Shat-cakra-nirupana (the six bodily centres)

by Arthur Avalon | 1919 | 46,735 words | ISBN-10: 8178223783 | ISBN-13: 9788178223780

This is the English translation of the Shat-cakra-nirupana, or “description of the six centres”, representing an ancient book on yoga written in the 16th century by Purnananda from Bengal. This book investigates the six bodily centres famously known as Chakras. The text however actually forms the sixth chapter of the Shri-tattva-cintamani, compiled...

Verse 2

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 2:

तन्मध्ये चित्रिणी सा प्रणवविलासिता योगिनां योगगम्या
  लूतातन्तूपमेया सकलसरसिजान् मेरुमध्यान्तरस्थान् ।
भित्त्व देदिप्यते तद्-ग्रथन-रचनया शुद्ध-बोध-स्वरूपा
  तनमध्ये ब्रह्मनाडी हरमुख-कुहरदादि-देवान्तरात्मा ॥ २ ॥

tanmadhye citriṇī sā praṇavavilāsitā yogināṃ yogagamyā
  lūtātantūpameyā sakalasarasijān merumadhyāntarasthān
bhittva dedipyate tad-grathana-racanayā śuddha-bodha-svarūpā
  tanamadhye brahmanāḍī haramukha-kuharadādi-devāntarātmā
|| 2 ||

Inside her[1] is Citriṇī, who is lustrous with the lustre of the Praṇava[2] and attainable in Yoga by Yogīs. She (Citriṇī) is subtle as a spider’s thread, and pierces all the Lotuses which are placed within the backbone, and is pure intelligence.[3] She (Citriṇī) is beautiful by reason of these (Lotuses) which are strung on her. Inside her (Citriṇī) is the Brahmanāḍī,[4] which extends from the orifice of the mouth of Hara[5] to the place beyond, where Ādideva[6] is.

Commentary by Śrī-Kālīcaraṇa:

Inside Her” (Tanmadhye)—inside Vajrā.

Lustrous with the lustre of the Praṇava” (Praṇava-vilāsitā).—She absorbs the luminous character of the Praṇava in Ājñā-cakra when she passes through it. Cf. v. 37, post.

Like a spider’s thread” (lūtā-tantu-upameyā).—She is fine like the spider’s thread.

She pierces all the Lotuses” etc, (Sakala-sarasijān merumadhyāntara- sthān bhittvā dedīpyate).—She pierces the pericarp of the six Lotuses, and shines like a thread strung with gems.

There is a passage quoted as from the fourth Kāṇḍa of the Kalpa- Sūtra, and explained to mean: “In the hollow channel within Citriṇī are six Lotuses, and on the petals of these the Mahādevī Bhujaṅgī move about (viharanti)

But this text, as it has given a plural verb to Bhujāṅgī[7] in the singular, seems to be incorrect. But if it be said that it is the word of Śiva, and that the plural is used as singular, it would then have to be understood that the locative in the phrase “In the channel within Citriṇī” is used as an instrumental, and the correct meaning of the passage would in that case be “that Bhujaṅgī goes along the channel within Citriṇī. And as She passes in her upward movement She pierces the Cakras, and moves about on the petals of the Cakras.” Or it may also mean “that Bhujaṅgī, goes along the the hollow of the Citriṇī, and moves about on the petals of the six Lotuses within Suṣuṃnā, and at length goes to Sahasrāra.”

From the above authority it is not to be concluded that the six Lotuses are in the hollow of Citriṇī.[8]

Inside Her” (Tan-madhye).—Within Citriṇī is Brahma-nāḍī. The word Nāḍī here means a channel (Vivara). It is derived from the root “Nada”, (Nada gatau) motion. The word Brahma-nāḍī means the channel by which Kuṇḍalinī goes from the Mūlādhāra to the place of Parama-Śiva. Kuṇḍaliṇī is a form of the Śabda-Brahman.[9] From this it is certain that the inside of Citriṇī is hollow, and there is no other Nāḍī inside her.

The orifice of the mouth of Hara” (Hara-mukha-kuhara).—The orifice at the top of the Svayaṃbhū-Liṅga in the Mūlādhāra. Ādi-deva is the supreme Bindu in the pericarp of the thousand-petalled Lotus.

The rest of the verse requires no explanation.[10]

Footnotes and references:


That is, inside Vajrā, which is, again, within Suṣuṃnā.


The mantra “Oṃ”.


Śuddha-bodha-svarūpā. From her is derived Jñāna by those who are pure (Śaṃkara).


The Brahma-nāḍī is not a Nāḍī separate from Citriṇī, but the channel in the latter.


Śiva; here the Svayaṃbhū-Liṅga.


The Para-Bindu: v. ib. The Brahma-nādī reaches the proximity of, but not the Ādi-deva Himself.


Lit., “Serpent,” a name of Kuṇḍalinī.


Viśvanātha, quoting from Māyā-Tantra, says that all the six lotuses are attached to the Citriṇī (Citriṇī-grathita [grathitam]).


Śabda-Brahma-rūpā Kuṇḍalinī. The Śabda-brahman (see Introduction) is the Caitanya in all beings.


Śaṃkara reads this verse in a slightly modified form, but the meaning is practically the same, the modifications being of a verbal character only.

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