Sat-Cakra-Nirupana

 

By Purnananda Swami (ca 1577)

[This is the classical tantric text that was the subject of Jung (and Hauer's) lectures on Kundalini Yoga. The translation from the Sanskrit is by John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon), from his book "The Serpent Power".]

MULADHARA

Preliminary verse

Now I speak of the first sprouting shoot (of the Yoga plant) of complete realization of the Brahman, which is to be achieved, according to the Tantras, by means of the six Cakras and so forth in their proper order.

Verse 1

In the space outside the Meru, placed on the left and the right, are the two Siras, Sasi and Mihira. The Nadi Susumna, whose substance is the threefold Gunas, is in the middle. She is the form of Moon, Sun, and Fire; Her body, a string of blooming Dhatura flowers, extends to the middle of the Kanda to the Head, and the Vajra inside Her extends, shining, from the Medhra to the Head.

Verse 2

Inside her is Citrini, who is lustrous with the lustre of the Pranava and attainable in Yoga by Yogis. She (Citrini) is subtle as a spider's thread, and pierces all the Lotuses which are placed within the backbone, and is pure intelligence. She (Citrini) is beautiful by reason of these (Lotuses) which are strung on her. Inside her (Citrini) is the Brahmanadi, which extends from the orifice of the month of Hara to the place beyond, where Adi-deva is.

Verse 3

She is beautiful like a chain of lightening and fine like a (lotus) fibre, and shines in the minds of sages. She is extremely subtle; the awakener of pure knowledge; the embodiment of all Bliss, whose true nature is pure Consciousness. The Brahma-dvara shines in her mouth. This place in the entrance to the region sprinkled by ambrosia, and is called the Knot, as also the mouth of Susumna.

Verse 4

Next we come to the Adhara Lotus. It is attached to the mouth of the Susumna, and is placed below the genitals and above the anus. It has four petals of crimson hue. Its head (mouth) hangs downwards. On its petals are the four letters from Va to Sa, of the shining colour of gold.

Verse 5

In this (Lotus) is the square region (Cakra) of Prthivi, surrounded by eight shining spears. It is of a shining yellow colour and beautiful like lightening, as is also the Bija of Dhara which is within.

Verse 6

Ornamented with four arms and mounted on the King of Elephants, He carries on his lap the child Creator, resplendent like the young Sun, who has four lustrous arms, and the wealth of whose lotus-face is four-fold.

Verse 7

Here dwells the Devi Dakini by name; her four arms shine with beauty, and her eyes are brilliant red. She is resplendent like the lustre of many Suns rising at one and the same time. She is the carrier of the revelation of the ever-pure Intelligence.

Verse 8

Near the mouth of the Nadi called Vajra, and in the pericap (of the Adhara Lotus), there constantly shines the beautifully luminous and soft, lightening-like triangle which is Karmarupa, and known as Traipura. There is always and everywhere the Vayu called Kandarpa, who is of a deeper red than the Bandhujiva flower, and is the Lord of Beings and resplendent like ten million suns.

Verse 9

Inside it (the triangle) is Svayambhhu in His Linga-form, beautiful like molten gold, with His head downwards. He is revealed by Knowledge and Meditation, and is of the shape and colour of a new leaf. As the cool rays of lightening and of the full moon charm, so does His beauty. The Deva who resides happily here as in Kasi is in forms like a whirlpool.

Verses 10 and 11

Over it shines the sleeping Kundalini, fine as the fibre of the lotus-stalk. She is the world-bewilderer, gently covering the mouth of Brahma-dvara by Her own. Like the spiral of the conch-shell, Her shining snake-like form goes three and a half times round Siva, and Her lustre is as that of a strong flash of young strong lightening. Her sweet murmur is like the indistinct hum of swarms of love-mad bees. She produces melodious poetry and Bandha and all other compositions in prose or verse in sequence or otherwise in Samskrta, Prakrta and other languages. It is she who maintains all beings of the world by means of inspiration and expiration, and shines in the cavity of the root (Mula) Lotus like a chain of brilliant lights.

