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 52

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 52:

नीत्वा तां कुलकुण्डलीं लयवशाज्जीवेन सार्धं सुधीर्
  मोक्षे धामनि शुद्धपद्मसदने शैवे परे स्वामिनी ।
ध्यायेदिष्टफलप्रदां भगवतीं चैतन्यरूपां परां
  योगीन्द्रो गुरुपादपद्मयुगलालम्बी समाधौ यतः ॥ ५२ ॥

nītvā tāṃ kulakuṇḍalīṃ layavaśājjīvena sārdhaṃ sudhīr
  mokṣe dhāmani śuddhapadmasadane śaive pare svāminī |
dhyāyediṣṭaphalapradāṃ bhagavatīṃ caitanyarūpāṃ parāṃ
  yogīndro gurupādapadmayugalālambī samādhau yataḥ
|| 52 ||

The wise and excellent Yogī rapt in ecstasy,[1] and devoted to the Lotus feet of his Guru, should lead Kula-Kuṇḍalī along with Jīva to Her Lord the Para-śiva in the abode of Liberation within the pure Lotus, and meditate upon Her who grants all desires as the Caitanya-rūpā-Bhagavatī.[2] When he thus leads Kula-Kuṇḍalinī, he should make all things absorb into Her.

Commentary by Śrī-Kālīcaraṇa:

Having spoken of the Dhyāna-Yoga of Kuṇḍalinī, he now speaks of the Samādhi-Yoga of Kuṇḍalinī. The substance of this verse is that the wise (Sudhī) and excellent Yogī (Yogīndra) intent on the attainment of Samādhi should first of all lead Her who has been roused, who then, taking with Her Jīva, reaches the Brahmadvāra, causing the absorption into Herself of everything as She moves along. When She who is the Iṣṭa- devatā and the giver of all good fruits is led up to Her Lord and is united with Him, the Para Bindu, She should be meditated upon as the Supreme (Parā, i.e., Para-Bindu, Paraṃ-bindu-śvarūpaṃ). When She has been led to Her Lord Śiva, the Para-Bindu, and has been united with Him, She should be meditated upon as the Iṣṭa-devatā who grants good fruit.

He should there (in the Sahasrāra) dissolve the Para-Bindu in the Cidātmā,[3] which is in the void within the Bindu, and should meditate upon Her (Kuṇḍalinī) as Śuddha-caitanya-rūpā.[4] He thus realizes the identity of Jīva and Ātmā, being conscious within himself that “I am He” (So’ham); and having dissolved the Citta he remains unmoved, by reason of his full and all-pervading Knowledge.

The Revered Preceptor (Śrīmat-Ācārya)[5] has said: “The wise one should absorb the Kāraṇa[6] Ma-kāra into the Cidātmā, and realize: ‘I am Cidātmā, I am eternal, pure (Śuddha), enlightened (Buddha), liberated (Mukta); I am That which alone is (Sat), without a second (Advaya); I am Supreme Bliss wherein is all bliss and Vāsudeva’s very self, I am—Om.[7] Having realized that the mind (Citta) is the discriminator, he absorbs it into its witness.[8] Let not the mind (Citta) be distracted when it is absorbed into Cidātmā. Let him (the Sādhaka) rest in the fullness of his Illumination like a deep and motionless ocean.”

“Ma-kāra[9]: This is said for those who are Sādhakas of the Praṇava. By Kāraṇa is here meant Para-Bindu. By “I am Vāsudeva” (Vāsudevo’ham) the Vaiṣṇavas are alluded to (vide ante, vv. 44, 49).

We thus see that the worshipper of any particular Devatā should realize that Kuṇḍalinī is one with the object of his worship. In Praṇava worship, for instance, the worshipper realizes his identity with the Oṃkāra; in other forms of worship he realizes his identity with Kuṇḍalinī, who is embodied by all the Mantras of different worshippers.

The Tantrāntara says: “The King among Yogīs becomes full of Brahma-bliss by making his mind the abode of the great void which is set in the light of the Sun, Moon, and Fire.”[10]

Lead Kuṇḍalī along with Jīva” (Jīvena sārdham nitvā).—The Jīvātmā which is the Haṃsa, in form like the tapering flame of a light, should be brought to the Mūlādhāra from its place in the heart, and then led along with Kuṇḍalinī.

Abode of Liberation” (Mokṣe dhāmani).—This qualifies Pure Lotus (Śuddha-padma).[11] It is here that Liberation is attained.

Devoted to the two Lotus feet of his Guru” (Guru-pāda-padma-yugalālambī).—This qualifies Yogīndra (excellent yogī). The Author means that Siddhi can only be attained by the instructions of the Guru. The Sādhaka should therefore seek shelter at his feet.

