Five doors

The Chandogya Upanishad says that there are five doors to

the heart, presided over by five deities, elaborated M.K.

Srinivasan in a discourse. The Eastern door is prana,

representing the eye, whose presiding deity is Aditya. He

who meditates on Aditya will get good food, and will also be


The Southern gate is vyana, that is the ear, and the

presiding deity is the moon. He who meditates on the moon

will be wealthy. The Western gate of the heart is apana, and

that is speech. The presiding deity in this case is fire. He who

meditates on fire as the lustre of Vedic study, will get the

boon of pursuing Vedic studies. The Northern gate is

samana, and indicates the mind. The presiding deity is

parjanya, and he who meditates on this deity will be blessed

with fame. The upper door to the heart is udana. The deity in

this case is Akasa. He who meditates on Akasa will have

vigour and greatness.

Meditation upon the five doors of the heart is a part of

Brahmopasana. The five deities, namely Aditya, chandra,

agni, parjanya and Akasa, which are the presiding deities for

each of the doors, are Brahmapurushas. These five deities

are the doorkeepers of the world of Brahman. They lead us to the Supreme Brahman. What these symbolically suggest is that the ears, eyes, speech, nose, and mind are all hurdles in our path to attaining the Brahman who resides in the heart.

So he who conquers these is able to attain the One who is in

his heart. Sage Sandilya declares that the Paramatma is the

doer of all actions and is possessed of all auspiciousness.

This Paramatma resides in the heart, and this Paramatma is

the same as Brahman.