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    Chapter Two

    KUNDALINI YOGA—THEORY

    Yoga Nadis

    Nadis are the astral tubes made up of astral matter that carry psychic currents. The Sanskrit term ‘Nadi comes from the root ‘Nad’ which means ‘motion’. It is through these Nadis (Sukshma, subtle passages), that the vital force or Pranic current moves or flows. Since they are made up of subtle matter they cannot be seen by the naked physical eyes and you cannot make any test-tube experiments in the physical plane. These Yoga Nadis are not the ordinary nerves, arteries and veins that are known to the Vaidya Shastra (Anatomy and Physiology). Yoga Nadis are quite different from these.

    The body is filled with innumerable Nadis that cannot be counted. Different authors state the number of Nadis in different ways, i.e., from 72,000 to 3,50,000. When you turn your attention to the internal structure of the body, you are struck with awe and wonder. Because the architect is the Divine Lord Himself who is assisted by skilled engineers and masons—Maya, Prakriti, Visva Karma, etc.

    Nadis play a vital part in this Yoga. Kundalini when awakened, will pass through Sushumna Nadi and this is possible only when the Nadis are pure. Therefore, the first step in Kundalini Yoga is the purification of Nadis. A detailed knowledge of the Nadis and Chakras, is absolutely essential. Their location, functions, nature, etc., should be thoroughly studied.

    The subtle lines, Yoga Nadis, have influence in the physical body. All the subtle (Sukshma) Prana, Nadis and Chakras have gross manifestation and operation in the physical body. The gross nerves and plexuses have close relationship with the subtle ones. You should understand this point well. Since the physical centres have close relationship with the astral centres, the vibrations that are produced in the physical centres by prescribed methods, have the desired effects in the astral centres.

    Whenever there is an interlacing of several nerves, arteries and veins, that centre is called “Plexus.” The physical material plexuses that are known to the Vaidya Shastra are:— Pampiniform, Cervical, Brachial, Coccygeal, Lumbar, Sacral, Cardiac, Esophageal, Hepatic Pharyngeal, Pulmonary, Ligual Prostatic Plexus, etc. Similarly there are plexuses or centres of vital forces in the Sukshma Nadis. They are known as ‘Padma’ (lotus) or Chakras. Detailed instructions on all these centres are given elsewhere.

    All the Nadis spring from the Kanda. It is in the junction where the Sushumna Nadi is connected with the Muladhara Chakra. Some say, that this Kanda is 12 inches above the anus. Out of the innumerable Nadis 14 are said to be important. They are:—

    1. Sushumna
    2. Ida
    3. Pingala
    4. Gandhari
    5. Hastajihva
    6. Kuhu
    7. Saraswati
    8. Pusha
    9. Sankhini
    10. Payasvini
    11. Varuni
    12. Alambusha
    13. Vishvodhara
    14. Yasasvini

    Again Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are the most important of the above 14 Nadis, and Sushumna is the chief. It is the highest and most sought by the Yogins. Other Nadis are subordinate to this. Detailed instructions on each Nadi and its functions and the method of awakening the Kundalini and passing it from Chakra to Chakra are given in the following pages.

    Spinal Column

    Before proceeding to the study of Nadis and Chakras you will have to know something about the Spinal Column, as all the Chakras are connected with it.

    Spinal Column

          spinal.jpg

    A—Atlas bone; A to B—Cervical region;
    B to C—Dorsal region; C to D—Lumbar region;
    D to E—Sacral region; E to the end—Coccygeal region.

    Spinal Column is known as Meru Danda. This is the axis of the body just as Mount Meru is the axis of the earth. Hence the spine is called ‘Meru’. Spinal column is otherwise known as spine, axis-staff or vertebral column. Man is microcosm. (Pinda - Kshudra-Brahmanda). All things seen in the universe,—mountains, rivers, Bhutas, etc., exist in the body also. All the Tattvas and Lokas (worlds) are within the body.

    The body may be divided into three main parts:—head, trunk and the limbs, and the centre of the body is between the head and the legs. The spinal column extends from the first vertebra, Atlas bone, to the end of the trunk.

    The spine is formed of a series of 33 bones called vertebrae; according to the position these occupy, it is divided into five regions:—

    1. Cervical region (neck) 7 vertebrae
    2. Dorsal region (back) 12 vertebrae
    3. Lumbar region (waist or loins) 5 vertebrae.
    4. Sacral region (buttocks, Sacrum or gluteal) 5 vertebrae.
    5. Coccygeal region (imperfect vertebrae Coccyx) 4 vertebrae.


    vetebrae.jpg

    Vertebrae

    The vertebral bones are piled one upon the other thus forming a pillar for the support of the cranium and trunk. They are connected together by spinous, transverse and articular processes and by pads of fibro-cartilage between the bones. The arches of the vertebrae form a hollow cylinder or a bony covering or a passage for the spinal cord. The size of the vertebrae differs from each other. For example, the size of the vertebrae in cervical region is smaller than in dorsal but the arches are bigger. The body of the lumbar vertebrae is the largest and biggest. The whole spine is not like a stiff rod, but has curvatures that give a spring action. All the other bones of the body are connected with this spine.

    Between each pair of vertebrae there are apertures through which the spinal nerves pass from the spinal cord to the different portions and organs of the body. The five regions of the spine correspond with the regions of the five Chakras: Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata and Vishuddha. Sushumna Nadi passes through the hollow cylindrical cavity of the vertebral column and Ida is on the left side and Pingala on the right side of the spine.