Rapt in ecstasy” (Samādhau yataḥ).—The Kulārṇava-Tantra (ix, 9) defines Samādhi thus: “Samādhi is that kind of contemplation[12] in which there is neither ‘here’ nor ‘not here’ which is illumination and is still like the ocean, and which is the Void Itself.”[13]

Also elsewhere: “The Munis declare that the constant realization of the identity of the Jīvātmā with the Paramātmā is Samādhi, which is, one of the eight limbs (Aṅga) of Yoga.”[14] Patañjali defines “Yoga to be the control of the modifications (or functions) of Citta (Yogas-citta-vṛtti- nirodha [nirodhaḥ]).”

Rapt (Yataḥ)—i.e., he who constantly and with undivided attention practises it.

When he leads Kula-Kuṇḍalinī he should make all things absorb into her” (Laya-vaśāt-nītvā).[15]—Below is shown the process of absorption:

“O Deveśī, the Laṃ-kāra[16] should next be meditated upon in the Triangle; there should also Brahmā and then Kāma-deva be contemplated. Having fixed Jīvā there with the utterance of the Praṇava, let him lead the Woman, who is longing for the satisfaction of Her passion,[17] to the place of Her husband,[18] O Queen of the Devās. O Great Queen, O beloved of my life, let him think of Ghrāṇa (Pṛthivī) and meditate on the adorable Śakti Ḍākinī. O Daughter of the Mountain, O Queen of the Gaṇas,[19] O Mother, all these should be led into Pṛthivī.”

Also: “Then, O Great Queen, the blessed Pṛthivī should be absorbed into Gandha, and then, O Daughter of the Mountain King, the Jīvātmā should be drawn (from the heart) with the Praṇava (Mantra), and the Sādhaka should lead Prāṇa,[20] Gandha,[21] and Kuṇḍalinī into Svādhiṣṭhāna with the Mantra So'haṃ.”

And also: “In its (Svādhiṣṭhāna) pericarp should Varuṇa and Hari[22] be meditated upon. And, O Beauteous One, after meditating on Rākiṇī[23] all these and Gandha (smell) should be absorbed into Rasa (taste), and Jīvātmā, Kuṇḍalinī, and Rasa, should be moved into Maṇipūra.”

And again: “O thou of beautiful hips[24] (Suśroṇi), in its[25] pericarp the Sādhaka should meditate upon Fire, and also on Rudra, who is the destroyer of all, as being in company with the Śakti Lākinī and beautiful to behold. And, O Śivé [Śivā?], let him next meditate on the lustrous sense of vision, and absorb all these and Rasa (taste) into Rūpa (Sight), and thereafter lead Jīvātmā, Kuṇḍalinī, and Rūpa, into Anāhata.”

And again: “Let him meditate in its[26] pericarp on Vāyu, who dwells in the region of Jīva, as also on the Yoni-maṇḍala, which is made beauteous by the presence of the Bāṇa-Liṅga. Let him there also meditate on Vāyu[27] as united with Rākiṇī and touch (Tvākindriya or Sparśa), and there, O Thou who purifiest, Jīvā, Kuṇḍalinī, and Rūpa, should be placed in Sparśa (Toucḥ), and then Jīvā, Kuṇḍalinī, and Sparśa, should be placed in the Viśuddha.”

And again: “Let him meditate in its[28] pericarp on the Ethereal region,[29] and on Śiva accompanied by Sākinī, and having placed Speech (Vāk), and Hearing (Śrotra), in Ether, let him, O Daughter of the Mountain, place all these and Sparśa in Śabda (Sound), and place Jīvā Kuṇḍalinī, and Śabda, in the Ājñā-Cakra.”

The above passages are from Kaṅkālamālinī-Tantra.

“Triangle” in the above is the Triangle in the Mūlādhāra, from which the commencement is made. Laṃ-kāra should be meditated upon as within this Triangle. Leading of Jīvā with the use of the Praṇava is a variant practice. “Visarga-nāśakāmiṇī by Visarga is meant the agitation caused by an excess of Kāma (desire). The compound word means She who is striving to satisfy Her desire (Kāma). The bringing of Jīvā by the Haṃsa-Mantra is, according to the teaching of some, “Place of her husband” (Patyau pade): This is the Bindu, the Śiva in the Lotus of a thousand petals. Sādhaka should lead Her there.

