The entire Shri Vidya is based on the geometry of the chakras and the movement of the Kundalini in your body. The Shri-chakra geometry is your energy geometry in perfect equilibrium. If you place all your chakras one above the other you get this Shri geometry. It is worshipped in 2D and in 3D in several ways to increase the personal energy. This diagram is the basis of the entire Tantra and all spiritual practice. Your Kundalini starts at the very bottom Muladhar chakra, and after curving through this complicated geometry it reaches the top central dot, Bindu. Only in deep Dhyan and by the pull of your internal Guru does the Kundalini move from its resting place. Else it will not stir and it is for your own protection. Only when you are mentally ready to accept, experience and transcend duality and illusion does it move. Kundalini is not some mystic power nor is it some prize.When it moves and ultimately reaches its destination you leave this Universe/Creation forever. As you realise your real self, you realise that the universes are all unreal. You realise Moksh.
This post is just to pique your interest. To actually experience anything of this sort you will need to practice Dhyan.
The Shri-chakra geometry is basically in two parts.
The topmost bindu, the central dot is the avyakta para form. The tiny dot within the central equilateral triangle. This is the unmanifested Beyond form or the Ultimate Intelligence. The Para, your real nature, the ultimate you. If your Kundalini arrives here you experience your own reality. This is your target.
The equilateral triangle around the central dot and everything around this triangle is the vyakta or aparaa form. This is the manifested creation or the unintelligent limited energy. Your body, mind, your universe etc is created outwards from this triangle (this post on the 24 tattva-s). This lower part is further sub-divided into 3 sections.
Vahni वह्नि mandal
The lowermost 2 chakras, Muladhar and Swadhisthan are the Vahni वह्नि mandal. The circle of Fire. To cross this mandal, you are required to transcend the Muladhar and Anahata chakras and then undo the Brahma Granthi/knot. Here ‘you’ means the energy of self-identification called the Kundalini. With every movement of the Kundalini your concept of Self is expanding yet becoming subtler.
The Vahni mandal is deeply linked to Raja gun. (You are composed of the three Gun.) Raja gun is the energy which creates illusions. It creates ‘Maya’. Fire is perhaps the greatest illusion, it is not technically matter nor is it completely energy. It exists, but shifts continually, you cannot pin-point the flames to a definite location. You cannot describe its color or shape, it is every changing. It transmutes, it consumes, it releases. Very fascinating. Brahmdev is the name of the conscious intelligence of the Raja-gun, represented by the Fire, Vahni. Here the Real and illusion, the material and the spiritual mix, you cannot tell them apart. This knot opens only when attachment to the illusion, the gross world is abandoned. The gross body is called the sthool-sharir which is composed of the anna-mai-kosh, the body which is linked to the material. (Your body is composed of 5 sheaths.) The reality or rather the unreality of this sheath is first experienced and then transcended here. Once the kundalini crosses this Vahni mandal, your consciousness can intentionally separate from the physical shell, eg you can consciously leave the gross body and travel using your subtle body.
Crossing this Fire-circle is very difficult as here you have to stop creating. If you look at your behaviour you are always creating, thoughts, ideas, emotions, tendencies, physical stuff, reading, writing, working, you create. And you are attached to these creation of yours. Stopping this creation and attachment to creation is extremely difficult. Not impossible but very difficult.
My Guru would say that Dhyan is necessary and ideally to be performed 3 times a day, ie in the morning, evening and once in the night sometime between 10pm-2am. When you begin your practice, you finish off one session in 30 mins, you get utterly bored, sitting, breathing and staring into the darkness between your eyebrows, mind wanders, the body aches etc. Later, maybe after 6months of this, you find that your mind is less diverted, your body is more supportive, your breathing is slower and you go on to about 45mins-1hr per session. The process gets enjoyable. Then after 1yr, you might see each Dhyan session going to upto 1.30hrs. There is deep internal intoxication (no other word). Later maybe after 2-3yrs of regular practice, it can stretch for hours, you will sit continue from 9pm – 5am, and your requirement for deep sleep and dream state will reduce and go to zero. All this varies from person to person, but the common theme is that you have to practice regularly.
