SAUNDARYA LAHARI

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO VERSES 36 THROUGH 41

 

Verses 36 through 41 refer to stable psychophysical states of consciousness, conventionally named Chakras in the discipline of Yoga. Chakra means “wheel”. Sometimes, instead of being called a wheel, we find the same states of synergetic equilibrium  called Adharas, which would suggest a foundation or basement. Fixing the psycho-physical self attentively on a certain  type of syndrome or synergism, based on the  cancellation of reciprocal functions, is also sometimes called a Bandha, which would suggest a knot or binding force. There are Bandhas of this kind known to Yogic practice, such as Mula Bandha and Udyana Bandha. Vital tendencies could be controlled and cancelled out through the regulation of breathing exercises, where again  two opposing tendencies are intended to be cancelled out or neutralized. Each Chakra or Adhara represents a psycho-physical point of equilibrium, attained at various level of the dynamism between the self and the non-self.

 

The most characteristic description of Yoga would be the word nirodha, which, in this context, means “restraint of the  outgoing mental processes”, which, through chains of natural associations, keep the mind distracted and wandering from one item of interest to another. Patanjali's definition of Yoga is based on this concept of restraint (nirodha) (Yoga Sutras; I; 2)

 

Each Chakra or Adhara represents a point of psycho-physical equilibrium attained at various levels of the dynamism as between the self and the non-self.

 

According to  Patanjali, there are eight stages (astanga) by which a Yogi practices the discipline of  meditation (II; 29). This begins with the lowest physical limit, where control is indicated by the word yama, meaning “withdrawing inward of tendencies”. After yama comes niyama, which applies to a slightly higher level of the personality, and which means “restraint or control conditioned by rules”. Then comes asana, which refers to the correct posture for restraining the mind.  Pranayama, the fourth stage in the process, refers to the regulation of the outgoing and  ingoing breaths, in order to subdue or make less  obtrusive the vital tendencies which are at the basis of the function of breathing, so that they do not obstruct the process of meditation (dhyana) which is one of the stages to follow. The next stage of Patanjali's Astanga Yoga is pratyahara, which is a negative process of withdrawal - from the side of the non-self to the self – of  the  outgoing tendencies. The next stage, the sixth, is dhyana or meditation, where a  first-degree participation is established between the self and the non-self. Dharana, which is given as the sixth stage in the Yoga Sutras, underlines a sustained state of dhyana. Finally, the eighth stage is called samadhi. The word sama suggests equality and -dhi suggests intellect. The intellect is thus expected to attain to a certain equality or equilibrium with itself. The cancellability of the self and the non-self is implied here.

 

When we think of the subject of Yoga in the context of Indian spirituality, the most canonical or authoritative  textbook, which all correc  scholars or practitioners have to keep in mind, is Patanjali's series of aphorisms called the Yoga Sutras.  Although Patanjali is thus an authority, his Yoga, which is also sometimes called Raja Yoga, is considered defective in the full context  of Advaita Vedanta. Patanjali's Yoga is not countenanced with favour in the Brahma Sutras of Badarayana, nor in the Yoga Vasishta, which  is perhaps the latest authoritative textbook on Yoga, as its  name itself seems to claim. In it there is an explicit  disavowal of the Astanga Yoga of Patanjali, when Sri Rama is asked by his Guru, Vasishta, to treat his own teaching  as the final authority, Vasishta speaks in terms of sapta bhumikas, or seven  grounds  in  consciousness, which he names and   defines elaborately in more than one place. The main objection to the Patanjali  system of Yoga by Vedantic texts such as the  Bhagavad Gita, is that its epistemology and methodology are necessarily vitiated by their being based on the Samkhya dualism of Kapila. As between  Kapila  and Patanjali and their  respective  schools of Samkhya and Yoga, there still persists a vestige  of duality between prakrti (nature) and  purusha (spirit), which is essentially the same as between matter and  mind. Advaita, on the other hand, cannot tolerate even the slightest taint of duality between  these two factors. The avowed purpose of Advaita is to abolish all duality; whether between causes and effects, means and ends, or between disciplines and their results. The fourth and fifth chapters of the Bhagavad Gita are specifically directed to the purpose of cancelling the  duality between Samkhya and Yoga.

 

Verse 4 of Chapter 5 of the Bhagavad Gita goes to the extent of saying that only children think they are distinct disciplines. Patanjali's Yoga itself has been  commented upon by Vyasa in what is known as the Vyasa Bhasya, which is an attempt to abolish the taint of duality implied in  Patanjali's original  approach and which persisted within its core as a genetic element of error. The well-known Bhojavartika of Bhojaraja and the Tattva Vaisaradi of Vacaspati Misra pushed this revaluation still further and Advaitic notions of Yoga have also been revised and updated in the writings of Sankara and Narayana Guru.

