Bhagavadgita Pages, Chapters 1 to 18

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Kundalini Power

Kundalini Chakras-Sat-Chakra-Nirupana

Kundalini: Based on Serpent Power by Woodroffe

Commentary, illustrations and or flowcharts: V.Krishnaraj

This article is based on Serpent Power by Woodroffe mostly in his own words. This is not a complete depiction of his writing.


Chapter 1 Introduction

Kundalini's form is that of a coiled serpent in the lowest body center, at the base of the spinal column. One of Her names is Bhujagī (Serpent).  Kundalini is the divine Cosmic Energy in bodies. Some of the Sufi fraternities (Naqshbandi) are said to have devised or rather borrowed, from the Indian Yogis the Kundalini method as a means to realization. Al-Biruni is said to have translated Patanjali;s works as also the Samkhya-Sutras, into Arabic at the beginning of the 11th century. One author states, “ Such methods of contemplation are quite unislamic in character, and the higher Sufis do not attach any importance to them.” Kundalini Yoga knowledge did reach as far as the American-Indian Maya Scripture.

Many cultures assigned parts of the body as the seat of the soul: the blood, the heart and the breath.  Brain was not mentioned.  The Vaidik system regards the heart as the site of Consciousness. Tantric regard that the chief centers of consciousness abide in the Kundalini Chakras in various parts of the body and also in the upper brain (Sahasrara). And yet heart is regarded as the seat of Jivatma in its aspect as the vital principle or Paraná.  Some Indian views regard the brain as the center of the mind and senses and the heart that of life.  Caraka says that the heart is the root from which spring all other parts of the body, and is the center of some of the functions or organs. According to Susruta, the heart is the seat of sensations.

We are all Yogis at different stages of development.

Kundalini sleeps in Muladhara because she is at rest and man’s consciousness is awake to this world, her creation in which She is immanent. When She awakes and Yoga is completed man sleeps to the world and enjoys super-worldly experience. The end of Kundalini-Yoga is beyond all heaven worlds. No Yogi seeks “Heaven” but union with that which is the source of all worlds.  The object and aim of Sat-Cakra-bheda is Yoga, the union with the Supreme Self or Paramatma. The body’s natural state is in Yoga though it is unconscious of it; otherwise, the body would not exist. After many stages upwards, Kaivalya Mukti (KM) is attained.  KM and the preceding stages are beyond the “heaven world” and Yogis, not concerned with it surpass it. Otherwise they are not Yogis at all.  Health, strength, thought, will, and morality are subject to manifested force upon its discovery by the Yogi and must be first purified and strengthened before they are intensified by the vivifying influence of the aroused force. Piercing the Brahma Granthi or Knot sometimes involves considerable pain, physical disorder, and even disease, as is not unlikely to follow from concentration on such a center as the navel ( Nābhipadma = Navel Lotus).

Guru and Adhikari; The false Gurus and Black Magic

Guru alone can teach the actual method of Yoga and determines the competency (Adhikārī) of the Sadhaka. Woodroffe deplores the West’s false understanding of Kundalini Yoga as Phallic Sorcery and Black Magic, which Dabblers in Pseudo-occult use along with Kundalini for stimulating sexual center. It is a perverse and misguided concentration on sexual and connected centers. Commentator Lakshmidhara says that Uttara-Kaulas arouse Kundalini in the Muladhara to satisfy their desire for world-enjoyment and do not attempt to lead Her upwards to the Highest center which is the object of seeking super-worldly bliss. Of such a Sanskrit verse runs “they are the true prostitutes”. 

A True Sadhaka and Yogi

For the Yogi, these matters do not concern. To him it is a religious as all other matters are.  He bases his firm faith in Brahman and desires union with It which is Liberation. Gandharava-Tantra says the following: The aspirant must be intelligent (Daksa) with senses (Jitendriya) controlled, abstaining from injury to all beings (Sarva-himsā-vinirmukhta) ever doing good to all (Sarva-prāi-ite ratah), pure (suci); a believer in Veda (Āstika), whose faith and refuge is in Brahman (Brahmişah, Brahmavādī, Brāhmī, Brahmaparāyaa), and who is a non-dualist (Dvaita-hīna).  "Such an one is competent in this Scripture, otherwise he is no Sadhakah ".

Mind, Breath and Sexual function are interconnected. The aim of the Yogi is to carry" his seed high" to be Urdhva-retas as it is called. For this purpose the Niparita-Mudras are designed.

The lotuses are the centers of the universal consciousness. Kundalini is the static form of the creative energy in bodies which is the source of all energies, including Prana. Verses 10 and 11 say of Kundalini : It is She who maintains all the beings (that is, jiva, jivatma) of the world by means of inspiration and expiration." She is thus the Prana Devata, but, as She is (Comm., vv. 10 and 11) Srsti-sthiti-layatmika, all forces therefore are in Her.

According to the Hindu doctrine, these Cakras are differing centers of consciousness, vitality and Tattvik energy. Each of the five lower Cakras is the centre of energy of a gross Tattva-that is, of that form of Tattvik activity or Tanmatra which manifests the Mahabhuta or sensible matter. The sixth is the centre of the subtle mental Tattva, and the Sahasrara is not called a Cakra at all. Nor, as stated, is the splenic centre included among the six Cakras which are dealt with here.

The total number of the petals corresponds with the number of the letters of the Sanskrit Alphabet, and the number of the petals of any specific lotus is determined by the disposition of the subtile "nerves" or Nadis around it. These petals, further, bear subtile sound-powers, and are fifty in number, as are the letters of the Sanskrit Alphabet.

The contemplation on the Chakras confer long life, freedom from desire and sin, control of the senses, knowledge, power of speech and fame. The mere rousing of the Serpent Power does not, from the spiritual Yoga standpoint, amount to much. Nothing, however, of real moment, from the higher Yogi's point of view, is achieved until the Ajna Cakra is reached.  Though much is here gained, it is not until the Tattvas of this centre are also absorbed, and complete knowledge of the Sahasrara is gained, that the Yogi attains that which is both his aim and the motive of his labour, cessation from rebirth which follows on the control and concentration of the Citta on the Sivasthanam, the Abode of Bliss.  The Hindu says that all powers (Siddhi) are the attributes (Aisvarya] of the Lord Isvara, or Creative Consciousness, and that in the degree that the Jiva realizes that consciousness he shares the powers inherent in the degree of his attainment.  Consciousness: As this is by the Devi's grace, She is called "the giver of the eight Siddhis" (Isitvadyastasiddhida). She gives Aisvarya.

As regards practice I am told that Kundalini cannot be roused except in the MUladhara and by the means here indicated, though this may take place by accident when by chance a person has hit upon the necessary positions and conditions, but not otherwise.

A wayward Experience of Kundalini by the uninitiated.

A man was found whose body was as cold as a corpse, though the top of the head was slightly warm. (This is the state in Kundalini-yoga, Samadhi.) He was massaged with ghee (clarified butter), when the head got gradually warmer. The warmth descended to the neck, then the whole body regained its heat with a rush. The man came to consciousness, and then told the story of his condition. He said he had been going through some antics, imitating the posture of a Yogi, when suddenly "sleep" had come over him. It was surmised that his breath must have stopped, and that, being in the right position and conditions, he had unwittingly roused Kundalini who had ascended to Her cerebral centre. Not, however, being a Yogi he could not bring her down again. This, further, can only be done when the Nadis are pure. I told the Pandit (who gave me this story, who was learned in this Yoga, and whose brother practiced it) of the case of a European friend of mine who was not acquainted with the Yoga processes here described, though he had read something about Kundalini in translation of Sanskrit works, and who, nevertheless, believed he had roused Kundali by meditative processes alone. In fact, as he wrote me, it was useless for him as a European to go into the minutiae of Eastern Yoga. He, however, saw the " nerves" Ida and Pingala, and the" central fire" with a trembling aura of rosy light, and blue or azure light, and a white fire which rose up into the brain and flamed out in a winged radiance on either side of the head. Fire was seen flashing from centre to centre with such rapidity that he could see little of the vision, and movements of forces were seen in the bodies of others. The radiance or aura round Ida was seen as moonlike-that is, palest azure -and Pingala red or rather pale rosy opalescence. Kundali appeared in vision as of intense golden-like white fire rather curled spirally. Taking the centers, Susumna, Ida and Pingala, to be symbolized by the Caduceus of Mercury." the little ball at the top of the rod was identified with the Sahasrara or pineal gland and the wings as the flaming of auras on each side of the center when the fire strikes it. One night, being abnormally free from the infection of bodily desires, he felt the serpent uncoil, and it ran up, and he was" in a fountain of fire," and felt, as he said, " the flames spreading wingwise about my head and there was a musical clashing as of cymbals, whilst some of these flames, like emanations, seemed to expand and meet like gathered wings over my head. I felt a rocking motion. I really felt frightened, as the Power seemed something which could consume me." My friend wrote me that in his agitation he forgot to fix his mind on the Supreme, and so missed a divine adventure. Perhaps it was on this account that he said he did not regard the awakening of this power as a very high spiritual experience or on a level with other states of consciousness he experienced. The experience, however, convinced him that there was a real science and magic in the Indian books which treat of occult physiology.