    Sukshma Sarira

    The physical body is shaped in accordance with the nature of the astral body. The physical body is something like water, Sthula form. When water is heated, the steam or vapour corresponds to the astral body. In the same way the astral or Sukshma body is within the gross or physical body. The gross body cannot do anything without the astral body. Every gross centre of the body has its astral centre. A clear knowledge of the gross body is of utmost importance as this Yoga deals with the centre of the astral body. In subsequent chapters you will find, therefore, a short description of the centres of the gross body and their corresponding centres in the Sukshma Sarira. You will find the descriptions of the astral centres and their connected functions in the physical body.

    Kanda

    This is situated between the anus and the root of the reproductory organ. It is like the shape of an egg and is covered with membranes. This is just above the Muladhara Chakra. All the Nadis of the body spring from this Kanda. It is in the junction where Sushumna is connected with Muladhara Chakra. The four petals of the Muladhara Chakra are on the sides of this Kanda and the junction is called Granthi-Sthana, where the influence of Maya is very strong. In some Upanishads you will find that Kanda is 9 digits above the genitals.

    Kanda is a centre of the astral body from where Yoga Nadis, subtle channels, spring and carry the Sukshma Prana (vital energy) to the different parts of the body. Corresponding to this centre, you have ‘Cauda equina’ in the gross physical body. The spinal cord extending from the brain to the end of the vertebral column tapers off into a fine silken thread. Before its termination it gives off innumerable fibres, crowded into a bunch of nerves. This bunch of nerves is ‘Cauda equina’ in the gross body. The astral centre of ‘Cauda equina is Kanda.

    Spinal Cord

    The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord, the cerebro-spinal centre or axis. The continuation of the Medulla oblongata or the Bulb is a connecting medium between the brain and the spinal cord. The centre in the Medulla oblongata is closely connected with the involuntary functions of breathing and swallowing. The spinal cord extends from the top of the spinal canal to the second vertebra of the coccygeal region where it tapers off into a fine silken thread, called Filum terminale.

    The spinal cord is a column of very soft grey and white brain-matter. The white matter is arranged on the sides of the grey matter. The white matter is of medullated nerves while the grey is of nerve-cells and fibres. This is not tightly fitted with the spinal canal, but suspended or dropped, as it were, into the spinal canal just like the brain in the cranial cavity. This is nourished by the membranes. Spinal cord and brain float in the cerebro-spinal fluid. The fluid prevents, therefore, any injury done to them. Further the spinal cord is protected by a covering of fatty tissue. It is divided into two symmetrical halves by an anterior and posterior fissure. In the centre there is a minute canal, called canalis centralis. Brahmanadi runs along this canal from the Muladhara to Sahasrara Chakra. It is through this Nadi, Kundalini, when awakened, passes to Brahmarandhra.

    The spinal cord is not divided or separated from the brain. It is continuous with the brain. All the cranial and spinal nerves are connected with this cord. Every nerve of the body is connected with this. The organs of reproduction, micturition, digestion, blood-circulation, respiration are all controlled by this spinal cord. Spinal cord opens out into the fourth ventricle of the brain in the medulla oblongata. From the fourth ventricle it runs along the third, then the fifth ventricle of the brain and finally it reaches the crown of the head, Sahasrara Chakra.

    cord.jpg

    Spinal Cord

    Sushumna Nadi

    When we study the construction, location and function of the Spinal Cord and the Sushumna Nadi, we can readily say that the Spinal Cord was called Sushumna Nadi by the Yogins of yore. The Western Anatomy deals with the gross form and functions of the Spinal Cord, while the Yogins of ancient times dealt with all about the subtle (Sukshma) nature. Now in Kundalini Yoga, you should have a thorough knowledge of this Nadi.

    Sushumna extends from the Muladhara Chakra (second vertebra of coccygeal region) to Brahmarandhra. The Western Anatomy admits that there is a central canal in the Spinal Cord, called Canalis Centralis and that the cord is made up of grey and white brain-matter. Spinal Cord is dropped or suspended in the hollow of the spinal column. In the same way, Sushumna is dropped within the spinal canal and has subtle sections. It is of red colour like Agni (fire).

    Within this Sushumna there is a Nadi by name Vajra which is lustrous as Surya (sun) with Rajasic qualities. Again within this Vajra Nadi, there is another Nadi, called Chitra. It is of Sattvic nature and of pale colour. The qualities of Agni, Surya and Chandra (fire, sun and moon) are the three aspects of Sabda Brahman. Here within this Chitra, there is a very fine minute canal (which is known as Canalis Centralis). This canal is known as Brahmanadi through which Kundalini, when awakened, passes from Muladhara to Sahasrara Chakra. In this centre exist all the six Chakras (lotuses, viz., Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha and Ajna).

    The lower extremity of the Chitra Nadi is called Brahmadvara, the door of Brahman, as Kundalini has to pass through this door to Brahmarandhra. This corresponds to Haridwar which is the gate of Hari of Badrinarayan in the macrocosm (physical plane). The Chitra terminates in the Cerebellum.

    In a general sense the Sushumna Nadi itself (gross Spinal Cord) is called Brahma Nadi because, Brahma Nadi is within the Sushumna. Again the canal within the Chitra is also called Sushumna, because the canal is within the Sushumna. Ida and Pingala Nadis are on the left and right sides of the spine.

    Chitra is the highest and most beloved of the Yogins. It is like a thin thread of lotus. Brilliant with five colours, it is in the centre of Sushumna. It is the most vital part of the body. This is called the Heavenly way. It is the giver of Immortality. By contemplating on the Chakras that exist in this Nadi, the Yogi destroys all sins and attains the Highest Bliss. It is the giver of Moksha.