 

It is true that the Saundarya Lahari refers in these six verses to what might seem at first sight to be six conventional Chakras, Adharas  or Mudras, each implying a stable attitude of the psycho-physical self.  Ontological aspects, when implied, would justify the term Adhara, while a more teleological state of equilibrium would be more properly referred to as a Chakra. The term bandha might apply to a discipline conceived  under  Hatha Yoga, which  refers to a very wilful form of physical control  and is  only  indirectly important to Yoga, which should  be  properly understood from a more neutral standpoint. Some textbooks refer to four  kinds of  Yoga:  Mantra, Laya, Raja and Hatha.  Mantra evidently refers to the muttering of magic  syllables, while visualizing ideograms that belong to them. Laya does not depend upon the nominalistic aspects of Yoga, but refers to an  intimate form of merging the mind so as to dissolve the duality between object and subject. The term "Raja" is used in the Bhagavad Gita to underline a discipline in Yoga which is public and experimentally valid, as when we say “the royal road”. Raja Yoga thus corresponds to a normalized discipline of Yoga, neither too esoteric nor too exoteric. We have already indicated the peculiarity of Hatha Yoga. Whatever the type of Yoga one might be interested in, there is always a subtle cancellation of counterparts implied, when Yoga is treated as a discipline in the most general terms, as we have already indicated at the end of our comments on Verse 33.

 

 

 

THE FRAME OF REFERENCE IMPLICIT IN THE CHAKRAS

 

If Yoga is a discipline to be practiced at all, it must necessarily have a frame of reference, which itself must have a status that  is both physical and psychic at once. Space, whether subjective “inner space” or objective “outer space”, is necessarily made up of various elements which must have a relational togetherness between them. If we try to think mathematically, this idea of the togetherness of the inter-related elements would suggest to us a pattern which could be formally visualized as a “mathematical object”, as Hilbert would call it, whether that object is visualized in geometrical terms, or merely conceived in terms of algebraic signs. The same thing could be viewed conceptually or perceptually. At the negative levels, perceptual forms are natural to the mind.  At positive levels, conceptual  relational  togetherness or unity is also equally possible to think of as an idea. Letters of  the Greek alphabet can be used to indicate points of intersection between lines.  Just as a graph can verify a  formula, so geometry can verify algebra. Modern cybernetics is based on this possibility. Machine language could be codified and decodified. Thus we arrive at the possibility of a relational frame of reference for all yogic meditations, however varied. This is, according to us, what Sankara suggests in his Sri Chakra in Verse 11, though it is true that there the Sri Chakra is presented in its statically-conceived  mathematical form as a ready-made cliché, so repugnant to the philosophy of Bergson. This does not mean, however, that Sankara is not aware of its dynamic version, as revealed in Verse 7. Chakras, Adharas, Bandhas or Mudras are thus to be understood as stable points of an equilibrium that could be established within the amplitude of a parameter that we could postulate as existing between the lower or Alpha limit and the higher Omega limit of a total situation proper to the world of yogic discipline. What is true of yogic discipline could be equally true of Tantric or semantic discipline by extrapolation or interpolation, permissible by mathematical convention. The six Chakras, having the names Ajña, Visuddhi, Anahata (not mentioned by name), Svadhisthana, Manipura and Muladhara, conform to the conventionally understood stable centres (synergisms or syndromes) within the total  psychological makeup of the individual.

 

Various textbooks on Yoga define and describe these Chakras or Adharas with an endless variety of subtleties. To enter into these would be to court disaster through “confusion of tongues” in a verbose forest of words, otherwise known as “Babelization”,  in biblical language. In order to avoid falling into such a dire predicament, it is recommended that we steer our own speculation clear of the Scylla and Charybdis involved here.

 

We have already indicated that, as an Advaitin, Sankara could not countenance any dualistically tainted school of Yoga  theory. Various questionable  textbooks on Tantra esoterics refer to Chakras and Adharas, and describe them in terms of fires or phalluses or petals of different colours and numbers too numerous to examine cursorily, or even enumerate. The voluminous writings of Sir John Woodroffe give us an example of such material, to which could be added many others, derived from schools of Tantrism, whether Bengali, Tibetan or of the monsoon west coast of India, extending from Ujjain down to Kanya Kumari. For a complete list of  the available works, one is referred to the  publication of Harvard  University by Professor W. Norman Brown (PP. 99 ff.), under what he calls “critical apparatus”.

 

We have carefully avoided entering into the deeper polemical controversies in the present study, in order to salvage this wonderful work from being lost in the ocean of verbosity whose volume is increasing as days pass by. In order to settle any controversy  on  such  matters, it  has once and for all  been recommended in the Bhagavad Gita, in the words of Krishna himself,  that  it is the canonical  texts (Sastras) that are to be treated as authorities (pramanas), (XVI; 24). Guru Vak (the  word of the Guru) and Sastra Pramana (the authority of the canonical scriptures) are the two final touchstones for doctrinal validity or acceptability. For our own part, we have avoided getting lost in the bypaths of Tantrism or textbooks of Yoga, however much each might claim to be more secret or profound than another. Our enquiry would never come to an end were we to follow them.