The Pandit's observations on this experience were as follows: If the breath is stopped and the mind is carried downwards, heat is felt. It is possible to " see" Kundalini with the mental eye, and in this way to experience Her without actually arousing Her and bringing Her up, which can only be effected by the Yoga methods prescribed. Kundalini may have thus been seen as Light in the basal centre (Muladhara). It was the mind (Buddhi) which perceived Her, but as the experiencer had not been taught the practice, he got confused. There is one simple test whether the Sakti is actually aroused. When she is aroused intense heat is felt at that spot but when she leaves a particular centre the part so left becomes as cold and apparently lifeless as a corpse. The progress upwards may thus be externally verified by others. When the Sakti (Power) has reached the upper brain (Sahasrara] the whole body is cold and corpselike; except the top of the skull, where some warmth is felt, this being the place where the static and kinetic aspects of Consciousness unite.

Power and Power-Holder

Sakti’s manifest power are Mind, Life and Matter.  The power-holder is Siva and the Poer is Sakti. There is no existence without the other and thus they are One, and each Being, Consciousness and Bliss. These are ultimate Reality, because Being or ' Is-ness', as distinguished from particular forms of Being, cannot be thought away. 'To be' again is "to be conscious" and lastly perfect Being-Consciousness is the Whole, and unlimited unconstrained Being is Bliss. These three terms stand for the ultimate 'creative Reality as it is in itself. By the imposition upon these terms of Name (Nama) and Form (Rupa) or Mind and Matter, we have the limited Being-Consciousness and Bliss which is the Universe.

Chapter 2 Bodiless Consciousness

Those who wish to go farther, and to put into actual process this Yoga, must first satisfy themselves of the value and suitability of this Yoga and then learn directly of a Guru who has himself been through it (Siddha). His experience alone will say whether the aspirant is capable of success. It is said that of those who attempt it, one out of a thousand may have success. If the latter enters upon the path, the Guru alone can save him from attendant risks, moulding and guiding the practice as he will according to the particular capacities and needs of his disciple. Whilst, therefore, on this heading it is possible to explain some general principles, their application is dependent on the circumstances of each particular case.

What is Pure Consciousness?

The ultimate or irreducible reality is 'Spirit' in the sense of Pure Consciousness (Cit, Samvit) from out of which as and by its Power (Sakti), Mind and Matter proceed. Spirit1 is one. There are no degrees or differences in Spirit. The Spirit which is in man is the one Spirit which is in everything and which, as the object of worship, is the Lord (Isvara) or God. Mind and Matter are many and of many degrees and qualities. Atma or Spirit as such is the Whole (Puma) without section (Akhanda). Mind and Matter are parts in that Whole. They are the not-whole (Apurna) and are the section (Khanda), Spirit is infinite (Aparicchinna) and formless (Arupa). Mind and Matter are finite (Paricchinna)- and with form (Rupa), Atma is unchanged and inactive. Its Power (Sakti) is active and changes in the form of Mind and Matter. Pure Consciousness is Cit or Samvit. Matter as such is the unconscious. And Mind too is unconscious according to Vedanta. For all that is not the conscious self is the unconscious object This does not mean that it is unconscious in itself. On the contrary all is essentially consciousness, but that it is unconscious because it is the object of the conscious self. For mind limits Consciousness so as to enable man to have finite experience. There is no Mind without consciousness as its background, though supreme Consciousness is Mindless (Amanah). Where there is no mind (Amanah), there is no limitation. Consciousness remaining in one aspect unchanged changes in its other aspect as active Power which manifests as Mind and Body. Man then is Pure Consciousness (Cit) vehicled by its Power as Mind and Body.

Spirit1 Spirit is Atma which manifests as the Self. Its vehicles are Mind or Antahkarana working with Manas and the Senses or Indryas, and Matter, namely, the five kinds of Bhuta or sensible matter.

In Theology this Pure Consciousness is Siva, and His Power (Sakti) who as She is in Her formless self is one with Him. She is the great Devi, the Mother of the Universe who as the Life-Force resides in man's body in its lowest centre at the base of the spine just as Siva is realized in the highest brain centre, the cerebrum or Sahasrara-Padma. Completed Yoga is the Union of Her and Him in the body of the Sadhaka. This is Laya or dissolution, the reverse of Srsti or involution of Spirit in Mind and Matter.

Some worship predominantly the masculine or right side of the conjoint male and female figure (Ardhanarisvara). Some, the Saktas, predominantly worship the left, and call Her Mother, for She is the Great Mother (Magna Mater), the Mahadevi who conceives, bears, and nourishes the universe sprung from Her womb (Yoni). This is so because She is the active aspect of Consciousness, imagining (Srsti-kalpana) the world to be, according to the impressions

(Samskara) derived from enjoyment and suffering in former worlds. It is held natural to worship Her as Mother. The first Mantra into which all men are initiated is the word Ma (Mother). It is their first word and generally their last. The father is a mere helper (Sahakari-matra) of the Mother1. The whole world of the five elements also springs from the Active Consciousness or Sakti, and is Her manifestation (Purna-vikasa). Therefore men worship the Mother2 than whom is none more tender3, saluting Her smiling beauty as the rosy Tripurasundari, the source of the universe, and Her awe-inspiring grandeur as Kali, who takes it back into Herself. Here we are concerned with Yoga which is the realization of the union of the Mother and Lord aspects in that state of consciousness which is the Absolute.

Veda says: "All this (that is, the manifold world) is (the one) Brahman" (Sarvarn khalvidarn Brahma)4.  How the many can be the one5 is variously explained by the different schools. The interpretation here given is that contained in the Sakta- Tantras or Agamas.  In the first place, what is the one Reality which appears as many? What is the nature of Brahman as it is in itself (Svarupa)? The answer is Sat-Cit-Ananda-that is, Being-Consciousness-Bliss. Consciousness or feeling, as such (Cit or Samvit), is identical with Being as such. Though in ordinary experience the two are essentially bound up together, they still diverge or seem to diverge from each other. Man by his constitution inveterately believes in an objective existence beyond and independent of himself. And there is such objectivity as long as, being embodied Spirit (jivatma), his consciousness is veiled or contracted 1 by Maya. But in the ultimate basis of experience, which is the Supreme Spirit (Paramatrna), the divergence has gone, for in it lie, in undifferentiated mass, experiencer, experience, and the experienced. When, however, we speak of Cit as Feeling- Consciousness we must remember that what we know and observe as such is only a limited changing manifestation of Cit, which is in itself the infinite changeless principle, which is the background of all experience. This Being-Consciousness is absolute Bliss (Ananda), which is defined as " resting in the self" (Svarupa-visranti). It is Bliss because, being the infinite All (Purna), it can be in want of nothing. This blissful consciousness is the ultimate or irreducible nature or Svarupa or own form of the one Reality which is both the Whole as the irreducible Real and Part as the reducible Real. Svarupa is the nature of anything as it is in itself, as distinguished from what it may appear to be. Supreme Consciousness is the Supreme Siva-Sakti (Parasiva Parasakti) which never changes, but eternally endures the same throughout all change effected in its creative aspect as Siva-Sakti.

Mother1 The Supreme Father gives His illumination (Prakasa). She, the Vimarsa-sakti, produces, but not alone.

Mother2  In Matr-bhava, according to the Sanskrit term. Philosophically also this is sound, for all that man knows (outside ecstasy of Samadhi) is the Mother in Her form as the world. The Supreme Sakti, who is not different from Siva (Parasakti-sivahbinna), is embodied in every order of thing (Sarva-krama-saririni Yogini-hrdaya- Tantra).

tender3 It is said that "there is nothing more tender than Prakrti," who serves Purusa in every way in His enjoyment, finally giving Mukti or Liberation by retiring from Him when He no longer serves Her.

Sarvarn khalvidarn Brahma)4 This, as the Mahanirvana-Tantra says (VII. 98), is the end and aim of Tantrik Kulacara, the realization of which saying the Prapancasara-Tantra calls the fifth or supreme State (Ch, XIX, PrapancasaraTantra). The fifth or the supreme state is Turiyatita--Krishnaraj. Go to link: BG12

the one5  Thus it is said of Devi that She is in the form of one and many (Ekanekaksarakrtih), Ekam = ekarh ajnanam or Maya. Anekani = the several Ajnanas-that is, Avidya. She is both as Upadhi of Isvara and Jiva (Trisati, II. 23).

