The significance and effect of practicing the Shambhavi Mudra depends on the frequency of practice and the predisposition and karma of the practitioner. Generally speaking, practicing the Shambhavi Mudra stimulates and opens up the third eye, which is located between the eyebrows. The third eye is also known as the Ajna Chakra. When this chakra is open, a Yogi or Yogini is more readily able to communicate with a teacher, guru or other spiritual guide. He or she may also develop the ability to read minds, become omniscient and even align with Shiva and Shakti in creating, maintaining, destroying and then re-creating the three planes of existence.
Awakening the Ajna Chakra, through the regular and committed practice of Shambhavi Mudra, will also help a devotee to become more immersed in oneness with the indwelling divinity that resides in the heart. Practicing Shambhavi Mudra in conjunction with Trataka, or steady gazing, and specific pranayama exercises will increase the effectiveness of all three practices and will eventually yield an awareness of the consciousness that pervades all of reality. Another name for Shambhavi Mudra is Bhrumadhya Drishti, which means, “gazing at the center point between the eyebrows.” Shambhavi is also known as the consort or wife of the great Hindu god, Shiva. In the Hindu scriptures, Shiva instructed his consort, Shambhavi, to practice the Shambhavi Mudra in order to obtain divine wisdom and power.
Neurologists have determined that each eye is connected to the opposite side of the brain. The right eye is directly connected to the left side of the brain, and the left eye is connected to the right side of the brain. When the practice of Shambhavi Mudra is sustained for some time, the left and right sides of the brain balance and integrate with each other. The integration helps the Yoga practitioner to expand his or her normal range of awareness. This expanded state of awareness enables a Yogi or Yogini to penetrate into the subtle levels of reality that are normally not accessible to most people. With this expanded state of awareness comes an understanding of the interconnectedness of the web of life and a reverence for all life forms, including one’s self.
Recently, a collaborative effort between the Indian Institute of Technology and the Neurology Departments at the Ganga Ram Hospital in India have determined that a committed and regular practice of Shambhavi Mudra significantly increased the theta and delta brainwaves activities of the participants in the study. Researches believe that this increase in theta and delta brainwaves indicates a pronounced state of relaxation and an enhanced ability to focus. The conclusion of the study was that the practice of the Shambhavi Mudra, or eyebrow-center gazing, enabled the participants to more easily connect with the wisdom of their own individual consciousness and the collective unconsciousness overall.