 

We have used for reference two Upanishads which we have come across, one of which is called the "Saubhagya Lakshmi" and the other the "Yogaraja". The first is included in a translation of the Shakta Upanishads by Dr. A.G. Krishna Warrier, published by the Adyar Library. The second appears in the Upanishad Samgraha, published by Motilal Banarsidas, New Delhi. The very fact that these two  texts claim to be Upanishads must be sufficient guarantee that they are fully acceptable to Vedantins. What is more, both of them use the word “Brahma Chakra” or “Brahma Randhra”, thus bringing into the picture the notion of the Absolute, which is a sure indication that the context is that of the Absolute and not any other lesser discipline, such as that of Kapila, Kanada or Gautama. Tantrism, which gives primacy to the Goddess, would not normally speak of the Brahma Randhra either.

 

For an example of the conventional (emphatically NOT conforming to Advaita Vedanta) view of the Chakras, click here.

 

Also click here.

 

VERSE 36

 

AJNA CHAKRA

 

(MEANS: COMMAND OR POWERS OF ABSTRACTION OR WILL)
THE SUMMIT OF MEDITATION
INTENSE INTELLECTUAL CANCELLATION
AN UPWARD TENDENCY

 

तवाज्ञचक्रस्थंतपन-शशिकोटि-द्युतिधरं
परंशम्भुवन्देपरिमिलित-पार्श्वंपरचिता
यमाराध्यन्भक्त्यारविशशिशुचीना-मविषये
निरालोकेलोकेनिवसतिहिभालोक-भुवने

 

tavajna chakrastham tapanasasikoti dyutidharam
param sambhum vande parimilita parsvam paracita
yam aradhyan bhaktya raivisasi sucinam avisaye
niraloke'loke nivasati hi bhaloka bhuvane

 

I adore that Shiva ultimate, placed in your willing centre (Ajna), shining with the brilliance
Of millions of suns and moons, whose flanks are illumined by the light of the intelligibles beyond
Whom, worshiping with devotion, lifted beyond the reach of sun, moon or fire;
In that shining domain above all need, one lives indeed in that bright world of light.

 

Hardly any tangible item or aspect of beauty, whether in term of line, light or colour, is suggested in this verse, which refers to the first and foremost of Chakras (basic wheels), to be placed at the positive limit of the vertical parameter. Boundless light seems to be the only factor that is specially underlined here. Reference to sun, moon and fire, as also to transcending worldly necessities or evils seem to be emphatically emphasized in this verse.

 

Transcendence has unmistakeable primacy over immanence here. A fluorescent form of brilliance is referred to, which seems to adorn both sides of the vague and almost mathematically pure figure that is intended to emerge into view after one has read each verse as a whole. The Absolute can be viewed both in its immanent and transcendent glory, at one and the same time.

 

Between immanence and transcendence we could imagine degrees of reciprocity, complementarity or compensation. Even when numerator factors predominate over denominator factors, or vice-versa, it is still possible to perform that final operation proper to the highest intuitive faculty of the mind, in which the full cancellation of counterparts could take place. Even the distinction between higher and lower Brahman becomes abolished in the light of such a cancellation. Although incidentally examined here under the aegis of the willing centre (Ajña), the content, at whatever centre it might be, has to remain the same. It is always a foregone conclusion in Advaita Vedanta that there should not be any internal or external difference in a finalized notion of the Absolute, when considered by itself, in itself, for itself and through itself. The lowest Chakra, Muladhara, and the highest, Ajna or Sahasrara, indicate only incidental attributes of the absolute substance which remains the same, whatever else might be subject to change. This is an epistemological presupposition fundamental to Advaita Vedanta which the reader should keep in mind as applicable to this or any other Chakra to be described hereafter.

 

1. "Shiva ultimate" (param sambhum)
Param means "ultimate". Sambhum is Shiva. Shiva represents an auspicious value when he is not thought of as a mythological divinity of the Hindu pantheon. When the notion is pushed in the direction of the Omega Point of the vertical parameter, as high as the mind of the votary can reach according to his mental capacities, we attain to the status of a notion of the Absolute which could be said to mark the thinnest mathematical point of absolute or general possibility to the mind of any man. Such a possibility exists in the human mind. Mathematics as a science could not have been developed without such a faculty being normal to human beings.