All manifestation is associated with apparent unconsciousness. The mind is evidently not a pure, but a limited consciousness. What limits it must be something either in itself unconscious or, if conscious, capable of producing the appearance of consciousness. In the phenomenal world there is nothing absolutely conscious nor absolutely unconscious. Consciousness and unconsciousness are always intermingled. Some things, however, appear to be more conscious, and some more unconscious than others. This is due to the fact that Cit, which is never absent in anything, yet manifests itself in various ways and degrees. The degree of this manifestation is determined by the nature and development of the mind and body in which it is enshrined. Spirit remains the same; the mind and body change. The manifestation of consciousness is more or less limited as ascent is made from the mineral to man. In the mineral world Cit manifests as the lowest form of sentiency evidenced by reflex response to stimuli, and that physical consciousness which is called in the West atomic memory. The sentiency of plants is more developed, though it is, as Cakrapani says in the Bhanumati, a dormant consciousness. This is further manifested in those micro-organisms which are intermediate stages between the vegetable and animal worlds, and have a psychic life of their own. In the animal world consciousness becomes more centralized and complex, reaching its fullest development in man, who possesses all the psychic functions such as cognition, perception, feeling and will. Behind all these particular changing forms of sentiency or consciousness is the one formless, changeless Cit as it is in itself (Svarupa), that is, as distinguished from the particular forms of its manifestation.

As Cit throughout all these stages of life remains the same it is not in itself really developed. The appearance of development is due to the fact that it is now more and now less veiled or contracted by Mind and Matter. It is this veiling by the power of Consciousness (Sakti) which creates the world. What is it, then, which veils consciousness and thus produces world-experience? The answer is Power or Sakti as Maya. Maya-Sakti is that which seemingly makes the Whole (Purna) into the not whole (Apurna), the infinite into the finite, the formless into forms and the like. It is a power which thus cuts down, veils and negates. Negates what? Perfect consciousness. Is Sakti in itself the same as or different from Siva or Cit? It must be the same, for otherwise all could not be one Brahman. But if it is the same it must be also Cit or Consciousness. Therefore it is Saccidanandamayi1 and Cidrirpini2

And yet there is, at least in appearance, some distinction. Sakti, which comes from the root Sak, "to have power," "to be able," means power. As She is one with Siva as Power-holder (Saktiman), She as such Power is the power of Siva or Consciousness. There is no difference between Siva as the possessor of power (Saktiman) and Power as It is in Itself. The power of Consciousness is Consciousness in its active aspect. Whilst, therefore, both Siva and Sakti are Consciousness, the former is the changeless static aspect of Consciousness, and Sakti is the kinetic, active aspect of the same Consciousness. The particular power whereby the dualistic world is brought into being is Maya-Sakti, which is both a veiling (Avarana) and projecting (Viksepa) Sakti.

Saccidanandamayi1:  That is, its substance is Sat, Cit, Ananda. The suffixes Mayi and. Rupini indicate a subtle distinction--namely, that She is in Herself, Cit, and yet by appearance the effect of the Power, something different from it.

Cidrirpini2 : In the form or nature of Cit. As the Kubjika Tantra says, the Parama-Kala is both Cit (Cidrupa) and Nada (Nadarupa).

 Consciousness veils itself to itself, and projects from the store of its previous experiences (Samskara) the notion of a world in which it suffers and enjoys. The universe is thus the creative imagination (Srsti-kalpana, as it is called) of the Supreme World-thinker (Isvara). Maya is that power by which things are" measured "--that is, formed and made known (Miyate anaya iti maya). It is the sense of difference (Bhedabuddhi), or that which makes man see the world, and all things and persons therein, as different from himself, when in essence he and they are the one Self. It is that which establishes a dichotomy in what would otherwise be a unitary experience, and is the cause of the dualism inherent in all phenomenal experience. Sakti as action veils consciousness by negating in various degrees Herself as Consciousness.

Before the manifestation of the universe, infinite Being-Consciousness-Bliss alone was--that is, Siva-Sakti as Cit and Cidrupinli respectively.1

This is the Experience-whole (Purna) in which as the Upanisad says, "The Self knows and loves the Self." It is this Love which is Bliss or "resting in the self," for, as it is elsewhere said, "Supreme love is bliss" (Niratisaya-premaspadatvarn anandatvam). This is Parasiva, who in the scheme of the Thirty-six Tattvas, is known as para-samvit.

 Thirty-six Tattvas: Raghava-Bhatra says: Va anadirupa caitanyadhyasena mahapralaye suksma sthita (Comm, on Sarada-Tilaka, Ch. I). See as to the Kashmir School, and its Philosophy of the Tattvas J. C. Chatterji's work on "Kashmir Saivism ". This is Paramasiva, or Nirguna (attributeless), or Niskala (devoid of manifested Sakti) Siva or Parabrahman, as contrasted with Saguna (with attribute), or Sakala (with parts or Sakti), Siva, or Sabda-brahman (Brahman as the source of" sound," v, post).

This Monism posits a dual aspect of the single Consciousness--one the transcendental changeless aspect (Para-samvit), and the other the creative changing aspect, which is called Siva-Sakti- Tattva. In Para-samvit the “ I” (Aham) and the "This" (Idam), or universe of objects are indistinguishably mingled in the supreme unitary experience.1

In Siva-Sakti-Tattva, Sakti, which is the negative aspect of the former. Her function being negation (Nisedha-vyapararupa Saktih), negates Herself as the object of experience. leaving the Siva Consciousness as a mere" I "  “not looking towards another” (Ananyonmukhah aham-pratyayah). This is a state of mere subjective illumination (Prakasa-matra)2 to which Sakti, who is called Vimarsa3 again presents Herself. but now with a distinction of " I" and " This" as yet held together as part of one self. At this point, the first incipient stage of dualism, there is the first transformation of consciousness, known as SadaSiva' or Sadakhya- Tattva, which is followed by the second or Ishvara Tattva and then by the third or Suddha-vidya-Tattva. In the first emphasis is laid on the "This" , in the second on the" I," and in the third on both equally. Then Maya severs the united consciousness so that the object is seen as other than the self and then as split up into the multitudinous objects of the universe.

unitary experience.1 : As the Yoginihrdaya-Tantra says: The Para Devi is Prakasa-vimarsa-samarasyarupini. This is the Nirvikalpajnana state in which there is no distinction of " This" and "That ", of  " I " and "This ". In Vikalpa-jnana there is subject and object.

(Prakasa-matra)2 : Paramasiva has two aspects--Prakasa and Vimarsa, or Kamesvara and Kamesvari the Paralinga. Prakasa = asphutasputikara, or manifestation of what is not manifest.

Vimarsa3: This word comes from the root mrish = to touch, to affect, to cogitate. , It is that which is pounded or handled by thought, that is, object of reflective thought. Pradhana and Prakrti also involve the meaning “placing in front "; that which is so placed is object. All three terms denote the principle of objectivity.

In the Mantra side of the Tantra-Sastra, dealing with Mantra and its origin, these two Tattvas emanating from Sakti are from the sound side known as Nada and Bindu. Parasiva and Parasakti are motionless (Nih-spanda) and soundless (Nih-sabda),

Nada is the first produced movement in the ideating cosmic consciousness leading up to the Sound-Brahman (Sabda-brahman), whence all ideas, the language in which they are expressed (Sabda), and the objects (Artha) which they denote, are derived.

Bindu literally means a point and the dot (Anusvara), which denotes1 in Sanskrit the nasal breathing (0). It is placed in the Candra-bindu nasal breathing above Nada (0). In its technical Mantra sense it denotes that state of active Consciousness or Sakti in which the "I" or illuminating aspect of Consciousness identifies itself with the total "This".2  It subjectifies the "This," thereby becoming a point (Bindu) of consciousness with it. When Consciousness apprehends an object as different from Itself, It sees that object as extended in space. But when that object is completely subjectified, it is experienced as an unextended point. This is the universe-experience of the Lord-experiencer as Bindu.Where does the Universe go at dissolution? It is withdrawn into that Sakti which projected it.

(Anusvara), which denotes1:  Lit. What goes (anu) with vowel sound (Svara or Svara).

 total "This".2:  For until the operation of Maya at a later stage the "This" is still experienced as part of the" I ". Therefore there is no manifestation or dualism.

Lord-experiencer as Bindu.3:  For the same reason Sakti is then said to be Ghanibhuta, which is literally massive or condensed. It is that state of gathered-up power which immediately precedes the burgeoning forth (Sphurana) of the universe.


 It collapses, so to speak, into a mathematical point without any magnitude whatever.1  (Krishnaraj: think of Singularity in the Black Hole.)

