by individuals of all religions, were kept secret, passed privately from guru to disciple. Leadbeater and his fellow theosophists, Annie Besant and Madam Blavatsky, had advanced clairvoyant abilities, and were among the first to put in writing and attempt to illustrate the human aura, the chakras and thought forms. At about the same time, Swami Panchadasi of India came to America and published in 1912 The Human Aura, an equally profound exposition.
Leadbeater sought not to establish a new religion. Rather, he wrote, he wanted to awaken "the inner faculties as yet latent in the majority of mankind" so that each person could independently investigate and verify the worlds beyond the physical plane.
"I am perfectly aware that the world at large is not yet convinced of the existence of this power of clairvoyant sight," wrote Leadbeater. "But I also know that all who have really studied the question have found the evidence for it irresistible. To those who are daily in the habit of exercising this higher vision in a hundred different ways, the denial of the majority that such sight is possible naturally seems ridiculous. It is as if a blind man came up to us and assured us there was no such thing as ordinary physical sight, and that we were deluded in supposing that we possessed this faculty."