 

2. "Ajna chakra"
As a convention in Yogic literature, a "willing centre" is generally referred to as being placed between the two eyebrows. The physical need not correspond strictly to the psychological monomark. We have to keep in mind only the overall structural implications here. Some texts might attempt to clarify the contents of this centre by using comparisons taken from a biological context, as when we refer to the petals of a lotus flower. Sometimes they use the language of polygons, which could refer to crystals, stars or even snowflakes. The points of the compass, whether 4, 8 or 16, could be referred to as rays or tips of petals, pointing upward or downward. The symbols of the Lingam (phallus) and the Yoni (womb) could also be seen conventionally to be used to indicate proto-linguistically the content of each centre. The reader is asked to scrutinize the legend and chart in the appendix to verify for himself the component elements that are meant to be included within each of these conventional centres. In doing so he should note there that the "Saubhagya Lakshmi Upanishad" and the "Yogaraja Upanishad" have to be viewed complementarily in their description of the Chakras, in an ascending or a descending order respectively. Whatever the order might be, the result of the cancellation, as we have said, is meant to be the same non-dual Absolute represented by the Sri Chakra, at least in static terms. It is meant to be merely a frame of reference. Dynamism could be introduced into this static relational pattern according to the intuitive imagination of gifted men of wisdom, whether philosophers (manisin) or poets (kavi).

 

3. "Millions of suns and moons" (tapana sasi koti)The reference to innumerable suns and moons is to show that quantity does not count when higher generalities, in terms of points on a parameter, are involved. Zeros added to either side of a unit number, when they exceed six, tend to have a qualitative rather than a quantitative significance. When the sun is placed at the Omega Point and fire at the Alpha Point, it is easy to locate the moon between them on the same parameter. The moon also figures below, in the third line. It has to occupy a real position between what is conceptual and what is perceptual, which could be no other than the O Point. Multiplication past the O Point is qualitative, beyond the perceptual grasp. It is lifted to the conceptual side. When children play, they are very intrigued with this. A child will call another by a degrading name and then say : "I take it back", which cancels the original harm, His two statements are not of the same order. The first is actual, but the second lifts the conversation to a conceptual status.

 

4. "Whose flanks are illumined" (paramilita parsvam)
At sunset sometimes one can see a cloud that is illumined from the opposite side. This silver lining of a cloud suggests the same kind of bilateral fluorescent light. Buildings like the Pentagon are suggestive of the same kind of glorification intended here. Ida and Pingala, which are the left and right nerve strands running from the lowest to the highest point on the left or right side, represent this aspect of the light of consciousness in conventional yogic literature. Sankara avoids such technicalities, because structuralism itself could become a fetish in the hands of persons who are not adepts in using such language.

 

5. "Beyond the reach of sun, moon and fire" (ravi sasi sucinam avisaye)
The Ajña Chakra under consideration here is evidently meant to refer to the positive or non-self side of the Absolute. Pure mathematical concepts cannot be tainted by factors which belong to the necessary side of life. Fire, as we have said, marks here the O Point of the scheme. Being raised above the O Point is a sure guarantee that all items of necessity, suffering or sin have been left behind negatively and thus transcended. The reference to the "world of light" in which the votary lives is thus justified.     

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS WITH STRUCTURAL DIAGRAMS RELATED TO THIS VERSE FROM SAUNDARYA LAHARI/NOTES.

 

WORD FOR WORD
Tava - Your
Ajna chakra stham - as placed in Your willing centre
Tapana shashi koti dyuti dharam - shining with the brilliance of millions of suns and moons
Param shambhum vande - I adore the transcendent Shiva
Pari milita parshvam parachita - whose flanks are illumined by the light of the intelligibles beyond
Yam aradhyam bhaktya - whom, worshipping with devotion
Ravi shashi suchinam avishaye - lifted beyond the reach of sun, moon or fire
Niraloke loke - in that domain above all need
Hi bhaloka - in that bright domain of light
Bhuvane nivasati - indeed he dwells in that bright world as his world.
 

 

A GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE CHAKRAS

 

DESCRIPTIONS OF THE CHAKRAS AND ADHARAS

 

Apte says there are six mystical circles called Chakras,
though Visuddhi could not be found.

1 - Anahata - related to sound
2 - Swadhisthana - inborn
3 - Manipura - navel, pit of stomach
4 - Muladhara - mystical circle above the organs of generation...root or cause.
5 - Sahasrara - a hole at the top of the head like an upside-down lotus.

 

(The above picture is there just to give a vague idea of popular ideas about the Chakras - it does NOT represent Sankara's point of view. ED)
 
Sankara's treatment does not include Sahasrara and Kulakunda as part of the six Chakras.

"The Shakta Upanishads, specifically the Saubhagya Lakshmi Upanishad - are all esoterics. I am not an esotericist or a Theosophist."
 
(The Shakta Upanishads:

Later Upanisads are often highly sectarian: this was one of the strategies used by sectarian movements to legitimate their own texts through granting them the nominal status of being upanishads and thus worthy of respect. For the most part, the canonical Shakta Upanishads are sectarian tracts reflecting doctrinal and interpretative differences between the two principal sects of the Tantric form of Shaktism. As a result, the many extant listings of "authentic" Shakta Upanisads vary in content, reflecting the sectarian bias of their compilers. ED)


Sankara has revised and revalued the whole subject and given eight centres or Chakras that can be seen from the points of view of the disciplines of psychology, cosmology and theology.
 