Verse 12

Within it reigns dominant Para, the Sri-Paramesvari, the Awakener of eternal knowledge. She is the Omnipotent Kala who is wonderfully skilful to create, and is subtler than the subtlest. She is the receptacle of that continuous stream of ambrosia which flows from the Eternal Bliss. By Her radiance it is that the whole of this Universe and this Cauldron is illumined.

Verse 13

By meditating thus on Her who shines within the Mula-Cakra, with the lustre of ten million Suns, a man becomes Lord of speech and King among men, and an Adept in all kinds of learning. He becomes ever free from all diseases, and his inmost Spirit becomes full of great gladness. Pure of disposition by his deep and musical words, he serves the foremost of the Devas.

SVADHISTHANA

Verse 14

There is another Lotus placed inside the Susumna at the root of the genitals, of a beautiful vermilion colour. On its six petals are the letters from Ba to Puramdara, with the Bindu superposed, of the shining colour of lightening.

Verse 15

Within it is the white, shining, watery region of Varuna, of the shape of a half-moon, and therein, seated on a Makara, is the Bija Vam, stainless and white as the autumnal moon.

Verse 16

May Hari, who is within it, who is in the pride of early youth, whose body is of luminous blue beautiful to behold, who is dressed in yellow raiment, is four armed and wears the Sri-vatsa, and the Kausubha, protect us!

Verse 17

It is here that Rakini always dwells. She is of the colour of a blue lotus. The beauty of Her body is enhanced by Her uplifted arms holding various weapons. She is dressed in celestial raiment and ornaments, and Her mind is exalted with the drinking of ambrosia.

Verse 18

He who meditates upon this stainless Lotus, which is named Svadisthana, is freed immediately from all his enemies, such as the fault of Aha kara and so forth. He becomes a Lord among Yogis, and is like the Sun illumining the dense darkness of ignorance. The wealth of his nectar-like words flows in prose and verse in well-reasoned discourse.

MANIPURA

Verse 19

Above it, at the root of the navel, is the shining Lotus of ten petals, of the colour of heavy-laden rain-clouds. Within it are the letters Da to Pha, of the colour of the blue lotus with the Nada and Bindu above them. Meditate there on the region of Fire, triangular in form and shining like the rising sun. Outside it are three Svastika marks, and within, the Bija of Vahni himself.

Verse 20

Meditate upon him (Fire) seated on a ram, four-armed, radiant like the rising Sun. In his lap ever dwells Rudra, who is of a pure vermilion hue. He (Rudra) is white with the ashes with which he is smeared; of an ancient aspect and three-eyed. His hands are placed in the attitude of granting boons and dispelling fear. He is the destroyer of creation.

Verse 21

Here abides Lakini, the benefactress of all. She is four-armed, of radiant body, is dark (of complexion), clothed in yellow raiment and decked with various ornaments, and exalted with the drinking of ambrosia. By meditating on this Navel Lotus the power to destroy and create (the world) is acquired. Vani with all the wealth of knowledge ever abides in the lotus of His face.

ANAHATA

Verse 22

Above that, in the heart, is the charming Lotus, of the shining colour of the Bandhuka flower, with the twelve letters beginning with Ka, of the colour of vermilion, placed therein. It is known by the name of Anahata, and is like the celestial wishing-tree, bestowing even more than (the supplicant's) desire. The Region of Vayu, beautiful and with six corners, which is like unto the smoke in colour, is here.

Verse 23

Meditate within it on the sweet and excellent Pavana Bija, grey as a mass of smoke, with four arms, and seated on a black antelope. And within it also (meditate) upon the Abode of Mercy, the Stainless Lord who is lustrous like the Sun, and whose two hands make the gestures which grant boons and dispels the fears of three worlds.

Verse 24

Here dwells Kakini, who in colour is yellow like unto new lightening, exhilarated and auspicious; three-eyed and the benefactress of all. She wears all kinds of ornaments, and in Her four hands She carries the noose and the skull, and makes the sign of blessing and the sign which dispels fear. Her heart is softened with the drinking of nectar.