This is the Siva-bindu, which again is withdrawn into the Siva-Sakti-Tattva which produced it. It is conceived that round the Siva-Bindu there is coiled Sakti, just as in the earth centre called Muladhara-Cakra in the human body a serpent clings round the self-produced Phallus (Svayambhulinga). This coiled Sakti may be conceived as a mathematical line, also without magnitude, which, being everywhere in contact with the point round which it is coiled, is compressed together with it, and forms therefore also one and the same point. There is one indivisible unity of dual aspect which is figured also in the Tantras2 as a grain of gram (Canaka), which has two seeds (Cotyledons: Krishnaraj) so closely joined as to look as one surrounded by an outer sheath.3

Krishnaraj: Below you see a grain of gram. commonly called a pea. Pea has a green sheath, that is MAYA. The yellow parts ( 2 in each pea) are the cotyledons, which are compared to Siva-Sakti, who are so close together they are regarded as one--pea in a sheath.



To revert to the former simile, the Sakti coiled round Siva, making one point (Bindu) with it, is Kundalinl Sakti. This word comes from the word Kundala or "a coil," "a bangle". She is spoken of as coiled; because She is likened to a serpent (Bhujangi), which, when resting and sleeping, lies coiled; and because the nature of Her power is spiraline, manifesting itself as such in the worlds--the spheroids or "eggs of Brahma " (Brahmanda = the Universe), and in their circular or revolving orbits and in other ways.

any magnitude whatever1: The imagery, like all of its kind, is necessarily imperfect; for such a point, though it has no magnitude, is assumed to have a position. Here there is none, or we are in spacelessness.

Tantras2 : See the Commentary, post.

an outer sheath.3 :The two seeds are Siva and Sakti, and the sheath is MAyA. When they come apart there is "creation ", Again the imagery is faulty in that there are two seeds, whereas Siva and Sakti are the One with dual aspect.

Thus the Tantras speak of the development of the straight line, (Riju-rekha) from the point which, when it has gone its length as a point, is turned (Vakra-rekha amkushakara) by the force of the spiraline sack of Maya in which it works so as to form a figure of two dimensions, which again is turned upon itself, ascending as a straight line into the plane of the third dimension, thus forming the triangular or pyramidal figure called Sringataka1. In other words, this Kundali-Sakti is that which, when it moves to manifest itself, appears as the universe. To say that it is "coiled" is to say that it is at rest --that is, in the form of static potential energy. This Sakti coiled round the Supreme Siva is called Maha-kundali (" The great coiled power"), to distinguish it from the same power which exists in individual bodies, and which is called Kundalini.2 It is with and through the last power that this Yoga is effected. When it is accomplished the individual Sakti (Kundali) is united with the great cosmic Sakti (MahaKundali), and She with Siva, with whom She is essentially one. Kundalini is an aspect of the eternal Brahman (Brahmarupa Sanatani), and is both attributeless and with attribute (Nirguna and Saguna), In Her Nirguna aspect She is pure Consciousness (Caitanya-rupini) and Bliss itself (Anand arupini, and in creation, Brahmananda-prakasini). As Saguna She it is by whose power all creatures are displayed (Sarvabhuta-prakasini.3) Kundali-Sakti in individual bodies is power at rest, or the static centre round which every form of existence as moving power revolves. In the universe there is always in and behind every form of activity a static background. The one Consciousness is polarized into static (Siva) and kinetic (Sakti) aspects for the purpose of "creation". This Yoga is the resolution of this duality into unity again.

Sringataka1: The shape of the Singara, water-nut, which grows freely in the lakes of Kashmir. Here I may observe that Yantras, though drawn on the flat, must be conceived of in the solid mass. The flat drawing is a mere suggestion of the three-dimensional figure which the Yantra is.

Kundalini.2:  Because She is thus bent, the Devi is called Kubjika (hunchback).

 (Sarvabhuta-prakasini.3): Kubjika-Tantra, Ch. I, Prana-tosini, p. 8.

The Indian Scriptures say, in the words of Herbert Spencer in his "First Principles", that the universe is an unfoldment (Srsti) from the homogeneous (Mula-prakrti) to the heterogeneous (Vikrti), and back to the homogeneous again (Pralaya or Dissolution). There are thus alternate states of evolution and dissolution, manifestation taking place after a period of rest. So also Professor Huxley, in his "Evolution and Ethics," speaks of the manifestation of cosmic energy (Maya-Sakti) alternating between phases of potentiality (Pralaya) and phases of explication (Srsti). "It may be," he says, "as Kant suggests, every cosmic magma predestined to evolve into a new world has been the no less predestined end of a vanished predecessor." This the Indian Sastra affirms in its doctrine that there is no such thing as an absolutely first creation, the present universe being but one of a series of worlds which are past and are yet to be.

At the time of Dissolution (Pralaya) there is in Consciousness as Maha-kundali, though undistinguishable from its general mass, the potentiality or seed of the universe to be. Maya, as the world, potentially exists as Maha-kundali, who is Herself one with Consciousness or Siva. This Maya contains, and is in fact constituted by, the collective Samskara or Vasana---that is, the mental impressions and tendencies produced by Karma accomplished in previously existing worlds. These constitute the mass of the potential ignorance (Avidya) by which Consciousness veils itself. They were produced by desire for worldly enjoyment, and themselves produce such desire. The worlds exist because they, in their totality, will to exist. Each individual exists because his will desires worldly life. This seed is therefore the collective or cosmic will towards manifested life--that is the life of form and enjoyment. At the end of the period of rest, which is Dissolution, this seed ripens into Consciousness. Consciousness has thus a twin aspect; its liberation (Mukti) or formless aspect, in which it is as mere Consciousness--Bliss; and a universe or form aspect, in which it becomes the world of enjoyment (Bhukti). One of the cardinal principles of the Sakta-Tantra is to secure by its Sadhana both Liberation (Mukti) and Enjoyment (Bhukti).1 This is possible by the identification of the self when in enjoyment with the soul of the world. When this seed ripens, Siva is said to put forth His Sakti, As this Sakti is Himself, it is He in His Siva-Sakti aspect who comes forth (Prasarati) and endows Himself with all the forms of worldly life. In the pure, perfect, formless Consciousness there springs up the desire to manifest in the world of forms--the desire for enjoyment of and as form. This takes place as a limited stress in the unlimited unmoving surface of pure Consciousness, which is Niskala-Siva, but without affecting the latter. There is thus change in changelessness and changelessness in change. Siva in His transcendent aspect does not change but Siva (Sakala) in His immanent aspect as Sakti does. As creative will arises, Sakti thrills as Nada,2 and assumes the form of Bindu, which is Isvara--Tattva, whence all the worlds derive. It is for their creation that Kundali uncoils. When Karma ripens, the Devi, in the words of the Nigama,3  becomes desirous of creation, and covers Herself with Her own Maya".

Enjoyment (Bhukti).1:  Bhogena moksam-apnoti bhogena kulasadhanam

Tasmad yatnad bhogayukto bhaved viravarah sudhih, (Kularnava-Samhita, v. 219)

"By world-experience (Bhoga Bhukti) he gains Liberation or World experience is the means for the attainment of Kula. Therefore, the wise and good Vira should carefully be united with world-experience."

Sakti thrills as Nada,2:  Literally" sound," that initial activity which is the first source of the subsequently manifested Sabda (sound) which is the Word to which corresponds the Artha or Object.

words of the Nigama,3: " Kulacudamani ", Ch. I, vv, 16-24.

Again, the "Devi, joyful in the mad delight of Her union with the Supreme Akula.1 becomes Vikarini 2 -that is, the Vikaras or Tattvas of Mind and Matter, which constitute the universe, appear.

The Sastras have dealt with the stages of creation in great detail both from the subjective and objective viewpoints as changes in the limited consciousness or as movement (Spanda), form, and "sound" (Sabda). Both Saivas and Saktas equally accept the Thirty-Six categories or Tattvas, the Kalas, the Saktis Unmani and the rest in the Tattvas, the Sadadhva, the Mantra concepts of Nada, Bindu, Kamakala, and so forth.3 Authors of the Northern Saiva School, of which a leading Sastra is the Malinivijaya- Tantra, have described with great profundity these Tattvas. General conclusions only are however, here summarized. These thirty-six Tattvas are in the Tantras divided into three groups, called Atma, Vidya and Siva Tattvas. The first group includes all the Tattvas, from the lowest Prthivi (" earth") to Prakrti, which are known as the impure categories (Asuddha-Tattva); the second includes Maya, the Kancukas,4 and Purusa, called the pure-impure categories (Suddha-asuddha- Tattva). and the third includes the five highest Tattvas called the pure Tattvas (Suddha-Tattva), from Siva-Tattva to Suddha-vidya.

Below are listed the Suddha, Suddha-Asuddha and Asudha Tattvas. (Tattvas-3categories)

the Supreme Akula.1 Akula is a Tantrik name for Siva, Sakti being called Kula, which is Matr, Mana, Meya. In the Yogini-hrdaya-Tantra it is said (Ch. I): Kulam meya-mana-matr-laksanam, kaulastatsamastih. These three are: Knower, Knowing, Known, for that is Consciousness as Sakti.