You need to give time to yourself. In your life-time till now you have lived for thousands of hours, but have you given time to yourself? Time is the most precious thing you have and you have frittered it away on others. Try giving yourself these 1.30 hrs initially per day. It may not be possible for everyone because of genuine constraints but at least 30mins per day, one session daily?
You have to do Dhyan for some 500hrs to begin with at least, otherwise you will not see anything to do with pran or kundalini.
Saura सौर mandal
Back to our geometry, and the next 2 chakras. The Manipur and Anahata chakra-s make up the Saura सौर mandal, the circle of the Sun. To cross this mandal you need to cross these two chakras and also undo the Vishnu-granthi or the knot of Vishnu. The concept of jivatma/individual soul as compared to your limitless Reality is the syllabus here. You are made aware of the unreality of the sookshma sharir or your subtle body. (The subtle body is composed of the Pran-mai-kosh, Mano-mai-kosh and Vidnyan-mai-kosh sheaths.)
The Sun represents the individual ego/ jivatma. Unless you give up the sense of narrow personal self, the experience of the greater Self is not possible. Here in the Saura mandal, the sense of attachment to the fruits of actions done by you is linked to your soul. Creation of new karma is possible only till the kundalini crosses this mandal. The new karma you create in your current life is called Agami karma which gets added to your stored karma. You can reduce the stored- Sanchit, karma by your spiritual practice.
The Vishnu Granthi, the knot of Vishnu opens only when attachment to the sookshma sharir or subtle body is abandoned. Vishnu is the intelligent energy of Satva-gun, this maintains the Maya – created illusion. Here you are taught the deepest wisdom linked to the Satva-gun. Not just taught, but also tested rigorously.
When you crossed the Vahni mandal, you understood, experienced and transcended your attachment to the process of creation and the attachment to the stuff you are creating. You transcended the illusion of ‘act of creation’. Now you do not desire new creations. But you are ‘someone’, you are Priya, Amit, a mother, a teacher, a son, you are scared of the dark, you like sweets, you are an Indian etc. You have all these impressions stored in your subtle-body accumulated from your past several lives. You are maintaining these impressions. When you attempt to cross the Vishnu-granthi you are shown these impressions to be the illusions that they are. All your notions about your limited sense of self are shown to you as being nothing, insubstantial.
To overcome some thing, you need to understand every aspect of that thing, experience it and transcend it. This journey of the Kundalini is just this process. The process can perhaps be painful or pleasurable. But both these mindsets cannot sustain in the understanding of the self. You are the Para, the beyond, you are complete in yourself, you don’t need the concept of happiness or any other feeling to describe your completeness. You are All there is. You are your own definition. It is rather a subtle understanding here.
In some cultures, the children believe that there is a magical person who comes once a year and gives them toys. The parents do not tell the child the truth unless he grows older and toys become irrelevant to him. Just like that, you are not shown the illusory nature of your material life unless you are capable of absorbing the intelligence in the way it should be.
Kundalini is an intelligent force, it will not move or do anything unless you are ready. There are some exercises on the internet which claim to move the kundalini, they are all fake. If by ill-luck you manage to ‘move’ the kundalini by force you are in for a very bad time, your body’s vital energy network will be short-circuited, the movement of pran will be affected, there will be physical illness and mental insanity.
So just do your Dhyan, your internal Guru will do the rest. Your job is very simple, just sit, breathe, focus and mantra every day, (either once/twice/thrice). When you attain the critical potential, things happen spontaneously. Your Dhyan is the process of cleaning up the road using the movement of pran/vital energy. When the road opens the kundalini will move on its own.