    When the breath flows through Sushumna, the mind becomes steady. This steadiness of the mind is termed “Unmani Avastha”, the highest state of Yoga. If you sit for meditation when Sushumna is operating, you will have wonderful meditation. When the Nadis are full of impurities, the breath cannot pass into the middle Nadi. So one should practise Pranayama for the purification of Nadis.

    Para-Sympathetic And Sympathetic System

    On either side of the spinal cord run the sympathetic and para-sympathetic cords, a double chain of ganglia. Ganglia means a collection of nerve-cells. These constitute the Autonomic System which supplies nerves to the involuntary organs, such as heart, lungs, intestines, kidneys, liver, etc., and controls them. Vagus nerve which plays a vital part in human economy comes out of this sympathetic system. Sympathetic system stimulates or accelerates. Para-sympathetic system retards or inhibits. There are nerves to dilate or expand the arteries which carry pure oxygenated blood to nourish the tissues, organs and cells of different parts of the body. These are called Vaso-dilators. The left and the right sympathetic chains are connected by filaments. These cross from the right to the left side and vice versa, but the exact places where these crosses are not known, though several have attempted to find. M’Kendrick and Snodgrass in their Physiology of the Senses write: “Where the sensory fibres cross from one side to the other is not known ..... In some parts of the spinal cord the sensory fibres do cross from the right to left side and vice versa.

    Ida And Pingala Nadis

    Ida and Pingala Nadis are not the gross sympathetic chains. These are the subtle Nadis that carry the Sukshma Prana. In the physical body these tentatively correspond to the right and left sympathetic chains.

    Ida starts from the right testicle and Pingala from the left testicle. They meet with Sushumna Nadi at the Muladhara Chakra and make a knot there. This junction of three Nadis at the Muladhara Chakra is known as Mukta Triveni. Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati dwell in Pingala, Ida and Sushumna Nadis respectively. This meeting place is called Brahma Granthi. Again these meet at the Anahata and Ajna Chakra. In the macrocosm also you have a Triveni at Prayag where the three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati meet.

    Ida flows through the left nostril and Pingala through the right nostril. Ida is also called Chandra Nadi (moon) and Pingala as Surya Nadi (sun). Ida is cooling and Pingala is heating. Pingala digests the food. Ida is of pale, Sakti Rupa. It is the great nourisher of the world. Pingala is of fiery red, Rudra Rupa. Ida and Pingala indicate Kala (time) and Sushumna swallows time. The Yogi knows the time of his death; takes his Prana into Sushumna; keeps it in Brahmarandra, and defies time (Kala—death). The famous Yogi Sri Chang Dev of Maharashtra fought against death several times by taking the Prana into Sushumna. He was a contemporary of Sri Jnanadev of Alandi, near Poona. It was he who had Bhuta Siddhi, control over wild animals, through his Yogic practices. He came on the back of a tiger to see Sri Jnanadev.



    Chakras
    Padmas, Lotuses of the Astral body
    Muladhara
    or Adhara Chakra
    Swadhishthana Manipura Anahata Vishuddha Ajna

    Sahasrara

    Corresponding nerve plexuses in the physical body (Sacral)
    Sacro-Coccygeal Plexus
    Prostatic Plexus Solar Plexus Cardiac Plexus (Pharyngeal) Laryngeal Plexus Cavernous Plexus

    Pineal
    Gland

    Location or Position Just below Kanda, between the root of reproductory organ and anus. At the base of spinal column At the Linga or the origin of the reproductory organ. Between Muladhara and Manipura Chakras Navel of Nabhi
    Sthana
    Heart At the base of the throat of Kantha-Mula Sthana At the space between the two eyebrows or Bhru-Madhya  
    Petals or number of Yoga Nadis 4 6 10 12 16 2  
    Letters on the petals or the vibrations of the Yoga Nadis v: S: \: s: b: B: m: y: r l: R Z N: t: T:

    d D: n: p: P

    k K: g: G: { c:

    C j: J: W: X Y

    A A: E I u U ? @

    ; = O O A: A: A AH

    h x:  
    Mandala or the region of Tattva Prithvi or Bhumandal. Region of the Earth Apas or Jala Mandal.
    Region of the water
    Tejas or Agni Mandal. Region of Fire Vayu Mandal. Region of Air Akasa Mandal. Region of Ether Avyakta Ahankara Manas Tattva. Region of Mind  
    Shape of Mandala Square Crescent moon Triangle Hexagonal Round Round  
    Colour of Tattvas Yellow White Red Smoky Blue    
    Function of Tattva Gandha or smell Rasa or taste Rupa or sight Sparsha or touch Shabda or hearing Sankalpa Vikalpa  
    Presiding Deity Ganesha
    (Brahma 4 faced)
    Brahma (Narayana four handed) Shankara three eyed
    (Vishnu)
    Shankara three eyed
    (Siva)
    Maheswara Sadasiva as Bindurupa Sadasiva or
    Shambhu Nada
     
    Goddess Dakini Rakini Lakini Kakini Shakini Hakini  
    Deva or Tattva Prithvi Varuna Agni Vayu Akasa Manas  
    Bija Akshara l: v: r y: h !  
    Corresponding Lokas Bhu Loka Bhuvar Loka Swah or Swarga Loka Mahar Loka Janah or Janar Loka Tapo Loka  
    Granthi Sthana Brahma Granthi - - Vishnu - Rudra  

     

    man.jpg

    Svara Sadhana

    Svara Sadhana, practice of breath, is the revealer of Satya, Brahman and bestower of the Supreme Knowledge and Bliss. Perform calm acts during the flow of Ida and harsh acts during the flow of Pingala. Do acts resulting in the attainment of psychic powers, Yoga, meditation, etc., during the flow of the Sushumna. If the breath rises by Ida (moon) at sunrise and flows throughout the day, and Pingala (sun) rises at sunset and flows throughout the night it confers considerable good results. Let the breath flow through Ida the whole day and through Pingala the whole night. He who practises thus is verily a great Yogi.