(The Guru would often stress that the Saundarya Lahari had to be understood on these three levels. Psychology would imply the subjective world within; cosmology the universe without and theology or teleology the world of value. ED)

Six Chakras are found in the Saundarya Lahari.

Sankara can be trusted as one who knows about this subject, because he has critically treated the Prasthana Treya - the three canonical works of Vedanta: the Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and Brahma Sutras.
 
 
Ajna Chakra:
Fuse millions of suns, the Mahatman of Oppenheimer (refers to him quoting the Bhagavad Gita when he witnessed the first nuclear explosion: "If a thousand suns should rise…"), a supernova, something in the sky that burns out.
.
.
 

 
How to put the moon in it? It does not come on the same side as the sun; it is the opposite pole from the sun, like a black and white photo negative.

 

Ajña Chakra is intense thinking in the world of mathematics: it is infinity.

-

slc9 - p46 - v36.jpg

 

This Chakra is like a full-voltage tube light; it is a brilliant light.
Fire must be in the middle, because it is here, in our homes.
"Pure" means abstract; it means practical, that's all.

 

Here, in Verse 36, AJNA CHAKRA is a very wilful, very intense meditation - not one thousand or a hundred thousand or a million; these numbers only mean intensity of quality.

Quantity, when pushed to its limits beyond the possibility of thinking, becomes quality.

Mathematicians do many things by convention, such as 1/0 = alpha.
What is one? Or zero? Or infinity?
Here we have intensely intellectual cancellation in the mathematical mind.
 
 
In comparison, we have, in Verse 37, VISUDDHI CHAKRA:
 

In your Visuddhi Chakra, crystal-clear and sky-generating,
I adore Shiva and the Goddess also, with a parity of status with Shiva,
By whose combined streaming, moonbeam-like fluorescence,
With banished inner dross, like a female partridge, the world hereunder shines.

 

The female partridge is used by the poet to indicate the negative part of consciousness.
 
(The Guru says elsewhere that the partridge represents the Devi in this verse - the partridge (Chakora) and its relationship with the moonlight are often used as a romantic or erotic image in Indian literature. ED)

Contemplation means a slightly dim or subdued, subjective world.
Visuddhi means pure or clean, but not effulgent, like Ajña.
This light is more subdued, fluorescent in quality; closer to the consciousness of the partridge.

In this verse there is 2/2 cancellation instead of the high-pressure 1/1 cancellation of the Ajña Chakra.

Imagine the Chakora (partridge) as a bird which has moonlight as an exciting factor in its life.

 

The partridge is excited about the positive part and the negative part of moonlight: the positive part is outside the partridge, the negative part is inside the bird.
 
 
 
 

 

VERSE 38, ANAHATA CHAKRA
 
I adore those twin swans, intent on enjoying the nectar
Of the lotus blooming within the consciousness of certain great ones,
Moving within whose mind as a result of their elaboration, the maturation
Of the eighteen arts takes place, freed from dross, their goodness extracted as milk from water.

We can imagine here an ordinary city garden, where there are two swans in a pond.
Art is interesting and worthwhile for human life, like milk.
 
 
 
 

Water is negative and milk is positive.
Milk is negentropy and water is entropy.
 
(Entropy is a measure of disorder or randomness of a system. An ordered system has low entropy. A disordered system has high entropy.

Negentropy is reverse entropy. It means things becoming more in order.

Time in science is defined as the direction of entropy. This makes it very hard to talk about ideas of time that would apply to negentropy or its effects.

Life is considered to be negentropic because it takes things in less order, like dead food, and turns it into things in more order, like cells in the body, tissues, and organs. In doing so, it gives off heat. The outside or skin of an organism is always at maximum entropy because it is removing heat. ED)

 
 
 

This is the cancelling point.
The Numerator is specific: the particular art that humans enjoy.
The Denominator is the meshwork of all the arts.

Anahata means "never killed, whole"
 

 

VERSE 39, SVADHISTHANA CHAKRA
 
O Mother, I praise, placing in your Svadhisthana the fire of sacrifice,
Ever looking on it as the great fire of doom, and placing there her also
Called Samaya, so that when the worlds are burning due to his anger,
Her mercy-moist regard renders to it the cooling touch of early spring..

A breeze can cancel the heat of summer; the cool morning can cancel the fatigue of hot lovers after a ten-hour night of lovemaking.

This is common in Kalidasa: one drop of water from the cloud is enough to cancel the fatigue of the prostitutes who have wounds on their bodies from over-passionate camel-drivers.

You can put cancellation at any level. Cancellation by oneself: two aspects of ontology in the Svadhisthana Chakra.
Samaya's cool breeze cancels at every level.
 

