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Written by Sir John Woodroffe, Book: Introduction to Tantra Sastra 


THIS word, derived from the root Yuj (“to join”), is in grammer samdhi, in logic avayavaśakti, or the power of the parts taken together and in its most widely known and present sense the union of the jīva or embodied spirit, with the Paramātmā, or Supreme Spirit,1 and the practices by which this union may be attained. There is a natural yoga, in which all beings are, for it is only by
virtue of this identity in fact that they exist. This position is common ground, though in practice too
frequently overlooked. “Primus modus unionis est, quo Deus, ratione suŠ immensitatis est in omnibus rebus per essentiam, prŠsentiam, et potentiam; per essentiam ut dans omnibus esse; per prmentiam ut omnia prospiciens: per potentiam ut de omnibus disponens.”2 The
mystical theologician cited, however proceeds to say: “sed hŠc unio animŠ cum Deo est generalis, communis omnibus et ordinis naturalis . . . . . . illa namque de qua
loquimur est ordinis supernaturalis actualis et fructiva.” It is of this special yoga, though not in reality more “supernatural” than the first, that we here deal. Yoga in its technical sense is the realization of this identity, which exists, though it is not known, by the destruction of the false appearance of separation. “There is no bond equal in strength to māyā, and no force greater to
destroy that bond than yoga. There is no better friend than knowledge (j˝āna,) nor worse enemy than egoism

1 As the Śāradā-tilaka (chap. xxv) says Aikyam-jivāt manorāhuryogam yogaviśārahāh.
2 Summa TheologiŠ MysticŠ, tom. iii., p. 8.


(ahaṃ kāra). As to learn the Śāstra one must learn the alphabet, so yoga is necessary for the acquirement of tattvaj˝āna (truth).”1 The animal body is the result of action, and from the body flows action, the process being compared to the see-saw movement of a ghatiyantra, or
water-lifter.2 Through their actions beings continually go from birth to death. The complete attainment of the fruit of yoga is lasting and unchanging life in the noumenal world of the Absolute.
Yoga is variously named according to the methods employed, but the two main divisions are those of the haṭhayoga (or ghaṭ asthayoga) and samādhi yoga, of which rājayoga is one of the forms. Haṭ hayoga is commonly misunderstood, both in its definition and aim being frequently identified with exaggerated forms of self-mortification. The Gheraṇ ḍ a-Saṃ hitā well defines it to be “the means whereby the excellent rājayoga is attained.” Actual union is not the result of Haṭ hayoga alone, which is concerned with certain physical processes preparatory or auxiliary to the control of the mind, by which alone union may be directly attained. It is, however, not meant
that all the processes of Haṭ hayoga here or in the books described are necessary for the attainment of rājayoga. What is necessary must be determined according to the circumstances of each particular case. What is suited or necessary in one case may not be so for another. A
peculiar feature of Tantrika viracara is the union of the

1 Gheraṇ ḍ a-Saṃ hitā (chap. v. et seq.)
2 In drawing water, bullocks are employed to lower and raise the vessel. Human action is compared to the bullocks who now raise, now lower, the vessel into the waters (of the Saṃ sāra).


sadhaka and his śakti in latāsādhana. This is a process which is expressly forbidden to Paśus by the same Tantras which prescribe it for the Vīra. The union of Śiva and Śakti in the higher sādhana is different in form, being the union of the Kuṇ ḍ alinī-Śakti of the Mūlādhāra with the Bindu which is upon the Sahasrāra. This process, called the piercing of the six cakras, is described later on in a separate paragraph. Though, however, all Haṭ hayoga processes are not necessary, some, at least, are generally considered to be so. Thus, in the wellknown aṣṭāngayoga (eight limbed yoga), of which samādhi is the highest end, the physical conditions and processes known as āsana and prāṇ āyāma (vide post) are prescribed. This yoga prescribes five exterior (bahiraṇ ga) methods for the subjugation of the body—namely (1) Yama, forbearance or self-control, such as sexual continence, avoidance of harm to others (ahiṃ sā), kindness,
forgiveness, the doing of good without desire for reward, absence of convetousness, temperance, purity of mind and body, etc.1 (2) Niyama, religious observances, charity, austerities, reading of the Śāstra and Īśvara Praṇ īdhāna, persevering devotion to the Lord.2 (3) Āsana, seated positions or postures (vide post). (4) Prāṇ āyāma, regulation of the breath. A yogī renders the vital airs
equable, and consciously produces the state of respiration which is favourable for mental concentration, as others do it occasionally and unconsciously (uide post). (5) Pratyāhāra, restraint of the senses, which follows in