    How To Change The Flow In Nadis

    The following exercises are for changing the flow from Ida to Pingala. Select any one of the methods that suits you best. For changing the flow from Pingala to Ida, just do the same exercise on the opposite side:

    1. Plug the left nostril with a small piece of cotton or fine cloth for a few minutes.

    2. Lie down on the left side for ten minutes.

    3. Sit erect. Draw the left knee up and keep the left heel near the left buttock. Now press the left arm-pit, Axilla, on the knee. In a few seconds the flow will be through Pingala.

    4. Keep the two heels together near the right buttock. The right knee will be over the left knee. Keep the left palm on the ground a foot away and let the weight of the trunk rest on the left hand. Do not bend at the elbow. Turn the head also towards the left side. This is an effective method. Catch hold of the left ankle with the right hand.

    5. The flow of breath can be changed by Nauli Kriya also.

    6. There are some who are able to change the flow by will.

    7. Place the Yoga Danda or Hamsa Danda (a wooden stick of about 2 feet in length with a rest of the shape of U at one end) at the left arm-pit and lean on it by the left side.

    8. The most effective and instantaneous result is produced in changing the flow through Khechari Mudra. The Yogi turns the tongue inside and blocks the air passage by the tip of the tongue.

    The above exercise is intended for general regulation of breath. Many other special exercises for the purification of Nadis and awakening Kundalini will be given in the subsequent chapters. A knowledge more secret than the science of breath, a friend more true than the science of breath, has never been seen or heard of. Friends are brought together by the power of breath. Wealth is obtained with comfort and reputation through the power of breath. The knowledge of the past, present and the future and all other Siddhis are acquired and a man reaches the highest state, by the power of breath.

    I want you to practise every day the Svara Sadhana systematically and regularly, that is, to allow the flow of breath through the left nostril throughout the day and through the right nostril throughout the night. This will, doubtless, bestow on you wonderful benefits. Wrong Svara is the cause of a host of ailments. Observance of right Svara as described above leads to health and long life. Verily, verily, I say this unto you, my dear children! Practise this. Practise this from today. Shake off your habitual sloth, indolence and inertia. Leave off your idle talk. Do something practical. Before you begin the practice, pray to Lord Siva, who is the giver of this wonderful science by uttering Om Namah Sivaya and Sri Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles.

    Other Nadis

    Gandhari, Hastajihva, Kuhu, Sarasvati, Pusha, Sankhini, Payasvini, Varuni, Alambusha, Vishvodhara, Yasasvini, etc., are some other important Nadis. These have their origin in Kanda. All these Nadis are placed on the sides of Sushumna, Ida and Pingala, and proceed to different parts of the body to perform certain special functions. These are all subtle Nadis. Innumerable minor Nadis spring from these. As the leaf of the Asvattha tree is covered with minute fibres so also, this body is permeated with thousands of Nadis.

    Padmas Or Chakras

    Chakras are in the Linga Sarira (astral body). Linga Sarira is of 17 Tattvas, viz., 5 Jnanendriyas (ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose); 5 Karmendriyas (speech, hands, legs, genitals, anus); 5 Pranas (Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana, Samana); Manas (mind); and Buddhi (intellect). These have corresponding centres in the spinal cord and the nerve-plexuses in the gross body. Each Chakra has control and function over a particular centre in gross body. These cannot be seen by the naked eyes. Some foolish doctors search for the Chakras in the physical body. They cannot find them there. Since they cannot find any Chakra in a dead body, they lose faith in Shastras and Yogic Kriyas.

    Sukshma Prana moves in the nervous system of the Linga Sarira (astral body). Sthula Prana moves in the nervous system of the gross physical body. The two courses are intimately connected. They act and react upon each other. The Chakras are in the astral body even after the disintegration of the physical organism to death. According to a school of thought, the Chakras are formed during concentration and meditation only. This is not possible. The Chakras should exist there in a subtle state, as the gross matter is the result of the subtle matter. Without the subtle body, the gross body is impossible. The meaning of this sentence should be taken to be that one can feel and understand the Sukshma Chakras during concentration and meditation only.

    Wherever there is an interlacing of several nerves, arteries and veins, that centre is called Plexuses. The physical gross plexuses that are known to the Vaidya Shastra are Hepatic, Cervical, Brachial, Coccygeal, Lumbar, Sacral, Cardiac, Epigastric, Esophageal, Pharyngeal, Plumonary, Lingual, Prostatic, etc. Similarly there are plexuses or centres of Sukshma Prana in the Sushumna Nadi. All the functions of the body, nervous, digestive, circulatory, respiratory, genito-urinary and all other systems of the body are under the control of these centres in Sushumna. These are subtle centres of vital energy. These are the centres of consciousness (Chaitanya). These subtle centres of Sushumna have their corresponding centres in the physical body. For example, Anahata Chakra which is in the Sushumna Nadi has its corresponding centre in the physical body at the heart (Cardiac Plexus).

