By Purnananda Swami
Layasthānaṁ vāyostadupari ca mahānādarūpam śivārdhaṁ
sirākāraṁ śāntaṁ varadamabhayaṁ śuddhabuddhiprakāśaṁ
Yadā yogī paśyed gurucaraṇayugāmbhōjasevāsuśīlas-
tadā vācāṁ siddhiḥ karakamalatale tasya bhūyāt sadaiva.
When the actions of the Yogi are, through the service of the Lotus feet of his Guru, in all respects good, then he will see above it (i.e., Ajna-cakra) the form of the Mahanada, and will ever hold in the Lotus of his hand the Siddhi of Speech. The Mahanada, which is the place of dissolution of Vayu is the half of Siva, and like the plough in shape, is tranquil and grants boons and dispels fear, and makes manifest pure Intelligence (Buddhi).
Half of Siva: the meaning is that Siva is Hakara; if the upper part of Ha is removed, the remaining portion of the letter has the form ofan Indian plough.
Mahanada = Maha-nada
Tadūrdhve śaṅkhinyā nivasati śikhare sūnyadeśe prakāśaṁ
visargādhaḥ padmaṁ daśaśatadalaṁ pūrņacandrātiśubhraṁ
Adhōvaktraṁ kāntam taruņaravikalākāntikiñjalkapuñjaṁ
ḷakārādyairvarņaiḥ pravilasitavapuḥ kevalānandarūpaṁ.
Above all these, in the vacant space wherein is Sankhini Nadi, and below Visarga is the Lotus of a thousand petals. This Lotus, lustrous and whiter than the full Moon, has its head turned downward. It charms. Its clustered filaments are tinged with the colour of the young Sun. Its body is luminous with the letters beginning with A, and it is the absolute bliss.
Vacant space: elsewhere called the parama-vyoma = supreme ether.
Lotus of a thousand petals = Sahasrara
Absolute bliss = kevalananda-rupam = lit., Brahman bliss
Samāste tasyāntaḥ śaśaparirahitaḥ śuddhasaṁpūrncandraḥ
Trikoņaṁ tasyāntah sphurati ca satataṁ vidyudākārarūpam
tadantahūanyaṁ tatsakala-suragaņaih sevitaṃ cātiguptaṁ.
Within it (Sahasrara) is the full Moon, without the mark of the hare, resplendent as in a clear sky. It sheds its rays in profusion, and is moist and cool like nectar. Inside it (Candra-mandala), constantly shining like lightning, is the Triangle and inside this, again, shines the Great Void which is served in secret by all the Suras.
Mark of the hare = the man in the moon.
Triangle = the A-ka-thadi triangle.
Great Void = sunya = bindu.
Suras = devas.
paraṁ kandaṁ sūkṣmaṁ sakalāśaśikalasuddharūpaprakāśaṁ
Iha sthāne devaḥ paramaśivasamākhyānasiddhaḥ prasiddhaḥ
svarūpī sarvātmā rasavirasanutoऽiñānamohāndhahaṁsaḥ.
Well concealed, and attainable only by great effort, is that subtle Bindu (Sunya) which is the chief root of Liberation and which manifests the pure Nirvana-Kala with Ama-Kala. Here is the Deva who is known to all as Parama-Siva. He is the Brahman and the Atma of all beings. In Him are united both Rasa and Virasa, and He is the Sun which destroys the darkness of nescience and delusion.
Nirvana-Kala and Ama-Kala: There are seventeen Kalas (digits) of the moon, but the nectar-dropping Ama and the Nirvana-kala are only at this stage revealed.
Rasa and Virasa = the bliss of liberation and that arising from the union of Siva and Sakti.
Nescience = ajnana.
Delusion = moha.
Sudhādhārāsāraṁ niravadhi vimuñcannatitarām
yateḥ svātmajñānaṁ diśati bhagavān nirmalamateḥ.
Samaste sarveśaḥ sakalasukhasaṁtānalaharī
parivāko haṁsaḥ parama iti niāmnā paricitaḥ.
By shedding a constant and profuse stream of nectar-like essence, the Bhagavan instructs the Yati of pure mind in the knowledge by which he realizes the oneness of the Jivatma and the Paramatma. He pervades all things as their Lord, who is the ever-flowing and spreading current of all manner of bliss known by the name of Hamsah Parama (Parama-hamsah).
Yati = someone whose mind rests intently upon the Devata of his worship.