1 Yogī-Yāgnavalkya (chap. i), where as to food it is said: “32 mouthfuls for an householder, 16 for a forest recluse, and 8 for a muni (saint and sage).”
2 Ibid.

the path of the other four processes which deal with subjugation of the body. There are then three interior (yogānga) methods for the subjugation of the mind— namely (6) Dhāraṇ ā, attention, steadying of the mind, the fixing of the internal organ (citta) in the particular manner indicated in the works on yoga. (7) Dhyāna or the uniform continuous contemplation of the object of thought; and (8) that samādhi which is called savikalpasāmadhi. Savikalpasāmadhi is a deeper and more intense contemplation on the Self to the exclusion of all other objects, and constituting trance or ecstasy. This ecstasy is perfected to the stage of the removal of the slightest trace of the distinction of subject and object in nirvikalpasāmadhi in which there is complete union
with the Paramātmā, or Divine spirit. By vairāgya (dispassion), and keeping the mind in its unmodified state, yoga is attained. This knowledge, Ahaṃ Brahmāsmi (“I am the Brahman”), does not produce liberation (mokṣ a), but is liberation itself. Whether yoga is spoken of as the union of Kulakuṇ ḍ alini with Paramaśiva, or the union of the individual soul (jīvātmā) with
the Supreme Soul (paramātmā), or as the state of mind in which all outward thought is suppressed, or as the controlling or suppression of the thinking faculty (cittavṛtti), or as the union of the moon and the sun (Iḍ a and Piṇ galā), Prāṇ ā and Apāna or Nāda and Bindu, the meaning and the end are in each case the same.

Yoga, in seeking mental control and concentration, makes use of certain preliminary physical processes (sādhana) such as the satkarma, āsana, mudrā, and prānāyāma. By these four processes and three mental acts, seven qualities, known as śodhana, dridhatā, sthiratā, dhairya, lāghava, pratyakṣ a, nirliptatva1 (vide post), are acquired.

The first, or cleansing, is effected by the six processes known as the ṣ aṭ karma. Of these, the first is Dhauti, or washing, which is fourfold, or inward washing (antardhauti), cleansing of the teeth, (danta-dhauti), etc., of the “heart” (hṛ ddhauti), and of the rectum (mūladhauti). Antardhauti is also fourfold—namely, vātasāra, by which air is drawn into the belly and then expelled; vārisāra,
by which the body is filled with water, which is then evacuated by the anus; vahnisāra, in which the nābigranthi is made to touch the spinal column (meru): and bahiṣ kṛ ta, in which the belly is by kākinī-mudrā2 filled with aif, which is retained half a jāma3 and then sent downward. Dantadhauti is fourfold, consisting of the cleansing of the root of the teeth and tongue, the ears and the “hollow of the forehead” (kapāla-randhra). By hṛddhauti phlegm and bile are removed. This is done by
a stick (daṇ ḍ a-dhauti) or cloth (vāso-dhauti) pushed into the throat or swallowed, or by vomiting (vamanadhauti). Mūladhauti is done to cleanse the exit of the apānavāyu either with the middle finger and water or the stalk of a turmeric plant.

Vasti, the second of the satkarma, is twofold and is either of the dry (śuṣ ka) or watery (jala) kind. In the second form the yogī sits in the utkatāsana4 posture in

1 Gheraṇ ḍ a-Saṃ hitā, First Upadeśa.
2 Gheraṇ ḍ a-Saṃ hitā, Third Upadeśa (verse 86).
3 A jāma is three hours.
4 Gheraṇ ḍ a-Saṃ hitā, Second Upadeśa (verse 23). That is squatting, resting on the toes, the heels off the ground, and buttocks resting on heels.


water up to the navel, and the anus is contracted and expanded by aivini mudrā; or the same is done in the paścimottānāsana, and the abdomen below the navel is gently moved. In neti the nostrils are cleansed with a piece of string. Laulikī is the whirling of the belly from side to side. In trātakā the yogī, without winking, gazes at some minute object until the tears start from his
eyes. By this the “celestial vision” (divya-dṛsṭi) so often referred to in the Tāntrika-upāsanā is acquired. Kapālabhati is a process of the removal of phlegm, and is three-fold—vāta-krama by inhalation and exhalation; vyūtkrama by water drawn through the nostrils and ejected through the mouth; and śitkrama the reverse process.