Vikarini 2   "Kulacudamai).", Ch. I, vv, 16-24.

so forth.3   See as to these terms the author's" Garland of Letters".

Kancukas,4  Forms of Sakti whereby the natural perfections of Consciousness are limited. Thus from all-knowing it becomes little-knowing; from being almighty, it becomes a little-doer, etc. See" Garland of Letters ".

The term Samkoca (contraction) expresses the same idea. The Devi is Samkucadrupa through Matr, Mana, and Meya, and therefore so also is Siva as Jiva (tatha sivopi samkucadrupah).- Yogini-hrdayaTantra.

As already stated, the supreme changeless state (Para-samvit)1 is the unitary experience in which the "I" and "This" coalesce in unity.

In the kinetic or Sakti aspect, as presented by the pure categories, experience recognizes an "I" and "This," but the latter is regarded, not as something opposed to and outside the "I," but as part of a one self with two sides --an "I" (Aham) and "This" (Idam). The emphasis varies from insistence on the "I" to insistence on the" This," and then to equality of emphasis on the " I" and "This" as a preparation for the dichotomy in consciousness which follows.

The pure-impure categories are intermediate between the pure and the impure. The essential characteristic of experience constituted by the impure categories is its dualism effected through Maya--and its limitations--the result of the operation of the Kancukas. Here the "This" is not seen as part of the Self, but as opposed to and without it as an object seen outside. Each consciousness thus becomes mutually exclusive the one of the other. The states thus described are threefold: a transcendent mingled" I" and" This" in which these elements of experience are as such not evolved; and a pure form of experience intermediate between the first and last, in which both the " I" and the "This" are experienced as part of the one self; and, thirdly, the state of manifestation proper, when there is a complete cleavage between the " I" and the "This," in which an outer object is presented to the consciousness of a knower which is other than the subject. This last stage is itself twofold. In the first the Purusa experiences a homogeneous universe, though different from himself as Prakrti; in the second Prakrti is split up into its effects (Vikrti), which are Mind and Matter, and the multitudinous beings of the universe which these compose.

supreme changeless state (Para-samvit)1  This is not counted as a Tattva, being Tattvatita.

 Sakti as Prakrti first evolves mind (Buddhi, Ahamkara, Manas) and senses (Indrya), and then sensible matter (Bhuta) of fivefold form (" ether" "air" "fire" "water" "earth ")1 derived from the supersensible generals of the sense--particulars called Tanmatra, When Sakti has entered the last and grossest Tattva (" earth ")--that is, solid matter--there is nothing further for Her to do. Her creative activity then ceases, and She rests. She rests in Her last emanation, the "earth" principle. She is again coiled and sleeps. She is now Kundali-Sakti, whose abode in the human body is the Earth centre or Muladhara-Cakra. As in the supreme state She lay coiled as the Mahakundali round the Supreme Siva, so here She coils round the Svayambhu-Linga in the Muladhara. This last centre or Cakra and the four above it are centres of the five forms of Matter. The sixth centre is that of Mind. Consciousness and its processes through Sakti prior to the appearance of Maya are realized in the seventh lotus (Sahasrarapadma) and centres intermediate between it and the sixth or Ajna Mind centre.


The mantra evolution, which must be known if the Text is to be understood, is set forth with great clarity in the Sarada-Tilaka, wherein it is said that from the SakalaSiva (Siva-Tattva), who is Sat-Cit-Ananda, issued (SaktiTattva); from the latter Nada (Sadakhya Tattva); and from Nada evolved Bindu (Isvara-Tattva),2 which, to distinguish it from the Bindu which follows, is called the Supreme Bindu (Para-Bindu).

(" ether" "air" "fire" "water" "earth ")1  These terms have not the ordinary English meaning, but denote the ethereal, gaseous, igneous, liquid, and solid states of matter. In worship (Puja) they are symbolized by the following ingredients (Upacara): Puspa (flower), ether; Dhupa (incense), air; Dipa (light), fire; Naivedya (food-offering), water; Candana (sandal), earth.

(Isvara-Tattva),2   Saccidananda-vibhavat sakalat paramesvarat

Asicchaktis tato nado nadad bindu-samudbhavah. (Ch. I.)

Nada and Bindu are, like all else, aspects of Power, or Sakti, being those states of Her which are the proper conditions for Upayoga-vastha) and in which She is prone to (Ucchimavastha) "creation". In those Tattvas the germ of action (Kriya-Sakti) sprouts towards its full manifestation.

The Tantras, in so far as they are Mantra-Sastras, are concerned with Sabda or "Sound", a term later explained. Mantra is manifested Sabda. Nada, which also literally means "sound," is the first of the produced intermediate causal bodies of manifested Sabda. Bindu, which has previously been explained, is described as the state of the letter "Ma" before manifestation, consisting of the Siva-Sakti-Tattva enveloped by Maya or Parama-Kundalini, It implies both the void (Sunya)-that is, the Brahman state (Brahmapada)--in the empty space within the circle of the Bindu; as also the Gunas which are implicitly contained in it, since it is in indissoluble union with Sakti, in whom the Gunas or factors constituting the material source of all things are contained.1 The Para-bindu is called the Ghanavastha or massive state of Sakti. It is Cid-ghana or massive consciousness--that is, Cit associated with undifferentiated (that is, Cidrupini) Sakti, in which lie potentially in a mass (Ghana), though undistinguishable the one from the other, all the worlds and beings to be created. This is Pararna-Siva, in whom are all the Devatas. It is this Bindu who is the Lord (Isvara) whom some Pauranikas call Mahavisnu and others the Brahmapurusa,2 As the Commentator says, it does not matter what He is called.

contained.1  See VV. 41-49, post; Toda1a-Tantra, Ch. IV; and Kamakalamalini Tantra, cited in v. 43.

Brahmapurusa,2   See v. 49, post.


 He is the Lord (Isvara) who is worshipped in secret by all Devas,1 and is pointed to in different phases of the Bhandrabindu, or Nada, Bindu, Sakti and Santa of the Om and other Bija-Mantras. Its abode is Satyaloka, which within the human body exists in the pericarp of the thousand-petalled lotus (Sahasrara) in the highest cerebral centre. The Sarada2 then says that this Para-bindu, whose substance is Supreme Sakti, divides itself into three--that is, appears under a threefold aspect. There are thus three Bindus, the first of which is called Bindu,3 and the others Nada and Bija. Bindu is in the nature of Siva and Bija of Sakti.4 Nada is Siva. Sakti--that is, their mutual relation or interaction (Mithah samavayah)5 or Yoga (union), as the Prayoga-sara calls it.6

 all Devas,1 See v. 41, post.

The Sarada2  Ch. I.

  Bindu,3 Karya, or produced, Bindu, to distinguish it from the causal (Karana) Bindu or Para-bindu.

Bija of Sakti.4  In the case of the Mantras, Bija (according to the Kulacudamani, v. 58) is the first letter of a Kuta or group and what follows is Sakti, Thus in the Mantra" Krim," K is Bija and R and I are Sakti, By the Bija form is made (Bijena murti-kalpana).

(Mithah samavayah)5   

Parasaktimayah saksat tridbasau bhidyate punah

Bindur nado bijam iti tasya bhedah samiritah,

Binduh sivatmako bijam saktir nadas tayor mithah

Samavayah samakhyatah sarvagamavisaradaih, (Ch. I).

“This (Bindu) which is both Siva and Sakti divides itself again into three parts, Bindu, Nada and Bija are its three parts. Bindu is Sivatmaka (i.e., Siva), Bija is Sakti and Nada is said to be the mutual relation between them by all who are versed in the Agamas."

The first word of the third line reads better as Bindu sivatmako than as Bindur nadatmako, as some MSS., such as that from which I quoted in Introduction to the Mahanirvana, The Commentary to v, 40. post, also speaks of Bindu as being Nadatmaka, but explains that that means Sivatmaka. See also to the same effect Kriya-sara,

Prayoga-sara calls it.6  See Raghava-Bhatt's Comm. on Ch. I, v, 8 of Sarada:

 Nirgunah sagunas ceti sivo jiieyah sanatanah,

Nirgunaccaiva samjata bindavas traya eva ca

Brahmabindur visnubindu rudrabindur mahesvari,

"The eternal Siva is to be known both as Nirguna (without attributes) and Saguna (with attributes). From the attributeless (Nirguna), O Mahesvari, originated the three Bindus which are Brahma-bindu, Visnu-bindu and Rudra-bindu."

The verse as cited in Prana-tosini (p. 13) reads in the second line NirgunaSaiva; but this must be a mistake for Nirgunaccaiva, for the Bindus themselves are not Nirguna but spring from it.