The Bīja Laṃ, Brahmā, Kāmadeva, Ḍākinī-Śakti, and the sense of smell (Ghrāṇendriya)—all these are absorbed into Pṛthivī, and Pṛthivī is absorbed into the Gandha-tattva. Jīvātmā, Kuṇḍalinī, and Gandha- tattva, are drawn upward by the Praṇava, and brought into the Svādhiṣṭhāna by the So'haṃ Mantra. This is the process to be applied right througḥ. After leading Jīvā, Kuṇḍalinī, and Śabda-tattva, into Ājñā- Cakra, Śabda-tattva should be absorbed into Ahaṃkāra which is there, and Ahaṃkāra into Mahat-tattva, and Mahat-tattva into Sūkṣma-prakṛti, whose name is Hiraṇya-garbha, and Prakṛti again into Para-Bindu.

The Mantra-tantra-prakāśa says: “Let Vyoma (Ether) be absorbed into Ahaṃkāra, and the latter with Śabda into Mahat, and Mahat again, into the unmanifest (Avyakta), supreme (Para), Cause (Kāraṇa), of all the Śakti. Let the Sādhaka think attentively that all things beginning with Pṛthivī are absorbed into Viṣṇu,[30] the Cause who is Sat, Cit, and Ānanda.”

That is, Mahat, which is all Śaktis (Sarva-Śakti), should be absorbed into Sūkṣma-prakṛti, who is known by the name of Hiraṇya-garbha, and that Prakṛti should be absorbed into Para, by which is meant the Cause in the form of Para-Bindu. In this connection the Ācārya has laid down the rule that the gross should be dissolved into the subtle.[31] Cf.: “It should be attentively considered and practised that the gross is absorbed into the subtle, and all into Cidātmā.” The absorption of all things, beginning with Pṛthivī and ending with Anāhata,[32] takes place in the aforesaid manner; that being so, the feet and the sense of Smell (Ghrāṇendriya) and all pertaining to Pṛthivī are dissolved in the place of Pṛthivī as they inhere in Pṛthivī.

Similarly, the hands, the sense of Taste (Rasanendriya), and all that pertains to Water, are dissolved in the region of Water. In the region of Fire (Vahni-sthāna) are dissolved the anus, the sense of Vision (Cakṣurindriya), and all that pertains to Fire. In the region of Air (Vāyusthāna) the genitals, the, sense of Touch (Tvākindriya), and all that pertains to Vāyu, are dissolved. In the place of Ākāśa are dissolved the sense of Speech (Vāk) and hearing (Śrotrendriya) and all that pertains to Ākāśa (Ether).

In the Ājñā-Cakra the dissolution of Ahaṃkāra, Mahat, Sūkṣma- prakṛti, and so forth, takes place, each dissolving into its own immediate cause. The letters of the alphabet should then be absorbed in the reverse order (Viloma), beginning with Kṣa-kāra and ending with Akāra. By “all things” it is meant that “Bindu,” “Bodhinī” and so forth, which have been shown above to be causal bodies (Kāraṇa Śarīra), should be dissolved in a reversed order (Vilomena) into the Primordial Cause (Ādi-kāraṇa)—the Para-Bindu. Thus the Brahman alone remains.

The process is thus described: “The Sādhaka, having thus made his determination (Saṃkalpa), should dissolve[33] the letters of the Alphabet in the Nyāsa-sthāna.[34] The dissolution of Kṣa is in La, and La in Ha; Ha, again, is dissolved into Sa, and Sa into Ṣa, and thus it goes on till A is reached. This should be very carefully done.”

Also[35]: “Dissolve the two letters into Bindu, and dissolve Bindu into Kalā. Dissolve Kalā in Nāda, and dissolve Nāda in Nādānta,[36] and this into Unmanī, and Unmanī into Viṣṇu-vaktra[37]; Viṣṇu-vaktra should be dissolved into Guru-vaktra.[38] Let the excellent Sādhaka then realize that all the letters are dissolved in Parama-Śiva.”

By Viṣṇu-vaktra is meant Puṃ-Bindu. “The Sūrya-Bindu is called the Face, and below are Moon and Fire.” “Bindu is said to be the Male, and Visarga is Prakṛti.”[39]

All these authorities imply the same thing, and go to prove that it is the “mouth of Viṣṇu” (Viṣṇu-vaktra) where dissolution should take place. The following from Keśavācārya[40] also leads to the same conclusion: “Lead Her (Unmanī) into the Male, which is the Bindu; lead Bindu into Parātmā, and Parātmā into Kāla-tattva, and this latter into Śakti, and Śakti into Cidātmā, which is the Supreme (Kevala), the tranquil (Śānta), and effulgent.”

