By Purnananda Swami
Ājñanāmāmbujaṁ taddhimakarasadṛśam dhyānadhāmaprakāśaṁ
hakşābhyāṁ vai kalābhyāṁ parilasitavapurnetrapatraṁ suśubhraṁ
Tanmadhye hākinī sā śaśisamadhavalā vaktraşaṭkaṁ dadhānā
vidyāṁ mudrāṁ kapālaṁ ḍamarujapavaṭīṁ bibhrtī śuddhacittā.
The Lotus named Ajna is like the Moon, (beautifully white). On its two petals are the letters Ha and Ksa, which are also white and enhance its beauty. It shines with the glory of Dhyana. Inside it is the Sakti Hakini, whose six faces are like so many moons. She has six arms, in one of which She holds a book; two others are lifted up in the gestures of dispelling fear and granting boons, and with the rest She holds a skull, a small drum, and a rosary. Her mind is pure (Suddha-Citta).
Ajna = lit., command
holds a book: the meaning is that she is making the mudra called vidya or pustaka, not that she is actually holding a book
Small drum = damaru
Etatpadmāntarāle nivasati ca manaḥ sūkşmarūpaṁ prasiddhaṁ
yonau tatkaraṇikāyāmitaśivapadaṁ liṅgacihṇaprakāśaṁ
Vidyunmālāvilāsaṁ paramakulapadaṁ brahmasūtraprabhodaṁ
Within this Lotus dwells the subtle mind (Manas). It is well-known. Inside the Yoni in the pericarp is the Siva called Itara, in His phallic form. He here shines like a chain of lightning flashes. The first Bija of the Vedas, which is the abode of the most excellent Sakti and which by its lustre makes visible the Brahma-sutra, is also there. The Sadhaka with steady mind should meditate upon these according to the order (prescribed).
Itara = that which enables one to cross Lala.
First bija of the Vedas = Om.
Brahma-sutra = the nadi-citrini.
Dhyānātmā sādhakendro bhavati prapure śighragāmī munindraḥ
sarvajñah sarvadarśī sakalahitakarah sarvaśāstrarthavettā
Advaitācāravādī vilasati paramāpūrvasiddhipraśiddho
dīrghāyuḥ soऽpi kartā tribhuvanabhavane saṁhṛtau pālane ca.
The excellent Sadhaka, whose Atma is nothing but a meditation on this Lotus, is able quickly to enter another’s body at will, and becomes the most excellent among Munis, and all-knowing and all-seeing. He becomes the benefactor of all, and versed in all the Sastras. He realizes his unity with the Brahman and acquires excellent and unknown powers. Full of fame and long-lived, he ever becomes the Creator, Destroyer, and Preserver, of the three worlds.
Another’s body = para-pura; may also mean “another’s house.”
Powers = siddhi.
Tadantaścakreऽsminnivasati satataṁ śuddhabuddhyantarātmā
Tadūrdve candrārdhastadupari vilasadbindurūpī makāra
stadūrdhve nādoऽsau baladhavalasudhādhārasaṁtanahāsī.
Within the triangle in this Cakra ever dwells the combination of letters which form the Pranava. It is the inner Atma as pure mind (Buddhi), and resembles a flame in its radiance. Above it is the half (crescent) moon, and above this, again, is Ma-kara, shining in its form of Bindu. Above this is Nada, whose whiteness equals that of Balarama and diffuses the rays of the Moon.
Pranava = the word “Om.”
Combination of letters = A and U, i.e., the vowels in the word “aum.”
Ma-kara = the letter M in its bindu form in candra-bindu.
Nada = the half-moon symbol.
Iha sthāne līne susukhasādhane cetasi puraṁ
nirālambām badhvā paramagurusevāsuviditāṁ
Tadabhyāsād yōgī pavanasuhṛdāṁ paśyati kaṇāṅ
tatastanmadhyāntaḥ pravilasítarūpānapi sadā.
When the Yogi closes the house which hangs without support, the knowledge whereof he has gained by the service of Parama-guru, and when the Cetas by repeated practice becomes dissolved in this place which is the abode of uninterrupted bliss, he then sees within the middle of and in the space above (the triangle) sparks of fire distinctly shining.
Closes the house = make the yoni-mudra, which detaches the inner self (antah-pur) and mind (manas) from the empirical world.
JvaladdIpākāraṁ tadanu ca navīnārkabahulaprakāśaṁ
Iha sthāne sākşad bhavati bhagavāṅ pūrṇavibhavosvyayaḥ
sākşi vaḥneḥ śaśimihirayormaṇdala iva.
He then also sees the Light which is in the form of a flaming lamp. It is lustrous like the clearly shining morning sun, and glows between the Sky and the Earth. It is here that the Bhagavan manifests Himself in the fullness of His might. He knows no decay, and witnesseth all, and is here as He is in the region of Fire, Moon, and Sun.
Light = jyotih.
Sky = gagana = empty space above Sankhini-nadi.
Earth = dharani = dhara-mandala in the muladhara.
Region of Fire, Moon, and Sun = the triangle on Manipitha within the A-ka-tha triangle.
Iha sthāne vişṇoratulaparamāmodamadhure
samāropya prāṇaṁ pramuditamanāḥ prāṇanidhane
Paraṁ nityaṁ devaṁ puruşamajamādyaṁ trijagatāṁ
purāṇaṁ yogīndraḥ praviśati ca vedāntaviditaṁ.
This is the incomparable and delightful abode of Visnu. The excellent Yogi at the time of death joyfully places his vital breath (Prana) here and enters (after death) that Supreme, Eternal, Birthless, Primeval Deva, the Purusa, who was before the three worlds, and who is known by the Vedanta.
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 January 11, 2018.