By Purnananda Swami
Viśuddhākhyaṁ kaṇṭhe sarasijamamalaṁ dhūmadhūmrāvabhāsaṁ
svaraiḥ sarvaiḥ śoṇairdalaparilasitairdīpitaṁ dīptabuddheḥ
Samāste pūrneneduprathitatamanabhomaṇḍalaṁ vṛttarūpaṁ
himacchayanāgopari lasitatanoh suklavarnambarasya
In the throat is the Lotus called Visuddha, which is pure and of a smoky purple hue. All the (sixteen) shining vowels on its (sixteen) petals, of a crimson hue, are distinctly visible to him whose mind (Buddhi) is illumined. In the pericarp of this lotus there is the Ethereal Region, circular in shape, and white like the full Moon. On an elephant white as snow is seated the Bija of Ambara, who is white of colour.
Moon = Mantra = here, “ham”
Ambara = the Ethereal Region
Bhujaiḥ pāśābhītyaṅkuśavaralasitaiḥ śobhitāṅgasya tasya
manoraṅke nityaṁ nivasati girijābhinnadeho himābhaḥ
Triṇetraḥ pañcāsyo lalitadaśabhujo vyāghracaramāmbaraḍhyaḥ
sadāpūrvo devaḥ siva iti ca samākhyānasiddhaḥ prasiddhaḥ
Of his Four arms, two hold the noose and goad, and the other two make the gestures of granting boons and dispelling fear. These add to His beauty. In His lap there ever dwells the great snow-white Deva, three-eyed and five-faced, with ten beautiful arms, and clothed in a tiger’s skin. His body is united with that of Girija, and He is known by what His name, Sadha-Siva, signifies.
Noose = pasa
Goad = Ankusa
Gestures = mudras
Girija = mountain-born
Sada-Siva = ever-beneficent
Sudhāsindhoḥ suddha nivasati kamale sākinī pītavastrā
śaram cāpaṁ pāśam sṛṇimapi dadhatí hastapadmaīścaturbhíḥ
Sudh|mśoḥ saṁpūrṇaṁ śaśaparirahitaṁ maṇdalaṁ karṇikāyāṁ
mahāmokşadvāraṁ śriyambhimataśīlasya śuddhendriyasya.
Purer than the Ocean of Nectar is the Sakti Sakini who dwells in this Lotus. Her raiment is yellow, and in Her four lotus-hands She carries the bow, the arrow, the noose, and the goad. The whole region of the Moon without the mark of the hare is in the pericarp of this Lotus. This (region) is the gateway of great Liberation for him who desires the wealth of Yoga and whose senses are pure and controlled.
Mark of the hare = man in the moon.
Iha sthāne cittam niravadhi vinidhāyātmasampūrṇayogaḥ
kavirvāgamī jñānī sa bhavati nitarāṁ sādakaḥ śāntacetāḥ
Tríkālānāṁ darśī sakalahitakaro rogaśokapramuktaś-
ciramjīvī jīvī niravadhivipadāṁ dhvaṁsahaṁsaprakāśaḥ.
He who has attained complete knowledge of the Atma (Brahman) becomes by constantly concentrating his mind (Citta) on this Lotus a great Sage, eloquent and wise, and enjoys uninterrupted peace of mind. He sees the three periods, and becomes the benefactor of all, free from disease and sorrows and long-lived, and, like Hamsa, the destroyer of endless dangers.
Sage = kavi
Three periods = past, present, and future.
Iha Sthne cittaṁ niravadhi nidhāyāttapavano
yadi kruddho yogī calayati samastaṁ tribhuvanaṁ
Na ca brahmā vişṇur na ca hariharo naiva khamaṇī-
stadīyaṁ sāmarthyaṁ śamayatumalaṁ nāpi gaṇapaḥ.
The Yogi, his mind constantly fixed on this Lotus, his breath controlled by Kumbhaka, is in his wrath able to move all the three worlds. Neither Brahma nor Visnu, neither Hari-Hara nor Surya nor Ganapa is able to control his power (resist him).
The translator has numbered this verse “31a” because it does not appear in the texts used by two of the three commentators on whom he relies.
Kumbhaka = retention of breath in pranayama
Ganapa = Ganesa
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 22, 2017.