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Saundaryalahari - Verse 10


"Drenching the whole manifested multiplicity (the Prapancha, here meaning the seventy-two thousand nadis of the Jiva) with the flood of nectar gushing from Thy feet, Thou (Kundalini representing Mahatripurasundari) descendest from the exuberance of the nectarine of the Moon (i.e. the Sahasrara where the Kundalini unites with Paramashiva) into the hollow of Thy own sphere in the Muladhara at the lower end of Sushumna, assuming Thy serpentine form of three and a half coils and sleepest therein" – 10

Having described the ascent of the Kundalini in the previous verse, Srimadacharya portrays Her retrograde movement towards the Moolaadhaara from the Akula Sahasrara in this verse. This verse and the previous one, together depict the meditation on the Sukshmatama (most subtle or sublime) form of Sridevi. The two together contain the Kundalini Rahasya Sopana, i.e. the secret ladder used by the Kundalini, both for ascent and descent. The former deals with Unneaya bhUmikA i.e. the ascent from the Moolaadhaara to the Sahasrara, which has been fully set forth already. In this Shloka, the anvaya and pratyAvR^itti bhUmikAs are briefly touched upon. By `anvaya' is meant the aftermath, namely the drenching and in-filling of all the nadis of the Samayin with nectar, through the Sushumna. By `pratyAvR^itti' is meant the descent of the Kundalini back to her hollow in the Moolaadhaara to resume her sleep.

The word `rasAmnAyamahasaH' in this Shloka means the Chandra mandala or the lunar region in the Sahasrara. To the samayins, both the moon in the sky and the chit Chandra mandala in the Sahasrara, represent the Srichakra because both have similar features and qualities. Both shed nectar and both and possess all the sixteen Kalas. Sridevi's lotus feet are deemed to shine in the lunar region of the Srichakra. The moon is considered to be the master of medicinal herbs and to ooze out water divine. Fire, sun and moon shed light. In the case of fire, light is less and heat is more. The sun is very bright and very hot too. The moon also is luminous but not hot. It is cool and pleasant to look at and hence attracts all living beings. It may be recalled that devotees of Sridevi worship Her in the center of the moon on full moon nights. The Chandra Kala from which the flood of nectar flows down is the Sadashiva Tatva in the Akula Sahasrara. By union with Sadashiva, the Sadakhya Tatva is realized in the union of Jiva and Brahman. The Rahasya Sahasranama of Sri Lalita prescribes a mode of worship of the Chandra mandala in the sky as representing the Srichakra, called Ayushkara, for health and longetivity.

Kaivalyashrama gives a different reading of the word as rasAmnAyamahasA and interprets that the six Amnayas through which the Kundalini descends illumine the Kula patha i.e. the Sushumna. The abodes of Shakti are: Purva, Dakshina, Pashchima, Uttara, Urdhwa and Anuttara, while the shambhava Amnayas are: Parthiva, Apya, Anala, Vayavya and Nabhasa (Earthy, Watery, Igneous, Airy, Ethereal and Mental forms). While explaining the previous verse, it was stated that the Kundalini Shakti, slender like the filament inside the lotus stem, coils herself into three rounds and a half and rests in the Moolaadhaara lotus with the tail caught in the mouth. The Yogi, sitting in the Padmasana posture and contracting the anus should raise the Vayu upward and retain the air in Kumbhaka process. During this process, coming in contact with the wind, the fire in the Swadhishthana is kindled. The Kundalini Shakti is awakened from sleep by the wind and the heat. She moves upward through the six Chakras, breaking the three knots or Granthis and uniting with Shiva in the Sahasrara, she enjoys infinite bliss. The meditation on Sridevi and the awakening of Kundalini leads him to liberation and bliss, through the union of the soul with the Paramatman.

The Bindu (centrifugal spot) in the center of the Moolaadhaara lotus of triangular shape known as Kulakunda, resembling the hollow inside the center of the lotus-stalk, is the sleeping spot of the Kundalini. The three circles and a half formed by the Kundalini when she assumes a serpent-like form is a symbolic representation of Shakti as in the Agni mandala (the region of fire), with the letter `A' in the Moolaadhaara, the Surya mandala (the region of the sun) with the letter `U' in the Anahata and the soma mandala (the region of the moon) with the letter `M' in the Ajna, and their combination becoming `AUM' – the Pranava. The half coil represents the nada or the ArdhamAtra. Hence, it may be seen that Shakti is not different but identical with Paramatman – denoted by the syllable `AUM'. Srimadacharya has also referred to the Kundalini's stay in the Moolaadhaara in his elucidation of Sridevi's name 'kAmeshwaraprANanADI' in the Lalita Trishati Stotra.