The threefold Bindu (Tri-bindu) is supreme (Para), subtle (Suksma) and gross (Sthula)1. Nada is thus the union of these two in creation. As the Text says (v. 40), it is by this division of Siva and Sakti that there arises creative ideation (Srsti-kalpana). The causal Bindu is from the Sakti aspect undifferentiated Sakti (Abhedarupa-Sakti) with all powers (Sarva-saktimaya) ; from the Prakrti aspect Trigunamayi Mula-prakrti; from the Devata aspect the unmanifest (Avyakta); from the Devi aspect Santa.

The threefold Bindu (Tri-bindu) is supreme (Para), subtle (Suksma) and gross (Sthula)1  Asmacca karanabindoh sakasat kramena karyabindus tato nadas tato bijam iti trayam utpannam tad idam parasuksmasthula-padaih 'kathyate (Lalita-Sahasranama, Comm.).

From this Causal (Karana) Bindu again there originated Karya (Effect) Bindu, and thereafter Nada and thereafter Bija--these three. These are spoken of as Para (transcendent), Suksma (subtle) and Sthula (gross).

These represent the Cit, Cidacit, Acit aspects of nature. Cidamsah cidacinmisrah acidamsahsca tesam rupani (Bhaskararaya : Comm. Lalita).

Kalena bhidyamanastu sa bindur bhavati tridha, Sthulaksmaparatvena tasya traividhyamisyate,

Sa bindunadabijatva bhedena ca nigadyate.

Ete ca karanabhindvadayascatvara adhidaivatarh avyaktesvarahira-hiranyagarbha-viratsvarupah santa-vama.jyestha-raudrirupa ambikecchajnana-kriyarupasca (ib.). Adhibhutam tu kamarupa-purnagiri-jalandharaudyanapitharupah. Pitharupa iti tu nityahrdaye spastam (ib.). Citing Rahasyagama,

The three Bindus separately indicate the operations of the three powers of Will (Iccha), Knowledge (Jnana), and Action (Kriya), and the three Gunas (Rajas, Sattva, Tamas); also the manifestation of the three Devis (Vama, Jyestha, Raudri) and the three Devatas (Brahma, Visnu, Rudra) who spring from them.1 It is said in the Prayoga-sara and Sarada that Raudri issued from Bindu, Jyestha from Nada, and Vama from Bija, From these came Rudra, Visnu, Brahma, which are in the nature of Jnana, Kriya, Iccha, and Moon, Sun and Fire.2 The three Bindus are known as Sun (Ravi), Moon (Candra), and Fire (Agni), terms constantly appearing in the works here translated.

In Sun there are Fire and Moon.3 It is known as Misra-Bindu, and in the form of such is not different from Paramasiva, and is Kamakala.4

three Devatas (Brahma, Visnu, Rudra) who spring from them.1

 Iccha, Rajas, Varna, Brahma, Pasyanti-sabda.

Jnana, Sattva, Jyestha, Visnu, Madhyama-sabda,

Kriya, Tamas, Raudri Rudra, Vaikhari-sabda.

See Comm. 22 Sloka, "Kamakalavilasa", Samketa, I, YoginihrdayaTantra, and Saubhagya-subhodaya, cited in Samketa 2 of the last Tantra, As the Rudra-Yamala says (II. 2), the three Devas are aspects of the One.

Eka murtistrayo deva brahmavisnumahesvarah,

Mama vigrahasamklpta srijaty avati hanti ca.

But see next note.

Fire.2  Cited in Prana-tosini, p. 8.

Raudri bindos tato nadaj jyestha bijad ajayata,

Varna tabhyah samutpannah rudra-brahma-ramadhipah,

Te jnaneccha-kriyatmano vahnindvarka-svarupinah.

Iccha kriya tatha jnanam gauri brahmin vaisnavi

Tridha saktih sthita yatra tatparam jyotir om iti,

As the author of the Prana-tosini (p. 9) says, the names are not to be read in the order of words (Pratisabdam), otherwise Jnana would be associated with Vaisnavi, but according to the facts (Yath-sambhavam) as stated in the text. According to this account it would seem that Jnana, Sattva, and Kriya Tamas in note I, should be transposed.

In Sun there are Fire and Moon.3   It is Agnisomamayah. See Tika, vv, 6,7, of" Kamakalavilasa ", See my " Garland of Letters".

Kamakala.4 That is, Kamayukta Kala, Kala with creative will (here its manifestation) .

Maha-bindu = Paramasiva = Misra-bindu =Ravi=Kamakala.

Ravi-paramasivabhinna misra-bindurupa Kamakala,

Kamakala is the Triangle of Divine Desire formed by the three Bindus-that is, their collectivity (Samasti-rupa);1 This Kamakala is the root (Mula) of all Mantra. Moon (Soma, Candra) is Siva-Bindu, and white (Sita-Bindu); Fire (Agni) is Sakti-bindu, and red (Sona-bindu}; Sun is the mixture of the two. Fire, Moon and Sun are the Iccha, ]nana, Kriya-Saktis (Will, Knowledge, Action). On the material plane the white Bindu assumes the form of semen (Sukra), and the red Bindu of menstrual fluid (Rajasphala, Sonita). Maha-bindu is the state before the manifestation of Prakrti.2 All three Bindus--that is, the Kamakala---are Sakti, though one may indicate predominantly the Siva, the other the Sakti, aspect. Sometimes Misra-Bindu is called Sakti-Tattva, to denote the supremacy of Sakti, and sometimes Siva- Tattva, to denote the supremacy of the possessor of power (Saktiman). It is of coupled form (Yamala-rupa). There is no Siva without Sakti, nor Sakti without Siva.3 To separate4 them is as impossible as to separate the moving wind from the steadfast ether in which it blows. In the one Siva-Sakti there is a union (Maithuna),5 the thrill of which is Nada, whence Maha-bindu is born, which itself becomes threefold (Tri-bindu), which is Kamakala.

Samasti-rupa);1  As Ravi or Surya (Sun) Bindu is in the form of Para-Siva, and in it are the other two Bindus, it is the Samasti-rupa of them, and is thus called Kamakala.

Prakrti.2  This, which is 0, becomes that is, Candra, Ravi and Ra (fire).

There is no Siva without Sakti, nor Sakti without Siva.3

 Tayor yad yamalam rupam sa samghatta iti smrtah---

Ananda-saktih saivokta yato visvam visrjyati,

Na Sivah Saktirahito na Saktih Sivavarjita.  ---(Tantraloka-Ahnika, 3.)

"The coupled form of these two (Siva-Sakti) is called junction. That is called the blissful Sakti from which creation arises. There is no Siva without Sakti, nor Sakti without Siva."

To separate4  lb., 3 Ahn.

 union (Maithuna),5   On the physical plane this word denotes sexual union.

In the one Siva-Sakti there is a union (Maithuna), the thrill of which is Nada, whence Maha-bindu is born, which itself becomes threefold (Tri-bindu), which is Kamakala.1 It is said in the SaradaTilaka that on the "bursting" or differentiation of the Supreme Bindu there was unmanifested" sound" (Sabda).2 This unmanifested Sabda is through action (Kriya-Sakti) the source of the manifested Sabda and Artha described later.3 The Brahman as the source of language (Sabda) and ideas on one hand, and the objects (Artha) they denote on the other, is called Sabda-brahman, or, to use a Western term, the Logos.4 From this differentiating Bindu in the form of Prakrti are evolved the Tattvas of Mind and Matter in all their various forms, as also the Lords of the Tattvas (Tattvesaş---that is, their directing intelligences---Sambhu,5 the presiding Devata over the Ajna-Cakra, the centre of the mental faculties; and Sadasiva, Isa, Rudra, Visnu, Brahma, the Devatas of the five forms of Matter, concluding with Prthivi (" earth ") in the Muladhara centre, wherein the creative Sakti, having finished Her work, again rests, and is called Kundalini.

Just as the atom consists of a static centre round which moving forces revolve, so in the human body Kundalini in the" Earth-Cakra " is the static centre (Kendra) round which She in kinetic aspect as the forces of the body works. The whole body as Sakti is in ceaseless movement. Kundalini Sakti is the immobile support of all these operations. When She is aroused and Herself moves upwards, She withdraws with and into Herself these moving Saktis, and then unites with Siva in the Sahasrara Lotus. The process upward (evolution) is the reverse of the involution above described. The Worlds are dissolved (Laya) from time to time for all beings. The perfected Yogi dissolves the Universe for all time for himself. Yoga is thus Laya.

Before proceeding to a description of the Cakras it is, firstly necessary to describe more fully the constituents of the body--that is, Power manifest as the Tattvas mentioned, extending from Prakrti to Prthivi, It is of these Tattvas that the Cakras are centres. Secondly, an explanation is required of the doctrine of  “Sound" (Sabda), which exists in the body in the three inner states (Para, Pasyanti, Madhyama) and is expressed in uttered speech (Vaikhari). This will help the reader to an understanding of the meaning of Mantra or manifested Sabda, and of the " Garland of Letters" which is distributed throughout the six bodily centres.