 

VERSE 40 MANIPURA CHAKRA
 
As found in certain contemplatives who take full refuge in your Manipura,
I adore that dark cloud of yours as traversed by forceful lightning,
Banishing darkness and shining, bursting into sparks with the varied gem-decked maturity of Indra's bow;
While over the three worlds agonized by the heat of Shiva-sun, it sheds its showering waters.

This is the full delight of a crashing, smashing thunderstorm:
this is almost real and phenomenologically valid experience known to everybody.
The terrible thunderstorm is glorious like Kali - a state of mystical wonder.
Manipura means, "full of gems".
 

 

VERSE 41 MULADHARA CHAKRA

I meditate on your new self, as placed at your Muladhara, together with Samaya
Given to her light-step dance as also that great bold-step dancer;
Giving expression thereby to all nine aesthetic interests; thus by their joint lordship,
By mercy intending the rebirth of the world, they confer on it the renewed status of having both father and mother.
.

Put yourself in the position of a year-old child crawling on the floor, badly wanting a mother and father - both of them have a necessary function.
That gives the proper perspective for this Chakra.
 
(Shiva and the Devi are seen in this most basic of Chakras as performing the most basic of functions - the creation of the universe - giving it a father and mother. This is not to be seen in terms of a one-off creation of a single, finite universe as in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic context. Rather we should look upon this as a never-ending creation of a boundless series of multiverses. Indeed "creation" here is only the interaction of the horizontal and vertical, universal categories which make up all existence and essence. These two are represented by the two dances - the lasya of the Devi and the Tandava of Shiva. ED)
 

Marriage is not a joke; even Shiva has to come down to give a father and mother to the world, where children badly want someone to cry to.

A father is required, especially for girls.

There is a weakness between father and daughter.

Frustration in childhood from cruel parents is really a disaster in one's life.

The worst cruelty - the saddest thing - is when the father beats the sixteen year-old girl for kissing a boy in the village; they will walk out and die to make the parents sorry.
 
Confer parenthood upon the world, because the child needs a father.
The copulation is the horizontal aspect, which is incidental.

 

("To thine own self be true..." (Polonius to Laertes in "Hamlet") is the only way I can verify this. If it is true to myself, it must be true to everyone else - because I have nothing to gain.)

 

Conferring parenthood in Verse 41 must be understood from the point of view of the crawling infant who gets excited at the sight of the boots of anyone.
 
If both sides of the series of Chakras are the same, then they cancel out.

 

The two swans of Anahata in Verse 38 cannot be considered a Chakra at all, because it is the ordinary, everyday reality.
There is no abstraction and generalization there - it is a p...(?)

 

The Samaya cool breeze Chakra, in Svadhisthana, Verse 39, cancels at every level.
 

 

 

 

A LIST OF THE CHAKRAS
 
(Note that this is a reproduction of traditional NON VEDANTIC lore about the Chakras. ED)
 
From the Omega Point downwards:
 
CHAKRAS:
 
1) Sahasrara (Brahma Chakra)
2) Ajña
3) Visuddhi
 
Then comes
4) Anahata, between Chakras and Adharas

 

ADHARAS:

5) Swadhisthana
6) Manipura
7) Muladhara

 

Then at the bottom is the Alpha Point.

 

Some Chakras can be omitted, because a Chakra is a geometrical abstraction.
A Chakra is a "wheel"; Sahasrara and Muladhara are opposite in status - teleological and ontological respectively.
 
 
 
 
So there is a difference between Chakras and Adharas:
Sahasrara is not referred to as an Adhara, but as a Chakra,
Muladhara is the opposite, it is not technically a Chakra.

We have the advantage now of using modern mathematical language, rather than the poetry and myth, used traditionally in India, as in this case of the Chakras.

For example the perimeter of a conic section was described as a row of bees in ancient times, rather than in terms of geometry, as modern science would: cf. The "chose mathématique" of Hilbert.

 

A Chakra is a geometric figure like a wheel.
An Adhara is a feeling of enjoyment within you.
This distinction can be made now in the light of the modern mathematics of "formalism", the structural mathematics of Hilbert and other modern mathematicians.
 
(According to the formalist, mathematics is manipulation of symbols according to agreed upon formal rules. It is therefore an autonomous activity of thought. There is, however, room to doubt whether Hilbert's own views were simplistically formalist in this sense.

The guiding idea behind formalism is that mathematics is not a body of propositions representing an abstract sector of reality but is much more akin to a game, bringing with it no more commitment to an ontology of objects or properties than ludo or chess. This idea has some intuitive plausibility: consider the tyro toiling at multiplication tables or the student using a standard algorithm for differentiating or integrating a function. It also corresponds to some aspects of the practice of advanced mathematicians in some periods—for example, the treatment of imaginary numbers for some time after Bombelli's introduction of them, and perhaps the attitude of some contemporary mathematicians towards the higher flights of set theory. ED)

 

There must be something concrete - as either a percept or a concept - in your hand, in order to talk of or describe Chakras.