These are the various processes by which the body is cleansed and made pure for the yoga practice to follow.


Dydhata, or strength or firmness, the acquisition of which is the second of the above-mentioned processes, is attained by āsana.

Āsanas are postures of the body. The term is generally described as modes of seating the body. But the posture is not necessarily a sitting one: for some asanas are done on the belly, back, hands, etc. It is said1 that the āsanas are as numerous as living beings, and that there are 8,400,000 of these; 1,600 are declared to be excellent, and out of these thirty-two are auspicious for men, which are described in detail. Two of the commonest of

1 Gheraṇ ḍ a-Saṃ hitā, Second Upadeśa. In the Śiva-Saṃ hitā (chap. iii, verses 84-91) eighty-four postures are mentioned, of which four are recommended—viz., siddhāsana, ugrāsana, svastikāsana, and padmāsana.

these are muktapadmasana1 (“the loosened lotus seat”), the ordinary position for worship, and baddhapadmāsana. 2 Pata˝jali, on the subject of āsana, merely points out what are good conditions, leaving each one to settle the details for himself according to his own requirements.
There are certain other āsanas, which are peculiar to the Tantras, such as mundāsana, citāsana, and śavāsana, in which skulls, the funeral pyre, and a corpse respectively form the seat of the sādhaka. These, though they may have other ritual objects, form part of the discipline for the conquest of fear and the attainment of indifference, which is the quality of a yogī. And so the
Tantras prescribe as the scene of such rites the solitary mountain-top, the lonely empty house and river-side, and the cremation-ground. The interior cremation-ground is there where the kāmik body and its passions are consumed in the iire of knowledge.


Sthiratā, or fortitude, is acquired by the practice of the mudras. The mudrās dealt with in works of haṭ hayoga are positions of the body. They are gymnastic, health-giving, and destructive of disease and of death,3 such as the jāladhara4 and other mudrās. They also preserve from injury by fire, water, or air. Bodily action

1 The right foot is placed on the left thigh, the left foot on the right thigh and the hands are crossed and placed similarly on the thighs; the chin is placed on the breast, and the gaze fixed on the tip of the nose (see also Śiva- Saṃ hitā, chap. i, verse 52).
2 The same except that the hands are passed behind the back and the right hand holds the right toe, and the left hand the left toe. By this,
increased pressure is placed on the mūlādhāra and the nerves are braced with the tightening of the body.
3 Gheraṇ ḍ a-Saṃ hitā, Third Upadeśa.
4 Ibid, verse 12.


and the health resulting therefrom react upon the mind, and by the union of a perfect mind and body siddhi is by their means attained. The Gheraṇ ḍ a-Saṃ hitā describes a number of mudrās of which those of importance may be selected. In the celebrated yonimudrā the yogī in
siddhāsana stops with his fingers the ears, eyes, nostrils, and mouth. He inhales prāṇ āvāyu by kākinī-mudrā, and unites it with apānavāyu. Meditating in their order upon the six cakras, he arouses the sleeping Kulakunḍalinī by the mantra “Hūm Haṃ sa,” and raises Her
to the Sahasrāra; then, deeming himself pervaded with the Śakti, and in blissful union (sangaṃ a) with Śiva, he meditates upon himself as, by reason of that union, Bliss itself and the Brahman.1 Aśvinimudrā consists of the repeated contraction and expansion of the anus for the purpose of śodhana or of contraction to restrain the apāna in ṣ aṭ cakrabheda. Śakticālana employs the latter
mudrā, which is repeated until vāyu manifests in the suṣ umnā. The process is accompanied by inhalation and the union of prāṇ ā and apāna whilst in siddhāsana.2


Dhairya, or steadiness, is produced by pratyāhāra. Pratyāhāra, is the restraint of the senses, the freeing of the mind from all distractions, and the keeping of it under the control of the Ātmā. The mind is withdrawn from whatsoever direction it may tend by the dominant and directing Self. Pratyāhāra destroys the six sins.3


1 Gheraṇ ḍ a-Saṃ hitā, Third Upadeśa.
2 Ibid., verses 37, 49, 82.
3 Ibid., fourth Upadeśa. The Śāradātilaka defines pratyāhāra as indriyāṇ ām vicaratām viṣ ayeṣ u balādāhāraṇ am tebyah Pratyāhāro vidhiyate (pratyāhāra is known as the forcible abstraction of the senses wandering over their objects).