Verse 25

The Sakti whose tender body is like ten million flashes of lightening is in the pericarp of this Lotus in the form of a triangle (Trikona). Inside the triangle is the Siva-Linga known by the name of Bana. This Linga is like shining gold, and on his head is an orifice minute as that in a gem. He is the resplendent abode of Laksmi.

Verse 26

He who meditates on this Heart Lotus becomes (like) the Lord of Speech, and (like) Isvara he is able to protect and destroy the worlds. This Lotus is like the celestial wishing-tree, the abode and seat of Sarva. It is beautified by the Hamsa, which is like unto the steady tapering flame of a lamp in a windless place. The filaments which surround and adorn its pericarp, illumined by the solar region, charm.

Verse 27

Foremost among Yogis, he is ever dearer than the dearest to women, He is pre-eminently wise and full of noble deeds. His senses are completely under control. His mind in its intense concentration is engrossed in thoughts of the Braham. His inspired speech flows like a stream of (clear) water. He is like the Devata who is the beloved of Laksmi and is able at will to enter another's body.

VISUDDHA

Verses 28 and 29

In the throat is the Lotus called Visuddha, which is pure and of a smoky purple hue. All the (sixteen) shining vowels on its (sixteen) petals, of a crimson hue, are distinctly visible to him whose mind (Buddhi) is illumined. In the pericarp of this lotus there is the Ethereal Region, circular in shape, and white like the full Moon. On an elephant white as snow is seated the Bija of Ambhara, who is white of colour.

Of His four arms, two hold the noose and goad, and the other two make the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear. These add to His beauty. In His lap there ever dwells the great snow-white Deva, three-eyed and five-faced, with ten beautiful arms, and clothed in a tiger's skin. His body is united with that of Girija, and He is known by what His name, Sada-Siva, signifies.

Verse 30

Purer than the Ocean of Nectar is the Sakti Sakini who dwells in this Lotus. Her raiment is yellow, and in Her four lotus-hands She carries the bow, the arrow, the noose, and the goad. The whole region of the Moon without the mark of the hare is in the pericarp of this Lotus. This (region) is the gateway of great Liberation for him who desires the wealth of Yoga and whose senses are pure and controlled.

Verse 31

He who has attained complete knowledge of the Atma (Brahman) becomes by constantly concentrating his mind (Citta) on this Lotus a great Sage, eloquent and wise, and enjoys uninterrupted peace of mind. He sees the three periods, and becomes the benefactor of all, free from disease and sorrow and long-lived, and, like Hamsa, the destroyer of endless dangers.

Verse 31A

The Yogi, his mind constantly fixed on this Lotus, his breath controlled by Kumbhaka, is in his wrath able to move all the three worlds. Neither Brahma nor Visnu, neither Hari-Hara nor Surya nor Ganapa is able to control his power (resist Him).

AJNA

Verse 32

The Lotus named Ajna is like the moon (beautifully white). On its two petals are the letters Ha and Ksa, which are also white and enhance its beauty. It shines with the glory of Dhyana. Inside it is the Sakti Hakini, whose six faces are like so many moons. She has six arms, in one of which She holds a book; two others are lifted up in the gestures of dispelling fear and granting boons, and with the rest She holds a skull, a small drum, and a rosary. Her mind is pure (Suddha-Citta).

Verse 33

Within this Lotus dwells the subtle mind (Manas). It is well-known. Inside the Yoni in the pericarp is the Siva called Itara, in His phallic form. He here shines like a chain of lightning flashes. The first Bija of the Vedas, which is the abode of the most excellent Sakti and which by its lustre makes visible the Brahma-sutra, is also here. The Sadhaka with steady mind should meditate upon these according to the order (prescribed).