We have seen that each dissolves into its own immediate cause. Nādānta is therefore dissolved in Vyāpikā-Śakti, the Vyāpikā-Śakti in Unmanī and Unmanī in Samānī[41] and Samānī in Viṣṇu-vaktra. When the letters have been thus dissolved, all the six Cakras are dissolved, as the petals of the Lotuses consist of letters.[42]

The Viśvasāra-Tantra says: “The petals of the Lotuses are the letters of the Alphabet, beginning with A.”[43] The Sammohana-Tantra[44] describes the dissolution[45] of the Lotuses and the petals thus: “Dissolve the letters from Va to Sa of the petals in Brahmā,[46] and dissolve Brahmā in the Lotus of six petals which contains the letters Ba to La, and which is called Svādhiṣṭhāna. Do this as the Guru directs.” And so forth. And ending with:

“The wise one should then dissolve it (Viśuddha) in the (Lotus of) two petals which contains the two letters Ha and Kṣa, and dissolve the two letters which are in the latter lotus into Bindu, and dissolve Bindu into Kalā.”[47]

We thus see that the four letters in the Mūlādhāra are dissolved therein and Mūlādhāra is dissolved in Svādhiṣṭhāna. Proceeding in this way till the Ājñā-Cakra is reached, the letters Ha and Kṣa which are there are also dissolved at this place. Then the Lotus itself is dissolved into Bindu, Bindu into Bodhinī, and proceeding in this way as already shown everything is dissolved, into Para-Bindu. When the Ājñā-Cakra is dissolved, all that it contains in its pericarp—Hākinī, Itara-Liṅga, Praṇava—are unable to exist without support, and therefore after the dissolution into Prakṛti these also are dissolved into Para-Bindu.

Footnotes and references:


Samādhi. Vide Introduction, and post. Commentary.


The Devī who is the Cit in all bodies.


The Brahman as Cit.


Pure Cit.


That is, Śaṃkarācārya.


That is, the Bindu is Ma-kāra. It is the Kāraṇa or Cause of all.


cidātmāhaṃ nitya-śuddha-buddha-mukta-sadavayaḥ | paramānanda-saṃdoho'haṃ vāsudevo’haṃ om iti ||


That is, the Ātmā, of which it is said Ātmā sākṣī ceta kevalo nirguṇaśca.


The Bindu is the Ma-kāra.


That is, in the region of the Sahasrāra. See v. 4 of the Pādukā- pañcaka.


Śaṃkara reads it as Śukla-padma, white lotus.


This is from Śāradā-Tilaka, Ch. XXV, v. 26.


Viśvanātha reads it as Naya-vaśāt.


Bīja of Pṛthivī.




That is, the Bindu in Sahasrāra.


Attendant (Upadevatā) on Śiva, of whom Gaṇeśa is the Lord.


Sic in text: Quaere Ghrāṇa or Prāṇa in sense of Haṃsa.


i.e., Viṣṇu.


Purāṇakariṇī—one of her names.


i.e., one who has a beautiful figure, the part being selected for the whole.


“Its”—i.e., of Maṇipūra-padma.


“Its”—i.e., of Anāhata-padma.


Vāyu here is Īśa the Lord of Air.






Viṣṇu is specified by this particular Tantra, but it may be any other Devatā who is the Iṣṭa-devatā of the Sādhaka.


Vide, v. 40 and Commentary under it.


This seems an error, for the last Mahābhūta Ākāśa is dissolved in Viśuddha.




The places where the Vanias have been placed in Mātṛkā-Nyāsa.


Here is shown the Anuloma process. The two letters are Ha and Kṣa.


i.e., that which is beyond Nāda. See Introduction.


Puṃ-Bindu; v. post.


That is, the mouth of the Supreme Bindu (cited from Śāradā-Tilaka, Ch. V, vv. 134-135). Also cf. Śāradā, Ch. XII, 123, and Kulārnava, IV, 76.


Cf. Śāradā, Ch. XXV, v. 51. Also Nityā-Ṣoḍaśikā, I, 201, and Kāma-Kalāvilāsa.


Also called Keśava-Bhāratī—a great Vaiṣṇava teacher who initiated Śrī-Caitanya the greatest among latter-day Vaiṣṇavas, into Saṃnyāsa or the path of Renunciation.


Sic. This is in conflict with other texts, according to which Unmanī is above Samānī.


Padma-dalānāṃ varṇa-mayatvāt.


Ādivarṇātmakaṃ patraṃ padmanām pārikīrtitaṃ.


Ch. IV. The passage cited also occurs in Śāradā-Tilaka, Ch. V, vv. 129-134.


That is, Mūlādhāra where Brahmā or Kamalāsana is.


That is, the Bindu of the Ājñā-Cakra is dissolved into Kuṇḍalinī.

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