From prāṇ āyāma (q.v.) arises laghava (lightness). All beings say the ajapā-Gāyatrī, which is the expulsion of the breath by Ham ̣ kāra, and its inspiration by Sahkāra, 21,600 times a day. Ordinarily, the breath goes forth a distance of 12 fingers’ breadth, but in singing, eating, walking, sleeping, coition, the distances are 16, 20, 24, 30, and 36 breadths respectively. In violent exercise these distances are exceeded, the greatest distance being 96 breadths. Where the breathing is under the normal distance, life is prolonged. Where it is above that, it is shortened. Pūraka is inspiration, and recaka expiration. Kumbhaka is the retention of the breath between
these two movements. Kumbhaka is, according to the Gheraṇ ḍ a-Saṃ hitā, of eight kinds: sahita, sūryabheda, ujjāyi, śītali, bhastrikā, bhrāmari, mūrchchha, and kevalī. Prāṇ āyāma similarly varies. Prāṇ āyāma is the control of the breath and other vital airs. It awakens śakti, frees from disease, produces detachment from the world, and bliss. It is of varying values, being the best (uttama)
where the measure is 20; middling (madhyama) when at 16 it produces spinal tremour; and inferior (adhama) when at 12 it induces perspiration. It is necessary that the nāḍ i should be cleansed, for air does not enter those which are impure. The cleansing of the nāḍ i (nāḍ iśuddhi)
is either samaṇ u or nirmaṇ u—that is, with or without, the use of bīja. According to the first form, the yogī in padmasana does guru-nyāsa according to the directions of the guru. Meditating on “yaṃ,” he does japa through Iḍ a of the bīja 16 times, kumbhaka with japa of bīja 64 times, and then exhalation through the solar nāḍ i and japa of bīja 32 times. Fire is raised from maṇipūra and united with pṛ thivī. Then follows inhalation by the solar nāḍ i with the vahni bīja, 16 times, kumbhaka with 64 japa, followed by exhalation through the lunar nāḍ i and japa of the bīja 32 times. He then meditates on the lunar brilliance gazing at the tip of the nose, and inhales Iḍ a with japa of the bīja “thaṃ ” 16 times. Kumbhaka is done with the bīja “vaṃ ”64 times. He then thinks of himself as flooded by nectar, and considers that the nāḍ is have been washed. He exhales
by Piṇ galā with 32 japa of the bīja “lam ̣ ,” and considers himself thereby as strengthened. He then takes his seat on a mat of kuśa-grass, a deerskin, etc., and, facing east or north, does prāṇ āyāma. For its exercise there must be, in addition to nāḍ i śuddhi, consideration of proper
place, time and food. Thus, the place should not be so distant as to induce anxiety, nor in an unprotected place,
such as a forest, nor in a city or crowded locality, which induces distraction. The food should be pure, and of a vegetarian character. It should not be too hot or too cold, pungent, sour, salt, or bitter. Fasting, the taking of one meal a day, and the like, are prohibited. On the contrary, the Yogī should not remain without food for more than one jāma (three hours). The food taken should be light and strengthening. Long walks and other violent exercises should be avoided, as also—
certainly in the case of beginners—sexual intercourse. The stomach should only be half filled. Yoga should be commenced, it is said, in spring or autumn. As stated, the forms of prāṇ āyāma vary. Thus, sahita, which is either with (sagarbha) or without (nirgarbha) bīja, is according to the former form, as follows: The sadhaka meditates on Vidhi (Brahmā), who is full of rajo-guna,
red in colour, and the image of akāra. He inhales by Iḍā in six measures (mātrā). Before kumbhaka he does the uḍḍiyānabhandha mudrā. Meditating on Hari (Viṣ ṇ u)
as sattvamaya and the black bija ukāra, he does kumbhaka with 64 japa of the bīja; then, meditating on Śiva as tamomaya and his white bīja makāra, he exhales through Piṇ galā with 32 japa of the bīja; then, inhaling by Piṇ galā, he does kumbhaka, and exhales by Iḍ a with
the same bīja. The process is repeated in the normal and reversed order.


