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Goraksha Paddhati


gorakShanAtha presents an elaborate description of the ethereal chakra system, drawn from upaniShads, Agama, tantra and older yogic texts. The following brief study of the gorakSha school’s chakra system is based on gorakSha shataka, gorakSha paddhati, haThayoga pradIpikA and vairATa purANa.

1. mUlAdhAra chakra: At the perineum, red in color, presided over by gaNeshanAtha, accompanied by siddhi and buddhi. The associated bandha is mUla-bandha.
2. mahApadma chakra: Presided over by nIlanAtha
3. svADhiShThAna chakra: At the genital region, yellow in color, presided over by brahmA, accompanied by sAvitrI.
4. suShumnA chakra: Of six petals
5. garbha chakra: At the garbha sthAna
6. kuNDalinI chakra: At the region adjoining the waist, presided over by agni-nAtha, accompanied by svAhA and svadhA.
7. maNipUraka chakra: At the navel, presided over by viShNu-nAtha, accompanied by ramA. The associated bandha is ODDiyANa bandha.
8. li~Nga chakra: The seat that controls the li~Nga sharIra.
9. anAhata chakra: The seat of manas, presided over by rudra-nAtha, accompanied by umA. This is also the seat of hiraNyagarbha. This chakra also corresponds to causal body, dreamless sleep, pashyantI vAk and sAmaveda.
10. vishuddha chakra: At the throat, smoky in color, presided over by jIvAtman and AdyA shakti. The R^iShi here is virAT and the chakra corresponds to parA vAk, atharvaNa veda, jAlandhara bandha and sAyujya mukti.
11. prANa chakra: Near the throat, consisting of thirty-two petals, presided over by prANanAtha and paramA shakti.
12. abalA chakra: Consists of thirty-two petals, resplendent like the rising sun and presided over by vahni tattva. Its location is the trigranthisthAna, where the three granthis begin to ethereally unite. This chakra is intimately connected with the kAla and yoginI chakras.
13. chibuka chakra: At the chin, consists of thirty-four petals, presided over by prANa and sarasvatI. The R^ishi at this seat is krodha bhaTTAraka. All languages and mantras originate from this seat of the great Guru.
14. balavAn chakra: Located just below the Aj~nA in the nasal region, consists of three petals: red, white and dark in color. It is this place which is described as prayAga which is the confluence of the three streams of gangA, yamunA and sarasvatI represented in the body by the three nADis, viz. iDA, pingaLA and suShumnA. This chakra is presided over by praNava and suShumnA shakti. The R^iShi of this seat is mahAha~NkAra.
15. AjnA chakra: Between the eyebrows, shining with the hue of mANikya and consisting of two petals, presided over by haMsa and suShumnA shakti. This chakra corresponds to the state of vij~nAna, anupamA vAk and the half mAtrA of praNava.
16. karNamUla chakra: Located within the auricular region, consisting of thirty-six petals of mixed colors, presided over by nAda and shruti. This is the seat of thirty-six mAtR^ikas.
17. triveNI chakra: Above the brows, represented as a twenty-six lobed circle with AkAsha as its R^iShi. It is intimately connected with the adhaH triveNI or the balavAn chakra.
18. chandra chakra: In the forehead, consists of thirty-two petals, presided over by the moon and amR^itA shakti. The R^iShi is manas with its sixteen kalAs. It is this chakra that is esoterically described as the mansion where sun goes to drink nectar.
19. amR^ita chakra: Located near the chandra chakra, slightly upwards. Presided over by the moon and amR^itA shakti and the seer is AtmA. This is the seat of gAyatrI named kAmadhenu, represented as a cow with four teats: ambikA, lambikA, ghaNTikA and tAlikA. She has a peacock’s tail, a horse’s neck, an elephant’s tusk, a tiger’s arms, a cow’s horns, and wings representing lIlA brahma and hamsa. From the udder of kAmadhenu gAyatrI, nectar or amR^ita is perpetually streaming down. mudrAs such as kehcharI, viparItakaraNI etc. are aimed at controlling this chakra and check the downward flow of this blissful current. The yogin who has obtained access to this chakra becomes immortal and is free from the effects of kAla or time.
20. brahmadvAra chakra: Located above the forehead, shining with hundred petals like the multi-hued rainbow.
21. akula kuNDalinI chakra: A lotus of six-hundred petals, seat of akula kuNDalinI.
22. brahmarandhra: Consists of multi-colored thousand petals, also called sahasrAra. It is the seat of gurunAtha and chaitanya shakti.
23. Urdhva randhra chakra: First among the six chakras located beyond the sahasrAra, consisting of sixty-four petals.
24. bhramara guhA chakra: Also called alakShya chakra where samAdhi yoga ensues and prANa/manas cease to work. The lotus is described as furnished with ten million petals. The chakra is presided over by alakShyanAtha and mahAmAyA shakti. The seer here is mahavishNu. The secret of piercing this chakra is through the establishment of unflinching gaze on the kUTastha. This guhA is described as being guarded by two shaktis: AvaraNa and vikShepa.
25. akuNTha pITha chakra: Presided over by akalanAtha and akaleshvarI shakti. Seer is akala R^iShi.
26. kolhATa chakra: Present in the shikhA maNDala and corresponds to vaikuNTha/kailAsa. The presiding deity here is anantA. This chakra is referred to paramashUnya mArga, the road to the Supreme Void.
27. vajradaNDa chakra: The description of this chakra is not very clear and the sAdhaka is advised by gorakShanAtha to consult svaguru to understand the significance.
28. nirAlamba sthAna: This chakra is characterized by infinite petals, colors, mAtrkas, devas, shaktis and worlds. This is the highest seat of shiva shakti sAmarasya and the seat of mahApAdukA.

Beyond these twenty-eight chakras, the great yogin describes a series of twenty voids. It must be noted that these voids do not stem from Buddhist literature but rather from various tantras which pre-date Buddhism. The final liberation is attained in the great void called paramashUnya sthAna above the twenty-one brahmANDas. Transcending this Great Void, the yogin is eternally freed from the wheel of birth and death.