Everything in unity is too thin to think about.
 
(It needs to be divided up to be grasped by the mind. The Chakras, like horizontal slices of a vertical cucumber or sausage, allow reality to be more easily understood. They are stable psychophysical states of consciousness, also a stable ascending series of cross-sectional positions. They are an attempt by the Tantra Shastra to schematise protolinguistically contemplative values and existent and subsistent factors as a set of six plexes or synergic psycho-physical units of beauty-value. ED)

 

You have to give it a content; describe it as a lotus at the top, as father and mother at the bottom and as a lotus breeze in the middle.

 

For methodological purposes, at least have a residue in the series of Chakras, for the sake of thinking about it:
- take away one from the pure mathematical abstraction of ten Chakras which is too thin to talk about: leaving nine.
- take away another one of less abstraction for more real content, leaving eight.
- take away two more in the name of the concrete to see them as the climate - the six seasons.
- take away two more to make the four basic elements - earth, air, water and fire, as the most tangible and real ontological solidity.

 

 

There are two limits of truth:
Axiomatic truth, without content (an axiom has no content),
and Factual truth, which has content.
You can use latitude between them as Sankara does, by giving both Sahasrara and Kulakunda as separate Chakras.

 

 

EDITORIAL NOTE: The following lists of Chakras and related diagrams is only provided as an example of traditional lore relating to the Chakras - it in no way represents the views of Nataraja Guru.

The diagrams below are reproduced exactly from the original text of the Saubhagya Lakshmi Upanishad and Yogaraja Upanishad, as found in the "Saundarya Lahari Notes" file and, likewise, are not the work of Nataraja Guru nor do they represent his interpretation of the Chakras. 

 

THE NINE CHAKRAS FROM THE SAUBHAGYA LAKSHMI UPANISHAD (FEMININE).

 

9) THE WHEEL OF SPACE, A 16-PETALED LOTUS, THE FULFILMENT MOMENT

 

8) THE BRAHMA ORIFICE, NIRVANA, A SNAKE THREAD

 

7) THE BROW, AJNA

 

6) THE PALATE, VOID, THE 10TH OPENING, THE UVULA, THE MIDDLE DISSOLVES

 

5) THE BREATH, ANAHATA, THE NECK

 

(SWAN POWER - AESTHETIC?)

 

4) THE HEART, 8 PETALS BELOW, FACING DOWNWARDS, A PHALLUS = VERTICAL

 

3) NABHI (THE NAVEL), A WIDE WHIRLPOOL, A COILED SERPENT, THE WHEEL OF MANIPURIKA

 

2) THE GIRDLE, SVADHISTHANA, A WEST-FACING PHALLUS

 

1) THE BRAHMA CHAKRA, THE ROOT,THE BASIC WHEEL
 

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THE NINE CHAKRAS FROM THE YOGARAJA UPANISHAD (MASCULINE)

 

9) VYOMA, SKY GENERATING, BLUE SKY, 16 PETALS, MANTRA, LAYA, RAJA, HATHA (YOGAS)

 

8) BRAHMARANDHRA, ABSOLUTE HOLE, SMOKE-LIKE LINE

 

7) BHRU - BETWEEN THE EYES

 

6) TALUKA - THE SOFT PALATE REGION, EMPTINESS, SALVATION SURELY ATTAINED

 

5) KANTHA, THE NECK, TURNING OF RIGHT AND LEFT, IDA AND PINGALA

 

4) HRIDAYA, THE HEART, A SWAN

 

3) NABI, THE NAVEL, LIGHTNING-LIKE, AN ELECTRIC TURBINE WHIRLPOOL

 

2) SWADHISTHANA, A SWAN ATTRACTS THE WHOLE WORLD

 

1) BRAHMA, SACRED, THREE CONCENTIC CIRCLES

 

TOP - THIS END UP

 

slc9-p51

 

 

The text states:
" By meditating on these Chakras day by day, you will gradually attain Siddhis (psychic powers)"
This means NO CANCELLATION
NO ABOLITION OF PARADOX.
 
(This absence of cancellation means that this text does NOT conform to Vedanta, but rather to a relativistic, dualistic context. ED)

 

 

This text is anterior and REPUGNANT TO THE SPIRIT OF VEDANTA.
This is exactly what Sankara revalued. Make no mistake about this;

SANKARA DOES NOT FOLLOW THE STANDARD TANTRA OR YOGA TEXTS.

Where is the Tantra here?

"People talk about Tantra and Chakras and Adharas, but I was born in India and have seen all the literature and I say this is all nonsense.

But there must be a source in a sufficiently old text from which both these Upanishads have drawn this information, since there is some agreement between them; they appear to be older than Patanjali."
 