Through dhyāna is gained the third quality of realization or pratyakṣ a. Dhyāna, or meditation, is of three kinds: (1) sthūla, or gross; (2) jyotih; (3) sūkṣ ma, or subtle.1 In the first the form of the Devatā is brought before the mind. One form of dhyāna for this purpose is as follows: Let the sādhaka think of the great ocean of nectar in his heart. In the middle of that ocean is the island of gems, the shores of which are made of powdered gems. The island is clothed with a kadamba forest in yellow blossom. This forest is surrounded by Mālati, Campaka, Pārijāta, and other fragrant trees. In the midst of the Kadamba forest there rises the beautiful Kalpa tree, laden with fresh blossom and fruit. Amidst its leaves the black bees hum and the koel birds make love. Its four branches are the four Vedas. Under the tree there is a great maṇ ḍ apa of precious stones, and 1 Gheraṇ ḍ a-Saṃ hitā, Sixth Upadeśa. It, is said by Bhāskararāya, in the Lalitā (verse 2), that there are three forms of the Devī which equally partake of both the prakāśa and vimarśa aspects—viz., the physical (sthūla), the subtle (sūkṣ ma) and the supreme (para). The physical form has hands, feet,
etc., the subtle consists of mantra, and the supreme is the vāsanā or, in the technical sense of the Mantra śāstra, real or own.

1 Gheraṇ ḍ a-Saṃ hitā, Sixth Upadeśa. It, is said by Bhāskararāya, in the Lalitā (verse 2), that there are three forms of the Devī which equally partake of both the prakāśa and vimarśa aspects—viz., the physical (sthūla), the subtle (sūkṣ ma) and the supreme (para). The physical form has hands, feet, etc., the subtle consists of mantra, and the supreme is the vāsanā or, in the
technical sense of the Mantra śāstra, real or own.


within it a beautiful bed, on which let him picture to himself his Iṣ ṭ adevatā. The Guru will direct him as to the form, raiment, vāhana, and the title of the Devatā. Jyotirdhyāna is the infusion of fire and life (tejas) into the form so imagined. In the mūlādhāra lies the snakelike Kuṇ ḍ alinī. There the jivatma, as it were the tapering flame of a candle, dwells. The Sādhaka then meditates upon the tejomaya Brahman, or, alternatively, between the eyebrows on praṇ avātmaka, the flame
emitting its lustre.

Sūkṣ ma-dhyāna is meditation on Kuṇ ḍ alinī with śāmbhavī-mudrā after She has been roused. By this yoga (vide post) the ātmā is revealed (ātmā-sākṣ ātkāra).


Lastly, through samadhi the quality of nirliptatva, or detachment, and thereafter mukti (liberation) is attained. Samādhi considered as a process is intense mental concentration, with freedom from all saṃ kalpa, and attachment to the world, and all sense of “mineness,” or self-interest (mamata). Considered as the result of such process it is the union of Jīva with the Paramātmā.1


This samādhi yoga is, according to the Gheraṇ ḍ a- Saṃ hitā,2 of six kinds: (1) Dhyāna-yoga-sāmadhi, attained by śāmbhavi-mudrā3 in which after meditation on the Bindu-Brahman and realization of the Ātmā (ātmapratyaks a), the latter is resolved into the Mahākaśa. (2)

1 See Commentary on verse 51 of the Ṣ aṭ cakranirūpaṇ a.
2 Seventh Upadeśa.
3 Ibid, Third Upadeśa (verses 65 et seq.).


Nāda-yoga, attained by khecarīmudrā, 1 in which the fraenum of the tongue is cut, and the latter is lengthened until it reaches the space betwee the eyebrows, and is then introduced in a reversed position into the mouth. (3) Rasānandayoga, attained by kumbhaka,2 in which the sādhaka in a silent place closes both ears and does pūraka and kumbhaka until he hears the word nāda in
sounds varying in strength from that of the cricket’s chirp to that of the large kettle-drum. By daily practice the anāhata sound is heard, and the jyoti with the manas therein is seen, which is ultimately dissolved in the supreme Viṣṇu. (4) Laya-siddhi-yoga, accomplished by the celebrated yonimudrā already described.3 The Sādhaka, thinking of himself as Śakti and the Paramātmā
as Puruṣ a, feels himself in union (saṃ gama) with Śiva, and enjoys with him the bliss which is śṛ ngārarasa, 4 and becomes Bliss itself, or the Brahman. (5) Bhakti-Yoga, in which meditation is made on the Iṣ ṭ adevatā with devotion (bhakti) until, with tears flowing from the excess of bliss, the ecstatic condition is attained. (6) Rājayoga, accomplished by the aid of the manomurcchā kumbhaka.5 Here the manas detached from all worldly objects is fixed between the eyebrows in
the āj˝ācakra, and kumbhaka is done. By the union of