Verse 34

The excellent Sadhaka, whose Atma is nothing but a meditation on this Lotus, is able quickly to enter another's body at will, and becomes the most excellent among Munis, and all-knowing and all-seeing. He becomes the benefactor of all, and versed in all the Sastras. He realises his unity with the Brahman and acquires excellent and unknown powers. Full of fame and long-lived, he ever becomes the Creator, Destroyer, and Preserver, of the three worlds.

Verse 35

Within the triangle in this Cakra ever dwells the combination of letters which form the Pranava. It is the inner Atma as pure mind (Buddhi), and resembles a flame in its radiance. Above it is the half (crescent) moon, and above this, again, is Ma-kara, shining in its form of Bindu. Above this is Nada, whose whiteness equals that of Balarama and diffuses the rays of the Moon.

Verse 36

When the Yogi closes the house which hangs without support, the knowledge whereof he has gained by the service of Parama-guru, and when the Cetas by repeated practice become dissolved in this place which is the abode of uninterrupted bliss, he then sees within the middle of and in the space above (the triangle) sparks of fire distinctly shining.

Verse 37

He then also sees the Light which is in the form of a flaming lamp. It is lustrous like the clearly shining morning sun, and glows between the Sky and the Earth. It is here that the Bhagavan manifests Himself in the fullness of His might. He knows no decay, and witnesseth all, and is here as He is in the region of Fire, Moon, and Sun.

Verse 38

This is the incomparable and delightful abode of Visnu. The excellent Yogi at the time of death joyfully places his vital breath (Prana) here and enters (after death) that Supreme, Eternal, Birthless, Primeval Deva, the Purusa, who was before the three worlds, and who is known by the Vedanta.

SAHASRARA

Verse 39

When the actions of the Yogi are, through the service of the Lotus feet of his Guru, in all respects good, then he will see above it (i.e., Ajna-Cakra) the form of Mahanada, and will ever hold in the Lotus of his hand the Siddhi of Speech. The Mahanada, which is the place of dissolution of Vayu is the half of Siva, and like the plough in shape, is tranquil and grants boons and dispels fear, and makes manifest pure Intelligence (Buddhi).

Verse 40

Above all these, in the vacant space wherein is Sankhini Nadi, and below Visarga is the Lotus of a thousand petals. This Lotus, lustrous and whiter than the full moon, has its head turned downward. It charms. Its clustered filaments are tinged with the colour of the Voung Sun. Its body is luminous with the letters beginning with A, and it is the absolute bliss.

Verse 41

Within it (Sahasrara) is the full Moon, without the mark of the hare, resplendent as in a clear sky. It sheds its rays in profusion, and is moist and cool like nectar. Inside it (Candra-mandala), constantly shining like lightening, is the Triangle and inside this, again, shines the Great Void which is served by all the Suras.

Verse 42

Well concealed, and attainable only by great effort, is that subtle Bindu (Sunya) which is the chief root of liberation and which manifests the pure Nirvana-kala with Ana-Kala. Here is the Deva who is known to all as Parama-Siva. He is the Brahman and the Atma of all beings. In Him are united both Rasa and Virasa, and He is the Sun which destroys the darkness of nescience and delusion.

Verse 43

By shedding a constant and profuse stream of nectar-like essence, the Bhagavan instructs the Yati of pure mind in the knowledge by which he realizes the oneness of the Jivatma and the Paramatma. He pervades all things as their Lord, who is the ever-flowing and spreading current of all manner of bliss known by the name of Hamsah Parama (Parama-hamsah).

Verse 44

The Saivas call it the abode of Siva; the Vaisnavas call it Parama Purusa; others again, call it the place of Hari-Hara. Those who are filled with a passion for the Lotus feet of the Devi call it the excellent abode of the Devi; and other great sages (Munis) call it the pure place of Prakrti-Purusa.

Verse 45

That most excellent of men who has controlled his mind and known this place is never again born in the Wandering, as there is nothing in the three worlds which binds him. His mind being controlled and his aim achieved, he possesses complete power to do all which he wishes, and to prevent that which is contrary to his will. He ever moves towards the Brahman. His speech, whether in prose or verse, is ever pure and sweet.