Here they are mentioned in connection with the form creation (Artha-srsti). The Prana-tosini: Atra arthasrstau punah rudradinam utpattistu artha-rupena, Purvam tesam utpattih sabda-rupena, ato na paunaruktyam iti kala-maya-tadatmanas tadutpannatvat,

Kamakala.1  In the Sricakra this is in the region of Baindava-Cakra, the highest, followed by the triangular Cakra, which is Kamesvari, Bhagamalini and Vajresvari. See further as to Kamakala, post.

unmanifested" sound" (Sabda).2

 Bhidyamanat parad bindor avyaktama-ravos bhavat,

Sabdabrahmeti tam prahuh sarvagamavisaradah.  (Sarada-Tilaka, Ch. I.)

It will be observed that in this verse the first Bindu is called Para and to make this clear the author of the Prana-tosini adds the following note:

Paradbindor ityanena saktyavastharupo yah prathamo bindus tasmat (By Para-bindu is meant the first Bindu, which is a state of' Sakti.) See " Garland of Letters" .

manifested Sabda and Artha described later.3   See Raghava-Bhatta, Comm, Ch. I, v. 12. Sarada, on the same.

Kriyasaktipradhanayah sabda sabdarthakaranam,

Prakrter bindurupinyah sabdabrahma, bhavat param.

As the Kularnava-Tantra (Khanda 5, Ullasa I) says the one Brahman has twofold aspects as Parambrahman (transcendent) and Sabdabrahman (immanent). Sabdabrahmaparambrahmabhedena brahmanor dvaividhyam uktam. (And see also Srimad-Bhagavata, 6 Skanda, 16 Ch.) Tena sabdartharupavisistasya sabdabrahmatvam avadaritam (Prana-tosini, 10).

Logos.4 It is said in the Prana-tosini, p. 22, that Shambhu is the" associate of time" (Kalabandhu) because Kala in the form of Nada assists in giving birth to Him and the other Devatas.


Atha bindvatmanah Sambhoh kalabandhoh kalatmanah,

Ajayata jagat-saksi sarva-vyapi Sadasivah,

Sadasivat bhaved Isas tato Rudrasamudbhavah,

Tato Visnu tato Brahms tesam evam samudbhavah.   (Sarada, Ch. I, VV. 15, 16.)

Chapter 3: Embodied Consciousness (Jivatma)

CONSCIOUSNESS as one with dual aspect is Transcendent and Immanent. The Transcendental Consciousness is called the Paramatma. The consciousness which is embodied in Mind and Matter is the Jivatma. In the first case Consciousness is formless and in the second it is with form. Form is derivable from Consciousness as Power (Sakti). One of these powers is Prakrti-Sakti---that is, the immediate source of Mind and Matter. The corresponding static aspect is called Purusa. This term is sometimes applied to the Supreme, as in the name Brahma-purusa.1 Here is meant a centre of limited consciousness--limited by the associated Prakrti and its products of Mind and Matter. Popularly by Purusa, as by Jiva, is meant sentient being with body and senses--that is, organic  life.2 Man is a microcosm (Ksudra-Brahmanda)3. The world is the macrocosm (Brahmanda), There are numberless worlds, each of which is governed by its own Lords, though there is but one great Mother of all whom these Lords themselves worship, placing on their heads the dust of Her feet.

Brahma-purusa.1   So it is said: Purusan na pararh kimcit sa ka~tha sa para gatih.

organic  life.2  Dehendriyadiyuktah cetano Jivah, The Kularnava-Tantra, I. 7-9 describes the Jivas as parts of Siva enveloped in Maya (which thus constitutes them as separate entities), like sparks issuing from fire--an old Vedantic idea. As, however, Jiva in Mayavada Vedanta is really (Brahman (Jivo brahmaiva naparah) there is according to such doctrine in reality no independent category called Jiva (Nahi jivo nama kascit svatantrah padarthah.) Atma is called Jiva when with Upadhi---that is, body, etc. Philosophically, all Atma with Upadhi (attribute) is Jiva.

3 Man is a microcosm (Ksudra-Brahmanda)3  Little egg (spheroid) of Brahma."

In everything there is all that is in anything else. There is thus nothing in the universe which is not in the human body. There is no need to throw one's eyes into the heavens to find God. He is within, being known as the "Ruler within" (Antaryamin) or "Inner self" (Antaratma).1All else is His power as Mind and Matter. Whatever of Mind or Matter exists in the universe exists in some form or manner in the human body. So as already stated it is said in the VisvasaraTantra: "What is here is there. What is not here is nowhere.2 In the body there are the Supreme Siva-Sakti who pervade all things. In the body is Prakrti-Sakti and all Her products. In fact, the body is a vast magazine of Power (Sakti). The object of the Tantrik rituals is to raise these various forms of power to their full expression. This is the work of Sadhana. The Tantras say that it is in the power of man to accomplish all he wishes if he centres his will thereon. And this must, according to their doctrine, be so, for man is in his essence one with the Supreme Lord (lsvara) and Mother (Isvari) and the more he manifests Spirit the greater is he endowed with its powers. The centre and root of all his powers as Jiva is Kundalini-Sakti. The centre in which the quiescent consciousness is realized is the upper brain or Sahasrara, whence in the case of the Yogi, the Prana escapes through the fissure called Brahmarandhra at death. (See Plate VIII). The Mind and Body are effects of Prakrti.

Ruler within" (Antaryamin) or "Inner self" (Antaratma).1  The Jnanarnava-Tantra (XXI, 10) says that" antah " implies secret and subtle, for the Atma, fine like an atom, is within everything. This is the bird Hamsa which disports in the Lake of Ignorance. On dissolution, when it is Samhararupi, Atma is revealed. The Mother is the Antaryamin of the Devatas also, such as the five Sivas, Brahma, etc., for She is Parabrahmanandarupa, Para-prakasa-rupa, Sadrupa and Cidrupa and thus directs them (Trisati, II. 47).

What is not here is nowhere.2  Yad ihasti tad anyatra yan nehasti na tat kvacit--an Indian version of the Hermetic maxim, " As above, so below".

Both having the same origin, each as such, whether as Mind or Matter, are "material" things-that is, they are of the nature of forces,1 and limited instruments through which Spirit or Consciousness functions, and thus, though itself unlimited, appears to be limited. The light in a lantern is unaffected, but its manifestation to those without is affected by the material through which the light shines. Prakrti, however, is not scientific Matter. The latter is only its grossest product, and has as such no lasting existence. Prakrti is the ultimate "material" cause of both Mind and Matter, and the whole universe which they compose. It is the mysterious fructescent womb (Yoni) whence all is born.2 What She is in Herself cannot be realized. She is only known by Her effects.3

nature of forces,1   So Herbert Spencer holds, in conformity with Indian doctrine, that the universe, whether physical or psychical, is a play of force which in the case of matter we as the self or mind experience as object. As to Mind and Matter see" The World As Power" .

fructescent womb (Yoni) whence all is born.2   The word has been said to be derived form Kr and the affix ktin, which is added to express bhava, or the abstract idea, and sometimes the Karma, or object of the action, corresponding with the Greek affix sis. Ktin inflected in the nominative becomes tih, tis. Prakrti therefore has been said to correspond with nature of the Greeks (Banerjee, "Dialogues on Hindu Philosophy," 24). It is also called Pradhana. Pra+dha+anat = Pradhatte sarvarn atmani, or that which contains all things in itself, the source and receptacle of all matter and form. Pradhana also literally means" chief" (substance), for according to Samkhya it is the real creator.

 Her effects.3  See the splendid Hymn to Prakrti in Prapancasara-Tantra. What can be seen by the eyes can be defined, but not She. "It cannot be seen by the eyes." Kena Up., 1-6: "Yat cakusa na pasyati." She is beyond the senses. Hence the Trisati addressess the Devi (II. 44) as Idrgityavinirdesya (who is not to be particularly pointed out as being this or that). See Sarada-Tilaka, Vamakdvara, and Visvasara-Tantras, cited in Prana-tosini, P: 24. She is ineffable and inconceivable: with form (Vikrti), yet Herself (Mula-prakrti) formless. Mahanirvana-Tantra, IV. 33-35. Thus Sayana (Rig-Veda. X, 129, 2) says that, whilst Maya is Anirvacya (indefinable), since it is neither Sat nor Asat, Cit is definable as Sat. End P51.