 

POINTS OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THESE TEXTS:
 
1 - The petals increase as you ascend.
2 - A phallus in the centre is a Shiva principle, a vertical axis.
3 - Hypostatic and Hierophantic are described by a lotus right side up and upside down.
4 - The two last ones (limits) have the word "Brahman" (the Absolute) - they have an interchangeability of status.
5 - Increasing polygons.
 
NOTE - The Chakras of the Yoga Raja Upanishad have to appear in reverse order to the one here, but the numbering is correct.
 
Saubhagya Lakshmi puts Brahma Chakra (no.7) at the bottom, Yoga Raja puts it (no.1) at the top)

 

They must have been practising Yoga in caves and then wrote down their experiences, which were not clearly stated in philosophical terms until the genius-philosopher-saint Sankara came along.

 

Narayana Guru must have practised every kind of Yoga, but never mentioned Chakras in his Darsana Mala Chapter IX on Yoga (Vision of Meditation) . He politely dismissed the whole thing.

He only describes one Mudra, which is like a Chakra - a mind gesture.
That is Khechari Mudra, a psychophysical attitude that abolishes fatigue and sleepiness.
 

9. dhyanamantantarbhruvordrstirjihvagram lambikordhvatah
yada syatkhecari mudra nidralasyadinasini

When meditation with gaze fixed between the eye-brows
And the tongue-tip touching beyond the uvula (takes place)
Then happens (khecari mudra) that space-freedom attitude
Of drowsiness - and fatigue - dispelling capacity.

 

Vyoma Chakra completely revises Patanjali and Bhogatika.
Woodroffe's "Kundalini Shakti" is all bosh! Where does he get it? From what source book?

In his ten verses on Yoga in the Darsana Mala, Narayana Guru does not even mention Chakras.

"I want to get shot of this thing, you can go on talking and talking...you can go on mystifying things..."

Sankara gives a normalised picture and a still more normalised picture is given by Narayana Guru in his ten verses on Yoga in the Darsana Mala, where he completely bypasses the kind of vague picturesque language called Chakras.

The last word on the subject of Chakras is: all this is so much baloney.

Sankara is the only man who made an attempt to put order into the subject of Chakras.

The Divine Life Society and everybody talks glibly of Chakras, but they do not take the trouble to define or explain anything of what they say according to any philosophy.

Nine as a basic number of Chakras is accepted by Sankara in two respects in Verse 11, thus perhaps agreeing with the nine Chakras of the two Upanishads here.
 

 

YOGA RAJA UPANISHAD SPEAKS OF FOUR YOGAS:
 
1 - Hatha Yoga   - means facing yourself with wilful determination, and psychophysical culture (Asana).

 

2 - Raja Yoga     - the public way (of the King) controlling the Prana (breath) seat, using vital centres.

 

3 - Laya Yoga    - (melting and uniting), meditation, bringing together and cancelling out mentally two opposite things.

 

4 - Mantra Yoga - Samadhi (attaining final loneliness or peace).

 

Sankara respects the parity and chirality or handedness of the Ida and Pingala nerves, though he does not use these terms.

A Shiva Lingam (phallic symbol of Shiva) with a Yoni (female symbol of Shakti, the Devi) is to be kept in mind, because they represent Shiva and Parvati - the only subject of Tantra Shastra.

The Father of the Universe has his penis penetrating from the other side into the vagina of the Mother.

The juice of the orange is formed from two opposite sides, which can be seen in cross-section.

 

 
Shiva's limit: his penis enters into the centre of the whole thing from above, from the Absolute, an amorphous thing like a tree.

Horizontal maturation occurs between these two limits.
The Navel of the Yoni, the Mother's limit: there are two depressions in every fruit, marking the two references - positive and negative.

It takes nine months of maturation for a child - it is a kind of fruit.
 
There is a mother dropping roots to the children of Chinatambi (a disciple of Nataraja Guru).

In the Indian Marriage ritual where a coconut is broken open, the coconut is a protolinguistic element...break it exactly into two pieces along the equator... a garland represents the whole range of yourself...a Hindu marriage, with the exchange of garlands means that the spouse belongs completely to the spouse - a serious thing... Purna Kumbha (the offering of a coconut etc.) is a tantric ritual.

 

In Saubhagya Lakshmi Upanishad (Lakshmi is a woman's name) the Chakras are listed inverted, in an upside down order.

One of these Upanishads is called by the name of a male god, the other by a woman's name - they are the same except for methodology, so there is perhaps a basic agreement.

Sankara also has his poem, Shivananda Lahari, which, in the same way, has the methodology of the Saundarya Lahari reversed.

The two lists are inverted because one refers to the eternal feminine and the other to the eternal masculine.

The fact that it is called an Upanishad means that you have to prove that it is not dignified.

An Upanishad deals by definition with the subject of Brahman.
The authenticity of other texts, like those found by Woodroffe, is debatable.

 

 

SAUBHAGYA LAKSHMI UPANISHAD - THE FEM