Verse 46

Here is the excellent (supreme) sixteenth Kala of the Moon. She is pure, and resembles (in colour) the young Sun. She is as thin as the hundredth part of a fibre in the stalk of lotus. She is lustrous and soft like ten million lightening flashes, and is down-turned. From Her, whose source is the Brahman, flows copiously the continuous stream of nectar (or, She is the receptacle of the stream of excellent nectar which comes from the blissful union of Para and Parâ).

Verse 47

Inside it (Ama-Kala) is Nirvana-kala, more excellent than the excellent. She is as subtle as the thousandth part of the end of a hair, and of the shape of the crescent moon. She is the ever-existent Bhagavati, who is the Devata who pervades all beings. She grants divine knowledge, and is as lustrous as the light of all the suns shining at one and the same time.

Verse 48

Within its middle space (i.e., middle of the Nirvana-kala) shines the Supreme and Primordial Nirvdna-Sakti; She is lustrous like ten million suns, and is the Mother of the three worlds. She is extremely subtle, and like unto the ten-millionth part of the end of a hair. She contains within her the constantly flowing stream of gladness, and is the life of all beings. She graciously carries the knowledge of the Truth (Tattva) to the mind of the sages.

Verse 49

Within her is the everlasting place called the abode of Siva, which is free from Maya, attainable only by Yogis, and known by the name of Nityananda. It is replete with every form of bliss, and is pure knowledge itself. Some call it the Brahman; others call it the Hamsa. Wise men describe it as the abode of Visnu, and righteous men speak of it as the ineffable place of knowledge of the Atma, or the place of Liberation.

THE KUNDALINI

Verse 50

He whose nature is purified by the practice of Yama, Niyama, and the like, learns from the mouth of his Guru the process which opens the way to the discovery of the Great Liberation. He whose whole being is immersed in the Brahman then rouses the Devi by Hum-kara, pierces the centre of the Linga, the mouth of which is closed, and is therefore invisible, and by means of the Air and Fire (within him) places her within the Brahmadvara.

Verse 51

The Devi who is Suddha-sattva pierces the three Lingas, and, having reached all the lotuses which are known as the Brahma-nadi lotuses, shines therein in the fullness of Her lustre. Thereafter in Her subtle state, lustrous like lightening and fine like the lotus fibre, She goes to the gleaming flame-like Siva, the Supreme Bliss, and of a sudden produces the bliss of Liberation.

Verse 52

The wise and excellent Yogi rapt in ecstasy, and devoted to the Lotus feet of his Guru, should lead Kula-Kundali along with jiva to Her Lord the Para-siva in the abode of Liberation within the pure Lotus and meditate upon Her who grants all desires as the Caitanya-rupa-Bhagavati. When he thus leads Kula-Kundalini, he should make all things absorb into Her.

Verse 53

The beautiful Kundali drinks the excellent red nectar issuing from Para-siva, and returns from there where shines Eternal and Transcendent Bliss in all its glory along the path of Kula, and again enters the Muladhara. The Yogi who has gained steadiness of mind makes offering (Tarpana) to the Ista-devata and to the Devatas in the six centres (Cakra), Dakini and others, with that stream of celestial nectar which is in the vessel of Brahmanda, the knowledge whereof he has gained through the tradition of the Gunas.

Verse 54

The Yogi who has after practice of Yama, Niyama, and the like, learnt this excellent method from the two Lotus Feet of the auspicious Diksa-guru, which are the source of uninterrupted joy, and whose mind (Manas) is controlled, is never born again in this world (Samsara). For him there is no dissolution even at the time of Final Dissolution. Gladdened by constant realization of that which is the source of Eternal Bliss, he becomes full of peace and foremost among all Yogis.

Verse 55

If the Yogi who is devoted to the Lotus Feet of his Guru, with heart unperturbed and concentrated mind, reads this work which is the supreme source of the knowledge of Liberation, and which is faultless, pure, and most secret, then of a very surety his mind dances at the Feet of his Ista-devata.

Translated by Sir John Woodroffe