1 Ibid., verses 25 et seq.
2 Ibid., Fifth Upadeśa (verses 77 et seq.).
3 In the Lalitā (verse 142) the Devī is addressed as Layakarī—the cause of laya or mental absorption.
4 Śṛ ngāra is the love sentiment or sexual passion and sexual union, the first of the eight or nine rasa (sentiments)—viz., śṛ ngāra, vīra (heroism), karuṇ a (compassion), adbhutā (wondering), hāsya (humour), bhayānaka (fear), bibhatsa (disgust), raudra (wrath) to which Manmathabhatta, author of the Kāvyaprakāśa adds śānti (peace).
5 Ibid., Fifth Upadeśa, verse 82.


the manas with the ātmā, in which the j˝āni sees all things, rāja-yoga-sāmadhi is attained.


The piercing of the six cakras is one of the most important subjects dealt with in the Tantra, and is part of the practical yoga process of which they treat. Details of practice1 can only be learnt from a Guru, but generally it may be said that the particular is raised to the universal life, which as cit is realizable only in the sahasrāra in the following manner: The jīvātmā in the subtle body, the receptacle of the five vital airs (pa˝ca-prāṇ ā), mind in its three aspects of manas, ahaṃ kara, and
buddhi, and the five organs of perception (pa˝caj˝ānendriyas) is united with the Kulakuṇ ḍ alinī. The Kandarpa or Kāma Vāyu in the mūlādhāra, a form of the Apāna- Vāyu, is given a leftward revolution and the fire wich is around Kuṇ ḍ alinī is kindled. By the bija “Huṃ ,” and the
heat of the fire thus kindled, the coiled and sleeping Kuṇ ḍ alinī is awakened. She who lay asleep around svayambhu-linga, with her coils three circles and a half closing the entrance of the brahmadvāra, will, on being roused, enter that door and move upwards, united with
the jivātmā.

On this upward movement, Brahmā, Sāvitrī, DākinīŚakti, the Devās, bīja and vṛ tti, are dissolved in the body of Kuṇ ḍ alinī. The Mahī-maṇ ḍ ala or pṛ thivī is converted into the bīja “Laṃ ,” and is also merged in Her body. When Kuṇ ḍ alinī leaves the mūlādhāra, that lotus which,

1 Fuller details are given in the author’s translation from the Sanskrit of the Ṣaṭcakranirūpaṇ a by Pūrnānanda Svāmi, author of the celebrated Sāktānandatarangini (The Serpent Power).

on the awakening of Kuṇ ḍ alinī had opened and turned its flower upwards, again closes and hangs downward. As Kuṇḍalinī reaches the svādhiṣ ṭ hāna-cakra, that lotus opens out, and lifts its flowers upwards. Upon the entrance of Kuṇ ḍ alinī Mahāviṣ ṇ u, Mahālakṣ mī, Sarasvatī,
Rākini Śakti, Deva, Mātrās and vṛtti, Vaikunṭ hadhama, Golaka, and the Deva and Devī residing therein are dissolved in the body of Kuṇ ḍ alinī. The pṛthivi, or “earth” bīja “Laṃ ” is dissolved in apas, and apas converted into the bīja “Vaṃ ” remains in the body of Kuṇḍalinī. When the Devī reaches the maṇ ipūra cakra all that is in the cakra merges in Her body. The varuṇ a bīja “Vaṃ ” is
dissolved in fire, which remains in the body of the Devī as the Bīja “Raṃ .” The cakra is called the Brahmagranthi (or knot of Brahma). The piercing of this cakra may involve considerable pain, physical disorder, and even disease. On this account the directions of an experienced
Guru are necessary, and therefore also other modes of yoga have been recommended for those to whom they are applicable: for in such modes, activity is provoked directly in the higher centre and it is not necessary that the lower cakra should be pierced. Kuṇ ḍ alinī next reaches the anāhata cakra, where all which is therein is merged in Her. The bīja of Tejas, “Raṃ ,” disappears in Vāyu and Vāyu converted into its bīja “Yaṃ ” merges in the body of Kuṇ ḍ alinī. This cakra
is known as Viṣ ṇ ugranthi (knot of Viṣ ṇ u). Kuṇḍalinī then ascends to the abode of Bharati (or Sarasvati) or the viśuddha-cakra. Upon Her entrance, Arddha-nār īśvara Śiva, Śākinī, the sixteen vowels, mantra, etc., are dissolved in the body of Kuṇḍalinī. The bīja of Vāyu, “yaṃ ,” is dissolved in ākāśa, which itself being transformed into the bīja “Haṃ ,” is merged in the body of Kuṇḍalinī. Piercing the lalanā-cakra, the Devī reaches the āj ˝ācakra, where Parama-Śiva, Siddha-kālī, the
Deva, guṇ as, and all else therein, are absorbed into Her body. The bīja of ākāśa, “Haṃ ,” is merged in the manascakra, and mind itself in the body of Kuṇ ḍ alinī. The āj˝ācakra is known as Rudra-granthi (or knot of Rudra or Śiva). After this cakra has been pierced, Kuṇ ḍ alinī of
Her own motion unites with Parama-Śiva. As She proceeds upwards from the two-petalled lotus, the nirālambapuri, praṇ ava, nāda, etc., are merged in Her.