    The subtle centres in the Sushumna Nadi are otherwise known as Lotuses or Chakras. A particular Tattva preponderates at every Chakra. There is a presiding deity in each Chakra. In every Chakra a certain animal is represented. It denotes that the centre has the qualities, Tattvas or Gunas of that particular animal. There are six important Chakras: Muladhara, Svadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, and Ajna. Sahasrara is the chief Chakra. It is in the head. These 7 Chakras correspond to the Lokas (Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svah, Maha, Jana, Tapa, and Satya Lokas). Muladhara to Vishuddha are the centres of Pancha Bhutas (five elements): earth, water, fire, air and ether.

    When Kundalini is awakened it passes on from Muladhara to Sahasrara through all the Chakras. At every centre to which the Yogi directs the Kundalini, he experiences a special form of Ananda (Bliss) and gains special Siddhis (psychic powers) and knowledge. He enjoys the Supreme Bliss when Kundalini is taken to Sahasrara Chakra.

    The following are some other Chakras: Adhara (another name of Muladhara Chakra), Amrita, Ananda, Lalita, Balvana, Brahmadvara, Chandra, Dipaka, Karnamula, Gulhaha, Kuladipa, Kundali, Galabaddha, Kaladaada, Kaladhvara, Karangaka, Kalabhedan, Lalana, Mahotsaha, Manas, Talana, Mahapadma, Niradhara, Naukula, Prana, Soma, Triveni, Urdhvarandhra, Vajra, etc. Some of these names refer to the six important Chakras only. There are also many minor Chakras. Some Hathayogis say, that there are 21 minor Chakras besides 13 major Chakras and some other Hathayogis hold that there are forty-nine Chakras while the ancient Yogis taught that there are 144 Chakras. Talana Chakra with its twelve red petals is located near the base of the palate and Manas Chakra with its six petals closely associated with sensations, dreams and astral travelling. Detailed instructions of each Chakra are given in the foregoing chapters.

    Petals On Chakras

    Each Chakra has a particular number of petals with a Sanskrit alphabet on each petal. The vibration that is produced at each petal is represented by the corresponding Sanskrit letter. Every letter denotes the Mantra of Devi Kundalini. The letters exist in the petals in a latent form. These can be manifested and the vibrations of the Nadis felt during concentration.

    The number of petals of the lotuses varies. Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha and Ajna Chakras have 4, 6, 10, 12, 16, and 2 petals respectively. All the 50 Sanskrit letters are on the 50 petals. The number of petals in each Chakra is determined by the number and position of the Yoga Nadis around the Chakra. I will make it still clear. From each Chakra a particular number of Yoga Nadis crop up. The Chakra gives the appearance of a lotus with the Nadis as its petals. The sound produced by the vibrations of the Yoga Nadis is represented by the corresponding Sanskrit letter. The Chakras with their petals hang downwards when Kundalini is at the Muladhara Chakra. When it is awakened, they turn towards Brahmarandhra. They always face the side of Kundalini.

    Muladhara Chakra

    Muladhara Chakra is located at the base of the spinal column. It lies between the origin of the reproductory organ and the anus. It is just below the Kanda and the junction where Ida, Pingala and Sushumna Nadis meet. Two fingers above the anus and about two fingers below the genitals, four fingers in width is the space where the Muladhara Chakra is situated. This is the Adhara Chakra (support) as the other Chakras are above this. Kundalini, which gives power and energy to all the Chakras, lies at this Chakra. Hence this, which is the support of all is called Muladhara or Adhara Chakra.

    muladhara.jpg

    THE MULADHARA AND KUNDALINI

    From this Chakra four important Nadis emanate which appear as petals of a lotus. The subtle vibrations that are made by each Nadi are represented by the Sanskrit letters: v: S: \: and s: (va, a, a, and sa.). The Yoni that is in the centre of this Chakra is called Kama and it is worshipped by Siddhas. Here Kundalini lies dormant. Ganesa is the Devata of this Chakra. The seven underworlds: Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Rasatala, Mahatala and Patala Lokas are below this Chakra. This Chakra corresponds with Bhu Loka or Bhu-Mandal, physical plane (region of earth). Bhuvah, Svah or Svarga, Maha, Jana, Tapa and Satya Lokas are above this Chakra. All the underworlds refer to some minor Chakras in the limbs which are controlled by the Muladhara Chakra. That Yogi, who has penetrated this Chakra through Prithvi Dharan, has conquered the Prithvi Tattva. He has no fear of death from earth. Prithvi is of yellow colour. The golden Tripura (fire, sun and moon) is termed the ‘Bija’. It is also called the great energy (Param Tejas) which rests on the Muladhara Chakra and which is known as Svayambhu Linga. Near this Linga is the golden region known as Kula and the presiding deity is Dakini (Shakti). Brahma Granthi or the knot of Brahma is in this Chakra. Vishnu Granthi and Rudra Granthi are in the Anahata and Ajna Chakras. l: (la) is the Bija of Muladhara Chakra.

    The wise Yogi, who concentrates and meditates on the Muladhara Chakra, acquires the full knowledge of Kundalini and the means to awaken it. When Kundalini is awakened, he gets Darduri Siddhi, the power to rise from the ground. He can control the breath, mind and semen. His Prana enters the middle Brahma Nadi. All his sins are destroyed. He acquires knowledge of the past, present and future. He enjoys the natural Bliss (Sahaja Ananda).

