The Chakras are centers of Shakti (शक्ति) as vital force. The Chakras are the meeting points of the humongous network of nerve endings within the entire human system. In other words, these are centers of Pranashakti (प्राण शक्ति vital powers), or the transmitters or receivers of energy manifested by Pranavayu (प्राण वायु) or the life-currents in the living body. Each Chakra, is represented by equivalent personified Divine forms known as the presiding Devatas (देवता) or deities with certain attributes. These Devatas are representations of Universal Consciousness as they manifest their form at these centers. The Chakras are not perceptible to the gross senses. Even if they were perceptible in the living body which they help to organize, they disappear with the disintegration of organism at death.
The mind of a worldly man with base desires and passions moves in the Muladhara (मूलाधार) and Svadhishthana (स्वाधिष्ठान)Chakras or centers situated near the anus and the reproductive organ respectively. If one’s mind becomes purified the mind rises to the Manipuraka (मणिपूरका) Chakra or the center in the navel and experiences some power and joy. If the mind becomes more purified, it rises to the Anahata (अनाहत) Chakra or center in the heart, experiences bliss and visualizes the effulgent form of the Ishta Devata (इष्ट देवता) or the tutelary deity.
When the mind gets highly purified, when meditation and devotion become intense and profound the mind rises to Visuddha (विशुद्ध) Chakra or the center in the throat, and experiences more and more powers and bliss. Even when the mind has reached this center, there is a possibility for it to come down to the lower centers. When the Yogi reaches the Ajna (आज्ञा) Chakra or the center between the two eyebrows he attains Samadhi and realizes the Supreme Self, or Brahman. There is a slight sense of separateness between the devotee and Brahman. If he reaches the spiritual center in the brain, the Sahasra (सहस्र) Chakra, the thousand-petalled lotus, the Yogi attains Nirvikalpa Samadhi (निर्विकल्प समाधि) or the superconscious state. He becomes one with the non-dual Brahman. All sense of separateness dissolves. This is the highest plane of consciousness. Kundalini (कुंडलिनी) unites with Siva. The Yogi may come down to the centre in the throat to give instructions to the students and direct society.
The word Kundalini is a familiar one to all students of Yoga, as it is well known as the power, in the form of a coiled serpent, residing in Muladhara Chakra, the first of the seven Chakras, the other six being Svadhishthana, Manipuraka, Anahata, Visuddha, Ajna and Sahasra, in order. All Sadhana (साधना), spiritual practices in the form of Japa, meditation, Kirtan and prayer as well as all development of virtues, and observance of austerities like truth, non-violence and continence are at best calculated only to awaken this serpent-power and make it to pass through all the succeeding Chakras beginning from Svadhishthana to Sahasra, the latter otherwise called as the
thousand-petalled lotus, the seat of Sadashiv (सदाशिव) or the Parabrahman (परब्रह्म) or the Absolute separated from whom the Kundalini or the Shakti lies at the Muladhara, and to unite with whom the Kundalini passes through all the Chakras (चक्र) , as explained above, conferring liberation on the aspirant who practices Yoga or the technique of uniting her with her Lord and attains success in his effort.
In worldly-minded people, given to enjoyment of sensual and sexual pleasures, this Kundalini power is sleeping because of the absence of any stimulus in the form of spiritual practices, as the power generated through such practices alone awakens that serpent-power, and not any other power derived through the possession of worldly riches and affluence. When the aspirant seriously practices all the disciplines as enjoined in the Shastras (शास्त्र), and as instructed by the preceptor, in whom the Kundalini would have already been awakened and reached its abode or Sadashiv, acquiring which blessed achievement alone a person becomes entitled to act as a Guru or spiritual preceptor, guiding and helping others also to achieve the same end, the veils or layers enmeshing Kundalini begin to be cleared and finally are torn asunder and the serpent-power is pushed or driven, as it were upwards.
Super sensual visions appear before the mental eye of the aspirant, new worlds with indescribable wonders and charms unfold themselves before the Yogi, planes after planes reveal their existence and grandeur to the practitioner and the Yogi gets divine knowledge, power and bliss, in increasing degrees, when Kundalini passes through Chakra after Chakra, making them to bloom in all their glory which before the touch of Kundalini, do not give out their powers, emanating their divine light and fragrance and reveal the divine secrets and phenomena, which lie concealed from the eyes of worldly-minded people who would refuse to believe of their existence even. When the Kundalini the Yogi also advances towards the goal or spiritual perfection in relation to it. When the Kundalini reaches the sixth centre or the Ajna Chakra, the Yogi gets the vision of Personal God or Saguna Brahman (सगुण ब्रह्म), and when the serpent-power reaches the last, the top centre, or Sahasra Chakra, or the Thousand-petalled lotus, the Yogi loses his individuality in the ocean of Sat-Chit-Ananda or the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute and becomes one with the Lord or Supreme Soul. He is no longer an ordinary man, not even a simple Yogi, but a fully illumined sage, having conquered the eternal and unlimited divine kingdom, a Mukta or liberated one having crossed the ocean of ignorance or the transmigratory existence, and a being having the authority and capacity to save the other struggling souls of the relative world. Scriptures hail him most, in the maximum possible glorifying way. Celestial beings envy him. The Yogi who has cut asunder all the knots, impinging the seven major chakras, reaches the final stage of rest, all powers of divinity under his control, he enters the unassailable land of permanence from where he lends his hand to other struggling souls, assisting them to ascend the ladders of Yoga.
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