Chandra चंद्र mandal
Back to the geometry, the top one-third. This is the Chandra चंद्र mandal, the circle of the Moon, composed of the Vishuddhi and the Ajnya chakras. To move onwards from here these two chakras and the Rudra Granthi is required be be navigated successfully. The energy body associated here is the Karan sharir or the causal body. Here you understand why you separated from the Greater Self in the first place. Why you have karma bound to your soul? This karan-sharir is the tightest sheath around the soul called the Anand-mai-kosh. The meaning of this sheath is rather typical, it means ‘the happiness you feel when you know that the game is near its end’, ie the eternal happiness of Singularity. As you cross the Vishuddhi and Ajnya chakras you finally transcend dualities and come within reach the Singular sense of self. Here you destroy the seeds of karma itself, you destroy the concept of ‘creation of creation’. You destroy the concept of ‘maintenance of creation’. Finally you destroy the concept of ‘destruction of creation’. The entire creation vanishes as if it never existed in the first place. The presiding energy here is the Shiv, the intelligence of Vishuddha tama-gun. The extra special pure energy of Tama-gun.
The Kundalini has to cross all these three mandal, in which it pierces the 6 lower chakras and these 3 Granthi. ‘Piercing’ is perhaps a wrong word to use, but Sanskrit words cannot be translated only experienced. All this happens within the Sushumna nadi, the thinnest energy channel of the body. Within this channel there are progressively thinner naadi-s, Chitrini and Vajrini. Nadi within Nadi layout. This thinnest nadi within a nadi is also called the Brahmanadi. This Brahmanadi is through, from the lowest Muladhar to the topmost Sahasrar+Bindu complex terminating at the Brahma-randhra at the top of your head. At every chakra and granthi this Brahmanaadi is twisted around itself in a very specific way. This forms the lotus/yantra of that specific chakra. Piercing the chakra means the energy moves smoothly through these thin complicated loops without damaging anything.
Till now the kundalini was in the region called Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra in the Bhagwat Gita. To navigate this part you have to strive and focus, take efforts.
Bindu बिन्दु mandal
Now after the Kundalini crosses the Ajnya chakra it reaches the last section where the Para pervades. You have destroyed your sense of your individual self. Now onwards the progress is more under the control of the internal Guru and your greater self. This region is called the Dash-angul-sthan, the space between the forehead’s Ajnya-chakra and the top of the head, the Brahmarandhra at the center of the Sahasrara chakra. This space is also called the Bindu mandal. It is also called the Dharmakshetra. The other remaining chakras of the head exist in this region.
This Brahmarandhra is the seat of true light of the self also called the Jyotir-lok, Satya-lok or Parabrahm.
In Shri-Vidya, the Mahakameshwar, ‘the great one who controls all desire’ resides here merged together with his ‘wife’ Mahakameshwari or Lalita Tripursundari, ie the Kundalini. Here Kundalini reaches her ‘husband’ Mahakameshwar, merges with him and thus attains Singularity. This means that in the Bindu mandal, the desire to create has not been expressed yet, both energies are one, they are not differentiated. The merged form is the Reality. There is no duality. When the Singular here differentiates into duality, she starts creating the world while he observes. Thus these two energies are known as the parents of the universe.
If you refer to the Bhagwat Gita, this Brahmarandhra is the abode of the subtlest yet tremendous aspect of Krishna. If you practice using the Vidnyan Bhairav Tantra as your reference book this is the abode of Bhairav. The non-dual, the Advaita. The same concept is discussed in Bhagwat Gita and the same is in Devi Mahatmya, and in both the backdrop is a War of terrific proportions. War and spirituality are an odd combination perhaps, but it is War, you fight your mind. In fact every story-allegory in Sanatan Dharm aka Hinduism describes this same thing in different words. The world and everything around you is a mixture of the real and the unreal mixed together. ‘Maya’ means ‘not-that’. Maya cannot be proved to be definitively proved to be real or illusion. Understanding then experiencing and transcending this is real Knowledge of the Self. This is Sadyo-mukti.
This post is partly in response to this comment I received in the Contact form, (I read an article which mentioned about our age and chakras. Are chakras related to our chronology like one chakra is dominant or something? Also what is meant by opening chakras?)
It is a rather technical post so do read the hyperlinked posts, linked to the words in pink.
I have written about the ‘age and chakra’ part in my earlier post here.