By Purnananda Swami
Tasyordhve hṛdi paṅkajaṁ sulalitaṁ bandhūkakantyujjvalaṁ
Nāṁnāṇāhatasamjñakaṁ surataruṁ vācchātiriktapradaṁ
vāyormaṇdalamatra dhūmasadṛśaṁ şatkoṇaśobhānvitaṁ
Above that, in the heart, is the charming Lotus of the shining colour of the Bandhuka flower, with the twelve letters beginning with Ka, of the colour of vermilion, placed therein. It is known by its name of Anahata, and is like the celestial wishing-tree, bestowing even more than (the supplicant’s) desire. The Region of Vayu, beautiful and with six corners, which is like unto the smoke in colour, is here.
The bandhuka flower, Pentapetes phoenicia, sometimes known as scarlet marrow.
With six corners = lit., sat-kona = interlacing triangles.
Tanmadhye pavanākşaraṁ ca madhuraṁ dhūmāvalīdhūsaraṁ
dhyayetpāṇicatuştayena lasitaṁ kṛşnādhirūḍhaṁ paraṁ
Tanmadhye karuṇānidnamamalaṁ haṁsābhamiśabhidhaṁ
pāṇibhyāmabhayaṁ varaṁ ca vidadhallokatrayāṇāmapi
Meditate within it on the sweet and excellent Pavana Bija, grey as a mass of smoke, with four arms, and seated on a black antelope. And within it also (meditate) upon the Abode of Mercy, the Stainless Lord who is lustrous like the Sun, and whose two hands make the gestures which grant boons and dispel the fears of the three worlds.
Pavana Bija = Vayu whose bija is yam
Stainless Lord = Hamsa, the Sun
Atrāste khalu kākinī navataḍitpītā triṇetrā śubhā
sarvālaṁkaraṇānvitā hītakari saṁyagjnānāṁ mudā
hastaiḥ pāśakapālaśobhanavarān saṁbibhrati cābhyaṁ
mattā pūrṇasudhārasārdrahṛdayā kaṅkālamālādharā
Here dwells Kakini, who in colour is yellow like unto new lightning, exhilirated and auspicious; three-eyed and the benefactress of all. She wears all kinds of ornaments, and in Her four hands She carries the noose and the skull, and makes the sign of blessing and the sign which dispels fear. Her heart is softened with the drinking of nectar.
New lightning = highly visible lightning before rain falls heavily
vidyutkotisamānakomalavapuḥ sāste tadantargataḥ
Baṇākhyaḥ śivalinṅgakoऽpi kanakākārāṅgarāgojjvalo
maulau sūkşma-vibheda-yuṅ maṇiriva prollāsalakşmyālayaḥ
The Sakti whose tender body is like ten million flashes of lightning is in the pericarp of this Lotus in the form of a tiangle (Trikona). Inside the triangle is the Siva-Linga known by the name of Bana. This Linga is like shining gold, and on his head is an orifice minute as that in a gem. He is the resplendent abode of Laksmi.
Trikona: when Sakti takes the form of a triangle, the head points down.
Dhyayedyo hṛdi paṅkajaṁ surataruṁ śarvasya pīthālayaṁ
vācāmīśvara īśavaroऽpi jagatāṁ rakşavināśe kşamaḥ
He who meditates on this Heart Lotus becomes (like) the Lord of Speech, and (like) Isvara he is able to protect and destroy the worlds. This Lotus, is like the celestial wishing-tree, the abode and seat of Sarva. It is beautified by the Hamsa, which is like unto the steady tapering flame of a lamp in a windless place. The filaments which surround and adorn its pericarp, illumined by the solar region, charm.
Lord of Speech = Brhaspati, the guru of the devas
Sarva = Maha-deva, Siva.
Hamsa = here, the Jivatma
The second sentence is reproduced accurately here from the printed original despite its defective syntax.
Yogīśo bhavati priyātpriyatamaḥ kāntākulasyāniśaṁ
jñānīśoऽpi kṛti jitendriyagaṇo dhyānāvadhānakşamaḥ
Gadyaiḥ padyapadādibhiśca satataṁ kavyāmbhudhārāvaho
lakşmiraṅgaṇadaivataḥ parapure śaktaḥ praveştuṁ kşaṇāt.
Foremost among Yogis, he ever is dearer than the dearest to women, He is pre-eminently wise and full of noble deeds. His senses are completely under control. His mind in its intense concentration is engrossed in thoughts of the Brahman. His inspired speech flows like a stream of (clear) water. He is like the Devata who is the beloved of Laksmi and he is able at will to enter another’s body.
Arthur Avalon, pseudonym of Sir John George Woodroffe (1865‒1936), was a British judge who lived and worked in India.
By Arthur Avalon
This book contains meticulous, scholarly translations of two Tantric classics, Sat-Cakra-Nirupana and Paduka-Pancaka, along with copious notes and extremely lengthy explanations by Avalon.
Arthur Avalon was a pseudonym of Sir John Woodroffe, a British judge who lived in India.
This book is very dense and it contains an almost unbelievable amount of information. Although it’s old — it was first published in 1919 — nothing like it has been written before or since. It’s possible that this book contains more information about chakras and Kundalini than all other English books put together. But be warned: this is heavy book — heavy in every way — and not for casual reading.
Crystal, an Amazon reviewer, writes:
“What I appreciated most about this book first published in 1919 is Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe) takes great pains to stay true to the Sanskrit texts instead of reinventing them or overlaying them with his personal experiences, interpretations and thoughts. This book is a follow up/expansion on his previous book Shakti and Shakta and in retrospect I wish I had read it first, although it is not necessary as this book stands on its own. In the beginning of the book Avalon/Woodroffe takes to task some of the Westerners, most notably the Theosophical Society and Charles Leadbeater, which popularized their version/ideas about the 7 chakras in Western society. Avalon/Woodroffe felt they also popularized misconceptions or inaccuracies along with their ideas about the cakras/chakras. As the author prefers to let the texts speak for themselves most of the book is devoted to his translation of the texts and their description of the 6 cakras (chakras), their associations and powers. He also discusses kundalini and the rising of kundalini. Having said all this, the book is not an easy read. Avalon/Woodroffe uses many sanskrit terms and verses to keep to the actual text/meaning and while he does explain each and there are copius footnotes this will not be reading you can breeze through. I particularly enjoyed some of the verses.”
This page was published on May 26, 2000 and last revised on June 29, 2017.