    Svadhishthana Chakra

    Svadhishthana Chakra is located within the Sushumna Nadi at the root of the reproductory organ. This corresponds to Bhuvar Loka. This has control over the lower abdomen, kidneys, etc., in the physical body. Jala Mandal (region of water—Apa Tattva) is here. Within this Chakra there is a space like a crescent moon or the form of a conch or Kunda flower. The presiding deity is Lord Brahma and Devata is Goddess Rakini. Bijakshara v: (va), the Bija of Varuna, is in this Chakra. The colour of the Chakra is pure blood-like red or the colour of Sindura (vermilion). From this centre six Yoga Nadis emanate, which appear like the petals of a lotus. The vibrations that are produced by the Nadis are represented by the Sanskrit letters:—b: B: m: y: r l: (ba bha ma ya ra and la).

    svadhishthana.jpg

    SVADHISHTHANA CHAKRA

    He who concentrates at this Chakra and meditates on the Devata has no fear of water. He has perfect control over the water element. He gets many psychic powers, intuitional knowledge and a perfect control over his senses. He has full knowledge of the astral entities. Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya and other impure qualities are completely annihilated. The Yogi becomes the conqueror of death (Mrityunjaya).

    Manipura Chakra

    Manipura is the third Chakra from the Muladhara. It is located within the Sushumna Nadi, in the Nabhi Sthana (region of navel). This has its corresponding centre in the physical body and has control over the liver, stomach, etc. This is a very important centre. From this Chakra emanate ten Yoga Nadis which appear like the petals of a lotus. The vibrations that are produced by the Nadis are represented by the Sanskrit letters:—R Z N: t: T: d D: n: p: P (a ha a ta tha da dha na pa and pha). The Chakra is of the colour of dark clouds. Within there is a space triangular in form. It is the Agni Mandala (region of fire—Agni Tattva). The Bijakshara r (ra), the Bija of Agni, is here. The presiding deity is Vishnu and Goddess is Lakshmi. This Chakra corresponds to Svah or Svarga Loka and to Solar Plexus in the physical body.

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    MANIPURA CHAKRA

    The Yogi who concentrates at this Chakra gets Patala Siddhi, can acquire hidden treasures and will be free from all diseases. He has no fear at all from Agni (fire). “Even if he is thrown into the burning fire, he remains alive without fear of death.”, (Gheranda Samhita).

    Anahata Chakra

    Anahata Chakra is situated in the Sushumna Nadi (Sukshma centre). It has control over the heart. It corresponds to the Cardiac Plexus in the physical body. This corresponds to Mahar Loka. The Chakra is of deep red colour. Within this Chakra there is a hexagonal space of smoke or deep black colour or the colour of collyrium (used for the eyes). This chakra is the centre of Vayu Mandal (region of air, Vayu Tattva). From here 15 Yoga Nadis emanate. The sound that is produced by each Nadi is represented by the following Sanskrit letters:—k K: g: G: { c: C j: J: W: X Y (ka kha ga gha a ca cha ja jha a a and ha). The Bijakshara y: (ya), the Bija of Vayu, is here. The presiding deity is Isha (Rudra) and Devata is Kakini. In the Muladhara Chakra there is Svayambhu Linga and in Anahata Chakra we have Bana Linga. Kalpa Vriksha, which gives all the desired things, is here. Anahata sound, the sound of Shabda Brahman, is heard at this centre. When you do Sirshasana for a long time, you can distinctly hear this sound. Vayu Tattva is full of Sattva Guna. Vishnu Granthi is in this Sthana.

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    ANAHATA CHAKRA

    He who meditates on this Chakra has full control over Vayu Tattva. He gets Bhuchari Siddhi, Khechari Siddhi, Kaya Siddhi, etc., (flying in air, entering the body of another). He gets cosmic love and all other divine Sattvic qualities.

    Vishuddha Chakra

    Vishuddha Chakra is situated within the Sushumna Nadi at the base of the throat, Kantha-Mula Sthana. This corresponds to Janar Loka. It is the centre of Akasa Tattva (ether element). The Tattva is of pure blue colour. Above this, all other Chakras belong to Manas Tattva. The presiding deity is Sadasiva (Isvara Linga), and the Goddess is Shakini. From this centre emanate 16 Yoga Nadis which appear like the petals of a lotus. The vibrations that are produced by the Nadis are represented by the 16 Sanskrit vowels:—A A: E I u U ? @ ; = O O A: A: A AH (a i u e ai o au a and a). Akasa Mandal (the region of ether) is round in shape like the fullmoon. The Bija of Akasa Tattva h (ha) is in this centre. It is of white colour. This Chakra corresponds to Laryngeal plexus in the physical body.

    The concentration on the Tattva of this Chakra is called Akasa Dharana. He who practises this Dharana will not perish even in Pralaya. He attains the highest success. He gets the full knowledge of the four Vedas by meditating on this Chakra. He becomes a Trikala Jnani (who knows the past, the present and the future).


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    VISHUDDHA CHAKRA

    Ajna Chakra

    Ajna Chakra is situated within the Sushumna Nadi and its corresponding centre in the physical body is at the space between the two eye-brows. This is known as Trikuti. The presiding deity, Paramasiva (Shambhu), is in the form of Hamsa. There is Goddess Hakini (Sakti}. Pranava xdvng (Om) is the Bijakshara for this Chakra. This is the seat of the mind. There are two petals (Yoga Nadis) on each side of the lotus (Chakra) and the vibrations of these Nadis are represented by the Sanskrit letters:—xdvng (Ham) and (Ksham). This is the Granthi Sthana (Rudra Granthi). The Chakra is of pure white colour or like that of the fullmoon (on the Purnima day). Bindu, Nada and Sakti are in this Chakra. This Chakra corresponds to Tapo-Loka. The corresponding centre in the physical body is at the Cavernous Plexus.