Though Mula-prakrti is the material cause of the world from which it arises;1 ultimately, as it is in itself (Svarupa), Prakrti-Sakti, like all else, is Consciousness, for Consciousness as Power and static Consciousness are one.2 Consciousness, however, assumes the role of Prakrti---that is, creative power--when evolving the universe. So substance consists of the Gunas or modes of this natural principle which are called Sattva, Rajas, Tamas.3 The general action of Sakti is to veil or contract consciousness. Prakrti, in fact, is a finitising principle. To all seeming, it finitises and makes form in the infinite formless Consciousness.4 So do all the Gunas. But one does it less and another more. The first is Sattva-guna the function of which, relative to the other Gunas, is to reveal consciousness. The greater the presence or 'power of Sattva-guna, the greater the approach to the condition of Pure Consciousness. Similarly, the function of Tamas Guna is to suppress or veil consciousness. The function of Rajas Guna is to make active--that is, it works on Tamas to suppress Sattva, or on Sattva to suppress Tamas.5  

arises;1  Krteh prarambho yasyah, That is, by which creation (Srsti.) maintenance (Sthiti), and dissolution (Laya) are done (Prakriyate karyadikarn anaya).

Consciousness as Power and static Consciousness are one.2  See Satyananda's Comm. on 4th Mantra of Isa Upanishad. " The changeless Brahman which is consciousness appears in creation as Maya which is Brahman (Brahmamayi) consciousness (Cidrupini], holding in Herself unbeginning (Anadi) Karmik tendencies (Karma-samskara) in the form of the three Gunas. Hence She is Gunamayi despite being Cinmayi. And as there is no second principle these Gunas are Cit-Sakti."

Sattva, Rajas, Tamas.3   The three Gunas are Prakrti. The Devi, as in the form of Prakrti, is called Trigunatmika (who is composed of the three Gunas). All nature which issues from Her, the Great Cause (Maha-karana-svarupa), is also· composed of the same Gunas in different states of relation.

infinite formless Consciousness.4  See an article of mine in the Indian Philosophical Review, " Sakti and Maya," reproduced in" Sakti and Sakta ".

Tamas.5  In the words of Professor P. Mukhyopadhyaya, dealing with the matter monistically, these are the three elements of the Life Stress on the surface of pure Consciousness--namely, presentation (Sattva), movement (Rajas), and veiling (Tamas), which are the three elements of creative evolution (" The Patent Wonder," p. 19).


The object and the effect of evolution, as it is of all Sadhana, is to develop Sattva-guna, The Gunas always co-exist in everything, but variously predominate. The lower the descent is made in the scale of nature the more Tamas Guna prevails, as in so-called "brute substance," which has been supposed to be altogether inert. The higher the ascent is made the more Sattva prevails. The truly Sattvik man is a divine man, his temperament being called in the Tantras Divyabhava.1 Through Sattva-guna passage is made to Sat, which is Cit or pure Consciousness, by the Siddha-yogi, who is identified with Pure Spirit.

Prakrti exists in two states, in one of which (so far as any effect is concerned)2 She is quiescent. The Gunas are then in stable equilibrium, and not affecting one another. There is no manifestation. This is the unmanifest (Avyakta), the potentiality of natural power (natura naturansy).3 When, however, owing to the ripening of Karma, the time for creation takes place, there is a stirring of the Gunas (Gunaksoba) and an initial vibration (Spandana), known in the MantraSastra as Cosmic Sound (Sabda-brahman). The Gunas affect one another, and the universe made of these three Gunas is created. The products of Prakrti thus evolved are called Vikara or Vikrti.4  Vikrti is manifest (Vyakta) Prakrti (natura naturata). (P53)

Divyabhava.1 Those in whom Rajas Guna is predominant, and who work that Guna to suppress Tamas, are Vira (hero), and the man in whom the Tamas Guna prevails is a Pasu (animal).

Prakrti exists in two states, in one of which (so far as any effect is concerned)2  The three Gunas are essentially changeful. Naparinamya ksanamapyavatisthante gunah (the gunas do not remain for a moment without movement). Vacaspati-Misra: Samkhya-Tattva-Kaumudi, 16th Karika, The movement is twofold: (a) Sarupa-parinama or Sadrsa-parinama is dissolution, and (b) Virupaparinama is evolution.

(natura naturansy).3  This is, in fact the definition of Prakrti as opposed to Vikrti, Sattvarajastamasam sartyavastha prakrtih, Samkhya-Kaumudi-Karika, 3; Samkhya-Pravacana, I. 61.

 Vikara or Vikrti.4 Vikara or Vikrti is something which is really changed, as milk into curd. The latter is a Vikrti of the former. Vivarta is apparent but unreal change, such as the appearance of what was and is a rope as a snake. The Vedanta-sara thus musically defines the two terms:

Satattvato's nyathapratha vikara ityudiritah

Atattvato's nyathapratha vivarta ityudiritah.

Under V. 40, on page 422 post, the commentator speaks of' Vikrti as a reflection (Prati-bimbata) of Prakrti, It is Prakrti modified.  (P53)


In the infinite and formless Prakrti there appears a strain or stress appearing as form. On the relaxation of this strain in dissolution forms disappear in formless Prakrti, who as manifested power (Sakti) re-enters the Brahman Consciousness. These Vikrtis are the Tattvas issuing from Prakrti.1 the Avidya-Sakti---namely, the different categories of Mind, Senses and Matter.

The bodies are threefold: causal (Karana-sarira, or Parasarira, as the Saivas call it), subtle (Suksma-sarira); and gross (Sthula-sarira). These bodies in which the Atma is enshrined are evolved from Prakrti-Sakti, and are constituted of its various productions. They form the tabernacle of the Spirit (Atma), which as the Lord is "in all beings, and who from within all beings controls them".2 The body of the Lord (Isvara) is pure Sattva-guna (Suddha-sattva-guna-pradhana).3 This is the aggregate Prakrti or Maya of Him or Her as the Creator-Creatrix of all things.

 Prakrti.1  As already explained, there are Tattvas which precede the Purusa Prakrti-Tattvas. Etymologically Tattva is an abstract derivation from pronoun "Tat" (that), or Thatness, and may, it has been pointed out, be compared with the Haecceitas of Duns Scotus. The Tattva in a general sense is Truth or Brahman. But in the Samkhya it has a technical sense, being employed as a concrete term to denote the eight" producers," the sixteen" productions," and the twenty-fifth Tattva or Purusa.

who from within all beings controls them".2   Yah sarvesu bhutesu tisthan : yah sarvani bhutani antaro yamayati (Brih. Up., iii. 7, 15). The Jiva is in Mayavada thus Caitanya-rupa with the Upadhi ajnana and its effects, mind and body, and which is Abhimanin, or attributor to itself, of the waking, dreaming and slumber states.

pure Sattva-guna (Suddha-sattva-guna-pradhana).3   Sankara's Bhasya, II. 3-45. The Jiva is Caitanya distinguished by Upadhi. The latter term means distinguishing property, attribute, body, etc., and here body (Deha), senses (Indriya), mind (Manas, Buddhi), etc. (ib., I. 2-6).  (P54)


Jiva, as the Kularnava- Tantra1 says, is bound by the bonds (Pasa) ; Sadasiva is free of them.2 The former is Pasu, and the latter Pasupati, or Lord of Pasus (Jivas). That is, Isvari3 is not affected by Her own Maya. She is all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful. Isvara thus rules Maya. Jiva is ruled by it. From this standpoint the Mother and Her child the Jiva are not, thus, the same. For the latter is a limited consciousness subject to error, and governed by that Maya-sakti of Hers which makes the world seem to be different from what it in its essence is. The body of Jiva is therefore known as the individual Prakrti or Avidya, in which there is impure Sattva, and Rajas and Tamas (Malina-sattva-guna-pradhana). But in the Mother are all creatures. And so in the Trisati4 the Devi is called "in the form of one and many letters" (Ekanekaksarakrti). As Eka She is the Ajnana which is pure Sattva and attribute (Upadhi) of Isvara; as Aneka She is Upadhi or vehicle of Jiva. Whilst Isvara is one, Jivas are many,5 according to the diversity in the nature of the individual Prakrti caused by the appearance of Rajas and Tamas in it in differing proportions. The Atma appears as Jiva in the various forms of the vegetable, animal, and human worlds.

Kularnava- Tantra1  Kularnava- Tantra.

Sadasiva is free of them.2  PaSa-baddho bhavej jivah pasa-muktah sadasivah (KularnavaTantra, IX. 48), upon which the author of the Prana-tosini, who cites this passage, says: "Thus the identity of Siva and Jiva is shown" (iti sivajivayor aikyam uktarh).

Isvari3  Feminine of Isvara. Some worship Siva, some Devi. Both are one.

Trisati4  Comm. by Samkara on v. 23.

Jivas are many,5 According to another Vedantic view there is only one Jiva.  (P55)


The first or Causal Body of any particular Jiva, therefore, is that Prakrti (Avidya-Sakti) which is the cause of the subtle and gross bodies of this Jiva which are evolved from it. This body lasts until Liberation, when the Jivatma.