The nectar that flows is said to be the water that has washed Sridevi's feet, which, by filling the entire body of the Sadhaka through the nadis, makes him realize the Supreme Bliss. The Kula Kundalini, united as She is with the ten, twelve and sixteen Kalas of the Fire, Sun and the Moon respectively, and their Matrikas, is awakened from her sleep in the Moolaadhaara by the trained Yogi. Slender as the filament inside the stalk of the lotus and shining like lightening, the Kundalini breaks through the regions of the fire, sun and moon in the Moolaadhaara, Anahata and Ajna Chakras, and then unites with the Akula Kundalini in the Sahasrara in the crown. As a result, the nectar in the paramAkAsha gushes down the Chakras. The Kundalini, drinks deep of this nectar and descending through the Sushumna, reaches her abode and sleeps again in the cavity in the Moolaadhaara lotus. This is the experience of the Yogi trained in Srividya but the practice needs the expert directions of a competent preceptor.

The Kundalini, during her ascent through the sushumna path, breaks through the six Chakras, which, being absorbed by her, become invisible. As these have to be reproduced and made manifest once again, she does this, out of her own radiant form, on her return journey homeward, after sprinkling nectar over Prapancha, which signifies the microcosm as well as the macrocosm, as represented by the sic Chakras. By constituting the word `rasAmnAyamahas' as implying the `vidhAna', `doing', and the `prakAsha', `manifestation' of the Rasas i.e. the lotuses, this purpose is achieved. In this view, the stanza may be rendered thus: "Having sprinkled the Prapancha (composed of the twenty-one Tatvas represented by the six Chakras) with nectar, and again having produced and made them manifest out of Thine own resplendent form, having resumed Thine own seat, Thyself assuming Thine own form, serpent-like with the three-and-a-half coils, Thou of the abode of the hollow of the Moolaadhaara sleepest there".

From the Sahasrara, the Kundalini descends to the Moolaadhaara, if she is still in identification with all the past impressions and tendencies born of the karmas of the Jiva. Only in the case of those whose minds have been erased of all impressions does the Kundalini remain in complete absorption in Shiva in the Sahasrara and the Samadhi remains spontaneous and continuous and even irrevocable. That is probably why Sri Ramakrishna, whose mind was free from all desires, and was naturally tending to Samadhi, created artificial desires like `I want to see so and so', `I want to eat such and such a thing' etc., in order that they might create a downward pull on the Kundalini and prevent her absolute mergence in Shiva. This was necessary since he was an avatar and he had to stay in a plane accessible to the commoners, to guide them.

Regarding this subject of the rousing of the Kundalini and her descent, it will be relevant to quote Sri Ramakrishna's views on it, as the Guru is expounding it from his own experience and not from mere book lore. He says: "Yoga is not possible if the mind dwells on Kamini and Kanchana (lust and gold). The mind of a worldly man generally moves among the three lower centers – those at the navel, at the genital organ and at the organ of evacuation. After great effort and spiritual practice, the Kundalini is awakened. According to Yoga, there are three Nadis in the spinal column – Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. Along the Sushumna are the six lotuses or centers, the lowest being known as Moolaadhaara. Then come successively Swadhishthana, Manipooraka, Anahata, Visuddhi and Ajna. These are the six centers. The Kundalini, when awakened, passes through the lower centers and comes to the Anahata, which is at the heart level. It stays there. At that time, the mind of the aspirant is withdrawn from the three lower centers. He feels the awakening of the Divine Consciousness. In mute wonder he sees that radiance and cries out: `what is thus! What is this!' After passing through the six centers, he Kundalini reaches the thousand-petalled lotus known as the Sahasrara and the aspirant goes into Samadhi. According to the Vedas, these centers are called `Bhumis' or planes. There are seven such planes. The center at the heart corresponds to the fourth plane of the Vedas. According to the Tantra, there is in this center a lotus called Anahata with twelve petals.