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    AJNA CHAKRA

    He who concentrates at this centre destroys all the Karmas of the past lives. The benefits that are derived by meditation on this Chakra cannot be described in words. The practitioner becomes a Jivanmukta (liberated man while living). He acquires all the 8 major and 32 minor Siddhis. All Yogis and Jnanis too concentrate to this centre on the Bijakshara, Pranava ! (OM). This is called Bhrumadya Drishti (gaze at the space between the two eye-brows). More details of this important Chakra will be given in the subsequent lessons.

    The Brain

    Brain and cranial nerves are the chief parts of the whole nervous system. It is a mass of nervous tissues made up of soft grey and white matter. It occupies the whole of cranium. Cranium is like the iron safe to keep up the treasure ‘brain’. It is surrounded by three membranes or Meninges, viz., (1) dura mater, the fibrous connective tissue by the side of the cranial bones; (2) pia mater, the connective tissue containing a network of blood vessels, which penetrates and nourishes all the parts of the brain; and (3) arachnoid, a very fine membrane around the brain. Below the arachnoid there is the space which contains the cerebro-spinal fluid that is intended to prevent any injury to the brain. The brain looks as if it is floating on this liquid.

    brain.jpg

    THE BRAIN

    1. Cerebrum
    2. Cerebellum
    3. Medulla Oblongata
    4. Pons Varolii

    The brain can be divided into two halves, right and left hemispheres, by a central Sulcus or tissue. There are several lobes or smaller portions in the brain such as the parietal and temporal lobes on the sides, the occipital lobe at the posterior portion of cerebellum, etc. There are many convolutions or Gyre in every lobe. Again, for the sake of study, we can divide the brain into four sections.

    1. Cerebrum: It is the anterior, oval-shaped larger part of the brain. It is situated in the upper portion of the cranial cavity. This contains the important centres of hearing, speech, sight, etc. The pineal gland which is regarded as the seat of the soul and which plays a prominent part in Samadhi and psychic phenomena is situated here.

    2. Cerebellum, the little or hind brain: This is the main portion of the brain, oblong-shaped, situated just above the fourth ventricle and below and behind the brain. Here the grey matter is arranged over the white matter. It regulates the muscular co-ordination. Mind rests here during dreams.

    3. Medulla Oblongata: It is the beginning place of the spinal cord at the cranial cavity, where it is oblong-shaped and wide. It is between the two hemispheres. Here the white matter is placed over the grey matter. This contains the centres of important functions such as circulatory, respiratory, etc. This portion must be carefully protected.

    4. Pons Varolii: It is the bridge that lies before the Medulla Oblongata. It is made of white and grey fibres that come from cerebellum and medulla. This is the junction where cerebellum and medulla meet.

    There are five ventricles of the brain. The fourth is the most important one. It is situated in Medulla Oblongata. The fourth ventricle is the name of the central canal of the spinal cord, “Canalis Centralis” when it enters the cranial cavity. Here the tiny canal becomes bigger in size.

    Every nerve of the body is closely connected with the brain. The 12 pairs of cranial nerves proceed from both hemispheres through the openings at the base of the skull to different parts of the body: Olfactory; Optic; Motor Oculi; Pathetic; Trifacial; Abducens; Facial; Auditory; Glossopharyngeal; Pneumogastric, Spinal accessory; and Hypo-glossal. These are the nerves that are connected with the eye, ear, tongue, nose, pharynx, thorax, etc. For a detailed study of this section refer to any book on anatomy. Here I have given you portions that are connected with Kundalini Yoga.

    Brahmarandhra

    Brahmarandhra” means the hole of Brahman. It is the dwelling house of the human soul. This is also known as “Dasamadvara,” the tenth opening or the tenth door. The hollow place in the crown of the head known as anterior fontanelle in the new-born child is the Brahmarandhra. This is between the two parietal and occipital bones. This portion is very soft in a babe. When the child grows, it gets obliterated by the growth of the bones of the head. Brahma created the physical body and entered (Pravishat) the body to give illumination inside through this Brahmarandhra. In some of the Upanishads, it is stated like that. This is the most important part. It is very suitable for Nirguna Dhyana (abstract meditation). When the Yogi separates himself from the physical body at the time of death, this Brahmarandhra bursts open and Prana comes out through this opening (Kapala Moksha). “A hundred and one are the nerves of the heart. Of them one (Sushumna) has gone out piercing the head; going up through it, one attains immortality” (Kathopanishad).

    Sahasrara Chakra

    Sahasrara Chakra is the abode of Lord Siva. This corresponds to Satya Loka. This is situated at the crown of the head. When Kundalini is united with Lord Siva at the Sahasrara Chakra, the Yogi enjoys the Supreme Bliss, Parama Ananda. When Kundalini is taken to this centre, the Yogi attains the superconscious state and the Highest Knowledge. He becomes a Brahmavidvarishtha or a full-blown Jnani.

    The word Sahasradala-Padma denotes that this Padma has 1000 petals. That is, one thousand Yoga Nadis emanate from this centre. There are different opinions about the exact number of petals. It is quite sufficient if you know that innumerable Nadis proceed from this centre. As in the case of other Chakras, the vibrations that are made by the Yoga Nadis are represented by the Sanskrit letters. All the 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet are repeated here again and again on all Yoga Nadis. This is a Sukshma centre. The corresponding centre in the physical body is in the brain.

    The term “Shat-Chakras” refers only to the chief six Chakras, viz., Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha and Ajna. Above all these we have Sahasrara Chakra. This is the chief of all the Chakras. All the Chakras have their intimate connection with this centre. Hence this is not included as one among the Shat-Chakras. This is situated above all the Chakras.

