What Is a Gut Feeling? Is It True Intuition?


What is the difference between intuition at the spiritual eye, heart, and abdomen? Most people I know refer to intuition as a gut feeling, but I feel intuition as an inner knowing in the heart area. Would sudden inspiration be the spiritual eye or crown chakra?

—A, Australia


Dear Friend,

Thank you for your question. My name is Nayaswami Savitri. I have been studying the chakras and teaching about them for over 30 years and I find them to be endlessly fascinating. I’ll answer your questions as best as I can.

It is my understanding that each chakra has its own “flavor” of consciousness and intuition—each one specializing in some particular way of receiving different kinds of messages or guidance. For example, the heart chakra, being the center of our emotions, would tend to offer intuition of a more emotional type—more like a strong feeling about something, rather than a clear, intellectual thought about it.

One set of instructions which Yogananda often taught was to use the heart chakra as a receiving station. He suggested sending out prayers with strong energy at the spiritual eye (as an energy broadcasting station), and then waiting to receive answers in the heart chakra. That’s another way of looking at the heart’s potential to receive guidance. Swami Kriyananda often taught us that “… the heart has its own specialized kind of intelligence. Pay attention to what it can tell you!”

And yes, there is that common expression of: “I have a gut feeling about something,” implying that one of the lower chakras is able to receive information of a very basic intuitive type, bypassing the brain. It’s a strange concept in a way. How could our intestines (guts) be involved in receiving intuitive messages? Of course, it is not speaking of physical organs, but rather of the intelligent energy and life-force in the chakras.

Yogananda described intuition is “the soul’s power of knowing God.” From this definition, we’d have to say that the most important type or highest of intuition must come at the 6th chakra, specifically through the light and/or sound of AUM perceived at the spiritual eye in deep meditation.

Yogananda also called intuition a “sixth sense, wherein we receive information in a different way than we usually receive it through regular senses.” 4 of the 5 regular senses are located in the sixth chakra’s area of influence (seeing, smelling, tasting, and hearing) so one might extrapolate from that fact that a 6th sense (intuition) could well be focalized in the sixth chakra area also.

Yogananda always taught that the best way to develop intuition is through meditation (specifically the techniques of Kriya Yoga). “Meditate deeply, then at the close of your meditations, set aside all techniques and wait calmly, enjoying the peaceful after-effects that meditation can bring. It is then that answers to your questions and prayers will best be able to get through to you from God and our own Higher Self (same thing).

In my experience, sudden inspiration, especially deep spiritual guidance, seems to come to me as a flash in the 6th chakra, but is backed up by emotional intuition from the heart and that almost inexplicable gut feeling in the lower chakras. So it’s not just one thing.

I think the best answer to your question is that it is not “is it this chakra or that one” but rather a “yes to more than one chakra” situation. This is often the case with many aspects of the spiritual path. The Western mind is trained in Aristotelian logic (it’s got to be either this or that, but both things can’t be true at the same time). Eastern philosophy is very different and prefers to offer the idea that many things which are seemingly opposite can be true at the same time, depending on how you look at it. It’s a very subtle way of thinking and takes some getting used to.

You mentioned the crown chakra. In Yogananda’s teachings, he says the 7th chakra has one purpose only and that is to serve as the gateway to final liberation (no more reincarnation is necessary). Final liberation is achieved through superconscious union with God in a state of samadhi. Yogananda teaches that it is best NOT to work with the 7th chakra until the lower 6 chakras (and especially the 6th) are fully purified and all the prana is running through them in an inward and upward might river of light (kundalini).

At that point, a channel of energy opens between the 6th and 7th chakra and your inner journey is over—you are free forever.

If you’re interested in more, you might want to explore my books on the chakras: Chakras for Starters and Through the Chakras, both available at Crystal Clarity Publishers; or my website, www.savitrisimpson.com.

In Divine Friendship,
Nayaswami Savitri