The Narasimha Cakras

The Narasimha Cakras

Author: Sir John Woodroofe

Book: The Serpent Power

Illustration: Veeraswamy Krishnaraj



"Om. The Devas, coming to Śatyaloka, thus spoke to Prajāpati, saying, 'Tell us of the Nārasiṁha 3 Cakras, (to which he replied): There are six Nārasiṁha Cakras. The first and second have each four spokes; the third, five; the fourth, six; the fifth, seven; and the sixth, eight spokes. These six are the Nārasiṁha Cakras. Now, what are their names (that is what you ask). They are Ācakra,4 Sucakra.5 Mahācakra, 6 Sakalaloka-rakṣaṇa-cakra, 7 Dyucakra,8" Asurāntaka-cakra.9 These are their respective names. [1]

1 Sarveṣām prāninām shirasi amṛtam asti iti yogamārgena kuṇḍalinīgamane tatratya tatpravāhāplutena yoginārn Īśarasāmyam jāyate iti yogaśāstreṣu prasiddham (Comm. v. 1).

2 Bibliotheca Indica, ed, Asiatic Society (I871). The notes are from the Commentary of Nārāyaṇa,  

3 The man-lion incarnation of Viṣṇu,  

4 Ānandātmaka; in the self of Ānanda (bliss).

5 Good, perfect.  

6 Lustrous (Tejomaya).  

7 The Cakra which by the Śaktis of ]āna and Kriyā protects all regions (Loka).  

8 The Cakra of the path reached by Yoga.  

9 The Cakra which is the death of all Asuras, or liars.  


"Now, what are the three circles (Valaya)? These are inner, middle and outer. 1 The first is Bīja; 2 the second, Nārasiṁha-gāyatri; 3 and the third, or outer, is Mantra. Now, what is the inner circle? There are six such (for each Cakra has one); these are the Nārasiṁha, Mahālākṣmya, Sārasvata, Kāmadeva, Praṇava, Krodha-daivata (Bījas),  respectively.4 These are the six interior circles of the six Narasimha-Cakras. [2]  

"Now, what is the middle circle? There are six such.  To each of these belong Nārasiṁhāya, Vidmahe, Vajra-makhāya, Dhīmahi, Tannah, Siṁhah pracodayāt, respectively.5 These are the six circles of the six Nārasiṁha-Cakras. Now, what are the six outer circles? The first is Ānandātmā  or Ācakra; the second is Priyātmā or Sucakra; the third is Jyotirātmā or Mahā-Cakra ; the fourth is Māyātmā or Sakala-loka-rakṣaṇa-Cakra; the fifth is Yogātmā or Dyu-Cakra; and the sixth is Samāptātmā or Asurāntaka-Cakra. These are the six outer circles of the six Nārasiṁha -Cakras.6 [3]  

1 That is, each Cakra has three divisions-inner, middle, and outer; or Bīja, Nārasiṁha -Gayatri, Mantra.  

2 The root Mantra, which in this case are those given in the next note but one.  

3 That is, the Mantra. Nārasiṁhāya vidmahe vajranakhāya dhīmahi, tannah siṁhah pracodayāt, (May we contemplate on Nārasiṁha, may we meditate on his Vajra-like claws. May that man-lion direct us.)  

4 That is, the following Bījas: Ksauṁ (in Ācakra); Srīṁ, His Śakti (in Sucakra); Aim (in Mahā-Cakra); Klīm (in Sakalaloka-rakṣaṇa-Cakra); Oṁ (in Dyu-Cakra); and Hūṁ (in Asurāntaka-Cakra).  

5 That is, to each of them is assigned the several parts of the Nārasiṁha-gāyatri above-mentioned.  

6 The Atmā as bliss, love, light or energy, Māyā, Yoga, and the concluding Cakra which is the destruction of all Asuras.  


"Now, where should these be placed? 1 Let the first be placed in the heart; 2 the second in the head; 3 the third at the site of the crown-lock 4 (Śikhāyaṁ); the fourth all over the body; 5 the fifth in all the eyes 6 (Sarveṣu netreṣu) and the sixth in all the regions 7 (Sarveṣu deśeṣu), [4]  

"He who does Nyāsa of these Nārasiṁha-Cakras on two limbs becomes skilled Anustubh,8 attains the favour of Lord Nṛsiṁha, success in all regions and amongst all beings, and (at the end) Liberation (Kaivalya). Therefore should this Nyāsa be done. This Nyāsa purifies. By this one is made perfect in worship, is pious, and pleases Nārasiṁha. By the omission thereof, on the other hand, the favour of Nṛsiṁha is not gained nor is strength, worship, nor piety generated. [5]  

"He who reads this becomes versed in all Vedas, gains. capacity to officiate as priest at all sacrifices, becomes like one who has bathed in all places of pilgrimage, an adept in all Mantras, and pure both within and without. He becomes the destroyer of all Rākṣasas, Bhūtas, Piśācas, Sākinis, Pretas, and Vetālas, 9 He becomes freed of all fear; therefore should it not be spoken of to an unbeliever." 10 [6]  

1 That is, how should Nyāsa be done? That is explained in the text and following notes where the Nyāsa is given.  

2 Kṣauṁ Nārasiṁhāya ācakrāya ānandātmane svāhā hṛdayāya namah.  

3 Śriṁ vidmahe sucakrāya priyātmane svāhā sirase svāhā.  

4 Aiṁ vajra-nakhāya mahā-cakrāya jyotirātmane svāhā śikhāyai vaṣat.

5 Klirn dhimahi sakala-loka-rakṣaṇa-cakraya mayatmane svāhā, kavacāya huṁ.  

6 Om tanno dyu-cakrāya yogātmane svāhā netra-trayāya vauṣat,  

7 Hauṁ nṛsiṁhah pracodayāt asurāntaka-cakrāya satyātmane svāhā astrāya phat.  

8 That is, he becomes capable of speech--a poet. He knows the beginning and end of all things and is able to explain all things.  

9 Various forms of terrifying and malignant spiritual influences.  

10 That is, not to one who is not competent (Adhikārī) to receive this knowledge. Here ends the Ātharvaṇīya Ṣaṭcakropaṇiṣad.