    Lalana Chakra

    Lalana Chakra is situated at the space just above Ajna and below Sahasrara Chakra. Twelve Yoga Nadis emanate from this centre. The vibrations that are made by the 12 Nadis are represented by the Sanskrit letters: (Ha, Sa, Ksha, Ma, La, Va, Ra, Ya, Ha, Sa, Kha and Phrem). It has OM as its Bija. At this centre the Yogi concentrates on the form of his Guru and obtains all knowledge. This has control over the 12 pairs of nerves that proceed from the brain to the different sense-organs.

    Summary Of The Previous Lessons

    Aspirants must have all the Sattvic qualities and should be quite free from impurities. Satsanga, seclusion, dietetic discipline, good manners, good character, Brahmacharya, Vairagya, etc., form the strong foundation of Yogic life. The help of a Guru, who has already trodden the path, is absolutely necessary for quick progress in the spiritual path. Places of cool, temperate climate are required for Yoga Abhyasa.

    Nadis are the Sukshma (astral) channels through which Prana (vital energy) flows to different parts of the body. Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are the most important of the innumerable Nadis. All Nadis start from the Kanda. Kanda is located in the space between the origin of the reproductory organ and the anus. Sushumna Nadi is situated within the Spinal Column, in the spinal canal. Within the Sushumna Nadi there is a Nadi by name Vajra. Chitra Nadi, a minute canal, which is also called Brahmanadi, is within this Vajra Nadi. Kundalini, when awakened, passes through Chitra Nadi. These are all Sukshma centres and you cannot have any laboratory tests and test-tube experiments. Without these subtle centres, the gross physical body cannot exist and function. Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, Ajna and Sahasrara are the important Chakras. When Kundalini passes on from Chakra to Chakra, layer after layer of the mind becomes opened and the Sadhaka enters into higher states of consciousness. At every Chakra he gets various Siddhis. Ida, Pingala and other Nadis are on the sides of the spine. Ida flows through the left nostril and Pingala through the right nostril. In Svara Sadhana the breath should flow by the left nostril throughout the day and by the right nostril throughout the night.

    The Mysterious Kundalini

        Manastvam Vyoma tvam Marudasi Marutsarathirasi,
        Tvamapastvam Bhumistvayi parinatayam nahi param,
        Tvameva Svatmanam parinamayitum visvavapusha
        Chidanandakaram haramahishi-bhavena bibhrushe.

    “O Devi! Thou art the mind, the sky, the air, the fire, the water, and the earth. Nothing is outside Thee on Thy transformation. Thou hast become Siva’s consecrated queen to alter Thy own blissful conscious Form in the shape of the world”.

    Kundalini, the serpent power or mystic fire, is the primordial energy or Sakti that lies dormant or sleeping in the Muladhara Chakra, the centre of the body. It is called the serpentine or annular power on account of serpentine form. It is an electric fiery occult power, the great pristine force which underlies all organic and inorganic matter.

    Kundalini is the cosmic power in individual bodies. It is not a material force like electricity, magnetism, centripetal or centrifugal force. It is a spiritual potential Sakti or cosmic power. In reality it has no form. The Sthula Buddhi and mind have to follow a particular form in the beginning stage. From this gross form, one can easily, understand the subtle formless Kundalini. Prana, Ahamkara, Buddhi, Indriyas, mind, five gross elements, nerves are all the products of Kundalini.

    It is the coiled-up, sleeping Divine Sakti that lies dormant in all beings. You have seen in the Muladhara Chakra that there is Svayambhu Linga. The head of the Linga is the space where Sushumna Nadi is attached to the Kanda. This mysterious Kundalini lies face downwards at the mouth of Sushumna Nadi on the head of Svayambhu Linga. It has three and a half coils like a serpent. When it is awakened, it makes a hissing sound like that of a serpent beaten with a stick, and proceeds to the other Chakra through the Brahma Nadi, which is also called Chitra Nadi within Sushumna. Hence Kundalini is also called Bhujangini, serpent power. The three coils represent the three Gunas of Prakriti: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, and the half represents the Vikritis, the modification of Prakriti.

    Kundalini is the Goddess of speech and is praised by all. She Herself, when awakened by the Yogin, achieves for him the illumination. It is She who gives Mukti and Jnana for She is Herself that. She is also called Sarasvati, as She is the form of Sabda Brahman. She is the source of all Knowledge and Bliss. She is pure consciousness itself. She is Brahman. She is Prana Sakti, the Supreme Force, the Mother of Prana, Agni, Bindu, and Nada. It is by this Sakti that the world exists. Creation, preservation and dissolution are in Her. Only by her Sakti the world is kept up. It is through Her Sakti on subtle Prana, Nada is produced. While you utter a continuous sound or chant Dirgha Pranava ! (OM), you will distinctly feel that the real vibration starts from the Muladhara Chakra. Through the vibration of this Nada, all the parts of the body function. She maintains the individual soul through the subtle Prana. In every kind of Sadhana the Goddess Kundalini is the object of worship in some form or the other.

    Kundalini has connection with subtle Prana. Subtle Prana has connection with the subtle Nadis and Chakras. Subtle Nadis have connection with the mind. Mind has connection all through the body. You have heard that there is mind in every cell of the body. Prana is the working force of the body. It is dynamic. This static Sakti is affected by Pranayama and other Yogic practices and becomes dynamic. These two functions, static and dynamic, are termed ‘sleeping’ and ‘awakening’ of the Kundalini.


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