Śivasthānam śaivāḥ paramapuruṣaṁ vaiṣņavagaņā
lapantīti prāyo hariharapadam kecidapare.
Pabaṁ devyā devicaraņayugalāṁbhojarasikā
munīndrā apyanye prakṛtipuruṣasthānamamalaṁ.
The Saivas call it the abode of Siva; the Vaisnavas call it Parama Purusa; others again, call it the place of Hari-Hara. Those who are filled with a passion for the Lotus feet of the Devi call it the excellent abode of the Devi; and other great sages (Munis) call it the pure place of Prakrti-Purusa.
Saivas = worshippers of Siva.
Vaisnavas = worshippers of Visnu.
Hari-Hara = Visnu and Shiva.
Devi = Sakti.
Prakriti-Purusa = Sakti-Siva.
Idam sthānam jñātva niyatanijacitto naravaro
na bhūyāt saṁsāre punarapi na baddhastribhuvane.
Samagrā saktiḥ syānniya mamanasastasya krtinaḥ
sadā kartuṁ hartuṁ khagatirapi vāņi suvimalā.
That most excellent of men who has controlled his mind and known this place is never again born in the Wandering, as there is nothing in the three worlds which binds him. His mind being controlled and his aim achieved, he possesses complete power to do all which he wishes, and to prevent that which is contrary to his will. He ever moves towards the Brahman. His speech, whether in prose or verse, is ever pure and sweet.
Mind = citta.
Wandering = samsara.
Brahman = lit. kha, which could also mean “air” or “ether."
Atrāste śiśūsuryasodarakalā candrasya sā sodaśī
śuddhā nirajasūkşmatantuśatadhābhāgaikararūpā parā.
Here is the excellent (supreme) sixteenth Kala of the Moon. She is pure, and resembles (in colour) the young Sun. She is as thin as the hundredth part of a fibre in the stalk of a lotus. She is lustrous and soft like ten million lightning flashes, and is down-turned. From Her, whose source is the Brahman, flows copiously the continuous stream of nectar (or, She is the receptacle of the stream of excellent nectar which comes from the blissful union of Para and Parâ).
Para and Parâ = bindu-rupa Siva and Sakti.
Nirvāṇākhyakalā parā paratparā sāste tadantargatā
keśāgrasya sahasradhā vibhajitasyaikāmśarūpā satī.
Bhutānāmadhidaivataṁ bhagavati nityaprabodhodayā
Inside it (Ama-kala) is Nirvana-kala, more excellent than the excellent. She is as subtle as the thousandth part of the end of a hair, and of the shape of the crescent moon. She is the ever-existent Bhagavati, who is the Devata who pervades all beings. She grants divine knowledge, and is as lustrous as the light of all the suns shining at one and the same time.
Etasyā madhyadeśe vilasati paramāpūrvanirvāṇaśaktiḥ
kotyādityaprakāśā tribhuvanajananī koṭibhāgaikarūpā.
Keśāgrasyātisūkşmā niravadhi vigalapremadhārādharā sā
sarveşam jīvabhūtā munimanasi mudā tattvabhodhaṁ vahanti.
Within its middle space (i.e., middle of the Nirvana-kala) shines the Supreme and Primordial Nirvana-Sakti; She is lustrous like ten million suns, and is the Mother of the three worlds. She is extremely subtle, and like unto the ten-millionth part of the end of a hair. She contains within Her the constantly flowing stream of gladness, and is the life of all beings. She graciously carries the knowledge of the Truth (Tattva) to the mind of the sages.
Nirvana-Sakti = Samanapada or Samani Sakti.
Stream of gladness = Prema.
Tasyā madhyātarāle śivapadamamalaṁ śāśvataṁ yogigamyaṁ
nityānandābhidhānam sakalasukhamayaṁ śuddhabhodhasvarūpaṁ.
Kecidbrahmābhidhānaṁ padmiti sudhiyo vaişṇavaṁ tallapanti
keciddhaṁsakhyametatkimapi sukṛitno mokşamātma-prabodhaṁ
Within Her is the everlasting place called the abode of Siva, which is free from Maya, attainable only by Yogis, and known by the name of Nityananda. It is replete with every form of bliss, and is pure knowledge itself. Some call it the Brahman; others call it Hamsa. Wise men describe it as the abode of Visnu, and righteous men speak of it as the ineffable place of knowledge of the Atma, or the place of Liberation.
Abode of Siva = Siva-padam = state of Siva.
Pure knowledge itself = suddha-bodha-svarupam.
Righteous men = sukrtinah.
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.