The Kuṇḍalinī has then in her progress upwards absorbed in herself the twenty-four tattvas commencing with the gross elements, and then unites Herself and becomes one with Parama-Śiva. This is the maithuna (coition) of the sāttvika-pa ˝ca-tattvas. The nectar1 which flows from such union floods the kṣ ūdrabrāhmaṇ ḍ a or human body. It is then that the sādhaka, forgetful of all in this world, is immersed in ineffable bliss.

Thereafter the sādhaka, thinking of the vāyu bīja “yaṃ ” as being in the left nostril, inhales through Iḍ ā, making japa of the bīja sixteen times. Then, closing both nostrils, he makes japa of the bīja sixty-four times. He then thinks that black “man of sin”2 (Pāpapuruṣ a) in the left cavity of the abdomen is being dried up (by air), and so thinking he exhales through the right nostril Piṇ gala,
making japa of the bīja thirty-two times. The sādhaka then meditating upon the red-coloured bīja “raṃ ” in the maṇipūra, inhales, making sixteen japas of bīja and then

1 In the Cintāmaṇ istava attributed to Śri Śaṃ karācārya it is said “This family woman (kuṇ ḍ alinī), entering the royal road (suṣ umnā), taking rest at intervals in the secret places (cakra), embraces the Supreme Spouse and makes the nectar to flow (in the sahasrāra).”
2 As to Papa-puruṣ a see Mahānirvāṇ a-Tantra Ullāsa, V (verses 98, 99).


closes the nostrils, making sixty-four japas. While making the japa he thinks that the body of “the man of sin” is being burnt and reduced to ashes (by fire). He then exhales through the right nostril with thirty-two japas. He then meditates upon the white candra-bija “haṃ .” He next inhales through Iḍ a, making japa of the bija sixteen times, closes both nostrils with japa done sixtyfour times, and exhales through Piṇ gala with thirty-two japas. During inhalation, holding of breath, and exhalation,
he should consider that a new celestial body is being formed by the nectar (composed of all the letters of the alphabet, matṛ ka-varṇ a) dropping from the moon. In a similar way with the bīja “vaṃ ,” the formation of the body is continued, and with the bīja “laṃ ” it is completed and strengthened. Lastly, with the mantra “Sohaṃ ,” the sadhaka leads the jīvātmā into the heart. Thus Kuṇ ḍ alinī, who has enjoyed Her union with Paramaśiva, sets out, on her return journey the way she
came. As she passes through each of the cakras all that she has absorbed therefrom come out from herself and take their several places in the cakra.

In this manner she again reaches the mūlādhāra, when all that is described to be in the cakras are in the position which they occupied before her awakening.

The Guru’s instructions are to go above the āj˝ā cakra, but no special directions are given; for after this cakra has been pierced the sādhaka can reach the brahmasthāna un-aided. Below the “seventh mouth of Śiva” the relationship of Guru and śiṣ ya ceases. The instructions of the seventh amnaya are not expressed (aprakāśita).














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