"The ancients placed the astral soul of man, [[psuche]], or his self-consciousness, in the pit of the stomach. The Brahmans shared this belief with Plato and other philosophers. Thus we find in the fourth verse of the second Nabhanedishtha Hymn it is said: "Hear, O sons of the gods (spirits) one who speaks through his navel (nabha) for he hails you in your dwellings!"
Many of the Sanscrit scholars agree that this belief is one of the most ancient among the Hindus. The modern fakirs, as well as the ancient gymnosophists, unite themselves with their atman and the Deity by remaining motionless in contemplation and concentrating their whole thought on their navel. As in modern somnambulic phenomena, the navel was regarded as "the circle of the sun," the seat of internal divine light. Is the fact of a number of modern somnambulists being enabled to read letters, hear, smell, and see, through that part of their body to be regarded again as a simple "coincidence," or shall we admit at last that the old sages knew something more of physiological and psychological mysteries than our modern Academicians?
In modern Persia, when a "magician" (often simply a mesmerizer) is consulted upon occasions of theft and other puzzling occurrences, he makes his manipulations over the pit of his stomach, and so brings himself into a state of clairvoyance. Among the modern Parsis, remarks a translator of the Rig-vedas, there exists a belief up to the present day that their adepts have a flame in their navel, which enlightens to them all darkness and discloses the spiritual world, as well as all things unseen, or at a distance. They call it the lamp of the Deshtur, or high priest; the light of the Dikshita (the initiate), and otherwise designate it by many other names."
Från Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled , 1877, s. XXXIX.